Friday, March 31, 2017

17 Inches...No matter who you are!

I got this in email from a local coach.  An excellent piece to read from beginning to end.

Twenty years ago, in Nashville, Tennessee, during the first week of January, 1996, more than 4,000 baseball coaches descended upon the Opryland Hotel for the 52nd annual ABCA's convention.

While I waited in line to register with the hotel staff, I heard other more veteran coaches rumbling about the lineup of speakers scheduled to present during the weekend.  One name, in particular, kept resurfacing, always with the same sentiment — “John Scolinos is here? Oh, man, worth every penny of my airfare.”

Who is John Scolinos, I wondered.  No matter; I was just happy to be there.

In 1996, Coach Scolinos was 78 years old and five years retired from a college coaching career that began in 1948.  He shuffled to the stage to an impressive standing ovation, wearing dark polyester pants, a light blue shirt, and a string around his neck from which home plate hung — a full-sized, stark-white home plate.

Seriously, I wondered, who is this guy?
After speaking for twenty-five minutes, not once mentioning the prop hanging around his neck, Coach Scolinos appeared to notice the snickering among some of the coaches.  Even those who knew Coach Scolinos had to wonder exactly where he was going with this, or if he had simply forgotten about home plate since he’d gotten on stage.  Then, finally …

“You’re probably all wondering why I’m wearing home plate around my neck,” he said, his voice growing irascible.  I laughed along with the others, acknowledging the possibility.  “I may be old, but I’m not crazy.  The reason I stand before you today is to share with you baseball people what I’ve learned in my life, what I’ve learned about home plate in my 78 years.” 
Several hands went up when Scolinos asked how many Little League coaches were in the room.  “Do you know how wide home plate is in Little League?”
After a pause, someone offered, “Seventeen inches?”, more of a question than answer.

“That’s right,” he said.  “How about in Babe Ruth’s day?  Any Babe Ruth coaches in the house?” Another long pause.

“Seventeen inches?” a guess from another reluctant coach.
“That’s right,” said Scolinos.  “Now, how many high school coaches do we have in the room?”  Hundreds of hands shot up, as the pattern began to appear.  “How wide is home plate in high school baseball?”

“Seventeen inches,” they said, sounding more confident.

“You’re right!” Scolinos barked.  “And you college coaches, how wide is home plate in college?”

“Seventeen inches!” we said, in unison.

 “Any Minor League coaches here?  How wide is home plate in pro ball?”............“Seventeen inches!”
 “RIGHT!  And in the Major Leagues, how wide home plate is in the Major Leagues?
 “Seventeen inches!”

 “SEV-EN-TEEN INCHES!” he confirmed, his voice bellowing off the walls.  “And what do they do with a Big League pitcher who can’t throw the ball over seventeen inches?”  Pause.  “They send him to Pocatello!” he hollered, drawing raucous laughter.  

“What they don’t do is this: they don’t say, ‘Ah, that’s okay, Jimmy.  If you can’t hit a seventeen-inch target?  We’ll make it eighteen inches or nineteen inches.  We’ll make it twenty inches so you have a better chance of hitting it.  If you can’t hit that, let us know so we can make it wider still, say twenty-five inches.'”  

Pause.  “Coaches… what do we do when your best player shows up late to practice? or when our team rules forbid facial hair and a guy shows up unshaven?  What if he gets caught drinking?  Do we hold him accountable?  Or do we change the rules to fit him?  Do we widen home plate? "

The chuckles gradually faded as four thousand coaches grew quiet, the fog lifting as the old coach’s message began to unfold.  He turned the plate toward himself and, using a Sharpie, began to draw something.  When he turned it toward the crowd, point up, a house was revealed, complete with a freshly drawn door and two windows.  “This is the problem in our homes today.  With our marriages, with the way we parent our kids.  With our discipline.  We don’t teach accountability to our kids, and there is no consequence for failing to meet standards.  We just widen the plate!”

Pause.  Then, to the point at the top of the house he added a small American flag.  “This is the problem in our schools today.  The quality of our education is going downhill fast and teachers have been stripped of the tools they need to be successful, and to educate and discipline our young people.  We are allowing others to widen home plate!  Where is that getting us?”

