Clemons’ GRU bill passes in the Senate

From Florida Channel broadcast of the Senate session | Alachua Chronicle


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Speaker Pro Tem Chuck Clemons’ local bill (HB 1645) to establish a governor-appointed Authority to govern Gainesville Regional Utilities (GRU) passed in the Senate this afternoon.

In introducing the 23 local bills, Senate President Kathleen Passidomo said that any senator wishing to vote “no” on a particular bill could notify the secretary. Senator Jason Pizzo (D-Hollywood) asked whether HB 1645 and HB 773 (Hernando County School District) could be separated for questions and debate, but Senate President Kathleen Passidomo said, “We had not planned on doing that. You can vote no on the individual local bills if you wish… Our tradition has been, all the years I’ve been here, that we take it up in a block.”

All the local bills were read for the second and third times, and the package passed with a 39-0 vote with no debate. Pizzo later stood to ask Passidomo whether senators could submit their “no” votes to the secretary after the fact, and she confirmed that they could, so the vote total may change later.

HB 1645 will now go to Governor DeSantis for his signature and will go into effect on July 1 if he signs it before that date.

  • Oh hell yeah best news I heard in a long time. The days of living in the County and being stuck with taxation without representation is over with I personally don’t give a dam if the rates don’t come down as long as none of my money is going to the city to fund their work Idiot ideas that I don’t support i do hope down the road after they get a handle on GRU and pay down the ridiculous amount of money the city has ran up with woke nonsense

    • Hallelujah!!! GRU is free at last! Free from unsuccessful ignorant city commissioners who think because a small percentage of voters in a college town voted for them, they automatically know how to run a large utility, decide to go with multi million $ projects that previously failed all around them, and radical ideas that violated state law. The most horrible money wasters with no proven success in any industry: poe, hyphen hayes/santos (fake minority), ward and arreola all horrible failures! Now GRU has a real chance without being raped of its earnings to pay for silly radical ideas so the above could get their name in the gsun and get noticed like their idol: Felon Andruw Gillum. Free at last!

    • Yes, EB a good choice. Need good honest proven people with a solid mix of experience in industry, regulation, government (outside of Alachua County), asset management, and science. This will be much better than trusting in various rotating people with agendas requiring funds during their limited terms in office. Could be a brighter future for GRU and the city after they’ve got a handle on the debt (which will take some time).
      PS 1) watch out for current city office holders to sabotage the utility or siphon off assets. 2) the last minute solar contract should be unwound /cancelled immediately (since it was approved and signed knowing utility ownership was changing).

      • Truth! That should be completely reversed and thrown out.

    • I nominate Nathan Skop. EB’s claim to fame is the deal of the century buying the biomass clunker and he was hired by the GNV CC and was their lapdog…he should have run GRU like a utility without the ESG. Nathan Skop has worked tirelessly looking out for the citizens. Nathan Skop is the top man for the job and has my vote.

    • Maybe Jazzman will want to take up a string instrument…like a violin.

      • Speaking of zazzman what has happened to him he didn’t comment on FPL being 40% lower than GRU, hell I figured he be singing from the rooftops about how great the city of wokeville is now this and nothing from him i sure hope he didn’t move to California without saying goodbye 👋 😂😂👏😂

        • Ah gee, you missed me. So sweet!

          I did comment on the rates – yeah, $5 more than the liberals in Leesburg pay is such an outrage justifying taking away of the property of the city of Gainesville (for 100 years) and giving control to a board of who knows who, that citizens will have no input or check on. Given the Governor’s previous appointments, we can probably expect religious fanatics and ideological party operatives. Enjoy until the courts look at it.

          • As if ideological party operative idiots haven’t been in charge already.

            I hear Harvey’s having a pretty difficult time with it, you may want to give him a hand.

          • They were elected by the citizens of Gainesville dummy, you know, the people who own GRU.

          • You meant to say they were elected by the dummy idiot voters of Gainesville. At least you’ve got company.

          • You’re welcome to your opinion of any group of citizens, and you happen to be in one that doesn’t believe in either democracy or the rights that most expect go with ownership of property, as if this precedent may never affect you or others in your tribe. Pathetic, really.

          • Well thanks Jazzy! As if I needed your permission to give my opinion at all. By the way, you can’t do what you want on your property unless the city or county allows it, (and pay for it). You’re supposedly in construction, you of all progressive knuckleheads should know that.

          • They were elected by a tiny amount of voters within the city! It’s not rocket science that a slim amount of voters, vote for reprobate politicians!

          • Dude, that makes it easier for those wishing to change things to win an election. Get it?

          • Oh they will. I highly expect an injunction.

            But, fear not – an injunction will quickly be overturned on appeal.

            I wouldn’t hold out hope for this Hail Mary option. Sorry.

  • The New Board needs no one ever associated with GRU Management to be on it. Need totally objective businessmen.
    I do think Belarski could be a great asset to GRU Internal management. Get rid of the wokesters at GRU and they could afford a new hire.

    • I agree… Put Ed Bielarski in charge and tell him to pretend he’s Mitt Romney and cut as many unnecessary staff as he can. On the other hand, I don’t know whether he’d really be capable of that since he knows everybody. A Mitt Romney type also needs to assess the workflow and workforce at the city, but that will have to wait for now.

    • Disagree. I voted for Bielarski bc he was the least bad of the bunch but he was there with the woke commission campaigning against the last GRU bill. When he was in charge he was stoking big checks to Andrew Gillum to come talk at GRU banquets & disrespecting with Keith Perry calling the JLAC “politically motivated”. Cant trust him. Bring in some new blood who will right the ship on GRU.

      • Yeah, you’re probably right. All of that purple stuff and making Helen Warren his best buddy probably didn’t help his campaign.

