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City commission approves mandatory vaccines for employees and signals upcoming mask/occupancy ordinance for the general public

BY JENNIFER CABRERA

“The sooner we get past this and get everybody jabbed, the better we’ll all be.” – Mayor Lauren Poe

At their August 5 meeting, the Gainesville City Commission discussed various measures they could take in response to the recent increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in the community. Commissioner Adrian Hayes-Santos said, “I do believe that we need to combat this, and the best way we can combat it is with vaccines… I think some of the things outlined by the charters of how we work on employee masking, I think we need to keep moving forward on that. I also believe that we should move towards drafting an ordinance that—while the state has said we can’t have emergency orders, I think there are ways that we can draft an ordinance that will allow us—if we set up certain parameters and hit certain conditions, the City Manager could put in place measures to require PPE, masks, other occupancy limits, things in that nature.

“They may not need to be enacted, but I think we should be ready to enact those. And I believe if we draft an ordinance to that effect, I believe we could have those powers. I also believe that we should send a resolution to our businesses and to our community to get vaccinated. Lastly, I do think we should consider giving a PTO day to employees who are vaccinated, both those who were vaccinated and if you get vaccinated later. You do feel unwell sometimes after you get vaccinated, and they don’t want to use one of their PTO days for getting vaccinated and not feeling sick the next day. I think it’s another incentive for employees to get vaccinated.”

Commissioner David Arreola said he supported mandatory vaccinations for employees but thought the deadline didn’t give staff enough time to create and implement a plan. 

My daughter can’t get vaccinated until probably—I’m reading mid-winter is when they might offer it for under 12. I’m terrified, y’all. Absolutely terrified” – Commissioner Harvey Ward

Commissioner Harvey Ward said, “Tuesday I’m going to send my 10-year-old daughter to school for the first time in a long time. And thank God the Alachua County School Board, they have at least a couple of weeks’ mask mandate. My daughter can’t get vaccinated until probably—I’m reading mid-winter is when they might offer it for under 12. I’m terrified, y’all. Absolutely terrified. I got vaccinated as soon as it was possible. I’m so sick of wearing a mask, I don’t know what to do. But I keep wearing a mask. As much as we want to blame variants,… the fact is this spike is because we stopped wearing masks. We didn’t get as many people vaccinated as we thought we would, and people stopped wearing masks. I was in Publix, and I was the only one with a mask on.

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“That’s why the hospitals are filling up with people who have COVID. And I know there are people watching at home, watching on the internet, hitting the laugh button about this. That stuff drives me insane.”

However, Ward said he didn’t support a vaccine mandate because a majority of City employees are in bargaining units (unions), “that we can’t force to do, frankly. And I don’t want to force people to do it. I want people to use good sense.” He was in favor of giving City workers a PTO day if they got vaccinated.

“I am with Commissioner Ward on this one. If this keeps spiraling, I might just get over any legal icky feelings I have and push towards that mandate.” – Commissioner Reina Saco

Commissioner Reina Saco said, “I learned a long time ago that people in this country take a lot of their privilege for granted. If your friends and family dying doesn’t matter to you, if your neighbor dying doesn’t matter to you, if other people’s family and friends in the hospital dying don’t matter to you, I will pray that you eventually get some empathy. That said, I don’t think it is my job to force you to get a vaccine.”

She said that only about 20% of City employees have provided proof of vaccination to the City. “I am with Commissioner Ward on this one. If this keeps spiraling, I might just get over any legal icky feelings I have and push towards that mandate.”

“You have a choice. If you don’t want to get vaccinated, then your choice is to seek employment elsewhere.” – City Attorney Nicolle Shalley

City Attorney Nicolle Shalley said the City is back to mandatory masks and temperature screening and that they are working on a vaccine attestation form that all employees will be required to complete. She said she thought a vaccine mandate would be upheld in court because “You have a choice. If you don’t want to get vaccinated, then your choice is to seek employment elsewhere.” She said some charter officers were in favor of waiting until the vaccines are fully FDA-approved before mandating them, and there is some concern that if a lot of employees quit or are terminated, that could create an operational problem for the City.

