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Last night the City Council met to discuss a bill that would put a tax referendum requested by the School Board on a ballot.

What happened next was a joke. A joke on us.

Some members of the audience booed when they didn’t like what they heard. Instead of throwing out those who were causing a scene, they threw everyone out of city council chambers.

Ridiculous decision and a full on lack of leadership by the City Council President! Who advised him to do that? Not good!

And then this morning, the School Board didn’t like the results of the vote denying them the referendum and they hired their own counsel to fight it.

Shortly thereafter, the General Counsel told them they were not allowed to hire their own counsel.

The School Board basically told them to pound sand.

And while all this was happening, our Mayor was entertaining out of town guests on behalf of the city – Enterprise Florida. Enterprise Florida is the official economic development organization for the State of Florida.

Wake up Mayor. We believe your priorities need an adjustment. Do you really believe Economic Development can happen without good schools and without you engaged in the discussions?

What a mess. A stinking mess.

This past week a friend of mine from Cody, Wyoming was considering relocating to Jacksonville for a new professional gig with a major hospital in town. She’s a single mom and she asked me where she should live if she accepts the position.

My answer — St. Johns County.

I could not bear to tell her how bad things are in Duval County:

Crime, Schools, Cost of Living, Homelessness, and Political Cronyism

It’s disgraceful and the worst part is this…it’s my hometown where I grew up and loved every minute of living here…until now.

The Mayor, the City Council and the School Board need to figure out how to fix this mess of messes NOW. Surely someone in that highly paid group of people can find a leader to lead this rag tag group of leaders? And not a bully leader! There are plenty of them wandering the halls of our government. What we need is a leader with vision. A leader with a soft heart for our city. A leader who can bring groups together for the good of the whole. A leader who sets aside his/her own personal agenda to get things done for Jacksonville.

Our children deserve a better city to live in and if they don’t get their act together soon, there will be another mass exodus of taxpayers to outlying counties. You can only push people so far and they will take their money and go. That’s the power people have and they will use it.

And the big question for all involved in fiddling around is to ask themselves: “Who would want to move to Duval County with this mess going on?”

Reminder: When Rome burned, it took six days and in the aftermath of the fire, two thirds of Rome had been destroyed.

How long before Jacksonville is destroyed while the so-called leaders fiddle around?

My heart aches for my city.

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

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