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Jax Daily Record Thursday, Feb. 21, 201312:00 PM EST

Finley leaving City in next two months

by: David Chapman

Renee Finley, an executive-on-loan who serves as City Public-Private Partnership director, will leave the City in the next couple of months to return to her full-time job at Florida Blue.

Finley told members of the City Council Finance Committee on Wednesday she is on an April-May timeframe to return to the Jacksonville-based health care provider, where she serves as vice president of corporate and market strategy.

Mayor Alvin Brown announced her appointment to the City role in November 2011 and, like other executives-on-loan, she made $1 annually.

Brown created the public-private partnership office in November 2011 as part of his City reorganization. According to the office's website and in a message from Brown, the office has a goal to "build a more sustainable future for Jacksonville by cultivating new funding sources, forging new partnerships and optimizing the use of public assets and City-owned real estate."

The office website also lists commitments in areas of the economy and Downtown development, education, military, parks and recreation, sports and entertainment, seniors and neighborhoods as areas of focus.

When appointed, Brown said Finley had "exactly the type of fundraising experience and community

involvement" he wanted for the position.

Brown spokesman David DeCamp said there is no set date for Finley's departure and the administration is viewing the next several months as a transition period. He said she will have served about 18 months with the City in what has been a "productive relationship."

He discussed Finley's roles in the IBM Smarter Cities Challenge report, Brown's "Learn to Earn" initiative and business contributions announced during former President Bill Clinton's visit as examples of the office leveraging assets in the first year and a half.

DeCamp said the administration will continue to work with Florida Blue through the transition. It also will seek Finley's successor during that time.

Whether the role will be filled by another executive-on-loan or a salaried position has yet to be determined, but will "be in the best interest of the taxpayer," DeCamp said.

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