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vicupstate

Peyton's Courthouse Alternative

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Editorial on Courthouse

The John Draper/Andy Johnson crowd finally has one of it's own in the mayor's office. According to the TU, in order to stay under a budget number that was mostly conjecture to begin with, Jacksonville will spend millions of dollars to renovate the existing courthouse. I guess we will be looking at that ugly building and parking lot for many decades to come.

When they are drawing up the budget for this alternative, they better include the 20mm plus that the city could get for the existing courthouse property if it had sold it.

Does Peyton have any vision at all? Is he at all capable of seeing the VALUE of anything rather than just the cost?

One of the forumers on here refers to Peyton as the "mini-mayor". I assume this is a poke at the mayor's height as well as his "small feet" that obviously can't fill the shoes of his predecessors. Where I use to work, there was a day-care that the agency operated for it's employees. The name was "Wee Visions", perhaps that is a better nickname for Peyton.

BTW, now that the base closing issue is all but behind us, can we expect the Mayor's office to finally turn it's attention to some long-neglected issues? Agreements with the Landing and Humana, Mike Langton on the Barnett building, the Marble Trio will do for starters.

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Also in regards to the courthouse, the May issue of Jacksonville Magazine has an excellent article on the cost overruns of the new courthouse. It is written by Jim Rinaman, chairman of the mayor's courthouse advisory committee. It is a detailed, chronological "facts-only" article that explain how things evolved from the BJP concept to the present.

One key item was that the $268mm version of the courthouse that was last discussed, was the ORIGINAL Cannon design (with the dome), not the dome-less White House-looking version that the TU kept printing during that time.

Kudos to Jacksonville magazine, they put the Business Journal and the TU to shame on this topic.

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What bothers me about the current mayor is that he seems very single-tasking. I just don't see multiple issues being handled at once. It would be a little more justified if he spent alot of time on one issue, and it produced great results. But the city focuses on one issue for a long time, and nothing comes from it.

Arghblglglll........

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Well this news isn't a suprise. Its a shame that several historic buildings, like the old Southern Bell, were destroyed for blocks and blocks of moonscape.

So this brings up a couple of questions. Is the final goal, still to relocate the entire complex eventually? If so, how much will it cost in the future (considering we'll spend millions to renovate the older building), compared to building an entire building now?

How much space will be required for a criminal courthouse? How long does he expect the current courthouse to be in use? Will there be any plans to add possible retail and dining space along Bay Street? Or does he expect the Bay Street corridor to become a bustling entertainment and dining district, only on one side of the street (for only two blocks)?

BTW, as far as the bases go, I seriously doubt saving them had anything to do with Peyton, considering nothing major was targeted for closure in the entire state. I'd say the saving of our bases, had more to do with our state's general location, it being very military friendly and Jeb being the President's brother.

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Something else to consider - The national political races in Florida (particularly since 2000) have all been decided narrowly, but all in the Republican favor. If you get rid of military in Florida, they you probably tip the political balance towards the democratic side.

By the way, I agree wholeheartedly with everything said above about Peyton. Urban_Legend hit the nail on the head about Peyton's multitasking ability. When have you ever heard of him working on more than one thing at a time.

I read the Littlepage article this morning as well. I generally find that while I don't generally agree with him, I find that he has a decent point with a lot of things. However this morning, he totally missed. He basically said that anything that has given Peyton a black eye was Delaney's fault. I'll give Peyton the shipyards thing, there were a few runblings about this before he left office, but I don't believe Delaney would have turned into the three ring circus it has become.

As far as the rest of the stuff Littlepage highlighted, like the courthouse and the rest of the Better Jax Plan, I believe that these issues could have been kept much quieter by a better mayor (and thus, solved much easier). Are we really to believe that all of Delaney's projects over 8 years went relatively flawless, and then all of a sudden, the bomb exploded?

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Something else to consider - The national political races in Florida (particularly since 2000) have all been decided narrowly, but all in the Republican favor. If you get rid of military in Florida, they you probably tip the political balance towards the democratic side.

