Not a good ole boy in Jax? Fuggetaboutit

The ideas about “What to do with The Landing” were everywhere. The local radio station had a place for you to call in with your ideas. Some were great. Some were a little strange.

Articles by all the local papers were asking the same thing. Some well known people in town were asked too.

And those who run the city behind the scenes spoke of rebuilding The Landing with grand ideas. It all sounded wonderful. The Landing just might remain the iconic symbol of Jacksonville – after a complete remodel that is.

As I listened and read all the comments, I thought about all the renderings for a remodel of The Landing I have seen before. There was a really beautiful one that was designed with the help of Preston Haskell and Toney Sleiman. It would have saved The Landing years ago BEFORE she slowly bled to death at the hands of politicians in our city.

The reason The Landing died a slow death is for one reason and one reason only: Politics.

The developers of The Landing left town after throwing their hands in the air out of frustration with the Mayor’s office about parking. They gave up and Toney Sleiman stepped up thinking he could manage better relations with the Mayor’s office and purchased The Landing from The Rouse Company.

And year after year – Mayor after Mayor – The Landing was denied what she needed to survive.

Why didn’t she get the parking she needed?

Why didn’t the city agree to the new renderings for a complete remodel that would have been paid for by the owners of The Landing?

Could it be, my friends, that if you are not “one of the downtown boys” you don’t get the permit? Could it be that politicians use the power of their office as candy for their buddies?

Downtown is a disaster! Plain and simple. And the downtown boys are to blame for the mess it is in.

I’m writing a sad commentary about downtown next week. A video of what I observed will be a part of the story.

And rest assured, Eye on Jacksonville will be watching to see who ends up with the prime real estate where The Landing sits. If it’s one of the downtown boys – don’t be surprised. I won’t.

And if that happens – they’ll make a mess of it too. They are horrible businessmen who need our money to make nothing happen downtown.

That’s my opinion – what’s yours?

Billie Tucker
Billie Tucker has worked in the CEO world for more than 30 years and was the Chief Operating Officer of Vistage Florida, a think tank for CEOs. She started her own consulting practice, CEO Service Bureau, in 2001 and earned a reputation for her keen understanding of the motivations, challenges and goals of people and became a life-long student and teacher of leadership principles.
She craved anything leadership related and enjoyed being around the world of entrepreneurial CEOs. She watched as they made decisions; pondered how they would make payroll when cash flow was tight; and appreciated how they created career opportunities for hundreds of thousands of people. Because of her experiences, she has emerged as a key resource for the media and others who want to understand important insights about executives, management teams and board dynamics.
In 2008, Billie became discouraged as she watched some of her clients struggle with the political economic impacts on their businesses. The same CEOs who mortgaged their home and charged up their credit cards to make ends meet to build a business and keep others working, now watched as their government bailed out the big banks who had mismanaged their resources. She cringed as most of her clients laid off employees for the first time and she vowed she would help them… somehow…someway.
That somehow…someway showed up in the Tea Party Movement in America. She formed one of the largest tea party group’s in America (more than 9,000 members strong) and helped bring attention to America’s debt problem, out of control spending, over taxation and regulation strangulation on companies.
With her background in working with leaders and her influence in the political and leadership world, Billie has continued her dream to help CEOs navigate these troubling waters that permeate the world of capitalism in America.
She has been an active participant in the media as a guest on CNN, Fox News, Fox Business, Bott Family Network Radio and co-hosts a political/financial radio show in the Northeast Florida market entitled, Smart Money.
She was the first speaker at the House of Representatives Tea Party Caucus inaugural event and was invited by Heritage Foundation to speak at their prestigious annual Heritage Resource Bank, and on their National Security Panel live broadcasts.
She spoke at the Congressional Republican House Retreat in Pennsylvania in 2012. She was also the co-host and co-producer of the CNN Tea Party Express Debate in the 2012 Presidential Election.
She is a firm believer that America needs more entrepreneurs and more opportunities for people to use their God-given talents and passions to better themselves, their communities and America.
Her favorite quote has become her mission to help CEOs succeed:
“Vision without execution is hallucination.” – Thomas Edison

Billie Tucker Volpe

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


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