Board of County Commissioners

County Administrator and County Attorney Evaluation Forms Workshop

October 7, 2021

4:30 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-zoom

                                Ronterious “Ron” Green, District 5-zoom

                                Edward J. Dixon, County Administrator

                                Clayton Knowles, County Attorney

                                Sara Green, Deputy Clerk



   Dixon calls meeting to order. 



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 noon on Tuesday, October 7, 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.


  Dixon read the above statement.





Discuss County Administrator Evaluation Form  (Edward J. Dixon, County Administrator)

  Dixon introduced the item.


  Says Mrs. Butler- HR director- will be available to speak on the items and answer any questions that there may be.


   Mrs. Butler came before the Board.


Was workshopped in 2015, approved on 2/9/17.


  Dr. V- Decided to add in the evaluation for the attorney because their contracts can be cancelled before they expire if they’re not satisfied. The administrator determines how well they (attorney) does for us (the Board).   


  Butler- the forms have been approved. Can set appointments for meetings with administrator.


  Green- no questions regarding the forms.


  V- no questions, then can continue with agenda.


Holt entered workshop at (GO BACK AND LOOK AT TIME)


  Butler- suggested it’s best all commissioners speak with administrator to go over evaluation with the administrator. Then bring back before the board in a meeting.


  Hinson- where’s the document that we meet to discuss?


  V- Doesn’t think meeting with administrator was part of the process originally. Wants to give control of meeting to Chair Holt.     


  Hinson- where does it say that? Butler- it doesn’t, she was explaining the procedure that happened in the past.  It’s not a requirement to meet with the administrator.


  V- to make an effective performance evaluation, evaluation should be independently completely by the evaluator.


  Holt- Addresses the Board at 4:46. Asks where Green is. Sees him on Zoom.


  Holt- Up to the Board on how to do the process. To meet after as a board, it has to be in a workshop or meeting.  Green- wants an opportunity to discuss the evaluation post-eval.


  V- recalls that during evals with Tallahassee city manager etc, the questions about the evaluation are what’s brought to the meeting post-eval.


  Holt- timeline of evals? Butler- Admin hired in December 2020 so it’s coming up on a year so it needs to be done within the next month or two. Holt- few weeks. Butler- yes if you want it done prior to December 1.


  Hinson- should be able to eval right now and not have 2 weeks to persuade with someone about their evaluation. Doesn’t think it’d take 2-4 weeks to fill out evaluation.


  Holt- interrupted Hinson bc it could give negative intent from what he said regarding others persuading.

  V- sees where Hinson is coming from. 1, admin has not been here for a year yet so it’d be hard to eval someone. If it’s going to be an annual eval then it needs to be a year in order to eval him. 2, we are workshopping this. I don’t know if these documents are upon additions/revisions/deletions. If not, then this should come. If there are no changes then it should come before the board for formal approval then we can evaluate.


  Green- is fine with the document. Wants to set timeframe for evaluation.  Thinks it should be held after his full year as it’s an annual evaluation.


  NeSmith- inaudible due to technical issues.   

  Hinson- his comments weren’t towards a specific person. Have to do it before one year. Impossible to do it after the year because after the second year, the contract may roll over. Have to do it a month or so before the contract expires. Need to let them know in advance if the contract is cancelled. Have to check the specifics on letting them know in advance. Judge a person based on what he sees.


  NeSmith- Do we have a schedule for evaluating the admin or attorney? Holt- have done annual evaluations. Butler- annual evaluations were for county admin, not attorney. County Attorney contracts for 2 years. Holt- can do evals in the middle but usually it’s done at the end. 



  Holt- is there a time you’d like to be done for evaluations?

Co. Administrator- attorney may have notice clause. Holt- asks for copies of the contracts from Butler. Clayton says he has both.


  Green- basing the performances off what goals? Holt- evaluating based on things in the packet. Goals for accomplishments will need to be added or set.

  Dixon- the goals and also the strategic plan goals that are there and any other standards that you’d want to use.


  V- all of the goals have to do with how well we’re moving along with our strategic plan and moving along with the county. Thinks the document covers everything that needs to be discussed and used.

  Hinson- hopes that the packet will be read objectively. Wants to make sure that things are going well and evaluate based on that. Find strategies that work with the attorney and admin to make sure to move Gadsden forward.


  Holt- everything we do for people has to be funded. Have to look at economic development side. Says can look at the page 2 of the packet and see if those are what to evaluate on. “Pay plan for sheriff’s office” is very important when federal money dries up. “Construct or open hospital”. Have to have a lot of planning right now. References page 3 and things that weren’t done (like meeting with economic developer). We set these dates; we may need to move them.


  Hinson- page 3- If you didn’t fulfill Broadband, that’s a pet peeve because it’s been on the “agenda to do” for years. Kids in Midway were getting killed because of unsafe roadways, it’s not about who it is in charge but rather if things get done. “Issues that deal with people”. “As long as you help people, I’m with you.”


