City Council reappoints Bobby Stein to JEA board

The publicly owned utility’s vice chair is the first member appointed under a process approved by voters in November.

The Regency Group Inc. President Bobby Stein will remain on the JEA board.
The Regency Group Inc. President Bobby Stein will remain on the JEA board.
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The Regency Group Inc. President Bobby Stein will remain on the JEA board of directors. 

The Jacksonville City Council voted 19-0 as part of the consent agenda Feb. 9 to reappoint Stein to his first full term on the municipal water and electric utility board through February 2025.

Council President Tommy Hazouri and the five JEA labor unions nominated Stein in January for reappointment.

He is the first JEA board member nominated and reappointed under the utility’s new board selection process.

The process splits JEA board appointment power between the Council and Jacksonville mayor. 

Council approved the process in April 2020 through legislation filed by District 9 member Garrett Dennis and Duval County voters supported it in a referendum Nov. 3.

The legislation and ballot initiative came after the 2019 attempt by the former JEA board and executives, since fired, to sell the public utility to a private company.

The Council now appoints four members with one nominated by the Council president and recommended by a former JEA employee, labor union or group of current or former JEA workers.

The mayor appoints the other three.

All seven must be confirmed by the Council.

Stein received the endorsement of the utility’s labor unions in a joint letter dated Jan. 5 sent to Hazouri. 

The letter was filed with Resolution 2021-0036 that confirms Stein’s appointment. 

“All of the JEA unions (IBEW 2358, JSA, LIUNA 630, PEA and AFSCME) nominates and recommends Bobby Stein for the JEA Board fulfilling the Council appointment for a board member in accordance with Article 21.03,” the letter states.

During his time as JEA board vice chair, Stein led lease renegotiations with the developer and owner of the utility’s next Downtown corporate headquarters, Ryan Companies US Inc., to reduce the size and cost of the project. 

Stein previously served on the Jacksonville Port Authority and St. Johns County utility boards and is a past JEA board chair.

He began serving as the JEA board vice chair in April. He was appointed by Mayor Lenny Curry in February 2020 to a partial term replacing former board member April Green. 

She resigned along with five other JEA board members after the abandoned JEA sale effort and the firing of utility CEO Aaron Zahn.

JEA’s seven sitting board members were appointed by Curry and later confirmed by Council in April before the legislation was approved. 

The other six members are: 

• John Baker II, executive chairman and CEO of FRP Holdings Inc.; his term expires Feb. 28, 2024.

• Retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Joseph DiSalvo; his term expires Feb. 28, 2022.

• A. Zachary Faison Jr., Edward Waters president and CEO; his term expires Feb. 28, 2022.

• Dr. Leon Haley Jr., UF Health Jacksonville CEO; his term expires Feb. 28, 2024.

• Marty Lanahan, IberiaBank executive vice president and regional president; her term expires Feb. 28, 2024.

• Tom VanOsdol, president and CEO of Ascension Florida; his term expires Feb. 28, 2024.