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Gainesville Director of Equity and Inclusion resigns

BY JENNIFER CABRERA

Just 3 days after receiving a $56,500 raise and 2 days after sending an email to city commissioners and other charter officers complaining that an elected official called her “’angry’… a hurtful stereotype that is depicted upon Black women and has a history that spans back decades,” Teneeshia Marshall, the City of Gainesville’s Director of Equity and Inclusion, notified the City that she will be resigning from her position. Marshall is one of the six Charter Officers for the City of Gainesville.

The resignation memorandum did not indicate Marshall’s reasons for resigning, but she wrote that her last day of employment will be May 28, 2021, and that she would make herself available during the month of June “to fulfill the obligatory timeframe per my contract and help bring an interim director up to speed.”

The memorandum also requested a payout of retirement, payout of all accrued paid time off, and 20 weeks of severance pay, some of which would require an amendment to her contract.

Marshall appeared during the May 6 Gainesville City Commission meeting to introduce one of the agenda items, and there was no discussion of the pending resignation until commission comment at the end of the meeting. Commissioner David Arreola asked every charter officer and commissioner to “show support for Teneeshia Marshall, I want her to stay.” Newly-sworn-in Commissioner Desmon Duncan-Walker added, “We can salvage this, but it will take some work.”

City Manager Lee Feldman issued a prepared statement: “We believe in a work environment where all of our community builders and neighbors, alike, are treated with courtesy, fairness and respect. Ms. Marshall’s work to help us build a more equitable community is highly valued and will continue. We continue to have important conversations with all of our community builders and remain committed to continual organizational improvement. We wish her well in her future endeavors.”

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  • Okay… What am I missing here? There seems to be a few pieces missing from this puzzle… I know that the Alachua Chronicle doesn’t have the budget to send out investigative reporters on every story. I doubt any other media outlet has the desire to do so.
    This city seems to be completely running off the rails…

    • I think “seems to be” is an understatement. That train has been “off the tracks” for quite some time now – full fledged trainwreck that one is. I can think of a couple more descriptive terms more appropriate. The Titanic or Hindenburg also come to mind.

      If that isn’t bad enough the county commission and school board are probably not far behind.

  • I read the unnamed elected official was Commissioner Hayes-Santos. Evidently Ms. Marshall felt he referred to her as “an angry black woman.” If memory serves me correctly I think that movie title has already been taken. He must have failed his “Sensitivity Training.” Shouldn’t the “woke” be protesting and calling for his resignation?

    What would be real interesting to know is the timeline from when the alleged statement was made and the time Ms. Marshall received her pay raise…or was it a bribe? What can arguably be concluded is that even with a 27% raise, Ms. Marshall still felt the work environment at City Hall was so toxic to tender her resignation. Many citizens already know the virulent personalities of city leadership and it took her 2 years to finally see it.

  • What the heck is a “Director of EQUITY and Inclusion” anyhow. “Equity” is the value I have in my home or the value of my stocks, etc. Maybe we need a Director of Equality ??

    • No no they mean a director of equity. They don’t want equality, they want Equity of outcome regardless of starting position or effort put in.

      • What you are trying to refer to is EQUALITY of outcome. Equity initiatives seek to avoid that pitfall. But you’re too braindead to try to understand.

  • Great. No need to refill the position. The US Constitution guarantees this already. The position
    Is redundant and a waste of taxpayers money..

  • It is past time for further investigative actions. There are already 27 or more charges against the City Manager. The past City Auditor was fired when an Audit Report was presented. There is a fire burning.

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