Ashton Hayward

Lindsay Myers

There’s more shuffling at Pensacola City Hall, with the departure of a high-profile contract employee, and two job openings near the top.

WANTED: A pair of assistant city administrators – to help Administrator Eric Olson. Olson and former Chief Operating Office Tamara Fountain – who resigned earlier this month – had been dividing up the workload. The dual assistants are a throwback to the old Manager-Council form of government, which was replaced by the new charter in 2009.

It appears that rumors of a rift between Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward and businessman Quint Studer are overblown or without merit. Both feel they’re still on the same economic development page.

Representatives from the Studer, Levin and Bear families as well as dozens of others gathered at a steaming hot parking lot on the corner of Tarragona and Intendencia Streets in downtown Pensacola Thursday morning for the groundbreaking of the new downtown YMCA. 

Tamara Fountain resigned Monday as the City of Pensacola’s Chief Operating Officer, 11 months after accepting the position and after weeks of controversy.

A news release from the city says that Fountain is leaving to “pursue other opportunities.”

“After everything she’s been through, I saw the letter she sent to [the] City Council. You know, I think enough of it has taken its toll on her, and she was ready to move on,” said Mayor Ashton Hayward.

Lindsay Myers

A proposed multi-million dollar project at Community Maritime Park has been scrapped, after the City of Pensacola rejected the proposed leases for three parcels.

Pensacola Airport

Two years after the city placed the food concessions at Pensacola International Airport up for bids, the ribbon was cut Tuesday morning for the restaurants that make up OHM Concessions in both the pre- and post-security areas.

Based in St. Ann, Missouri, OHM operates Pensacola Beach House bar and restaurant; Einstein Bros. Bagels, Freshens, and Chick-Fil-A at the airport.

On orders from Mayor Ashton Hayward, city staff brought down the Confederate flag from all of the City of Pensacola’s Five Flags displays on Thursday. It was replaced by the State of Florida flag.

In a written statement, the Mayor concedes that while the Confederate flag represents a part of the city’s history, it also stands as a “painful symbol of racial hatred and ignorance.”

A spokesman for Hayward’s office said in an email that the Mayor would not be making any more statements on the matter.

Bob Barrett

Since 1889, 14 members of the Pensacola Police Force have died in the line of duty. Wednesday morning, the city took time to remember their service. Pensacola Chief of Police Chip Simmons stood in the shade outside Police Headquarters Wednesday morning addressing dozens of citizens, dignitaries and fellow officers and asked they would be willing to sacrifice for their fellow man. "You are looking at a wall with the names of men that did just that. They put their lives on the line for their community...for all of us. And it cost them dearly."

Carol Myers//Dave Dunwoody

One year ago more than 20 inches of rain inundated the Pensacola area, washing out the vast majority of Piedmont Road near Roger Scott Tennis Center. Mayor Ashton Hayward returned to Piedmont Wednesday, as part of his "Recovery Tour.”

Hayward called Piedmont Road “Ground Zero” among the damage the storm inflicted on the area. The road was washed out from Tronjo Drive to Hallmark Drive by the heavy rain, and water escaping from a broken retention pond.

Construction of a $50 million DeepFlex plant at the Port of Pensacola has been on hold for about the past four weeks. The halt is being blamed in part on a global drop in oil prices.

Other reasons given by the city and by Houston-based DeepFlex include vendors being slow about making their payments, and a current restructuring of the firm’s debt and capital funding. There was a different tune sung just eight and a half months ago, when Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward kicked off the ceremony near the Port’s Commendencia Slip, in stifling heat and an invasion of gnats.