A shot of the stands from the 2014 Georgia-Florida game on Nov. 1, 2014
November 14, 2014
Study by Visit Jacksonville Shows Local Impact Increased from 2013

This year’s annual Georgia-Florida Football Classic proved to be even more successful than last year, with 132,882 out-of-town visitors generating $33.3 million in economic impact for Jacksonville, according to research by Visit Jacksonville.  The data shows the local impact increased $784,000 from 2013.

There were 37,118 room nights booked throughout the city for the game, generating $3.5 million in room revenue.  Room revenue from hotel stays increased from 2013 by almost $100,000.  Nearly 17,000 jobs were supported by the weekend events, the research shows.
Mayor Brown speaking at the Oct. 30, 3014 announcement
October 30, 2014
Mayor Alvin Brown announced a multi-agency coalition and launched a six-month campaign to address pedestrian and bicycle safety in Jacksonville today on the front steps of City Hall.

Mayor Brown was joined in support by Council Members Don Redman, District 4, Dr. Johnny Gaffney, District 7 and Jim Love, District 14. During the event, Nathanial P. Ford Sr., chief executive officer of the Jacksonville Transportation Authority, Assistant Superintendent of Duval County Public Schools Paul Soares and Chief Michelle Cook from the Jacksonville Sherriff’s Office each commented on their respective agency’s ongoing efforts and overall goals in addressing bike and pedestrian safety. Other agency and advocacy groups were in attendance to support the coalition, including FDOT, AARP and the Florida Highway Patrol.
EverBank Field during the 2013 Florida-Georgia Game
October 28, 2014
EverBank Field Ready to Host Bulldogs and Gators
 
The University of Georgia will take home field against the University of Florida on Saturday, Nov. 1, at 3:30 p.m. at EverBank Field for the annual Georgia-Florida Football Classic, played in Jacksonville since 1933.

“The Georgia-Florida Football Classic has always been much more than just a game,” said Mayor Alvin Brown. “It’s a great Jacksonville tradition and a hugely popular get-together for students, alumni and fans from Florida, Georgia and beyond.  It brings many benefits to our city, including the positive economic impact from so many out-of-town visitors and the spotlight it shines on Jacksonville as a leading destination for big-time sports.  This promises to be a great week for Jacksonville and a great week for the Gator and Bulldog fans who’ll be joining us from far and wide.”

View Georgia-Florida Fast Facts Sheet
City Council's The Task Force on Consolidated Governemnt Presented its report to City Council President Clay Yarborough on Oct. 14, 2014
October 14, 2014
Study represents first formal review of government structure since Consolidation 46 years ago

The Task Force on Consolidated Government presented its final report and recommendations to Council President Clay Yarborough today in City Council Chambers. The task force, formed by former City Council President Bill Gulliford and chaired by City Councilwoman Lori Boyer, undertook an in-depth review of the history, formation and operation of the consolidated government of Jacksonville including a full examination of all departments, divisions, boards, commissions and independent authorities. Additionally, the group studied the relationship between the Beaches and Baldwin and the Consolidated City of Jacksonville. Read More
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September 26, 2014
New Facility Will Open At AllianceFlorida at Cecil Commerce Center in November

Calling it the city’s largest job creation project in more than six years, Mayor Alvin Brown announced today that GE Oil & Gas has selected Jacksonville as the location for a new advanced manufacturing facility.
 
GE Oil & Gas will create at least 500 permanent full-time jobs over the next three years at the manufacturing center, with an average salary of $48,850 after receiving overwhelming support by City Council and Mayor Brown. 
 
The 500,000-square-foot new facility, slated to open this November, will be located at AllianceFlorida at Cecil Commerce Center on Jacksonville’s Westside.  It will include an estimated minimum of $50 million in investments for manufacturing and IT equipment, as well as additional real estate improvements. Development of the site has been a priority of the City, as well as Hillwood Property Investments, the master developer of City-owned property at Cecil Commerce Center.
Photo from the June announcement that the Friends of Hemming Park were selected to program Hemming Plaza.
August 29, 2014
Nonprofit Organization Will Manage Jacksonville’s Oldest Public Park

Saying it will help boost Downtown Jacksonville’s economic vitality and quality of life, Mayor Alvin Brown today expressed thanks to City Council for passing legislation that supports a new public-private partnership to transform and reinvigorate Hemming Plaza.

