Jacksonville says it won’t reveal its offer to lure internet commerce giant
Jacksonville Daily Record by Karen Brune Mathis
October 25, 2017
Amazon.com says it’s up to the competing cities to go public with their individual bids to lure the company’s second North American headquarters, which it calls HQ2.
Amazon has confirmed that cities are free to decide the level of public disclosure about their proposals.
That level remains flat in Jacksonville.
Marsha Oliver, a spokeswoman for Mayor Lenny Curry, stated last week that Amazon has a confidentiality agreement in place with the state, which exempts all documents and information from public record under Florida Statute 288.075.
A public records request Friday to the city yielded the same response.
The statute states in part that if a private corporation requests in writing that an economic development agency maintain the confidentiality of information regarding plans to expand in the state, the information is confidential and exempt from public records laws.
In the Request for Proposals, Amazon asked that bids be marked “confidential” if sent by hard copy or else submitted to a password-protected website URL or a USB.
While an Amazon spokesman said community officials have signed nondisclosure agreements because the company shared some internal information, cities can disclose what they want about details regarding their own activities and proposals.
The city of Jacksonville has not released information about its bid made last week for the headquarters, which Amazon said would bring $5 billion in capital investment and 50,000 jobs to the chosen location.
The Miami Herald reported that the state submitted four proposals — from the Miami area, Orlando, Tampa Bay and Jacksonville — as a package.
Other Florida counties also submitted bids, according to media reports.
The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity referred questions Tuesday to Enterprise Florida, which issued a statement through spokeswoman Megan Bailey:
“Enterprise Florida is assisting our Florida communities with their proposals for Amazon. Enterprise Florida’s goal is to make sure that interested communities are well represented.
“Florida has much to offer with our business-friendly environment, low taxes, high-quality education opportunities, historically low crime rates, and talented workforce.
“There is no reason why Florida should not be the frontrunner for Amazon’s new headquarters,” it concluded. [READ MORE]