Friday, September 11, 2015

EMAIL FROM ME TO THE AUTHOR OF "RENAISSANCE MAYOR" AND THE STAFF AT HUFFINGTON POST

Below is a copy of the email I sent to Ms. Warner, the author of Renaissance Mayor, and Huffington Post staff regarding my experiences with and knowledge of Mayor Ashton Hayward

Dear Ms. Warner, I read your article about Mayor Ashton Hayward and would like to share with you my experiences with Mayor Hayward.  I have been a resident of Pensacola for over 7 decades (70 years).  I am an elderly, widowed grandmother who is a veteran.  My late husband was an elderly grandfather who was also a veteran.  He passed away, from cancer, in May, 2010. 

You quoted Mayor Hayward as stating, “We are a first class city that will compete regionally, nationally, and internationally for jobs, investment, and talent," he says, explaining that he sees his constituents as shareholders in the future of his city.  You also stated, “Through a combination of private investment and strong civic entrepreneurship, Hayward has overseen an overhaul of the historic downtown.” 


Ms. Warner, my late husband and I own an historic property, built in 1884, in the North Hill Preservation District which has been used as an art gallery/antique shop holding functions since 1980, including the previous owners (over 25 years). 
 
On March 19, 2005, City Officials used the Pensacola Police Department to close our legally authorized business down – without prior notice and without due process.  The closing Police Officer closed our business during a wedding and said that we were not authorized to have functions.  I told him that we were officially authorized to have functions (recorded in City records online – easy to check).  He said we were closed anyway and that was that.  This was the day before City Officials announced in the Sunday newspaper that they were going to build a forty-million-dollar Maritime Park at the end of our street. 
The United States Constitution, Amendment 5, requires due process in this situation.  City Officials gave no prior warning or had any kind of a hearing where we could have pointed out that we were authorized to have functions.  City Officials were in violation of our Constitutional rights and were required to cease and desist.  They refused.  City Officials (Mayor Hayward, his City Administrator) and City Council Members (including all current members) I have contacted about this apparent illegal/criminal action refuse to honor our constitutional rights in violation of the Florida State Constitution. 
The Florida Constitution Article II Section 5, paragraph (1) requires each elected or appointed official to take an oath which includes “hereby solemnly swear or affirm that I will support the Constitution of the United States and of the State of Florida.”
. . .
876.09 Scope of law.—
(1)  The provisions of ss. 876.05-876.10 shall apply to all employees and elected officers of the state, including the Governor and constitutional officers and all employees and elected officers of all cities, towns, counties, and political subdivisions, including the educational system.
(2)  This act shall take precedence over all laws relating to merit, and of civil service law.
History.—ss. 5, 7, ch. 25046, 1949.
876.10 False oath; penalty.—If any person required by the provisions of ss. 876.05-876.10 to execute the oath herein required executes such oath, and it is subsequently proven that at the time of the execution of said oath said individual was guilty of making a false statement in said oath, he or she shall be guilty of perjury.
History.—s. 6, ch. 25046, 1949; s. 1141, ch. 71-136; s. 1415, ch. 97-102.


It appears that each elected or appointed official who refuses to stop the violation of our rights is refusing to support the Constitution of the United States and is committing perjury. This includes City Officials (especially Mayor Hayward), all members of the Pensacola City Council, law enforcement agencies and other Florida State Agencies (including Governor Scott) I have contacted.  I have repeatedly informed these individuals that they are in violation of the law and must lift the illegal prohibition on us operating as we were legally authorized.  They refuse. 

Our business had operated, including the previous owner, at the same location – for over 25 years - with no complaints from City Officials, neighbors, or clients .  We have been illegally closed down for over 10 years when we have never been in violation of any rule or regulation.

We were law-abiding citizens, paying our taxes on time, keeping our property up and dutifully obeying Pensacola Ordinances.  City Officials refusing us our constitutional rights is especially egregious since my late husband and I are veterans and served our country to defend and protect the United States Constitution and yet Government Officials refuse us our legitimate rights under the United States Constitution.  
We have been denied the legal income from our legally authorized business/commercial property and our historic building, which my late husband and I lovingly restored (we were awarded the honor of being the best restored historic property in 2000).  Our beautiful house is again falling into disrepair due to the apparent illegal/criminal actions against us on the part of City Officials.  Even without income from our investment downtown, we were able to keep the property up for 5 years after the illegal closing but it has been much harder since my husband’s death in 2010. 
 
I have received code enforcement citations twice, now (September, 2015) and last year.  I worked hard last year to meet the enforcement deadline and suffered compression fractures in two vertebrae – I had spinal surgery in November, 2014, to ease the pain.  We never had a citation when we were earning an income from our property or for the first 5 years after.  I have written code enforcement and asked that they help remove the illegal prohibition on us operating as authorized so I can earn an income on our investment property and afford to keep our property up.  They refuse.
 
It appears that City Officials have made false charges and false statements, regarding this matter to the Florida State Attorney, Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the FBI, which is a serious matter.  City Officials have libeled, defamed and degraded me in an effort to excuse their apparent illegal/criminal actions and these agencies, in turn, have libeled, defamed and degraded me based on the false charges and false statements of City Officials. 
 
