On Wednesday at city hall, public speakers used strong language to threaten and criticize city commissioners on different issues. There was even a tense moment between Commissioner Nancy Miller and Mayor Andrew Gillum.
However, the local media decided not to report on any of these actions.
Writing about public speakers addressing the controversial vacant city attorney position, Jeff Schweers of the Tallahassee Democrat used words like “eloquent” and “passionate”.
Schweers failed to note the critical comments by Lee Johnson, a local church official, who told the commissioners in his 3-minute speech that “it stinks up at that dais. There are some of you who are leaving, thank god you are.”
Johnson continued by insinuating there would be consequences if the commissioners did not “get it together.”
Commissioner Gill Ziffer responded to the comments during his turn to speak on the issue by saying, “I don’t take kindly to threats.”
See the video below:
The elected officials were also on edge over this issue.
When Commissioner Nancy Miller asked Mayor Andrew Gillum to wait until Commissioner Scott Maddox returned to the dais to vote on the city attorney issue, Gillum appeared to ignore her request.
Miller responded by saying, “would you like to see me leave, also…”
See the video below:
Also, not included in any local reporting was a controversial neighborhood issue over the expansion of an electric substation in a northeast neighborhood.
During the city commission discussion on the issue there were interruptions from the audience which resulted in Mayor Gillum asking for decorum.
On the neighborhood issue, resident and former reporter Lucy Morgan said to the city commission, ” I expected better of you all….we really thought that you were better neighbors..”
In addition, Peter Butzin, of Common Cause, criticized the city commission – specifically Commissioners Ziffer and Maddox – for the lack of teeth in an adopted ethics ordinance.
Seldom is there so much controversy and interaction between citizens and commissioners at a public meeting over so many different issues.
Most citizens in Tallahassee will never know it happened.