The Jaxson

Community => Politics => Topic started by: jaxlongtimer on January 06, 2019, 01:16:43 AM

Title: Monroe's New T-U Politcal Column Off to Hard Hitting Start
Post by: jaxlongtimer on January 06, 2019, 01:16:43 AM
Never thought I see a hard hitting column like this in the Times Union but here it is.  Mr. Monroe will make Ron Littlepage look tame by comparison if he keeps this vein going.  Refreshing to see in print what goes on behind the scenes but is rarely so well distilled and succinctly presented in full sunshine.  With this bit of fresh air, this column will be a "must read" for those who want to better understand how this City's politicos "do their business." :), especially for those who don't regularly interact with City Hall or closely follow the goings on there through other channels.  Will be interesting to see what future columns bring forth.

https://www.jacksonville.com/news/20190104/nate-monroe-feeling-down-too-bad-jacksonville-mayoral-race-will-be-joyless (https://www.jacksonville.com/news/20190104/nate-monroe-feeling-down-too-bad-jacksonville-mayoral-race-will-be-joyless)

A few of the "punchier" lines are quoted below.  Read the full article for the rest.

Quote
Curry, the former chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, has adopted a more divisive and smash-mouth approach to campaigning and governing, along with a partisan fervor that distinguishes him from his predecessors. Thin-skinned and suspicious, Curry and his small circle of close advisers have thrown out the old playbook and are reshaping Jacksonville politics. It’s not clear the changes are for the better.

Curry, for example, relies on dark-money groups to finance political operations even when he’s not campaigning for office, so folks like developers and lobbyists who have direct stakes in city policy outcomes are constantly giving him money. This is common in Tallahassee. It was unheard of in Jacksonville until Curry came along...

Now, ask yourself this: Why does the mayor of a mid-sized city need $1.8 million while sitting in office?

Curry has already amassed over $3.5 million between his political committee and his re-election campaign, a deep well that will allow him to out-insult and out-spend his way into a second term no matter who challenges him...

Curry, it should be noted, would probably blow a gasket if an opponent called him heartless.

This is a mayor who has repeatedly tweeted the phrase, “Winning solves all problems.” In September, linking to an image of one football player stiff arming another to the ground, Curry wrote, “This represents all that I believe must be done to accomplish our goals.”

Despite his occasional kumbaya sloganeering, negativity and combativeness are indeed the hallmarks of Curry’s political style...

So take my word here: This mayor is different.

This is the first — and likely the longest — of a regular column on city politics and government that will run in every Thursday and Sunday newspaper. Expect analysis, reporting and, yes, some opinion as the 2019 elections roll out. The goal is to help voters make sense of what is happening in this new Jacksonville political environment.

Every effort will be made to dish out offense equally...

A good number have shared with me their long-held grievances over Curry’s administration even as some of those same people publicly praise him.

That is not scandalous or even unusual. It’s unpleasant to go public with criticisms of an elected official, especially one you might have helped get there in the first place. What is remarkable, however, is the unanimity of the complaints, and the level of frustration.

I can say this with a high degree of certainty: This election will feature few true believers.

The 2019 city elections won’t be inspirational. They won’t make voters feel warm and fuzzy...

But there are some attributes and actions that characterize Curry’s first term in office whether he likes them or not, and they are often talked about among political insiders:

• Curry reacts poorly to questions or even mild criticism. Plenty of people in town — Curry supporters among them — have received nasty phone calls from Curry’s office or his political team for any number of perceived insults, like comments made in public or private believed to be insufficiently supportive or enthusiastic of some Curry initiative. Many involved in city government assume social media is closely followed as well: “Like” the wrong tweet, and it will be noticed.

This has infuriated some Curry supporters, who feel like they have given tons of money to him and have endured other burdens on his behalf, only to find themselves constantly walking on eggshells and repeatedly disrespected.

• Previous mayoral administrations cultivated a deep bench of talented bureaucrats and civic leaders to help run Jacksonville’s vast consolidated government and to serve on important volunteer boards that govern the numerous agencies and enterprises under City Hall’s purview...

