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Tallahassee city commission discusses priorities for 2018

Posted at 5:14 PM, Jan 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-10 13:39:19-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - The Tallahassee city commission's annual retreat wrapped up on Wednesday.

During the retreat, which took place at the Tallahassee International Airport, leaders took a look at a number key issues and discussed the city's priorities for this year.

Commissioners came up with four areas to focus on in 2018: public safety, economic development, quality of life and infrastructure. Officials seemed pretty optimistic, looking at where the Capital City is headed.

Tallahassee is getting bigger, safer and stronger. That's the message city officials shared Wednesday.

The Capital City is ranked 19th in the nation when it comes to economic growth per capita.

"It's not been dependent upon what the state has done or anybody else," said Tallahassee mayor Andrew Gillum. "It's been dependent upon what we've done here as a community, and I think that's the best kind of growth you can ask for."

Commissioners first heard certain updates from 2017, including infrastructure and the response to Hurricane Irma.

Crime is down too. Tallahassee Police chief Michael DeLeo says it decreased nearly 14 percent in 2017 compared to the year before. One of the city's goals this year is to find a location for a new police headquarters.

The chief says the vision is to make a "public safety campus" for the community.

"Come play basketball and have a park and a playground that's part of the overall campus and footprint with what the police facility would be, so that way, we're just part of the normal environment," said DeLeo. "We're really trying to create more and more opportunity when the only time someone comes into contact with the police department or a police officer is when something's wrong, but just as part of their normal daily lives, and that's how you develop relationships."

Elsewhere, development continues to be a hot topic in Tallahassee. The city says there are 95 projects in different phases throughout the city.

Back at city hall, the search for a new city manager continues. A national recruitment process will involve hiring a professional firm and engaging the community.

"I think whoever takes the helm of this government as elected officials will rest assured, knowing the community had its full weight and input on the best selection for city manager," said Gillum.

Another one of the big talkers was the future of the airport and who runs it. Right now, that's the city, but a presentation Wednesday morning looked at possibly changing that to an airport authority.