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Will Mayor Peyton have a Legacy Project?

Congratulations to John Peyton on winning another 4 years here as the Mayor Prince of Duval county. Granted, he didn't really have any opposition (thank you Bruce Barcelo Mike Pillsbury Doughboy Hightower), but that is besides the point. He is our Little Prince for four more years and if we don't like it, we can go sit in the corner - for about 1,460 days.

Published March 23, 2007 in Opinion      20 Comments    Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

As every mayor does in his 2nd term here in Jacksonville, Mr. Peyton will be looking for something to be his legacy project.  For John Delaney, his legacy project was the Better Jacksonville Plan - a resounding success with the citizens of the city.  If Mr. Peyton would like to top his predecessor, he will need something far more bold.  Something far more universally attractive.  Something spectacular.  And we have just the project for him.  It has to do with the new courthouse.

Now, we know what you might be saying.  "Hey, wasn't the Mayor suppose to do the courthouse in his FIRST four years?"  Well, yes, technically he was.  But as you know construction takes time and even though 4 years have passed and not a single piece of dirt has been turned over to make way for the courthouse, the mayor has thought about it AND he has talked about it.  

But getting back to our idea. We are recommending that the mayor call off the whole project.  No, we don't mean just stop everything in its tracks like he did two years ago with Cannon Design...we are talking kill the entire project.  As in "no more new courthouse".

Why would he do this?  Well, we think a courthouse is just too serious of a project for our Little Prince.  The courthouse budget was just really big and it was probably all really confusing to Mr. Peyton.  In any case, our mayor is more of a lighthearted little fellow.  If you'll think back to a little over a year ago when the mayor revealed his ideas for redeveloping downtown, it involved things such as hot dog carts, fountains for the kiddies to play in, and merry-go-rounds.  

So what is more bold, more attractive, more spectacular and at the same time a lot more "lighter-hearted" than the Better Jacksonville Plan?  We have a few suggestions that can take the place of that boring old courthouse.

1 -  Close your eyes and envision this...a gigantic go-cart racing track complex.  It could be one of the best in the world - right in the heart of downtown Jacksonville.  And it jives perfectly with the backwater images that the politicians in this area like to portray via their political maneuvers (see Brad Thoburn and 1st Timothy).


2 - Two words:  Affordable Housing.  Two more words:  Trailer Park.  That's right - turn those six vacant city blocks into a massive trailer park.  Now THAT would be downtown urban living at it's finest.  


3 - This last suggestion would endear Mr. Peyton to the hearts of Mark Rimmer and Jim Bailey (the local parking gods in case you didn't know it).  More surface parking lots.  The masses love to park their vehicles so the universal appeal would be there automatically.  And as Mr. Rimmer and Baily could teach Peyton - there is definitely money in downtown parking in Jacksonville.

All of these "legacy projects" are much more simple for Mr. Peyton than that pesky courthouse (less negative PR risk as well).  We congratulate him and wish him the best of luck over the next 4 years.




March 23, 2007, 07:36:36 AM
I hate to say it guys, but this came off more whiny than cynical, which I think is what you were shooting for... This type of article gives the mayors office one less reason to take you/us seriously.

Lets save the scathing criticisms for drinks after work, keep this administrations feet to the fire!


March 23, 2007, 08:55:58 AM
i'd almost prefer you guys not post daily if you're just going to blast the mayor.  granted we all know hes had his share of shortcomings, but blasting away his capabilities to manage any future progress isn't going to help.   This site has become such an incredible source for everything happening development wise in jax, articles such as this make it lose credibility and should be filed under an editorial section if it's going to be so blatantly filled with opinions.


March 23, 2007, 08:59:46 AM
As a recent devotee of this site, this was clearly the weakest posting I've had the opportunity the read in the last 3-4 months.

If you didn't like the mayor getting re-elected, there's nothing stopping you from running against him.  Or for running for council.  It's a free country.  But such nonsense as posted above is full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.  And in my book, it puts a black mark on your overall credibility.  How does this posting help the city or downtown?  

What a shame.


