Real News podcast: Thursday, Oct. 28

Rep. Michelle Salzman discusses ECUA, vocational training in public schools and the mental health task force.

Escambia County Commissioner Jeff Bergosh fills us on the latest developments with EMS, county mayor initiative and the Beulah Overpass.

Two-time Special Olympics gold medalist Harrison Mauldin talks about the Pensacola Race for Inclusion, which is this weekend at Bayview Park.

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  1. “county mayor initiative” As I have uncovered, Mayor Robinson is working to throw out the Roger Scott Tennis Center Improvements project recommended by Mayor Hayward, approved by the city council and fully funded since Fiscal Year 2019. The project should have been done by the summer of 2019, and then the summer of 2020 and then the summer of 2021. I know that I have wondered why Robinson had been dragging his feet. We all now know that the city’s Roger Scott Tennis Center is run like a private tennis club mostly for the wealthy. For years I have heard references to the rich, white “tennis ladies of Cordova Park.” Now that I have visited the tennis center a few times in recent weeks, it all makes sense. I wrote the city council yesterday providing it with the key background documents about the project recommended by Hayward (first in 2015) and approved by the city council (in every year from 2016 to as recently as September 15, 2021). This way, the city council will not have to rely on the word of Robinson who is not trustworthy. The city council now has all of the documents that I had find as of yesterday morning. “This” morning I opened up my copy of the News Journal. Right there on 5C I saw a legal notice for an Invitation to Bid to do the project that Robinson now wants to do instead. I checked the city’s website and the actual bid was not posted when I read the News Journal very early this morning but it has since popped up. It appears that Mott McDonald and other companies have done work on a project the city council has never approved. So, in addition to refusing to complete a project recommended by Hayward and approved and funded by the city council, Robinson has defiantly engaged in misconduct spending public money for something that is not a public purpose because the pre-bid work does not involve an actual project. https://www.cityofpensacola.com/bids.aspx?bidID=366 Interestingly, another project now out for bid is replacement of the Hunter Pool. Years ago, I called the Parks & Recreation Department and asked why the fee to use the Hunter Pool (the fee is set each year by the city council) was significantly less than the fee for the Roger Scott Fee. I was told – by a city staff person who is still there – that the Cecil T. Hunter Pool is the city’s “Black” pool and so the rate is set lower. Shocking but true.

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