Mayor is having ups and downs

One Wink and one Stink for Mayor Donna Deegan today.

First, she should be applauded for her new Dashboard on the city’s website.

Currently, it doesn’t have a whole lot of useful information, but it has the potential to display quick facts the public can use.

In its present form it provides numbers pertaining to permitting and public works but there is plenty of room for more.

Just added is the tree planting dashboard, which shows where in the city trees are being planted. One neat feature: you can drill down and find out exactly where a tree was planted and what kind of tree it is.

This is the kind of transparency that might have been expected from the previous Republican administration, which instead turned out to be one of the most closed in local history.

In related matters, the website now has contact info for city employees and the information office is more forthcoming with information for the press.

Deegan promised more transparency and seems to be delivering.

On the other hand, Deegan’s take on public input into the proposed new lease with the Jacksonville Jaguars doesn’t quite make sense.

People who aren’t football fans have asked repeatedly for a referendum on the proposal for taxpayers to shell out $775 million to keep the team in Jacksonville, where it has been for 30 years.

Deegan is telling people that her election was the referendum.

Uh, well, no. It was to decide whether she would be mayor.

She also says she wants to spare taxpayers the expense of a referendum.

Supervisor of Elections Jerry Holland told Eye on Jacksonville the cost of a referendum held during an already scheduled election essentially would be zero.

A referendum isn’t necessarily necessary. We elect politicians to make such decisions in our republican form of government.

In a democracy, the public decides every issue, which is unwieldy and cumbersome. It also allows people who know nothing about the subject to influence the outcome.

It is commendable that the Democrat mayor would acknowledge that democracy is not to be trusted even though her reasoning was a little shaky.

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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