‘He demonstrated such a love for Jacksonville’: Former mayor Tommy Hazouri admitted to hospice care

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Former Jacksonville mayor and current council member Tommy Hazouri has been released into home hospice care after being hospitalized with complications from a lung transplant.

Action News Jax spoke to his family member and friend, Donna Deegan, who says his love for the people is what inspires him.

“He demonstrated such a love for Jacksonville. It doesn’t matter what the service was, if he felt like he could make it better, if he could felt like he could serve he wanted to do it.”

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The way Deegan puts it, his mayoral leadership was not “glamorous.” He tackled the smell caused by paper plants, got rid of tolls and tried to diversify city leadership.

“He tackled so many difficult issues: the garbage, the jails, so many things that were just pressing issues that were keeping Jacksonville from moving forward while he was the mayor.”

Since then, he’s worked with the Duval County public school system, been the president of city council, and stayed active in the community.

“I know he’s family, but I don’t know any politician alive or dead that had a résumé like that!” Deegan said.

Now, those who still work with him say they hope Hazouri knows that everything he did meant something to the people of Jacksonville.

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“This is not a time to celebrate. This is the time to pray for a man who ... (as) a mayor who over the last 20, 25 years has done so much for the city of Jacksonville,” says Reggie Gaffney, longtime friend and co-council member of Hazouri.

Those who know him say that’s just what he wants to do — serve Jacksonville.

“He believes in one Jacksonville. and that’s always been his goal for the last 30 years — bring the city together,” Gaffney said.