Elected Officials Address Staff Text Messages, Blueprint Structure, School Book Review Process

Elected Officials Address Staff Text Messages, Blueprint Structure, School Book Review Process

Below are summaries of the non-agenda discussion topics from recent meetings of the Tallahassee City Commission, Leon County Commission and Leon County School Board.

Matlow Addresses Staff Text Messages

On October 11, City Commissioner Jeremey Matlow called out upper-level management for inappropriate behavior. Matlow claims Mr. Sims (a citizen who frequently attends Commission meetings) is being “harassed” by City staff.

At the commission meeting, Matlow provided a video of Mr. Sims mis-pronouncing the word “distillery” during a meeting. He then showed images of messages from a group-chat between City staff mocking Mr. Sims for the mispronunciation. 

Matlow expressed his disappointment in City staff, claiming that public records show several public speakers have been ridiculed by staff.  Matlow then made a motion to direct the city manager to “treat all members of the public with respect and dignity”.

However, Commissioner Diane Williams-Cox noted she would not stoop down to Matlow’s level and abstained herself from the motion claiming her conflict is her “integrity” and “reputation”. Williams-Cox expressed her disappointment in Matlow for staying silent when she and other black Commissioners were shamed one year ago. Additionally, Commissioner John Daily and Curtis Richardson abstained themselves from voting.

Caban Gets Support for Blueprint Structure Review

On October 10, County Commissioner Christian Caban expressed his opinion concerning the structure of the Blueprint Intergovernmental IA Board during a Leon County Commission meeting. Caban made a motion to direct the County Attorney to look through the IA agreement and to bring an agenda item for the County in December to see if the current structure of the IA is working in favor of the community.

He listed some examples of why he thinks Blueprint should be restructured including, not being unable to give Blueprint staff Board direction because staff reports to the County Administrator and City Manager. Caban also noted he would like for Blueprint to be structured more like the County Commission.

Commissioner Nick Maddox explained he could not support the motion because he believed a discussion surrounding reconstructing Blueprint should be held at a Blueprint meeting, not a County Commission meeting. However, Caban explained his request isn’t about what works best for Blueprint, it’s about what works best for the County. Additionally, Caban noted he thinks the County Commission should have more control in regards to projects happening in their districts. The motion passed unanimously.

Wood Voices Concern Over School Book Review Process

On October 10, Leon County School Board member Roseanne Wood expressed her concern regarding the new protocol for school books that direct media specialists to scan each book before a teacher is allowed to use them in the classroom. She noted that not every teacher has a media specialist available to them. Ms. Wood noted she thinks there should be a state-wide database of all appropriate books for teachers to have access to, instead of media specialist scanning each individual book. Additionally, she noted she hopes that staff who have connection to the DOE have conversations about changing the system.

5 Responses to "Elected Officials Address Staff Text Messages, Blueprint Structure, School Book Review Process"

  1. Well said, David and NE.

    I am not a fan of Ben Crump, but if he wants to do a class action suit against the city staff perpetrators who mocked citizens in text messages at a recent public meeting I would not object.

    Every city employee, including the city manager, who was involved in mocking citizens in the text messaging scandal should resign immediately. Those resigning should include the Mayor Dailey, Curtis Richardson, and Dianne Williams-Cox for putting their stamp of approval on this heinous, cruel, inappropriate and unprofessional behavior. Leadership has failed the City of Tallahassee. Hopefully there will be a press release out today where Reese Gold, the city manager, will announce his resignation and take full responsibility for his actions.

  2. Every one of those stooges needs to be voted out of office at the next election. They lie cheat and steal from us as a matter of course.

  3. Death knell for any credibility in this Goad Maddox-era house of cards regime. The disrespect shown to the public and taxpayers from these $220k earning crony bureaucrats is the last straw. No one believes in their Potemkin village mandate anymore besides 3 career politicians and the Bethel-Chamber special interests they serve

    This stuff from Assistant City Managers who are becoming millionaires off taxpayers belittling public commenters would not fly anywhere else. Ric Fernandez didn’t even allow this.

  4. County Commissioner Christian Caban is right about Blue Print needing Restructuring. So does the CSC.

    The Legislature should create a special Counsel that creates a special Age Range Scale for Books like they do Movies, Video Games and Toys and then they scan through all the Books that the Schools want to use and assign the Books an Age Range.

  5. “Matlow then made a motion to direct the city manager to “treat all members of the public with respect and dignity” ……… If you are not behind Matlow on this then, you are part of the problem. If you abstained from voting for this because you don’t like Matlow then your just Petty and need to step down. Because by abstaining from voting for this tells people that you are OK with Staff acting like that. All of the City staff Members that participated in the group-chat mocking Mr. Sims for the mispronunciation should be let go.

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