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.”
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.”
Monday evening, I was interviewed by WJXT Channel 4, and OurJax Board member Audrey Moran was on WTLV Channel 12 regarding the JEA report.
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
Click below to email or call your City Council Member.