Cindy Graves: Jack Webb Triumphs, Citizens the Real Winners
Editorial by Cindy Graves
The good news: The Jacksonville City Council has elected as their new president a consensus builder with no ties to special interests and our citizens will be the winners in 2011.
The bad news: The Jacksonville City Council has elected as their new president a consensus builder with no ties to special interests. In what was apparently a backdoor, well-orchestrated campaign, some members moved with stealth to upset the election of outspoken Jack Webb as council president, despite previous vows and letters of support for his candidacy.
Will there be more upsets planned by these same special interests groups who have made it clear they do not like to be defeated at City Hall? Maybe. But if so, they will find a worthy opponent to such disruptive antics and should worry that these distractions will be exposed by voters following the process.
Political push back appears to be the fate of conservative grassroots champion, Jack Webb, who was elected to council in a stunning upset to political movers and shakers in 2007. His common sense leadership has triumphed, his constituents love him and he will no doubt follow through on his promise to unite the council and expand his role of consensus builder. So, why do some oppose him?
Webb is one of those rare political leaders undeterred by polling, the good-old-boy network, smear tactics and especially powerful lobbying efforts. Throughout his tenure, he has demonstrated that he can be counted on to find real solutions even if it is unpopular among those who would be swayed by special interests - beginning with the land fill controversy.
While Americans literally revolt against the special interest, no bid contracts and business-as-usual policies that have put business and government into a downward spiral, citizens can have real hope that local government finally got the memo.
Thankfully, Webb is as ethical in his dealings with other council members as he is in his tenacity and commitment to the citizens of Duval County. We can take heart that the local government will have a leader who puts the public interest above his own, revenue building advertising at bus stops and the ridiculous sideline controversy aside.
I applaud the members of the council: Ray Holt; Bill Bishop; Ronnie Fussell; Daniel Davis; Clay Yarborough; Don Redman; Glorious Johnson; John Crescimbeni and especially Denise Lee for electing such a skilled leader.
Every council member has a role to play and Webb has the integrity to put the past aside and effectively bring out the best in each while corralling those with ties to special interests that are contrary to the fiscal success of our city. Tuesday night meetings will be even more interesting beginning in July.
Cindy Graves is Duval County's GOP State Committeewoman and President of the Florida Federation of Republican Women.