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.
During the most recent City Commission campaign on two occasions when citizens asked how we can be sure our commissioners are ethical and don’t break the law, candidates Gillum and Maddox reminded the audience that no commisssioner had ever been found guilty of ethical or legal breaches and said the way to keep that record is to vote for ethical people.
A majority of the voters in each of those seats voted for Gillum and Maddox.
Maybe we should consider changing their titles from “Commissioners” to the “Untouchables”.
Should the CEOs of all the private brew pubs in Tallahassee be notified that the city commissioners are funding a competing brew pub with taxpayers dollars? I bet these CEOs would be livid to learn that city commissioners are working against them. The CEOs have a right to know.
If it is against the law for the Wakulla Sheriff to own a business that sells alcohol then how are the city commissioners legally able to vote public funds to fund a business that will sell alcohol? Have the commissioners exposed themselves to some serious ATF violations?
Commissioner Gillum’s campaign treasurer involved in this deal, a commissioner not residing in his district, a commissioner’s business partner not registering to lobby with the city, then registers his defunct business, etc. There seems to be a weekly scandal and with the citizens unable to rely on any watchdog oversight from our local paper the citizens should applaud Tallahassee Reports for the outstanding job they are doing in keeping citizens informed.
No ! Why have public meetings if they call the shots in private. There must be at least E-mails that fall under the “sun shine” law. Just love this Board. Andrew “umm” Gillum is no less dishonest than Marks. Public servants my A..