Board of County Commissioners
Gadsden County, Florida
Regular Public Meeting
May 8, 2018
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
INVOCATION, PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Vice Chair Viegbesie called the meeting to order at 4:33 p.m., asked everyone to stand for Invocation and asked Commissioner Taylor to give the Invocation. He then led in the Pledge of Allegiance.
He welcomed everyone to the workshop.
Discussion of the Gadsden County Travel Policy
Mrs. Jackson introduced the above item.
Previous policy was adopted in 2005 and trying to update.
“3a) Employees and authorized persons shall not be entitled to lodging costs for travel which does not require departure from the point of origin prior to 6:00 a.m. or return to the point of origin after 9:00 p.m.”
b) IRS rate one staff chose and recommended. Want to make sure have clear direction for Clerk’s office always in conundrum each time as to which rate they go with and this will make standard for everyone.
V asked if will use state mileage chart and Jackson said correct. Sherrie said to put language in that they will use State mileage chart
d) Taylor asked if should specify who approved
Item 4) Previously Administrator approved travel for Staff and Chair approve travel for commissioners and Vice Chair approve travel for Chair. Staff suggested Board approve travel of each commissioner and budget amendments as needed. Consistent around State
Hinson had heartburn-be stress on commissioners, how came about, people don’t want people to go out of town; don’t want people to be aware may be away from home If approve budget for travel
Sherrie said recalled Hinson mentioning when Board approved item, agreed might open-trying to see where privacy kept but approved. V said with regard to this, agreed with Hinson, but everything about public official becomes public and becomes public record. Think should look at that. Taylor preferred it be approved. Taylor asked what happens if travel that is needed between meetings. Should put something in policy that allowed Chair or Vice Chair to approve between meetings if someone had to go. OK with like it is-agreed with V on being transparent. Hinson said in all fairness, if someone wanted to know about travel, do public records request. Have no heartburn in keeping as is until have issues. V wanted to add emergency travels-when absolutely necessary travel occurs, should be recorded in that meeting. Hinson said move to keep as is and move forward. Taylor said to Hinson for years, they have always waited until fire then try to put out. Go with idea and Chair and Vice Chair approves what happens in-between.
D) V said when comes to Gas expenditures, with that come from traveler’s pocket and then reimbursed. If driving County vehicle, why not use County gas card for vehicle. No longer have County gas cards, only used for EMS
Commissioner Holt arrived at this juncture of the meeting (4:55)
Reason in, have been times Clerk’s Office felt vehicle in parking lot should have been used instead of renting on and may have been unreliable.
4) Cities not in GSA, reimbursement for meals shall be limited $10 breakfast; $15 lunch; $25 dinner. Total cannot exceed $50 for full day travel.
5) Lot of conferences may include continental breakfast and be classified as breakfast, hors d’oeuvres not classified as dinner
6) Reimbursement for lodging expense is limited to single occupancy or occupancy shared with another County traveler.
f) wanted to clarify what per diem was.
i) V asked if $100 standard across state or standard for County.
4) County Commissioners Travel: Have already discussed but Holt was not present. Board approved travel in October. V asked when states Commissioners have established budget for travel, is specific amount. Holt said past procedure used before, if anyone did not use amount, would roll-over. Jackson asked if should be clarified in this document. Hinson said he thought every trip he’s been on, sometimes creates problems. Why change something have no problem with,, see no problem and keep as is.
Holt said reasons why have to update policies; to stop controversy and having problems, need to update plan.
Weiss said to Hinson, if making change to say routine travel approved by Board and anything not routine, be approve by Chair or Vice-Chair and then ratified on Consent Agenda, doesn’t seem like have to do anything to budget.
Hinson said as long as don’t go over budget
1.61 1. Taylor said with last statement should it be an/or because looking for two. Is requirement both need to be. For reimbursement
Hinson asked if had to come to Board to discuss or Chair to sign off on? Chair said if not accepted across street,
Hinson said if put in writing, Chair said knows what obstacles have faced before. V said should be Board
Taylor said death, accident or sickness are personal, in event occurs, Chair has
Holt said believes should come back to Board, death not item, item is funds.
Jackson asked in event of death or accident, if violated HIPPA if discussed
V said if comes before Board, attorney addressed that. Asked Weiss to restate-not sure 100% clear on consensus, can clarify language little. Will look into HIPPA issue.
Hinson said thinks should vote first and then Weiss could look into, if not enough votes,
Chair pointed out cannot vote in workshop.
Taylor said inclined to agree with Hinson, don’t see where can avoid, attorney said 2, though items personal, in order for it to become, have to be some level of discussion, of mindset, reason for doing, Clerk followed through on what Board asking, if Chair or Vice-Chair says giving authorization, policy in place.
Holt said for instance she goes to workshop in Atlanta, something happened and had to return early, County pays extra because not scheduled flight. Fly to Miami, come back early, paid for regular flight to come back, paid for emergency flight, that instance may need more than one to look into it.
Hinson said issue was did not like drama, have people that want to find small things to talk about Hinson and Taylor want Chair and Vice-Chair, Holt wanted Board, V as long as policy in place and was indifferent.
1.62 Advance Travel Pay
3. Hinson wanted to go back to Item 2. County schedules hotel, travel. Jackson said actual rental receipt or hotel receipt is given to traveler. If fail to bring back, staff has to call rental agency or hotel to obtain receipts. Hinson said all team players, need to be mindful,
V said think document preparing was to avoid interpretation
Holt stepped out at this juncture of workshop.
V said need to work on document to make sure have something that guides them and make sure right elements put in it.
Hinson said if someone turned in later, may not get reimbursed, why that case. Why put date on it.
Hinson told (to Deputy Clerk) should not be biased and if had to show emotions, get up and move to audience. Chair Holt told Hinson he could not address staff. Said was not talking to staff.
Taylor agreed with Hinson did not need date in
Jackson said point well taken, this piece of policy written, if Board approved travel then Chair because travel been approved by entire Board. Who signs off if extenuating circumstances
Taylor asked if will come back-yes. Want to have whatever sent across street be facilitated. Clerk needs to be here to help dissect some of this.
Holt said with situation with Clerk, why doing this. He refuses to workshop. Why doing this. Went straight to what State doing. If Clerk refuses to do, why have attorney. Have tried in past to be friend with Clerk.
Taylor said she said
Holt said she followed up on Sheriff with gun process and Sheriff was right.
Taylor said she went to him to find out problem. What has to happen must
Holt said won’t answer emails, phone calls. Gonna move and do what need to do.
V said he had to leave also-another meeting and thinks need to have continuance of workshop.
Holt wanted to agenda item and vote-where needs to be.
On Tourist Development
V said for flexibility reasons, 7 days too soon. 25 days
Jackson asked if any questions on internet policy-agenda for later date.
Discussion of the Gadsden County Internet Policy
CITIZENS REQUESTING TO BE HEARD ON NON-AGENDA ITEMS
MOTION TO ADJOURN
Adjourned at 6:14 p.m.