City Commissioner Gil Ziffer, who was recently elected as the 2017-2018 president of the Florida League of Cities, spoke to the News Service of Florida on a number of issues which included the possible impact of the current FBI investigation of city development deals.
Reporter Lloyd Dunkelberger asked Ziffer “if he believed the ongoing FBI investigation into the city government will have a long-term damaging impact on the city’s image?”
Ziffer responded by saying, “Right now, we live in a time where anyone in elected office is probably more heavily scrutinized than ever before when it comes to their ethics, their decisions. That’s something that we accept when we run for office, that’s something we accept when we are in office. Do I think the Tallahassee name and brand is going to be impacted by it? Probably in some form or fashion, yes. There has been so much media on it, so much coverage of it that unless if you were in a foxhole somewhere you wouldn’t know about it.”
Ziffer also acknowledged the way local leaders handle the aftermath of the investigation will have an impact on how Tallahassee recovers.
“[H]ow we deal with whatever comes out of it and how quickly we deal with it will make the determination of how long that it has a negative effect on our city. I’m confident that after this all is concluded, whenever that is, that we will do what we need to do to make this right within our government and move on and make it better,” said Ziffer.
Ziffer offered no concrete policy changes in the interview, but he told TR in a separate discussion he was gathering information and formulating ideas on how to move forward.
“I have met with the group who pushed for the Independent Ethics Board, the Chairman of the Ethics Board, and the Ethics Officer to determine what we can do to make the process more effective,” said Ziffer.
There have been recent rumblings about the lack of follow through with the city’s Independent Ethic’s Board, which was put in place through a voter referendum with almost 70% of the vote in 2014.
Still waiting for someone to run with some back-bone and ethics to boot. “Bulher, Bulher, Bulher…” crickets.
Is there a link to an article about the $100,000 settlement between the City and Ziffer? I am not familiar with that one. Did Ms. Ziffer sustain injuries, did she go to a doctor for treatment, etc.
This will get you started. https://tallahasseereports.com/2017/04/03/report-city-under-funding-street-maintenance-over-15000-trip-hazards-on-sidewalks/
Mr. Ziffer was successful in securing a $100,000 payout – recommended by the city attorney – for a family member. This would never been allowed for a regular citizen without going through the proper procedures. Payouts to themselves for raises/settlements…payouts for their campaign managers with no bid contracts is standard operating procedure for the commissioners. I would think Mr. Ziffer is not exempt from the FBI investigation. He is either partaking or looking the other way which is why we are where we are today.
I wonder where Mr. Ziffer fares in the oncoming Hurricane FBI???
I just don’t see where any of our local officials aren’t part of the problem.
They are all guilty! Some were involved in illegal activities while others provided support and cover by looking the other way and keep their mouth shut!
Thank you Mr. Jackson and Mr. Stewart for helping to keep us informed of the truth. May God bless you for your good work.
Is this the same Gil Ziffer who abstained from voting for his wife’s settlement from he city for tripppng on the sidewalk in Southwood?
We need to clean house folks.
I was so disappointing in Ziffer when he backed down to Gillum about the lobbyist contracts. It was embarrassing to watch.
I hate to say it but, we never had the chance to elect Mr. Ziffer in the first place. As I recall when commissioner Katz hastily left to serve Obama, it was the city commission and Mayor John Marks who selected Gil Ziffer as a replacement. The mayor and commissioners refused to hold a special election, citing the cost. Of course this decision to name Ziffer was warmly endorsed by the Tallahassee Democrat. In my opinion Ziffer was tainted from the get go. And the rest was history.
Same old Gil, talk, talk talk and no action! The problem with the ethics ordinance is that it was written by city attorney Shelley exempted elected officials from scrutiny and removed any penalties! The ethics commission needs to write a new ordinance and if they choose to not do this then close shop.
You know, if I ever gave a thought to running for office in this town, I’d have to call Dr. Jackson and check on the ethics of issues to vote on. At least I believe I’d get some good advice on how to keep my integrity while serving the people.
I’ve often felt that when we consider the totality of the snakes in the pit we call local Tallahassee Government that Mr. Ziffer may just be the snake with the most integrity and honesty.
His answers seem heavily laced with the typical spin/pivot reflex-babel-speak so common (and totally annoying) with lefty liberals whenever they are attempting to make a verbal non-response to legitimate questions from whomever they deem to be the common folk.
In the last paragraph of the above T.R. article Mr. Ziffer seems to be attempting to cast shade on members of the Ethics “Shmethics” Board. It seems Mr. Ziffer is attempting to blame upon the members of the Ethics “Shmethics” Board for allowing the Mayor, City Manager, and the City Attorney to effectively cut off their peanuts which totally neutered the Ethics “Shmethics” Board from being able to do anything other than Show Up and Shut Up.
On second thought – as I’m proofreading my post – I have come to the conclusion that I really have no respect for Mr. Ziffer at all.
Thank you Tallahassee Reports.