Issue 12, March 22, 2015

And they’re off!!

Absentee ballots are being mailed.  Early voting precincts have opened and close today.  Sample Ballots have been mailed to your house; these are full of information about each candidate and the races affecting your residence.  This will all come to a crescendo on Tuesday, March 24th…Election Day!!  However, there is much more to this year’s election than the SBMC PAC endorsement of Bill Bishop in the Mayoral race and the 7 candidates running to be your next Sheriff.

Jacksonville has 19 City Council members, elected every 4 years.  For these seats, there are 2 types of districts:

–There are 14 city council districts that encompass the City of Jacksonville, divided up with approximately equal population distribution.  Most of the SBMC members likely live in District 1, 4, 5, or 6.  FUN FACT:  Everybody’s district’s boundaries change effective July 1st when the new council takes their seats!  So you may have lived in District 9 on the Southside, but now you will be in District 5.

–In the 1990s’s Jacksonville voted to add 5 ‘At Large’ groups.  These are unrelated to the other 14 with the purpose of better representation for all residents.  As above, these candidates must also live in their At Large district, but are elected by all voters citywide.  So, in addition to being familiar with just your council district…you need to know about all At Large group’s candidates, as well.

This year we are fortunate to have an SBMC Political Action Committee (PAC) to look into these races.  The committee, which is comprised of Club members who specialize in such political matters (and me), have sent out questionnaires and interviewed candidates from every race citywide.  We’ve held meetings to discuss the candidates, made endorsements, and are contributing to their respective campaigns.  Perhaps you’ve recently been to a Club meeting and witnessed an endorsement presentation.  If not, you can go to the SBMC Facebook page and see photos and comments.

The SBMC PAC is endorsing only the candidates in the Mayoral, City Council/At Large Group and Sheriff’s races.  We’re leaving the following for you to decide on your own.  Think of it as a ‘homework’ project.

Referendum 1, has to do (loosely) with expanding the City inspector general’s jurisdiction to investigate oversight of the City’s transactions, and other matters.  Do you support this, or not?  What are the costs involved to implement?  Are there any guarantees that this will be able to save Jacksonville taxpayers money down the road?

Straw Ballot 1, (loosely) wants to require future City employees to reside in Duval County, while employed with COJ.  Does it bother you to see Duval Sheriff’s deputy’s cars in St. Johns county driveways?  Does this apply to the School Board?  What is the financial benefit from such a measure?  Will it happen if it passes?

Do you know who you are voting for in the Supervisor of Elections race?!  Do you know who is running?  Did you know there was even such a race?

Some races aren’t even a race this year.  Two Club members, Lori Boyer (District 5) and Danny Becton (District 11) are unopposed.  Jerry Holland has termed out as your current Supervisor of Elections and is now unopposed for Duval Property Appraiser.  Michael Corrigan is also unopposed for the Tax Collector position.

Ok, you’re aware of the voting venues, dates, candidates, races, and the issues.  If you need more info, (e.g., to find your voting precinct) then go to the Duval Supervisor of Elections website: 

There are no excuses; cast your votes.

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