JEA Straw Ballot Information Sheet
Earlier this year, there was a lengthy conversation about the possible sale of JEA. Although the topic of JEA’s value came up in 2007 and 2012, this year’s conversation received considerable public attention and led to the creation of a Special City Council Committee. The Special Committee, which was chaired by Councilman John Crescimbeni, originally consisted of 5 Council members with a charge of studying the Potential Sale of the JEA, and ended up as a committee of all 19 Council members with a charge of studying “The Future of JEA.”
After meeting weekly for nearly five months, the Special Committee adopted its final report on July 25, which outlines the countless contributions JEA makes to our community. In addition to providing reliable electric, water and sewer service, some of those contributions include an annual payment to the city’s general fund ($117 million in this year’s budget), the purchase of $20 million of preservation park lands, JEA employees contributing thousands of volunteer hours each year towards various community projects and JEA’s ability to get FEMA reimbursements of 87.5% of the cost of hurricane damage to JEA infrastructure. (Private utilities cannot seek reimbursements from FEMA and instead pass those costs on to their customers.) A copy of the Special Committee’s final report is attached.
Many people believe the conversation about selling JEA is likely to come up again next year after the city elections. At present, the City Charter states that if the JEA Board of Directors decides to sell more than 10% of JEA, the City Council (by a majority vote) has to then approve the JEA Board’s decision.
Councilman Crescimbeni has always believed that any final decision to sell JEA should be made by the JEA shareholders ─ the citizens and voters of Duval County. As a result, he authored a straw ballot question which will appear on the November 6th ballot. The straw ballot question asks voters whether the Jacksonville City Council should call for a vote of the people (via a binding referendum) to approve the terms and conditions of any sale of more than 10% of JEA?
How Should You Vote on the JEA Straw Ballot?
Vote YES if you want the voters of Jacksonville/Duval County to make the final decision on any future sale of JEA.
Vote NO if you want only the Jacksonville City Council to make the final decision on any future sale of JEA.
The JEA straw ballot question will be the last item to appear on the November 6th election ballot (except for residents of Atlantic Beach, where it will be next to last). If you decide to skip over some or all of the Constitutional amendments, please make sure you go to the end of the ballot to cast your vote on this important question about any future sale of JEA.