Jacksonville City Council

City of Jacksonville

The Jacksonville City Council will have to decide whether to take more than $4.5 million away from downtown improvements or find the money elsewhere.

The Council Auditor presented his overview of the mayor’s proposed budget Thursday morning.

Fairway Oaks Residents To Protest HabiJax Friday

Aug 4, 2016
Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

Residents of the Fairway Oaks neighborhood on Jacksonville’s Northside said the city should not give more money to HabiJax without first fixing the homes the nonprofit built.

The residents, who say their houses were poorly constructed, plan to protest Friday morning.

Steve Baker / Flickr

Updated 5:30 p.m. July 29

Jacksonville has cracked down on nuisance animals.

A City Council bill passed Tuesday, making it easier for annoyed neighbors to report noisy animals.


Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

New Jacksonville City Council President Lori Boyer wants the body to be more proactive about developing policy.

So she’s restructuring City Council committees to ensure it.


Jacksonville City Hall, St. James Building
Ray Hollister / WJCT News

The Jacksonville City Council will more strictly enforce its ban on demonstrations at meetings.

Lori Boyer

Two-term Jacksonville City Council member Lori Boyer takes the reins this month as that body’s new president, promising to push an ambitious agenda for the city.

Boyer’s tenure comes amid big financial challenges for Jacksonville, as well as growing concerns about public safety and tensions between the black community and police.

Lori Boyer joins us to discuss her priorities for the next year.

City Finance Committee Approves Mosquito-Fighting Dollars

Jun 6, 2016
Tom / Flickr

 

Jacksonville’s Mosquito Control Chief John Shellhorn says he’s surprised the city hasn’t had any Zika virus cases.

Johnny Silvercloud / Flickr

 

More sobriety checkpoints will pop up on Duval County roads beginning this summer.

Jacksonville police plan to increase the frequency of the stops from about two a year to two per month — or roughly 60 checkpoints over the course of two years.

That’s because the City Council approved a nearly $500,000 grant aimed at reducing the number of impaired-driving deaths.

 

Uber app on screen
Flickr Creative Commons

Discussion over how to regulate ride-for-hire companies continues here in North Florida and across the nation.

Uber and Lyft

The Jacksonville City Council is currently debating how and whether ride-for-hire companies like Uber and Lyft which have disrupted the traditional taxicab model here in North Florida.

City Councilman Matt Schellenberg is chair of that body’s Vehicles for Hire Committee

He joins us to discuss the issue.


Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

The Jacksonville City Council voted 13 to 5 Tuesday night to rezone an old laundromat in Riverside, paving the way for a 150-seat restaurant, The Roost.

Jacksonville's Hemming Park Funded — For Now

May 24, 2016
SAPHARA HARRELL / WJCT NEWS

Funding for Jacksonville’s Hemming Park is up in the air.

The Jacksonville City Council approved $100,000 on Tuesday to park operators Friends of Hemming Park to cover operation costs through the next couple months.

Uber and Lyft

Could voters decide the fate of Uber and Lyft in Jacksonville?

The Jacksonville City Council may be racing toward a populist solution to regulating ride-for-hire companies.

City Councilman John Crescimbeni has suggested holding a voter referendum on how to regulate the rideshares.

A similar type of referendum on Uber and Lyft recently failed in Austin Texas.

Crescimbeni joins us to discuss the issue.

Sales Tax Extension To Be On August Ballot

May 10, 2016
Ray Hollister / WJCT News

Jacksonville City Council gave the go ahead for voters Tuesday to decide whether they want the Better Jacksonville 1/2-cent sales tax to be extended for 30 more years. 

The money would be used to pay off the city’s $2.6 billion pension debt.

Hotels Left Out Of City Human Trafficking Bill, For Now

Apr 26, 2016
Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

Jacksonville officials are trying to figure out how to enforce a new state law requiring certain businesses to post human-trafficking awareness signs.

