A) Tell us a little about yourself, where you live, and your involvement in your neighborhood (issues impacting your neighborhood).

B) What event(s) led you to run for elected office?

County Commission
District 1

Terrance Barber

A)

I’m Tallahassee born and raised.  I’ve lived in Frenchtown or Southside Tallahassee all my life.  I am a member of a large extended family that lives in Tallahassee.  That family has encouraged me to be my best and to advocate for those that live in impoverished communities in Tallahassee.  I’ve helped organize and/or participate in a number of activities to strengthen community pride and involvement, such as Frenchtown Rising, Frenchtown Neighborhood First, and the community discussions on the police headquarters relocation to Southside. 

B)

I had been feeling our community has been far too divided on many issues and that is due in large part to leadership failure. The two issues that really pushed me into running were the Blueprint funding of Doak Campbell stadium renovations and the way the Orange Avenue apartment project went off the rails. In both cases, funding was allocated in a way that does little for the people that need the most help for jobs, housing, and living a healthy life. The leadership failure contributes to continued impoverishment of low income neighborhoods and their resulting gentrification.

Donna Pearl Cotterell

A)

I’ve lived in the Bond Community for the last four years.  I love this community and find that it doesn’t deserve its bad reputation; there are plenty of friendly kids and families here that are happy to call Bond home and to work together as a community. That said, these residents recognize that Bond has been underserved for years in terms of government-supported infrastructure. These residents who have given so much to the Bond Community should be afforded the infrastructure common in other neighborhoods so the neighborhood can thrive. I am not on the neighborhood association board, but I frequently attend their meetings and help organize and participate in their events, such as the Bond Block Party and some neighborhood street theatre.

B)

There were two main events. First, I attended a candidate’s forum that included District 1 candidates.  I didn’t see much difference in approach by the candidates, so chose to run to be a candidate responsive to the real needs of District 1 residents. Second, the Blueprint funding for the FSU stadium was so outrageous to me, I knew I needed to jump in the race.

Bill Proctor

A)

I grew up in District 1, along Ridge Road and in the Jake Gaither Park Neighborhood and I still live there. As the Leon County District 1 Commissioner, there are many actions I take or support, such as infrastructure, that support my neighborhood.

B)

Let me answer that from the perspective of why I’m running for reelection. It became very obvious to me as we formulated the county government’s COVID response that Tallahassee and Leon County benefit from having seasoned commissioners that know how to bring the power of government to bear in a competent way and without being overbearing. With COVID, we were trying to match the CDC recommendations to the state requirements in a way that would be most successful in providing safe healthcare. That’s in an environment that was quickly becoming politicalized.

Then, there was the federal money that came down to the local level to get the economy going again. Again, it became clear to me that knowing the political process and being able to make sure it worked right to get the money distributed equitably and efficiently. I worked in the Chiles administration, I teach constitutional law at FAMU, and I’ve been a country commissioner, all of which prepared me to face the challenges exemplified by COVID. I believe we’ll be dealing with similar governmental crises in the near future given the political climate we’re in these days.

County Commission
District 2

Sabrina Allen

A)

I’ve lived 38 years in District 2. I was born and raised in Tallahassee. 38 years ago, I built my house in District 2, in Woodville. I’ve raised my children and my grandchildren in this home and in District 2 and feel it’s a good place to raise children and I enjoy the rural area.

B)

10 years ago, I ran for School Board and I know, just like then, that I can certainly do the job in District 2. I am an educator, with a Master’s Degree, teaching English and Reading, and I know how to get things done. I can get things done for District 2. I will stand up for District 2. People in District 2 have the same problems as Districts 3, and 5, the northside, but it is unequal. We need better schools, better economic opportunities, and better and more affordable housing. I will make sure the residents of District 2 get the best possible accommodations that they deserve. I want the people of District 2 to have the opportunities that I had; I’ve done it, they deserve it all too and I’m ready to show them how to make it happen.

Lynda Bell

Lynda Bell chose not to be interviewed.