“And the same is true with our government.  Our so called representatives make rules for us that don’t apply to themselves. They take bribes from lobbyists and foreign countries.  They no longer serve us.  And we allow them to widen home plate! We see our country falling into a dark abyss while we just watch.”

I was amazed.  At a baseball convention where I expected to learn something about curve balls and bunting and how to run better practices, I had learned something far more valuable.

From an old man with home plate strung around his neck, I had learned something about life, about myself, about my own weaknesses and about my responsibilities as a leader.  I had to hold myself and others accountable to that which I knew to be right, lest our families, our faith, and our society continue down an undesirable path.

“If I am lucky,” Coach Scolinos concluded, “you will remember one thing from this old coach today.  It is this: "If we fail to hold ourselves to a higher standard, a standard of what we know to be right; if we fail to hold our spouses and our children to the same standards, if we are unwilling or unable to provide a consequence when they do not meet the standard; and if our schools & our government fail to hold themselves accountable to those they serve, there is but one thing to look forward to …”

With that, he held home plate in front of his chest, turned it around, and revealed its dark black backside, “…We have dark days ahead!.”

Note: Coach Scolinos died in 2009 at the age of 91, but not before touching the lives of hundreds of players and coaches, including mine.  Meeting him at my first ABCA convention kept me returning year after year, looking for similar wisdom and inspiration from other coaches.  He is the best clinic speaker the ABCA has ever known because he was so much more than a baseball coach.  His message was clear: “Coaches, keep your players—no matter how good they are—your own children, your government, and most of all, keep yourself at seventeen inches."

And this my friends is what our country has become and what is wrong with it today, and now go out there and fix it!

"Don't widen the plate."

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Peacock's Real DIB Powers

Mini Mayor Peacock likes to believe he has the power.  Heck he's the Sixth most powerful person in Pensacola.

But lets look at what the DIB can actually do under the law.  Bold are my comments

