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City Tax Increase to Fund $40,000 Raise for Lobbyist, City Management Silent on Why

Posted on September 1, 2015

City Tax Increase to Fund $40,000 Raise for Lobbyist, City Management Silent on Why

Tallahassee Reports may have finally found an answer to City Commissioner Scott Maddox’s question about the Mayor and the City Commissioner’s budget.

This part of the general government budget funds salaries and activities related to the Mayor and the four elected City Commissioners.

Commissioner Scott Maddox asked about an increase in the Mayor and City Commissioner’s budget at a budget workshop weeks ago.

But no one, including Mayor Gillum and City Manager Anita Favors-Thompson, had an answer they were willing to share in public about the $84,000 increase.

Previously, TR reported that part of the $84,000 Commissioner Maddox asked about was attributed to a $44,000 increase in salaries and health care expenses in the Mayor’s office.

But what about the other $40,000?

TR has learned that the proposed tax increase is budgeted to fund a $40,000 raise for city lobbyists.

The current contract, which pays city lobbyist $180,000 a year for state and federal level work, is up for renewal in November of this year. The latest budget increases the contract amount to $220,000, a 22% increase.

The state lobbying team includes Sean Pittman, who is a mentor and the former campaign manager for current Mayor Andrew Gillum.

Historically, the lobbying contracts are handled by the Mayor’s office. However, this year the contracts were moved out of the Mayor’s office to a line item labeled “City Administration.”

Why were the contracts moved the Mayor’s office?

A review of City Commission meeting minutes reveals no Commission discussion on the move of the contracts. Sources tell TR this was done without consulting City Commissioners.

Who proposed the increase?

Again, a review of City Commission meeting minutes reveals no Commission discussion or votes on the additional $40,000 allocated for city lobbyists.

Sources tell TR that the maneuver and the increase was orchestrated by City Manager Anita Favors-Thompson to “protect Andrew Gillum and his connection with Sean Pittman.”

This explanation is consistent with other sources that have told TR that the Mayor and the City Manager are making decisions on a number of issues without any input from other elected leaders.

19 Responses to City Tax Increase to Fund $40,000 Raise for Lobbyist, City Management Silent on Why

  1. Steve Reply

    September 1, 2015 at 8:54 pm

    This is just another example of a scheming city management team. My question is, What else is this administration hiding?

  2. Paul Henry Reply

    September 1, 2015 at 9:13 pm

    $180~220K/year for lobbying work sure beats begging for $400/year for red light camera lobbying work.

  3. bob fulford Reply

    September 1, 2015 at 9:22 pm

    Perhaps the ethics officer could have a look.

  4. Debra Hevener Reply

    September 1, 2015 at 9:33 pm

    How long are the people of Tallahassee going to continue to allow shady practices from it’s officials. Come on people wake up and stand up for what is right. How can you allow these people to get away with being dishonest and crooked. What are you scared of. I live in the county so I mush watch from the outside and just shake my head.

  5. Curtis

    Curtis Reply

    September 1, 2015 at 9:59 pm

    Good thought, Bob, but by hiring one of the city’s largest legal contractors to be it’s legal counsel and a former city employee to be it’s ethics officer, i doubt the ethics board is willing or capable of dealing effectively with ethics questions.

    • Hope Reply

      September 2, 2015 at 8:18 am

      Oh, Curtis, put a sock it it! The ethics officer is a good person. Where were you on the abuse by a sitting commissioner former mayor regarding trumped up charges on veteran and long time employee because he exposed an indiscretions by the commissioner?

      • BEC Reply

        September 2, 2015 at 9:52 am

        The issue is not about her being a good person. The issue is her independence. Gillum appointmented Jaber who was opposed to the Ethics board. Jaber hijacked the vote and put her in this position.

  6. Melanie Reply

    September 1, 2015 at 10:09 pm

    Someone needs to look real hard into this situation… This is not right and Pittman makes enough off of the City..

  7. Peggy Reply

    September 2, 2015 at 6:34 am

    Business as usual. The question is, when will enough be enough for Tallahassee voters?

  8. Dennis Barton Reply

    September 2, 2015 at 7:44 am

    There has to be a contract between the city and Pittman somewhere. Specifically, what was he expected to do for the $180,000 last year and what additional services is he expected to perform next year. There should also be an evaluation that compares what he was being asked to do and what he actually did for the city. These things should be public record for all to see. Otherwise how do we know the city is getting its monies worth in his representation?

  9. Hope Reply

    September 2, 2015 at 8:20 am

    This article should be reporting Maddox’s indiscretions and not living in his district, not praising him for asking an asinine question.

    Wake up!

    • BEC Reply

      September 2, 2015 at 9:53 am

      Call the Ethics officer and file a complaint. Good luck with that!

  10. Hope Reply

    September 2, 2015 at 8:22 am

    Also, Pittman delivers a poor product. It is obviously a sweetheart deal from Gillum to Pittman which is SOP in this county. Yordon, Pittman, Maddox, same old same old….

  11. MARILYN & CHARLES WILLIAMS Reply

    September 2, 2015 at 8:52 am

    Tallahassee already has one of the highest tax rates anywhere in the country (or for sure in Florida). This may well be the deciding factor in our selling our house and moving away from Tallahassee. Enough is Enough! I don’t want to pay more taxes when we already pay over $6,000 just for a single family home! Rediculous!!!!

    • BEC Reply

      September 2, 2015 at 10:01 am

      Stay. We need your vote to get Andy tossed out of office!

  12. Brian Reply

    September 2, 2015 at 10:42 am

    Why not put it our for bidding.

  13. daisyduck Reply

    September 2, 2015 at 6:57 pm

    Who cares about interns?
    Also love how Preston thinks Tallahassee has a strong mayor and Steve has to school him. And people listen to him like he knows anything.

  14. Right 1 Reply

    September 3, 2015 at 11:43 am

    City of Tallahassee demographics give the brutal truth:

    Approximately 36% Black;
    Approximately 51% White (1/2 of which are at least progressive/socialists)

    There will never be a change in this progressive, socialist city unless any of the elected politicos are arrested or violate their covenant with their leftist ideology. Tallahassee progressives do indeed want the city to be like a big city, i.e. Detroit.

  15. Don Doke Reply

    September 3, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    Did these tards go up to D.C. and take lessons from their tribal leader on how to skirt around the rules to do as they please. Lot of underhanded stuff going on. About time to think about moving out of this toilet!

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