Interim CEO pens note to 2,000+ JEA employees

Aaron Zahn says he wants to pause talks of selling city-owned utility

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – In a letter to all JEA employees, interim CEO Aaron Zahn wrote that a new dawn has emerged for JEA.

Zahn said he recognizes the emotional  and mental toll discussion about selling the utility created and he said that as the new chief executive, he wants to hear from his employees.

Over the past seven months, some JEA employees have been very outspoken regarding talks of potential privatization of the city-owned utility, claiming it would hurt their jobs and customers as well.

Zahn resigned his position as a board member to vie for the role of interim CEO after the departure of Paul McElroy, who stepped down amid the controversy over the potential sale.

In Zahn’s letter, he listed three points he wants to focus on:

  • Core businesses and earning customers' trust.
  • Get a consensus with the mayor, City Council and JEA board of directors about halting talks on sale.
  • Come up with a plan for the future.

Zahn is meeting one-on-one with City Council members this week.

The special committee of council members looking into the potential sale will meet again Thursday afternoon. That group has now changed its name to the Committee Looking into the Future of JEA.

Last week, Councilman John Crescimbeni said the committee has done a lot of work already and he would hate to see those efforts go to waste.

“If this discussion about selling is going to be paused, I'm OK with that, but I can assure you that it will come back and it will come back probably after next year’s elections,” Crescimbeni said.

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