Local leaders suggest consolidation of city and county governments

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) – Local business leaders say, Tallahassee’s reputation is negatively affecting how the city wants to brand itself.

They’re calling for a study to look at possibly consolidating city and county governments.

The Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce’s board of directors met this morning and unanimously approved the start of an independent study examining the combination of the two governments.

The idea came up during the chamber’s sponsored visit to Nashville, where governments were consolidated.

Board chair Heidi Otway says the recent FBU investigations and the county’s crime rate pushed the idea along.

They say, what happens in government has a direct impact on business.

“Right now, there is a national cloud of doubt about our community,” said Otway. “Headlines in USA Today. Some of our board members and our members going out of our community — and people are like, ‘Oh, you’re from Tallahassee? What’s going on in Tallahassee? I’m hearing all these negative things.’ We need to fix that, and the only way to fix that is to start looking for solutions to make our community better.”

The study is expected to be completed by mid-January 2018, when the results will be shared with the community.