2019 10 Best Places to Get a Fresh Start – 10th Tallahassee? NOT

It seems that some editorial writer (fiction writer maybe?) at Livability.com decided to write a fantasy article about Tallahassee, Florida. I am not certain that this person has ever been to Tallahassee, perhaps just a fleeting moment on passing through on I-10.

The article wherein Tallahassee Florida ranked number 10, was under a “Best Places To Live” section. That, in and of itself, is enough for a resident to double over laughing. They then titled the editorial 2019 10 Best Places To Get A Fresh Start. For who, the criminal?

Tallahassee, Florida is still reeling from the latest scandal, several city officials being charged on criminal counts while holding city positions, and its mayor, Andrew Gillum, was investigated by the FBI and ultimately fined by the Florida Ethics committee. While the mayor and several council members were living luxuriously apparently, thanks to tax payers and inside deals, crime skyrocketed. But that is just a footnote in a long history for Tallahassee Florida.

Weather

In Livability’s article, 2019 10 Best Places To Get A Fresh Start, they lead off by saying that Tallahassee averages 233 days of sunshine. Seriously? It’s not all sunny skies in Tallahassee Florida. What Livability fails to mention, is that Tallahassee Florida only averages 102 days of full sun, and 129 days of partial sun (which, as residents know, can include up to severe thunderstorms) to make 231 days “with sunshine”, according to CurrentResults.com (to Livability.com, that was a simple search from Google.com.)

Housing

Livability’s editorial, 2019 10 Best Places To Get A Fresh Start, states that houses can still be purchased for under $200,000. There is a element of truth to that, but it is also misleading. According to Zillow, the median housing price in Tallahassee is $219,900. Less expensive houses can be located, but in less desirable areas of town. Usually in places even Law Enforcement avoids, unless called. Livability did lump in with housing costs in Tallahassee that one is only a “couple hours from some of the most beautiful beaches on the Gulf Coast.” Although correct, there are other cities, arguably with less crime and better employment opportunities, that are closer to that same Gulf Coast. Tampa, Clearwater and Pensacola for instance, to name a few.

Education

In Livability’s editorial 2019 10 Best Places to Get a Fresh Start, they toot their own horn about including Tallahassee in their own other editorial, “Livability’s 2018 Top 100 Best Places to Live list” seemingly drawing on again assertions being questioned herein, and also in this article.

They do however in 2019 10 Best Places to Get a Fresh Start, shine a light on education, spotlighting Florida A&M and TCC (Tallahassee Community College.) In a bizarre twist, they neglected to mention Florida State University, also located in Tallahassee. I am not sure if it was an oversight or intentional, but they did not mention FSU. Arguably one of the most recognized Athletics Departments in the United States (and other recognized colleges, such as College of Nursing, College of Medicine, College of Business and their Film School and College of the Arts.)

Careers

Probably the outright must laughable, if not outright false, mention about Tallahassee in Livability’s 2019 10 Best Places to Get a Fresh Start is “Tallahassee is a fantastic place to grow your career.” It is evident that the writer of that editorial has never attempted to gain a livable employment in Tallahassee, let alone a career. They state, “In fact, Tallahassee’s economy was the fastest growing in the entire state of Florida last year, thanks to a spike in public and private development,” what they do not state however is how much was related to these dealings, “Prolific Tallahassee businessman J.T. Burnette indicted in FBI corruption investigation“, which involved numerous city council people, and perhaps the mayor. Without that, however, another simple Google search dispels the myth of the fastest growing economy, with story after story like this one, “Walton County is Florida’s fastest growing local economy” The best part about Walton County is that it’s minutes from the Gulf Beaches, not hours. It is possible that Livability’s 2019 10 Best Places to Get a Fresh Start was referring to a Tweet in 2018 alleging Tallahassee as the fastest growing economy in Florida, but even that was dispelled and linked to a 2016 report.

As is pointed out here, Tallahassee is only really business “friendly” to the few wealthy families that control the city, and most of the lands therein. Exorbitant lease prices stimey local business growth and prosperity. Even one of the Hospitals in town buys land from it’s own CFO. Good ‘old boys at its finest. The wealthy families keep big business and competitors out of Tallahassee, either with influence within City Hall, or unrealistic lease prices, or both. If your career goals are State jobs (most are low paying), government, Walmart/Target, or other minimum wage gigs, the Tallahassee may just be a career option for you.

Perhaps when Livability.com writes editorials on a city, they should actually speak to residents, especially life-long and several generations residents.

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