Board of County Commissioners

Gadsden County, Florida

Regular Public Meeting

August 3, 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 asked for moment of silence and then led in Pledge



  Dixon said need to add 2 items, Grant application as Item 17

  V said have not had opportunity to read Item 10 and suggested they pull until supporting documents come and have chance to review.


  Admin said was going to pull


  Knowles requested to move Item 17 to Item 5b and Grant application will become new Item 17


V/Green 5-0





Quincy CRA Audit Presentation



Proclamation in Honor of former County Administrator Dee Jackson

  NeSmith read the Proclamation aloud and it was then presented to her.  She had a few words to say.



Proclamation Honor of the 65 Anniversary of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc, Tau Zeta Graduate Chapter

  Commissioner Green read aloud the Proclamation and then presented it to the Sorority.  




Ratification Memo



Approval of Minutes

·         May 4, 2021 Workshop

·         April 20, 2021 Regular Meeting



Approval of Signatures








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 NeSmith read aloud statement.



Debra Harstfield

  Appeared before the Board.  Had several inspections at 261 Reeve Lane


Mr. Al gave 7 days to correct everything on list.  Also told her that he had authority to close everything, and she would have to vacate premises.  One of biggest complaints was size of her home and bedroom suite.  When first met, thought he was genuine person but over time, made comments about her home. 


  Holt thanked her for sharing.



Danny Hunter

  Appeared before the Board.  Been very diligent and would appreciate Board’s support. 


Green asked for something in writing to present to Administrator


Joe Parramore

  Appeared before the Board to speak regarding the Greensboro Volunteer Fire Department.  Wanted to take couple of moments to share what have been doing as a Florida Non-Profit.  Have engaged Letter of ?


On July 1st met with Senator Ausley and Representative ? and working with LBR and had conversation about emergency right-of-way between Greensboro and 


While all in step to the right direction, have 13 volunteer firefighters.  Believe qualified to resume duties and asked Board strongly consider a new contract.














Approval of Value Adjustment Board Members

  Administrator introduced above item. 


  V asked Hinson if he wanted to continue to serve and wanted to nominate NeSmith.


V motion to re-appoint Hinson and appoint NeSmith.


  V restated motion to reappoint Hinson and appoint NeSmith as second and Gay Steffan as representative /Green second 5-0



Approval of Settlement Agreement

  Mr. Knowles introduced above item.  


  NeSmith said obviously matter that took place before he was on Board. 

Krebs appeared before the Board and explained. 


  V said the reference to neutral reference


Knowles stated the County does not give reference other than salary, length of employment,

His opinion it would behoove County to not settle. 


  V said what if employee of County writes a non-neutral reference for employee and not given circumstances of situation, how would that apply and implement County.  V said would not want County employee writing reference on County letterhead and then cause a legal ramification.


  Lonyell appeared before Board and said all department heads are to direct any such request to HR. 


  Green asked if that was made verbally or was it something they had to sign for future reference.  Lonyell said not in writing but they are informed of such.  Can err on side of caution and can make that happen


  Green motion to approve option 1/V 5-0



Approval of the Gadsden County Multiple Projects CEI Selection Bid No. 21-08

  Dixon introduced above item.  


V option 1/Green 5-0

  NeSmith asked if would keep cost competitive?


  Justin said consultant Act is a statute and explained was based on qualification and not fees. 


  Hinson said noticed had lot of


  Dixon said when make corrections, should initial



Appointment to the Quincy-Gadsden Airport Authority

  Dixon introduced above item.  No fiscal impact.


  V motion to appoint Maxwell/


  Hinson said normally have someone in his district to give representation.  Have someone interested in this


Holt asked who appointed who.


Hinson said everything east does not have representation. 


Holt asked if Lee Woodruff was from Havana. 


  V said did not know where Hill lived, but County only have 2 appointments to Board.  If want to make district representation on Board, need to make rotational so each district will have someone represent it. 


  Holt suggested to bring all Board and look at it.   Have all kings that are dormant.  Need to set up guidelines.  Holt said if not urgent,


Hinson said could table because received urgent news.


  NeSmith asked if need motion to table.  Think need mor einformation


V nmotion to table/Dixon asked with names and Green said with qualifications. 





