Board of County Commissioners

Gadsden County, Florida

Regular Public Meeting

September 7, 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

                                Sara Green, Deputy Clerk



  Chair called meeting to order at 6:02 p.m., 


  Pull 5, 10, 13, 14


V/Green 5-0




GCDC Update

  Beth Cicchetti appeared before the Board and Antonio Jefferson addressed the Board through her cell phone.

Beth gave an update. 


(Commissioner Hinson arrived at 6:10 p.m.-had previously appeared by Zoom)


 Beth introduced Ronnie Bryant and he appeared before the Board.

Been working with Beth over a year. 


1.       Quality and quantity of established workforce in area.


  Green said has been pleasure working with her.  Asked what investment Board was making now and what do they need to invest.


Beth said just under $60,000/year. 


  V said compliment given to her was understatement.  Have jewel can work with. 


  Holt said purpose of trip to MS was to see how successful they were, how they were working with school system to see how they were getting people ready,


Asked if Leon or City of Tallahassee give $1.5 Million-Beth does not know answer.  Need to look at how invest in economic development.


  Green said she touched on Amazon-did she have conversation on Amazon coming here. 


  Holt said once 1000 jobs in Leon up and running, need to look at transportation.


  Hinson said this was pet peeve of his.  Need to look at how can generate more revenue. 


  Green asked what giving-need to revisit what give to Chamber and what give to GCDC.


  V explained Blueprint 2020. 


  NeSmith said need workshop.  Have to address infrastructure. 


  Holt said agreed.


  Antonio Jefferson readdressed the Board and thanked them.


  Holt mentioned Madison County has model.  Gadsden appointed members to GCDC, Chamber is members only.      



Gadsden County Health Department Update

  Director could not be here but sent information wanted presented.  Number of vaccinated residents is 24,601, had 7?? COVID cases…  Anticipate booster shots will be rolling out September 26th


  Green said his concern and question-how proactive County being?  Asked for clarification.


  Hinson said have had 2 games, FSU and FAMU, people not wearing masks.  Need to have emergency meeting and have someone come here to explain what all about.  Dixon said will run down. 


  V said Governor has been pushing cocktail for longest.  Will help when start feeling symptoms of COVID. 


  Holt said asked about death rate, stopped posting on DOH website.  Need help in that area.  Need to know how may have lost their lives. 


  Hinson said 3-4 weeks ago, received something where 300-400 people died.    Older people getting vaccinated, younger ones not. 



Proclamation Honoring the Loss of Lives on September 11, 2001



  V/ Green  5-0


Ratification Memo



Approval of Minutes

·         August 3, 2021 Budget Workshop



Approval for Adopt-A-Road Agreement with Protect Me Farms for Harbin Road





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.

  Knowles read aloud statement.



   Bishop Willie C. Green, 296 Bradwell Road, Quincy, FL – appeared before the Board at 7:02 p.m. and said his concern was the COVID virus. 



   Libby Henderson, 195 Gardner Avenue, Greensboro, FL  32330-Fire Department Contracts – appeared before the Board and wanted to let them know and make aware the
TOG has in past and will continue to see that fire protection provided to the western side of County.  Still in rebuilding phase of fire department.  Want them to know very interested in working with County to work out solution. 







Approval to Submit a Grant Application to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), CDBG General Infrastructure Round 2 Grant Program Seeking Funds to Repair, Stabilize and Pave Portions of Juniper Creek Road and Providence Road

  Dixon introduced above item


V/Green 5-0



Approval for the Chairman to Sign Grant Forms, and Approval of a Work Authorization with The Integrity Group (Integrity) to Provide CDBGT Grant Consulting Services



Hutchinson Ferry Road Bridge Repairs-Change Order No. 1

  Dixon introduced above item.

V/NeSmith 5-0



Extension of 2021 Tax Roll pursuant to Sections 197.323 and 193.122 F.S.

  Dixon introduced above item.  


Dale Summerford appeared before Board and said this provided for Board to extend


Green motion to approve/V 5-0



Approval of the Medical Director Agreement

  Dixon introduced item. 



Green asked about increase





Approval to Add Greenshade Volunteer Fire Department as a Participating Entity to the Fuel Services Inter-Local Agreement


V/Green 5-0



Approval of Fire Department Inter0Local Fire and Rescue Service Agreements

Item Pulled



Approval and Execution of State Aid Grant Agreement

  Dixon introduced item.


V/Green 5-0



Approval of the Agreement for Geographical Information System (GIS) Services and Housing Technical Assistance Services with the Apalachicola Regional Planning Council (ARPC)

  Dixon introduced above item. 



  Holt asked for new map





Leasing Agreement

Item Pulled



Approval of the Rudd Pest Control Agreement

Item Pulled



Board Direction/Action regarding the Partial Funding of New Fire Engine/Pumper Truck that the City of Chattahoochee purchased for the City of Chattahoochee Fire Department

  Dixon said this requires Board action and responding to Chattahoochee’s request for assistance with fire truck.  Have not found documentation relating to this.  Fire Chief and EMS Chief opposed to it.  Although in previous budget, they bought 2 fiscal years ago.  This has not followed the process and not item he could recommend.


