Money trail from the city to the Chamber is intriguing

In what could be an amazing coincidence, it appears that since Mayor Lenny Curry took office, the city of Jacksonville has been paying the salary of Curry’s heir apparent.

Timing is everything.

In 2015, Curry was elected mayor of Jacksonville. Also in 2015, the Jacksonville Chamber received $200,000 from the Jacksonville annual budget.

Since 2015, the Chamber has received more than $2 million from Duval County taxpayers via the consolidated city budget.

Curry has requested $750,000 for the Chamber in the fiscal year 2022-23 budget.

In 1978, the Chamber formed a 501(c)(3) foundation, the JaxChamber Foundation. The Foundation has filed an IRS form 990 since 2015, but not after 2019. These filings show that, through the foundation, Daniel Davis has received an annual salary since 2015. Davis became CEO of the Chamber in 2013.

From 2015 to 2019, Davis received more than $1,952,938.00 in salary and compensation. That is almost exactly what the Chamber has received from the city.

Davis, who has been head of the Northeast Builders Association, a member of the City Council and a state representative, is planning to run for mayor next year. He has amassed a huge war chest — big enough to scare off potential challengers such as City Council Member Matt Carlucci. Searching the Jacksonville city budget back to 2007 shows no money going to the Chamber before 2015. Why did the Chamber suddenly begin receiving money from the city in 2015, the same year Curry was elected mayor?

Taxpayers deserve an answer to this multimillion-dollar question. The Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce began as the “Board of Trade” in 1856. It became inactive during the Civil War, and was revived in 1884, with former Florida Gov. George F. Drew as its first president. The Board of Trade was incorporated in 1893 and officially changed its name to Chamber of Commerce in 1915.

The Chamber is a non-profit organization of mostly business owners and requires annual membership fees.

Debbie Gonzalez

Researcher and Writer Debbie a native of New York became a resident of Jacksonville via the U.S. Navy. After separating from the navy she worked for both Grumman Aerospace and later Northrup-Grumman Aerospace. After almost 20 years in the aviation industry, she went back to college to change professions. Going back to school as an adult that had lived all over the United States and abroad she had experience in culture and circumstance, which created an incongruity with the material being taught. At that point she began questioning the validity of the material and made the observation that to pass her courses she had to agree, at least on paper, with the material. She graduated about the same time as the Wall Street crash of 2008 and jobs were now difficult to find. So, with time on her hand she began to look into other areas to see if the incongruity existed outside of the college curriculum as well. This is where her mission for the truth began. Since then she has worked to get facts out to the public.


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