Board of County Commissioners

Gadsden County, Florida

Regular Public Meeting

January 5, 2021

6:00 p.m.



Present:               Brenda Holt, Chair, District 4

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

                                Eric Hinson, District 1

                                Kimblin NeSmith, District 3

                                Ronterious “Ron” Green, District 5

                                Edward J. Dixon, County Administrator

                                Nicholas Thomas, Clerk of Court

                                Clayton Knowles, County Attorney

                                Marcella Blocker, Deputy Clerk



  Chair welcomed everyone at 6:02 p.m., asked for moment of silence and then led in Pledge of Allegiance.



  Dixon asked to table Items 9 and 1


V/Green 5-0





Riverkeeper-Georgia Ackerman

  Ms. Ackerman attended remotely and gave a report.

 There is a lawsuit and asked if the County wished to join. 


  V asked if she would be able to provide other counties’ supporting statement to the Administrator and attorney and provide more detail with bullet points?  Next meeting would not be before date given.



Green/NeSmith 5-0





Due to COVID-19 and the efforts of Gadsden County Board of County Commissioners to continue the practice of social distancing, Commissioners want to continue to hear from citizens under the Citizens Requesting to be Heard section of the agenda.


If citizens have any questions, comments or concerns, please email and anticipate receiving a response within 48 hours.

  Holt read aloud the COVID statement



   Bishop Green 296 Bradwell Road, Quincy appeared before the Board. 

Broadband contract-was here when had what was to be short meeting regarding broadband.


Understand vendor been approved and now trying to work out details.  Hope details can be worked out.


  Make sure have priority when comes to legislature.   Hoped Stevens School is priority this session. 


  CBOR-hoped to be at Planning meeting Thursday.  Asked what meaningful purpose has CBOR accomplished in past-nothing.


  Been at lot of meetings and have witnessed decorum.    Should not react personally when disagree.  Language can be impactful.


  Have been elected not to represent themselves but the citizens of the County.  Working with group and if they find Commissioners not working for citizens, will work to put them out.





Public Hearing-Adoption of Ordinance No. 2018-003, An Ordinance of the Board of County Commissioners of Gadsden County, Florida adopting Chapter 66, Article III of the Gadsden County Code of Ordinances, the Gadsden County Emergency Repair Program; providing for repeal, severability, inclusion in the Gadsden County Code of Ordinances, modifications that may arise from considering at a Public Hearing, and correction of Scrivener’s errors; and providing for an effective date.

Item Pulled



Public Hearing – Legislative- Adoption of Ordinance 2020-006, Jett Large Scale Comprehensive Plan Future Land Use Map Amendment (LSPA 2020-01)

  Dixon introduced item


  Jill Jeglie appeared before the Board to explain item. This is to change from Ag 2 to Ag 1 on a 62.13-acre parcel.


Planning Commission voted 7-1 to approve and then voted 5-0 to transmit amendment to DEO.


Chair announced was a public hearing and asked if any comments and there was no-one.


V/NeSmith 5-0





Public Officials Bond Review


Green/Holt 5-0



Approval of Use of the Language Line Solutions service through the State of Florida Contract Number 90121702-20-ACS


NeSmith/V 5-0



Public Works Roof Replacement Change-Order Number One

  Dixon introduced item

V/Green second for discussion


Green said job already done and need to pay bill.  Doesn’t want situation like this to occur in future. 


Holt said agreed with him and do not approve process taken and was her concern


Called for vote 3-2 Holt/Hinson opposed


Dixon said heard concerns and will make adjustments accordingly.


Holt said knew did not occur on his watch.



Ralph Strong Road Sidewalk Project FDOT LAP Agreement


NeSmith/Hinson 5-0



Florida Department of Health, Bureau of EMS Matching Grant




  V said whenever have chance for matching grant do not see why should be second thought





St. Hebron Walk and Bike for Life Trail Change Order Number One

  Dixon introduced above item.


V/Green 5-0



Bid Award for the Massey Building Roof and Structural Repair

Item Pulled



Terms and Conditions Agreement between Butterfly Network, Inc. and Gadsden County Emergency Services



V/NeSmith 5-0


FCI Contract

  Dixon introduced above item.  Dixon stated at previous meeting he and attorney was directed to get with FCI to review contract and remove any questions about what was happening.  They met…


Hinson motion to approve/Holt second


  Dixon continued explanation. Met with FCI, were able to agree on delivery date, which was agreed to in previous meeting of 1/15; start date 2/1; finish date 2/1/2022; buy-back program that holds board harmless for devices should not be used, and will only pay for services that are used in association with number of devices.  Board able to get back money if 25,000 are used and only pay for services rendered.  Was presented to attorney and he had comments.