  V said this was item they discussed before, City Manager was before them.  If Fire Chief and EMS Chief disagrees with expenditure, he did not think they should do.  Asked if understanding this happened 2 fiscal years ago-yes, believe so.  Expenditure occurred last fiscal year, no minutes.  Don’t know where this coming from.


  Holt asked when purchased-2019 or 2020.   Either way, no Minutes from Board and no basis to spend $150,000.  If not approved, can’t vote for it.  Other thing, if in budget, someone had to put there.  Good people but mistakes were made.  County does not purchase things for other people, fire trucks belong to County, vehicles belong to County. 


  Hinson said perplexed by this.  Board voted for it.  Clerk sent information out. 


  Green asked if they voted for it, what did they vote for?  He said was torn in direction he would head.  Truck would serve purpose, but protocol was not followed; now Hinson said it was approved.  If nothing in writing, cannot support item.


  Hinson asked if Clerk recalled email he sent to Board last week.  Clerk said did not find minutes, was not keyed but was included in final budget in a line item; someone had conversation with Chattahoochee, someone clearly did not follow through.  No minutes or agreement to support.


  Dixon said as Clerk said, not saying wrong or right, things in budget don’t understand and will bring to them.   Such as had to bring items earlier in year where mistakes were found. 


  V said from what Clerk said, confirmed what he felt happened, was due to staff…if no records, minutes, uncomfortable with it.


  Holt asked if put in Budget this year


Clerk said was in budget document but not keyed into budget system for 2021.  Holt said having problem with staff.  Dixon said have brought number of situations of budget issues. 


  Holt asked if could get someone in budget to do the budget.


  Hinson said some people talk, answer right in their face.  Not person you think. 


  NeSmith said he spoke with City Administrator and with County Administrator, if took ownership of truck with $150,000 was that out of protocol? 


  V asked if understanding in conversation that Chief Walker and Maddox promised to give Chattahoochee a fire truck in lieu of..what heard is not about firetruck but about money.


  Dixon said County had just purchased them a brush truck.  County has shown nothing but willingness to work with every city.  A truck was offered but was rejected. 


  Holt said have to have documentation on what spend.


  Hinson asked if ok for Board to think about?  Need to do investigation, could be something critical.  Why can’t get someone to look into this?  Need to find out who plugged that in.


  Green said thought was already investigated; however truck has been purchased, will be used for purpose purchased for, this is teachable moment for him and other leaders to make sure following proper protocol.  If investigated, will still get same results.


  V said three of commissioners on dais has been Chair.  Before Chair leaves this building, Chair signs documents.  Means was never approved by Board.  Got into budget but not budgeted item that came before this Board and was very uncomfortable.


  NeSmith motion to approve $150,000 with caveat take ownership of truck/Hinson 2-3


Holt motion to not approve  4-1  NeSmith opposed.   


Appointment to the Circuit 2 Alliance Community Action Team (Franklin, Gadsden, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty and Wakulla)

  Dixon introduced above item.


Holt move to appoint Green/Hinson second  V suggested this where they should include staff to be able to go and take notes and bring info back to administrator.


  NeSmith thanked V for advocating for an aide.





Appointment to the Big Bend Continuum of Care (CoC) Board

  Hinson appointed NeSmith or Green/V second


NeSmith respectfully declined


Green motion to keep Hinson/ Holt second  5-0


  Hinson had question-was against-been on Board 5-10 years and wants to give someone else chance


Green said if willing to give up-will serve


V motion for Green/NeSmith  Holt asked about motion already made and approved


Green rescinded motion/ Holt rescinded second


V motion to appoint Green/Holt 5-0






  Clerk said will give full accounting next week of American Rescue spending. 


Wanted to go on record about churches, needs to be clear, cannot be used for religious purposes.  Can receive but cannot use for religious purposes, used for non-religious purposes such as after-school program, tutoring, feeding kids, etc.







  Dixon said appreciated Clerk’s office, had lot of stuff coming through, were able to give every employee a $1200 bonus for service during past year.  Working on response to delta virus.

Will try to get budget tomorrow to them. 


Thursday will be first public hearing at 6:00. Will try to have workshop between now and final budget hearing.


  V asked for update on Senior center funding for 2021.  Understand centers have not received disbursement for this fiscal year.    Dixon said was staffer that was responsible; one or two have been submitted and rest have been found and sent to Clerk’s office.  Also received calls about air conditioning.  Also, on same lease for $1.00.  Are redoing roof and while roof off plan on redoing units.   V asked when senior centers get allocated disbursements sent to them. 


What is going on at Quincy Senior


  Dixon said tried to stay out.  Mrs. Blackshear has attended some meetings,


  V said to Commissioners, may be young today, the young shall soon grow old.  Not about particular democracy, but taking care of Seniors of County.  Let us work in preserving Seniors.  Let us do what must do and take ego out of this and take care of them.


