JEA linemen talk with mayor about potential sale

Both sides call private meeting productive

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Like many JEA employees, the utility's linemen have many questions about the city's potential sale of the JEA. In a sit-down meeting with Mayor Lenny Curry Tuesday, they were convinced the administration is not trying to sell the utility out from under them.

Seven linemen met privately with Curry to discuss the issue. News4Jax was not allowed inside.

Tony Herrera said the linemen asked the mayor explain the situation with the potential sale and wanted answers on where he stands. After 90 minutes, Herrera came out saying the mayor changed some minds and earned the linemen's trust.

"I can’t elaborate on everything we discussed, but for the most part we feel good that the mayor, No. 1 is not interested. He’s never said he was interested in selling JEA. He wanted to get a value, and that’s what they’ve been working on."

That is quite different from what the head of the union representing some JEA employees told News4Jax on Monday night. 

Valerie Gutierrez said the union supports a radio ad that slams the mayor and the proposed sale. 

Gutierrez was aware of Tuesday's meeting but did not attend. She told News4Jax that she would like to personally hear Curry say he is against the sale.

The workers who met with Curry said they heard what they needed to hear.

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