• According to Mayor John Peyton, over the past several weeks the City Council Finance Committee was able to trim about $65 million from the city budget. In a letter to Council President Richard Clark, Peyton recognized that they differed in their methodology, but agreed it was a difficult budget year.
• The City’s big annual coastal clean up is Saturday and there are several locations around town from where you can help. The event is part of the Ocean Conservancy’s Annual International Coastal Clean Up. Last year, about 400,000 volunteers picked up 6.8 million pounds of trash worldwide. The clean ups start at 7 a.m. and you can log on to coj.net or call 630-3420 for a complete schedule of times and sites.
• This is the last year the national accounting firm of Ernst & Young will serve as the City’s external auditor. The City will bid the next audit soon and plans to look for local, mid-sized firms as opposed to one of the national, big firms.
• State Senate candidate John Thrasher has announced he’ll be at the Hyatt tonight watching the polling results.
• Jones Lang LaSalle America, Inc. — the company that was managing the Ed Ball Building for the City — has responded in writing to the recent print stories and allegations the company owes the City $1.2 million. According to Director of Operations for Florida Kurt Keaton, the company submitted a report to the City earlier this summer that said it owed the City far less than $1.2 million. However, Keaton says that report has been acknowledged by the City and wasn’t in Inspector General Pam Markham’s report on the management of the building.
• Correction. In a photo Friday, Public Defender Matt Shirk is shown with Hope Haven Director Kelly Bloom.
• The Jacksonville Regional Chamber of Commerce is holding its annual “Endless Summer Beach Bash” Thursday. “The Ultimate Summer Mixer” is from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Comfort Inn Oceanfront.
• Speaking of the Beach, Inksmith & Rogers has opened a new location on North Third Street. It’s the sixth location for the tattoo parlor.