Panel Says Jacksonville Government Needs To Be More Transparent

Jul 10, 2018

A recently completed Jacksonville Task Force report finds the city’s government needs to be more transparent to better serve community needs.

The Task Force on Open Government released its final report at the end of June.

The group was tasked by former City Council President Anna Lopez Brosche to look into the difficulties that the news media and the public have experienced when trying to get information from city officials.   

Appearing Tuesday on First Coast Connect, task force co-chairs attorney Hank Coxe and former head of the Jesse Ball DuPont Fund Sherry McGill said it’s too difficult to navigate the city’s website - coj.net -  even to find simple things like what day garbage is collected in a particular neighborhood.   

They said tracking down public communications between officials, which fall under open records laws, is extremely difficult because they aren’t posted online.

McGill said cell phone texts aren’t posted anywhere.   

“Nobody whom we heard from puts text messages on the website. So we all know a lot of business happens through texting. That’s simply not available. That conversation is simply not available,” she said.   

Some city emails are available via the city's website:

Kevin Meerschaert can be reached at kmeerschaert@wjct.org, 904-358-6334 or on Twitter at @KMeerschaertJax.