JEA Sale: Get the popcorn. This thing is getting good. The suspense builds. What next at JEA?

Former mayor Jake Godbold has written current Mayor Lenny Curry, offering his thoughts on the sale of the JEA.

Godbold has been through the discussion before and you could summarize his position thus: No.

It is rather interesting, however, why and how Godbold wrote the letter.

For starters, he marked it “personal and confidential” when he mailed it to Curry and City Hall although he could not have been unaware that it became a matter of public record the moment it arrived.

As a Democrat, Godbold could not resist tossing a couple of zingers at the Republican mayor.

Godbold referred to those pressing the idea when he was mayor as “special interests” who told him it would be good for his resume if he intended to run for higher office.

“What they didn’t understand was my political ambitions ended at the Duval County line. I had no interest in being anything but mayor of Jacksonville,” Godbold said.

“I not sure (cq) the same can be said for you, which is perfectly fine.”

Godbold then reiterated the arguments against the sale, such as losing local control of rates.

Assuring Curry that he liked him, and that Curry generally has done a good job, Godbold then said, “But I think this issue is hurting you. It has been botched since the beginning. Your credibility is being damaged and your motives are being questioned.”

He offered to meet and discuss the issue with Curry.

The letter is dated about 10 days ago and predated a couple of the most recent developments in this fast-moving issue.

Another former mayor, John Delaney, has become connected with a legal firm and a public relations firm that both are employed by Emera, who many believe could be a bidder for the JEA if it goes up for sale.

Also since then, JEA Board Member Aaron Zahn has resigned from the board and quickly was appointed interim head of the JEA to replace Paul McElroy who unexpectedly has just resigned.

This is causing some heartburn because Melissa Dykes, JEA chief financial officer, had the position temporarily. She is considered a top notch administrator who has years of experience with the utility.

Zahn has only been on the board two months and has no experience running a utility.

So, was she dumped because she is against the sale and Zahn is in favor? If so then the current board majority must favor the sale, although it has not taken a position.

As for whose idea it is to sell the utility, which produces millions of dollars for the city, I’m assured by knowledgeable and trusted sources that Curry has been enamored of this idea since about the time he took office, despite his protestations that he only wants to know the utility’s value.

Maybe he should occasionally talk to someone other than Brian Hughes and Mike Weinstein.

Like Jake Godbold.

Lloyd Brown

Lloyd was born in Jacksonville. Graduated from the University of North Florida. He spent nearly 50 years of his life in the newspaper business …beginning as a copy boy and retiring as editorial page editor for Florida Times Union. He has also been published in a number of national newspapers and magazines, as well as Internet sites. Married with children. Military Vet. Retired. Man of few words but the words are researched well, deeply considered and thoughtfully written.


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