Jacksonville’s Director of Boards and Commissions is coping with IRS liens and authorized motion for non-payment towards his enterprise.

It’s the newest instance of his cash woes that, apparently, don’t matter to political patrons.

Former Metropolis Council member Garrett Dennis had monetary points throughout his time on the Council.

In 2022, Florida Politics reported that Dennis endured a court-ordered garnishment of $37,500 from the Edward Don Company.

He blamed that snafu on money movement points attributable to, you guessed it, the pandemic.

“We pay our money owed,” Dennis mentioned on the time.

He unsuccessfully ran for the state Home later, however with the election of Donna Deegan, whom he endorsed in September 2022 after dropping that Major (and capping off that marketing campaign by illegally donating campaign funds to different campaigns), he discovered his path again into public service and a $150K wage.

Garrett Dennis desires Jacksonville to know he pays his payments. Picture by way of Deegan marketing campaign.

“From sounding the alarm over the corrupt sale of JEA to his current name for extra scrutiny of taxpayer {dollars} despatched to the JAX Chamber, Council Member Garrett Dennis has been a number one voice preventing for extra accountability and transparency in Metropolis Corridor,” learn a YouTube contextualization of the endorsement.

Nevertheless, Dennis’ name to scrutinize taxpayer {dollars} is ironic, given his personal tax points spanning years, even after his late 2022 buy of a Home on Jacksonville’s Southside (distant from the previous Metropolis Council district he represented) for more than $590,000.

Jacksonville Daring obtained proof of IRS liens from 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 that whole greater than $125,000. These span his years in elected workplace, after all. The 2016, 2017 and 2020 lien notices, totaling $60,135, have been ready and signed in June 2023.

The notices for the remaining years have been signed a number of days earlier than the top of final yr.

To place the combination weight of these liens in perspective, they quantity to sufficient for a conventional 20% down cost.

Compounding Dennis’ woes is an alleged failure to pay at the least one subcontractor by way of his Shifting Gears building firm, which owes McCurdy-Walden, Inc. $80K for a reroof of the BCBS constructing at 532 Riverside Avenue.

Right here’s language from the plaintiff’s lawyer’s demand letter within the ongoing authorized motion that alleges the sub has been stiffed for months.

“Up to now and regardless of repeated demand. Shifting Gears has failed and refused to pay McCurdy-Walden for the work it carried out. To make issues worse, we additionally perceive that Florida Blue has paid Shifting Gears in full for McCurdy-Walden’s work. Please permit this letter to function McCurdy-Walden’s demand that the overall of $77,624.00 be paid to it inside 5 enterprise days of the date of this letter.”

Dennis — a stay quote all through his time on Metropolis Council — has refused to touch upon any of this regardless of a number of efforts to get his take.

In the meantime, the Deegan administration is standing by him, saying these points aren’t related to his work for town.

“It has no impression on his means to carry out the duties of his function with the Mayor’s Workplace. We received’t be commenting additional,” spokesperson Phil Perry mentioned.

He wouldn’t say whether or not these monetary points got here up in the course of the vetting and hiring course of as dialogue factors, seemingly contradicting the administration’s declared dedication to transparency.

Whatever the administration’s disinterest on this story that has developed over practically a decade now, there’s an irony in a Council member who positioned himself as a watchdog on Council not paying his full taxes for the years he was on that legislative panel, after which stiffing subcontractors from his enterprise regardless of getting paid for the job.

That irony will most likely be extra enticing to Republicans than Democrats, nevertheless.

Speaking factors

Talking of interparty friction, we must always word a current Action News Jax report that Chief Administrative Officer Karen Bowling was accountable for some current nasty speaking factors about Metropolis Council President Ron Salem that surfaced.

Karen Bowling is within the highlight — for all of the incorrect causes. Picture by way of Jacksonville Every day File.

Bowling, an alum of the Alvin Brown administration, doesn’t take pleasure in being within the headlines, as she has advised individuals after important tales ran up to now. Ben Becker’s reporting positively places the highlight on the CAO.

The Deegan administration isn’t bothering with a lot relating to harm management.

“It’s unlucky that workers notes have been drafted and shared inappropriately with Council President Salem. We sit up for the chance to proceed working with him over the course of his presidency and all through his time period. We received’t be commenting on this matter additional,” a spox advised Becker.

