Long time GRU employee serves as new Interim General Manager

Long time GRU employee serves as new Interim General Manager
Published: Feb. 9, 2022 at 10:37 PM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -Anthony Cunningham is the Interim General Manager for Gainesville Regional Utilities—stepping into the role after Gainesville commissioners fired Ed Bielarski in January.

“You know, it’s been a hectic last week and a half of getting up to speed.”

RELATED STORY: Gainesville Commissioners fire GRU General Manager Ed Bielarski

Cunningham’s most recent position with GRU was Wastewater Officer.

“We’re always committed,” added Cunningham. “You know, the staff, just like prior to this transition is the same today which is we have staff at GRU that is committed to providing safe, reliable utility services for our community and we’re going to do that in an environmentally responsible manner.”

He’s worked at the utility service for more than 20 years and said fixing rising utility rates is a long-term fix.

“There are no overnight fixes for some of the issues that you raised but we are working hard every day to move towards more efficient operations and to continue to provide those reliable services,” said Cunningham.

RELATED STORY: GRU customers may soon face another rate increase, Bielarski email suggests

Resident Emily Nino has lived in Gainesville for six years; noticing a price difference every year.

“It feels very unfair for the prices to keep on climbing and climbing,” said Nino. “I would be more inclined to make Gainesville my more permanent home and see it as a viable option for myself and also have the time to think about it and not feel cornered into this rushed decision of like, well I guess I have to leave now because everything is getting so expensive like it never has been before.”

Cunningham’s interim contract pays at $296K a year. Ed Bielarski left the role making $307K annually.

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