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The Local Agenda: At-large voting front-and-center at Tuesday nights Gainesville council meeting
Latino, African-American political organizers want to change system
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The fight to change Gainesville’s at-large electoral system, wherein voters across the city cast ballots for all candidates, will be on display tonight when the City Council meets.

Latino and African-American political organizers, who want to replace this method with a district voting system, whereby only voters in a particular geographic area select a candidate from their ward to represent them, will be in attendance.

Members of the Hall County Republican Party are expected to be on hand as well to express their opposition to such a change.

In official business, Council is likely to give the final sign-off on proposed amendments to the city’s alcohol ordinance, which include changing the definition of a brewpub and approving tours for a local brewery set to launch later this year.

City officials are also likely to approve allowing some restaurants and businesses with an alcoholic beverage license, to have a sidewalk café.

Site plans, floor plans ready Gainesville housing project for bid

With site and floor plans developed, Gainesville Housing Manager Chris Davis told The Times he will soon be ready to advertise contracts to help construct four homes on a property the city owns at 2406 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.   

“We will proceed with that in the next week or so,” Davis said. “I am hoping the project will be underway in the next two months. We would like to have it completed by the end of the year, if all goes well.”

The affordable homes will be sold to buyers based on strict income limits.

Proceeds from sales of these homes will be pumped back into the city housing program and used to build more affordable homes in a long-term effort to help stabilize home ownership in the neighborhood and raise property values.

Davis said the city will also be building two homes on lots at 2500 and 2492 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. through the Gainesville Nonprofit Development Foundation using a $1 million state grant award.

Joshua Silavent covers government issues for The Times. Share your thoughts, news tips and questions with him:

jsilavent@gainesvilletimes.com

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