Yes, I agree that all of this begins and ends with us. Case in point, we elected Redman into office and let him run unopposed a few years back. Can we really complain when he decides it's best to level Hemming Plaza or enact policy that is counterproductive to the revitalization of the downtown district he represents? However, in terms of modifying the zoning code to allow for higher densities or reduced setbacks in certain areas, I seriously doubt you'll find much protest from the development community. That type of stuff only leads to increased profits and higher returns for the average taxpayer. That's a different animal from trying to enforce an urban development boundary on an already sprawled out county. That ship sailed away from Duval County decades ago.
Also, I wouldn't be so quick to declare everything is peaches and cream financially. We may be standing tall now but we're a quick Mike Tyson left hook to the chin from seeing the ring side ways. We may not be nearing bankruptcy today but we'll eventually approach that direction if everything continues "as is" on the same path. The way I see it, we're setting ourselves up to encounter some real financial challenges when the chickens finally come home to roost in the form of maintaining and replacing our infrastructure and investments (schools, utility lines, pensions, road maintenance, etc.). In the past, we've had the federal and state government to bear significant portions of various burdens. With everyone so cash strapped now, that support will continue to decrease.