March 23, 2007, 09:12:38 AM
I hate to go against the grain here, but I for one enjoyed the article.  Was it biting and sarcastic?  Most definitely.  But I think that is what they were going for.  Unfortunately (as this site and has shown before) many times, with this administration, you have to have things like this to get changes implemented.  Peyton and crew (and not just him - many times it is generally those currently in power) find it easy to ignore the "here's a friendly suggestion for you Mr. Mayor" types.  That being said, I wouldn't want to see this everyday on here, but I welcome it once in a while and see its value.  Besides that, they actually do have a point - when will Peyton ever build this courthouse?


March 23, 2007, 09:20:30 AM
I don't mind the occasional funny rip. JaxInvestor is great at those. He has a distinct writing style that is sardonic, yet funny. I don't mind the occasional sarcastic, biting article going after the mayor, or whom ever the flavor of the month is, pointing out their collective failings.

This one really just came off more as spilt milk.


March 23, 2007, 09:23:38 AM
Wow, definately a suprising and controversial article.  Look for a few articles on salvaging the Big Idea next week.


March 23, 2007, 09:28:47 AM
I've been reading MetroJacksonville for the last several weeks, I've even gone over some of the older posts that piqued my interest, a I do have to say that this current article was a let down.  There are so many more creative ways to bash the Mayor and his lack of action on city politics and promises.  An article such as this one would be better suited to a blog post or some other individuals personal ranting section.  MetroJacksonville, you have set yourselves up as being a group of concerned citizens with a mission to better educate the city of Jacksonville on what is happening in our city.  And, while you do tend towards a personal political agenda (one I happen to agree with), it's important to maintain credibility and character in matters like this.  While the Mayor may have more than a few short comings as a politician, it's important to remain level.  Praise him for his successes (don't ask me to list them I wouldn't even know where to look for one) because his success means the success of Jacksonville, which is what we're all after.  And on the same token report his failures, but instead of just cynical criticism, offer real world solutions and suggestions for ways to move forward.  These are just my two cents.  Take it as it is.


March 23, 2007, 09:34:11 AM
this one has got us talking though, huh?


March 23, 2007, 09:40:11 AM
I think its kind of funny that Metro Jacksonville writes constructive articles day after day, then one day they slip and their loyal readers are scolding them to be more constructive if they want to be effective.


March 23, 2007, 09:41:44 AM
Rantings are a dime a dozen.  Well-thought ideas, insights, and potential solutions?  Those are hard to find, particularly from those who have invested their own time, money, and sweat into downtown.  

Stick to your knitting as member of the "loyal opposition" that wants to move Jacksonville forward.  Insulting the mayor, and by extension the 70% of the voters who supported him on Tuesday (me included), is NOT a particularly productive way to garner influence or support.  It's a turn off.  If today were my first visit to the site, I would never come back.  But you've built up some equty over the last few months with me, so I'll be back, albeit with a more skeptical eye.


March 23, 2007, 10:56:25 AM
downtownparks; always starting trouble. Can someone please call his boss?


March 23, 2007, 11:39:52 AM
Im on it... oh wait!


March 23, 2007, 01:51:17 PM
I'm with the other posters... This was the worst article I've read on metrojax, in uhm, ever. As DTP said, if anything I feel this article is a thorn in the side of influence.


March 23, 2007, 01:59:54 PM
This one was a HIT with the masses!  :)


March 23, 2007, 03:17:53 PM
This was only written by a guest columnist...

Adam B

March 23, 2007, 04:12:29 PM
but please, god, we need a new courthouse!  i work in the current one, and the wall in my office is literally falling down.


March 23, 2007, 05:21:03 PM
by the way, this is an editorial.

March 23, 2007, 08:24:13 PM
I actually liked it. It was funny and it kept my mind off of the sad reality that many outsiders see jax just as pictued above. I'm not one for the whole self-richeous, scolding thing. This is a private web-site with creative lisence to post as they wish. I liked the fact that an editorial was included because it evokes questions and debate as we have seen above. Is the New York Times any less credible for having editorials? ....No.... If this article was not your cup of tea, I expect you will not be reading this posting more than once, don't click on it just for argument's sake. Good Job MetroJacksonville. I still love you!

March 23, 2007, 08:26:18 PM
Oh.... and trailers on the courthouse site? ...[slapping knee, unable to breathe] ... That's Rich! Bravo.

Told You So

March 25, 2007, 11:09:26 AM
The legecy will not be materialistic.....
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