GRU General Manager’s job in jeopardy

File photo: GRU General Manager Ed Bielarski speaks to the Utility Advisory Board on January 9, 2020


GRU General Manager Ed Bielarski has told his leadership team that Mayor Lauren Poe has asked for his resignation. He said that the call with the mayor was happening at the same time that City Clerk Omichele Gainey and City Attorney Nicolle Shalley were submitting their resignations. A fourth charter officer, the Director of Equity and Inclusion Teneeshia Marshall, resigned in early May. If Bielarski is removed, the only remaining non-interim charter officers will be City Auditor Ginger Bigbie (hired December 2019) and City Manager Lee Feldman (who survived a meeting that was called to discuss a report that he had retaliated against an employee only because Commissioner Reina Saco was prepared with a motion to require a “professional development program”). Commissioner Gail Johnson just resigned on August 23, saying that she continues to “remain concerned about the retention of the City Manager.”

Bielarski’s email to GRU leadership said, “I can assure you that I have no intention of offering my resignation, however, there may be some consequences such as public commission votes and such. I want to assure you all that I will work to serve you all for as long as I can. You all know me well enough that I will not simply work [sic] away from a job that I love so much, or the people that I care about as much. There will be rumors, reports, and other speculation. Rest assured that I will not be leaving, unless told to do so.”

Bielarski’s email described his accomplishments as GRU General Manager, as well as upcoming projects that he is looking forward to. He continued, “I would also suggest that the city would suffer greatly from the additional departure of a charter officer. The turmoil – not to mention the loss of institutional, spiritual and creative knowledge – created by the resignations of Ms. Marshall, Ms. Gainey, and Ms. Shalley cannot be overstated. The remaining charters, Mr. Feldman, Ms. Bigbie, and I will need to step up our game to compensate for the losses.  We are experienced managers who can and will continue to provide the commission with stability through healthy debate. I must admit that your suggestion I resign and offer up two months’ notice caught me off guard, since just one month ago you offered your support.”

The city commission has a Special Meeting at 6:00 p.m. on Monday to consider GRU’s tentative budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

  • Poe will continue to push out as many people as he can. It is all about control with Poe. Thank you, Ed for standing up with what is right!

    • King Poe and suck up self labeled “minority” Adree-Anne shiltos tried to fire EB when PO Boy was first elected but it didn’t pass. Both are ignorant enough to think they are smart enough to run a large utility through the City Mgr. although neither have succeeded at anything in their life outside of gov. The end will be very nasty if they succeed. PO boy claims he’s an economics professor but actually has a simple history degree and teaches only high schoolers. Adri-Anne Shiltos was a board member of Career Source for one year and it went bankrupt then refused to provide records to the state. Sound familiar? Both should be run out of town and are a disgrace to the community. Ensure these deceitful liars never get elected or appointed to anything again! Both love taxes and spending – as long as it isn’t their money.

      • Word is that “Santos” took his ex-stepdads’s last name so he could be a minority. Yet he’s a white boy from Canada that doesn’t speak a lick of Spanish!

    • We can speculate…

      1. Poe found someone who blows better.

      2. He failed to throw 100% support for employee vaccinations.

      3. He has probably signed a non-disclosure agreement and Poe wants him gone before he discovers more illegal behaviors.

      4. Poe’s wife prefers Ed over Lauren.

      Does it really matter? Everyone knows that King Poe makes all the decisions in Gainesville.

      All you liberals, keep on believing…

  • You all know me well enough that I will not simply walk away from a job that pays so much, cuz no other city is stupid enough to pay me a third of a million dollars a year to borrow and spend like I can at GRU.

  • Besides being totally out of line in asking for anyone to resign, as the mayor’s position has no such authority and any such action should only come from the commission, is Poe having a melt down, break down, or get down?

    Could it be all the recent resignations and Poe’s misconduct is being triggered by city leadership’s realization of what the State Auditor General has discovered and the extent of the misfeasance and malfeasance?

    Is all this simply a circling of the wagons?

  • Is he the fall guy for the Archer solar plantation fiasco? Gainesville is looking more and more like the Biden Admin. every day. Sell City Hall and make it into a houseless shelter, then merge with the County, cut to the credits.

    • Mayor Poe owes the “citizen owners” of GRU a complete explanation! Lots of unanswered questions here: is this just Poe’s personal opinion? does a majority of commissioners agree with Poe? (Sunshine law requires any discussion like this be made in public), did the UAB have any input / recommendation? where does each commissioner stand on this? what the HELL is going in here?

      • Poe’s going to go whichever direction the greatest winds blow. Right now that’s coming from Arreola and Desmond-Walker.

        He’s standing on a slippery slope himself and has aspirations of being a county commissioner. You’ve been warned. Watch out if that pea-brained idiot is ever elected to county leadership. Right now the only restraint, (in some regards), are the city limits. If elected county…

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