Former Jacksonville Mayor Hans Tanzler has died at the age of 86. WOKV spoke with former Mayor John Peyton, who said Tanzler was surrounded by family and friends when he passed away.
Peyton says Tanzler was a kind, gentle, thoughtful leader. He says Tanzler had very little ego in the game.
"You talk about the right man at the right time. Our government was at a pivotal point, and when we instituted consolidated government, he was the man that stepped up", said Peyton.
Mayor Alvin Brown released this statement: “My thoughts and prayers are with the friends and family of former Jacksonville Mayor Hans Tanzler, who has passed at the age of 86. Mayor Tanzler led a life dedicated to public service and his legacy will forever be remembered by our citizens and all who had the opportunity to know him. He guided our city through consolidation, paving the way for much of the success we enjoy today. Mayor Tanzler was a tireless advocate for local education, public health, economic and downtown development and our treasured St. Johns River. We will always be grateful for his service to the great City of Jacksonville.”
Here is more on the biography of Tanzler from the city of Jacksonville:
During his nearly 12 years as mayor, Tanzler set the tone for downtown development by professionalizing city government and moving away from a good-old-boy system fraught with corruption and mismanagement. As the first mayor under consolidated government, he planned a revived downtown to compete with suburban shopping strips and giant shopping malls. Although his vision has not been fully realized, during his administration a downtown community college campus was created, a new public health facility was built and the private sector changed the city's skyline with the Independent Life Tower (later the Modis Building).
Tanzler's greatest contribution to downtown was healing a sick and neglected St. John's River. In 1968, industrial and agricultural pollution, toxic chemicals and 15 million gallons per day of untreated sewage flowed from 77 untreated outfalls into the river and its Duval County tributaries. The city increased sewer taxes, replaced outdated sewer lines and closed ineffective sewage treatment plants. The mayor celebrated the closing of the last of the untreated outfalls in June 1977 by skiing on the river with performers from Cypress Gardens. Although pollution continued to plague successive administrations, bold brush strokes on the downtown canvas had been made."