I see three issues here, two that are recurring and one new.
First, the people of Jacksonville are significantly under taxed. While I'm loathe to agree with him, Peyton was right in that we are engaging in the worst form of government on the cheap. Our parks, libraries, adult service, recreation services, animal control and other basic services are becoming genuinely awful. If this pattern continues, we will truly reach a point where no one will want to live here due to our misguided attempts to make this an affordable, alluring place to live! Go cheap, get cheap.
Two, we have a constitutionally elected Sheriff capable of whipping any Mayor who attempts to reign in spending in law enforcement. It may seem small but the JSO continues to grow while the rest of government continues to shrink. JSO continues to gobble up millions of dollars for programs like reentry, while successful nonprofits like Operation New Hope do it more effectively and for far less.
Three, poor leadership. Delaney handed this pension problem off to Peyton who in turn passed it off to Brown. Problem for the taxpayer is that each mayor has been less capable of handling the pension problems than the person before him. Even more grizzly is that Brown is demonstrating complete incompetence in most of his dealings while refusing to be transparent and get input. Peyton to his credit went all over town showing our budget and telling us "this is what you give up if we fail to do X,Y, or Z". Brown simply continues to talk in vague generalities and talks about grand plans in partnership with the private sector. Who in the private sector is going to at this City's budget and leader and then leverage their dollars against the City's for large scale development?
Lastly, where is Kevin Hyde? When not practicing law for a private firm as if there is no conflict of interest or even a chance look of impropriety, Hyde could not have guided this Mayor to turn over public documents to avoid the threat of grand jury? He could not have assisted him in wasting HUGE amounts of political capital over courthouse furniture?
I bring up these things and the examples in the last paragraph only to illustrate the mountains of obstacles we must climb in not ending up with public services and amenities similar to Jesup, GA. Literally.