Posts Tagged ‘Lenny Curry’

Jacksonville leaders’ arguments for state incentives fall on deaf ears in Tallahassee

Thursday, March 16th, 2017
Jacksonville may be Ground Zero for the debate about economic incentives. Local leaders want them, but the local Florida House delegation does not.
This week, yet another prominent person in Jacksonville’s City Hall sounded the alarm for state incentives via Enterprise Florida.
The Jacksonville Daily Record reports that local OED head Kirk Wendland made the case for Enterprise Florida on Tuesday to local stakeholders.
Wendland’s quotes are so on message with Gov. Rick Scott that they could have come out of his press shop.
“If any of you know any senators and you have any conversations with them, please convey that it’s serious. We are counting

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Joe Gruters says he’s a long shot for CFO position, but appreciates the mention

Wednesday, March 15th, 2017
Sarasota Republican Party Chairman and House District 73 Representative Joe Gruters said on Wednesday that he’d be a “long-shot” to be selected by Governor Rick Scott to succeed Jeff Atwater as Florida Chief Financial Officer once Atwater leaves the office in May.
Gruters appeared on Tampa Bay area radio station News Talk 820 WWBA on Wednesday afternoon with guest host David Jolly. The former CD 13 Representative said that Gruters had shown his loyalty to Scott and President Trump when he backed both candidates when both were considered outliers within the GOP, and that Scott would reward such loyalty by picking Gruters to succeed Atwater later this year.
“Well Congressman, that’s

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Jacksonville PFPF to vote on pension deal Friday

Tuesday, March 14th, 2017
In February, the Jacksonville Police and Fire Pension Fund Board of Trustees balked at a Mar. 15 deadline to vote on the city’s latest pension plan.
The board had worried that there would not be enough time to review the data of the new plan, which offers raises and uniformity of benefits for current employees, while providing a new defined contribution plan for future hires — offering a 25 percent city match and assurances that death and disability benefits would substantially be the same as they are for current employees.
Since then, the Fraternal Order of Police and the corrections officers

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Jacksonville re-ups Friends of Hemming Park contract for 6 months, $415K

Friday, March 10th, 2017
In Jacksonville, friendships aren’t meant to last forever. But in the case of Friends of Hemming Park, they are renewable in six-month terms.
Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry wrote senior staff this week with the news that the once-controversial FOHP contract would be re-upped through the end of September.
“Based on our discussions with Bill Prescott, it is clear he is passionate about the future of Hemming … committed to performance metrics and accountability,” Curry said.
The mayor wants to give them a 6 month extension, though he wants the board to know the mayor’s office is “serious about results.”
An ordinance (2017-198) has been filed

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Opioid overdose crisis becomes top priority for Jacksonville policy makers

Thursday, March 9th, 2017

The numbers are stark for those who care about public policy in Jacksonville. And the need for solutions is urgent.
Overdoses, at last count, end four times as many lives as homicides in Duval County, with 2016’s count of 464 casualties more than doubling 2015’s count of 201.
Caucasians represent 86 percent of the deaths, and over half of those passing away are in their 30s and 40s
911 calls for ODs to the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department have tripled, with a call every two hours now. Narcan administrations: up 500 percent. JFRD responded to over 3,411 calls in 2016, and

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Lenny Curry, Rob Bradley committees and Travis Cummings pace Northeast Florida February fundraising

Thursday, March 9th, 2017
No Northeast Florida incumbents face competitive races in 2018. Yet the fundraising continues anyway, as February evidenced.
Notable for performance: two Northeast Florida political committees that cleared the $100K threshold for February money.
And one Clay County legislator who had a strong month.
____
One of the PACs that hit six figures: “Build Something That Lasts,” the political committee of Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry,
Curry’s committee raised $110,000 in February. That sum follows a $63,000 January, and brings the committee near $240,000 on hand.
Curry’s committee secured the $110,000 from five donors, including the Jacksonville Jaguars, Peter Rummell, Gary Chartrand, and J.B. Coxwell.
While these are usual donors, the committee

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Could anti-Donald Trump quotes hurt Pat Neal’s chances of becoming CFO?

