Mayor Gillum Continues to Ignore City Commissioners with Summit on Children

Mayor Gillum Continues to Ignore City Commissioners with Summit on Children

High-level officials in city and county government have told Tallahassee Reports that unilateral actions by Mayor Andrew Gillum is sending a less than collegial message: “I do not need nor do I want your support for my agenda.”

Sources say these unilateral actions started with his less than transparent travels to Pittsburgh and other locations late last year with two city vendors and a registered city lobbyists and continued with his handling of the ”Ban the Box” issue.

He never sought guidance or informed the City Commission of his travel plans and he failed to build a consensus around the “Ban the Box” issue.

This go-it-alone approach has never been more evident than with the recent “Mayor’s Summit on Children” just completed on March 27.

Mayor Gillum, during the City’s annual retreat, said he wanted to “convene a Children’s Summit to focus on the issues and opportunities in our community that impact children and families including child care access and quality, and the promotion of family friendly workplace practices.”

This was the first and last time the City Commission heard of the issue. There was no input from fellow Commissioners on funding for the summit. No votes on policy direction. No votes on people who should be involved.

And then there is this.

The Tallahassee Democrat reported that “Gillum’s office” not the City of Tallahassee, ”will place names with committees, designate a chairman and expect them to come back with suggestions in the next six to seven months.”

The Summit was funded by corporate sponsors and included invitation only participates.

Dr. Ed Holifield, a local activist, showed up at the City Commission meeting on the Wednesday before the Summit and confronted Gillum.

“Invitation only is what I was told when I called the Mayor’s office about a Mayor’s Summit on Children. Is that even legal? The City is not the Golden Eagle Country Club. Why are people excluded?,” said Dr. Holifield.

Gillum admitted invitations were sent to a list of select individuals but that Dr. Holifield was indeed invited.

For comparison purposes, TR researched the creation of the Mayor Summit on Race Relations by Mayor Scott Maddox back in 1999, which has become an annual event.

TR found that on December 15, 1999 the City Commission voted 4-0 (Commissioner Bailey absent) to approve up to $15,000 to send City employees to the Race Relations Summit, beginning on January 17, 2000, and to authorize the City Manager the discretion of funding up to $3,000 to support an effort by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference to bring in a national speaker on Martin Luther King Day in conjunction with this initiative.

Also on February 23, 2000, the City Commission voted to approve a supplemental appropriation in the amount of $26,000 to the Equal Opportunity departmental budget, from collected corporate sponsorships and registration fees for the Summit on Race Relations Conference held January 19-20, 2000 at the Civic Center.

There is no such record for Mayor Gillum’s Summit on Children. So now the questions begin!

Who were the corporate sponsors? Were any sponsors City vendors? Did the sponsors contribute to the Mayors campaign? Did the Mayor vote on any issues involving the sponsors? What City funds were used? Did City staff participate in the Summit?

22 Responses to "Mayor Gillum Continues to Ignore City Commissioners with Summit on Children"

  1. If Gillum says that I was on his invitation only list for the Mayor’s Summit on Children, he is not being truthful. I obtained a copy of his invitation only list via a Chapter 119 Public Records request.

    I will send Gillum’s invitation only list to anyone who requests it. Feel free to call me at 850.556.1098.

  2. Government by invitation only smells like fresh dog poo.
    I hope all the participants keep aware of the consequences of acting like crooks: You will be treated like crooks.

  3. I thought the Summit was excellent and will lead to very positive outcomes. I was proud to be a sponsor and expect nothing at all from the Mayor or city.

    1. Steve, Your integrity separates you, sir. Sadly, there are already people inside the Mayor’s “circle” that have received benefits and you need look no further than the Edison project. As someone who is sought after by the Mayor you have an opportunity (and responsibility?) to shape how this type of dialogue is conducted. Mayor Gillum needs buy-in from the “community” – all of it. It starts by how he conducts himself within the City Commission, then the County Commission, then to the citizens. His actions since taking the Mayor’s office is fracturing relationships because he is choosing – across the board – to distance himself through his rogue manner. From Ban-the-Box to this Summit and everything in between. You can influence his conduct. The citizens will benefit.

