Board of County Commissioners

Gadsden County, Florida

Regular Public Meeting

August 17, 2021

6:00 p.m.


Present:               Brenda Holt, Chair, District 4

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

                                Eric Hinson, District 1 – appeared remotely

                                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 6:00 p.m., asked for moment of silence, and led in Pledge.


  V/NeSmith 5-0




Quincy CRA Presentation

  Rob Nixon, Manager Quincy CRA, appeared before the Board to give the Board an update.


  Dixon asked him to describe CRA districts-Strong Road to BO Blvd. and Highway 90 south. 


  Green asked amount that County gives?  Based on revenue, recently $300,000 approx.


  Holt said appreciated what doing, area for CRA have had questions.  Can funds be used outside of district-no. 



Robbie Jones Agritourism

  Robbie Jones appeared before Board. 


Skipped to Citizens Requesting to be heard and will come back.


  Robbie Jones re-appeared before Board.


NeSmith stepped out 6:34 p.m.


Lena Juarez, Executive Director, appeared remotely before Board. 


Florida Agritourism Association developed in 2013. 


Lisa Ard appeared remotely. 


NeSmith returned 6:37 p.m.


Ard explained agritourism-activities on farm that public can do to experience farm, need to be working farm.  Statute 570.85


In 2016 not all local govt was interpreting to include weddings, etc. 

Florida Right to Farm Act 58.88


Holt stepped out 6:43 p.m.


Agritourism Statute 570.85 FS/570.86


Holt returned 6:46 p.m.


570.87 FS 


Melissa Hunt appeared remotely before the Board.  Have people call Association and they want to help.  They serve as advisory. 


  V asked does Agritourism prevent land from meeting Planning – nothing to do with Zoning, but goes back to Property Appraiser.  Has to do with greenbelt law.   V asked with regards to clarification, having land use issues, how does future intent fit buying property for using for something else.  People have to recertify every year.


  Green said great presentation-asked for copy of presentation to be emailed.



  V/NeSmith 5-0



Ratification Memo



Approval of Minutes

·         April 6, 2021 Pre-Meeting Workshop

·         February 11, 2021 CARES Workshop

·         March 16, 2021 Pre-Meeting Workshop

·         May 18, 2021 Workshop

·         July 6, 2021 Emergency Meeting

·         July 27, 2021 Emergency Meeting



Approval of the State Housing Initiative Partnership (SHIP/HHRP) Annual Reports





Anyone wishing to speak on agenda items or non-agenda items should schedule or notify the County Administrator’s Office before attending the meeting and will be asked to follow the Gadsden County Public Meetings Citizens Access Guidelines.  Also, public comment for Commission meetings can be submitted via email to until 11:00 a.m. August 17, 2021.  Comments submitted after the deadline but prior to the meeting will be added to the official record, but the County cannot guarantee that Commissioners and staff will have adequate time to review comments prior to the meeting.


  NeSmith read statement aloud. 



   Bishop Willie C. Green, 296 Bradwell Road, Quincy, FL- 850-556-4123- agenda item: general

Appeared before the Board-2 concerns:

1st is a thank you for their heartfelt concerns for the needs of citizens. 


2nd-GC has endangered species – young people.  Asked Board to include future, new leaders and young people as integral part of County. 



 Robert Presnell,508 Smithtown Road- 850-597-6794- City of Chattahoochee fire truck funding in the 2020/21 BOCC Budget

  Appeared before Board-representing City of Chattahoochee.   In 2019 City had to replace pumper fire engine.  Took time to come, when came, he had become employed with City.  Made inquiry and was middle of budget year so was a no go, told to wait for budget process and would be put in.  That amount was agreed upon of $150,000 and would have been effective last October 1st.  In accordance with agreement, Council paid cash for truck of $350,000 anticipating reimbursement of $150,000.  After Christmas, he phoned Administrator, wrote letter with history, didn’t work out.  Kept communicating with NeSmith, still at same place.  BOCC included it in their budget last year.  City asking them to clear obstacles, end of fiscal year is September 30th.  Requested to be placed on this Agenda and was told it was moved to first meeting in September-have conflict with that meeting as they meet on that date and why here tonight.  Council takes very seriously, put lot of money in fire service and most of what they provide in unincorporated areas of County and are a full-service fire department.  Was told 6-8 months ago payment was being processed. 


Dixon said they are scheduled for next meeting.



  Dixon said was going through change-overs at County and Chief Maddox and Chief Murray have taken new positions elsewhere.  Introduced Chris Hood who will take reins.  He then appeared before the Board.



