Local Leaders: Local Economy Will See Severe Impact

Commissioners and other leaders in Leon County are preparing for rough days ahead.

They say the upcoming Florida Legislature will have a tremendous negative impact on the local economy.

Leon County resident Allene Roberts said, "First of all, our country's broke."

And local leaders say it's going to get worse for Tallahassee/Leon County thanks to Florida Governor Rick Scott's budget proposals.

Leon County Commission Chairman John Dailey held a legislative dialogue community meeting with various local, state, and business leaders Tuesday to discuss how the region will be impacted.

State Rep. Alan Williams said, "The governor can't get to 700,000 jobs if he's cutting, he's already lost $24,000 from the high-speed rail, losing another $13,000 with state employees. So, we have to call him on that."

Commissioner Dailey says because of the $3.6 billion budget shortfall and proposed layoffs, the 55,000 people who participate in Florida's Retirement System will take a five percent pay cut.

Roberts says these times are already tough for many residents. She said, "Insurance has gone up, taxes have gone up, the price of groceries, gasoline, everything's gone up."

The leaders say the impact to the business community will be severe, more so than any other part of the state.

They say the key is showing state leaders the impact of job loss and job creation.

One resident says just finding change to put in a parking meter was hard enough, so finding a job is a must.

The man said, "In order to pay your bills, you have to have money, a job. it is difficult."

State Rep. Michelle Rewhwinkel Vasinlinda says the plan of action should be to convince the governor not to make cuts and plan B is to try to attract more businesses.

Senator Bill Montford says he does not agree with ideas of privatization.

The leaders pointed out that most state workers are so afraid to speak out that they don't even come to public meetings.

Therefore, leaders say it is up to the community to speak out for them by asking the state not to make the cuts.

Commissioner Dailey says he plans to call another dialogue meeting like today's in the middle of the legislative session to see where things stand then.


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  • by Leon Location: Tallahassee on Mar 10, 2011 at 08:14 PM
    We could have a balanced budget w/out the burden being on the state workers. Florida has one of the lowest corporate tax rates, has no income tax and has the smallest state gov't per capita.
    The state workforce makes up 25% of Tallahassee's employment. Cut 7% out of that and our local unemployment would suddenly spike two whole percentage points, from 8.8% to 10.8%. By population, Tallahassee already has 5 years' excess housing inventory, which has added yet more pressure to the -10%/year falling price trend here. Imagine what massive state layoffs will do to the housing market if even more people leave town.
  • by Vicki Location: Tallahassee on Mar 3, 2011 at 07:46 AM
    I, for one in the state retirement system, realize that the elected officials trying to spin Scott's proposal that we contribute 5% to OUR OWN retirement as a "cut in salary" are liars!!! If you work in the private sector, who contributes to YOUR retirement? It IS NOT a salary cut, it is deferred income (that way the state doesn't have to take care of you then too). It is a "savings account". When you retire, YOU draw it. The state worker mentality is part of the problem...they are spoiled by the state paying for ALL of their retirement and a large portion of their health care. Would someone please explain to me why state workers should have the state pay them after they retire? That is the reality of it. Be responsible for yourself!!! Pay your own benefits. No one is entitled simply because they exist, and most of the time, are too lazy to earn their own way. Go ahead and make your cuts Scott!!! I support you 100%!
  • by Bolillo Location: Wakulla on Mar 3, 2011 at 05:53 AM
    If the last 4 or 5 Governor's had balanced their budgets, none of this would be happening. And; Obama's endorsement of Sink is why you have Scott. Admit it. NOW!!!
  • by airborne on Mar 2, 2011 at 06:53 PM
    Yet another racist from North Florida that can't spell. Imagine my surprise.
  • by airborne on Mar 2, 2011 at 03:26 PM
    You, are an idiot lol.
  • by @ airborne on Mar 2, 2011 at 01:41 PM
    Southern Florida is the "real" Florida? Oh you mean all the Hatians, Cubans and snow birds? Yep that is the real Florida. Step away from the keyboard please.
  • by Mike Location: Tallahassee on Mar 2, 2011 at 01:31 PM
    First off the Florida Constitution *requires* a balanced budget. That means the Governor is doing the job he was elected to do. Like it or not. That is a good thing. Next, the PROBLEM is the number of people being supported by government hand outs. Idjits like Vascilinda seem to support compounding that problem. Something that should be well remembered in the next election cycle. So . . . in summary, the Governor is upholding his constitutional mandate and the real solution to the problem is people NOT being supported by the state. Pretty simple, really . . .
  • by Bloated government? on Mar 2, 2011 at 01:29 PM
    After a little search I found this quote and Politifact.com found it true. "Compared to other states, Florida ranks last in the ratio of employees to residents: 118 per 10,000 compared to the national average of 216 employees per 10,000 residents. And Florida is dead last in the nation in state employee payroll expenditures per resident: $38 compared to the national average of $69 per resident." Where is the bloat? Knowledge is power.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 2, 2011 at 12:03 PM
    There are plenty of people who aren't state employees whining about Scott to, since he only squeeked by to get elected, there are plenty of voters who don't like Scott. I have worked in both the public and private sector, but to try and make the state budget on the backs of your workforce is abominable, I want to make sure all the elected officials in state government are afforded the same benefits as I am first, then since I have to give up things, I want the tax cuts for the wealthiest ended, I would be happy to work in the private sector, if there were any jobs there. What Scott is making up for in cutting employment he will have to turn around and pay in welfare for all the people that drop below the federal poverty level...this is no way to fix Florida's economy for the middle class, but a way to line the pockets of his buddies in business
  • by Ed Location: Tallahassee on Mar 2, 2011 at 10:58 AM
    Yes, it's about to get real bad in this area. We can take some "comfort" in the fact that the whole nation is pretty much finished along with us. "Airborne", I hope you enjoy it in South Florida when the lights go out, and the shipments to the grocery stores stop.
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