Longtime vendor claims city, Dailey are killing his business

The city supplied the permit allowing King to operate his business using his temporary structure, and the mayor told us he hopes King opens again.
Published: Oct. 27, 2022 at 3:37 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -A local businessman putting his frustration with the City of Tallahassee on full display.

You may have seen the banner just off Thomasville Rd, claiming, “John Dailey killed Christmas by King.”

Jim King has been selling pumpkins and Christmas trees from lots around town for years, but now he’s said the city is killing his business. King said he’s been selling pumpkins around Halloween and trees around Christmas in Tallahassee for nearly 40 years.

Four years ago, he found himself at Financial Plaza Rd, just off Thomasville Rd. King bought the property in 2019.

Every year, he puts up a 5400 sq. foot temporary pavilion. He said he wants to build a permanent, two-story building there, but he claims the city has denied him a permit—citing utility transmission and distribution lines on the land.

So he put up a sign calling out that John Dailey, the mayor, has killed his business.

“I want my business to survive,” said business owner Jim King.

“I don’t want some bureaucrat who just makes something up and some weak-kneed politician just not saying anything while I just end up in some dank nursing home Medicaid ward. I’m not happy.”

Several Dozier for Mayor signs are scattered on King’s property, and his attacks come less than two weeks before election day.

We reached out to Mayor John Dailey, who said Christmas by King has been an institution in Tallahassee, and he led the charge to get the property rezoned so King could operate there.

The mayor said state and federal rules prohibit the building because of the power lines, and he calls the sign and the complaints a political stunt.

“The fact that my opponent’s sign is right behind the sign he had made makes it hard not to think so, but nonetheless, we want to see Mr. King operates,” said Mayor John Dailey.

King said Kristin Dozier is his former neighbor.

The city supplied the permit allowing King to operate his business using his temporary structure, and the mayor told us he hoped King would open again.