GAINESVILLE – Gainesville Mayor Danny Dunagan decided the timing was not quite right to deliver his State of the City speech at Tuesday’s Gainesville City Council meeting.
The presentation was ready, the date for its delivery had been announced, but with so much national and local focus on combating the spread of COVID-19 Dunagan decided to postpone his annual address until a later date.
“When things settle down and our country gets back to normal – I’m optimistic that it will very quickly – then we will do the State of the City,” Dunagan explained.
He did spend a few minutes during the meeting commenting on the city’s efforts to be proactive in preparing for any challenges. “These are extraordinary times that we will get through by helping each other,” he said.
“With the help of our partners and Governor Brian Kemp’s Office we will continue to monitor the situation to be certain we have the best information available while working closely with our police, fire and department heads,” Dunagan added.
“We also still encourage all healthy residents to go out and do things most necessary to keep your life as normal as possible during the critical time, such as buying groceries and taking care of other daily needs.”
“I want to re-emphasize that there is no need for panic.” Dunagan urged.
City Manager Bryan Lackey said that service charges associated with online bill payments to the city would be suspended. “We encourage our public not to visit our offices to do business with us…and in light of that the city is waiving all the convenience fees for the next thirty days for that.”
“Also, the city has gone ahead and cancelled our major special events through the end of April. That fits in with the timelines that the CDC announced,” Lackey said.
Lackey added, “We had a conference call today with Governor Kemp…and he (told) us he has no plans to close restaurants in the state anywhere; he’s going to leave it up to the local officials. I don’t think we have any plans to do that.”
Lackey encouraged residents to patronize the restaurants that stay open, suggesting they place “to-go” orders or have their food delivered. “So get out there and try to support our local businesses in various ways.”