Learn more about Jacksonville, Florida
|Motto: Where Florida Begins|
|Mayor||John Peyton (R)|
|- City||2,264.5 km² (885 sq mi)|
|- Land||1962.4 km² (767 sq mi)|
|- Water||302.1 km²|
|- City (2005)||782,623|
|Time zone||EST (UTC-5)|
|- Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
Jacksonville is the most populous city in the state of Florida and the thirteenth most populous city in the United States. It is the county seat of Duval County.GR6 Since 1968, the city has shared a consolidated government with the county, making it the largest city in land area in the contiguous United States. In 2005, the city proper had an estimated population of 782,623  with a metropolitan population of more than 1.3 million.
Jacksonville is located in the First Coast region of northeast Florida. The city is situated on the banks of the St. Johns River, which flows north and empties into the Atlantic Ocean about 20 miles east of downtown. The settlement that became Jacksonville was founded in 1791 as Cowford due to its location at a narrow point in the river where cattle were once driven across. The city was renamed in 1822 for Andrew Jackson, the first military governor of the Florida Territory and eventual seventh President of the United States.
The history of Jacksonville spans hundreds of years, and has been influenced by the area's unique geography and location. The first settlement in the area, called Ossachite, was made over 6,000 years ago by the Timucua Indians in the vicinity of modern-day downtown Jacksonville.
European explorers first arrived in 1562, when French Huguenot explorer Jean Ribault charted the St. Johns River. René Goulaine de Laudonnière established the first European settlement at Fort Caroline two years later.
Florida became a territory of the United States in 1821, and the following year Cowford acquired the name Jacksonville, after the first military governor of the Florida Territory and eventual seventh President of the United States, Andrew Jackson. The Florida Legislative Council approved a charter for a town government on February 9, 1832.
During the American Civil War, Jacksonville was a key supply point for hogs and cattle leaving Florida and aiding the Confederate cause. The city was blockaded by the Union, changing hands several times. Though no battles were fought in Jacksonville, the city was left in a considerable state of disarray after the war.
During Reconstruction and the Gilded Age, Jacksonville and nearby St. Augustine became popular winter resorts for the rich and famous. Visitors arrived by steamboat and later by railroad. The city's tourism, however, was dealt major blows in the late 1800s by yellow fever outbreaks and the extension of the Florida East Coast Railroad to south Florida.
On May 2 1901, downtown Jacksonville was ravaged by a fire that was started at a fiber factory. Known as the "Great Fire of 1901", it was one of the worst disasters in Florida history, destroying the business district and rendering 10,000 residents homeless in the course of eight hours. Famed New York architect Henry John Klutho was a primary figure in the reconstruction of the city. More than 13,000 buildings were constructed between 1901 and 1912.
In the 1910s, New York-based moviemakers were attracted to Jacksonville's warm climate, exotic locations, excellent rail access, and cheap labor. Over the course of the decade, more than 30 silent film studios were established, earning Jacksonville the title "Winter Film Capital of the World". The city's conservative political climate and the emergence of Hollywood as a major film production center quickly ended the city's film industry. Several converted movie studio sites remain in Arlington.
During this time, Jacksonville also became a banking and insurance center, with companies such as Barnett National, Atlantic National, Florida National, Prudential, Gulf Life, Afro-American Insurance, Independent Life and American Heritage Life thriving in the business district. The U.S. Navy also became a major employer and economic force during the 1940s, with the installation of three major naval bases in the city. Jacksonville, like most large cities in the United States, suffered from negative effects of rapid urban sprawl after World War II. Voters elected to consolidate the city and county governments in 1968.
Jacksonville has long struggled with its violent crime rate; it has been Florida's murder capital for 12 of the last 17 years.<ref>http://www.sptimes.com/2006/08/09/State/Florida_briefly.shtml</ref> Murders peaked at 174 in 1991.
