NEBA Hosts Candidate Forum for Leon County Commission Race

NEBA Hosts Candidate Forum for Leon County Commission Race

Today, the Tallahassee Network of Entrepreneurs and Business Advocates (NEBA) hosted a virtual candidate forum for the Leon County Commission At Large Group 1 race. The seven candidates on the ballot are Robin Colson, Carolyn Cummings, Scott Flowers, Danielle Irwin, Kelly Otte, Melissa Villar, and Jeff Hendry.

The candidates were first asked about the most important issues facing Leon County. Villar said the emerging marijuana industry is an important issue. Otte, Irwin, Flowers, and Cummings brought up racial and economic inequality. Hendry said the most important issue is rebuilding the economy post-pandemic, and Colson emphasized creating clean manufacturing jobs.

The forum also included a question about the Children’s Services Council. The candidates were asked if this is an appropriate time to impose an additional tax to fund the Children’s Services Council. All of the candidates except for Flowers said yes.

“I’m not in favor of a new tax if it isn’t clearly defined and clearly able to have effectiveness,” Flowers said. “I think it’s well-intentioned, and I think we should continue to look into how we can make it effective. I just don’t think it is in its current form.”

Irwin, who supported it, said, “Not only is it the right time, it’s overtime. This is a very small tax that’s on property owners, so all property owners will bear the burden of this, but it is an investment in the long-term future of our county.”

The forum also included a lightning round of questions that candidates were required to answer with “yes” or “no.”

When asked if they agree with Leon County’s mask mandate, all seven candidates unanimously answered “yes.”

When asked if they support using public dollars to paint political or controversial messages on public roadways, all seven candidates unanimously answered “no.”

The candidates were also asked if they agreed with the County Commission’s recent decision to decrease to one meeting per month. Flowers, Irwin, and Otte answered “no.” Hendry, Colson, and Cummings answered “yes.” Villar answered “maybe.”

When asked if they would have voted for the Leon County Commission’s recently passed budget, all candidates answered “yes” except for Villar, who answered “maybe.”

The candidates were also asked if Blueprint money is being spent effectively. All candidates answered “no” except for Cummings, who answered “yes, in part.”

The primary election date for the Leon County At Large Group 1 race is August 18. The general election is November 3.

14 Responses to "NEBA Hosts Candidate Forum for Leon County Commission Race"

  1. When comments disappear one may wonder if our comments are being “selectively” sensored.

    I hope that is not the case as a lot of people put their trust in this forum.

    1. Yeah, all of my comments on this article and the Waste Pro went missing. Now that I know it was a glitch, I feel better.

    1. Right Tony – I noticed that a day ago, that about half of the earlier comments are simply gone!? First time I’d ever seen that on TR, either a website-maintenance goof or someone hacked into TR? I expect that from google, twitBook or faceTwit, but not on TR.
      Any explanations you can offer, Steve?

      1. Yes. Due to increases in website traffic we had to makes some changes. It appears we lost comments on this story and a couple others. We are trying to recover the comments.

  2. Because of who is running we will still end up with a majority of leftists in our local government. So generally there will be no overall noticeable change.
    However the best we can hope for is if one or two like Bill Shack gets elected and just totally annoys the leftist majority of our elected officials each and every day!!!
    Realistically if you think about that is the best normal conservatives in our area can possibly get out of this election. But heck yeah I will take that as a win for the upcoming election. And maybe we can build on that.

  3. Maybe I ask for too much but this is not an exciting group nonetheless the county commission is mediocre enough that perhaps there is an upgrade in the bunch.

    I like Jeff Hendry’s background and emphasis on the economy, I think he understands policy nuance and the mechanics of government but I worry his impact would be dissipated by the status quo.

    Scott Flowers comes across well – he’s come a long way from wal-mart – I want to learn more about his policy direction and governing philosophy.

    My heart appreciates Kelly Otte but my brain says she lacks balance.

    No decisions yet but I’m leaning to Hendry.

    1. Look at Hendry’s Donor List…….. he will OWE a lot of Favors if he is elected. You don’t raise THAT MUCH Money that fast and not owe some one.

  4. I was running my own “yes, no, maybe” track while reading the article, based on the questions posed of course. As I read the responses, two candidates came to the forefront in my view.

    Flowers gave me pause with his answer to the “most important issues facing Leon County” question… which, interesting enough, is where Hendry caught my attention. Then Hendry gave me pause with his responses to cutting the meetings to once a-month and the CSC… which, interesting enough, is where Flowers pulled me back in.

    All of them impressed with their “no” response to using public funds to paint Marxists graffiti on public property (pay attention City incumbents)… then all disappointed with their “yes” response to the mask mandate (the proper action should have been a Resolution, not an Ordinance)

    I’m still undecided at this point, pending further research, but I’ve narrowed the field at least.

    Helpful Hint: No one should be responding to any question with a “maybe” at this point in the campaign.

  5. Agree with the two previous ladies comments! SCOTT FOWLER’s response is refreshing and independent from the trough crumb eaters of “MORE of the SAME”! VOTE Absolutely NO for CSC! It’s another unvetted use of TAX PAYERS $$$ for more of the same kickback schemes to political insiders and their puppet masters! Shysters still lurking in the dark shadows of local government salivating on another opportunity!

  6. I believe Scott Flowers is the front runner in this forum and a vote for him would serve citizens well.

    Scott Flowers for County Commission!

  7. So Scott Flowers is the only candidate who is actually a responsible adult, not spending other people’s money on new initiatives when people are barely holding on to owning their own homes. “A small tax” fine, then let it be a sales tax that *everyone* has skin in. Why should property owners shoulder something that would *allegedly* help all children?

    1. The CSC money should ONLY come from property taxpayers who have children.
      Why should those without kids PAY YET ANOTHER TAX on top of the one for skrewels that’s already on there? More evidence there’s never enough money in the pig trough for these illiberals.

      If i have to pay for your kids, you should have to pay for my mortgage!

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