City of Pensacola

Lindsay Myers

  The City of Pensacola has hired the first of possibly two assistant city administrators – selecting a high-profile figure from Escambia County government.

Keith Wilkins was among five finalists for the position. He’s worked for the county for the past 15 years, as the Director of the Community and Environment Department and most recently, Natural Resources Management. Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward says he’ll be a good fit.

Ferry service on Pensacola Bay is moving full speed ahead towards a launch date of March, 2017.

The latest step forward is the National Park Service’s award of a contract to All-American Marine. The Washington state-based firm will design and build two aluminum double-decker Catamaran-style ferry boats, each with a capacity of 150-passengers.

Lindsay Myers

The short list of candidates for the assistant administrator for the City of Pensacola is out, and has gotten shorter. Final selections appear to be on the horizon.

City spokesman Vernon Stewart declined a request by WUWF for an interview with City Administrator Eric Olson, saying in an email Wednesday that the city was “close to making a decision on this.”

Reports have said that, instead of hiring both assistants, the city would hire one at the beginning. Mayor Ashton Hayward appears to be leaning that way, but adds that nothing is in concrete just yet.

  Pensacola wants just over two million dollars in RESTORE Act funding, to build a marina at Community Maritime Park.

Rebecca Ferguson, the city’s Economic Policy Coordinator, told the Community Maritime Parks Associates that the proposal is currently in draft form. The project title is “A Maritime Sports Tourism Development/Maritime Infrastructure Project.”

City of Pensacola

  Bids will soon begin flowing in, for construction of Florida’s first saltwater production hatchery at Bruce Beach in downtown Pensacola.

The idea for a hatchery in Pensacola first surfaced in 2011. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission had announced plans to build 14 of them around the state over the next 15 years, to help restock depleted fish populations in state waters.

“These things take a while to actually manifest themselves, but I want to assure folks that this project is 100% go,” said Gil McRae, Director of FWC’s Research Institute.

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 /

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.