 Geography and climate
Jacksonville is located at GR1. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2,264.5 km² (874.3 mi²), making Jacksonville the largest city in land area in the contiguous United States. 1,962.4 km² (757.7 mi²) of it is land and 302.1 km² (116.7 mi²) of it (13.34%) is water.(30.319406, -81.659999)
Jacksonville has a humid subtropical climate, with mild weather during winters and hot weather during summers. High temperatures average 64 to 91 °F (18-33 °C) throughout the year.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> High heat indices are not uncommon for the summer months in the Jacksonville area. High temperatures can reach mid to high 90s with heat index ranges of 105-115 °F. The highest temperature ever recorded in Jacksonville was 105 °F (43 °C) on July 21, 1942. It is common for daily thunderstorms to erupt during a standard summer afternoon. These are caused by the heating of the land and water, combined with extremely high humidity.
Conversely, the area can experience freezes and hard freezes during the night at winter's peak. Occasionally, very cold weather can occur, although it is usually short lived. The coldest temperature recorded in Jacksonville was 7 °F (-14 °C) on January 21, 1985, a day that most locations in the eastern half of the US remember as the coldest day ever. Very seldom, the area will see snow, though when this happens the snow will usually melt before it touches the ground.
Jacksonville has suffered less damage from hurricanes than other east coast cities; while the city has only received one direct hit from a hurricane since 1871, Jacksonville has experienced hurricane or near-hurricane conditions more than a dozen times due to storms passing through the state from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> The strongest effect on Jacksonville was from Hurricane Dora in 1964, the only recorded storm to hit the First Coast with sustained hurricane force winds. The eye crossed St. Augustine, with winds that had just barely diminished to 110 mph, making it a strong Category 2 on the Saffir-Simpson Scale.
Rainfall averages around 52 inches a year, with the wettest months being June through September.
 People and culture
| City of Jacksonville|
Population by year
1870 - 1,000
As of the censusGR2 estimates of 2005, there were 782,623 people, 284,499 households, and 190,614 families residing in the city. The population density was 374.9/km² (970.9/mi²). There were 308,826 housing units at an average density of 157.4/km² (407.6/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 64.48% White, 34.03% Black or African American, 0.34% Native American, 2.78% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 1.33% from other races, and 1.99% from two or more races. 4.16% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. Jacksonville has, as named by the census the 10th largest Arab population in the United States. There were 284,499 households out of which 33.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.7% were married couples living together, 16.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.0% were non-families. 26.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.53 and the average family size was 3.07. In the city, the population was spread out with 26.7% under the age of 18, 9.7% from 18 to 24, 32.3% from 25 to 44, 21.0% from 45 to 64, and 10.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 93.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.6 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $40,316, and the median income for a family was $47,243. Males had a median income of $32,547 versus $25,886 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,337. About 9.4% of families and 12.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.7% of those under age 18 and 12.0% of those age 65 or over.
Jacksonville has a diverse religious population. There are 265,158 Evangelical Protestants and 89,649 Mainline Protestants who attend a total of 794 churches. Several of these are megachurches. There are 162,329 Roman Catholics who attend 51 Catholic churches within the Roman Catholic Diocese of St. Augustine.<ref>Diocese of Saint Augustine Statistical Overview. dosafl.com. Retrieved November 14, 2006.</ref> The greater metropolitan area also has a Jewish population of 7,300, over 3,000 members of various Eastern Orthodox church jurisdictions in 8 parishes or missions, and 18,050 of other religious affiliations. A small but growing population of Muslims is centered around the Islamic Center of Northeast Florida , and there is a Baha'i chapter.  There are also small but active New Age and Neopagan communities.[ http://www.thearda.com/mapsReports/reports/metro/3600_2000.asp]
 Annual cultural events and fairs
Jacksonville is home to a number of annual cultural events. The Jacksonville Jazz Festival is held every April and is the second-largest jazz festival in the nation. Other popular music festivals include Come Together Day, a massive hip hop event, The Spring Music Fest, a free concert sponsored by the city that features some of today's most popular artists, Planetfest, featuring a variety of modern rock artists, and Springing the Blues, a free outdoor blues festival held in Jacksonville Beach.