        • Peabody…you are so funny…”all that purple stuff”….I thought all the purple was queer too…🤣 You made my day! Thanks for the laugh and I love it when it’s funny. & true! 😀

      • Bielarski too tight with and agreed to often with a woke mayor and commissioners. Enough said.

      • One more time – if you think life with the commission was bad, think about the referendum bill which would have given that same commission the right to appoint anyone to the governing board. Think man, think.

    • Agreed. Nathan Skop is #1. Skop should be chairing the new board.

    • You’re kidding yourself if you think there’s such a creature as an objective person.

  • ✅ That’s another…
    One more to go.

    It’s going to be nice to see city leaders do like many in the community have been having to do for years under their reign of misappropriation and reappropriation of GRU funds.
    Wonder how they’re going to pay the bills.

    • TV-20 reports the city just signed another no-bid contract for $375k. Old habit die hard.

  • Well, that’s all she wrote fellers. Maybe this will help restore some sanity to our city and county.

    • Nah – gotta hope JLAC recommends the Gov appoint an oversight board for the City… need to have the group babysit the commission for a couple of years. They should not be allowed to spent $ on anything except basic, essential services.

    • As happy as I am about this, I fear the money siphoned from GRU will just come straight out of all tax payers pockets now. Do we all honestly believe these idiots will cut spending to balance a budget? Not a chance!

      • Yes and no. You’re right they’ll try it and raise as much as they can get away with, but property tax raises are limited into certain parameters. Fees can also be raised until it is basically robbery. Of course all of it can backfire causing people to move outside of the city and property values to decrease due to the high taxes.

      • Why aren’t the luxury student rental high rises paying enough property taxes, GRU bills to meet the budget? 🤔🧐🤡🍦🍦🍦

  • Typical rubber stamp job by the state GOP and without any public or expert comment. Some here speculated about possible editing of the hastily written bill – to make a deadline – during the legislative “process”. There is none.

    Now the ideologues here, lacking all principle but intent on “owning the libs” will rejoice for the taking away of the property of the City of Gainesville and giving control to a board who will only be answerable to the Governor, who of course has no experience running a business, let alone a utility. The board has no sunset provision, so, if they FU, too bad. No voting them out. This is how the state GOP and the Governor operate and those who like it are not thinking about precedent and what happens when their teams grip on power loosens as their demographic base gets older and older and ……..

    Party on fools, but don’t pretend to be conservatives or champions of democracy. There’s still the courts and let’s hope this outrage is thrown out.

    • Dam zazz sure glad your alive just wondering where you was a few days ago when it came out that FPL was 40% cheaper than GRU

    • Where were you, Jazz, during the past decade, when the biomass plant was run down the throats of our citizens? You know, the era of ‘talk to the hand’ city government. The commission and Mayors who were inept in running a business.
      Citizens were told to sit down and shut up or you’ll be arrested.

      • Unlike this star board from Tally, the commissioners can be removed by citizens every election.

        • We just have to suffer with their idiocy for their terms.
          Speaking of terms, shouldn’t that wacko Saco cut her term in half since she only wants to work 1/2 time? Or is it because she only has 1/2 a brain?

        • Oh yes, the famous Gainesville election. 13% of the City residents with UF transient students.

    • Did you talk this way when only 3% of residents in city springtime elections voted for the “winners”?

      • Jeff, that makes it even easier for dedicated voters to remove commissioners.

    • Only the Fools of Wokesville are still in Denial that they no longer have an ATM on the backs of GRU and its customers. The only thing thrown out are the City Commissioners authority over GRU. Suck it up Buttercup . It’s a great day for GRU Customers , and the City? Oh Well , we tried to tell you . Now your penniless .

  • Our property taxes are next to fill the void, homesteaded residential can only go up 3% although the millage rate can go up too. It’s open season on commerical & non-homesteaded houses. There is alway a new 1% sales tax on wild spaces, that sells well then they use the money for “INFRASTRUCTURE” aka personal pet projects.

    • Sales tax can’t be raised. It’s already at state max.

      Property tax can only be raised a max amount each year.

      City leaders should be worried. There are very few levers to pull to pay bills – cuts is the only option to make a meaningful difference.

    • Until the voters of the city of Gainesville Stop voting for these left wing Democrats and put some common sense republicans in office your taxes are going to go up to pay for their stupidity just glad I live in the county

      • They don’t have to be Republicans but they definitely need to have fiscal competence and common sense.
        Wait, that may disqualify most Democrats.

  • This time next year we’ll be yearning for the low GRU and property tax bills we had in 2023.

    • Yo Joe, with the City of Gainesville Kickback gone GRU’s operating cost will go down by $38 Million , plus upcoming GRU Fat Cat Overhead Hair Cuts, GRU rates will come down. If the City has to transfer back the last several years of funds taken with out adequate profits to cover that the ratepayers could get an additional $68 million in reparations. That helps everyone but to fools in Gainesville that voted the reckless, prejudice 2 decade long regime in that destroyed GRU. As for them , good luck and get the Hogs out of the trough. Wokesville is Broke.

  • Watch, this will be a total cluster.
    Clemon’s legacy will the fire sale of GRU to FPL.

    • As posted a few days a go FPL rates are 40% lower than GRU so why would that be a bad thing

  • Yippee! Now let’s hear the lefties weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth.

  • I’d like to see Dave Denslow, Jim Conish and Ray Washington at least considered for the Board.

    • Agree on Denslow. He understands real Economics. Understand he retired too – so has the time.

  • Imagine being so delusional as to actually support the fraud that the city has foisted upon us. The local government and the people who support them are no better than the global Covid nazi’s…and those people are the dregs of society….21st century brown shirts.

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