Proctor Requests County Commission Suspend Funding for Downtown CRA

Proctor Requests County Commission Suspend Funding for Downtown CRA

Leon County Commissioner Bill Proctor has sent a letter to Chairman Nick Maddox requesting that the county commission stop all funding for Downtown Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) projects pending clarifications of the numerous probes implicating the CRA’s role in various Downtown projects.

On June 22, TR reported that the FBI served the City of Tallahassee with subpoenas seeking information related to CRA projects.

In the letter, dated July 5, 2017, Proctor wrote, “In an abundance of caution and proprietary concern, I strongly recommend that funding decisions be suspended as related to Downtown CRA projects. I do recommend an independent trainer and/or expert be retained in order to instruct, guide and inform CRA members of the policies and parameters that state law mandates for our performance in executing the responsibility of expending public funds for public or private benefits.”

Proctor added, “Given this reality I urge that we cease and desist funding for now on any of the Downtown CRA projects. Timing, in this instance, is everything.”

The letter was also sent to City Manager Rick Fernandez.

Proctor also sent a separate letter to County Administrator Vince Long and County Attorney Herb Thiele requesting the issue be brought before the county commission.

Proctor wrote, “I request an agenda item that provides an option for Leon County to withdraw support from the Downtown CRA effective 2017-18 budget year. I suggest that we redirect and reprogram these dollars more positively to address other pressing needs or else lower our mileage rate accordingly.”

Proctor has been a frequent critic of the CRA providing tax breaks to student housing developers. In 2014, when the CRA was considering a $1.6 million tax break for a developer, Proctor said,  “this is not what the CRA is all about. This is cherry picking and not  fair to other property tax payers.”

The Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) voted 6-1 (Proctor against) to approve the $1.6 million tax rebate to CA Student Living, a developer from Chicago, Illinois.

12 Responses to "Proctor Requests County Commission Suspend Funding for Downtown CRA"

  1. So proctor want to suspend the Downtown CRA. Notice he did not say the Greater Frenchtown / Southside CRA. They are two separate projects.

    I fond this on the City website. Please tell me what an ‘event’ is and how that fights blight. Is that like a puppet show?

    “FY2018 CRA Special Event Programs
    Promotional/Special Event Grant Program and Downtown District Large Event Grant Program

    The Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) Board has authorized $185,000 to help fund promotional and special events for fiscal year (FY) 2018. The funds will support two separate programs. The first program is the Promotional/Special Event Grant Program which caters to smaller events taking place in both the Greater Frenchtown/Southside (GFS) District and the Downtown (DT) District.

    The CRA Board has approved $50,000 for events in the GFS District and $35,000 for events in the DT District. The second program is the DT District Large Event Grant Program (link) which is tailored to large events within the DT District; the CRA has approved $100,000 for this program.”

  2. Lots of commissioners suddenly interested in what the CRA has been doing. Too bad they weren’t paying attention before The FBI came to town. Now they are all jumping on the wagon for a free show of suddenly found concern. If they had all been doing their jobs, the CRA wouldn’t have been out of control in the first place. Proctor is just playing the shocked public servant? Don’t believe it.

  3. Commissioner Bill Proctor is real.
    I often disagree with him and his position, but he is upfront about who he is and what he stands for. I applaud that.
    Like all of us, he is imperfect. Yet, regardless of setbacks, he continues to strive for that which he believes is right.
    I admire and honor his indefatigable efforts to represent the best interests for the people of Leon County.
    I also admire the fact that he upholds the integrity of his Commissioner’s seat in an entertaining manner.
    Keep it up, Mr. Proctor. We need far more people like you in our community.

  4. Proctor is a buffoon. First the County Commission already discussed leaving the Downtown CRA at their Budget hearing. All Proctor is about is getting in the paper protesting for the Southside. He is NOT interested in actually helping the residents – just complaining for them. If the Southside did begin to develop – he’d be the first one OUT OF A JOB. Well done Steve – you gave this guy exactly what he wanted – ad space

    1. It’s an official request from an elected leader. Printing it is responsible…something the Democrat usually does not do. You get to make up your mind as to its sincerity, etc. As Mark states, I seldom agree with Bill, but if you follow his votes he is consistently pro business. Does he want something in return? You bet, but it is what it is.

    2. The County Commission discussed leaving the CRA in 2020. Proctor wants a vote at the next commission meeting.

    3. Based on my observance of local politics I come away with the take that Mr. Proctor is not a part of the “usual suspects” local crime family.
      I get the feeling if he were approached by any of the “usual suspects” to engage in some of their diabolical nefarious dirt that Mr. Proctor would rat them out in a NY minute. And I feel that the “usual suspects” have known this for many years.
      His constituency loves him and proves it election after election. I really believe Mr. Proctor never cared what you or me or any of the “usual suspects” think about him.

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