Provided below are news brief from the June 8, 2022 Tallahassee City Commission meeting.
–The City Commissioners heard a report on the city’s annual audit report for the 2021 fiscal year. The audit was completed by MSL, P.A., an external auditor. The audit’s result was an “Unmodified Opinion,” the highest opinion that auditors can express regarding an organization’s financial statements.
–The city reappointed Agustin Corbella to the Downtown Improvement Authority. The primary function of the Tallahassee Downtown Improvement Authority is to preserve property values and prevent deterioration in the downtown area through a system of self-help.
–David Reid was appointed by the city commission to fill a vacant seat on the Audit Committee. The Audit Committee serves in the advisory capacity to the City Commission and the Auditing Department on issues presented to the committee relating to the oversight or audit activities of the City of Tallahassee.
–The city approved the appointment of Zachariah White to the Joint City/County Bicycling Workgroup. The Workgroup functions as an ad hoc focus group that provides collective input to staff regarding proposed cycling-related projects, improvements, events, and ordinances of community interest and for the betterment of the Tallahassee- Leon County community.
–Elected officials heard a presentation on the status of the nomination of Jake Gaither Golf Course for the National Register of Historic Places. The Florida National Register Review Board approved the golf course, and now the nomination proposal will be transmitted to Washington, D.C, for national-level review.
–The city commission unanimously approved the adoption of the Community Human Services Funding Policy. Under the proposed policy, funding requests from human service providers would no longer be accepted outside of the formal CHSP and Bridge-to-CHSP processes.
–In a 5-0 vote, the commissioners approved the recommendations by city staff for the Lobbyist Registration Ordinance Amendments, however, excluding a $25 lobbyist registration fee.
Commission Jack Porter then motioned for an agenda item to come back before the commission to discuss what other cities are charging lobbyists for registration fees. Her concern was that a high cost might discourage lobbyists from registering.
–Lastly, during the “sharing of Ideas” portion of the meeting, Porter accused the city manager of cronyism while criticizing the recent hiring of Thomas Whitley, the Mayor’s Chief of Staff, as the Director of Strategic Innovation. She went on to say that the position oversees the execution of the city’s strategic plan, and it is a critical position.
Porter condemned the city manager for hiring someone who has “no formal experience and no formal training.” “This reeks of cronyism,” Porter said, “it’s a slap in the face to the city employees who have worked for decades to achieve this kind of raise and promotion.”