  Knowles said his only concern was easier to procure on as needed basis


Dixon said presented to them proposal that was presented to the Board in August, analysis that Commissioners keep referring to and there is a contract presented by FCI.


  V said he had not seen contract, if was in packet (copy not provided to Clerk’s Office) when he came to office to pick up book, asked for contract and asked questions on all items, at that point contract not delivered yet.  Now have not had time to review it.


  Green said a citizen made good point, elected by citizens and several of his reached out to him.  There are things he’s been asking from beginning.  Agree with Bishop Green is a needed item but can’t come to grips with language of purchasing up to 25,000.  Why buy 25,000 when don’t need the quantity.  Know have surety bond but numbers could come back to haunt them in reference to trying to get money back.  Don’t see why spend what don’t need.


  Holt said 25,000 number came up when they were estimating the need per household and was estimated would need 2 per household.  Hotspots cover certain amount of space.  Still need internet service and don’t have it.  Other thing, if looking at that, need to look at utilities, that’s how count number of households.  If looking at hotspots, take that number and use that number for number of people that need them, approximately 2 per household.  If going to pay back, would you do half job and then do other half?  No, that’s why no-one bid on this, because not money-maker for them. 


  Green said need buy-back information, should be more detailed in reference, was it 100%, 80%, what percentage amount they could expect from devices not used.


  Bebe appeared remotely and said agreed whatever devices not used, County would get back 100%.  Shelf-life between 2-3 years and normally buy-back would be 50% but they will give back 100%-in contract.


Holt said to give location in contract of buy-back language.  Bebe said was under Surety Bond in contract and would be within 60 days at end of distribution would be devices and services.


  Verizon and other companies provide hotspots for broadband, Verizon has unlimited cost with 3 GB of $20/unit and this is around $38/unit.  He said price was too high.  V asked what was rate per unit compared to Verizon. 


Bebe said was their estimation they were providing at lowest cost possible.


  Hinson said had to be fair to constituents when make comments.  Difference in 3G and 5G-need to be clear in comparison.  Really have no service at all with 3G and 5G faster.  Talking about apples and bananas.


  NeSmith said was still looking over contract.  Holt said attorney and Administrator did not do what they were instructed to do-asked for it before now.  Where was work that Board asked to be done. 


  Hinson said don’t get this-trying to be fair about process.  Attorney said did not think that important, all about being fair. 


  Holt said understood Commissioners saying did not have opportunity to read this; was upset for totally different reason from Hinson-if employee of Board, do not defy Board, Board gave directions, do what Board directs them to do.  Did not get contract back but paying for legal services. 


Knowles stated he received contract Saturday night from FCI; forwarded to Mr. Dixon on Monday.


Holt asked Dixon his “side of story”.  Dixon said had not received contract.


Knowles said sent at 10:58 am yesterday. 


Holt said if he had it, meant they would have had a chance to go over it and review.


Knowles said FCI should have gotten it to them sooner.


Holt asked why he did not do contract.


Knowles said he did contract.


Holt said they knew had to get there in hurry; because been going at it for months; started in June.


Knowles stated he submitted it…Holt said this weekend.  He stated that was when he received it from FCI; he could not submit a document until received.


Holt asked Dixon his timeline.  He asked FCI when they submitted contract to them.


Bebe said was sent on Thursday, both signed copy and Word copy.  Was told Mr. Knowles did not receive PDF and sent Word copy on Friday.


Dixon said FCI submitted PDF copy signed, was submitted to attorney.  Attorney requested it be sent in Word after submitted to him from Dixon for comment and any revisions.  FCI the next day submitted an editable copy (on Friday); Saturday and Sunday requested of attorney if he had comments, revise document and give them document.  He responded that wife had contractions (baby due in 2 weeks).  Sunday Morning Dixon reached out to him and asked for him to submit whatever comments so could have ready for Board.  His response was he said what he said would be on record.  Dixon stated he not lawyer and could n to draft contract for Board.  He submitted contract that FCI submitted because he did not have one from attorney.



