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Tallahassee City Commission Swears In Familiar Faces For New Term

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Jessica Palombo
/
WFSU-FM

The Tallahassee City Commission is ready for another term after swearing in two commissioners and saying goodbye to another on Monday evening. The new commission is full of experienced public servants who have all governed before.

In front of a near-capacity crowd in the City Hall chambers, the swearing-in ceremony began with a farewell to Commissioner Mark Mustian. He’s stepping down after nearly 10 years in office. City Manager Anita Favors Thompson said, Mustian has been an outstanding leader.

She said, “You, Commissioner Mustian, have been our most vocal advocate for strong fiscal policies, particularly over the last few years when our country has experienced such trying economic conditions.”

Other commissioners praised Mustian for getting motions passed, often behind the scenes, without seeking recognition or the spotlight. He briefly addressed the crowd after a long standing ovation.

“It’s been a great 10 years; I’ve enjoyed it a lot," he said. "I was glad when I got here, and I’m happy today to be heading on out.”

Next, returning commissioner and outgoing Mayor Pro Tem Andrew Gillum took the oath of office for his second term. He said, as one of seven children raised by a school bus driver and a construction worker, he has a special appreciation of the role human services play in improving people’s lives.

“I know that if we don’t stand up for those people who oftentimes don’t feel like they have a voice, I’m not sure who would. And so, it’s our job to stand in the gap of that. And I feel that, I feel that so much because of my own upbringing," he said.

Also returning to the City Commission, after about a decade, is former Tallahassee Mayor Scott Maddox. He said, he’s looking forward to sharing the public service experience with his two sons, who go to Leon High School.

“There is nothing wrong with Tallahassee that can’t be fixed by what’s right about Tallahassee," he said. "We will dream big and act bigger. There is no limit to what we can accomplish together.”

Tallahassee Mayor John Marks addressed the Commission, saying that no matter what was said during the campaign season, it’s now time to govern.

“Citizens of this community stepped forward to select individuals that they believe are capable and willing to make sound decisions on behalf of our population," he said.

Marks is awaiting a judge’s ruling in a case before the state Commission on Ethics. This month, the board’s prosecutor recommended $30,000 in fines and a public reprimand because, she said, Marks voted on city matters that financially benefited companies that had retained him as an attorney.

The commissioners unanimously elected Nancy Miller as the new Mayor Pro Tem, meaning she will attend events when Marks is unavailable.