Brace yourselves: Jacksonville property tax bills are going in the mail and they’re going to be higher
Jacksonville is mailing out TRIM (truth in millage) notices Friday. It’s the first look at what your property tax bill will be this year -- and unfortunately, that bill will be higher than last year.
2 Jacksonville City Council committees vote down removal of Confederate statue from Springfield Park
During its Tuesday evening meeting, the Jacksonville City Council is scheduled to discuss an ordinance that would appropriate $1.3 million to fund the removal of a Confederate statue in Springfield Park.
Mayor Curry: ‘Vendetta over vision’ led to failure of Lot J deal
Council members Danny Becton, Matt Carlucci, Al Ferraro and Council President Tommy Hazouri also voted against the deal, which fell 12-7. He and other council members have also drawn comparisons between Lot J and the scuttled attempted sale of JEA. “The executive branch negotiates deals and they bring deals to the City Council to debate. One field, one particular development is their deciding factor to leave the city?” Dennis said. Lamping started talking about the Shipyards when, you know, the big elephant in the room is the stadium,” Dennis said.
Controversial Lot J deal defeated in City Council vote
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – After months of debate, City Council voted 12-7 against a deal to bring a major entertainment complex to Downtown Jacksonville. “We pulled the plug on Lot J. It’s dead,” Lamping said. When asked if the Jaguars might consider another proposal for Lot J, Lamping said he thinks “it’s time to turn the page.”“We’ll leave that behind,” Lamping said. The legislative body spoke and unfortunately Lot J will not move forward. Under the deal, the entertainment district, which was planned for Lot J outside TIAA Bank Field, would have been one of the biggest investments in the city’s history.
Jacksonville’s trash collection problem gets worse during pandemic
Arlington homeowner Mike Salenza started taking his own trash to the city landfill. A year — and a pandemic — later, the city has sent another letter threatening to cut ties with Republic Services. The trash complaints about the company got worse. Last, Republic Services blames a “once in a lifetime pandemic” on the surge in complaints and missed collection. Throughout the pandemic, other private trash companies have piled up fewer complaints than Republic.
Duval canvassing board takes second look at rejected mail-in ballots
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Duval County Canvassing Board on Friday started to reexamine nearly 250 mail-in ballots that were not counted due to irregularities. More than 124,000 vote-by-mail ballots had been received at the Duval County Supervisor of Elections Office by Friday afternoon. The election workers examine those vote-by-mail ballots and if there are any irregularities. It is up to the canvassing board to decide the voter’s intent and accept or reject each ballot. The board will continue to review ballots next week and begin signature verification for some vote-by-mail ballots next week.
Meeting over Duval County Canvassing Board’s no-camera rule postponed
It was a decision News4Jax had hoped the canvassing board would have reversed or amended Monday, but instead, the board postponed its meeting until Tuesday. As of Monday, the no-camera rule still stood, banning what News4Jax has shown for years: the questionable vote-by-mail ballots that may not be counted. Now, members of the canvassing board are concerned that some signatures of voters might end up on air. Canvassing board member and Jacksonville City Councilman Michael Boylan proposed the compromise. She said her vote was based on information the board was told at the time that it protects voters' information, but she understands the concerns now being raised.
Councilwoman: Arlington community ‘outraged’ over crime
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – City Councilwoman Joyce Morgan held a community town hall Monday night to get the public’s input on violence in Arlington. Police said the man, whose family identified as Wilson, was taken to a hospital with life-threatening injuries. Arlington residents who logged on to the Zoom meeting spoke about the recent crime. “This community, as you know, Arlington, is really in mourning,” Morgan said. “One of the things that the entire Arlington community talks about is the lack of action," said Steve Murray, a resident.
News4Jax, other media outlets continue fight for election transparency
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – News4Jax is continuing to fight for transparency in the upcoming election after the Duval County Canvassing Board changed several rule regarding its procedures. During Thursday’s Canvassing Board Meeting News4Jax was told to remove our cameras. At that time one of the three canvassing board members was Jacksonville Councilwoman Joyce Morgan. The head of the Duval County Republican Party Dean Black wrote in a statement:“The Republican Party of Duval County insists that every legal vote be counted. As Duval Democrats told the Canvassing Board earlier this week, we oppose the current procedures which ban cameras and recording devices in Canvassing Board meetings.
