Board of County Commissioners

Gadsden County, Florida

Regular Public Meeting

March 1, 2022

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



  Called meeting to order at 6:04 p.m.; Pastor Jackson gave the Invocation and Chair Viegbesie then led in the Pledge of Allegiance.



  Dixon said wanted to pull Item 9 from Consent and add it as 11a


Holt motion to approve/V 5-0





Proclamation Honoring the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC)

  Proclamation was presented to representatives of the National Association of Women in Construction and the Proclamation was read aloud.


Kerwyn Jones Wilson and Jackie Carrouth Wilson were present and received the Proclamation.


Holt motion to recess for 10 minutes/Green  5-0


  Chair reconvened the meeting to order.



Presentation Regarding Vacant Property Registration Ordinances

  Mr. Knowles introduced the above item.


  Clifford Johnson appeared before the Board and gave a background as to what his firm does and how it could benefit the County.  Seeing banks are still…


  Holt said house repossessed; his company would approach mortgagee, make sure aware need to register, send letters, take to Code Enforcement hearings and hold them accountable.  She asked how they are paid, works strictly on commission.


  Green said caught his attention with no costs to local government


  NeSmith asked closest local government to Gadsden they worked with- Orange County.


  Knowles said looked at it and only concern was need to make sure aligned with …


  Hinson said was looking at citizens perspective,


  Holt said if were to adopt policy would have to have clause that occupant not been evicted. 


  V said reason he took interest in this ordinance was desire to find additional sources of revenue.  Would be workshopped before adopting.


  Hinson felt timing wrong right now. 


  Green said for sake of clarity, not an agendaed item, was just making them aware.


  NeSmith said have listened to comments and as vice-chair said, not voting on anything.  Would like to schedule workshop so could understand better. 


  Hinson said on his behalf, been on Value Adjustment Board forever,


  V said nothing in writing, Ordinance not been drawn up.  Just a presentation of a service. 


  Dixon asked this about whether or not property maintains property, if bank maintains property, no problem. 



  Move approval Holt/Green 5-0



Ratification Memo



Approval of Minutes

·         January 4, 2022 Regular Meeting

·         January 18, 2022 Regular Meeting

·         February 1, 2022 Regular Meeting



Ratification of Proclamation for Black History Month



General Release-Case No. 01-2021-CA



Approval of the E911 Spring Rural County Grant Application for E911 System and MapSAG Annual Support and Maintenance



Approval of Resolution 2022-003 Grant Budget Amendments for FY 2022



Approval to Sell Surplus Equipment/Vehicles at Auction

Item moved to 11a



Approval of the 2022 Small County Consolidated Waste Grant Application with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Amendment No. 1 to the SC208 Agreement



Approval of the Lease Agreement with Quadiant, Inc.



Approval to Sell Surplus Equipment/Vehicles at Auction





Approval to Sell Surplus Equipment/Vehicles at Auction

  Dixon said list was incomplete; have two tool boxes to be added to the list.


  Holt said on trailer, should be 48 feet not 48 inches-yes.  She said at one time had auctions here, no longer do that? 


  NeSmith asked where the auctions were held?  Holt responded at one time was in Midway and used to be in Tallahassee.


  Holt approval/NeSmith 5-0



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 March 1, 2022.  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.

  Commissioner Hinson read aloud the above statement. 



  Mimi Ellis Robinson appeared via Zoom) concern was about dogs-was not available.


Hinson said needed to have workshop on animal control.


  Ms. Ellis said last year was bitten by a dog and proper protocol was not followed by staff.  


   Rosetta Anderson appeared before the Board.  Passed out information regarding April being “Donate Life Month”.  Would like to be able to be able to light up the Courthouse yard with green and blue. 


  Green thanked her for her hard work in the County.   



   Katrina Tuggerson, thanked them for their support and services, had opportunity to work with Integrity with CARES Act and ARP programs.  Said administrator reached out to her because wanted more minority contractors. 



   Beth Cicchetti appeared before the Board.  Ad Valorem tax exemption due to expire this year and asked they review that.  Gadsden County Strategic Plan has been completed.  Invited them to come to virtual meeting, Amazon will be key note speaker.







