Through an “internal” process, the Office of Economic Vitality has created three citizen advisory groups with 43 positions that will aide the Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency in deciding how to allocate approximately $100 million in economic development monies raised through the Blueprint Sales Tax.
While there was a structure for including various institutions among the groups, it appears the process of selecting a number of citizens to fill other slots for these groups was completed behind closed doors and without much concern for transparency.
For example, there were no advertisements seeking interested parties or an application process. Also, the rationale for how individuals were chosen to represent specific groups was not provided.
Ironically, the Tallahassee Democrat recently wrote an opinion piece addressing a “new day” in Tallahassee. After writing about community positives, the opinion piece noted problems which included a “good old boy” network that often brings a dark-cloud to community decision-making and leads to a lack of confidence in ethical practices.”
The Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency – which is made up of all Leon County Commissioners and City Commissioners – will be asked to approve the groups on June 14th.
Listed below is a description of each group and the associated members. Click on images to enlarge.
The Economic Vitality Leadership Council (EVLC)
The EVLC consists of seven members who are appointed by the Board. The members will include representation from the following sectors: (1) major employers, (2) institutions of higher education, (3) entrepreneurial business, (4) financial sector, (5) economic development, (6) talent development, and (7) one at-large member.
Members of the EVLC are responsible for meeting quarterly to increase the community’s competitiveness across the six economic development initiatives, provide advice upon implementation of the strategic plan, encourage collaboration across all sectors of the community, recommend improvements to improve competitiveness, and engage members of the Economic Vitality Leadership Council.
The slate of candidates was developed internally to maximize the engagement with community, business partners and leaders as well as leveraging the state’s targeted industry list to identify candidates.
Economic Vitality Competitiveness Committee
The Economic Vitality Competitiveness Committee (EVCC) is comprised of 33 members. Staff utilized the state’s targeted industries to develop the list of candidates to appoint to these positions. Also, two business seats were dedicated for minority, women, and small business enterprises (MWSBE).
The EVCC is responsible for meeting quarterly, encouraging knowledge and collaboration across all sectors, and serving on the taskforces (as needed) to identify and address opportunities to improve Tallahassee-Leon County’s ability to compete and build the economy.
Competitive Projects Cabinet
The Competitive Projects Cabinet (CPC) will be comprised of three members, including the Tallahassee City Manager, Leon County Administrator, and one business leader – a member of the EVLC – who will serve for one year with an option to serve a second term.
The CPC is responsible for meeting as necessary to review competitive economic development projects in accordance with economic development policy and will be required to sign non-disclosure agreements.
The following individuals are being presented for approval and appointment by the Board.
TR will have an update after the Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency meeting.