JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- You pay your electric bill every month and now, one local leader wants city council members to have control over a piece of it.
At City Hall Tuesday, council president Bill Bishop clashed with councilman Matt Schellenberg over who should get additional money made by our local service agencies; JEA, the Jacksonville Aviation Authority, JaxPort and the Jacksonville Transportation Authority. Bishop wants to essentially hit the reset button on how our city government operates. Just about every department will suffer from slashed budgets in 2013. Action News wanted to know, how would additional money be appropriated?
"We're talking about continuing operations of the city government to provide the the services that people want like police fire, libraries and parks and all that general stuff that we're running out of money to fund," said Bishop.
Schellenberg doesn't buy Bishop's plan. He says, quite simply, the excess money isn't there and if it is, it's tied up. Take JEA, Schellenberg says they keep at least $600 million in reserves but are billions of dollars in debt. Schellenberg contends, any extra money would be better spent by executives than elected leaders.
"If they believe they need the assets going forth to grow their business to hire people, pay off the debt, I want them to keep it," said Schellenberg.