Sunday, January 30, 2011

Mayoral candidates Mullaney, Moran debate land use and planning

Some of the key topics are below.

On development, redevelopment, historic districts and urban sprawl:
Mullaney - The focus needs to be on how to encourage growth and development to generate jobs.
Moran - The city should zero in on certain areas and encourage infill development that's "good business and good strategy for the future."

On encouraging and incentivizing green building:
Moran: The city should look at what other cities are doing to find the best strategy. She would hire a Chief Sustainability Officer to look at every aspect of city government.
Mullaney - He does not have that on his platform yet but said it should be a priority.

On the Mayport cruise terminal proposal, which has been hotly contested by Mayport residents:
Moran - She said she met with Mayport residents and looked at the site, and said they feel shut out of the government process. She said she would investigate the possibility of putting the terminal in Fernandina Beach.
Mullaney - He said he believes there is more support for the terminal in Mayport than some think. He supports the terminal and said the economic benefits to Mayport and the city as a whole would be substantial.

On pension reform and protecting the city's bond rating:
Mullaney - He cited his "34-point plan" for restructuring city finances. He also cited his pension reform plan and said it would save $1 billion to $1.5 billion over 35 years.
Moran - She said she is already working on a budget proposal, and said would ask for the resignation of all appointed employees in order to examine every position and salary. She said pension reform is needed to keep the city from going bankrupt and outlined her plan, which would restructure the city, police and fire pension program.

Moran and Mullaney agreed on the need for the city to take the lead in dredging the St. Johns River to improve the port. Meanwhile, Mullaney focused on bringing a medical school to Jacksonville and Moran emphasized her plan to improve public education in the city.

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