Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed Raemi Eagle-Glenn Thursday to fill the District 1 seat, which she lost by about 62% to former commissioner Mary Alford in 2020.
Metro | City and County Commission
City Commissioners voted 4-3 Thursday to repeal the open container policy which allowed individuals to drink and carry alcoholic beverages on public property and authorized businesses to serve alcohol in public, outdoor spaces..
The plan, Imagine GNV, is a collaborative effort between Gainesville neighbors and the city government. The plan lays out actions the city will take to address elements including racial inequity, affordable housing and education — an area that hasn’t been included in previous city plans. The plan is in the works with nine draft chapters published online.
Butler was elected into the city commission in 1969, becoming the first Black man elected to the body since Reconstruction, an era marked by post Civil War opportunities. Later, in 1971, he became the first Black Mayor to hold that office in 100 years. However, he wanted to be remembered for who he was rather than being the first.
With her hand on the Bible her mother gave her 49 years ago, Cynthia Chestnut repeated the oath of office during her City Commissioner swearing-in ceremony. On Thursday morning, Chestnut was sworn in as At-Large Seat B City Commissioner outside Gainesville City Hall after winning the special runoff election Jan. 25. The position will be a four-year term with elections every two years starting this year, according to a City of Gainesville press release.
Before Ward and Bielarski announced last week, the only two candidates running for the position were Arreola, who announced his race in December 2021, and Shepherd, who filed his paperwork in June 2021.
Free parking is coming back to downtown Gainesville until June 1. The Gainesville City Commission voted 5-1 on Thursday to suspend the paid parking structure in the center of downtown Gainesville. Mayor Lauren Poe was the only dissenting vote.
In the days following the election, commissioner-elect Cynthia Moore Chestnut prepared for her position as city commissioner at-large seat B. Opposing candidate Matt Howland will be returning to his studies, flying between Gainesville and his classes at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
The Gainesville City Commission’s vote to fire Gainesville Regional Utilities General Manager Edward Bielarski Thursday ended with a new bid for mayor. At the beginning of the meeting, City Commissioner Harvey Ward proposed the motion to fire Bielarski, which passed with a 4-2 vote. Commissioners Desmon Duncan-Walker and David Arreola opposed.
Chestnut led with nearly 51% of the 12,280 ballots cast while Howland had about 49%, according to preliminary results. Out of the 90,080 eligible voters, only 12,280 voted, or 13.6%, a 0.55% increase compared to the November special election.
The Gainesville City Commission Special Election early voting began Friday and ended Sunday, with the official election date being Jan. 25. For voters casting their vote by mail past the early voting period, the mail-in drop box will be available Jan. 24 and Jan. 25 at the Alachua Supervisor of Elections Office at 515 N. Main St. Suite 100.
After Mickle died last January, Alachua County commissioners unanimously approved a new courthouse name: Judge Stephan P. Mickle Sr. Criminal Courthouse, ending the nearly 20 yearslong search for the perfect name.
One program gives any Alachua County resident $25 gift cards for each COVID-19 vaccination and booster they receive. Another awards $100 gift cards to each county government employee for their initial vaccination and booster.
Interim Gainesville City Manager Cynthia Curry fired three assistant city managers and appointed Gainesville Police Department Chief Tony Jones to take their places on Monday.