County Commissioners unveiled a historical marker engraved with information on lynchings that took place after the Reconstruction era. The project was created by the Alachua County Community Remembrance Project and the Equal Justice Initiative.
Metro | City and County Commission
Gainesville Regional Utilities rate increase disproportionately affects low- and fixed-income residentsBy Meghan McGlone | Oct. 18, 2021
GRU’s average cost for electric, water and wastewater went up by 4% in October. The average cost for GRU’s electricity went up about $6, and the total bill rose almost $10. From 2023 to 2027, electrical rates will go up 3% and wastewater will go up 5% yearly, according to GRU.
Mayor Lauren Poe introduced a proclamation officially acknowledging Indigenous Peoples Day Monday at city hall. He also unveiled a new sign honoring indigenous people in front of city hall.
Cynthia Curry was appointed to the interim city manager position after city manager after Lee Feldman resigned Sept. 13, following the resignation of three other city charter officers, including City Commissioner Gail Johnson.
The City Commission will make the final decision this month on the construction of an affordable housing and student living apartment building with 151 housing units, 10% of which will be for affordable housing, according to a Friday city press release.
Gainesville’s City Commission voted Aug. 19 to appoint Folston as the city’s interim director of the Office of Equity and Inclusion. The office works to improve Gainesville and its businesses through promoting diversity, equity and inclusion, Folston said.
Atlanta-based law firm Griffin & Strong is conducting the disparity study in the city, CEO Rodney K. Strong said. The firm will determine if Gainesville is experiencing discrimination within its marketplace.
The County Commission originally passed the mandate Aug. 18. Because of state law, it could only last for seven days at a time and be renewed up to six times, or 42 days, due to state law.
Nicolle Shalley, who held the position before Nee, resigned Sept. 8 and her last day will be Nov. 12, according to her letter of resignation. She will become Levy County’s attorney, she wrote. Shalley was the fourth city official to resign in the past four months.
Cynthia Chestnut launches Gainesville City Commission campaign, earns endorsement from former Commissioner Gail JohnsonBy Alan Halaly | Sep. 29, 2021
Johnson publicly announced her endorsement of Chestnut, a 72-year-old longtime Gainesville politician, outside of a City Commission meeting Monday About 30 of Chestnut’s supporters gathered on the steps of Gainesville City Hall for the announcement.
Circuit Judge Monica Brasington opposed the mandate and said city employees don’t have to be vaccinated in order to work for the city. The ruling is temporary until the city provides evidence that the vaccine mandate meets court standards.
After a heated Monday commission meeting Gainesville activist Chanae Jackson made a Facebook post threatening City Commissioner Reina Saco, Gainesville Police Department spokesperson Graham Glover said. City manager Lee Feldman asked GPD to investigate the post, but the comments were not criminal threats. There are no criminal charges pending, Glover said, so it was a city decision to cancel the meeting.
City manager Lee Feldman submitted his letter of resignation Sept. 13, and his last day in city hall will be Nov. 12. The Gainesville City Commission also discussed terminating Gainesville Regional Utilities general manager Ed Bielarski at the Sept. 13 meeting, but he will be keeping his job.
The Alachua County Commission announced its Plant of the Month Program Sept. 1 in a county newsletter. It aims to bring community members together and encourage county residents to grow their own food for their benefit. Alachua County Commissioner Mary Alford partnered with UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences and Working Food, a local nonprofit, to plan her idea.
The Gainesville City Commission will decide whether to terminate City Manager Lee Feldman at a meeting Thursday. Mayor Lauren Poe also asked Gainesville Regional Utilities General Manager Ed Bielarski to resign Friday.
The election will take place Nov. 16. Early voting will be open from Nov. 12 to Nov. 14 at the Supervisor of Elections’ office and Millhopper Branch Library from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Many East Gainesville residents relied on Johnson to advocate for positive change on the historically underserved east side of the city.
City Commission special election could be set for early November, Alachua County extends mask mandateBy Meghan McGlone | Aug. 27, 2021
The Gainesville City Commission met Thursday to discuss the enforcement of Alachua County’s newly-renewed seven-day mask mandate and to plan a special election following Commissioner Gail Johnson’s resignation.
In a Facebook post reiterating her speech at the meeting, Johnson wrote that she decided to resign because she found it difficult to do her job of advocating for underserved residents of Gainesville.
Alachua County residents and visitors now need to wear a mask in public indoor areas for the next week following a vote from the Alachua County Commission. But the mandate doesn’t include UF buildings and facilities.