Curry’s most notable public service prior to his 2015 candidacy was a stint on the Jacksonville Housing and Community Development Commission, the city’s affordable housing agency. Of the 17 meetings held during his membership on the board from 2008-2012 — during the height of the financial crisis — Curry missed 11 of them.

Fittingly, he has generally handled appointments and hires the way a former head of a political party might. A good number of hacks and pretenders made their way through the ranks in past administrations, but that was an exception rather than the rule. With Curry, that often seems to be the whole point.

• Aside from his increasingly small circle of confidants — where there is some talent — Curry tends to value loyalty over most other traits in political allies. That’s why he often warms most to sycophantic, undistinguished politicians...

• Curry prefers a similar pedigree for the heads of city agencies. Competence and experience seem less important than selecting someone who knows that — without Curry’s thumb on the scale — they’d never win out in a national search to claim a six-figure government job...

• In Curry’s Jacksonville, words don’t always take on their traditional meaning. “Reform,” for starters, doesn’t necessarily mean change for the better. It simply means Curry changed something...

Curry has built himself up as the Reform Mayor, but the fundamentals in Jacksonville simply haven’t changed all that much over the past four years.

Many Jacksonville neighborhoods, especially in the predominantly black parts of town, remain starved for city investment. Jacksonville is still broke. Jacksonville is still the murder capital of Florida, and the numbers have only trended in the wrong direction since Curry’s election...

His style is wearing thin, and while he’s shown he can bend the machinery of city government to his will, it hasn’t won him many true friends along the way...

In the face of no real opposition, and possessing virtually unlimited money, pulling the wool over the eyes of a mostly disengaged electorate is no great feat — or a ringing endorsement.

I’ve heard a version of this argument a few times before from spurned veterans of Jacksonville politics: Curry is here today, and one day he’ll move on. But we’ll still be here.

Curry can do a lot with four more years. He can build buildings and a political future for himself, and if he’s lucky, he can build a legacy in Jacksonville. But if he doesn’t tame his divisive tactics, his won’t be a legacy that lasts.
Title: Re: Monroe's New T-U Politcal Column Off to Hard Hitting Start
Post by: Charles Hunter on January 06, 2019, 09:30:40 AM
Sounds like someone on the national scene - thin-skinned; making appointments based on loyalty, not competence; attacking any perceived slight ...
Title: Re: Monroe's New T-U Politcal Column Off to Hard Hitting Start
Post by: Steve on January 06, 2019, 12:11:43 PM
Interesting read. I agree with some of it, but not all of it. His Intro:

Quote
Former Jacksonville Mayor John Delaney was a man possessed with ambitious ideas to preserve the city’s natural resources by shielding them from developers, and to appeal to voters’ sense of civic pride by convincing them to approve a sales tax-financed expansion of libraries, parks, neighborhood services and other public amenities.

Former Mayor John Peyton, the wealthy heir of a prominent Jacksonville family, was a new father who rallied political and business leaders around an effort to tackle the city’s status as the murder capital of Florida.

Former Mayor Alvin Brown, the city’s first black chief executive, struggled with faltering City Hall finances amid the long hangover after the 2008 financial crisis.

Lenny Curry, the city’s current mayor, just seems petty.

It doesn't really have any flow to it. His point about Delaney is valid if not incomplete. His point about Peyton makes no sense (Who cares he was a new father in this context). His point about Brown doesn't undercut that while the financial crisis certainly didn't help things, Peyton and Brown's financial mismanagement is why Curry was left a financial mess. Then he just has the dig about Curry which while not completely baseless, doesn't make any sense in the context of the others.

