Talks of merging city and county services rise again

Published: Monday, January 12, 2009 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 12, 2009 at 12:05 a.m.

Another small step toward merging city of Gainesville and Alachua County operations at a time when both are having to deal with budget cuts is being discussed.

Alachua County Commissioner Rodney Long has suggested the governments combine their equal opportunity offices.

County commissioners may either send a letter to Mayor Pegeen Hanrahan to gauge the city's interest in the idea or discuss it at Tuesday's County Commission meeting.

The two offices have similar aims, including ensuring equal access to work and housing regardless of gender, religion, race and other factors; investigation and resolution of complaints and ensuring workplace diversity.

City and county officials have already merged some positions to cut costs.

For instance, the Gainesville and Alachua County fire-rescue departments now share a public information officer rather than each having its own.

New newsletter: State Sen. Steve Oelrich, R-Cross Creek, has launched a newsletter.

An electronic copy was sent to some Alachua County commissioners and it appears to be fairly standard for a politician's communications.

It's got contact information including office locations and phone numbers, Oelrich's committee assignments and a look at upcoming events.

"It is my hope to use this newsletter to inform you of what my office is doing as we travel throughout the district," Oelrich wrote. "I would appreciate any advice you may have so I can better serve you and the constituents of North Central Florida."

Gator victory: Gainesville and Alachua County didn't waste any time in congratulating the University of Florida football team on its national championship victory Thursday.

The city's Web site has a box with graphics noting the big win.

Meanwhile, County Commissioner Rodney Long sent an e-mail to Gator coach Urban Meyer that read in part:

"We are proud of the team's accomplishments and more importantly are impressed with the way the players conducted themselves off the field. You and your staff are to be commended for your success both on and off the field."

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