Elected Jacksonville mayor and council members are ready to get to work

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The election may be over, but the fireworks could soon begin. In July, Democrat Donna Deegan will be Jacksonville’s new mayor — the first woman to hold that job. Deegan’s work will begin immediately.

A Jacksonville city budget of approximately $1.5 billion dollars. It will go before the city council this summer in order to lay the groundwork for how the city will operate.

Deegan will soon have a transition team working with the current administration. The goal will be to work on a new budget and hopefully, a smooth transition when she takes office in July. News4JAX asked her today about how she believes her interaction with the city council will go.

“I’ve been here a long time. Many of them (councilmembers) have as well,” Deegan said. “I have relationships with a lot of our city council folks, and I feel very, very comfortable that we’ll be able to work together.”

Current council president Terrance Freeman hopes that will happen as well. He knows there could be some friction but believes it will work out.

“I think for me, my philosophy has always just been working with others, finding common areas where you agree, and really putting as much focus as you can in those areas, the areas where we disagree, let’s try to be as civil as we can agree to disagree,” Freeman said.

In July, the city council will have 14 Republicans and 5 Democrats-- the same numbers as now. It will look somewhat different with only two women on the council. In terms of philosophy – we don’t yet know where the new council members will land on city issues -- and we could also see some Republican members siding with Deegan on some issues.

Ron Salem will be the new council president. We asked him about what could happen.

“It all depends on how much she changes the budget that the current administration has provided her. I think we will support many things that are there in that budget. And if there are differences, we’ll have to have that debate,” Salem said.

We did want to reach out to Mayor Lenny Curry, but the mayor’s father passed away Wednesday morning. Channel 4′s condolences go out to him and his family.

About the Author:

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