Jacksonville Mayor, First Lady talk second term goals, Lot J development, fixing local schools

Action News Jax interview with Mayor Curry

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry’s administration is charging into its second term.

An inauguration ceremony will be held Monday morning for Curry and Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams.

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Action News Jax’s Tenikka Hughes got a chance to sit down with the Mayor and First Lady of Jacksonville, Molly Curry to discuss a number of issues impacting Jacksonville.

Curry won the vote for mayor in 2015, campaigning under the banner, “One City. One Jacksonville.” As he enters a second term, Curry admits it’s a fragile idea, but he’s committed to it.

“If we always think about perfection, which is one city, one people, one Jacksonville, we'll be kinder to each other, we will make better policy decisions and less likely to point fingers at each other,” Curry said.

Instead, Curry said he wants to point toward the goal line, especially when it comes to development in Jacksonville.

Curry revealed after weeks of meetings with Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan’s team, some major news on the future of Lot J could be coming soon.

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“I would like to be able to share with city council and the public, with your viewers, this is the deal, this is what's coming, by the end of the summer,” Curry said.

Timing is a major factor in the debate around deteriorating schools in Duval County. First Lady Molly Curry said she spends a lot of time in local classrooms and said she’s witnessed some of the issues teachers and students face.

“I've been some of these schools where I’ve gone to read through Jax Kids Book Club and I’ve seen where the air isn’t working properly, some of them the schools aren’t kept up to speed, so I’m in favor and supporting and helping these schools get up to speed so everyone is on an equal playing field,” Curry said.

Some local leaders are pushing to get a half-cent sales tax increase to fix aging schools on the ballot this fall. Mayor Curry said he’s willing to support a referendum for November 2020 but said there needs to be a clear plan from school leaders first.

“What we need from the school board and school leadership is a plan that very clearly lays out what are the dollars that are going to be raised, what are revenue projections, how much are you going to borrow and more importantly, what’s your list of priorities?” Mayor Curry said.

You can see more from Tenikka’s interview with Mayor Curry and his wife on Action News Jax Sunday at 4:30 a.m. and 6:30 a.m. on CBS47 and 10 a.m. on FOX30.