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Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown's proposed budget doesn't violate city law, according to attorney

Posted: July 18, 2014 - 3:06pm  |  Updated: July 18, 2014 - 5:41pm
Alvin Brown
Alvin Brown

Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown’s proposed budget and its use of the city’s savings does not violate any laws, according to a legal opinion issued Friday in response to a councilman’s questioning of the budget’s legality.

Last Tuesday, councilman Bill Gulliford asked the city’s legal staff to determine whether Brown’s proposal saved enough money to be considered balanced, citing a city budgeting law that calls for at least five percent of the total budget to be put into reserve. Brown’s proposed budget would bring the city’s reserves -- money saved from previous years intended to be used sparingly -- to about 4 percent of total spending, according to the City Council Auditor’s Office.

However, the law simply uses the five percent savings as a target, not a requirement, according to the legal opinion.

“The Mayor when creating the budget and the Council upon deliberating the budget should determine the prudence of the source of funds being used and the purpose for which those funds are used,” wrote city attorney Margaret Sidman. “Disagreement with the funding sources, however, does not create an illegality.”

Check back for updates.

Christopher Hong: (904) 359-4272

Comments (3)

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Right for jax
Right for jax 07/18/14 - 10:37 pm

Good for the times union.

Good for the times union. They reported the truth that this budget, like other mayoral budgets, was not illegal. Maybe the witch hunt is over

johnctaughtme 07/18/14 - 07:55 pm
Premium Member

Gee, will anybody really be

Gee, will anybody really be running the City between now and the mayor's race? Suddenly there is an apparent need to retain the services of the former and recent General Counsel Cindy Laquidera, and now this bit of a debate on the budget.

Jacksonville has been running a city for many years, and this particular version since consolidation in 1968. How hard can it be to determine what is legal regarding the budget? Might past practice not at least give these folks a clue?

Of course a "clue" is not what some really want. This is yet another issue which serves the political and personal agendas and posturing of some politicians, at the expense of many other pressing and potentially dangerous municipal needs and issues.

Noillusions 07/18/14 - 06:27 pm

For every attorney that says

For every attorney that says YES, there will be at least 1 to say NO.

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