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Jax Daily Record Wednesday, Jul. 3, 200212:00 PM EST

Mayor's top aide on leave

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by: Mike Sharkey

by Mike Sharkey

Staff Writer

If you want to catch up to Mayor John Delaney’s Chief of Staff Audrey Moran in an official capacity, you better do it today.

Citing several reasons, Moran is taking an eight-week unpaid leave of absence effective Friday from her position as one of City Hall’s highest-ranking officials. In addition to handling much of the day-to-day activities of the mayor’s office, Moran also plays a major role in the execution of the Better Jacksonville Plan. There are no plans to replace Moran during the two-month period.

“We are going to spread my duties around,” she said.

Personally, the time off makes sense. Moran has four children at home, all of whom are off for the summer.

“This is a great chance to catch up with my kids,” said Moran, who is married to County Judge John Moran.

Professionally, the timing also appears good.

Over the past several months, the four major projects within the Better Jacksonville Plan has gone from conceptual to reality. Work is well underway on both the ballpark and arena, the design competition for the new main library is over and demolition has started and the new county courthouse is coming together.

A major annual project, the City’s budget, is also a done deal. A few weeks ago, Moran and Chief Administrative Officer Sam Mousa heard the proposed 2002-03 budgets from every division within the City.

“We have the budget under our belts and we have the courthouse design under our belts,” said Moran. “I have promised to come back if there is a crisis.”

Moran stressed that she is not leaving for good and plans to remain chief of staff until at least the end of Delaney’s term, which wraps up on June 30, 2003.

“I am coming back,” she said, adding that she would not go on the leave without Delaney’s blessing. “I am grateful to the mayor giving me the chance to do this.”

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