Christian Caban

A)

I live in the Frenchtown/Griffin Heights area and I’ve lived in District 2 since 2011. I feel as if I’m a product of District 2 as I’ve run a number of businesses in the district and have come to know many residents as customers. For the campaign, I’ve also been knocking on doors throughout the district to listen to the concerns of residents to broaden my understanding. I’m in the hospitality business and run a variety of bars and restaurants for young professionals and college students. We’re also restoring the Governor’s Inn and I’m proud of the work we’re doing to maintain the character of this historical inn and restaurant.

B)

It wasn’t events so much as an observation that our local politics is very divided and, I feel, counterproductive. There’s not enough working to find compromises that result in a middle ground approach that gets things done in a way that most people can support. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a middle ground candidate rather than one that takes a strong position but then won’t compromise.

Hannah Crow

A)

I live near Lake Talquin in the Ft. Braden community. We moved here in 2018 when we got married. Our community is very rural and we don’t have too many neighborhood associations.

B)

I come from a PR and Communication background and believe in grassroots advocacy. As I talked with people in our area, they seemed to feel disconnected; they wanted things to happen that weren’t happening. I wanted to see events and people engaged, so I started a private Facebook group for the area, and a website. Then I talked with Jimbo Jackson, who was our neighbor, and he helped me meet with people from all different community organizations- Faith-based, schools, the Sheriff’s Department, Sustainability. Our first big project was a community garden. Working with the community for four years, I slowly realized that community engagement was also politics- the engagement, finding funding for projects, helping the community get things done. I know I can do a commissioner’s job- listening to people and helping them get what they want and need. And I love all the different elements that make up local government and connect us together.

Will Crowley

A)

I live in the Cypress Cove neighborhood, which is on Lake Hiawatha in the Cascades Lakes chain in southwest Tallahassee. I have Master degrees in Urban Planning and in Public Administration from FSU.  Growing up in rural Polk County, Florida and the variety of jobs I’ve worked gives me important experiences, skills, and ways of listening to people that I feel prepare me well to serve the people of District 2 as well as Tallahassee and Leon County as a whole. Most recently, I’ve worked as a budget analyst for the legislature and am now a budget manager for the FSU College of Medicine. I’ve learned to read and analyze budgets, to write and interpret legislation, and to understand the need for, but limits to, the staff role in shaping policies.

While I don’t live in the nearby Meadows Mobile Home Park (now called Florida Sun Estates), I recently was involved in helping the residents there after the new owner raised the rents through the roof. I got particularly upset that the new owners barricaded a side gate to the park that children who attended Sabal Palm could use to walk safely to and from school, chaperoned by teachers and away from traffic.

B)

My three priorities as a commissioner are:  more affordable housing, stronger environmental stewardship, and boosting public trust in local government. The recent events that relate to those priorities and drove me to run for office were the Doak Stadium improvements funding and the Welaunee extension of the urban service area. Both of these issues reflect the race to the bottom our current political leaders espouse to curry the favor of big donors while disregarding the needs of the vast majority of people in our community. These issues point to a leadership failure. We tend to promote in-house staff that support the status quo rather than giving objective wholistic advice on policy issues.

Max Epstein

A)

I live near San Luis Park in the 32304 zip code and have pretty much lived my entire adult life in the 32304 area. I moved here for school in 2006 and I have never left. I just love the diversity of the area and I love what Leon County brings to its citizens which is natural wonders and a small-town feel. I first became involved in local politics back in 2017/2018 as a business owner of a glass blowing studio in railroad square when I participated in a grant which that eventually became $750,000 from the state to refurbish the Ashmore’s building in Frenchtown for a community cultural arts center and a S.T.E.A.M learning laboratory for our local schools, particularly our underprivileged schools because we have so many here in Leon County.

While not just specifically in my neighborhood, I have been actively advocating for affordable housing, healthy and safe neighborhoods, better stormwater management, preserving the historical value of our neighborhoods, and advocating for individuals displaced by local government decisions and policies.

