Board of County Commissioners

Gadsden County, Florida

Regular Public Meeting

May 1, 2018

6:00 p.m.


Present:               Brenda Holt, Chair, District 4

                                Dr. Anthony “Dr. V” Viegbesie, Vice Chair, District 2

                                Eric Hinson, District 2

                                Gene Morgan, District 3

                                Sherrie Taylor, District 5

                                Dee Jackson, Interim County Administrator

                                David Weiss, County Attorney

                                Marcella Blocker, Deputy Clerk



   Chair welcomed everyone, asked that they place their phone on mute or vibrate; asked everyone to stand for moment of silence and then led in Pledge of Allegiance.



  Morgan asked to add discussion of the County Administrators position/ Hinson second 2-3 V, Holt, Taylor opposed


V approval of agenda/Taylor 4-1 Morgan opposed.





Proclamation Honoring Mr. Courtney Wester

  Commissioner Hinson read aloud the Proclamation and it was presented to Mr. Wester.



Presentation of Gadsden County Audit

  Mr. Ryan Tucker, Purvis, Gray and Company appeared before the Board and presented the result of the audit period ending September 30, 2017.  Process began in October, did Board audit, moved to Clerk’s audit, Tax Collector and Supervisor, Property Appraiser and Sheriff’s audit completed in mid-March-6 different audits completed.  He went through some of the highlights of the audit.  Review internal controls of County’s financial operations.  If County spends more than $750,000 in Federal or State financial assistance during the fiscal year, have to do State or Federal Single Audit and had to do both State and Federal this year and required them to look at additional compliance requirements over major programs.  He said was unmodified opinion, meaning no modifications of their opinion.  He said relating to SHIP Program, first was related to eligibility, one participant did not meet the criteria spelled out in LHAP Plan and second was related to not selecting lowest bidder on couple of contracts and annual reports that did not agree that were submitted to State did not agree with accounting records.  County has issued their response and issues have been resolved.  Other findings were in Sheriff’s audit, one related to getting books closed out in timely manner, books were not ready for audit when they came to perform audit and needed to go back through confiscated funds in their evidence room that they need to determine the ultimate resolution of those cases and submit funds to appropriate parties.  Sheriff has issued his response.  Audit went well, staff did good job of pulling financial records and books in good shape.


Hinson asked how they determined if a person was eligible for the SHIP program-had to get income verification and found it did not meet with the low income requirement.  Hinson asked if it was a County employee and was told yes.


V said a thorough job was done and wanted it clear regarding to the confiscated funds from the Sheriff’s Office and Sheriff responded and Mr. Tucker said they had not verified what they had done since our recommendations but will look at that next year.


Morgan asked him about the term unmodified audit and was it still a clean audit-yes


Holt said in the Housing issue, County’s policy said participant was qualified and County employees should be able to apply since it was open to the public.


Morgan motion to accept audit/V 5-0





Nothing to report


V motion to approve  Morgan asked to move Item 6 for discussion  Hinson made second   


Commissioner Morgan said he wanted to vote no on Item 6


V amended motion to approve items 3-5 and Hinson amended second


Chair called for vote  4-1 Hinson opposed



Ratification Memo



Approval of Minutes

a.       January 29, 2018-Special Meeting

b.      February 5, 2018-Special Meeting

c.       March 20, 2018-Pre-Meeting Workshop

d.      March 20, 2018-Regular Meeting

e.      April 3, 2018-Pre-Meeting Workshop

f.        April 3, 2018-Regular Meeting



Ratification of approval and execution of Transfer Agreement for transfer of water and sanitary sewer distribution system to serve Four Star Freightliner Property, and instruction for the Clerk to record the Transfer Agreement



Ratification of approval and execution of DEP Grant Agreement for St. Hebron Park “Walk and Bike Trail”

Pulled for discussion





Ratification of approval and execution of DEP Grant Agreement for St. Hebron Park “Walk and Bike Trail”

  Morgan disagreed with process on ratifying approval and moved for Option 2/no second-died for lack of second


V approval option 1/Taylor 4-1 Morgan opposed







Gary Murray, 108 S. Shadow Street, Quincy, FL-Woodberry Road

  Mr. Murray appeared before the Board and said he was present because there was a meeting regarding Woodberry Road and feel they are “forgotten people”.   Have raised $10,000 of the $17,000 they hoped to raise.  Have been working on this for over 20 years.  He asked the Commissioner what they could do for them and need to get something done. 


Holt said she met with people on Woodberry Road in 2000; it is private property and cannot do maintenance on private property with County equipment.


Taylor said the County has a process to adopt private roads and he could meet with the Administrator and further discuss this.



Paul Hoppes, 150 San Bonita , Havana



Doug Hall, Esquire, 215 S. Monroe Street, Tallahassee, FL 





Public Hearing-(Quasi-Judicial)-Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) High-Speed Test Track Special Exception Use (SE-2017-02)

   Mrs. Jackson introduced the above item.

