It's official: DeLaney is a certified county commissioner


Published: Monday, August 1, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, August 1, 2005 at 12:00 a.m.
Alachua County Commissioner Paula DeLaney is one of the area's most experienced politicians. After all, she served several terms as a Gainesville city commissioner and mayor, and has been on several committees and boards, before her election to the commission in November.
But now it's official: DeLaney is a certified county commissioner according to the Florida Association of Counties.
DeLaney said she took a number of courses staged by the association to earn the certification. Subjects included ethics and the authority of county government.
"Although I pretty much know a lot of that stuff, the fact is that since I first started in local government in 1992 until now there have been so many changes in, say, the ethics law," DeLaney said. "There wasn't a whole lot of stuff that I didn't know. I mostly just tried to keep my mouth shut."
  • Not happy: The insurance controversy that has engulfed Gainesville City Hall has impacted the Alachua County Commission to a much smaller degree - the Arthur Gallagher and Co. brokerage firm is accused of overbilling the City Commission $1.3 million since 1991, compared to $117,000 with the County Commission.
    Still, Commission Chairwoman Cynthia Chestnut is upset about the finding. Chestnut said the problems could have been avoided if the commission regularly opened insurance contracts up to bid as she and Commissioner Rodney Long have advocated.
    "This is what happens when you have long-term arrangements and don't rebid contracts," Chestnut said. "Absolutely, this is something I plan to address. This incident just solidifies what I've been asking for."
  • Pray but watch what you say: In Gainesville, prayer just got its own bureaucracy.
    Last week, the Gainesville City Commission approved a policy of encouraging local religious organizations to open city meetings with an invocation and it set down guidelines governing what they can say. The restrictions are designed to prevent offense and legal issues for the city.
    Though religious leaders, and occasionally atheists, have traditionally opened the commission's meetings with inspirational comments, the city did not have an official policy governing the process.
    Under the new rules, references to specific deities are prohibited, as is proselytizing, criticism of other faiths and prayers for specific outcomes in commission votes.
  • Quote of the week: "It took me three-plus years, but I finally made a good point," Commissioner Ed Braddy said after Mayor Pegeen Hanrahan agreed with his recommendation that the commission make a final city manager selection Wednesday rather than today. Though opposed to a delay in general, Braddy said if there was going to be one it should give commissioners enough time to gather more information.
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