Leon County moves to dismantle downtown CRA

By: Mariel Carbone | WCTV Eyewitness News
October 24, 2017

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) — The Leon County Commission is pushing forward to dismantle the downtown Community Redevelopment Agency.

Talks of dissolving the downtown district started as a budget tighten measure, with the county hoping to save finances to offset a potential homestead tax exemption. The decision also coincides with a federal probe looking into downtown development as well as the downtown CRA.

Tuesday, the commission voted unanimously to accept a status report about sunsetting its involvement in the downtown CRA. It also decided not to move forward with creating any new districts until an agreement is made with the city to remove the county from the downtown district.

Commissioners agreed that the district has “run its course.”

"It's time to let the downtown CRA fly out of the nest on its own. It's doing really well,” said Commissioner Mary Ann Lindley.

"And it would also critically allow us to focus on Frenchtown Southside which I think has the highest need,” said Commissioner Kristin Dozier.

The commission has agreed that it will move forward with the three projects already in the pipeline.

As this decision was made, a more radical suggestion was made by Commissioner Bill Proctor. He called for the firing of Executive Director of the CRA, Roxanne Manning. He said he sent a five page email outlining his reasoning to City Manager Rick Fernandez.

Commissioner Nick Maddox, who is also Chair of the CRA board, noted the need for more transparency. He’d like to a quicker turnaround time for releasing meeting minutes stating that if the board can’t handle that, it cannot rebuild public trust.

The City of Tallahassee will take up the fate of the downtown CRA at its meeting, Wednesday.

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