Commissioner Matlow Addresses Community Issues at NEBA

Commissioner Matlow Addresses Community Issues at NEBA

City Commissioner Jeremy Matlow spoke at the Network of Entrepreneurs and Network Advocates (NEBA) monthly luncheon on Tuesday, September 24, 2019 at Capital City Country Club.

Matlow, who was elected last year, owns a couple of restaurants which includes Gaines Street Pies. He employs approximately 94 people.

Invited by NEBA, Commissioner Matlow gave a twenty-five minute speech chronicling his first ten months in office and then took questions.

Matlow talked about the challenges of implementing his campaign vision, which was to push back on the status quo. He said the toughest decision he faced was dealing with appointment to replace former City Commissioner Scott Maddox.

One of the issues he took on as a newly elected commissioner was citizen accessibility to local government. Matlow said, when I first took office “City Hall was on lock down mode.” Matlow was referring to the burdensome process in place facing citizens that wanted to engage at City Hall.

Matlow said now you do not need an appointment to visit City Hall. Other changes he supported included the way the City deals with speakers on issues at meetings and expanded mailings to those impacted by property use changes.

Next, Matlow discussed what he labeled the “era of no.” This referred to the move by newly elected city commissioners to challenge decisions addressing the proposed location of the police headquarters and a parking garage in Midtown.

He said the contentious process was difficult, but in the end it resulted in a more comprehensive community discussion about these major projects.

Matlow spoke about the need for local officials to listen to the concerns of people who value their neighborhoods and said we need to change the way we discussion issues. “You should not have to hire a  lobbyist or a PR firm to be heard”, said Matlow.

Then, Matlow said, the establishment struck back. He referred to negative press he received for not following the agenda on a trip to Greenville, South Carolina. He referenced a negative Tallahassee Democrat editorial and said his new approach to governing made some people nervous.

“We should celebrate what we are doing well, but we need to look at what we are doing wrong and do  better”, said Matlow.

Matlow addressed the FBI investigation and the Scott Maddox guilty plea. He said the guilty plea verified that some city commission votes were tarnished by the exchange of money.

He said this unacceptable and it is why he called for an audit to find out which vendor contracts were related to the illegal actions. He also supports an internal audit to find out how the corrupt activities went undetected and how we can keep it from happening again.

Matlow said he would have no problem rebidding projects that may have been tainted by actions taken by former City Commissioner Maddox.

Matlow said, in his view, public relation firms need to choose between working on campaigns and pursuing local government contracts.

Matlow also addressed the Blueprint process. Despite voter approvals of Blueprint projects, it is still important that we make sure that neighborhoods take ownership in the specifics of the projects that were approved years ago.

He also said that he prefers that the economic development part of the Blueprint revenues be focused on local business. “We need a broad discussion on how these dollars will be spent, a discussion that includes groups like NEBA”, said Matlow.

Matlow on other topics:

  • Permitting –  Matlow said he is pushing the Office of Economic Vitality to identify permitting issues. Also, Matlow is seeking feedback from approximately 4,000 business on issues related to starting and operating a business in Tallahassee.
  • E-Scooters – Matlow said we need to make sure the use the scooters do not infringe of rights of property owners.
  • Northwood Mall – Matlow said he was not thrilled about the timing, but he concluded the City bought the property at a good price.
  • Gun violence – Matlow is focused on making a good hire for police chief, making sure public safety resources are available, addressing the poverty issue and helping people who want help.
  • Washington Square – Matlow commented this was a not city problem. The city has been eager to work with developers.
  • Crime – Matlow said we are not going to solve the crime problem by arresting people. Need to address underlying problem

23 Responses to "Commissioner Matlow Addresses Community Issues at NEBA"

  1. It’s really disappointing that neba no longer videos their meetings so that everybody can see and hear the speakers

    1. Agree, RM – Matlow seems to want to improve things and directly call into question some of the “methods” the city and other agencies (Blueprint) have used in the past. The “COT as it’s own insulated culture” days need to end, and we need more COT officials who actually care about Tally more than their own wallets.

  2. P.S.

    You are doing a good job. I don’t see shameless self-promotion, but you exerting energy and humanity, therefore, creating synergy.

    Just remember to stay on the path of humanity and not party lines.

  3. The panhandling in Tallahassee is out of control. It is one big free-for-all and it gets worse by the day.

    I don’t like to judge and I also like to help people in need, but most of the panhandlers I see seem to be able bodied people that should be working and are just too lazy, drugged up, or drunk to do it. Get it under control!

    1. Correct.
      I predict we’re only 3-5 years away from the city building an online map of “Poopahassee” so e-scooter patrons don’t have to skid through it.

  4. I think you meant “Northwood” Mall, not Northampton. If you fix that, feel free to clean up the other typos too.

    Your amicable proofreader,
    The Maven

  5. Sir Snidely – I was getting ready to respectfully disagree with you – thinking you were about to slam Mr. Matlow; but I’m good with with this – you called it good once again. Just here to add – Freakin Give Em ‘ELL – JM!