He then brings up some points that are fair, but I guess other than having an axe to grind about Curry, I'm not sure I get the point.
Title: Re: Monroe's New T-U Politcal Column Off to Hard Hitting Start
Post by: Charles Hunter on January 06, 2019, 01:03:27 PM
Monroe spends much of the rest of his piece expanding on the "petty" characterization.  Is there counter-point to his comments on Curry's demeanor or tactics?
Title: Re: Monroe's New T-U Politcal Column Off to Hard Hitting Start
Post by: Steve on January 06, 2019, 02:02:26 PM
Monroe spends much of the rest of his piece expanding on the "petty" characterization.  Is there counter-point to his comments on Curry's demeanor or tactics?

If that's the point, then so be it - I think he makes his case pretty well. What did Delaney/Peyton/Brown have to do with it though?
Title: Re: Monroe's New T-U Politcal Column Off to Hard Hitting Start
Post by: Charles Hunter on January 06, 2019, 03:42:08 PM
Establishing his bona fides as having covered local politics for several years?  (Just guessing)


(Edited to fix a typo)
Title: Re: Monroe's New T-U Politcal Column Off to Hard Hitting Start
Post by: avonjax on January 06, 2019, 05:21:38 PM
Curry sounds like Trump to me.
Title: Re: Monroe's New T-U Politcal Column Off to Hard Hitting Start
Post by: Snaketoz on January 07, 2019, 08:14:57 AM
This type of writing may just save Jacksonville's paper.  Thought I would never see that.  Great to see written what many of us believe.
Title: Re: Monroe's New T-U Politcal Column Off to Hard Hitting Start
Post by: Captain Zissou on January 07, 2019, 09:33:57 AM
Curry sounds like Trump to me.
I think that's a bit harsh.  Curry has definitely accomplished some things while in office.  If not for his heavy handedness and the things that the article describes, I think he would be a very well regarded mayor.  Better than the previous 2 for sure.
Title: Re: Monroe's New T-U Politcal Column Off to Hard Hitting Start
Post by: BridgeTroll on January 07, 2019, 10:08:11 AM
Curry sounds like Trump to me.

He certainly does... if you take our new opinion writers statements as gospel...
Title: Re: Monroe's New T-U Politcal Column Off to Hard Hitting Start
Post by: Steve on January 07, 2019, 10:33:46 AM
I'm not intending on ripping the new guy....it's a needed voice since Littlepage retired. I really liked Ron's writing - I didn't always agree but I thought he stated his point well.

I just think this guy could have done a better job, that's all. I think some of the things he's said are valid.
Title: Re: Monroe's New T-U Politcal Column Off to Hard Hitting Start
Post by: BridgeTroll on January 07, 2019, 11:01:21 AM
I'm not ripping him either...  And after Littlepage left there is a void at the TU for these types of opinion pieces.  I suppose there is hope that he can be as fair as he says he is going to be...
Title: Re: Monroe's New T-U Politcal Column Off to Hard Hitting Start
Post by: vicupstate on January 07, 2019, 11:37:58 AM
Establishing his bona fides as having covered local politics for several years?  (Just guessing)


(Edited to fix a typo)

I agree with this, but I also think the writer was trying to establish that the politicization of the office was something that did not exist before Curry.   
Title: Re: Monroe's New T-U Politcal Column Off to Hard Hitting Start
Post by: Steve on January 07, 2019, 11:50:07 AM
Establishing his bona fides as having covered local politics for several years?  (Just guessing)


(Edited to fix a typo)

I agree with this, but I also think the writer was trying to establish that the politicization of the office was something that did not exist before Curry.   

If that was his sentement, then he REALLY didn't understand the innerworkings of the Peyton Administration.
Title: Re: Monroe's New T-U Politcal Column Off to Hard Hitting Start
Post by: vicupstate on January 07, 2019, 12:02:22 PM
Establishing his bona fides as having covered local politics for several years?  (Just guessing)


(Edited to fix a typo)

I agree with this, but I also think the writer was trying to establish that the politicization of the office was something that did not exist before Curry.   

If that was his sentement, then he REALLY didn't understand the innerworkings of the Peyton Administration.

