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Jax City Council 1st: 2 African Americans To Be Installed As President, Vice President

Jacksonville City  Council members Sam Newby (left) and Terrance Freeman
Via Jacksonville Daily Record
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Jacksonville City Council members Sam Newby (left) and Terrance Freeman

The Jacksonville City Council this week is set to install new President Sam Newby and Vice President Terrance Freeman into office.

Both are Black Republicans. Their installation will mark the first time in city history that both council leadership roles are being filled by African American members.

But first, the council is scheduled to vote Tuesday evening, June 22, on a proposal to change who’s eligible to be Council president and vice president in the future.

The bill would make it so only the city’s 5 at-large Council members would be allowed to serve as president and vice-president, and it would get rid of Council members voting on candidates for the leadership positions.

Instead, at-large Council members would rotate through the roles, beginning in 2027, and the 14 other members would not be eligible for leadership.

The new rule would also require the at-large members to have at least one year of experience on the City Council before they can serve in one of the leadership roles. Newby and Freeman are both at-large members.

Council will also vote on spending $117,000 on a residential property on King Street that would be used in the restoration of the McCoy’s Creek floodplain, which is part of the larger Emerald Trail project.

Brendan Rivers can be reached at brivers@wjct.org, 904-358-6396 or on Twitter at @BrendanRivers.

Special Projects Producer Brendan Rivers joined WJCT News in August of 2018 after several years as a reporter and then News Director at Southern Stone Communications, which owns and operates several radio stations in the Daytona Beach area.