  4. Scott Maddox is the only one who will stand up to him. The other commissioners must show me that they are not weak…and they haven’t shown me that yet. Boy, would I love to hold a city commission election today!

    1. Shame on you! Maddox stands for nothing but himself and technically should not even be a city commissioner due to the residency rule which everyone knows he is circumventing.

      Again, shame on you! You should stand up to Maddox, Meggs, Sancho, etc. and question this illegal act of the address shuffle to circumvent the residency requirement that taxpayers have to pay for. The address he uses to circumvent the law is in the highest crime rate area. He does nothing to address the crime rate and did nothing to question problems at the CDA until it was too late.

      Didn’t Maddox run off a previous city manager and a former treasurer? Didn’t Maddox have minority employees fired for indiscretions? Did Maddox run the Democratic Party of Florida into the ground?


    2. Maddox didn’t stand up to anyone. Like the other elected officials, he pounds his chest when their is no threat back to him. He cowardly sat by and let Gillum walk into office even when we all knew he wanted to be mayor again. And here he is again, he sits back and allows Gillum to do what he wants…and I’m sure it’s for a favor in return. Maddox is silent for perhaps the Gillum support for school superintendent next year?

      I have to laugh at a mailer Nancy Miller sent out to women when running to get elected with a picture of Rosie the Riveter…what a joke. She has absolutely no courage and definitely not the strength that Rosie portrayed.

      I can’t believe I”m saying this, but Commissioner Proctor is the ONLY elected leader that has any backbone what so ever. You may not like what he says or does, but he is consistent to everyone that he speaks to and does what he thinks is right for his district. Too bad district 4 doesn’t have a fighter like that. All we got was a gas tax and fire service fees.

      1. Bravo with the aside that Proctor is serving illegally also and is part of the reason his district (which he does no legally reside in) suffers in blight and crime. Perhaps you should advise Proctor to run for the At-large seat so he would be serving legally.

        1. Actually, Bill now lives in D.1. These sentiments regarding Proctor are spot on. He is pro business, but he fights for his district. With 80% of the vote each time without spending a dime to run he owes nothing to no one. He speaks his mind – like it or not and is not beholden. You all need to hit the email boxes of all Commissioners. There is a growing resentment of Gillum and how he (and his posse) is operating.

  5. Hope & Change, City gets what it voted for in the last election. There is a block vote on the City Commission that the Mayor has and he knows it. He has a newspaper in his back pocket that he gives them a thrill up their leg.

    The selection of a new City Manager is a key issue that will determine the future of this City. How and who that person is will determine the culture of City Hall. I have no hope that things will change.

  6. This is a PR event to promote the mayor disguised as being an advocate for children and nothing more. All talk and PR with no substantive action.

    It has accelerated from the previous not so subtle PR events at southside community centers where Gillum would drop in for a photo op while the children were making apple pies.

    This is a waste of resources and energy and he fools no one but himself and the hapless sponsors most likely interested only due to their own special interests.

  7. There is a recurring theme in these comments that Mayor Gillum is acting like Obama. Why shouldn’t he? Look at the amount of garbage Obama gets away with because everyone is afraid of him playing the minority card. He was set up for success when he got elected. Anyone that didn’t vote for him was automatically labeled a racist. If you don’t agree with what he says, you are a racist. If he succeeds he is awesome as the first minority President. If he fails, it’s everyone elses fault because we didn’t give him a chance to succeed.

    Andrew Gillum will play right along with that. The Liberals will not allow a minority person in any publicly elected position to be criticized. Ergo, Mayor Gillum has carte blanche in Tallahassee. How dare you question his trips around the country or his agenda. He doesn’t have to answer to anyone, does he?

  8. —–if the balance of the city commission allows this behavior to continue, it will be at their expense. The position of mayor in Tallahassee in no way gives this type of power to the mayor.

  9. Tell me about Jamerson G. Van Pelt.

    I met him recently. According to his card he is in the Office of the Mayor and his specific duties are: Community Relations Coordninator.

    A caucasion from Asheville N.C. he came here apparently with the Graham Campaign.

    It seems to me that it would be more practical to have someone from the local community to coordinate relations.

    Someone who knows the difference between SouthWood and the South Side.

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