Council vote to decide Supervisor of Elections Office location

Published On: Feb 13 2013 04:47:01 PM EST   Updated On: Feb 13 2013 09:02:56 PM EST
Gateway elections office
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

After months of debating where to move the Duval County Supervisor of Elections warehouse, Jacksonville City Council is scheduled a vote on keeping it where it's been for years.

For more than a year, Supervisor Jerry Holland has shown and discussed why his office wanted to move the office at Gateway Mall to another location, saying there were major problems with the building.

Now it's an issue before the City Council, where a bill has been introduced to the council that would keep the office put.

There would be required improvements and it would save hundreds of thousands of dollars. If all of that happens, Holland says he's happy and taxpayers should be as well.

"It's very good that we got a lease that is reducing the cost to taxpayers several hundred dollars a year," Holland said. "So that is good news. So whether it's this lease or another lease, we are headed in the right direction."

The legislation only talks about the Gateway location, where the office has been plagued with problems involving the air conditioning unit and the escalator, which has been broken for two years. But the lease would require those repairs and building upkeep, something Holland says will help. He said there's no doubt his office could stay put if those changes are made.

"We conducted elections over there for six years," Holland said. "We know we can conduct elections there. If we have the things that need to be fixed fixed and the rent reductions, it is a viable option."

Other options include moving to Imeson Parkway for about the same price, and the city flirted with building a whole new office. But the mayor's staff and some council members believe Gateway is the way to go. Holland says they should double check.

"Another council member has asked for the council auditor to really look at all the lease proposals," he said. "I would hope before they make a final decision that the auditors would look at this and say, 'You know what, this is the best deal for the taxpayers.'"

The decision will be up to the full council to vote on, which could take at least a month.