  V said hoped in conversation they were having that no-one listening or there thought that internet and broadband was not paramount or important.  Suggested since motion and second, need to carry vote by roll-call vote.


  Holt said she sat in audience in 99 and never seen anything like this before.  When give direction, they do what asked.  Said Deputy Clerk’s husband was attorney at one time and got stuff done.  Said when late like this it was sabotage as far as she was concerned.  She said was upset about timeframe and not taken care of.


Knowles asked how Board preferred he handle situation when he received contracts on New Years’ Day at 9:30 p.m.  Holt said “do them, go ahead and do them”.    Holt said in future, it had to be done.


  Green said heard question going to be called, but asked how they could make vote on something just receiving. 


  Green said if they still have questions…Holt said if question called, have to stop.  Did they want to take break and look through it?  Needed to finish this tonight. 


Green felt this was moving but so many uncertainties, for instance, no clarity in the buy-back program, that was his biggest concern.  If people aren’t using devices, don’t want to wait 2-3 years to get money back.


Holt said that would have been gone through by legal team.  Holt said to Bebe the commissioners wanted clarity before question called.  Bebe said last board meeting, Board requested specific changes in contract and all changed was those specific changes.  1) Made clear will get refund and backed by surety bond; 2) changed payment terms as to when funds drawn down when have funds given 45 days for initial payment; 3) Deadline for having devices and when program start date.


Holt said also did have contract before because had in last meeting.


Knowles stated same one they’ve had and Holt said yes; that was only thing changed.  Dixon said only thing changed was what Board brought forth.


Holt said was already in there, they already had contract.


NeSmith said just received contract and have not had chance to read it.  Holt stated “but you had it, two weeks ago, three weeks ago, whatever.  Had it twice, so you had it.”


  Green said they have had contract but still did not know changes that was made-was good to see changes.  Still have same concerns that had, but little more at ease knowing has been stated and has been documented that whatever devices not utilized would be fully refunded for.  With that understanding, will vote accordingly.


Holt asked V if he wanted to go ahead and call it.  V responded was no reason to call, she could carry the vote.

Holt called question


4-1 passed V opposed











  1/19 is Volunteer fire department workshop at 4:30 to go over funding;


1/21 is local delegation meeting;


1/26 will be Comprehensive Plan workshop


Started vaccinations last week and gave close to 500 doses, was able to quickly give shots to ones in line.  Governor put out Executive Order that they would only service health care workers, elderly (65 and older); first responders (not to include law enforcement) and long-term care.  Health Department has received additional doses.  Have partnered with Chief Maddox and Dr. Cooksey for Friday to help with vaccination effort for Friday.  He added that Chief Maddox was working on program that would routinely test custodial and facility employees; they have to work closely together and custodial employees were on front-lines continually.  Asked Dr. Cooksey to see if could get them classified as “essential employees”. 


Dixon said would have to staff up if going to do vaccinations right.  Dr. Cooksey did not have the staff to deliver kind of services that would be needed for the citizens.


  V thanked the Governor, staff, national guard, Health Department workers, Dr. Cooksey and staff, and Sheriff’s Office for logistics provided during services of first round of vaccinations.  Encouraged everyone to take the shot when they have the opportunity.  






  Said Dixon covered what he was going to cover, which was the Executive Order.


Board had not addressed Resolution recently; have new Commissioners and asked Board direction on how wanted to move forward.


Holt said basically on that, require masks and not really much more that was required.


Knowles said no curfew, required masks and gathering restriction of 50.


  V suggested as long as no drastic changes, go ahead with Chair signing new Resolution every Friday. 


  Dixon pointed out had employee die last week from COVID and a deputy died this week from COVID.


  V stepped out at 7:31 p.m.


Holt said did not understand why LEO was not classified as first responders.





Report and Discussion of Public Issues



Commissioner Eric Hinson, District 1

  Hinson said spoke with Dixon earlier-came up with to give $250 to all Public Works and EMS employees and asked for it to be put on Agenda.  Holt said for him to pray on it and they had to check on what was in budget.


V returned 7:34 p.m.


Holt said did give them raise.



Commissioner Kimblin NeSmith, District 3

  NeSmith asked if was possible to draft Resolution for the two that passed away-normally done.


