The Jacksonville City Council voted Tuesday evening to approve Resolution 2017-457, which was intended to commemorate Consolidation. But the vote was not unanimous.
A movement for full Council sponsorship of the resolution was spiked by Councilman Reggie Brown, who spoke at length about infrastructural failings and broken promises.
Brown noted that JEA, for example, isn’t committed to sewer and water expansion in his district.
“Until we have a plan to say that if you live inside the Beltway, we will focus on installing sewer and water, there is no celebration,” Brown said.
Councilwoman Katrina Brown likewise would not sign on, citing “the same issues,” even as she lauded the Council and JEA for committing $30M over five years for septic tank phaseout.
“For me to sign on to celebrate sends the wrong message to the constituents I represent,” Councilwoman Brown said.
Councilwoman Lori Boyer withdrew the motion for unanimous co-sponsorship, which led myriad Councilors to request to be added as co-sponsors.
The resolution passed 16-3, with the Browns and Councilman Reggie Gaffney in opposition.
Councilman Brown and others have explored, at least conceptually, de-consolidation of the city.
“The sheer definition of consolidation is everybody gives up everything and become one. That didn’t happen in ’68, and that’s where the problem lies. Folks are able to use consolidation and the charter when the mood suits them, instead of following the real sense of the word consolidation,” Brown said in December.
“When they talk about having one Jacksonville, one city, that means you need to be truly consolidated without the exceptions,” Brown continued.