Emergency JEA board meeting scheduled after Jacksonville Mayor says invitation to negotiate ‘needs to be pulled’

Emergency Christmas Eve meeting

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — UPDATE:

The JEA board unanimously agreed to take ITN off the table Tuesday morning.

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Hours after Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry called for the Jacksonville Electric Authority board of directors to end the invitation to negotiate, or ITN process, JEA announced a special board meeting to discuss the ITN’s future.

“JEA Board Chair April Green has called for a special board meeting to be held at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow, December 24, 2019 to discuss the future of the ITN process,” said JEA spokesperson Gina Kyle. “The meeting will be held in the JEA Tower, located at 21 W. Church Street, T-19. There will be no media availability tomorrow due to the Christmas holiday. No additional information is expected to be made available prior to the special meeting tomorrow.

While speaking in a news briefing on Monday morning, Curry called for the board to end negotiations.

“They took that initiative. I said I supported the process. I never said I supported a privatization or recapitalization. I said it’s part of the options that ought to be discussed,” Curry told Action News Jax on Monday. “What I am saying conclusively right now, is that this needs to be pulled. It needs to be stopped, and JEA needs to get back to doing their business.”

Action News Jax reported Saturday night when Jacksonville City Councilman Matt Carlucci issued a statement calling for the JEA board to end the “invitation to negotiate” instead of sending the decision to the City Council.

Carlucci said the city could be sued if the council ends the ITN process, rather than the JEA board.

"If the JEA board of directors passes this ITN on to the Jacksonville City Council, if we the council stop the process, we are opening our city to serious lawsuits as the ITN contact does not exempt the council,” Carlucci said. “The JEA board at their next meeting is at a serious crossroads.”

Action News Jax reporter Ryan Nelson spoke to Council President Scott Wilson about Monday’s news.

“I think it’s the right thing to do. I think this process has left the public feeling… left out, I think they’ve lost trust in this process because there’s been several things that have happened over the course of this last several months, including the big bonus payout plan that has been discussed recently,” Wilson said.

Former CEO Aaron Zahn was ousted nearly one week ago, and the city is presently negotiating his exit package.