‘Vote-By-Mail’ Ballot Request Deadline Is Today For Century Special Election

February 22, 2017

Today is the final day for registered voters in the town of Century to request a vote-by-mail ballot for upcoming February 28 special election.

Anyone who wishes to request a vote-by-mail ballot should visit EscambiaVotes.com and click “Vote by Mail”, or contact the Supervisor of Elections Office at (850) 595-3900.  The deadline to request a vote-by-mail ballot for the election is 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, February 22. To track your vote-by-mail ballot, visit EscambiaVotes.com and click “Track My Ballot.”

Voted vote-by-mail ballots must be received by the Elections Office no later than 7:00 p.m. on Election Day, Tuesday, February 28.

After Wednesday, a voter may still pick up a vote-by-mail ballot in person from the Elections Office through Monday, February 27.

Polls will be open 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. at the Century Town Hall on February 28.  The special election will include one race between Luis Gomez, Jr. and Kevin Stead for Century Town Council Seat 2. The seat was left open last year by the sudden death of Annie Savage.

Mail Carrier Slams Into Fire Hydrant, Pole Barn

February 22, 2017

A mail carrier escaped serious injury Tuesday in a single vehicle accident near Walnut Hill.

The woman lost control while westbound on Highway 164 near J.D. Rigby Road.  He vehicle hit a fire hydrant before striking a RV pole barn. She was evaluated on scene but not transported by Escambia County EMS.

The accident remains under investigation by the Florida Highway Patrol. Details have not been released.

The Walnut Hill Station of Escambia Fire Rescue also responded to the accident.

NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.

Sen. Richard Shelby Tours Atmore Manufacturing Plant

February 22, 2017

U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby, (R-Ala) toured Alto Products in Atmore on Tuesday.

Alto has manufactured over a billion friction clutches & powertrain components for automotive, high-performance, heavy-duty, marine and motorcycle applications. Approximately 300 people work at the Atmore facility.

Pictured: U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby (in suit) tours Alto Products in Atmore with company president David Landa. Photos for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Mayor Under Fire For Granting Time Off, Pay Raises Without Approval

February 21, 2017

Century Mayor Henry Hawkins came under fire Monday night after it was revealed that he give town employees paid time off and across the board pay raises, all in apparent violation of the town charter.

Hawkins admitted that since taking office in January, he has given each town employee a 53-cent per hour pay increase and has allowed each employee to take four paid hours per month off. The changes, he said, were to boost employee morale.

The information came to light during the public forum period of Monday night’s town council meeting as resident Edna Earle Barnes questioned Hawkins about  “rumors” that she heard.

“It’s a morale booster,” Hawkin said.

“Well it’s not boosting the morale of the citizens of the town,” Barnes replied.

“My job is take care of the employees,”  the mayor said, “and the employees with take care of the town.”

“No,” Barnes interjected, “Your job is to take care of the town.”

The money to fund the 53-cent per hour pay increase for each employee came from the salary of street department employee that quit in January and was not replaced. Hawkins said that since the funds were already budgeted for salaries, he simply divided the salary among the remaining employees.

But council president Ann Brooks said Hawkin’s actions were wrong and in excess of a $500 spending limit imposed by the town charter. She said employee raises and policies are to be approved by the council.

“We are suppose to approve any spending over $500,” Brooks said.

Hawkins openly came under verbal attack by local residents in attendance at the meeting. Several expressed displeasure that the behind the scene pay raises were granted during a time Hawkins has said the town needs to raise  water, sewer  and gas rates in order to remain financially viable.

“You are building morale with your employees, but you are not doing it with the citizens of the town,” Barnes said. “You are suppose to be looking out for us.”

On a motion from council member Kevin Stead, the council voted to remove the pay raise and eliminate the newly granted paid time off for each employee. Stead also called for any such future action by the mayor be subject to council approval.

Pictured top: Mayor Henry Hawkins listens to a discussion Monday night as Town Clerk Leslie Howington takes notes. Pictured inset: Century resident Edna Earle Barnes addresses the council. Pictured below: The Century Town Council discusses pay raises granted to employees without their permission. NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.