Board of County Commissioners

Gadsden County, Florida

Regular Public Meeting

December 21, 2021

6:00 p.m.


Present:               Dr. Anthony “Dr. V” Viegbesie, Chair, District 2

                                Ronterious “Ron” Green, Vice Chair, District 5

                                Eric Hinson, District 1

                                Kimblin NeSmith, District 3

                                Brenda Holt, District 4

                                Edward J. Dixon, County Administrator

                                Clayton Knowles, County Attorney

                                Marcella Blocker, Deputy Clerk

                                Sara Green, Deputy Clerk


**Due to technical difficulties, recording started after meeting started**



Called meeting to order at 6:00 p.m., Rev. Jimmy Salter gave Invocation and Chair Viegbesie then led in Pledge of Allegiance to U. S. Flag.



Pull Items 13 & 14







Ratification Memo



Approval of Minutes

·         September 9, 2021 Budget Public Hearing

·         September 20, 2021 Budget Workshop

·         November 2, 2021 Regular Board Meeting



Approval for Adopt-A-Road Agreement with National Hook-up of Black Women, Inc. (Gadsden Chapter) for Spooner Road



Approval of Resolution for New Chairperson-Facsimile Stamp



Approval for the Gadsden County Sheriff’s Office Peer Support Team to Attend the 1st Responder Mental Health & Wellness Conference





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 December 21, 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.



















Public Hearing-(Quasi-Judicial) Greensboro FL 1776 Telecommunication Tower Conceptual/Preliminary Site Plan (SP 2021-05)



  Justin Stiell appeared before the Board and was sworn in.


  V said had 2 speaker forms and asked if anyone else wished to speak


  John Revell, 307 Live Oak Lane, Havana, FL appeared before the Board and was sworn in by the Deputy Clerk.  Said they did contact him, wanted to move tower 150’ and that would move it closer to Town of Greensboro city limits.  They asked one resident what they wanted and she told them she wanted them to follow the set-back rules.  He said they told them there were no alternative sites the tower could be moved to.  He added this would affect a lot of people.  He read “The tower was compatible to area”.  They tried to reach out and talk to 13 land owners to try to put the tower on; 9 did not respond, 1 did and he owns 3 pieces of property.  If they meet set-back rules, everyone in Greensboro would support.


  Vernon Neal Blount, 125 Harrison Road, Greensboro, FL-is road they want to use to build tower.  Tower would be less than 400’ from his house.  This will affect his property value, will be a hardship if he wants to sell his house.   Rules are for purpose, everyone should abide by them.  Don’t want tower there, site is very small.  Hoped Board would vote against this.


  Robert Volpe, Esquire, 119 N. Monroe Street, Tallahassee appeared before the Board.  Reached out to everyone, was unable to reach Mr. Blount. 


  V announced again this was a public hearing and asked if anyone else wished to speak and there was no-one. 


  Green thanked the Applicant for reaching out to the residents in the area.  If no change, would be stuck in same predicament that have been in.


  NeSmith echoed what Vice-Chair just said.  Have to make decisions that help move the County forward. 


  Justin Stiell re-appeared before the Board.  NeSmith asked if the change met the set-back requirements.  He said Land Development Code provides for set-back deviations and meets all but 2 of set-backs. 


  Hinson thanked citizens and attorney that appeared before the Board.  Asked if alternative sites existed-Stiell said alternative site analysis was done and was determined that …


  NeSmith said Hinson hit on very important question.  There has to be an optimal location for tower to transmit properly.  NeSmith asked and he responded that was the best location for the tower to transmit properly in that area. 


  Volpe reappeared and said alternative site analysis was done and potential properties are considered by radio frequency engineers.  This was best site to triangulate and was best alternative.


  Hinson asked if this was best location or only location. 


  Volpe said there were 13 properties and was private property-they did not want towers on their personal property. 


  John Revell re-appeared before the Board.  There were 13 land-owners that this site would fit.  Assumed letter was sent and had no response but from the 1 land-owner.  Still not meeting set-backs for 1500’.


  Volpe re-appeared before the Board.  Was there certified letters sent out and was there any response.  He did not contact them himself. 


  NeSmith asked if client contacted property owner and they all were contacted in same way.  Yes, and believe they did talk with other property owners.


  Holt said there was comment made this did not meet any of the 1500’set-backs.  He said was 890’feet from closet residence.


  Mr. Stiell reappeared before the Board.  She asked him his definition of rural residential-none of these properties do not fall in the rural residential category.  She said if they deny, they have to give reasonable reason why.  She then asked Mr. Volpe about the 1000’ feet on the NE corner,  


  Hinson said was sure lot of research was done and asked if they had any heartburn regarding this matter.  Dixon said always have heartburn and rules designed to harm as few people as possible.  This is difficult process for everyone involved.  Applicant and neighbors have shown their willingness.  Rules say have to have great reason to not approve this.  Hinson said photo in packet was not same as what Mr. Volpe passed out as exhibit.  Stiell said it was not the same as document provided. 


