A done deal: Blueprint passes Doak funding 7-5

City and County Commissioners on Blueprint heard from about 35 public speakers for about an hour and a half, with the majority speaking against the funding.
Published: Feb. 24, 2022 at 7:45 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 25, 2022 at 10:20 AM EST
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - In a 7 to 5 vote, the Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency decided to move forward with funding for repairs to Doak Campbell Stadium.

The vote breakdown was identical to December of 2021.

City Commissioners Jeremy Matlow and Jack Porter, and County Commissioners Kristin Dozier, Rick Minor, and Brian Welch voted against the funding.

City Commissioners Dianne Williams-Cox, Curtis Richardson, Mayor John Dailey, and County Commissioners Jimbo Jackson, Nick Maddox, Carolyn Cummings, and Bill Proctor voted in favor of the funding.

The Doak funding issue was wrapped into the 2022 Bond Issue with eight other infrastructure projects.

City and County Commissioners on Blueprint heard from about 35 public speakers for about an hour and a half, with the majority speaking against the funding.

A small number of protesters also gathered outside City Hall ahead of the start of the meeting, with tape on t-shirts spelling out “NO.”

Supporters of the project had “Yes to Doak” stickers inside chambers.

“It will allow it to continue to be a vital economic driver for the community. That was confirmed in the economic study provided to each commissioner to the tune of 80 million annually,” FSU Athletic Director Michael Alford said.

Opponents argued in favor of putting the money toward other projects instead.

“The sidewalks in Tallahassee are absolutely atrocious and present a threat to all the working people who actually have to use them on a daily basis. The roads on the Southside are riddled with potholes and general disrepair,” one FSU student said.

After public comment, Leon County Commissioner Kristin Dozier made a motion to rescind the September vote to fund Doak repairs, citing the amount of public input she had heard.

“It’s their money, and I think we should listen to them,” Dozier said.

Leon County Commissioner Jimbo Jackson made a substitute motion to move forward with all projects listed in the bond issue, citing the job opportunities for residents of his district.

“While I understand everyone’s argument and their passion regarding what’s going on, this is the one time I’m going to cheer for the home team,” Jackson said. “I am convinced that we have got to invest in the west side of Leon County to save a dying section of Leon County.”

Leon County Commissioner Brian Welch said he had initially supported the project, but couldn’t anymore.

“FSU is a valuable partner, a vital partner,” Welch said. “But the facts of the thing still prevail. You can do 10 Amazon projects for the side of this allocation.”

City Commissioner Curtis Richardson said he was in favor of the funding.

“I believe that this is an opportunity for us to continue to move this community forward with the economic development we need,” Richardson said.

After the vote, FSU released a statement from President Richard McCullough.

“Today’s vote ensures that Doak Campbell Stadium will remain a significant contributor to the local economy for years to come. We commend the Blueprint board for supporting this long-term investment in our community.”

Richard McCullough, Florida State University President

At Thursday’s meeting, Commissioners also voted to move forward with the Office of Economic Vitality’s Strategic Plan.

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