Tallahassee Reports has learned that the vote to allocate an additional $1.3 million for a Brew Pub restaurant in Cascades Park took less than 45 seconds to approve.
The Brew Pub project has been under media scrutiny since Tallahassee Reports published an article revealing the expenditure and the involvement of Commissioner Andrew Gillum’s campaign treasurer.
The video of the meeting, listed above, shows a couple of interesting facts.
First, the introduction of the item by City Manager Anita Favors never mentions the amount of money, $1.3 million, involved with the vote. Instead, Ms. Favors asks the commission to “take the next step” in moving the project forward.
Second, there is no mention of the fact that the $1.3 million being approved by the vote to finance a restaurant is money that will be transferred from public works projects. Did any of the City Commissioners know this fact? Tallahassee Reports is seeking answers to this question.
Third, there was no discussion on the agenda item before the vote. Usually city staff addresses the Commission at these meetings and details the facts surrounding the pro’s and con’s of a specific vote. This did not happen on this vote.
And finally, the video reveals that the City Commissioners were briefed in private before the City Commission meeting. Mayor John Marks states at the meeting that “I think all of us may have had a briefing on this.”
Based on information provided by City staff, another vote will be required before the $1.3 million can be allocated to the project. Check back with Tallahassee Reports for the latest.