Congratulations, Commissioner Hills!

Michael congratulates incumbent Orien Hills

ABOUT THIS BLOG: This blog was created to serve as a source of information about my campaign for Alachua City Commission, Seat 4. That campaign ended with the election on Tuesday (see the Statement by the Candidate below for details) but the blog will remain online. The campaign theme will change, but the blog will continue to focus current affairs in the City of Alachua, including the issues I raised during the campaign. I will be writing about matters of importance to Alachua residents and I will invite comments and contributions from others. Please bookmark the site and check in to see the changes. — M.C.

Election News

On Tuesday April 14 a total of 664 ballots were cast (out of 5,730 eligible voters) in the election that was held for Alachua City Commission seats 4 and 5. Eight amendments to the city charter were also voted on. Here are the results of the city commission races:

Seat 4: Michael Canney 238 (36%); Orien Hills 426 (64%) Mr. Hills was the incumbent and will be serving his fifth three-year term on the commission.

Seat 5: Douglas Dean 181 (27%); Gary Hardacre 371 (56%); Rodger Mallard 110 (17%) The three candidates were competing for the commission seat vacated by James Lewis, who had served on the commission for 42 consecutive years and did not run for reelection this year due to illness.

Charter Amendments: All approved except #2

See the official Certificate of Election Results posted on the City of Alachua website for details.


I have personally expressed my congratulations to Orien Hills and Gary Hardacre on their victory at the polls on Tuesday, and I look forward to engaging with them as my commissioners for the next three years. I also congratulate candidates Doug Dean and Rodger Mallard for their positive contributions to this election, and I hope they will remain active in Alachua community affairs.

I must express my heartfelt gratitude to all who encouraged me to run, to all who supported the campaign, and to all 664 citizens who took the time to vote in this election. I invite you all to share your ideas about how we can work together for a better Alachua.

I regret that Alachua voters did not have the opportunity this year to attend a candidates forum or debate where all five city commission candidates could present themselves and answer questions posed by the public.

I hope to see Alachua City Hall serve as the venue for such an event before the election in 2010, and I encourage those who share an interest in promoting public discourse on important issues that affect the community to join with me in making this event happen next year.

As a public citizen, I will continue to raise the issues that I introduced in this campaign (see the Platform page for a basic idea) and that I pledged to address if elected to the city commission. I have been and will continue to be an “activist” for the causes I believe in, and the principles I hold dear.

As this blog now evolves from a campaign website to a community affairs journal and a discussion forum about local issues that affect us all, I invite and welcome your participation and your ideas.

Please feel free to call or send an email anytime,

Michael Canney 386.418.3791 ElectMichaelCanney@gmail.com

"Every vote counts!"

"Every vote counts!"

Following is my candidate’s statement as published in the April 9 edition of the High Springs Herald:

My Pledge to Alachua Voters:

I am a candidate for Seat 4 in the April 14th Alachua City Commission election because I believe the citizens and taxpayers of Alachua need an independent commissioner in City Hall who will ensure that the interests of the public are represented in the city’s budget, planning and development decisions.

As your commissioner,

1. I will advocate fiscal responsibility and oppose wasteful spending, and I will work to make the City’s finances transparent and understandable to citizens and taxpayers, so everyone will know how our money is being spent. The City must live within its means and implement a sound debt policy that will keep the City solvent during these challenging economic times.

2. I will support responsible planning and development decisions that protect our natural resources and prioritize public health and safety, and I will work to ensure that all new development in Alachua pays its own way. New growth is inevitable, but Alachua needs smart, sustainable development that will preserve Alachua’s small town character and enhance the quality of life for all Alachua residents.

3. I will ensure the public interest is always represented at the table when important decisions are made that impact the future of our community. The City must take into account the needs and interests of all Alachua’s citizens and businesses when new development is being promoted and encouraged.

4. I will encourage neighborhood organizations that empower citizens to work together to improve and enhance the quality of life in their neighborhoods. As a co-founder of Neighborhoods United for a Better Alachua (NUBA) I worked with other volunteers to bring a neighborhood community center to fruition.

