Jax alderman wants to bring back committee aimed at preventing urban decay

By Gary Scott on November 30, 2015 at 2:31pm

Tony Williams brought up the topic at the end of the most recent City Council meeting, indicating he’d like to see the Neighborhood Stabilization Committee restored.

The group, made up of aldermen and citizens, was created in the early 2000s around the time the city passed a comprehensive plan, and disbanded several years ago.

Williams talked about the topic on “What’s On Your Mind?” on WLDS this morning.

“There was a big push to make sure that the communities in Jacksonville were very much taken care of and there wasn’t going to be any blight, and we were fighting that and trying to do beautification of all the neighborhoods in Jacksonville. Some of my constituents have recently… suggested that they’re starting to see blight around the city again,” says Williams.

“And so, when they came to me, I said, we need to start concentrating on that, and I was an alderman need to start looking even more so in my ward, as well as different places in Jacksonville, and we need to work together with inspections and start taking care of that.”

Williams notes he and former City Council member Mike Coop were involved with the committee, and that former alderman Rick Stevens chaired it most recently before it went away. Williams talks about why the committee stopped meeting.

“I would say, at that time, it had more to do with things were flat, there wasn’t any complaints about blight in Jacksonville, and now some of the the people are starting to say, maybe an abandoned building here, maybe a lot here,” he says.

“One of the things aldermen do is, we react a lot of times to complaints in a city, and when we find that there’s something we can actually do in order to make things better, then we react to it.”

Williams doesn’t believe it’ll take a long time to bring the committee back, but says the question is who will lead it. He put out a call this morning to any citizens that are interested in being on the committee to reach out to the city.

Jacksonville Mayor Andy Ezard on Monday told us he’s in favor of the committee being brought back.