Workspace: Bill Bishop, vice president, Akel, Logan & Shafer and City Council president
Bill Bishop says the role of a City Council member and that of an architect have common points.
“Just like anything, there are similarities,” says the current Council president from his office at the Akel, Logan & Shafer architecture firm where he is vice president.
“Here, I run a business and perform tasks. If we have a client who has a need, we design a solution for them and get it built,” he explains. “There (at City Hall), we identify a problem or an issue and fix it through legislation or by working with a department.”
Bishop has been a practicing architect since 1983 and was elected in 2006 to represent Council District 2, consisting of parts of Arlington among others, and was re-elected in 2010 for a second four-year term. His terms followed years of involvement in community activities, including Jacksonville Community Council Inc. and the Economic Development Advisory Committee for the Downtown Jacksonville Master Plan.
“I’ve always been a person who likes to take something apart and figure it out,” he said, of his career and jumping into politics.
The new fiscal year began Monday, but though the budget was passed without much controversy. Bishop said he is not happy with the way the situation turned out because cuts in some services, such as library hours and rights-of-way mowing, will be noticed by the public.
“Money isn’t there to spend on things that need to get done,” he said.
While he won’t be president when the next budget is passed, he said he will continue to put pressure on Mayor Alvin Brown’s administration to keep Council informed on how the budget progresses through the year.
Growth also is an issue, and as both a member of Council and an architect, he said he is interested in how the city grows and how neighborhoods develop, especially if retrenching from suburban sprawl affects urban development.
In his professional career, he could play a role in that, which is one of the reasons he chose the livelihood — and the reason he enjoys it so much.
“Some of it is being able to point to something that I designed, that’s still there and still working. Solving people’s problem, which is what this is all about,” he said.