Do you think the current City/County Commission is balancing growth in such a way that protects the character of our neighborhoods and forests? Would you do anything differently?
To balance growth, Tallahassee is striking a positive balance of growth and development. This current commission is working with all partners – businesses and concerned citizens to achieve that. The City does not want to become a metropolis where everything is paved over. That would destroy the character of the neighborhoods.
A problem is that many in Tallahassee want it to stay a small community. Tallahassee needs to find a way to grow sanely. The city is growing but not planning for it adequately. Prior to the virus slowdown, there was plenty of development but no infrastructure ahead of time. Growth is outpacing planning. Not just in the northeast, but downtown too. No place for cars and no planning for significant multi-modal transportation. The city doesn’t have a plan, it just says build, build, build.
Group 1 – At Large
The County Commission is trying hard to maintain sustainable development. There are whole departments of experts in the various fields. Issues generally do not reach the Board unless there is an outcry or complaints. Things can always be made better. If there is dissatisfaction, let us open it up for discussion and re-evaluate. I will listen to staff, homeowners, and others.
I do not like rubber stamping items like Welaunee. The Comp Plan talks about helping in-town neighborhoods. I don’t see that happening. The PACE girls I work with often live in very unsafe conditions: No sidewalks, no streetlights, and often the properties are not well maintained. I like to see southside neighborhoods standing up for themselves.
Most of the growth over the last 25-30 years has been pell-mell and non-planned. Welaunee has become a lightning-rod. There have only been three master plans: Southwood, Canopy and Welaunee. The northeast is where people wanted to live. Neighborhoods have popped up and there has been a lack of planning for transportation, stormwater, and other infrastructure. The county is back-peddling in trying to fix things. Bannerman Road is one of the worst roads in the state now. This should have been addressed at the front end.
I don’t know if it is currently being balanced. Over the last couple of years, as a whole, they may be protecting it but, in my case, in District 4 of the County Commission, it is not happening at all. No balance. Very little thought is given to the concerns of citizens for growth and development.
As a public servant my number one duty is to serve the people I represent. I don’t have all the answers, but I am willing to listen to all the questions. Unfortunately, in the current environment, the City and County Commissions want to proceed with controversial issues with as little public input as possible. Not sure if it is intentional or just an accident. We must do better in communicating with larger established neighborhoods and put them first before new developments. We must mitigate all their concerns and ensure that infrastructure such as utility, transportation, and school is adequate before starting.