For example, when I was in railroad square, I started to see houses being demolished and trees marked with big X’s to be torn down and I wondered ‘Why?’. This was after the City Commission had rezoned the Stearns-Mosely Neighborhood which enabled its destruction there was a big hubbub on FAMU way and I have not given up on them and continue to advocate for those that were displaced. To be clear, I am not against the FAMU Way, I think it’s an incredible idea. The execution is a little different, and I have been working with the DeVoe Moore Center at FSU on a project that looks at the local government’s use of eminent domain and I found that Blueprint/Leon County did accept federal funding, $1.6 million from HUD in 2012. Because of this, folks were shorted over $1 million and they were also required to, but did not, rebuild all affordable housing that they demolished, about 100 units.  Which is a big deal when you talk about Blueprint giving $27 million to FSU; why do our people not get the same considerations? 

Another example of my  current advocacy for healthy and safe neighborhoods would be my work with the Tallahassee Sewage and Wakulla Basin Advocacy Group that recently got Lake Munson closed due to a toxic algae bloom. We had talked with and worked with several residents who had developed serious symptoms from the toxic blooms. Some folks could be developing neurological issues. These are all the things I have been pushing to reform.

B)

There were a couple specific events that pushed me to run. The first being my very first meeting with a commissioner who, when I spoke with him about the displacements, and the trees, and the environmental issues, the very first thing he wrote down was reparations for folks, which he turned into an attack line of Trees vs People and our issues were never actually addressed. The issue is that it is always one side yelling at the other. and that’s manufactured by our political leaders and our staff. There is always a way to find compromise, there is a way that we can all get along and have good developments.

But really it was being gaslighted and lied to by our elected leaders, and I know I am not holding back any punches here, but I don’t know how many times I was lied to about FAMU Way. Why are our public officials lying to us? Why do I have to run for office to make sure this doesn’t happen? Honestly, I would like to just be a business owner in our community and know that things happen the way they are supposed to, but they aren’t, and I am tired of seeing our black communities being displaced because of it.

Manny Joanas

Manny Joanas chose not to be interviewed.

County Commission
District 3

Joey Lamar

A)

I got my BA and MA in accounting from Clark Atlanta University, and a MA in journalism from Indiana University.  I live in an apartment on Sharer Road, and consider Tallahassee my home.

B)

My motivation, among other reasons for wanting to run for public office, was that one day I was driving on Pullen Road and saw kids walking on the street because there were no sidewalks. They were jumping in and out of the road and it was very dangerous. That was one of the things that motivated me to run. I feel that Tallahassee does not prioritize safety and infrastructure in poorer neighborhoods. I also feel that public input often isn’t taken into account until the project plans are already fully formed. I want to bring residents in earlier. I was involved in one incident where residents really wanted a traffic light because of safety concerns and the County refused their request.

Rick Minor

A)

I’m the County Commissioner for District 3 in Leon County. I was born in Miami but I’ve lived in Tallahassee for 20 years. I went to University of Florida and then got a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. I worked in IT and business consulting projects within the United States and all around the world – Germany, Denmark, South Africa, the Canadian Maritimes, and Hong Kong. I was staffed on a project for Texas’ version of Florida’s DCF and the project helped them set up technology to coordinate and connect different agencies to protect children and the elderly from abuse and neglect. I loved the idea of improving government to be more responsive to its citizens. After the project, I transferred to my consulting firm’s government unit so I could focus on government projects from that point on. After consulting for 9 years, I left the firm to pursue a Master’s degree. Then I moved back to my home state of Florida to work on a campaign and fell in love with Tallahassee. I live with his wife and 2 children.

B)

While working on the Texas project, I became passionate about how government can be more responsive to citizens and how it can improve its operations to serve the public. That project changed my life because it was a calling and I decided that was what I wanted to do.

Damon Victor

A)

I’m an independent businessman, I own Victor Technologies, an orthotics and prosthetics company. I’ve lived in Tallahassee for 35 years in the Parkside/Park Terrace neighborhood for 23 years with wife, Rory Krivit. We’ve been together over 30 years.  We’ve both always been involved in neighborhood issues. My wife was president of our neighborhood association and I have served as past president of the Rotary Club. Through Rotary International, I did volunteer missions to Ecuador, El Salvador, and Ukraine to supply children with prosthetics and orthotics. I’ve also been active in defending my neighborhood’s character from incompatible development.

