City Commissioner Jeremy Matlow appeared on Above the Fold with Tallahassee Reports Editor Steve Stewart on Oct. 20 to discuss local issues including law enforcement and the proposed Children’s Services Council (CSC).
At the beginning of the show, Matlow defended his opposition on the creation of the CSC, a controversial issue on the November ballot in Leon County.
“Largely, we’ve been framing this argument on the question, ‘Do you want to help kids?'” Matlow said. “But really, what’s on the ballot is, ‘Do we want to create a new level of government that is not directly elected by the people, and do we want to give that government the ability to tax us and spend our money how they see fit without any elected accountability if we disagree with how that money is being spent?'”
“It’s not about helping kids, because we can do that in a bunch of different ways,” he continued.
Matlow said the City and County Commissions could find out which existing programs are the most effective and invest more money in them.
He argued that keeping local control is important. The CSC would have five members appointed by the governor, involving the state government though the CSC pertains to local tax dollars.
“The City and County could create a board if they wanted to help guide us to better children’s services without any input from the state government,” Matlow said. “So, it’s really about keeping local control over our local tax dollars and making sure we have elected control and are able to achieve the outcomes we want to see.”
At the end of the show, Matlow discussed the social unrest around the nation and gave his thoughts on where Tallahassee is in terms of public safety and law enforcement. He expressed the need for interaction between law enforcement and the community and feedback that flows both ways.
“I think we’re somewhere in the middle,” he said. “One thing I learned coming out of the George Floyd incident was there was a technique being trained at TPD that had a leg across the face as a restrain. That was a policy that we said, ‘It might not harm someone, but is that what we want to be doing, and how will the public react?’ And I don’t think the public will react well. So that was something that was suspended because there is always the ability to grow and do better,” he said.
The full audio of the interview is available here.