My name is Lisa King, and I’m running for Jacksonville City Council, District 2. Why am I running? Simply, because I love Jacksonville and believe that the citizens of District 2 deserve a representative with the skills and experience to make the tough decisions that face our city. --Lisa King. Join us after a jump for a guest column from Lisa explaining what she wants to accomplish on City Council!
I’m a native of Jacksonville, who has been blessed to have lived in the Southside, Riverside, Beaches and Westside, but have made my home on Heckscher Drive for the last sixteen years. The new District 2 is the only district that crosses the river, encompassing East Arlington, Fort Caroline, and the northeast part of the County between the Atlantic Ocean and North Main Street. The Timucuan Preserve is entirely contained within the new District 2, as are the port terminals at Blount Island and Dames Point. This district contains our City’s most sensitive park lands, as well as our most intense industrial uses, surrounded by rapidly suburbanizing rural areas. This diverse mix of land uses demands a leader with in-depth knowledge of and experience in land use and zoning matters. My service on Jacksonville’s Planning Commission over the last three years will be invaluable in steering growth and development in this district.
Proper land use and zoning decisions are only half of the needed equation for District 2. Suburban development is proceeding on the same two lane country roads that served this area for decades. Road conditions in the new District 2 have been identified by the City as substandard, yet no District 2 road maintenance projects are scheduled in the current City budget. As a member of the North Florida Transportation Planning Organization’s Long Range Transportation Plan Steering Committee and as a credentialed grant professional I understand the silos of funding available for transportation investment and have the skills to steer funding to District 2. I have proven these skills most recently through writing the $5 million in grants for capital and operational funds for the St. Johns River Ferry and for the ferry’s inclusion in the NFTPO’s Long Range Transportation Plan for the first time.
I’m the leader ready to take advantage of Visit Jacksonville’s new focus on eco-tourism to grow visitor amenities in the Timucuan Preserve. I will work to increase Jacksonville’s tourism base, especially among European travelers who love our national parks and the Preserve’s rich French and Spanish history.
While I’m running to represent a rural/suburban district, I have an urban sensibility. As Vice President of the company that brought you the W.A. Knight Building in Downtown Jacksonville, I know first hand the challenges redevelopers in our urban core face. I support the new Downtown Master Plan and providing the Downtown Investment Authority with the autonomy to operate as envisioned. We’ve invested in plans upon plans for years, now is the time for action.
I have been very impressed by the caliber of candidates running in this election cycle. I hope to be part of an incoming class of Council members committed to solving long-standing problems and moving Jacksonville forward. These people can work together and avoid contentious debates that have embarrassed our City in the national press in the past. I am excited at the prospect of serving my City in a larger role and being part of a new era in Jacksonville.