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Jacksonville City Council Delays JEA Discussion Until May 22

Bill Bortzfield
JEA's downtown Jacksonville headquarters.

Tuesday night the Jacksonville City Council delayed voting on resolutions regarding whether to continue to investigate a proposed sale of JEA.

City Council President Anna Lopez Brosche directed that the bills - 2018-242 and -248 - be deferred in committee next week, with a discussion before the full council now expected on May 22.

One of the measures - ordinance 2018-248, makes the case against privatization of the city-owned utility by noting its value and would have the City Council go on record as opposed to a sale.

The list of reasons to keep the utility includes JEA’s responsiveness to public need in times of disaster, its annual financial contribution to the city - which came to more than $116 million last year - and its investments in the city’s infrastructure over the years.

The other resolution would encourage Mayor Lenny Curry and JEA's management to continue studying a potential sale.

The proposed privatization of the city-owned utility has sparked contentious debate among city leaders.

Mayor Lenny Curry has been accused by some of pushing for the sale behind the scenes, something he has denied.

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The controversy surrounding whether the city should keep JEA started late last year when former JEA board member and Mayor Lenny Curry political contributor Tom Petway floated the idea of privatizing the utility while announcing his retirement.
Contact reporter Cyd Hoskinson at, 904-358-6351 and on Twitter @cydwjctnews.

Bill Bortzfield can be reached at, 904-358-6349 or on Twitter at @BortzInJax.