Mayor Brown Releases Brazil Trip Details

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- First Coast News is learning more about Mayor Alvin Brown's travel plans. 

This comes one day after we learned the mayor's travel budget increased from $10,000 last year to $70,000 this year.

Mayor Brown is part of a delegation of business leaders heading to Brazil on Sunday.

He is joining Florida Gov. Rick Scott and JAXUSA Partnership President Jerry Mallot. Their mission is to attract new business to Northeast Florida. Scott's calendar shows he is arriving in Brazil on Friday.

Does Mayor Brown Need a $70,000 Travel Budget?

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Mayor Alvin Brown who campaigned on fiscal accountability and jobs now has one of the biggest travel budgets in City Hall.

It surpasses city council's travel budget of $20,000; the mayor's is $70,000.

Does the mayor need a travel budget that big? City councilmember John Crescimbeni, a fiscal conservative and critic of the mayor's office, supports the mayor's travel budget.

"I think we're dealing with a completely different mayor here. I think Mayor Brown is the best cheerleader we have for the city of Jacksonville," said Crescimbeni.

Duval Tax Collector Changes Office Hours


Duval County Tax Collector Michael Corrigan announced today that office hours for all nine Tax Collector branch locations will change effective Dec. 5, 2011.  The new office hours will be 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.  Current office hours are 7:15 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. The office hours for the Ed Ball Building Satellite Office located at 214 North Hogan St. will remain 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

City Hall Layoffs Underway

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- One day after the city's annual budget passed, the expected layoffs have begun.

Our news partner the Florida Times-Union is reporting pink slips are already going out, and instead of a traditional two weeks, the employees are being placed on administrative paid leave.

This morning on Good Morning Jacksonville, Mayor Alvin Brown talked about the budget and the layoffs.

He said his balanced budget calls for the elimination of 225 city positions, 50 from the mayor's office.

This morning, we learned that mosquito control will not be as severely affected as initially feared; Duval County leads the nation in cases of the West Nile virus.

Republican Presidential Debate Tonight in Orlando

Republican Presidential Debate Tonight in Orlando

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Republican Presidential hopefuls will meet in Orlando for another debate.

All eight candidates confirmed they will attend the forum.

The debate will incorporate video and text questions submitted by the public on YouTube.

The debate sponsored by Google and FOX News will air live tonight on FOX News at 9 p.m.

Council Passes Bill to Monitor Big Spending, Considers Library Cuts

Council Passes Bill to Monitor Big Spending, Considers Library Cuts

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- There was a swath of red in council chambers Tuesday night, worn in protest to the proposed deep cuts to library funding.
The city's Finance Committee recommended reducing the library's $39 million dollar by about $3.5 million.
Library staffers, volunteers and patrons said the resulting cuts in services would reduce the quality of life in Jacksonville and remove a vital resource for job seekers.

"Our libraries are the place where anybody who does not have a computer at home, the libraries are the only place where there's free access to computers," said a member of the Friends of Murray Hill Library.

A final vote on the matter is expected later this month.

Renowned Civil Liberties Lawyer to Speak in Jacksonville

Renowned Civil Liberties Lawyer to Speak in Jacksonville

One of the most noted civil liberties attorneys in the country will be speaking in Jacksonville at an upcoming Jacksonville Bar Association (JBA) meeting. Professor David Cole will discuss: “9/11 at 10 Years: Has Everything Changed? Lessons from a Decade of the War on Terror.”

The JBA meeting is on September 30 at noon at the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront, which is located at 225 E. Coastline Dr.

“It is particularly appropriate that Georgetown University Law Professor David Cole is addressing our legal community for the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy,” said JBA president Michael Freed. “The legal community continues to be tested on how to reconcile standing guard against future attacks while not sacrificing the high standard for human rights on which our nation stands.  Professor Cole has a unique perspective on that delicate balance.”