  Holt said have received calls.  If contract, show what using money for.  All asking take notes,


  Green said he was one that also called.  Now have heard in process and hopes sooner than later.


  Hinson said 2 things passionate about, kids and seniors.  What gives heartburn is that they are so calm about it as a Board.  Money was approved last year.  Fiscal year ends end of this month.


  V said all are in defense of current Administrator. He came in December, budget was in October.  Asked Clerk to work with them in getting money out.


  Holt said not anything not already discussed.  Agreed wanted to see what they were doing.  Don’t see not getting general information, if give money, should get some type of documentation. 


  V asked if have conditions written into contract with centers that they are accountable to this body?  If not, need to include that request.  If was in there, need to have them adhere to contract.


  Holt said they have to make report to Department of Elder Affairs. 


  Dixon wanted to clear record.  Conversation Hinson referred to was with Executive Director of Center.  Met with Cunningham in June and she requested a letter and he asked for documentation and was told would not provide anything.  In June he directed all funds be paid to every Senior Center. 


He called Mrs. Smith to the podium.  He asked in her development of Seniors program and asked what asked for. 


  Hinson said was a bid difference-they are non-profit organization.  Competing with giant. 


  Smith said never intent to compete but to compliment. 


  Holt said was told years ago there were hundreds of thousands of dollars not applied for.


  Green said based on what heard, has been miscommunication and understanding somewhere down line.  Ultimate goal is seniors-all concerned about them.


  Holt said to Administrator would be good to have them on agenda. Need to have Department of Elder Affairs and Director of Center here. 






  Knowles said if want to change vote, need to do before next item called. 


Said with contracts, have records inspection provision, if problem, let him know. 


  V said he was glad he said that and they need to do better job.   Need to let them know up front, if accepting funds from County, County has right to ask for records. 





Report and Discussion of Public Issues



Commissioner Eric Hinson, District 1

  Hinson said seniors was first on his list.  Think few years back, Board gave instructions for card to be filled out.  Had staff member that wanted to resign because of stress was under.   Got to be careful, can’t bully people.  Everything not out in open, more to it. 


  Asked about Figgers Communication-Dixon said not coming.  They sent letter of good intentions would like to continue contract, now caught in budget and don’t have staff to work with them.  Have tried to come up with new ideas and they intend to follow through.  Hinson said hotspots will be key issue again.  Hinson said issue like that, can’t an attorney negotiate that? 


  Green said had hand up because Administrator answered and knew Asst. Administrator has been bombarded with Finance out.  Received email that been no communication-has he responded to email sent about invoice.  Think so and will certainly to do in morning.


V stepped out 8:40


Holt said contract said verification done by Administrator or his designee.  Hinson said issue is can’t stop-got to figure things out. 


Dixon said was trying new avenue that would be better way to pass out hotspots. 


Holt said looking at black and white of contract-Administrator is key person.


  V said broadband is priority for current national administration and FAC is very serious about broadband, especially in rural areas.  Think need to look as broadband connectivity as way to connect service.  


  Hinson thanked GCDC for update. 


Vaccinations is serious thing in County.  Won’t feel great until 100%.  School Board has funding to talk to kids about vaccines.  Need to talk to Superintendent about his plans and make sure he serious about situation.   


Commissioner Kimblin NeSmith, District 3

  NeSmith thanked CA and Mr. Lee for addressing area-had issue with public right-of-way.


Love Where You Live campaign and will now channel Green if could have signage in neighborhoods and need signage to identify community.  



Commissioner Ronterious Green, District 5

  Green said also spoke with Administrator.


Sent pics to Mr. Lee on Spooner Road of pile of bulky items and wanted it picked up before something serious happened. 


Also asked for limb trimming on Joe Adams Road.


Asked for Resolution to Penny Peacock’s family.  Motion passed.


Highway 27 BBQ and Grill-received email-asking for liquor license and church is close-nothing on property though.  Asked if way-Dixon said scheduled for next meeting. 


Workshop for COVID




Commissioner Anthony “Dr. V” Viegbesie, District 2

  V started with Highway 27-yes emailed shared to him and he forwarded to County Administrator.  His response was County does not give license. 


Suggested they create a community recovery and will work with EMS and County will bring community members to assist with disasters. 


  V said doing best to cut back on what he requests and now request he look for way to provide aides.



Commissioner Brenda Holt, District 4

  Asked for 


Large Item pick-up-thought stopped it. 


Get mobile unit and can use as part of COVID testing. 


To have economic development, need to look at the sites. 


  NeSmith asked if have rescheduled trip to Golden Triangle-up to Board. 


  V said don’t think need to go there, they can send model.  If go look at it today, won’t see where they were.   


  Holt said if stand next to person eating, not going to get full.  Must go and find out how they got school systems to buy into it. 


Need to 

Receipt and File





  Adjpurned at 9:10 p.m.





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