Dr. Ezzell withdraws application for GRU Authority


GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Dr. Tara Ezzell, who was appointed to the GRU Authority yesterday by Governor Ron DeSantis, has withdrawn her application after further consideration. Ezzell did not attend the inaugural meeting of the board last night.

In an email this morning to the Governor’s Appointments Director, Ezzell wrote, “As a Gainesville resident, active community member and business owner for approximately 20 years, I am grateful for opportunities to serve the community I treasure. Unfortunately after careful reading of the bill, I believe I may not qualify for this particular board. While I am a Gainesville resident in the incorporated area and a GRU customer, I do not receive my electricity from GRU.  If there is an opportunity for me to serve in the future, I look forward to it.”

Jeremy Redfern, Governor DeSantis’ Press Secretary, told Alachua Chronicle, “We appreciate Dr. Ezzell’s application and were pleased to announce her appointment yesterday, but we understand her concern about receiving electric service from GRU. We will announce another appointment at a future time.”

  • Hmmm…she withdrew her application/resigned before being sworn in.

    She may have not been eligible to serve as a member of the Authority but at least did something others did not once they discovered they weren’t eligible to represent certain voting districts.

    That character speaks more for a person than any organization they may or may not represent.

    • You upset some peoples for mentioning someone displaying character and some who’ve were lacking. They must be lacking in it as well.

  • It’s nice to see someone in that position act in an ethical manner for once! Thanks for being honest.

  • Intelligent people can read the poorly written law and see this has turned into a DeSantis cluster….but it’s not his fault his staff has let him down as he runs around Iowa.

  • If she lives in the city but does not get electricity from GRU, then she must be lucky enough live in an area serviced by Clay Electric? Would that the rest of us could enjoy her good fortune.

      • I wish you were there last night, Ed. It would have been great to see your presence there.

        • I probably would have lost it when the members espoused their undying love for the current GM, who doesn’t understand the urgency of getting the boards buying on the current budget plus; educating them of the upcoming need to get out of generation business; end the goal of getting to 100% renewable; set up a utility legal and personnel staff.

          • Mr. B, I am inclined to give them a few months to get their footing.

            The hole the city commissions have put us into will take years to escape, if it is actually possible to do so.

            It would have been a horrible precedent to have them start life as a committee making ill informed ‘shoot from the hip’ decisions … like the ones from the city commission that repeatedly victimized you during your tenure with GRU.

          • GRU does not need to get out of the generation business; GRU needs to get its generation back to the reliable and economical condition that it was in years past. GRU had some of the lowest rates and best service in the state and can get there again if they can be allowed to operate in good business practices and not having to carry political agendas. GRU needs generation to be able to keep its customers power on in case of loss of transmission ties etc. during catastrophic events, lack of generation could be very bad for the customers. Getting out of the generation business would be short sighted and not for the long term good of the customers.

          • Funny, that’s what John Stanton told the RUC before you were hired. Their plan all along was to ‘get GRU out of the generating business.’ I’m sure the IOU’s will be very grateful.

      • Then where does she live? Are you saying she’s mistaken about living in the city?

        • Some people are fortunate enough to have choice over their electric provider while still living at a Gainesville address. Unfortunately, I am not one of them.

      • She is quoted as saying “As a Gainesville resident, . . . While I am a Gainesville resident in the incorporated area . . .”. So either she is lying or Ed is lying. Which is it? I don’t see any debatable gray area possible.

    • I have been a customer of Duke Clay, and GRU, both at the same location and in a different one. GRU is by far the best run from a customer perspective – shortest and less often outages and even crews checking in on us without a call.

      • I think most people would say the staff at GRU does the best they can. A lot of good people work there.

        The complaints are really with the management of the utility and the taxation.

      • That’s not the issue Jazz. It’s about a utility used by a commission for political and social causes to the detriment of its customers

        • My comment was in reaction to generally negative attitudes to GRU and the City, “smart guy”.

          By the way, as the elected representatives of the people who own GRU, the commission can use it’s funds however they want within the law. If the citizens don’t like it they can and should elect new commissioners. Is this new information to you?

          Given your support for this cluster , ahhhh, event and the unlikely to revolting idea that if you had won the election for mayor that you would have supported removing control of GRU from you and the commissioners, you have some explaining to do. Was that part of your platform? Do you have the guts to call this buffoonery for what it obviously is? A power hungry hostile takeover where supporters don’t care if their own rules are followed, especially as it relates to who is doing the takeover – people like you who can’t get elected in Gainesville, if they even live there.

