Friday, February 16, 2018

Council Member Myers Budget Request Calls Out the Mayor

Council Member Myers has submitted her budget requests to the Mayor and Dr. No Olson.  She doesn't hold back telling the Mayor exactly what she thinks of him.

Remember District 2 is up for re-election this year so Council Member Myers will be up for re-election.  Last time she ran the Mayor propped up a candidate to run against her.  She won anyway.

The Mayor is not as popular outside East Hill as he thinks,  I am sure Council Member Myers will be reminding her constituents as she walks the District JUST HOW LITTLE THE CITY DOES FOR DISTRICT 2.

I can't imagine any circumstance a District 2 voter would vote for Hayward when presented with the facts below.


-----Original Message-----
From: Sherri Myers <smyers@cityofpensacola.com>
To: Ashton Hayward <mayorhayward@cityofpensacola.com>; Eric Olson <EOlson@cityofpensacola.com>; Don Kraher <DKraher@cityofpensacola.com>; Butch Hansen <bhansen@cityofpensacola.com>; Dick Barker Jr <RBarker@cityofpensacola.com>
Sent: Thu, Feb 15, 2018 9:38 pm
Subject: Response to Mayor Hayward's budget letter

This is in response to your letter to me dated January 12, 2018.  First, I am requesting you send the letter to me via e-mail attachment as I only have a hard copy.

For eight years, you have sent your  standard letter to all city council members requesting our input regarding budget priorities for our districts.  In the past, I have responded to your standard letter. I have never received a written or verbal response to any letters I have sent to you. You, nor your staff have never contacted me to discuss any of my priorities. So, last year in the beginning of 2017, I decided to just meet with Dick Barker regarding my priorities and asked where the money might come from for Burgess Road.  He told me that there was $1,600,000.00 of unallocated money in LOST VI.  I made it very clear to Mr. Barker and Eric Olson that I was going to ask council to allocate this money to Burgess Rd.  However, when your proposed budget came out for fiscal year 2018, you had taken the $1,600,000.00 and used it for Bayview Community Center and increased that project by over $2,000,000.00 dollars.  I had to fight like hell to get council to allocate $1,600,000.00 for Burgess Rd., from the LOST VI, from another line item you had to slap down asphalt for resurfacing. Even though the Council allocated the $1,600,000.00 for Burgess Rd., based on comments from Mr. Olson, I am absolutely confident that you and your staff will make sure that project never happens.  Rest assured however, that as long as my two feet are able to walk on this earth, Burgess Road and the safety of poor people and school kids will be a top priority for me.

Moving on to other priorities; Carpenter's Creek.  I haven't heard one word of support from you in support of the RESTORE project for Carpenter's Creek.  If there is a "word" please send it to me.  I did not copy you on the letter that I sent to FDOT regarding the replacement of 9th Ave., bridge.  The design of  the new bridge is critical to  efforts to Restore the creek.  Furthermore, the bridge needs to be very walkable, with lighting that is aesthetic and that provides an aesthetic entrance to the Uptown District.  The letter that was sent to FDOT is attached.  It was not sent to you, because I do not trust you or your administration to care about the wellbeing of the Uptown District.  I believe the distrust is well founded based on my dealings with your administration.  The 9th Ave., project is an FDOT project.  The citizens have spoke at my town hall meetings regarding this project.  We have spoken at FDOT meetings. We will fight for the amenities we have requested of FDOT,  with or without your support, though it would be welcomed. Please provided me with a copy of your letter of support,  ootherwise, I will take the position that you do not support the will of the citizens of Pensacola regarding the replacement of the 9th Ave. bridge.