In the performance of the functions vested in or assigned to the board, it is granted the following powers:
To enter into contracts and agreements, and to sue and be sued as a body corporate; So what!
To have and use a corporate seal;  Yippee!
To acquire, own, convey or otherwise dispose of, lease as lessor or lessee; construct, maintain, improve, enlarge, raze, relocate, operate and manage property and facilities of whatever type to which it holds title; and to grant and acquire licenses, easements and options with respect thereto; provided, however, any property owned by the board not used for public or governmental purposes will be subject to the applicable state and local taxes imposed thereon;  Build and manage stuff.
To accept grants and donations of any type of property, labor or other thing of value from any public or private source;  Beg for stuff
To receive the proceeds of the tax hereby imposed upon it by trusts or other agreements validly entered into by it;  Collect taxes
To have exclusive control of funds legally available to it, subject to limitations imposed upon it by law or by any agreement validly entered into by it; Manage Money
To cooperate and enter into agreements with other governmental agencies or other public bodies; Enter into agreements
To make to or receive from the city or Escambia County conveyances, leaseholds, grants, contributions, loans and other rights and privileges;  Get giveaways
To request by resolution that the city exercise its powers of eminent domain to acquire any real property for public purposes. If the property involved is acquired, the board shall take over and assume control of the property on terms mutually agreed upon between the city and the board, but the board shall not thereafter be authorized to sell, lease or otherwise dispose of the property so acquired without the formal consent of the city council; REQUEST
To issue and sell revenue certificates as hereinafter provided, or in any other manner permitted by law and not inconsistent with the provisions hereof, including the power to exchange revenue certificates for property, and to take all steps necessary for efficient preparation and marketing of the certificates at public or private sale at the best price obtainable, including the entry into agreements with corporate trustees, underwriters, and the holders of certificates, and the employment and payment, as a necessary expense of issuance, for the service of consultants on valuations, costs and feasibility of undertaking, revenues to be anticipated and other financial matters, architecture, engineering, legal matters, accounting matters and any other fields in which expert advice may be needed to effectuate advantageous issuance and marketing; Sell revenue certificates
To fix, regulate and collect rents, fees, rates and charges for facilities or projects or any parts thereof or services furnished by it or under its control and to pledge the revenue to the payment of revenue certificates issued by it; Rent facilities
To borrow money on its secured and unsecured notes, for a period not exceeding nine (9) months in an aggregate amount for all outstanding unsecured notes not exceeding fifty (50) percent of the unpledged proceeds received during the immediately prior fiscal year from the tax hereby imposed, and at an annual rate of interest not exceeding the rate being charged at the time of the loan by banks in the city on unsecured short-term loans to local businesses; Borrow money
To acquire by rental or otherwise and to equip and maintain a principal office for the conduct of its business and such branch offices as may be necessary; Have an office
To employ and prescribe the duties, authorities, compensation not to exceed the highest salary paid to other nonelective city employees and reimbursement of expenses of the executive director of the board, who shall act as its chief executive officer; a general counsel, who shall be an attorney in active Florida practice and so engaged at the time of appointment; and such other personnel as may be necessary from time to time; provided, its personnel shall not be under civil service regulations, and shall be employed to serve at its pleasure, and with the exception of its secretary, shall not while employed by it serve as a member of the board; Have an ED
To exercise all powers incidental to the effective and expedient exercise of the foregoing powers to the extent not in conflict herewith or inconsistent herewith; Blah Blah Blah
To establish development and taxing subdistricts within the downtown area for sectional development in accordance with the comprehensive plan; taxes acquired from said subdistricts to be utilized solely within the subdistrict area, said area not to be less than one city block in size; provided, however, that no subdistrict shall be established nor any tax imposed without the written approval of a majority of the electors located therein. No limitation shall be placed on the amount of taxes imposed under this subsection, said taxes to be levied only on the real property within the subdistrict area; Set districts
To raise funds by the issuance of bonds of the same types and in the same manner, with the same power and authority, and subject to the same limitations as are now provided by statute and charter for issuance of bonds by the city. The general provisions relating to the issuance of revenue certificates as set out in section 322 [section 11 of this article] shall apply to the issuance of such bonds. No such bonds shall be issued except on approval in a referendum. The referendum shall be held in accordance with the provisions of section 324 [section 13 of this article]. The aggregate amount of bonded indebtedness shall at no time exceed twenty (20) percent of the valuation of taxable property in the downtown area at the time of issuance. The term of the bonds may extend beyond the life of the board if the city shall have agreed to service and pay the bonds after the expiration of the board. In that event, after the board expires, the city shall continue to levy and collect any fees, charges or special taxes which have been authorized for the purpose of retiring the bonds. Any excess fees, charges or tax revenues remaining after retirement of the bonds shall be transferred to the general revenue fund of the city and such fees, charges and taxes shall not be levied in subsequent years. Issue Bonds

Thats it!!  No regulations, no laws, no parade route determination, no ordinances, no rules.

It manages parking by intergovernment agreement. They can't even rule on traffic tickets!

John Peacock and the DIB can only lobby the City (ie Hayward) for actions with COUNCIL making any decisions.

No one has to listen to a word Peacock says but poor Curt Morse.  

Peacock has no more authority over what happens in downtown than a dog has over choosing its brand of dog food.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

What Do Others See About Pensacola in a Google Search?

The world Googles!  That's how we find out about people, places and things we don't know about. Yesterday Florida West hosted a Cyber Security Summit to see how we can attract Cyber Security industry to Pensacola.

So I did a little experiment.  If I am vetting a person or place I assume that all the good stuff is put out by the people or places that I am researching.

