‘Vendetta Over Vision’ Fails Lot J Deal


Jacksonville, Fla. – Hours after Jacksonville City Council voted to come up with a proposed deal to build a major entertainment complex in the shadow of the Jaguars’ stadium, Mayor Lenny Curry said there were personal reprisals against him and his administration.

“You had vengeance on sight,” Curry said Wednesday night on 1010XL Sports Radio. “I had with you personal beefy council members who did not vote. You have an organization that recently told the organization that it was yes, and then it did not go away. “

Curry was seen referring to his ongoing public beef with counselor Garrett Dennis.

Dennis was one of three council members, including Joyce Morgan and Randy DeFoor, who voted to advance this committee last week and only a full council vote to vote against the development on Tuesday night Brought for, surprised some.

Morgan told News4Jax that he was sorry that the deal did not happen.

Council members Danny Becton, Matt Carlusi, Al Ferraro and Council President Tommy Hazuri also voted against the deal, which fell 12-7. A minimum of 13 votes were required to approve the project.

“How are we going to move forward when you have people who vote because they want to be mayor, or they want to run for office for the next 10 or 15 years, or they have personal reprisals against me,” Curry said . “We’re going to figure out how to navigate, or this city is going nowhere, which is the city.”

Curry later spoke to reporters Wednesday afternoon about his disappointment.

“Anyone who saw that meeting last night could see that it is clear that there were not some votes that were about personality, and that is really unfortunate,” he said. “It’s a loss for Jacksonville. It would have been a transformational project downtown, there is a disadvantage to it. “

Dennis placed the deal’s failure at Curry’s feet during an interview on “The Morning Show” on Wednesday.

“I think there should have been an olive branch expansion on both sides, but the deal broke down because of the mayor, someone else,” Dennis said. “I mean he negotiated a bad deal and he brought it to the council. And so we had to act in the interest of the taxpayers. And so I don’t regret my vote, and I don’t think voting against the deal The other six to do regret their vote. “

Dennis said he supported the idea of ​​developing Lott J, but said the deal was bad from the start – it was entangled in secrecy, ran away and “spoiled” by taxpayers. He and other council members have also drawn comparisons between scattered sales of lots J and JEA.

“Council members said it was negotiated in secrecy. That there is a bunch of baloney,” Curry said. “The executive branch negotiates deals and they bring deals to the city council to debate. If You follow their logic that if you have to negotiate deals publicly, we will never bring any other company or job expansion to our city. ”

Asked if he was worried that Shad Khan and the Jaguars would leave the city as part of the deal, Dennis said he was always on the table.

“What about Jaguar?” Is their decisive factor in leaving an area, a particular development city? “Denis said.” But again, I don’t think it would be a deal indicative if they are leaving or not. “

Jacksonville Jaguars president Mark Lamping said the team would now focus on negotiations related to shipyard development.

“We will go through the process for the shipyard which will go through [the Downtown Investment Authority] And then we’ll see how it goes, “Lamping said Tuesday night.

Which surprised Dennis.

“Mr. I started talking about shipping when you know, the big elephant in the room is the stadium,” Dennis said. “[Lamping] It was said on record almost a month ago that in 2023, they would talk of either (one) building a new stadium to get back into the city before talking about extending their lease. So, in my opinion, I think we need to deal with the stadium before dealing with the shipyard or any other development. “

Curry said that he is not over used a sports analogy.

“A real test of a person and a team is a real test of what you do when everything doesn’t go your way,” he said. “I told my team last night that I am incredibly proud of the work they put together. They fought to get it across the finish line, and it did not.

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