Today, our city said goodbye to a dedicated leader and public servant: Jake Godbold. He leaves a proud and distinct legacy that goes beyond his term as the second mayor of the consolidated City of Jacksonville.
His boldness, passion and impact on our community will be missed, but will not be forgotten. Many of the successes we enjoy today were built upon the strong foundation laid by him and his administration. I am grateful for his contributions to this city and its future.
If you spend a lot of time in our city, chances are you’ve picked up a story or two about Jake. You may even have a personal experience that you will never forget. He had that effect on people. He was a larger-than-life figure and a pillar of our community.
He was always a strong presence when I would join other mayors at our gatherings. When you become a mayor of Jacksonville, you join one of the most exclusive clubs in the city, with accomplished peers like John Delaney, John Peyton, Tommy Hazouri and Alvin Brown. We would often gather for lunch a couple of times a year to discuss issues, share stories and enjoy each other’s fellowship.
Jake held his beliefs strongly. He was never afraid to share his opinion or fight to defend it. I always admired that about him; not just when we were on the same side of an issue but also when our opinions differed. Jake always approached debates with a deep love for his hometown and its people, and I always appreciated that about him. Few things are more worthy of fighting for.
Thank you, Jake. You will be missed.