Neighborhoods, Community Investments and Services Committee

Special Meeting Minutes


April 17, 2017



Location:  City Council Chamber, 1st floor, City Hall – St. James Building; 117 West Duval Street


In attendance: Council Members Scott Wilson (Chair), Reggie Brown (Vice Chair), Doyle Carter, Garrett Dennis, Joyce Morgan, Bill Gulliford; Council President Boyer was in attendance.


Also: Kim Taylor – Council Auditor’s Office; Peggy Sidman  – Office of General Counsel;  John J. Jackson – Council Research Division; Staci Lopez and Juliette Williams – Legislative Services Division; Jessica Baker – Mayor’s Office


Meeting Convened: 9:23 A.M.


The topic for the special meeting was the Neighborhoods Department.  Stephanie Burch, Director, Neighborhoods Department, made the presentation.


Ms. Burch announced that she wanted to explain what the various components of the Neighborhoods Department were and what the divisions’ responsibilities and reach were.


The Department’s divisions include: the Animal Care and Protective Services Division, the Environmental Quality Division, the Housing and Community Development Division, the Mosquito Control Division, the Municipal Code Compliance Division, 630-CITY, the Neighborhoods Services Office and the Office of Consumer Affairs.


The Department’s mission is to provide a wide range of services and resources to preserve and enhance Jacksonville’s diverse neighborhoods; improve the physical, social and economic health of Jacksonville’s neighborhoods; empower residents to make positive contributions to their communities;  support neighborhood self-reliance through community-based problem solving and public/private cooperation; and ensuring a proactive and collaborative approach to providing resources and timely responses.


The Neighborhoods Department’s goals are: to provide greater access to City services and assistance at the neighborhood level; to facilitate effective partnerships among the City, community, and other entities to promote neighborhood improvement, development, and preservation consistent with mutual goals; to build a stronger sense of community by supporting self-help efforts of neighborhoods and under-represented communities.


Ms. Burch explained that key performance targets of the Neighborhoods Department are: to create a strategic plan for the department; to collaborate with and assist other City departments and community organizations in providing accessible, responsive and well-coordinated City services.  She said that she meets bi-weekly with  Director John Pappas of Public Works, Daryl Joseph of Parks, Recreation & Community Services and Bill Killingsworth of the Planning & Development Department to discuss and see how their respective departments can work together on common objectives and services.  Other key performance targets include introducing Code revisions to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of the Neighborhoods Department’s operations.  She indicated that the department is currently revising provisions to Ordinance 2015-519-E (Donation for Residential Property) to try and streamline the process.  Lastly, a key department performance target was to make strategic neighborhood investments and leverage resources from other departments and external partners to implement redevelopment projects in targeted neighborhoods.


Ms. Burch reported that Neighborhoods Department highlights include having filled thee (3) leadership positions, two of which had been vacant for many months (the Animal Care and Protective Services Division Chief; a new Mosquito Control Chief, and a new Operations 

Director); the Animal Care and Protective Services Division’s utilizing grant funds to increase the level of service; the Municipal Code Compliance Division enhanced the bidding process; the Housing and Community Development Division has revised the Universal Application process to streamline and provide more accountability for scoring applications – hitting all target dates; and 630-CITY recently hired a bilingual Customer Service Representative.


Ms. Burch announced several upcoming Department events that will be occurring around the City.  They include: throughout the month of April, there will be no pet adoption fees at Animal Care Protective Services.  She indicated that the ACPS center is at capacity with animals and we need to encourage citizens to provide a home for the animals.  April 17-21 is National Community Development Week.  On April 22, from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., there will be an Earth Day Downtown Cleanup at the Jacksonville Landing.  On June 24th, 1-4 p.m. will be an International Surfing Day Beach Cleanup at the Jacksonville Beach Pier.  On July 5, from 7-9 a.m., there will a Beaches Cleanup, at Atlantic Beach, Beach Blvd, and 16th Avenue South.  She explained that there is considerable refuse the day after Independence Day celebrations.


Ms. Burch fielded a number of questions.


There being no further business, the Special Meeting was adjourned at 10:09 a.m.



John J. Jackson, Council Research Division (904) 630-1729



Posted: 12:00 P.M.