Leon County Planning Commission Appointment Raises Questions About Transparency, Conflicts

Leon County Planning Commission Appointment Raises Questions About Transparency, Conflicts

At the June 19th Leon County Commission meeting,  County Commissioner and mayoral candidate John Dailey nominated Robert Volpe to serve as one of  Leon County’s appointments to the Tallahassee-Leon County Planning Commission. Volpe was approved for the seat with a 6-1 vote.

The Planning Commission is a joint city-county board with city appointments and county appointments.

Since that vote Tallahassee Reports has verified that Volpe -who also applied for a city seat on the Planning Commission – was not considered for the seat by the City of Tallahassee because of a potential conflict due to a family member working in the Planning Department.

Also, TR confirmed that Mr. Volpe served as the host of a  mayoral fundraiser for Dailey less than four weeks before he was nominated for the Planning Commission seat.

Leon County Commissioner Dailey told TR that there is no financial conflict with Mr. Volpe and that he was extremely qualified for the position. Dailey added that the Planning Commission is an advisory board and their votes on issues are recommendations to elected officials and are nonbinding.

When reached by TR, Chairman of the Leon County Commission Nick Maddox said he was not aware of the family connection or the fundraiser at the time of the vote.

Leon County Commissioner Bryan Desloge also told TR he was not aware of the family relationship.

Both Maddox and Desloge did not want to make any further comments until doing their own research.

Tallahassee Reports verified that Mr. Volpe’s brother-in-law, Artie White, serves as the Administrator of Comprehensive Planning at the City of Tallahassee.

Sources have told TR that Mr. White’s responsibilities include crafting recommendations on planning decisions that would be voted on by members of the Planning Commission.

The seat was previously occupied by Dianne Williams-Cox, who is a current city commission candidate. Ms. Williams-Cox had reapplied for the position but was passed over, in part, because of her candidacy.

The first action taken on the appointment was a motion by Dailey to nominate Volpe.

After the nomination, Commissioner Proctor advocated for Williams-Cox. During that discussion,  Commissioner Kristen Dozier said that “I am not inclined to think we should have candidates on the commission.”

Dozier also cited qualifications as a reason for an alternative candidate.

In addition, Leon County Commissioner Chairman Nick Maddox voiced concern about her candidacy.

County Attorney Herb Theile, replying to a question by Commissioner Proctor, stated there were no rules against appointing a candidate to the Planning Commission.

Volpe was then approved 6-1, with Proctor voting against the nomination.

3 Responses to "Leon County Planning Commission Appointment Raises Questions About Transparency, Conflicts"

  1. Gad, Dailey’s not even in office yet (and I hope he doesn’t get elected) and he’s already playing the same old “Crony Game” that Tallahassee-Leon County has languished under for a decade or more.
    The family-crony-lobbyist laundering of taxpayer money into elected officials’ pockets must end if this region is ever to emerge from it’s pervasive shadow of government corruption. A vote for Dailey only changes a name or two and perpetuates this corruption.

    “NO Insiders” should be foremost in our minds when we step in the voting booth. I plan to vote only for Conservative Outsiders with campaigns built on three top priorities:
    (1) Restoring Ethics to government – with harsh penalties for those who violate them.
    (2) Cleaning up the present corruption in Tallahassee-Leon County.
    (3) Reducing taxes and utility rates – and ridiculous, unjustified salaries for government officials.

  2. Disgusted is correct! Dailey failing to disclose, then recuse himself on this nomination is unacceptable. There are now too many indicators that Dailey is attempting to build up his own political machine. Where have we seen this before?

    We just weathered through his ill planned Children’s Services Council fiasco and failed attempt at that under the guise of helping children. Citizens were not fooled. Citizens want change and an end to corruption, therefore John Dailey (and Dustin Daniels) should not even be considered as an acceptable choice for mayor.

    How did this get by the Tallahassee Democrat? Surely the TD will report this on their front page immediately? Perhaps, they could interview a cross section of Dailey campaign contributors such as Gil Ziffer, Bob Rackleff, Jon Ausman, Kim Williams, Ron Sachs, Lew Shelley, Nancy Miller, and William Smith and ask if they think this is acceptable and will they continue to support Mr. Dailey after such a blatant self serving inappropriate political maneuver. This is how corruption starts and voters have a choice to stop it before it once again takes over.

    That is strike three Mr. Dailey and out you go! Citizens should not tolerate this corruption and voters should exercise their disgust at the polls.

  3. If Dailey becomes Mayor we will see more and more of the same old cronyism that we have had for years. It is time to put an end to it!!

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