Approval of Road Name Change Application Form



Hinson motion to approve/V second with question


  Green asked if other homeowners-no opposition according to Dixon


  V asked if fee for name change $500.00-yes


  Holt said was correct to get all documentation as much as possible


V wanted to make sure on record name change was not in any way, shape that this road would be a county0maintained road


  Sheffield Eubanks appeared before Board.  County already grades road and pulls ditches and does a wonderful job.


  NeSmith said in given this information,


Eubanks said was a green sign indicating public road.


Chair asked for vote Board voted 5-0



Approval of Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles


  V motion to approve/NeSmith 5-0



Approval of Granicus Contract

Item pulled



Approval of Health Insurance Rates

  Dixon introduced above item.  Committee recommended to accept option 1


  Lonyell appeared before the Board.  Receive every year renewal rates and this year received with 4% increase and was 2.48% higher than last year’s renewal.  Committee is made up of representatives from every constitutional office.  2 recommendations were made


  Holt asked if Constitutionals pay into insurance-yes.  Have they looked at combining with Cities-no.    


  Green liked suggestion made-is it comparable? Yes.  Lonyell said was very surprised was not higher with COVID.


  V asked if have other providers with Blue Cross/Blue Shield?  How does this compare to BC/BS?  Lonyell said no comparison.  Asked agent to shop 


  Dixon said deductible means if have to go to hospital, have to pay $1500 first before  plan kicks in.


  NeSmith asked Butler


  Dixon said what was before them was policy change if they wanted to provide single coverage to pay into system. 


  Hinson asked with dental plan, how much pay for family coverage.  $256.33.  Employee and spouse is $205.07/single is $51.27.  Employee + dependent is $174.31 bi-weekly.  Hinson said brought up great idea about pairing with others. 


  Lonyell said been brought up in past.  Reason why school boards are separate.


  Green asked if have same constraints with other cities-does not.  Would need to be discussion at later time


  V said leaning toward option 1 because will help retain quality employees.


Hinson option 1/Green 5-0



Approval to Amend Ordinance 2014-002

  Dixon introduced above item.  Have bunch of subdivisions in County that pre-dates Ordinance.  Bring for discussion


  Hinson said as they know, have rough roads in his district


  V said was an item for them to visit-4-5 in his district-

how do they work with developers – was a very important item


Dixon said will look at it. 


  Green asked for clarity when V said developers. 


  Holt said need to do heart-searching on how to do it. 


Hinson said lot of folks want private roads. 



Supplemental Insurance Rates

  Dixon introduced above item.  Have secured Phoenix and Integrity to look at insurance and have found things and they need to retain attorney.  Asking to approve letter of representation and to retain


  Hinson said thought this firm was law firm-Dixon said no. 


  V said Hinson touched on his comments.  He asked Admin how this would impact what was recovered and come to the County.  Dixon said will not impact percentage. 


V asked why we one that has to employ…


Dixon said we are client. 


V asked Knowles ….


  Mark Glover, Phoenix and Gina ? appeared before Board.  Have worked with Berger Singerman in past.  Gadsden County only one able to engage Berger Singerman.  October will be 3 year limitation coming up to file. 


  V said based on contract signed with Phoenix through Integrity, if County received $100,000, Phoenix receives ?


  NeSmith asked Knowles if that how he read contract-no-he explained. 


  Chris ? appeared before Board from Phoenix.  When initially began process, due to nature of situation on this opportunity, it became obvious to bring in specialized legal counsel. 


  Holt said if need specialty help, will need someone, went from 20% to 10% and will split.  If other litigation


Holt said 100% of 0 is 0-if don’t recover, won’t get anything. 


  NeSmith said wanted to get percentages right.  NeSmith said if recover $100,000, Phoenix will get $20,000, if law firm litigated that $100,000, they get an additional


  V said Phoenix knows what they are doing and knows there will be litigation.  Dixon said not late, as soon as he received and saw opportunity, he sat on it for minute studying and how to make it work became another opportunity.  He was asked to do business better.  Was clear was bad situation. 


  Hinson said


  NeSmith said percentage would have to be adjusted. 


  Knowles explained. 


  Holt asked for clarity-


  V said it before-5 is greater than 0, only thing not comfortable with was pulling from middle of everything else.


  Hinson said curious, asked about October deadline.  Was explained that three-year statute of limitations that will end October 21, 2021


  Green said felt all on same page.


