Founded in March of 2006, the mission of Metro Jacksonville is to educate and provide an avenue for discussing the important issues facing Cities. We strive to be a reliable source of information and to increase public awareness about the urban core, promote continued urban and pedestrian oriented growth with a focus on the Jacksonville metropolitan area, and to provide a platform for the study and implementation of public development policy around the United States.
Metro Jacksonville publishes original content every weekday, and has grown exponentially since its founding. We feature several unique products and one of the most respected public discussion forums in the country.
It has become one of the largest and most comprehensive urban transportation and public municipal policy resources available online and has won widespread respect and recognition for efforts in planning, historical preservation and public dialogue.
Graduated from Jacksonville University in 2004 with a Bachelor of Science in Computing Sciences, and manages a software development team for Football Fanatics, a Jacksonville-based e-commerce company. In his spare time, he serves as the graduate advisor for the Delta Phi chapter of Phi Gamma Delta and is on the Board of Directors for Rotaract of Florida's First Coast, Rotary's young professional organization. He also serves on the board of Riverside Avondale Preservation, the leading historic district of Jacksonville, Florida
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Graduated from Florida A&M University in 2001 with a Bachelor of Architecture degree and has over ten years of professional experience in the fields of Architecture and Planning. He is currently employed as an Urban Planner with Ghyabi & Associates and a partner in Urban South Investments, LLC., a small urban infill real estate investment and development entity.
In his spare time, he is a civic activist and has served with various organizations committed to improving our community including the City of Jacksonville SE Visioning Committee, JTA Commuter Rail Citizen's Advisory Committee, JTA Bus Rapid Transit Citizen's Advisory Committee, North Florida TPO's 2035 Long Range Transportation Plan Stakeholder's Taskforce and the Board of the Springfield Area Merchant's and Business Association (SAMBA).
Originally from Central Florida and a Jacksonville resident since 2003.
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Stephen Dare is an entreprenuer, journalist, restaurantuer, playwright and chef who has written about, studied, and travelled in the pursuit of the DNA of modern cities since 1987. He has lived primarily in Jacksonville Florida since the mid 1960s, and is from an old Jacksonville family. He has published three magazines: Spiff (mid 80s), Dare Tabloid (late 80s) and Babble, the Big City Magazine (early 1990s), has worked as a photographer with published photos in the Seattle Times, and a body of work as a test photographer for Ford in South Beach
In the process he was opened several bistros, coffeehouses, cafes, nightclubs and two dinner theatres in locations as diverse as Jacksonville Florida; Seattle Washington; Atlanta Georgia; San Francisco California, and Muncie Indiana. Additionally he ran a successful bankruptcy practice in Indiana, served on numerous cultural and historic preservation boards, written for independent magazines across the country, and participated in district revitalization projects in a number of locations, served as a telecommunications consultant for Fondas Karapas, the former National Security Advisor of Greece, prior to the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, and served as an on air chef for Channel 12 in Jacksonville Florida.
He is the author of 78 theatrical plays, 9 musicals, hundreds of published essays and articles on public policy, and is currently the co writer and co producer of "In the Pits" a televised sitcom on The CW 17. He has been heavily involved in the both the national Spoken Word and Poetry movement of the 90s and 2000s as a promoter, venue owner and publisher as well as experimental theatre and Cabaret Revival, and is a featured contributor on the forums of MetroJacksonville.
In his spare time he participates in rediscovering the historical heritage of Jacksonville, Florida, and has devoted his life to understanding the processes whereby cities and neighborhoods develop, succeed, fail, and transform. He currently resides in the Historic Springfield District of Jacksonville, Florida.
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Daniel Herbin earned his bachelors degree in Information Systems from North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina in 2004. Since that time, he has worked as a senior software engineer for a large corporation in Jacksonville.
Daniel has been passionate about transit issues, urban sustainability, and revitalization of the city's core for the past 7 years. He also serves as the lead software developer, photographer, story editor, and business consultant for Metro Jacksonville.
In his free time, he enjoys biking, traveling to interesting cities of all sizes, photography, and videography.
Currently, Daniel splits his time between Historic Springfield in Jacksonville, Florida and Historic Printers Row in Chicago, IL.
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Robert Mann is a retired transportation consultant who grew up in the historic Ortega neighborhood of the city. He attended Jones College locally and Oklahoma State University. Robert owned his own small trucking business in Los Angeles then launched his local transportation career at Jacksonville International Airport with Piedmont Airlines, and also worked variously with Continental, United and Dobbs House. He then moved to a position as a transportation supervisor for Trailways Bus System. He retired from the US Postal Service as a delivery supervisor and began a private consulting position where he worked on final design and operations concepts with the Secretary of Transportation and Inspector General for the national railroads in the Republic of Colombia.
Robert is an author and historian with several books and many magazine articles to his credit. He is the father of the plans for rebuilding the Jacksonville Traction Company streetcar system, a concept he first took to the city in 1980. He has used his story telling skills to address many community groups both locally and internationally.
Robert currently resides with his wife in the World Golf Village in St. Johns County.
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Metro Jacksonville's influence has been felt on a number of local issues, including:
Public Email Access
In an effort to stem the increased public exposure, due to the explosion of local blogs, the Mayor's Office announced plans to eliminated public web access to city hall. After a few weeks of increased heat, the city eventually backs off and public web access still remains available today.
Downtown Action Plan Committee
April 2006 also saw the inclusion of four Metro Jacksonville members on Councilwoman Suzanne Jenkins' Downtown Improvements Implementations Committee. Group members used this opportunity to revise the archaic downtown parking ordinance, which penalized customers with aggressive ticketing schemes. Although these tactics are still going on, they have been tamed.
Snyder Memorial Church Give-a-way
In September 2006, through several emails and publicly exposing the subject, Metro Jacksonville prevents City Hall from simply giving away the historic church building to the Police & Fire Pension Fund.
JTA's Bus Rapid Transit Plan
In July 2006, after months of background research, Metro Jacksonville begins its public crusade of exposing JTA's proposed +$1 billion Bus Rapid Transit system as one of the largest public boondoggles in Jacksonville history.
While exposing the flaws of the BRT proposal, the group suggests taking advantage of existing rail lines and new technology to implement urban commuter rail as a cheaper alternative. Today the fight continues with BRT, but JTA is now in the midst of a commuter rail study. If deemed feasible, commuter rail could be up and running within ten years.
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