The Jacksonville Film Festival is held every May and features a variety of independent films, documentaries, and shorts screening at seven historic venues in the city. Past attendees of the festival have included director John Landis and Academy Award nominee Bill Murray and winnerGraham Greene, both of whom were awarded the Tortuga Verde Lifetime Achievement Award.
Every July 4th is the Freedom, Fanfare & Fireworks celebration, one of the nation's largest fireworks displays, held at Metropolitan Park. The Greater Jacksonville Agricultural Fair is held every November at the Jacksonville Fairgrounds & Exposition Center, featuring an array of carnival rides, live entertainment, agriculture and livestock. Other annual cultural events include the Great Atlantic Seafood and Music Festival in March, the Blessing of the Fleet Parade of Boats and the Jacksonville International Boat Show in April, the World of Nations Celebration in May, and the Jacksonville Light Parade in November.
 Museums and art collections
The Museum of Science and History (MOSH) is found on Jacksonville's South Riverwalk, and features three stories of hands-on science and local history exhibits, including the Alexander Brest Planetarium.
The Jacksonville Museum of Modern Art (JMOMA) opened its 60,000 square foot facility in 2003, located adjacent to the Main Library downtown. Tracing its roots back to the formation of Jacksonville's Fine Arts Society in 1924, the museum features eclectic permanent and traveling exhibitions.
The Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens holds a large collection of European and American paintings, as well as a world-renowned collection of early Meissen porcelain. The museum is surrounded by three acres of formal English and Italian style gardens, and is located on the bank of the St. Johns River.
There are also several historical properties and items of interest in the city, including the Klutho Building, the Old Morocco Temple Building, the Palm and Cycad Arboretum, and the Prime F. Osborn III Convention Center.
The Jacksonville Public Library had its beginnings when May Moore and Florence Murphy started the "Jacksonville Library and Literary Association" in 1878. The Association was populated by various prominent Jacksonville residents and sought to create a free public library and reading room for the city.
Over the course of the next 127 years, the system has grown from that one room library to become one of the largest in the state. Now featuring twenty branches - from the 54,000 sq.ft. West Regional Library (located on Chaffee Road in the western part of the city) to smaller neighborhood libraries like Westbrook and Eastside (located in the central part of the city) - the Library annually receives nearly 4 million visitors and circulates over 6 million items. Nearly 500,000 library cards are held by area residents.
On November 12, 2005, the new 300,000 sq.ft. Main Library opened to the public. The largest public library in the state, this opening was an historic event for the library system and the City of Jacksonville. It marks the completion of an unprecedented period of growth for the system under the Better Jacksonville Plan. It adds to the city's architectural and cultural landscape and provides a wonderful gathering place downtown for the entire community. The new Main Library offers specialized reading rooms, public access to hundreds of computers and extensive collection of books and other materials, public displays of art, and special collections ranging from the African-American Collection to the recently opened Holocaust Collection.
The Florida Times-Union is the major daily newspaper in Jacksonville. Another daily newspaper is The Daily Record. Popular magazines include Folio Weekly, Jacksonville Free Press, Jacksonville Business Journal, The Jacksonville Advocate, The Florida Star, Saint Augustine Catholic and Jacksonville Magazine.
Jacksonville is served by television stations affiliated with major American networks including WTLV (NBC), WJXX (ABC), WTEV (CBS), WAWS (FOX/My Network TV), WJCT (PBS),and WCWJ (CW). WJXT is a former longtime CBS affiliate that turned independent in 2002.