Shalley said that beginning August 5, anybody who enters any City building or facility will be temperature screened and must wear facial coverings at all times while indoors. She said that because this is not a state of emergency—“this is here to stay”—the City Commission can pass a regular ordinance requiring people to wear facial coverings when indoors. They could also establish indoor occupancy limits or capacity limits on businesses. She said the ordinance could contain a provision that when the City Manager determines that such measures are no longer needed, he would direct staff to stop enforcing them, and then, “when we get to a point where the coast is clear,” they could repeal the ordinance. 

“At this point, I mean, the Governor of Florida is no longer entered in my mind as a person of sound mind,  so whatever orders he’s putting out, I’m just not interested.” – Commissioner David Arreola

Arreola said, “If I could be convinced that unvaccinated persons in the workplace did not pose a health issue to other employees and their families, then I could go along with having it be optional for employment,” but children can’t be vaccinated yet. “I’m not going to ask anyone to come to work and to work with people who could infect them and then that infection comes back to their child. I will not do that”

He continued, “At this point, I mean, the Governor of Florida is no longer entered in my mind as a person of sound mind,  so whatever orders he’s putting out, I’m just not interested.” He said that whatever the commission decided on, he’s interested in expanding it to the public, “in terms of masking and things of that nature. Because the situation is dire.”

Hayes-Santos made a motion with seven parts, including the pieces he mentioned in his introduction to the agenda item.

“I don’t believe that it is, at this point, my job to force someone or mandate them to be vaccinated.” – Commissioner Gail Johnson

Johnson said she hoped the motion would be split because “I don’t believe that it is, at this point, my job to force someone or mandate them to be vaccinated. So I would like for us to split out those pieces of it. And everything else, I can support.”

Ward said he supported making a plan to mandate vaccines for City workers, but “I don’t want to move forward with any of this stuff that we don’t have to. I would love to see the spike decline rapidly. I want everybody to get scared and start wearing masks and stay home when they don’t have to go somewhere. That’s my hope, that this works, that people go get vaccinated because they are scared.“

“So I can’t tell anyone what you ought to do in this regard. This is a very personal decision.” – Commissioner Desmon Duncan-Walker

Commissioner Desmon Duncan-Walker said her father became critically ill with COVID-19 and was intubated and hospitalized for 60 days in the early days of the pandemic. But when he got the first dose of the vaccine, he also became critically ill and had to be re-intubated for a month and a half. “So I can’t tell anyone what you ought to do in this regard. This is a very personal decision.”

During public comment on the agenda item, a union representative who didn’t give his name said his members are “completely opposed” to a mandatory COVID vaccination, whether or not they themselves have been vaccinated. He said his members have been going to work every day and haven’t had the luxury of working remotely. 

The president of the Fraternal Order of Police said most of their members are also against a mandate, whether or not they are vaccinated. “They’re against anyone telling them what they have to put in their body.” He said their position is that it would create a change in work status for union members that would be “open to bargaining.” He said he knew several people who had “a terrible reaction to the vaccine, that put them back into the hospital.” 

Nathan Skop said that getting a COVID-19 vaccine “should be a personal health choice.” He said he’d had a bad reaction to the second dose of the vaccine and that it was inappropriate to “substitute your judgment for their personal health choices… I think you should respect your City employees.”

Tana Silva pointed out that the vaccines don’t prevent transmission of the virus: “Their purpose is to lessen the impact of the virus on the individuals, not the virus.” She quoted a recent CDC report that in Provincetown, MA, “more than 70% of hundreds of positive tests were among vaccinated individuals who associated with other vaccinated people. Repeating ‘a pandemic of the unvaccinated’ is unhelpful. No one is to blame.” She also said people who have had the virus should be exempt from any mandate because they have “superior natural immunity, and they risk severe reactions to the shot for no benefit… No one knows the long-term effects.”

Several other City employees called in to say that they opposed the mandate, as essential workers who had gone to work every day during the pandemic, supporting the City of Gainesville and GRU and the citizens of this community. 