Other priorities include:
  1.  Street lighting at all signalized intersections from Fairfield to Olive Rd.  Yes, I know they are state roads, but these needs where not addressed in the so call "street light" study.  However, the city provides street lights in residential neighborhoods, why not for commercial property owners.  Why is the street lighting along Brent and Bayou from Davis Hwy to 12th Ave., so spotty.  Why is a the busiest pedestrian area  in the city and the county around Scared Heart and Cordova Mall dark?  Have you been on the phone with FDOT regarding this issue?  What has the city offered in terms of addressing the  safety  of pedestrians who walk along Bayou and 9th Ave?  Also, the lack of street lighting at Tippin and Creighton.  It could have been improved by the city.  I don't think it was even addressed in the so called "street light" study.  Thank God for FDOT.  FDOT has plans to put street lighting at that signalized intersection of Tippen and Creighton as part of the FDOT improvements to Creighton Rd.
  2. Drainage and storm water:  While the city is doing a good job retrofitting storm water flow into Carpenter's Creek there is much more that needs to be done, such as addressing storm water pond maintenance and road reconstruction.  Simple things like stop cutting the grass so short that it causes the grass to die which causes erosion of our storm water ponds.
  3. Parks and Recreation: Fair share of the Parks and Recreation budget: Very little money comes out of Parks and Recreation for District 2, or for the north end of the city for that matter. Out of 90 plus parks in the City of Pensacola, only 8 are in district 2.  The neighborhood of Camelot waited for over 30 years to get  playground equipment and that came about when FDOT bought park of the passive park for a storm water pond. When arsonist burned it to the ground not long after it was built, Mr. Olson told me that the city was not going to replace it because it would cost $65,000.00.  I told Mr. Olson that not replacing it was not an option.  The playground equipment was replaced, but it is not universally designed for children with disabilities.  Not only does district 2 have just 8 parks, but there are no community centers or athletic centers.  Gull Point is the closes community center and it is run down and in need of rehabilitation.  It is the only senior eating facility in the north end. While it is not in District 2, Gull Point has programs that service the north end of the city. The large subdivision, Eau Clair, north of 9th Ave., does have any parks, nothing.  So really, how much is that community getting from the taxes property owners and residents pay the city.  
  4. Uptown District - no green spaces, no promotion.  But, you will be glad to take all of the property taxes Uptown generates to subsidize the rest of the city.  Not only is Uptown the primary commercial core, put thousands of students and visitors come to our state college and medical facilities every day. We have Sacred Heart Health System that is an important regional hospital.  SH has over a thousand employees.  Where is the green space for them.  You are working on providing storm water parks with walkable green spaces for Baptist Health System.  Where are the green spaces for all of the employees that work at Sacred Heart and all of the other businesses in the Uptown commercial core?  What happened to the 4 acre pond the city owns adjacent to Carpenter's Creek?  When is it going to be converted into a green space like the many ponds you are working so hard to get all over downtown and the west side areas.   Heck, you won't even get street lights put in at 9th and Bayou so pedestrians and employees of our many businesses can safely walk across the streets.  Why isn't the Anna Lamar Switzer art gallery mentioned on the City's website as a destination for visitors to come and see the best art in the city of Pensacola?  How could that be overlooked. Politics? Grudge?
  5. Police:  Never see police  when school kids are walking down Burgess Rd.  That stopped 3 years ago.  Still a lot of speeders in the Cordova Mall area.  
  6. Lastly,  I want to address the lack of transparency in the budget process that has come from your administration.  You have done everything possible to make sure the council did not have the resource we need to have independent staff, unattached to you,  to help us understand the budget process and develop a budget that is in the interest of the entire city. You fired our first council  executive without informing the council. Council took care of the Cox firing  with a referendum that changed the charter. Your buddy on the city council tried to discredit our new independent council executive when he has hired.  You vetoed our efforts to hire our independent budget analyst.  We fixed that with a veto override.  Until 2017, I didn't know there was a Budget Preparation Manual.  It had never been provided to council, nor was it published anywhere on the City's website.  However,  each year Escambia County publishes its Budget Preparation Manual.  I didn't know the city had a Budge Preparation Manual until a citizen told me.  I made a request for the 2017 manual and learned a lot about the budget process.  I learned that the letter that is sent to council every January is just a formality. Don't know who collects the response and files them away in file #13. In order to help the citizens understand the budget process of the city,I had the Budget Preparation Manual posted to my City Council page so the public will have access to it.  

Well, my hands are getting tired of typing.  I have other priority issues to add to my list.  I will send them along as I have time.    

Sherri Myers, District 2, City Council

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Hayward's Departments are Failing Him

If there is one thing Mayor Hayward has shown us in the last 7 years is that he does not know how to be a project leader (just look at Redfish Harbor) and when you have a weak leader like Hayward, you need to have strong support from your departments and a good City Administrator.

Hayward just has Olson and people afraid to be yelled at and fired.

The City of Pensacola has had great growth fueled 100% by private investment despite City Hall not because of it.