Under a proposed bill, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office would issue $500 citations to businesses not in compliance. The state law requires strip clubs and massage parlors to post the signs.


Robert Batina / Flikr

More people will be allowed to develop vacant properties into affordable housing — that is, if the City Council approves a bill Tuesday evening.


Adam Fagen / Flickr

The Jacksonville City Council is still wrestling with creating a policy for texting among its members and lobbyists.  A special committee was formed after a lawsuit accused several council members with texting with a lobbyist about votes, which could amount to communicating with each other in secret.

Jacksonville City Hall
Ray Hollister / WJCT News

The Jacksonville City Council is looking at how to enforce a new state law requiring human-trafficking-awareness signs to be posted in certain businesses and public areas.

Councilman Tommy Hazouri is sponsoring a bill requiring businesses to pay up to $500 if they don’t post a sign.

The required sign urges people to call a national human-trafficking hotline if they or someone they know are being forced to engage in work or prostitution and can’t leave.

Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

 

The city is reorganizing to create the neighborhoods department, which will include services from animal and mosquito control to housing and code compliance.

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry said the new department will give residents a more direct connection with city services.

 


Some Riverside Residents Say No To Oak Street Restaurant

Mar 22, 2016
Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

Some Riverside residents are upset about a proposed restaurant that would open on their street, saying the late-night eatery would disrupt the low-key, residential tone of the street.

 


Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

 

As several Jacksonville City Council members face a lawsuit over text messages during a meeting,  the Council is forming a committee to review texting policies.

Councilman Sam Newby is heading the group.

 


Firetruck
amateur photography by michel / Flickr

 

The city of Jacksonville is close to settling a 2013 discrimination lawsuit alleging the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department discriminates against African-Americans in hiring and creates a hostile work environment.

The city will settle with a $250,000 payment and change its hiring practices, as long as City Council agrees.

cell phone
Adam Fagen/ Flickr

Jacksonville Ethics Director Carla Miller says “open government” is hard to nail down when new modes of communication pop up.

Several Jacksonville City Council members are facing a lawsuit over text messages with lobbyists during a meeting. The suit alleges they broke Florida’s Sunshine Laws, which require government business to be conducted in the open.

 


HMS Ferries Inc.

The Jacksonville City Council will soon decide whether to transfer ownership of the St. Johns River Ferry to the Jacksonville Transportation Authority. As part of the ferry negotiations, Council member John Crescimbeni says, JTA asked the Council to extend the local option gas tax that helps fund road construction.

Crescimbeni says the gas tax was set to end in August, but the city has extended it for another 20 years.

Crescimbeni says now the Council must decide how much of the Mayport Ferry to give up.

Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

Jacksonville City Council members are looking at how to better track their own text messages for the public to access.

On Wednesday, Council members Lori Boyer, Garrett Dennis and President Greg Anderson met to discuss text-saving software options. The solution may involve all council texts automatically saving to a cloud.

 


Jacksonville City Hall
Ray Hollister

 

The Jacksonville City Council is committing to paying up to $450,000 in tax-refund incentives for an unnamed financial-services company to come to town.


Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

The Jacksonville City Council is delaying its decision on a settlement between the Police and Fire Pension Board, its former executive director and the city.

The Council plans to have a meeting in the shade to talk strategy.

Beatrice Sanchez / WJCT News

A bill to fund improvements to the Jacksonville Farmers Market will be up for a vote at Tuesday's City Council meeting.

City Councilman Garrett Dennis says revitalizing the Farmers Market is important to that area, which has been a "food desert" lacking healthy options.

Market General Manager Greg Tison says the the company has been planning the improvements for years. 

Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

 

Jacksonville City Councilman Tommy Hazouri says he wants to increase the transparency of city contracts. He says the public should be able to follow what happens after the city awards a contractor a project.


Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

Jacksonville voters will not be able to decide whether local elected officials can have more time in office. That’s after the Jacksonville City Council unanimously voted to withdraw a bill Tuesday night.

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