Tallahassee Democrat by Will Croley
Will Croley is president of the Board of Directors NEBA Board of Directors of the Network of Entrepreneurs and Business Advocates.
November 5, 2017
The Network of Entrepreneurs and Business Advocates thanks the Tallahassee Democrat for its recent coverage of City Hall’s lack of transparency and leadership. For the past 25 years, NEBA has spoken up many times about local government issues. More times than not, we have been ignored or our opinions have fallen upon deaf ears.
The Tallahassee City Commission has become a “good ole boys” club that appears to rubber stamp the city manager’s decisions, usually without question. The commission often ignores the will of the public and refuses to listen.
When the city manager received a $5,000 catering discount, none of the commissioners saw a problem. When Rick Fernandez solicited $2,000 of skybox tickets and informed the Democrat that he did not do so, and no texts or e-mails existed, the City Commission initially was silent. Congratulations to the Democrat for doing its homework and finding pictures of Fernandez’s text messages.
Our officials are not acting as the leaders we elected or as the leaders we need to run our City. They are manipulating their interests behind closed doors, out of sight from the public who elected them to run this city, and plan for the future. This culture of secrecy, arrogance, privilege, and backscratching must stop. For example, the City Ethics Board has become powerless because commissioners and staff have deemed them irrelevant. When this board makes a decision within its power and right, the city manager demands an apology and the commissioners change the rules.
As taxpayers we ask for honesty, integrity, transparency, fiscal responsibility, and leadership. Recently, these traits seem to be missing. [READ MORE]