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Amid Push for Unity, Jacksonville Residents Wait for New Leadership from Mayor-Elect Alvin Brown

11:07 AM, May 20, 2011   |    comments
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 JACKSONVILLE, Fla.-- Alvin Brown is the seventh mayor since consolidation in 1968, and the first African American mayor in Jacksonville's history.

But his focus during his victory speech today at City Hall was not ethnicity. It was unity. "This win isn't about party, this victory is about Jacksonville and its future," said Brown. 

MORE: Text of Brown's speech

MORE: Election results

 

 

 Brown defeated Republican Mike Hogan with the help of several Republicans who crossed party lines to back the Democrat. He will have a bipartisan administration, Brown said, because the future of the city demands unity.

"We are one city, residents from the Eastside, the Southside, the Westside, the Northside beaches or Baldwin," he said during the speech.

Jacksonville residents and elected officials also reacted today to their new mayor-elect.   

"It is a glorious occasion in reference to Jacksonville making history," said Gary Oldham, owner of Circle of Images barbershop.

"I think he will move the city in the right direction and I think he will put us on the map with other cities."

Brown called his new job a "tremendous opportunity to take Jacksonville to the next level."

Some supporters today were confident that the newly elected mayor will move Jacksonville forward. "I believe in Alvin Brown's vision of one city, one team," said Rep. Corinne Brown.

Former Jacksonville Mayor Tommy Hazouri emphasized that Brown had many challenges ahead. "He's going to have to have the best and brightest around him to make sure the transition is smooth and transparent," said Hazouri.

After his speech, Brown said one of his biggest challenges will be the looming budget deficit. "I have said there are some areas we will look at, fleet management, contract and procurement, and IT, just to name a few," said Brown.

City Councilman Don Redman, owner of the Sportsman barber shop, said today that he had been a Hogan supporter and while he is disappointed that his candidate lost, as a city council member, he knows he will have to work with the new mayor.  "I think he has some big challenges," said Redman.

Even though the city council is more conservative than before, he said he believes it is prepared to work with Brown.

"I'm excited in a way and just wondering how things are gonna work, but they will work," he said.

Brown said his goals will remain the same during his administration: creating jobs and tough fiscal responsibility.

"I've always said that my priority for this city will always be managing our budget without raising your taxes and fees that means creating a public private partnership that will help create jobs and improve our economy," said Brown.

He will spend the next few weeks working with outgoing Mayor John Peyton to make the transition smooth.

 

 

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