JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Nestled at the intersection of Union and Davis streets, a downtown building sits deserted. But Supervisor of Elections Jerry Holland hopes to change that. He wants the city to move his offices there and consolidate operations into one building.
"It would almost cut the cost in half. We could probably save close to a quarter of a million dollars a year by owning that facility at that location," said Holland.
But Mayor Alvin Brown has a different plan. His proposed budget calls for a 19% cut in the elections office, that's $1.3 million gone. To make the cuts, Holland is reducing overtime, temporary staffing and cutting the number of voting precincts from 250 to 198. But Holland says that he's told the Mayor they could save even more money.
Right now, the city shells out $52 thousand a month for a northside annex at the Gateway Shopping Center and Holland says it's not worth it. "We've had problems for numerous years where the escalator doesn't work, the elevators have been down, the air conditioning hasn't been working, it's got a rat infestation."
Holland says it doesn't make sense to pay premium rent for a place with endless problems. That's why he wants the election's offices to move to a new downtown building. Holland says the city could also sell another location on Monroe street. Both locations are used for early voting. But Holland says the mayor worries the move will confuse voters.
"That was disappointing to hear that that was the reason not to do it. Also, saving hundreds of thousands of dollars. It could save potential jobs, put additional police officers on the street, it could save the taxpayers money," said Holland.
City council members could propose and pass this plan when they debate the 2013 budget. Mayor Brown will present his budget to city council Monday morning.
If your voting precinct gets cut, Holland says you will be notified where the new location is with a voter registration card in the mail.