A new city council member is set to be sworn in next week.
Gainesville City Council appointed Brandon Eberhart to fill the Ward 2 seat being vacated by council member Steve Gordon, who said he’s resigning to spend more time with his grandchildren. Eberhart’s appointment was approved 6-0 with council member Tommy Moore absent at the council’s Nov. 5 regular meeting.
The appointment fills the seat until the May 2, 2020, city election. Eberhart will be sworn in during the next city council meeting, officials said. That’s scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 19.
Eberhart, a Gainesville resident and owner of Eberhart Home Improvement, said the city council seat will be the first time he’s held public office.
“I’m really excited and a little bit nervous,” Eberhart said Tuesday, Nov. 12. “But really I love this town and I’ve lived here my whole life and I wanted to do what I can to help out.”
He said the biggest thing he hopes to work on is the state of the city’s roads. He said he’s heard several complaints about deteriorating roads and “would like to see what we can do on that.”
“They’ve actually patched a few of the roads I was concerned with,” Eberhart added. However, he believes roads throughout Gainesville, not just in Ward 2, likely need work.
“I had some family visit from out of state and they were shocked at how bad the roads were here,” Eberhart said.
He said he’s worked in trades since graduating in 1995 from Gainesville High School. He has a woodworking side business and is vice president of Casualties of War, a Gainesville nonprofit dedicated to supporting veterans upon their return to U.S. soil.
Eberhart doesn’t have a military background, he said. “I just really, really appreciate the military.”
Gordon and Eberhart are neighbors and Gordon has been mentoring him in preparation for assuming the city council responsibilities, Eberhart said.
For his part, Gordon said resigning his council seat was a difficult decision. He’s been on the council since 2016.
“I turn 80 in February and I’ve got to start acting my age,” Gordon explained. He called serving on city council “one of the joys of my life,” but said he needed more time to visit his grandchildren in California and Florida. Gordon plans to continue living in Gainesville, he added.
Residents of Ward 2 can reach Eberhart on his cellphone at 940-902-4294, the incoming council member said.