A few cases in point:

  • Jones Stormwater Pond - Saturday is the long delayed opening of the new Stormwater Pond.  Despite the City spending almost $ 4 million on this project, if you drive by 3 days before opening, the east end is surrounded by sand bags... TO KEEP STORMWATER OUT OF THE POND.  Who designed this trainwreck?  Why can't Owens correct it?  How much more will it cost to keep fixing it?  Mayor is the CEO, its his fault!
  • Holiday Inn Downtown - Beautiful building.  Huge investment in our City. HOW DO YOU CHECK IN? I noticed the entrance has no loading zone, no entrance, just on street parking.  Who designed this trainwreck?  How did the project get completely done without a word on how customers would access it?  I guess you are supposed to park in the block behind it, then tote all your stuff the full length of the building before turning the corner on Main to access the building?  Must stink if its raining!  I have heard that it is almost sold out every night.  Anyone will try something once until a family with three kids and bags and stuff can't drop off their stuff at the lobby.
  • The Rest of Downtown For all of his trips to DC, why has the Federal Courthouse taken so long?  Captain Connected, if you would spend half the time asking for projects to be done while in DC on our dime as you do looking for Trump appointments, we might not have chain link in Downtown 6 years after the issue.  He speaks of the Palafox Miracle.  But North of Garden (NoGa) has many empty buildings and a gaggle of panhandlers every day, every where.  They are on every corner with garbage bags tied in the trees and their belongings stuffed under bushes and benches.  Panhandlers have rights but not to put garbage bags tied in the trees and their belongings scattered all over the sidewalks.  Its your Police Department.
Finally on the good front!

Remember when Hayward took office and took credit for all the accomplishments of the previous council led by Mayor Wiggins.

  • Our Council expanded the airport, Hayward cut the ribbon and took credit.
  • Our Council remodeled the library, Hayward cut the ribbon and took credit.
  • Our Council brought forward the Maritime Park, Hayward cut the ribbon and took credit.

The Mayor spent the whole first year cutting ribbons and putting plaques with his name on projects he had nothing to do with.

I hope the new Mayor does the same. 

Enjoy cutting the ribbon on Fire Station 3, Mr. New Mayor.  Your name goes on the plaque.

Enjoy cutting the ribbon on the new Bayview Community Center and Rowing Facility, Mr. New Mayor. Your name goes on the plaque.

To the victor goes the spoils!  

Monday, February 12, 2018

Mayor Leaves the Gate Open at Pond

Mayor Hayward likes to say when you are the Mayor everything is your responsibility.

Well then Mayor, you left the gate open at the Jones Stormwater Pond.

Kids get out of school soon and that would be tempting to kids.  Better send someone soon!

I would have closed it myself but would have been charged with trespassing or something.

By the way, nice sandbags to keep the water OUT of your drainage pond.  You are the Best!






Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Amy Miller has Lost Her Mind. Spencer May Flip!

Someone watch Julius!  His head may spin off when he reads this.

Amy Miller is desperate at the Port of Pensacola.  She briefed Council Monday on the current opportunities at the Port since she has mismanaged it for the last four years.

She talked about the new Mexican container service and Offshore Inland.  Then she teased 3 "75%ers" she was stalking for the Port without telling them what it is.

Seriously, someone better sedate Julius at this point.  I'm not kidding!

I reviewed the lease agreement entered into with NAI to market the Port for 2018.  Miller excluded the following from NAI getting a commission (since she must be already in discussions with them)

Who's watching Julius?

Here ya go...

  1. Land lease for establishment of a wood pressure treating and export operation
  2. Land lease to support wood pole debarking and export operations
  3. Land lease to support rotorcraft aviation operation
Adding pressure treating, wood pole debarking and helicopters to gravel baby!

Clark and Amy rock!  Where's Julius?







Friday, February 2, 2018

Friday Funnies

Historic Preservation Hayward Style

The Mayor discussed historic preservation this week on the radio with Pensacola Public Information Officer Andrew McKay.

When asked about the City paving over the brick streets next to the police station and the ordinance calling for preservation of Pensacola's historic brick streets, Hayward announced that paving over the streets WAS preserving them.  No better way to preserve them than paving over them, right?

The funny thing is Mckay actually bought it.

