Is JEA a political pawn for Mayor Curry?

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 has worked in the CEO world for more than 30 years and was the Chief Operating Officer of Vistage Florida, a think tank for CEOs. She started her own consulting practice, CEO Service Bureau, in 2001 and earned a reputation for her keen understanding of the motivations, challenges and goals of people and became a life-long student and teacher of leadership principles.
She craved anything leadership related and enjoyed being around the world of entrepreneurial CEOs. She watched as they made decisions; pondered how they would make payroll when cash flow was tight; and appreciated how they created career opportunities for hundreds of thousands of people. Because of her experiences, she has emerged as a key resource for the media and others who want to understand important insights about executives, management teams and board dynamics.
In 2008, Billie became discouraged as she watched some of her clients struggle with the political economic impacts on their businesses. The same CEOs who mortgaged their home and charged up their credit cards to make ends meet to build a business and keep others working, now watched as their government bailed out the big banks who had mismanaged their resources. She cringed as most of her clients laid off employees for the first time and she vowed she would help them… somehow…someway.
That somehow…someway showed up in the Tea Party Movement in America. She formed one of the largest tea party group’s in America (more than 9,000 members strong) and helped bring attention to America’s debt problem, out of control spending, over taxation and regulation strangulation on companies.
With her background in working with leaders and her influence in the political and leadership world, Billie has continued her dream to help CEOs navigate these troubling waters that permeate the world of capitalism in America.
She has been an active participant in the media as a guest on CNN, Fox News, Fox Business, Bott Family Network Radio and co-hosts a political/financial radio show in the Northeast Florida market entitled, Smart Money.
She was the first speaker at the House of Representatives Tea Party Caucus inaugural event and was invited by Heritage Foundation to speak at their prestigious annual Heritage Resource Bank, and on their National Security Panel live broadcasts.
She spoke at the Congressional Republican House Retreat in Pennsylvania in 2012. She was also the co-host and co-producer of the CNN Tea Party Express Debate in the 2012 Presidential Election.
She is a firm believer that America needs more entrepreneurs and more opportunities for people to use their God-given talents and passions to better themselves, their communities and America.
Her favorite quote has become her mission to help CEOs succeed:
“Vision without execution is hallucination.” – Thomas Edison

Billie Tucker Volpe

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


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