That would be my expectation as well, but probably still less so than under Curry.
Title: Re: Monroe's New T-U Politcal Column Off to Hard Hitting Start
Post by: jaxlongtimer on February 07, 2019, 12:21:28 AM
Well, Nate Monroe hasn't disappointed, following up his hard hitting first column with a great series on the City's machinations.  If you want unvarnished insights into many of the issues discussed here on the Jaxson, be sure to continue reading this column.  Mr. Monroe cuts right to the chase and doesn't let his subjects wiggle out of the box with meaningless rhetoric.

The T-U needs to know that people have interest in these analyses and calls for accountability to be encouraged to support more of them going forward.  Maybe other media in town will take a cue, and start doing the same.

Check out these recent ones on JEA, Lot J, JSO, Curry, Brosche, Nelson, City task forces, etc.

https://www.jacksonville.com/news/20190206/nate-monroe-dark-future-ahead-for-jacksonvilles-utility (https://www.jacksonville.com/news/20190206/nate-monroe-dark-future-ahead-for-jacksonvilles-utility)

https://www.jacksonville.com/news/20190201/nate-monroe-crime-task-force-wont-work-if-city-hall-isnt-willing-to-listen (https://www.jacksonville.com/news/20190201/nate-monroe-crime-task-force-wont-work-if-city-hall-isnt-willing-to-listen)

https://www.jacksonville.com/news/20190125/nate-monroe-what-is-anna-brosches-campaign-about-voters-deserve-to-know (https://www.jacksonville.com/news/20190125/nate-monroe-what-is-anna-brosches-campaign-about-voters-deserve-to-know)

https://www.jacksonville.com/news/20190123/nate-monroe-overtime-spending-by-jso-raises-eyebrows-questions (https://www.jacksonville.com/news/20190123/nate-monroe-overtime-spending-by-jso-raises-eyebrows-questions)

https://www.jacksonville.com/news/20190118/nate-monroe-mayor-curry-ran-on-crime-now-he-should-be-forced-to-confront-it (https://www.jacksonville.com/news/20190118/nate-monroe-mayor-curry-ran-on-crime-now-he-should-be-forced-to-confront-it)

https://www.jacksonville.com/news/20190116/nate-monroe-jso-left-too-many-questions-in-justifiable-death-of-7-year-old-boy (https://www.jacksonville.com/news/20190116/nate-monroe-jso-left-too-many-questions-in-justifiable-death-of-7-year-old-boy)

https://www.jacksonville.com/news/20190111/nate-monroe-mayor-curry-wanted-re-election-competition-hes-got-it-now (https://www.jacksonville.com/news/20190111/nate-monroe-mayor-curry-wanted-re-election-competition-hes-got-it-now)

https://www.jacksonville.com/news/20190109/nate-monroe-time-for-state-attorney-melissa-nelson-to-set-record-straight (https://www.jacksonville.com/news/20190109/nate-monroe-time-for-state-attorney-melissa-nelson-to-set-record-straight)

Title: Re: Monroe's New T-U Politcal Column Off to Hard Hitting Start
Post by: BridgeTroll on February 07, 2019, 07:26:26 AM
"Hard hitting" and "great series" are accurate... "unvarnished" is a stretch.   8)
Title: Re: Monroe's New T-U Politcal Column Off to Hard Hitting Start
Post by: Bill Hoff on February 07, 2019, 09:57:24 AM
His features have been very, very good.
Title: Re: Monroe's New T-U Politcal Column Off to Hard Hitting Start
Post by: Captain Zissou on February 07, 2019, 11:34:13 AM
I can't wait to see the word-smithing from the JEA press release when they choose Lot J. "public private partnership" "leveraging assets" "live-work-play"
Title: Re: Monroe's New T-U Politcal Column Off to Hard Hitting Start
Post by: Charles Hunter on February 07, 2019, 11:47:13 AM
^  Don't forget "catalyst for downtown [a mile away] development".
Title: Re: Monroe's New T-U Politcal Column Off to Hard Hitting Start
Post by: marcuscnelson on February 07, 2019, 12:17:23 PM
I can't wait to see the word-smithing from the JEA press release when they choose Lot J. "public private partnership" "leveraging assets" "live-work-play"

^  Don't forget "catalyst for downtown [a mile away] development".

