Politics | WCTV Eyewitness News: Tallahassee, Thomasville, Valdosta

Tallahassee City Commission Seat 3: Stephen Hogge/Nancy Miller

Nancy Miller

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:

• adequately staffing new and expanded libraries:
• operating County Parks and Recreation programs:
• supporting services for homeless:
• supporting arts and cultural activities:
• improving storm water and flood control infrastructure:
• offering economic development incentives:
• expanding public transportation & safer pedestrian and bicycle corridors:

PLEASE EXPLAIN YOUR FIRST AND LAST CHOICES. HOW WILL FUNDING YOUR SERVICE PRIORITIES AFFECT TAX RATES IN THE SHORT AND LONG TERM?


“After reviewing the budgets for 2010 and 2011, I believe that we can and must alter projected deficits within existing revenues, hopefully while maintaining the level of services that our residents have come to expect. We must apply structured evaluation mechanisms and determine which programs are most effective in achieving objectives Programs that are accomplishing stated goals should be maintained and those that are not should be reevaluated and altered to improve performance or scaled back during this period of limited resources.

First, let me say that I am unsure why these particular programs were selected for this list. All are important endeavors of local government. My rankings are based not on the value I place on these programs in our community, but on what I believe to be the priority roles of government in the life of our community.

1. improving stormwater and flood control infrastructure
2. expanding public transportation & safer pedestrian and bicycle corridors
3. supporting services for homeless
4. operating Parks and Recreation programs for children through high school age
5. supporting arts and cultural activities
6. offering economic development incentives

First: Improving stormwater and flood control infrastructure. I believe the paramount responsibilities of government are to provide police, fire protection and a dependable system of infrastructure (transportation, wastewater treatment, water supply, protection from flooding) in good condition within which citizens can live and work safely. Consistent with that believe, I have placed water quality and protection from flooding first on the list.

Last: The practice of providing incentives can be applied in various ways. I want to identify methods by which we can help local businesses, those who have already decided to locate in Tallahassee, and help them to reach their full potential. That included building up our arts and cultural assets into an industry that attracts visitors to Tallahassee and working to add medical residencies to our hospitals to further expand the scope of our regional medical services. These efforts are a very high priority for me, but I would not describe it as “providing incentives”, which I would interpret as investments to entice out of town businesses to Tallahassee.

The city’s millage rate of 3.7 is low in comparison to other comparable Florida cities, and should not be changed, if at all possible. Half of the property in the City is off the tax roles (FSU, FAMU, Capital Complex, Southwood Office Complex, city and county facilities, etc.). The City’s funding mechanism utilizing utility transfers is different from other municipalities, and allows our property tax rates to remain low. This is not the time to be discussing property tax increases. ”

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 Comprehensive Plan requires a unified stormwater management program, not unified regulations or a unified agency. (See text below from the Stormwater Management Sub-element of the Utilities Element of the Plan). Years ago, the City established a stormwater utility, the first in the state, with a dedicated funding mechanism to allow for long term planning and construction of capital improvements. City residents pay into this utility each month. Leon County collects only a nominal fee from residents to provide for stormwater management. It isn’t fair that city residents (living in 103 square miles) foot the bill to management stormwater throughout the entire county (700 square miles). When the disparity between what City and County residents pay for stormwater management becomes more equitable, then we can discuss a unified program.

Throughout Leon County, requirements vary due to underlying soil and hydrological conditions. Considering this variability, how is one countywide requirement appropriate? These area-specific requirements have developed over time in response to those varying conditions, and certain areas require more stringent regulation than others. The analytical capability of the LAVA mapping has enhanced our ability to evaluate the sensitivities of the various areas and to develop more specific regulatory mechanisms as opposed to a more general, one-size-fits-all approach.”

“Tallahassee-Leon County Comprehensive Plan, Utilities Element, Stormwater Management Subelement:

Objective 1.3: [SM] (Rev. Effective 12/10/91)
By 1992, form a unified stormwater management program to provide regulatory, capital improvement, planning, operation, and maintenance functions to control stormwater quantity, rate and quality.
Policy 1.3.1: [SM] (Rev. Effective 12/10/91)
The City and County shall have a coordinated stormwater program which may have individual territorial responsibility and administrative functions for the Stormwater Management Utility Program.”


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.



“You present two initiatives for discussion- increased energy efficiency and growth of green jobs.

Tallahassee has an aggressive program for reducing energy consumption through energy audits, rebates to install more efficient appliances, free fluorescent bulbs, etc. A thorough analysis of the costs and benefits involved with each option listed above should be done before determining the City’s role in offering these options. Solar energy offers promise, but the energy cost involved in production is great. A full examination of all possible alternative energy options is necessary and warranted before we pin all our hopes on solar.
Our code should provide incentives for those who agree to design and build to LEED standards and incorporate innovative building and site design alternatives.
In evaluating development proposals, analysis of vehicle miles traveled that will be generated by a development offers a good direction to investigate and one that should favor infill development.”


