Board of County Commissioners

Gadsden County, Florida

Regular Public Meeting Notes

May 18, 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 called meeting to Order at 6:00 p.m., asked for moment of silence and led in Pledge of Allegiance.



  Dixon added items 16a, b, c, d

 Hinson added item 16e Summer Youth


Green/V 5-0





Proclamation Honoring Public Works Week

   Dixon introduced item and Brenda called Public Works employees to the front where she read aloud the Proclamation and presented it to the employees.



Proclamation Honoring EMS Week

   Dixon introduced above item and called the EMS workers to the front

V read aloud the Proclamation and it was then presented to the Director.


  Hinson asked to go over the amendments once again.



  V/Green 5-0



Ratification Memo



Approval of Minutes

·         March 16, 2021-Regular Meeting

·         March 29, 2021



Approval of Signatures for Special Assessment Liens and Rehabilitation Contract-SHIP HHHR Program





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 COVID-19 statement.



Marion Lasley


Bishop Willie Green


Derrick Elias


Tonya Gaines


Sylvester Green


Norman Shaw, Jr.




Public Hearing-Quasi-Judicial-FL Solar D1, LLC Conceptual and Preliminary Site Plan (SP 2021-02)

   Dixon introduced above item


  Deputy Clerk swore in Jill Jeglie and she gave a brief synopsis of the item.

Planning Commission voted 10-0 to recommend approval. 


  Holt announced was a public hearing and everyone would be given an opportunity to talk.


She then asked if anyone wished to speak for or against and there was no-one.


  NeSmith asked what district property was located-District 2.


  V said he had no comments, felt had been properly vetted.  Will be economic development and think good thing


V motion to approve/Hinson second 5-0  



Public Hearing-Legislative-Bainbridge Highway Small Scale Comprehensive Plan Future Land Use Map Amendment (SSPA 2020-01)

  Dixon introduced above item. 


  Jill gave brief description of item.  Comprehensive Plan amendment is considered ‘legislative action’ as described by Subsection 1301 of the Gadsden County Land Development Code and must meet the statutory requirements set forth in Chapter 163, Florida Statutes.  Unlike a quasi-judicial action, a local government had broad decision-making latitude in legislative matters.  Public notice was mailed at least 30 days prior to public hearing and legal advertisement was placed in local newspapers and sign posted on property.  She then gave board options


  Holt announced was a public hearing.


  David Theriaque, Esquire, appeared before the Board.  Team introduced themselves.


  Theriaque said distributed 3-ring binder and gave description of exhibits.


  Allara Mills Gutcher, The Planning Collaborative, appeared before the Board.  Did go to State to ask for help in determining if any historical resources.  (Page 45 of 80) Consistency with the Gadsden County Comprehensive Plan.  No wetlands on acreage and will not impact.  On major collector road.  Will not impact surrounding area adversely.  This request will meet standards in Regulation Code.  Asked the Board adopt option 1.


  Derrick Elias appeared before the Board in opposition to this item. 

Proposed site is directly across from his mother’s house.  Was CBOR meeting held 1.3.2020 and had 12 people there and only 2 were in favor of this development.  Dollar General representatives were very rude during meeting.  Planning Commission met with 8 members and no-one spoke in favor of this project.  Motion was presented to deny and was unanimous.  1.4.5 quote.  If approve this tonight, opens door to destroy country living.  Someone misguided when say no noise, smoke, glare, or fumes will be created.  No buffer between site development and Mother’s property.  Level of Service report was done in 2018 and should be updated.  Dollar General sells wine and beer and will be in front of St. Johns AME Church.  Driveway will line up directly across from St. Johns AME Church.  Not opposing store, just location of store.  Have about 85 petitions in opposition of this project who live in St. Johns community.  Asked if any board members have been involved in any ex parte conversations


  Tonya Gaines appeared before Board.  Her Mom is Ruby Mitchell.  Asked Board go along with Planning Board’s recommendation and deny this site.  Not opposed to economic development, just not there.


