Observations and musings on Jacksonville Politics

JAX Chamber Pimps Itself Out

The Board of the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce has inserted itself into City government by voting to back the Mayor in his bad to ram a $750 million no-bid contract down the throats of struggling taxpayers. The Chamber, led by long-time Peyton fundraiser Mike Hightower, has shown an absolute lack of understanding of the entire Trail Ridge issue with the following statement:

“We’ve taken such a hard hit in the past few years,” said Maxine McBride, marketing and communications chair for the chamber. “We have to take a look at the impact that not extending the contract would have on the building and development industry in Northeast Florida. We do not want to be forced to dispose of trash out of the county and pay disposal fees.”

Ms. McBride is perhaps unaware, or has chosen to be unaware, of the fact that there are other companies who do perform the same services as Waste Management and would like to bid on this project. These bids could quite possibly save the taxpayers money—something we will never know unless the project is bid out. (And, yes, Ms. McBride was a contributor to John Peyton’s Mayoral campaign.)

Shame on the Chamber, but if anyone is surprised, drinks are on me. When your Daddy owns the City’s most exclusive private clubs that most of the members of the Chamber’s Board of Directors belong to, you pretty much own them.

Who’s your Daddy, Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce?


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Jax Chamber to City Council: Don’t Watch Taxpayer Dollars Too Closely!

According to the Daily Record, the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce is opposed to efforts to rein in the City’s independent agencies, which are run by un-elected Boards of Directors. The Chamber is calling on the Council—the City’s elected body charged by the taxpayers with administering tax revenue—to stay out of the agencies operations.

The Jacksonville Regional Chamber of Commerce opposes two bills that would allow City Council to partially regulate what the city’s independent agencies can and can’t do. In a letter to Council President Ronnie Fussell, Chamber Chair Ron Autrey says the consolidated nature of Jacksonville’s government was established to assure the independence of those agencies. “The Jacksonville Regional Chamber of Commerce urges you to vote no” on the two bills, wrote Autrey.


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