Jacksonville City Council

The Jacksonville City Council is the legislative governing body of the city of Jacksonville, Florida. The council meets in its chambers at Jacksonville City Hall, 117 W. Duval St. Under Florida’s government transparency laws, all official council business must be conducted in meetings open to the public.


The Jacksonville City Council is composed of nineteen members who are elected for a four-year term and serve as part-time legislators. In May of each year, the Council elects a President and Vice President to serve one-year terms beginning the first of July.

The nineteen members are not all elected in the same manner; some are elected from districts, and others are elected at large. However, once elected, there is no distinction between council members elected at-large and from regular districts. Both have equal rights and responsibilities.

Regular districtsEdit

The city is divided into 14 districts; each of these districts elects a single council member who resides in the district. Like virtually all legislative districts at all levels in United States, these districts are redrawn every ten years following the decennial census. In Jacksonville, since reapportionment of the 1990s, four of these districts have been gerrymandered to increase the likelihood of electing an African-American council person.

At-large groupsEdit

In the early 1990s, voters approved an unusual residency requirement for "at-large" members. The county was divided into five special districts unrelated to any other districts, solely for the purpose of providing better representation for all geographical areas of Jacksonville. This was done because a trend had developed in which all five "at large" councilmembers actually resided in one small area of town. So under the current structure, at-large council members must reside in the special district for which they are running, but are elected by the voters of the county as a whole.

One at-large seat was vacated in 2007 because of a violation of this residency requirement; "Jay" Jabour was elected as the at-large councilman from the 2nd special district, but evidence later arose indicating that he actually lived in the 3rd special district. A judge subsequently invalidated the election, and the seat became vacant.[1]

Party affiliationEdit

Currently the council has six Democrats and thirteen Republicans serving.


The Council President assigns members to committees and to act as council liaisons.[2]

There are six standing committees:

  1. Finance
  2. Land Use & Zoning
  3. [3] Public Health & Safety
  4. Rules
  5. Transportation, Energy & Utilities
  6. Neighborhoods, Community Investments & Services Committee

There is one special committee:

  1. Personnel Committee

There are three council boards & commissions:

  1. Duval County Tourist Development Council
  2. Jacksonville Waterways Commission
  3. Value Adjustment Board

Awards and criticismEdit

The Charles D. Webb Award is given annually by outgoing council President for the most effective councilman, i.e. most helpful to the council and constituents.[4] After the 1988 death of Claude Yates, known as the father of Jacksonville’s consolidation, the Jacksonville City Council created the Claude J. Yates Outstanding Councilman of the Year Award, which is bestowed annually to an exemplary council member. The council created the John E. Goode Award for best council debater in 1997. The Mary L. Singleton Award is given to the member with the most difficult committee assignment during the year.

In late 2007, a Grand Jury announced that it would probe alleged Sunshine Law violations by the Jacksonville City Council. While the Grand Jury found numerous instances of violation of the law, they decided against issuing any indictments when they issued their final report in January 2008.[5]

In January 2010, District 13 Council member John Meserve was suspended by Florida Governor Charlie Crist after being charged with conducting real estate transactions without a license.[6] Art Graham, who resigned the seat in 2009 to unsuccessfully run for state senate, was appointed by the governor on February 12, 2010 to replace John Meserve, who is fighting a felony charge. In May of 2018, two Council members, Reggie Brown and Katrina Brown, were indicted by a federal grand jury on conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. [7]


City Council membersEdit

Map of the city council districts
Jacksonville, Florida City Council 2020
District Name Party
1 Joyce Morgan Dem
2 Al Ferraro Rep
3 Aaron L. Bowman Rep
4 Scott Wilson Rep
5 LeAnna Cumber Rep
6 Michael Boylan Rep
7 Reggie Gaffney Dem
8 Ju'Coby Pittman Dem
9 Garrett L. Dennis Dem
10 Brenda A. Priestly Jackson Dem
11 Danny Becton Rep
12 Randy White Rep
13 Rory Diamond Rep
14 Randy DeFoor Rep
Seat 1 Terrance Freeman Rep
Seat 2 Ronald B. Salem Rep
Seat 3 Tommy Hazouri Dem
Seat 4 Matt Carlucci Rep
Seat 5 Samuel Newby Rep


  1. ^ Florida Times-Union: February 22, 2008-Court rules Jabour's seat invalidated
  2. ^ City of Jacksonville website: City Council-Council Committees, Boards and Commissions
  3. ^ Love, Jim. "City Councilman". City of Jacksonville. City of Jacksonville. Retrieved 2016-07-20.
  4. ^ Florida Times-Union: July 5, 1997-Mayor Delaney seeking 'housing czar'
  5. ^ Florida Times-Union: January 18, 2008-Grand Jury Issues Report
  6. ^ jacksonville.com: January 19, 2010
  7. ^ Mitchell, Tia: "Graham appointed to vacant Jacksonville City Council seat" Florida Times-Union, February 13, 2010
  8. ^ "City of Jacksonville Official Website". City of Jacksonville. Retrieved 2011-09-24.[permanent dead link]

External linksEdit