Why the TU is wrong on Curry

My former colleagues in the Times-Union editorial department have written yet another glowing paean about Mayor Lenny Curry.
They continue to pull the shade down over their eyes and ignore the light.
For starters, the editorial board’s repeated drumbeat that Curry solved the city’s public employee pension problem is wrong.
What Curry did was secure passage of the largest tax hike in the city’s history, one that will conveniently be paid for by future generations, not those of us who actually allowed the debt to accumulate.
Can you imagine the squawking that would have come from the editorial board if former Mayor Alvin Brown had proposed such a tax hike and just kicked the can down the road for today’s children to pay when they are adults?
The editorial board, in its latest Sunday installment of let us praise Curry, reflects on how much has been accomplished during his three years in office.
The city’s murder rate is still out of control. When Curry ran for office, he blamed Brown for that unacceptable statistic. Now the Curry line goes that it’s the fault of a “tiny” percentage of gang bangers who are doing the killing.
The Jacksonville Landing still stands as an embarrassment to the city’s Downtown.
The Shipyards property remains undeveloped.
There are still no concrete plans for the old City Hall and County Courthouse sites.
The city’s poorer neighborhoods remain underserved.
No, not all is hunky-dory in Jacksonville during Curry’s reign.
The editorial board also heaps praise on City Council President Aaron Bowman for being joined at the hip with Curry.
I don’t see that as a good thing. I see it as dangerous and a continuation of putting people who owe fealty to Curry in every position of power.
I can only surmise that the TU editorial board is trying to establish an argument that Curry should sail to re-election next spring without a serious challenge.
That’s not going to happen. There will be a serious challenger. Only then will the difficult issues facing Jacksonville be the subject of thorough debate and not glossed over with fluff.

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I wrote opinion columns for The Florida Times-Union for 28 years. I retired in December 2017, but I still have a few things to say. Often those thoughts come to me when I'm at our farm in Gadsden County where life is simple and the environment still beautiful.

6 thoughts on “Why the TU is wrong on Curry”

  1. You are absolutely correct. As for the Times Union, when they endorsed Trump, I cancelled my subscription.
    Well said Ron!


    1. A lot of us readers were scratching heads when we read the TU editorial. We really miss your voice, Ron. Please run for city council.


      1. so good to hear your opinions again. so helpful realizing different perspectives of issues. Did you stop writing? Please not.


  2. Thanks for that Ron; I feel you may have pulled a few punches, but there’ll time to write more later. I attended one of Mayor Curry’s appearances at a ‘town hall’ meeting called by my council-person Scott Wilson. In his presentation on pension reform options Mr. Curry made wild exaggerations about a potential property tax increase, which would have started paying the debt immediately. I recall my high school physics teacher sharing this aphorism: “Figures lie and liars figure”.

    When a non-profit group I’m a member of – arranged to meet with him at City Hall, he was extremely rude when he found that he would be meeting with more than one person. He was verbally abusive to his assistant and not friendly to his constituents.

    Mayor Curry’s actions regarding the JEA (sale or no sale), JEA leadership etc. are further evidence that he’s not acting in the public interest.


  3. Thank you for pointing this out! I was aghast when I saw the rah rah column for Curry in the paper by the editorial board. Did he hire them for PR? Sure seems like it.


  4. Agree with Ron Littlepage for the very first time….amazing.

    Only problem is his list is too short.

    He needs to include the ongoing scandal with JEA….trying to sell it without telling us about it then continuing his machinations down that path by supporting a totally unqualified investment banker with no utility management experience to be it’s head and running off qualified candidates as a result.

    The foul odor related to The Project. Councilman Matt Schellenberg’s analysis of the project history for the large piece of land on the Southbank points out the same nonsense behind JEA, this time in favor of one of his largest contributors.

    Then there is the pimping of Jacksonville to get Amazon HQ2 here. Wanted to offer unfettered access to policy making at City Hall for 50,000 jobs. What about those hometown values he and Jax Chamber promote…gone in 60 seconds with Amazon here (NYC and Va are the lucy recipeints and they ain’t to happy).

    Here is the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmsTkC8jIQI


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