A Water Taxi crossing the St. Johns River in Downtown Jacksonville
August 07, 2012
Three-week project focuses on revitalization at no cost to taxpayers

A team of IBM experts, funded by a grant from the major technology services company IBM, has started a three-week project to determine realistic solutions to revitalize Downtown Jacksonville.

The project is part of the IBM Smarter Cities Challenge grant program, a worldwide initiative to provide a total of $50 million worth of services and technical assistance to the most progressive 100 cities around the world through 2013. The project carries an approximate value of $400,000 and requires no tax dollars.

Jacksonville was selected earlier this year among eight cities nationally and 33 globally after Mayor Alvin Brown and a number of stakeholders from the public, private and nonprofit sectors met with IBM representatives at City Hall to make the case for Downtown.
Mayor Brown singing his economic development legilsation, approved unanimously by City Council, into law
June 28, 2012
Plan streamlines process to make Jacksonville more competitive

Mayor Alvin Brown’s plan to streamline city job-creating functions by transforming the Jacksonville Economic Development Commission into an executive-run Office of Economic Development is now official.

Mayor Brown signed his economic development legislation (2012-212) today at 9:30 a.m. while commending City Council for the unanimous vote on June 26, 2012, backing the mayor’s vision for Jacksonville’s future.

“This is more than policy and it’s more than structure,” said the mayor. “It’s the unanimous opinion of our elected City Council to do what’s right for the taxpayers. It’s the conversation-starter with business leaders wondering where to expand or relocate. And it’s a solution for the nearly 38,000 people in our city who remain out of work and deserve a chance to rebuild themselves.”
Mayor Alvin Brown
June 26, 2012
Legislation streamlines operations to make Jacksonville a more competitive city for jobs

Jacksonville City Council has approved Mayor Alvin Brown’s plan to make Jacksonville a more economically viable city by streamlining job-creation efforts while increasing the focus on sports, entertainment and special events.
“In today’s economy, there is no time to wait. Cities all over America are working hard to create jobs. Jacksonville must work harder – and smarter – to put people back to work with good-paying, career-driven opportunities,” said Mayor Brown. “I applaud our City Council members for their dedication to making Jacksonville more competitive.”

With council’s approval of the mayor’s economic development legislation (2012-212), the mayor is moving forward with transforming the Jacksonville Economic Development Commission to create the Office of Economic Development. The new office replaces a commissioner system of oversight with a Chief Economic Development Officer who will be appointed by the mayor and approved by Council to serve the public in a day-to-day executive capacity under a mission to make Jacksonville more competitive.
 

Mayor Alvin Brown and Admiral Victor Guillory
June 26, 2012
 Mayor Alvin Brown has announced two major steps forward in his administration’s goal to deliver quality, cost-effective services to Jacksonville’s military and veterans community.
 
  • The U.S. Department of Labor is giving the City of Jacksonville a $218,260 grant to help homeless veterans get job training.
 
  • The Florida Committee for the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) has bestowed the Pro Patria award on Mayor Alvin Brown’s Jobs for Veterans program, a public-private partnership with the Jacksonville Military Veterans Coalition and more than 80 employers. This represents the highest honor the ESGR, a Department of Defense agency, bestows to recognize best practices. Normally the award goes to a business, but for the first time the award went to a municipality to recognize Jobs for Veterans.
Actor Cuba Gooding, Jr. presenting local filmmaker, Heather Burky, with her award.
June 22, 2012
Heather Burky from the Art Institute of Jacksonville, and local mom of three, was one of ten U.S. students honored for excellence at the 39th Student Acadmey Awards on Saturday, June 9. Burky's documentary, Lost Country, followed three Cuban expatriates who fought Fidel Castro.

Burky's award is the first time a student from the Art Institute of Jacksonville has been honored in the annual competition organized by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, which administers the annual Academy Awards. The goal of the student awards is to support excellence in filmmaking for the up-and-coming generation.

