Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

City Hall May Look Familiar; Panel Recommends Several Delaney Holdovers for Posts

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

City Hall May Look Familiar; Panel Recommends Several Delaney Holdovers for Posts

Article excerpt

Byline: Mary Kelli Palka, Times-Union staff writer

If Jacksonville Mayor John Peyton heeds the advice of those tapped to recommend who should fill the city's top administrative posts, almost a third of his staff will be holdovers from the previous administration.

Volunteers from the community selected by Peyton and his staff formed subcommittees that interviewed applicants for the positions. The groups sent a list of 21 people they recommended for 19 positions. Interviews are continuing for 34 other positions.

Incumbents who served under former Mayor John Delaney were recommended for all positions except director of fire and rescue. Peyton said during his campaign that he would replace Chief Ray Alfred.

The list of all names was given yesterday to the Transition Steering Committee. None of the six members present commented during the meeting, and they weren't asked to take any action. The names were sent directly to Peyton, who can follow the recommendations or ask for additional names.

Transition Steering Committee Chairman Nat Glover said after the meeting that having some people stay in their current jobs will benefit the city.

"I think they're good people," Glover said. "They're incumbents, which will add some continuity to government."

Some of the people on the list were Kirk Wendland to stay on as the executive director of the Jacksonville Economic Development Commission, where he's been since 2001; Jeannie Fewell as director of planning, a position she's held since 1996; and Judith Truett as director of community services, a job she's had since 1995.

Wendland's vision for one of Peyton's top priorities of bringing more jobs to Jacksonville closely reflects what the mayor has been saying.

"We're not just looking for growth, we're looking for quality growth," Wendland said.

Also yesterday, Lynn Westbrook was recommended to remain as director of public works. …

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