What’s new in Downtown Jacksonville? Well, there’s a new Mayor, and a majority of City Council representatives are new. I’ve had the good fortune to meet our new Mayor, Alvin Brown, a couple of times.
Mayor Brown ran on a platform of a new vision for the Bold New City of the South, and a major plank in that platform was Downtown Revitalization. He created a number of volunteer-led transition committees, and I had the honor of serving on the Downtown Revitalization Transition Committee. The committee heard from a number of resource speakers, from groups like Downtown Vision that market and promote Downtown; to the Jacksonville Economic Development Commission, with development authority; to developers and residents and the Library and even startups that want to base their operations Downtown. It was a fascinating study of all the moving parts, and great to learn that there are a lot of people who care deeply about the city’s most historic neighborhood.
The Daily Record did a nice job of wrapping up the work of the committee in its story.
Currently, the City Council Finance Department is in the budget process. There have been significant cuts by Finance to the mayor’s proposal. The new budget must be approved by the end of this month. It remains to be seen what the future of Downtown development (and economic development) will look like.
Jacksonville Jaguars football is back. It was a little uncertain for a while over the summer, with the NFL lockout. Although our preseason didn’t come with a lot of wins, our home opener is this Sunday against division rivals the Titans. It’s also the tenth anniversary of 9/11, so expect it to be a highly emotional game.
In case you, dear reader, are curious about this long absence from writing, I have been devoted to looking for a job. If you know someone who is looking for an experienced writer, I would love to get in touch and see if I may be the best candidate. Please contact me via LinkedIn or leave a comment. Thank you!