Tallahassee Mayor John Dailey is nearing the end of his first 100 days in office and he’s trying to change the way the city is run.
Dailey participated in two pivotal votes to reset the conversation on midtown parking and a new facility for the Tallahassee Police Department. He says he’s trying to get more public participation in the city’s decision-making, especially when it comes to how tax dollars are spent.
“I am big on public participation," he told WFSU's Perspectives program. " I’ve changed the way how we do business at city hall during our meetings. We’ve opened public comment at the beginning and end of our meeting. We provide public comment on every agenda item that comes before us. This is a new day in doing business.”
The city commission most recently held town hall hearings on both the garage and TPD Headquarters, with both projects getting large amounts of pushback. The commission is now considering a more in-depth review of Midtown development and has put a $60 million cap on a new headquarters for the police department. The current location is a 90-year old former elementary school and the city is spending about $150,000 a year in maintenance and repairs.
Despite the demise of the proposed new location for TPD, Dailey says other projects are moving forward on the Southside.
“Tallahassee and Leon County, working together, are about to launch a $40 million state-of-the-art affordable housing project on Orange Avenue and North Monroe Street. The City of Tallahassee is about to launch a $5 million state-of-the-art Star Metro sub-transit station on the Southside of Tallahassee, and we’ve committed $500,000 looking toward the future of $6.5 million in the Bond Community Action plan.”
The Orange Avenue Apartment site is slated for redevelopment. The city plans to build new types of affordable housing on the site. Yet, even as the Southside undergoes revitalization projects, there are growing concerns about gentrification. Dailey says the city and county are trying to strike a balance.