Politics | WCTV Eyewitness News: Tallahassee, Thomasville, Valdosta

Leon County Commission District 2: Nick Maddox/Cliff Thaell

Nick Maddox

FACED WITH TOUGH BUDGET CHOICES IN THE COMING YEARS, AS COMMISSIONER, WOULD YOU BE MORE IN FAVOR OF CUTTING SERVICES OR SECURING ADDITIONAL REVENUE TO BALANCE BUDGETS?


PLEASE RANK THE FOLLOWING SERVICES IN ORDER OF YOUR GREATEST TO LEAST SUPPORT:
• improving storm water and flood control infrastructure
• expanding public transportation & safer pedestrian and bicycle corridors
• offering economic development incentives
• operating County Parks and Recreation programs
• supporting arts and cultural activities
• adequately staffing new and expanded libraries
• supporting services for homeless

PLEASE EXPLAIN YOUR FIRST AND LAST CHOICES. HOW WILL FUNDING YOUR SERVICE PRIORITIES AFFECT TAX RATES IN THE SHORT AND LONG TERM?
-offering economic development incentives (1)
- expanding public transportation & safer pedestrian and bicycle corridors (2)
-adequately staffing new and expanded libraries (3)
-operating County Parks and Recreation programs (4)
-improving storm water and flood control infrastructure (5)
-supporting services for homeless (6)
-supporting arts and cultural activities (7)
“(1) In this moment in time with our country in the worst financial crisis in its history and our unemployment rate at its highest, it is absolutely imperative that we create jobs and get our residents back to work. It does not matter what else we do for our community, if our residents cannot afford to pay their bills, nothing else matters.
(7) Funding for arts and cultural activities is paramount to our community for the economic impact and for the quality of life. I do not consider this the least important funding issue, however, I consider this funding more permanent through the Fifth Cent Tourist Tax which I will continue to support when elected.”


In 1991, the Tallahassee-Leon County Comprehensive Plan required that by 1993 county and city environmental regulations be unified and a single agency be focused on environmental and natural resources protection and management. However, at this time, the City of Tallahassee and Leon County each have their own environmental ordinances and codes.
WHAT WILL YOU DO TO ENSURE THE UNIFICATION OF THESE REGULATIONS??

“It is my hope that the residents of Leon County will support the Charter Amendment on the ballot that will allow Leon County to establish county-wide environmental standards. This will not keep the City of Tallahassee from having higher standards, however, there will be minimum standards in place. I will also continue the dialogue with the City of Tallahassee to unify the Growth and Environmental Management Departments so that we are adhering to our own law.”

WHEN CODES DIFFER, UNDER WHAT CIRCUMSTANCES DO YOU BELIEVE THE MORE OR LESS ENVIRONMENTALLY PROTECTIVE CODE SHOULD BE ADOPTED? PLEASE EXPLAIN.
“If the Leon County Charter amendment is adopted, then this is a moot point. The residents have the opportunity to vote for the establishment of minimum standards. Due to the fact that the environment seems to ignore political boundaries, it only makes sense for Leon County to establish the minimum standards that effect the entire county. When the City of Tallahassee deems it prudent to have a higher set of standards, they are fully allowed to adopt those higher standards. Common sense says that this option will make our environmental standards they best they can be.”

