Jay Morris

Chair, District 4 

Board of County Commissioners

  P: 904.209.0304   

C: 904.814.9043

bccdd4@sjfl.us

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Upcoming
Events
December 9 and 10   

 

Santa Phone Calls
December 10-12 

Rudolf and Elf
 December 14

It's a Wonderful Life
 December 21

Celtic Christmas
December 22

Christmas Day
 December 25

New Years Day
January 1

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Thank you for registering for the St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners District 4 newsletter. Inside you will find an update regarding projects and events of interest to District 4 and timely information about St. Johns County programs, services, and initiatives.

State of the County

As we're about to enter into 2014, I thought I'd give you an additional update on the "State of the County" and some personal information.

 

  • Three years ago, the unemployment rate in St. Johns County was over 9%. This past month, we reached another milestone in the continued success of your County when compared to the 66 counties in the state in that unemployment has dropped to a record low of 4.9%, the 5th lowest in the State of Florida which remains at 6.7%. The labor force stands at over 103, 000 --- a 4.5% growth over the past three years.

  

  • We have issued the most residential building permits in Northeast Florida and out-pace all surrounding counties, and we remain in the top 5 in the state of Florida with Nocatee being the number 6th best selling community in the U.S. and Fruit Cove being named the "Top Booming Suburb in America."

 

  • The most successful public/private partnership I've been involved in over the past three years as your commissioner occurred last month with a new planned Nocatee Fire Station that will be built and equipped at no cost to St. Johns County. The developer, the PARC Group, in conjunction with the Davis family, the owners of the Nocatee property, totally stepped up to get this project done by donating the five acres for the station and then upfront funding the total cost of the station plus the equipment through impact fee credits that will be paid back over the next several years as Nocatee continues its phenomenal growth. Building of the station should start the first quarter of 2014 with a projected completion date of March of 2015. This is a total win/win for Nocatee and the County and could not have been accomplished without the cooperation and backing of the PARC Group and the Davis family. Operational funding will come from the fire district fees paid by the residences of Nocatee.

 

  • Another major accomplishment for St. Johns County that was fostered by Patti Greenough of EPIC Behavioral Health Care and directed through the State Legislature by Senator John Thrasher was to secure the needed on-going operational funding for the new St. Johns County Detox Center located in St. Augustine. We were the largest county in Florida without a detoxification center, and that has now been corrected.  The center will add 20 to 25 new jobs for the county, and for every dollar invested in addition to treatment, it yields a return of $6 in economic benefits such as increased employment earnings, decreased medical costs and crime costs, etc.

 

  • Now, of noted distinction and excellence in the tourist industry, which St. Johns County is so noted for, The Ponte Vedra Inn & Club was named the best family hotel in the country by Travel and Leisure magazine beating out such premier tourist locations as Disney World. Their selection was chosen by readers of the magazine, and this represents quite an honor and distinction for the Inn & Club and the County.

 

  • Now, on a personal note, I have been asked numerous times over the past several months if I would run as your County Commissioner in next year's election. I have enjoyed working for and representingt the citizens of St. Johns County as your County Commissioner from District 4 and as Chairman of your Board. Again, its been great representing all of you over the past three years. Therefore, after a lot of thought and, obviously, agreement from my wife, I just registered this week to run for one more term as your District 4 Commissioner.

As I've written about previously, due to the current administration and commission, St. Johns County is now truly running like a very successful business, and I want to continue to help guide it along this very outstanding path over the next four years as we rank as one of the top counties in Florida in almost every category. In short, as a county, we are doing very well right now! By running for one more term, I pledge to continue to do my part in keeping this success going, and I hope to have your continued support. So, please get out and VOTE!!

 

It's a little early, but we wish all of you a very merry Christmas and a great year ahead!!

 

Jay Morris
Chairman St. Johns County Commission District 4

TPO Transportation Survey

The North Florida Transportation Planning Organization (TPO) is conducting a survey of transportation-related issues to assist with the development of a regional long-range transportation plan. Please take the survey to provide feedback regarding your transportation issues, how gas prices affect the choices you make, and how you believe transportation investments should be funded. Every five years, the TPO updates the Long Range Transportation Plan to address road, transit, freight, bike, and pedestrian needs over the next 20 to 25 years. The previous 2035 Long Range Transportation Plan was adopted in 2009. Visit pathforward2040.com for additional information.

Medical Examiner Recognized With Accreditation

The National Association of Medical Examiners recently honored the St. Johns County Medical Examiner's Office with accreditation recognizing the agency for meeting or exceeding national performance standards. Charged with providing crucial services that touch St. Johns County families during some of the most sensitive and vulnerable times in their lives, the office determines the cause and manner of death under circumstances that include homicides, suicides, accidental deaths, traffic fatalities, suspicious deaths, and infant deaths. Staff members conduct forensic investigations, perform autopsies, issue death certificates, and work closely with various tissue and organ procurement agencies as a service to the families in the community. The office is one of only seven in Florida, and 65 throughout the United States, to have accomplished the goal.

Phone Calls From Santa Offered During Holiday Season 

The St. Johns County Recreation and Parks Department and The North Pole Telephone Company are excited to offer phone calls from Santa this holiday season. This annual program is free for St. Johns County residents. Parents and guardians of children under the age of eight can sign up now to have Santa call their child at home this Christmas season. Calls will be made from 6 to 7:30 p.m. December 10-12. Santa phone call request forms are available online at www.sjcfl.us/youthactivities or at the St. Johns County Recreation Department main office, 2175 Mizell Road. Please email or fax completed forms to jbaccari@sjcfl.us or 904.209.0321 by 5 p.m. on December 6. For more information, please contact Jamie Baccari at 904.209.0377.

Library Food for Fines Program Provides Holiday Meals

St. Johns County Public Libraries are offering patrons the opportunity to resolve overdue fines and help those in need this holiday season through the "Food for Fines" program. Library staff will accept non-perishable food items in lieu of overdue library fines from November 4 through December 21. All donations will be delivered to the St. Johns County Food Closet and will be distributed locally to help meet increased need for meals during the holiday season.

"A December to Remember" Holiday Events

Winter will come, even to Florida, and the St. Augustine Amphitheatre and Ponte Vedra Concert Hall are ready and waiting for residents and visitors to have family-friendly fun with the coolest entertainment and events this season during the "Community First Credit Union's A December to Remember." The event will feature free and ticketed events in St. Johns County throughout December including train rides, visits with Santa, a Blizzard Bounce House, and performances by Alabama Shakes on December 7, Shemekia Copeland on December 8, and A Charlie Brown Christmas with pianist David Benoit on December 9-10. For the full event lineup, please visit www.adecembertoremember.com.

St. Johns County Christmas and New Year's Day Holiday Hours

All departments of the St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners and St. Johns County Administrative offices will be closed December 24-26 in observance of Christmas, and January 1 in observance of the New Year's Holiday. Please visit www.sjcfl.us to review updated schedules for the St. Johns County Library system, the Pet Center, the scale houses, garbage, recycling, and yard debris collection for each holiday.

Thank you for your interest in St. Johns County and District 4. Active residents, a dynamic business community, and a superior quality of life make St. Johns County the best place to live, work, and play.  
  
Sincerely,
  
Jay Morris 

Chair, District 4 

St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners

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