- 2011 - October - 10th -

from staff

Mayor Alvin Brown’s office announced this morning that Brown is celebrating his first 100 days in office as Jacksonville’s chief executive.

“When I took office, I said that I would achieve a balanced budget without new taxes or fees, streamline government so that it is more effective and efficient, promote economic development, and work to help our public schools,” Brown said in the news release.

“In just over three months, we have made progress in each of those areas. Much work remains to be done, but I’m pleased that we are closer to moving Jacksonville to the next level,” he said.

Brown was elected May 17 and took office July 1.

According to a list of almost 60 accomplishments provided by the mayor’s office, Brown has scheduled a trip to Brazil Oct. 23-27 with Gov. Rick Scott and also met with a corporate relocation prospect during his September trip to Houston with the Jax Chamber.

• Explored partnerships to help the City’s efforts to support small business in Jacksonville.

• By July 15, he submitted a balanced budget that did not increase taxes or fees or tap into the city’s reserves.

The release said Brown reduced his pay by 20 percent and declined a pension.

It also said he streamlined city government by eliminating nearly 220 positions. In addition, he appointed the first City education commissioner and was appointed to chair the U.S. Conference of Mayors Metro Exports and Ports Task Force.

“In addition to these policy achievements, Mayor Brown has also made good on his promise to be a mayor who represents all of Jacksonville. He has visited neighborhoods, community groups, churches, and numerous other people and places throughout the city in his short time in office,” it said.

The mayor’s office included a list of what it considers the “noteworthy actions during his first 100 days in office.”

Here is that list from the office:

Goal: Balance the budget with no new taxes or fees and without tapping into reserves.

• Cut his salary by 20 percent and declined to take a City pension.

• Submitted a balanced budget that did not include new taxes or fees on July 15 or tap into the City’s reserves. Helped close a $58 million deficit.

• Enacted the City Council’s amended version of the budget, which also did not include new taxes or fees or tap into the City’s reserves.

• Saved taxpayer dollars by using public-private partnerships to recruit key administration officials who are on loan from the private sector: Chief Administrative Office Kevin Hyde of Foley & Lardner; Education Commissioner Donnie Horner Jr. of the Jacksonville University Davis College of Business; the economic development strategy team of Jerry Mallot of the Jax USA Partnership and Don Shea of the Jacksonville Civic Council.

Goal: Streamline government to make it more effective and efficient.

• Submitted an annual budget that cut the City workforce by 220 positions, including nearly 50 mayoral appointees.

• Launched an effort to reform and restructure City government to make it more effective and efficient. The reform plan will be unveiled later this year.

• Worked with the Jacksonville Civic Council to facilitate an outside budget and organizational review of City government.

• Provided additional scrutiny to City contracts in order to ensure taxpayer fairness and started a review of the City contracting process to look for efficiencies.

Goal: Focus on economic development and job creation.

• Named chair of the U.S. Conference of Mayors Metro Exports & Ports Task Force.

• Created a team led by Mallot and Shea to evaluate and recommend reforms to the city’s economic development efforts.

• Supported initiatives that helped create 1,652 new jobs since July 1.

• Met with Gov. Rick Scott, Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll and U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood to discuss funding for the port and economic development projects.

• Toured Jacksonville Port Authority terminals with LaHood, members of the Duval Legislative Delegation and other key state legislators.

• Traveled to Washington, D.C., to meet with U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown, U.S. Rep. John Mica, U.S. Rep. Ander Crenshaw, Sen. Marco Rubio, Sen. Bill Nelson, Sen. Mitch McConnell and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan to discuss economic development and potential federal funding for job creation at the port.

• Hosted a workshop with the Duval Legislative Delegation to discuss economic development and education.

• Participated in a conference call with Frank Sanchez, undersecretary for U.S. Commerce Department for International Trade, to discuss international trade and economic development.

• Met with Department of Labor Assistant Secretary of Employment and Training Jane Oates to discuss funding for job training and workforce development.

• Met with Florida CFO Jeff Atwater to discuss ways to put Jacksonville back to work.

• Met with Federal Reserve Governor Elizabeth Duke to discuss the economic forecast in Jacksonville.

• Met with Small Business Administrator Karen Mills and Deputy Small Business Administrator Marie Johns to discuss ways to support small businesses and ensure that they have access to capital and credit.

• Spoke at the Economic Roundtable of Jacksonville, hosted by the JU Davis College of Business, and pledged to create new advisory committees in the areas of military affairs, international trade and small business to help create polices that stimulate job growth.