Example:  On Sep 9, 2010, it appears that Florida State Attorney, Mr. Bill Eddins, the Pensacola City Attorney, Mr. Wells, and Pensacola Community Development Department employee, Ms. Morris conferred and discussed the answer Mr. Wells was going to send to Mr. Ramage of the FDLE regarding my reporting to FDLE, again, the illegal closing of our small business, an art gallery/antique shop holding functions, on March 19, 2005. It appears that they decided to present false statements and false charges about us to FDLE instead of the real facts:  we were authorized many times (latest in 2000 and in 2001) to hold functions, we operated in compliance with all rules and regulations, we were illegally closed down by the Pensacola Police Department on March 19, 2005, etc.  I have repeatedly asked Mayor Hayward to lift the illegal prohibition on us operating as we were legally authorized but he refused and to correct the false charges filed against us with FDLE, Governor Scott, etc. but he refuses.
 
I currently have three blogs on the situation.  Pensacolanewsletter.blogspot.com is a chronological listing of our experiences downtown, pensacolanewsletter2.blogspot.com, and pensacolanewsletter3.blogspot.com contain documentation.  
 
Pensacolanewsletter2.blogspot.com contains the Pensacola City Attorney’s email containing false charges to the FDLE General Counsel’s and the FDLE General Counsel’s letter to me quoting the false  charges and statements follow to me so anyone should be able to clearly see the level of lies told to and about me.
 
Mayor Hayward, other City Officials and the Pensacola City Council appear to believe that obeying the United States Constitution is optional instead of the serious matter that it is.  City Officials routinely abuse their authority by harassing, slandering, persecuting, and lying about law-abiding citizens.  
Ms. Warner, you said that Mayor Hayward has tackled some of the "big issues"  and so on.  Sadly, that is incorrect.  Mayor Hayward refuses to attend City Council Meetings, refuses to meet with or talk to me on the phone regarding the illegal actions against us, and appears to be cultivating a culture of corruption.   He hires his friends in high administrative positions who don’t appear to be qualified, and on and on.

Example:  Mayor Hayward hired a City Administrator, Ms. Tamara Fountain, that he said, had an MBA.  After the City Administrator confounded us by senseless mistakes, she resigned.  It was discovered that she did not have even a BA but had dropped out of college almost immediately.
Example:  Mayor Hayward then hired Mr. Eric Olson as the City administrator.  Mr. Olson  targeted a homeowners’ association president (Melanie Nichols) for punishment because she had pointed out that an approved land deal was not legal.  Mr. Olson called her boss ( a local Naval Officer) and tried to get her fired. After this episode was exposed, Mayor Hayward, said he would not chastise or fire Mr. Olson.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
“It was pretty much what I expected,” Nichols said. “I knew he wasn’t going to do anything.”
The president of the North Hill Preservation Association seemed personally hurt by Mayor Hayward, who on Monday let it be known he had no intention of taking any action against his city administrator following an incident that has been described as “chilling,” “beyond the pale,” and last night, “heinous.”
“I will never speak to him again,” Nichols said. “I have no respect for him.”
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Unfortunately, many of us who try to make Pensacola better by pointing out apparent illegal/criminal actions of City Officials are targeted. I have been gaveled down in City Council Meetings, lied to and lied about in City Council Meetings and lied about in reports to FDLE, the Governor, etc.
City Officials illegally use force, coercion and intimidation (such as an illegal Police Department closing) against us. City Officials use especially sadistic and destructive actions to harm us, our historic property, our retirement and bank accounts and the livelihood of our entire family. All of these actions are clearly in violation of our rights under the United States Constitution.

Mayor Hayward was elected in 2010.  In March 26 2014, Movoto Real Estate on Facebook published The 10 Most Dangerous Small Cities In America.  They studied 234 small cities and Pensacola was the 6th most dangerous small city in America.  I can attest to that fact.  Mayor Hayward was in charge.  The blog received 1,478,851 views the last time I checked.
Many of us are veterans or even active duty military personnel.  We are forced to live without our rights under the United States Constitution on a regular basis.  It appears that those in charge, including Mayor Hayward, refuse to let us live in America but we are forced to live under their rule which is un-American.
 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

IT APPEARS THAT THE CONSTITUTION IS DEAD IN PENSACOLA




Originally posted on Wednesday, July 16, 2014
It appears the United States Constitution is dead in Pensacola, Florida.  Pensacola Officials have taken actions against me and my husband which have caused us great harm and which are forbidden by the Constitution.  Government officials, all the way up to the President, to whom we have reported the violation of and contempt for our Constitution, have refused to correct this matter.

As we all know, the United States Constitution, created in 1787, is a written document executed by representatives of the people of the United States as the absolute rule of action and decision for all branches and officers of the government, and with which all subsequent laws and ordinances must be in accordance unless the Constitution has been changed by a constitutional amendment by the authority that created it.  The Constitution is the supreme law of the land.  

The Fifth Amendment (the due process clause) states that the government may not deprive citizens of “life, liberty, or property” without due process of law. The guarantee of due process for all citizens requires the government to respect all rights, guarantees, and protections afforded by the Constitution and all applicable statutes before the government can deprive a person of life, liberty, or property.  Again, the Constitution clearly states that due process must be part of any proceeding that denies a citizen “life, liberty or property.”  This protection helps to ensure justice.

