Jacksonville, Florida, Government Consolidation Collection, 1968-2008
- On October 1, 1968, the governments of the city of Jacksonville, Florida and Duval County merged into one unified and consolidated government. The collection contains newspaper clippings which provide insight, commentary, and documentation on this transformative era in Jacksonville history. Special Florida Times-Union newspaper supplements from October 1, 1968, and October 1, 1969, provide extensive details on the history and background of the governmental merger. Additional newsclippings marking the consolidation anniversaries of 1993 and 2008 update the changes and developments attributed to consolidation in the intervening years.
- 2.50 Linear Feet
- Preferred citation:
- Jacksonville, Florida, Government Consolidation Collection, Thomas G. Carpenter Library, University of North Florida, Jacksonville, Florida.
Access and Use
- Conditions Governing Access:
The collection is open for research. For additional information and to make an appointment to view the collection, contact (904) 620-1533 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Scope and Content:
On October 1, 1968, the governments of the city of Jacksonville, Florida and Duval County merged into one unified and consolidated government. The collection contains newspaper clippings which provide insight, commentary, and documentation on this transformative era in Jacksonville history. Special Florida Times-Union newspaper supplements from October 1, 1968, and October 1, 1969, provide extensive details on the history and background of the governmental merger. Additional newsclippings marking the consolidation anniversaries of 1993 and 2008 update the changes and developments attributed to consolidation in the intervening years.
- Biographical / Historical:
The Florida Times-Union newspaper began publication in 1864 as the Florida Union, a date marking it as the oldest newspaper in Florida. In 1883, it merged with another Jacksonville newspaper, The Florida Daily Times, and it has been known ever since as the major daily newspaper serving Jacksonville and the Northeast Florida region. The FTU's Centennial Edition, Crowning a Century in Florida: 1864-1964, provides an illuminating overview of the paper's 100 year history, as well as serving as an important primary resource for researchers. Other special supplements and commemorative editions of the FTU provide extensive coverage of pivotal local events and eras, such as the Consolidation of Jacksonville-Duval County Governments in October 1968, and the Year 2000 millennium. The Jacksonville Journal began publication in 1887 as the Metropolis, later the Florida Metropolis. In 1922, it was purchased by Joseph H. Perry and renamed the Jacksonville Journal. The Florida Publishing Co. (parent company of The Florida Times-Union) purchased the Journal in 1959, and it remained the chief Jacksonville afternoon paper until it ceased publication on October 28, 1988. One year before its demise, the Journal published an extensive 100th Anniversary edition, 1887-1987, which is particularly valuable for providing historical details in sections titled Natural and Man-Made Disasters, Expositions and Moving Pictures, Business, and the Military. History of Jacksonville - Duval County Governmental Consolidation: In the mid-1960s, the city of Jacksonville, Florida, faced complex urban problems and challenges: loss of accreditation for local high schools, outdated infrastructure of sewage and road systems, polluted air from pulp mills and chemical plants, rampant water pollution in the St. Johns River, numerous corruption charges and grand jury indictments of public officials, widespread areas of substandard housing, lack of rudimentary city services to outlying areas, and high property taxes vis-a-vis the quality of governmental services. Multiple governmental structures, including a City Commission, City Council, County Budget Committee, and County Commission, overlapped political jurisdictions which led to inefficient, costly and duplicative services. To ameliorate these problems, key Jacksonville business and civic leaders met in 1965, and decided the solution was to merge city and county governments. After considerable planning by a Local Government Study Commission, a "Blueprint for Improvement" (1966) and a proposed Charter (1967) for a new form of consolidated metropolitan government were submitted to the Duval Legislative Delegation. The Delegation amended the Charter and adopted it as a state law subject to voter approval. The Charter was ratified by local voters in a special referendum held on August 8, 1967, which ushered in a transitional planning period of just over a year to prepare for the official establishment of the new government. On October 1, 1968, amidst much celebration, the merger abolishing separate city and county governments and instituting the only consolidated government in the State officially occurred. An often noted and quoted fact was that the City's population instantly more than doubled to over 500,000, making it the largest city in Florida (by population), and the largest city, in land area, in the continental United States. The merger streamlined government, with the establishment of one elected Mayor, one Sheriff's Office, and a nineteen seat City Council. Other changes and improvements attributed to consolidation evolved gradually over the years: a better education system, cleaning up of the St. Johns River, expansion of law enforcement, fire, electrical and rescue service to outlying areas, lower tax rate and a broader tax base leading to major civic improvements and public works programs. Historians and observers also attribute other intangible effects to consolidation, such as a more positive image and higher visibility for the city, the creation of more jobs as businesses relocated to Jacksonville, significant local economic development and growth, the opening of a public University (UNF) in 1972, the addition in 1993 of an NFL franchise team (Jacksonville Jaguars), and the competitive advantage of hosting the 2005 Super Bowl.
Note written by
- Acquisition information:
Majority of materials donated by Hans G. Tanzler, Jr., former Mayor of Jacksonville from 1967-1979
- Metropolitan government--Florida--Jacksonville.
- University of North Florida.
- Jacksonville (Fla.)--History--20th century.
Florida--Politics and government--1951-
Jacksonville (Fla.)--Politics and government--20th century.
Duval County (Fla.)--Politics and government--20th century.