  V asked for numbers. 


Knowles said Phoenix will receive 10%, Berger 10% pre-suit

V said that is his motion/NeSmith second


Hinson said went from 20% to ? %


Holt said say in addition to 20%


  Green asked if could state up to 35%.


  V withdrew previous


  Motion approve breakdown as stated and not more than 35% of all gross/Hinson second Board voted 5-0   



Approval of Language Amendments for the Gadsden County American Rescue Plan Programs

  Dixon introduced above item.


  V option 1/Green


Hinson question-Small Business Assistance Program-lot of people hurting, still think should increase more than what is.  Know have food cards but lot of people need help. 


  Dixon said that was correct.  They knew that portion of program received direct, was trying to help next layer and was no program for them to qualify for programs.  Food card was way to help working class. 


  Hinson said reason brought up, lot of Senior Citizens received $19/month food stamps, if receive food stamps, cannot receive food card.


Green said was only to vote on language


  Holt said what he is addressing was whole other matter. 


  Hinson said once approved changing language, Clerk can write checks tomorrow. 


  Green said for clarity, not that not fighting for people, his understanding was to have clarification for sake of Clerk.  Already voted on and approved.  Worthy of discussion at appropriate time. 


NeSmith called the question.


Board voted 4-1 Hinson opposed.



Approval of Funding for Travel to Golden Triangle

  Dixon introduced above item.  Have tentatively scheduled trip for August 25-26.  Total costs would be up to $15,000 or accommodations. 


  Holt said need to know, in this scenario, was it included for Planning and Zoning to go?  She said was learning activity.  She said would rather have $20,000 and if not needed, put the $5,000 back.  Money not going anywhere if not used. 


  Green said loved idea of seeing somewhere progressive, however, all need to be dollar conscience.  Feel should give something themselves and take care of some of own expenses. 


  V said that was one of his concerns.  Dates that are selected are first 2 days of classes in fall and will not be able to make that trip. 


  Hinson said great idea and would approve for staff, but think in looking now, federal government giving so much money.  Why pay school Board to go on trip.  They could pay their trip.  Don’t think good idea to ride on bus with Delta variant out now. 


  Green said very valid point and liked idea of splitting costs.  Also agreed may need to table date because of increase in virus. 


  V said also was in opposition of County footing bill of other constitutional government.  They have their own revenue sources.  If into growing County, each government should invest in portion of visionary retreat.  Will not support other individuals. 


  Holt said to ones watching, the Board responsible for economic development, not school board.   Everything they discussed in budget workshop requires money.  Now fussing about $15,000 and should be $25,000-$30,000.  If going to worry about who pay for what, will never have anything. 


  Green said her point was well taken.  Hear her passion.  But think timing may be wrong as relates to virus. 


  Holt said when they can pull up 4-6,000 jobs, all she wanted to 3-400. 


  NeSmith said have to spend money to make money.  Community has expressed how proud they are County is moving forward.  Need to take trip as soon as possible to bring economic development to County. 


  Dixon said trip was not designed for staff.


  V said last person want to convince is ?  Would guarantee Chamber of Commerce pulled everyone together to make trip.  What they do in Tallahassee every year.  If was not in class, would be going on trip. 


  Hinson said they invest in lot of different groups.  One heartburn-have delta virus, Tallahassee hospital at capacity right now. 


  Dixon said this trip was designed after listening to board members.  Board is gathering up everyone.  Important to participate. 


  Green said heard conversation, yes will be there when COVID over.  Don’t want to be responsible for others contracting virus, money not issue, timing not right.


  V said his concern was still same.  His question is to attorney.  His concern is with them since he would not be traveling.  Think if consider danger and reconsider, his concern is health.


  Dixon said heard members and will postpone until a further date. 


  Green motion to table this trip/V second 5-0 



Approval of Millage Rate for TRIM Notification and Set the Date

  Dixon introduced above item.  Talked about this earlier.  Can lower but not raise.  Dixon said up to now, answer to problems have been to ignore them. 


  Hinson said have correction


  V said before making motion, wanted to let community know so have in place and can have opportunity to come down.


  Motion is to select option 3 of 9.5000 mills-motion died for lack of second.


  NeSmith motion to approve option 4 of 10. Mills and motion died for lack of second.


  Green motion to start with option b/NeSmith second 4-1 Hinson opposed.     



