City Commission commits to keeping its workers employed, despite lost revenues

Published: Jul. 8, 2020 at 6:04 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - The City of Tallahassee is facing a revenue loss of about $23.4 million due to COVID-19; City Commissioners heard an update on the budget and made decisions about operating and capital budgets for FY2021.

To balance the FY20 budget, Commissioners voted to appropriate $11.3 million of federal aid monies and reduced budgeted expenditures by $6.4 million.

Commissioners made a commitment not to furlough or lay off any employees; however, City employees will likely not receive raises in FY21.

In addition to a two-hour discussion of the budget, Mayor John Dailey brought up issues of mental health.

Mayor Dailey discussed his visits to Orange Avenue and Leon Arms, calling for emergency public health measures, bringing mental health programs to City assets.

“When I was down there, that was one of the first things the residents spoke about, ‘Hey we just want to talk to somebody,‘” said Mayor Dailey. “So, Reese, I’m charging you to please put something together on a short-term emergency basis, but also long-term to bring back to the commission.”

The motion that ultimately passed was for the City Manager to work with the County Administrator to bring an update on the ability of the City to bring mental health services directly to residents. That item should come up at the Commissioners’ August budget meeting.

Commissioners also agreed to keep the millage rate the same at 4.1000, where it’s been for the last four years. City Manager Reese Goad emphasized that Tallahassee holds the lowest property rate among Florida’s 25 most populous cities.

As part of the budget plans, there will not be any new employees hired at the City. However, there is one exception, with the new Inspector General’s office.

The City Auditor will act as Inspector General and have two full time employees.

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