Public Hearing-Legislative-Approval of Resolution 2021-030-Grant Budget Amendments for FY 2021

  Dixon introduced above item.  Requires budget to be balanced and this is budget amendment due to change in grants.  Asked they be approved


V/Green 5-0


Holt asked for public input and there was not.


   V asked to call Asst. Cty Admin up.  V said been approved but wanted to redeem her.


Asked for motion and second again


v/Green 5-0





Approval of the Agreement for Billing Services between Gadsden County, FL and EMS Management and Consultants, Inc. (EMS/MC)

  Dixon introduced above item.  Piggybacking off Ft. Myers.


  V said if recalled, was vendor that was brought in during Ms. Jackson’s administration. 


V motion to approve/NeSmith 4-0



Medical Director Contract

Item Pulled



Approval of the Fairbanks Ferry Road SCOP Construction Bid Award

  Introduced above item-Peavy & Sons low bidder. 


  V said would have liked to see tally sheets for vendors that applied.  Also asked for no change orders.


  Holt said had same question as V.  Do need tally sheet so have some idea and also need to change up people evaluating bids every so often.


V motion to approve Peavy & Sons/Green 4-0


Was informed that Hinson lost connection.



Approval of the Potter Woodberry Road CIGP Construction Bid Award

  Dixon introduced above item.

V/NeSmith 4-0



Approval of 2021 Small County Consolidated Waste Grant Application with Florida DEP

  Dixon introduced above item

Green/V 4-0



Approval of Task Order with Joel D. Sampson Architect

  Dixon introduced above item.

 Holt wants to start bidding out. 


  Green/V second


  NeSmith said even with being reimbursed from FEMA, could have been bid out?  It’s just amount and process-Don’t get new things in if don’t use new contractor.


Dixon explained Sampson was architect of record.


Holt said not that not doing good job, once put things out, people up their game. 


NeSmith asked if written agreement or just adopted or accepted.  Dixon stated believed was competitively bid.


  Knowles explained-have agreement for continuing architectural services.  Is master agreement and item was like task order.


Chair called for vote 4-0



Approval of the Chattahoochee Library Roof Replacement Re-Bid Award

  Dixon said not re-bid-is bid for roof replacement. Approval to give to Professional Roof Systems.


  NeSmith asked in light of what V said earlier, can look for efficiency as well as effectiveness.  Has County done business before?


  Allan Meeks appeared before Board.   Dixon said acutely aware to get best bid, not lowest bid.


  Holt said if looking at company as opposed to other company, what is difference in materials,


Green returned at 7:27 p.m.


  V asked in line with NeSmith’s concern, $31,000 and $68, 


Hinson arrived at meeting at 7:28 p.m.


V said all in line with same specifications. 


Holt said first thing wrote was materials and labor.  Is $37,000 difference.  Dixon said more prominent was majority was in same wheelhouse. 


  Meeks explained-all had bids


Holt said if requirements same, materials should be same.  


  Hinson said another situation he had heartburn about, East Gadsden and Havana Magnet School, need to make sure won’t interfere in internet.  Was an asphalt shingle roof and will not interfere in internet.  Was bid or RFP-bid.  Hinson said difference in two.  If had RFP, vendor could explain difference in shingles, etc.


  NeSmith said information that just came to his attention, with bids, have to accept lowest bid?  Don’t have to.  Knowles read Procurement Policies.  Need to look more deeply at procurement policy, have not change din while.  Need to workshop and look at. 


  Dixon said just approved and passed scope of work for architect.  Same scope of work everyone bids on. 


  V said what hearing this is competitive bid.   If practice is going with lowest bidder, opens County to litigation.  Think one thing will not support change order.


  Green wanted to make sure understood-V said will not support change order if comes before the Board. 


  Knowles read from Procurement Policy. 


  Holt said if putting cheaper materials on roof and blow off…bidder needs to know up front.  Should be up to certain standards.  Not to be taken lightly.  Have leeway in bidding process.  Not acceptable to accept lowest bid but best quality bid.


  Hinson said in pat had contractor appear before Board in case questions.  Want to have good structure.  If can provide, willing to go with lowest bidder.  Why not bring everyone back?


  Holt asked Dixon.  Dixon said will do what they ask, but they put out scope of work and in this case, to assume materials would not be, If would like them to do bigger and deeper dive, will do.


  Green said was going to ask in future if could have more details.  If table this, would it delay.  Dixon said not delay but would affect costs. 


  Holt said kicker was…


  Dixon asked on contract, was materials same?  All had to meet same requirements.


