Q & A with Jacksonville City Council Member Matt Schellenberg (District 6)

Q: Can you give us an update on sidewalk construction?
A: The sidewalks along Orange Picker Road should be complete before the end of summer. The Mandarin Road sidewalks, which are being built northward to Red Cypress Road, should be completed in the fall.

Q: Do you have anything to report about sidewalk repairs on Julington Creek Road over Oldfield Creek or on Marbon Road (which has evidently had signs notifying that the sidewalk is closed for a couple of months)?

A: I am always happy to direct these types of inquiries to our Public Works Department. It is much better for citizens to email rather than call with these inquiries as it allows for more accurate tracking. We need to know not only the street, but also the nearest cross streets so that we can investigate further.

As for the repairs on Marbon Road with the sign, those repairs are mostly likely in progress, but sometimes progress can take a long time.

This is one reason I have advocated for a City of Mandarin. I believe this type of thing could be taken care of much more quickly.

Q: What is the latest on the Scott Mill Road turn lane?
A: This will surely help traffic travelling south on Scott Mill Road. At the dead end intersection with Mandarin Road, a right turn lane will be constructed so cars turning right will not have to wait for the cars turning left. Finally after two years, this project will move forward before the end of the year.

Q: What other updates do you have for Mandarin?
A: The dock at County Dock will finally see some construction commencing in July. After three years, we are finally getting our dock back.

The Mandarin Senior Center addition is progressing well and will probably be finished in Spring 2020. Included in the construction cost is a nice roadside sign for the center, which should make it more visible.

More sidewalks are coming to Palmetto Leaves Park. Also, the Parks Department is working with JEA to construct bike paths beyond the softball field as part of a larger bike trail to be built west towards the South Mandarin Library along the powerlines.

An informational walking park is to be constructed behind the South Mandarin Library. Money has been allocated for this.

And finally, the dog park. Hopefully the land will be purchased by the time readers see this column. Then we can move forward with a nice dog park and also additional parking for Alberts Field. It will be a great facility, scheduled to be completed by the first of next year.

Q: Your time as City Councilmember for Mandarin is drawing to a close. What’s next for you?
A: I have enjoyed being a public servant. Right now, I’ve been asked to be on the city’s Charter Revision Commission, which meets every 10 years. If citizens have any ideas or thoughts on how to make Jacksonville a better place and how to make bureaucracy more responsive, email me at my personal email, moversclaimjax@aol.com.

It has been an incredible honor to represent Mandarin these last eight years. There is still plenty to be done and I’m sure Councilmember-elect Michael Boylan will do a great job. I encourage readers to reach out to him as they have done with me.

We will be hosting a joint Town Hall Meeting on Monday, June 3 from 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. at the South Mandarin Branch Library. It would be great to see a lot of people there.

Q: What is the best way for our readers to contact you?

A: Community members can email me at MattS@coj.net or call (904) 630-1388.