Casmira Harrison

Casmira Harrison is a Jacksonville Today reporter focusing on local government in Duval County.

Harrison has a wide range of experience in more than 20 years in newspapers across Central Florida. From her beginnings as an ad designer at the Citrus County Chronicle to county government reporting at the Daytona Beach News-Journal and, most recently, as the editor for the Palatka Daily News, she enjoys all aspects of covering a community.

When she isn’t knee-deep in meeting agendas, Harrison enjoys playing guitar, riding motorcycles, traveling and seeking out truly outstanding restaurants. Harrison can be reached at casmira@jaxtoday.org.

Featured image for “Jacksonville approves plan to stop Brentwood liquor store”
Residents protest plans for a liquor store in Brentwood. | News4Jax
November 29, 2023

Jacksonville approves plan to stop Brentwood liquor store

The city plans to buy land in Brentwood that was set to become a liquor store next to a school…

Featured image for “Liquor store issue could go to City Council on Tuesday”
A proposed liquor store at the corner of Golfair Boulevard and Davis Street is less than 200 feet away from KIPP Voice Academy. | Will Brown, Jacksonville Today
November 26, 2023

Liquor store issue could go to City Council on Tuesday

Several committees voted in favor of the purchase, which would keep a liquor store from opening across from a charter…

Featured image for “#AskJAXTDY l What does the Florida-UK trade pact actually do?”
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at Jaxport’s cruise terminal as an agreement was signed to boost trade between Florida and England. | News4Jax
November 17, 2023

#AskJAXTDY l What does the Florida-UK trade pact actually do?

A reader asked us to better explain what states can and can’t do when it comes to a trade deal…

Featured image for “Mayor stands her ground on contract with lobbying firm”
City Council members at a Finance Committee meeting this week nudged the mayor’s office to phase out a contract with a lobbying firm, but the administration said it does not plan to acquiesce to the request.
November 8, 2023

Mayor stands her ground on contract with lobbying firm

Mayor Donna Deegan says she won’t comply with requests to withdraw a lobbying contract awarded without seeking bids.…

Featured image for “Jacksonville sues PACE home loan agency”
City officials say this homeowner's tax bill soared under the PACE program. | City of Jacksonville.
October 27, 2023

Jacksonville sues PACE home loan agency

City attorneys say a program that finances home improvements has no right to issue loans in the city without following…

Featured image for “Michael Fackler recommended as Jacksonville’s top attorney”
Michael Fackler discusses his observations of the General Counsel's Office to a panel considering his appointment on Thursday, Oct. 26, 2023. | Casmira Harrison, Jacksonville Today
October 26, 2023

Michael Fackler recommended as Jacksonville’s top attorney

The General Counsel Qualification Review Committee endorsed Fackler’s hiring as general counsel. City Council still must approve the appointment.…

Featured image for “More Jacksonville tenants are signing out-of-reach leases, case workers say”
October 17, 2023

More Jacksonville tenants are signing out-of-reach leases, case workers say

Local rental-aid and social service  organizations are seeing worrying trends as the number of eviction notices climbs in the Duval…

Featured image for “Jacksonville unveils long-term resiliency plan to prepare for climate change, growth and more”
October 13, 2023

Jacksonville unveils long-term resiliency plan to prepare for climate change, growth and more

Mayor Donna Deegan and the city’s Chief Resiliency Officer Anne Coglianese unveiled a master plan Friday for Jacksonville’s long-term resiliency.…

Featured image for “City Council approves potential PACE lending lawsuit”
October 11, 2023

City Council approves potential PACE lending lawsuit

The Jacksonville City Council has moved to fight ‘predatory’ PACE home loans.…

Featured image for “To keep affordable housing affordable, a public-private partnership for Jax?”
The Lofts at Cathedral in Downtown Jacksonville are an affordable housing development using Sadowski trust funds.
October 9, 2023

To keep affordable housing affordable, a public-private partnership for Jax?

