Difference between revisions of "Jacksonville, Florida"

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{{tnr}}'''Jacksonville''' is a city in [[Florida]].  It is the [[county seat]] of [[Duval County, Florida|Duval County]].  With a 2010 population of 821,784, Jacksonville has more residents within its city limits than any other city in Florida and is the twelfth most populous city in the United States.
 
{{tnr}}'''Jacksonville''' is a city in [[Florida]].  It is the [[county seat]] of [[Duval County, Florida|Duval County]].  With a 2010 population of 821,784, Jacksonville has more residents within its city limits than any other city in Florida and is the twelfth most populous city in the United States.
  
In 1968, the county government of Duval County and the city government of Jacksonville consolidated so that the the Mayor of Jacksonville and the City Council of the City of Jacksonville govern throughout the county.  This means that voters who live outside the Jacksonville city limits vote in elections for these positions -- and can even run for office.<ref>[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacksonville,_Florida Jacksonville, Florida]</ref>
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In 1968, the county government of Duval County and the city government of Jacksonville consolidated so that the Mayor of Jacksonville and the City Council of the City of Jacksonville govern throughout the county.  This means that voters who live outside the Jacksonville city limits vote in elections for these positions -- and can even run for office.<ref>[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacksonville,_Florida Jacksonville, Florida]</ref>
  
 
==Elected officials==
 
==Elected officials==

Revision as of 19:03, 7 February 2014


Jacksonville is a city in Florida. It is the county seat of Duval County. With a 2010 population of 821,784, Jacksonville has more residents within its city limits than any other city in Florida and is the twelfth most populous city in the United States.

In 1968, the county government of Duval County and the city government of Jacksonville consolidated so that the Mayor of Jacksonville and the City Council of the City of Jacksonville govern throughout the county. This means that voters who live outside the Jacksonville city limits vote in elections for these positions -- and can even run for office.[1]

Elected officials

Jacksonville uses the Mayor-Council form of city government, also called the Strong Mayor form, in which a mayor serves as the city's Chief Executive and Administrative officer. The current mayor is Alvin Brown, the city's first African-American mayor who defeated establishment Republican Michael Hogan in a May 2011 political upset. At issue for voters were the 23 percent African-American male graduation rate and the high number of minority incarcerations for minor offenses. Mayor-Elect Brown succeeds current Mayor John Peyton on July 1.[2] [3]

The City Council is Jacksonville's legislative body. It is comprised of 19 Council Members elected to four-year terms and serve part-time as legislators. The city is divided into 14 single-member districts of nearly equal population. The remaining five Council Members are elected to represent At-Large. Council Members can serve no more than two consecutive terms. The Council appoints a president and vice-president every May to serve one-year terms beginning July 1. The current Council President is Stephen C. Joost.[4] [5]

Current City Council Members, as of July 1, 2011:[6]

Member Representation District
Clay Yarborough District 1 District
William Bishop District 2 District
Richard Clark District 3 District
Don Redman District 4 District
Lory N. Boyer District 5 District
Matt Schellenberg District 6 District
Dr. John Gaffney District 7 District
E. Denise Lee District 8 District
Warren A. Jones District 9 District
Reginald L. Brown District 10 District
Ray Holt District 11 District
Doyle Carter District 12 District
Bill Gulliford District 13 District
Jim Love District 14 District
Kimberly Daniels Group 1 At-Large
John R. Crescimbeni Group 3 At-Large
Stephen C. Joost Group 3 At-Large
Greg Anderson Group 4 At-Large
Robin Lumb Group 5 At-Large

According to the budget proposal for fiscal year 2010-11, Council members earn $46,575 annually; the mayor earns the top salary: $180,028.89.[7]

City spending

Greater Jacksonville's Cultural Council recently distributed $2.6 million in annual grants from the city’s Cultural Service Grant Program to 24 local cultural organizations. The organizations had to apply for the funds and undergo a review process to receive the grants.[8]

Jacksonville City is undertaking a study on whether minority- and women-owned businesses are receiving fair consideration for government contracts. Councilwoman E. Denise Lee's actions at a recent meeting evaluating applicants for the study indicate her preference for D. Wilson Consulting Group, which has bid at almost $1 million more than the lowest-cost proposal.[9]

Mayor-elect Alvin Brown has made it clear that budget cuts will be included in the budget he presents to City Council on July 14, 2011. Previous 3 percent cuts over the past few years have allegedly compromised departments' ability to function, and Chief Finance Officer Mickey Miller is considering whether to eliminate some departments entirely. Current projects foresee a $66 million deficit for fiscal year 2012.[10]

