Saudia Arabia – The Rest of the Story

The Mayor of Tallahassee, John Marks, is currently in Saudi Arabia on a seven day trip to develop business opportunities and exchange ideas. It has been reported that the trip will be at no expense to American taxpayers.

However, a discussion with the Mayor’s Office indicated that the Mayor was joined by an administrative assistant and that both the Mayor and the assistant will receive their normal pay while on the trip even though the US Conference of Mayors is the reason why the trip is taking place.

A review of Tallahassee’s website,, has no mention of Mayor John Marks’ trip to Saudi Arabia. This prompted a phone call to the Mayor’s office. The Mayor’s office said that they sent a press release to the Tallahassee Democrat, but did not include it on their website.

A phone call to the City Manager’s Office revealed that the Mayor’s press releases are not routinely put on the main TalGov site due to the quantity of press releases. When asked if this was not a significant event, they were non-committal.

And finally, consider these points:

  • During some of the worst economic times in the last 50 years, the Mayor and an administrative assistant find the time to jet off to Saudia Arabia.
  • The Mayor, who has pursued green initiatives, is now pursuing economic development in the land of oil. Will this cost us green points?
  • And finally, the Mayor of Tallahassee, a city that once boycotted any business with ties to apartheid South Africa, is pursuing economic development in a country where women are not allowed to vote!

7 Responses to "Saudia Arabia – The Rest of the Story"

  1. Who was the woman that went with the good Mayor on this trip???

    Wonder if the Mayor’s wife had any problem with this??

    What did this tandem of political experts glean from this trip??

  2. Any information on his travel budget compared with others throughout the state? I recall hearing a couple of years ago that he had the largest travel budget of all the mayors in FL

  3. The mayor and his assistant did not bring along their respective spouses. I was in line behind them at the Tallahassee Airport, going through security. The assistant was very young…appeared to be less than 30 years old. They did not speak to each other and I did not know they were together until a TSA officer searched her purse because she had liquids inside. Only at that time did the mayor stand beside her and appeared to give her advice for future travel.

  4. Top reasons Mayor Marks went to Saudi Arabia:

    1. To take un-green, un-clean oil money and use it for green purposes here under a new type of offset initiative.

    2. To bring back Saudi women’s rights and apply them to the City Manager and head of the Green Department.

    3. To convert the Saudi’s from oil to natural gas.

  5. So what’s your point? They don’t eat pork either. Both men and women are allowed to vote here in America and we still end up with crooks, thieves, egotists, and philanderers in all levels of politics. I don’t see where having the vote has “diddly squat” to do with Mark’s trip.

  6. Question: did the Mayor and/or his assistant bring along a spouse or other significant other and, if so, who paid their costs? That is, is that person paying their prorated share of hotel, food, transportation, etc. expenses?

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