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Thursday, January 16, 2020

It’s time for the City Council to do the right thing

Last Summer Duval County Public Schools went to the City Council to have them put a referendum on the ballot, so they could generate money to fix its aging and crumbling schools, something that was universally agreed should happen. Unfortunately, politics got in the way and it didn’t and the district felt obligated to hire a team of lawyers and sue city hall. A recent judge’s decision affirmed that was their right to do because they are a unique body not beholden to city hall. This is without a doubt the first of several court victories that will ultimately see the referendum placed on the ballot, but it doesn’t have to be.

The City Council could just take up the referendum and have it placed on the 2020 ballot and they should do so as soon as possible.

I think everyone would agree that City Hall has had a terrible year, what with them fighting against the referendum, the debacle with JEA, zero solutions for the murder rate, the Landing, and I could go on, so instead of continuing to fight a losing battle, in both the legal courts and the one of public opinion, where they law and other decisions go against them, why not generate some good will and take this matter off their already full plate.

When the mayor and city council fought against the referendum they didn’t just fight against the city’s schools and children, but they also fought against revitalizing neighborhoods, a stimulus for the city and jobs, things that are generally considered good policy, victories. Well if anybody could use a victory right about now, it’s the city council and city hall.

I urge them to do the right thing, take up the referendum and put it on the 2020 ballot as soon as possible.

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