County Commission District 2: Sabrina M. Allen
1) Interests and Reasons for Running
A) Tell us a little about yourself, where you live, and your involvement in your neighborhood (issues impacting your neighborhood).
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) What event(s) led you to run for elected office?
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.
2) Comprehensive Plan Update Process
A) Are you familiar with the comprehensive planning process and its role in guiding growth and development, and protecting neighborhoods?
I have looked at the comprehensive plan and it looks like a good plan but commissioners are not implementing or enforcing it. It needs to be put into action and that is what I would do.
B) What role should citizens have in deciding on growth and development policies for our community?
Citizens should have a big role. Town meetings need to happen whenever a project is proposed. The people should have more say than any commissioner or staff. As a commissioner I just bring the collective voice from District 2 residents to the table and advocate on their behalf.
3) Process Used to Decide on the Use of Public Properties
What role should citizens and neighborhoods have in deciding on the use of public properties and how do you think and how do you think that should work, for example in the development of the Northwood Mall site?
Neighborhoods and residents in nearby areas, those that live in the area should absolutely be asked if that use of the property is beneficial to them. We want the use of public properties to match the residents’ needs and not disrupt the area or the residents. Things that need to be considered are things like, will it bring jobs, will it help the community, what is the best community benefit for this property? That is not done enough. My role as commissioner is to listen and bring back solutions and make everyone aware of District 2’s needs. Commissioners make a lot of decisions without input from neighborhoods and that is not how I would run my office.
4) Growth and Development Decisions
A) ATN believes that growth and development decisions are key to making urban neighborhoods walkable, bikeable, and livable. Do you agree? If so, what specifically would you propose to implement these concepts?
Yes. District 2 is bikeable and walkable where I am. We can enjoy a great bike trail right in our district, to St. Marks. Specifically for District 2, I need to see the other areas to understand their needs and I am going to meet with everyone and go to every area in District 2 to understand the issues of my neighbors throughout District 2. It will be my job to advocate for the needs of District 2.
B) In your opinion, has the Commission done enough to equitably share tax dollars and guide growth and prosperity generally, and more specifically, to implement the Southern Action Plan? What else should we do to ensure growth is equitable and benefits all of our citizens?
No, they have not done enough. Something has to be done about crime in this city. The best thing about being in the county and where I am is not having the high crime and it should not be tolerated anywhere in Leon County. Equitably distributing tax dollars to support every area would prevent the high crime in the city.
5) Commissioner/Staff/Management Roles
What do you see as the appropriate role between staff and the commission in decision making?
Staff and I do not have a role in decision making, unless the staff member lives in District 2 and is speaking to me as a resident and not as staff. Staff provides the information and my role is to analyze the information staff may have, the input from my district, and any additional information, but I am always going to make the best decision for District 2. Staff’s role is to give me the facts, and give it to me straight without bias;it’s not their job to be biased one way or another.
6) Issues of Interest to Candidate
Are there one or two issues you would like to work on and/or take leadership on as a Commissioner?
Housing and Land Use. Looking more into implementing affordable housing, especially for residents of District 2. District 2 residents need a fair shot just like Districts 4 and 5. We just need the same consideration as everyone else. I see these issues in the comprehensive plan but I don’t see any commissioners currently advocating for it. I get what I need, what I want, and what I ask for because it is usually the right thing and if it is the right thing, then it will happen. I know I can get it done for District 2.
7) Votes on Key Issues
A) If you had been a commissioner during the vote to expand the Urban Service Area to include the Welaunee Arch (2800 rural acres) north of I-10, how would you have voted? Explain your answer.
If the expansion wouldn’t have benefited District 2 or the community then I would not have voted for it. Also, if you are going to take something, you have to give something.
B) How about the vote to give $27 million of Blueprint money to FSU for stadium upgrades? Explain your answer.
I am an Alum of FSU. I graduated from FSU and I love FSU. They are the biggest employer and they bring a lot of money into this town. I could see how FSU’s growth would help this community.
8) Additional Comments We appreciate you sharing your time and thoughts with us. Is there anything you haven’t had a chance to tell us yet that you would like our neighborhoods to know?
I think it is important for people in District 2 to know that we need to keep our community safe. We need to take responsibility for our own communities. We need to talk about our problems and we don’t need to tolerate things that are not good. Don’t be too proud to say you need something… I will help.