JACKSONVILLE, FL, July 24, 2019 — Duval County Democratic Party released the following statement on the JEA board’s decision to explore privatization of the public-owned utility.
“Yesterday, the JEA board of directors unanimously voted to explore selling the city-owned electric and water utility — one of the largest such utilities in the nation. This decision would impact every resident of Jacksonville and hinder the public’s ability to hold JEA accountable and transparent.
“The impact of a sale would cede control of the city’s most valuable asset, create a $118-million hole in the city’s budget, and would present negative long term consequences, long past any one-time rebate or short term benefit from a potential transaction. These effects would be felt by all ratepayers through the possibility of increased rates, additional fees, and lackluster service once a deal’s honeymoon period has surpassed.
“We stand with the 73% of voters that expressed in 2018, their desire to have a say in the fate of JEA. The residents of Jacksonville deserve and demand transparency in a process that has operated in the shadows since the idea of selling the utility was first discussed in 2017. We also deserve better than reactionary quick-fixes to complex situations.
“For this and many additional concerns, the Duval County Democratic Party reiterates its opposition to the sale and/or privatization of JEA and encourages all ratepayers to express these concerns with their City Council members and demand transparency in discussions moving forward.”