Hm, I read that as "we've been forced to do this by deep political and business interests and this project is the absolute anthesis of how this organization and its employees work, but there's nothing we can do about it so suck it up, ride the clown cars and remember to clear out the parking garage before the concerts start."
Title: Re: Monroe's New T-U Politcal Column Off to Hard Hitting Start
Post by: marcuscnelson on February 07, 2019, 12:19:37 PM
I can't wait to see the word-smithing from the JEA press release when they choose Lot J. "public private partnership" "leveraging assets" "live-work-play"

Will there be a round of bingo when the release comes out? Or perhaps a drinking game?
Title: Re: Monroe's New T-U Politcal Column Off to Hard Hitting Start
Post by: Kiva on February 07, 2019, 07:20:39 PM
I can't wait to see the word-smithing from the JEA press release when they choose Lot J. "public private partnership" "leveraging assets" "live-work-play"
Here are some phrases for the drinking game! Add in "catalyst for downtown development" and "downtown renewal". Any more suggestions?
Title: Re: Monroe's New T-U Politcal Column Off to Hard Hitting Start
Post by: KenFSU on February 07, 2019, 09:37:27 PM
I can't wait to see the word-smithing from the JEA press release when they choose Lot J. "public private partnership" "leveraging assets" "live-work-play"

"Billionaire secures short-term survival of NFL franchise in top 40 market by building six-story suburban office in public parking lot and leasing to public utility; free Bloomin' Onion offered to all salaried employees."
Title: Re: Monroe's New T-U Politcal Column Off to Hard Hitting Start
Post by: jaxlongtimer on February 13, 2019, 10:34:47 PM
Nate hit the handling of the pension today following the 3rd party report released this week.  Saying what needs to be said.

Add the (a) pension time bomb to (b) the rising waters we refuse to address, (c) the greatly deferred maintenance of City roads and parks and (d) JEA's nuclear power plant fiasco and Jax has four giant financial holes totaling billions of dollars to fill.  This doesn't count (e) the deficient funding of our schools under the jurisdiction of the School Board and the State.

Taxes, fees and/or JEA bills will need to rise significantly or the City will be filing bankruptcy.  Mark my words, we are mortgaging our future and literally living on borrowed time.  I believe Curry knows this in his heart and is why he probably still wants to sell JEA.  The problem is this accumulated deficit is mainly a creation of both him and his predecessors and a compliant City Council who refuse to raise taxes to "pay as you go."  Selling JEA might return us to square one but future anti-tax leaders will just restart the cycle again, this time with no JEA ace-in-the-hole.

https://www.jacksonville.com/news/20190213/nate-monroe-police-fire-pension-debt-tops-2-billion-risks-of-reform-plan-are-clear (https://www.jacksonville.com/news/20190213/nate-monroe-police-fire-pension-debt-tops-2-billion-risks-of-reform-plan-are-clear)
Title: Re: Monroe's New T-U Politcal Column Off to Hard Hitting Start
Post by: CityLife on February 14, 2019, 09:09:12 AM
If/when Jax has major financial issues due to it’s Police and Fire Pension Fund in the future, you will likely see the Beaches push hard to form Ocean County. Jax Beach has its own Police and Fire Department, and Atlantic and Neptune have their own Police Departments. Right now there is a reasonable balance of taxes flowing from the Beaches into Duval for services provided to the Beaches Communities, but if a much larger percentage of Jax/County budget goes to the Police/Fire Fund (which largely does not serve the Beaches) there will a major outcry. There are already a lot of citizens and leaders at the Beach that want to form Ocean County, but I think the Pension issue is the one thing that could unify the Beaches and tip the scales.
Title: Re: Monroe's New T-U Politcal Column Off to Hard Hitting Start
Post by: Charles Hunter on February 14, 2019, 09:37:56 AM
According to recent news reports, JFRD and Jax Beach are considering having JFRD take over the Jax Beach Fire Department.
https://www.news4jax.com/news/florida/duval-county/jacksonville-beach/jfrd-could-take-over-fire-services-in-jacksonville-beach

JFRD already provides service to Atlantic Beach (JFRD Station 55 is co-located with the AB City Hall and Police Department.
Neptune Beach does not seem to have a fire department, so either Jax Beach or Jacksonville (or both) cover calls in NB.