WITH BILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN VENTURE CAPITAL FLOWING INTO INNOVATIONS IN RENEWABLE ENERGY AND EFFICIENCY WORLDWIDE, WHAT CAN AND SHOULD THE COUNTY GOVERNMENT'S ROLE BE IN INCENTIVIZING INCREASED ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND GROWTH IN GREEN ENERGY JOBS LOCALLY? HOW AND WHY WILL YOU SUPPORT OR OPPOSE THE FOLLOWING POSSIBILITIES:.
“Renewable energy is a win-win for our business community and for our environment. The growth in green jobs in our country shows that this is not a passing fad, and the destruction of both our environment and regional economy due to the Gulf oil spill proves that we must break our dependence on oil. It is the best time to push for energy efficiency and green job growth. Leon County must continue its push on sustainability. The current effort to create a renewable energy site at the county landfill along with the introduction of the PACE program is a perfect start. Additionally, we must provide tax incentives and fast-track permitting for companies interested in expanding or relocating to our community.”
• providing below market interest PACE* loans to provide money for solar and energy efficiency upgrades,
“Leon County has already introduced efforts to offer the PACE program to its residents. I would continue to support this effort completely providing necessary staffing and support. We must serve as the example for the community by offering assistance for families who want to reduce their carbon footprint and save on their energy bills.”
• offering 20 year fixed utility rate contracts ("Feed in Tariff") to investors in large scale solar installations,
“Florida Power and Light is establishing one of the largest solar plants in the world in South Florida. We have the opportunity to do the same thing for our community creating jobs and renewable energy. I will support whatever methods are reasonable to attract large scale solar installations”
• offering rebates for solar and energy efficiency upgrades,
“I would like to work with both the City of Tallahassee and Talquin Electric to implement and promote rebate programs.”
• incentivizing green energy company start ups here,
“Yes, this concept is long overdue. I will work with the Economic Development Council to create policy that attracts green energy companies.”
• collaborating with area universities to train and keep graduates of green building or energy programs in our community,
“Our community has lost too many of its graduates to other opportunities. Let's focus on keeping our talent in town by creating renewable energy training, internships, and jobs.”
• installing hydrogen fuel cell and/or plug-in electric car fueling stations,
“This is a process that will take more time and planning. As hydrogen fuel cell and plug-in electric cars become more popular, it will be necessary to provide appropriate fueling stations. These stations will be a great opportunity for entrepreneurs, and I vision the County's role as one of providing tax incentives and permitting assistance.
• revising Comprehensive Plan to prioritize development that reduces vehicle miles traveled and greenhouse gas emissions,
“We have an effective Comprehensive Plan in place that we should not be afraid to rely on. Obviously I would be open and willing to revise this plan to help maintain our local environment through the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, it is imperative to create more friendly bike and pedestrian paths as we plan the future of our community.”
• protecting established trees and requiring adequate setbacks of buildings from sidewalks for shade trees?
“One of the first things I fell in love with in Leon County was the trees. We are truly blessed to live in a community that cherishes its environmental beauty. I support the protection of established trees and the development of shade trees completely.”

BIOGRAPHY

Current Occupation

Vice-President of Development, Bowden Foundation for Ethical Leadership

Education

Bachelor’s - Florida State University—Business and Real Estate

Professional Experience

Present Vice-President of Development, Bowden Foundation for Ethical Leadership (raising $5 million for teaching, training, and developing ethical leadership in business women and men of tomorrow)
3 years Professional Football in NFL with Cleveland Browns and Carolina Panthers
Director, Major Gift Fundraising, Seminole Boosters Inc.
Academic Advisor & Mapping Coordinator, FSU College of Communication

Community Involvement

Leadership Tallahassee Class 27


http://www.nickmaddox2010.com
Cliff Thaell

FACED WITH TOUGH BUDGET CHOICES IN THE COMING YEARS, AS COMMISSIONER, WOULD YOU BE MORE IN FAVOR OF CUTTING SERVICES OR SECURING ADDITIONAL REVENUE TO BALANCE BUDGETS?