The government has to follow rules and established procedures in everything it does that affects a person’s life, liberty or property.  If Pensacola City Officials, for example, decided to close an individual’s properly authorized business, which was operating strictly as authorized, by sending a Pensacola Police Officer to the business to close it down without following due process - specifically the official rules previously set up and published in the Pensacola Code of City Ordinances - to close a properly authorized business, such an action would be illegal, unethical, and most importantly un-American. 

The official Pensacola City Ordinance process on closing an authorized business included a verbal warning, a written notification, including specific evidence that the owners were in violation of Pensacola City Codes.  A hearing is required where the owners can show they are not in violation of regulations if they are not.  If the government finds the owners are in violation, a punishment is proscribed (subject to appeal) appropriate to the violation until the violation is corrected.

There is no exemption for Pensacola City Officials from Constitutional requirements yet the Pensacola City Officials illegally and deliberately violated the due process required by the Constitution and the process laid out in Pensacola City Ordinances.  Pensacola City Officials skipped to the punishment stage - the sentence: the complete closing of our authorized business.  Pensacola City Officials used bullying, and intimidation by using a Pensacola Police Officer to close down our legally authorized business instead of going through the Constitutionally-required due process procedure to deprive us of the use of our business property.  Pensacola City Officials stopped the income from our legally authorized business immediately. 

One minute we owned and operated an authorized, peaceful business and the next, our business was completely closed down by the Pensacola Police Department without due process to take the authorized use of our property away from us.   

 In 1998, my husband and I bought an art gallery/antique shop, which held functions, which had been in operation, with no complaints, for approximately 20 years, at the same location in an historic building (built in 1883).  After we restored the historic building (we won best restored house in 2000), Pensacola Department Heads (May, 2000) and the Pensacola City Council officially authorized us to operate as before on January 11, 2001.  The documentation is available on-line at the city website, ci.pensacola.fl.us.  We received many compliments for the way we maintained the property and grounds. 

We had operated, peacefully, for almost 5 years when Pensacola City Officials sent a Pensacola Police Officer, in violation of due process, to our properly authorized business at 7:00 P.M. on March 19, 2005, Saturday, during a wedding, to close the business down since, as the Police Officer quoted we were “not authorized to have functions.”    

City Officials issued no prior verbal notification of a violation, no written notification, including specific evidence, of any violation, and no hearing where we could show that we were not in violation since we had been officially authorized to hold functions by Department Heads, by the City Manager, Mr. Bonfield, and by unanimous approval of the Pensacola City Council in January, 2001.  

The next day, we called the Pensacola Police Department’s desk sergeant (on Sunday, March 20, 2005) and stated that we were authorized to hold functions but that a Police Officer had closed our business down without due process.  The desk sergeant said that if we held functions, a Police Officer would be dispatched and we would be charged with committing a crime. 

On Monday, we contacted the Department Head of Neighborhood Services and the City Manager (Mr. Bonfield, who had recommended approval of our business in January, 2001) and reported the violation of due process required by the Constitution and reminded both that we had been officially authorized to operate our business as we were doing.  Both said that we were closed down and that was that. 

We contacted each member of the Pensacola City Council and reported the illegal closing.  Five of the ten members had been on the City Council in 2001 when all members had voted for approval.  All City Council Members refused to lift the illegal sentence placed on us without due process, in violation of the constitution.  From that time until the present, we have repeatedly contacted each member of the City Council and all have refused to lift the permanent illegal sentence. 

Over the years, we have repeatedly contacted each Pensacola Police Chief (Chief Jerry Potts, Chief John Mathis and Chief Chip Simmons) and all have refused to lift the permanent illegal sentence placed on us, without due process and without equal protection.

We repeatedly contacted City Manager Bonfield and asked him to lift the permanent illegal sentence placed on us as it was in violation of the requirements of the Constitution.  Mr. Bonfield refused.  Mr. Bonfield also stated that functions were not permitted in our zone, PR2.    All other venues in PR2 which held functions were allowed to remain open and held functions at will. 

This was in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which prohibits states from denying any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. In other words, the laws of a state must treat an individual in the same manner as others in similar conditions and circumstances.  Pensacola City Officials acted in violation of the Constitution in regard to equal protection of the laws as our venue holding functions was the only one closed down in PR2.

I repeatedly reported these violations of the Constitution and apparent illegal/criminal actions against us to the Florida State Governors:  Governor Jeb Bush, Governor Charlie Crist and Governor Rick Scott.  Even though Governor Scott’s motto appears to be “Let’s get to work” his refusal to lift the illegal prohibition on us operating as we were authorized has kept us and many others from working to make an income.  Individuals who booked functions through our business hired many vendors:  caterers, photographers, disk jockeys, limo drivers, florists, etc.  In maintaining  our building and grounds, we hired a lawn service, maintenance men, painters, etc.  Governor Scott’s motto appears to mean nothing.

I have continued to request that Pensacola City Officials, currently Mayor Hayward and Mr. Messer, lift the permanent illegal sentence of the closing our business without due process or equal protection required by the Constitution.  All have refused. 

