It’s unfortunate when trust has been broken…because it’s hard to trust again.
And the trust between the JEA Board, the Mayor and the rate payers is badly broken.
It started when Mayor Curry put cronyism into play with asking for resignations of JEA board members and putting his own people on the board.
Then there was the case of the “We’re thinking about selling JEA” soon thereafter and the people were not happy.
Then the JEA CEO suddenly resigned and one of his friends on the board was handed this high paying job.
Now we see the JEA building itself is in play. JEA wants to move to a new corporate location. There are three potential sites for the new building and the JEA board will hear about those sites this coming Tuesday. Those presenting are:
• Ryan Companies US Inc. seeks to either redevelop JEA’s existing campus at 21 W. Church St. or build nearby at 325 W. Adams St. on the Northbank.
• Kings Avenue Station P3 LLC, led by Mike Balanky, would develop property he owns near Kings Avenue Station at 1201 Kings Ave. on the Southbank.
• Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan and The Cordish Companies are seeking JEA as its corporate anchor for the Lot J development near TIAA Bank Field.
Here’s the kicker. Suddenly the Board has decided to wait two more months before deciding who will get the deal. It is an out of the ordinary decision.
Could it have anything to do with the Mayor’s race which will happen March 19? If they wait two months, the decision will be AFTER the election. Hummmm
How would the rate payers feel if Shad Khan was awarded this deal and the others are sent packing? Shad Khan is one of Mayor Curry’s biggest donors and it’s obvious to the community they are good buddies. The Mayor goes out of his way to please Shad Khan and give Shad Khan what Shad Khan wants.
But who am I? What are my credentials to view these deals and have a say in them? I’m just a rate payer, that’s all. And so are you.
And again, anything that has to do with the JEA right now reeks of cronyism in plain sight. I guess when trust has been broken – you don’t believe their excuses anymore.
It’s unfortunate but that’s life and I for one – don’t believe this decision to hold the vote until after the March 19 election – is for the good of JEA. I think it’s for the good of Mayor Curry.
Billie Tucker Volpe
Billie Tucker Volpe Founder of Eye on Jacksonville and Leadership Consultant to CEOs/Executives.