Gainesville commission discusses future in-person meetings

The Gainesville City Commission will continue holding virtual meetings through June 30th and are considering a location change for upcoming in-person meetings.

At the June 4th regular meeting via Zoom, commissioners weighed the pros and cons to conducting in-person meetings at City Hall or possibly moving the meeting to a larger venue to accommodate CDC COVID-19 standards such as social distancing.

Commissioner Harvey Ward suggested the commission should, “not go back to the regular format,” and that the community might best be served by meeting at the GRU multipurpose room where, “we can really distance as a commission.”

Ward also suggested that the public have access to a second larger room that would have a video link to interact with the commission instead of public and commission being contained in one space.

“I know that’s complicated,” Ward said. 

Ward also added that he would like the commission to make it a practice “of saying the names of victims of COVID-19,” so that they are not, “just a bunch of numbers on a website.”

Newly sworn-in Commissioner Reina Saco agreed that the GRU space would be conducive for future meeting and could accommodate more people comfortably.

According to Communications Director of Gainesville Regional Utilities David Warm,  the GRU multipurpose room is about 1,786 square feet in size. “Normally the seating capacity is about 90 people,” he said. “This is placing all of our chairs close together and does not account for tables that the Commission usually has.”

The room is also equipped with audio, video, a projector, screen and microphones for meeting use.

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