Approval of The Integrity Group, Inc. (TIG) Work Authorization 2022-004 to Facilitate Gadsden County in Implementing the Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) Broadband Planning Toolkit Project and Completion of DEO Requested Toolkit Reports

   Dixon introduced the above item. 


Holt asked if could consider minority-based contract.  Dixon explained.  Holt said wanted to make sure that was looked at.


  Hinson said also imperative they bid out items to be fair to others.


  Green said knew this item was time sensitive, was there time to do that being they were presented with dates? 


  V said what was thinking, if this was very time sensitive, if would consider those businesses that…may be brought in as “sub partners”. 


  Green said no disrespect with Integrity, but they were not the only company that does what they do.  Maybe another company could provide services without…


  Dixon said concern does not fall on deaf ears.  Money is out there, what level will be out there in three months?  There is an appropriate time but believes Integrity is the best group for this at this time.  Point being on main line with few things.  His recommendation is to go with Integrity.


  NeSmith asked if they have in the past has similar consulting contracts? 


  Hinson said they were still a government and must follow their own ordinance. 


  V said was item on Agenda and asked if Dixon had comment.


  Dixon said have mater contracts with architectural, master contracts with engineering and do not bid those out.  This has federal component to it and if using ARP dollars, those folks have to be authorized to be certified.  This is straight-forward and not that simple.


  Hinson said Dixon said very smooth words; have ordinance and if not going to follow ordinance, then renegade county.  When architect has project, brings plans and explains. 


  Holt said the part between the County and Federal Government, Integrity perfect; part between street and Integrity was what she was interested in.  Getting survey is what they need to do.  Her concern was to make sure have someone that can go after money within the timeline.  Second, compile data…


  NeSmith asked if anything improper with Agenda item.  Knowles said will side with…do have a master agreement with Integrity and was well within the rights of Board to do.  However, if Board concerned with lawsuit, could prepare RFP. 


  NeSmith asked if anything improper and Knowles stated no.    


  V asked will of Board-


  Holt asked Knowles, Tuggerson said did not want to be sub-contractor, could it be rectified as far as having someone gathering information?  Knowles said since dealing with federal dollars, already in Code of Federal Regulations that a) should try to use minority contractors, and b) in Integrity contract is a carve-out for local.  If wanted to make change, could include something that would carve-out a certain percentage.


  V said that comment was why his though process and why interrupted Administrator.  Whoever makes motion could be contingent in including local minority firm.  


  Holt wanted to know from Administrator his opinion if they wanted to include local minority contractor. 


  Dixon said easiest was to give him direction.


  Hinson said this was something to think about.  He said Integrity would get a percentage regardless. 


  NeSmith asked Administrator if that was way contract was written? Dixon said no.


  Hinson was here before Dixon was and if not mistaken, there was no costs to Board, their fee was included with amount received. 


  Green said it has been clearly stated that Integrity has good relationship in getting federal money.  They may not be as good in the community, but feel like behind in paperwork.  Want to move forward and adding a partner-how do they made having a partner be available. 


  V said what he said was what his thought process was.  Do need local minority participation in this project.  If decide to go in that direction, the approval of this item be contingent that subcontractor be minor partner.


  NeSmith asked Holt if have motion.


  Holt motion to approve continent on local minority partner being approved; Knowles asked if need to come back before Board-no.


  Green asked who responsible for paying that partner? 


V said motion on floor and NeSmith made second.


Green wanted to make sure proper payment was taken care of. 


  V said process will be worked out with Integrity and subcontractor when get there.


  Hinson asked if could speak with Integrity.         


  Hinson asked purpose of $200,000-he said goes beyond survey, that was one small process


  Green stepped out


Create report, submit to Board, once approved, submit to DEO, would be glad to have minority cooperation. 


  Green returned 8:08 p.m.


  Holt called the question.


  V said motion to call question-Board voted 5-0


  Chair called for vote on motion 4-1- Hinson opposed   



Approval of the Agreement with FDOT-Grant Applications

  Dixon introduced above item.

Holt approval/NeSmith 5-0



Main Courtroom Upgrades at Old Gadsden County Courthouse

  Dixon introduced above item.

Holt/NeSmith 5-0



Approval of the Agreement with the Gadsden County Development Council

  Dixon introduced above item.


Green/NeSmith Holt question-whenever losing businesses leaving, need to know.


