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.