BIOGRAPHY


Current Occupation

Self employed Urban & Regional Planning Consultant (growth management and water quality)

Education

B.S. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill—Zoology
M.S. Northeast Louisiana University—Biology
2006 M.S. Florida State University—Urban & Regional Planning

Professional Experience

Consultant, Wendy Grey Land Use Planning (responsible for developing Evaluation and Appraisal Report based amendments for cities and counties throughout Florida, including: City of Lynn Haven comprehensive plan amendments; Lake County comp plan amendments with water supply plan; City of Mexico Beach analysis for future land use, conservation, coastal management and recreation; City of Lynn Haven population projections vacant lands analysis, annexation analysis and review of growth patterns; K2 Urbancorp LLC-Atkinson Project; Centerville Community Group, LLC-Centerville Farms low impact development design options for storm-water treatment in conservation subdivision)
2003-present Project Coordinator, TAPP (“Think About Personal Pollution”) campaign (public-private partnership promoting prevention of water pollution)
1985-2004 Co-owner & Office Manager, Lightspeed Marketing, Inc. (manufacturers’ representative agency serving outdoor specialty sports market in Southeastern U.S.)
1980-1984 Co-owner & Store Manager, Outdoor Adventures, Inc. (outdoor sports retail store; pioneered canoe, kayak, and cycling market in Northeast Louisiana)

Community Involvement

2009-present Board Member, Sustainable Tallahassee
2008-present Planning Commissioner, Tallahassee-Leon County Planning Commission
2006-present Appointed Member, Blueprint 2000 Citizens’ Advisory Committee
2005-present Board Member, Apalachee Land Conservancy
2005-present Board Member, Apalachicola Riverkeeper
2005-2006 Member, Leon County Growth and Environmental Management Permit Process Improvement Group
2004 Member, TalTran Renaissance Stakeholders’ Group, City of Tallahassee
2003-2005 Member, Trust for Public Lands Capital Cascades Trail Council
2003-2004, Member, Tallahassee Board of Realtors Residential Lot Availability/Affordability Committee
2002-2008 Member, Welaunee Citizens’ Advisory Committee
1998-2001 Leon County Growth and Environmental Management Citizens’ Committee
Appointed Member, Tallahassee-Leon County Planning Commission
Founding Member, Economic and Environmental Consensus Committee (authored Blueprint 2000 and Beyond)
1994-present Appointed Member, Leon County Water Resources Citizens Advisory Committee
Member, Leon County Democratic Executive Committee
1996 Site Specific Zoning Advisory Committee, City of Tallahassee


http://www.votenancymiller.com/
Stephen Hogge

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:

• adequately staffing new and expanded libraries:
• operating County Parks and Recreation programs:
• supporting services for homeless:
• supporting arts and cultural activities:
• improving storm water and flood control infrastructure:
• offering economic development incentives:
• expanding public transportation & safer pedestrian and bicycle corridors:

PLEASE EXPLAIN YOUR FIRST AND LAST CHOICES. HOW WILL FUNDING YOUR SERVICE PRIORITIES AFFECT TAX RATES IN THE SHORT AND LONG TERM?


Candidate did not respond.

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.


Candidate did not respond.

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.



Candidate did not respond.

BIOGRAPHY


Current Occupation

Owner, Stephen Hogge & Associates (legal and public affairs counseling firm)

Education

Attended The George Washington University—International Affairs
1982 B.A. University of South Florida—International Studies
1986 J.D. Southern Methodist University—Law

Professional Experience

Owner, Stephen Hogge & Associates (legal and public affairs counseling firm)
Nearly 5 years Legislative Director, then Director of Governmental Relations, Florida Association of Counties (focus on growth management and environmental protection policy)
18 years Senior Policy Analyst, Florida Legislature (project management, consensus-building and problem solving, issues encompassing education, juvenile justice, economic development, banking, property insurance, and worker’s compensation)
Law Clerk, plaintiff’s civil rights firm (representing women, seniors, and minorities in housing, urban services, voting rights and credit discrimination cases)

Community Involvement

2007-2010 President, Council of Neighborhood Associations (founded and chaired award winning Tallahassee Neighborhood Energy Challenge)
Charter, current Board Member, Sustainable Tallahassee, Inc.
Current Alternate Board Member, Homelessness Council/Work Group
2006-2009 Member, Canopy Roads Citizens Committee
Business Partner Coordinator, Kate Sullivan Elementary School (bringing together businesses and neighborhoods to support teachers and students)
Co-Founder, Co-Chair, Leon County Citizens Budget Review Initiative (citizens’ group to review county budget, recommend fiscal policy, bring greater transparency to budget process)
2005-2008 Board Member, LeMoyne Center for the Visual Arts
2004-2008 Coordinator, ECHO homeless feeding program for his Church.
2004-2009, Board Member & Vice-Chair, Florida Council on Arts and Culture
Member, Blueprint 2000 Citizen Advisory Committee
Member, Advisory Council, Florida Department of Elder Affairs


http://www.stephenhogge.com/
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