On January 12, 2022, the City of Tallahassee will hold its annual retreat where city leaders will review successes from the past year and set new priorities for 2022.
The retreat will be held at the Electric & Gas Logistics Facility located at 2601 Jackson Bluff Rd. Tallahassee, FL 32304. The retreat begins at 10 a.m. and will allow for public comments.
The city retreat is an opportunity for the mayor and city commissioners to develop policies that jump-start significant projects. The focus areas are economic development, impact on poverty, organizational effectiveness, public infrastructure, public safety, public trust, and quality of life.
Here is an overview:
Job creation is the primary goal of economic development. Current projects such as the Northwood Centre, the Amazon robotics fulfillment center, new hotels in downtown Tallahassee, and a $200,000 investment to improve eight commercial properties in the Frenchtown/Southside area will create thousands of new jobs.
Additionally, the city has made strides to enhance infrastructure to enable growth. It intends to seek opportunities for new and emerging industries to locate to Tallahassee and increase the Tallahassee International Airport’s economic impact by renovating and repairing the facilities.
Impact on Poverty
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. poverty rate nationally is 13.4%, which is about 42.5 million Americans living below the poverty line. In Tallahassee, 27.4% of the population lives below the poverty line. thousand of its residents.
Previously, the city has vowed to tackle the impact of poverty by supporting education, training, and job readiness. Also, the city expects to continue its efforts to encourage the construction of affordable housing and enhance the existing housing inventory by aiding in repairs and rent assistance.
In addition, the city will support community health and wellness initiatives and address food insecurities and access to free and low-cost health service providers.
In the next year, the city is planning to double down on its efforts to attract and retain the best talent available by properly compensating its employees. The city has implemented an 11.7% increase in employees’ take-home pay and plans for a 4.5% raise across-the-board.
Furthermore, they intend to improve work processes and use technology to deliver faster and more convenient services to Tallahassee residents while focusing on fiscal stewardship practices.
Another focus of the retreat is the continued investment in public infrastructure.
The city plans to resume its Clean Energy Resolution adopted in 2019 by working toward goals that include all city-owned light-duty vehicles and StarMetro buses being 100% electric by 2035.
The Southside Action Plan (SAP) will continue to be a part of the overall Tallahassee-Leon County Comprehensive Plan. The SAP will be a public policy guide to the community’s economic, social, physical, and environmental development.
Also, the commissioners will continue their discussions on ensuring safe and clean drinking water, enhancing the city’s network of roads, bike lanes, and sidewalks, and ensuring public transit is more widespread, efficient, and equitable.
The city hopes to focus on “community-centered” policing and citizen/youth engagement to boost public safety. In addition, there will be a renewed energy with a focus on mental health services, public awareness campaigns, and crime prevention programs.
Also, the new Tallahassee Police Department headquarters will be in the soon-to-be-developed Northwood Centre, a nearly $27.5 million investment.
In recent years Tallahassee has been plagued by ethics issues within its local government. So the city commission has declared a continuous focus on ethical business practices and highly transparent governance.
In addition to the city’s adoption of new regulations on ethics, including a whistleblower and anti-fraud policy, the city wishes to concentrate on its annual ethics training and strengthen its code of conduct.
Quality of Life
A final priority for the commissioners during the city retreat is to discuss an improved quality of life for Tallahassee residence. The goal is to maintain a safe, accessible, well-maintained network of parks, recreational facilities, greenways, and trails. Also, the city will continue to preserve the characteristics of neighborhoods and canopy roads.
You can view the full retreat agenda here.