Pensacola City Officials gave a reason for closing our authorized business, no Conditional Use (2005), and I countered with the reason we were legal, we were grandfathered and officially authorized by the Pensacola City Council (January, 2001). Then Pensacola City Officials stated a new reason (on April 25, 2008) for closing our business three (3) years earlier (on March 19, 2005), not enough parking, and I countered with the reason we were legal, our parking was grandfathered to 1994 and, in addition, we exceeded current requirements (January, 2001).  The newest reason for closing our legally authorized business, five (5) years earlier, was that we were violating Conditional Use (2010) and I countered with the reason we were legal - we didn’t have a Conditional Use (January, 2001).

This is the 10th year of the illegal closing.  This permanent punishment or sentence was placed on us without due process and without equal protection.  It appears the sentence will continue until I sell the property that I don’t want to sell, or until I die (I’m over 70). 

During the withholding of our Constitutional rights, my husband of 39 years passed away (cancer) without us being able to reopen our business even though he hoped to recover and hoped we would be able to reopen. Our granddaughter is a gifted artist and has been accepted by the Savannah College of Art Design (SCAD) but I cannot help her save for the expensive tuition by displaying her works for sale since we are indefinitely, illegally closed.  Since I am not allowed to earn income from my business, I cannot afford to contribute to her tuition and can barely manage on just my retirement pension.  I paid the yearly property tax of $5,780.94 but I am refused the operation of my business as legally authorized and am refused the law enforcement services of two of the agencies this pays for:  the Pensacola Police Department and the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office.

We invested our life savings and our income from this property for years to restore this beautiful historic building and operate our business but apparent corruption on the part of public officials illegally took the use of our property, as officially authorized, and, therefore, our income, away.  As a result, our beautiful building and grounds have fallen into disrepair and lack of maintenance since City Officials are still depriving us of our right to use our property and benefit from the use of that property.
 
All government officials, upon appointment or election, have taken an oath to obey the United States Constitution.  All government officials I have contacted have refused to honor this Oath.  This is especially noteworthy since Pensacola is a military town filled with active duty, retired military and veterans, such as my husband and myself.  All of us who served also took an oath to protect and defend the Constitution.  Some of our friends and co-workers died in defending our Country and the Constitution.  It is offensive to us to see the City Officials blatantly violate the Constitution.  

 

 

 

Open Letter to Mayor Hayward, Mr. Messer, City Attorney, and all City Council Members


 

Originally posted on Wednesday, January 2, 2013

TO:        Mayor Ashton J. Hayward, Mr. James M. Messer (City Attorney),
              Councilman P. C. Wu, Councilwoman Jewel Cannada-Wynn,
              Councilwoman Sherri F. Myers, Councilman Andy Terhaar,
              Councilman Gerald Wingate, Councilman Larry B. Johnson,
              Councilwoman Megan B. Pratt, Councilman Brian Spencer,
              and Councilman Charles Bare

FROM:  Mary Mead

Subj:      Legal Use of our Property Downtown

The following narrative describes our experiences with owning a business in downtown, Pensacola.

 In June, 1998, my husband and I, both veterans, purchased the property at 520 N. Spring Street which was being used as an art gallery/antique shop holding functions since 1980. 

In May 2000, we were authorized, by City Officials, to reopen after restoring the historic property and winning the best restored historic house of the year award.

In January, 2001, officials of the City of Pensacola, Escambia County and the State of Florida authorized us to receive the Historic Preservation Tax Exemption (located at ci.pensacola.fl.us – City Council Meeting, dated 1/11/2001, page 10, on line).  The Pensacola City Council Memorandum dated January 8, 2001, page 2, paragraph 3 states, “The Meads propose to use the structure for an art gallery, antiques, crafts and functions.”  (This memo is located at ci.pensacola.fl.us – council file dated 1/11/2001, in the Pensacola City records section on line).  

From May, 2000, until March 19, 2005, we operated peacefully. 

A Pensacola Police Officer illegally closed us down at 7:00 PM, on March 19, 2005, during a wedding.  He stated that we weren’t authorized to have functions and because we held functions, we were completely closed down. This illegal closing was done without prior notice and without due process in violation of the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution.  This was the day before City Officials announced, in the Pensacola News Journal, that they were building a 40 million dollar Community Maritime Park at the end of our street. 

On Sunday, March 20, 2005, I called the Pensacola Police Department desk sergeant and told him we were officially authorized to have functions (see above).  He said that if we had functions, a policeman would be dispatched and we would be charged with committing a crime. 

On Monday, March 21, 2005, I called the City Manager, Mr. Bonfield, and the Director of Community Development, Mr. Cowper, reminding them that we were officially authorized to hold functions.  Both said that we were completely closed down and that was that. 

