JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Bill Basford, a longtime Jacksonville public servant who in the 1960s championed the very first bill passed by the Florida Legislature to clean up the St. Johns River, has died. He was 92 years old.
After serving two terms in the Florida House, Basford became a Jacksonville city councilman and a council president. His last public office was Duval County property appraiser in the 1980s, but he continued public service on various local boards.
I spoke with his widow, Alice, Tuesday afternoon. She described her husband as a statesman, not a politician.
Because of his commitment to cleaning up the river, she is campaigning for a portion of the St. Johns to be named in her husband’s honor: “Basford Bay.”
Basford is survived by his wife of 45 years, three sons, five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.