Scongro: I completely agree with you and thought of this myself. This clown Peyton had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that we got more jobs through the BRAC. The far more likely factors in our win are (1) efficiency and national security concerns demanded the reallocation of forces (i.e. relocating the ships from Miss. and maintaining two East Coast carrier ports), (2) Jacksonville already has a critical mass of military activity so it is natural to expand here, and (3) FL is a crucial Republican state and every vote counts (military men and families are much more likely to be Reps.). Politicians (and not just Peyton) always are quick to take credit when something goes right and hide when something goes wrong. This is Exhibit A as to what is wrong with our society.

By the way, if he actually plans to separate the courthouse facilities, this is the worst possible option. This will cause chaos in the Clerk's Office and for lawyers, will result in two mediocre buildings and will end up costing much more in the end (although the costs will come due after that twerp is out of office). He is even dumber than I thought (and I know he had a learning disability as a child). I am going to say that Peyton is the worst Mayor in my lifetime. I plan to exercise the ABP Plan on election day - Anyone But Peyton...

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Oh, and what happened to the fact that the voters approved and the City Council ratified the courthouse (albeit at a lower total price) and Peyton now indicates that he will ignore the voters' decision? I think there could be legal problems with this. I think it is time for Chief Judge Moran to step in on this one with an Order requiring a new proper Courthouse and for the adults to take over the Courthouse project from Peyton.

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Well this is a time for Payton to step-up and show some leaderships and knowledge and not just go for "easy route" that in end won't get Jacksonville anything....Get a team together and make things happen even if it costs more then original plan,do it once do it right.

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I just lost all faith in Peyton. Way to Go City of Jacksonville!! Another opportunity blown by the powers that be. Can somebody tell me why a modern high-rise isnt even in discussion as a courthouse alternative. It would provide more space at a cheaper price if their just concerned with price now. If the courthouse stays in its current place, the city might as well forget about bay street ever becoming an " entertainment spot." And just the thought of that huge surface lot on the river staying there for years to come makes me sick. Hey!! I got an idea, how about a high rise in the current location???..........(and Peyton says NO, lets do something a lil bit dumber)

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AHHHHHHHHHHH...

What a bunch of idiots...

What the..

I mean did they realy say...

Keep what????

Where???

Who the ...

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!

Once again, stupidity reins over even the most rudamentary level of COMMAN F... Sense.

To quote the bumper sticker.... Stupidity should be painful

AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!

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BTW, as far as the bases go, I seriously doubt saving them had anything to do with Peyton, considering nothing major was targeted for closure in the entire state.  I'd say the saving of our bases, had more to do with our state's general location, it being very military friendly and Jeb being the President's brother.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I agree that Peyton likely had very little, if ANYTHING to do with the BRAC results, but I do assume that it consumed a significant portion of his time. If it didn't, then what the hell HAS he been doing???

Since the disatisfaction at city hall seems to be unanimous, maybe we should try to form an informal "Urban Planet PAC" (political action committee). We could pools our resources and use them to encourage a strong candidate to enter the field for the race in two years. Many elections are won or lost not on election day, but on the day filing closes. If enough of us are willing to put our manpower and money where our mouths are, and work as a unit, it might help convince someone to take the plunge against Peyton. A dollar in the early part of a campaign is more valuable than $2 in the later part of the campaign. A candidate needs early money to prove to others that his/her campaign is viable. Otherwise, the big guns won't contribute.

Even the younger forumers that don't have jobs yet, could pledge volunteer hours for the campaign.

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Is it just me, but do any of you get the feeling that Peyton has been stalling on this courthouse issue? The guy doesn't want to do anything to make himself look bad. The problem is that as ther situation continues on without the proper resolution, he will end up looking bad in the end.

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What a joke. Someone needs to build a time machine, go back to the early sixties beat some sense into whoever decided to build a turquoise and brick abomination on the waterfront. That's who shoud get the blame.

As far as Peyton. I think he is gettin hit pretty hard over a lot of stuff that wasn't his fault. No don't get me wrong, I liked Delaney, but the BJP was nothing more than legacy building. He had two terms to do something and didn't accomplish much that was publicly visible and long lasting. So instead his administration cobbles togther some grand plan and marketed the heck out of it to the voters. We who voted for it were excited about it prospects.

