City of Tallahassee Mayor, John Dailey, on Life, Football Season, and Community

By Cristi McKee

TALLAHASSEE, Fla — There are some things that most know about City of Tallahassee Mayor John Dailey. He was elected the mayor of Tallahassee in 2018, he is a private business owner, and prior to becoming mayor, he served on the Leon County Board of County Commissioners. However, he also has a rescue dog named Lulu, his favorite season in Tallahassee is football season, he is the youngest of three siblings, and he takes his coffee black. The Tally Wire had the opportunity to interview Mayor Dailey about his everyday life here in Tallahassee. Here’s what he had to say.

If you have a free Saturday morning, how do you spend it? If I have a free Saturday morning, that is an anomaly. Not only with all the duties assigned as the mayor of the City and a private business owner, but I’m also the father of an 11-year-old and a 9-year-old who are very active in youth activities and youth sports, so we are usually headed in one direction or the other. But if I do have a free Saturday morning, I like to ease into my morning with a cup of coffee, usually with the newspapers, sitting outside and enjoying the beautiful weather. They are few and far between!

If you had to describe Tallahassee in one word, what would that word be? Amazing. 

This football season, is there a particular football game you’re looking forward to? All home games. I love them, both FAMU and Florida State. 

Is there one thing that you and your family have started doing since the pandemic started that you didn’t do before? Not so much that we hadn’t done before, but we spend a considerable amount of time out in our parks here locally, exploring the trails, hiking, and biking. We’ve always done it, but obviously with COVID, we’ve really kind of spent more family time and getting out and about.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? I wanted to be in public service. I didn’t know at what level. I didn’t know in what capacity. But I always knew I wanted to be in public service.

What’s your number one favorite thing about Tallahassee? I love her people. The citizens of Tallahassee are just great people. We’re Tallahassee proud, we love our community, we’re proud of our community, and I think it shows through each and every person. I always laugh and say, we’re a city of 200,000, we’re the seventh largest city in the state of Florida, but we still stop and say “hi” to each other on the sidewalk.

Is there a quote, phrase, or motto that you live by? There are several. Respect others unconditionally, and the golden rule: treat others how you want to be treated.

Do you have a favorite meal of the day? All of them. I particularly enjoy breakfast because, as you can imagine, a lot of nights I might have official duties so I’m not eating with the family. Breakfast is big in our family. We try to have breakfast together every morning before the boys go to school and my wife and I go to work. We do fun things because they’re still young, like we’ll have themed breakfasts. We might have big hair, 80’s and 90’s music-themed breakfasts.

What is one thing that you would like the citizens of Tallahassee to know and encourage them with during this time? We’re doing a great job with social distancing and following the CDC’s guidelines. I appreciate everyone wearing their masks. As a result, I believe our community is heading in the right direction. When we’re all working together, this community is going to come back stronger and better.

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