My empathy for anyone who is unwilling to work with us right now and do what they need to do to keep this job and this community safe, that empathy, that ability to care about your opinions and your worries is out the window. I’m completely for that mandate right now.” – Saco

When the discussion went back to the commission, Saco said that immigrants to this country are required to get vaccines, “And the amount of privilege and entitlement in this country and community and selfishness is frankly disgusting. I am disgusted to represent a lot of people right now that are that selfish, that are that entitled, that are that willfully misinformed… I was on the side of, ‘You know what, let’s give people a lot of latitude. I don’t want to force things on people.’ Do you know how you lose that vote? With a lot of really dumb comments. I am — you know what? My empathy for anyone who is unwilling to work with us right now and do what they need to do to keep this job and this community safe, that empathy, that ability to care about your opinions and your worries is out the window. I’m completely for that mandate right now.”

Hayes-Santos added an eighth piece to his motion, proposing that they work with the unions to implement a plan to encourage employees to get vaccinated, “and it would be rolled out as soon as a quality plan can be put together.”

“You look at the data of who’s 100% against a vaccine or vaccine hesitant, it falls straight down political lines. And, you know, that’s killing people… So if there’s a little something that we can do to prevent that next person from dying on our watch, I’m going to do it. And you can call me all the names you want.” – Mayor Lauren Poe

Mayor Lauren Poe said, “It’s just so discouraging to see how this has been politicized. Like if there was one thing in our country that we should just not have seen — and you look at the data of who’s 100% against a vaccine or vaccine hesitant, it falls straight down political lines. And, you know, that’s killing people…  One of the callers… said we’re using our own judgment to make these determinations. We’re not. We’re making them based on what the medical community is telling us…  So if there’s a little something that we can do to prevent that next person from dying on our watch, I’m going to do it. And you can call me all the names you want.”

All eight parts of the motion passed:

  • The motion to support masking requirements for employees and the public in City buildings was unanimous.
  • The motion to direct charter officers to create and implement a plan to require that all City employees receive the COVID vaccine, with an exemption for medical/ADA reasons, passed 4-3, with Johnson, Duncan-Walker, and Ward in dissent.
  • The motion to direct the City Attorney to draft an ordinance to allow the City Manager to require masks, social distancing, occupancy limits, and other measures for businesses and the general public at his discretion, passed unanimously.
  • The motion to give a PTO day to all vaccinated employees passed unanimously.
  • The motion to restrict travel for all unvaccinated employees passed 6-1, with Johnson in dissent.
  • The motion to ask the Clerk to draft a resolution asking all employers in the community to mandate vaccines for their employees, ask members of the public to get vaccinated, and ask the public to wear masks indoors passed 5-2, with Johnson and Duncan-Walker in dissent.
  • The motion to direct charter officers to bring back a plan for employees to work virtually passed 5-2, with Hayes-Santos and Poe in dissent.
  • The motion to ask Employee Health Services and Communications to create and implement a plan to encourage employees to get vaccinated and work with the unions on that passed unanimously. 

Poe said he would meet with the unions in the next few days “about why I decided this, and where we go from here. The sooner we get past this and get everybody jabbed, the better we’ll all be.”

  • The VAERS database (vaccine adverse event reporting system) now reports over 12,000 dead and hundreds of thousands of severe COVID vaccine injuries. VAERS can only capture between 1% and 10% of actual incidences, so COVID vaccine deaths can be up to over a million. Moderna and Pfizer received total legal immunity for vaccine injury liability. Therefore, we can expect that the City Commission will show its good faith and agree to pass an ordinance immediately which indemnifies any person and that person’s family members against any death or injury and related expenses experienced as a consequence of taking the “vaccines” which the Gainesville City Commission wishes to mandate. Additionally, since UF Medical and UF in general seem to be among the region’s leading vaccine advocates, they will offer free medical attention to anybody injured by the COVID vaccine — for life. Put your money where your big mouths are people!

    • Hmmm. Not only that, but the vaccine shot is actually
      A bio-terrorism weapon using medical tyranny to facilitate a paradigm shift to the new world order…a one world government…the taking of our inalienable rights…the
      Endgame? Global totalitarianism or “globotot”for short.

