Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Injunction Sought to Stop Vote by Council; Activist Lee, Concerned Taxpayers Say Deal Would Burden New Mayor, Council

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Injunction Sought to Stop Vote by Council; Activist Lee, Concerned Taxpayers Say Deal Would Burden New Mayor, Council

Article excerpt

Byline: Eileen Kelley

A taxpayer group and local citizen activist are trying to prevent the Jacksonville City Council from voting on pension reform Tuesday.

Curtis Lee and the Concerned Taxpayers of Duval County asked a judge Wednesday for an injunction that would delay a vote until after further court rulings.

They are the same plaintiffs who won in March, when a judged sided with them and said a 30-year agreement between the city and the Police and Fire Pension Fund had been negotiated illegally and therefore was void.

The group and Lee maintain that the latest attempt at pension reform - Councilman Bill Gulliford's proposal that has been approved by two council committees and is scheduled for a vote by the full council on Tuesday - would illegally hamstring the new mayor and incoming council members for the entirety of their terms by allowing for a seven-year agreement. The vote would come just before a majority of the 19-member City Council will be replaced by new council members on July 1.

Efforts to reach incoming mayor Lenny Curry for comment, by both a phone call and email, were not successful Wednesday.

"At this point mayor-elect Curry is just that, mayor-elect," said Brian Hughes, who is serving as Curry's spokesman during the transition period. Curry takes office on July 1.

Hughes maintains that until that time, those currently in office - Mayor Alvin Brown and the City Council - have the lawful authority to carry out the city's business.

"All kinds of things could be done in the next few weeks that have an impact on the [incoming mayor]," Hughes said. "[Brown] is duly elected and the council are duly elected and passing bills and ordinances seems to be something they are allowed to do."

Curry hasn't been entirely mute on the matter of pensions, at least in his campaign to unseat Brown.

In previous interviews with The Florida Times-Union, candidate Curry stated that as mayor he would negotiate pension benefits directly with the unions and not through the Police and Fire Pension Fund board - a departure from a long-standing arrangement between John Keane, the executive administrator of the pension fund, and previous mayors. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.