JaxPoliticsOnline.com

Observations and musings on Jacksonville Politics

The New Media & North Florida Politicians

There was a fascinating article in today’s Miami Herald discussing how so many politicians are embracing social networking sites as a method of establishing communication with certain voter demographics that they might not otherwise interact with.  Much of this has been a result of the amazingly successful campaign of Barack Obama, which truly set the standard for interfacing social networking and political campaigns.  Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) is cited for her embrace of YouTube, and Florida Senator Mel Martinez (R) is interviewed about his newfound love of Twittering.  (Of course, I must mention…if you really want to follow a humorous elected Twitterer, follow Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO)—she’s a college basketball nut who Twitters about everything!)

So, where are North Florida politicians in this media revolution?  

Five of Jacksonville’s Nineteen City Council Members have a profile on Facebook.  Of those, only one appears to use it to engage in political discussion.  Two of the City’s Constitutional Officers have Facebook profiles, but neither appear to use it to promote their office or campaign.  The Mayor has no presence on Facebook—hardly surprising considering he doesn’t even have a published e-mail address on the City’s website.

Only one member of the Jacksonville City Council can be found on Twitter, which truly begs the question: “How is it that a Senator from Missouri can Twitter with her constituents, but a Jacksonville City Council member cannot?” Read the rest of this entry »

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Filed under: Florida, Florida Politics, Jacksonville, Jacksonville City Council, Mayor of Jacksonville, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Councilwoman Leaves GOP

Remember our recent post discussing the upcoming Mayor’s race?  Well, things are really starting to looking interesting.  Councilwoman Glorious Johnson, the only current African-American official elected county-wide, has left the Republican Party.  Frustrated by what she views as the unwillingness of local Republican leadership to embrace open and ethical government and their lack of interest in tackling the City’s ongoing crime issues, Ms. Johnson has left the Grand Old Party and become a Democrat.

Filed under: Jacksonville, Jacksonville City Council, ,

And the new Mayor is…

The 2011 Mayor’s race is starting to get a little crowded. We’ve already discussed Tax Collector Mike Hogan‘s interest in the job here. Duval County Supervisor of Elections Jerry Holland has long had designs on the Mayor’s Office and that urge has certainly not dissipated. Mr. Holland seems to be operating on the assumption that no major Democrat will enter the race and has been courting the support of the Democratic Executive Committee. Word on the street is that he has approached a certain high profile Jacksonville Democrat to seek their backing. Three current members of the City Council—Daniel Davis, Glorious Johnson and Ronnie Fussell— have expressed interest. Of course, with Mr. Davis and Mr. Fussell being related, one assumes that they wouldn’t challenge each other…it would probably be Mr. Davis who enters the race. Of course, Duval County Sheriff John Rutherford has shown some interest in the past, but that appears to have passed. The real wild card? Former Jaguar Tony Boselli. Mr. Boselli is said to be very interested in a potential bid, something that would place him on a direct collision course with Mr. Davis and Mr. Hogan. That could create a free-for-all that someone like Ms. Johnson could capitalize on…

Filed under: Jacksonville, Mayor of Jacksonville, , , , , , ,

Cashin’ In at the JAA

Folio Weekly has a top-notch expose out this week on John Clark, the head of the Jacksonville Aviation Authority.  Serving as the head of an independent agency is quite lucrative—at least in Jacksonville, Florida.  Mr. Clark’s compensation ranks him as the highest paid airport executive in the state, even higher than Atlanta’s airport.  (And, in case you are wondering, Jacksonville comes nowhere close to competing with Atlanta, Miami or Orlando in terms of volume.)  According to Folio, Mr. Clark’s compensation includes:

  • Base salary of $241,000 (with an automatic 5% annual increase through 2012)
  • $850 monthly car allowance
  • $750 monthly cell phone/business expense allowance ($50 annual increase)
  • 100% coverage of health insurance premiums
  • Membership dues to the River Club or University Club
  • $15,000 annual retirement contribution
  • Business travel expenses, as needed, which included such things as $10,491 to attend this year’s London Air Show and $11,304 to attend an Airports Council International meeting in Shanghai

Folio pointed out that Mr. Clark recently ordered staff cuts at JIA, presumably to preserve the 30% operating margin that triggers an automatic 30% bonus payout to him ($72,300).  The City Council, particularly Clay Yarborough, Glorious Johnson and Bill Bishop, appear to have taken an interest in reigning in JAA by attempting to restrict his dictatorial powers to move around his budget.  With JAA operating at such impressive margins, perhaps its time for it to start contributing to the City’s general fund, much like another independent authority (the JEA) does…

Filed under: Jacksonville, Jacksonville City Council, , , , , , , , , ,

Just Say No

The Times Union reported on the Waste Management no-bid contract this morning.

Where to begin?

Should I start with Art Shad who is the ONLY Council person to come out of the gate expressing his wholehearted support of the no-bid agreement – “a shining example of what’s good”?

Or should I start with Paul Harden who thinks the no-bid contract “sells itself”?

Or should I start with Waste Management representatives who will be meeting with each of the Council members individually to “ensure the council has all the information…”?

Or should I start with the positives – the Council members who appear to have spines?

IMO, this is a no-brainer decision – JUST SAY NO.  This contract should be put out to bid and I am calling my council representatives to encourage them to do just that.

Here’s a run-down of the various Council members’ current position on the no-bid contract according to the Times Union::

     

CONTACT THE COUNCIL

Filed under: Jacksonville, Jacksonville City Council, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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