Friends of Hemming Park was given overwhelming approval to run the historic Hemming Plaza, located in the center of Downtown.  The group’s key priorities will include making the park safe and inviting, leading beautification projects, and organizing more community events.  Led by Dr. Wayne Wood, Friends of Hemming Park is composed of Jacksonville leaders with extensive experience in neighborhood revitalization, management and marketing. 
The USS Iwo Jima pulling into Mayport on Aug. 17, 2014
August 18, 2014
USS Iwo Jima and USS Fort McHenry Arrive at NS Mayport, Hanna Park to Open at 6 a.m.

Local leaders joined the United States Navy at Naval Station Mayport today to welcome the USS Iwo Jima and the USS Fort McHenry to their new homeport in Jacksonville. With the additional 1,300 sailors and marines arriving at the base, Mayor Alvin Brown announced that the gate to the adjacent Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park will now open an hour earlier to provide base access to military personnel and earlier entry for patrons to enjoy the park.

“We are honored to be the new homeport of the USS Iwo Jima and USS Fort McHenry,” said Mayor Brown. “We welcome the ship crew and their families as our new neighbors. Jacksonville plays a key role in supporting our nation’s security posture and the United States Navy is a vital part of our community. The arrival of these two impressive ships and mission capabilities highlights the renewed growth of the Navy’s presence in Jacksonville. As a convenience to military personnel and an added benefit to park lovers, we are taking this opportunity to expand access to Hanna Park.”

See more photos from the event at Mayport
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July 14, 2014
With revenues growing, budget includes new investments and no tax increase
 
Calling Jacksonville “a city of opportunity,” Mayor Alvin Brown today presented a Fiscal Year 2014-2015 balanced budget proposal that includes no increase in the tax rate and invests in job creation, public safety, Downtown revitalization and quality of life.
 
“This is a dynamic time for our city,” said Mayor Brown.  “Our unemployment rate is falling and our high school graduation rate is rising. Foreclosures are down and home values are up.  Our businesses are investing, our port is expanding and our college-educated population is growing.  Our Downtown is coming alive, our neighborhoods are getting rid of blight and our parks are being enjoyed by millions of visitors.”

2014-2015 Proposed Budget 2014-2015 Budget Fact Sheet | FY 2015-2019 Proposed Capital Improvement ProgramMayor's Full Remarks, July 14, 2014
 
The mayor said his budget will sustain and build Jacksonville’s momentum with strategic investments to expand opportunity and achieve a more prosperous future for the city.
Announcing a new partnership to activate Hemming Plaza on June 18, 2014
June 18, 2014
Mayor Alvin Brown today joined representatives from the Downtown Investment Authority, City Council and Friends of Hemming Park to announce that an agreement has been reached to manage Hemming Plaza.

“This public-private partnership to reimagine and revitalize Hemming Plaza is great news not only for Downtown,” said Mayor Brown. “It’s also great news for our entire city and for everyone who visits Jacksonville.”

The City Council Hemming Plaza committee, chaired by Council Member Denise Lee, played a key role in assisting efforts to enhance programming at the park. Mayor Brown applauded the group’s leadership in making sure that Hemming Plaza becomes all that it can be.
Mayor Brown announcing a new urban parks initiative on June 2, 2014 at Woodstock Park
June 02, 2014
Mayor Alvin Brown announced today an urban parks initiative that will provide supervised activities this summer for youth at 11 parks in Jacksonville neighborhoods affected by an increase in violent crime.

The Jacksonville law firm of Pajcic & Pajcic donated $50,000 to fund the urban parks initiative as a pilot project that will employ “old school” practices to keep kids engaged in healthy activities and out of trouble during their break from school this summer. Attorney Steve Pajcic grew up near Woodstock Park, the site of today’s announcement, and remembers spending his younger days there engaged in sports under the watchful eye of a park supervisor.

See photos from the June 2, 2014 news conference at Woodstock Park
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