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.”
The Office of Economic Development replaces the JEDC’s 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.
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.