GRU general manager blindsided with Gainesville City Commission’s decision to fire him

Published: Jan. 27, 2022 at 10:51 PM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - Bielarski came to the Gainesville City Commission meeting expecting to speak about GRU. That’s when Commissioner Harvey Ward motioned to remove Bielarski.

After public comment and an impassioned response from Bielarski, commissioners voted to fire him. This goes back to last September when he was almost fired but was backed by public support.

“They wanted a climate action plan, check delivered. Hire a climate officer, check. I worked with the city manager to do that. Now what they said is I didn’t bring home the bacon on the UF bid.”

GRU did not make the University of Florida’s shortlist to operate a new power plant. Commissioner Ward said Bielarksi failed to deliver on projects over and over again.

“We tried big things and not only did each one fail, but when they failed we never got a report on them. There was never any accountability back to the commission to let us know what we could turn around and tell the community.”

Commissioners Desmond Duncan-Walker and David Arreola voting in dissent. But according to commissioner Duncan-Walker Bielarski sent out an email two days ago saying he completed all three task asked of him and his termination was not warranted.

“The reports and the information that substantiated him reaching all of the goals that we had set before him. So I had a problem with sending a mixed message to Mr. Bielarski, to our staff and to our neighbors here in Gainesville.”

Now Bielarski said he will remain in Gainesville and focus on running for mayor because the people need a leader that doesn’t have an agenda.

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