Tallahassee shall overcome!
The residents of this great city are very concerned about the stability and future of city government, and rightfully so. I have been a proud and supportive citizen of Tallahassee for over 30 plus years. I sincerely believe that we have one of the best cities in this country.
I am acutely aware of the internal challenges facing city hall. I understand the uncertainty of the FBI investigations and the seriousness of this probe. I hope and pray that this investigation will soon reach its conclusion. However, with this overarching challenge, this community will rise up and become better. We have been blessed over the years with a great city staff; we have workers who give their consistent best to provide us with quality services. Yes, to name a few, our parks and recreation programs and facilities are among the best in the country. Public works, police and fire protection, utilities, public transportation, emergency services, the airport and other services provided by city government are sources of pride for our city. Let me be clear: there is always a need for improvement. However, I believe we ought to give God praise and thanksgiving for our city workers and elected officials.
As it relates to our city leadership and elected officials, 2018 will be a critical year. We have an interim city manager; we will elect a new mayor; several city commissioner seats will be open. This year, 2018, will present some amazing opportunities for this city; we must become united, positive, creative, and strategic in our actions. My resolution for 2018, is to encourage our community leaders to turn to each other and not against each other. Constructive criticismis needed and welcome, but we must not divide this community around zip codes, political parties, race, gender, nor the past.
Moreover, we must not penalize city employees because of the past mistakes or misjudgment of their peers and others. This is not the right course to take. More specifically, I think Attorney Cassandra Jackson should be given strong consideration in the selection process for our next city attorney. She is highly qualified and has the skill set and institutional knowledge to move the city forward. Her expertise will strengthen the city’s Ethics Board.
Also, I agree that just like we did a national search for the city attorney position, we must do the same in seeking candidates for the city manager position. I think it is in the best interest of the city commissioners to appoint Resse Goad, as Interim City Manager. Again, I think he brings stability, unity and a deep understanding of the way forward.
In summary, I know that our beloved city’s best days are still ahead of us. I know that we have the most talented and gifted people to lead this city to do greater things. My fervent and daily prayers are with this city. We shall overcome!!!