  Pamela Washington, listened to arguments and she was not opposed, think would be good for community but opposed to location of store.  Have severe respiratory issues.


  David Theriaque said Derrick had no problem with store when they offered to purchase his mother’s property.


Josh Hufstetler appeared before the Board.  Hate it has come to this, had agreement to purchase property for $250,000.  Do that to keep competitors to coming to area.  Unfortunately, did not come to terms.  Goal is to make as many people happy as can.


  David appeared again.  Believe bring few things to community, jobs, economic development, etc.  Hate could not come to terms with Derrick. 


  Derrick reappeared before Board to present rebut.  Made offer on property and contract was signed.  After signature, wanted to amend contract. 


  Holt said would look at others that signed up to speak.


  Norman Shaw, Jr. appeared before Board and said do need store, maybe not in that location.


   Sylvester Green appeared before the Board.  Am resident of community of Robertsville and great need for store.  Already 2 stores in area taking advantage of people.  Asked Board to consider all the residents in area.


  Holt read aloud email that was sent in.


  Holt mentioned Marion Lasley’s email and asked if was properly advertised.  Jill said both meetings were properly noticed, put in newspapers and sign placed on property.


  Holt said people were allowed in meeting chambers now.


  Willie Green appeared before Board.  Have to come down to basic facts.  Challenged Board to do what were elected to do, represent citizens best interests.  Said to Commissioners, “let your words and actions match”.  Even if in front of someone’s property, does it meet standards? 


  Green said proven that will not 100% agree.  Asked when meeting was held in past?  Planning Commission met June 4, 2020.


  David responded looking at 8-14 full and part-time jobs.


  V said was going to ask that and hearing presentation tonight, not where community needs DG, argument is location.  Area deserves convenience.  He asked if both have come to impasse in working something out?  Hope don’t some to “my way or no way”.  If can, suggested they do that.  If not,


  Hufstetler said were at impasse.  To meet contract would need additional $100,000.  Beyond his control now. 


  Derrick appeared before board.  Stressed do not oppose store, oppose location.  After signed contract, re-appeared with restrictive covenants.  Said would give right of first refusal, was win-win situation.  Could work this out, just do not want it directly in front of her house. 


  Hufstetler re-appeared.  He said was a 3rd contract that was very important.  Have no lease with DG.


  NeSmith had questions for Theriaque.  Asked if possibility could have some type buffer in front of store that would not impede. 


  Jill said was requirement for buffer in area along front. 


  NeSmith asked Theriaque if possibility a store could be placed there that could be more compatible with character of community. 


  Josh Hufstetler reappeared before Board.  If want to incorporate additional materials, will work with staff to make them happy.  Every DG store from this point forward will have produce.  Will push DG to do that.


  Green wanted to make sure express concerns and said know money already invested, knew was too late to talk about moving.  Don’t want to be insensitive to Elias family, but was it an option for them to look at relocating.


  Hufstetler reappeared. 


  Hinson said served on Planning Board for many years.  What shocked him was had 8 people on Planning vote against this item.  At first thought no way could oppose it but comments made him think. 


  Holt said was in her District, people looking for economic development and jobs.  Even have signatures from people in church that was for development.  On issue of septic tank, must have enough lines on it, can’t have dry line on septic tank. 


  Hinson wanted to make correction-was not against it.  Four Star Freightliner had to get sewer system. 


  Diane Quigley said if Board concerned about significant impact, can add conditions. 


  Holt made motion to move approval of option 1/NeSmith said with utmost respect to Derrick, made second.  4-1  Hinson opposed. 


Holt said she met with gentleman there with DG.




  V motion for 10 minute recess/Green 5-0 



  Called meeting to order at 8:24 p.m.


  Holt said she forgot a Citizen request to be heard-no last name but asked if would have increase in pay for employees.



COVID-19 Resolution Update

  Dixon introduced item and said Mr. Knowles would discuss it.


