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Mayor backs out of TV show amid controversy

PENSACOLA  --  Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward is backing out his tax payer funded TV- show.
The mayor plans to spend more than 23,000 dollars on the show to highlight city employees and programs.
The show will air on BLAB TV for nine weeks this summer.
But many people saw it as a campaign stunt, as Hayward is up for re-election this year.
Now the mayor says he will no longer be involved with it.
The mayor says the criticism from the public changed his mind.

The show will be nine episodes and cost about 23,000 dollars.
Mayor Ashton Hayward stands by the idea

The mayors staff says they've spent more than 8 months working on making the tv show a reality-- striking a deal with local station BLAB-TV to showcase Pensacola

We've had 2 community centers, all the beautification projects, look at how Bayfront looks, we got SW out in the airport."

The mayor says its going to be about city employees.
But recently-- the show has fallen under criticism because its unclear to what extent the mayor may appear in the show.

Critics point out it's an election year and the show would have been paid for by city money.

So on Wednesday, the mayor responded to those critics.
I think it's quite silly. You know it's no secret I'm running for re-election and we've done wonderful things, but cheap political points in employees is ridiculous"

The money would have been paid for by money in the city's communication department-- money the mayor has control over

Now- without the mayor in the show-- some say the broadcast now sounds like an infomercial and can be better spent somewhere else.

"23,000 for a town is kind of small amount of money but still, you can do better"
"I probably would've voted against it if I was in the city councilmember so yes it does draw some red flags."

The show will be start to broadcasting in July.