In September, 2005, in answer to my many emails and documentation, including the approval of functions by the Pensacola City Council in 2001, Mr. Cowper sent an email, where he finally admitted that we are grandfathered as an art gallery/antique shop but he still, illegally, refused to allow us to hold functions. “Based upon information and evidence presented by you along with city records that I have reviewed I am convinced that the use of the property for an antique store /art gallery is indeed grandfathered.”   We cannot succeed in our business without holding functions as we are legally authorized to do.  No artist will sign with our art gallery if we can’t have gallery nights, etc. and small functions added significantly to our income.  Many people wanted a place to have a small function, our contracts specify less than 100 attendees, in a beautiful setting where hard liquor was forbidden and noise was to be abated at 11:00 PM, all at a reasonable price.  My husband and I refused to reopen with this illegal restriction which would lead to failure in our business.  We insisted on being allowed to operate as we were officially and legally authorized.  Opening and closing a business is very expensive and it appears they can close us, without a legal reason, at will.  They refused to lift the illegal prohibition.

On April 25, 2008, Mr. Thaddeus Cohen, the new Director, Department of Community Development, sent an email stating that the new reason we were closed down on March 19, 2005, (three years earlier) is that we did not have enough off-street parking for functions. 

On April 28, 2008, I stated to Mr. Cohen, “The number of off-street parking spaces provided for buildings constructed prior to October 13, 1994, shall be deemed in compliance with the requirements of this code, for as long as the same land use is maintained within the same building footprint.” (quoted from City Ordinance).  In addition, we exceed off-street requirements by quite a lot as we have our own parking lot (14 spaces are required and we have 20+).   Mr. Cohen refused to answer this email and refused to honor our rights to operate our business as authorized.  All other City Officials (City Manager, City Council Members, etc.) also refused to stop the apparent illegal/criminal actions against us and lift the illegal prohibition. 

I reported these apparent illegal/criminal actions on the part of Pensacola City Officials against us to FDLE (Florida Department of Law Enforcement).  The Pensacola City Attorney’s email to the FDLE General Counsel, dated September 9, 2010, is filled with false charges and false statements against us apparently to cover-up apparent corruption on the part of local officials.  The FDLE General Counsel quoted these false charges and false statements to me as an official reason for him not to investigate.  Then I reported these apparent illegal/criminal actions on the part of Pensacola City Officials against us to the FBI.   The Assistant Director, FBI Criminal Investigative Division, quoted these false charges and false statements to Senator Bill Nelson (D, Fl), who sent a copy to me, as an official reason for the FBI not to investigate.

I understand that making false reports, false statements, and false accusations to the FDLE and the FBI are serious offenses.

The following excerpts from the Pensacola City Attorney’s email, the FDLE General Counsel’s letter, and the Assistant Director, FBI Criminal Investigative Division’s, letter to Senator Bill Nelson (D, FL), who sent a copy to me, follow so everyone should be able to clearly see the level of lies told to and about us.

The Pensacola City Attorney stated to the FDLE General Counsel, “Numerous complaints were received from her neighbors and the city did direct her to cease holding outdoor events such as weddings.”

The FDLE General Counsel stated to me, “after neighbors’ complaints, the City notified you that your zoning did not allow such outside activities.”

The Assistant Director, FBI Criminal Investigative Division stated to Senator Bill Nelson, who sent a copy to me, “Ms. Mead alleged that her art business was improperly denied the ability to conduct outside functions by the city of Pensacola. 

The Assistant Director, FBI Criminal Investigative Division and the FDLE General Counsel made false statements and false accusations based on the false statements and false accusations of the Pensacola City Attorney.  Through a Public Information request, I was able to obtain the following email from the Pensacola Chief of Police, Mr. Chip Simmons, to the Pensacola Mayor’s assistant, Mr. Al Coby.  I have repeatedly stated that during the 25 years of operation of the business, from 1980 until 2005, in the same location, there were no complaints before our illegal closing on March 19, 2005 and I believe this email proves that we had no complaints in 2004 or 2005 on which to base the illegal closing. 

From: Chip Simmons
Sent: Wednesday, March 23, 2011 11:17 AM
To: Al Coby
Cc: Thaddeus Cohen; Rita R. Lee
Subject: RE:
Thanks Al. I checked and we have no paperwork on the location or information regarding the complaint. We do have a total of nine alarm responses dating back to 2004.

The Pensacola City Attorney stated to the FDLE General Counsel, “the city did direct her to cease holding outdoor events such as weddings."  This is not true.  All functions were illegally banned from the date of the illegal closing, March 19, 2005, by the Pensacola City Officials, to include gallery nights, meet the artist nights, children's tea parties, poetry readings, weddings, reunions, etc.  My favorite weddings were the small, intimate candlelight ceremonies I held for servicemen and women from the local Navy base.  I furnished candles and flowers, free of charge, and performed the ceremony myself as I am a notary public.

The Pensacola City Attorney stated to the FDLE General Counsel, “In 2005, she allowed weddings and receptions to take place on her property,
The FDLE General Counsel stated to the Assistant Director, FBI Criminal Investigative Division
and to me, “It is also my understanding that after you began using your property for outside weddings in 2005,
The Assistant Director, FBI Criminal Investigative Division stated to Senator Bill Nelson with a copy to me, “Ms. Mead alleged that her art business was improperly denied the ability to conduct outside functions by the city of Pensacola. 

All of these statements are clearly false as our property had been used for functions since 1980, for 25 years before the illegal closing, and this fact is recorded in Pensacola City records.  City Officials prohibited all functions by the illegal closing, not just outside functions. 