PLEASE RANK THE FOLLOWING SERVICES IN ORDER OF YOUR GREATEST TO LEAST SUPPORT:
• improving storm water and flood control infrastructure
• expanding public transportation & safer pedestrian and bicycle corridors
• offering economic development incentives
• operating County Parks and Recreation programs
• supporting arts and cultural activities
• adequately staffing new and expanded libraries
• supporting services for homeless

PLEASE EXPLAIN YOUR FIRST AND LAST CHOICES. HOW WILL FUNDING YOUR SERVICE PRIORITIES AFFECT TAX RATES IN THE SHORT AND LONG TERM?
“Sadly, because of the economic conditions we are enduring, additional budget cuts may be necessary. These will be very difficult and painful as Leon County has already cut $1 million a month or $36 million from our budget over the last 3 years. I do not favor adding a property tax increase at this time. Leon County does have a very aggressive grants program from which we have raised about $10 million this past year. The Sustainability Office, which I championed, has for example recently been awarded $1.17 million from the U.S. Dept. of Energy to retrofit all county buildings with more efficient lighting systems. This alone is expected to help us save $163,000 on our electric bill each year.”
Ranked Services:
#1 Offering Expanded Economic Development
#2 Expanding Public Transportation & Safe Pedestrian/Bike Corridors
#3 Improving Storm Water/Flood Control Infrastructure
#4 Adequately Staffing New/Expanded Libraries
#5 Supporting Arts & Cultural Activities
#6 Supporting Programs for Persons Temporarily Without Homes
#7 Operating County Parks & Recreation Programs


In 1991, the Tallahassee-Leon County Comprehensive Plan required that by 1993 county and city environmental regulations be unified and a single agency be focused on environmental and natural resources protection and management. However, at this time, the City of Tallahassee and Leon County each have their own environmental ordinances and codes.
WHAT WILL YOU DO TO ENSURE THE UNIFICATION OF THESE REGULATIONS??

WHEN CODES DIFFER, UNDER WHAT CIRCUMSTANCES DO YOU BELIEVE THE MORE OR LESS ENVIRONMENTALLY PROTECTIVE CODE SHOULD BE ADOPTED? PLEASE EXPLAIN.
“The State of Florida through the Department of Environmental Protection is currently promulgating a rule to require unified storm water standards. The City and County put together the Watershed Management Committee to attempt to accomplish our own local version of this area. When it became clear that the state was going to require this type of consolidation and that they would be setting the standards the committee decided to disband, I will push the state of Florida to formally adopt unified storm water standards and adopt these into our local Comprehensive Plan. When codes differ, I believe the higher environmental standard should prevail. Our area’s quality of life is based on having a clean and functional ecological balance. It is local government’s responsibility to ensure that our drinking water and air quality is maintained and improved.”


WITH BILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN VENTURE CAPITAL FLOWING INTO INNOVATIONS IN RENEWABLE ENERGY AND EFFICIENCY WORLDWIDE, WHAT CAN AND SHOULD THE COUNTY GOVERNMENT'S ROLE BE IN INCENTIVIZING INCREASED ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND GROWTH IN GREEN ENERGY JOBS LOCALLY? HOW AND WHY WILL YOU SUPPORT OR OPPOSE THE FOLLOWING POSSIBILITIES:
• providing below market interest PACE* loans to provide money for solar and energy efficiency upgrades,
• offering 20 year fixed utility rate contracts ("Feed in Tariff") to investors in large scale solar installations,
• offering rebates for solar and energy efficiency upgrades,
• incentivizing green energy company start ups here,
• collaborating with area universities to train and keep graduates of green building or energy programs in our community,
• installing hydrogen fuel cell and/or plug-in electric car fueling stations,
• revising Comprehensive Plan to prioritize development that reduces vehicle miles traveled and greenhouse gas emissions,
• protecting established trees and requiring adequate setbacks of buildings from sidewalks for shade trees?
*PACE stands for Property Assessed Clean Energy, a property tax lien oriented financing that improves the economics of energy retrofits for commercial and private property owners. The property owner (and buyer if the property is sold) repays the loan over 20 years via an annual assessment on their property tax bill. PACE bonds can be issued by counties or cities.