  Thanked Knowles for always being assessable when he has issues.  Thanked Dixon as well.



Commissioner Brenda Holt, District 4

  Holt said was going to do something and say something – been known to be very direct and straightforward – in need of legal services and will be putting in motion to replace him and they will see it coming because all pretty words don’t work if don’t have anything else going on.  Have to have better than what have right now.


Timelines matter, if ever been in business, have 30 days to make money.


She started to pass gavel to V and he said for her to hold it.  She stated she did not have to recognize him and she did not have to; he did not have to accept the gavel; Commissioner Hinson would become the next person that got the gavel because he was the next senior person. 


V said holding the gavel did not have to do with seniority and Holt interjected and said if she did not recognize you then they were not arguing.


  Holt made motion to hire Williams Law firm.  V started to speak and she interrupted and stated if get second, then she gets second (she put gavel down) She stated again she moved to hire Williams Law Firm from Tallahassee as County Attorney/Hinson second with question


Hinson asked why V did not want to do due diligence.  She said to V he could answer that.


V stated all he was going to do was to bring to attention of Chair she could not make a motion while holding gavel, was all he was going to bring to her attention.  That was all he was going to do but she kept saying she was not going to recognize him because she was about to make motion when it is contrary to Robert’s Rules of Procedure for Chair.  Can be interpreted however want.


Holt said reason said that was because can pass gavel but he has to accept it.  But not point, point is need help.  When start seeing companies knocking on door, they’re already ready.  Can’t have this month after month.  Vote it up or down and go.


  Green asked if she was making a motion for law firm that was used in past-she said yes.  He said reason they are not here now but did not know, did not know firm.  This roller coaster ride of all these chosen has to come to cease.  Because don’t agree with certain things or how certain things done, not going to always agree.  Why not express how feel about situation, give opportunity and if opportunities not met, then go another route.  There always was times he watched they had been so quick to make changes based on how felt.  Said she could make her call, just wanted to make his point. 


Holt said appreciated that, don’t do things without thinking about them.  When something happens, she documents, either on phone or in truck or at house.  Don’t have reason to sit and criticize, if going to make motion, make motion and keep going.  If anything to talk about, talk about that in the back room.  Not going to say anything negative about you, or Commissioner V or anyone like that.  But she had to look at performance and make notes on everything. 


Green said he could not make a vote for firm…Holt said that why she said vote up or down.


  V said he would echo Green-sees too much knee-jerk reaction.  Need to come up with performance document so if not satisfied with performance of two positions Board hires, the Administrator or attorney, then in evaluation process can have vote of confidence that would lead to proper way of transitioning from one service provider to the other.  Too much knee-jerk reaction, don’t know what meetings were had before this meeting, or meeting after meeting or between meeting that has come to this point.  Think need to take breather on this and if dissatisfaction, should be some expression of such and a way of finding remedy of correcting that before making choices of severing services of any entity.  This is knee-jerk reaction to something that had just went on and went on with regard to a contract that he did not know how that was the call.  Have done other contracts since this firm has come in but this contract touching sensitive nerves that getting up to this point and very disturbing.



  Holt said his knee may be jerking but hers was not, she looked at data and facts.


  NeSmith called the question.


  Holt said was not because of one contract. 


Chair called for vote. 


2-3 vote died V, Green, NeSmith opposed


Holt asked for Proclamation for National Association of Women Construction


V/NeSmith 5-0


  Holt said if things don’t improve, will hear motion every meeting.  Need professional legal help.    



Commissioner Ronterious Green, District 5

  Green asked if had idea when next draw-down would be from CARES Act funding because he also believed should make something available for Public Works and EMS.  Hoped especially if receive more CARES Act money that they be included.  If do get more money should plan another workshop to plan how to spend it.


  Asked how to add name to board of Veterans’ Memorial across street.


  Hinson said also had a list for Resolutions of people that had passed away.    



Commissioner Anthony “Dr. V” Viegbesie, District 2

  V said he was kind of surprised when Bishop Green made comments, which were part of comment he was going to make today.


“2020 was year of trials.  In leadership roles for 2021, will they

Work for a cause, not for applause. 


Receipt and File





Adjourned at 7:57 p.m.





Place mini panel

Select format:   WMA/WMV   AAC/H264
  For mobile devices: Auto restore player panel
  Special mode for Android