Issue 11, March 15, 2015

Last Thursday afternoon, the SBMC Political Action Committee (of which I chair) agreed to endorse Bill Bishop for Mayor.

We did this for a number of reasons:

–the committee would endorse Bill if he were one of the two candidates in the runoff (based on his knowledge/experience with city government, and his opinions on the direction this City needs to take).

–the committee would support Bill whether he was a member of SBMC, or not.

—It is the purpose of this committee to make it known to our members, and this community, who the best candidates are that are the best equipped to lead this city’s future.

Bill Bishop has proven he can lead this city. He is a true architect by profession and demeanor. He is a planner and a builder for improving existing states of affairs. He reaches out to all Jacksonvillians, regardless of their political, religious, economic, or social beliefs.

Bill knows that the single biggest hindrance to Jacksonville’s future is the Police and Fire pension fund issue. The issue was first raised in 2008, when the city owed about $798 million toward this debt. This expense has now more than doubled and it HAS to be paid. It is so huge that Jacksonville will have to fund the equivalent of the entire Better Jacksonville Plan…and not reap ANY of the benefit. There is no more ‘kicking the can’ down to the next administration. This has to be rectified now. Bishop is the only candidate who identifies the logical way out; our city government will have to raise taxes.

Bill knows that for Jacksonville to be a thriving community, we need to focus on every part of the community. He even has a plan for economic redevelopment on the northwest side…for this he has the support of that community and its religious leaders.

Bill knows that for Jacksonville to become a truly great city, we need to abandon many longstanding policies of the past and catch up with the rest of the tier 1 cities in America. He voted for the Human Resources Ordinance previously, and supports it now and in the future. Make no mistake, the national media will continue to regard Jacksonville as a ‘backwater Good Old Boy’ town until we accept this ordinance.

Bill knows that deepening the St. Johns River to 47ft will allow new Panamax ships to bring Jacksonville’s economy back to strength. However, he also realizes that 2 key factors need to be answered: How will it affect the already salinized health of the St. Johns River? And, how will it be paid for?

I watched the Mayoral Debate this past Thursday evening. Curry also has no experience working at the local government level.  He is a C.P.A. by trade and is determined to ‘audit’ the city coffers. However, any one-time windfall is just that, and NOT a foundation from which to base this City’s future.

Alvin Brown has had difficulty in proposing a responsible balanced budget, according to the city council. In he debate, he took credit for the development of the Brooklyn corridor that was in place prior to his election. Brown has been successful with big idea projects like the Shipyards and the Landing redevelopment, but he scores poorly when it comes to the daily operations of this city.

In Thursday’s debate, both Curry and Brown avoided direct questions during the entire debate. In fact, neither would attend the SBMC Mayoral debate.

In the end, the SBMC PAC would feel regret by not having taken the opportunity to endorse the candidate about which we feel passionately.  We have to do what we believe is right for our households and the city of Jacksonville; to do otherwise would be remiss.

We are asking you to vote for Bill Bishop and support his campaign.

President Message Archive