Transparency, Integrity and Accountability

Government without transparency is a breeding ground for mischief

Jacksonville City

Dear OurJax Members:

The long-anticipated City Council Special Investigative Committee report on JEA was released Monday morning. It began with this quote:

“Government without transparency is a breeding ground for mischief.”

What follows in the next 132 pages of the report is documented example after documented example cited by the committee’s special counsel of how policies, processes, and procedures were bypassed, ignored, and abandoned by the city administration and JEA executives.

Tuesday morning, Florida Times-Union columnist Nate Monroe described the report like this:

“A nearly yearlong investigation by lawyers representing a special Jacksonville City Council investigative committee found that almost every step taken by Mayor Lenny Curry’s administration and former city utility executives to privatize JEA — dating as far back as 2017 — was tinged with bad-faith, greed, secrecy or, at the least, an appearance of impropriety, according to the committee’s 132-page final report released Monday.”

Nate Monroe: Scathing report finds greed, bad faith plagued JEA sale effort

OurJax believes the JEA report confirms what we’ve also been saying about the current deal on Lot J. The way Lot J was hatched is a mirror image of the scandal that rocked JEA. Deals made behind closed doors where any thought of transparency was trashed, and taxpayer protections were intentionally abandoned.

City Council Finance Chairman Matt Carlucci, who was the first Jacksonville elected official to decry the flawed notion to sell JEA, wrote this in a column in Tuesday’s Times-Union about Lot J:

“The process that has brought us Lot J has not been transparent. It has been pushed, pressured, and rushed. This negotiating, two years behind closed doors, is what, in the past, lead to people going to jail and the city’s consolidation. The process that has brought us Lot J is poor public behavior, bad policy and destroys community trust.”

Matt Carlucci: Lot J needs to be negotiated with transparency

Monday evening, I was interviewed by WJXT Channel 4, and OurJax Board member Audrey Moran was on WTLV Channel 12 regarding the JEA report.

WJXT: City Council investigation finds effort to sell JEA ‘ran afoul through Aaron Zahn’s greed’

Later today, OurJax will release its own statement on the special committee JEA report.

OurJax urges you to continue your efforts to let members of the City Council know of your opposition to Lot J. Tell them to scrap this deal and start over. Let’s have a Lot J deal we can trust, and a partnership that will make us proud.

Michael J. Ward
OurJax Chair

Click below to email or call your City Council Member.

District 1: Joyce Morgan
​Phone: (904) 255-5201

District 2: Al Ferraro
Phone: (904) 255-5202

District 3: Aaron L. Bowman
Phone: (904) 255-5203

District 4: Kevin Carrico
Phone: (904) 255-5204

District 5: LeAnna Cumber
Phone: (904) 255-5205

District 6: Michael Boylan
Phone: (904) 255-5206

District 7: Reggie Gaffney
Phone: (904) 255-5207

District 8: Ju’Coby Pittman
Phone: (904) 255-5208

District 9: Garrett L. Dennis
Phone: (904) 255-5209

District 10: Brenda Priestly Jackson
Phone: (904) 255-5210

District 11: Danny Becton
Phone: (904) 255-5211

District 12: Randy White
Phone: (904) 255-5212

District 13: Rory Diamond
Phone: (904) 255-5213

District 14: Randy DeFoor
Phone: (904) 255-5214

Group 1: Terrance Freeman
Phone: (904) 255-5215

Group 2: Ronald B. Salem
Phone: (904) 255-5216

Group 3: Tommy Hazouri
Phone: (904) 255-5217

Group 4: Matt Carlucci
Phone: (904) 255-5218

Group 5: Samuel Newby
Phone: (904) 255-5219

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