A proposed mix of public and private money to leverage tax credits could yield $160M to build affordable housing.…

Featured image for “Jacksonville set to fight ‘predatory’ PACE loan program”
City officials say this homeowner's tax bill soared under the PACE program. | City of Jacksonville.
October 5, 2023

Jacksonville set to fight ‘predatory’ PACE loan program

City and county officials say the PACE home improvement program is sticking property owners with bills they can’t afford.…

Featured image for “With Duval evictions on the rise, the evicted often face a more pricey path forward”
October 2, 2023

With Duval evictions on the rise, the evicted often face a more pricey path forward

What it’s like to be one of the 14,000 Jacksonville families evicted in 2022, and which landlords are evicting the…

Featured image for “Jacksonville City Council OKs budget after debate over homelessness funding ”
Jacksonville City Hall
September 26, 2023

Jacksonville City Council OKs budget after debate over homelessness funding 

The Council ultimately shot down a budget amendment that would have redirected $3.1 million from the mayor’s $25 million budget…

Featured image for “Proposed food and beverage tax sparks early debate”
A homeless person covers up from the cold in Downtown Jacksonville.
September 14, 2023

Proposed food and beverage tax sparks early debate

A proposed 1% tax on food and drinks would fund anti-homelessness programs in Jacksonville.…

Featured image for “Deegan nominee DeFoor withdraws name from Jacksonville top attorney consideration”
Former City Councilwoman Randy DeFoor speaks at a news conference at City Hall. | Casmira Harrison, Jacksonville Today
September 13, 2023

Deegan nominee DeFoor withdraws name from Jacksonville top attorney consideration

Randy DeFoor, the former Jacksonville City Council member who Mayor Donna Deegan nominated to lead the city’s Office of General…

Featured image for “Proposed fuel farm in Jacksonville faces opposition, as does similar project in Ormond Beach”
September 10, 2023

Proposed fuel farm in Jacksonville faces opposition, as does similar project in Ormond Beach

Northside Jacksonville residents are organizing in opposition to a fuel storage facility.…

Featured image for “Council to vote on top attorney before ethics board decision”
Former City Councilwoman Randy DeFoor speaks at a news conference at City Hall. | Casmira Harrison, Jacksonville Today
September 5, 2023

Council to vote on top attorney before ethics board decision

The Jacksonville City Council will vote this month on the appointment of former Councilwoman Randy DeFoor to head up the…

Featured image for “Homelessness program gets boost from council president”
City Council President Ron Salem, left, discusses the issue of first-time homelessness in Jacksonville on Friday, Sept. 1, 2023. Changing Homelessness CEO Dawn Gilman and board Chairman Brad Russell listen. | Casmira Harrison, Jacksonville Today
September 1, 2023

Homelessness program gets boost from council president

Council President Ron Salem has invested $13,000 toward a Changing Homelessness pilot program that will help those on the brink…

Featured image for “Mayor and finance board spar over diversity chief funding”
August 25, 2023

Mayor and finance board spar over diversity chief funding

The Finance Committee recommended slicing a portion of the mayor’s budget that would have paid for a chief of diversity.…

Featured image for “Mayor decries ‘smear campaign’ over top attorney’s appointment”
Mayor Donna Deegan answers questions at a news conference on Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2023, to rally support for her nominee for general counsel, Randy DeFoor, right. | Casmira Harrison, Jacksonville Today
August 23, 2023

Mayor decries ‘smear campaign’ over top attorney’s appointment

City Council voted Tuesday to send a second request to the Florida ethics commission about Randy DeFoor’s ability to take…

Featured image for “Study finds no firm source of Murray Hill odors”
The Jacksonville Environmental Protection Board prepares to hear the results of a yearlong odor study stemming from complaints in the Murray Hill area. | Casmira Harrison, Jacksonville Today
August 22, 2023

Study finds no firm source of Murray Hill odors

Thousands of complaints about foul odors were filed around the Murray Hill area of Jacksonville between 2020 and 2021.…

Featured image for “Homelessness panel lays a plan — and looks for ways to fund it”
Mayor Donna Deegan speaks to Cindy Funkhouser, CEO of Sulzbacher, at a town hall. | Casmira Harrison, Jacksonville Today
August 17, 2023

Homelessness panel lays a plan — and looks for ways to fund it

Jacksonville’s homelessness subcommittee must make recommendations to Mayor Donna Deegan by Sept. 5.…

Featured image for “Mayor announces seven more appointments, including Randy DeFoor as general counsel”
Randy DeFoor, a former city councilwoman, speaks at a news conference Thursday, Aug. 10, 2023, at City Hall. | Casmira Harrison, Jacksonville Today
August 10, 2023

Mayor announces seven more appointments, including Randy DeFoor as general counsel

Mayor Donna Deegan said she’s building a “rockstar team of difference-makers and innovators and collaborators.”…

Featured image for “Mayor’s plan on affordable housing inches forward”
Irvin Cohen discusses the need for preserving homeownership during an affordable housing committee meeting Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2023, at the Ed Ball Building in Jacksonville. | Casmira Harrison, Jacksonville Today)
August 9, 2023

Mayor’s plan on affordable housing inches forward

A committee looking to solve Jacksonville’s affordable housing issue is developing a wide-ranging list of ideas.…