  Hinson said think had conversation earlier, had to pull roof off and make alterations.  Why rush when…Think should table, have workshop and them come talk to explain. 


  Green asked when say workshop, just have them come when item comes before them?  Don’t want to have workshop just for this one item. 


  Holt said had no item voting tonight to get done but need to revisit their procurement process and tighten up.  Move this and workshop bid process.


  V was going to say what she alluded to.  The only one item need to work on is procurement.  Lot of things coming up. 


  V motion to approve/Green  NeSmith discussion


  NeSmith said met with Admin this week-whoever does work that they do my maintaining standard of excellence with quality of how applied.


Chair called for vote.  5-0


  Dixon said will also have Building Official sign off.    


  Hinson said made motion to table and was not followed through.  V said Hinson did make motion but was no second and died for lack of second.


  Holt asked if motion for reconsideration.  V said will reconsider motion for approval/Green




  Hinson made motion to table until next motion  and now motion to approve/Holt second  NeSmith point of clarification what motion?  Holt explained  voted 5-0




Senior Services Roof Replacement Re-Bid Award


V approve/NeSmith 5-0



Approval and Signature on the E911 Rural County Grant Application for E911 System and MapSAG Annual Support and Maintenance

  Dixon introduced above


Green/V 5-0



Approval to Amend Ordinance 2014-002

Item Pulled



Approval of Granicus Contract

  Dixon introduced above item.  Presents opportunity, helps with county services, making pa


V option 1/Holt Hinson question


  Hinson said 4 year contract; where money coming from-CARES residual and will be budgeted line item.  Hinson asked what motivation for 4 years?  Things change every year.  Will allow to upgrade system as move through-have to invest in package believe will take through future.  Will allow to go into remote work if need be.  Have not been good stewards and have to make large purchases.


  Hinson said as thinking, now stuck, his opinion on 4 years,

Dixon said agree, technology changes but need to believe can take into future. 


  Knowles said there are termination provisions within the contract if not satisfied. 


  NeSmith said for clarification, if terminate still own, Knowles said own data. 


  Brittany Catalozzi, Granicus, appeared remotely before the Board.


  Ms. Steele explained not one website, will be 13 websites.  Each department will have their own website.


V stepped out


Called for vote 5-0



Approval of the Quincy Airport Authority (QGAA)

  Dixon introduced item.  Was tabled last meeting.


  Hinson motion to approve their recommendation.  Holt said recommended a Commissioner serve NeSmith second  passed 5-0



SHIP/HHRP Emergency Housing Procurement Process Waiver

  Dixon introduced above item.  To wait to help these citizens would not be worthy.


  Green said was aware, what were repercussions/


V returned


Green motion to approve/Holt second.  Hinson commented and wanted to make sure everything be done in line.  Dixon will make sure done in -line.    Hinson said this is heartburn for lot in county. 


   Chair called for vote 5-0



Approval to Procure/Purchase the Mobile Health Unit Funded by the Legislative through a Cost/Reimbursement Plan

  Dixon introduced

  NeSmith asked if for appointment to Council-no.


  Hinson had questions-


  Holt said…..


  Dixon said received approval from Legislature and Governor’s office.  There is document and will forward to commissioners.


V motion/Holt second 5-0






  Mr. Thomas was present and wanted to follow up on undisbursed money from ½ cent Indigent tax as result of new contract with CRMC.  Have about $703,000 not disbursed.  Wanted to reinforce issue not dealt with. 


Holt said good thing because experiencing COVID, etc.


  Hinson asked if $ could be used for transportation?  Because some people have issues and no way to get back and forth and transportation was needed in Gadsden County.  Thomas said has to be indigent health care tied to the Ordinance, statute and health plan.


Hinson asked for him to explain indigent-means do not have money available for medical healthcare.  Was used to reopen hospital.  Hinson said had people said could not get in because did not have the $10.00 necessary.


Dixon said trying to look for more holistic, bigger picture. 






  Dixon said been long month and long months to go.  Opportunities are out there with grants.  Looking for more permanent opportunities. 










Report and Discussion of Public Issues



Commissioner Eric Hinson, District 1

  Hinson felt need to have someone from health department to show at every board meeting to give brief overview of what going on-had 141 people die, had some in Havana pass away.  Had back to school drive Sunday, had 200-300 people show up. 



Commissioner Kimblin NeSmith, District 3

  NeSmith said did not want to interrupt his question for Clerk.