Outgoing Mayor John Peyton has announced deals between the mayor's office and police and fire employees. The deals were part of a two-year effort to reform Jacksonville's long-term spending practices. Supporters of the two pension reform bills that will now come before the Council in late June claim that $1 billion will be saved over the next thirty-five years. However, the Council auditor's office reports that the administration has not provided them with the information necessary to confirm the estimated savings.[11]

Employee salaries

In early 2012, Jacksonville's The Florida Times-Union requested public salary data from more than 90 North Florida government agencies for 2010-11.[12] Below are Jacksonville city employees who made more than $150,000 in 2010:[13]

Name Year Employer Base Pay Total Pay
Rao, Valerie 2010 Jacksonville, City of $190,172.64 $190,172.64
Giles, Jesse 2010 Jacksonville, City of $179,556.39 $179,556.39
Rohan, Steven 2010 Jacksonville, City of $177,429.00 $177,429.00
Sherman, Kirk 2010 Jacksonville, City of $176,400.00 $176,400.00
Chastain, Karen 2010 Jacksonville, City of $165,237.76 $165,237.76
Maltz, Howard 2010 Jacksonville, City of $160,837.64 $160,837.64
Belton, Clarence 2010 Jacksonville, City of $156,999.96 $156,999.96
Miller, George 2010 Jacksonville, City of $156,710.28 $156,710.28
Barton, Ronald 2010 Jacksonville, City of $152,070.32 $152,070.32
Nicolaescu, Aurelian 2010 Jacksonville, City of $151,533.91 $151,533.91

City firefighters have until a July 2012 meeting to accept a contract that will keep pay at current levels. The offer on the table keeps salaries where they are by reinstating a 2 percent cut firefighters agreed to two years ago that would otherwise expire at the end of this fiscal year. It also includes a promise to meet at least nine times to discuss employee benefits, time the city wishes to use to talk about changes to the public safety pension system. [14]

Pensions

Negotiations between the city and its police union broke down and could head to court. [15] The pension reform plan proposed by the Jacksonville mayor would hike the age at which police officers could retire, double how much they contribute to retirement and shrink the size of pensions. It would also cap at $100,000 the amount of benefits retired officers could receive and prevent retiring officers from receiving their pensions until they are 60-years-old. City officials say the proposals will save the city $1.5 billion over 30 years. [16]

A union official told city representatives to "take me to court." [17]

This year, $150 million from the city's $945 million general fund went to pay pension costs, with $122 million going to cover police officers and firefighters. If nothing changes, the city says, police and fire pensions would cost $175 million in fiscal year 2019. [18]

The mayor's proposed reforms for firefighter pension would require fire employees to wait until they turned 60 to get their retirement benefits. Under the current system an employee qualifies after 20 years of service. The proposed plan would also eliminate cost of living adjustments and the deferred retirement option program. The proposal would not affect any former fire employees but apply to all new and many current ones. [19]

A group of citizens criticized the police and fire pension leadership for poor management during a community forum. The critics supported a bill that would give the city council more control over the fund's board. The bill would allow the City Council to draw up a slate of people from which the fifth member of the pension fund board can be selected; right now, the other four members of the board — one named by police officers, one by firefighters and two by the City Council — can choose anyone for the fifth seat. [20]

After only two days of negotiations talks with fire union leaders has reached an impasse. The Union maintains it will not negotiate pension reform with the city, but rather that should be done between Jacksonville and the Police and Fire Pension Fund. [21]

Lobbying

See also: Florida government sector lobbying and Florida League of Cities.

Jacksonville has reported $2,550,000 spent on lobbying since 2000 (see table).

Reported lobbying expenditures, 2000-2010 [22]
Year Amount spent on lobbying
2010 $210,000
2009 $400,000
2008 $360,000
2007 $360,000
2006 $200,000
2005 $260,000
2004 $400,000
2003 $280,000
2002 $260,000
2001 $120,000
2000 $120,000

Jacksonville pays membership dues[23] to the Florida League of Cities, a government sector lobbying association.

