Board of County Commissioners

Gadsden County, Florida

Regular Public Meeting

May 4, 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

                                Clayton Knowles, County Attorney

                                Marcella Blocker, Deputy Clerk



  Chair called meeting to order at 6:00 p.m., asked for moment of silence and led in Pledge



  Chair asked for Proclamation declaring May 8th, 2021 as John Lewis Voter Rights Advancement Day of Action

Dixon asked that Item 9 be pulled and added Item 9a-Massey Building Repairs Bid Award and 9b-Recreation Trails Program Grant Request

Hinson asked to add 9c-Discussion of the FY21 Summer Youth Program


V/Green 5-0





  Dixon introduced “new parts of County Family”:

Sheree Walker, the new Grants Administrator for County and Jerry Lee, Interim Public Works Director.



  V/Green 5-0


Ratification Memo



Approval of Minutes

·         April 7, 2021 Special Meeting





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.


  Commissioner Green read aloud the Statement.



Betty Kabel


  Karen Watson








Discussion and Action on Dental Equipment Owned by Gadsden County

  Dixon introduced above item.

 Hinson motion to approve/V second 5-0



Approval to Confirm Appointment of UF IFAS Gadsden County Extension Director

  Dixon introduced item and said was for confirmation of employment of Robert H. Jones as new County Extension Director.


V motion to approve option 1/Hinson 5-0



Approval of the Massey Building Sub-lease

  Dixon introduced item


  V said his only concern would not crowd out the Senior Services occupancy of that building at any time.


Dixon said has made that clear from beginning and will be clear in any documentation.


Nesmith said had opportunity to view building and made sure space was allocated


Green asked if that was in writing? 


  Knowles said think need to make small tweak before Chair signs and can have ready tomorrow.


Hinson said thought they were fixing it themselves and now we’re talking about using CARES money.  Think should hold off before voting on this matter because talking about almost $300,000.


  Dixon said reason attempting to repair is because County-owned building.  Of opinion should not be leasing buildings that was not in proper order.  Should charge adequate rent but was County building and should take care of it.   


Holt left meeting at 6:20 p.m.


  Hinson said he believed in this item, but now needs to know more about this. 


  Green said was looking though contract and did not see amount would be charged-not there yet.


  Knowles said believed Board approved-but then not sure-Clerk will check record-


  Dixon said when he toured building was in disrepair and needed numerous repairs. 


  Green said since that statement, was this something have started being more proactive.


  NeSmith said toured building several times and was in such disrepair and seniors were still using the building. 


  V said he also toured building, is in bad shape.  Don’t know where Hinson coming from, but if we were able to fix, should fix it.  Only concern is Senior Citizens have use of building in perpetuity.  If can fix, will give little independence


  Hinson said about to pay $300,000 out of CARES money when have seniors living in houses with roof problems.  Want them to come before the Board.


  Green said this vote was for repairs, this is County building and should repair it.  Need to have conversation


  NeSmith motion to accept option 1-V asked to let Administrator talk


  Dixon said this was sublease that has to be approved first.  County has to get approval from State to first lease; no CARES money involved in repair of building.


  Hinson said received 2 weeks ago that broke down $1.3 Million and now almost using $300,000 for repairs. 


  Dixon said first to lease, says is until 2070.  Staff recommendation, once approve sublease, deal with but not for 50 years.


  NeSmith made motion approve option 1 as presented by County Administrator with caveat to add language to protect Seniors and authorize Administrator to negotiate a term of lease that benefits County up to…asked Attorney for guidance.


  Knowles said can have initial term for 5 or 10 years and if want to continue can move forward.  Suggested to do 5-10 years with renewal.


  V said since was medical services that citizens would depend on


  NeSmith said term in motion to 10 years with caveat to protect seniors.  Hinson has question.  Green second


  Hinson had question- about to make major investment, think for transparency, should table item.


  Chair called for vote 3-1 Hinson opposed.



Approval of the Gadsden County Jail Fire Protection

  Dixon introduced above item.


Green option 1/NeSmith 4-0



Approval of the Judiciary System (JIS) Inter-Agency Agreement provided through the Office of the State Courts Administrator (OSCA)

  Dixon introduced above item.


Hinson option 1/Green 4-0



Approval of the Criminal Justice User Agreement with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement

  Dixon introduced above item

Hinson/V 4-0



Approval of MOU with the Apalachee Regional Resilience Collaborative



Massey Building Repairs Bid Award

  Dixon introduced above item.


  Hinson motion to approve/Green second 4-0



Recreation Trails Program Grant Request

   Dixon introduced above item.




V explained reason why doing this is to approve letter for match.





Discussion of the FY21 Summer Youth Program

  Hinson explained his item.  Requesting $150,000 for employment of 125 youth for 2021 Summer.  For each youth, the Board will pay up to 20 hours per week for up to six weeks at rate of $8.56 hr.  This amount adds up to approximately $1027.00/youth.  Additionally, the request includes $18,000 for the hiring of monitors to assist with the management of youth throughout the County and to ensure compliance with program.


