Gainesville viewed as a 'tweener' city

Published: Monday, January 23, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 22, 2006 at 10:33 p.m.
Mayor Pegeen Hanrahan has joined the board of the Florida League of Mayors, a newly formed group of city officials working with the Florida League of Cities to share information and push for statewide legislation. The new group is similar to the U.S. Conference of Mayors, a group designed to advocate for large cities.
Gainesville is considered a "tweener" city, larger than most cities represented by the League of Cities but smaller than those represented by the Conference of Mayors, Hanrahan said.
"We're sort of in a funny situation where we're too big to be small and too small to be big," Hanrahan said.
Hanrahan also plans to participate in the New Cities Project, an organization founded by Madison, Wis., Mayor Dave Cieslewicz, and designed to bring together officials from politically progressive U.S. cities. The group plans a meeting later this month that Hanrahan said she looks to attend while visiting the capital to speak with Gainesville's legislative delegation.
Evy Malone, the mayor's 5-month-old baby, also will be on hand for the event. "She'll be the one baby there that the other mayors will get to kiss," Hanrahan said.
  • Curbing rentals: As Gainesville city commissioners mull over proposals to help reduce conflicts between families and students in city neighborhoods, one idea receiving some attention is limiting the number of rental houses in a given area.
    But in order to avoid constitutional challenges to such an ordinance, it would have to be structured carefully, City Attorney Marion Radson told commissioners this week.
    There is, however, a precedent for this type of restriction.
    "Essentially, we'd be treating it as an adult entertainment complex," Radson said.
    "Which is really what it is," Commissioner Ed Braddy replied.
  • City's brand: Gainesville city commissioners are expected to decide today whether the city should kick in $20,000 to hire a marketing consultant for the Market Gainesville Partnership, a group of governmental and business interests working to develop a brand for the city.
    The money would be pooled with equal contributions from the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce and the Alachua County Visitors and Convention Bureau as well as smaller donations from other entities to hire North Star Destination Strategies to develop marketing strategies, a brand and logo for the Gainesville area.
    The Nashville firm would receive $76,000 for their work.
  • Quote of the week: "Someone over here said we need some technology transfer," said Gainesville Mayor Pegeen Hanrahan, who borrowed the term typically used to describe economic development based on research at the university after a video of University of Florida President Bernie Machen failed to play properly during her State of the City address.
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