Corrine Brown presses Jacksonville City Council on ‘community’ funds as stadium vote looms

Corrine Brown
'Let's see it in writing what you're planning on doing.'

One of the most consequential Democratic leaders in Jacksonville history is demanding action from the supermajority Republican City Council.

During public comment at a Council meeting, which will culminate with the legislative branch approving $775 million to renovate the Jaguars’ stadium, former U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown is saying she wants a firm commitment from the City Council regarding what it will do to replace the $150 million community benefits agreement proposal excised from the deal.

“I am here because of the number of calls that I’ve gotten. People are concerned that you are breaking up the opportunity for the community to be included,” the former 12-term member of Congress said.

“Now, I understand that you all plan on doing something in July. Ronald Reagan said ‘trust but verify.’ Let’s see it in writing what you’re planning on doing.”

Council members Jimmy Peluso talked to Brown at the meeting, and he said she was concerned the money would be programmed to build a new jail, one of many deferred priorities in the city.

The legislative branch removed the Donna Deegan plan for $300 million in shared costs between the city and the team, money that would go into parks (both downtown and in Council districts), affordable housing, homelessness initiatives, and workforce development.

The $150 million city commitment raised concerns, given that the money would be allocated in what some legislators called “buckets,” outside the budget process that starts in earnest next month.

Questions bedeviled many Republicans about various spending commitments embarked upon by this administration, including pension plan proposals with police and fire unions, about which the Mayor’s Office won’t divulge the costs.

“I want to see in writing the proposal, because I know being a legislator for 35 years, I understand that what you put in writing is what counts,” Brown added.

Brown, who lost her re-election bid in 2016 after being indicted on numerous counts related to a charity used for personal enrichment, was imprisoned before the 11th Circuit Court of Appeal reversed her conviction based on a Judge removing a noncompliant juror from the panel. That juror claimed God said she was not guilty.

Avoiding a second trial, Brown pleaded guilty on one count, but her penalty phase is not over. She owes nearly $300,000 of past tax debt to the IRS.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has been the Northeast Florida correspondent for Florida Politics since 2014. He writes for the New York Post and National Review also, with previous work in the American Conservative and Washington Times and a 15+ year run as a columnist in Folio Weekly. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • Frankie M.

    June 25, 2024 at 6:46 pm

    Nobody cares what Corrine thinks unless she’s willing to put $300K in back taxes towards the OutEast CBA.Who knows maybe the council will even match it?

  • MH/Duuuval

    June 25, 2024 at 10:33 pm

    It’s a fair question to ask since numerous elected officials are well-known for their unchecked and ultimately unfulfilled promises.

    Brown did her time. Will Trump? Did Rick Scott?

    • MH/Duuuval

      June 26, 2024 at 10:44 am

      Steve Bannon starts his 4-month sentence on July 1. Will he make it to the slammer and prison garb, eventually joining the ranks of ex-felons who can’t vote in many states?

Comments are closed.


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