There are the people who are elected to run the City, the Mayor and Commissioners, and then there is the person who actually runs it. Sometimes it can be one in the same. For example in Chicago everyone knows Rahm Emanuel is not only the Mayor he’s the “Godfather”. Some in the media have so dubbed him, a title he does not mind one bit. He runs the city.
The media knows and understands this and handle him accordingly.
Today, in a world where women are now considered the equal of men in combat (see Secty. of Defense Leon Panetta) I figure it’s time to be very inclusive and in that spirit I will designate City of Tallahassee Manager Anita Favors-Thompson “The Godmother”.
Let there be no mistake…she runs the City.
To be clear…no one has ever asserted that Rahm Emanuel has broken any laws and I make no claim about Favors-Thompson running afoul of the law either (though I would love for the Florida Attorney General to take a look at several issues like “deferred comp”).
No, The Godmother is the highest taxpayer paid official in the City (or County). Yet, she only takes questions from the stiffs at the local paper. You know, the ones who toss softballs and never dare question the answers. She has told me (through my producers over the years) that she feels no need to appear and answer questions.
Before you take the bail-out route of, “Well, Preston she knows you do not like her”, etc. First, I have never met the woman. Second, long before my complete distrust and lack of respect for her I was very cordial and open to some basic Q & A. You see I think that taxpayer funded officials like a City Manager have an obligation to answer questions, a duty.
Just minutes ago we had another amazing example of why those questions need to be asked. When concerns were raised about a contract being awarded by the City, one of the Commissioners asked for a couple weeks to review everything. He was told by The Godmother that there was no need to look at the matter in detail.
Then, after a moment or two, it was over. The Godmother snapped everyone back in line. This is how it goes downtown.
An observation of the room showed not one reporter from the local paper. But fear not, the City may offer a press release so there should be “coverage” in the local paper on Thursday.
Just consider…one Commissioner has a spouse that works, repeat works, for Ms. Favors-Thompson.
(Commission Nancy Miller’s Husband John Buss works for the City For The Head Of Stormwater Management | Also, the brother of John Buss is Rich Buss. Rich Buss is a major crook that used to work for the City of Tallahassee in which his Dakota Apartments Student Property was foreclosed with IRS Income Tax Evasions and other crooked schemes | Lynda Pfundstein works for the City Of Tallahassee and is the girlfriend and crooked business partner of Rich Buss in their schemes together. Rich Buss and Lynda Pfundstein have numerous civil lawsuits against them in Leon County Court for being frauds leading to forclosure of several properties that they bought together.)
I wonder, “How does that work?” How does a City Commissioner ask tough questions and hold accountable the very person who employs their spouse?
In the grand scheme of things…this is nothing. There’s much more to this story. Ms. Favors-Thompson came to the employ of the City while new City Commissioner Scott Maddox was the Mayor. Do not underestimate the importance of that little detail in the weeks, months, and years to come.
My advice to you, especially if you are a City resident, is to pay close attention to what happens each and every time there’s a meeting of the City Commission. Here’s hoping someone steps up to do some reporting, the kind that Tallahassee Reports was doing when the real dealings downtown were discovered or, should I say, uncovered.