A member of JEA’s board of directors has announced his immediate resignation Monday with intent to pursue the position of Interim Chief Executive Officer for JEA during the next year’s transition period.
Aaron F. Zahn made the announcement in a letter dated Friday to Alan Howard, chairman of JEA.
“It is unfortunate Sunshine law does not provide a reasonable avenue to discuss and deliberate this matter with the collective Board in an ‘executive session’ prior to my personal resignation. If available, I would most certainly have utilized the more than appropriate and normal Board format to reach consensus on the best path forward for JEA,” Zahn said in the letter.
Zahn explained his plan of action in the letter, as well:
Beginning with you, Mr. Chairman, I will immediately reach out to each of the individual Directors to discuss a path forward for JEA as well as the establishment of a strategic planning process. Should the Board of Directors appoint me as Interim CEO, my immediate actions would include, but not be limited to: 1) engagement of a top tier full-service executive search and research firm to implement a permanent CEO search and aid the Board with corporate and CEO transition services during the Transition Period; 2) reestablishing trust and open communications of JEA with our many stakeholders beginning with all of our employees, City Council, the Mayor and the Board; 3) building consensus around the purpose and role of JEA in our community; and, 4) providing the Board and executive team with resources, tools and structure necessary to establish JEA as “a utility for the future of Jacksonville” prepared to navigate and take advantage of the current trends in the electric and water industries.
JEA CEO Paul McElroy announced April 6 that he would be turning down an extension to his contract and would be resigning from his role with the utility company.
CFO Melissa Dykes was voted in as interim CEO until April 17, which is when JEA will have its next meeting.
Mayor Lenny Curry's office released the following statement regarding Zahn's decision:
“The mayor was called by Mr. Zahn late Friday evening informing that he had submitted a letter of resignation to Board Chair Howard effective immediately. The mayor expressed his appreciation for Mr. Zahn’s service on the board and his interest to ensure that JEA customers have the service they deserve, while promises made to JEA employees are kept. The responsibility for the decision of how to proceed with an interim CEO belongs to the board.”
Stay with First Coast News as we continue to follow this developing story.