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Tallahassee Chamber Creates Panel To Explore Local Government Consolidation

The Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce continues exploring the idea of merging city and county governments. A chamber-commissioned report suggests consolidation could save local taxpayers money.

The Tallahassee Chamber’s nine-person committee will look at strategies, steps and solutions that could help the City of Tallahassee and Leon County governments merge together. Among the considerations: how to structure a new legislative group, merge utilities, service departments, law enforcement and other public safety areas.

“Nearly a year ago The Chamber led a large group of community leaders to Nashville, Tennessee. We went in search of strategies that can enhance our community trajectory. One of the strategic conversations that happened while our leaders were convened was focused on consolidation," said Heidi Otway, chair of the Chambers Board of Directors. "In that room there was consensus that a larger discussion on the issue was warranted. Since our return from that trip, the Chamber Board of Directors has engaged with multiple stakeholders in our organization to extend the conversation about consolidation. Today, I’m proud we are taking the next step to empanel a committee to evaluate the reasons why consolidation could work for our community," she said in a statement.

The committee will meet over the next four months and is expected to produce a follow-up report by August.

The chamber previously commissioned a study which found consolidating local government agencies and services could create economic benefits for the area and its residents.

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Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

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