Tallahassee Mayor John Dailey appeared on Above the Fold with Tallahassee Reports Editor Steve Stewart on Thursday, March 12. Dailey addressed the crime rate, the potential City Commissioner pay raise, the Children’s Services Council, and more.
At the beginning of the show, Dailey gave an update on the local economy. He said Tallahassee is thriving with the fastest growing economy per capita out of any municipality in Florida.
He said he sees Tallahassee’s three major problems as crime, homelessness, and poverty. He noted that though the crime rate is trending down, there are other important metrics to consider.
“If you don’t feel comfortable walking out to your mailbox to check your mail, I take that into account,” he said. “I want people to live in a safe community, and I want them to say with confidence, ‘I love this town, and we’re heading in the right direction.’”
He also addressed Tallahassee’s shortage of police officers and said it is a recruitment problem.
“I’ve got a responsibility with my colleagues on the City Commission to make sure that we are paying our officers appropriately, that we are taking care of our officers financially, and, quite honestly, that we’re putting together recruitment packages that are very enticing,” Dailey said.
Stewart then asked Dailey what he thinks is driving the push for a pay raise for City Commissioners. The Commissioners voted 3-2 to bring back information on a salary increase at their February meeting.
“I don’t know what is driving it, but let me just state for the record, it is an honor and a privilege to serve, and you will never hear me complain or comment on how much we make,” Dailey said. “I am not interested and will not support a raise.”
Dailey said he views the Mayor, City Commissioner, and County Commissioner positions all as part-time positions.
Stewart also asked Dailey for his thoughts on the Children’s Services Council and why he feels it is needed.
“First unique thing, the citizens decide; it is not the County that decides,” Dailey said. “Number two, the structure of the Children’s Services Council, as prescribed in state law, is very attractive. Number three, the metrics that are in place in the reporting of the individual organizations that receive funding on a quarterly basis is very attractive. It will be the most stringent reporting practices in our community.”
Dailey said the Children’s Services Council will have accountability measures similar to how local officials are held accountable for their votes.
For more interviews with local officials, listen to Above the Fold every Tuesday and Thursday at 11:00 a.m. on Real Talk 93.3.