Public employee salaries

See also: Jacksonville employee salaries

Website evaluation

Grade2.pngB
Budget
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Meetings
{{{1}}}
Elected Officials
{{{1}}}
Administrative Officials
{{{1}}}
Permits, zoning
{{{1}}}
Audits
{{{1}}}
Contracts P
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Lobbying P
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Public Records
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Local Taxes
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Transparency grading process

The good

  • Budget
    • The most current budget is listed.[24]
    • Budgets are archived for 14 years.[25]
  • Administrative officials
    • Department heads are listed for each department.[26]
    • Contact information for administrative officials is provided including a mailing address, phone number, and personalized email.
  • Elected officials
    • Elected officials are listed with a mailing address, phone number and personalized email.[27]
  • Meetings
    • Meeting minutes are archived for 9 years.
    • Meeting agendas are archived for 9 years.[28].
    • A meeting calendar is available and names the times and locations of public meetings.
    • Meeting video are available.[29]
  • Audits
    • The most recent audit is posted.
    • Audits dating back to 1999-2000 are available.[30]
  • Contracts
    • Bids and RFPs are posted online.[31]
    • Approved contract statements are provided for vendors.[32]
  • Public records
    • The public information officer is identified by requester status. These employees provide a mailing address, phone number and personalized email.[33]
    • A public records form is provided..
    • A fee schedule for documents is provided.
  • Taxes
    • Tax revenues are broken down by federal, state, and local funding in the budget.
    • Local taxes, like property taxes, are available online.[34]
    • Residents are able to pay taxes online.[35]
  • Permits and zoning
    • Zoning ordinances are posted online.
    • Permit applications can be downloaded on the site, along with information on how to apply for the permits.[36]

The bad

  • Lobbying
    • If the county engaged in lobbying actives or if it's a member of government lobbying associations are not disclosed. Nor is the total cost lobbying activities or membership dues for associations available.

External links

References

  1. Jacksonville, Florida
  2. Governmental structure
  3. Surprise Dem. mayoral victory
  4. Jacksonville City Council
  5. 2011 city council budget
  6. City Council Members
  7. Council salaries
  8. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Arts
  9. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Minority_Study
  10. Possible departmental cuts
  11. Pension reform
  12. Salary findings for North Florida government agencies
  13. [=88 Jacksonville salaries]
  14. Jacksonvile.com (Florida Times Union), City on verge of withdrawing no-pay-cut offer to Jacksonville firefighters, May 30, 2012
  15. Action News Jacksonville, FOP to the City: "It's a slap in the face.", Oct. 31, 2012
  16. Florida Times-Union, Jacksonville mayor proposes cutting pension benefit for police officers, Oct. 29, 2012
  17. [http://www.actionnewsjax.com/content/topstories/story/FOP-to-the-City-Its-a-slap-in-the-face/-4dBoNYZX0-SpVZ8U3KYFw.cspx/ Action News jacksonville, FOP to the City: "It's a slap in the face." Nov. 2, 2012]
  18. Florida Times-Union, Jacksonville mayor proposes cutting pension benefit for police officers, Oct. 29, 2012
  19. First Coast News, Mayor Alvin Brown, City of Jacksonville propose firefighter pension reform, Dec. 27, 2012
  20. [http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/2013-01-05/story/jacksonvilles-pension-fund-administration-comes-under-fire/ Florida Times Union, Jacksonville's pension fund administration comes under fire, Jan. 5, 2013
  21. WOKV, Jacksonville declares impasse with firefighters, Jan. 7, 2013
  22. Open Secrets
  23. Membership Directory
  24. City of Jacksonville, 2013 Budget, Accessed: Jan 19, 2013
  25. City of Jacksonville, Budgets, Accessed: Jan 19, 2013
  26. City of Jacksonville, Staff Directory, Accessed: Jan 19, 2013
  27. City of Jacksonville, Elected Officials, Accessed: Jan 19, 2013
  28. City of Jacksonville, Meeting Minutes and Agendas, Accessed: Jan 19, 2013
  29. City of Jacksonville, Meeting Calendar and Video, Accessed: Jan 19, 2013
  30. City of Jacksonville, Audits, Accessed: Jan 19, 2013
  31. City of Jacksonville, Bids, Accessed: Jan 19, 2013
  32. City of Jacksonville, Contracts, Accessed: Jan 19, 2013
  33. City of Jacksonville, Public Records Requests, Accessed: Jan 19, 2013
  34. City of Jacksonville, Tax Structure, Accessed: Jan 19, 2013
  35. City of Jacksonville, Pay Taxes Online, Accessed: Jan 19, 2013
  36. City of Jacksonville, Planning and Development, Accessed: Jan 19, 2013