The surprising realization after the city of Jacksonville loses more than $700,000 on the Navy-Marine Corps Classic: there seemed to be no accounting for the city’s big ticket events.
“There was no accountability, the expenses were spread out in to various other accounts,” says Councilman Matt Schellenberg.
City Council moved Tuesday night to get a better idea of how your money is spent.
A unanimous vote sent a new set of regulations to the Mayor’s Office on how the city handles accounting during sporting and entertainment events. This includes the UF/FSU baseball game, FL/GA football game, and other non-annual events like the NMCC. These events now have to submit a budget and complete accounting of expenses and revenue within 60 days of the event itself.
“Now we will not only track the revenue, but we’ll track the expenses to the events,” Schellenberg says.
He chaired the committee that looked in to the financial loss of the Classic and now says the new regulations are aimed at-first and foremost- building trust with the taxpayers and increasing transparency.
“Making sure when we spend money, we are accountable to that,” he says.
When asked whether the reporting regulations would in fact help make some of these events profitable, Schellenberg couldn’t say for any certainty. He further tells me, however, that even some events that don’t make a profit do have value to the city and likely wouldn’t even be in jeopardy- but that the public deserves to know what is being spent.