"The Taxpayer's Watchdog"

Accomplishments

Education

  • Graduate of Bolles High School
  • Graduate of Florida Junior College
  • Graduate of Jacksonville University (triple major, with honors)

Work Experience

  • Former owner/licensed franchise of Hickory Farms for the Jacksonville area (37 years)
  • Part-Time Executive Director of Scenic America – Florida Chapter, Inc.
  • Owner of Hickory Creek Jerky Company

Public Service

  • Served on the Jacksonville City Council, 1991-1999; 2008 – Present
  • Vice President of the City Council, 1997-98, 2016-17
  • Chairman of the Jacksonville Tree Commission (2018 – Present)
  • Chairman of the Special Committee on the Potential Sale of JEA
  • Chairman of the St. Johns River Ferry Commission (for 3 years)
  • Chairman of the Value Adjustment Board (for 8 years)
  • Chairman of the Finance Committee
  • Chairman of the Land Use and Zoning Committee (for 3 years)
  • Chairman of the Jacksonville Waterways Commission (for 3 years)
  • Chairman of the Public Health and Safety Committee (for 2 years)
  • Chairman of the Recreation and Community Development Committee
  • Chairman of the Public Services, Transportation and Utilities Committee

Community Service

  • Jacksonville Humane Society Advisory Board of Directors – Member
  • Friends of the Jacksonville Public Library Board of Directors – Member
  • Tree Hill Nature Center Advisory Board of Directors – Member
  • Citizens for Tree Preservation, Inc. – President and Founder

City Council Achievements

  • Authored and championed the 2018 voter referendum that gave citizens the final say about any future sale of JEA.
  • Fought to expand the powers of the Inspector General to include Jacksonville’s independent authorities and Constitutional offices.
  • Fought against repeated attempts by some of his colleagues to undo term limits for City Council members.
  • Saved the St. Johns River Ferry from being mothballed
  • Blew the whistle on the mismanagement of the city’s Loblolly wetlands mitigation bank (case pending in Circuit Court)
  • Fought against multiple unnecessary property tax hikes.
  • Worked tirelessly on initiatives to improve our quality of life in Jacksonville through anti-litter and visual pollution initiatives.
  • Fought to challenge the validity of a special pension plan created for three employees of the Police and Fire Pension Fund (case pending in Circuit Court)
  • Championed the overhaul of the city’s Public Service Grants process
  • Chaired the special committee that rewrote the city’s public investment (economic development) policies
  • Led the fight against the City’s controversial $740 million no-bid landfill contract.

Awards

  • Charles E. Bennett Champion of the Environment Award-2018
  • Charles D. Webb Award (for City Council member demonstrating outstanding commitment to public service)-1999, 2014, 2017
  • Mary Singleton Award (for outstanding City Council committee chair)-2013
  • U.S. Term Limits, Champion of Term Limits Award-2017
  • Friends of the Murray Hill Library, Library Hero Award-2016
  • Northside Business Leaders, Elected Official of the Year Award-2013
  • Northeast Florida Association of Realtors, Elected Official of the Year Award-2010
  • JaxPride Leadership Award-2001
  • Jacksonville Humane Society, Humane Legislator Award-1999
  • Duval County Cooperative Extension Service, Friend of Extension Award-1997
  • Wall Street Journal Award for Scholastic Achievement-1981
  • Eagle Scout (1971 – age 13)
John helping with a community clean-up project downtown
John hosting important constituents at his City Council office

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