Statement of Purpose
ATN advocates for policies and initiatives that protect and enhance Tallahassee and its neighborhoods. Vibrant neighborhoods drive Tallahassee’s enviable quality of life. Using our combined knowledge, expertise, and energy we build consensus on critical issues and take constructive action. We believe that citizen participation in city development processes is vital to a successful future. We support sound urban development. We are acutely aware of sprawl’s adverse impacts on city resources and citizens. We support thoughtful incremental development paired with sensible policies that enhance, complement, and respect our neighborhoods. This perspective corresponds to the Vision Statement in the Tallahassee-Leon County Comprehensive Plan.
Steering Committee: Rosa Morgan, Mike Brezin, Debbie Lightsey, Sean Nyberg, and Piers Rawling
Who are we?
We are non-partisan neighborhood advocates troubled by recent development policies and initiatives to boost urban population density at the expense of in-town neighborhoods. Vibrant neighborhoods drive Tallahassee’s enviable quality of life. We seek to ensure that neighborhoods thrive for the collective good of the whole city.
We support sound urban development. We are acutely aware of sprawl’s adverse impacts on city resources and citizens. We support thoughtful incremental development paired with sensible policies that enhance, complement, and respect our neighborhoods. This perspective corresponds to the Vision Statement in the Tallahassee-Leon County Comprehensive Plan.
Why did we organize?
We were driven to join together by the fact that we all face increasing threats to the integrity of our neighborhoods. Neighborhoods in which we’ve improved our homes, taken care of our yards, gotten involved in our schools, cared for our parks, and become friends with our neighbors.
This is not an issue of “not in my backyard” or NIMBY. Rather, it’s protecting the livability of Tallahassee’s neighborhoods; the qualities that make Tallahassee such a wonderful place to live.
We are stronger together. We cooperate with one another to enhance neighborhoods. We’re an alliance to defend any one of our member neighborhoods. We’re prepared to mobilize residents from all neighborhoods to take political action to protect each neighborhood.
- We advocate for responsible, incremental growth in Tallahassee and Leon County that preserves, protects, and enhances the quality of life for all residents.
- We advocate for early and on-going staff-resident-elected official engagement through open and transparent governmental processes, with relevant data presented to representative audiences through culturally, educationally, and technologically-appropriate means.
- We advocate for innovative urban planning and growth management that advances the livability of Tallahassee’s neighborhoods, downtown, and business districts. Good planning is forward thinking and seeks creative ways to enhance our local identity and quality of life.
- We advocate for early notice of and neighborhood-based participation in public and private development/infrastructure projects. The special quality of community life in Tallahassee is created and sustained by the city’s neighborhoods, and they must always be able to participate in a meaningful way in the city’s planning for infrastructure development and growth.
- We advocate for the preservation and enhancement of neighborhoods and unique cultural, historical, and natural area features and open space to strengthen Tallahassee’s unique sense of place.
- We advocate for neighborhood revitalization rather than neighborhood renewal and for land use, zoning, infrastructure, programs, and services that are just and equitable for all neighborhoods.
- We advocate for developments whose design, scale, and function complement the surrounding built, social, and natural environment. Development should occur incrementally to adjust for changes in community conditions.
- We advocate that, within the Multi-Modal Transportation District, infrastructure providing for better walkability, bikability, public transportation, and enhanced pedestrian access and amenities be built before increasing density.
- We support community advocacy and local business organizations whose purposes are consistent with ATN’s vision statement and guiding principles.
- We provide community education regarding the governing philosophy and positions of political candidates. ATN will interview all city and county commission candidates on issues that are important to neighborhoods and publish their answers, and, in order to maintain political neutrality as representatives of all residents of ATN neighborhoods, we will never endorse a candidate for office.
Alliance of Tallahassee Neighborhoods (ATN)
Statement of Purpose
ATN believes that citizen participation in city development processes is vital to a successful future for Tallahassee. We are a nonpartisan organization that advocates for policies and initiatives that protect and enhance Tallahassee and its neighborhoods. Vibrant neighborhoods drive Tallahassee’s enviable quality of life. Using our combined knowledge, expertise, and energy we build consensus on critical issues and take constructive action.
Powers and Duties
Through these bylaws, ATN is vested with the following authority and powers: setting and holding meetings, conducting research, meeting with government officials and third parties, advocating positions, hiring professionals, issuing reports, pursuing legal actions as deemed necessary, and any and all other lawful actions in furtherance of its goals and purposes.
