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President Trump pardoned two turkeys yesterday at the White House. He had the power to do so.

Jacksonville residents have the power to pardon our Mayor and others when they do not do what is in the best interest of their constituents. Today’s question is this: Are you ready to pardon Mayor Curry or are you ready to ask him, “I beg your pardon, Mayor!”

Why are we asking this question? Because once again the Chaos of JEA is gobbling up the news.

Monday a public meeting was held in City Council to discuss the potential sale of JEA. Emotions were high and our Mayor strutted in to lay out “his” facts and put everyone in their place. He was demeaning and the words such as “don’t put your head in the sand” was deflection. Deflection is used when you want to win an argument without addressing the truth. Read some of his remarks here: https://www.jacksonville.com/news/20191125/criticism-of-jea-sale-talk-draws-strong-response-from-jacksonvillersquos-mayor

The truth is — Mayor Curry’s HEAD IS IN THE SAND and he doesn’t know it. Sort of like the King with no clothes situation. He thinks he has all the answers and he is failing to see the facts all around him. Here are just some of them:

It all started when Mayor Curry fired all the former JEA board members and put his friends and loyal supporters on the board. People didn’t like it but it was pure politics and pure political favors handed out as usual.

Then one of the Board Members became the highly-paid CEO of JEA. And we all knew he was not qualified to lead the biggest asset of our city. No one will argue that point and if they try – they will lose.

Soon thereafter, the new CEO announces JEA should be sold and he needs more than half a million dollars to lead the agency. He gets a big, fat salary increase and starts the sales process — keeping the City Council in the dark and for good reasons. Darkness hides what is really going on.

The City Council shakes their heads and places this question on a Straw Ballot – “Should the voters have a say in the sale of JEA?” The answer was a big — YES! The people want to have a say and want to know what the heck is going on.

JEA moves forward and 16 bidders with their mouths foaming send in proposals to buy a utility that is in trouble – per the JEA Board.

JEA executives start foaming too and see incentives for them to make some big dollars if the utility sells. Selling then becomes a much more personal lucrative deal for those involved….including the highly paid, unqualified JEA CEO.

High priced, slick commercials paid for by JEA (that would be us) about the benefits of selling start showing up on TV and in social media. Booklets about the future of JEA are put inside JEA bills.

The community goes crazy with the apparent manipulative tactics of the utility to get the rate payers in their corner.

The large and highly respected Civic Council comprised of business owners and community stakeholders spends 18 months researching the sale and states JEA is not “in trouble” and a sale would not be wise.

A former Mayor comes out fighting against the darkness surrounding the deal. He’s rip-roaring mad and he knows how this stuff works. He’s been there and done that so he sees through the BS and calls it what it is.

Some city council members express deep concerns about how the deal is being done and asking why they are still in the dark with it. Others who are concerned are really more concerned with the fallout of a Mayor who retaliates against those who oppose him so they stay quiet.

A ton of consultants are hired to message the message. Paid for by us.

Lawyers abound all around the deal. Paid for by us.

Money and more money is being wasted. That money is ours.

And then yesterday took the cake for most of us. The Mayor strutted into the Public Meeting with an air of superiority and condemnation of people questioning what’s going on at JEA. He’s ticked. He doesn’t like all the chaos. He calls out everyone and expects everyone to stop fighting and get on the team – his team.

What a disgusting mess this situation has caused our community. And the one at fault – the only one – is our Mayor – Lenny Curry. Had he led from the beginning instead of laying low and letting the JEA board (his buddies he put there) handle this — this mess would not be a mess.

And here’s the problem – there is not one thing you can do about it. Nothing. He’s the Mayor and unless there is a recall — he’s going to remain our Mayor.

Friends of Eye – we have been writing about JEA for over a year. If you go here, you will find all the articles and the history of this mess: https://eyeonjacksonville.com/?s=JEA. Take your time to read through the articles and educate yourself on the Chaos of JEA. You’ll be glad you did. Knowledge is power.

We started this article with:
Should we pardon Mayor Curry for this mess? Or should we all send him a message “We beg your pardon, Mayor!” (That means: We don’t agree with him, in case you are not from the South!)

Email the Mayor’s office today and let him know what you think: MayorLennyCurry@coj.net

It’s hard to recall a Mayor but it isn’t hard to call him out.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday and remember that whatever is in the dark always — eventually – comes to the light. Just wait for it – the light is shinning bright on our hometown!

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

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