Interim councilman met with harsh opposition at town hall

Terrence Freeman appointed by Gov. Scott after removal of Reggie Brown

By Destiny McKeiver - Multi-media journalist

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Just over a week following his appointment to Jacksonville City Council District 10, Terrence Freeman held his first community town hall meeting Thursday night.

Terrance Freeman met with constituents of District 10 at the Legend's Center on Soutel Drive. He discussed his plans to repair sidewalks in the district and how he will work with Sheriff Mike Williams on public and park safety.

Some supporters attended the meeting, but Freeman was met with much opposition. One man who spoke at the meeting called Freeman the N-word.

Some of that is because he was not living within District 10 at the time of his appointment to council, so many feel Freeman doesn't understand the concerns of the people who live there.

"There are some folks that are not understanding and upset with the process," Freeman said. "I get that, and I understand that, but this is where we're at. There's a 10-month window where I've been appointed, and I'm honored to receive that appointment from Gov. Scott."

Freeman held a community town hall days after Gov. Rick Scott appointed him to the City Council District 10 seat, which happened after former District 10 Councilman Reggie Brown was indicted on federal fraud charges.

During Thursday's town hall, Freeman ensured the district that he would represent them in issues to be voted on by the council.

But, some say it's more than just politics.

"This is not really about a personality," said Brenda Jackson, who lives in District 10. "It's about a process. It's about the disenfranchisement of the other 40,000 voters living in District 10."

Freeman said the hostility will not affect his ability to represent.

"I understand where the emotion is coming from. I don't consider it opposition. I consider it as folks really expressing themselves," Freeman said.

Another issue addressed: Freeman is a Republican representing a majority Democratic district. Freeman responded saying it's not about policies, but about serving the community.

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