Escambia County Pensacola

Pensacola wrap up: week ending Aug. 8, 2016

August 6, 2016

Here we go again.

It seemed all was well at Pensacola City Hall. The Escambia Board of County Commissioners had given the city the funds to clean up its ditch, and work could begin again on the Government Street Stormwater Pond. The Pensacola City Council was happy after it gave itself a raise, and there was nothing controversial on its August agenda. The groundbreaking of the VT-MAE project was just weeks away.

Then Team Hayward decided to blow up that tranquility to once again prove it was the boss. On Wednesday, Mayor Ashton Hayward had his city attorney appeal the county’s ordinance regarding the gas tax distribution to the Florida Cabinet.

Inweekly also found out that he borrowed $15 million for his ambitious paving plan without the council approving an inter-local agreement with the county that would have given the city the funds needed to make the note payments.

More attorney fees, more debate over whether the mayor had the authority to appeal without the council ever discussing the county’s offer, and more friction between Mayor Hayward and the BCC.

The appeal didn’t mention the inter-local agreement, and Councilwoman Myers thought she was helping Team Hayward work out the paving plan and was blindsided by the appeal on the eve of the BCC approving the plan.

City Attorney Lysia Bowling has told the council that she had to send the appeal because of a deadline, but didn’t explain why wasn’t an emergency council meeting called prior to sending the appeal.

Council President Charles Bare has notified the state that the council “was never presented with or asked to weigh in on this decision. The Pensacola City Council has not taken any action in regards to this appeal.”

Mayor Hayward appears to be relishing fight. He told the PNJ: “You can’t just yank away dollars that are distributed from the state of Florida that we all pay into and think that they get to dictate what we get.”

Meanwhile, County Commission rescinded Thursday night its inter-local agreement that would have given the city an additional 8.6 percent to pay the $15-million loan—an inter-local agreement that was passed on July 14, but the mayor never presented it to the City Council.

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Scott congratulates AppRiver for job creation
This week Gov. Rick Scott held a press conference in the City of Gulf Breeze to recognize AppRiver for creating 100 jobs over the past five years. He also took the time to thank State Representatives Doug Broxson and Matt Gaetz for their support of his economic development efforts. Broxson is running for State Senate, Gaetz is running for Congress.

Dalrymple Sallis Architecture design recognized
The “Top 10” buildings in the 2016 AIA Florida People’s Choice Competition were announced.The Coldwater Gardens Pavilion in Milton, designed by Dalrymple Sallis Architecture, was ranked No. 7.

Pokemon Go a Go
The Downtown Improvement Board approved a month-long trial of a Pokemon GO tracking site in downtown Pensacola. The day before, Pensacola resident Jonathan Bryant confirmed to have collected all 142 of the elusive electronic monsters.

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