On Thursday morning, Lori Boyer met with Aaron Bowman and current Council President Greg Anderson, soliciting and receiving their support for her Jacksonville City Council presidency bid.
The Boyer ascension to the top spot is a foregone conclusion at this point. The utility of these meetings: finding out the priorities of other Council members.
Bowman, locked in a four-way race for Council vice president, has ambitions for leadership, as he told Boyer flat out during their meeting.
After Boyer extended the opportunity to be Downtown Investment Authority liaison to him (a job she has filled and been alternate in the last couple of years), Bowman, who said during the meeting that “leadership is in my blood,” responded with “my goal is to be vice president.”
Boyer’s response: “Vice presidents get assignments too.”
Bowman’s priorities include downtown development, and the redevelopment of struggling areas of Jacksonville.
“I’m a broader thinker than just my district,” said Bowman. “I think on a much bigger scale [of] Jacksonville being the premier city that it can be.
“We’ve got some of the best places to live in the country. [And] some of the worst.”
Bowman’s vision, closely aligned with that of the Chamber and the business community, will be part of the puzzle Boyer wrestles with during her presidential year. The subtext of Thursday’s conversation: Bowman wants and expects to take a leadership role. It will be interesting to see what happens on that front.
After the Bowman meeting wrapped, and the tinges of drama faded into the rear view mirror, the brief chat between Boyer and Council President Anderson was a bit more anticlimactic.
Anderson advised Boyer to “bring the VP in on procedural matters” during her presidential year, noting that an underreported part of the job is the administrative aspect.
Anderson said Boyer faced a “unique challenge,” that being a “really busy district.”
And, as one might expect, Anderson had a very polite ask for placement on the prestige committees.
“I’ve never served on Rules,” Anderson said, and leadership on Rules interests him.
This follows him telling John Crescimbeni that he’d like to be in leadership on Finance earlier this month, as he signed on to support Crescimbeni’s VP bid.
Boyer has a desire, expressed on Thursday, to elevate the Transportation, Energy, and Utilities and Recreation, Community Development, Public Health, and Safety committees.
Currently, she told Bowman, it’s almost like things go through without discussion.
Those who follow those committees, or serve on them, would likely conclude that is truer than it should be.