Tallahassee Charter Review Committee Discusses Proposals

Tallahassee Charter Review Committee Discusses Proposals

On February 1st, the Tallahassee Charter Review Committee held their third meeting to review the size of the City Commission and compensation for City Commissioners.

During discussion on changing the size of the City Commission, Committee Member Ernie Paine expressed his concern for expanding the City Commission stating, “Any addition to the City Commission would also add to the Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency by the same amount, and from what I’ve seen it’s almost dysfunctional because of its size.”

Additionally, Chairman Mark Mustian commented, “I think it works fairly well the way it is. I don’t know that seven is better than five necessarily.”

Former Tallahassee Mayor Dorothy Inman-Johnson told the Committee, “I do not feel the structure of the City Commission should change. I oppose single member districts. The reason that the County and the School Board have single member districts is because no minority had been able to elected to either of those bodies without single member and at-large districts.” However, she noted that “There has always been the ability to elect minorities to the City Commission.” Lastly, she stated, “I feel that this Committee needs to get a lot more input because this request did not come from the citizens to change the Charter. This request came from three City Commissioners, and is supported by less than 30 citizens.”

During discussion on the City Commission’s compensation, several Committee members noted they’d like for staff to bring back information of the local median family income and potentially have the Commissioners salary reflect that. Currently, under the City Charter, City Commissioners are paid $39,588. However, Mayor John Daily is paid the same amount as County Commissioners who make $80,289.

The Committee went back and forth on whether or not the Mayor and Commissioners should be paid equally, and if City Commission seats should be regarded as a full or part-time job.

A handful of Committee Members argued that the City Commission should be tagged as a full-time position. Committee Member Elaine Bryant claimed the position is a “24-7” job and that the responsibilities for a City Commissioner are “extremely broad”.

Board member Howard Kessler said he agreed with Ms. Bryant and noted that he personally knows Commissioners who put in a “minimum of 60 hours a week”. However, others disagreed. Mr. Mustian stated, “I never saw it is as a job. You’re a Commissioner. This is service. I had a full-time job the whole time I did it.”

The next meeting of the Charter Review Committee will be on February 8th.

11 Responses to "Tallahassee Charter Review Committee Discusses Proposals"

  1. If the changes they are planning are adopted, we will lose our ability to vote for all 5 City commissioners. Instead of getting 5 votes, we’ll get 1, i.e. an 80% decrease in voting power! Oh, and there will be 7 commissioners, so we’ll have to cough up more money for salaries and pay them more too. we’ll be paying 1/2 million in salaries, which will mean less money for public services. And wait until you see the gerrymandering of the districts! This isn’t broken. It doesn’t need fixing. They want the City Commission to be like the dysfunctional County Commission, God help us!

  2. Beppo,

    Elaine Bryant was on the city commission. She was appointed. I believe to fill the vacancy when Scott Maddox was removed.

    There was a coup between Dailey, Williams-Cox, and Curtis Richardson to bring Elaine Bryant on board as a city commissioner. At the meeting where they were voting on who to appoint, there was a text message between Elaine Bryant and Curtis Richardson that has yet to be divulged by Curtis, which is a violation of the Sunshine law.

    Voters voted not to retain Ms Bryant on the commission and I believe Jack Porter was voted in..

  3. We need to look into who the 30 people who submitted this survey are, rumors are that they are Reese’s families and other friends of $150k/year city employees.

  4. Ms Bryant is a puppet for Curtis. Look how three two commissioners and a mayor can mess up the city. Why would we ever want to add to the dysfunction? Under no circumstances should city commissioners salaries be raised. They ( Dailey, Curtis & Williams -Cox) are already misusing taxpayer funds on their special interests and junkets down to Amelia Island. They have turned City Hall into Kickback Enterprise.

    How did Ms Bryant get on this committee?

    Curtis must be voted out!

  5. @DavidT if the charter committee is on their fourth meeting and could have more doesn’t sound like anyone is being ignored. That’s good and I say move on from this whole show. I hope no one is being disrespected – the state of public meetings is a disaster. But I f an advocate is at every meeting – they probably aren’t being ignored. Their opinion may just be unpopular.

  6. @ IfTheShoeFits = Not sure I am following what you are asking . According to this Article, this was their 3rd Meeting and their 4th is in two days. The part I wrote to you was a response to you comment on the Community Feedback. I have seen first hand the Community go to the Meetings to give their Feedback, it is usually ignored if it is against what the Commission wants to do. If you want to raise your Blood Pressure a bit, Watch the Meetings and see how they Treat Mr. Sims. He is a Advocate for the Community, a Good Guy. He is at just about every Meeting.

  7. @DavidT thanks for the context and that’s ridiculous for that to happen. Is that what this review committee is doing are they on the first or second meeting?

  8. If Bryant doesn’t like the job she signed up for, if she doesn’t think she’s fairly compensated, she should resign and find one she is happy with. Thats how regular people deal with that situation.

    Since Ms. Bryant was elected my property taxes have been raised while the city services my taxes pay for have declined. Since Ms. Bryant was elected crime has gone through the roof and I worry about my family when they are out and about. Since Ms. Bryant was elected the problems facing Tallahassee have grown, none of them are getting better. Since Ms. Bryant was elected, Tallahassee has become a more dangerous and more expensive place to live. Bryant doesn’t get a raise for that.

    Every one of those slack jawed, greedy little cretins on the commission needs to be fired in the next election. Their sole objective is separating us from our hard-earned money.

  9. For the City Commission, 5 is enough and so is the Pay.

    @ IfTheShoeFits = If you have ever watched or been to a City Commission Meeting, especially when their is a major Agenda Item that brings out a lot of people to speak on it, you would have notice that the Commission had already made up their minds on what they are going to do and letting the people speak up is just a formality. I have also noticed that when there IS a lot of people there to speak on one Agenda, they will listen to them and if most are against them, they will postpone the Vote, call for another Meeting to discuss it again but, that Meeting will be in the Morning so people wont be able to attend it and they Vote on the Agenda the way they always wanted to.

  10. Mustian is a breath of fresh air. It’s never supposed to have been a full time job. Their choice to make it so or not. Full time salaries will draw people to serve for the wrong reason.

    Maybe the “lack of community feedback” is a deafening roar from 199,990 of us who don’t care. This charter review is a solution in search of a problem. Move on.

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