Tallahassee Zing - Hidden Agenda Or Just Ignorance?

If you have something to say ... step up and say it.

But say it and own it.

The Tallahassee Democrat's daily Zing! attracts anonymous comments, which by definition is not a "zing."

Anonymous OpinionA true "zing" requires quick wit. The wit I see in most Zing!'s is of the nit variety.

The Urban Dictionary defines a zing as "An interjection commonly used after making a witty joke at someone else's expense while they are present."

Note that it says "while they are present."

But Tallahassee Democrat readers use the daily Zing! to attempt being funny, at somebody else's expense, while hiding their identity and without the offended party being present.

Just so that I'm not vague, many people "Zing!" without leaving their name and that cloak of anonymity emboldens them to say things they would not have to the courage to say in public. The picture on the right is of a "Cowardly Lion" with a Zing! face, you can infer my meaning.

For the most part, the daily Zing! is harmless, but sometimes it can be used to spread misinformation, whether purposely or not. But the Zing! section is just a public forum for Cowardly Lions to poke and prod without having to stand behind what they say.

If You Say It, Own It

I don't regularly read the daily Zing!, but somebody sent me a link and told me that I was mentioned in a Zing! back in October.

It said ... 

So Joe Manausa thinks there should be a school built on the west side to bail out all the dumb developers who overbuilt there? Zing! on Tallahassee.com

This statement is so blatantly ignorant that anybody who pays attention to the local real estate market immediately should understand this Zinger is either a shill for the south side developers or is somebody who just wants to see his comment in print. Either way, this statement was a waste of ink.

Sadly, people who do not keep up with the housing market and local economy might be persuaded to politic against a west side high school. That would be unfortunate.

If you want a full summary of what prompted the Zing, you can read the article here: Southside High School In Tallahassee.

If you want my non quick-witted, non anonymous rebuttal, consider these points:

  1. The developers who overbuilt on the west side do not need to be "bailed out." They are building multi-family units in order to attract student renters and are having no problems filling up their new offerings. It is clear that they are not "dumb" as they are having great success building new rental properties for students.
  2. The people who need to be "bailed out" on the west side are single family homeowners who have watched thousands of students move out (or start to move out) as they head towards the new multifamily units. These owners have little to no market for their homes. This has created a glut of single family detached and attached homes in the market, in an area where families would move if the schools were improved. It is this dynamic that holds west side home values down and its the reason why the west side has the highest relative supply of homes in Leon County.
  3. My recommended solution was to put the new high school where homes already exist. Why build a high school where homes do not yet exist on the south side? I'm sure the big developer down there who wants the high school is not "dumb" either.
  4. The author of this Zing! is either clueless about the plight of west side homeowners or has an ulterior motive to make a misleading statement through the Zing! forum.

If you happen to be a regular reader of the Tallahassee Democrat, you should recognize that the daily Zing! is being written by people who do not want to reveal their identity. If poking fun at people behind their backs is your cup of tea, you know where to go. Just recognize that the information is not necessarily accurate.

As far as the real estate market goes, I always publish my reports, findings, and opinions along with my name and contact information. In other words, when I post online, I own it and am prepared to defend my position.

The west side of Tallahassee is the least balanced area of the market, and enhancing the school system could be a great start for getting families with children to start considering homes on the west side.

If Leon County does add a new high school on the South side, we will see more middle to high end homes being built (above $300K) on the south side, while homes of similar size and features will remain unwanted on the west side, even though they are available for less than $200K.

The swiftest cure for stabilization and growth in Leon County is to put any new high school on the west side of town. Zing!

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