Jacksonville Councilman Wants to Revamp The Ways Projects Are Changed | News

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Jacksonville Councilman Wants to Revamp The Ways Projects Are Changed

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Recently, the Jacksonville City Council killed a bill that would have created a proposed dog park in Arlington.

The $75,000 proposal failed, but it has created a new bill to take a look at the way Jacksonville City Council amends its Capital Improvement Plans.

"In reality it, (amendments) circumvent the original intent," said Councilman Bill Gulliford.  

Capital improvement projects are planned and budgeted in advance, but it is common practice in City Hall to change those projects before the next budget year.

Gulliford thinks that is a bad practice.

"The intent was you don't make mid year changes, but it has been done repeatedly over and over again," he said.

These plans are generally written as a five-year schedule of projects, but a city council member with sound reasoning and enough votes can change that plan during the summer.

Gulliford has introduced ordinance 2012-198 to change that practice.

"My original intent was to create debate," he said

What the proposed legislation does is change the rule so the city council cannot add to the capital budget until the next budget year,a move that could have a chilling effect on how a councilman reacts to constituents.

"We need to follow the law or change it," said Gulliford.

Even if his bill doesn't get approved, Gulliford is hoping it will force his council members, to not only look at the cost of Capital Improvement Projects, but to take a closer look at the cost of maintaining those projects after they're completed.

"One of the big sins committed was in Better Jacksonville Plan surely illustrated that is we ran out and built a whole bunch of buildings and really nice facilities. That's what the people wanted," he said, "but ... we didn't provided for the long-term maintenance of it, so now we're kind of hooked."

The first reading of the proposed legislation 2012-198 is April 10th and it will be assigned to committees.

"It is not going to come out like anything it's is going in as, I believe," said Gulliford, "I think it is healthy, you maintain the status quo and you know what happens."

He said even if it doesn't change the existing ordinance, if it changes how many votes it takes to approve an amendment to the CIP, he has accomplished something.







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