John Dailey: ‘I love being mayor’

John Dailey was elected mayor of his hometown in November.
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Tallahassee Mayor John E. Dailey envisions Tallahassee as a 21st century city, a community where tourists are eager to visit.

Dailey is a Tallahassee native and the founder of JDA Strategies, a research and development consulting firm focused on local governance. He is also married and has two children.

Dailey, elected mayor in November after 12 years as a county commissioner, has always had a passion for public service. He received his bachelor's degree in political science from Florida State University, where he served as president of the Student Government Association. He received his first master's degree in public administration from FSU and has a second master’s degree in urban and regional planning from the London School of Economics.  

“I love being mayor, this is the best job in the world,” Dailey said. “Our job is to try to do the best job that we can and provide world class services and make Tallahassee the best city in the world.”

Dailey is committed to providing world-class services to the residents of Tallahassee including garbage pickup, electricity, clean water and proper storm water infrastructure to prevent flooding.

In his first 100 days, Dailey said the first initiative is to maintain world -class services through the transition to a City Commission with four of the five members new to the position.

He said one of his goals is to expand the economic footprint by creating new jobs and public safety.

“I think he’s good at building partnerships and we need a better economy, because there is a lot of poverty in this economy. We work with organizations like the Second Harvest of the Big Bend to help the impoverished communities. I’m eager to work with Mayor Dailey,” Mary Ann Lindley, a Leon County commissioner who worked alongside Dailey for six years.

Dailey wants to improve on everything in Tallahassee through energy efficiency and has signed a pledge to become 100 percent percent renewable by the year 2050. The city is looking for a a new public safety complex that would also be the headquarters for the Tallahassee Police Department.

“He cares about this city and puts in the time and work to make Tallahassee a better place. He’s (experienced) in the county side of things and the city side of things. He understands what he is doing and wants to see the city progress,” said Courtney Thomas, director of external affairs at City Hall.

Dailey mentioned that he wants to make sure as the city progresses to be mindful of non-campus student housing expansion and protecting historic neighborhoods like Frenchtown, Greater Bond area and other traditional communities in Tallahassee.

“The most exciting thing about being mayor is the people I get to meet,” Dailey said. “I get to meet the most incredible people from all different walks of life and that’s what makes Tallahassee so unique. Our diversity is what makes us strong.”