JaxPoliticsOnline.com

Observations and musings on Jacksonville Politics

Charlie Crist Fundraises in Jax

Interesting that the brother of a Democratic City Council Member is on the host list:

The governor’s campaign fundraising tour of the Sunshine state take him to the Jacksonville home of Steve and Diane Halverson June 17. Crist today brushed off the notion that he’s aiming to post ginormous numbers for his first quarter as a senate candidate: “No, not really. Just working hard every day….It’s kind of steady as you go. There’s a long time.”

Jacksonville hosts include:

ERIKA ALBA, ED BURR, DOUG BURNETT, JR., JOHN BROWNING, HON. RICHARD CLARK, DEREK & KIM DEWAN, JOHN & SHANNON FALCONETTI, MARTY FIORENTINO, WILLIAM P. FOLEY, II, REGINALD GAFFNEY, DR. JAVIER GARCIA, TRAVIS HUTSON, HON. KEVIN HYDE, DR. GASPER LAZZARA, HON. PHIL MAYS, HON. MARK MINER, JOE MOBLEY, TOM PETWAY, MAYOR JOHN PEYTON, LEE ANN & PETER RUMMELL, TOM SLATER, HON. CYNDI STEVENSON, HANS TANZLER, III, WAYNE WEAVER

The Weavers keep their political bases covered.  Just for the record…Delores Barr Weaver was at Alex Sink’s recent Jacksonville event. Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements

Filed under: Florida, Florida Politics, Jacksonville, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A Reality Check Comes to the First Coast

IMG_0297Reality Check First Coast, a project that was months in the making, came to St. Johns County Convention Center at the World Golf Village on Thursday.  Reality Check First Coast is a visioning exercise that seeks to analyze and develop alternative growth scenarios for the seven county area—Nassau, Duval, Clay, Baker, St. Johns, Flagler and Putnam—through the year 2060.  According to research performed by the GeoPlan Center at the University of Florida and the Northeast Florida Regional Council, the First Coast area is expected to projected to add 1.6 million people and 650,000 new jobs by 2060.

The visioning exercise conducted at the May 21 event was designed raise awareness as to the projected levels of region-wide growth, and to lay the foundation fort the development of a concrete list of next steps to meet the region’s future job, housing, transportation, infrastructure and recreational needs.

To that end, over 275 of North Florida’s political, business and non-profit leaders gathered to share their vision of what the First Coast can become.  There were 30 tables of 10 people people who used red (jobs)  and yellow (residential) Lego’s to represent future development.  Among the participants were UNF President (and former Mayor) John Delaney, Mayor John Peyton, Councilman Kevin Hyde, Councilman Art Graham and Councilman Bill Bishop.  Governor Charlie Crist also spoke at the event.

My table had a diverse group, including a former Jacksonville City Councilwoman, the City Manager of a neighboring town, a School Board member from a neighboring county and business leaders from Jacksonville and surrounding areas.  Interestingly enough, perhaps a testament to what we would all like North Florida to become, we began by marking off greenspace areas that we wanted to preserve and enhance.  We then moved on to identifying where we would like alternative forms of transportation, such as high-speed rail, and moved on from there.  Perhaps the most difficult challenge was deciding where to place the scores of red (jobs) and yellow (residential) Lego’s.  We had said that we wanted to avoid the urban sprawl that plagues so much of North Florida, and that proved rather challenging to change.  In the end, our consensus was that North Florida must develop better forms of Transportation, mixed-use developments with high-quality schools and accessible greenspace that accentuates our River, Beaches and the natural beauty of our region.  

The project is by no means complete.  Visit Reality Check’s website for information on how you can become involved. 

Oh…and for the political junkies…interestingly enough, the prospect of hearing the incumbent Governor and current Senatorial candidate didn’t seem to inspire more of Jacksonville’s City Council members to attend, other than Hyde, Graham and Bishop who were already mentioned…  More pictures below… Read the rest of this entry »

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

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 »

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

Yarborough, Hyde: An unlikely, but good combination

16-2. 

That was the City Council vote passing the 20 and out, guaranteed 3% COLA, corrections officers pension bill in City Council Tuesday night – despite the fact that the correctional officers pension fund is facing a $55 million unfunded liability at last count.

The only two City Councilpersons unwilling to potentially bankrupt the City with additional unfunded pension liabilities:  Clay Yarborough and Kevin Hyde. 

While there was much talk of City Council’s “moral” obligation to pass the pension bill, most Council members, except for Yarborough and Hyde, appeared to have ignored a legal opinion issued by the City’s Office of General Counsel to Councilman John Crescimbeni.  According to the legal opinion

The City intended to implement a three-year agreement, but, with the parties, recognizing the difficulties in that, agreed instead to obligate the Administration to introduce each component of the MOU in the agreed-upon time frame, to the Council for passage. The earlier passage of the funding obligations demonstrates further the City’s need to fund before it finally obligates itself. Accordingly, the City has the greater weight of this disputed issued, and it is more likely than not that the Council would be held not to have legally obligated itself to make these final changes.

Thank you, Councilman Yarborough and Councilman Hyde – for taking a stand to protect Jacksonville’s future budgets.  Thank you for being more concerned with your fiscal responsibilities as City leaders than with threats from a “man who would be king”.

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, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Blog Stats

  • 181,139 Visitors This Year