The insider of control of the Pensacola City Attorney position goes back further than I realized. Don Caton replaced his father, Dave Caton, as the city attorney. Dave Caton was City Attorney from 1967-1971 -which means for 42 years the position has been handed down from one assistant city attorney to the next.
This doesn’t mean that Caton–both father and son, John Fleming and Rusty Wells weren’t/aren’t good attorneys. However,the city attorney under this weak mayor/weak council system hasn’t been open to public applications for over four decades. The key is to be hired an assistant city attorney –over which the council has no control. The city attorney in essence gets to pick his own successor.