  V said this was for discussion


  Green asked how this would work with program already presented and would budget allow to have 2 separate programs.


Dixon said whatever Board directs him to


  NeSmith asked if presenting in concert with other program


  Dixon said CareerSource was one of initial partners in this program.  Program has limitations and do not fit majority of kids.  Will be funding 100 kids.  Hope to come back with year-round program. 


  NeSmith thanked Hinson for bringing to Board.  Don’t see that 2 programs are exclusive.  Asked Hinson if CareerSource program and was he asking Commission to take over-no.  NeSmith wanted to clarify question-with CareerSource program, would this program be third program for youth


  Hinson thought would have great representation with all districts.  In past, Havana/Midway has not been represented properly, along with Chattahoochee.


  V said felt best approach, this conversation was not exclusive.  Have read presentation Administrator provided, see some overlap and could be addressed.  Asked for Commissioner Hinson agree to meet with representative of Youth Initiative.


  Hinson said with other timeframe, gives only 1 week, his would give 4 weeks.  Got to figure out how to work together and come to a consensus. 











   Will be Proclamation coming for National EMS Week and Public Works Week.    Will send notice out tomorrow regarding youth initiative.  Also going into private schools so can participate.






  2 items-Executive Orders-County Resolution now dead-won’t renew this week.


Also Senate Bill 2006  regarding County Municipal measures “designed to curb restrictions and closures of businesses during an extended emergency, to add significant accountability and difficulty for the continuation of any local limitation on the rights or liberties of individuals or businesses, and to declare in no uncertain terms that the policy of the State of Florida will favor a presumption of commercial operation and individual liberty with no toleration for unending and unjustified impediments to that liberty…”


  V said personally have question with regard to calls from citizens regarding a lawsuit.  Asked him to explain.  Derick Elias filed lawsuit suing County.


  NeSmith asked if something that should be discussed in this forum. 


Knowles said would not get into merits of case but could address claim.  Said 4 counts; Count 1-Due Process Violation Property Interest; Count 2-Liberty interest; Count 3-Substantive; Count 4 1st amendment retaliation claim; and Count 5-Conspiracy to Violate Civil Rights.


  V said received number of calls and told them could not go into detail.  Knowles said passed it on to Ms. Butler and will give to adjuster. 


  Green asked if possible to get copy of lawsuit-yes can do it electronically or hard copy.





Report and Discussion of Public Issues



Commissioner Eric Hinson, District 1

No comment



Commissioner Kimblin NeSmith, District 3

   NeSmith thanked Hinson for sharing information on youth. 


Would like for them to take seriously an opportunity to take trip to “golden triangle” for learning experience. 


Gadsden Youth Initiative-word has gotten out and been positive.


Love where you live initiative word gotten out and was very excited about June and kick-off of campaign.



Commissioner Brenda Holt, District 4



Commissioner Ronterious Green, District 5

  Green asked for name of new Public Works Director-Jerry Lee-welcomed him. 


Announced he spoke with organization today that will adopt Joe Adams Road and Spooner Road.


Wants to make known he started today going door to door for initiative for speed bumps on Shiloh and Hogan Lane.



Commissioner Anthony “Dr. V” Viegbesie, District 2

  V said he has done that in 1-2 communities as well.  Petition needs to be from property owners.


  V said had number of things-1-asked where were with Greensboro Volunteer Fire Service.  Dixon said spoke with Greensboro and they asked that County not get involved. 


Asked about mowing of Attapulgus Highway and Scottown Road


Dixon said have internal problem-system had internally-don’t have enough mowers and need to look at redesigning mowing program.  Right now, do not have the ability to keep County mowed. 


  NeSmith asked if he thought would be feasible to have location on both ends of County-working on that.


  Green asked if something could contract out as well-looking at every option.


  V said Woodward Road and Dodger Ball Park Road have dangerous dip-thought about flashing sign to warn drivers. 


  Last comment is something Board decided on and Board was instructed to follow up on.  Think should help staff with verification.  In Letters that were provided, 549 Letters, out of that number 189 have been personally spoken with and found 75 received device; 114 said did not receive device, 16 had non-working numbers, and 2 individuals were found to have same identification on 2 different people.  Lots of confusion and had a particular applicant who applied on February 17th and device showed usage started before he made application on February 15th.  Also discovered 8 individuals that did not receive device;  He said he told them he was preparing spreadsheet and as more were found, more will bring to them.  Will be glad to provide names for the record.


  Green asked if he could give copy he was reading from-will give to Clerk for the record and Clerk can give to them. 


  NeSmith asked about ribbon cutting ceremony     


  Hinson asked about Roberts Rules of Order workshop. 


  NeSmith said was excellent idea and added if could have workshop where getting guideline, policy and procedures for workshops and regular meeting.


Receipt and File









  Adjourned at 7:55 PM





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