Deputy Clerk swore in Jill Jeglie, Senior Planner and she gave testimony regarding this item.


Mark Brown, Chief of FHP, appeared before the Board and was sworn in by the Deputy Clerk.  In 2016 was awarded $2.1 Million to use to build the track.  Want to alter hours to Mon-Tues 8-5; W-T 8-11; F-S 8-5 No Sunday


V said he needed to make a public disclosure statement-Professor at TCC-32 years on staff


Chair Holt asked if there had been any ex parte conversations regarding this matter.


Hinson said Eugene Lamb, Trustee at TCC, contacted him


Morgan said he had spoken with folks on both sides of this issue.  Harvey Suber, Paul Hoppes, Mike Dorian


Taylor said it had been a while and they contacted her regarding the noise issue.


Robert George, George and Associates, appeared before the Board and was sworn in by the Deputy Clerk.


Doug Hall, Carlton Fields, appeared before the Board


Paul Hoppes, Managing Partner of Bradley Road Partnership, bought property with intention to building single family homes.  Does not believe the track is compatible with the neighbors.  TCC owns and controls 1,296 acres.  Mr. Hoppes said this would kill his project.  He said there were several locations in the State that could house this training facility.


Mr. Hall reappeared before the Board.  Tried to reach agreement and fell apart over the past week.  Requirements that have to be met was that it be compatible. 


Chair asked if anyone else wished to speak in opposition to the item and there was no-one.


Chief Brown reappeared before the Board-proposed conditions have become more restrictive since he first saw them. #4 is challenge, #6 – was given legislative funds to conduct training for State use and creates challenges-do not have authority with his agency to agree with #6. Counter-proposal on 7   Talked with


V said hearing both sides, differences could be resolved if they speak and listen to each other and was not hearing no way from both parties involved.  Asked if there was any way this could be tabled


Chair Holt asked Chief Brown to step back to the podium and asked if there was a time limit with the funding and he said they has secured the funding and as far as he knew, time was not a problem.


Commissioner Morgan thanked everyone that had participated so far.  He had questions for Chief Brown.  Heard him say originally was looking at track to be 2-3 miles and this is much smaller.  Morgan asked if this was the ideal spot for this tract-yes-land being given to them.  Best location was no wetlands and no restrictions. 


Commissioner Taylor said they were close and just a matter of working out the details.  Would like to have the best of both worlds She said she was at having them meet and work this out.


Holt said in this, they were going to have to make some decisions. 


Harvey Suber appeared before the Board and was sworn in by the Deputy Clerk.  Has spent $50,000 getting property ready for 1:1 housing


Taylor said did not matter to her which route this took


Taylor motion to allow two entities to work differences/V second  Morgan question


Asked Attorney if had issues with how proceeding-no


Morgan asked that they put time certain for Board to re-address this issue


Jackson said not able to come back at next meeting but could 1st meeting in June


Taylor amended motion to be tabled until first meeting in June/V amended second


Doug Hall reappeared before the Board and asked if would put up where left off with Commission deliberations or reopen public testimony-will be re-open


Chair called for the vote 5-0



Public Hearing-(Quasi-Judicial)-Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) High-Speed Test Track Conceptual & Preliminary Site Plan (SP-2017-003

     Chair said this item would be continued as well.


V moved to continue this item until June 5th/Taylor second 5-0



Public Hearing-Adoption of Ordinance No. 2018-001, An Ordinance of the BOCC of Gadsden County amending Chapter 6 of the Gadsden County Code of Ordinances, regulating the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages; providing for repeal, severability, inclusion in the Gadsden County Code of Ordinances, modifications that may arise from consideration at public hearing, and correction of scrivener’s errors.

  Mrs. Jackson introduced the above item.


Chair stated this was a public hearing and asked if there was anyone in the audience that wished to speak on this item and there was no-one.


Taylor asked for clarity-reducing 1000 feet to 500 and is being made in hopes of generating businesses as well as economic development.


Mrs. Jackson said this was basically to change to allow restaurants to be able to come into the area.


Taylor asked if it was specific to restaurants or could a bar come in? 


Weiss said he wanted to mention exempts and listed them.


Morgan asked if GCDC brought this, was someone here to talk on this item.  Mrs. Jackson said Ms. Kirkland was at a workshop and Mr. Jefferson was at a meeting.  Morgan asked if there was a way to do this without changing the Ordinance and do this on case-by-case basis.


Holt said that there was nothing in an Ordinance saying could not be next to church.


Morgan said he felt that warranted further discussion.


Taylor said she was kind of on the same lines as Morgan


Mrs. Jackson said they were talking about the unincorporated areas of the County.


V said in listening to the conversation, the feet made much of a difference and did not believe that morality could be legislated.  Felt needed to move in the direction.  Did not see difference in 1000 feet or 500 feet.


Chair Holt asked the will of the Board.


V motion to bring back in second meeting in June/Holt 3-2 Hinson, Taylor opposed





Approval and Execution of Satisfaction of Housing Agreement


Taylor/V 5-0



Approval of the State Housing Initiative Partnership (SHIP) Revised Annual Reports


V left meeting

Hinson had questions


Sonya Burns appeared before the Board. 


