Winners & Losers 10/17/19
On Sept. 30, Governor Ron DeSantis announced the appointment of the director of the UWF Center for Cybersecurity to the Florida Cybersecurity Task Force, which will review and assess the state’s cybersecurity infrastructure, governance and operations. The task force will analyze and identify potential improvements of state government cybersecurity programs, including individual state agencies. The task force will also prioritize the risks posed by identified threats. Dr. El-Sheikh leads UWF’s efforts as the NSA/DHS National Center of Academic Excellence Regional Resource Center for the Southeast United States.
The president of Visit Pensacola announced last week that he has accepted the position of president & CEO of Visit St. Pete/Clearwater in Pinellas County. Since taking over the position in early 2013, Hayes has led Visit Pensacola’s transformation to a standalone organization with the sole purpose of promoting tourism. He led stakeholders through a five-year strategic planning process, Destination 2020, and saw bed tax collections and visitors increase under his leadership. He will be missed.
Blue Wahoos Concessions
Ballpark Digest has selected Blue Wahoos Concessions as the winners of its Best New Concessions Experience and Best New Food Items honors. The annual Ballpark Digest Awards consider nominations from all baseball stadiums in the country at all levels, including Major League, Minor League, collegiate and independent leagues. Prior to the 2019 season, the Blue Wahoos transformed the concessions experience at Blue Wahoos Stadium, eliminating traditional concession stands in favor of four brand-new restaurant-style storefronts.
Santa Rosa County Commission
The Santa Rosa County Commissioners’ referendum to increase the local option sales tax to help pay for infrastructure needs failed by more than a two-to-one margin after two-thirds of county voters rejected the tax increase—yes 8,581, no 26,110. Ouch! It might have helped if the commissioners got off their butts and held town hall meetings around the county. Griping about critics and social media from commission chambers wasn’t an effective political strategy apparently.
Last Friday, U.S. District Judge David Briones declared that President Trump’s emergency declaration—which ordered other parts of the government to financially supplement the $1.375 billion Congress allocated for his $5.7 billion border wall—was “unlawful.” He wrote that the emergency declaration violated the Consolidated Appropriations Act and granted the preliminary injunction requested by El Paso, Texas, and the Border Network for Human Rights. Mexico still hasn’t mailed its check to pay for the wall either. Doh!
People wondered why the former mayor of New York City was so interested in Ukraine. Well, we may find out soon. Federal prosecutors in Manhattan are investigating whether Giuliani broke lobbying laws in his dealings in Ukraine, according to media reports. The investigation is tied to the case against two of his associates who were arrested last week on campaign finance-related charges after allegedly funneling illegal contributions to a congressman whose help they sought in removing the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine.