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Green Era Priorities Trump Child Safety Programs

Posted on February 10, 2009


In the 2009 budget, the Tallahassee City Commission cut $50,000 from the elementary school crossing guard program and cut another $30,000 by eliminating the DARE program. However, in November of 2008  the City of Tallahassee found $89,000 to donate to the Leon County School system for the “Schools on Solar Program.”

Why?…In a letter, responding  to the concerns of Jackie Pons, Leon County School Superintendent, Mayor Marks wrote:

“It is unfortunate that many City, County, and State Governments are in a situation where budgets must be cut and yet continue to provide the high level of service to which many have grown accustomed. Reducing the school crossing guard budget was an extremely difficult decision for our City Commission to make, as were many others that impacted many important service areas in our community.”

But if budget issues are the problem, why fund the “Schools on Solar” program. One possible answer is outlined in the City’s “GREEN INITIATIVES 2008 Annual Report”. In that publication, the “Schools on Solar” program is listed as a “Go Green Tallahassee” initiative award winner.

Another possible answer for the cuts is the direction coming from the City Commission. In a number of interviews of city employees by Tallahassee Reports, it has been revealed that the directive from the “4th Floor” is to focus on “going green.” The recent budget decisions seem to reflect this priority.  

According to the City’s website, the solar program’s “main focus… is education. “Schools on Solar” will provide students information on energy conservation and renewable energy.”  This education does not include any discussion of the immediate costs associated with solar power. In fact, as with the Trousdale Solar Project, information on the City’s website severly over states the economic benefit of the project.

Update..in a document detailing Tallahassee’s $118,000,000 wish list from the yet to be passed stimulus bill, the City is asking for $5,000,000 to expand the “Schools on Solar Program”.  If  recieved, the $5 million would be spent on electricty generation that is 5-10 times more expensive than what we currently pay.  In addition, 70%-80% of the $5,000,000 stimulus will go to Arizona to help create jobs making the solar panels.

Update.. Mayor Marks and City Commissioner Gillum opposed the crossing guard budget cuts. However, during the same meeting,  all five City Commissioners voted for the creation of the Green Department  at a cost of $200-$300,000.

3 Responses to Green Era Priorities Trump Child Safety Programs

  1. Elizabeth Reply

    February 11, 2009 at 10:31 am

    What was the source for this information? Thanks.

    in a document detailing Tallahassee’s $118,000,000 wish list from the yet to be passed stimulus bill, the City is asking for $5,000,000 to expand the “Schools on Solar Program”. If recieved, the $5 million would be spent on electricty generation that is 5-10 times more expensive than what we currently pay. In addition, 70%-80% of the $5,000,000 stimulus will go to Arizona to help create jobs making the solar panels.

  2. Pete Reply

    February 11, 2009 at 11:41 am

    Time and time and time again it is shown that solar power returns do not equal costs, YET, bufoons spending other peoples money continue to proclaim the beauty of the emporer’s new clothing.

  3. RMc Reply

    February 17, 2009 at 11:16 am

    Could the commisioners get GREEN POINTS by wearing GREEN JACKETS to meetings, or is there no one on the GREEN POINTS COMMITTEE who has a profit center selling GREEN JACKETS. Is there an opportunity here to fill this gap and make our city really GREEN? I am looking for investors to help underwrite this important need. To help the city continue to be GOLD in the GREEN DEPT I’m sure we could get thousands of dollars per GREEN JACKET since our leaders are sure that as citizens we are willing to sacrifice child safety, infant health issue, etc. to be GREEN. GREEN JACKETS, after all, are symbolic of our commitment to GREEN, and symbolism is what is important.. GO GREEN!

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