Roxanne Manning, the executive director of the Tallahassee Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA), was terminated by City Manager Reese Goad today.
The termination follows a CRA workshop on Monday night in Frenchtown where speakers were highly critical of CRA management.
For example, a member of the Frenchtown/Southside Citizen’s Advisory Committee -which advises the CRA – told city commissioners at the workshop that CRA management had not been responsive to their ideas.
In addition, a number of speakers complained about the lack of basic infrastructure in the Frenchtown neighborhood. Residents told city commissioners they needed sidewalks and street lights.
One speaker, with frustration in her voice, said the neighborhood had been waiting twenty years for basic improvements.
Regina Joseph, another speaker, asked how a $50,000 CRA grant to a business like Urban Outfitters in College Town was consistent with the CRA mission.
Jim Bellamy, a Frenchtown fixture, told city commissioners that ” I want my community to be like the others or better. There are a lot of good plans that have not been implemented, we need to get going.”
For years the CRA seemed immune to critics who viewed the Board as a rubber stamp for million dollar developments that created more campaign donations than jobs.
That was until a federal investigation into local government corruption revealed questionable dealings with CRA projects.
And now, after an indictment and an election which produced four new city commissioners, it appears that city officials are serious about changing the direction of the CRA.