Jacksonville, Florida, Government Consolidation Collection

Finding Aid

Collection Number: M07-3
Dates: 1968-2013
Size: 2.5 linear ft. (1 box)
Repository: Special Collections, Thomas G. Carpenter Library, University of North Florida
Arrangement: Chronological
Language: English
Container List: View Container List

Abstract

On October 1, 1968, the governments of the city of Jacksonville, Florida and Duval County merged into one unified and consolidated government. The collection contains newspaper clippings which provide insight, commentary, and documentation on this transformative era in Jacksonville history. Special Florida Times-Union newspaper supplements from October 1, 1968, and October 1, 1969, provide extensive details on the history and background of the governmental merger. Additional newsclippings marking the consolidation anniversaries of 1993 and 2008 update the changes and developments attributed to consolidation in the intervening years.

Acquisition

Majority of materials donated by Hans G. Tanzler, Jr., former Mayor of Jacksonville from 1967-1979.

Access to the Collection

The collection is open for research. For additional information and to make an appointment to view the collection, contact (904) 620-1533 or e-mail lib-special@unf.edu.

Preferred Citation

Jacksonville, Florida, Government Consolidation Collection, Thomas G. Carpenter Library, University of North Florida, Jacksonville, Florida.

Additional Guides

Related Materials

Carlucci, Joe. Collection, 1911-1986. (bulk 1968-1978)


Crooks, James B. Jacksonville : the consolidation story, from civil rights to the Jaguars. Gainesville : University Press of Florida, c2004.

Hancock, Robert. The history of area planning in Jacksonville, Duval County, Florida : historical background, 1513-1810, 1811- 1899, 1900-1960 : area planning, 1961-66 : consolidation, 1967-69. [Jacksonville, Fla.] : Jacksonville Area Planning Board, [1971]

Humphries, Homer H., Jr. Papers, 1967-2008. (bulk 1967-1971)

Jacksonville, Florida, merges city and county governments. Washington, D.C. : Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America, c1968.

Jacksonville, the inside story [videorecording] / [presented by] Florida Community College at Jacksonville ; a Lifelong Learning production ; produced by Kathleen Clower. Jacksonville, Fla. : Florida Community College at Jacksonville, c1988.

Martin, Richard A. A quiet revolution : Jacksonville-Duval County consolidation and the dynamics of urban political reform. [Jacksonville, Fla.] : White Pub. Co., c1993.

Martin, Richard A. Papers, 1963-1993. (bulk 1967-1970)

Race relations [videorecording] / [produced by] UNF Humanities Council ; producer, James Crooks; project director, Carolyn Williams. Jacksonville, Fla. : University of North Florida, 1993. (Jacksonville civic leaders discuss the racial situation in Jacksonville prior to consolidation of the city and county government on October 1, 1968. They share their perceptions of how consolidation helped begin the move toward racial equality in Jacksonville and discuss what has yet to be accomplished if racial equality is to be achieved.)

Reflections & rededication [videorecording] : 25 years of consolidation / produced by Carolyn Broughton, Capt. Rob Sorensen [for the City of Jacksonville]. [1993] (Marks the October 1, 1993, 25th anniversary of consolidated city/county government in Jacksonville, Florida, by reviewing the conditions which motivated the move to a consolidated form of government and the numerous changes which can be attributed to consolidation.)

Towers, William Benjamin. The Duval County-Jacksonville experience : a case study of the consolidation movement in local government. [1947] Thesis.

Wright. L. M. A summary of "Consolidation: Jacksonville-Duval County, the dynamics of urban political reform" presented to the Charlotte-Mecklenberg Charter Commission, September 9, 1969, by L.M. Wright, Jr. [S.l. : s.n., 1969]

Electronic versions
of related materials are available on the World Wide Web as part of the Florida Heritage Collection. Online selections include:

Blueprint for improvement / Local Government Study Commission of Duval County. [Jacksonville, Fla. : The Commission], 1966.

Charter of the consolidated government of the City of Jacksonville, Florida.

Jacksonville : Florida Publishing Co., [1967]

The Facts on annexation : Jacksonville Area Chamber of Commerce, Forward Jacksonville Committee. [Jacksonville, Fla. : Forward Jacksonville Committee?, 1963?]

Miller, Damon C. The Jacksonville consolidation : the process of metropolitan reform. Thesis (B.A.)--Princeton University, 1968.

Historical / Biographical Note

In the mid-1960s, the city of Jacksonville, Florida, faced complex urban problems and challenges: loss of accreditation for local high schools, collapsing and outdated infrastructure of sewage and road systems, heavily polluted air from pulp mills and chemical plants, rampant water pollution in the St. Johns River, numerous corruption charges and grand jury indictments of public officials, widespread areas of substandard housing, lack of rudimentary city services to outlying areas, and high property taxes vis-a-vis the quality of governmental services. Multiple governmental structures, including a City Commission, City Council, County Budget Committee, and County Commission, overlapped political jurisdictions which led to inefficient, costly and duplicative services. To ameliorate these problems, key Jacksonville business and civic leaders met in 1965, and decided the solution was to merge city and county governments. After considerable planning by a Local Government Study Commission, a "Blueprint for Improvement" (1966) and a proposed Charter (1967) for a new form of consolidated metropolitan government were submitted to the Duval Legislative Delegation. The Delegation amended the Charter and adopted it as a state law subject to voter approval. The Charter was ratified by local voters in a special referendum held on August 8, 1967, which ushered in a transitional planning period of just over a year to prepare for the official establishment of the new government.


On October 1, 1968, amidst much celebration, the merger abolishing separate city and county governments and instituting the only consolidated government in the State officially occurred. An often noted and quoted fact was that the City's population instantly more than doubled to over 500,000, making it the largest city in Florida (by population), and the largest city, in land area, in the continental United States. The merger streamlined government, with the establishment of one elected Mayor, one Sheriff's Office, and a nineteen seat City Council. Other changes and improvements attributed to consolidation evolved gradually over the years: a better education system, cleaning up of the St. Johns River, expansion of law enforcement, fire, electrical and rescue service to outlying areas, lower tax rate and a broader tax base leading to major civic improvements and public works programs. Historians and observers also attribute other intangible effects to consolidation, such as a more positive image and higher visibility for the city, the creation of more jobs as businesses relocated to Jacksonville, significant local economic development and growth, the opening of a public University (UNF) in 1972, the addition in 1993 of an NFL franchise team (Jacksonville Jaguars), and the competitive advantage of hosting the 2005 Super Bowl.

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of newspaper clippings pertaining to the consolidation of city and county governments in Jacksonville, Florida on October 1, 1968. Articles describe historical developments leading to the merger, and provide commentary and analysis on the changes, perceived accomplishments and progress attributed to consolidation from 1968 to date. Special Florida Times-Union newspaper supplements include a multi-section edition published on October 1, 1968, and another supplement, dated October 1, 1969, marking the one-year anniversary of the merger.

Index Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection:

     

  • Metropolitan government -- Florida -- Jacksonville.
  • Jacksonville (Fla.) -- Politics and government.
  • Jacksonville (Fla.) -- History.
  • Duval County (Fla.) -- Politics and government.
  • Florida -- Politics and government -- 1951-