Double-dipping at City Hall is out of control and it could impact Jacksonville’s leaders’ decisions on yearly funding and, more recently, Lot J.
Every City Council member who works for a non-profit voted for Lot J. Five City Council members are double-dipping on taxpayers’ money. Not only do they get a salary for being a City Council member and a pension, but they also receive a salary and pensions from their non-profit entities. These non-profits receive taxpayer money every year for a portion of their funding.
Two council members work at the same non-profit. In addition, we have a City Council member who was in the non-profit area for twenty years that his former employer also receives taxpayer funds. A total of six City Council members are currently living on public money. Taxpayers should be suspicious if they are independent as they deal with crucial issues. Certainly, the public should wonder if they are unduly influenced by this or any administration.
Where are their loyalties? Are they fighting for their constituents? The non-profits they work for? The administration? The greater good of Duval County? These questions are natural and must be asked.
Those five City Council members will be double-dipping for a long time when they retire because of public funding of their pensions for the next 20-30 years.
The solutions are obvious. These members should either receive City Council salaries or their salaries from the non-profits they work for–but not both. Or the non-profit entities can forgo receiving any taxpayer funds when they have an employee on the City Council.
Matt Schellenberg was first elected to the Jacksonville City Council back in 2011 and won a second term in 2015. He was term-limited in 2019.