  Knowles said in talking with Administrator and Board, was request to update Resolution.  Governor has forbidden using COVID-19.  Nothing within Executive Order to prevent in doing this.  Asked Board to assist him in how they would like to handle the ongoing epidemic.  Can either do resolution that request wearing mask or Ordinance that requires it.


  Holt said she would like to see something that read ‘strongly encourage’ but was not sure how would do it. 


  Hinson asked if could have workshop to think about this.  Had former teacher pass away from this.  Also thinks need to have someone come talk to them every meeting


  Green concurred with Hinson. 


  Dixon said met with Health Department director on weekly basis.  Almost every 55+ have been vaccinated.  Trying to encourage younger citizens to get vaccinated. 


  Hinson said in Leon County, the Superintendent was bold enough to have parents bring kids to school so they could be vaccinated.  Maybe could bring Health Department to school system and could help everything out. 


  Dixon said young people went from being healthy to dead in couple of weeks.


  Holt said also thinking 99 deaths since March 1st was a lot for small county. 


  Hinson said was interesting catch.  Thought could have partnership with school board, do something huge at school, County fund it, invest.


  Dixon said one idea was car show.  If you get vaccinated, have draw to get them motivated. 


  Hinson suggested if parents would, do raffle of $10,000 prize.  But parent and child have to show up.


  Holt said to get back to draft.  Do want to look at this or also do have workshop before regular meeting.  June 1st.



Approval and Signature(s) for Satisfaction of Special Assessment Lien


Hinson/V 5-0



2021 Summer Youth Initiative Program

  Dixon introduced above item.  To put $50,000 into program


  V asked if have description of item on Agenda.  Dixon said Agenda item was not present.  V said thought was approved for $50,000.


  Hinson said was for it, anything for the kids, but would like to have itemized description.  Wanted to make sure citizens had chance to look at this too before they voted on it and did not have chance to do any research.  He said along with this, who were the other partners. 


  Dixon said have not had Havana meeting yet, will be 25th.  City of Quincy has sent their check, Chattahoochee sending their check. 


  Hinson said was looking at Gadsden County Times and they said 2 partners were Quincy and Havana.


  Dixon said they had met with every city except Havana. 


  Hinson said was having breakdown. Got 2 different looks.  One was talking about give to CareerSource and they find kids, then heard County would administer kids.


  Dixon said all stakeholders met this morning.  CareerSource is partner, while they have lots of funds, severely limited. 


  V said his understanding was the partners were going to be one employing and paying the youth that would participate in program. 


  Dixon said TCC paying for site, workplace certification, will get training in different fields. 


  V said understood intention of it.  What would County be spending on specifically. 


  Georgette Daniels appeared before Board.  She said TCC would provide staff that would do training.  To encourage incentive, County would pay stipend.  Also, will provide transportation, possibly food.  Already have $97,000 already budgeted.


  V asked if any idea of targeted number


  Holt asked timeline-Dixon said will bring back with information.  Right now, working in background.


  Holt said he could get information to them and will be ready for next agenda.


  Hinson said Board voted for $97,000 to go to kids 14-18.  Now going to take that money and give to another population of people. 


  V asked if the $97,000 was different from what they sat aside from Boys and Girls Club-yes.


  Holt said was told some places could not hire under 18 years of age.  Not overlooking one group, helping families and it not just be summer job. 


  Dixon said money captured in CARES


  Green said was hoping, because knew Hinson would bring back up, and hoped they would give it some attention and merge the two.  Was 14 when given opportunity to work and was hoping could find way to merge. 


Hinson stepped out at 9:17


  Dixon said was attempting to meet market needs.  Want kids at every stage to be trained so when roll out of school, roll into job. 


  Green said at this point,


  Dixon said staff was not happy because had kids standing around. 


  V said since don’t have agenda item, suggested table this item


  V table this item along with CARES item – Dixon said to table items 10 & 11 - /Green second  NeSmith had queston.


