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The Local Agenda: Gainesville to clarify meeting agendas with additional details
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Gainesville City Council has added descriptions and more information to its agendas after discussing the issue at its work session last week.

The council is scheduled to meet today for its regular meeting.

Part of the overall agenda is the consent agenda, which is designed to allow the City Council to take one vote on several items it considers noncontroversial and have been fully discussed in work sessions. However, members can remove consent items from that agenda to discuss them further at the voting meetings.

Councilman George Wangemann said his concern was that while the mayor reads the titles of what’s on the consent agenda, the public may still not understand what the council is voting on.

City Clerk Denise Jordan said during the work session Thursday that every ordinance, except for alcoholic beverage applications, has executive summary sheets that can be added to the public packets and the city could add summaries for the beverage applications.

Council members agreed they wanted to give as much information to residents as possible. The council members said the mayor would give a short verbal description of the items on the consent agenda.

The agenda for today’s meeting has information that wasn’t included previously. There are three applications on the consent agenda, one alcoholic beverage license and two pawnshop licenses. The agenda indicates these applications are new.

Gainesville not considering two parks department items at today’s meeting

The city of Gainesville has removed two Parks & Recreation agenda items the City Council had planned to consider at its meeting today.

Melvin Cooper, Gainesville Parks & Recreation director, presented the council with a new franchisee agreement for the Civic Center and an ordinance that allowed people to carry firearms in city parks at last week’s work session.

City Manager Kip Padgett said Cooper had asked for the items to be moved to the Nov. 19 meeting because he is out of the office this week.

A 2010 state law allows firearms in parks as long as the person with the gun has a valid carry license. Current city code prohibits people from having items such as shotguns, air rifles, bows and explosive substances in a park.

The ordinance would amend city code to ban all weapons under state law except guns. Other weapons are still not allowed to be discharged or exploded on or over park property, but firearms can be discharged in certain conditions and situations, including self-defense, with a governmental permit or as part of a historical re-enactment.

Cooper also introduced a resolution that would approve Dixon Restaurant Group LLC, also known as Scott’s Beverage Services, as the franchisee for the Gainesville Civic Center. Dixon has operated as the franchisee for the past four years and was the only one to respond to a request for proposals.

The new agreement gives Dixon the exclusive right to sell alcohol at center events for the next two years, ending Dec. 15, 2015. The agreement could then be renewed for another two years. The company would pay a fixed fee to the city per event depending on the number of attendees. The fee is $63 for events up to 125 people, $120 for up to 300 people, $300 for up to 500 guests and $350 for events up to 1,000 guests. These rates represent a 15 percent increase on the current contract, the RFP evaluation sheet said.

Sarah Mueller covers government issues for The Times. Share your thoughts, news tips and questions with her:


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