Speed Date Local Leaders

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By: Gina Pitisci

Ever heard of speed dating? What about speed dating your local officials?

Tonight citizens had the chance to sit down and speak directly with local leaders.

Local leadership, good conversation, and a pizza dinner were all part of the first "speed date your local officials event" at St. Johns Episcopal Church in Tallahassee.

"The more any one of us can get out and talk with the citizens the better off we are,” Gil ziffer, Tallahassee City Commissioner, said. “If we're insulated in our offices, it's not like getting out and talking with folks so this is great for us."

Here's how it works: every 9 minutes the 12 leaders rotate from table to table giving each group of people an opportunity to ask questions or offer their ideas.

"You can forget sometimes that in the community that it's not just members of the community that the leadership is there and that interaction is so important and so events like this are a great way to kind of re-tie all of those connections," Sarah Wilson, Event Attendee, said.

The free event sponsored by Leadership Tallahassee and The Village Square is a continuation of an on-going series of local forums to improve civic dialogue.

"We think we need to do it differently than how it's done in Washington,” Liz Joyner, Executive Director, The Village Square, said. “We need to be neighbors; we need to know each other. We need to be engaged across the partisan divide to make real decisions for our community."

Organizers plan to host the event annually.

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