After months of planning, Pensacon 2015 is ready to go this weekend.
"We just want to take over Pensacola" said Mike Ensley, the Founder and Chairman of Pensacon. Although he’s thinking big, Mike Ensley is surprisingly calm. This is the second year of the three day convention for fans of science fiction, comic books, video games, costuming or cosplaying, tv, movies, books and anything else where imagination and fun are the most important elements. "Everybody's flights are booked, people's hotel rooms are booked, they're excited to be here".
Pensacon 2015 is four weeks away and the City of Pensacola is already getting into the spirit. Thursday morning at Pensacola International Airport, Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward stood at a podium alongside Councilman at Large Charles Bare, Pensacon Chairman Mike Ensley, as well as Darth Vader, and issued a proclamation that officially changed the name of Pensacola International Airport to Pensacola Intergalactic Airport.
If Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward gets his way, those paid to lobby him, the City Council and other city staff would be required to register.
Besides their names and affiliations, the registry would oblige lobbyists to disclose their clients, and the subject matters they want to influence.
Hayward announced through his digital newsletter last fall that he wanted the adoption of such an ordinance. Three months in the making, the proposal is set to go before the City Council in the next few weeks.
A local sports hero has become a part owner of a local sports organization. A couple of hundred fans attended the ceremony at Bayfront Stadium as Blue Wahoos Team President Bruce Baldwin and Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward introduced the newest member of the Pensacola Blue Wahoos ownership team, professional golfer and Pensacola native Bubba Watson.
In 2014, a federal investigation began in August involving road contracts with the City of Pensacola dating back to 2011, along with related expenses paid on behalf of Mayor Ashton Hayward and others. A federal grand jury was seated in Tallahassee.
One subpoena released by the Mayor’s Office requested numerous records connected to the "Main Street Rehabilitation Project” between the city and Jerry Pate Design. Those included bids, bid sheets, selection of contractor documents, all emails referring to the bids and copies of all payments to the contractor.
Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward’s second term is underway, having been sworn in last month. As Hayward sat down with WUWF’s Dave Dunwoody, he touches on that victory, downtown renaissance, and the City Council.
DD: Mayor Hayward, you won re-election last month with 65% of the vote. What mandate does that margin of victory carry into your 2nd term?
The Pensacola City Council met in special session Tuesday, electing new leadership and overseeing the swearing-in of Ashton Hayward to a second term as Mayor.
The new-look City Council features Andy Terhaar as President and Larry B. Johnson as Vice President for the coming year. Terhaar was selected on the third ballot, fending off challenges from outgoing president Jewell Cannada-Wynn and Charles Bare.
The big news of election night was Governor Rick Scott (48.3%) edging out challenger and former governor Charlie Crist (46.9%). The pattern of incumbents keeping their seats in Florida held, though, throughout the panhandle.
***note all results are still unofficial***
Statewide: Attorney General: Pam Bondi (R) retained with 55.24% of the vote. Chief Financial Officer: Jeff Atwater (R) 59% Commissioner of Agriculture: Adam Putnam (R) 58.8%
Besides other state and local races, Pensacola voters are also deciding who will serve as Mayor for the next four years.
On bringing jobs to Pensacola:
“We have to put people to work. We have to create the environment to be a business-friendly city. That’s one of my number one goals that we set out to do and I think we’ve achieved that. We’ve been very fortunate to bring UPS into Pensacola; Southwest Airlines, DeepFlex had been in the works for a little over two years. That’s a big part of my job, getting out and telling Pensacola’s story.”