A friend called last night to let me know that Don Caton wasn’t too happy with me and this blog for publishing his pension benefits. Caton served as city attorney for 34 years and 3 years as an assistant city attorney. His pension is a public record. We actually first published it on our April 2008 article “Feed the Beast.”
Caton wrote in a July 2009 viewpoint that he believes Pensacola is too small a city for a strong mayor. However five years ago, he didn’t believe that the City of Pensacola was too small to have a legal department with an operating budget of $811,400, which covered a staff of four full-time attorneys, two support staff and an average of $115,000 a year spent on outside legal counsel.
When the city council tried to cut his budget in July 2004, he forced them to sit through a reading of the resumes of all his attorneys. His bullying worked, even though some of the council walked out of the meeting room while Caton was filibustering, and the council didn’t cut the legal department budget.
Since Caton left, the City has reduced the Legal Department to two attorneys ( including City Attorney Rusty Wells) and one legal assistant. The operating costs are
The weak mayor/council system worked well for Caton…and cost the citizens $283,600 more when he was City attorney than it does now.