Jacksonville Mayor Donna Deegan will defer City Council consideration of Neighborhoods pick
Al Ferraro wants action against people asking for money.

Republican Al Ferraro looks poised to win re-election.
Al Ferraro will have a couple more weeks to have conversations with City Council members.

Jacksonville Mayor Donna Deegan will “defer” the City Council’s consideration of her pick to head the Neighborhoods Department.

The deferral will last a “couple of weeks,” according to spokesperson Phil Perry, to give former Councilman Al Ferraro time to have conversations with City Council members ahead of a potential confirmation.

Ferraro will require a waiver to serve in that director role, as he only has a high school diploma.

As previously reported, Ferraro faces a tough path to majority support.

“I don’t think he has the votes,” said one highly placed Republican source.

That member, who worked with Ferraro for years, noted that in eight years on the Council, Ferraro only chaired one minor committee (Transportation, Energy, and Utilities). Ferraro also was never backed for Council leadership, another sign that he wasn’t respected even on the supermajority GOP legislative branch.

That long-term record, we are told, won’t help Ferraro, especially given other concerns Council members have.

One of those concerns is that Ferraro, a landscaper by trade, lacks the credentials that the city’s municipal code requires to run the department; “a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited college or university and at least five years of experience in an administrative or executive position.”

While waivers have been used before in certain situations, they usually facilitate the ascension of someone from the ranks with significant practical experience. Ferraro, who has run a landscaping company for decades, is not seen by some members as having the necessary experience to take over Neighborhoods.

Another concern expressed is that Ferraro was recently embroiled in a conflict with the department he seeks to lead over campaign signs. Ferraro disputed fines he incurred for signs wrongly placed, blaming the Lenny Curry “machine” for his problem and saying it was political payback for running against preferred candidate Daniel Davis.

“That’s not the way that politics and elections are supposed to be working in our country. We’re not a banana republic,” Ferraro told Action News Jax.

The “banana republic” line particularly roils sources on Council.

“He didn’t really make friends when he was on Council,” said another source who described Ferraro as “always crying and throwing the other Council members under the bus.”

Ferraro’s intelligence was also derided, with it being noted that he would call the Office of General Counsel “OCG” instead of “OGC.”

Some members have been slow to meet with Ferraro, which could be seen as a potential warning sign in this context. Many Republicans on Council backed Davis for Mayor and there are those in the GOP base who have qualms over Ferraro crossing party lines to work for a Democratic Mayor. Democrats also have qualms, we are hearing.

He ultimately would need majority support for both the waiver and the confirmation. Time will tell if more time helps. One connected observer says he has between seven and nine hard no votes. He will need ten yes votes to get the job.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • We will not forget

    August 9, 2023 at 8:24 pm

    The only reason that republicans will not support Al Ferraro, is because he did not give his support to Daniel Davis. Ferraro supporters, either voted for Deegan or they did not vote all. Daniel Davis had a nasty campaign against Al with mailers and tv commercials. His voters did not forget, and it looks like the republican and probably some Dino Democrats too, will not vote for him. We will remember who votes against Al Ferraro’s appointment. We will not forget, believe me!!

  • Highly placed mystery constituent source 😉

    August 10, 2023 at 9:56 am

    For clarification: On what date did Mr. Perry make the statement referenced in the article? It’s important to know if it was made after the Aug. 8th City Council meeting or prior. There are Council members who are refusing to meet with Ferraro and that’s problematic in light of what’ was revealed in public comment. It would also help weigh the credibility of the quoted statements if the person/s who made the statement/s were identified by name.

  • We will not forget

    August 10, 2023 at 2:33 pm

    Al Ferraro got %16.24 of the vote for Mayor, which was 27,265 votes. LeAnna Cumber got %7.58 of the votes for Mayor or, 12,271 votes. Together 39,986 votes, enough to sway any election. Those who vote NO on the apportionment of Al Ferraro, will never hold another political office in North East Florida. Keep that in mind when you vote for Al Ferraro’s appointment.

  • Sharon Light

    August 11, 2023 at 9:27 pm

    Al was always there for any citizen who ask for help. He did one heck of a job and was honest with people. Some people with degrees have no respect for, or able to manage a task or people. I vote Al Ferrero be appointed.

Comments are closed.


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