B)

When Covid curtailed my international volunteer efforts, I began researching volunteer opportunities in Tallahassee. My research led me to conclude that not enough is being spent to combat homelessness and to fund affordable housing and social services. When I saw the huge expenditures of public money to Welaunee and the FSU stadium, I realized that our community priorities are really skewed. I went to speak at a Blueprint meeting and was very frustrated by the experience. As I watched the flawed process by which it all went down, I had to do something. I felt compelled to run.

County Commission
District 5

Paula DeBoles-Johnson

A)

I’m originally from Orlando; I moved to Tallahassee to go to FAMU in 1986, met my husband and got married. We’ve lived in Indianhead Acres since 1997. My husband and I have been active in our church for 29 years; we each lead a Scout troop and have done lots of community service. I’ve served on local boards- the Commission on the Status of Women & Girls, the Southern Scholarship Foundation, Elder Care, TPD Citizen’s Advisory Board, Airport Advisory Committee to name a few.

B)

I had been planning to run for school board a few years ago and then later I planned to run for the commission, but family illness and then choosing to support and not run against some other people delayed my plans. When Commissioner Dozier chose not to run, I knew my opportunity had come. So, it wasn’t one event, it was years of engagement in the community and feeling that I could do some good as an elected official.

David O'Keefe

A)

I’ve lived in Tallahassee since 2003, and in Old Town 2014.  I’m a member of our neighborhood association and our neighborhood crime watch group. One year ago, my wife and I were among some of the neighborhood residents who opposed the neighborhood association’s stand against the location of the City Walk Homeless Shelter on Mahan Drive.

B)

Running for office was not a goal I had. My background is as a CPA. I did apply to be on the Ethics Board and was alarmed at the way appointments were made.  I expected there to be an interview process of some sort, but the decision to appoint someone to the Board was made at the end of a City Commission meeting without discussion. I felt like it was not done the way it should be.

Also, I’ve done a lot of volunteer work on local and national campaigns, door-knocking, phone calling. I volunteered with a national effort to get money out of politics through a constitutional amendment. In watching how politics works, in 2018, there was a local candidate who was elected having no political background and again in 2020, there was a local candidate who had a different philosophy—more people focused—who won and I began to think that it wasn’t necessary to run a “traditional” fundraising campaign and have large TV ad budgets.  I believe people in Tallahassee are paying attention and they will vote. So, I took about a year to prepare for running for office.  If elected, this will be my full-time job.  

I’ve watched Commissioners who I thought would make the right call, especially on development related issues and on economic development things, who haven’t voted the way I would have and have not voted in the way their constituents clearly wanted. I think this year is a pivotal one.

Jay Revell

A)

I live in Woodland Drive. I’ve lived on the same street for about 8 years, and it’s the second home I’ve had on that street.  We love the historic character and charm of the neighborhood. I’m a golfer and have been a president at Capital City Country Club in the past. Most of my involvement in the neighborhood has been in keeping the golf course open and operating. 

B)

I was at FSU and I worked for the County and got an incredible crash course in all things local government. I feel I became addicted to making a difference. I participated in the Knight Creative Communities program, and worked on what became the midtown action plan.  We brought together business owners and neighborhood leaders from Levy Park, Lafayette Park, Los Robles and ended up writing a 20 year plan for midtown that resulted in almost $25 million in funding from Blueprint for midtown placemaking.  That experience led me to apply to be the director of the Tallahassee Downtown Improvement Authority; I ran that organization for three years. We specialized in community building.  When Commissioner Dozier decided not to run for re-election, I put in a lot of thought into it before deciding to run.  

Dustin Rivest

A)

I was born and raised in Tallahassee. I’ve lived in District 5 my entire life and currently live out in Buck Lake. It’s a great small neighborhood with good neighbors. It’s a perfect area for our family because most people want quiet enjoyment in their neighborhoods. I think everyone, no matter where they live deserves quiet, peaceful enjoyment.

