Chamber Advocacy Update – September 22, 2014


As part of your Chamber Business Advocacy Committee’s goal of monitoring, informing, communicating and advocating on your behalf regarding important issues impacting local businesses, listed below are highlights for the upcoming local government meetings during the week of September 22.

As with all City & County Commission meetings, Chamber staff will be in attendance in support of your business and joining with our partners toward enhancing our region’s economic climate.  Below you will find a brief description of those issues that you may find of special interest.

City of Tallahassee Meeting (September 22)

The next City of Tallahassee Commission regular meeting is scheduled for Monday, September 22 at 4 p.m. in the Commission Chambers of City Hall.  A series of issues presented on the agenda appear of particular interest to the business community.  Additional information regarding all City agenda issues (such as those highlighted below) can be found in the full City agenda HERE.

A few items appear of particular interest to the business community within the regular agenda:

  • Item 7.01 includes the receipt of the 2014 annual report from the City’s Canopy Road Committee.  The report includes a series of recommendations to the City Commission that may be considered at a later time including updating the Canopy Roads Management Plan and developing a design manual for canopy roads within the City.
  • Item 13.01 presents a discussion of available Tourist Development Tax funds.  Continued from the City Commission meeting in May, this item attempts to gain progress toward ultimate city direction regarding how to allocate available tourist development tax revenues for priority tourism-related projects.  Earlier discussion had included how previously allocated funds for a downtown performance center could be repositioned across the community for alternative purposes.  Staff recommendation regarding how to expend those funds at this time include reallocating funding for a Downtown Theatre project and including performing arts funds toward any potential new Convention Center project in the downtown area.

At 6 p.m., a series of scheduled public hearings shall begin, including the possible creation of a new City of Tallahassee Ethics Code.  Perhaps the most important of the agenda items covered during this section is the second and final of two (total) public hearings required as part of the  City’s approval of their annual budget plan for FY 14/15. These public hearings provide all citizens with the opportunity to directly speak to their elected officials regarding the City’s proposed taxes and expenditures prior to their formal approval.  For more information about the proposed City budget, you may view it at the following link HERE.

Leon County BOCC Meeting (Sept. 23)

Also this week, the Leon County Board of County Commissioners has scheduled a meeting for Tuesday, September 23 at 3 p.m. in the Commission Chambers of the County Courthouse.  The full meeting agenda can be found HERE.

Similar to the City, the County Commission will hold their second (and final) of two public hearings on their budget for their proposed FY 14/15 budget plan (the first of two such public comment forums) at 6 p.m. during the meeting.  More information on the County’s Budget proposal can be found HERE.

Additionally, the County has a handful of items that appear of particular interest to the business community, as follows:

  • Item 22, includes negotiating contracts for supply agreements with a series of architectural and engineering firms to perform work on county projects.
  • Item 24, proposes a Settlement Agreement to end the litigation regarding, provide for future (non-gas station) land use zoning, and enable the sale of the property formerly intended to serve as a new 7 pump gas station on the corner of Miccosukee and Crump Roads (sale shall be to the adjacent neighboring homeowner).  This appears to be a win-win agreement, with minimal cost to the public, for what was previously a highly volatile issue regarding possible land development in rural areas of the county.

***Of note, both the City and County budget plans for FY 2014/2015 include continued funding to support a broad range of expanded economic development within our Capital Community.  Significantly, this includes continued funding of the Economic Development Council of Tallahassee/Leon County, Inc. – our community’s point economic development organization and a partner organization to the Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce.  We extend our deep thanks to both City and County Commissions (and management) and our support for their continued focus upon the greater economic good of our community…thank you!*** .

Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any further questions you may have about this content and/or the Chamber’s comprehensive set of activities to Monitor, Inform, Engage and Advocate on behalf of the Greater Tallahassee business community through the Chamber’s Business Advocacy Committee.

On behalf of your Business Advocacy Committee,

Benjamin H. Pingree, MPA
Vice President, Business Retention/Expansion & Public Policy

Seeking to monitor, inform, communicate and engage for the benefit of our members, businesses and economic good.