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Jacksonville City Councilman Garrett Dennis, 2018. [Photo: A.G. Gancarski]

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Jacksonville City Councilman says there’s ‘cloud’ over Kids Hope Alliance CEO nominee

In an extended speech Tuesday evening, Jacksonville City Councilman Garrett Dennis said there was a “cloud” over Joe Peppers, a former Kids Hope Alliance board member who has since resigned and made a play for the CEO of the same organization.

Dennis asked that Peppers withdraw from CEO consideration.

Dennis spotlighted Peppers’ alleged disrespect of Raines and Ribault High Schools, in commentary related to a bill appropriating funds to the organization.

Dennis had already been vocal about objections to Peppers.

The Florida Times-Union reported that two City Councilors had disquiet with the optics of a board member applying to be CEO of the board. Dennis was one of them.

Peppers’ appointment process to the board was also notable.

Councilman Garrett Dennis had a sharp exchange with a member of Mayor Lenny Curry‘s staff during Dennis’ interview of Peppers.

Dennis thought it was irregular that the Mayor’s Office was “babysitting nominees,” and Dennis and Curry had words after the interview, per Dennis.

Dennis has a bill filed that would bar board members from pursuing paying positions with those organizations.

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 FloridaPolitics.com 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 a.g.gancarski@gmail.com.

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