Our functions (which were authorized by Pensacola City Ordinance 9-01(passed in January, 2001)) only became a problem when the Community Maritime Park was to be built at the end of our street, announced on March 20, 2005, the day after we were illegally closed.  All of a sudden, our important property became a problem and, it appears, had to be taken away from us. 

The Pensacola City Attorney stated to the FDLE General Counsel, “Ms. Mead’s building was conditionally permitted as an art gallery and an antique shop with no outside displays permitted when she purchased it and it still is today.” 
The FDLE General Counsel stated to the Assistant Director, FBI Criminal Investigative Division,I have also learned that you were initially permitted as an art gallery and antique shop that includes a restriction of no outside displays.
 The Assistant Director, FBI Criminal Investigative Division stated to Senator Bill Nelson with a copy to me, “Ms. Mead alleged that her art business was improperly denied the ability to conduct outside functions by the city of Pensacola. 

Outside displays refers to outside displays of furniture, pictures, etc.  Even though we don’t have a Conditional Use, we do not have outside displays as that would be tacky.

Proof that we do not have nor have ever had a Conditional Use, is that on Aug 15, 2005, Mr. Cowper, Director of the Pensacola Community Development Department, sent an email stating, “we have no record that a conditional use permit was ever approved by the planning board and city council for an art gallery.” And, “While I do not wish to see you sell your property I’m sure that you can understand that I must enforce the applicable zoning regulations.  I encourage you to review the applicable zoning regulations and to restrict the use of your property to those allowed.”  The lack of a Conditional Use was initially used as the reason for the illegal closing of our authorized business in 2005.

The Pensacola City Attorney and the FDLE General Counsel said, in 2010, that our initial closing, in 2005, (5 years earlier) was due to us violating a Conditional Use.  We don’t have a Conditional Use so we can’t possibly violate it. 

City Officials keep our authorized business illegally closed down by: Pensacola City Officials give a reason for our closing, no Conditional Use, and I counter with the reason we are legal, we are grandfathered. Then Pensacola City Officials think of a new reason for our closing, no parking, and I counter with the reason we are legal, our parking is grandfathered to 1994 and, in addition, we exceed current requirements.  The current reason for our closing is that we are violating our Conditional Use and I have countered with the reason we are legal - we don’t have a Conditional Use.

I have repeatedly reported these apparent illegal/criminal actions against us to all City Officials (Mayors, City Attorneys and all City Council Members) and all have refused to stop the apparent illegal/criminal actions against us, refused to bring charges against those breaking the law and causing us great harm and most have refused to answer my correspondence when I keep requesting that they lift the illegal prohibition against us having functions.  The representatives for my District, District 6, have:
       Councilwoman Cannada-Wynn supported the illegal closing
       Councilman Spencer refused to meet with me and is refusing to answer my communications 

In addition, I have repeatedly asked Pensacola City Officials, currently Mayor Hayward and Mr. Messer, to correct the records on file in FDLE, FBI files, and in Senator Nelson’s office to reflect the true facts.  They have refused.  The official FDLE, FBI and Senator Nelson’s records still contain false charges and false statements about me, wrongly defaming me and accusing me of wrong deeds, generated by the City of Pensacola official representative.

Many other false statements were made by the Pensacola City Attorney to the investigating officials that I can easily furnish if requested.

During this time, almost 8 years, my husband of 39 years passed away (cancer) without us being able to reopen our business even though he hoped to recover and hoped we would be able to reopen. Our granddaughter is a gifted artist and has been accepted by the Savannah College of Art Design (SCAD) but I cannot help her save for the expensive tuition by displaying her works for sale since we are illegally closed.  Since I am not earning income from my business, I cannot afford to contribute to her tuition and can barely manage on just my retirement pension.  I paid the yearly property tax of $5,780.94 but I am refused the operation of my business as legally authorized and am refused the law enforcement services of two of the agencies this pays for:  the Pensacola Police Department and the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office.

We invested our life savings and our income from this property for years to restore this beautiful historic building and operate our business but apparent corruption on the part of public officials illegally took the use of our property, as officially authorized, and, therefore, our income, away.  It appears they committed and continue to commit extortion, conspiracy, and grand theft of persons 65 years of age or older.  We are currently being deprived of the right to use our property and benefit from the use of that property which violates the United States Constitution

I am requesting that you stop the apparent crimes against me and lift the illegal prohibition so I am able to earn income, again, from our properly authorized business, and I am requesting that those who are breaking the law are brought to justice. 

                               

                                                                           

Fish House, Deck Bar on public-owned property


Originally posted on Wednesday, July 16, 2014
I have spent the last few months carefully researching the history of the property leased from the City where the Fish House, Deck Bar, etc. are presently located.

The City of Pensacola issued a lease, called the Pitt Slip Marina Lease Agreement, on September 18, 1985 to the Florida Sun International, Inc. (Mr. Cahill of Orlando), filed in the Escambia County Courthouse on 7/18/1985 Instrument # 1985467093. The terms of that lease were that Florida Sun International, Inc. pays a very small lease amount of approximately $15,000 a year or approximately $1,250 a month for acres of waterfront property. Florida Sun International, Inc. had proposed to build a marina at this site. That project failed.

