Observations and musings on Jacksonville Politics

City Facing $65 million Budget Deficit

In this morning’s Times-Union, reporter Tia Mitchell writes about the $65 million budget deficit facing the City of Jacksonville in the upcoming fiscal year.  The budget, which is due from the Mayor in several weeks, was already under pressure from the state-mandated property tax cuts which were part of the “Save Our Homes” amendment passed several years ago.  When combined with declining property values and a sour economic outlook, next year’s budget picture looks rather bleak.

Jacksonville now faces the challenge of being forced to cut services even more than they have already been cut do deal with the deficit.  The alternative—raising the millage rate—is an unlikely option, particularly in light of the fact that many council members, who would have to vote on the increase, face re-election in 2011.  They are unlikely to support the increase, especially in light of the fact that the 2007 fee increases remain so widely unpopular.

It would seem that its time for the Mayor to effectively make his case to voters as to why more cuts are not an option.  Perhaps a listening tour is in order.

If there was ever a time for someone to step into a leadership role in Jacksonville, the time would appear to be now.


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

Peyton, City owe 60,000 people money

If you’re like most folks, you went ahead and paid the stormwater and/or garbage fees when the City billed you.  However, many folks were either exempt from paying the fees or the City calculated their fees wrong.  Now these citizens are waiting on refunds from the City……and they’re waiting….and waiting….and waiting. 

The City had promised refunds would be sent out in August.  But now it’s November and many people (approximately 60,000) still haven’t received theirs  – and thousands of refunds are still waiting to be processed.

In July, the Mayor’s Office was still trying to figure out how they would be sending out the 2009 bills.  I’m not sure if they have figured that out yet, but one thing for sure – the present system isn’t working.  Nothing new there.

If you owed the City money, you would be guaranteed that an attorney would have contacted you by now trying to collect your debt.  Why doesn’t that work both ways?

Filed under: Jacksonville, Mayor of Jacksonville, ,

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