Problem was, the initial budgets thrown out there for these projects were done without setting definate project scopes. The new courthouse is suffering because of this. All of the users (Moran et al) want the world, but there are limited funds. I think Peyton is playing a game of brinksmanship. He is pushing the hand of Moran and group saying "cut back on your demands or we are just going to polish up that turd of a building that you are working in now." Just a thought.

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Here is the text from the ballot, which to me directly states to build a new courthouse, not to build a new civil courthouse and leave the existing one for criminal.

Section 4. Official Ballot. The form of ballot for voting in the referendum shall be substantially as follows:

BETTER JACKSONVILLE GROWTH MANAGEMENT,

ROAD CONSTRUCTION, ENVIRONMENTAL PRESERVATION,

NEIGHBORHOOD INFRASTRUCTURE

1/2 CENT SALES TAX PLAN

SEPTEMBER 5, 2000

For The Better Jacksonville Plan to build roads, sidewalks and parks; improve drainage; resurface roads; preserve land for public use and prevent overdevelopment; clean contaminated lands; remediate septic tanks; modernize neighborhood libraries; build a new main library, arena, baseball park and courthouse; and fund targeted economic development in neighborhoods and Cecil Field; shall the City of Jacksonville levy a 1/2 Cent Sales Tax for 30 years or less, subject to independent audit and citizen oversight?

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What a joke.  Someone needs to build a time machine, go back to the early sixties beat some sense into whoever decided to build a turquoise and brick abomination on the waterfront.  That's who shoud get the blame.

As far as Peyton.  I think he is gettin hit pretty hard over a lot of stuff that wasn't his fault.  No don't get me wrong, I liked Delaney, but the BJP was nothing more than legacy building.  He had two terms to do something and didn't accomplish much that was publicly visible and long lasting.  So instead his administration cobbles togther some grand plan and marketed the heck out of it to the voters.  We who voted for it were excited about it prospects.

Problem was, the initial budgets thrown out there for these projects were done without setting definate project scopes.  The new courthouse is suffering because of this.  All of the users (Moran et al) want the world, but there are limited funds.  I think Peyton is playing a game of brinksmanship.  He is pushing the hand of Moran and group saying "cut back on your demands or we are just going to polish up that turd of a building that you are working in now."  Just a thought.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

As far as why the courthouse was put on the river in the first place, there was a reasonable purpose. At that time ('50s) the only thing along the river was warehouses and parking lots. Rivers were not considered amenties or appreciated for their beauty then. Most cities, Jax included, turned their backs on their rivers and polluted them. I think it was Hayden Burns who led the movement to clean up the riverfront. Private business would not take the lead, so the city had to. Building the Courthouse and City Hall was a big part of that.

Burns and the city made the right decision, because later Independent Life(today's Modis building), and other business followed the path that the city blazed. It was the right thing to do at the time. However, times change. The Waterfront is a valuable commodity now, and these highly valuable properties should be in private hands so they can generate large property taxes.

As for Delaney, what's wrong with building a legacy, leaving the city better off than when you started. The problem is stupid term limits. If Delaney could have served a third term, he would be in control of his own program. He would probably be doing a much better job too. Either way, he would be finishing what he started. Limiting a mayor to 8 years is crazy. By the time they learn there way around, get an agenda in implementation phase, they are lame ducks. Major transformations of a city take longer than one or two terms. That doesn't mean they should not be attempted. Peyton should complete what his predecessor started.

As for your comment on a game of brinkmanship, you have a good point and you could very well be right. Time will tell, but I suspect Peyton is just taking the easy way out.

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I agree that Peyton likely had very little, if ANYTHING to do with the BRAC results, but I do assume that it consumed a significant portion of his time.  If it didn't, then what the hell HAS he been doing???

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

A. Tilly Fowler deserves much of the credit, I'm sure.

B. He's been makin' babies.

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Every time they start talking about these different "options" I start to get queasy. Clearly, if, because of budgetary constraints, we cant do the single domed Cannon courthouse or classic highrise courthouse to contain all court functions, they should build the full building in the cleared site and just not finish all the interior until funding becomes available. During the transition period, we would use both the old Courthouse and the new until the old Courthouse could be fully phased out. Why is this so patently obvious to me and no one else??

