RNC canceled after Sheriff Williams goes public. We need an apology.

In a shocking turn of affairs, President Trump announced yesterday that the RNC in Jacksonville is off the table. My phone blew up and social media went crazy.

The side that didn’t want the RNC here is elated. The side that did was left with bewilderment but still determined.

President Trump said it was to keep people safe and the media went straight to it being all about COVID and the rise in cases here. That’s the best way to get out of the deal and not blame anyone for its failure.

What we heard and believe were the undertones of the word “safe” President Trump used is different. Why? Because it came a few days after Sheriff Williams told the world’s stage that he could not keep the people safe due to not having enough resources.

Eye was not happy with how Sheriff Williams handled that information and felt it should have been handled internally. But he did it and now the RNC is gone. Seems too much of a coincidence to us.

Trump had no other choice than to move it out of Jacksonville when the Sheriff tells the world he can’t keep us safe.

We don’t know everything and we are sure there are bad forces who wanted to come to Jacksonville and destroy our city. Sheriff Williams felt he didn’t have the resources to fight them so he went public.

We understand his concern and we are still upset with the leadership of our city who created this scenario. When Mayor Curry puts together a video stating Jacksonville is Big and Bold and we will be ready — he created a false message of hope to those coming here and to local businesses who thought this was their break — they could once again get to work, make some money, pay their bills and employ the unemployed.

The only thing big about what happened is we fell big on the international stage because of a lack of communication between the Mayor’s office, the City Council, and the RNC. And that big fall falls squarely in the lap of Mayor Curry. He’s the leader and the buck stops with him.

We knew when Sheriff Williams went public that the RNC was doomed. There was no way to fix that big mess and Donald Trump did the bold thing and canceled it.

Big and Bold turned small and cold and the shock of small business owners is icy this morning. Our Mayor failed them.

Jacksonville needs and deserves a Mayor who doesn’t just speak words but acts upon them. He has allowed his team around him to shelter him, speak for him and make decisions for him. He only comes out of the shadows to make videos and appearances when the coast is clear.

There are a lot of apologies that need to be made or Jacksonville will forever be known as the City who Can’t.

We will start here with those who need an apology:

— The RNC Staff who worked 24/7 to make it happen in a short amount of time. I met those people and they are like us. They wanted to pull it off and together we were doing what we could. We had hope and our local politicians failed them. No back up whatsoever. They are leaving defeated this morning and heading back to Charlotte to do what they can there.

— The Chairman of the Duval GOP. When he heard the RNC was coming, he went to work with his hard working team and put up a website for volunteers to help the RNC. He and his team were able to capture more than 5,000 new volunteers who love Trump and support his platform. The Mayor ignored the work of the Duval GOP but alas that didn’t stop them and they plugged along to help Trump! Our local GOP office reports to the President and they will not be side-tracked with political game playing.

— The 5,000 new volunteers who jumped through hoops to become certified as a RNC volunteer. Three different ways to sign up and each had to be approved by the Secret Service. They didn’t complain — they did what they were asked and they did it for the President. They are now ready to get to work to ensure Trump is re-elected. They will not be silenced by this bad news and their hope is focused now on November 4th!

— The local businesses who put together proposals, brought back staff, shined up their businesses, and prepared to engage with out of town guests and make the experience memorable. They are empty this morning and wondering what they will do now.

— President Trump and his team. They believed — because our Mayor boldly told him — we could do this.

So Mayor Curry — how about a new video apologizing to all these entities noted above. Be bold. Go big. Tell them you are sorry you failed them.

And when your term is over — please consider your next political move. The people can’t take any more of your big and bold endeavors.

The price is too high and the value is too low.

Founder of Eye on Jacksonville and Strategic Leadership Coach to CEOs

Billie Tucker Volpe

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


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