Q: Can you give us a recycling update for the city of Jacksonville?
A: When I had my last Town Hall meeting on June 3, we discussed this. Most people in the room said they recycled. Unfortunately, about 40 percent of what the city receives is “dirty,” meaning that non-recyclables are included … and all of this goes into the landfill. The city has gone from making $8 million on recycling to spending $4 million on recycling.

Q: What do you recommend citizens do?
A: If you want to save the city money, only recycle newspaper and aluminum. That’s it. We lose money on glass so don’t try to recycle that. 

Q: Can you let us know about the new trees on Mandarin Road?

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A: We did plant trees on Mandarin Road and they have a two year guarantee. During the recent drought, 16 of the trees died and will be replaced by the supplier within the next one to three weeks.

Q: Can you give us an update on the various parks and improvements?
A: The County Dock renovation project has been awarded and the project will begin by summer 2019.

The Parks Department has completed design for a new kayak launch and floating docks at Mandarin Park. The kayak launch will be ADA complaint and will serve as a tool to further activate our waterways. We are requesting grant funding to cover the cost of construction of these amenities. 

The Parks Department is also working on a design to connect the park facilities at Palmetto Leaves Regional Park off of Greenland Road to the facilities off of Old St. Augustine Road via a trail. The design should be complete by summer 2019.

Finally, bollards will be installed at Losco Regional Park to restrict certain areas for vehicles and to further define allowed parking locations. This project is complete, as is the splash park, which is now open.

Q: Do you have any news about the Mandarin Senior Center construction?

A: The Mandarin Senior Center is expanding to allow for additional capacity and more creative programming. Construction is now underway at the Senior Center. Also, we are working to add an electronic display board along Hartley Road that will inform citizens of events at the Mandarin Senior Center.

Q: Do you have any closing words for your last Q&A as Mandarin’s City Councilmember?
A: I’d still like to put forth the idea of a “City of Mandarin.” I believe we would have better time frames for quality of life issues. We could act more quickly and efficiently to get things done. 

I’ve been selected to be on the Charter Review Commission. If anyone has ideas to improve the consolidation of our city or make Jacksonville a better place, email me at moversclaimjax@aol.com and let me know. 

Finally, I encourage citizens to reach out to the new Mandarin City Councilmember as of July 1, Michael Boylan. He will be retaining my assistant, Sonia Johnson, who is well familiar with Mandarin.

It’s been an honor and privilege to serve Mandarin for the past eight years as City Councilmember.

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.

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