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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 else.

Its value is what a willing seller would pay.

Currently, 16 companies are showing an interest in buying. How much would they pay?

Most of those opposing discussion of a sale are irate that the buyer might be an investor-owned utility?

Again, why?

To a few opponents, the reason is that a private business is “greedy” and would raise rates to increase profits. That is pure anti-capitalism.

One of the suitors is Florida Power & Light, which has one of the lowest rates in the state.

There is nothing magical about a city owning a utility company. It has two main advantages: local control and the ability to borrow money cheaply.

But on the flip side, a private company has incentives to do a good job.

Pursuing the sale can do no harm. If it produces a bid that is attractive, those in favor can attempt to put on a sales pitch, telling voters how much good the cash infusion can do.

They have to convince the City Council and the electorate. All indicators are that it will be a tough sell.

But they can’t do it without winning over the public. So there is no harm in allowing them to try.

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Lloyd was born in Jacksonville. Graduated from the University of North Florida. He spent nearly 50 years of his life in the newspaper business …beginning as a copy boy and retiring as editorial page editor for Florida Times Union. He has also been published in a number of national newspapers and magazines, as well as Internet sites. Married with children. Military Vet. Retired. Man of few words but the words are researched well, deeply considered and thoughtfully written.

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