FACT CHECK: Mayor Gillum’s Statement on $205,000 Piggy Wiggly Incentive

FACT CHECK: Mayor Gillum’s Statement on $205,000 Piggy Wiggly Incentive

Last month the Community Redevelopment Agency  (CRA) voted to give $205,000 in tax payer funds to the owners of a Piggly Wiggly that will open on the southside of town.

See our report here.

The issue about funding was brought up at a City-County forum hosted by the Village Square on February 1, 2016.

In a back and forth between City Commissioner Scott Maddox, who voted against the incentive, Mayor Gillum indicated that the money was needed to bring the grocery store to Tallahassee.

The Tallahassee Democrat reported the following:

The discussion comes after the CRA last week allocated funds to help make improvements at a Piggly Wiggly grocery store coming to the south side of Tallahassee.

“What we have morphed into today is festivals, interior renovations to business,” he said (Scott Maddox). “You’re picking winners and losers within the business community.”

Mayor Andrew Gillum countered that the money, in the case of the Piggly Wiggly, was needed to bring a grocery store to a part of town that didn’t have one.

Is this true? Was the $205,000 needed to bring a grocery store to a part of town that didn’t have one.

TR checked with the staff of the CRA and was told that the decision to locate a Piggly Wiggly on southside of town was not conditional on the CRA incentive.

In fact, all of the contracts were signed before the issue was even taken before the CRA.

Based on CRA documents, the Southside Shopping Center owner, Talcor NAI, BI-LO, and Piggly Wiggly entered into a lease agreement to open the grocery store before the funding request was presented to staff in November, 2015.

In addition, renovations to the property were underway before the issue was voted on by the CRA.

All indications are that the Piggly Wiggly would have opened on the southside of town with or without the CRA money.

This contradicts the view put forth by Mayor Gillum that the funding was needed to bring a grocery store to a part of town that didn’t have one.

18 Responses to "FACT CHECK: Mayor Gillum’s Statement on $205,000 Piggy Wiggly Incentive"

  1. If a privately owned business, ANY business, needs taxpayer government money to open, operate, and stay in business, it is not a private business. It is a government subsidized entity. The lessons of Venezuela and every other socialist/communist nation which has devolved into bankruptcy should be studied very carefully by our Mayor and liberal commissioners so that the same mistakes are not made.

  2. And they wonder why Trump is so popular?

    These people will look you right in the eye and tell you a bold faced LIE while their hand is on top of a stack of Bibles!

    Then start quaking and speaking in tongues claiming the power of the spirit has engulfed them.


  3. Here is the way I see this situation. We, The People, complain of how corrupted the enire system is but yet are powerless to do anything about it. So as a middle aged white man that I am, I will quit my job and go work on the southside to receive the $205K of our money that these idiots want to continue giving away. Like all of them, “I will get mine in the end”…what a screwed up way to think when you work “for the people” what a joke

  4. Our City Government has and continues to compete against our own private businesses with tax money fleeced from our pockets without consequence. Utilities, gymnastics programs, outdoor ampitheaters, bars and now apparently grocery stores. What will Mayor Obama…(oops I mean Gillum) want to control next? Good thing the federal government already controls health care, right?

  5. Why did Harvey’s close that south side store? Because they didn’t have enough customers to make a profit.

    The $205,000 is to subsidize Piggly Wiggly’s profits so they won’t leave town until the $205,000 subsidy is used up. This Piggly Wiggly will be closed by 2020, and then the CRA will be looking for another major grocery chain to bribe with $$$,$$$$.

    1. No. Harvey’s is owned by Winn Dixie and Winn Dixie closed the store because it didn’t have a pharmacy. Now the Winn Dixie that does have a CVS pharmacy nearby is also closing.

  6. It should come as no surprise that Talcor brokered/advised Piggy Wiggly. They have one interest, self. I’m also pleasantly surprised that Scott M. is voting against the interventionist policies of the socialist city planners and officials. It’s amazing what they will do with other people’s money, not there own.

  7. For some people the $205,000 gifted to Piggly Wiggly by the CRA was not a waste. After all, it will help kill off black people who will now be able to buy CRA tax subsidized tobacco products right down the road from a FAMU student housing complex.

    Is Sean Pittman, who has lobbied on behalf of a tobacco company, grinning from ear to ear?

  8. No matter how much money is wasted on the South side of town the South side will always and has always been the “Southside” poor and blighted. Harvey’s was there for decades and they surely did not get $200,000 to fill a need for the community. As long as the CRA keeps pushing citizens out of poor areas of the city they will continue to go South for affordable living. As long as we have so called leaders that believe throwing tax money to very wealthy companies just to assure their deal is a good thing for all, this community will suffer. They will continue to over tax and under preform which will negatively affect the minority and poor citizens the most, yet they will still vote for the Problem and continue to believe the propaganda that it will benefit them.

  9. “Bring a grocery store to a part of town that doesn’t have one”? Isn’t there a Winn Dixie just a few blocks south.

  10. This is what happens when you have elected officials who have never earned any real money. Mayor Gillum seems like a nice guy, concerned with the community. However, when all you have ever done is allocate other people’s money, whether in student government or Tallahassee government, it becomes real easy to give away other people’s money. The average family income in the US is $55K, we are talking about the income of the average US family for almost 4 years. If Mayor Gillum had to generate $205K in income from a small business, he wouldn’t be so generous. Since Scott Maddox has re-entered the politic scene, I have been pleasantly surprised at his newly found fiscal responsibility. I can only attribute that to the number of years that he was out of the “entitled class” and having to scrape out a living like the rest of poor saps.

  11. Talcor NAI, BI-LO, Piggly Wiggly, are companies, not people.

    Those companies “own” the property in question.

    But those companies don’t meet and scheme; there are real people who do that for the companies.

    By name, who are those people?

    You’ve named the Mayor (Gillam) and you’ve named the CRA (Manning)

    Now name the people You call Nalcor, BI-LO and Piggly Wiggly.

    1. I strongly agree. Who are the people in these companies eager to take public money so readily? I want to get them working to fill my needs.

  12. What I have come to realize as I read these TR articles is that very few people in the city of Tallahassee are able to speak out about the absurdity that takes place within our town. This I assume, is largely due to the fact that so many of our residents are dependent on the “local government” for their jobs, contracts and benefitts. I also have to believe, given the education and pedigree of these people, that the majority of the residents and elected officials who “can not bite the hand that feeds them” are disgusted by the incompetence and corruption of how our business is conducted. It as if they are all puppets in a Shakespearean play. We all know how Bill’s plays end, tragedy. Silence can only delay consequences, not prevent them. “God has given you one face, and you make yourself another”. W. Shakespeare.

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