OFFICE OF THE CITY COUNCIL
117 WEST DUVAL STREET, SUITE 425
4TH FLOOR, CITY HALL
JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA 32202
CITY COUNCIL SPECIAL MEETING MINUTES – MAYOR’S BUDGET ADDRESS - amended
City Council Chamber, 1st floor, City Hall
July 15, 2019
Location: City Council Chamber, City Hall – St. James Building; 117 West Duval Street,
Council Members Scott
Wilson (President), Danny Becton, Aaron Bowman, Michael Boylan, Matt
Carlucci, LeAnna Cumber, Randy DeFoor, Garrett Dennis, Rory Diamond, Al
Ferraro, Terrance Freeman, Reggie Gaffney,
Al Ferraro, Tommy Hazouri,
Joyce Morgan, Sam Newby, Ju’Coby Pittman, Ron
Excused: Council Member Brenda Priestly Jackson
Also: Mayor Lenny Curry; Jason Gabriel, Peggy Sidman and Paige Johnston – Office of General Counsel; Kyle Billy and Kim Taylor – Council Auditor’s Office; Carol Owens, Jessica Matthews and Crystal Shemwell – Legislative Services Division; Paula Shoup, Steve Cassada and Louie Marino – Council Staff Services; Joey Greive and Angela Moyer – Administration and Finance Department; Brian Hughes, Jordan Elsbury and Leeann Krieg – Mayor’s Office
Meeting Convened: 9:02 a.m.
Council President Wilson convened the meeting. Council Member Terrance Freeman gave the invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance. President Wilson introduced Mayor Lenny Curry to deliver his annual budget address.
Mayor Curry said the proposed budget reflected a continuation of his core principles of investing in public safety, economic development, neighborhood revitalization and children’s programs with no new taxes. The budget will continue to pay down debt and maintain and increase reserve and contingency funds, in part due to the $64 million resulting this year from pension reform savings. Tax revenues are up due to growth in the city which produces additional resources for needed public investments.
Public safety will receive an addition of $70 million this year for programs such as Shot Spotter, the Real Time Crime Center, the Cure Violence initiative, and others. The Sheriff’s Office will receive an allocation of $3.8 million to fund the school guardian program to assist the school district. New fire stations and rescue units will come online as well as the new backup 911 call center. There is funding for Project Save Lives, the response to the opioid epidemic that is producing reduced rescue calls for drug overdoses and less use of overdose treatment drugs.
The mayor said that with regard to economic development, Jacksonville is on the national radar for business relocations and new expansions (Amazon, Wayfair, etc.) and that one-third of new incentivized jobs are locating in council districts 7, 8, 9 and10. Downtown redevelopment is vitally important and a great deal of downtown residential housing is under construction or planned. He noted that both the Northbank and Southbank community redevelopment area tax increment funds are cash positive for the first time in years, and major companies such as VyStar are locating downtown.
Neighborhood infrastructure is a priority and is possible because of the resources freed up by the pension reform of several years ago. His budget includes $173.5 million in the capital improvement program for drainage improvements, libraries, railroad crossing upgrades, public cemetery maintenance, sidewalk construction and repairs, parks and pools maintenance, and ADA compliance for sidewalks and public facility access. $20 million is being allocated to UF Health for repairs and maintenance to the city’s public hospital.
Capital improvement funds are also being allocated for construction of the new Mayport docks and improvements to the Jacksonville Zoo, the Florida Theater, and the Ritz Theater.
Children’s issues continue to be a high priority, with a continued focus on safety, access to quality education, commitment to future success, and jobs beyond just a summer job program. The Kids Hope Alliance is proposed for an additional $2.7 million, which includes funding for a juvenile justice diversion program in cooperation with the State Attorney’s Office.
Mayor Curry said that budgets are about priorities and this one reflects his – One City, One Jacksonville. The mayor said that Jacksonville is a city on the rise and that he and his staff are available to answer questions for council members at any time.
President Wilson said that the budget hearing calendar will be released shortly.
Council Auditor Kyle Billy briefly outlined the TRIM tax notice process. Resolution 2019-500 will be introduced at City Council next Tuesday and will need to be acted upon as an emergency to get the tax levy process underway and inform the Property Appraiser of what millage amount to advertise. This bill will set the preliminary millage rate that will be needed to produce all of the revenue that council members feel is necessary to fund the programs they want to see accomplished. President Wilson asked the Finance Committee to discuss the bill and the proposed TRIM millage rate at its meeting tomorrow.
Meeting adjourned: 9:22 a.m.
Minutes: Jeff Clements, Council Research Division
7.15.19 Posted 11:30 a.m.
Tapes: Mayor’s Budget Address meeting – LSD