November 13, 2019
In The Public Interest
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Selling JEA: a simple primer and current status

Selling JEA is a three-step process with the voting public having the final say. 

Step one:

 The JEA board, entirely under its own authority with no input from city council or the public, has solicited and is evaluating responses to what it calls an “intent to negotiate.” 17 companies expressed interest, with 9 selected by JEA staff for a second round of evaluation. 

JEA staff will recommend to the JEA board which companies to invite to submit full bids to purchase JEA.

The JEA board, a non-elected, non-representative independent authority, includes seven members, appointed by Mayor Lenny Curry and approved by City council.  Current members are: April Green, chair; Frederick Newbill, Vice Chair; Camille Lee-Johnson, Secretary; Andy Allen; Kelly Flanagan; and, Henry Brown. Contact information for these City Authority appointees does not appear to be available on either the JEA or the COJ websites.

Dane Grey has been appointed by Mayor Lenny Curry to succeed John Campion, who resigned for health reasons in September.   Approval of Grey’s appointment is pending before City council.

City council member Danny Becton serves as a non-voting liaison to the JEA board.  As such, he will exercise some limited oversight over the bid process.

Step two: 

City council will be asked to approve selling JEA. According to published news sources, City council will be given one purchase agreement with no authority to negotiate terms.  A simple majority — 10 of 19 votes —will be required for approval. This action is expected no later than February 2020. 

19 people serve on City council, 5 at-large members elected by a majority of all Duval county voters casting ballots, and 14 members serving smaller constituencies. Scroll down for a list of Council Members with contact  information & links.  

Step three: 

If City council approves the sale of JEA, City council will put before voters an up-or-down vote to sell JEA. The purchasing company, the sales price, and the terms will be determined by the JEA board, in its sole authority, with no input from voters or their elected representatives. 

Current status: 

According to news accounts, companies interested in purchasing JEA include: Duke Energy; NextEra Energy (owns Public Power and Light); Emera (owns Tampa Electric and Peoples Gas); Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets, Inc;  American Water Works Company, Inc; American Public Infrastructure; IFM Investors Pty Ltd.; JEA Public Power Partners (a consortium that includes Emera, Barnhard Capital Partners, and Suez); and one company that requested anonymity.  

City Council action:

  On Tuesday, October 22, City council will consider a bill to set aside $1.8 million to hire an outside, independent attorney to advise City council, a co-equal branch of local government, on any JEA sale.  

The bill —  Ordinance 2019-0694 — was defeated in a 2-5 vote in the finance committee, but passed on a 7-0 vote in the rules committee, which allows the bill to advance to the full council.  

How members voted:

Finance committee vote:  2-5 vote defeating measure to set aside $1.8 million to hire independent legal counsel for City council

Nays:  Aaron Bowman, LeAnna Cumber, Terrance Freeman, Ju’Coby Pittman, Ron Salem

Ayes:  Randy DeFoor, Tommy Hazouri

Rules committee vote:  7-0 vote approving measure to set aside $1.8 million to hire independent legal counsel for City council

Ayes:  Michael Boylan, Matt Carlucci, Randy DeFoor, Rory Diamond, Brenda Priestly Jackson, Joyce Morgan, Sam Newby

Unknowns:  

  1. When will a sales measure be put before the voters?
  2. Who will decide how to use sale proceeds?
District Council Members May be contacted here:
District 1: Joyce Morgan
Phone: (904) 255-5201
Email: [email protected]
Assistant: Chet Aikens
District 2: Al Ferraro
Phone: (904) 255-5202
Email: [email protected] 
Assistant: Connie Holt
District 3: Aaron L. Bowman
Phone: (904) 255-5203
Email: [email protected] 
Assistant: Carol Brock
District 4: Scott Wilson
Phone: (904) 255-5204
Email: [email protected]
Assistant: Jackie Lee
District 5: LeAnna Cumber
Phone: (904) 255-5205 Email:
[email protected] 
Assistant: Debbi Pataky
District 6: Michael Boylan
Phone: (904) 255-5206
Email: [email protected] 
Assistant: Sonia Johnson
District 7: Reggie Gaffney
Phone: (904) 255-5207
Email: [email protected] 
Assistant: Joe Zimmerman
District 8: Ju’Coby Pittman
Phone: (904) 255-5208
Email: [email protected] 
Assistant: Mercedes Parker
District 9: Garrett L. Dennis
Phone: (904) 255-5209
Email: [email protected] 
Assistant: Taryn Roberts
District 10: Brenda Priestly Jackson
Phone: (904) 255-5210
Email: [email protected] 
Assistant: Kendra Mervin
District 11: Danny Becton
Phone: (904) 255-5211
Email: [email protected] 
Assistant: Tiziana Onstead
District 12: Randy White
Phone: (904) 255-5212
Email: [email protected] 
Assistant: Rebekah Hagan
District 13: Rory Diamond
Phone: (904) 255-5213
Email: [email protected] 
Assistant: Makenzi Conner
District 14: Randy DeFoor
Phone: (904) 255-5214
Email: [email protected] 
Assistant: Brooks Dame
At-Large Council Members
Group 1: Terrance Freeman
Phone: (904) 255-5215
Email: [email protected] 
Assistant: Gerrie Ford-Hardin
Group 2: Ronald B. Salem
Phone: (904) 255-5216
Email: [email protected] 
Assistant:  Nikki Evans
Group 3: Tommy Hazouri
Phone: (904) 255-5217
Email: [email protected] 
Assistant: Tristan Denmark
Group 4: Matt Carlucci
Phone: (904) 255-5218
Email: [email protected] 
Assistant: Alyson Lee
Group 5: Samuel Newby
Phone: (904) 255-5219
Email: [email protected]  
Assistant: Tracy McGeathey
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Editorial Staff
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