Peyton Wants to Revise Use of Economic Incentives
Mathis, Karen Brune, The Florida Times Union
Byline: Karen Brune Mathis, Times-Union senior business writer
Mayor-elect John Peyton, who takes office July 1, hasn't had time to detail his economic development plans, but he has shared some broad directions during his campaign and in a recent news conference.
In general, it appears that the 38-year-old businessman, who runs the convenience store part of his family's privately held Gate Petroleum Co., wants to revise the use of economic incentives, become known as the job-growth mayor and vows a hands-on approach to recruiting high-paying employers to town.
In doing so, he wants to take a thorough look at the powerful Jacksonville Economic Development Commission, formed by Mayor John Delaney in 1996 to direct the city's efforts to attract jobs, create development in underserved areas and spur downtown residential development by using incentives.
He also said he would continue working with the Jacksonville Regional Chamber of Commerce and its recruitment and expansion efforts.
"The chamber does a lot of this right. The JEDC does a lot of this right," Peyton said after a Wednesday news conference. He wants to streamline the process and take a closer look at how the commission works.
Peyton has offered several directions that he intends to take.
-- The commission and City Council approved a policy that essentially bans the use of economic incentives in Southside, although there are exceptions and some companies have received state incentives or other assistance.
Peyton wants to revise the policy to allow incentives "case by case" in parts of Southside "that need economic activity," such as the Philips Highway and Emerson street area and parts of Arlington.
Peyton emphasized Tuesday that his intentions might be misunderstood, however. …