On May 24th, Leon County Commissioner Christian Caban sent a letter to the Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency addressing the discourse from the last meeting surrounding the proposed Northeast Park Project. Caban noted that the meeting and media surrounding it reached an inflection point that made Caban feel “uncomfortable,” and that he wanted to “take this opportunity to clear the air and make sure we as leaders are all on the same page and operating in a shared reality”.
Caban stated that he supports the park at the allocated budget of $12 million, and disagrees with fellow Leon County Commissioner Brian Welch for “fervently advocating” for the park to be approved despite the proposed project being roughly 60% over budget. Caban continued, “I have a serious issue with some of Commissioner Welch’s word choice and over dramatization of the need for this baseball park.”
Additionally, Caban stated that Welch’s “overly emotional appeal for equity in his district” has “offended” his sensibilities. He then explains in the letter that equity recognizes that each person has different circumstances and allocates the exact resources and opportunities needed to reach an equal outcome. Caban called out Welch for claiming there is a lack of equity in his district. He stated, “Claiming there is a lack of equity shocked me…..He represents a district with no Title I schools and no residents living on lakes affiliated with toxic sediment from other districts’ storm water.”
Caban described the inequity between their two districts, saying that while Welch has “newly built shopping centers and restaurants in the unincorporated area that enjoy the ability to tap into public utilities,” while Woodville restaurants have been waiting years for the same accessibilities. He then stated, “Some kids in my district must fill their backpacks with food from their school pantry because they might not get a meal at home during the weekend. But Commissioner Welch is talking about long car drives to baseball parks?”
TR reached out to Commissioner Welch for a comment about Commissioner Caban’s letter.
Welch told TR, “It’s unfortunate that some would conflate the full funding of a NE park with issues such as access to grocery stores and Doctors. All corners of our County have different needs and I respect Commissioner Caban’s perspective. However, the suggestion that the NE Park project somehow comes at the expense of the Southside is completely off base. The NE Park is fully funded and doesn’t take away from any other areas needs. Its cost increases are completely budgeted for, just like every other Blueprint project.”
Welch added, the “residents of NE Leon County deserve public infrastructure investment as much as any other part of the County.”
In closing, Caban expressed his opinion that local leaders need to recognize that some areas of Leon County are better off than others. He ends his letter stating, “If we as leaders can operate from this understanding, I know that we will be able to deliver tangible improvements for the people, in every district, of Leon County.”
build the park on budget and lets not get distracted from all the cost over runs and good old boy deals from Blur Print over the years. The corruption is rampant . We on Lake Munson have waited 50 years while living with pollution from every part of the city flushed to our back yard. Where are the projects to clean up environmental disasters.
@ Resident Since 1990 = The money is from the “The Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency”, so isn’t that Money from the .01 Cent Sales Tax?
Look into who, wink wink, is on-deck to build this park if you want to understand Welch’s position on this massive expenditure. Most likely it will be the dynamic duo of Sandco and Ghazvini.
Always follow the money. That explains everything when it comes to government expenditures.
Evan Power was stumping for Caban and DAILEY.
“Let’s keep it real”.
Wealth, and property taxes in this town have been redistributed into failed policies and programs into other areas of Tallahassee for 40 years.
Failed policies, yet we keep electing politicians who shame and terrify us to “keep us in line” with their political agendas.
Build the damn NE park. North East property taxes are paying for it!
I’m late to this story but I read the letter and think it’s spot on for the most part. Also, my republican mother got Republican mailers attacking Caban and supporting his opponent Hillary Crow so I don’t think the GOP supporting Caban is accurate. I’m a progressive on most issues and I forgot if Welch is a republican or not, I am 90% sure he is a Democrat. But I just took a look at Welch’s recent campaign finance. Looks like plenty of Republican and developer money to me. Not sure if any of that is related to this park but his Facebook has a recent friendly picture with a big time developer looks like. Caban is correct in his take on the situation IMO. Anyway you slice it, that is an EXPENSIVE baseball park. The area deserves a beautiful park 100%, but let’s keep it in budget and not shed crocodile tears over luxury amenities for wealthy zip codes. Thanks all!
Someone who knows
You would be correct. Caban’s only interests are the special interests of the Ghazvini multiple corporations bundled contributions Kickback Enterprise.
Also, with the help of Evan Power the Leon County Republican Executive Committee Chairman who misused his position by campaigning for Caban who is a Democrat and was facing a Republican. It also exemplifies the misogyny that is rampant in Leon County politics.
You get what you vote for and the voters got misogyny, special interests, kickbacks, high crime rate, homelessness issues…no steps forward and three steps back.
The higher income areas pay the most in taxes. To say that those areas don’t deserve to have their tax dollars used to provide city parks in their neighborhoods is ridiculous. Was the contract for Southwood park prior to Covid years? If so, that alone could account for the increase in cost. Additionally, land in the ne section of town is more expensive than other areas.
Let’s compare apples to apples. Compare parks to parks and areas with water, sewer, drainage, and lack of food problems.
When did Brian Welch change his political party to Republican? As far as I know he is a Democrat.
Wait, did Commissioner Welch really cry about not getting a baseball field approved?
My uncle in Woodville can’t even get proper drainage on his road for 10+ year- his driveway literally washes away when it rains and this guy is crying about a baseball field?
What an out of touch Republican.
WHY does it have to on Centerville Road and built all crammed together in that small area? Move it Thomasville Road just past Chiles High School. For $18 Million, you should be able to buy 100 Acres and build it all and even add a HUGE BMX Bike Track and still have plenty of room for Parking.
The park they just built at Southwood cost 4 million. 12 million sounds like a lot, 18 million sounds like a crime is being committed. I wish Brian Welch was as concerned about the violent crime wave taking over our city as he is about a park that cost 4 times what the most recently built park on the south side costs.
I’m guessing Mr. Welch has kids that play travel ball… because that is who the park is really being built for.
Hey, let’s start wealth redistribution from the north to south side of Tallahassee, let south siders just enter homes and take what they want or need once a week.
Will that make you happy, Mr. Caban? Bonnie?
Mr. Caban gets it.
Welch shouldn’t cry in meetings over a baseball park when we have bigger problems in Leon County.