  Hinson said was for County Administrator but sometimes said Clerk has to answer.  Peavy sent email and said have not been paid, Figgers Communication and City of Chattahoochee.  Thomas said in general, they cut checks for Board vendors every week, but we have been frustrated because things been held up and not gotten to Finance.  Have to make sure things signed off on by County and then have to receive it.  Sent email not long ago about Bank of America card because did not receive until after due date.  Pay bills every week and have to have things by Tuesday noon.  Only if don’t receive it or problem, checks cut every week.  The thing with Chattahoochee, only recently heard about agreement, have not received anything.   Asked Finance Director and she’s not received anything.  Based on what City Manager said, saw money budgeted in equipment line item in previous fiscal year that was unspent but have not received anything to pay.  By law, have to pay within 45 days, try to pay sooner.  Heard from previous Administrator that Clerk holding bills and not paying, was frustrating, pay every single week.  Get to Finance by Tuesday in order to get checks cut.  With Chattahoochee, not sure which County Administrator was dealing with, have not received bill to pay.  Think must be on top of regular fire agreement.  Finance has not received anything.  Matter of Board deciding.  Hinson asked about Peavy & Sons.  Thought was worked out.  Clerk added in Public Works Department, had major turnover.  Came to them approximately 1 ½ years ago and told them that Department of Transportation was threatening to cut off road paving grants because was concerned about paperwork and inability of staff to properly handle it.  Point is, pay bills every week and have lot of grants out there, need to manage them in timely way, get everything signed off and to Finance. 


  Dixon said Clerk was right, since been here have had to move…don’t have staff in proper place.  Think have gotten on top of those issues.  Is better than was.  Clerk’s Office has very diligent and stringent process.  Will look into Peavy issue.  He asked Daniels, she said they claimed they did additional work and could not verify and had controversy about additional work they claimed done.  Dixon said will follow up.  Also said Clerk right, have not seen any documentation.  An agreement with staff member not an agreement, has to be with Board.  He said Board did not agree to it.  Told him he had option, could go before Board and if they agree, will send over, otherwise will not send over.


  Hinson asked about Figgers Communication.  Dixon said met two weeks ago, sent over paperwork to be paid.  In meeting, verified what was to be paid, they were dissatisfied, talked about roll-out of programs and have not heard from them since.  


  Hinson said when he emails County Administrator, never gets response.  When ask to have emergency meeting because of pressing issues, never get response.  Because disagree with them, does not mean does not like. 


  NeSmith said when have vendors, if have issue important, if have to sit down with County Administrator, do so in his office and talk.  Other avenues also.


  3 issues-1 in particular-don’t forget guidelines that govern board, don’t forget to complete.  Need to complete performance evaluation. 


Received the 2020 Census information, in Jefferson County 2010 ?, Wakulla had increase 9.7%, Leon increase of ?  State of Florida

Gadsden County reduction of -5.5%.  State growing, counties around us growing, we’re getting smaller.  Want them to have workshop-this is 5 alarm fire.  Need to address immediately. 


  Holt said great idea to have workshop.  When COVID came was when fell apart.



Commissioner Ronterious Green, District 5

  Green said saw numbers and startled him but assumed with having to do with having COVID and going door to door.  Don’t think numbers correct.  Want to make sure being cautious. 


  Thanked Ms. Whaley for being pro-active with regard to storm.


COVID is real as well as Delta variant.  Need to take precautions.  Asked at last meeting for item for security of building and asked if could have contact numbers for Talquin.  Know can’t control when lights go out but if could have contact person when problem with power.  Also, security of building.



Commissioner Anthony “Dr. V” Viegbesie, District 2

  Said to NeSmith great minds think alike.  Population issue needs to be addressed.  Was census leader for 2010.   Concerned about it.  If continue to have decrease, need to be aware what will do to revenue sharing funding.  Need to look at projections. 


  Suggested should be thinking about forming a Recovery coalition with surrounding counties-power in numbers.  Asked if could explore.   



Commissioner Brenda Holt, District 4

  Holt said looking to get more local people on ground to answer phones that can meet public and deal with local items to help with Integrity. 


  Feel sorry for kids going back to school and no mandatory masks.  Requesting have documentation requesting all County employees required to have vaccines. 


  Asked about Courthouse COVID monument-how was it going?  Asked parents to please protect children and have them wear masks. 


  Issue with providing-have agreements with cities that have always had.  Cannot do what want to do with public money-must have something in writing. 


Been asked to curb what being said, talking too long.  Need to choose battles,


Receipt and File









  Adjourned at 9:20 p.m.





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