Tallahassee City Commission Meeting Briefs: April 26, 2023

Tallahassee City Commission Meeting Briefs: April 26, 2023

Below are the news briefs from the Tallahassee City Commission meeting that took place on April 26, 2023.

The city commission heard a legislative update from Thomas Whitley from Strategic Solutions. After Whitley’s presentation on the current state of Florida lawmaking and its impact on local municipalities, Commissioner Jeremy Matlow offered up his thoughts on Whitley’s work and the bills being passed by the Florida Legislature.

“Dr. Whitley, you have the hardest job as you gotta come tell us all the bad things that are happening across the street. And I think this year has been particularly egregious. I mean, the preemptions on local government from the utilities, to basic ordinances, to the ability to make sure housing remains affordable in our communities, all those very basic functions that local governments are meant to serve are being stripped away from our local governments all across Florida. And that’s not even to bring in the near abortion ban that passed or the unlicensed gun permit law that passed, I mean, things are getting really out of control.”

The city introduced a noise ordinance “concerning regulation of excessive sound” particularly for “establishments which offer alcoholic beverages for sale and which are located on property which is zoned Central Core and within the Urban Core.”

Additionally, the “ordinance prohibits outdoor amplified sound which is plainly audible 200 feet from the establishment, on Sunday to Thursday nights commencing at 11:00 p.m., and Friday and Saturday nights commencing at midnight, until 7:00 a.m. the following morning.”

This ordinance comes after months of local residents and business owners, including hotel managers, coming before the city and asking for a sound ordinance as they testified that it affected their businesses and customer experience. Residents also shared that their homes were often subject to loud noises throughout the night.

The discussion over a potential noise ordinance gained traction last October during college football season when locals began showing up to city meetings and offering complaints about the loud, amplified music at bars and other establishments. As a result, the city was prompted to begin researching how other municipalities handled noise ordinances during the week nights compared to the weekends.

The proposed ordinance can be viewed here and the first and only public meeting on it will take place May 10, 2023.

During the “Unagendaed Speakers” portion of the meeting, one speaker rose to complain about a recent Tweet and Facebook post from April 22 by Commissioner Jeremy Matlow. The speaker identified himself as the “victim of a violent assault by multiple people” during the summer of 2020 and during a “street blockage protest in front of the State Capitol.” He claimed that he “drew” his “legally carried firearm which effectively stopped the attack.”

According to the speaker, the image of the man being shared by Matlow caused the man to “become Mr. Matlow’s posterchild for what’s wrong in the city today.”

In this portion of the meeting, commissioners do not have the ability to immediately respond to public speaker, but Matlow took time to address “a couple public comments.” 

“Frankly, I think the ‘Stand Your Ground’ law has been so perverted in the State of Florida that we allow people to get away with things that they shouldn’t. And I think our community will become even more dangerous as unlicensed concealed carry is now legal in the State of Florida. In regards to that incident at the State Capitol, I did have the opportunity to review the videos and hear from individuals who were ordered to their knees at gunpoint who weren’t involved in any altercation at all. To me, that is wrong and unacceptable and it shouldn’t be allowed in the city.”

The commission approved several agenda items. They included an awarded single source contract to WESCO (Honeywell Distributor) for the purchase of electric meters totaling $1.75 million. Similraly, the city accepted a Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) block grant with the intention of providing “StarMetro with Operating Assistance in the amount not to exceed $1,800,000 for FY 2024” with a 50 percent local match.

The full meeting can be viewed here.

7 Responses to "Tallahassee City Commission Meeting Briefs: April 26, 2023"

  1. Whitley makes $136k(!) to play lobbyist, no qualifications besides being Dailey’s former aide. The nepotism and waste at City Hall is ridiculous, and TPD/PBA’s new tax increase will make it worse. Time to consolidate TPD under the elected sheriff, less union graft.

  2. “ Frankly, I think the (Soros-financed Prosecutors and their disdain for) law has been so perverted in the State of Florida that we allow people to get away with things that they shouldn’t. And I think our community will become even more dangerous.”

    Yeah, but what does he think about we law abiding citizens who seek to defend ourselves, our family, and our property? 😉

  3. “Out of control” is the poisoning, starving, and dismembering of innocent babies in the womb. These babies are not a woman’s body but a body of their own with a unique set of dna and fingerprints.

  4. “I mean, things are getting really out of control.”

    That is because those in Office keep allowing it to happen instead of enforcing the Laws. Over the last several Years, a LOT of Protesters SHOULD have been Arrested and weren’t. Many Crimes have been reduced from Felonies to Misdemeanors that shouldn’t have been.

  5. What happened to the noise ordinance that was already on the Books that had a 10:00pm cut off time?

  6. “Out of control” that’s rich.

    Matlow need to read the school board meeting minutes.

    What is out of control are local taxes, local crime and the liberal agenda.

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