City of Pensacola

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.

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.

The City of Pensacola is the defendant in a lawsuit, which claims illegal charges for delivery of natural gas.

Dr. Eric Frank, a Pensacola chiropractor, alleges the city through the utility Pensacola Energy has been levying a tax on its customers in the guise of mandatory franchise fees for the use of city-owned property.

City of Pensacola

  Pensacola already has a rich history, but more was made Wednesday with the installation of David Alexander as the city’s new police chief.

An almost standing room only crowd at the Sanders Beach-Corrine Jones Center was there to greet Pensacola’s first African-American police chief, in the department’s 194-year history.

“I chose David as our next chief of police because of the content of his character, and because of his passion for this community, his distinguished record, and his tremendous heart for service,” said Mayor Ashton Hayward.

Photo via Flickr// Robrrt / https://flic.kr/p/crhie

The giant cross on display at Pensacola’s Bayview Park is being targeted by a Washington-based group, which wants it taken down.

In a letter to Mayor Ashton Hayward and City Attorney Lysia Bowling, the American Humanist Association is demanding the cross’ removal from the city-owned park.

“Several local citizens contacted us to let us know about it,” said AHA Legal Director David Niose, who contends that by having the cross at the park, the city is placing one religion above all others.

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Bayview Community Center is slated for the wrecking ball. The facility is the latest victim of last year’s massive flooding.

For decades, after-school programs and events of all stripes have been held in the center. But the flood caused significant damage, forcing events to be moved to other city-owned facilities. Eric Olson is Pensacola City Administrator.

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.

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.

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Work is expected to resume later this year on the DeepFlex project at the Port of Pensacola, after resolution of some financial setbacks. Construction of a half-finished metal warehouse was idled in March.

Published reports say Houston-based DeepFlex has secured emergency funding through its parent firm in Brazil, to address more than $200,000 in liens filed by contractors.

How to increase the availability of affordable housing in the Pensacola area was the topic of a conference Tuesday, involving a number of local organizations.

UWF economist Rick Harper led off the Affordable Housing Summit at Gulf Power Company. During his hour-long presentation, he said the definition of “affordable housing” depends on the percentage of a family’s income that’s used to keep a roof over their heads.

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