Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Soud Shakes Up Council Committees

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Soud Shakes Up Council Committees

Article excerpt

Keeping an eye on transportation and building a better public image are two of the goals incoming Jacksonville City Council President Ginger Soud said she is trying to further with the new council committee assignments and restructuring she announced yesterday.

Soud laid out a plan for the coming year that includes a new transportation committee and high-profile positions for some of the new council members, who take office July 1.

Incoming members Matt Carlucci, Lad Daniels, Faye Rustin, Reggie Fullwood, Doyle Carter and Lake Ray will chair committees, leaving only one panel -- parks and recreation -- to be led by one of the five returning members, King Holzendorf.

"My impression of the list was that it was out with old and in with the new," said Jim Overton, one of returning council members. "I believe Ginger gave it a lot of thought and that's what she's done. I'll serve in whatever capacity I'm given."

Outgoing President Don Davis said it is the president's prerogative to select whomever she wanted to lead committees.

"She's got to appoint the team she wants to work with," Davis said. "It was a little surprising that none of the existing council members except King Holzendorf got a committee."

Councilwoman Gwen Chandler-Thompson, who chaired the recreation committee for the past two years, also was passed over for a chairmanship. Under council rules, Soud and Vice President-elect Alberta Hipps -- the other two returning members -- can't lead committees.

Soud and Chandler-Thompson have clashed recently, specifically over Soud's plan to reorganize council staff. Chandler-Thompson could not be reached for comment.

On the committee chairmanships, Carlucci -- the only new member who previously served on the council -- will chair the Finance Committee. The council's zoning committee, which Soud renamed Urban Affairs and Planning, will be led by Daniels, former president of the First Coast Manufacturers Association.

Of the rest of the group, Rustin will chair Public Health and Safety, Fullwood will lead Public Services and Utilities, Carter will head Rules, and Ray will chair Transportation, Environment and Energy, the new committee Soud announced. …

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