City of Jacksonville

July 15, 2011 - Mayor Alvin Brown's 2011 - 2012 Budget Address to City Council

Stephen Joost Council PresidentOn Friday morning, July 15th at 10am, City Council President Stephen Joost called the Special Council Meeting to order. The purpose of the Meeting was to receive the budget message from Mayor Alvin Brown as required by the City Charter.

Appearing before a full City Council Chamber, Mayor Brown delivered his first budget message and filed his $962 million dollar budget with the Council. City Council President Stephen Joost said "My initial reaction is very favorable". Funding for the Jacksonville Journey crime-prevention initiative and the Jacksonville Children's Commission were spared large funding cuts.

Mayor Alvin BrownAccording to Mayor Brown, the proposed budget envisions about 225 job cuts, although Brown made it clear the future of some specific positions remain undecided. Many of the positions scheduled to be cut from the next fiscal year budget authorization are currently unfilled however, the Mayor said that nearly 50 cuts would come from mayoral appointee jobs. "It is time to work together to improve the quality of life," Mayor Brown said. Council Member Richard Clark, Finance Committee Chairman, said he would want to see specifics on several points, including whether Mayor Brown had factored into his budget the prices for several initiatives he has planned to foster new development.          

Fire PersonnelMembers of the Jacksonville Fire/Rescue staff listen as Mayor Brown outlines his budget and speaks of the fiscal challenges ahead. The budget for Jacksonville Fire/Rescue was cut by nearly two million dollars. Mayor Brown said "Now is the time to rise to the challenge to take Jacksonville to the next level." The Mayor further said "Can we do it together? Can we work together?" he continued with the crowd breaking into applause of support.

Mayor Alvin BrownMayor Brown said "The City faced a projected budget deficit of nearly $58 million on May 1st. Today, that deficit stands at zero". The Mayor noted he campaigned on a pledge to deliver a balanced budget that streamlines government, focuses on job creation without raising taxes or fees or tapping our reserves. "This budget delivers on that promise. I've met the challenge with a combination of precise cuts that ensure essential city services will continue," he said.

JSO PersonnelSheriff John Rutherford, along with Members of his
Executive Staff, attended the Annual Budget presentation. The Sheriff's Office budget will be reduced by 1.3 million dollars by reducing positions and delaying the purchase of replacement vehicles. 

Mayor Alvin BrownMayor Brown also said "Today, I'm announcing a number of initiatives that will take Jacksonville to the next level. First, I'm announcing my intent to create a Downtown Community Empowerment Corporation. IT'S TIME TO PUT DOWNTOWN JACKSONVILLE BACK ON THE TAX ROLLS. We've invested more than $1.2 billion dollars in taxpayer money in our downtown. I will leverage that with private sector investment to build a vibrant downtown Jacksonville". 

"The Police and Fire Pension Fund has a substantial stake in the future of downtown,"
said John Keane, Executive Director - Administrator. The Fund owns and operates buildings on Adams, Monroe and Laura Street.

Dick Cohee & Sheriff Rutherford
(L-R) Deputy Executive Director - Asst. Administrator Dick Cohee with the Jacksonville Police and Fire Pension Fund and Sheriff John Rutherford.

Stephen Lundy & Sheriff Rutherford
(L-R) Stephen Lundy, Jacksonville University Volunteer Research Analyst at the Police and Fire Pension Fund and Sheriff John Rutherford

Mayor Alvin Brown & Stephen Lundy
(L-R) Mayor Alvin Brown with Jacksonville University Volunteer Research Analyst Stephen Lundy