      • Don’t take the test because you add to the fake data, don’t take the shot or test because it’s a diabolical plan to take away freedom & liberty. God bless America!

  • Oh, I think I recently heard that Mayor Lauren Poe is so confident in the safety of the COVID vaccines that he is offering to personally insure the life of any person who dies from the vaccine to the tune of $250,000 and to pay all medical expenses for any vaccine related injuries. What a generous and confident guy!

    • Pole Smokin’ Poe? He’s always wanting to spend someone else’s money. He’s also always an idiot. A deranged idiot.

      • “Icky feelings”, “terrified y’all, absolutely terrified”, “I want everyone to get scared”? …I heard enough from these
        Fear mongering communist fascists. —I thank the FOP for
        Expressing their concerns against a mandate. —The
        Democrats are so adamant about a woman being in control of her body when it comes time to abort (kill) a born or
        Unborn child, but then she has NO control over her body when
        It comes to the shot.

    • If he’s so confident why is he continuing to wear a mask?

      I think he enjoys the fragrance of whatever pole he’s been smokin’ that day. I guess if his family doesn’t mind…

      • He’s covering up that ugly…and the mask is a political
        Statement advocating for the control of people and
        The taking away of freedom. The mask is the commie flag.

  • Check out the “Great Barrington Declaration” and
    Sign the petition…

  • Why is this lunacy continuing in our city? Are the mayor and commissioners exempt from being sued? Poe and Pegeen voted us into this biomass debacle, now mandatory injections! It appears they have no liability or accountability for errors or omissions. Something needs to be done, as these power hungry loons are ignoring public opposition and proven facts.

    I presume they are held harmless?

    • “Why is this lunacy continuing in our city?”…What we have are a bunch of liberals, progressives, communists, & hypochondriacs running the show in GNV & Alachua County…Don’t worry, have faith in the US constitution and our inalienable rights.
      God bless America!

      • Does anyone know if hospitals are using the organs from
        Donors who died from Covid? Or from organ donors
        Who died from the shot?

          • I was listening to a program the other day on 97.3 and the the guy was talking about pregnant woman receiving the shot and what
            Big business the abortion industry is to obtain
            Body parts for implanting & studies…something about putting aborted fetus
            Scalps on lab rats and Fauci behind the money
            On these Frankensteinian experiments…

          • The donor was a car crash victim, granted, but once again the fraud PCR test comes into question…

          • There was something about how they tested the MRNA shots on mice, monkeys, & beagle dogs…they infect them for their diabolical experiments (infect them) them kill them after 2 months…ANIMAL ABUSE… now they are using live people as guinea pigs…And, the brainwashed use the death card “oh, people are dying”…Never in my life have I seen such
            A bunch of nut jobs happy to wear a mask…they are jealous, hypochondriac, left brain commie haters..they get their rocks off
            By the control…they are self righteous and Sigmund Freud would say sexually stimulated by taking your liberty & freedom away…

          • Yeah, they were putting aborted fetus scalps on
            Humanized mice…—mans best friend, the dog,
            They were infecting these beautiful animals with parasitic flus and then killing them…And
            GMO? I think that once you take that shot, that you are now considered genetically modified. The people who I
            Talk to about masks get emotionally triggered too! —I talked to a local history teacher yesterday who
            Didn’t know who Goebells was and new nothing
            Of “the big lie” or the great reset… I said yeah,
            Rewrite history…the Holocaust never happened, they gave infected blankets to Native American Indians to kill them off…
            “Oh, people are dieing”!!! He also said that CRT was just an intellectual college thing and not taught in our schools…

  • Hate to say it but what the hell did the people of Gainesville expect with these pseudo-intellectual commies running the show??? Poe is a power hungry Bill Gates wanna be, pink sweater wearing ahole communist…so why are people surprised???? Now maybe, just maybe…people will wake up to these America hating murderous bastards and get rid of them!!!

