Eye’s Farewell Letter to Mayor Lenny Curry

Dear Mayor Curry,

As your eight-year tenure as the Mayor of Jacksonville draws to a close, we feel compelled to address the controversies and scandals that have marked your time in office. While it is customary to express gratitude and highlight achievements, it is essential to acknowledge the issues that have deeply impacted our community. The following represents our opinion on your eight years as Mayor of Jacksonville.

One of the most significant scandals during your tenure was the JEA scandal. The revelations surrounding the potential sale of JEA, the city-owned utility, raised serious concerns about transparency and ethical conduct within your administration. The mishandling of this matter resulted in a very loud public outcry, eroding the trust of Jacksonville residents in their local government and became a national story that didn’t put Jacksonville in a good light.

Furthermore, the night you took down a monument without the consent of the community was another troubling incident. The removal of a monument should involve thoughtful consideration, open dialogue, and community engagement. Unfortunately, the lack of transparency and disregard for the sentiments of the citizens demonstrated a concerning pattern. It was an I-know-better-than-those-I-serve-attitude and it soured the legacy of your leadership.

Another issue that has raised concerns among many is your reputation for adopting a bully platform. Leadership should be characterized by empathy, respect, and a willingness to engage in constructive dialogue with different groups. However, your approach has at times been marked by aggressive tactics and a divisive rhetoric that undermines the spirit of cooperation necessary for effective governance.

In our case at Eye, when you didn’t like what we wrote, you shut us down from gaining access to information. You even said we were not a legit news organization even though our Sr. Editor is a retired Editor from the Florida Times Union. Shutting us out was a childish way to handle criticism and although you tried to ensure we would not get information, we did anyway. People reached out to us and gave us stories from behind the scenes. We dug into our own research. We did what journalists do and we wrote for truth and not to win applause from the Mayor. And, we are still here 5 years later and plan to be here for many more. Bully leadership is exactly why media outlets like ours exist and will continue to move on even after you leave office.

As a corporate coach and consultant to CEOs the biggest decision for a leader is the people they put around them. In our opinion, your worst decision started day one when you brought your band of brothers to City Hall – namely Tim Baker and Brian Hughes. You listened to them when others told you they were toxic. You believed them over people who had more experience and wisdom. You let these guys pull your strings behind the scenes. We can only pray they will pack their bags and leave town as you leave office.

While it is essential to acknowledge these controversies and scandals, it is also important to recognize that no individual is defined solely by their mistakes. We all have the capacity for growth and change. As you leave office, I urge you to reflect on the impact these incidents have had on our city and its residents. Take this opportunity to reevaluate your leadership style and consider the importance of transparency and accountability to those you serve.

True leadership is about serving the best interests of the community and upholding the values that our city holds dear. The citizens of Jacksonville deserve a leader who listens, respects differing opinions, and acts with integrity. It is my hope that you will use this self-imposed one-year transition period to reflect on your legacy and consider how you can contribute positively to our community moving forward.

Farewell, Mayor Curry. May your future endeavors be marked by personal growth, a commitment to ethical leadership, and a dedication to rebuilding the trust of the people you once served.


Billie Tucker Volpe

Billie Tucker Volpe

Billie Tucker Volpe Founder of Eye on Jacksonville and Leadership Consultant to CEOs/Executives.

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5 responses to “Eye’s Farewell Letter to Mayor Lenny Curry”

  1. Billie I am so proud of you to have the courage to speak up. Your articles were right on target. Bought the ones about Lenny and Donna.

  2. I think Lenny Curry was the worst mayor from 1822 to the present. Anyone and anything is better than Lenny Curry.

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