City denied permit for youth football game where man was killed
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A permit to host a youth football game where a man was killed over the weekend was denied because an organization involved did not hire off-duty Jacksonville Sheriff’s officers to provide security for the event, News4Jax has learned. The deadly gunfire erupted about 6 p.m. Sunday at an Arlington Football Association field near Arlington Heights Elementary. The eighth shooting happened Thursday afternoon when a 19-year-old man was shot in the chest during a fight at the University Place Apartments. “That’s a problem.”Speaking to the recent outbreak of gun violence, city leaders said the solution to the problem isn’t simple. That it happened during a youth football game, the sort of outlet typically used to deter crime, served as a somber reminder that tragedy can strike anywhere at any time.
Duval County voting equipment passes public test
A normal step in election voting scrutiny took place Friday in Duval County as the Supervisor of Elections Office held a public test of voting equipment to make sure the machines are processing and counting votes correctly. In this random test of voting equipment, the ballots are fed into tabulating machines. As part of the test, some ballots have been marked incorrectly, such as votes for one than one person in a race. City Councilwoman Joyce Morgan and other members of Duval County’s Election Canvassing Board were also observing the test. The real test of the machines will be election day when there’s an expected record turnout.
Survey: 88% of residents say not enough being done to make Duval County more resilient to storm impacts
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. The citys resiliency committee on Thursday heard the results of a survey done among Duval County residents as to Jacksonvilles readiness to deal with the threat from storms and hurricanes. More than 700 people were asked if their community was doing enough to address the issues of sea levels rising and make the city more resilient to storm impacts, and the survey shows 88% said no. The problem is getting enough of the community to buy in, in order to get the funding to do it. The resiliency committee was formed after back-to-back years brought Hurricane Matthew in 2016 and Hurricane Irma in 2017. The survey also found 90% of people said a regional compact is needed to deal with the challenges of future storm impacts.
I-TEAM: City trash company gets a second chance after 7,000 missed trash collections, chemical spills
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – City leaders say they will continue to contract with a trash company responsible for more than 7,000 complaints of missed trash pick-up and more than a dozen chemical spills in Jacksonville neighborhoods. The letter from Jacksonville’s Chief of Solid Waste said “from October 2018 through August 2019, [trash hauler Republic Services] has been charged over $220,000” in fines. According to the letter, the fines were levied in response to more than 2,800 issues with Republic Services. District 1 City Councilmember Joyce Morgan said this week trash collection has been an issue for at least the last five years. Republic Services is not the only city trash company facing fines.
Building fire sparks historic memories for Jacksonville natives
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Flames ate away at a vacant building Wednesday in one of Jacksonville's historic areas off the Arlington Expressway. GALLERY: Abandoned building engulfed in flamesThomas and her daughter rushed over for a closer look when the flames lit up the night sky around 6:30 p.m., reminiscing about the building that was once the Thunderbird Motor Hotel and Thunderbird Dinner Theater back in the 1960s. The building was most recently the Bethelite Conference Center, owned by Bethel Baptist Church, and before that, it was a Ramada Inn. Thomas' daughter, Marilyn Reese, remembers when her mother worked at the Thunderbird Motor Hotel as the executive housekeeper. Thunderbird Motor Hotel postcard"Good memories," Reese said.
Jacksonville City Council votes to shut down adult arcades sooner
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - It was a vote as close as it could possibly get Tuesday night in Jacksonville City Council, and now, it appears adult arcades in Duval County must shut down almost immediately. Under an ordinance passed by City Council in May, the businesses would have had to close their doors by Feb. 1. That changed Tuesday night, when City Council moved up the deadline. Council Member Leanna Cumber argued that the businesses are a public nuisance, and that public safety is at risk. Council members said they were confused and the president had council vote again.
Plan to revitalize Arlington moves forward in City Council
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A controversial plan to revitalize Arlington moved foward in the Jacksonville City Council during a meeting Tuesday night. Councilwoman Joyce Morgan introduced the bill for the Renew Arlington CRA Zoning Overlay a few weeks ago. PREVIOUS STORY: Plan to revitalize Arlington passes zoning committeeDOCUMENTS: Renew Arlington explainer | Ordinance 2019-239City Council decided to move ahead with an amendment, voting unanimously for the plan. "This is how you can transform Arlington," Morgan said during the meeting. Morgan gas pointed to the success that other neighborhoods in Jacksonville have had in setting standards and renewing their appearance.