NeSmith asked timeframe-Dixon said will working on issue.          


  Hinson said BOCC Carved out $100,000 for youth. 


Chair called for vote 5-0



American Rescue Plan

Item Tabled



Memorandum of Understanding with the Apalachee Regional Resilience Collaborative

  Dixon introduced above item.  Counties who adopt the ARPC MOU will help region leverage resources and share goals towards becoming more resilient.  This is non-binding MOU that was created to show regional support and act as forum for resiliency efforts in region.


NeSmith to approve/Hinson 5-0



Approval of Courthouse Sidewalk Leveling

  Dixon introduced above item.

V/Green 5-0



Approval of Motorola Solutions Refinancing

  Dixon introduced above item. Fiscal impact will be additional $74,026.13 to add civil work for seven-year term.


  Hinson motion to approve/V second with question.


V said with refinancing-does make debt service lower with lower interest rate? 


  Georgette Daniels appeared before Board.  Had 2 loans and was paying annual payment of $200,000, will add to loans already had and will save money in interest over life of loan. 


  NeSmith asked term of loan.  Georgette said had 7 years remaining on current loan and no penalty to pay off early. 


  Dixon said was fantastic system, just fact let technology sit on shelf for 3 years.


Chair called for vote.  5-0



Cochran Road Resurfacing

  Dixon said was for Cochran and Fairbanks Ferry Road (Agenda Request only shows for Cochran but bid packet for both roads).


  Hinson/ NeSmith 5-0



Peck Betts Roadway Repairs-Professional Services

  Dixon said got approval from FEMA to get road in shape.  This will be reimbursement process and task order for $68,025.00.


Holt/Green 5-0



CARES Act Funding Program

  Dixon introduced item, is CARES Act Funding Program closeout, requires signature and dictates amount of money in draw-down and officially closes program with Federal government.


V motion to approve/


Hinson said just received this today.  Reason cannot approve was because of what happened in past.  Reason was approved things in past without knowing what approved.  Want copy before approve.  Also got letter from Sheriff where want audit on everything. 


  Green asked timeframe to approve. 


  Dixon said was for money already spent, was drawdown of all money that came in from federal government. 


  Fredericka Hamilton appeared before Board.  Form is just showcase of what been provided throughout program.  Every county has to sign off on form like this. 


  Hinson said they had conversation years ago.  Anytime get information, want to know what approving before approving. 


  V said his understanding these requests and amounts were reflective of information they submitted to draw money down. 


V motion to approve/NeSmith second  Hinson question


Hinson asked if just for drawdown.


Dixon said about all money sent to Gadsden County. 


  Georgette said just close-out documents.  County is applicant, State is recipient, State sends money.


Approved 5-0



Approval of Resolution 2021-Grant Budget Amendments for FY 2021

  Dixon said was budget amendments that should have been coming all along.


  Georgette said was for grants that have been approved and was roll-over for fiscal year.



  V said for interest of those viewing, this was grants revenues and was also reported in expenditures and will zero out. 


Green/V 5-0 



Ambulance Total Loss Claim

  Dixon introduced above item. 


Hinson/V 5-0



Cares Act Residual

  Dixon said will bring back but how looking at how to get projects done on next agenda. 


  V commended Administrator for this information. 



Summer Youth

  Hinson said first, hopefully could have workshop on $1.3 Million because other commissioners might have suggestions on how to use.  Passed out his agenda item and expounded on it.  For each youth, the Board will pay up to 20 hours per week for up to six weeks at rate of $8.56/hr.  Adds up to approximately $1027.00/youth.  Additionally, the request includes $18,000 for hiring of monitors to assist with management of youth throughout County and to ensure compliance with program rules.  If could make $75,000 for 14-16 and other $75,000 for 17-19.  Need someone to manage.  Hopefully can put on agenda for next meeting.


  NeSmith said in reference to this presentation, think V recommended he speak with Administrator to see if possibility of merging.  Hinson said when spoke, quickly said to him was separate program. 


