Curry makes final 2 nominations to JEA board

Mayor's nominees to board of directors must be approved by City Council

Warren Jones

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The final two members of a revamped JEA board of directors was appointed by Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry.

Warren Jones, who left City Council due to term limits in July, and Edward Burr, president of GreenPoint Holdings, were nominated to the board. 

"I am convinced that these long-time Jacksonville leaders will bring a breadth of experience and passion to the JEA Board," Curry said. "Their dedication to service, innovation and leadership demonstrate a strong commitment to the growth of our city, and its people." 

Curry asked the entire JEA board to submit their resignations last month. The purge came after controversy surfaced regarding Sunshine Law violations at a board meeting.

Two new board members -- Tom Petway and Delores Kesler -- have been approved by Council and Curry's other nominations are pending City Council approval.

Burr currently serves as chair of the Jacksonville Civic Council and has led numerous other boards including the Jacksonville Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Jacksonville Transportation Authority. He is also the chairman and founder of the Monique Burr Foundation for Children.

Jones, a lifelong resident of District 9, served as city councilman from 1979-1999, and again from 2007-2015. During his tenure, he was elected city council president for two terms (1991-1992 and 1992-1993). 

Warren Jones

Jones said he has experience dealing with JEA, having served on the Energy Committee when he first joined City Council.  He said that as a Democrat, he was a little surprised by the nomination, but added he looks forward to working with the new administration.

The city-owned utility contributes millions annually to the city budget, and City Council members met with JEA officials last month to discuss changes to the amount of that contribution.

Currently, JEA contributes over $234 million to the city budget -- about $114 million from user fees, about $38 million in franchise fees and about $80 million in taxes.

The council is considering ideas for bringing in more money from the utility for the city budget. One of those ideas was to have residents with septic tanks pay a fee, because they do not currently pay sewer line fees. Another idea was to force septic tank users to hook up to sewer lines.

Any changes would have to be approved by the new JEA board, City Council and possibly voters.

But Councilman Bill Gulliford said a new board that is friendly to the mayor could make those changes easier.

About the Author:

Jim Piggott is the reporter to count on when it comes to city government and how it will affect the community.