Elections Office Will Not Move to Former "Big Lots" Store as Planned
Published June 19th, 2013
GAINESVILLE - After years of planning and public consultation, the long-talked-about relocation of the Alachua County Supervisor of Elections office is once again up in the air.
In a special meeting on Tuesday, commissioners voted unanimously to abandon the most recent plan to relocate the office to the former "Big Lots" store on north Main Street.
Commissioners cited the cost of renting that piece of real estate as the main reason for killing that plan, as it would have cost the county significantly more than what they pay for the current facility.
After the meeting, Alachua County's Supervisor of Elections Pam Carpenter expressed her frustration with the commission's lack of progress.
"I was very disappointed that we didn't move forward with the lease," said Carpenter. "The county commission has authorized the staff of the county to start a new process, and my big concern there is that this new process seems to be taking an extended amount of time."
Carpenter says she was hoping to move into any new office space by early 2015. That would give her enough time to get settled in before the next presidential election in 2016. Despite Tuesday's setback, Carpenter says she remains hopeful that will still happen.
County officials will now prepare to hire a real estate consultant to represent them in their ongoing search for new office space. The full commission will discuss the hiring of that consultant during a meeting next month.
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