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City commission moves “equity” items to Monday

BY JENNIFER CABRERA

Since they had so much on the agenda, the Gainesville City Commission moved three “equity” items – Public Recognition of Black Lives Matter, Responding to Racial Tension in the City, and Request to Convene a Citizen Police Review and Reform Recommendations Panel – to a meeting that will be held (virtually) Monday at 10:00 a.m.

After hearing a presentation from Sheriff Darnell, the commissioners voted to:

  • Send a letter to the 8th Circuit Court, thanking them for removing their mugshot website, and a second letter to Gannett and the Gainesville Sun, asking them to review their policies on the use of mugshots. (They talked about thanking the Sun for no longer running their mugshot website, but they decided the Sun’s policies on the use of mugshots were not as strong as they’d like them to be.)
  • Send a letter to Sheriff Darnell, asking her to remove photos from the jail website.
  • Give direction to the City Manager to instruct the Gainesville Police Department (GPD) to end “perp walks” and only use mugshots in press releases when GPD is trying to locate a fugitive.

After discussing the current COVID-19 situation with Dr. Michael Lauzardo of UF, they decided the following:

  • Ask staff to bring back information on how to establish a moratorium on enforcing the City’s open container ordinance.
  • Instruct City staff to start proactively enforcing the face mask order, hand out masks, and work with the County on enforcement.
  • Ask the County to add to their Emergency Order that public establishments must include either a hand washing station or hand sanitizer upon entrance or prominently displayed at the entrance.
  • Ask the County to reduce the number of people allowed in bars and only allow service while seated (the second piece is already in the County’s order).
  • Send a letter to the local legislative delegation, asking them to cooperate in helping them promote mask-wearing policies.

They set the maximum Fire Assessment Fee for the next fiscal year at $133, the same as the current amount.

They also voted to move forward with a plan to convert the Deerhaven 2 plant to dual-fuel so it can run on either coal or gas, and they passed a resolution urging Florida legislators to approve Medicaid expansion.

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