Jacksonville residents will soon learn how many offers have been submitted to buy the city-owned utility JEA.
But CEO Aaron Zahn said the names of the bidders and their initial offers will be kept confidential when the number of bids is revealed on Oct. 7.
“By having a cloaked process, relative to the names but not the numbers, provides us a significant competitive advantage relative to dealing with any of the respondents through the negotiation process,” he told the JEA board on Tuesday.
Negotiations with the bidders will be private, but they’ll be recorded and available for public review when the process wraps up.
At Tuesday’s JEA board meeting, Zahn also said the public utility’s financial and operating performance over the past year was better than ever.
“Much to the contrary of public statements by third parties, we are not predicting that the sky is falling or that we are in a death spiral,” said Zahn.
He said exploring privatization is part of JEA’s strategy to deal with anticipated challenges, like new technologies.