The lease was for 30 years but was amended, on October 17, 1985, (Instrument # 00148189) to be 27 years due to:

WHEREAS, Lessor and Lessee desire to amend a particular provision of the
aforesaid Pitt Slip Marina Lease Agreement in order to conform the term
of the agreement to the term of that certain Lease Agreement, dated
May 18, 1983 between Lessor and the Board of Trustees of the Internal
Improvement Trust Fund of the State of Florida for a portion of the Pitt
Slip property. . .

It appears that the City of Pensacola (Lessor) had received a large amount of money from the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund of the State of Florida regarding this property and some restrictions were attached to that money. I have not been able to discover the details of that transaction.

The deal with Florida Sun International, Inc. (Lessee) seems to be another “special deal” where a company can lease acres of public-owned waterfront property for 27 years at the very small price of $15,000 a year.

This plum lease was passed through, or assigned to, several businesses with the approval of the Pensacola City Council; one was foreclosed on. It appears that when the property was foreclosed on, the leasing business’s license was revoked and the property returned to the possession of the government, that the lease was ended.

City Officials apparently did not see it that way, as the lease is still active today.

At the Pensacola City Council Meeting of October 10, 1996, in the Report of the Committee of the Whole, item 2. SUBJECT: Assignment - Pitt Slip Lease Agreement, the Committee recommended “That city council consent to the assignment of the Pitt Slip Marina Lease Agreement to Pensacola Marina Properties, Inc., under the terms and conditions of the 1985 Lease Agreement as amended, and authorize the city manager to execute the assignment documents upon Pensacola Marina Properties conclusion of the purchase.”

This item was approved with City Council Member Doug Halford abstaining (because he was an owner of the business receiving the lease).

There are several problems with this item. If you check sunbiz.org, you will see that no business is or has ever been registered as Pensacola Marina Properties, Inc. The actual business the City Council transferred this lease to was South Florida Marine Investors, Inc., whose owners were Mr. Ray Russenberger, President, Mr. Doug Halford, Vice President, (a sitting City Council Member) and Mr. Johnny Mathews, Vice President.

According to Escambia County Court Records, on October 30, 1996, City Officials assigned the lease from the Trillium Corporation to the South Florida Marine Investors, Inc.

On September 30, 1997, South Florida Marine Investors, Inc. changed its name to Seville Harbour, Inc., with the same President, Mr. Ray Russenberger, and the same Vice President, Mr. Doug Halford. Seville Harbour is still active with its last annual report filed on April 26, 2010.

In 1999, Mr. Russenberger proposed to build 30 residential condominium units within two buildings within the Pitt Slip development. This never materialized.

In April, 2000, Mr. Russenberger and Mr. Halford subleased the majority of this property to the Merrill Land, LLC, with the approval of the Pensacola City Council. The Merrill Land, LLC, established the Fish House, the Deck, etc. on this property. As in the past, no money was paid to the public for the reassignment of this lease. Mr. Russenberger kept any money paid to reassign the lease to the Merrill’s.

This lease expires in 2012. Since the notice required to discontinue or renew this lease is one year, work should begin immediately on advertising this property for lease and get a lease for this public-owned property that will reflect its real worth and bring in real money to the people of the City.

Previously, it seems that only those in the “in crowd” or one of the “good ole boys” or one of the members or friends of what appears to be illegal power cartels were aware of this astonishing lease and had a chance to compete, in secret it appears, for assignment of this lease to their business.

As I stated above, this available lease should be advertised with the bidder with the best reimbursement to the public winning the use of our property but for only 3 or 5 years with review or releasing to assess the value due the public.

This might appear to be a novel concept to the City Council and City Officials as the use of these acres of waterfront property for 27 years at a cost of $ 15,000 a year has brought the public only $405,000.00 in almost three decades. City Officials and the Pensacola City Council should not be giving the use of our property away at such low rates especially since we are such a poor City.

Some City Officials and members of the Pensacola City Council should abstain from any involvement in this process, as it would be a violation of the Florida Sunshine Law and a violation of Conflict of Interest Laws.

One example is Mr. Brian Spencer, the new representative for my district, District 6.

Mr. Spencer is affiliated, by business ownership, with Mr. Russenberger, Mr. Halford and the Merrill Land, LLD, all of whom are currently involved in the lease described above.

The South Palafox Annex, L.L.C. is a business registered in the State of Florida, entity # L03000045515. Its owners are Brian Spencer, Ray Russenberger, Doug Halford and Neal Nash.

Mr. Brian K. Spencer is the registered agent, with the State of Florida, for Mainstreet Crossroads, L.L.C., entity # L9900004506, whose owners are Merrill Land Company, Pensacola Realty Investments, L.L.C. (Mr. Neal Nash) and Northport Properties, Inc. (Mr. Brian K. Spencer).

Under the Florida Sunshine Act and under the Conflict of Interest Laws, Mr. Brian Spencer should abstain from discussion and voting, in an official capacity, on any item connected with these business interests or any of the dozen or so businesses he is in.

