In one of former Governor Rick Scott’s final acts as governor, former Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward was appointed to the Triumph Gulf Coast Board of Directors to complete the term of Stan Connally, who left the board in September 2018. Hayward did not participate in the January meeting as he was awaiting paperwork from the Secretary of State’s office to be completed before he could officially join the board.
Executive Director Susan Skelton confirmed that the required semi-annual reports had been filed to state officials. Triumph Gulf Coast Chairman Don Gaetz provided an overview of some of the data found in the report.
In the seventeen months since receiving the initial round of funding, Triumph Gulf Coast has approved fourteen projects from all eight counties with funding of over $118 million. Gaetz stated that the $118 million has attracted $405 million in matching outside public and private funds for the approved projects. 3,380 new direct jobs and 5,056 indirect and induced jobs would be created by the seven approved infrastructure projects. Gaetz also stated that the seven approved workforce/training projects will create over 9,300 industry certifications at a cost per certificate of $1,400.
While the Pensacola Airport/ST-Aerospace project was placed on the January agenda, the only comment that was made is that the City of Pensacola is still working to secure the necessary funding by the March 31 deadline.
The Triumph board also approved negotiating the hire of Randy Lewis as an outside consultant to monitor projects that have been approved by the board to ensure that projects are in compliance with the established laws and guidelines.
Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis addressed 250 attendees at the Greater Pensacola Chamber of Commerce's 2019 Legislative Luncheon. Patronis' remarks focused on some key issues that will be considered during the 2019 legislative session. The most prominent issue that Patronis will try to reform this year is Assignment of Benefits (AOB). This issue has become more prominent following the hurricanes that have struck Florida the past few years. Patronis cited legislation filed by State Senator Doug Broxson as important in protecting Florida consumers from unscrupulous actors.
Patronis also stressed that the Northwest Florida delegation needs to stick together to make sure that our area's interests are addressed during session. Patronis also took questions from attendees.
The luncheon also featured remarks from Chamber Board Chairman Steve Moorhead, who highlighted the Chamber's advocacy accomplishments in 2018 and an overview of current Chamber activities. Chamber Policy Committee Chairman Ray Walker provided his vision for the Policy Committee and indicated that the committee will look at doing a local government event similar to the Legislative Luncheon.
The Legislative Luncheon was also attended by State Representatives Jayer Williamson, Mike Hill, and Alex Andrade as well as Pensacola Mayor Grover Robinson, Escambia County Commissioners Steven Barry and Robert Bender and ECUA Board Member Vicki Campbell.
The Greater Pensacola Chamber of Commerce announced that Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis will be the keynote speaker for their 2019 Legislative Luncheon. Patronis will describe the major initiatives that his office is pursuing and provide an overview of the business issues that will be debated in Tallahassee this year.
Jimmy Patronis was just elected to a full four-year term as Florida’s Chief Financial Officer. He was initially appointed to the post by former Governor Rick Scott in June 2017. Patronis served in the Florida House of Representatives from 2006 to 2014, representing his hometown region in the Florida Panhandle. He was appointed to serve on Florida’s Public Service Commission, as well as the Constitution Revision Commission, which meets once every twenty years to propose changes to the state constitution.
Patronis is a native Floridian born and raised in Panama City. He earned his associate degree in restaurant management from Gulf Coast Community College and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Florida State University. He is a partner in a family-owned seafood restaurant called Captain Anderson’s that celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2017.
Patronis is recognized for outstanding leadership in his hometown of Panama City and throughout Florida. Committed to active civic engagement and business development, he has chaired the Greater Panama City Beach Chamber of Commerce’s Economic Development Council, served on the board of the Bay County Economic Development Alliance, the Salvation Army Advisory Board, the Bay County Chapter of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, and as national president for the Florida Vocational Industrial Clubs of America.
He and wife Katie are proud parents to two sons, Jimmy Theo III and John Michael.
What: The Greater Pensacola Chamber 2019 Legislative Luncheon
When: Tuesday, January 15th at 11:30 AM
Where: Pensacola Yacht Club
The Reese’s Senior Bowl is on Saturday, January 26th in Mobile. But the football game is only part of excitement of Senior Bowl week. On the latest Toddcast, Todd talks to Senior Bowl Executive Director Jim Nagy about all the activities surrounding this year’s game. From the free and open to the public Senior Bowl practices to the first annual Senior Bowl Summit, there are activities for the entire family to enjoy throughout the week.
Join us on Tuesday, January 15th at the Pensacola Yacht Club for the 2109 Chamber Legislative Luncheon. Come learn about the legislative issues the Chamber will be supporting in Tallahassee for the 2019 Legislative Session.
We will be revealing our exciting keynote speaker soon.
Further details and tickets: http://web.pensacolachamber.com/events/2019-Legislative-Luncheon-3549/details
Did you know Escambia County has a board that works with Visit Pensacola to maximize our tourism potential? On the latest Toddcast, Escambia County Tourist Development Council (TDC) Board Member Ronnie Rivera explains how the TDC supports tourism in our community.
