Author Topic: Civic Council: JEA not in financial “death spiral;” privatization process lacks  (Read 1734 times)

thelakelander

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The group, which is made up of many of the city’s top business leaders, sent a letter on Tuesday to the Jacksonville City Council and Mayor Lenny Curry that summarized their study’s findings and urged them to conduct an open and factual analysis before deciding whether to sell the city’s most valuable asset.

JEA is not heading toward a financial “death spiral,” and city leaders need to stop the public utility’s “head-long” rush to privatize in order to conduct a thorough and transparent analysis of whether to sell the city’s most valuable asset, according to a letter the Jacksonville Civic Council sent on Tuesday to city officials.

The letter summarized the findings of the group’s 18-month analysis of the issue. Among them: disagreement with JEA officials’ assertion that the utility faces a certain financial crisis that requires an urgent consideration of whether to privatize - and a sharp rebuke of how JEA has gone about doing so.

Full article: https://www.jacksonville.com/news/20191105/jacksonville-civic-council-jea-not-in-financial-ldquodeath-spiralrdquo-privatization-process-lacks-transparency
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

Steve

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Holy cow, the Civic Council does exist.

Not sure where they’ve been since Curry got elected, but glad they finally spoke up and confirmed everything that everyone was thinking the entire time.

Steve

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Crazy Quote from the Business Journal's Article:

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“I have never seen a procurement process used to sell oneself,” said DeFoor, who is national agency counsel with Fidelity National Title Group. “Can you explain to me how that’s possible, legally?”

An incredulous Gabriel responded: “I mean, I don’t know how to help you with that basic understanding of the law. They can certainly use the procurement process to sell themselves.”

https://www.bizjournals.com/jacksonville/news/2019/11/06/council-members-is-jea-even-allowed-to-sell-itself.html

Here's what's crazy about this: Randy DeFoor is an attorney. Either DeFoor asked a question that's obviously stupid (and I find that competent attorneys don't usually do that), or at best Jason Gabriel is incredibly arrogant at best.

itsfantastic1

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Crazy Quote from the Business Journal's Article:

Quote
“I have never seen a procurement process used to sell oneself,” said DeFoor, who is national agency counsel with Fidelity National Title Group. “Can you explain to me how that’s possible, legally?”

An incredulous Gabriel responded: “I mean, I don’t know how to help you with that basic understanding of the law. They can certainly use the procurement process to sell themselves.”

https://www.bizjournals.com/jacksonville/news/2019/11/06/council-members-is-jea-even-allowed-to-sell-itself.html

Here's what's crazy about this: Randy DeFoor is an attorney. Either DeFoor asked a question that's obviously stupid (and I find that competent attorneys don't usually do that), or at best Jason Gabriel is incredibly arrogant at best.

That's rich coming from a guy using a bible quote as his justification that the legal definition of "shall" is actually "may"

itsfantastic1

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https://news.wjct.org/post/all-roads-lead-city-council-qas-first-jea-fact-finding-workshop

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Q: Councilman Garrett Dennis: Once JEA has an interested buyer, can Council refuse to consider the deal? “JEA can put a package together and bring it over to Council, but if none of the 19 [councilmembers] introduces it, it is dead on arrival. Am I correct?” he asked.

A: Jason Gabriel: “There's a ministerial, operational duty on the council president that when any of the collegial bodies pass something, it's introduced, and it even goes on to say just because council president is introducing doesn't mean he's endorsing it, or she's endorsing it, but there is that in there.”

Q: Dennis: “So the council president is required to file legislation that is brought to — ?”

A: Gabriel: “I believe so, yeah, under the ordinance.”

Q: Dennis: “’Shall’ or ‘may’?” Dennis asked. He was referring to Gabriel’s recent written opinion supporting Council’s refusal to hold a sales tax referendum at the request of the Duval County School Board, another independent authority. Gabriel did not address the question further.

Steve

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https://news.wjct.org/post/all-roads-lead-city-council-qas-first-jea-fact-finding-workshop

Quote
Q: Councilman Garrett Dennis: Once JEA has an interested buyer, can Council refuse to consider the deal? “JEA can put a package together and bring it over to Council, but if none of the 19 [councilmembers] introduces it, it is dead on arrival. Am I correct?” he asked.

A: Jason Gabriel: “There's a ministerial, operational duty on the council president that when any of the collegial bodies pass something, it's introduced, and it even goes on to say just because council president is introducing doesn't mean he's endorsing it, or she's endorsing it, but there is that in there.”

Q: Dennis: “So the council president is required to file legislation that is brought to — ?”

A: Gabriel: “I believe so, yeah, under the ordinance.”

Q: Dennis: “’Shall’ or ‘may’?” Dennis asked. He was referring to Gabriel’s recent written opinion supporting Council’s refusal to hold a sales tax referendum at the request of the Duval County School Board, another independent authority. Gabriel did not address the question further.

Wow, well played CM Dennis.

I do feel like the wheels are in danger of falling off Zahn and Curry’s plan here. They haven’t yet but the bolts are loosening.