5. I will work to implement Open Government policies at City Hall modeled on the policies implemented by Governor Charlie Crist in the Office of the Governor, and I will work to make Alachua’s Public Records policy a model for the state.

6. I will encourage public participation in important planning and budget decisions, and the citizens and taxpayers of Alachua will be my only “special interests.” I will work to make City Hall your City
Hall, and your local government a government “of the people, by the people, and for the people.”

On April 14th please vote Michael Canney for Alachua City Commission, Seat 4.

My name appears on the first line of your ballot.

For a better Alachua,

Michael Canney

PO Box 190, Alachua FL 32515
386.418.3791 / 352.226.6164

Editor’s Note: Each year The High Springs Herald offers each candidate running for a local office the chance to write 400 words or less on why they are running for office. Not every candidate running replied, but the ones that did can be found below. The only rule was that no candidate could attack another candidate. They were asked to provide their own photos; not all did.


Coming Soon… a Public Affairs Blog for the City of Alachua

Coming Soon… a Public Affairs Blog for the City of Alachua

I created this blog to provide information to voters during the Alachua City Commission campaign of 2009, which culminated in the municipal election on April 14.  The site will soon feature a gallery of Alachua images, including an album of photos from the 2009 city commission campaign and election. The campaign blog will now transition to a political journal  focused primarily on issues that affect the quality of life for Alachua residents and taxpayers. If you are interested in Alachua politics and  wish to keep informed about what goes on in City Hall, stay tuned…

A new contract for Clovis Watson (AGAIN?)?

There is a very interesting item on the Agenda for the April 6 City Commission Meeting. Well, actually this item was placed on the Consent Agenda, meaning it will be approved without discussion when the commission approves the Regular Meeting Agenda. Item B on the Consent Agenda is titled “AMENDED TO CITY MANAGER’S CONTRACT” and the backup materials can be found HERE.

Citizens who have read Mr. Watson’s Resignation Letter to the People of Alachua in the local newspapers may want to read the backup materials for this new contract for the city manager that has been slipped into the Consent Agenda by Mr. Watson and City Attorney Marian Rush. You may have a number of questions about this new contract and the curious timing of its introduction.

Of course there will be no questions, and no discussion of this matter, unless Item B is removed from the Consent Agenda and placed on the Regular Meeting Agenda.


READ  about what happened at the April 6 City Commission meeting in this report by the High Springs Herald:

Alachua city manager’s contract amended, public not allowed to speak

The resignation of Clovis Watson

On March 26, a large advertisement was placed in local newspapers by Alachua City Manager Clovis Watson Jr., serving notice that he will be resigning from his position with the City and outlining the terms of his departure. For those who may not have seen this in the newspaper, I’m posting links to the online High Springs Herald, where you will find the ad and an article reporting the news of Mr. Watson’s announcement. I will post my comments on this development at a later time. –M.C.

[This advertisement, which cost the City over $2,100 to publish, is no longer available online at the Herald.  The text of the message will be made available here.  Stay tuned… MC]

Watson will retire from Alachua’s top job next year, may tackle politics
By Ronald Dupont Jr., Editor
High Springs Herald | March 26, 2009

By Clovis Watson Jr.
(a paid advertisement in the High Springs Herald – 3.26.09)
HSH ad 3.26.09

HSH ad 3.26.09

The Alachua Charter Amendments – YES or NO?

On April 14th Alachua voters will be voting on eight amendments to the City Charter. A Sample Ballot and the proposed Charter Amendments can be found on the City of Alachua website (click HERE).

I will comment on the merits of the Charter Amendments, but first let’s take a look at the charter review process from which these amendments originated.

The City Charter was adopted in 1905 and amended in 1989. A Charter Review process has been long overdue, but unfortunately the Charter Amendments appearing on the April 14th ballot did not result from a serious and diligent effort to review the Charter and recommend needed amendments. Continue reading