Chair called for vote 5-0



Approval of the Agreement with the Gadsden County Chamber of Commerce

  Dixon introduced item.


Hinson motion to approve/V second Holt said main job is retention & they were losing businesses Vote 5-0



Gadsden County Receipt of Settlement Proceeds from Endo Pharmaceuticals

  Dixon introduced


Holt approve/V Hinson question Board voted 5-0



Gadsden County Sheriff’s Office Request for Advance Funding to Support the Delivery of Services for the Gadsden County Criminal Justice Diversionary Project; the Restoring Families Program; the Teen Success Academy; the SOAR Program and the Civil Citation Program

  Dixon introduced above item.  


NeSmith/Green  Hinson question typo in agenda item.  Voted 5-0



Funding for the African American History Month Celebration

  Dixon introduced above item.


Holt motion to approve/V second


Hinson curious – know had conversation about how much was raised.  Dixon said knew raised money but unsure of amount.  People that promised to donate have not come in yet.  Also, not kosher of their ability to fund raise and wanted to make sure was done properly and therefore was asking the Board for enough money to cover whatever situation they have.  Got a commitment from TDC and City of Quincy.  Hinson asked how much TDC put in and Dixon said $25,000.  Will reduce what has been put in.  He said it was “up to” and knew they would not need most of the money.


  Green said did not state “up to” but at least will be allocated. 


Holt amended motion to “up to $50,000” and NeSmith second.  Voted 5-0




Funding for Future Major Public Events for Gadsden County

  Dixon said turn-out was so enthusiastic and wanted to thank Tracey Lockwood at KFC for providing lunches, Big Bend Transit for transportation.  The $100,000 is to be able to do for other events. 


  Holt said on previous event, could not get room at hotel was so much activity. 


  V said thought needed to consider having an annual Western jamboree.  His question is where would $100,000 come from budgetarily?  How would it affect future budget?  How do they know what planning for future events will cost?  Dixon said don’t, expect it to come from general funds but was an investment.  Wanted to send signal to others was in it for long haul and the County is ready. 


  Green said since talking about events, this was an event well worth investing in.  The energy was impeccable.  Setting funds aside gives them something to work with. 


  Green motion for option 1/NeSmith 5-0



Figgers Communication, Inc.

  Dixon asked attorney for update.


  Knowles said received email last Thursday from FCI’s attorney.  Requesting he have a working draft to Board and him to review by March 3rd and believes trying to be on agenda for March 15th.   Asking to present new contract independent and separate from any prior contracts.


  Dixon said Board Direction was to present to school board and school board only and …


  V said direction was also to talk to school board, did he and staff reach out to school board?  They did.


  Hinson said asked for public records request and have not received; also, email was down for almost 3 weeks.  Have a senior population here and looking at telemedicine.  If have hotspot in area, could help senior out and could call doctor.  Think should have a meeting in different areas and meet seniors in communities so they could get hotspots. 


  Green said asked Administrator about conversation with school Board, wanted to know what they said, they said between 3400-5000 as long as not responsible for distribution and attestation; only receiving hotspots.  School Board was enthusiastic.


  Hinson said if have 5400 students and gave each student a computer, each kid needs hotspot. 


  V said there was nothing to vote on.  His recollection was if there was no contract, then it was non-existent.   Only request was to consider extension for 30 days, which was this meeting.


  Hinson said have to be fair about situation, email was down for long period of time and they being penalized for not paying bill. 


  V stepped out at 8:46 p.m.


  Hinson said to be fair.  Go to next board meeting, email was not working. 


  Holt said to make a decision and move on.  Could have communicated by phone or by certified mail.  Need to move on. 


  Dixon said what they requested was an opportunity to have new contract separate from old contract.  


Green asked to hear from attorney.


  Knowles said would vote to agenda at next agenda and if contract on table could vote then.  As Holt has said, contract was extended and the old contract is done, thinks FCI acknowledges that.  Question is, is Board inclined to give FCI chance.


  Hinson said due to situation, should extend 2 weeks and however Board wanted to vote then, would be good with. 


  Hinson said motion was to table for 2 weeks  V said motion died for lack of second.  He said if Hinson wants to bring up different contract in future.  For now, that is end of contract.












