Neighborhoods, Community Investments and Services Committee

Special Meeting Minutes

 March 6, 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;


Also: Kyle Billy – Council Auditor’s Office; Peggy Sidman  – Office of General Counsel; Colleen Hampsey and John J. Jackson – Council Research Division; Juliette Williams – Legislative Services Division; Jessica Baker – Mayor’s Office


Meeting Convened: 9:46 A.M.


The topic for the special meeting was the Military Affairs and Veterans Department.  The presenter was Bill Spann, Director, MAVD.


Mr. Spann explained that the purpose of his presentation was to explain what his department does for our veterans.


In Fiscal Year 2014-2015, the department directly served 6,050 area veterans; the veterans received more than $23.5 million in new benefits from the Veterans Administration.


In Fiscal Year 2015-2016, the department served 8,456 area veterans.  There was a 39.7% increase or $27.5 million in new benefits from the Veterans Administration.


During the past two fiscal years, COJ MAVD filed 14,500 claims for area veterans.  Those veterans received approximately $51 million in compensation.  Of the 14,500, nearly 2,700 were for mental health issues such as one of the seven anxiety conditions that the VA recognizes as falling under PTSD.


The MAVD social services programs, in conjunction with the Jacksonville Jaguars Foundation, provided no-interest loans and budget counseling to needy veterans to avoid eviction or utility cut-off. 


Career Source of North Florida is in the MAVD office weekly to assist veterans with job search opportunities, interview tips, resume writing seminars and more.  The department maintains a limited closet of interview-ready apparel for male clients.


Free legal aid is available for vets on a monthly basis;  free tax filing is available for vets on an annual basis.


The department’s Veteran Service Officers are in a different City public library branch each month to provide Veterans Administration service claims.


MAVD conducts an annual Homeless Veteran Stand-down providing extensive donated goods and services to veterans in need.



Director Mann fielded a number of questions.


There being no further business, the Special Meeting was adjourned at 10:15 A.M.


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



Posted: 4:00 P.M.