  Green asked if was same map with different numbers.  He asked for moment to review.


  Neal Blount re-appeared before the Board.  He said was listening to definitions of rural residential.  His house is located on 2 acres-does that not make it rural residential?  He pays taxes on his property. 


  Stiell re-appeared and said one item he placed at their seats was email from Mr. Revell that has map on back. 


  Hinson said this was public hearing and all information must be in 2 weeks in advance-to come in day of, he wanted to be sure lines were right. 


  Hinson wanted to disclose he received email from Mr. Revell but never responded to it.


  Green said was about to have heartburn also but saw they had what was needed to make decision. 


  Opal said they had public hearing, had date and time disclosed, everything that was required they were provided. 


  NeSmith said between the dialogue, his questions were answered.


  Chair Viegbesie said cannot please everyone.  Cannot find perfect solution for everyone.  Have parents that have to drive kids to fast-food restaurants for internet connection to be able to do homework; have elderly that cannot go to hospital and has no internet connection for telemedicine. 


  V asked will of commission.


  NeSmith thanked Revell for his time and attention.  Per Holt earlier, petitioner has met requirements. 


  NeSmith motion to approve option 1/Green second  4-1 Hinson opposed.   



Public Hearing-Legislative-Consideration of Ordinance 2021-013, Adoption of the Capital Improvements Schedule for Fiscal Years 2021/22-2025/26 (LSPA 2021-04)

  Dixon introduced above item.


  V said no sense of urgency-make sure Ordinance is complete before approving.  Need to be way to make capital improvements list more complete and harmonizing better.


  Opal said not sure there is right or wrong way-what hearing is more of classical solution. 


  NeSmith wanted to make sure had clarity on issue and understood this list was compiled before the two new commissioners.  Was told list could be amended as needed and why was comfortable in moving forward.


  Holt said reason asked for flow-chart was because there was need for visibility. 


  Dixon asked Stiell if he was right in saying they could continue to improve the list and make sure they were meeting obligations and deadlines of plan.  Paving and repaving roads would be separate from Capital Improvement Plan.


  Hinson said was thinking this was something don’t want to lose money on funding.  If can’t articulate, need to have workshop.  Need workshop, become educated and then can decide.   


  Holt said SCOP and SCRAP will come to them all the time.  Once pass this, add roads, keep moving because other Counties will be glad to take the funding.


  Dixon asked if roads of concern could be added tonight?  Stiell asked if those roads were paving and re-paving. 


  Stiell said this was improvements to Capital Outlay Program and anything identified in those documents


  Green said wanted to concur with Hinson on having a workshop so they could be educated on the road improvement process.


  Holt move approval of item/NeSmith second  4-1 Hinson opposed





Approval to Accept Reduced Payment for Satisfaction of Special Assessment Lien dated February 3, 2014


Holt / Green 5-0



Gadsden County Facilities Management Software

  Dixon introduced above item.


Green/Holt V question


Is this sole source provider-yes.


  Hinson said that funding coming from CARES Act.  Thought was going to have meeting first, meeting got cancelled and now want to use funds for this.


  V said reason meeting was cancelled, information on that workshop was not ready in timely manner.  Do not support items being added at dais, does not give time to research properly.  His understanding CARES money has all been allocated. 


  Chair called for vote 5-0   



Appointment to the C2 Juvenile Justice Circuit Advisory Board

  Dixon introduced above item. 


  Green recommended Holt; Holt said was going to nominate NeSmith.  V seconded Green’s nomination


  NeSmith said he concurred for Holt to occupy that position.  He offered to be alternate.


Green Motion to recommend Holt and NeSmith to be alternate/V made second.


  Holt said why like being retired, don’t think children want to see her. 


  Board voted 5-0    



Approval of the Gadsden County Public Library Pandemic Technology Enhancement Program



V stepped out


  Holt motion to approve/NeSmith second  Hinson question


Hinson said this required money and would be coming from American Rescue Plan.  Dixon said coming from national program and would be a grant from national program.


Vice Chair Green asked for vote 4-0



Cochran Road Change Order Number One

  Dixon introduced above item.  This was something engineers and DOT did not see.  Change was requested and DOT has agreed to partially pay




  NeSmith had question


Those dollars coming from---Public Works


V returned at 7:55 p.m.


  V said this was item he was not in favor of change orders.  Now this will cost County $13,???


  NeSmith asked Administrator-based on his experience, was this unusual to have change order?  Dixon said if read closely, change orders built into contract because things not caught. 


Board voted 5-0



Re-Approval of the Gadsden County CARES Act Residual Funds

Item Pulled



Re-Allocation of Funds for the Gadsden County American Rescue Plan (GCARP) Program

Item Pulled











  Dixon said County will be closed for Christmas on Friday and Monday; State has closed Thursday and Friday both weeks.  Courthouse will be closed Thursday and Friday this week and Friday next week as will the Tax Collector’s Office.


  Hinson asked about FCI- Dixon asked if he wanted him to comment on it.  Hinson said yes, he wanted to know how soon they could have a conversation.  Dixon said as soon as he could, he was running at top gear.


