A few days ago, Joey Marchy of Urban Jacksonville blogged about a Twitter conversation that took place between myself, a fellow JaxPoliticsOnline.com blogger and Marilyn Young, the assisting managing editor at the Times-Union. The conversation was in regards to the reluctance of incoming council president Richard Clark to allow public access to his e-mail via the city council’s website. Ms. Young pledged to put the question to Mr. Clark the following day in a interview that had already been scheduled with Tia Mitchell, the Times-Union’s City Hall reporter. As we discussed this, my fellow JaxPoliticsOnline.com blogger pointed out that e-mails for many of the Mayor’s current staff members were also not available online. The Times-Union contacted the Mayor’s Office the next day to inquire about the e-mails and Misty Skipper, the Mayor’s Communications Director, pledged to have the city’s website updated.
I’m happy to say that the e-mails are now accessible for public review. They can be found here (enter “publicdocs” as the user name and “public” as the password). E-mails for participating city council members, including the incoming council president, can be found here (enter “citycpublic” as the user name and “public” as the password).
Mayor Peyton, his staff and Richard Clark are all to be commended for taking an important step in embracing transparency in Jacksonville government.