  NeSmith- Do we have a schedule that’s in place for county administrator to evaluate the attorney? Once we hire an administrator, do we have a schedule to evaluate them every quarter, 6 months, etc. They need feedback on a consistent basis. Holt- as I said, we normally evaluate the person in the positions at the end of their contract. But if you want a yearly, etc the Board decides. It’s an open system. Butler- Says in the 2017 meeting, they agreed/voted on an annual review. The previous administrators were done annually. NeSmith’s other question- supports an annual eval but need to create a schedule so starting evaluation process in September/October. Need to schedule so we are informed of when it’s time to evaluate.


   NeSmith still- we didn’t provide the county administrator/attorney specific goals/objectives to meet. We gave admin a catalog but not a “lesson plan”/
syllabus” with what must be accomplished. Needs to provide them with a syllabus of goals to achieve because otherwise it’s too subjective. Holt- some of these goals in the packet are being done. Some didn’t have specifics on how to be done. NeSmith- We have to be clear about our expectations. Wants it clearly outlined in a document.


  Dr. V- We were supposed to continue developing the process and document. Agrees with NeSmith. This document wasn’t finished, it was where we stopped.  Need to have more workshops on this. Evaluation process will become objective not subjective by doing that.


  Hinson- why he suggests many workshops. Reality, can’t talk big talk when you had the opportunity to put this on the agenda. Says there’s nothing subjective about this evaluation. Wanted to have the Fl. Association of counties help develop the evaluation because they have experience in it and not making it subjective. Current evaluation encompasses everything. Asks Mrs. Steele to go through the slides to make his point that the evaluation isn’t subjective.


  Holt- chose this as an instrument. Need to come together for when we can evaluate.


  NeSmith- Deferring to Green and V


  Green- Wants the tools for what’s expected as a current Board. Wants a full meeting on it.


  V- we have accepted the document as the appropriate document. Now is the timeline. Which is the procedure. When do we start/end evaluations but can’t do that today. If we could vote today then timeline develops today which is why he suggests another workshop.


  Holt- have to have this done by December. Have a meeting in 2 weeks so we can vote on what we decide. Do you want to have anything to be voted on in the next meeting?


  Dixon- is the annual date an anniversary date of the hire or a calendar date? Holt- can’t be a calendar date bc unsure when you hire.       


  NeSmith- when did we approve the evaluation instrument? Approved in 2016. NeSmith- is this instrument the same for the attorney? Butler- approved in 2017. Two different instruments for both. NeSmith- both instruments require us to evaluate annually? Yes. Nesmith- at 9 months all evaluates receive the document, gives 30 days to fill out. By 10th month, it goes to Mrs. Butler then the next 30 days gives each admin opportunity to meet with staff persons to discuss evaluations. Then in 11th month that info goes to chair and dispersed. Then have 30 days after that admin/attorney have time to decide how to move forward.


  NeSmith- can evaluate administrator recognizing the board didn’t do due diligence/give specifics. Say they don’t have enough info to evaluate and evaluate accordingly. Holt- have all been with each one about a year now. So we can evaluate based on what we’ve seen so far. Points will have to roll over to next eval because they need to be evaluated no later than first of November.


  V- in regards to both positions- attorney contract ends march first of next year. We need to do that expeditiously so they can know ahead of time if they won’t be the attorney. So we know what the commission issue is with the attorney. Timeliness is very important.


  Hinson- have 3 employees. Attorney, administrator, (inaudible). Have contractors as well.


V stepped out at 6:14PM.


Hinson- (Go back to listen to what his point is). Thinks that since Green/NeSmith want to wait then readdress it the evaluations. Suggests waiting out until Green and NeSmith get all their bearings regarding the evaluation/process. Suggests waiting until next year. Holt- but you have to do the annual evaluation. Hinson- but they’re not ready for it.


V returned at 6:17PM.


  NeSmith- appreciates comments to V and Hinson. When did the contract begin? March of 2020. Was there an evaluation done in 2021. Holt- no but overdue. NeSmith- doesn’t have a problem doing evaluation, need to get used to doing them again. Come up with dates to have evaluations done. When we can evaluate and get back to HR and when we can sit down with each party then get it to the public.


  Green- do need to move forward with evaluation as well. Can only evaluate with what we have experience with.


  Holt- Dixon says forms can get out to them by October 21st.  Return to HR by first meeting of November. Holt- give the forms to HR whenever they are done then put on agenda for meeting whenever they want. Holt- have them by two meetings before the contract ends.


  Clayton- Administrator’s would be two weeks from today and Attorney’s would be first meeting in January? Holt- yes.     


  V- let HR director give her opinion on the timeline for effectiveness etc.


  Butler- suggests October 21, two weeks from today. Give time for information to be compiled and presented at first meeting in November. Meets 6 weeks timeline Holt suggested. For attorney, same process. Process/timeline works? Holt- yes.


  Hinson- has commissioners received their administrative aids? Holt- no.


  V- When you send out evaluation packets, can you include the dates as a reminder? Butler- yes.


  NeSmith- asks Butler if she can make the forms writable? Yes.



Discuss County Attorney Evaluation Form (Edward J. Dixon, County Administrator)



  Adjourned at 6:33pm.






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