Wednesday, March 8th, 2017
Not surprisingly, Donald Trump hasn’t been too keen in hiring those associated with the “Never Trump” movement of conservative policy who surfaced in last year’s presidential campaign.
The most glaring example of that was the case of former State Department official Elliott Abrams. A meeting between the two last month reportedly went well, according to CNN.  Ultimately Trump opted not to hire Abrams for the job as deputy Secretary of State, however, once he learned that Abrams criticized him during his White House run.
Might strong GOP criticism of the president during the campaign turn off Rick Scott, a close ally of Trump’s, specifically when it comes to naming a

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2017 Legislative Session preview: Tempered expectations for Duval Legislative Delegation

Sunday, March 5th, 2017
It’s show and prove time for the Duval County Legislative Delegation.
The whispers inside the St. James Building (Jacksonville’s city hall) are full of doubt and disbelief.
Some are saying they lack experience – and they do. Five of the six House members are rookies.
That’s going to make it difficult to score appropriations victories.
Some are saying the members’ committee assignments are backbench.
That likewise is problematic.
What is clear though: for Duval County, this will be a session of not-so-great expectations.
After last year’s session, Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry was able to trumpet a variety of wins, from appropriations asks to the pension tax

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Lenny Curry political committee raises $85K in February

Friday, March 3rd, 2017

“Build Something That Lasts,” the political committee of Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry, raised $85,000 in February.
That sum follows a $63,000 January.
Curry’s committee secured the $85,000 from just four donors, including the Jacksonville Jaguars, Gary Chartrand, and J.B. Coxwell.
Of the $41,355 spent, the vast majority went on consulting fees.
Exceptions to that rule: $5,000 to the Florida Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee, and $1,000 to Wilton Simpson‘s campaign account.
All told, the committee has roughly $240,000 on hand.
The post Lenny Curry political committee raises $85K in February appeared first on Florida Politics.

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Rick Scott talks John Delaney leaving UNF, Lenny Curry as CFO

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017
Despite a persistent narrative in Jacksonville political circles that Gov. Rick Scott wanted John Delaney gone from the University of North Florida, and wants Lenny Curry to replace Jeff Atwater as CFO, neither narrative got any traction from Scott’s remarks Wednesday to this outlet in Orange Park.
When asked about Delaney, Scott managed to avoid mentioning the longtime UNF President by name.
“My job is to focus on the entire state, and I have a good Board of Governors and trustees at all these universities,” Scott said.
“I think our presidents are working hard,” Scott continued. “U.S. News and World Report just came out and said

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Rick Scott to work Jacksonville media market Wednesday

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017
Florida Gov. Rick Scott will be in the Jacksonville media market Wednesday afternoon, visiting Orange Park for a “Fighting for Florida Jobs” roundtable.
The Scott visit, which addresses the benefits of Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida, lands in the heart of Rep. Travis Cummings‘ district.
Cummings was among a number of Republican legislators called out in an email to media from Scott’s press shop promoting an op-ed on this very subject.
Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida both have recently gotten support on the other side of the Clay County line.
Paul Astleford of Visit Jacksonville made an impassioned plea for continuing the tourist program this week on

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Lenny Curry lunches, talks policy with high school students

Monday, February 27th, 2017
Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry lunched Monday with students from Lee High School’s “EVAC” program, a leadership class at the Westside school.
EVAC is the word cave spelled backwards; the name represents the students emerging from the issues that can affect children from at-risk environments.
One student, describing the concept, said it was a way toward empowerment. Curry, meanwhile, would like to see the program extended to the entire city over time, with the Lee students as mentors and leaders.
“The big goal is replicate it everywhere. Let’s pick some folks that need to see the light,” Curry said, offering to facilitate.
Ribault High and