Read the full article from USA Today.

Learn more about Jacksonville's thriving film community
The bow of a ship at NS Mayport
June 15, 2012
Navy Secretary announces ship buildup will begin quicker than originally planned

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced today that the first amphibious ready group (ARG) ship scheduled to shift homeport to Naval Station Mayport will arrive in the last quarter of calendar year 2013.

The USS New York, the USS Iwo Jima and the USS Fort McHenry, will shift from their current homeport of Norfolk, Va. to Mayport. The New York will be the first to change homeport, followed by the Iwo Jima and Fort McHenry in 2014.

Mabus originally announced Feb. 28 that the ARG would arrive no later than 2015.

“This is another proud moment in our city’s longstanding relationship with the U.S. Navy. I look forward to welcoming many new Navy families and I applaud Secretary Mabus for his confidence in Jacksonville,” said Mayor Alvin Brown. “The military installations in Jacksonville already supply an annual economic impact exceeding $14 billion for the region. Expanding the fleet will support even greater activity for local businesses and the Jacksonville housing market.”
Teams are working hard to clean up after the storms of the last few weeks
June 14, 2012
Updated June 14, 2012
 
The five cubic yard volume limit for yard waste collection will resume on Monday, June 18, 2012. Residents are asked to keep this in mind as they do yard work over the weekend. Teams are working hard to clean up after the storms of the last few weeks. We appreciate your patience as we work to get back on schedule.
 
Per policy, yard waste over five cubic yards will be tagged as being out of compliance, including waste that remains uncollected from previous weeks. Residents should not be alarmed by the tags; this is part of the process to return to normal collections and should not be construed as placing fault or blame on residents. Remaining waste will be collected on the next scheduled pick up or may be scheduled for a special pick up dependent upon the amount and type of debris.

As a reminder, private contractors are required by law to dispose of the debris they create. Failure to dispose of this debris by private contractors can be pursued as illegal dumping.
 
Residents are encouraged to continue reporting missed yard waste collections online at 630CITY.coj.net, by email at 630CITY@coj.net, or  by phone at 630-CITY (630-2489.)
Update: Waste Collection Efforts Following Tropical Storm Beryl
June 08, 2012
Updated Friday, June 8, 2012
 
The City of Jacksonville’s Public Works Department and our yard waste haulers have been working diligently to clean up after Tropical Storm Beryl and the storms in the past week.
 
The increase in workload following the storm has residential haulers running behind on their collection routes, but they are catching up quickly. Customers are asked to be patient over the next week as haulers work to get back on schedule.
 
As a reminder, private contractors are required by law to dispose of the debris they create. Failure to dispose of this debris by private contractors can be pursued as illegal dumping.
 
If residents wish to report a missed collection, or need to schedule collection in a non-residential area, they contact the city online at 630CITY.coj.net, by email at 630CITY@coj.net or by phone at 630-CITY (630-2489.)
Jacksonville 2012 Hurricane and Disaster Guide
June 04, 2012
The City of Jacksonville, Winn Dixie and the Florida Times-Union have partnered this hurricane season to bring you the Jacksonville 2012 Hurricane and Disaster Guide. This guide provides helpful tips to help you protect your family and property this hurricane season.


This year's guide will help you find your safe room, locate a shelter, prepare for the dangers of strong winds and flooding, plan your evacuation route, and put together your disaster supply checklist.
The Eco Latino Media Group has prepared a spanish language hurricane guide, GuiĆ” de Huracanes.
Protect your family and property during Brush Fire Season
May 21, 2012
The Jacksonville Fire and Resuce Department and the Florida State Division of Forestry want to help you protect your family and property during Brush Fire Season. Keep dead wood, brush and climbing vines trimmed back at least 30 feet from your home and deck. And remember, there is a ban on the burning of outdoor yard waste throughout the year.

To learn more, watch the video.
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