All 3 do have their own Police Departments.
Title: Re: Monroe's New T-U Politcal Column Off to Hard Hitting Start
Post by: CityLife on February 14, 2019, 10:06:01 AM
JFRD covers Neptune currently. There are some economies of scale that would enable Jax to provide Fire services to JB more efficiently since they are already in AB/NB. The Beaches communities will absolutely never allow JSO to take over though.

JSO is almost 3x as large as JFRD, so I would presume the pension burden would be equivalent to a 3/1 ratio. That will become a serious concern if the Pension Fund struggles in the coming years.
Title: Re: Monroe's New T-U Politcal Column Off to Hard Hitting Start
Post by: vicupstate on February 14, 2019, 10:53:51 AM
Ocean County would have virtually no industrial tax base. Hard to believe that an entire County government could be supported without that, at least not for less than through Duval.
Title: Re: Monroe's New T-U Politcal Column Off to Hard Hitting Start
Post by: CityLife on February 14, 2019, 11:06:01 AM
Ocean County would have high sales and tourism taxes, virtually no cost of sprawl/delivery of services across a sprawling area, much higher than average property tax (relative to rest of Duval), more efficient School Board, and minimal pension burden. Would take a detailed analysis to run the numbers, but it’s probably a lot more reasonable than you would expect. Especially if you factor in a potential massive pension burden.
Title: Re: Monroe's New T-U Politcal Column Off to Hard Hitting Start
Post by: vicupstate on February 14, 2019, 11:54:27 AM
Not sure I would agree on the taxes. A decent amount of sales would be fleeing Ocean County for SJTC and other areas West of the Intracoastal or south to St. Johns County.  Atlantic and Neptune beaches don't have any Hotel rooms to amount to anything, and none of them can build new hotels beyond three stories.       

They wouldn't get all the existing infrastructure without paying for it or at least the existing debt service. There would be a significant amount of office space to build too.

I doubt the pension burden would go away either. Why would any governing body allow them to walk away from existing obligations, especially when it is in dire straits to begin with.

This was looked at in the late '90s
Title: Re: Monroe's New T-U Politcal Column Off to Hard Hitting Start
Post by: Florida Power And Light on March 18, 2019, 09:48:45 PM
Sorry,T-U is off to Flacid Start. A Fart in a Whirlwind.
Perhaps Monroe should go to "Fast Backward" mode; review and report on Mayor Delaney's key role with DOT SJRWMD/USACOE  Brannon Chaffee Roadway permit application,a "Stand Alone" project widely understood to be part and parcel of the First Coast Outer Beltway.
USACOE  Director Miller became Delaney Administration Public Works Director....for a decisively brief time...... Gulfstream Development/Argyle Forest,Clay County brokers,one family member became DOT Secretary during Rick Scott tenure.And a Clay County,Florida USA State Of Florida Department Of Community Affairs ("DCA") Lake Asbury Sector Plan (the first attempt,Sector Plan one of two, #1 Citizen participants,as defined,opposed to a "Beltway " roadway,Sector Plan Number One sidetracked for months...) that was deemed Non Authorized at Clay County Commission Transmittal to Tallahassee,although the tapes of the County Commission meeting depict the Clay Planner simply shrugging his shoulders to a pointed DCA Authorization acknowledgement question.

At some point,the FTU/T-U might catch up with FTU/T-U NON-NEWS  elements.Lot's of Fast Backward Column Inches Blanks.Pages......shucks, a Book could be produced.150 months BBQ smoke,free shipping, Included.