Rep. Clemons GRU state-appointed board proposal heads to Alachua County Legislative Delegation

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Published: Mar. 16, 2023 at 9:37 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - A proposal to add a state-appointed board to Gainesville Regional Utilities begins its journey in the state’s capital.

On Friday, the Alachua County Legislative Delegation is set to vote of Representative Chuck Clemons proposal to add a five-member board to GRU, taking power away from the city commission. Rep. Clemons believes city leadership does not represent all of GRU’s customers fairly.

“This new board will be more responsive to the ratepayers of GRU. One of them is going to represent the people that get a 15% surcharge that lives outside of the city that have no representation. So, Immediately 40 percent of the people that fund GRU will have a voice that they’ve never had,” said Rep. Clemons.

Clemons also says that having Governor Ron DeSantis appoint the board will not take the utility’s leadership to Tallahassee.

“The governor appoints the Gainesville airport authority, is that run out of Tallahassee? I submit it’s not,” said Rep. Clemons.

The representative also stated that the city has more than four times the amount of debt as other similar-sized state municipalities.

RELATED STORY: Union leaders protest plans to change GRU leadership

Earlier today Union leaders protested the bill, calling it the “GRU Takeover” bill. They oppose holding a delegation meeting in Tallahassee to propose the bill as well. Rep. Clemons says that the delegation can not meet again in the county until the state legislative session is over.

The meeting takes place in Tallahassee at 11 a.m.

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