Elected Leaders Address $8 Million Electric Utility Surplus

Tallahassee Reports has reached out to a number of elected leaders over the last couple of days to get their reaction to the City Commission’s vote to keep the $8 million year end surplus generated by the electric utility.

City Commissioner Gil Ziffer told Tallahassee Reports his decision to vote to put the $8 million in the reserve fund that is already at a level of $100 million was based on advice by city staff. “Staff has set a target for the reserve fund and until I get information that the target level is inappropriate, I will continue to follow commission policy” said Ziffer.

Tallahassee Reports has requested documents from the City of Tallahassee that support the target level of the electric utility reserve fund.

When asked about returning money to the citizens, newly elected City Commissioner Nancy Miller said that, “this promises to be a cold winter for Tallahasseans, and truly one of the toughest our residents have faced in many ways.  The idea of returning the money to city residents could give our local economy a shot in the arm and I will bring it to the attention of our city manager.”

To date, City Commissioners Gillum and Mustian and Mayor Marks have not responded to our request for comment.

On Tuesday, December 14th, the issue came up in the last Leon County Commission meeting of the year. The COT electric utility has been an issue for the county because 15,ooo residents who live outside the city limits pay a city electric bill.

After Chairman Dailey reported that Mayor John Marks had assured him the county will have representation on the Citizens Utility Committee, Commissioner Bill Proctor made a motion that the county request the Citizens Utility Committee to seek the return of the $8 million surplus.

The motion died from a lack of support from the other six county commissioners. Newly elected County Commissioner Nick Maddox did not respond to our request for comment.

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