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Despite canceled meetings, Jacksonville City Council to swear in new member Tuesday

COVID-19 has had impacts, but the swearing in goes on.

The Jacksonville City Council isn’t conducting legislative business until Thursday, but that won’t stop them from swearing in a new member Tuesday.

The happenings start at noon, in person at City Hall and through the magic of livestream to the world.

Republican Kevin Carrico, elected in a November Special Election to fill the unexpired term of Scott Wilson, who resigned earlier this year to run for higher office, will be sworn in via a hybrid in-person and online ceremony.

Wilson’s positive test for COVID-19 last week led to an abrupt cancellation of Tuesday night’s City Council meeting. Legislative committees slated for this week were also scrapped, except for a Thursday “committee of the whole” meeting to discuss the proposed Lot J development with Cordish Companies and the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Carrico’s swearing-in will maintain the Republican supermajority on the body, which he joins amid at least some finger pointing from Council President Tommy Hazouri about how the coronavirus has been managed.

Hazouri canceled Tuesday’s meeting after Wilson revealed his positive diagnosis, then canceled this week’s committee meetings. But that didn’t stop a former president of the Council, second-term Republican Aaron Bowman, from firing off an email to his colleagues last week, writing that he had “lost confidence” amid the “infiltration of COVID-19 throughout the Council spaces and the City Council chamber.”

“Several Council members and staff fall in the high risk category, myself being one of those. I am requesting immediate answers to my questions and a path forward that ensures we do not put any more people at risk. I am also asking that a plan be presented that will allow us to continue the business as we were elected to do,” Bowman wrote. “We have had seven months to develop plans to conduct business safely yet instead we now have several COVID positives, multiple people in quarantine, family members at risk, and no plans in place to operate safely as a legislative body.”

Written By

A.G. Gancarski has been a correspondent for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." He can be reached at AG@FloridaPolitics.com

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