Ferraro, Wilson and Dennis join Deegan’s top staff

The former City Council members are part of a bipartisan group who will join the incoming mayoral administration.

Jacksonville Mayor-elect Donna Deegan.
Jacksonville Mayor-elect Donna Deegan.
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Mayor-elect Donna Deegan announced more staff appointments and the head of the Neighborhoods Department on June 29 for her term that begins July 1.

They include term-limited Republican City Council member Al Ferraro as director of Neighborhoods and former Council member Scott Wilson, also a Republican, as Council liaison. 

Ferraro, whose term ends June 30, founded Ferraro Lawn Service in 1986 and represented District 2 in East Arlington and North Jacksonville.

Ferraro ran for mayor against Deegan but did not advance in the March general election to the May runoff.

Wilson is the compliance administrator for Total Military Management. He previously served as president and vice president of the Council and as an executive Council assistant.

Wilson served on the Council from 2015-20 as the District 4 representative. He left Council to campaign for Clerk of the Circuit Court but did not win that election.

“They represent the culture of collaboration, innovation, accountability, and transparency that we will bring to City Hall. I look forward to working with them to deliver a new day in Jacksonville,” Deegan, a Democrat, said of the bipartisan group in a news release.

Deegan also announced the hiring of:

Joe Inderhees as deputy chief of staff. He has a 25-year career in television with Scripps News, First Coast News, and NBC Bay Area News.

Kelli O’Leary as deputy chief administrative officer. She is the organizational development director for Liberty Landscape Supply and previously served as vice president of engagement with the Jacksonville Transportation Authority and as director of employee services at the city.

Brittany Norris as director of intergovernmental affairs. She is digital director at Whalebone Media and previously served on the Atlantic Beach City Commission in Seat 5, as mayor pro tem and as chair of the Board Member Review Committee.

Tracye Polson as director of strategic partnerships. Polson is a licensed clinical social worker who works with adults, couples and families. She has also led a nonprofit focused on infants and children and taught at multiple universities. A Democrat, she lost in a 2022 special election for the At-Large Group 3 Council seat to Republican Nick Howland.

Lynn Sherman as executive director of health programs. She is the executive director of community transformation at Baptist Health and previously was a respiratory therapist.

Garrett Dennis, a former Council member, as director of boards and commissions. Dennis owns a construction company and a restaurant. He previously served for 14 years at the Supervisor of Elections Office as director of community outreach. He has also been a teacher in the Duval County Public Schools system. A Democrat, Dennis resigned his District 14 Council seat in 2022 to run for the state House of Representatives but did not win.

Joshua Hicks as affordable housing and community development director. He is the senior platform administrator at the Colorectal Cancer Alliance. Hicks, a Democrat, lost his challenge against Council member Ron Salem for the At-Large Group 2 seat. Salem is 2023-24 Council president.