Florida mayors seek solutions to avoid Charlottesville-scale violence

Hundreds of mayors and city officials from across the state are in Orlando, and though it’s not on the official agenda, many have their sights set on avoiding the kind of violence seen last weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia.

During the Florida League of Cities conference on Thursday, they attended meetings on the current opioid epidemic and local issues like utilities and transportation, but many of the mayors were eager to meet one on one with their fellow leaders to talk about the unrest facing communities everywhere right now.

Many Florida cities are already toiling with controversy over Confederate monuments; similar to the controversy that sparked the protests in Charlottesville. One of the leaders of that movement in Charlottesville,

White Nationalist Richard Spencer, recently tried to rent and was denied speaking space in Gainesville.

However the topics are sparking serious tension across the country and many of the Florida city leaders Thursday said coming together on the situation may be the best way to prepare; in case a protest hits their community.

"We all have something unique to add,” said Miami Garden Mayor Oliver Gilbert.

Many are looking at the way those other Florida cities have handled this stuff already. They said there’s likely no “one size fits all” solution though.

"Don't get caught up in what's happening there, understand what's happening here and what you're working towards,” said Gilbert.

"I think the locally elected officials are the ones who have the understanding of what's going on in their communities,” said Marilyn Crotty from the Volusia League of Cities.

Elsewhere across the country local officials are trying more safety rules on the large public protests and an increased police presence on the events.