“I championed Leon County’s 1-point Smart Energy Plan in 2007. The county then joined ICLEI – Local Government’s for Sustainability. ICLEI helped Leon County create our Climate Action Plan, which calls for a reduction in CO2 and other greenhouse gasses by 80% by 2050. We created an Office of Sustainability in 2009 and hired Maggie Theriot to manage implementation of our objectives. This past spring Leon County became the first county in Florida to adopt a property assessed energy conservation program that will lend up to $7,000 dollars at low interest to homeowners for 10 year periods payable on their property tax bills as an assessment. Subsequently we have had calls from counties across the nation inquiring how to put a PACE program together.
- The county does not have a utility and thus cannot provide fixed utility rates (Feed in Tariffs) although we are exploring, under my initiative, the possibility of entering into an agreement with a solar provider to provide energy for a fixed rate of .15 per KW for certain county facilities.
- The county cannot offer rebates for energy efficiency upgrades. We have initiated the first PACE program in the state of Florida (see above).
- I support, and have voted for financial incentives to bring Danfoss/Turbocorp to Tallahassee. This company employs over 150 high wage workers in manufacturing a revolutionary Air Conditioner Compressor that runs on magnets and uses no petroleum products making it cheaper to operate and cleaner for our environment. As a result of the work being done at Danfoss/Turbocorp, new companies have already sprung forward offering employment opportunities for our young people. TCC is in the process of installing a training institute to provide training for new green industries such as Global CNC on the southside of town.
- I am excited to report that Leon County will be exploring the feasibility of installing plug-in electric car fueling stations in 2011.
- “I support any responsible efforts to reduce urban sprawl and promote greater urban densities. The Comprehensive Plan is an important tool we have to prioritize development that reduces VMT’s and greenhouse emissions.
- I believe tree protection is an important key to preserving the quality of life which has brought most of us here and encourages us to remain. Especially important is our canopy road protections and the county aggressively protects and maintains these seven critical named canopy roads. Building setbacks are an important way to prevent root damage and thus I support policies that protect these systems.”

BIOGRAPHY

Current Occupation

Elected Leon County Commissioner At Large, Group 2
President, Thaell & Associates Public Relations & Marketing

Education

1970 B.A. University of South Florida—U.S. History

Professional Experience

1994-present Elected Leon County Commissioner At Large, Group 2 (1998-99, 2004-05 Chairman of the Leon County Commission)
1987-1988 Executive Director, Center for Independent Living of North Florida, Inc. Tallahassee, FL
1986-present President, Thaell & Associates Public Relations & Marketing
1985-1986 Sr. Manager for Community & Public Relations, Public Employees Services Company, Tallahassee, FL
1979-1984 Executive Director, AMO, Inc.
1977-1979 Director, Vista Volunteer Program, Florida Department of Community Affairs

Community Involvement


2009-2011 Member, National Association of Counties Board of Directors
Present Vice Chair, Florida Association of Counties Energy Independence Workgroup
Present Member, Leon County Value Adjustment Board
2006-2007 Chair, Watershed Planning Council
2006-2007 Chair, Capital Regional Transportation & Planning Agency
2005-2006 Chair, Blueprint 2000 Intergovernmental Agency
2004-2005 President, Florida Association of Counties
Member, Leon County Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee
Member, Steering Committee, National Association of Counties
Member, Big Bend Cares, Inc. Board of Directors
Member, Economic Development Council, Tallahassee Area Chamber of Commerce
Member, Twenty-First Century Council, Leon County
Member, Leon County Canvassing Board
Member, Planet Gumbo Foundation Board of Directors
Member, Capital Area Healthy Start Coalition Board of Directors
Member, Mary Brogan Museum of Art and Science Board of Directors
Member, Tallahassee-Leon Civic Center Authority
Co-Chair, Refuge House Capital Development Program
Chair, NAACP 2000 Freedom Fund Banquet Committee
Member, Conservation Leaders' Network Board of Directors
1997-1998 Chairman, Metropolitan Planning Organization
1980-1988 Supervisor, Ochlockonee River Soil & Water Conservation
District President, Council of Neighborhood Associations
President, Millennium Project 2000
Chair, Medically Indigent Task Force
Chair, Domestic Violence Task Force


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