News Release: City of Tallahassee
At today’s Tallahassee City Commission meeting, Jeff Hendry, executive director of the Northwest Florida League of Cities (NWFLC), recognized Commissioner Gil Ziffer as the 2014 Municipal Official of the Year. This honor, which was originally made public at NWFLC’s annual conference last week, recognizes Commissioner Ziffer for his outstanding commitment to the citizens of Tallahassee, the NWFLC and the Florida League of Cities. Since taking office in 2009, Commissioner Ziffer has made significant contributions to the community in terms of local government leadership, aiding the homeless and fundraising for the arts and breast cancer awareness.
“Commissioner Ziffer has touched so many lives in this community, and he is truly worthy of this honor,” said Mayor John Marks, who along with City Commissioner Scott Maddox signed the nomination form as City representatives.
Commissioner Ziffer’s service to Tallahassee spans over a decade. In 2002, Commissioner Ziffer was appointed by then Mayor Scott Maddox to the strategic planning committee charged with the research and development of the Cultural Resource Plan for the region. His first elected position came six years later when he served as Seat 4 (Southwood) Supervisor of the Capital Region Community Development District. In August of the following year, Commissioner Ziffer was chosen to serve the balance of the term for Seat 5 on the Tallahassee City Commission. In August 2010, Commissioner Ziffer was elected to a four-year term on the Commission.
In 2013, Commissioner Ziffer was selected as the City’s key representative to work with a leadership group from the private sector to address homelessness in Tallahassee. Through long meetings, complicated negotiations and consensus building, Commissioner Ziffer and the leadership group saw their hard work come to fruition in February of this year when a new 36,000 square-foot Comprehensive Emergency Services Center broke ground. This new center, which is set to replace the existing shelter, will be open 24 hours a day and will provide medical assistance as well as other services to homeless individuals once it’s completed. In the same vein, Commissioner Ziffer has been the driving force behind the Change for Change campaign. This program, which encourages City utility customers to donate money on their monthly bill, has resulted in $60,000 of new funds going toward homelessness service providers.
Also in 2013, Commissioner Ziffer combined his passion for promoting the arts with a life-saving effort when he proposed playing music as a way to bring awareness to the fight against breast cancer. By partnering with 16 local businesses, pink pianos were placed throughout Tallahassee. These pianos served as a fun way to relieve stress, while promoting awareness of the deadly disease. The Pink Pianos for Breast Cancer project raised over $7,500 for the American Cancer Society.
Commission Ziffer’s other noteworthy accomplishments include his leadership in updating the City’s Cultural Plan, serving as lead fundraiser and business sponsor for the newly opened Cascades Park and serving as the Chair of the American Lung Association of the Big Bend. Commissioner Ziffer also sits on the board of directors for both the NWFLC and the Florida League of Cities.
“Over the years, Commissioner Ziffer has made a significant impact on this City and the larger region,” said Commissioner Scott Maddox. “He is an excellent representative of our city government through both his everyday actions and commitment to addressing tough issues. I’m delighted that he has been chosen to receive this award.”
For more information about the Northwest Florida League of Cities, please visit http://www.nwflc.com.