JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — City Councilman Matt Carlucci made a statement Friday night calling for JEA CEO Aaron Zahn to resign from the public utility company.
"The board needs to find a CEO well steeped with integrity and experienced in the municipal utilities business," Carlucci said. "This entire 'conversation' on selling the JEA has long-lost credibility and fatigued our citizens and stalled our city's progress on so many other important issues that affect all of Jacksonville's citizens."
Carlucci referred to the plan to possibly sell JEA, which has been exhaustive and controviersial.
A few weeks ago, the Jacksonville City Council held a public fact-finding workshop regarding the possible sale. That meeting was one of 14 City Councilman Michael Boylan said are scheduled through June 2020.
JEA Board of Directors Chairwoman April Green put addressed Carlucci's call for the CEO to be removed late Friday night, affirming the company's support for Zahn.
"When JEA's board appointed Aaron Zahn as our managing director and CEO, we placed our full faith and support in his ability to organize a strong senior leadership team to take JEA through a 10 year strategic planning process," Green said. "Today I was surprised to hear about Councilman Carlucci's demand for Mr. Zahn's resignation."
Both statements can be read in full below.
City Councilman Matt Carlucci:
"It is my opinion, and an opinion that is difficult to share because it goes against my nature of giving people 2nd and even 3rd chances. However, it is time for the Jea Board to call for the resignation of CEO Aaron Zahn. I, Matt Carlucci, one out of 19 council members, feels it is time to call for his resignation. I have met with Aaron Zaughn and tried and worked to understand where he's coming from. I tried to feel his pain so to speak, because as a business owner I have felt headwinds in my industry as well myself.
However, I have come to the firm conclusion he needs to find a place for his skill sets, but CEO of the JEA IS NOT THE PLACE. The board needs to find a CEO well steeped with integrity and experienced in the Municipal utilities business . The "headwinds" in the municipal utility business can be overcome, at least according to another t municipal utility CEO in Florida that I have had conversations with. This entire "conversation " on selling the Jea has long lost credibility and fatigued our citizens and stalled our city's progress on so many other important issues that affect all of Jacksonville's citizens . The trend country wide is to keep or acquire municipal utilities.
This drama needs to come to an end. The JEA board must hire a "can do" municipal utility CEO . I am a 4 term Councilman and have seen a lot. I do not claim to "know it all" , but I have seen more than enough to know that this is an issue very fouled up with lost credibility beyond repair. It's time to nurture this amazing municipality owned energy and water authority beloved and known as the JEA that we the ratepayers appreciate and enjoy. PULL THE PLUG! Find new leadership and move ahead! We have bigger issues ahead."
JEA Board Chairwoman April Green:
"When JEA's board appointed Aaron Zahn as our managing director and CEO, we placed our full faith and support in his ability to organize a strong senior leadership team to take JEA through a 10 year strategic planning process. Today I was surprised to hear about Councilman Carlucci's demand for Mr. Zahn's resignation. As appointed and elected officials we have the duty and responsibility to work collaboratively on the most pressing and complicated issues facing our City. We simply cannot do things the way we have always done them. We have to address the future with open eyes, ears and hearts. JEA's board has been conducting a very public strategic planning process regarding the future of JEA. I am pleased the City Council has joined JEA's strategic planning dialogue via Councilman Boylan's professionally stewarded workshops. It is our responsibility to work together on the issues facing JEA. While the discussions are uncomfortable, they are necessary and require all participants to be open to and thoughtful in our dialogue. Our Consolidated form of government requires it and our customers deserve it."
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