Hinson motion to approve/Taylor 4-0


CDBG Housing Assistance Plan (HAP) Revision Request


Morgan asked what they were doing here.


Andy Easton, Andy Easton and Associates, appeared before the Board and explained this item.


Commissioner Viegbesie returned to the meeting.


Taylor motion to approve


Hinson said he concurred with Morgan that changes should have been highlighted.


Mr. Easton said with the CDBG program, lot of policies that needed to be adopted. 


Hinson/V 5-0



Approval of Off-System Project Maintenance Agreement-County Road 268 Shoulder Construction


Taylor/V 5-0



Discussion and Direction of the Continuing Service Contract for Architectural Services


Taylor said she asked that this be brought back.  She said this item prevented other architects from bidding on items.


V asked if this was the architectural firm the County was currently working with-yes.


Mrs. Jackson said a need for an architect was required when she was in the Grant Writing position.  She said this was bidded out and the person that won the bid was Joel Sampson.


V asked if this firm was not the only architect firm and was this was


Morgan asked why they would want to do anything that might hamper the relationship.


Holt said she was questioning the Board’s process, had no problem with Mr. Sampson.


V said he agreed with Commissioner Morgan, this firm doing quality work.


Holt said she only wanted to discuss their process.



Approval to Conduct a Classification and Compensation Study


V asked Jackson if compensation plan would involve reorganization of County


Lonyell Black appeared before the Board and said they had study done approximately 10-12 years ago.  Here tonight to ask for funding to start the preliminary study.


Morgan said had no problem with feasibility study and asked only approving funds for study.  Had no problem but need to understand in no way meant had to accept their recommendations.


Taylor motion to approve/Hinson had questions.


If not going to move forward, what purpose of paying $18,500.  Need to figure out direction wanted to move first.


Holt said she was in favor of this study to see where they were.  Hinson asked if they interviewed others or assumed, Mrs. Jackson said they had three quotes.







Update on Various Board Requests

  Jackson thanked them for approving the salary study, said was losing Clyde Collins on June 18th.


Requested Proclamation for Public Works Week V made motion/Taylor 5-0


In Receipt and File was letter from FAC congratulating CCC graduates and ACC graduates.


May 8th 4:30 is Travel and Internet Workshop


V said felt workshop was very informative, suggested Staff look at hybrid options for EMS services and see what would work for County. 


Holt said they were looking at Hospital Trust interest only until they were able to collect some of the debts.


Put list of summer applicants before them


Taylor said there was a request for striping on Joe Adams Road and Lakeview Road, is there a reason why not done yet.


3 recipients for her district for who received services for emergency repair


V said he knew they had approved some roads to be striped





 Update on Various Legal Issues

  Wanted to piggyback on emergency services and hospital Trust – getting to a deadline if wanted to discuss contract and wanted direction on how they wanted to approach it. 


Holt asked for some information they could look at.





Report and Discussion of Public Issues



Commissioner Eric Hinson, District 1

  Would like for Board to get Gadsden County Hall of Fame here and wanted to recognize them


Wanted to have Willie Simmons and Taggert here.


Jackson said she told him it would be in June and he said they were the boss and he’s been asking for this


Holt said when he had something to say to her, make it directly to her and if there was any way to get it done, then get it done. 


He said he was not badgering


He said he had no problem with her, when he asked for something, he expected it to be done.


Wanted to recognize Staff for some things, reason stayed back to day, was trying to look over some stuff, need to reflect.  Need to be careful as to who they listen to and which spirits they are dealing with.



Commissioner Gene Morgan, District 3

  EMS issue-looking at new EMS model and thought they were doing great thing.


Discussion about hospital contract and Trust Fund and encouraged discussion with Glazer


Really need to button down County Administrator’s position.  Need to make step, owed to citizens.



Commissioner Sherrie Taylor, District 5

left meeting at this juncture



Commissioner Anthony “Dr. V” Viegbesie, Vice-Chair, District 2

  Make motion for Resolution to honor Rebecca Lightfoot who owns Split Ends.




Gadsden County is their responsibility and they should put people before politics.



Commissioner Brenda Holt, Chair, District 4

  Holt asked that if they had any questions about the Agenda, please call the Administrator to give them opportunity to do research before the meeting. 


On May 12th is May Day celebration and Curtis Sconiers was to direct play that was to be put on died today.


Said they did a good job tonight on the public hearing.


Receipt and File



April 5, 2018-Florida Department of State Letter

April 5, 2018-FAC Memorandum

April 12, 2018-Department of Economic Opportunity Letter





May 8, 2018-4:30 p.m. Travel Workshop

May 15, 2018-4:30 Pre-Meeting Workshop

May 15, 2018-6:00 Regular Meeting

May 17, 2018-4:30 Development Order Process Workshop



   Meeting adjourned at 10:09 p.m.