A referendum on the November ballot will allow voters to decide if they want an independent board to replace the Gainesville City Commission in making decisions for GRU. Wednesday, the commission and other community organizations launched a campaign against it called “No GRU Authority Referendum Campaign.”
The board would be appointed by the city commission, but has some restrictions. For example, it must have a representative for large businesses and at least one member who lives in GRU’s service area outside city limits, residents of which are not currently being represented.
The new board would represent all of GRU’s customers, however, only residents within city limits are allowed to vote on the referendum.
“This is the most important local issue that we have going on between now and November,” Mayor Lauren Poe said at yesterday’s press conference.
The city commission voiced a collective opinion that they don’t support the idea and are urging residents to vote “no.”
“This is outside forces coming in and telling us, in Gainesville, how to run our business,” said James Ingle, a delegate for the Alachua County Labor Coalition.
“It’s bad for working people,” Ingle said. “It’s bad for the city. It’s bad for our future. It’s bad policy to govern our business from Tallahassee.”