A study conducted by the Washington Economics Group, Inc. (WEG) for the Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce concludes that “effective” government consolidation could result in increased economic performance for Leon County.
In November 2017, the TalChamber Board of Directors voted to commission an independent study on the possible consolidation of Tallahassee and Leon County governments.
The need for a stronger economy and challenging times in the community were cited by the Chamber Board as some of the major impetus to actively consider a structural change in local government
The study focuses on five comparison cities to draw observations about the potential economic development impacts of a merger government in Tallahassee and Leon County. The cities used for this comparative analysis are:
1) Nashville, TN
2) Jacksonville, FL
3) Indianapolis, IN
4) Athens, GA, and
5) Louisville, KY
The study found that each city has experienced various economic benefits since residents chose to consolidate their local governments. Shared benefits across all of these comparative cities include the mitigation of urban sprawl, fiscal efficiencies, and improved business climates.
The cities selected were based on roughly similar socioeconomic characteristics to Tallahassee.
Each city features unique governance models that have been crafted by engaged citizens in an effort to create a better government that generates a more prosperous community.
Consolidation efforts across the country have made many promises, but as the WEG study highlights, the most frequently reliable outcome for successfully consolidated governments has been higher performing economic development efforts.
Of the five comparative consolidated city governments included in the WEG study, they have an average employment and population growth that has exceeded the national average over the past five years. The average employment growth in those
cities exceeds the Tallahassee-Leon County growth rate by nearly four percent.
The study projects that over five years Leon County consolidation could add an approximately 8,000 jobs with a growth in income of $335 million.
Of course they want consolidation. Their close relationship the big bucks would get them more money for membership and their lobbying efforts for more construction, development and money for their main contributors. The Chamber does not recognize citizen’s needs or wants, nor small businesses even though they claim that.. TIme for people to wake up. Tallahassee wants consolidation because they can’t afford the sprawl they have put in place, therefore they would get the tax receipts from the county. Economic performance…really…whose?
Does any city resident really believe that the city will lower property taxes with the new influx of city residents who will begin to pay ‘city’ taxes. The additional burden on a current county resident, if consolidation passes, and their home is appraised at $280,000, will be about $1,000. That $1,000 is money that is removed from the economy. That’s what taxes do.
Getting rid of the corruption would seriously result in economic benefits. I would presonally move if they consolidated and I know I am not alone. I am close to doing that now as it is. Why should my quality of life suffer to line the pockets of criminals? From the deferred comp criminals to the sweet land deal criminals and everything in between, Tallahassee could save millions. The utility slush fund, the waste pro slush fund… I could go on all day long. The curruption needs to go away!
I would also move. I am already looking at my 401K and projected health care costs and see a deficit. I don’t know how I can stay in Leon as it is. Forcing county residents to pay for the corruption and misdeeds is not fair as we did not benefit from the corruption.
NEVER consolidate! It just doesn’t work (except to benefit the corrupt city, which in this case is Tallahassee). Leave us alone! PLEASE
The issue is ““effective” government consolidation”. We don’t have effective government now.
I lived in Jacksonville when it consolidated with Duval County. Taxpayers incurred a hefty increase in taxes due to the need to purchase; New uniforms, repainting of LE vehicles, purchase of new radio communications equipment, infrastructure expenses relating to housing the two agencies into a common building, set up of new communications facility, cross-training programs, etc.
The Chamber has a way too cozy relationship with local graft, corruption, and is most likely going to be proven an un-indicted player in the whole reason the FBI is in town conducting their CRA investigation.
Presenting a cherry-picked statistical driven “study” of what the Chamber wants local sheeple voters to agree with will no longer play in Tallahassee to anyone except the few remaining mindless Democratic party-line voters.
And TR plus Steve Stuart (for Mayor) are converting those few remaining mindless Democratic party-line voters every day!
Let me just reach back into my historical back side to pull out a nugget which will sum up the Chamber’s presentation in as few words as possible:
“Lies, damned lies, and statistics” Mark Twain.
Not sure a 2 month study will figure out how to fix the lack of a moral compass among elected officials and some staff, whether we consolidate or not.
Agreed, Phil. No matter what New Game they may invent here with local government, it’s a useless waste if we’re stuck with the Same Old Players.
What will fix Tallahassee’s problems of embedded corruption (both within and outside City Hall), economic stagnation, and nationally-known poor reputation (our sky-high crime rates, et al) – is the complete removal of all long-term Tallahassee elected officials, department heads, and top staffers. Then and only then will Tallahassee have a chance to emerge out of this Swamp of corruption and be the great city that it has the potential to be. I really believe that can happen, but it will never will if the same familiar names and faces are still holding any city office whatsoever, no matter how minor.
Sorry for too many “wills” in the bottom of my comment. But with the new City Ethics Policy, you would have to prove that I “intended corruption” in my typing. “It was just an inadvertent mistake, judge.”