When Mayor Donna Deegan took office in July, she assembled several transition committees that met over the summer to discuss key challenges affecting the city. After hundreds of meetings, the mayor has issued her transition report outlining the policy recommendations of each committee — all 200-plus pages of them.
Here’s a short summary of the report, which you can read in full here:
Infrastructure Committee: With a lack of things to do along the riverfront and many projects with no solid timeline for completion, like Friendship Fountain, possible solutions are identifying more grants and other funding sources to move projects forward and hiring a riverfront “point person” in City Hall.
Issues like a lack of affordable housing will take a lot more to solve, and the report includes actions that the city can take immediately and in the long-term to start addressing it.
Health Committee: The committee recommends increasing access to primary care and dental care. Also, the city should partner with organizations to create new community health programs and streamline the process of assisting elderly people with applying for services.
Economic Development Committee: The committee says the city should streamline construction permits. Also, try to attract more small businesses to Jax and provide different types of financial support to keep them going.
Public Safety Committee: A primary goal should be to revamp the former Jacksonville Journey, a citywide crime prevention program. The city, through its Kids Hope Alliance, should also work with partners to increase the literacy rate in Jax, which has been linked with poverty and violent crime.
Arts, Culture and Entertainment Committee: Culture should play a bigger role in Jacksonville’s future, they say, and the city should create a new department focusing on partnering with arts and culture organizations to attract more funding and become a more “arts-forward” community.
Constituency and Community Outreach Committee: recommends establishing commissions to give minority groups, like refugees and the LGBTQ+ community, a bigger seat at the table.
Military and Veterans Affairs Committee: This committee says the city should establish a veterans center to provide needed services to the military community.