Three months ago, Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry bid farewell to Chief of Staff Kerri Stewart.
Stewart resigned to take a position at JEA, and what’s been clear this summer is that there’s been no rush to fill the role.
On Wednesday, Mayor Curry addressed the situation; in short, no one should expect a new chief of staff anytime soon, if ever.
“At this point, we’ve realigned some duties and staff, and have been able to absorb those duties and responsibilities among ourselves,” Curry said.
“There’s really just been no discussion. There’s not an active search happening. We’ve just been so busy with doing what we do and creating this budget, and right now we’re getting along fine.”
Curry cited savings to taxpayers as one benefit of not backfilling Stewart’s position, which was paid nearly $200,000 per year.
Luckily for the Curry administration, the senior leadership team is proven and has almost universal credibility in City Hall.
Chief Administrative Officer Sam Mousa is a constant presence in the building, with an encyclopedic knowledge of city functions, processes, and historical long view.
If Mousa were to ever move on, the need for a chief of staff may be more pronounced. He does the work of two normal people — and making roughly $300,000 a year, he’s paid like two normal people.
But in the current context, the status quo works just fine for Mayor Curry and his team.