  Green asked if he’s done due diligence in who willing to take chance in hiring.  Hinson said talked with various cities and they willing to partner and excited. 


  NeSmith asked if reason have to go through County as opposed to working with cities.


  Hinson said in past County paid for them to go to certain locations. 


  Holt said couple of things, conduct in workplace-need training. 


  Holt said would have to look at it when it comes back.


  Hinson said this was for discussion already.  Holt said up to board.


  Hinson said his motion was will bring item back for vote in next 2 weeks/Green second to put on agenda for proper way.  Chair called for vote.  5-0






Holt said don’t know why on here because he’s never here.






  Dixon said seeking opinion, hoping can cancel meetings in July because of meetings


Hinson motion to approve/Holt 5-0


FAC conference June 29-July 2, get with Laurel Bradley


NACO dates changed


Public Works appreciation lunch


Attempting to schedule golden triangle trip in July. 


  Holt said several Constitutionals interested in going.


  V asked if he would send his regrets for PW luncheon.










Report and Discussion of Public Issues



Commissioner Eric Hinson, District 1

  Thanked them for putting his item on Agenda next meeting.


Read letter from Gadsden County high school


  Thanked citizens for being strong and courageous with regards to getting shot.   



Commissioner Kimblin NeSmith, District 3

  NeSmith thanked PW Department, past weekend had family fun day at Sawdust Park.



Commissioner Ronterious Green, District 5

   Asked how much money left for striping.  Dixon said Holt had money.  Dixon told him they were looking.



Commissioner Anthony “Dr. V” Viegbesie, District 2

  Moved for Proclamation of Appreciation honoring Dr. Adrian Cooksey and Health
Department for wonderful job they’ve done  passed 5-0


  Resolution congratulatory presiding elder E. Lee (?) for his retirement/Hinson second  5-0


  Hinson asked for Proclamation for parents-57th year anniversary  NeSmith/Green   5-0 



Commissioner Brenda Holt, District 4

  Holt asked for Resolution for Green’s grandfather Sylvester Keys  NeSmith/V  5-0


  Thanked Green and NeSmith about questioning regarding legal matter that was mentioned and passed out document.  Spoke with FAC attorney about if should be discussing it and was told no. 


  Need to look at Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola-at one time they were interested in building hospital here.  They told her they do not take over hospitals, they build their own. 


  Dixon said that brought something else to his mind.  He tried to watch discussions Board had with its provider and since looked at contract and think really need to seek expert advice about what contract allows them to do and not do in terms of future planning.  Board signed contract and does not know what allows them to do.  Have request from eye facility to renew lease but to go through documents, requires hospital expertise.  Not sure how can legally approach, even comment Holt just made about even talking to another hospital and suggested not talk with other hospitals until know.


  Holt said he’s been there a while as she.  There are attorneys that specialize in that and they need to hire one.  Been going cheap way out.  Going to have to hire attorney that specializes in that for that item.  She wants them to get out and look. 


  Dixon said if nothing but just for clarity and understanding, what options in terms of ability to solicit, etc.


Knowles said if have contract can look at it.


Holt said no.


Dixon said they backed into contract and that’s problem-if keep backing into contracts that vendor supplies to them and not what Board wishes are, we end up defending or attempting to defend.  Not sure about what agreed to.


  NeSmith asked when was negotiated-within last year.


  V said to NeSmith and Green contract was negotiated by medical attorney they hired that represented the County and one that represented the hospital.  That attorney’s expertise was with hospitals, Michael Glazer.  Had legal representations.


  Dixon said had meeting with CRMC and talked about County’s use of hospital.


  Holt said been through that with Glazer several times.  Not his first rodeo.  Holt said need to bring back and look with expertise so County has advantage.  Get expert that knows how to do that/NeSmith second 5-0   


Receipt and File









  V adjourn/Green Meeting ended at 10:46 p.m.





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