Decisions, Decisions, Decisions
Only one of the three ordinances gaining public attention recently did not pass by a unanimous vote - the establishment of a domestic partner registry. After a 5-1 vote, some Gainesville couples will be permitted to file for the rights and privileges normally reserved for those who are married.
"It's a step forward for human rights for the citizens of Gainesville," Florence Turcotte said.
According to others however, this ordinance does not reflect the beliefs that set Gainesville apart from other cities.
"These decisions totally contradict what the city was founded on in the 1850s," Cornelius Dunmore said.
Commissioner Scherwin Henry was not present at the meeting to vote, but he was against the domestic partnership registry when it was first brought before the commission.
Passed unanimously was an ordinance against peddling, canvassing, soliciting and panhandling along public streets and in other public areas. Commissioners argued safety was their primary concern in adopting this ordinance, but human rights and homeless activists said otherwise.
"It became clear to me in the course of the discussion, this wasn't about safety issues," Terry Fleming said. "This was about not wanting to see people in need in the city, and I'm saddened by the decision of the City Commission to pass that ordinance.
Local towing companies may also be saddened, another unanimously passed ordinance sets additional roam towing regulations, which deal with fees, the retrieval of vehicles and how a person gets their vehicle back.
"It has a few good points and a few bad," Ultimate Towing's Stan Forron said. "I think they could have been tighter on part of it. Taking credit cards, we're going to have a problem with that.
Adoption of these ordinances were in agreement with the City Staff's recommendations.
By Ted Latiak, WCJB TV20 News.
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