Tag Archives: Leon County

Speed dating local officials

Tallahassee does it, and local governments here could also sit down and talk with citizens. It even has built-in time limits, for those elected officials who are concerned about citizen longwindedness.

Gina Pitisci wrote for WCTV Thursday, Ever heard of speed dating? What about speed dating your local officials?

“The more any one of us can get out and talk with the citizens the better off we are,” Gil ziffer, Tallahassee City Commissioner, said. “If we’re insulated in our offices, it’s not like getting out and talking with folks so this is great for us.”

Here’s how it works: every 9 minutes the 12 leaders rotate from table to table giving each group of people an opportunity to ask questions or offer their ideas.

Listening to citizens: now there’s an idea!


Tallahassee sinkhole

Even closer than Tampa Bay or Fort Myers, Tallahassee has sinkhole problems in our same Floridan Aquifer just across the state line. Will the Lowndes County Commission do anything about our sinkhole problems before people start losing their insurance and get sucked into holes in the ground?

Andy Alcock wrote for WCTV Wednesday, Tallahassee Woman Faces Sinkhole Problem,

Imagine living in a home you can’t insure, no one wants to buy and it may not be safe.

A Tallahassee woman is currently facing that problem.

At first glance, her home in Tallahassee’s Mission Manor neighborhood on the city’s northwest side doesn’t look much different from any of the other homes in the neighborhood.

Then about two years ago, homeowner Vickie Gordon found a problem.

“I started noticing that the doors were getting stuck in the bathroom, couldn’t open them,” said Gordon.

Then the issues became more noticeable.

Cracks started showing up all over the house.

After Gordon contacted her insurance company, investigators found sinkhole activity at her home.

I wish this part was a joke:

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Leon County Florida trouble ticket system

Report a Problem or Request a Service Why do citizens have to nag our local governments to find out what's going on even about cleaning up sewage all over their back yards and under their houses? How about if our governments deploy issue tracking systems? Here's an example of how that works.

As previously mentioned, Leon County, Florida, lets anyone Report a Problem or Request a Service through their web page. Find My Service Request Then you can find your service request and track a problem using a ticket number.

This is not rocket science. Thousands of businesses have been using such issue tracking systems (also known as trouble ticket systems) for many years. There is off-the-shelf software to implement them. Beyond the obvious advantages to the citizens of being able to tell what's going on with their issues, such systems also greatly aid local governments by

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Leon County Commission agenda packets and videos

Apparently the same day Tallahassee and Leon County Florida Commissioners met together, the Leon County Board of Commissioners had its Regular Public Meeting. I know this because they publish on the web agendas with board packet details for each item plus video. They already have video on the web after yesterday’s meeting.

Do you prefer just to listen, without having to look at them?

View Live or Previously Recorded Commission Meetings on Real Audio

They’ve even got a trouble ticket system for tracking requests from citizens!

Maybe the Lowndes County Commission and the various local city councils could ask Leon County, Florida how they do it.


If someone wants to build offices there’s plenty of room downtown.

Meanwhile, just across the Florida line, Leon County Commission and the Tallahassee City Comissioners don't seem to want sprawl.

James Buechele wrote for WCTV yesterday, Neighborhood Has Zoning Concerns: County commissioners met to talk about nine amendments for a comprehensive plan to tackle developments.

Leon County commissioners and Tallahassee City Commissioners met Tuesday evening to talk about nine proposed amendments to the comprehensive plan.

One of the issues dealt with the Haute Headz salon off of Thomasville and Gadsden roads in Mid-Town.

Property owner Marshall Cassedy wants to see the area in this section of Mid-Town changed from a residential preservation zone to one that would allow offices.

Right now, it's home to the salon, but because of the residential preservation zone, if something should happen to the business a home would have to take it's place instead of another business.

That's something Cassedy wants to change because he says the busy location is not ideal for a home.

But opponents say that if someone wants to build offices there's plenty of room downtown.

"We already have about a million and a half square-feet of vacant office space in the city and the county," said Tallahassee resident Darwin Gamble. "Help building more offices won't create more jobs."

This issue was tabled at the meeting and will come up again June 26th. Until then both sides will continue to negotiate.

That's almost strategic:

"Help building more offices won't create more jobs."


Banned or Blocked Biomass Incinerators

Leigh Touchton responds to Brad Lofton’s letter of 22 September 2010. WACE is Wiregrass Activists for Clean Energy; more on that new organization later.


From: Leigh Touchton
Date: Wed, 22 Sep 2010 20:04:48 -0400
Subject: Mr. Lofton once again misrepresents the facts
To: wace-georgia@googlegroups.com
Cc: blofton@industrialauthority.com, [and the VDT and some elected officials and other interested parties]

Dear WACE:

1. Mr. Lofton stated: “Despite what Mrs. Touchton stated, we’ve been in touch with the Massachusetts and Florida EPD, and in no way, shape, or form is either state banning biomass facilities. In fact, there are 15 scheduled now for New England, many in Mass, and a number in Florida. There have been discussions regarding the level of incentives (tax credits) allowed, but no moratorium. We’ll be happy to share our contacts with you.”

I would like for Mr. Lofton to share his contacts with WACE. Because previously his contacts at the Sierra Club were misrepresented by him. Sierra Club does NOT endorse Biomass Incineration, neither does any other major environmental organization in America.

I would also like Mr. Lofton to share his private email list of stakeholders with WACE, in particular the investors, because I would like to share some information with them. I expect transparency in our public officials and his refusal to address my letter to the editor of the Valdosta Daily Times in the same newspaper in which it was published does not lead me to believe that he is operating in good faith. I am very disturbed that any public official would state that they did not want to “energize a forum for misinformation” regarding published concerns in the local newspaper. Mr. Lofton has a duty to respond to all citizens’ concerns publicly. I am very disturbed that he thought he could privately email a group about my published letter to the editor and that the first I learned of it was nearly a month after he did so. And no, I still don’t wish to have a private telephone conversation with him or a private meeting with him, I’ve been reading all the public documents that have resulted from his supposed lengthy due diligence period. As I stated, the first I learned of this proposed biomass incinerator was when the EPD called for public comments. Mr. Lofton and Councilman James Wright were both invited to the June Women in the NAACP meeting and neither man showed up so I don’t really care to engage in who didn’t return whose phone calls. Additionally he could have made contact with the schools and churches in the area, or attended an SCLC or NAACP meeting but he did not. All our our meetings are open to the public, unlike his private list of stakeholders.

Here’s one internet article on the moratorium in Massachusetts.

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