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JEA got another round of bad press this week.


Jacksonville City Councilmembers want answers before selling JEA to private investor

On Tuesday, Jacksonville City Councilmembers struggled, in a meeting in a packed Council chambers, with the idea of a sale of the JEA to a private company.

This was the second straight day on which Council members did a deep dive into JEA operations, with Monday offering Council calling for underground power lines.

The office of Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry has been open to (at least) discussing a sale, but speculation is that the process has moved beyond discussion.

Some, including Councilman Garrett Dennis, believe the sale is all but a done deal.

Notable about this meeting: Dennis, an irritant to the Mayor’s Office, had many Council members on his side in opposition to the Mayor’s Office.

Councilman John Crescimbeni wants a “referendum,” but the office of general counsel says that’s not necessary.

Crescimbeni and Council President Anna Brosche await further guidance from the OGC; in a sharp exchange, Brosche wondered how OGC’s Peggy Sidman knew that the potential sale would not be on the JEA Board meeting’s next agenda.

OGC does say that any sale of a utility’s assets amounting to more than 10 percent is contingent on a vote of the Jacksonville City Council. A charter change would be necessary to make that vote a referendum.

Katrina Brown wants “town halls” in her district to discuss the issue.

Reggie Brown wants to make sure infrastructure, such as $3 billion in sewer projects, are addressed in the sale.

Reggie Gaffney asserted that “JEA has a plan,” and wondered when Council would be made aware.

“We’re all kind of blindsided by this,” Dennis said, vowing to ensure that the Council do “whatever is best for the shareholders … the 850,000 people who own JEA,”

Written By

A.G. Gancarski has been a working journalist for over two decades, with bylines in national and local publications alike on subjects ranging from pop music to national and global politics. Gancarski has been a correspondent for since 2014, and has held a column in Jacksonville, Florida's Folio Weekly for two decades. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." Gancarski is a frequent presence on Jacksonville television and radio, including fill-in slots on WJCT-FM's award-winning talk show "First Coast Connect." He can be reached at

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