So here was my first google search...Pensacola Best for business.  My results:

  • Choose Greater Pensacola - Of course!
  • Best place to start a small business - Nerdwallet  We are the # 47 city in Florida for starting a small business.
  • Florida 2016 Opportunity Guide
  • 10 businesses Derek Cosson wants downtown
  • Trip Advisor best restaurants
  • Trip Advisor best hotels
So I refined my search to be "Is Pensacola a Good Place to live?"  My first result:
  • stated " First is lack of real jobs. You will not make a lot of money working here. While the beaches are very nice, the crime is very bad. The majority of the crime lies in the fact we have over 15 large housing projects. Pensacola is a very small area and we shouldn't have this much poverty in an area this small. We have a lot of gang activity in these areas and there is no one to counsel young people to keep them away from the streets where drugs and violence rule the day. Pensacola is the 6th most violent small city in the United States. Until we find some way to help at risk young people and find them mentors we will continue to have this problem. The county government is useless. Everyone wants to point their finger at the police for all the crime but this is a community problem. The high cost of living is ridiculous. Rents are sky high and to buy a house you'll overpay what the house is actually worth. You have rich people, lower middle class people and poverty. While the mayor of Pensacola has done a lot to bring downtown Pensacola to life, the county really needs to step up and deliver the same changes that our mayor has been able to provide. Before you decide to move here do your research. Make sure you have a good paying job before you ever think of moving to this area. This is a tourist area and that is where all the jobs lie and it's seasonal employment so great money in the summer. That means bartending, waitressing, working in a service related industry, mostly low paying retail. You get the picture. We have three large hospitals and we have a lot of older people who retire here so there is a lot of hospital jobs but they do require some form of formal education. And speaking of education the schools here are horrible. Unless you send your child to private school you might as well hang it up on your children getting a decent education.
That's the first thing that comes up!!!  And that's from a Hayward Supporter!!!!

Instead of spending millions on meetings, conferences, grant requests and such, why don't we pay Derek Cosson $5,000 to make our web presence better than the Pope's!  Evidently he knows how to manage what comes up on site searches.

No kidding!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

DIB in Context

Mini Mayor Peacock stated that our Mayor's statements at the Saturday DIB meeting must be considered in CONTEXT.  To be fair, I would like to put the Mayor's dysfunction with the DIB into CONTEXT. 

Upon taking office in 2010, Mayor Hayward had hopes of outright dissolving the DIB all together or bringing the DIB into City Hall for better control of it's function.  I was there and worked on this issue while President. 

Finally, someone advised Mayor Hayward that  he would be crazy to eliminate an income stream and that he needed to simply control the DIB...not do away with it.  And this process began... why have to listen to his supporters needs and demands within his small kingdom of the Downtown core?  Simply install them on the DIB to do their own work. If you gave the Mayor any trouble while serving on the DIB you were shown the door.  Go along to get along folks.

Mayor Hayward has shown himself to believe the space within the DIB boundaries are his single most important endeavor as Mayor.  Some citizens even feel that he knows no other districts around our City even exist. 

Here are just a few DIB missteps by our Mayor over the past 6 years:

Theissen Building & Jefferson Street Parking Garage...apparently taking care of a client.  His Chief of Staff was sent walking documents around the DIB to accomplish the debt forgiveness plan.  My meeting and records request of the then DIB Director produced only 18 emails for the entire scheme.   There's more emails than that when coordinating snacks & drinks for one little league game.  Our Mayor obviously had something to hide...i.e. his direct benefit from the proposed transaction.

In the end the Citizens of Pensacola lost $77,000 when the debt on the parking garage was forgiven by the City and Pen Air opted to not relocate to the building.  Where is David Toyo anyway?

Puppetry at it's best.  Clear evidence that the DIB is the Mayors playpen for cronies.  He and his team make the decisions.


More puppetry.  Every decision made by City Hall.  Not the appointed body.

And finally, we all remember this mess:

This is only a snapshot of the issues.  Feel free to search DIB in my blog for more posts.

The Mayor's response the these issues has been laughable.  He has brushed off the issues that he isn't forced to deal with and has never been held accountable for his bad decisions. 

I wonder how the parade discussion goes from here?  With all of Peacock's "walking it back" on the radio last week, looks like the Mayor's neighbor he convinced to move downtown is going to have to get over the fact that the Mayor may say one thing to your face but will do what is most beneficial to his political future in the long run.

Most of us learned that lesson years and years ago!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Spencer's Reply Shows He is Not a Leader

Or Both!

