JACKSONVILLE, Fla — Tommy Hazouri was a passionate leader many can’t and won’t forget.
“People just gathered around Tommy," said school board member Warren Jones. "He was a magnet for people. He loved people. He cared a lot about the city."
Hazouri died Saturday at the age of 76. He will forever be remembered as a dedicated public servant, particularly in the city he loved so much.
“Tommy Hazouri served his entire life public service in Jacksonville. So every step of the way that Jacksonville grew, Tommy was there," Jacksonville City Councilwoman Rory Diamond said. "It’s just a devastating loss for the community."
"Tommy Hazouri will always be remembered as an honest hard-working public servant," said Ben Frazier of the Northside Coalition. "He was a man committed to serving the people of Jacksonville, the people who elected him."
Hazouri was a former Jacksonville mayor, state legislator, and city councilman. Many believe one of his major accomplishments was getting rid of the tolls on the bridges in Jacksonville.
“Tommy took that controversial issue on, and he had to find a way to replace the revenue the tolls generated," Jones remembered. "So he asked the voters to approve a half-penny sales tax to replace the tolls."
Diamond says he will be missed for his positive energy.
“As council president, you never had somebody who had a faster wit up there and kept the meetings rolling with jokes and good humor," Diamond recalled. "So it was always good to be there when he was running the meeting."
“We’ve lost a real leader in Jacksonville who contributed in so many areas in the approved quality life that we enjoy today," Jones added.