OFFICE OF THE CITY COUNCIL
117 WEST DUVAL STREET, SUITE 425
4TH FLOOR, CITY HALL
JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA 32202
CITY COUNCIL SPECIAL MEETING MINUTES – MAYOR’S BUDGET ADDRESS
City Council Chamber, 1st floor, City Hall
July 17, 2017
Location: City Council Chamber, City Hall – St. James Building; 117 West Duval Street,
In attendance: Council Members Anna Lopez Brosche (President), Greg Anderson, Danny Becton, Aaron Bowman, Lori Boyer, Katrina Brown, Reggie Brown, Doyle Carter, John Crescimbeni, Garrett Dennis, Reggie Gaffney, Al Ferraro, Bill Gulliford, Tommy Hazouri, Jim Love, Joyce Morgan, Sam Newby, Matt Schellenberg
Excused: Council Member Scott Wilson
Also: Mayor Lenny Curry; Jason Gabriel and Peggy Sidman – Office of General Counsel; Kyle Billy and Kim Taylor – Council Auditor’s Office; Cheryl Brown – Council Director/Secretary; Carol Owens, Jessica Matthews, Philip Zamarron and Staci Lopez – Legislative Services Division; Steve Cassada and Louie Marino – Council Staff Services; Mike Weinstein, Angela Moyer and Teresa Eichner – Administration and Finance Department; Sam Mousa, Ali Shelton, Jordan Elsbury and Jessica Baker – Mayor’s Office; Sheriff Mike Williams; Fire Chief Kurtis Wilson
Meeting Convened: 9:00 a.m.
Council President Brosche convened the meeting; Council Member Carter gave the invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance. President Brosche introduced Mayor Lenny Curry to deliver his annual budget address.
Mayor Curry reported that the successful resolution to the City’s long-standing unfunded pension liability problem adopted by the Council last year has provided the City with a solid financial foundation going forward. His highest priority for that forward progress is public safety, beginning with funding for 100 new police officers, a new class of Community Safety Officers (CSOs) and 42 additional firefighters. The budget includes $13.4 million for new and replacement JSO vehicles and $1 million for new and replacement Fire and Rescue vehicles. The mayor announced a $50 million Safer Neighborhood Investment Program, which will provide funding for new and replacement police and fire equipment, construction of a backup emergency 911 call center on the City’s Westside, and $8.4 million in capital improvements for Edward Waters College. A substantial investment will be made in drowning prevention programs, including additional year-round swimming lessons, upgrades to several pools around the city, and more funding for lifeguards both at pools and at the oceanfront parks.
The mayor stated that infrastructure will be funded through the Capital Improvement Program (CIP) at a substantially increased rate. $8 million is allocated to demolish the old City Hall and Courthouse buildings on Bay Street to prepare those blocks for redevelopment. Funding is provided for continued construction on the Liberty Street replacement project, as well as $1 million for downtown landscaping and $600,000 for interior restoration of the Snyder Memorial building. Other CIP allocations include $12 million for road resurfacing, $10 million for stormwater projects, and substantial allocations for sidewalk construction and ADA accessibility compliance projects.
Mayor Curry stated that children are the “heartbeat of the city” and said that he would henceforth be referring to “at-risk” children as “at-hope”, emphasizing the City’s intention to improve their prospects for success in life. He reported that his budget contains dollar amounts but few specifics for the Jacksonville Journey and Jacksonville Children’s Commission, as those programs will be substantially reformed over the coming months. He did say that some funding will be reallocated out of these agencies into other departmental budgets if they are not specifically child-centered.
Regarding City finances, the mayor said that the budget continues to decrease outstanding debt as old debt is refinanced, locking in historically low interest rates for the long term and reducing annual debt service requirements. He is proposing $60 million for the pension reform reserve fund, and proposes to increase the City’s emergency reserve fund target from 5-7% of General Fund revenues to 6-8%, with funding for the 6% level in this year’s budget and the expectation of funding 8% in FY18-19.
The mayor reiterated his commitment to the ideal of One City, One Jacksonville.
President Brosche offered an opportunity for questions from council members to the administration; there were no questions.
Meeting adjourned: 9:23 a.m.
Minutes: Jeff Clements, Council Research
7.17.17 Posted 10:15 a.m.
Tapes: Mayor’s Budget Address meeting – LSD