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The headlines about JEA seems eerily similar to the headlines coming out of DC. For example…

Zahn vs. Biden: Could the CEO of JEA be our Hunter Biden? Aaron Zahn, friend/’supporter of the Mayor is the CEO of JEA and was recently appointed as CEO by the Board. He is paid more than $500,000 a year plus other incentives. Hunter Biden, son of the former Vice President, was appointed to the board of a Ukraine Utility Company, Burisma. He was paid more than $50,000 a month plus, plus, plus. Both men do not have the qualifications and/or expertise to be paid exorbitant salaries for the utility boards they serve.

Closed-door meetings: JEA’s potential sale process has been done in a “cloaked process” where the city council and other public officials have no say and/or can not voice dissent. Just like the Impeachment hearings in DC, Democrats will not allow Republicans to participate in their “closed door” investigations in a basement office in the Capitol. They can not bring their own witnesses and they are not allowed to defend the President. A cone of silence is used by both JEA and the DC Swamp.

Media narrative: The narrative about JEA’s demise and the sky is falling PR campaign is very similar to the media support of the impeachment of the President. The facts JEA puts forth does not match the facts others have found…including that of the Civic Council who spent 18 months researching JEA’s narrative of the sky is falling. Former Mayor Jake Godbold even called out JEA’s PR campaign as a “huckster strategy.” And just like the Dems in DC, they push forward anyway ignoring the facts. They have “their own facts” and that is all they want.

Becoming Millionaires on the people’s dimes: A golden parachute awaits Aaron Zahn should a sale of JEA happen. He will walk away with more than a million dollars in the bank for severance and consulting fees. That leads us to the “corporate sponsors” of our Congressmen. Who is behind the scenes pulling the financial strings of our representatives? How do they say No to lucrative deals when they enter Congress as a “regular guy” and walk out as millionaires? Happens all the time and no one is held accountable for taking bribes or also known as “accepting PAC money” from big donors who pull strings of our politicians. Mr. Zahn has a huge personal interest in selling JEA…he will become a Millionaire!

We the People have spoken and they don’t care: Polls from UNF about the sale of JEA discovered the people were not in favor of a sale. In the last election a straw ballot overwhelmingly stated the people wanted a say in the sale. Does JEA, our Mayor and the other city leaders care what we think? Nope, their media campaign is tracking towards a sale whether we like it or not. In the 2016 election, President Trump was elected fair and square and since the day after his election, the Dems have stated “Impeachment Begins.” America’s economy has never been stronger and the facts show that Americans are ready to get over the impeachment sham and get Congress working to Make American Great Again.

I’ve always said, “If we train our local representatives in the way they should go — when they go to DC they will not depart from it. They will be better servants for the community they serve.” I do believe that is the right thinking and I hope all of our neighbors in North Florida will hold their city servants accountable to doing what is best for the community they serve.

If not we will feed our own JAX Swamp and be left with the consequences of their votes while they count their millions and ride off into the sunset.

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

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