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Jacksonville City Council to consider legislation to rename chambers after Tommy Hazouri

Councilman Matt Carlucci wants this passed as an emergency measure. He says it will honor Hazouri's legacy.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville City Council is meeting Tuesday night for the first time since the death of former mayor and council president Tommy Hazouri.

The council is expected to discuss renaming the council chambers in Hazouri’s honor.

Hazouri died Saturday after developing complications last month from a lung transplant he received in July 2020. He was 76.

Legislation introduced by City Councilman Matt Carlucci seeks to rename the Jacksonville City Hall’s council chambers after Hazouri.

According to the legislation, the chamber would be known as the Thomas L. “Tommy” Hazouri Sr. City Council Chamber. It requests emergency passage.

Carlucci, Hazouri’s friend of 40 years, says renaming the chamber would honor Hazouri’s legacy, which he says is unmatched.

“Had a voice for the people who felt they went unheard. They never knew he was speaking for them. But I knew it because I would see it,” Carlucci siad.

Hazouri served as mayor for one term and held many positions at the state and local level. At City Council, a ribbon is now draped across Hazouri’s chair.

Carlucci believes Hazouri’s most significant role was as City Council president.

Carlucci says from the social justice committee to JEA to the funding and remediating of failing septic tanks, his dedication to all citizens stands out like no other.

“I kind of feel like Tommy had his second term as mayor last year. It would not have been the same without Tommy last year. And we were blessed to have him,” Carlucci said.

As written in the legislation, the decision to rename the chamber is “...in recognition of Council Member Hazouri’s long career of service to the City of Jacksonville and its people. As Mr. Hazouri has so frequently stated, ‘so let it be written, so let it be done.’”

The legislation would become effective upon being signed by Mayor Lenny Curry.

Current Council President Sam Newby said a special election will be held later this year to decide who will fill Hazouri’s seat.

Newby said the special election will likely happen in mid-December.

It will be open to all registered voters.

Tuesday’s council meeting starts at 5 p.m.

About the Author:

Ashley Harding joined the Channel 4 news team in March 2013 and reports every weekday for The Morning Show.