Transparency, Integrity and Accountability

Nate Monroe with perspective on the Lot J rush job

Downtown Jacksonville

Once again, Florida Times-Union columnist Nate Monroe nailed the obvious Sunday in describing the rushed actions to get the highly controversial Lot J proposal approved by the City Council.

While there is a new agreement to send the proposed deal to the Downtown Investment Authority for review, it appears that review will be minimal and not the thorough study OurJax is urging.

Nate Monroe: Strategic errors, personality conflicts, bad terms damaged Lot J proposal

From the column:

“…The list could go on: The deal itself and the way it has been pursued are simply flawed, and while the former was never surprising — Khan was always going to get a sweetheart deal — the latter is only possible because Curry and the Jaguars stick to a formula that tends to overlook public opinion.

The team under Khan’s ownership has become perennially one of the worst in the NFL, and he has alienated large segments of what is otherwise a passionate fan base through consistent public-relations blunders and gratuitous money grabs, like the much-maligned second London game.

Curry seems to have learned little from his disastrous involvement in privatizing JEA, Jacksonville’s publicly owned electric, water and sewer utility — an issue that remains under a federal investigation. His office too often asks the public to trust but not verify, oblivious to the mayor’s diminished credibility.

The 19-member City Council is mired in personality conflicts and petty concerns, and it often waits too late to act — it could have kicked Lot J back to the DIA over the summer, or even long before that. As eager as Curry’s office is to act unilaterally, the council is equally reluctant to make big decisions.

For a deal that still remains likely to pass, the acrimony Thursday was not indicative of a group that believed it was up three touchdowns late in the fourth quarter. Then again, the Jaguars haven’t been in that position in a long, long time.”

Please contact council members and let them know you support the thorough DIA review proposed by Councilmember Matt Carlucci’s bill.


Michael J. Ward

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