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‘Bring him home’: Jacksonville remembers its missing adults

Saturday, February 25th, 2017
How long does it take to forget, when a loved one has gone missing?
Those who were on hand in the atrium of Jacksonville’s city hall on Friday morning can tell you.
The answer is indeterminate.
Grieving parents and loved ones were there for one of the more emotionally wrenching events on the city calendar – the Florida Missing Adults’ Day, hosted by the John Rowan Jr. Foundation and the Justice Coalition.
The slogan of the event – “missing, not forgotten” – is a great reminder.
Whether a person went missing in 2015, 2000, or 1982, the search continues.
There is no closure.
—-
Luckily for most

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Lenny Curry outlines Jacksonville’s legislative priorities, talks pension and Enterprise Florida

Friday, February 24th, 2017
This is a pivotal time in Jacksonville’s city hall.
With complete turnover in the city’s delegation to Washington and opportunities created by the new President, majority turnover in the city’s representation in Tallahassee, a revolutionary pension deal currently being approved by the city’s unions, and the imperiled fate of Enterprise Florida, this is a make or break time for Mayor Lenny Curry.
He discussed all these topics with us – exclusively – on Friday.
—-
Expect more from D.C.: The mayor met with Rep. John Rutherford on Wednesday.
“We caught up … talked JAXPORT, public safety,” Curry said.
In addition to leaning on Rutherford, an

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Arlington residents express crime concerns to Lenny Curry

Tuesday, February 21st, 2017
The Arlington area of Jacksonville has seen better days, and the enclave of mid-century apartment buildings on Justina Road is no exception.
That’s where Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry went on Tuesday afternoon, on one of his regular neighborhood walks in areas that have localized challenges.
“There’s a lot of people that come to my office on any given day with ideas,” said Curry, “but the best input I get is in these neighborhood walks.”
Curry chose this part of Arlington, he said, because it’s seen “decline over the years … issues in terms of income here … crime issues.”
“I want these people to know

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Under fire from the right, Lenny Curry responds to HRO critics

Tuesday, February 21st, 2017
Pastors from Jacksonville’s First Baptist Church took a provocative position in the wake of Jacksonville expanding its Human Rights Ordinance to include the LGBT community.
They claimed that the expansion of the ordinance, which allows for civil fines for discrimination against the LGBT community in housing, employment, and public accommodations, turns Christians into “targets.”
And they lay the blame at the feet of a Republican-dominated city council and mayor.
Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry also took criticism last week from members of the public for not vetoing the bill.
In 2015, Curry said that he would have vetoed the 2012 version of HRO expansion.
We asked him

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Schedule confusion characterizes Al Lawson in Jacksonville

Tuesday, February 21st, 2017
U.S. Representative Al Lawson may have had good intentions when choosing to spend the first part of an off week in Jacksonville.
But intentions are one thing. And delivery is another.
Lawson’s itinerary, arrived at last week, was pretty straightforward.
Among other things: the first-term Democrat from Tallahassee was to go to Eureka Garden on Tuesday afternoon, accompanied by Mayor Lenny Curry and Jacksonville City Councilman Garrett Dennis.
However, the plan did not come together.
For one thing, Lawson called an audible and made his Eureka Garden visit on Monday — Presidents’ Day.
Mayor Curry was camping with his family.
Councilman Dennis likewise was busy with personal business.
The end

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Al Lawson talks HUD reform at Jacksonville’s Eureka Garden

Monday, February 20th, 2017
U.S. Rep. Al Lawson visited Eureka Garden in Jacksonville on Presidents’ Day, and expressed optimism for the building’s current ownership, while suggesting that more comprehensive reform of HUD is needed.
Speaking to tenants in the 400-unit Section 8 complex’s community center, Rep. Lawson addressed the need for federal help allowing tenants to “make a different quality of life,” by making “funding available.”
The congressman will have an important ally across the aisle and in the Senate in this regard.
Lawson discussed a “sitdown” with an old friend: Sen. Marco Rubio, who has been an advocate of HUD reform for over a year,

