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TallahasseeVoices: Public Views on Mayor Marks Remain Negative

By: TallahasseeVoices; Eyewitness News
By: TallahasseeVoices; Eyewitness News

Tallahassee, Florida- July 12, 2012

Nearly six in ten Tallahassee citizens believe Mayor John Marks should step down from office.
A new Tallahassee Voices survey released today shows that result.
The survey also shows the mayor's ethics issues may be affecting the public's overall trust in local officials.

"You know I've been elected to serve the people of Tallahassee three times. And I intend to continue that election until I make a determination as to whether or not I'm going to leave. Nobody else will make that determination" said a passionate Mayor John Marks at the first city commission meeting after the Florida Ethics Commission found reason to believe the mayor has violated state ethics law.

When Marks was making his comments, Tallahassee Voices surveyed 495 of the mayor's constituents that same week.
When asked if Marks should step down as mayor, 58 percent said yes, 23 percent said no and 19 percent weren't sure.
When asked if the mayor should be fined for the ethics accusations against him, 76 percent said yes, 7 percent said no and 16 percent weren't sure.

Said Gil Ziffer, City Commissioner: "This is a cloud that needs to move on."

Commissioner Gil Ziffer's comments at that same June meeting were largely echoed by the three other commissioners who believe the mayor should settle his case. It would likely mean a fine.
The Tallahassee Voices poll seems to back up the commissioners' concerns about the mayor's ethics case affecting them.
When asked "do you trust our local officials to act in all cases with integrity?

Only 9 percent said Yes, 74 percent said No, 17 percent weren't sure.

The mayor's ethics case involves his financial connnections to the Alliance for Digital Equality and Honeywell Corporation while supporting city contracts for them.

The mayor's attorney says Marks hasn't decided yet whether to settle or fight the ethics charges against him.

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Tallahassee, Florida- July 12, 2012

The full survey can be found in PowerPoint format above

View of Mayor Marks

Nearly 6 in 10 citizens believe Mayor Marks should step down from office – this percentage is up from 46% in April of 2011.
Only 23% of citizens believe Mayor Marks should stay in office – this is down from 41% in April of 2011.

3 out of 4 citizens believe Mayor Marks should be fined for his ethics violations – the silver lining for Marks is that this percentage is down from 88% in April of 2011.
Marks’ ethics violations have seemingly affected the public’s trust in local officials – only 9% of citizens trust local officials to act in all cases with integrity.

TallahasseeVoices is a pro bono internet survey panel sponsored by Kerr & Downs Research with special media support of WCTV. Survey was conducted June 21-28, 2012. 495 of the 5,000 panel members responded. Results are weighted to reflect the demographics of the 90%+ local residents who have access to the internet at home, work, or school.


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