GNV commission to talk housing, call-in services

The Gainesville City Commission will convene Thursday at 10 a.m. for its regular meeting, discussing housing, redistricting and call-in services.

The public can attend the meeting at City Hall or watch on channel 12. The meeting will also be streamed on Facebook using a new page exclusively for streamed meetings. 

Audit of city gift card programs

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The audit report shows the city lacks a central plan on purchasing and storing gift cards for various city programs. The report says the different policies throughout staff have caused problems ensuring each gift card is accounted for. 

The item is on the consent agenda, meaning the commission isn’t planning on discussing the report. 

City redistricting based on 2020 Census 

The city will discuss the redistricting at 11 a.m. as a time certain item. 

The commissioners have talked through the issue in several previous meetings. On March 3, the commission approved moving forward with one of the draft maps that would create two minority-majority districts

Two UF professors presented three options to the city at its Feb. 17 meeting. 

The city agenda shows the commission won’t make a final decision on Thursday, but it will listen to a consultant and set future meeting dates. 

Community land trust

The commission will hear updated information to move forward with a community land trust that will help deliver affordable housing. 

After a request for proposals, staff ranked Bright Community Trust, Inc. as the number one firm and Alachua Habitat for Humanity as second. 

Bright Community Trust proposed a five year operating budget of $216,000. However the amount could change based on city staff participation. 

The commission will discuss and take necessary action. 

Language inclusion funding

The commission will hear a presentation by the Gainesville Immigrant Neighbor Inclusion Initiative (GINI) about funding language inclusion through American Rescue Plan funds. 

The commission received a request for $949,500 to fund language inclusion for messaging and city documents. 

Affordable housing discussion 

The item sets aside time for the commission to discuss the framework of affordable housing (above) and how the community land trust will fit in. 

A staff backup report contains national and state trends, an analysis of what local partners are doing and strategies for the city moving forward. 

The item has no recommended action. 

Divesting from Russia and Belarus 

The commission will vote on a resolution that denounces the war between Ukraine and Russia and also requests local boards pull investments from Russian and Belerusian securities. 

The resolution makes the request of the board of trustees for the City of Gainesville Employees Pension Plan and Fund, the Retiree Health Insurance Trust Fund and the City of Gainesville Police Officers and Firefighters Consolidated Retirement Plan. 

On Monday night, Poe spoke against the war in Ukraine while also supporting Gainesville’s sister city program with Novorossiysk, Russia. 

Discussion of city phone-in services

An item added by Commissioner Adrian Hayes-Santos, the commission will discuss the third party contract that provides phone-in services for public comment. The Alachua County Board of County Commissioners has also discussed the high cost of the service and whether or not to cut the contract. 

There is no recommended action.

From September 2020 to October 2021, the call-in service cost the city more than $50,000 for 40 commission meetings. In that time, the commission received 624 calls from 391 unique callers.


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