Citing the FBI investigation and the violent crime rate, the Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors voted unanimously to underwrite an independent study into potential government consolidation.
In an “Important Business Alert” email, the Chamber stated:
The Tallahassee community is suffering through a climate of crisis created by a lingering FBI investigation into alleged corruption in local government, coupled with a violent crime rate that is the highest in all of Florida. As a result, public trust and confidence in local government are badly shaken and heavily eroded, and public safety remains a daily priority concern.
Sachs Media Group (SMG) recently released a survey titled “Trust in Local Government and Attitudes Regarding City-County Consolidation.” SMG principal, Ron Sachs, serves on the Chamber’s Business Advocacy Committee.
The survey found that 83% of respondents are very or somewhat concerned with possible corruption at the City Commission level compared to 72% at the County Commission level.
Also, the survey found that 60% believed that city and county lines are irrelevant in their lives and 64% showed some level of support for consolidation.
The Chamber email stated:
Tallahassee Chamber has unanimously voted to authorize and underwrite an independent study to provide insight into the possible consolidation of the City of Tallahassee and Leon County governments. The Chamber seeks a credible, timely, and scholarly study that details the economic and functional impacts of any potential consolidation here. The independent study will be shared with the community upon its completion, which is expected by mid-January, 2018.
The Chamber also said the business group was “committed to working with diverse community partners and stakeholders to examine if a consolidated government can create a higher level of accountability, renewed trust in government, and a single unified structure of governance to represent the best ambitions of our community.”