Top mayor's aid takes role focused on city pension

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Mayor Alvin Brown has promoted Deputy Chief Administrator Karen Bowling to be the city's chief administrative officer as current Chief Administrative Officer Kevin Hyde takes on a new role with a focus on the city's pension concerns.

Bowling was instrumental in the city's reorganizational efforts throughout the last 13 months, according to the mayor's office. Prior to her work as the city's deputy chief administrative officer, she co-founded Solantic Walk-In Urgent Care and held various roles in management and communication. Her salary as chief administrative officer will be $210,000.

The mayor also announced two appointments Tuesday.

Cleveland Ferguson III will take over Bowling's former job as the deputy chief administrative officer. Ferguson is an instructor at Florida Coastal School of Law who also has served on the Jacksonville Economic Development Commission with a focus on industrial development, small business and community redevelopment. He has been a staff attorney for the Florida Public Service Commission as well as a consultant and attorney in the private sector. His salary will be $135,000.

Alexis Lambert will manage the Office of Public Accountability, an office that Brown created to promote transparency in government. Lambert is a former Deputy General Counsel for the Florida Attorney General's Office who served as the Sunshine and Public Records Attorney. In that role, she spearheaded the website and advised government entities, the media and the public about their rights under Florida's open records laws. Her salary will be $80,000.

Hyde's new title is counselor to the mayor. It's a role that will continue to cost taxpayers just $1 through an executive-on-loan agreement he's worked under since his appointment. Hyde's labor law experience as well as his knowledge of the pension issue from his time on City Council will help to formulate a strategy to ensure the city's pension plans remain sustainable and fully funded, according to the mayor's office.

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