An exchange of emails this week between Richard Tuten, the head of the Jacksonville PFPF Board of Trustees, and Sam Mousa, the city’s chief administrative officer, reveal friction between the mayor’s office and the PFPF board chair.
The dispute centers around a meeting Mousa sought with Tuten to discuss the latest pension reform package, which has been accepted by the local AFSCME and Fraternal Order of Police.
Tuten had many reasons for declining the invite.
Though “this meeting is not a violation of the sunshine law per se, it does not look good in my opinion,” Tuten wrote.
As well, Tuten wanted Mousa to present to the whole board at once, so that Mousa and the city’s treasurer could answer panel questions before such a “monumental decision.”
Mousa’s response, meanwhile, could be described as precisely written.
“I can certainly appreciate your sensitivity to perception, particularly in light of the Board’s past troubles and litigation expenses incurred in defending various public record and sunshine law violation lawsuits,” Mousa wrote.
Mousa wasn’t done putting Tuten on notice, however.
“As you are well aware, it is standard practice, and in fact, well-advised, to be briefed on such important topics prior to Board action. It is routine and common to hold such informative meetings with elected officials, appointed officers, trustees or otherwise, and particularly the Chair of any given board,” Mousa said.
In February, Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry said the board would have the info it needed to make a decision before Mar. 15 to accept the deal.
However, that may be easier said than done when it comes to the chair, a trustee who was elected to serve by the fire union … the one bargaining entity which has yet to accept the deal.