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Charter Commission Revision Nominees Sail Through Council; Shine Faces Pushback

The Florida Times-Union
Former School Board member Scott Shine is pictured at a 2016 school board meeting.

Jacksonville City Council President Aaron Bowman’s picks for the new Charter Revision Commission have gone largely unopposed, but one of them got some push back at Tuesday’s council meeting.

Former Duval County Public Schools Board member Scott Shine was among 13 of the 15 nominees up for council approval to the once-a-decade commission. Once appointed, the members will spend eight months reviewing the City Charter and give recommendations to the City Council and Duval’s state lawmakers in early 2020.

Councilman John Crescimbeni urged colleagues to postpone Shine’s vote for two weeks, as questions about missing a number of school board meetings resurfaced. Crescimbeni said people have been reaching out to him to express their concerns about Shine’s absenteeism.

“And I would really like to defer this bill to do a little bit more homework,” he said. “I do find some of the comments troubling and worth reviewing.”

Seven of the 15 council members at Tuesday’s meeting indicated they were in favor of postponing the vote, which wasn’t enough to push it to the June 25 council meeting. Shine was appointed by a vote of 12-3.

Shine wasn’t immediately available for comment, but he has addressed the question before.

At a Rule’s Committee hearing last week, incoming City Council Vice President Tommy Hazouri brought up the question. Hazouri said he thought Shine was qualified for the position, but was concerned that he didn’t attend a lot of school board meetings during the last few months.

“You may disagree with what they’re doing or the superintendent or the board members or your colleagues, you’re going to be faced with the same thing on this commission,” said Hazouri. “And by you, I hate to say, deserting on company time - it bothers me that you weren’t there.”

But Shine denied the accusation and said he only missed two voting meetings.

“I attended about 96% of the voting meetings,” he said.  “I did not attend some of the workshop meetings, which are non-voting meetings.”   

Along with Shine, others appointed Tuesday were:

  • Jessica Baker, Former staffer for Mayor Lenny Curry  
  • Frank Denton, Former Florida Times-Union editor
  • Charles Griggs, Jacksonville Housing Authority board member and WJCT contributor
  • Nick Howland,  Former School Board candidate
  • W.C. Gentry, Lawyer
  • Betzy Santiago, Florida State College at Jacksonville administrator
  • Ann-Marie Knight, Mayo Clinic Florida administrator
  • Heidi Jameson, Director of Business Development at JAXUSA Partnership
  • Lindsey Brock, Attorney
  • Matt Schulenburg, City Councilman whose term ends June 30
  • Nelson McCoy, Executive Director at The Center, One Foundation
  • Lindsey Brock, Lawyer

Consultant Chris Hagan and former City Council candidate Celestine Mills, who were unable to attend the Rule’s committee last week, will be up for a full council vote on June 25. That is the final meeting for outgoing City Council members.
Contact Abukar Adan at 904-358-6319, or on Twitter at @abukaradan17