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Breaking City Council news

The City Council
2003-2007

Portrait of Lake Ray
Lake Ray
District 1

Portrait of Lynette Self
Lynette Self
District 2

Portrait of Jerry Holland
Jerry Holland
District 3

Portrait of Suzanne Jenkins
Suzanne Jenkins
District 4

Portrait of Art Shad
Art Shad
District 5

Portrait of Sharon Copeland
Sharon Copeland
District 6
Portrait of Pat Lockett-Felder
Pat Lockett-Felder
District 7
Portrait of Gwen Yates
Gwen Yates
District 8
Portrait of Reggie Fullwood
Reggie Fullwood
District 9
Portrait of Mia Jones
Mia Jones
District 10
Portrait of Warren Alverez
Warren Alvarez
District 11
Portrait of Daniel Davis
Daniel Davis
District 12

Portrait of Art Graham
Arthur Graham
District 13

Portrait of Michael Corrigan
Michael Corrigan
District 14
Portrait of Faye Rustin
Faye Rustin
At Large Group 1
Portrait of Elaine Brown
Elaine Brown
At Large Group 2
Portrait of Lad Daniels
Lad Daniels
At Large Group 3

Kevin Hyde
At Large Group 4
Portrait of Glorious Johnson
Glorious Johnson
At Large Group 5

Most of the Council members are newly elected, this is the beginning of their first year......  We've left our critique of the City Council here for those NEW members to take a look and see if something can be done to correct some, if not all, of the glaring problems presented herein.

We pray for your Good Luck and success at reaching wise and well informed decisions to be made for the benefit of the MAJORITY of the citizens and taxpayers of Duval County.

The City Council has yet to realize it is not a private club of local "power brokers". Will they ever rise to their responsibility of acting as a responsible body of duly elected individuals whose sole duty is to represent and strive for the satisfaction of the wishes of those who elected them. Continually, despite the "never-ending" parade of concerned citizens and taxpayers standing before the Council at its Meetings expressing their wishes, observations and recommendations, we see the City Council vote upon, table or approve items passively contrary to or the exact opposite of the people’s expressed wishes.

The City Council has repeatedly given the distinct and very clear impression, "they and only they know what’s best for the city."  Now, with over one million in population, they seemingly forget they are charged with the responsibility of representing all the taxpayers and voters.

Not the:

  • "Special interest money laden power brokers"
  • Highly influential special interest civic and theological leaders
  • Self Centered Egomaniacal Education "Professionals"

The City Council seems to forget they’re elected by us to represent us and perform and produce results that will or, are hopefully, beneficial to both the City and the majority of their constituents. Unfortunately, in the last fifteen years… this has repeatedly and blatantly appeared to have NOT been the case. Make no mistake about it… the "Good OLE Boy" political system (better known as "Pork Chop Politics") is very much alive and well in the City of Jacksonville. Will the time ever come when the City’s Elected Officials; finally choose to represent and not resent those who’ve elected them?

For example, the city’s sign ordinance.. in principle, it is a wonderful concept. In practice however, its implementation has cost the City tens of thousands of litigation dollars and many tens of thousands of dollars in estimated lost income to untold businesses in this city. Ultimately, it has cost the City serious losses in its tax base, lost jobs, and lowered the perceived sophistication levels of our City Government by those businesses entertaining serious considerations of relocation to The Greater Jacksonville Area.

More importantly, through the sincere efforts of the City Council, the City must be brought into the technology age.  COJ.NET is horribly slow, not totally interconnected to all City Agencies and as such, is costing the taxpayers and the city many wasted dollars in delays, duplication and manpower.  It, the City's Computer Network and Internet access, must be upgraded and have true inter-agency connectivity.  Additionally, all city employees using computers must be required to attend basic computing classes.  Most are seemingly intimidated by a keyboard, mouse and screen.

