Article originally published at WJCT.org
Image courtesy of Tommy Hazouri.
The At-Large Group 3 councilman was being treated at the Mayo Clinic. The family is asking the community to keep the councilman and former mayor in their thoughts and prayers.
“Tommy deeply appreciates all the thoughts, well wishes, and prayers from the Jacksonville community,” the statement sent to WJCT News from his office said. “While his lungs may be failing him, his heart remains full for the people of this city.”
Following his July 2020 surgery, Hazouri returned to work in September. At the time, he returned to City Council as Council President.
“To have a new lung is a gift from heaven and I’ve really been blessed,” Hazouri told WJCT News partner The Florida Times-Union last year.
“My thoughts and prayers are with Former City Council President and current City Council Member Tommy Hazouri and his family during this time of illness. God continues to be a healer and I trust God will heal our beloved colleague completely,” City Council President Sam Newby said Wednesday, adding, “There is so much more work to be done!”
Hazouri, who is 76, is well known in Jacksonville’s political circles. He served as a Democrat in the Florida House of Representatives from 1974 to 1986 and was mayor of Jacksonville from 1987 to 1991.
While in the Florida Legislature, he was chairman of the Duval Legislative Delegation, the House Committee on Education, K-12, and House Committee on Retirement, Personnel, and Collective Bargaining, according to the city’s website.
He also was a member of the House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Education Funding and Subcommittee on Personnel.
During his term as mayor, Hazouri was perhaps best known for his effort to eliminate tolls from Jacksonville’s roads and bridges. He also implemented an anti-odor ordinance.
More recently, Hazouri was vocal in criticizing the proposed $450 million Lot J sports entertainment complex deal – which failed to pass in Council - and had been negotiated between the Jaguars and Mayor Lenny Curry.
In November, Hazouri chastised the mayor’s office, saying, in part, “This is too important of an issue, too complex of an issue for us to just sit here and hurry up and wait for them to make their presentation,” he said. “Shame on this not getting any further and us getting into more depth of the discussion of this.”
In January, the proposal failed in a 12-7 vote, with Hazouri among the council members to vote against it.
In June, as the outgoing City Council president, Hazouri presented the U.S. Marine Corps with a resolution honoring the military branch as their six-month operation at the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront, located Downtown, came to a close.
Hazouri’s office said Wednesday Hazouri’s family is requesting that their privacy be respected at this time.
Article by Bill Bortzfield at WJCT.org. Bill can be reached at email@example.com, 904-358-6349 or on Twitter at @BortzInJax.