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Al Lawson begins week in Jacksonville, will visit Eureka Garden

Sunday, February 19th, 2017
Democratic Rep. Al Lawson will begin the week in Jacksonville, ascertaining the priorities of the eastern flank of Florida’s far-flung Congressional District 5.
Lawson plans to spend Monday through Wednesday working in town, with the following tentative itinerary.
Monday will see Lawson working out of his new Jacksonville office on N. Davis Street in LaVilla. He will meet with various organizations.
Tuesday sees Lawson at public events.
The morning will find Lawson at Ribault, where he will participate in a roundtable on education, and participate in flight simulation at the school’s aviation academy.
The afternoon finds Lawson at Eureka Garden with Mayor Lenny Curry and Jacksonville City

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Religious right to Lenny Curry: ‘keep your promise’ on HRO

Friday, February 17th, 2017
The phones were lit up Friday morning when FloridaPolitics.com visited the office of Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry.
The subject: Curry allowing the city’s Human Rights Ordinance to become law, albeit without his signature.
When asked Wednesday about not signing the HRO into law, the mayor cited his position that he did “not believe that legislation was necessary” after signing his departmental directive in 2016 to protect LGBT city employees and city contractor employees from workplace discrimination.
“I still hold that view. But the city council is the legislative body. Last night, they took up the issue … and it got a supermajority vote. They

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Jacksonville PFPF trustees throw cold water on Lenny Curry’s pension deal

Friday, February 17th, 2017
On Friday, the Jacksonville Police and Fire Pension Fund held its monthly meeting of trustees.
It was the first such meeting since the city agreed to tentative pension deals with the police and fire unions last weekend.
As part of that deal, the city will no longer be obligated to the terms of the 2015 pension reform agreement, including the extra payments.
Out of the loop in negotiations, it was inevitable that the PFPF Board would raise questions. And they did just that, before and during the meeting.
In sum, the PFPF believes that they had no say in the deal, and that

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After HRO expansion passes, opponents vent their rage at Lenny Curry

Thursday, February 16th, 2017
During the five-year debate ahead of Jacksonville codifying LGBT rights in its Human Rights Ordinance this week, opponents often couched their rhetoric in the Christian gospels.
However, with the bill having passed, the gospel of love has morphed into the rhetoric of hate.
Getting the worst of it: Mayor Lenny Curry, who respected the supermajority of the city council and did not veto the bill, even as he made it clear Tuesday evening that he believed the legislation “was unnecessary. But this evening, a supermajority of the City Council decided otherwise. This supermajority, representatives of the people from both parties and every corner of

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Could NIBIN stem the tide of gun violence in Jacksonville’s streets?

Wednesday, February 15th, 2017
Wednesday morning saw Jacksonville leadership announce and discuss a new initiative that stakeholders hope will abate the surge in gun violence in the Northeast Florida city.
This initiative, conceived during a conversation between the mayor and the state attorney last month, may prove to be an indispensable investigative tool at a reasonable price.
Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry, Sheriff Mike Williams, and State Attorney Melissa Nelson expressed hopes that local participation in the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN) will help identify and target shooters for the purposes of prosecution and getting them off of the streets.
NIBIN is a national database of used bullets and shell casings that are

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Lenny Curry talks CFO, HRO, and pension deal

Wednesday, February 15th, 2017
This week, the Jax Daily Record, via a News Service of Florida story, advanced in print a meme that local reporters had discussed on Twitter: Lenny Curry as CFO.
The Daily Record then moved the story forward, abetted by Atwater’s aide discouraging this outlet from asking him about the prospects of Curry as CFO on Monday when he was in town.
Atwater told the Daily Record that Curry “should be in the mix.” 
Curry’s political consultant, Brian Hughes, told the Daily Record what he told other media: Curry “is enjoying and 100 percent committed to being mayor of Jacksonville.”
With Curry having an interesting week

