Tallahassee-Leon leaders showered with honors

If you believe the narrative of the “against everything” crowd, you’d think Tallahassee and Leon County are poorly led, with below-average managers and staff.

Then objective, credible evaluators step in and that narrative gets shattered.

Recently, the county administrator received an international award for a lifetime of service and both the Tallahassee city manager and mayor received statewide awards for exemplary performance.

County Administrator Vince Long was given the Mark E. Keene Award for Career Excellence from the International City/County Management Association (ICMA). This lifetime achievement award reflects Long’s work shepherding the county through hurricanes, pandemics and the like.

Meanwhile, Mayor John Dailey and City Manager Reese Goad were awarded statewide “home rule heroes” awards for their work helping the League of Cities protect the interests of Florida municipalities during the session.

This is the same city manager given ridiculously low marks by Commissioners Jeremy Matlow and Jack Porter.

While the Long award was met with pomp, circumstance and wide acclaim at a recent Leon County Commission meeting, the picture was much different for Dailey and Goad’s recognition.

Check out the picture and video.

Commissioners Dianne Williams-Cox and Curtis Richardson did what any colleague would and should do – they clapped.

But look at Commissioners Jeremy Matlow and Jack Porter. Seriously?

Apparently, clapping is hard. So is basic decency.

Now, sure, one can argue that failing to clap is the least of our problems.

But we think it’s a metaphor for the crowd that only finds the negative in pretty much everything.

Another example – at the most recent city commission meeting, Airport Administrator David Pollard gave more detail on a massive economic development project that will bring gigantic investment to the airport and grow jobs in our community. The total economic impact of multiple projects at the airport is now projected to be over $600 million.

While Mayor Dailey lauded the efforts, Commissioner Williams-Cox offered a patented “Let’s go!” and Commissioner Richardson made the motion to accept the report, Commissioner Matlow sat in stony silence, not making any comments of support at all.

Apparently good news is bad news for some commissioners, which leads to this question: if all you can find is the negative, how do you actually move a community forward?

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