  • Principles?

    A fresh breeze just passed through the city limits and the bunker dwellers missed it……

  • I applaud Dr. Ezzell’s willingness to step aside from the board given that she isn’t eligible for service based on the law. I do find it interesting that she was appointed to the position in the first place. She was the only community member who attended Ben Sasse’s bogus “town hall” who spoke positively about his appointment as UF president. I would guess there’s a connection between her presence at the town hall and her appointment to this board.

    Also, at the time, it seemed like he was woefully unqualified to be the UF president. Seven months in, it’s worse than it seemed back then.

  • I didn’t know anyone but UF in the city of G’ville did not get power from GRU. I know some in the county do not….but living in the city and not getting power from GRU is a surprise. Where the heck is this?

    • JD: power company service areas were set years ago, and are set by Tallahassee. The issue is annexation. When a city grows by annexation the electric service provider does not change. Only the city limit moves on the map. Gainesville’s westward sprawl like past Butler Plaza or perhaps westward out Millhopper Road means sooner or later GVL will annex some folks who will for example remain on Clay Electric even though they can now vote in the city. These western fringes of GVL are where the big houses and 20 acre horse ranchettes are located, the kind of place a Doctor might be predicted to live.

      • Power companies have been known to trade service areas for efficiency. That is what happened in our location. Benn with GRU now the longest and they have provided the best service – less and shorter outages and have even sent crews to check on us without a call if problems close by.

      • Houses and 20 acres they’ve worked to achieve more often than not. Isn’t that the American Dream? She shouldn’t be hated on just because she’s made something for/of herself. Others should put forth 1/2 the effort.

  • Instead of applauding her, I’d say thanks for being dumb and wasting everybody’s time.

  • I was under the impression that you had to turn in an application to be considered for an appointment. If she didn’t qualify, as she now states, why did she turn in an application in the first place?

  • Gee, a citizen with integrity – good for her!
    The other 4 clearly have none, the governor has no brain or doesn’t GAD about anything other than his personal political goals, and anyone who accepts this nonsense lacks the most basic respect for the law. Hostility to the city of Gainesville and it’s residents? They have that in spades.

    • I hope you would hold your friends on the BOCC, SBAC and CComm to the same standards. There’s a long list of local elected Democrats who flaunt residency laws, including leader of Gainesville Residents United.

      • Absolutely and several have been removed or resigned. This group should follow. Why wouldn’t DeSantis remove then himself, given his past?

    • Man, you’re becoming angry.

      Has the reality set in that your ‘side’ hast lost control of the utility?

      Better learn to accept it cuz we are just getting started!

      • That would be the citizens of Gainesville who began and now own the utility, you moron. Apparently “your side” is the carpetbaggers who can’t even follow their own hostile takeover law, and clearly you have no respect for the law, ownership, or precedent.

        • Who is winning the battle?

          We got the utility. You don’t!

          Meanwhile every meaningful legislation passed by your commission is being blocked by Tally. I’m loving every minute of it.

          • Nope, no mention of some good principle being upheld Carlos. The fact that are “winning” for now does not win an argument and the courts have not been exhausted. By the way, what are you winning? These board members – unlike the commissioners – are not answerable to the people who own the utility and are served by it, nor do they even live there or are served by that which they will rule.

          • Still wondering where my “ownership” is in the utility. You keep mentioning I have ownership along with other residents of Gainesville; who by the way, had no say in the increase of utility rates.
            It’s evident who owns you.

    • Sure Jazzy. Not enjoying those “rules for thee, not for me?”
      Who would have thought.

      By the way, if you think the city commission has been extending a hand in good faith with the best interests of residents in mind you’re as gullible as they are incompetent.

      • The citizens have the power to remove the commissioners. Not so the “board” of unprincipled law breaking who answer to no one.

        • Many of the “citizens” have demonstrated they lack the mental acuity to make a wise, well-informed decision for a representative that will serve the interests of their constituents.
          Maybe they should stay in school.

        • But they lack the intelligence. Therein lies the problem.

          Isn’t that the way Democrats want things? Someone to make the decision for them.

  • TV20 says she lives in Oakmont, way out on the western fringes of urban development, between Haile and Tioga, almost to Parker Road. Clay Electric territory.

    • If she lives there, then Ed B was correct, she lied about being a resident of Gainesville incorporated area.

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