Council President Nero Spencer issued the following statement:

Mayoral Veto of #17-00186 Hiring of a Budget Analyst

Although requests have been made of me as Council President to provide an opinion on the Mayoral veto of the City Council’s action regarding the hiring of a Budget Analyst, I do not feel it is appropriate to do so at this time.

I believe that this matter may prove to be a complex legal issue requiring the advice and opinion of outside legal Counsel in order to assist the City Council in determining the appropriate course of action. I do not feel it is appropriate for me to unilaterally make such a decision without the majority consent of City Council.

I further believe this matter has the potential of far reaching implications that extend beyond the hiring of a Council Staff member. Thus, the City Council should address this issue as a body, not as individuals expressing individual opinions prior to a meeting of the entire Council. I will be submitting this item as an agenda item for discussion at the April 10, 2017 Agenda Conference.

Until such time as we meet, I will be making no further statement in an effort to avoid any appearance of a Sunshine violation.

Time to unpack it!

Although requests have been made of me as Council President to provide an opinion on the Mayoral veto of the City Council’s action regarding the hiring of a Budget Analyst, I do not feel it is appropriate to do so at this time.

Translation: I'm scared of leading, of making the Mayor mad or otherwise doing my job.  Maybe he's not made for this duty!!!

I believe that this matter may prove to be a complex legal issue requiring the advice and opinion of outside legal Counsel in order to assist the City Council in determining the appropriate course of action. I do not feel it is appropriate for me to unilaterally make such a decision without the majority consent of City Council.

Interpretation: A bit of information for President Nero, the Council must vote to override at its next meeting.  But he lives with Charter Mama, he knows that!!  That means the outside legal Counsel to assist the Council would be under the assumption that Council votes to ignore the Mayor's illegal veto and proceed with the hiring of the Budget Analyst.  

Spineless Spencer fiddles!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Assistant Fire Chief Case City Response

According to the PNJ, the City has filed its response to the Assistant Fire Chief lawsuit filed against the City and Ashton Hayward individually.

I find it comical that the reason that the City requested and the plaintiffs agreed to release Wilkins, Sisson, Olson and Walsh from the suits is they were:
  • acting at all times under the direction of Ashton Hayward, their supervisor.
But the City states that Glover's dismissal was "legitimate and non-retaliatory in that plaintiff violated the employment policies of the city of Pensacola." all times Assistant Chief Glover was operating with the knowledge of and the direct instruction of his supervisor who himself never did anything outside the parameters of his job description at the time before Sisson changed it.

How come the City staff gets to use the"I was only following orders" excuse and it works but Chief Glover does not?

Which employee was in a paramilitary organization where orders and chain of command matter and which employees sit around all day sending pooch pictures on City time with City computers?

Ummmm. isn't the picture below alone a violation of employment policies of the City for which this supervisor was treated differently from Glover?

Motion DENIED!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Dottie Dubuisson Reporting

To be fair the conversation was about more than MardiGras parades. But a member of the city staff was there to provide information on how often Palafox was completely shut down. Reducing the number of closures was discussed. Discussion of alternate parade route; beads in trees and tree fund money for maintenance; weight of parade throws; regulations on parades established by organizers. Incomplete information was shared and real parties to the special events (organizers) were not there to discuss. Mayor did suggest charge more for Seville Square events to reduce use there, and direct to Maritime; alternate routes, supporting businesses that he encouraged to come downtown. John is right that context of conversations impacts statements. And it would have been better for topic to be widely advertised with organizers and historical participants made aware of meeting. I also believe special meeting time and location meant fewer attended in audience. It was a lovely affair with great coffee, fruit, muffins and downtown ambiance. Glad I was over my bug crud and able to go. Other important items were on agenda.

So lets break this down.

To be fair the conversation was about more than MardiGras parades. It should be as it was a Board of Directors meeting.

But a member of the city staff was there to provide information on how often Palafox was completely shut down. Staff on Saturdays.  REMEMBER THEY CLOSE IT TO MAKE MONEY.

Reducing the number of closures was discussed.  Agree, stop the silly races no one goes to see.  

