Mayor-elect Deegan announces transition team committees, leads

The seven focus areas show policy priorities on infrastructure, health care, public safety, economic development, arts and culture, community outreach and veterans issues.

Jacksonville Mayor-Elect Donna Deegan
Jacksonville Mayor-Elect Donna Deegan
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Jacksonville Mayor-Elect Donna Deegan announced seven more members of her transition team and committees that provide more detail about her initial policy priorities as she prepares to take office July 1.

In a news release June 6, Deegan’s office said the transition committees will focus on infrastructure; health; economic development; public safety; arts culture, and entertainment; constituency and community outreach; and the military and veterans.

The committee leaders include current and former JEA, City Council and Duval County School Board leaders; higher education, medical, legal and nonprofit professionals; and a retired military officer. 

They comprise: 

• The Infrastructure Committee led by former Council member, construction business owner and restaurateur Garrett Dennis. The committee will focus on neighborhoods, the Downtown riverfront, parks and recreation, resiliency, affordable housing and homelessness. 

• The Health Committee led by certified financial adviser, national media pundit and physician Dr. Carolyn McClanahan. The committee will be responsible for locating candidates to appoint as the newly created position of city chief health officer. It will also focus on maternal and children’s health; primary and dental care access; mental health and addiction; elder care; social determinants of health; and health insurance.

• The Economic Development Committee will be led by JEA Director of Economic Development and the city’s former Director of Business Development Ed Randolph. The committee will focus on permitting, small businesses, talent development and Downtown development. 

• The Public Safety Committee will be led by former Jacksonville Journey Education Chair and past School Board Chair, attorney W.C. Gentry. The committee will lead efforts to revisit former Mayor John Peyton’s crime prevention Jacksonville Journey; a citywide effort to boost literacy; and criminal justice reform.

• The Arts, Culture, and Entertainment Committee will be led by Yellow House founder and Director Hope McMath. The committee will focus on ways to retain local art talent; public and private programming; art in public spaces and buildings; and attracting more public events

• The Constituency and Community Outreach Committee will be led by University of North Florida Coggin College of Business Director of Graduate Programs and Professor of Finance Parvez Ahmed. The committee will focus on diversity, youth outreach, faith outreach, higher education and nonprofits.

• The Military and Veterans Committee will be led by retired U.S. Navy Vice Adm. Rick Snyder. The committee will focus on “the main issues and concerns facing our local military members;” establishing a veterans community center; and the need for more access to veteran activities and services in Jacksonville. 

“These efforts are being led by collaborative leaders who bring deep community roots and long-established records of service,” Deegan said in the release.

On May 25, Deegan announced her six transition team co-chairs, which include former Mayor John Delaney, a Republican, and former Jacksonville Sheriff Nat Glover, a Democrat.

“Our administration will be guided by the principle that every person should have a voice in City Hall and a seat at the table,” Deegan said in May.

“Our culture will be an inclusive one where we encourage collaboration and bring in leaders from all walks of life who look like Jacksonville.”



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