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City commission to consider rule changes, including start time of 10 a.m.

BY JENNIFER CABRERA

The Gainesville City Commission will consider a resolution at its December 2 meeting to revise the procedural rules for commission meetings. The commission discussed the proposed changes at the October 28 General Policy Committee meeting and directed staff to bring back a draft resolution; that resolution is on the agenda for Thursday’s meeting.

The biggest change is the starting time for regular meetings: if the resolution passes, meetings will begin at 10:00 a.m. instead of 1:00 p.m. on the first and third Thursday of every month, beginning immediately.

The draft resolution also states that the commission will adopt the consent and regular agendas as a single agenda item, with a single comment period for both agendas. During the discussion about the proposed rule changes, commissioners expressed a desire to have as much discussion as possible in the daytime to avoid late-night meetings, so the new rules specify that resolutions and ordinances will be considered in the early session unless they are mandated by statute to be heard in the evening. This means that more of the commission’s business will be done during the daytime, when many people are at work, but Mayor Lauren Poe argued on October 28 that “we have such a huge population of our city, they don’t work a 9 to 5 or an 8 to 4 job. We’ve got all of these folks at the hospital that work overnight, all these service workers.”

Proclamations and special recognitions remain in the evening session, beginning at 5:30.

While the presiding officer will be able to decide to take public comment at multiple points in the consideration of a single agenda item (for example, if multiple motions are made that are different enough), the rules now state that public comment will normally be taken once per agenda item.

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The previous version of the rules called for public comment at the end of each special meeting or workshop, “time permitting.” The new rules specify that public comment is only required on specific agenda items at those meetings, “as stated on the Notice of Meetings.” General public comment “may be allowed by the Commission at the end of the meeting, if added upon the adoption of the agenda and time permitting.”

Staff declined to implement some of the rules proposed by Commissioner Adrian Hayes-Santos and passed on a 5-1 vote on October 28: The commission voted to include a provision that public comment cannot be used to advocate for a candidate running for office, but a note in the introduction to the resolution states, “Suggests an improper, content-based regulation of speech given the nature of the public forum.”

The commission also voted to implement a requirement that members of the public who wish to speak must submit “speaker cards,” with space for the speaker’s name, whether they are for or against the item, and their address or City district. The staff note states, “Inconsistent with existing ‘live call-in’ provision of Rule 10.B.1. Presiding officer may request speakers ‘sign up’ to ensure sufficient time and order.”

A third provision, to offer language translation services if a speaker requested it in advance, was not implemented, with this note: “Presently no change. Refer to the Language Access Working Group.”

A fourth provision, regarding decorum for comments by both the public and the commission (“no vulgar language or gestures… no discourteous, disrespectful, or disparaging conduct”) was not implemented because it is “already contemplated” in a rule governing disruptive behavior.

The new rules will be discussed in the evening session (beginning at 5:30 p.m.) of the city commission’s regular meeting on Thursday, December 2.

  • For all the naive/gullible voters in Gainesville who are unable to figure it out…this is another thinly veiled attempt at silencing the voices opposed to their $0ci@li$t doctrine.

    All the local idiots listen to are the tree huggers, the “give it to me for free,” the so-called highly educated hypocrites who are completely ignorant to what these so-called leaders are doing to this community. If they put half the effort into truly making Gainesville better as they did in getting rid of several UF coaches, they would have tossed these idiots out on their arses a long time ago.

    By the way, how’s that “momentary” inflation working for you?

    Keep believing…

  • Allowing the public to speak at a meeting is certainly different than actually factoring in the public’s ideas or wants and needs. Not allowing them to speak through tricks and dox is worse. Anyway, the current city commission is made up of failures in life. Not a real success of any kind on the dais. A minority wannabe attorney with no clients and therefore a true victim indeed!, an NAACP member who can trace family to a slave (a true victim by lineage!), a lifelong minority student who likes reading (can thus be another victim) and the 3 White, Woke, Musketeers (ward, po, and hayes – who claims to be hispanic because of his stepdad’s name – another victim!). The 3 Musketeers have no success at anything in life but sometimes make claims such as : po: “Economics Professor” LOL!- actually has a ba in history only and taught history to HS kids in dual enrollment, did teach one basic eco class once and thus claimed he was an “economics professor”, but no longer has the job or any other except the commission – city bio still claims this even though he’s out of a job!!! See below!

    https://www.cityofgainesville.org/CityCommission/CityCommission/MayorLaurenPoe.aspx

    (Note:po has not yet achieved true victim status).

    hayes: claimed to be a finance excec because of volunteer post as finance rep for the career source board that quickly went bankrupt only a few months after he signed on and failed/refused to provide documents to state investigators. Nice! Used over $639,000 to help only 42 people while he was there. Pathetic. Was linked to a conflict of interest and ridiculous overspending of funds as stated in the article. Read the entire article.

    https://alachuachronicle.com/careersource-of-north-central-florida-accused-of-improper-use-of-funds-conflicts-of-interest/

    Notice hayes conveniently leaves this off of his city bio (shows no achievements or positions outside of gov – because he has none! LOL!)

    And Ward: whose greatest achievement is being cited for using his gov office for fundraising

    https://alachuachronicle.com/harvey-ward-ethics-complaint-has-legal-sufficiency-according-to-florida-ethics-commission/

    and for pulling a gun on his father’s caregivers

    https://alachuachronicle.com/harvey-ward-settles-lawsuit-with-his-fathers-caregivers/

    Oh, and worked at churches too. In short, we have and continue to elect unproven failures in all city commission post. Together they only magnify the ignorance and idiocy of each one’s failures. Their only fix for their failed programs are to keep raising taxes, gru rates, and fire fees. And, to look for new ways to justify fees for anything they can think of. There is no end in sight except either to get responsible proven people to run, or to pack up and move, keeping tabs on the downward spiral in the city of gainesville- after it is bankrupt, move back and rebuild.

    • The long awaited State Audits are in . Very telling on what a lot of GRU ratepayers already new. Some City Commissioner’s are apparently still in denial.

  • Well , the long awaited City of Gainesville and GRU Financial audits are out. They appear to be devastating . The last 15 years of decisions are coming home to roost. Time for County residence forced to use GRU be offered options.

  • Poe and Co dance like CorporateCovidCarbonHatingHoes proud of SinisterCityGovernmentalDeathCultRoles

  • Forensic Audit of all City and County Elections since Kim Barton took office as Supervisor of Elections. Is that something Kim Barton would do? Or someone else?

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