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Mayor unveils economic growth initiatives

Mayor Alvin Brown appeared with leading members of the Jacksonville business community to unveil legislation aimed at reforming the city’s economic development structure and policy to help create jobs and revitalize Downtown.

Last December, the Jacksonville City Council overwhelmingly passed Mayor Brown’s government reform initiative, the first major reorganization of city government in 20 years. That legislation reformed the city’s economic development structure to make it directly accountable to the mayor and includes all city functions that could enhance the mission of creating jobs and generating economic activity.

In January 2012, Mayor Brown and the City Council sought the approval of the Florida Legislature to alter or amend the Jacksonville Economic Development Commission (JEDC) as a necessary step to evolve the city’s economic development efforts. Both houses of the Legislature unanimously provided that authority.

Mayor Brown’s legislation would take the following steps to boost job creation and generate economic activity:

•Accelerate the process of approving job creation and other economic development incentives by reducing the number of City Council meetings required for approval.

•Update and modernize the City of Jacksonville Economic Development Investment Policy.

•Empower the Office of Economic Development, which will be led by an Economic Development Officer who reports directly to the mayor, to advance the city’s economic goals.

•Transform the Jacksonville Economic Development Commission (JEDC) into the Downtown Investment Authority (DIA), which will focus on revitalizing economic activity in Downtown. The DIA will have a nine (9) person board, with its members appointed by the mayor and approved by the council, and the authority to pursue Downtown economic development opportunities.

•Create an Economic Development Closing Fund subject to Council funding that gives the mayor the ability to authorize quickly-needed economic development incentives.


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