Jacksonville's Radio market is dominated by two large ownership groups: Cox Radio and Clear Channel Communications. The dominant AM radio station in terms of ratings is WOKV 690AM, which is also the flagship station for the Jacksonville Jaguars. In September of 2006, WOKV began simulcasting on 106.5 FM as WOKV FM. There are two popular radio stations in regard to contemporary hits, 97.9 KISS FM (WFKS) and WAPE 95.1. WJBT 92.7 is a hip-hop/R&B station, WPLA 107.3 is a modern rock and alternative music station, WFYV 104.5 - Rock 105 Jacksonville Classic rock, WQIK 99.1 is a country station as well as WGNE-FM 99.9 and WROO 93.3, WHJX 105.7 is an urban music|soul]] station, WFJO 92.5 plays music in Spanish like salsa, merengue, and reggaeton, and WJCT 89.9 is the local public radio station and NPR affiliate. See Radio Stations in Jacksonville, Florida for more radio stations in Jacksonville.
 Parks and outdoor attractions
Jacksonville operates the largest urban park system in the United States, providing services at more than 337 locations on more than 80,000 acres (320 km²) located throughout the city.<ref>Parks, Recreation, Entertainment & Conservation. www.coj.net.</ref> Jacksonville gathers significant natural beauty from the St. Johns River and Atlantic Ocean. The Jacksonville Beaches area is a center of recreation and nightlife, and the many parks around the city have received international recognition. The city center includes the Jacksonville Landing shopping center and the Riverwalk. Downtown Jacksonville has a memorable skyline with the tallest building being the Bank of America Building, constructed in 1990 with a height of 617 ft (188 m). Other notable structures include the Modis Building (once the defining building in the Jacksonville skyline), originally built in 1972-74 by the Independent Life and Accident Insurance Company with its distinctive flared base, and the Riverplace Tower, which is the tallest precast, post-tensioned concrete structure in the world.
The Jacksonville Zoological Gardens boast the second largest animal collection in the state. The zoo features elephants, lions, jaguars (with an exhibit, Range of the Jaguar, hosted by the owners of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Delores and Wayne Weaver), a multitude of reptile houses, free flight aviaries, and many other animals.
 Performing arts
The Florida Theatre, opened in 1927, is located in downtown Jacksonville and is one of only four remaining high-style movie palaces built in Florida during the Mediterranean Revival architectural boom of the 1920s.
The Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts is comprised of three distinct halls: the Jim & Jan Moran Theater, the Jacoby Symphony Hall, and the Terry Theater. It was originally erected as the Civic Auditorium in 1962 and underwent a major renovation and construction in 1996. It is also the home of the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, founded in 1949.
The Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena is a 16,000-seat performance venue that attracts national entertainment, and also houses the Jacksonville Sports Hall of Fame. It replaced the outdated Jacksonville Coliseum that was built in 1960 and demolished on June 26, 2003.
Jacksonville is also home to The Teal Sound Drum and Bugle corps. A junior drum and bugle corps that competes in Drum Corps International Division II competition.
Jacksonville is home to a number of professional sports teams, the most famous of which is the Jacksonville Jaguars of the National Football League. The Jacksonville Suns is a minor league baseball affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers. There is an ABA expansion team, the Jacksonville Jam, scheduled to start playing in November of 2006. There is a Women's Football League team, the Jacksonville Dixie Blues. The ice hockey team is the Jacksonville Barracudas. In 2007, Jacksonville will become home to a National Indoor Football League expansion franchise, the Jacksonville Stallions, and also a professional soccer team, the Jacksonville Northsiders FC who will set up play in the United Soccer League (USL). In rugby league, the Jacksonville Axemen play in the American National Rugby League.
Jacksonville was named as the site for Super Bowl XXXIX, becoming the third city in the state of Florida (Miami and Tampa being the others) to host the event. Jacksonville was notably smaller than the previous hosts and lacked adequate hotel space for such an event, so the city chartered several cruise ships to act as "floating hotels" in the St. John's River. The game was held on February 6, 2005 and featured halftime entertainment by former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney.
The Jacksonville area also boasts many highly rated golf courses. In Ponte Vedra lies the Tournament Players Club at Sawgrass, one of the most famous golf courses in the world and home to the annual PGA tour, TPC (THE PLAYERS Championship) tournament (considered by the Media as Golf's unofficial 5th Major. St. Johns County is home to the World Golf Village and World Golf Hall of Fame. The PGA tour also has it's headquarters located in Ponte Vedra Beach.