      • Default answer…”Oh no, guns only belong in the hands of criminals and tyrants. I don’t own a single one!” 😉

  • Mask on….Mask off…now Mask on again. Get the jab….or else! Anyone see the pattern here? Authoritarians are taking over. Looks like George Orwell was right after all….just 26 years later.

  • This bothers me greatly. To read the quotes from the elected commies, you’d think that there are people dropping dead while walking down the sidewalk all over town. To read the quotes of some of the commenters here, you’d think there are people dropping dead in the parking lot of Publix after they get their vaccination. Both sides to this are ratcheting up the levels of nuttiness too high.

    Legit question – how many people that YOU personally know have died as a direct result of covid? For me, that would be one.

    Legit question – how many people that YOU personally know have died or have a permanent impairment from getting the vaccination? For me, that would be none. I don’t mean a sore arm or swollen lymph node for a couple of days.

    I’m not talking about what you read on the internet, I’m asking about people YOU actually know.

  • This is a global issue…All the other countries
    Are pushing this United Nations Agenda…
    A one world government and in it:
    1. The law can put a limit on your freedom of thought.
    2. The law can put a limit on your freedom of expression
    3. There’s no mention of the right to bear arms.

    Limit on freedom of thought? Hmmm…they want in your
    Head. You know those shots have programmable nanotechnology…Can the nanotechnology break the
    Blood brain barrier? All those experimental animals
    When autopsied had spike proteins in all
    Their organs.

  • This really bothers me.

    The quotes in the article from the elected commies of Gainesville are unbelievable and ridiculous. They would lead you to believe that people are just dropping dead while strolling down the sidewalk, all over town.

    Also troubling are some of the comments on this article. They would lead you to believe that people are dropping dead while walking out of Publix after getting the vaccine.

    Serious question – Do YOU personally know anyone that has died either from covid or something like pneumonia that was caused by covid? I know one person that has passed away from this.

    Serious question – Do YOU personally know anyone that has died or had a permanent reaction to the vaccination? I don’t know anyone that has had a permanent reaction.

    We all marvel at how people can believe some of the garbage that is online that is directed at conservatives. We can’t believe that just because some moron types it, everybody starts believing and repeating it.

    Is it possible that the same type of thing could be perpetrated with the nanobots and new world order stuff, too?

    Fortunately, we’re all free to have our own beliefs. The only thing that I’m saying is to apply a critical eye to any information someone shares with you, whether it’s from the CDC or someone’s aunt’s brother-in-law’s neighbor’s cousin.

    • The old “Lots of blame to go around” schtik. Yes, I personally know someone who had a bad reaction to the vaccine. I’m not even sure what a “permanent reaction” is supposed to be.

      • First, my apologies for the double post. I thought I screwed up the first time when it didn’t show for quite awhile.

        No schtik, serious questions.

        By permanent reaction, I’m talking about now the intermittent vertigo or tinnitus became permanent and nonstop. Now they have constant debilitating joint pain. Things like this that we’ve read about online.

        I know someone that got sick enough after their first shot to wind up in bed for several days. A week later, they were back to the way they were before. That’s not what I mean by permanent reaction.

          • Actually, yes I did. After two people I knew had gotten the shots and didn’t have any bad reactions.

            I had a sore arm and a swollen lymph node for a couple of days.

            I have a sibling that is afraid of possibly getting permanent vertigo. Their choice. Fine with me. The other two got the shot. Their choice. Still, fine with me.

        • Lee, I got the shot as well and had a stiff shoulder for a bit; same as when I get a flu shot. I know more than a dozen people who got the shot and none had any reaction lasting more than a day. I do not know anyone directly who died from covid. However, I have a close friend who had pre-existing problems and she has fought the ‘long-covid’ for months. It knocked her out of her job and onto disability. And another friend who ended up in the hospital for a few days. Thankfully he got it after the docs had sorted out how to treat the stuff. If he had caught it back in spring 2020 he would have been dead for sure.

          The main reasons I got the shot is because a) health insurance is not a bottom-less deal and this stuff can turn into a months-long hospital stay and b) because I wanted to show my elderly parents that the shot was no big deal … and in their case it likely saves their life.

