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- 2012 - September - 3rd -

Latest round of City appointments includes 4 attorneys

by Joe Wilhelm Jr., Staff Writer

The functioning of City government is assisted by volunteer commissions and committees that comprise members appointed by Mayor Alvin Brown and City Council — and both often seek members of the legal community to fill those positions.

The Council approved two lawyers, Crystal Freed and Robert Spohrer, during its Tuesday meeting to the Human Rights Commission and Jacksonville Port Authority, respectively.

Two others, Marla Buchanan and Tatiana Salvador, are in the Council appointment review process. If confirmed, Buchanan will serve on the St. Johns River Ferry Commission and Salvador will serve on the Ethics Commission.

Spohrer, president and senior partner of the Spohrer Dodd firm, said he was honored. He also served on Brown’s Boards and Commissions Transition Committee.

“I am honored by the appointment and thankful for the City Council’s approval. The port will be a key economic driver for the city and I look forward to learning about it and being a part of it,” he said. “I’m at a point in my career where I look to give back to the community and I look forward to the opportunity to serve.”

He will join the seven-member board of directors for the port. The mayor has four appointments to the board and the governor selects three.

Crystal Freed of The Freed Firm was appointed by the mayor and approved by Council for a seat on the Human Rights Commission.

The commission investigates complaints of alleged discriminatory or unfair practices in the areas of employment, housing and public accommodations.

Its vision and purpose is to promote and encourage fair treatment and equal opportunity for all persons regardless of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, marital or familial status, pregnancy and ancestry.

Freed is also the chair of the human rights committee for The Jacksonville Bar Association.

Buchanan and Salvador are Rogers Towers attorneys in the approval process for committees.

Salvador is the current Ethics Commission vice chair and is up for re-appointment.

“The idea of playing a part in putting Ethics back into our City's Charter and in helping pass legislation to amend our City's Ordinance Code so that Ethics in government could be more effective and meaningful, is what drew me to the Ethics Commission,” said Salvador.

Buchanan was one of two mayoral appointments to the recently created St. Johns River Ferry Commission, which will serve as the operator of the ferry.

jwilhelm@baileypub.com

@photojoe71

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