 

Council member RAY pushes ITS plan

** Lake Ray off on another tear?  A few months ago it was Cameras on the street corners, before that it was Swimming Pool Police and before that ahhhh who cares....  This guy is a dreamer with taxpayer's money!  Sit down Mr. Ray! You are making too much noise. Noise that makes little or no sense! What good does this nonsense do Arlington, the people YOU are "supposed" represent?
by Bradley Parsons - 11/2003
Staff Writer Jacksonville Daily Record

City Council member Lake Ray advocated Wednesday a policy shift that will consider a $75 million Intelligent Transportation System as a possible alternative to controversial interchange improvements already approved by Jacksonville voters.

Ray has been one of the City’s strongest supporters of ITS, a high–tech system that routes traffic away from clogged intersections toward open lanes. During a Council workshop, Ray said, in addition to cutting commuters’ transit times, committing to ITS will make the City a more attractive business destination and would keep Jacksonville in line to receive State and federal transportation dollars — some of which are tied to the system.

Further, Ray suggested that ITS could help solve the City’s overpass dilemma. Although the Better Jacksonville Plan includes $251 million to build 12, traffic–relieving intersection overpasses, neighborhood activists have protested the massive concrete structures as harmful to property values.

By Ray’s estimate, four of the overpasses will not survive the political process, leaving $80 million the City could use to install ITS.

“Some of the overpasses have been contentious issues,” said Ray. “It’s just a guess, but I’d estimate about a third of them will not survive. If you kill four overpasses that leaves $80 million that could be spent to see that everybody in the City benefits.”

** If, If, If, - And IF there is no money are you going to be the one to ask for another SALES TAX INCREASE since you cannot run again due to term limits?  ....Lake Ray constantly sounds like an accident going someplace to happen!

Mayor John Peyton, in a recent speech to the Rotary Club of Jacksonville, said he was aware of the controversy generated by the overpasses, but said he presumed they would be built. Peyton’s policy chief, Steve Diebenow, who sat in on the workshop, declined comment on Ray’s suggestion.

Ray emphasized that ITS would only be part of the solution. Matt Dominy, the Jacksonville Transportation Authority’s deputy executive director, said some interchange improvements would still be necessary.

“This urban legend that you can install ITS and you won’t need to build any overpasses; it’s just not accurate,” said Dominy. “In terms of helping with traffic flow and easing congestion; it can be an effective tool.”

** Effective tool? $100 million dollars to save 10 minutes in travel time - what a joke! ....A bad joke perp'ed on the taxpayers of Jacksonville.

The discussion over the comparative advantages of the overpasses and ITS occasionally became cluttered with high-tech language. Council member Faye Rustin focused the discussion on its essential points.

“Some of this is going way over my head, and I don’t think I’m the dumbest person in the room,” said Rustin. “What I need to know is how much time is this [ITS] going to save commuters? How much is this going to cost? And where’s the money coming from?”

Ray responded that ITS would cut ***five minutes*** off the average Jacksonville commute. It would cost between $50 and $100 million. The money would come from leftover overpass funds, State and federal funding and yet to be identified sources.

Think of the money as an investment Ray said. By cutting ***10 minutes*** from the average commute (to and from work), ITS would essentially earn commuters an extra work week each year. Additionally, Ray said every dollar spent on ITS would save the City $10 to $30 in road improvements.

**  Really Mr. Ray..... is it 5 or 10 minutes.. And is this goofy proposal gonna fix the potholes, ruts and collapsing roads and bridges??? ....Lousy math & dumb, expensive pipe dreams.

ITS has cut Tallahassee’s traffic congestion from 15 to 30 percent and shown better results elsewhere, said Ray.

** Mr. Ray, Get Real! This is NOT Tallahassee....... and never will be!  Dream on....... $100 million for 5 or 10 minutes?? Surely you jest!  Put the money into the school system - build a REAL future for this City!  ....Better yet, sit down and shaddap!

** Question: What firm would 'engineer' this "Pie in the sky" scheme?  Yours???  Faye Rustin is right.... Only, its way over the heads of ALL of Duval County!  Folks, this guy's daffy proposals make me wanna puke - what a waster he is of taxpayer time & money. Maybe, just maybe, Duval County will see its first RECALL??  ...Lake Ray is a "legend in his own mind."

** Editor, STReport

 
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