Approval to Submit a Grant Application to the Department of Commerce

  Dixon said grant application to expand broadband.  This is what have been able to find.  Need to get grant out.  Have until 17th to submit grant.  Can get up to $30,000.  Been working around clock.  Fiscal impact at this time is unknown.  Asking them to approve submittal of grant application.  This is big program. 


  V said this was type of thing have been talking about.  This is for approval of submittal of application. 


  V motion to approve option 1/NeSmith


  Hinson had question. 


Chair called for vote 5-0 






Holt asked why so many minutes.


NeSmith stepped out 9:57 p.m.






  Dixon had update.  American Rescue Plan-will be sending out first phase of funding.  Will be bringing back for re-allocation, probably at next meeting.


NeSmith returned 10:00 p.m.


Dixon said will be bringing staffing issues to them. 


V stepped out 10:00






  Knowles said 2 claims of Dollar General have been struck. 


  Dixon said will be running a bunch of contracts that will expire end of fiscal year.  Just got around to freeing up time, space and people. 





Report and Discussion of Public Issues



Commissioner Eric Hinson, District 1

  Save the Date-Florida Rights -September 7th at 3:00 p.m.


Second Annual Back to School August 6th at MLK Track and Field


V returned at 10:03 p.m.


August 15th-1 Gadsden ?? Community Resource Fair


New Life, Big Bend Transit, August 15th from 2-5 p.m.


Asked about Summer Youth employment-Dixon said did not reach numbers wanted to and will have report tomorrow on things found.  What they dreamed it was, it was not.  Kids not what used to be.  Think will have to go lower in age-17 might be too late. 


Broadband hotspots-how coming-reached out to Figgers-called number of times-said ready, where they are there.


Dixon said someone died in jail recently.  Said second one he knew of.  Dixon said would look into it. 


Gave Ms. McGriff couple of years ago, just passed away.  Want to give Resolution to Ms. Herring, just turned 100 years old.


Hinson motion to give Herring a Proclamation/V second 5-0


Uncle JB Jones passed away yesterday. 


  V said on point, if any would be able to, Rosa McGriff will be Saturday at 1:00 p.m. at Havana Middle School.


  Hinson said also, if able, donate to school to help kids. 



Commissioner Kimblin NeSmith, District 3

  NeSmith sent condolences to Jones family. 


Chattahoochee Elementary School has new principal and doing phenomenal job.  Organizing clean-up campaign Saturday morning.


Thanked board for emphasizing need for residents.  District 3 & 4 in desperate need of additional resources for roads.


Said to Administrator and Mr. Lee, thank you for resurfacing Cochran Road and for work at Massey Building. 


Coming up on anniversary of tenure on this Board.  Need evaluation process of two employees.  Have to have workshop. 



Commissioner Ronterious Green, District 5

  Green asked for clarification on food card distribution. 


Dixon said talked with Clerk’s office on how to keep control of card. 


Thanked PIO with what have done with Love Where you Live Campaign.


Dixon said moving Mondays to Saturdays for pick-it up Campaign. 


Would like Public Works to look at huge hole on Spooner Road.


Was a lot of informative information given at FAC.


Congratulated NeSmith on completing certification.


Condolences to Commissioner Hinson and to Daniels who had sister transition.


Want on next agenda-security of this building.  Will share video of major fight that took place on this property. 



Commissioner Anthony “Dr. V” Viegbesie, District 2

  V said conference was very informative.  Suggested to County Administrator to reach out to group to make presentation what they can do for County. 


Was a workshop attended, Joyful Hearts Foundation presented. 


Made motion to pass Resolution to /Green second 5-0


Byrd Technology made presentation.    Need to look into and will provide CA information.


Procurement and Grant Assistance-group want to invite to come make presentation. 



Commissioner Brenda Holt, District 4

  Holt said told lady to come that complained about Building Inspector.  Mentioned before that departments have “How am I doing” cards.  Does have nice home.  Dixon said will follow up on those allegations.  Need Complaint Resolution forms. 


Not getting dollars because people going to the private sector.


Need something to require vaccinations or get tested every 2-3 days. 


Want to look at contracts and performance.  Must remember who put them here. 


Animal Control-need to see contracts with cities. 


Why is there a mobile home in front of $3 Million dollar building (Ag building). 

Receipt and File














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