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Robert Mounts

Active Citizen






I have over 45 years of public service to my state and country and have spent much of the years back home since 2014 in Gainesville heavily engaged in public policy as an "active citizen". I will continue to stay engaged, both as a former neighborhood association leader, current President of the Matheson History Museum, Inc., and until the Gainesville Sun cancelled its opinion section in November, 2022, as a monthly contributor to the Gainesville Sun. Visit the "News" section to see a collection of my monthly opinion pieces published in the Sun. Visit the "Issues" section to see other writings.


Thursday, June 1, 2023 9:32 PM

City Commission ends assault on single-family zoning

This afternoon, the Gainesville City Commission took the final vote, 4-3, with Commissioners Eastman, Saco, and Willetts again dissenting, to end the assault on single-family zoning. My comments appear at Hour 2:45:40; 3:37:20; and 3:47. As Commissioner Cynthia Chestnut said this afternoon, it was a vote to "protect neighborhoods". Grateful thanks are due to Mayor Harvey Ward and Commissioner Ed Book for keeping their campaign promise to roll back these sweeping changes, and joining Commissioners Chestnut and Duncan-Walker (who represent the true interests of the African-American community) in the prevailing vote. I encourage you to view the entire discussion, beginning at Hour 2:34 in the video below (copy and paste the link into your browser).


Thursday, April 20, 2023 2:29 PM

City Commission takes first vote to reinstate single-family zoning

Last night, the Gainesville City Commission finally got around to holding its first reading of three new ordinances designed to reinstate single-family zoning and "effectively" repeal the package of "exclusionary zoning" ordinances passed last fall by the previous Commission. Predictably, the vote was 4-3 in favor the repeal (or reset), with Commissioners Saco, Willitts, and Eastman dissenting.


I spoke three times on behalf, and at the request, of my former neighborhood association in University Park at Hour 1:20:35; 2:36; and 2:49:35 in the video below.


We are grateful to Mayor Ward and Commissioners Book, Chestnut, and Duncan-Walker for fulfilling their campaign pledge to the voters to reverse course on this and protect our precious neighborhoods. A second and final reading is still required, as well as state review of the Comprehensive Plan changes.

Friday, February 10, 2023 11:04 AM

Supporting the Matheson History Museum on the Ilene Silverman Show

The Matheson History Museum's Executive Director, Kaitlyn Hof-Mahoney, and I, as Board President, had the distinct pleasure of appearing on the Ilene Silverman Show the past two weekends, including WUFT-TV, to promote the good work of the museum.  A short video without commercials of the show appears here:

Tuesday, November 1, 2022 9:28 AM

Past time to end capital punishment in America

This is likely my last opinion piece in The Gainesville Sun.  Opinion Page Editor, Nathan Crabbe, has just informed me that this is his last week at the paper and that the paper will not accept any opinion pieces after his departure. Mark today, November 1, 2022, as the end of reasoned dialogue in the local paper; it is a sad day for local journalism and debate.


Still, I am glad to get this one on the public record.  It is past time to end capital punishment in America.

Friday, October 14, 2022 4:55 PM

High time for a moratorium on development

This piece suggests changes to the 2017 Gainesville Comprehensive Plan and Land Development Code that are necessary to restore a real voice for the public in major development decisions.  It was published in the Gainesville Sun on Sunday, October 2, 2022.

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