The notes prompt that point was working out on Salem’s time period, that he was feckless on accomplice monuments, that he might have his personal “agenda” as Metropolis Council President, and that he was making an attempt to “tarnish the repute of our Basic Counsel,” which is an attention-grabbing slip provided that Michael Fackler is the entire consolidated metropolis’s lawyer and never simply the Mayor’s henchman.

Bean bucks

A primary-term Congressman from Northeast Florida is elevating cash like a savvy veteran.

Rep. Aaron Bean of Fernandina Seaside closed 2023 with practically $465,000 available, an incredible quantity, particularly provided that the one opponent he has, per Federal Election Fee data, is a write-in who hasn’t raised something.

Aaron Bean is a savvy fundraiser.

Locals of word donating final quarter embrace state Home candidate Judson Sapp, Clay County Faculty Superintendent David Broskie, and Clay County Sheriff Michelle Cook dinner.

Bean confronted a Major in 2022 after redistricting carved out a seat for him that included Clay, Nassau and western Duval counties. This time, he has sources however probably no competitors of word.

Judges needed

Chief U.S. District Decide Timothy Corrigan notes that the Center District of Florida wants extra jurists.

“We must always have 20 judges within the Center District,” Corrigan mentioned to the Jacksonville Federal Court docket Bar Affiliation final month.

Timothy Corrigan throws up the assistance needed signal.

At the moment, notes the Jacksonville Daily Record, there are simply 12 for a inhabitants of 12.5 million — larger than 44 states, Corrigan notes.

Corrigan has appealed to Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott for brand new appointees, however motion has been gradual, maybe due to the administration within the White Home.

Homeless assist?

Excellent news for Rep. Sam Garrison got here from Gov. Ron DeSantis this week.

Throughout a information convention in Miami Seaside, DeSantis made the case for the Legislature to take motion to curb the rights of the unhoused inhabitants.

Ron DeSantis provides Sam Garrison some backup on his plan to cope with homelessness.

The Governor mentioned such a transfer would forestall Florida from turning into San Francisco.

To that finish, he’s “assured there will likely be a product” to “prohibit tenting on all metropolis streets and parks,” including that “most” native governments will again laws like Garrison’s current bill within the Home (HB 1365) and the Senate companion (SB 1630), “carrot and stick” measures that might ban sleeping tough and require localities to arrange homeless camps.

Garrison didn’t embrace all provisions of the laws. However he nonetheless teased state funding for “sheltering” and “issues to deal with a number of the psychological well being issues we’ve seen from individuals on the road” and the “substance abuse.” Whereas he was imprecise on that time, he has beforehand prompt institutionalization ought to be introduced again.

‘Harmful canines’

A committee within the Home moved ahead with a possible legislative answer to the canine conundrum.

Rep. Bobby Payne’s measure (HB 873), superior unanimously by the Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee, would impose new parameters on how the state handles so-called harmful canines. He famous Virginia and Pennsylvania have already got comparable legal guidelines.

The invoice requires the Florida Division of Agriculture and Shopper Providers to create a statewide Harmful Canine Registry, which might depend on data supplied by native animal management companies.

Bobby Payne recommends a change in how Florida handles ‘harmful canines.’

Homeowners of doubtless harmful canines must preemptively confine the canine in a fenced yard or a kennel to guard the general public.

The laws would additionally mandate that the native animal management authority for the probe should maintain canines below investigation for the length.

The invoice can be named after somebody who died after a canine assault performing a public service.

Mail provider Pam Rock, who lived in Putnam County, was fatally attacked by a pack of canines in August 2022. She was 61 years previous. In a measure of her last struggling, docs amputated Rock’s ravaged arm earlier than her demise in a futile try to avoid wasting her.

Payne advised the committee he was “horrified” by the “ugly” assault, which occurred in his district.

Relations of the lifeless lady have been additionally available to make the case for the laws, noting the invoice doesn’t name for a breed ban however for laws on the habits of canines.

Payne’s invoice strikes on to its last cease in Judiciary earlier than heading to the Home ground.

Republican Sen. Jay Collins is carrying the Senate model. Two committee stops await that product.

This invoice isn’t the one effort to honor Rock.

U.S. Rep. Bean lately led the unanimous passage of a invoice in Congress to rename a submit workplace in Melrose in her reminiscence, as we famous final week.

