Readers comment on changes at City Hall, Gov. Ron DeSantis and more

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Gainesville's City Hall building.
Gainesville's City Hall building.

Atmosphere of fear

What Interim City Manager Cynthia Curry — who has only been on then the job for two months — has promulgated as a “reorganization” has actually been a slaughter. This wholesale firing of staff creates an atmosphere of fear and distrust.

Those that have already lost their jobs have had their lives ruined. What happened to loyalty? Where is the justification for this firing? I thought we were trying to achieve stabilization.

Has the cost of this, which is paid for by the taxpayers, been calculated? Not just the payouts to the assistant city managers, but the cost of recruitment, onboarding and salaries — not to mention the human cost to those that have been fired and those that remain in this toxic environment.

If upper management isn’t safe, nobody is. Aside from destroying the morale of staff, who in their right mind would want to apply to work for the city given the blatant lack of leadership?

I was a mayor for eight years and have been a city administrator for almost seven years. I know elected officials, city clerks and city managers throughout the state. I have never witnessed anything like this. The City Commission fiddles while Gainesville burns.

Mary Lou Hildreth, Gainesville

More letters:

Wrong about DeSantis

In response to Carl Ramey’s recent column, he couldn’t be more wrong about how Ron DeSantis is handling his job as Florida’s governor.

Voting could not be easier for people of all walks of life, with pre-voting open for weeks before any election all over every city in Florida. Florida’s anti-riot law makes it clear that our state will not tolerate violent protests. What happened around the U.S. as a result of Black Lives Matter protests were riots, which caused significant property damage and personal injury.

Florida has permitted unfunded mandates that come as a result of constitutional amendments for many years, causing financial problems for the state. Laws are supposed to come from the Legislature, not by amending the constitution every time that people vote.

Regarding the media, every politician has their own style dealing with them. Like it or not, he is the governor and he can decide how to answer questions and which issues to bring to the forefront. Lastly, making sure that our children are not exposed to offensive material or forced to learn critical race theory is what the majority of parents want. It is the opposite of indoctrination!

DeSantis is making Florida’s democracy stronger, not weaker. I look forward to him being our governor for another four-year term.

Ed Van Winkle, Alachua

Long-lasting consequences

I do not know what sacred constitutional principles Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema are preserving and protecting, but their dogged refusal to change the rules in the Senate can lead to grave, long-lasting consequences to our democracy. Pass the For the People and John Lewis Voting Rights bills.

"History has its eyes on us" — Alexander Hamilton

Nancy Parkinson, Gainesville

Spinless senators

Unbiased observers believe they have detected the existence of a spine in a red-state senator. While Republican spines were known to exist as late as March of 2021, fear of the former president and his Big Lie had deformed or completely ripped them out.

Intense observation of Florida’s two members of the upper chamber of Congress failed to identify one. It is hoped that recent factual comments, by Mike Rounds of South Dakota, signal the regeneration of the anatomy of a once proud and sane political party.

Tom Tisdale, Gainesville

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This article originally appeared on The Gainesville Sun: Letters to the editor for Jan. 19, 2022

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