Recently The Village Square hosted an event called “Speed Date Your Local Leaders” that was attended by several CCC members. Here is a summary of their experience, written by Joe Barnett:
Village Square’s “Speed Dating”
by Joe Barnett
Several Capital City Cyclists members attended the event including Neil Dimacali, Mike Yaun, Joe Barnett and probably others.
The list of local officials was impressive. City Commissioners Scott Maddox, Nancy Miller, Gil Ziffer were there along with County Commissioners Kristin Dozier, Mary Ann Lindley, and Nick Maddox. Also in attendance were the County Administrator Vince Long and Supervisor of Elections Ian Sancho. There were also representative from Leon County Schools like Jackie Pons and Forrest Van Camp.
About 30 tables were set up at St John’s Church. Local leaders had about 7 minutes to sit at each table and discuss any issues table members brought up. And we got to eat free pizza!
At my table I asked the new chief of police, Michael DeLeo, about safety. He said our narrow roads are dangerous. I wasn’t sure if he was talking about canopy roads or wanting to widen other roads. So I mentioned that in Killearn Lakes our roads were narrowed and now the cars have slowed from about 43MPH to about 33 MPH making it safer. We also have bike lanes.
I asked about every commissioner if the 200-300 million of the sales tax dollars would go to more 6 lane roads or not. They told me how there will be a LOT of sidewalks and completion of the bike network.
I mentioned I am worried that if we keep making 6 lane or bigger roads it will be dangerous and ugly sprawl like Atlanta, Orlando, L.A….. I told them how Greenville, Duluth Minnesota, Sarasota, Thomasville, have very busy downtowns and ALL have two lanes with street parking. Most liked that idea, and are supportive of Bike -Ped issues, but all felt we need a Capital City “outerbelt”…. just like other sprawl cities…
The event was a great opportunity see speak one on one with our local officials. Tallahassee is a relatively small community and even a small group like the CCC can have a big impact if we can regularly have a presence at these types of events.
“The Village Square is a non-partisan public educational forum on matters of local, state and national importance. We are dedicated to maintaining factual accuracy in civic and political debate by growing civil dialog on divisive issues, and recalling the history and principles at the foundation of our democracy.”
Here’s a talk at TEDxFSU by Liz Joyner, Executive Director of To The Village Square: