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Children's Services Council Backers Join Forces

Tom Flanigan
Leon County Sheriff Walt McNeil was one of those speaking in support of the Children's Services Council.

Some local elected officials and other community leaders gathered to show their support for a taxpayer-funded mechanism to focus more resources on young children in need.

Supporters of the Leon County Children's Services Council gathered for a news conference on Thursday, Oct. 15 at Frenchtown's Brownsville Preparatory Institute. Nearly 50 elected officials and children's service providers were there.
Elected officials included incoming Leon County Commission Chair Rick Minor. He cited the success of Children's Councils elsewhere in Florida.

"In Broward County, youth arrests dropped by 43 percent. We need this kind of success. That's why we're voting 'Yes for Kids!'"

Leon County Sheriff Walt McNeil echoed the idea that crime diversion starts in kindergarten.

"If we don't approve this Children's Services Council on the ballot, it's a very good likelihood that in 5 years or so, we're going to be building a bigger Leon County Jail."

And support is even building among business organizations.

"My name is Sue Dick, president of the Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce. Our board of directors voted unanimously, 'Vote for Kids.'"

The Council would be supported financially by an increase in the Leon County property tax.