Discussion of alternate parade route; BAM!

beads in trees and tree fund money for maintenance; I don't think thats the intent of a tree fund, to remove beads

weight of parade throws; Really, Hayward and Peacock are the weight police for throws?

regulations on parades established by organizers. read this to be Hayward Crony regulations for Parade organizers

Incomplete information was shared and real parties to the special events (organizers) were not there to discuss. Perfect time for Hayward to cater to his supporters, when nobody is there to call him out

Mayor did suggest charge more for Seville Square events to reduce use there, and direct to Maritime; 
I have been recommending that for 6 years.  Remember, he is slow.

alternate routes, BAM!

supporting businesses that he encouraged to come downtown. one word SCOUT

John is right that context of conversations impacts statements. I'm sure it does.  Really shows the Mayors intent to please his peeps.

And it would have been better for topic to be widely advertised with organizers and historical participants made aware of meeting. Not better for Hayward and his inner circle of cronies

I also believe special meeting time and location meant fewer attended in audience. As it was meant to!

It was a lovely affair with great coffee, fruit, muffins and downtown ambiance. They do a great job there.

Glad I was over my bug crud and able to go. Me too Dottie, I'm glad someone independent was there.

Other important items were on agenda.  Thank You Dottie for your diligence.

Monday, March 20, 2017

FURTHER UPDATE: DIB...Where's the Agenda?

I was beginning to get to the evidence surrounding the Mayor's desires to change the Downtown parade route off of South Palafox.

So...I went to the DIB website to review the agenda for this Saturday morning meeting that His Royal Highness found it important to attend.

City Council...No!   DIB...Yes!

I went to this link and looked at past meetings.

I saw the meeting.  Saturday March 4 8am at SoGourmet.

Board of Directors Breakfast Meeting!  Fancy!

So...ever interested in transparency and information I clicked on the agenda.


The agenda has been removed and replaced by an agenda to the March 14 PARKING AND TRAFFIC COMMITTEE MEETING.

UPDATE Now there is no link at all.  I guess we don't get either an agenda or the minutes.

Further Update:  Now the Agenda is up.  No mention of parade routes on the agenda.


8am or 8pm?  I love breakfast for dinner!!!!

Now the public record agenda that was in error for a meeting that occurred 16 days ago has been manipulated to reflect that the meeting was at 8am.  Can you legally change an agenda after the fact and after it has been approved by the Board as presented.

Someone once told me that changing a public record after the fact was illegal?

I'm sure Chairman Peacock will have an explanation.

Its always the cover up that gets ya!  teehehe

Safety on City Construction Site...Owens is in Trouble!

What is thaaaaaaat?  Orange safety garland hanging from the posts?

Check out that warning sign on the tiny post and the one foot fence.  Citizen safety is job ONE with Hayward!!

Friday, March 17, 2017

Only In Pensacola...Hayward Crawls Out of Bed to Suck Up to His Supporters!

Everyone in Pensacola loves Mardi Gras!  It is a celebration that includes everyone. Black, white, young, old, drunk, sober.  But this year may be the last year floats will parade down Palafox.

This year two Palafox business owners were not happy with the parades.  It made them sad!

So what did they do?

They called a three hour DIB meeting on Saturday to voice their concerns and complaints.

And one member of the DIB used their purchased influence with the Mayor to get him to come to the meeting...on a Saturday.

The Mayor that can't come to a City Council meeting during the work week, took his Saturday to attend a DIB meeting.

Once his royal highness heard the pleas of his patrons and financial backers, he made the following statement:

We may need to reevaluate the City's parade route to keep it off of south Palafox.

I understand the statement is on tape and I will post the audio of the gripe session when I receive it.

Over a hundred years of City tradition scrapped for the benefit a few upset Hayward patrons!

You see...Palafox exists for his people.  Maybe they will start charging admission to Palafox?

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Spineless Spencer Sits and Spins

Rick Outzen is quoting Council President and Mayoral dreamer Brian Spencer doesn't know what to do about the Mayor's illegal veto.