Wasting no time, the transition team selected by Pensacola Mayor Grover Robinson held their first meeting the day of Robinson's swearing-in. Quint Studer is leading the twelve person transition team and chaired the first meeting at city hall. In addition to Studer, the eleven other transition team members are:
Each team member that was present provided brief comments about their background and what they hoped to achieve during the transition phase. Kristie Tobias was not present at the meeting. Studer stated that the transition team's mission was not to create quick, early wins but to look long-term and develop solutions that can be addressed throughout the mayor's four years in office. The transition team also heard a presentation from legal counsel about the state's Sunshine Law for public meetings.
Mayor Robinson and staff, including new city administrator Chris Holley, were in attendance and Robinson provided remarks at various points during the meeting. The transition team will continue to meet and each team member will hold their own public meetings on their specific subjects during the transition. Studer stated that the transition team will wrap up their work and provide recommendations by March 1, 2019.
There will be a public transition website set up that will provide information on meetings and information distributed throughout the process.
grover robinson sworn in as pensacola mayor, Ann Hill and Jared Moore take their seats on pensacola city council
City of Pensacola government will have some new leadership heading into 2019 as Grover Robinson IV was sworn in as Pensacola's new mayor. Robinson replaces Mayor Ashton Hayward, who decided not to seek re-election after two terms in office. Robinson defeated Councilman Brian Spencer in the November election.
The Pensacola City Council also welcomed two new members as Jared Moore and Ann Hill were sworn-in as well. Moore represents Pensacola City Council District 4 and replaced outgoing council member Larry Johnson while Hill will represent District 6 after replacing Brian Spencer. The ceremony included remarks from the outgoing city council members as well as Mayor Hayward's closing thoughts as his term concludes.
The commission did appoint a new council president. Council members Sherri Myers, P.C. Wu, and Andy Terhaar were vying to replace Councilman Gerald Wingate as council president. After two rounds of voting, Councilman Terhaar emerged with the votes needed to become council president. Terhaar struck a positive tone with his remarks, stating he will work to run efficient meetings and has a good relationship with Mayor Robinson. Councilman Wu was selected as council vice-president.
The current Pensacola City Council members are:
District 1: P.C. Wu, Council Vice-President
District 2: Sherri Myers
District 3: Andy Terhaar, Council President
District 4: Jared Moore
District 5: Gerald Wingate
District 6: Ann Hill
District 7: Jewel Cannada-Wynn
The Escambia County Commission saw one new commissioner sworn-in, one returning commissioner sworn-in, and a new chairman take the gavel at a ceremony right before Thanksgiving. Newly elected County Commission District Four Commissioner Robert Bender took the oath of office with his family at his side. Re-elected District Two Commissioner Doug Underhill also took his oath of office and District Three Commissioner Lumon May was installed as Chairman of the County Commission for 2018-19.
Commissioners Underhill and Bender provided remarks that acknowledged that Escambia County has issues and challenges, but are optimistic that the board is well positioned to addressing those concerns. Both commissioners thanked their families. friends, and supporters for helping to get them elected. Outgoing Commission Chairman Jeff Bergosh was acknowledged with a plaque for his service as chairman for the past year.
Chairman May stated that he appreciated the fact that despite a tense political environment, the board is able to work together in a positive fashion to accomplish their goals. Mat also presented outgoing District Four Commissioner Grover Robinson a plaque in recognition of his twelve years of service on the commission. District Four Commissioner Robert Bender is vice-chairman.
The current Escambia County Commission members are:
District 1: Jeff Bergosh
District 2: Doug Underhill
District 3: Lumon May, Chairman
District 4: Robert Bender, Vice-Chairman
District 5: Steven Barry
The Escambia County Commission provided their legislative recommendations for next Spring's legislative session. The commission initially only provided a list, but under a recommendation from the county's lobbyist, they then moved to prioritize certain projects. After input and discussion, the commission put forward four transportation projects as the most important. They are:
• Pine Forest Road 4‐Laning (I‐10 to Nine Mile Road)
• West Cervantes Street / Mobile Highway Corridor Safety Improvements
• Muscogee Road Widening and Drainage Project
• Beulah / I‐10 Interchange / US29 Connector Project
The commissioners did not rank these but did prioritize them over other suggested projects. The other recommendations the commission forwarded include:
• Estuary Program – Pensacola/Perdido, Choctawhatchee, and St. Andrew’s
• Bob Sikes Fishing Pier Rehabilitation & Pensacola Beach Blvd. Access Road Project
• Klondike Road / Wilde Lake Blvd. Widening Project
•Funding through Transportation Planning Organization (TPO) towards Pedestrian/Bicycle Projects (over the current $300k)
The 2019 legislative session will begin in March.