  Mask Ordinance is still in effect.  V said was internal request of Commission for employees to wear masks in building.


Taking a hit with legislature.  Communities around county making out like bandits.  Still gonna stay in gaming keep pushing and have a couple more days but our own life support.


Taking advise on green space where old jail property is.  Had conversation with Clerk-have records in Building.  Don’t think have problem with building going away and them turning it into potential green space provided make room for records to keep them secure and dry.  Have not talked with City of Quincy since new administration.  They are looking to come out of the land fill. 


Moving ahead with dirt road ordinance. 


Been talking about fire rescue, now Havana spoken with Chief about coming back into Havana.


  NeSmith stepped out at 9:00 p.m.


  Going to talk to groups from Gretna and Havana regarding the school projects. 


  This month will have meeting regarding economic development With Chamber and GCDC. 


  V said thought body agreed to create a Department of Economic Development Restoration and Resiliency.


  With Planning and Zoning, Stiell is reviewing some changes.  Meeting with him and building inspector. 


  V said had meeting with Housing and Code Enforcement and was very productive and informative meeting.  Suggested if could in future meetings, create a spot where each director comes in and informs commission of their plans and updates. 


  Green said in reference to workshops with different departments, have spoken with Sonya and she promised would have workshop soon.  Would love to have on public record and asked it to be expedited. 


  Holt said have to look at costs on these when doing workshops, do it every 2-3 months.  They could give short reports during meeting. 


  V said there was something in attorney’s area of specialization, will have workshop for free, to help educate citizens about heir property. 


  V asked what doing about working with school system to enhance county’s K through eighth prep, are they working with them collaboratively?


  Hinson said need to do research first.    






  Knowles said regarding Derrick Elias case, FAC attorney had mediation and was not able to reach resolution.  Has requested a shade meeting on March 15 before next meeting.


Holt/Green 5-0


  Will be seeing other pharmaceuticals settlement.





Report and Discussion of Public Issues



Commissioner Brenda Holt, District 4

  Said she is requesting a workshop on the attorney’s contract and felt it should have been bid out.


  Grant for local organization and will be spent here and will be coming before Board in near future.


Should look at purchasing commercial property and leasing out to businesses encourage more businesses to come to area.  Also look at abandoned property.  



Commissioner Eric Hinson, District 1

  Hinson said wanted to thank the GC Black History Cultural and Educational Organization for a magnificent job done on Saturday.  Dixon said had pleasure meeting with those groups several times along with the City of Quincy. 


Also thanked the BOCC for helping with the cause and the City of Quincy. 


Asked for Proclamation for Dorothy Mae Harrison  Holt Motion to approve/V second  5-0


Will bring back the Summer Youth employment for ages 14-18 so they can get jobs.  Asked it be on next agenda. 


Asked they consider 3500 hotspots, don’t want to take that from the kids.



Commissioner Kimblin NeSmith, District 3

  NeSmith wanted to channel Commissioner Hinson because of who he thanked for the parade and gala. 


Also wanted to channel Dixon for thanking staff earlier, did phenomenal job.


Have to inform public of accomplishments because they do not know what BOCC do. 


Need workshop on goals and objectives for this year. 


  Chair mentioned earlier, do a lot of travelling and wanted public to know have lot of information for Administrator. 



Commissioner Ronterious Green, Vice Chair, District 5

   Green said would be remorse if did not extend is gratitude regarding past weekend. 


Would like to have list of accomplishments as well.


  In third month, season changing, crime will be growing.  Have talked with Col. Collins and would love to partner with cities and county. 


  Holt said since talking about infrastructure, cities were putting cameras on corners and might would help deter crimes. 


  He said heard couple of names mentioned and when publicly mentioned, makes them want to give more. 


Made motion for proclamation to Tracy Lockwood/V second 5-0


  Hinson made motion for Ms. Rosetta/Green second proclamation 5-0


Hinson motion for Karen Wells/ NeSmith 5-0



Commissioner Anthony O. Viegbesie, Chair, District 2

   V said NeSmith made comment about travels they have made.  Brought material for County housing dealing with homelessness. 


  Motion to approve lighting of Courthouse in blue and green/?  5-0


  Holt motion for guy that waves on 90.


Receipt and File





  Adjourned at 9:52 p.m.





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