Curb attraction

A novel answer to some reasonably priced housing points continues to roll by way of Home panels, with the Transportation & Modals Subcommittee unanimously on board with a measure the sponsor likened to a “duck-billed platypus in search of a spot to suit.”

Rep. Cyndi Stevenson’s laws (HB 557) would set up parameters and a statutory definition for so-called “movable tiny houses,” specifying which “park trailers” would qualify.

Are tiny houses the important thing to reasonably priced housing?

The St. Johns Republican described the topic as “a comparatively new year-round housing product that’s more and more well-liked and isn’t acknowledged by the Florida motorcar code” that’s on wheels and will journey on roads.

“This invoice would offer a definition of a movable tiny house and requirements for building and inspection,” she mentioned. “The invoice permits for everlasting dwelling in a movable tiny house. If it meets residential constructing requirements, per the Florida constructing code, having a regular will make it simpler for native authorities to contemplate the movable tiny houses as a part of their group and add them to their improvement plans.”

The invoice has one Home Committee cease left however no Senate companion. That implies that if the Home approves it, the Senate should take it up and move it with out committee hearings. On condition that it’s Stevenson’s final Session, which can be what it takes to get this by way of.

New director

R. Brett James, a former director of strategic planning for the Naval Services Engineering Programs Command, is now doing planning for town of Jacksonville, the Deegan administration introduced this week.

“I’m excited to see Brett be part of our administration because the Director of Planning and Improvement,” mentioned Deegan. “His profitable profession brings a contemporary perspective and a wealth of data to Jacksonville, each of which can profit our residents now and into the longer term.”

R. Brett James is called chief of Jacksonville’s planning and improvement.

He’s additionally accomplished municipal planning work earlier than on the affiliate stage in Oklahoma Metropolis, and it will likely be value watching to see if any of these native ideas make their method to Jacksonville.

Described as a “long-standing member of the American Planning Affiliation,” the administration notes he “was elected as Chair, Convention Chair, and Vice Chair of its eminent Federal Planning Division.”

Moral dilemma

Jacksonville’s Ethics Fee has typically been an essential backstop regionally. Nonetheless, it — and different such watchdog panels — may very well be eviscerated if some individuals in Tallahassee get their means, per Nate Monroe.

The Florida Instances-Union columnist is watching a “last-minute modification to a broader ethics invoice, filed final Wednesday by state Sen. Danny Burgess, a Zephyrhills Republican, which might strip away the ability of native ethics commissions to provoke their very own investigations into potential issues, which are sometimes based mostly on nameless or casual ideas in addition to data uncovered by native media.”

Danny Burgess’ invoice would ravage ethics panels throughout the state.

“In different phrases, an ethics official’s mere data of potential lawbreaking would now not be sufficient for that official to start an investigation.”

The Senate unanimously handed the invoice with the brand new language the following day. So, ethics followers must depend on the Florida Home to be a backstop.

Hail to the Chief

A Jacksonville climate forecaster is getting justified recognition for his yeoman’s work on this market.

The Federal Alliance for Protected Houses, Inc. (FLASH) named Mike Buresh, Chief Meteorologist, Motion Information Jax — WJAX, WFOX, because the 2024 Nationwide Weatherperson of the 12 months (NWP).

“It’s with nice honor that we acknowledge Mike for his dedication to his viewers and the development of climate consciousness and schooling,” mentioned FLASH President and CEO Leslie Chapman-Henderson. “His tireless efforts to make sure group security within the face of extreme climate are actually commendable.”

Mike Buresh will get his due.

Voters raved about Buresh’s efficiency over time.

“As an emergency supervisor in Mike’s viewing space, he actually goes above and past to be a response associate and a real a part of this group. Mike has augmented my annual pre-Hurricane Season coaching routine, been a visitor speaker at numerous regional conferences, and if all of that wasn’t sufficient, he’s additionally a staunch champion of the youngsters’s most cancers fundraising efforts. Mike is real — the true deal. He’s totally vested in his group and goes the additional mile to make these round him higher!”

Jacksonville has seen no scarcity of iconic climate forecasters: George Winterling and John Gaughan at WJXT and Tim Deegan at First Coast Information are only a few examples. What’s clear from this award is that Motion Information Jax additionally has an A-list expertise dealing with the forecast beat.

New Board members

The Board of Administrators for the HCA Florida Orange Park Hospital has three new members.

