City Clerk reconsiders resignation

One week after announcing her resignation, Gainesville City Clerk Omichele Gainey changed her mind and sent a letter of reconsideration Wednesday.

Gainey, who along with City Attorney Nicolle Shalley submitted their letters of resignation on Sept. 8, sent a new memo stating that, “after much reflection and introspection, my focus is to reaffirm my commitment to the community.”

The letter was submitted to Mayor Lauren Poe and the commissioners.

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Omichele Gainey letter or reconsideration

“I have enjoyed working with my fellow officers, the commission and countless peers for the benefit of our city residents for the past six years,” she wrote. “The outpouring of support I have received is heartening and humbling and it is my hope that my decision to continue to serve as your City Clerk will bring much-needed stability and leadership to the organization.”

Mayor Lauren Poe said he is pleased Gainey is staying. 

Ms. Gainey is an extraordinary member of our team,” Poe said in a text to Mainstreet Daily News. “I am grateful she has reconsidered and will be invaluable as we move forward as an organization.”

Commissioner David Arreola added it is great news that Gainey reconsidered her resignation and that Gainesville residents shouldn’t be concerned about rumors floating around social media. 

“I want to publicly thank her for her steadfast leadership,” Arreola said. “A lot has been said about the departures from City Hall without centering the actual perspectives of the Charter Officers who tendered their resignations.

“One such rumor is that they were all coordinated. I would caution concerned citizens and the media against believing everything you read on the internet and look for the real stories by talking to the real people involved.” 

Gainey’s decision comes during a tumultuous month for the City of Gainesville that started when Commissioner and Mayor Pro-Tem Gail Johnson announced that she was resigning from her at-large seat. That was followed by Gainey and Shalley submitting their resignations. Then on Monday, City Manager Lee Feldman said he was stepping down effective Nov. 12.

Amid the shakeup, Poe asked Gainesville Regional Utilities (GRU) General Manager Ed Bierlarski to resign last week, but Bierlarski refused and said he would fight for his position. GRU employees voiced their support for Bierlarski Monday at a special meeting and the City Commission decided to keep him with stipulations.

Then Wednesday, a threat of violence forced the City Commission to postpone its meeting scheduled for tonight.

In April, the city’s Director of Equity and Inclusion Teneeshia Marshall resigned.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated. 

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