Professional tennis is in town each year when the WTA holds the Bausch & Lomb Championships at Amelia Island Plantation near Fernandina Beach, just north of Jacksonville. Other sports events include the annual Kingfish Tournament held in July, the Florida-Georgia football game, commonly known as "The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party" held every October, the ACC Championship football and baseball, and the Gator Bowl held in early January. The University of North Florida, Jacksonville University and Edward Waters College also field athletic teams in a number of sports. On March 2006, Jacksonville held the first round of the NCAA 68th Annual Division I Basketball Championship with Jacksonville University as host.
 Film and television
In the early 1900s, New York-based moviemakers were attracted to Jacksonville's warm climate, exotic locations, excellent rail access, and cheaper labor, earning the city the title of "The Winter Film Capital of the World". Over 30 movie studios were opened and thousands of silent films produced between 1908 and the 1920s, when most studios relocated to Hollywood, California.
Since that time, Jacksonville has been chosen by a number of film and television studios for on-location shooting. Notable motion pictures that have been partially or completely shot in Jacksonville since the silent film era include Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954), The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking (1988), Brenda Starr (1989), G.I. Jane (1997), The Devil's Advocate (1997), Ride (1998), Why Do Fools Fall In Love (1998), Forces of Nature (1999), Tigerland (2000), Sunshine State (2002), Basic (2003), The Manchurian Candidate (2004), Lonely Hearts (2006), Monster House (2006), and Moving McAllister (2006).
Notable television series or made-for-television films that have been partially or completely shot in Jacksonville include Intimate Strangers (1986), Inherit the Wind (1988), Roxanne: The Prize Pulitzer (1989), A Girl of the Limberlost (1990), Orpheus Descending (1990), Pointman (1995), Saved by the Light (1995), The Babysitter's Seduction (1996), Sudden Terror: The Hijacking of School Bus #17 (1996), First Time Felon (1997), Gold Coast (1997), Safe Harbor (1999), The Conquest of America (2005), and Super Bowl XXXIX (2005).
Oliver Hardy, of the famous movie comedy team of Laurel & Hardy, made his first movies in Jacksonville in the 1910's.
 Famous native individuals and groups
- James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938) early civil rights activist and Harlem Renaissance author
- John Rosamond Johnson (1873-1954) musical composer, brother of James Weldon
- Merian C. Cooper (1893-1973) writer and director of landmark 1933 Hollywood film King Kong
- Arthur "Blind" Blake (1893-1933) influential blues singer and guitarist, "The King Of Ragtime Guitar"
- John Archibald Wheeler (born 1911) innovative theoretical physicist
- Alan Stephenson Boyd (born 1922) the first United States Secretary of Transportation
- David Jack Holt (born 1927), an American actor groomed at age seven to be the male Shirley Temple.
- Pat Boone (born 1934) popular 1950s singer and teen idol
- Philip Don Estridge (1937-1985) "Father of the IBM PC", led development of IBM personal computer
- Gary U.S. Bonds (born 1939) popular R&B singer and songwriter
- Robert "Bullet Bob" Hayes (1942–2002) football, track & field, and Olympic athlete
- Norman E. Thagard (born 1943) NASA astronaut, first American to launch on Russian craft
- Michael Persinger (born 1945) Neuroscientist, psychologist, and noted philanthropist.