Hinson said he would like to have the names, addresses and phone number of everyone that applied and received funding for CARES Act.  Chair Viegbesie asked the attorney if that was public record and she said yes.


  V asked as prepare plan, consider working with congressional partners of national source


  Dixon said recently have talked about homelessness and services that go with that situation.  Have met with Mr. White who was builder of Kearney Center and tiny houses.  One thing will bring back is a listening opportunity on what happening in Gadsden County and how can be addressed Gadsden County style. 


  Green asked if way to find out correct way to address local homeless issue in County.  Dixon said participated in Veteran’s homelessness every year in his capacity of Sheriff’s office. 


  Hinson said had $100,000 for homelessness in CARES Act and it got taken out. 


  Holt said sounded like a workshop.






  Nothing-just Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone.





Report and Discussion of Public Issues



Commissioner Brenda Holt, District 4

  Wants on agenda – Mobile Health Unit; increase on (inaudible), and update on hospital



Commissioner Eric Hinson, District 1

  Got booster shot.


Need to have couple of meetings next week to close some things out-American Rescue Plan, etc.


  Had issue that came to Board and got pulled and wanted to make sure in line with what’s going on and wanted to make sure did not affect him by it being pulled. 


  V said reason was because of email attorney sent, wanted to make sure did what needed to be done to keep board free of any kind of legal ramification and keep Administrator and out of any legal implications so they could continue to do what they need to do.  Item will come back with the action that was taken to keep Board, as well as the operations free of any charges of ethics and violations by the Board. 


  Hinson asked attorney if any ramifications.


  Opal said could provide general response to this question as to whether the Board is implicated and any kind of dual Office holding issue concerning a particular provision of the Ethics Code.  In general, the Ethics code applies to public employer and public officers.  Each individual person is subject to the Ethics code in required to comply with terms of the code.  If there is a question about something concerning the Ethics code, the Board, as a body, was not responsible for compliance.  It would be individual members or officers.  To answer the question, generally, was there any concerns regarding the Board, she did not believe so.  Regarding the certain information Chair Viegbesie was talking about, she was not privy to it, Mr. Knowles is.  She said to answer the general question, the Board was not impacted.


  Hinson said wanted to make sure by not responding, they were ok.


  Dixon said he asked for item to be agendaed, he asked for the opinion, secondly, would never bring drama to board, thirdly, have removed conflict by resigning from his position as Executive Director of Health Council.


  Hinson said wanted make sure they were fine.


  Holt said thought would never have to clarify this; years ago was 2 professors that wrote grants for County and did not notify the County.  They were subcontracting with health care providers, reason this whole issue came together was because people were coming over here taking advantage of the numbers and 1 person wrote check for $97,000.   That was why the administrator was over the health council.  She said she was not speaking for Mr. Dixon she was speaking for the health council.  Mr. McKinnon was the director for years and then the health council selected Mr. Dixon before he became administrator.  The county had to have some say so what was written in the county’s name for healthcare.  Now we have to argue over someone being executive director; didn’t care about the $3 million raised, didn’t care about the $97,000; that’s what’s upsetting about this.  If the county has no say so over it, then it goes back to what it was.


  Hinson said if everything legal, move forward, why move away. 


Holt stepped out 8:40 p.m.


  Hinson said if doing what right, move forward.  Personally, did not know that previous County Administrator was doing this or current Administrator. 



Commissioner Kimblin NeSmith, District 3

  NeSmith thanked Asst. Daniels for making stay in St. Augustine pleasant and for not having any hiccups. 


Holt returned at 8:43 p.m.


  He said regarding homelessness, have census coming up in 9 year and need to be able to track homelessness and all population.



Commissioner Ronterious Green, Vice Chair, District 5

  Green said had couple of concerns-High Bridge Road striping is not there; received compliment on services at ER that constituent received; got call today about dog-would be nice if had portal on website.  Also has questions on who to contact for Animal Control, when call number, no response.  Dixon said had no answer, should be no reason calls not answered or returned.  Will be speaking with Mr. Meeks.


  V said he has also been called about animal control, there are issues in every district. 


  Hinson asked if could give number so people would know where to call.  Mr. Meeks said have moved and have not gotten landline set up.  New software they approved will help.


Number is 850-875-8658 for Animal Control. 


Green asked when would landline be set up.  Meeks said number forwarded to Sherita’s cell.  Holt asked for number for evenings and weekends because when most people are home.


  Green said did not want to address now but since has been made publicly known, he wanted to make sure it was clear it was his decision to resign.  Dixon said Health Council has Board and was position he had prior to coming to County.  He said he asked for an opinion from the attorney and wanted to make sure there was no conflict.  The conflict was that he was executive director of the health council, and to take away the conflict, he resigned. 


Said Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone.



Commissioner Anthony O. Viegbesie, Chair, District 2

  V said his only comment was already made by Commissioner Holt about the mobile health unit.



  Adjourned at 9:05 p.m.





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