On Friday the City of Tallahassee issued a press release describing a two day workshop designed to help develop a shared vision for the future of South City. The workshop is scheduled for May 19-20 with the majority of the meetings being held at the law firm of Hopping Green and Sams located in downtown Tallahassee.
Tallahassee Reports was made aware of the meeting by sources who were concerned about the way in which the public was notified – on Friday for a Tuesday conference – as well as the make up of the participants.
Sources also highlighted the insensitivity of scheduling a meeting about South City issues at the Governors Club. ( See agenda below)
The City of Tallahassee is partnering with the Urban Land Institute (ULI) to assemble a Technical Assistance Panel (TAP) under ULI’s Building Healthy Places Initiative to provide recommendations for South City improvements and visioning.
“This City Commission is fortunate to have the assistance of a nationally recognized expert to develop a collective vision for the South City neighborhood and surrounding commercial corridor through a common understanding of issues, opportunities, challenges and steps needed to achieve the vision,” said Commissioner Nancy Miller, who championed the City’s partnership with ULI during her tenure on the Long Range Planning Target Issue committee.
A review of public documents indicates that ULI, a nonprofit organization, is funded by anonymous donors and pays their executives very well. The CEO, Patrick Phillips, was paid approximately $680,000 in 2013.
Thomas Murphy, who is employed by ULI and will be at the meeting next week, was paid approximately $210,000 in 2013.
Tallahassee Reports has been able to obtain a copy of the agenda, which was not included in the press release. It is included below.
Who is paying for the conference? Will local media be able to attend? Why is it necessary to bring in regional experts? And what track record does ULI have in dealing with South City issues?
Next week Tallahassee Reports will seek answers to these questions.