Keeping GRU local with more accountability.
Vote to Lower Your GRU Bills
Vote “YES” on the Nov. 6th citizens’ choice GRU Referendum – located second from the bottom of a long list of amendments and referendums.
GRU ratepayers will nominate members to serve on the GRU Authority and city commission votes to approve 5 qualified members – keeping it local.
GRU management and local politicians GROSSLY mismanaged our utility with lies and confusion – do NOT let them continue.
It was Democrats and others who reached out to our state legislators for a referendum allowing voters an opportunity to have a separate board of EXPERTS to govern GRU.
Most U.S. utilities of our size have separate governing boards and the vast majority of them have lower utility bills.
Lower income people and local mom and pop businesses have suffered long enough from the mismanagement of GRU!
Others can afford to get ripped off, even if they don’t like it.
Weak advisory boards, like the one we now have, can and have been completely ignored on major issues!
City commissioners are not utility experts and make costly rookie mistakes.
A GRU Authority made up of dedicated and knowledgeable GRU customers allow us, the voters, a way to improve the way our utility is run.
We may not be able to fix all the COSTLY mistakes made in the past by GRU management and city commissioners, but we can prevent future costly mistakes with a GRU Authority.
Citizen coalition PC is a non-partisan organization who has come together in support of the Nov. 6th citizen’s choice GRU referendum.
Voting “YES” is about protecting GRU customers and the financial health of our utility.
A bipartisan yearlong study conducted by utility specialists, community leaders, and academic experts recommended a GRU Authority that will:
- have the ability to lower our GRU bills, and
- add accountability to GRU
- get the politics out
Gainesville needs lower GRU bills and increased accountability now more than ever!
On November 6, Gainesville voters will have the opportunity to make GRU more accountable:
Vote YES on GRU referendum!
GRU Press Mentions
August 15, 2018
While residents were offered the hope of nullifying the planned rate increase, another multi-hour “special” meeting yielded bickering with no results. We need utility experts and customers in control to lower our GRU bills.
Vote YES on the GRU Amendment.
July 27, 2018
A win for the citizens of Gainesville: our local court has struck down an attempt by politicians to take the voter/ utility owners’ choice away.
This November, citizens will have their voices heard loud and clear.
Vote YES on GRU referendum to put CUSTOMERS in control of GRU, to lower utility rates, and bring higher accountability.
July 19, 2018
As GRU electricity rates continue to rise, so does the need for a GRU Authority.
Although GRU already has some of the highest utility bills in Florida, politicians voted to raise electric bills by more than 6% for most residential electric customers.
The proposed increase in most GRU electric bills came two weeks after the same politicians revealed their plan to spend savings from the GREC purchase on new projects, rather than lower our GRU electric bills as promised.
Date: September 16, 2015
An independent audit found that GRU customers were overcharged nearly $900,000. The overcharge occurred due to an error by politicians that involved the biomass plant contract.
Blunders like this highlight the need for greater accountability and expertise for GRU and the Authority who pull the levers.
How will a GRU Authority add accountability to GRU?
The GRU Authority will…
- by law, be “free from direction and control” of politicians;
- by law, have members that “shall be a person of recognized ability and good business judgment;”
- by law, will put customers in control by requiring each board member to have been a GRU customer for at least five years;
- by law, will have power to hire and fire the general manager of GRU and be required to provide close supervision.
- by law, be required to prepare an annual report of customer rates, comparing them to other municipalities;
- by law, be required to have an Authority that is “diverse and representative of the community;” and,
- by law, have at least three members that “shall be competent and knowledgeable in one or more specific fields substantially related to the duties and functions of the authority, including, but not limited to law, economics, accounting, engineering, finance, or energy.”
How can a GRU Authority lower our GRU bills?
A well run utility operates as a competent Authority free from political pressure and meddling by politicians.
When that is allowed to happen, we observe lower bills across Florida.
For example, EVERY municipal utility in Florida governed by an Authority has LOWER bills than GRU.
Additionally, in the U.S., 70% of utilities as large and complex as GRU are managed by independent boards or Authorities.
Furthermore, a bipartisan yearlong study performed by utility experts, community leaders, and academic experts recommended a GRU Authority that will lead to lower GRU bills.
How will a GRU Authority add expertise to the management of GRU?
According to the GRU Authority Referendum:
- “three members shall be competent and knowledgeable in one or more specific fields substantially related to the duties and functions of the authority, including, but not limited to, law, economics, accounting, engineering, finance, or energy;”
- “one member shall be a residential customer with substantial knowledge of GRU, its operations, and its history;” and,
- “one member shall be a private, nongovernment customer consuming at least 10,000 kilowatt hours per month of electric usage during each of the previous 12 months.”
What powers will the GRU Authority have?
According to the referendum, the powers of the GRU Authority include:
- the management, operation, and control of GRU;
- the ability “to establish and amend the rates, fees, assessments, charges, rules, regulations, and policies governing the sale and use” of utility services;
- setting the GRU budget;
- setting the General Fund Transfer to the City; and,
- the authority to hire and fire and closely supervise the general manager of GRU