- Ray Mercer (born 1961) professional boxer, 1991 WBO heavyweight champion
- Marcus Roberts (born 1963) jazz pianist
- Sable (Rena Mero) (born 1967) WWF and WWE professional wrestler
- Martin López-Zubero (born 1969) Spanish-American backstroke swimmer
- Lynyrd Skynyrd (formed 1970) Southern rock band
- Leanza Cornett (born 1971) Miss America 1993
- David Duval (born 1971) professional golfer, winner of 2001 Open Championship
- Molly Hatchet (formed 1975) Southern rock band
- 38 Special (formed 1975) rock band
- Ma$e (born 1977) hip hop rapper
- Limp Bizkit (formed 1994) rapcore band, spawned fame of singer Fred Durst
- Yellowcard (formed 1997) pop-punk band
- 69 Boyz rap group
- Quad City DJ's rap group
- Glenn Jones R&B/Gospel Singer
Jacksonville's location on the St. Johns River and the Atlantic Ocean proved providential in the growth of the city and its industry. The largest city in the state, it is also the largest deepwater port in the south and a leading port in the U.S. for automobile imports, as well as the leading transportation and distribution hub in the state. However, the strength of the city's economy lies in its broad diversification. The area's economy is balanced among distribution, financial services, biomedical technology, consumer goods, information services, manufacturing, and other industries.
Jacksonville is a rail, air, and highway focal point and a busy port of entry, with Jacksonville International Airport, ship repair yards and extensive freight-handling facilities. Lumber, phosphate, paper, cigars and wood pulp are the principal exports; automobiles and coffee are among imports. The city also has a large and diverse manufacturing base. According to Forbes.com Jacksonville, Florida ranked in the top ten U.S. cities to relocate to find a job, beating out giants such as New York and Atlanta.
Jacksonville is home of several corporations and organizations:
- Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida 
- Bubba Burger
- Colomer USA, manufacturer of Revlon Professional cosmetics and hair care products is located in Jacksonville due to its historical links with the city
- CSX Corporation
- CSX Transportation
- Fidelity National Financial
- Gate Petroleum
- Swisher International, Inc. One of the world's largest manufacturer of cigars.
- Dandee Foods
- MPS Group (Modis)
- Vystar Financial Group
- Stein Mart
- TNT Logistics
- Vistakon (makers of Acuvue contact lenses)
- Winn-Dixie (the parent of Save Rite)
As the largest city in land area in the contiguous United States, Jacksonville is informally divided into four major sections; Southside, which refers to everything south of the Arlington Expressway and between the St. Johns River and the Intracoastal Waterway; Northside, which is generally considered to be everything north of the St. Johns and east of New Kings Road; and Westside, which consists of everything west of the St. Johns River and south of New Kings Rd. Arlington, is bordered on the west and north by the St. John's River and to the east by the Intracoastal Waterway, south by the Arlington Expressway.(There is also a distinct part of the city known as "Eastside" which those unfamiliar with Jacksonville's overall geography sometimes mistakenly regard as one of the major divisions of town, rather than the localized neighborhood which it is. Additionally, with the rapid growth in the eastern parts of Duval County, the Intracoastal/Beaches area has emerged as a major section as well, but is not generally included in a Jacksonville list, since the Beaches communities lie outside of the Jacksonville city limits.) Each of these sections is divided into many neighborhoods.
 Metropolitan Jacksonville
Cities outside of Jacksonville proper, yet in the surrounding Greater Jacksonville Metropolitan area include Atlantic Beach, Jacksonville Beach, Neptune Beach, and Baldwin, all within Duval County. Additionally, in Nassau County are Callahan, Fernandina Beach, Hilliard, and Yulee. St. Johns County contains the suburbs of Fruit Cove, Switzerland, Ponte Vedra Beach, Hastings, and St. Augustine. Green Cove Springs, Keystone Heights, Middleburg, Orange Park, and Penney Farms are all found in Clay County. Even farther outlying, but still included within the "First Coast" region (thus, sometimes considered part of Jacksonville's metropolitan area), are and Glen St. Mary and Macclenny in Baker County.
