Posted: Tuesday, December 17th 2013 at 7:42pm
City hears from public on BOE's decision on guns
By Marc Eggers Staff
GAINESVILLE – The Gainesville City Council was told Tuesday evening that there had been reaction to the previous night’s decision by Gainesville City Schools to provide School Resource Officers with three Colt 6920 M4 semi-automatic carbine rifles for their schools.
"We’ve had several inquiries today about the acts of the School Board last night regarding allowing guns in schools," City Manager Kip Padgett said. "That is something our Police Department and the Board of Education and Dr. (Merrianne) Dyer have been working on."
"Whether or not to allow those in schools is completely up to the Board of Education," Padgett commented.
"Since they have allowed that we will be amending the School Resource Officer’s contract…and in the 2014 budget for the Police Department our share of those rifles (approximately $3000) were included, so there will be no action on your part required," Padgett explained.
Councilwoman Ruth Bruner asked Padgett for his understanding on where those weapons would be stored.
Padgett responded, "They’ll be in a safe in the School Resource Officer’s office and only accessed by that person through some biometric technology that will be put in place."
Gainesville Police Chief Brian Kelly said the three SRO offices are located at Gainesville High School, Gainesville Middle School and at Wood’s Mill Academy.
CITY FINANCES GET ‘CLEAN’ STATUS REPORT
"The city is in very good financial shape. The audit went very smooth. We do have a ‘Clean’ opinion," Chris Hollifield, Audit Partner of Rushton & Company, told the Council.
Hollifield continued, "$437 million is your net position, assets less liabilities; $38.8 million of that is unrestricted."
Councilman George Wangemann said, "It takes a lot of people…to make this thing work the way it does. We have a ‘Clean’ opinion because of the staff that we have here in the City of Gainesville."
The Council also gave approval to adopting a policy to govern the naming of city owned facilities and other properties.
The "Facility Naming Policy", as it is officially entitled, was accepted by a unanimous vote and creates a list of requirements that must be met before a city owned facility can be named or re-named.
"The renaming of a Facility will be strongly discouraged." is a parameter within the Policy itself, requiring "the most critical examination so as to not diminish the original justification for the name or discount the value of the prior contributors."
When asked if the School Board’s decision the evening before to name the football practice field at Gainesville High School in honor of current head coach Bruce Miller was the first instance of using the city’s new policy, City Manager Kip Padgett said, "No. That property belongs to the Board of Education and doesn’t need to follow our policy."
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