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Crafting The Tallahassee Vision


By: Lanetra Bennett
November 5, 2013

Tallahassee, FL - Tallahassee residents got another opportunity to share their vision of where they'd like to see the Capital City in 20 years.
The grassroots initiative, "Imagine Tallahassee," held its final public forum Tuesday.

Imagine being given a handful of money and being told to spend it however you'd like. Some Tallahassee residents experienced that Tuesday. Sort of -- It was fake money. But, it was used to show local officials how they want their real tax dollars to be spent.

Strapped with 100 bucks each, hundreds of residents were let loose in a room to spend on the future of Tallahassee.

The grassroots initiative "Imagine Tallahassee" held its final public forum Tuesday at the Leon County Civic Center to get feedback on how they envision Tallahassee for the next 20 years.

Tallahassee resident Emily Millett says, "It's important that all of us are involved in what happens in our city. This is one way of doing it. I'm just very grateful they're doing it."

The group narrowed input from previous public forums down to five strategic directions for the Capital City.

Each person at Tuesday's forum got $100 of Monopoly money to divide in the areas that they would like local officials to invest tax dollars in.

The categories are:
1. Creating and Sustaining an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem
2. Becoming and Competing as an Economic Hub
3. Growing Our Destination for Travel and Tourism
4. Supporting a Creative and Urban Lifestyle
5. Investing in Our Human Capital Assets

Graduate student Juan Escalante says he spent a grip on initiatives backing entrepreneurship. He says, "Allowing our students to get the resources that we need to set up a small business or launch that new idea, can bring a lot of attention not only to the universities where these students graduated from, but also extra businesses that are looking to invest in Florida, in Tallahassee."

Those who were unable to attend the forum, can request a Meeting in a Box to hold their own meetings and vote with dollars. Go to ImagineTallahassee.com. Results are needed by November 15th to be included in the final report.

The steering committee will take all of the feedback along with additional research and make final recommendations to the Sales Tax committee. That final presentation will be December 12th.

The Sales Tax Committee will then take the recommendations and determine how much of the strategic directions will be incorporated into the committee's final recommendations to city and county commissioners.

Those would be finalized and placed on the ballot in November 2014.

For more information on "Imagine Tallahassee" go to http://www.imaginetallahassee.com/about.html.


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