Clean Up Tallahassee Politics
My entry into politics is rooted in my interest in cultivating honesty and integrity in our elected officials, not in being popular or politically correct.
This interest came about after I recently attended a City Commission reviewmeeting. The meeting consisted ofsuggestions made to the Commissioners by the Independent Ethics Board. The Commissioners and the mayor picked the suggestions to pieces and voted for watered down versions of them.
Does this amendment indicate the citizens of Tallahassee want the City Commission to have a say in the creation of Ethics and Anti-Corruption Codes?No. In fact, one might conclude the citizens did not want the City Commission, its staff or administrators to help establish the independent board or create the ethics office or officer. It is a conflict of interest to have the Commission dictate policy to the Independent Ethics Board.
Whether or not our City Commissioners, staff or administrators have committed criminal offenses or told untruths, they have all claimed repeatedly not to have broken laws, and they have been careless with truth. Having asked for your trust and faith, a public servant should know and seek to do what is in your best interests as citizens of your community. A public servant’s actions should never be legally questionable.
We the People are responsible for maintaining control of our elected officials. Whenwe fail to maintain control, unethical behavior and circumstances and their consequences prevail at City Hall.
If even only a small percentage of the allegations being slung about are true, our Commission, their staff and administrators are,at the very least,guilty of dereliction of duty. Even if individuals are not outwardly behaving inappropriately, idly standing by while others indulge equally violates our trust. These public servants have ceased to serve and need to be replaced.
I am a Disabled Veteran of the Vietnam War. I toured nationally as a stand-up comedian from the late 1980s until 2011. I owned a small custom wood refinishing and painting business. InNovember 2009, theveterans parade was canceled due to the ineptitude of the then Leon County Veterans Service Office Supervisor. I suggested forming a private corporation whose responsibility it would be to organize, promote and produce the Leon County/Tallahassee Veterans Day Parade. In February 2010, the Leon County Commission granted the organization now known as Vet Events Tally permission to take over the parade. With the help of volunteers, a supportive community and a few dedicated private businesses, Leon County and Tallahassee became home to one of the best Veterans Day parades in the Southeast and in the Country.As president of Vet Events Tally, I promised to devote three years to developing a successful parade. Last year was my seventh, and it is now in the hands of other capable volunteers and community leaders.
These experiences provide broad and excellent perspective for public service and make me uniquely qualified to be a successful mayor of Tallahassee. As a concerned citizen, I am willing and able to do the necessary work to make us all proud to call Tallahassee our hometown.
- I will ensure all our tax dollars are used in the most effective way.
- I will hire only the best, most qualified vendors, contractors and employees.
- I will use only ethical practices – such as requiring bids for contracts and hiring based on merit. There will be no nepotism nor any contracts awarded to repay campaign or other support.
- As a public servant, I will be accessible to all my constituents – welcoming ideas to make Tallahassee the best city for all of us to live, work and raise families.
- I will push for term limits, namely two, 4-year terms for all elected city officials – to eliminate less effective ‘professional politicians.’
- I will push to return to the previous, effective policy of rotating the position of mayor.
- I will push for commissioners to live in districts they represent and abolish at-large representation. Organizing our community into districts would make campaigning for office much less expensive and provide capable citizens like myself better opportunity to run competitive campaigns. Thus our voices – and most importantly – the voices of our constituents will be more strongly heard.
These are lofty goals, and it will take time to reach them. Our current public servants have not achieved them. Change is due.
Please check back periodically, as I will offer my views on community, crime, utilities and growth, to name a few.there is much work to be done.
Wash your hands of this culture of corruption.