Jacksonville Beach government shuts down amid mysterious tech disruption
Jacksonville Beach shuts down city services due to inexplicable technological services interruption.

'We don’t have much more specific information to share, unfortunately right now. We have teams investigating the issue.'

A Northeast Florida coastal community’s operations are still on the fritz due to a major technological snafu in the central functions of the city.

Jacksonville Beach shut down a significant number of city functions beginning Monday, and those operations remain hobbled as of Tuesday. While details from Jacksonville Beach City Hall are scant, the issues are being blamed on the technological infrastructure of the city.

“Effective immediately, the City of Jacksonville Beach will shut down due to information systems issues,” read a statement on the city’s website.

The development led to most city services coming to a halt in Jacksonville Beach, which is located in Duval County with a population of nearly 25,000 people. City Hall, all recreation and parks services, and other associated services have been put on hold. Emergency services, waste collection and first responder services remain operational, along with Beaches Energy Service, the electrical service in the city.

“There will be extreme delays in sending or receiving emails with city staff and officials,” read an advisory to Jacksonville Beach City Hall employees. However, the city said residents of the community can still pay their electric bills on time and without delay.

“We are taking payments in-person for Beaches Energy Services through our drop box at City Hall (checks only) and online at BeachesEnergyServices.com,” the city statement said.

Jacksonville Beach Communications Manager Jacob Board was asked why, as most city services were shut down, the city remained so dedicated to collecting money.

“The weird thing about Jacksonville Beach currently, we can’t take credit card payments at City Hall ever,” Board said. “We are doing our best to continue our operations as normal. I think it looks we are doing our best to take care of our community.”

Board acknowledged Jacksonville Beach officials still have no indications of what caused the technological services malfunction. They also are not sure how long the service disruption will last.

“We don’t have much more specific information to share, unfortunately right now. We have teams investigating the issue,” Board said.

Inexplicable tech service outages have happened before in Florida cities and disrupted those municipal operations. In 2019, Lake City and Riviera Beach both had their services corrupted each within one month after aggressive hackers targeted their technological infrastructure. Those cities shelled out six-figure ransom payments to hackers in order to free their tech operations and restore services.

Drew Dixon

Drew Dixon is a journalist of 40 years who has reported in print and broadcast throughout Florida, starting in Ohio in the 1980s. He is also an adjunct professor of philosophy and ethics at three colleges, Jacksonville University, University of North Florida and Florida State College at Jacksonville. You can reach him at [email protected].


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