Mayor Hayward knocks out 2 To Do items

Mayor Ashton Hayward continues to work at a furious pace knocking off two more items on this “To Do” list during his third week of office.

Press Release: Three weeks into the job, and Pensacola’s new mayor is shaking things up at City Hall.

This week, Mayor Ashton Hayward put an end to city-funded, take-home vehicles for many city staff and employees. Citing budget concerns and a new culture of accountability for Pensacola city government, Mayor Hayward issued a directive ending the practice of providing city-owned vehicles to several city staff.

“In this tough economy, when businesses and families are struggling to get by, and we are striving to grow our city and invest in things that create jobs or make our city more attractive and livable, it’s just not right for the taxpayers to be footing the bill for anyone’s free ride unless it’s absolutely a part of delivering services to the taxpayers,” said Mayor Hayward.

The decision, effective March 1, will not apply to law-enforcement personnel, certain code-enforcement, sanitation workers, and others who are often on-call and require immediate use of official city vehicles for services. In total, Hayward’s move will eliminate 22 city-sponsored vehicles for certain employees at a total weekly mileage reduction of 2,562 miles. (see attached)

In addition to the vehicle benefits decision, the Mayor also submitted to City Council today a draft code of ethics for all city employees. The new voter-approved Charter required that City Council develop a code of ethics for city employees, but Hayward said he wanted to move that process along.

“The new Charter, passed fourteen months ago, called for the City Council to develop a code of ethics for city employees and officials. My transition team identified this as an outstanding issue to be resolved to implement the new Charter, and I didn’t want my administration to be without a code of ethics.” said the Mayor. “I’m happy to submit this draft code of ethics to the city council for their deliberation and look forward to working with them to implement a set of policies and procedures that make Pensacola the most open, transparent, and honest local government in the country.”

The draft code of ethics includes several provisions restricting gifts to city officials or appointees, tougher conflict of interest and disclosure requirements. (see attached)

Hayward said he was excited about the new changes and promised to continue reforming Pensacola’s city government. “I pledged to the citizens when they elected me that we weren’t going to be doing business as usual at city hall, and I intend to make good on that promise.

For the record and per his weekly press releases, this is what Hayward accomplished in January:

1. Sworn in.
2. Thanked firefighters for work on grant
3. Attended MLK breakfast
4. Tossed beads at MLK parade
5. Met Feinberg in Orange Beach and Lt. Patrick Coleman from the U.S. Coast Guard
6. Presented proclamation on 100th Anniversary of Naval Aviation
7. Selected search firm on city administrator
8. Told staff not to drive city cars home
9. Presented draft of code of ethics.