ATN teams interviewed city and county commission candidates for their views on neighborhood issues and concerns.

The interviews lasted about an hour.  We told the candidates we would be discussing neighborhood and growth management issues, but didn’t give them the questions ahead of time.  While the interviews were conducted as open conversations, all candidates were asked the same questions to initiate a topic.  In some cases, follow-up questions were asked to get more detail.

Note: As we condensed the information, we wrote the candidates’ responses as first person narratives.  The responses are not direct quotes of the candidates unless enclosed in quotation marks.

There are two ways to access the interviews:

  1. To learn about a particular candidate, click his/her name below. You will be linked to his/her interview.
  2. To compare the candidates’ answers in a particular race, click on one of the question areas in the right column. Scroll down to the particular race.  Click on a candidate’s tab to read his/her answer.  When finished, scroll back up to the candidates tabs and click on another candidate.  Use back arrow to return to candidate interviews home page.

City Commission

Seat 1:  Louis Dilbert, Rudy Ferguson, Sr., Jack Porter

Seat 2:  Dot Inman-Johnson, Donna Nyak, Curtis Richardson, Bernard Stevens, Jr.

Leon County Commission

District 4:  Isaac Montilla, Brian Welch

At Large, Seat 1:  Carolyn Cummings, David T. Hawkins

1.   Tell us a little about yourself, and the biggest issue impacting your neighborhood.

City Commission
Seat 1

Jack Porter

I was born in San Paulo, Brazil, and moved to Fort Lauderdale, FL for middle school. I moved to Tallahassee approximately 9 years ago to attend FSU, where I received a master’s in Urban and Regional Planning and a master’s in Public Policy Administration. I was elected to the City Commission in 2020 with strong support from neighborhoods and citizens desiring a change in the current direction of City policy.

I live in Magnolia Heights, a mixed-use neighborhood. Key issues impacting the area include blighted homes next to well-maintained homes, lack of code enforcement, and encroachment from FSU related growth. The area was helped by Blueprint projects including the Franklin Street improvements and concurrent correcting of the flooding problem.

Louis Dilbert

WEBSITE PLACEHOLDER

Rudy Ferguson

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Seat 2

Dot Inman-Johnson

I was born in Birmingham Alabama, lived in the Tacoma/Seattle, Washington area, and I’m 1 of 14 children. My father was a coal miner and mother a domestic. I attended Clarke College in Atlanta, Georgia on a scholarship, and was a teacher 28 years. I taught at the FSU DRS (Florida High) for 19 years, and subsequently served 14 years as the Executive Director of the Capital Area Community Action Agency, advocating for and providing assistance to low-income residents in 8 counties. Services included rent and utility payment assistance, weatherization/energy programs, and upgrading low-income housing including mobile homes. I retired in 2012 and have written four books, one titled: Poverty, Politics, and Race in America. I’m concerned that low-income people are being incorrectly stereotyped as lazy and feeding off of the public trough.

I live in Betton Hills and key issues of impact include preserving the residential nature of the community while dealing with major traffic issues, and encroachment of uses inconsistent with the residential character of the neighborhood. Maintaining infrastructure and conveying stormwater and preventing flooding are other key concerns.

Donna Nyack

Donna Nyack did not respond to ATN interview requests.

WEBSITE PLACEHOLDER

Curtis Richardson

I was born and raised in Green Cove Springs, Florida, in a military family. Dad served in the Navy for 30 years and my older brothers in the Navy and Air Force. My undergrad and graduate studies were in psychology and counseling and my career path has been in education and public service. I served as a cabinet aide to Education Commissioner Betty Castor and to Governor Lawton Chiles, was elected to the Leon County School Board in 1996 and to the state legislature 2000-2008. Over these decades I have been active in dozens of community volunteer roles, such as CONA, and many others too numerous to list, and have been on the City Commission since 2014. I have been married to my wife, Judge Nina Ashenafi Richardson, for 30 years, and our two daughters, of whom we are very proud, are both in the Naval Academy. As newlyweds we built a home and have stayed in the Tuskegee neighborhood to this day. Tuskegee is generally small and quiet with some elderly and original homeowners, but other troubled communities are not far away, so we are occasionally impacted by crime, including gun violence. Unfortunately, some has been fatal.

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Bernard Stevens, Jr.

Interview coming soon.

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County Commission
Group 1 – At Large

Carolyn Cummings

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David T Hawkins

David T. Hawkins did not respond to ATN interview requests.

WEBSITE PLACEHOLDER

District 4

Brian Welch

Brian Welch has not yet responded to ATN interview requests.

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Isaac Montilla

Interview will be posted soon.

WEBSITE PLACEHOLDER