Link to article https://www.jacksonville.com/news/20190508/eleven-named-to-jacksonville-charter-commission
By David Bauerlein
Posted May 8, 2019 at 7:45 PM Updated May 8, 2019 at 8:16 PM
Jacksonville City Council President Aaron Bowman on Wednesday announced his list of 11 choices for a new Charter Revision Commission, a once-a-decade review that previously suggested making the Duval County School Board an appointed body during the last study in 2009.
JEA might be a topic for the upcoming City Charter review because the utility has said it needs charter amendments so it can operate better amid changes in the electric industry nationwide.
The Charter Revision Commission will spend months reviewing the City Charter, which is the basis for the city’s consolidated form of government, and give recommendations to City Council in early 2020.
“If something catches your eye, you dig down into it because this is our opportunity to make the city better,” Bowman said. “I don’t know where they’re going to land, but certainly I expect them to look at where we’ve been and see if we need to revisit.”
City Council member Matt Schellenberg, whose term ends June 30, is the only elected official on the list. Bowman also recommended former Duval County School Board member Scott Shine, who is an executive board member for School Choice Movement Inc. Some others on Bowman’s list have served on city boards.
City law requires 11 to 15 members for the Charter Revision Commission. To provide balance from across the city, the makeup of the commission must ensure that each of the seven geographic areas for School Board seats has at least one resident on the charter commission.
“I thought it was very important that I have a very diverse group of people, and I also want them to have similar views on how great this city is and what we need to accomplish,” Bowman said.
When a Charter Revision Commission met in 2009-10, its recommendations including revamping the School Board with options such as having the mayor appoint all board members or having a mix of appointed and elected members on the board. None of those changes took effect.
The council president is in charge of recommending members in May of the year prior to the U.S. Census. The City Council votes on who is appointed and selects the commission chairman. None of Bowman’s recommendations served on the Charter Revision Commission a decade ago.
Bowman said he advised this year’s group to read the report issued in 2010. He said he does not have particular areas he wants the commission to examine because that will come from the commission members themselves.
He said it’s possible JEA could come up in the review, though he added the utility could come forward sooner to City Council with requests for charter changes.
In addition to Schellenberg and Shine, Bowman’s other recommendations are:
• Lindsey Brock, a maritime attorney who has been active in organizations related to Jacksonville’s port.
• Frank Denton, a retired Florida Times-Union editor.
• Charles Griggs, a Jacksonville Housing Authority board member and leader in the 100 Black Men of Jacksonville organization.
• Chris Hagan, a consultant and lobbyist who previously served on the Jacksonville Planning Commission.
• Nick Howland, an executive in defense-related companies who ran unsuccessfully for School Board last year. He previously served on the city’s Environmental Protection Board.
• Heidi Jameson, director of business development at JAXUSA Partnership, the regional economic development arm of the chamber of commerce.
• Ann-Marie Knight, an administrator at Mayo Clinic Florida.
• Nelson McCoy, executive director at The Center, One Foundation.
• Betzy Santiago, an administrator at Florida State College at Jacksonville.
David Bauerlein: (904) 359-4581