Observations and musings on Jacksonville Politics

School Board Hikes Taxes, Public Silent

The Duval County School Board voted to raise the millage rate a quarter Tuesday night with nary a complaint from Jacksonville residents.  In contrast to the outpouring of e-mails flooding into City Hall mailboxes and the online and organized protests over the Mayor’s proposed increase—only a handful of residents turned up to voice concerns over an increase in the portion of the millage rate used to fund education.  To be sure, the increase levied by the School Board was smaller than the City’s proposal, but nevertheless, in a town known for its anti-tax sentiments, it is surprising that the increase received such little notice from taxpayers.

While public support for education is certainly strong, many have expressed concerns in the past over the expenditure of taxpayer dollars by the school board.  In fact, one of the most widely-read JaxPoliticsOnline.com columns over the past year was written by one of our former contributors who had expressed reservations over the size and expense of the administration housed on Prudential Drive.

Board members W. C. Gentry and Stan Jordan expressed their opposition to a tax hike without specifically designating the increased revenue raised be directed towards reserves.  The Times-Union article on the meeting can be read here.


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Jax hearts Jack Daniels

Except when he’s on a ballot…

Perennial candidate Jack Daniels didn’t bother with fundraising for his recent Duval County School Board race against W. C. Gentry.  After all, when you’ve have as many unsuccessful runs for office as Mr. Daniels has, donors are probably rather scarce.  Fresh off his losing bid for City Council District 11 seat (that featured Jay Jabour-style residency charges), Mr. Daniels pumped another $33,76.64 of his own money into the School Board District 3 race.  He spent $29,510.47 of that money, equating to a cost of $1.41 per vote.  As much as Mr. Daniels has spent of his personal money trying to obtain elected office in Duval County, he might receive more recognition with a lump-sum donation to the Salvation Army.  Who knows?  They may even be willing to name a building after him.

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