In May, I wrote an Open Letter to the JEA Board regarding the Board Chair’s Statement, “JEA does not have a “documented CEO selection process.” You can read that letter here: Open Letter to JEA Board
A couple of mentions about that letter:
- It was the most read article at Eye on Jacksonville and is still being read today – months later – through our social media sharing.
- We asked for a response to our questions and we NEVER received those answers. Very sad and disrespectful.
After months of interviewing numerous candidates and hiring a search firm to recruit candidates for JEA’s CEO position, we ended up with the same results. No change in leadership. Just a change in the bottomline for the dollars spent on this nationwide CEO search.
Interim CEO, Aaron Zahn, was named permanent CEO of JEA this afternoon by the JEA board. Each board member personally scored and interviewed each candidate and then they voted unanimously for Zahn.
The Board Chair, Alan Howard, went on defense about their decision and said “any accusation that there is a predetermined outcome” is disrespectful to the board and the candidates.
Disrespectful to the board? I guess disrespecting a request for answers to questions from a heart-felt open letter to JEA doesn’t count in the column of respect.
Well then, okie dokie, Mr. Howard. We’ll just go about our merry way and not disrespect the board and the candidates. And…might we remind you of one thing — “You work for the rate payers of Duval County and if the rate payers have anything to say about the matter, please respect them and their questions. It’s your duty. JEA is owned by the residents of Duval County. That makes you accountable to them.”
Since the long process is now over, Mr. Howard and Mr. Zahn want to bring the community together and move forward. They do not want to focus on this decision now that it is made. It’s old news. Move along now.
As a reminder to those who pay JEA each month:
You, as the rate payers and the owners of JEA, have a responsibility to hold the JEA Board to the highest standards of accountability and transparency and the promise that no corruption or cronyism occurs on their watch.
That’s how we all move forward and candidly, it’s the only way to move forward.
Note to Mr. Zahn: We send a WINK and Congratulations to you. You have just been handed one of the largest municipal utilities in the country to run and you have no background running one. That scares us and should scare you. You have a big job to fill and we wish you the best! Our rates depend on you doing a great job and keeping them low. Our hard earned dollars are in your hands. Be wise, sir, be wise.