“I need to give this some more thought and will seek a legal opinion on the validity of the veto. Thanks, Brian”

He has the Charter Mama right there by him and can't make a decision.

He has 5 days to do anything.  Council gave him a taste of leadership and he is failing miserably.

May need to change his name from Julius to Nero!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Hayward Violates Charter with Illegal Veto

Pensacola City Charter:

"The City Council shall establish an office of the City Council and shall have as its staff the following who shall be responsible to the City Council through the President of the Council: (a) Budget Analyst.

The City Council is authorized to employ a Budget Analyst or an individual with similar qualifications pursuant to the City's position classification code to assist the budgetary matters of the City Council."


He can't do that...clap...clap...clap,clap,clap
He can't do that...clap...clap...clap,clap,clap

The Charter gives him powers of veto of Ordinances and Resolutions. Not Council Actions!

Will Julius be the President of Council or the Mayor's whipping boy!

President Spencer, you claim you want to lead the City. Let's see if you can even lead this Council.

An action was taken.  It was approved.  The mayor has violated the charter.  What will you do?

Time to put up or shut up, Mr. President!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

We Are Living the Goodlife In The Upside Under Hayward

The site above rates cities based on various criteria.  Here is Pensacola's report card:

  • Amenities A+
  • Cost of Living A+
  • Crime F
  • Education F
  • Employment D+
  • Housing D+
  • Weather A
  • Murder higher than Florida and National averages
  • Rape higher than Florida and National averages
  • Robbery higher than Florida and National averages
  • Assault higher than Florida and National averages
  • Violent Crime higher than Florida and National averages
  • Burglary higher than Florida and National averages
  • Theft higher than Florida and National averages
  • Vehicle theft higher than Florida and National averages
  • Property crime higher than Florida and National averages
Higher than Florida and National averages in every category.

With issues like this, lets focus on those panhandlers on Palafox some more.

Maybe some Faceytweets can make it all better?

Monday, March 13, 2017

Ummm...I'm sure it will be denied!

The PNJ reported that the attorneys for the City filed for the Fire Chief lawsuit to be dismissed as frivolous.

"Attorneys representing the city asserted, among other things, that Schmitt failed to exhaust his administrative remedies before filing the suit; that he "unreasonably" failed to take advantage of available preventative or corrective opportunities provided by the city; that he cannot establish the reasons for his discipline were a pretext; and he cannot provide an example of an individual who had engaged in conduct comparable to his but was treated more favorably by the city." someone not paying attention?

Attorneys representing the city asserted, among other things, that Schmitt failed to exhaust his administrative remedies before filing the suit

Response:  Schmitt was deprived of his administrative remedies when he asked when suspended for an employee appeal panel.  The City changed the policy to eliminate that after he asked,

That issue needs a jury to decide.

Attorneys representing the city asserted that he "unreasonably" failed to take advantage of available preventative or corrective opportunities provided by the city.

Response:  What corrective opportunities was he offered?  He was put on leave (for longer than the 10 days in the manual), investigated by the "independent" attorney for the City that is the Mayors personal criminal defense firm, and fired for a "loss of confidence"

That issue needs a jury to decide.

Attorneys representing the city asserted that he cannot establish the reasons for his discipline were a pretext

Response:  Olson did that in the AM 1620 interview that stated they were suspended for the EEOC complaints NOT disciplinary issues.  And as was admitted in the Motion,"Olson's statement speaks for itself"

Hey Larkin, it also was in the PNJ that "Eric Olson confirmed Tuesday that Chief Matt Schmitt and Deputy Chief Joseph Glover were put on leave in connection with Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaints the men filed against Olson and the city's human resources director, Ed Sisson.

Olson also said it was a coincidence that changes were made to the city's human resources manual regarding its administrative appeal process on the same day the firefighters were placed on leave, hours after Schmitt requested an administrative appeal."


That issue needs a jury to decide.

Attorneys representing the city asserted he cannot provide an example of an individual who had engaged in conduct comparable to his but was treated more favorably by the city.