After World War II, the government of the City of Jacksonville began to increase spending to fund new building projects in the boom that occurred after the war. Mayor W. Haydon Burns' Jacksonville Story resulted in the construction of a new city hall, civic auditorium, public library and other projects that created a dynamic sense of civic pride. However, the development of suburbs and a subsequent wave of "white flight" left Jacksonville with a much poorer population than before. Much of the city's tax base dissipated, leading to problems with funding education, sanitation, and traffic control within the city limits. In addition, residents in unincorporated suburbs had difficulty obtaining municipal services such as sewage and building code enforcement. In 1958, a study recommended that the City of Jacksonville begin annexing outlying communities in order to create the needed tax base to improve services throughout the county. Voters outside the city limits rejected annexation plans in six referendums between 1960 and 1965.
In the mid 1960s, corruption scandals began to arise among many of the city's officials, who were mainly elected through the traditional good ol' boy network. After a grand jury was convened to investigate, several officials were indicted and more were forced to resign. Consolidation, led by Sheriff Dale Carson, began to win more support during this period, from both inner city blacks (who wanted more involvement in government) and whites in the suburbs (who wanted more services and more control over the central city). The simultaneous disaccredation of all fifteen of Duval County's public high schools in 1964 added momentum to the proposals for government reform. Lower taxes, increased economic development, unification of the community, better public spending and effective administration by a more central authority were all cited as reasons for a new consolidated government.
The most noteworthy feature of Jacksonville government is its consolidated nature. The Duval County-Jacksonville consolidation eliminated any type of separate county executive or legislature, and supplanted these positions with the Mayor of Jacksonville and the City Council of the City of Jacksonville, respectively. Because of this, voters who live outside of the city limits of Jacksonville, but inside of Duval County, are allowed not only to vote in elections for these positions, but to run for them as well. In fact, in 1995, Jacksonville elected John Delaney, a resident of Neptune Beach, as mayor.
Jacksonville uses the Mayor-Council form of city government, also called the Strong-Mayor form, in which a mayor serves as the city's Chief Executive and Administrative officer. The mayor holds veto power over all resolutions and ordinances made by the city council, and also has the power to hire and fire the head of various city departments.
The city council has nineteen members, fourteen of whom are elected from single-member districts, and five who are ostensibly elected at-large. However, although these five additional council members are elected at-large, they are required to meet an unusual residency requirement. In the early 1990s, because these five "at-large" members were generally all elected from the same area, voters approved a change in the city government which divided the city up into five districts unrelated to any other districts, solely for the purpose of electing these at-large council members. Thus, at-large council members are elected from each of these five districts by the voters of the county as a whole.
Some government services remained—as they had been prior to consolidation – independent of both city and county authority. In accordance with Florida law, the school board continues to exist with nearly complete autonomy. Jacksonville also has several quasi-independent government agencies which only nominally answer to the consolidated authority, including, electric authority, port authority, and airport authority. Fire, police, health and welfare, recreation, public works, and housing and urban development were all combined under the new government.
Four municipalities within Duval County voted not to join the consolidated government. These were the communities of Baldwin, Neptune Beach, Atlantic Beach and Jacksonville Beach, which consist of only 6% of the total population within the county. The four separate communities provide their own services, while maintaining the right to contract the consolidated government to provide services for them. For example, in December of 2005, the city council of Baldwin voted to eliminate the Baldwin Police Department, a decision which was consummated in March of 2006. Since that time, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office has assumed policing responsibilities for the one-square mile town, located in the far western portion of Duval County.
- See also: List of mayors of Jacksonville, Florida
Jacksonville, along with the standard district schools, is home to two International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme ("IB") high schools. They are Stanton College Preparatory School and Paxon School for Advanced Studies. Jacksonville also has a notable magnet high school devoted to the performing and expressive arts, Douglas Anderson School of the Arts. See also: List of high schools in Jacksonville
Jacksonville is home to Jacksonville University, the University of North Florida, Florida Community College at Jacksonville, Edward Waters College, Art Institute of Jacksonville, Florida Coastal School of Law, Trinity Baptist College, Jones College, Florida Technical College, Logos Christian College, and Brewer Christian College.
Former mayor John Delaney has been president of the University of North Florida since leaving office in July 2003, parlaying his widespread popularity in the city into a position of leadership in the state university system.