B)

I was tired of watching our community elect people who are not professional problem solvers.  I’m in the business community and I have four businesses with almost 20 employees, I solve problems every single day.  

In our Commission we seem to run three or four ideas or solutions up the flag pole all at the same time, then get behind the one that seems to be picking up steam. We can’t always form a taskforce to study a problem, wait weeks or months and then come up with a solution. We need to come up with solutions right now. We can’t always take six months to come up with “a vision and a plan” and take another six months to implement. We need to push faster to solve some of the issues in our community.

I’m not doing this to be a politician, but to give back to the community. I’ve always wanted to serve my community in some capacity. I feel this is the best way I can serve the citizens of Leon County. We need to make corrective actions to some problems in Tallahassee/Leon County or our community will not be the community we now all know.

I also hope that I can encourage other young people to get involved in serving in public office.

County Commission
At-Large Group 2

Rudolph Ferguson, Sr.

A)

I am originally from Miami and moved to Tallahassee in seventh grade. I attended Griffin Middle School and Godby High School. I have been married 30 years and we live in the Griffin Heights neighborhood where my grandmother and great-grandmother also resided. My wife and I have four grown children and five grandchildren. My public service began at the age of 18-19 with the Tallahassee Urban League where I was eventually hired as a peer counselor. I have also been 30 years at my church where I started as an usher before becoming pastor. I am excited about some things my community is doing. Gun violence has been plaguing our community, so we started “Praise Up, Guns Down” messaging, meetings at church, and dialogue with broader community members. During Chief DeLeo’s time there were some incidents with the police, so we expanded the gun violence dialogue into a council. Some of us were able to travel to Chicago to learn their methods and bring their methods here. Education is so important, and other community-based programs that speak volumes such as financial literacy.

B)

I am running for communities. I have been the face against gun violence for two decades. My voice is now stronger, but I need a seat at the table. If not at the table, it won’t be on the menu. I really want to be at the table. I realize it is a bold effort and major task to be a county commissioner, but I want to take on gun violence and immediately support programs, for example, programs that incentivize businesses to help tackle gun violence. I will be very excited then to see what happens next.

Josh Johnson

A)

I am a second-generation Leon County resident. I have lived and worked here, attended college, done my under-and upper-graduate studies here. This is my home. I not only see my home, but I live and work it every day as a small business owner, head of 621 Gallery, adjunct professor, and high school teacher. I see and experience all parts of town on a daily basis. In some things I am troubled, some I get imaginative about, and some things I see I am glad of. I currently live in the Ingleside neighborhood behind the old Tallahassee Democrat. Neighbors are really nice and like-minded. At first, I was a newcomer but I’ve gained public recognition through 621 Gallery, so when the City Walk issue came up neighbors approached me for opinion. This was an incredible shot in the arm. I felt the need to curb sensationalism and that there is a need for more charity and goodwill, especially considering that we were in the middle of a pandemic. No situation can be perfect. As Dr. King said, people do not want to take sides because we fear it. We should not be afraid.

B)

Six years ago, I ran for the House of Representatives. At that time, I ran as the home rule candidate on neighborhood issues and pride in living spaces but became known for criminal justice and restoration of civil rights. In years ensuing I have really enjoyed and been charmed by engaging and building relationships. I teach at a Title I school where kids love me and I love teaching. At the Gallery I work and have contracts with COCA and others who have been asking when I will run again. A few issues have made me put glasses down my nose, for example, Welaunee. This was desperately disappointing. The planning, the roll out, and obfuscation of public comment. So much money spent, like the $27 million Blueprint funds for FSU. These issues angered me because they are rooted in the same arrogance and lack of community input. Voices have been stifled and there is too much money spent on investment with limited returns.

Nick Maddox

A)

I am originally from North Carolina and moved to Tallahassee to attend FSU and played football, both collegiate and then professionally, with several teams including the North Carolina Panthers. I returned to Leon County and since 2010 have enjoyed politics and the opportunities it has afforded me to listen and talk with neighbors and understand neighborhood needs. I live in District 3 and help my neighbors better understand the political process and how to address issues with the city, county, and other governmental bodies.