Response:  Here is some conduct directly comparable.  While under the leadership of the Chief and Assistant Chief of the Pensacola Police Department due to the actions of individuals under their direct control THE DEPARTMENT LOST ITS FLORIDA CERTIFICATION without any consequence, administrative leave, investigation or loss of confidence by the Mayor.

Finally, the response claims "Defendant Hayward is entitled to qualified immunity on all of Plaintiff's individual capacity claims"

Hasn't the Judge already ruled on that?

By the way, submitted by Rob Larkin.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Asst Chief Admits Lost Accreditation...Time to Pull the Stickers Off??

As I posted a week ago, today on AM 1620 now on FM at 92.3 Future Chief Tommi Lyter admitted in detail EXACTLY what I posted last week.  Namely, that the City lost its accreditation as a police department due to officers dealing with the evaluators being unprofessional.

Mayor Ashton Hayward likes to say he is the CEO.  Well Mr. CEO, you have failed once again.


How is it that you lost faith in your Fire Chief and Assistant Chief being able to run the  Fire Department over some internal hiring process and authority disputes while that department was rated by the Citizens as being the highest regarded City department

But when your Police Department loses its state Accreditation over the failures within that Department to act professionally to outsiders sent to evaluate the department, the Police Chief is allowed to retire with honor and the Assistant Chief, that by his own admission in the interview above was overseeing the accreditation process is now being promoted to Chief.

May I remind you Mr. Mayor that you are under oath and being sued individually!! Quite a contradiction compared to your previous actions with the PFD.

We have a strong and well respected Police Department, yet our Mayor remains silent.  Crickets from our "Strong Mayor" on such an important issue as Police accreditation...He has proven once again to be a coward and unable to carryout the most basic of duties as our Mayor. 

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Attorney Ed Fleming Preparing to TEE UP the City

Ed Fleming, yeah him, the one that never loses, is preparing for battle with Pensacola Energy over their formation of a "cartel" of plumbers to do their business.

In a February 9 letter to the City Bobblehead, Ed points out the current plumber policy violates

  • the Sherman Antitrust Act
  • the Florida Antitrust Act
  • and Florida Statute 501.201 the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act
Price fixing!
Sunshine Law Violations!

Ed ends with a very polite cease and desist warning to cease "these illegal and inappropriate activities".

Another Hayward induced lawsuit is surely on the way.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Port Director Can't Go To "Next Man Up" or Can it?

Amy Miller, the current failing port director, is retiring this year I understand.

Has the City begun a national search for her replacement?  Not according to the City HR website.

What will Hayward do?  If his pathetic history of attracting new and better talent as he promised while running for office is an indication, he will appoint the "next man up" regardless of experience...unless the next man up has filed an EEO complaint against the City.  Then he just fires that guy and hires the next boot kissing guy up.

Below is the port director job description from the City HR department.

Port Director Job Description

I noted at the bottom it was changed in February 2016 for no apparent reason.  My guess is it was dumbed down to decrease the authority of the role such as hiring and firing so that HR controls all HR functions like they did at the Fire Department.

Below is the Linkedin account of the "Next Man Up" to run the Port, Clark Merritt.

Merritt was "parked" at the Port when he was found to be "lacking" in his former role at City Hall.

In his role at the Port he is responsible for "Economic Development",  Based on the pathetic activity at the Port, he must be an intricate part of the failure that IS the current Port of Pensacola.

Next Man Up?  I thought you wanted the best for Pensacola, Mr. Mayor?


Wednesday, March 1, 2017


I understand that under the management and leadership of Ashton J. Hayward III, the Pensacola Police Department has lost its accreditation with the Florida Police Accreditation Coalition.

The accreditation emblem is on every vehicle the department has.

As a now unaccredited law enforcement agency, the City may need to pull every single one of those stickers off the vehicles.

The PPD prides itself on Courtesy, Integrity and Professionalism.

I understand a lack of Courtesy to the evaluation visitor may have resulted in the loss of a key symbol of Professionalism.

While I support and respect the PPD, this kind of embarrassment is self inflicted and a waste of the time needed to correct this situation.

Has anyone told the Mayor yet?

He is not the kind of boss that shoots the messenger is he?