          • Steve, thanks for replying. At the time, I figured my job would require it, so I got it.

            I know three people that wound up in the hospital from covid. Two recovered and went home, but one did not.

            With supposedly 63% of Floridians over the age of 12 vaccinated – according to news4jax.com – I would think that we would all personally know people that have had horrible reactions to these shots.

          • Steve, I’m glad you are doing well. The shot killed a member of my family within 3 days of the FIRST injectiot. People have different reactions to drugs and that’s one reason taking them MUST be a personal choice made without coercion. It’s possible you got the sterile saline injection as part of the “control” group and that’s why you’ve had no problems. If so, you dodged a bullet. Karen Kingston, a former Pfizer employee and brand new whistleblower just came forward with more truth about the Pfizer shots, and it is terrifying. Bottom line is the shots are indeed bio-weapons, not vaccines. They contain a deadly toxin, Graphene Oxide which has nothing to do with immunity but everything to do with creating electromagnetism in your body to enable lifelong tracking and tracing. There is nothing in this shot that boosts immunity. It simply programs your cells to make the synthetic spike protein that will cause you to make antibodies to only that one form of the virus and leave you unable to defend against other viruses. That is why so many experts fear what will happen to vaccinated people in the Fall when cold and flu season hits. Please start reading the uncensored alternative news on Covid and its part in The Great Reset. FYI, pretty much all of mainstream media is heavily censored against any voice that isn’t willing to echo Fauci’s assessments. That includes youtube, instagram, twitter and FB. Google is even censoring its search returns in an effort to shut down anyone who wants to report on or discuss different views about covid. Gee. I wonder why.

    • They’re taking orders from central commie command brother! Liberals will listen to everything their told because they’ve been brainwashed to think that they’re smarter than us and that their compartmentalized intelligence is greater than common sense and basic human survival instinct. Damned fools!

      • I think you’re on to something here….I don’t know if they were brainwashed or born that way…they don’t say “liberalism is a mental disorder” for nothing… I think they wired and born like that…like they got the
        “Commie Gene”…I don’t believe in “transcommieism”…I’ll never switch teams…

        • Right on brother, this crap is taught. Communism infiltrated the colleges and tainted millions of Americans who are now our politicians, corporate and military officers. G. Edward Griffin & Yury Bezmenov warned us decades ago.

          https://youtu.be/IQPsKvG6WMI

  • And what about all the people dieing from being vacinated? Their families have to go without them because they was force to be vacinated with no one taking responsibility. Does this mean the county is taking responsibility. I’m sure it is as well as they treat their workers. And knowing from experience, they blow!

  • According to Chancellor Poe, (not even sure if this is true or an accurate correlation) support for the vaccine falls along political lines. Hmmm… perhaps those lines are dividing the critical thinkers from those who aren’t.

  • The comments from both commissioners and public commentators was very eye-opening. I assume (due to their party affiliation) that the commissioners are interested in protecting women’s “rights” to “privacy,” “healthcare,” and “sovereignty” over their own bodies when it comes to abortion, but not when it comes to masks or vaccines. I also assume, that they want to protect people from dying unless they are in the womb.

    • Correctamundo!!! You got it…hypocrites, hypochondriacs, and lefty progressive commies that want to take over the world like in “invasion of the body snatchers”….

  • They could save many more lives by opposing smoking, obesity, or dangerous driving. The vaccine passport is not about the vaccine, it’s about the passport. These public servants do not seem to understand their authority is delegated by the people, and can just as easily be withdrawn. Contemplate the difference between a criminal and an outlaw. The consent of the governed is the difference between society and tyranny.

  • When WE THE PEOPLE get tired of being told what to do by people that WE ELECT, we will take control and elect others to take their place. Storm the meetings and vote them out.

  • In this case it is the city commission, but the principle of this quotation still applies:

    “The people are responsible for the character of their Congress. If that body be ignorant, reckless, and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness, and corruption.”
    Rev. James A. Garfield, (1831-1881), United States President, Minister of the Gospel.

  • It appears my comments are being censored here. is there a time delay in posting?

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