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Jax Daily Record Friday, Apr. 19, 201905:20 AM EST

Boyer says she’s interviewed for Downtown Investment Authority CEO job

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City Council member interested in filling position previously held by Aundra Wallace.
by: Mike Mendenhall Staff Writer

Representatives of Jacksonville’s Downtown Investment Authority interviewed outgoing City Council member Lori Boyer as it searches for its next CEO. 

Boyer told reporters Wednesday that she interviewed for the job Monday.

“I am interested, I submitted a resume. I am one of the people (who) interviewed. I don’t know how many people interviewed or who any of the other folks were,” Boyer said.

Boyer spoke with reporters after her presentation to the DIA board about her proposed bills to rezone Downtown.

DIA board Chair Jim Bailey did not immediately respond Thursday to a phone call for comment about candidates for the position or the timeline for selection.

The DIA has been without a permanent chief executive since October, when CEO Aundra Wallace announced he was leaving to lead the JAXUSA Partnership at JAX Chamber.  The partnership is the chamber’s economic development division.

Brian Hughes, Mayor Lenny Curry’s chief of staff, serves as the interim DIA CEO.

Hughes has been hired to replace retiring city Chief Administrative Officer Sam Mousa, who will leave June 28. 

The DIA contracted with executive search firm Jorgenson Consulting Inc. in November to help identify the next CEO.

Boyer will leave her District 5 council seat in June after serving a maximum two consecutive terms. Council President Aaron Bowman appointed her as council’s liaison to the DIA, putting her in a close working relationship with the agency.

One challenge for Boyer will be Florida ethics rules, which state a former municipal elected official is “prohibited from representing another person or entity for compensation before a government body or agency which he or she was an officer for two years after leaving office.”

If selected for the job, Boyer suggested Wednesday that a DIA staff member could address council for routine matters to avoid a conflict for that two-year period. 

“In my interviews, I discussed how I would propose to create a firewall that had me not address or deal with City Council for two years.” Boyer said. 

“From my perspective, as I relayed it to the members of the board, I think there’s a lot of things I bring to the table,” she said.

The ethics issue “would be a handicap. No question about it. There are other individuals, there are other staff members, there are other ways to address that,” she said.

Boyer noted that DIA Operations Manager Guy Parola briefed DIA members Wednesday about the rezoning legislation. She cited that as an example of how her first two years could work. 

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