When I hear that Stan Jordan proposes to build a criminal courthouse and separate satellite civil courthouses around town, I am astonished at his stupidity. Who is this guy Jordan anyway but a career sucker of the government teat through his various minor elected offices? Why should some fool like this help decide an issue about which he is obviously ignorant?? If his dumb ass was driving all over town in a mad rush to make hearings (or deliver files if you work for the Clerk's Office), he would change his tune. This is my courthouse rant for the day. I would love to make these feelings public via a letter to the T-U, but I obviously dont want to offend potential clients. :)

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As far as Peyton. I think he is gettin hit pretty hard over a lot of stuff that wasn't his fault.

120 South: You give Peyton WAY too much credit. Of course he is not responsible for the fact that costs escalated after the passage of the BJP, but he is solely responsible for the fiasco that ensued. His hesitation and indecision allowed costs to further skyrocket and the delay also allowed dissent among the know-nothings (i.e. Littlepage, Andy Johnson et al) to build. A real man would have pushed the damn thing through. The bottom line is Peyton is a rank incompetent who will hopefully soon return to his previous job of cleaning the rest rooms at the Gate station. His bungling of this matter has made the city of Jacksonville look like the old days - small time idiots. Ok, this is really my last rant on the courthouse today.

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I would have made these changes to the Better Jax Plan:

1. Build two highrises: classical base/glass and steel rise at the existing site

including the old courthouse in the plans.

TowerOne- Civil- taller tower

TowerTwo- Criminal

2. Construct a garage between the towers and baystreet with ground floor retail

facing Bay.

(private investor and city)

3. Plan a public park (covering half of the surface lot) between the Riverwalk and

the towers.

4. Work with JSO to construct a garage in the Jail surface Lot contain Street

level retail facing Bay Street.

5. In return for the LOT, JSO would reap tax benefits from the garage/retail

6. Move the Police Headquarters to the top of the jail adding additional floors

in glass and steel. At the same time, facade work would be done on the jail

to complement the Courthouse Complex.

7. Demolish the current Police Headquarters Building. The Land would be sold to

developer therefore relieving some of the cost of jail/headquarters

construction and improvements.

What would this Accomplish?

This would save time and money first of all. The garage retail spaces would create another side of Baystreet and additions to the current retail on the northside of bay. Land would be conserved in that we would be building up NOT out. This would also create (improve) the central Judicial District that we have already. A new public riverfront park would also be created along the riverwalk, and a new and improved police headquarters and jail. All of these combined would give Jax the most comprehensive and attractive judicial complex in the state if done right. Not to mention the functionality of the departments would improve because of their close proximity with each other.

IT JUST MAKES SENSE!! Why spend so much to upgrade the court and not the Jail and police HQ along with it. We are obviously expanding the courts for more people>>more criminals>>>more police>>>>Better facilities for all. My favorite is that the eyesore of a jail would have a new look to complement the courthouse complex and provide for a more attractive riverfront>>>attracts more investors.

Lastly, half of the land in LaVilla would be sold and Half converted into a central park as a gift to the residents of Jax for putting up with the ongoing courthouse circus.

But of course IM Not Peyton :whistling:

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Heres an idea...

Lets just build a small courthouse in each of the districs, making sure it is difficult to get between the differant courthouse. This way, people will stay n there own district. Then, Lets just bulldoze downtwon, and cede it completely over the First Baptist. Downtown life is the devils work you know... what better way to rebuild the moral man than to destroy his idol structures....

While we are at it... I think Alcohol is a bad idea in general.... BANNED... We dont need a 4am extension... thats because Alcohol is illegal.

Ahhh... I can see miles and Miles of cookie cutter houses now... Spanning from Fernandina, all the way to Gainsville... It will be a Monument to Suburban america. No need to spend money on mass transportation, to sparse to.

I can smell the traffic already...

I'm Peyton... and I want to be your Mayor...

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^Well you do make some sense, but I don't get how FBC got involved, lol. I'm so fed up with this thing, I've stopped caring.

This courthouse thing actually makes me glad I don't live in Jax anymore...

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