As you know, Mr. Poe, good people of our city are appalled at the dictatorial measures you have spearheaded and championed as mayor of this city. These decisions, approved by the commissioners you oversee as mayor with your confederate overseers, have exacerbated disparities and inequities that have grown more pronounced in the 13 years since you first were elected to this commission.
Before I get to the damage you know you have caused city-wide, I want to discuss the damage you know you have done here at City Hall to the long tradition of collaborative decision-making.
As you know, Mr. Poe, you have championed and achieved the expenditure of millions of dollars to reconfigure City Hall and make it off-limits to the public, a perfidious project that began before the pandemic arrived.
As you know, Mr. Poe, you have championed and achieved the expenditure of hundreds of thousands of dollars for a before-dawn-to-after-dusk private security squad force.
As you know, Mr. Poe, you have championed and achieved expenditure of tens of thousands of dollars in overtime payments to armed City police who converge on City Hall during City Commission meetings to carry out directives of GPD boss City Manager Lee Feldman whenever you authorize him to act against civically-engaged citizens.
As you know, Mr. Poe, and as terrorized Gainesville residents know, Mr. Poe, you have manipulated and violated City rules of procedure.
As they know, Mr. Poe, you have violated your own rules.
As they know, Mr. Poe, in the year leading up to the arrival of the pandemic, you repeatedly attempted to limit free speech.
As they know, Mr. Poe, in the year leading up to the arrival of the pandemic, you directed Mr. Feldman and his predecessors in the Manager’s office to physically remove from City Commission meetings a number of well-informed, concerned progressive residents in their 60s, 70s, and 80s, as they attempted to offer their perspectives and suggest solutions to problems of your making.
As you know, Mr. Poe, the pandemic has allowed even greater powers of suppression.
As you know, Mr. Poe, three months ago — without legal basis and contrary to the rule of law — you caused the armed City police arrest, handcuffing, and incarceration of public interest Gainesville attorney Ray Washington at City Hall.
As you know, Mr. Poe, you ordered Manager Feldman to “take care” of attorney Washington after he stepped to the City Hall lectern and attempted to ask questions about your plan to use Advanced Metering Infrastructure to impose millions of dollars of charges on GRU customers to defray at least $20 million in near-horizon GRU interest rate increases on GRU’s $1.8 billion in debt, increases you have falsely denied knowing were coming.
As you may not want to know, Mr. Poe, Gainesville residents terrorized by you and your strong-arm bully boy tactics at City Hall are at long last becoming wise to the great damage you have inflicted on this progressive community and its once-proud tradition of collaborative decision-making.
As you should know, Mr. Poe, or as you soon will know, Mr. Poe, the gig is almost up for you.
Debbie Martinez, Gainesville
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