Membership, Meetings, and Voting
There are two categories of membership:
(1) Constituent neighborhoods (construed so as to include homeowner associations), each of which shall have one vote, and one ATN representative. These representatives (and any substitutes) must be selected by their neighborhood associations to fulfill this role (see member responsibilities below).
(2) Members-at-large, who may number no more than 25% of the membership, and each of whom shall have one vote.
ATN was founded with the intention of representing the communal interests of urban Tallahassee neighborhoods, but any Tallahassee neighborhood that shares those interests may petition to join ATN, provided it has a functioning neighborhood or homeowner association. The success (or failure) of such petitions shall be decided by a simple majority vote of the membership.
Members-at-large are chosen by a simple majority vote of the membership, and need not be from a constituent neighborhood. Such members will typically be chosen for their expertise in some area relevant to ATN’s goals.
ATN intends to meet once a month, but at a minimum quarterly (the time, date, and place of meetings will, of course, be set so as to accommodate the schedules of the membership so far as possible). Votes on motions will take place at these meetings, with provision for email voting by absent members. Neighborhood representatives may take motions back to their neighborhoods for approval. The vote of the neighborhood can then be transmitted to the recording secretary (see below) via email. On time-sensitive issues, any member neither voting at a meeting, nor by email within 48 hours of the meeting, shall be considered to have abstained from voting.
Motions will be decided by a simple majority of the votes received, provided that votes from at least 50% of the members are recorded.
In certain instances, ATN may explicitly list constituent neighborhoods as favoring some position. But, in such instances, a neighborhood may request that it not be listed. ATN will honor such requests.
Committees and Officers
ATN shall have the following elected officers: a chair, a vice-chair, and a recording secretary. In addition, ATN shall have an elected standing executive committee of nine members (including the chair, vice-chair, and recording secretary). The chair and vice-chair shall be neighborhood representatives. The term for these posts, and executive committee membership, is two years. Re-election is permitted, and there is no presumption that the current vice-chair shall become chair at the end of the current chair’s term.
Elections shall proceed as follows, during the month of March in even-numbered years. When an election is due, a special election meeting shall be called. Prior to this meeting, the recording secretary shall solicit a ballot of candidates by contacting all members via email, and offering them the opportunity to appear on the ballot. If there is only one candidate for any office, that candidate shall hold said office for the next term. If there is more than one candidate for an office, then the next occupant is to be elected by a vote of the membership (including the candidates): the candidate with the most votes wins (in the case of a tie, the next occupant shall be determined by the toss of a fair coin). Concerning the other six positions on the executive committee, if there are no more candidates than positions, then those candidates shall fill the positions. Otherwise, each member (including the candidates) casts up to six votes for these six positions (but no more than one vote for any candidate), and the top six vote-getters win. (As with the election of officers, ties are to be resolved by coin toss.) In order for an election to be valid, votes must be received from at least 50% of the neighborhoods and at least 50% of the members-at-large. Email votes must be received within 48 hours of the election meeting.
The chair is responsible for calling and chairing meetings, setting meeting agendas, and general guidance. The vice-chair shall take on these responsibilities in the absence of the chair. The recording secretary is responsible for recording motions and taking minutes, circulating them via email to the membership as necessary, and recording votes. The executive committee aids the chair in such matters as formulating motions and setting agendas.
Ad hoc committees shall be formed as needed, and there may also be other officers selected for particular duties, such as web-site maintenance.
(1) Members are expected to attend ATN meetings.
Any member who fails to attend meetings on three consecutive occasions shall be contacted by the chair. If no corrective action is taken by the member in question (such as attendance at the next meeting, or the selection of a new neighborhood representative), the member may be deemed to have resigned from ATN if that decision is endorsed by a simple majority of the rest of the membership.
(2) Members are to speak on behalf of ATN only if authorized to do so by the chair.
(3) Neighborhood representatives should speak on behalf of their neighborhoods, rather than focusing on their own views.
(4) Members-at-large should have as their focus the well-being of ATN’s constituent neighborhoods.
The chair may take appropriate action to ensure compliance with (2), (3), and (4). For example, s/he may request of a neighborhood that it select a new representative.
There are no ATN dues. However, should funds be required for some particular purpose, voluntary contributions may be requested.
Updating these Bylaws
These bylaws may be modified by, and only by, a motion approved by more than 50% of the neighborhoods and more than 50% of the members-at-large.