Food deserts, Camelot, Bigfoot and other flights of fancy

It has gotten way too easy for politicians to lead the media around by the nose. There are plenty of examples at the national level but there are some in Jacksonville, too. One classic example: Local media faithfully report on the mythical phenomenon of “food...

What’s next for JEA? A turnaround expert.

There were a few times in my career when one of my CEO clients got into a situation that required a Turnaround Expert to be called in to help. Sometimes that situation was their own doing and other times, it was someone within the organization that had messed things...

Everyone in Jacksonville will miss Jake Godbold

Former Mayor Jake Godbold Jake Godbold, one of Jacksonville’s outstanding political figures, has died at the age of 86. He was the second mayor of the consolidated government, following Hans Tanzler. Before that he was a city councilman and served as a council...

Can downtown be saved? Lori Boyer is trying

It must be tough to be Lori Boyer right now. Lori is a former City Council Member and now runs the Downtown Investment Authority (DIA). Downtown development is not easy and has been a thorn in Jacksonville's side for many, many years. Jacksonville is in a messy...

JEA Board: It’s time to Admit. Apologize. Act.

The headlines in the local newspapers created head-shaking. But I wasn't surprised. All the fingers are pointing and those who made poor decisions are looking for others to blame. It's pretty typical of weak leadership. And at this point in time, the JEA Board is weak...

Care about our city? Join this group

OurJax is a newly formed group of concerned citizens who care deeply about the governance of our beloved City of Jacksonville. Sounds like our kind of people!! Because of the recent JEA debacle and some other issues that have raised red flags about our city...

Crime rates are not as malleable as the media seems to think

The local media in Jacksonville is going through another spate of hand-wringing over the crime rate and looking for someone to blame. The usual remedy is to hire more police. That decreases response times, which means police get to a crime scene quicker. But it does...

Fight over 5G wireless technology is heating up in Jax

Residents of Jacksonville who are concerned about the new 5G technology are continuing to press the City Council over proposed changes in local law that would enable its rollout in Jacksonville. Last week at a workshop, city laws provided a comparison of what the...

Mayor Curry’s legacy: The toxicity of our City

I’ve seen Mayor Curry’s “leadership” traits before.  Sadly many of you have seen similar leadership in the workforce.  His leadership style is toxic. Books have been written about toxic leadership and in an article in Psychology Today, dated July 6, 2016, it...

All the Mayor’s Men have made a mess again

Over the weekend another news outlet uncovered information about the men around Mayor Curry. According to the Florida Times Union, Mayor Curry's political strategist, Tim Baker, sat in on numerous JEA "closed-door" meetings at the insistence of Aaron Zahn - now the...

2019 didn’t work out too well for the Great JEA Sale Caper

Demolition of the Jacksonville Landing produced a large pile of rubble but the debris was small compared to the wreckage of the JEA sale scheme. In what probably was the biggest local story of 2019, an effort to sell the city’s water and utility company took off and...

Zahn is leaving JEA post but many questions remain behind him

Aaron Zahn Aaron Zahn is out, but hold back your tears. He was named CEO of JEA last year, despite having no qualifications other than being a friend of Mayor Lenny Curry. He pretty much screwed up what apparently was his No. 1 job – selling the JEA. Despite that, he...

Two letters are sent, as the JEA issue heats up

Mayor Lenny Curry is changing course on the JEA sale, after receiving a polite but pointed letter from the Jacksonville Civic Council. The civic council’s JEA Subcommittee, consisting of Michael Ward, Bobby Stein and Jeanne Miller, asked Curry to switch from the...

City Council was in a hurry to shovel more money out the door

One of the City Council’s more preposterous actions took place recently when it passed a highly greased bill handing $850,000 in cash to a multi-billion-dollar company. Winn-Dixie is the recipient. All the company has to do to “earn” the money is open a grocery in the...

City Haul has run out of original ideas

Rendering to replace The Landing? Renderings published in the media indicate Mayor Lenny Curry is opting for a new bum magnet in the heart of Jacksonville. To replace the Jacksonville Landing – which just 30 years ago was considered the “catalyst” for downtown...

Ted Yoho Term Limited himself

Rep. Ted Yoho U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho is leaving Congress, as he promised when he ran for office. It is a loss that highlights the problem with term limits. Term limits for Congress is an idea that continues to be voiced whenever public frustration with Congress flares up...

Latest fiasco another indicator change is needed at JEA

Thank goodness for the City Council auditor and the General Counsel’s Office. Together they exposed the JEA’s boneheaded performance pay plan scheme as illegal and financially ridiculous. It was not always that way. JEA began paying for performance in 1990. Used...

Downtown making a U turn?

After decades of trying to make traffic move quicker and smoother, local officials apparently have decided to make a U-turn and slow everything down. In the 1950s, many downtown streets and streets leading to downtown from the suburbs were changed to one-way traffic....

Calm down: Another take on the JEA frenzy

There are a lot of calls in social media and elsewhere to “stop the process” of determining how much the city-owned utility JEA is worth. Why? What possibly could be wrong with determining its value? The city’s property appraiser doesn’t know. Neither does anyone...

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