Aaron Bowman declares bid for Jacksonville City Council presidency – Florida Politics (blog)
Jacksonville City Council Vice President Aaron Bowman made it official Monday, launching his bid for the board’s presidency.
Tradition holds that the vice president moves to the presidency, barring some unusual development, such as what happened in 2017 when Anna Brosche defeated John Crescimbeni for the top job.
The Brosche presidency has been a divisive one, with competing narratives between her and fellow Republican Lenny Curry on a variety of issues, including pension reform, children’s program reforms, and exploring the prospect of selling local utility JEA.
Curry, who enjoys strong transactional relationships with the vast majority of City Council, has managed to subvert Brosche’s authority in ways both large and small.
The latest example: scheduling a special City Council meeting Wednesday to discuss the JEA Valuation Report to be released that day — a meeting that Brosche refused to schedule, alleging that the Curry administration wanted her to push emergency legislation to move forward on the sale.
If there is a subtext to the letter Bowman, a former commander of NAS Mayport, sent council members declaring his candidacy, it would be a return to civility and order. This will be especially timely given that his year as President will be an election year for the majority of Council.
Bowman’s letter urges a City Council strategic plan, to rectify what the first-term Republican calls an “undefined direction” on the 19-person legislative body.
Bowman also seeks regular meetings with all council members to drill down into district issues; one of the hallmarks of the current president was the marginalization of key members, such as Tommy Hazouri, Bill Gulliford, and Crescimbeni, and these meetings would seem to be a way of ensuring that all council members have a voice with leadership, fostering “unity and respect.”
To that end, Bowman vows to