There is a new eye on Jacksonville in the making. Jacksonville Community Council Inc., has been reborn.
Ramon Day, who is well known around Jacksonville, is heading the venture.
At the moment, it is only in the initial stages. Day read something in a small, liberal newspaper lamenting the demise of the old JCCI five years ago, and decided to take action.
He registered the name and has established a Web site, not yet in operation. He also recruited an 11-member board, which appointed him chairman. One notable name among the members is J.F. Bryan IV, former head of the Independent Life Co. and one of the leaders of the old JCCI.
Day is from Madison but grew up in Jacksonville and attended local schools, including Jacksonville University. He got his degree in business administration from the University of Florida and entered the banking business after graduation.
When I met him nearly 50 years ago he was on the Charter Revision Commission. A few years later he became chief of staff for the late Charlie Bennett, one of a dying breed known as conservative Democrats, who earned a sterling reputation during 44 years in Congress.
After two years in Washington, Day returned to banking.
Day told Eye on Jacksonville that it may be six months before JCCI has a staff and begins to study local problems.
One of the first, and chief problems, will be funding. The old JCCI ran out of steam and money about the same time.
Day said the new version will do what the old one did at the outset – try to engage the community and get input into problems and possible solutions from a wide base.
Eye is hoping it will avoid veering to the left as the late JCCI did.
Day noted that the population of the city that will be reported in the 2020 Census may be around 1 million and could double in about 36 years at the current rate of growth.
While he describes himself as a “Wall Street Democrat” who believes growth is good, Day says it has to be met with the appropriate responses. That is where JCCI may be able to help, he said.
There is another similarly named organization called the Jacksonville Civic Council that has been involved in shaping local government policy, but Day says he does not think JCCI will compete or conflict with it because the two organizations have different perspectives.