Press release from Gainesville Professional Firefighters, Inc.
Gainesville Professional Firefighters, IAFF Local 2157, has voted no-confidence in Mayor Lauren Poe. As public servants of Gainesville, we have witnessed years of mismanagement under Mayor Poe’s tenure. For far too long, we have focused only on the issues that directly affected the fire department, and we have remained silent on the other day-to-day issues. However, we can no longer stay silent while the Mayor threatens the safety and livelihoods of our members and other City employees.
The Mayor has bred dysfunctional culture within our city’s government, which peaked in the last six months. The city commission, charter officers, and the City government as a whole are in complete disarray. Moreover, the City is facing a major lawsuit involving members from all 7 of the bargaining units that represent City employees as well as unrepresented employees. The bargaining units are also pursuing the City for unfair labor practices due to their refusal to negotiate mandatory subjects of collective bargaining and subsequent lawsuits. In addition, several state and federal officials are scrutinizing the City’s every move, and the Governor himself is threatening fines that could easily exceed 10 million dollars. All are a direct result of the Mayor operating strictly on emotion while in an information vacuum. He has attempted to run the City from the dais instead of through his charters and department heads.
While Mayor Poe may not be personally to blame for every single problem, he is the Mayor of this city, and accountability ultimately rests with him. Furthermore, Mayor Poe has sworn an oath to “support, honor, defend, and protect both the U.S. Constitution and the Constitution of the State of Florida.” Unfortunately, he is no longer honoring his oath, and we do not believe that the city can move forward under his leadership. Therefore, for the good of the citizens of this city, we are calling for his resignation.