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City Charter Review Commission proposes changes, sets virtual hearing dates

Press release from City of Gainesville

 In May 2019, the City of Gainesville formed a Charter Review Commission to review and propose changes to the City Charter. This month, the commission will host three virtual public hearings to gather feedback from community members about the proposed charter amendments. Hearings have been scheduled:

  • Wednesday, April 15, 4-6 p.m.
  • Thursday, April 23, 6-8 p.m.
  • Thursday, April 30, 6-8 p.m.

The City Commission will have final approval before proposed amendments appear on the November 2020 ballot for voter consideration.

Opportunities for public participation will include:

1)Live meeting coverage: Broadcast on Cox Cable Channel 12, Facebook and the City of Gainesville website.

2) Submit public comments before the meetings

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3)By eComment: Send online written comment before and during meetings:

  • Visit the “Agendas & Minutes” page on the City’s website.
  • Click the “eComment” link on the far right for the upcoming public hearing. Leave comments on the specific charter amendments.

4) Live comment during the meetings:

  • Dial the toll-free number: (800) 876-7516 from your phone. When the meeting pin number is requested, enter 2761544 and then press the # key.
  • A moderator will call on you when it is your turn to speak.
  • Please mute the sound on your computer/device if you are watching the hearing online.
  • State your name clearly for the record.
  • Each speaker will have three minutes to comment.

Proposed charter amendments under consideration include:

  1. Amend the charter to require that the City Commission “shall” have a Clerk. Will also re-title the “Clerk of the Commission” to “City Clerk.”
  2. Amend the charter to require that the City Commission “shall” have a City Attorney.
  3. Amend the charter to require that the City Commission “shall” have an Internal Auditor.
  4. Revise City Commissioner term limits from two consecutive terms to three consecutive terms.
  5. Delete the section of the charter pertaining to having a general manager for GRU and amend the City Manager role to include the utilities powers and duties.
  6. Increase signature requirements for voter-initiated charter amendments from 10 percent to 20 percent of registered voters of the city.
  7. Eliminate restrictions on use of funds for construction of paved surfaces in designated areas.
  8. Increase salaries for the City Commission.
  9. Further limit the authority of the City Commission to dispose of certain utility facilities.
  10. Create a Preamble to the City Charter.

Background information: For background on the Charter Review Commission, please visit the City’s website. The current City Charter is available online. To review the commission’s discussions, search for the meeting agendas and minutes online or view the video recordings of the meetings.