Interstate Highways 10 and 95 intersect in Jacksonville. Interstate Highway 10 ends at this intersection (the other end being in Santa Monica, California). The eastern terminus of US-90 is in nearby Jacksonville Beach near the Atlantic Ocean. Additionally, several other roads as well a major local expressway, J. Turner Butler Boulevard (SR 202) also connects Jacksonville to the beaches. Public transportation is provided by the Jacksonville Transportation Authority. The city has the Jacksonville Skyway monorail, which travels through the central business district and is fairly cheap to use. However, there are very few Skyway stations and as such, traffic is quite light. The Skyway has been criticized in that it goes from "nowhere to nowhere" along its limited route, which encompasses only downtown and is of no use to most commuters. Interstate 95 has a bypass route, with I-295, which bypasses the city to the west, and SR-9A, bypassing the city to the east. I-295 and SR-9A circumscribe the most populated portion of Jacksonville.
Jacksonville is also home to the world headquarters of CSX Transportation, which owns a large building on the riverbank downtown that is a significant part of the skyline. Amtrak passenger railroad serves Jacksonville from a station on Clifford Lane in the Northwest section of the city.
There are also numerous bridges over the St. Johns River at Jacksonville. They include (starting from furthest downstream) the Dames Point Bridge, the Mathews Bridge, the Isaiah D. Hart Bridge, the Main Street Bridge, the Acosta Bridge, the Fuller Warren Bridge (which carries I-95 traffic) and the Buckman Bridge (which carries I-295 traffic).
Major commercial air service in Jacksonville operates out of Jacksonville International Airport. Smaller planes can fly to Craig Airport on the southside and Herlong Airport on the westside. The city also operates an airfield at Cecil Commerce Center that is intended for aerospace manufacturing companies.
Four modern seaport facilities, including America's newest cruise port, make Jacksonville a full-service international seaport. In 2004, JAXPORT handled 7.7 million tons of cargo, including 533,000 vehicles. In 2003, the JAXPORT Cruise Terminal opened, providing cruise service to Key West, Florida, the Bahamas, and Mexico.
|St. Johns River crossings in the Jacksonville, Florida area|
|Upriver from Downtown Jax||Shands Bridge (to be replaced or supplemented) - Buckman Bridge - Timuquana Bridge (never built)|
|Downtown Jax||Fuller Warren Bridge - Acosta Bridge - Main Street Bridge - Hart Bridge - Mathews Bridge - 20th Street Extension (never built)|
|Downriver from Downtown Jax||Dames Point Bridge - Florida State Road 113A (never built) - Mayport Ferry|
 Sister cities
In 2000, The Sister Cities International awarded Jacksonville the Innovation Arts & Culture Award for the city's program with Nantes.
 See also
- 40 years ago this weekend, Jacksonville gave itself a national reputation for violence. The Florida Times-Union.
- DeCamp, David (May 3, 2003). Racial graffiti found at Glover's headquarters. The Florida Times-Union.
- Foley, Bill; Wood, Wayne (2001). The great fire of 1901 (1st ed.). Jacksonville, Florida: The Jacksonville Historical Society. ISBN 0-9710261-0-6
 External links
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Image:Wikiversity-logo-Snorky.svg Learning resources from Wikiversity
 Government resources
- City of Jacksonville Official Website
- Jacksonville Sister Cities Association, Inc
- Duval County Public Schools
- Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce
- Jacksonville Public Library
 Non-profits and social services
- Fresh Ministries
- Clara White Mission
- Dignity U Wear
- Builders Care
- Empowerment First
- Lutheran Social Services of Jacksonville
 Higher education
- Edward Waters College
- Jacksonville University
- University of North Florida
- Florida Community College at Jacksonville
- Trinity Baptist College
- Art Institute of Jacksonville
- Florida Coastal School of Law
- Jones College
- Logos Christian College
- Maps and aerial photos
|Cities and towns of Duval County, Florida|