One of Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry‘s most trusted lieutenants, Chief Financial Officer Mike Weinstein, will leave City Hall Nov. 9.
“Since 2015, during the transition between my administration and my predecessor’s, Mike Weinstein has been both trusted adviser and friend. His expertise and depth of knowledge helped me prepare balanced budgets that met our city’s priorities, create a solution to the pension crisis, and set Jacksonville on a sound financial path,” Curry said Monday.
Tuesday saw the very quick naming of a replacement: treasurer Joey Greive, a trusted and reliable hand, will move to CFO. And Greive will be replaced by his current assistant, Randall Barnes.
While the City Council will have to approve these moves, there is no reason that wouldn’t happen.
The Weinstein era spans the better part of the history of Consolidated Jacksonville, with service in multiple roles and some runs for electoral office in the mix.
He served in the Florida House between 2008 and 2012. One of his bills proved to be prescriptive for Jacksonville’s solution to its pension liability: a measure to allow discretionary sales surtaxes to fund indigent health care facilities.
When Weinstein and Curry came into Jacksonville’s City Hall, the city’s general fund budget was throttled by pension obligations of more than $300 million a year.
Weinstein’s discretionary sales surtax concept came into play, with the city able to negotiate defined contribution plans for new city hires, while routing post-2030 collections of the city’s ½-cent sales tax currently used to fund Better Jacksonville Plan projects to the pension liability.
The city also reamortized pension debt, creating flexibility in the near term, and banking on growth to help pay off a pension obligation that is between $3 and $4 billion now.
Weinstein also served last year as the interim CEO of the Kids Hope Alliance, serving an important bridge role as the city reorganized its children’s programs.
Jacksonville is enjoying a renaissance in terms of its municipal credit standing, getting its first AAA rating for a standalone municipal bond just last week (even as local utility JEA is under a “credit watch” from another ratings agency).
There are those who have suggested that the next high profile departure from City Hall could be Chief Administrative Officer Sam Mousa, who like Weinstein, has spent decades in the public sector and who, also like Weinstein, came in to help stabilize a new administration.
Weinstein is also known for having one of the catchiest campaign themes in Jacksonville history, one that seemed to borrow freely from Kenny Loggins‘ “Footloose”. The video is below.