B)

Originally, I saw a space and need for representation. I come from a single-parent family and my mother was drug addicted. There are so many underserved in parts of our county and their voices, opinions, and thoughts need to be heard. During Meals on Wheels in Springfield it hit me hard to see folks living like that. I would like to create communities that all look like Southwood, Killearn, and others in town. Just because you live in a certain zip code, the quality of life for all is key for me and first concern. Now, the need is still there. We still need to improve quality of life and have caring communities for all folks. Don’t drag things down but improve infrastructure and create more affordable housing and decrease crime rate. We’ve been in a COVID recession and need to prepare for more economic recession. I can use my expertise and make sure to continue the progress we’ve made.

Dominique ('Nikki') Danielle Zumbo

A)

I am originally from the Orlando area, Central Florida, where I attended public school from K-5 then private school from grades 6 through 12. In higher education I learned about more sustainable ways to live and at FSU majored in political science with an environmental studies minor. I have volunteered with local and state political candidates and found work in property management as a leasing consultant, with a veteran’s service group, and as a legislative session assistant. I live in a townhome in Killearn Estates and have gotten to know my neighbors through family and friends’ events.

B)

My property management experience has drawn me to assess real needs of my neighbors – basics like hot water and building infrastructure. Apartment owners are not investing properly. They want to improve the interiors, but they should attend to burst pipes, holes in metal connectors, and pipe materials. Concerns for my own community including students and farmers leads me to assist where I can.

City Commission
Seat 3

David Bellamy

A)

I grew up in Tallahassee, in the Betton Hills neighborhood. I’ve been a policeman, and I’m currently a doctor. My family has a history with being involved with community affairs. I currently live in the Buckhead neighborhood.

B)

Not discussed.

Jeremy Matlow

A)

I was raised in Tallahassee from age 3, by a single mother of 4 kids, on the southside of Tallahassee. I grew up here and went to Leon High School, started a family and a business. I live in Wells Wood Suburban Hills neighborhood. It’s not a well-organized neighborhood but does have annual events and a Facebook page.

B)

Starting a business, Gaines Street Pies in the All Saints area, and becoming involved with the All Saints Business Association I had to deal with the City on all sorts of matters, speaking before the commission. It seemed like only big business concerns were being heard.

I’m rerunning to change the way things are being done in Tallahassee, the way we interact with our neighborhoods and constituents. More reform is needed; we are nudging in the right direction, but the job isn’t done yet.

City Commission
Seat 4

John Dailey

A)

I’m the current Mayor of Tallahassee and previously served as a County Commissioner from 2006-2018. I live off of Live Oak Plantation Road. I and my family participate in Waverly Hills NA events and get togethers. I’m not involved with issues impacting our neighborhood.

B)

I grew up with politics discussed at the dinner table. My father was on the Leon County School Board and was executive director of the Florida Institute of Government, so politics was part of our family orientation. I moved back to Tallahassee in 2005. A seat came up on the County Commission in 2006 and I was elected and served until I ran and was elected Mayor in 2018.

Kristin Dozier

A)

I’ve served on the Leon County Commission since November of 2010, and my term expires November 2022. I was born and grew up in Tallahassee, and I currently live in Betton Hills. I considered getting involved with Betton Neighborhood Board, but felt as a commissioner that it would complicate matters. I’m available to help as needed, and pay attention to issues impacting the neighborhood.

B)

I ran for County Commission in 2010 based on the need to achieve a balance between environmental and quality of life issues with the need to grow the economy and accommodate growth. I felt I could bring these issues together for smart and responsible equitable growth. I’m running for mayor because we still need to build consensus and strike this balance. I was heavily recruited to run and I take the need to meet the community’s needs seriously. I’m concerned about decisions made such as funding for the FSU Stadium, and I have a different approach to the job, and how the City should work with the community on these types of issues. I want to increase transparency and public involvement, restore trust, and to enhance collaboration with the County. I feel we can do better to address our challenges, and that I have the experience and approach to leadership to bring people together to collaborate and make decisions that benefit the overall community.

