Business Buzz

Interesting buzz is floating around: Dead pets, ECUA vs. County, Photo Ops and problems on Palafox

November 4, 2013

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Pet lovers are still talking about two more pets being killed at the Escambia County Animal Shelter. Both are under investigation by the county. In one incident, the euthanasia occurred when a dog owner changed her mind the same day she turned custody of her aggressive pit bull over to the shelter. However, when she called the shelter, the dog had already been put down. The following day, another dog was killed after the shelter employees were unable to contact the pet owner via phone. Later they discovered the dog had a microchip and were able to contact the owner through the chip’s manufacturer. I’m sure that wasn’t a pleasant conversation.

Steve Sorrell, executive director of Emerald Coast Utility Authority, recently held a series of private meetings with his employees warning them that Escambia County wanted to take over the utility. According to my sources, he didn’t have kind words for Commissioners Wilson Robertson and Gene Valentino. There is a battle brewing here. Thursday the county commission meets so maybe we will see a few fireworks.

Today, the City of Pensacola celebrates the inaugural flights of Southwest Air to the Pensacola International Airport. No word whether Chick-a-Let will be served. Tomorrow Mayor Ashton Hayward will have his second “Mornings with the Mayor” with the local media. Two photo ops in two days.

And lastly we are also hearing the Downtown Improvement Board has let two employees go – Gallery Night/Palafox Market manager Hilary Gilles and Office manager Gloria Heckman. We’ve heard at least one DIB board member complain about the Palafox Market calling it a “loser.” Not sure if that had anything to do with it.

The recent influx of new businesses on Palafox has split the customer base. Several business owners are privately talking about how business is down. The DIB needs to focus on drawing more people downtown to its restaurants, galleries, retail shops and bars. Not sure the mayor, his staff or the council are aware of the problem. The “Great Street” is on a thin lifeline.

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