If the City of Tallahassee is serious about trying to create a 18 hour downtown, having more elections would seem to be a great way to accomplish the goal. Too bad then, that Amendment 4 was soundly defeated. The so called “Hometown Democracy” Amendment would have required a vote every time a comp plan was amended, meaning more votes, and more importantly to the City, more election night parties.
But the defeat of Amendment 4 wasn’t the only potentially bad news for the local economy. The election of Rick Scott as Governor would certainly seem to be bad news for an economy as reliant on state government as ours. And while many think the streamlining of state government is exactly what our state needs, you would be hard pressed to argue that cutting jobs is going to be good for the local economy.
But we better get used to it.
As the Republican wave swept over our state and country, several new faces washed up on shore. One of them, US Rep. elect Steve Southerland becomes the first Republican to occupy US House District 2 since Reconstruction. And while one can marvel at the historic nature of the accomplishment, the fact that he comes from Panama City, not Tallahassee, probably won’t mean great things for an economy whose leaders readily admit depend on Federal Dollars.
Sounds like a great campaign issue for 2012.
Speaking of 2012…Anyone who thinks that the hyper speculation on candidates two years from now will be limited to the national scene need look no further than the County Commission elections for Chair and Vice Chair on November 16th. While current Vice Chair John Dailey would seem assured of being named Chairman (as is tradition), the posturing and positioning for Vice Chair is every bit as intriguing as any local election from the previous cycle.
The position of Vice Chair is like Vice President or Lieutenant Governor, only without the security detail. That is to say, it carries no actual responsibility. However, as previously mentioned, the Vice Chair is generally assured of being named Chairman the next year, which would carry through the 2012 election cycle.
Why does this matter?
A savvy Commissioner can use the position of Chairman to drive an agenda, generate headlines and create a profile that both strengthens their position for reelection and discourages any potential challengers. So look for the next Vice Chair, whomever it is, to be someone up for reelection in 2012. That means Akin Akinyemi, Bryan Desloge, or Jane Sauls.