Michael Ibrahim

A)

I grew up in Alexandria, Egypt. My mother won the green card lottery and we immigrated to the United States in 2006. Our family moved from South Florida to Tallahassee when I was accepted to FAMU, and have remained here. I graduated from FAMU and started a tire business, which expanded to include other things.  My wife and I just moved to Southwood last week and we love how walkable it is. The housing market right now is brutal, however. I love Florida and all its natural resources.

B)

My customers suggested I run. I believe I’m innovative and can help move Tallahassee from a transitional town (in which students flow in, graduate, and flow out) to a strong middle-sized city.  I believe in service to others.

Whitfield Leland III

A)

I grew up in the Frenchtown area of Tallahassee. I own a home on 7th Avenue. I’m active with the Community Roundtable of Tallahassee 850, helped to build-up Link-Up Tally, active in initiatives to improve the quality of life for the Southside, worked on the Frenchtown Neighborhood First Plan, and active in the Brevard Street and Bond communities. I advocate for needed services and networks with other non-profits to provide the correct services for each community based on what they actually need.

B)

When you advocate for issues, attend meetings, and meet with commissioners you see how your efforts are placed on the back burner to other issues. It is unfair how money is allocated. Neighborhood First plans are operated/funded out of CRA dollars instead of from other sources of money the City should be using. The City mishandles funds for redevelopment by taking over properties and selling them to big developers instead of allowing community businesses to do the work. The people’s voice has been taken away and not listened to by our elected officials and management.

City Commission
Seat 5

Shelby Green

A)

I came to Tallahassee in in 2014 to attend FSU and graduated from there in 2020 with a degree in Chemical Engineering. I was a Southern Scholarship Foundation scholar.  As student I lived on Jackson Bluff Road and was a member of the Providence Neighborhood Association and am currently active as a friend of Providence. I currently live with my husband in Lafayette Park and he is a member of the Lafayette Park Neighborhood Association Board. 

During college and since graduation I’ve had a lot of experience working in the county, at the FSU Mag Lab, in water quality, studying how government functions, software development and map development, environmental justice looking at statewide trends in pollution, green gas emissions.  Communities don’t use these kinds of maps to identify issues such as these. When I worked with Leon County I learned the value of data analysis how to use data to develop and write policy and how to measure implementation and success.

B)

The City’s response to Covid particularly as it related to the moratorium on and repayment of utility bills, and the general poor level of communication with the people. In 2020, the city issued a moratorium on utility bill payments and advertised that thoroughly and communicated that.  However, once the moratorium was lifted no communication was made with the public in the same way as the notice of the moratorium. As a friend of Providence where I used to live, I researched what the situation was and the availability of debt repayment schedules. I called the city and was told the moratorium had not been lifted when in fact it had. Some people in Providence had accumulated $10,000, in debt and weren’t aware of the impending cancellation of their services nor of how to apply for debt relief funds.  I made a public records request and received a list of folks in the neighborhood who were in debt and reached out to them to assist and provide information.

 This disrespect, dismissal and poor communication prompted me to run for office.

Adner Marcelin

A)

I’m an FSU graduate, completed law school out of state. I returned to Tallahassee and in August of 2021 purchased a home in Dry Creek Run neighborhood in the Southside. It’s a mix of renters and owners. I believe in the Southside. I am not on the HOA board. The community watches out for each other, and there is good interaction between the board and the neighbors. I like to go over to meet my new neighbors. 

B)

I decided to run for elective office because I saw an opportunity to fill the needs of the community. I felt the Southside was ignored, I recognized that city officials do not respond to the people, and do what they want to do rather than what the majority of the people want and need.  I believe elected officials serve the will of the people and I saw that wasn’t happening.

Dianne Williams-Cox

A)

I first decided to run in 2018 because I saw the need. I’ve lived in Indianhead Acres for 37 years, raised my children there, and been involved in community organizing and in the local schools.

B)

I recognized the lack of equity in our community and wanted to contribute.