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.
“Jobs are Jacksonville’s number one focus,” said Council President Stephen Joost. “We must be ready to attract the business opportunities that will make our local economy the most diversified and competitive marketplace it can be.”
Current JEDC employees will be folded into the Office of Economic Development. The OED will carry on with traditional economic development duties such as incentive negotiation and enterprise zone management while also managing the city’s efforts to attract sports, entertainment and special events. The OED also will provide oversight to the Office of Public-Private Partnerships, the Jacksonville Film and Television Office and the Equal Business Opportunity Office.
Mayor Brown’s plan to restructure JEDC went to City Council after first gaining state-level approval. Both Houses of the Florida Legislature gave unanimous approval before Gov. Rick Scott signed the bill – CS/HB 1253 – granting the mayor the authority to move forward.