Special Council committee to investigate whether Downtown Investment Authority is ‘effective’

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Action News Jax is learning more about the special city council committee formed to investigate the effectiveness of the Downtown Investment Authority.

READ: Special Jacksonville City Council committee to examine Downtown Investment Authority’s effectiveness

Council President Ron Salem, who convened the committee, said its formation is not intended as a slight against the Downtown Investment Authority.

But Salem did note there’s a feeling among some council members that the Downtown Investment Authority is inhibiting, rather than promoting growth downtown.

“And I think there are members of our greater community, developers, real estate people, also feel that way,” said Salem.

Salem added, that with DIA CEO Lori Boyer likely coming up for a contract extension soon, he wants to figure out whether the agency is truly to blame for the perceived slow growth of the city’s urban core.

“And determine, is this the entity and structure that we want to have in place as we go into the future and potentially bring in a new CEO down the road,” said Salem.

We contacted Boyer and asked if she wanted to comment on the formation of the special committee but didn’t hear back.

Salem said committee members will hear from experts in development and DIA board members.

They’ll also look at how other cities handle downtown development.

He said the goal is to study the issue before any drastic measures may be put on the table.

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“To figure out, do we have the most effective structure, and if so, great. If it needs to be changed, tweaked, then let’s put through some legislation to do that,” said Salem.

President Salem has already decided who will be running the special committee and the other council members who will be serve on it.

He said he’s looking forward to the committee getting its work started in the next few weeks.

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