Gainesville Sun by Andrew Caplan
August 8, 2019
The amount of time people have to speak at Gainesville City Commission meetings just got a bit shorter.
Commissioners voted Thursday to reduce the number of chances people have to speak at meetings and took a crack at limiting what information would be available through the city government’s email portal, which has been online for about five years. The changes will take effect after commissioners approve a resolution with the changes at an upcoming meeting.
Some commissioners pushed to remove the email system entirely and to not stream public comment, citing concerns about sensitive information being released and frequent irritable speakers.
“A lot of times I think people showboat for the cameras,” Commissioner Adrian Hayes-Santos said.
City meetings in recent months have grown contentious between officials and some members of the public, often times with hours spent with each party lecturing the other. In some cases, officials have received racist or threatening emails, while the officials themselves have accidentally shared private information, like tax returns and prescriptions, with constituents.