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Personnel note: Public strategy firm Mercury hires Brian Swensen as senior VP

Tuesday, February 14th, 2017

Global public strategy firm Mercury is adding noted Republican political adviser Brian Swensen to its Florida public affairs team as a senior vice president.
Swensen comes to the firm following his role as deputy campaign manager for the successful re-election of Sen. Marco Rubio, the latest in a series of key political victories in Florida and Louisiana. He his tenure with Mercury began Jan. 19, 2017.
In his new role, Swensen will bring extensive experience in the political arena to provide solutions and winning strategies for the firm’s clients. He will be based in Mercury’s Miami office.
Mercury Florida, now in its

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Jacksonville strikes historic, tentative pension accord with police, fire unions

Saturday, February 11th, 2017
The city of Jacksonville on Saturday struck a historic, revolutionary (and still tentative) pension accord with the Fraternal Order of Police and the Jacksonville Association of Firefighters.
And not a moment too soon: Feb. 11 was the city’s “deadline” for the unions to take its offer.
The deal offers long-delayed raises to current employees (a 3 percent lump sum payout immediately, and a 20 percent raise for police and fire over three years) and gives all classes of current employees the same benefits.
As well, all police and fire officers will have DROP eligibility with an 8.4 percent annual rate of return

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Jeff Atwater’s surprise departure makes CFO job the hottest in state

Friday, February 10th, 2017
Never mind who’s running for Governor in 2018, Floridians want to know which Republicans are in the running for Florida Chief Financial Officer now that CFO Jeff Atwater announced he is leaving this year, with speculation starting with Tom Grady, Tom Lee, Will Weatherford and Teresa Jacobs and including seven or eight others.
Grady, a securities lawyer who is a former state representative who also has held several positions in state government, is widely reported as a close friend of Gov. Rick Scott, who will select a replacement for Atwater for the nearly two full years left in the term.
Weatherford, a venture capital and business consultant, is a former Speaker of the House who

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Ron Salem launches 2019 run for Jacksonville City Council

Friday, February 10th, 2017

Local Republican insider Ron Salem is the first of dozens of candidates to file to run for Jacksonville City Council in 2019.
Salem filed to run in At Large Group 2 — a seat held by longtime Councilman John Crescimbeni, who will be termed out the same year.
Salem has a connection to Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry.
He served on Curry’s transition team as Curry prepared to take office, and confirmed in January as a member of the Renew Arlington CRA Advisory Board at the mayor’s request.
Before that, Salem served multiple terms on the city’s Sports and Entertainment Board.
How well regarded was he?
In 2010, Mayor John

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Former Duval School Board member carries KIPP charter school bill in Tallahassee

Friday, February 10th, 2017
On Thursday, an appropriations bill (HB 2787) was filed in the Florida House for the benefit of the “Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP).”
The bill, filed by Jacksonville Republican Jason Fischer (a former member of the Duval County School Board), seeks to continue the $1,224,000 appropriation from the previous budget to benefit Jacksonville’s KIPP school.
HB 2787 is well-positioned to succeed: Jacksonville powerbroker Gary Chartrand, a member of the local KIPP school’s Board of Directors, is close with Gov. Scott and is on the State Board of Education.
“The funds will pay for the incremental costs associated with the extended school day and year for students in

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Cord Byrd sponsors bill for Jacksonville ‘COPS’ grant

Thursday, February 9th, 2017
A priority of the city of Jacksonville during the Lenny Curry era: increasing police presence on its most dangerous streets.
One vehicle to do just that: COPS Grants.
The city is pursuing state money for the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Matching Grant. The vehicle in the 2017 session of the Florida Legislature: HB 2781, filed by Rep. Cord Byrd.
Jacksonville seeks $250,000, a number it has gotten previously, to match $625,000 from the U.S. Department of Justice, and $294,211 in local monies.
The appropriations request speaks to the success of the program, which Jacksonville uses to quell gun violence — a recurrent concern of

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