Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Holland Sets Pecking Order Big Backers Get Council Chairs

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Holland Sets Pecking Order Big Backers Get Council Chairs

Article excerpt

Byline: Matt Galnor, Times-Union staff writer

The strongest supporters of incoming Jacksonville City Council President Jerry Holland have been rewarded with leadership roles on the council's seven committees.

Holland, who is scheduled to announce the committee assignments this morning, also added responsibility to two of those committees.

Nearly all debate on legislation takes places in committees, as most bills are heard in at least two of them. Committee chairmen have the power in meetings to hold up bills and try to push others through.

Holland's term begins July 1. He was elected last month with votes from 15 of his 19 colleagues after outgoing council Vice President Suzanne Jenkins, a Democrat, and Councilman Jim Overton, a Republican, both dropped out. Holland, a Republican, secured 12 written pledges of support by mid-May and all committee chairs were among his early commitments.

Of the seven committee leaders Holland is appointing, four are Republicans and three are Democrats. Councilwoman Gwen Chandler, a Republican, earned the prize of chairing the Finance Committee, the council's most powerful committee that will analyze Mayor John Delaney's proposed budget this summer and must sign off on all appropriations.

As chairman of the Rules Committee, Councilman Doyle Carter, also a Republican, will have the authority of assigning various bills to committees.

Councilwoman Faye Rustin, a Republican, will lead the Land Use and Zoning Committee, which hears debate on proposed developments and subdivisions.

The Democrats appointed are: Gwen Yates, who will chair the Public Health, Safety and Education committee for the second consecutive year; King Holzendorf for Recreation and Community Development; and Warren Alvarez for Public Services, Technology and Utilities.

Neither of the two announced mayoral candidates, Republicans Ginger Soud and Alberta Hipps, were put in leadership roles. …

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