Monday, January 08, 2007

Office of Open Government

January 5, 2007

Joann Carrin, Director, Office of Open Government
Office of the Governor
The Capitol
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0001

Dear Ms. Carrin,

Congratulations on your well-deserved appointment to your current position. The continuity of quality government depends upon the retention, promotion and dedication of valuable public servants such as you.

I am contacting you with the express intent of availing the City of Alachua of your services in the area of open government. We make every effort here to comply with all applicable State and local laws and regulations. However, as with any endeavor, rarely are the correct pathways totally illuminated, but, instead, appear to be fraught with conflicting opinions or interpretations.

In terns of Government in the Sunshine and the public records laws, questions continually arise. Sometimes, these questions are resolved by legislative action which clears up confusing provisions of the law, but, in many instances, such relief is months or years away, and we must depend on our best judgment or legal guidance. It appears that Governor Crist has taken the initiative in resolving many of these questionable areas by instituting the office you head.

We recognize the value that this effort will yield for all state and governmental agencies and, ultimately, for the public. Our intent is to become a model City in terms of transparency and compliance in governance. To that end, we wish to explore how we can begin a dialogue with your office, and avail ourselves of your resources and guidance.

Please let me know the most direct and efficient avenues to explore to further our effort. If we can request on-site consultation with your personnel, please let us know. If we need to send select City staff to your location, we are eager to do so. In other words, with your able assistance, we stand ready to do whatever we need to do to achieve our goal as the most open and accessible City in Florida.


Clovis Watson, Jr.
City Manager

Cc: Governor Charlie Crist
Lieutenant Governor Jeff Kottkamp
Madam Mayor & Commissioners
City Attorney Marian Rush

Sunday, January 07, 2007


By popurlar request from Republicans and Democrats alike, all throughout Alachua County, today, we re-dedicate this site to spreading the word about the revitalization and the economic turn-around of an extraordinary community.

Ten years ago, the City of Alachua was on the way down and out. Many of its major employers had disappeared, Main Street was dominated by run-down buildings and images of small-town / urban decay were everywhere.

Thanks to the hard work of dedicated people, $13, $14 and $15 per hour jobs are being created where they didn't exist before and the tax base is expanding, even while the millage rate has been lowered to 5.5. Main Street has been revitalized into one of the most charming Main Streets in America and new community centers and public facilities have been and are being created that would be the pride of any small town.

The City of Alachua is an important asset to everyone in Alachua County. The job creation and corporate partners have added to the county's tax base and the school board's tax base, and people come from all over the county to enjoy the shops and restaurants that make up the charming Main Street.

Thank you, to the many people that have emailed us and volunteered to contribute articles to the site. We now have about 10 site authors in waiting and will be glad for receive volunteers for more.

The City of Alachua is a Good Life Community in the making.