Willits and Cain compete for Gainesville District 3 seat amid zoning uproar

Published: Oct. 18, 2022 at 6:50 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - Candidates DeJeon Cain and Casey Willits are headed into round two as they compete in a runoff election, for the Gainesville District 3 commission seat.

RELATED STORY: Eastman wins Gainesville District 4 seat, remaining two races head to runoff elections

Willits said while campaigning, residents have expressed an overwhelming frustration with rising GRU bills.

“We should bill people for 30 or 31 day months. There is no month in the year that has 35 days,” said Willits. “That’s something we can really work on. It doesn’t take a miracle.”

As far as housing goes, Willits does not believe the city commission’s decision to end single-family zoning will result in more affordable housing.

“This ordinance is not going to solve anything really immediately, I think it’s been a little oversold for affordable housing,” he said. “I think it’s going to do great things for walkable neighborhoods, places where people don’t have to drive as much, and it’s going to be a real boon for the environment, but I don’t think it’s going to have an immediate effect on housing affordability.”

However, Cain believes only bad things will come from the commission’s vote.

“My first day in office I’m going to place a motion on the table that will say that we need to go back to the current policy that we had, and we’re going to go back,” said Cain. “We’ll have the votes to do so.”

In terms of addressing GRU concerns, Cain wants residents to get a rebate from their bill.

“Right now the fact that we don’t have meter readers, we’re in trouble,” he said. “They’re guestimating bills. Let me say that again, we’re guestimating bills. People can not afford that. We have people on fixed incomes, so we have to look at that immediately.”

Commissioner David Arreola is leaving this seat after serving on the commission since 2017.

Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.