On January 16, Leon County Commissioner Mary Ann Lindley appeared on Above the Fold with Tallahassee Reports Editor Steve Stewart. Lindley discussed her experience as Commissioner and her view of the major challenges facing Leon County’s over the next decade.
You can find the full interview here.
Lindley was elected County Commissioner in 2012 after working as a journalist, columnist, and editor at the Tallahassee Democrat. After eight years of serving as County Commissioner, Lindley has chosen to step down.
At the beginning of the show, Stewart asked Lindley what surprised her most after she was elected Commissioner. She said that it can be difficult for private citizens to communicate with elected officials outside public meetings.
“As a journalist, of course, I revered the First Amendment and the Sunshine Law and open government, and so forth,” Lindley said. “Once I got into office, though, I realized, while it’s great in most ways for citizens to want to speak to their elected officials, they cannot speak to us as a group except in meetings.”
Stewart and Lindley also discussed the election and campaign process. Lindley said that, with seven people running for her seat, two candidates will likely end up in the general election, each with small margins of community support.
Later in the show, Lindley discussed the most impactful Commission actions of her two terms.
She mentioned the Emergency Operations Center as an important asset to the community.
“That is a state-of-the-art facility,” she said. “We are really prepared, and we’re preparing citizens in the event of terrible storms.”
She also mentioned the development of Cascades Park as a benefit to the Southside and the community as a whole.
“In the last 10 years, people have been moving here wanting the amenities of bigger communities, more to do, things to go to,” she said.
At the end of the show, Lindley said growth is one of the biggest challenges facing Leon County in the next decades.
“I think we’re expected to get another 35,000 people in our community in the next 10 years or so,” Lindley said. “The way our community’s growing is important.”
For more interviews about local issues, listen to Above the Fold every Tuesday and Thursday at 11:00 a.m. on WVFT 93.3 FM.