The City Council and City Officials should immediately discontinue these “special deals” which appear to illegally enrich “special friends” while depriving the public of the proper return for the City’s assets, paid for and owned by the public.

The apparent policies of the City Officials and the Pensacola City Council regarding these “special deals”, hiring friends or relatives of the “in crowd” or the “good ole boys” or the “illegal power cartels” as City employees, paying some City employees obscene salaries with astonishing benefits, staffing boards with members or friends of members of these groups who make questionable rulings, and on and on, appears to be destroying our City.

Our City cannot flourish under these conditions. We should all try to turn this around. I am hoping that our new Mayor, Mr. Ashton Hayward can and will do this. I know I have tried for over a decade to awaken other members of the public and government officials to these tough but fixable problems. No success so far but I, for one, plan to keep trying, as this is my hometown, the hometown of my late husband, our children and our grandchildren.

As always, I have hard evidence to support my statements.

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NOTE:

The following is information on the official Foreclosure cited above:

BancFlorida foreclosed on this property on July 25, 1990, (Instrument # 1990814930) the Pensacola Marina Ltd went out of business and ownership reverted to the government (Escambia County Clerk). The Escambia County Clerk issued a Certificate of Title for this property, approved by City Officials, to Pensacola Service Corp, owned by W. Fulton Hamilton III on September 25, 1990. Evidently, City Officials appeared to pretend that the lease, granted September 18, 1985, was still valid even though responsibility/ownership had apparently passed to the Escambia County Clerk.

On August 4, 1994, City Officials assigned the lease from Pensacola Service Corp, to the Trillium Corporation, a Washington Corporation. The court records show that the transference of the property was from the Escambia County Clerk to Pensacola Service Corporation.

Apparent Special Deal on City Owned Property

Originally posted on Saturday, September 25, 2010
I have serious concerns about the way City Officials, the Mayor and City Council Members use and dispose of City property and City funds. One of the properties I have had concerns about is the old Pensacola City Police Station at 40 S. Alcaniz Street.

On November 12, 1993, the Finance Committee of the Pensacola City Council issued a memo, subject: Vesting of Job Creation Credits—First National Life Insurance Company. The memo laid out the conditions for Mr. R. K. (Skip) Hunter of the First National Life Insurance Company to acquire the old Pensacola Police Station at 40 South Alcaniz Street as follows:

They established the value of the property at $382,500.00 even though the 1985 appraisal had put the value at $425,000.00. They subtracted the $150,000.00 paid by Mr. Hunter to bring the building up to code from the $382,500.00 so that the cost of the property was now 232,500.00. Mr. Hunter would pay one dollar (1.00) per year for ten (10) years for a lease until all conditions of the lease agreement had been met. No money would be paid to the City for the property but Mr. Hunter would be given employment creation credits for each employee hired to pay off the property.

On November 20, 1997, Mr. Hinkle, the Pensacola City Manager, signed a special warranty deed giving the old Police Station to Mr. Skip Hunter.

Unfortunately, it appears that after the employment creation credits gave Mr. Skip Hunter the property, the business closed, the employees left and the job situation was no better than it was before City Officials, the Mayor and City Council Members gave Mr. Skip Hunter this “special” deal.

On August 7, 1998, two transactions were filed with the Courthouse.

Instrument 1998509493
Warranty Deed from the City of Pensacola giving the old Police Station to Mr. Skip Hunter of the New South Investment Corp Inc. for the price of $10.00 (ten dollars).

Instrument 1998509494
Warranty Deed from Mr. Skip Hunter of the New South Investment Corp Inc. giving the old Police Station to the University of West Florida Foundation Inc. for the price of $2,250,000.00 (two million, two hundred and fifty thousand dollars).

It appears that the taxpayers received $10.00 for the old Police Station and Mr. Skip Hunter received $2,250,000.00.

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On July 19, 2005, two transactions were filed with the Courthouse.

Instrument 2005395895
Warranty Deed from the University of West Florida Foundation, Inc. giving the old Police Station, for $4,200,000.00, to The Florida Institute for Human & Machine Cognition Inc.

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I have concerns about the warranty deed’s legality as Mr. A. Alan Manning signed as witness and as notary public. He was also the attorney who developed the paperwork. I am a notary public and this seems irregular to me.

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Instrument 2005395896
The Florida Institute for Human & Machine Cognition Inc. received a no interest mortgage from the University of West Florida Foundation Inc for the old Police Station Finance Amt $4,200,000.00

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The Florida Institute for Human & Machine Cognition Inc. is a non-profit organization and pays no property taxes so all of the City services they receive are free and the rest of us pay for it.

It concerns me that a $4,200,000.00 property only resulted in $10.00 for the people
of Pensacola. Something seems to be very wrong.

I'm especially concerned and am bringing it to the public's attention because the City Officials, Mayor and City Council appear to be planning to repeat this type of operation even though the previous deal appears to have been a failure. I spoke about this at the Pensacola City Council Meeting of September 23, 2010. The City Manager, Mr. Coby, briefly discussed the new project describing it as similar to the old Police Station debacle.

Councilwoman DeWeese said, "It sounds like congratulations are in order. It sounds like a successful economic development opportunity."

As I stated above, I have serious concerns about these deals.