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Jacksonville mayor gives non-endorsement of Jacksonville Sheriff's Office $10.5 million budget bump

10:20 PM, Sep 11, 2012   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Mayor Alvin Brown has not endorsed a Jacksonville City Council ordinance that appropriated $10.5 million to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

Ordinance 2012-450-E is slated to save 90 officers' jobs, Sheriff John Rutherford said after the Council made the move. The mayor did not sign or veto the bill. The appropriation will still go into effect even without the Mayor's signature.
 
In a letter to the City Council, Mayor Brown said that while he respected the work that JSO does, he stated that city agencies need to do more with less.

READ THE MAYOR'S LETTER ABOUT ORDINANCE 2012-450-E

"Prior to my administration submitting our proposed budget to Council, I asked the JSO to make budget reductions that were, in percentage terms, significantly smaller than agencies like the Jacksonville Fire Rescue Department, Jacksonville Public Library, and Public Works Department," Brown wrote.

"It is unfair to those critical city agencies that have absorbed deep cuts to allow one agency to use one-time money rather than engage in necessary budget tightening."

The Sheriff had originally asked for $6.1 million back from the City Council that he had turned over as a surplus from the 2011 fiscal year.

The City Council instead approved a substitute bill to give an extra $4.4 million to JSO, totaling $10.5 million.

The mayor also gave a non-endorsement of Resolution 2012-468-A, which would involve "consolidating and relocating the facilities of the Supervisor of Elections."

While he agreed with the goal behind the resolution (to save the city money), Brown wrote in a letter to City Council that he wants to look at all options before building an office that could cost taxpayers $5 million.

READ THE MAYOR'S LETTER ABOUT RESOLUTION 2012-468-A

"There may be existing public or privately-owned buildings that could accommodate the Supervisor of Elections for less than the $5 million or more in taxpayer dollars that is apparently needed to build a new one," Brown wrote.

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