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- 2012 - December - 12th -

Boyer joins Yarborough, Brown in race for Council vice president

by David Chapman, Staff Writer

In a letter Tuesday to her colleagues, City Council member Lori Boyer announced her candidacy for Council vice president for the 2013-14 year beginning July 1.

She joins two other Council members — Reggie Brown and Clay Yarborough — in announcing they will seek the vice presidency.

Brown announced his intent at the Oct. 23 Council meeting and filed a letter within the past month, he said Tuesday. Yarborough, who sought the position last year, sent a letter to Council members in late October.

"I really think I have something to offer," Boyer said Tuesday.

"I have broad-based experience across the Council committees with the exception of TEU (Council Transportation Energy and Utilities Committee) and at this point I think I have good working relationships," with other Council members and the administration, she said.

"We need to work together," she said.

During the Oct. 23 Council meeting, Brown announced his candidacy during discussion about a Council leadership bill and the election system.

Brown, a Democrat, filed and withdrew the bill that would have the Council presidency annually alternate between political

parties. During its withdrawal, he used a metaphor of the system being a car with a flat tire and said his candidacy would allow him and the City an opportunity to "move forward."

"The four years I have been in office has prepared me to be in a leadership position," Brown said Tuesday.

He said those who have been on Council longer should have the opportunity to serve because of experience despite what he described as Council "cliques" that shape leadership ranks.

"I do think it's time we have leadership that thinks of people first and that's what I bring to the table," he said.

Yarborough, a Republican, said Tuesday he wanted to offer himself for service and use his Council experience to work with other members and the administration to accomplish goals.

"We have a lot to do, but we need to make sure at the same time that we operate with a responsible budget while still moving the city forward and encouraging economic development," Yarborough said.

He said he submitted his letter to other Council members because he wanted them to know his intent after Brown announced his candidacy.

In her letter, Boyer, a Republican, also said that as vice president she would work with the mayor and administration to advance the interests of all Council members.

"I am proud of our Council and the collective work we are doing to make Jacksonville better," she said in the letter.

Boyer said she chose to announce her decision before the New Year to officially let her colleagues know she wanted to run. Due to Sunshine Laws, meetings between two Council members relating to Council matters must be publicly noticed. She said announcing now would allow any of her colleagues the opportunity to meet with her one-on-one about her candidacy.

Council elections for the presidency and vice presidency typically take place in late April or May by a vote of the 19-member Council. The Council president appoints members as chairs and vice chairs of committees and usually, but not always, the vice president is elected president the following year.

The Council year runs from July 1-June 31.

dchapman@baileypub.com

(904) 356-2466

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