The Jacksonville City Council president said Monday the mayor’s office is moving too fast in a potential sale of JEA. However, Mayor Lenny Curry denies that.
A report detailing the value of JEA and some pros and cons of the city potentially selling the utility company will be finalized Wednesday. Last week an incomplete draft of the report was released.
On February 9, JEA CEO Paul McElroy asked City Council President Anna Lopez Brosche to convene a special council meeting this Wednesday for a presentation of the report.
Brosche said she was open to calling the meeting until she met with the mayor’s office.
“They also asked if I would be supportive of emergency-upon-introduction-legislation to approve next steps in the sale process,” Brosche said.
That would mean City Council would formally approve legislation on Wednesday. Normally the process to pass legislation takes more than a month.
She said the next steps-legislation would entail, “to go to market and receive either indications of interest or bids from those who are interested in purchasing JEA.”
That’s when she said she declined the meeting, writing McElroy back, saying city council's participation would be premature.
However Curry maintains his office is not asking for emergency legislation.
“It’s irresponsible, it’s false and it’s disgraceful for her to make that allegation,” Curry said.
But the mayor can also call a city council meeting, and he did.
“Unfortunately [Brosche] rejected that request,” Curry said. “I think it’s important that this be public at the same time to everybody so I have requested a meeting on Wednesday.”
Curry said he doesn’t have an opinion on whether JEA should be sold, saying that hinges on what impact it’ll have on residents’ rates and JEA employees.
The mayor’s meeting is 3 p.m. on Wednesday at City Hall. Brosche said she’ll be presiding over it.
Lindsey Kilbride can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, 904-358-6359 or on Twitter at@lindskilbride.