Through an “internal” process, the Office of Economic Vitality has created three citizen advisory groups with 43 positions that will aide the Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency in deciding how to allocate approximately $100 million in economic development monies raised through the Blueprint Sales Tax.
While there was a structure for including various institutions among the groups, it appears the process of selecting a number of citizens to fill other slots for these groups was completed behind closed doors and without much concern for transparency.
For example, there were no advertisements seeking interested parties or an application process. Also, the rationale for how individuals were chosen to represent specific groups was not provided.
Ironically, the Tallahassee Democrat recently wrote an opinion piece addressing a “new day” in Tallahassee. After writing about community positives, the opinion piece noted problems which included a “good old boy” network that often brings a dark-cloud to community decision-making and leads to a lack of confidence in ethical practices.”
The Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency – which is made up of all Leon County Commissioners and City Commissioners – will be asked to approve the groups on June 14th.
Listed below is a description of each group and the associated members. Click on images to enlarge.
The Economic Vitality Leadership Council (EVLC)
The EVLC consists of seven members who are appointed by the Board. The members will include representation from the following sectors: (1) major employers, (2) institutions of higher education, (3) entrepreneurial business, (4) financial sector, (5) economic development, (6) talent development, and (7) one at-large member.
Members of the EVLC are responsible for meeting quarterly to increase the community’s competitiveness across the six economic development initiatives, provide advice upon implementation of the strategic plan, encourage collaboration across all sectors of the community, recommend improvements to improve competitiveness, and engage members of the Economic Vitality Leadership Council.
The slate of candidates was developed internally to maximize the engagement with community, business partners and leaders as well as leveraging the state’s targeted industry list to identify candidates.
Economic Vitality Competitiveness Committee
The Economic Vitality Competitiveness Committee (EVCC) is comprised of 33 members. Staff utilized the state’s targeted industries to develop the list of candidates to appoint to these positions. Also, two business seats were dedicated for minority, women, and small business enterprises (MWSBE).
The EVCC is responsible for meeting quarterly, encouraging knowledge and collaboration across all sectors, and serving on the taskforces (as needed) to identify and address opportunities to improve Tallahassee-Leon County’s ability to compete and build the economy.
Competitive Projects Cabinet
The Competitive Projects Cabinet (CPC) will be comprised of three members, including the Tallahassee City Manager, Leon County Administrator, and one business leader – a member of the EVLC – who will serve for one year with an option to serve a second term.
The CPC is responsible for meeting as necessary to review competitive economic development projects in accordance with economic development policy and will be required to sign non-disclosure agreements.
The following individuals are being presented for approval and appointment by the Board.
TR will have an update after the Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency meeting.
I like the idea.
So on the seven member council we have an attorney representing economic development? Wasn’t this person the same person that was on the ethics committee and had to resign for conflict of interest because her law firm does business with the city? How can she serve on this committee? Isn’t anyone paying attention?
Some good names on the lists.
You are absolutely correct RB. The committee is too large and will take forever to reach a consensus. As for roads, you are right on. We want more economic development; more companies, more jobs, more development. But not the infrastructure to support all of that.
It takes 43 people to decide how to spend $100 million of taxpayers money? We will have more of the same liberal thinking as before: More bike trails, walking paths, sidewalks, parks every where, reduction of 4 lane traffic moving streets to 2 lane traffic choked streets (but big 15 foot sidewalks no one walks on), etc., etc., etc., —Local traffic is being strangled by this no new street widenings program county/city planners are stuck in. Every thing is for bike riders, runners, walkers, park strollers , restoration of French Town which has been paid for by taxpayers three times since the 1970”s etc., while commerce suffers the after effects of such thinking. ( and you want to know why Tallahassee has slow to no growth ?)
So nobody from TMH and TCH, two of the largest employers and major players in our community? And we need to lose Rick and Vince because they will be secretly driving the ship. And Lila, Betsy and Audra; what real purpose do they serve? And maybe we need an executive director of a large nonprofit, that has a lot of experience. And somebody higher up at FSU and Leon Co Schools. and maybe someone from Lively.
Steve Evans is the incoming Chairman of the Board of TMH. —
Have no fear Phil. Nancy Miller’s daughter is on the committee as the Creative Economy co-member along with Sean Pittman’s wife. We’re good.
I don’t like the idea of economics by committed. Just leave it alone.