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Killearn HOA Endorses Right Wing City Districting Proposal

Steve Stewart, a self described journalist recently announced Killearn Homes Association would be supporting his plan to district Tallahassee, what he didn’t mention is that he lobbied them to do it.

// March 2, 2024,

6:31 pm

Updated:March 2, 2024

The Killearn Homes Association recently endorsed a controversial proposal by Steve Stewart, a right-wing radio talk show host, to district Tallahassee. The proposal, presented by Stewart at a recent Special Meeting of the Killearn Homes Association Board, aims to divide the city into districts and create between two and fourteen additional City Commission seats, while simultaneously eliminating people’s right to vote in the vast majority of city elections.

“I think there will be, well, I know the Killearn Homeowners Association took a position and they, they will get their position out,” Stewart said on his radio show Thursday. Stewart did not mention that he himself advocated for the Killearn Homes Association to endorse his proposal. Stewart was listed as the guest speaker on the special board meeting agenda obtained by Our Tallahassee. The February 15th agenda lists only two items, Stewart’s guest appearance, and an item under new business titled “District Representation Among the City Commission.” Stewart, a self described “journalist” alluded to the possibility that more predominately white neighborhoods may come out in support of his proposal to divide Tallahassee.

“I would think that other homeowner associations would be interested in saying, well, wait a minute, why are they doing this?” Stewart said on his radio show Thursday. “And if you look at the Northeast and you look to the East, I mean, you start looking at the Canopy Development, which is growing out to outside of Capitol Circle, which is going to be in the city. Start looking at Falls Chase. I think, I’m pretty sure Falls Chase, which is out Buck Lake Road behind Costco is in the city,” Stewart said. Falls Chase is not in the city limits.

The districting plan would necessitate renovations to City Hall’s fourth floor to accommodate the additional politicians created under the proposal. The city would also incur the cost of new commissioner’s aide salaries, commissioners salaries, discretionary expense accounts, healthcare and employee benefits on a recurring annual basis.

Other notable public backers of Stewart’s proposal include the Chairman of the Republican Party of Florida Evan Power, lobbyist and former staffer for Republicans Jared Willis, as well as Preston Scott, a conservative talk radio show host.

The Charter Review Committee has already rejected expanding the commission in an 8-2 vote, citing the financial implications and the significant change to city governance. Stewart said on Thursday’s Preston Scott Show that he hopes that City Commissioners will consider the districting proposal despite the Charter Review Committee rejecting expanding the commission.

Willis, a former board member of Grow Tallahassee, was one of the two votes on the Charter Review Committee in support of expanding the city commission. The other committee member to vote yes was Bugra Demirel, the treasurer of Grow Tallahassee who recently received $1.8 million dollars in Blueprint sales tax dollars. Willis expressed an interest in returning to the topic of the districting at another date, which was met with boos from the audience.

“You lost, sweetie,” said Serenity Williams, the Chair of the Leon County Young Democrats from the audience.

Evan Power, the Chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, recently told the Tallahassee Democrat that the Leon County Republican Party supported the move, and that it would create an opportunity for Republicans and “varied opinions that our city desperately, desperately needs.”

Stewart’s proposal has sparked criticisms about its impact on governance, representation, and the financial burden on taxpayers, with many, including the Leon County Democratic Party, opposing the initiative.

“Expanding the commission and districting Tallahassee voters would be an expensive, divisive waste of time,” said John Hedrick, a former Leon County Democratic Party Chair and current state committeeman.

The final decision rests with the City Commission, which will consider the Charter Review Committee’s recommendations before voting to send any proposed changes to the ballot. The districting proposal, if successful, would be the largest change to how Tallahassee elects its city government in over a hundred years.

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4 Responses

  1. “ varied opinions that our city desperately, desperately needs”. No Even Power, what you really can’t stand is the fact that we are a blue dot in a red sea and as republicans have shown over and over again, if you can’t win , you cheat.
    If you want to be surrounded by your varied varied opinions, move to Sarasota

  2. What is wrong with this picture? Why isn’t Evan Power being held accountable for failing to get Republicans elected in Tallahassee? I think they need to start there first. Democrats must be celebrating at the news of Evan Power becoming their republican state chair of the GOP.

  3. City Hall has been hit with an ethics complaint against the city manager for misusing funds. It seems the city manager is paying Steve Stewart to run a smear campaign against political adversaries (at the mayor’s direction). These payments serve no public purpose and is a misuse of tax dollars. Let’s see how effective the ethics board will be in addressing corruption at City Hall?

    Also, the ethics board is one of the issues that the city manager has dropped the ball on and failing to bring back to the city commissioners to fill vacancies that have been left long open and overdue to be filled.

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