An enormous politico in Clay County is amongst these Board appointees. Clay County Sheriff Michelle Cook dinner is amongst these named to the Board, joined by legal professional David King and Dinesh Madhok, vice chairman of Borland Groover.

Michelle Cook dinner will get a brand new gig.

A number of the tasks the Florida Orange Park Hospital Board is at the moment addressing embrace:

— Modernizing and increasing its Imaging belongings.

— Doubling the scale of the inpatient rehabilitation unit.

— Growing its cardiovascular care capabilities.

— Improvement of a graduate medical schooling simulation heart.

SPARdi Gras

Can’t make it to New Orleans this yr? We are able to’t both. Fortunately, there’s a stable backup plan for these lacking Mardi Gras by way of Springfield Preservation and Revitalization.

On Saturday at 5 p.m. in Sesquicentennial Park, SPAR guarantees to mix “the magic of New Orleans and the spirit of Springfield to create a Mardi Gras expertise like no different proper right here in Jacksonville.”

Springfield reveals its Mardi Gras spirit.

That is on the finish of the Second Line Parade, which begins an hour earlier than that, at Hyperion Brewing Firm, “with the Jacksonville Jaguars D-Line kicking it off earlier than main us by way of the streets of gorgeous Historic Springfield. The parade will wrap up at SesQ Park, the place we’ll celebration the evening away.”

Bands, meals distributors, and a great deal of household enjoyable will likely be out there — although the true Mardi Gras isn’t identified for the latter class.

Corridor of Fame name?

To say that the Jacksonville Jaguars have been ignored for many of the franchise’s historical past is an understatement.

A mix of small market dimension and comparatively few contending groups has made the Jaguars one of many NFL’s least hyped groups.

It took Tony Boselli six tries to be granted a spot within the Corridor of Fame. However now that Boselli has damaged the seal on Canton, the Jaguars may see one other participant earn the Gold Jacket.

On Thursday evening, when the league holds the annual NFL Honors present (8 p.m. ET, CBS and NFL Community), Fred Taylor may very well be introduced as a brand new Corridor of Famer.

Fred Taylor may very well be the one Corridor of Famer who performed most of his profession with the Jaguars.

Taylor, who performed for the Jaguars from 1998-2008 earlier than ending his profession with two seasons in New England, is a Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame finalist. Taylor was among the many 15 names being thought-about by the Corridor of Fame committee this yr. If he have been among the many last 5, he would be part of Boselli as the one participant to make the Corridor who performed most of his profession with the Jaguars.

Taylor’s first coach in Jacksonville, Tom Coughlin, was a semifinalist within the coach/contributor class however didn’t advance to being a finalist.

Ought to Taylor be in? The numbers say sure. He ranks seventeenth in NFL historical past in speeding yards. Frank Gore is the one working again above him on the record who is just not within the Corridor of Fame and can turn out to be eligible for the Corridor subsequent yr. Taylor has extra speeding yards than Corridor of Famers John Riggins and O.J. Simpson. He has extra profession speeding yards than Derrick Henry, who remains to be taking part in however is broadly believed to be a future Corridor of Famer. Taylor additionally outrushed Earl Campbell, Larry Csonka and Jim Taylor, all enshrined in Canton.

So, what has held him out?

First, Taylor solely made one Professional Bowl. Whereas not a purely subjective honor, the truth that Taylor wasn’t acknowledged as among the many finest within the AFC has typically harm his trigger. After which there’s the Jacksonville issue.

In Taylor’s first two seasons, the Jaguars have been an AFC juggernaut. Taylor starred within the playoffs — who can overlook his 90-yard landing run within the AFC Divisional playoff towards the Dolphins? — however after that, the Jaguars solely made the playoffs twice in Taylor’s time with the Jaguars.

In 2007, Taylor had a memorable season, working for 1,202 yards and serving to lead the Jaguars to the postseason. Throughout that 2007 season, Taylor went over the ten,000-yard mark in his profession.

If Taylor will get in, count on the following Jaguars to be within the dialog to be vast receiver Jimmy Smith, who ranks twenty sixth in NFL historical past in receiving yards and is a five-time Professional Bowl choose. Smith can have a tougher time with competitors in his place because the vast receiver has turn out to be a better focus of offenses since Smith’s retirement in 2005.

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