  6. Snidely likes Matlow he’s a good guy.
    What have we learned from his successful election to the City Commission?
    Well all you honest folk such as Joe West, that other guy, and even Steve Stewart have been going about it all wrong.
    I don’t know if you previous unelected candidates can pull this off because you are already tainted in the local voters minds because you previously ran as an “R” word candidate.
    But for any other honest aspiring politicians you gotta run as a Democrat. The voters will elect you. See you guys have been doing it all wrong.
    If we knew this a few years back Steve Stewart would be Mayor and Joe West plus that other guy would be Commisioners. #learnsomething

    1. Well, I am registered as an Independent and am running again for County Commissioner, At Large Group 1. I ran against Lindley in 2016 knowing it would be a long shot but I gained some experience for this time. Check out my Platform at

      1. Independent and Republican both are a very long shot in this “vote “D” straight down the ballot” communitty.
        Basically my point is if you want to be fair to yourself and make a positive difference in our city you will march on down to the Leon County Voter Registration office today and change your registration to Democrat. Unless of course you are not tired of losing yet. Not trying to be meanspirited or a smart @ss to you. I would like to see you on the Commission making a difference like Mr. Matlow.
        There is a public website anyone can go to and verify any Florida registered voters party affiliation. Yours should show “D”.

      2. David:
        First thing Monday, take The Snidester’s advice and switch to “D.” This is why the Dems have their At-Large voting scheme in Leon County – because they know they’ll bat 1,000%. If you’re elected, work to change voting rules so that a fiscal conservative can represent a conservative district in town, rather than have a bunch of votes from another section of town cancel their hyperlocal preference.
        I’ll tell you this, if Leon ever switches to more registered R’s, the libs would be screaming to eliminate At-Large voting.

        1. …after changing your registration to ‘D’…
          1. Sign up for 1 month with the Fake Newsocrat’s archives {sorry Maven but they are gonna get $7.95).
          2. Go thru past successful candidate’s platforms, Newsocrat endorsement’s, and make a list of common terms and subjects. Take a few of the most popular and waaLaah these become your platform and talking points.
          3. Your yard signs should be Blue and White only. Your name and the word Democrat should be the largest font – next smaller font size = what you are running for…that’s it…nothing else…no other colors no flag or anything like that. Nothing about making the County/City great again.
          4. You wont need much money but avoid traceable donations from known republicans…you can figure out how to do that. And it’s gonna be best to avoid known conservative speak such as Fiscal Responsibility…cleaning the swamp…God…Country…stuff like that. Remember you are a Patriot in Democrat clothing…study how those dweebs dress and start dressing like them.
          It’s best to take a partner to any public speaking engagements to help prevent you from slipping into any conservative rants if they whizz you off.
          Remember it’s gone way past your honesty reflex of being yourself. St. Peter at the Pearly Gates wont hold this one against you. Focus on the goal of getting elected. We need you and others like you in office to make our County and City the best it can be. Don’t change back to the R word after being elected…become a lifer like the real D’s.
          Finally; Dude the system is already in place and waiting for you to use it to get elected. You don’t have to invent anything new strategy wise. The voting sheeple will never figure this out.
          And don’t forget there are some great salary, retirement, and other benefits that come with the job for you and your family.
          I’m not ready to run yet but have plans for later. Go get it!!!!!!!

          1. My Signs are Lime Green with Black Letters. You will start seeing them sometime in October but slowly. I wont blanket the County all at once. I will be doing my Launch Party Fund Raiser at Momo’s Pizza on Market Street on Wednesday October 9th at 5:30pm. Pizza while it lasts, Cash Bar. Every one is invited.

      3. Lindley should have been the long shot as she overlooked, covered up, and sat there and did nothing regarding so many things that have caused Tallahassee to be in the state it is in.

        The corrupt helped her win as payment for her not reporting their corruption and that is the God’s honest truth. Her endorsements were so corrupt that the Tallahassee Democrat no longer endorses candidates.

        She had never been to a commission meeting in her life, she was oblivious to what was going on, and how in the world she ever won is one of the saddest days in the history of Tallahassee.

        What has she done during her tenure as commissioner? Nothing, except bring up the subject of straws. Heaven forbid she get concerned about the problems at the Joint Dispatch Center where she did nothing or the crime rate where she did nothing etc etc etc.

        If you make sense, if you’re competent, if you are engaged to do good and make decisions on Humanity rather than yourself then you will lose. If you don’t kiss the ring of Sue Dick you will lose. This is backwardsville where voters vote for who was on the last TV commercial… unfortunately, this is the way it is in Tallahassee and this is why Tallahassee is the way it is today.

        This is why the mayor is out there making TV car commercials and on junkets to Costa Rica rather than doing the job that he took an oath to do.

        1. I can tell you that, I have lived in Leon County for just over 50 Years now, have always been a Blue Collar Worker and I am very serious about being YOUR next County Commissioner. You are right, it should NEVER be about the Commissioner and always about the Betterment of Leon County and it’s Citizens. I admit I am not an eloquent speaker (the Campaign Video’s I put on my Facebook Page proves that, LOL) but I do get my point across.

          1. Go get em! Nothing to lose, EVERYTHING to gain if you proceed methodically and be your own person! People are looking for change! Change is refreshing, but ethical change for the betterment of this community is what will get you elected!

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