History Hayward Style...Find a Indian burial ground...put in a parking lot on top of it to preserve the site.

http://podcast.newsradio1620.com/post/4889/Ashton_Hayward_-_Mayor_of_Pensacola.html

Hayward...Life after Mayor

With Mayor Hayward looking to find a new career after office in November, I thought I would suggest some possible roles that he could fill .

  • Executive Director, Timeless Tanglewood - In what would be similar to the role he played in WAMMA, Hayward could be the ED of the house.  Arranging events, greeting guests, taking care of Fred's pretty things.  Low stress, low effort, high profile.  Perfect!
  • Port Director, Port of Pensacola - Heck lets face it, he couldn't do worse than Miller.  One ship is more than zero!  Nothing to do all day and a pay raise.  Perfect!
  • President and CEO, The Hayward Group - A lobbying group where his friends in Pensacola could just pay him to "lobby" for them here and in Tallahassee.  Shame to not use his contacts and it would give him something to justify dressing up every day.
  • Public Relations Director, Gulf Power - Another role I'm sure he could handle.  Explaining power outages, spinning rate cases in Tallahassee, representing GP at community events.  Perfect!
  • VP of Community Development, Studer Community Initiative - Hayward has transformed Pensacola personally!  Imagine what Quint could accomplish for other cities around the country if he had the help of the man who single handedly turned downtown Pensacola into the Miracle of the South.  
  • Escambia County School Board Superintendent - If Hayward took his magic touch from the City to the School District, just imagine the transformation in our education system.  New logos, a catchy catch phrase, new dress codes and some feel good speeches and the District is fixed.  Perfect!
  • President and CEO, Hayward Special Events - He could be your either MC or keynote on any topic, cuts ribbons like a pro and can handle a golden shovel like a champ.  Just a man in search of any event.  Photographer included.
  • Mayor, Another City USA - Hey someone must need a Mayor, right?
Move along little doggie!


Thursday, February 1, 2018

Hayward Admits Failure...Redfish up for Sale!

Mayor and real estate developer Ashton Hayward is giving up after over a decade of failed efforts in Innerarity.  Below is a listing for his Redfish Harbor development.

Highlights

  • 30 acres for $5,300,000 (he owes $4,758,000 so after commissions, costs and the fact that no one will pay the $5,300,000 asking price, they are just trying to get out from under it)
  • If you read the ad, of the 30 acres, 15 acres are declared wetlands!  HALF!! HALF!! OOOPS!

If you really want to make a deal, call AMFI insurance and make a deal with the lender to buy the mortgage.  I bet they take much less than rack rate, then you can foreclose on the Mayor!

Doesn't that sound more fun!

  • House for sale for a decade
  • Lot development failed
I do have a post-Mayoral suggested occupation since real estate doesn't appear to be working out.

Link to Future Potential Occupation

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Redfish Harbor Debt to AMFI...by the Numbers

FACT
Mayor Hayward is partners with two individuals, one is a large city contractor, in a real estate development named Redfish Harbor.


FACT
On March 17, 2006 AMFI Insurance acquired the Mortgage for $3,775,000 from the OLD Bank of Pensacola.  The same day the mortgage was given an additional advance of $383,000 by AMFI bringing the total mortgage to $4,158,000

FACT
On January 10, 2011, Mayor Hayward takes office.  As part of his new role, he agrees to have no outside business activities (including working as a developer) and is compensated with a salary of $100,000 per year.

FACT
On 11/13/2015, while Mayor, Redfish Harbor is advanced another $600,000 bringing the total mortgage to $ $4,758,000.

From a reader below:

Assumptions:
  • Assume this speculative real estate development loan had an interest rate of only 5%.
  • Assume the Mayor has just a minority interest like he claimed in the PNJ article.
  • Assume that percentage is 15%.














QUESTIONS
  • Has the Mayor paid between $34,000 and $38,000 per year into Redfish Harbor for interest and taxes since he took office?
  • Has the millionaire City contractor paid these costs on the Mayor's behalf allowing the Mayor to pay all his back interest and taxes in the future?
  • What is the value of the City contracts the partner's other business has received since 2011?
  • Has the Mayor made any "out of the ordinary" decisions regarding the City's expenditures in the area of service served by the City contractor while Mayor?
  • Has AMFI (a financial supporter of the Mayor's campaign) received all interest payments due on the mortgage or are they allowing the interest to just accumulate?
  • Has AMFI treated other mortgagee's the same in other real estate deals?
A transparent Mayor! wink, wink.