• Explored partnerships to help the City’s efforts to support small business in Jacksonville.

• Traveled to Houston with Jax Chamber and business leaders to learn about Houston’s economic development programs and downtown development. While there, met with a company considering relocation to Jacksonville.

• Visited Orlando to obtain best practices for downtown development and ways to improve Downtown Jacksonville.

• Spoke at “Doing Business with Puerto Rico” seminar to encourage trade and business between Jacksonville and Puerto Rico.

• Scheduled a visit to Brazil with Scott and business leaders to explore economic development opportunities involving companies interested in doing business in Florida. Will also meet with officials from aircraft manufacturer Embraer regarding building airplanes in Jacksonville.

• Attended the grand openings of bank branches to support and encourage access to capital and credit for small businesses.

Goal: Serve as an ambassador of education and make education a priority.

• Appointed Horner on July 8 as the City’s first education commissioner and confirmed his appointment by executive order Aug. 19.

• Helped raise more than $200,000 in private funds to save JROTC programs at four local high schools.

• Helped raise funds to save high school cross country, golf and tennis as well as middle school football.

• Held a major Back to School Blitz to encourage students to be in class on the first day and to stay in school. Promotion included public service announcements that aired on television and on the radio. As part of the campaign, visited nine Jacksonville public schools on the first two days of the 2011-12 school year.

• Hosted “A Passion for Excellence” student-leader workshop for 175 students at City Hall to honor student leaders.

• Met with the presidents of JU, University of North Florida, Edward Waters College, Florida State College at Jacksonville and Florida Coastal School of Law.

• Made a combined total of 45 public school visits between trips involving Brown, Horner and/or other administration officials.

• Attended numerous education-related meetings with community leaders.

Goal: Create public-private partnerships.

• Promoted public-private partnerships that resulted in donations of school supplies, low-cost Internet service for low-income families and the donation of thousands of books.

• Partnered with the Walmart Store on Normandy Boulevard to collect and deliver 10 pallets of school supplies for 10 neighboring schools.

Goal: Amplify Jacksonville’s status as a military-friendly city.

• Hosted an economic roundtable discussion with U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki to discuss ways to improve hiring veterans and the quality of life for veterans in Jacksonville.

• Attended groundbreaking for the Veterans Administration Clinic with Shinseki.

• Visited all local military bases.

• Spoke at the State of the Base event at Naval Air Station Jacksonville and participated in other events at NAS Jacksonville, including the opening of a new Naval Hospital wing and change of command for the Southeast Region.

Goal: Outreach to Jacksonville community members.

• Spoke at more than 60 community events throughout Duval County, including 18 civic or business organizations and 10 churches.

• Met with all members of the Duval Legislative Delegation, including Florida Sen. John Thrasher, delegation chairman.

• Appointed more than 250 community and business leaders to Transition Policy Committees, which presented their recommendations Aug. 8.

• Participated in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (Region 4) Children’s Health Month.

• Attended the 10th annual Black Expo to promote small business and entrepreneurship.

• Met with the Jacksonville Regional Chamber of Commerce, First Coast African American Chamber of Commerce, Asian American Chamber of Commerce, First Coast Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Indo/US of NE Florida Chamber of Commerce.

• Participated in the First Coast Hispanic Chamber and Mayor’s Hispanic American Advisory Board’s Achieving the Dream Scholarship Luncheon.

• Spoke at events for the Philippine Association and Indian community’s TELUGU Association of Jacksonville.

• Spoke at the Catholic Charities annual breakfast.

• Visited senior centers, parks, summer camp programs and youth sporting events throughout Jacksonville.

Goal: Make Jacksonville a city in which all residents feel safe in their neighborhoods.

• Supported funding for the Jacksonville Journey.

• Marched against crime in Brooklyn neighborhood with MAD DADS.

• Visited the Brooklyn neighborhood to talk with residents about recent shootings.

• Meets regularly with the sheriff and has attended Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office crime meetings.

Goal: Make Jacksonville a hub for sports and entertainment.

• Promoted the Jacksonville Jaguars, including sending nearly 5,000 letters urging support for the team and speaking with business and civic leaders about buying Jaguars tickets.

• Launched a review of Jacksonville’s sports marketing and recruitment efforts.

• Hosted a parade through Downtown for the Arena Bowl Champion Jacksonville Sharks.

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