Yesterday Mayor Curry set off a firestorm on Twitter. It started with an article posted on Jacksonville.com by Nate Monroe. He stated, “City Council members have no idea of which of @lennycurry’s proposed capital construction projects will start first, or last, or when they will get done, but they will pass this list of projects regardless. But the School Board? Not so lucky.”

A follower, Toni Woods, responded, “Exactly, Nate.”

The Mayor responded, “Is this your media relations for @_GuideWell and @FLBlue?”

In other words, the Mayor tagged Toni Woods employer to let them know what she had said! That is known as “snitch-tagging.” Snitching to her boss to maybe get her in trouble? Hummm.

The people saw it quickly and knew exactly what he meant to do. From there it went downhill fast. The Mayor was hammered for snitching to her employer and the hammering was brutal.

The Mayor’s office responded, “Of course this was not a case of bullying. Mayor Curry was simply asking if this is a representation of her employers opinion or if these were her personal views since we have not heard from Florida Blue on this issue. Once she stated this was her personal opinion, he was accepting of that response.”

We don’t believe their response.. It’s lame. He could have easily asked Toni if this was her personal opinion. He didn’t have to tag her employer.

Eye on Jacksonville has been the recipient of calls from two people who worked for the administration and reached out to us in the last year. The stories of bullying from the Mayor’s Administration were the topics of those calls. We listened and we didn’t write — because the facts were not there to prove their stories. The stories were terrible and we felt terrible not writing about them. But, it’s hard to prove bullying unless you catch it on video, have others who will corroborate your story or you see it played out in writing. Like we did on Twitter yesterday.

And frankly, there are also many who whisper at cocktail parties and in other meetings around town that the Mayor and some around him are indeed using bully tactics. It’s out there and it’s hard to fix because no one has the courage to point it out. If they do — they don’t get their deals done or like Toni on twitter yesterday, are called out. So all mouths stay shut, keeping their heads down. Shameful.

From the looks of it, our City is being run like a political campaign. The City’s Chief Administrator was his campaign manager and does campaigning well. Really well. And bullying tactics in campaigns is the norm. And it was the norm for our Chief Administrator too.

Maybe the Mayor and his campaign counterparts could switch hats and start running the city like professionals. Professionals who understand business and governance and customer service (customers = citizens). There are many other issues to deal with and bullying a citizen expressing her opinion is not at the top of the list.

In fact, it’s not at the bottom either which is where our Mayor finds himself today after exposing his heart of the matter.

To follow the tweet and the comments go to: @NateMonroe on Twitter and jump in. One of our citizens, Toni Woods, needs to know we have her back.

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

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