Board of County Commissioners

Gadsden County, Florida

Regular Public Meeting

April 19, 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

                                Nicholas Thomas, Clerk

                                Marcella Blocker, Deputy Clerk

                                Sara Green, Deputy Clerk



  Chair Viegbesie welcomed everyone to the meeting and called it to Order at 6:00 p.m.


Pastor Danielle ?Centenary Methodist Church



  2 amendments 8A-Approval of Task order and 11a-approval of 2022 Congressional Priorities


Green/NeSmith 5-0









Holt/Green 5-0


Ratification Memo



Approval of Minutes

·         November 16, 2021 Veteran’s Monument Workshop

·         March 15, 2022 – Affordable Housing Program Workshop



Approval of Funding from the Gadsden County Law Enforcement Education Fund (LEEF) for the Florida Leadership Academy Class 51



Approval of Funding from the Gadsden County Law Enforcement Education Fund (LEEF) for the purchase of Taser Cartridges



Approval of Funding from the Gadsden County Law Enforcement Education Fund (LEEF) for the Purchase and Training on the Use of Drones



Approval of the Judicial Inquiry System (JIS) Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV)-Access Certification Statement



Approval of the Gadsden County Community Development Block Citizen Participation Plan, Anti-Displacement and Relocation Plan Updates





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 January 18, 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.



   Rosetta Rolle Hylton-Anderson, 825 Virginia Street, Quincy, FL

Appeared before the Board and spoke regarding April being Organ Donation Month.  Concentrating on getting people to register to be an Organ Donor. 



   Yvette Biddle

Appeared before the Board on behalf of Figgers Communication.



   Bishop Willie Green

6:07 p.m. Appeared before the Board – wanted to thank the members of the Board that shared in the Stevens School – received check in the amount of $4,669,171.00. 







Update to the Personnel Policy Section 2-Employee Conduct

  Dixon introduced above item. Federal government requires it to be included.

 NeSmith/Green 5-0



Approval of Task Order # 2022-012 with The Integrity Group, Inc. to Provide Professional Grant Management Services for the Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) CDBG-DR/EMS Facility/Quincy Site Agreement M0026

  Introduced above item.  Do expect to be reimbursed from Grant. 


Holt had questions. 


Green asked if budgeted-yes


  Hinson asked if costs was $125,000-Dixon said 3-year long grant and that is costs over 3 years. 


  Holt said did after hurricane, will bid some out? Yes  Holt said need to look at some of the contracts, some taking too long.  Dixon said have looked at what could pull out and do on own and keeping it in-house. 


  Hinson said with Procurement Policy, thought anything over $25,000 had to be advertised and wanted to make sure was in-line with what should do. 


Knowles said was permitted because was under contract already in place and this is task order under that master agreement. 


  NeSmith asked when Board originally entered into agreement with Integrity


Holt said they were brought in because of Hurricane Michael and to help qualify for federal money.  


Holt/NeSmith 5-0


Appointment of District 3 Planning Commission Member Replacement

  Dixon introduced above item. 


Green/Hinson 5-0



COVID-19 Loss of Life Memorial

  Dixon introduced above item.  Approval for COVID-19


Holt/Green 5-0



Figgers Communication, Inc. Updated and Revised Broadband Agreement

  Dixon introduced above item.


  Knowles said this was what was spoken about at last meeting.  Hinson asked to see if could work out contract.  No advance payment, County will be purchasing 25,000 devices in one full swoop or in schematics.  When passed out will be activated.  V asked fiscal impact-up to $1.765 Million and may have storage costs. 


  Attorney Williams, Levi Williams Law Group spoke via Zoom.  Understand the needs of so many, salute staff and resolution 2020-070 spelled out need in community for students, safety, health and not every community was a forward thinking as Gadsden in trying to find solutions to this problem for Broadband to access and was a new arena


   Yvette Biddle spoke and said she was excited because great opportunity for citizens, and this is free for the first month and then will be $10.00/month.


  Green said was excited about 3 months of service and now going to 1 month and then hearing will be $10.00/month instead of $32.00/month.  It had been part of original group, would have passed four need assessment. Don’t believe have adequately equated to that when number of 25,000.  Puzzling as to how many devices needed.  Don’t want to ensure into something without need being there.


  Holt said reason brought up issue was Board told Hinson had opportunity to bring back.  If a Commissioner ask for something, should abide by it.  Was not brought within 30 days, was to be given to children, don’t know if need 25,000.  What did before was get them, bring to County, County accepted, Company was going to set up at home.  If going to purchase ex-number…  If buyer is responsible for loading costs.  Think better bet was to go through school board because they had more captive audience.


 NeSmith said thought Clerk had comments.  Once delivered, responsible for payment of amount received, not for service immediately. 


  Clerk said needed to disagree on advance payment issue being resolved.  They deliver 25,000, pay for them, they will sit around under Administrator’s possession and may even rot because don’t know if need 25,000 and have no way of distributing.  Becomes huge waste of money ever in history of when Gadsden County.  Still have not received W-9 from Figgers.  Contract still has Figgers Communications with “s” and is dissolved corporation.  Hinson interjected that this was a typo.  Clerk said typo has huge implications, they could walk away with money and County has no recourse.  Have looked back and want to go back to 2020; pandemic starts, Congress passes CARES Act and goal is to get money out quick, Gadsden County awarded $7.6 million; has to be spent by December 30, 2020; able to spend $4.5 Million by that date.  State allowed county to remit payroll from EMS and law enforcement expenditures to be reimbursed.  This money now residual CARES money. Things local government can do with money…During CARES, was writing lot of checks normally don’t write checks for because money came from Federal government.  When look at this contract now, dealing with pot of money that is really local government money and when look at this contract and this program to provide 25,000 hotspots for one month, don’t see local government program, don’t see where local gov’t authorized to spend, not telecommunications company, not permanent infrastructure, don’t see where legitimate local gov’t expenditure, what see is waste, corruption.  Don’t see anything to justify it.  Want them to be conscious of fact and have talked a little about campaign and receiving campaign funds and fine even if are multiple $1,000 contributions but point want to make, can receive campaign contributions but as commissioner, can’t award a contract because received those campaign contributions.  That is what is illegal.  Don’t see anything to justify contract.  Because of all of this, there is a statute that says Clerk SHALL NOT pay for anything that is an illegal charge to the county.  Because of that statute what I’m obligated to do and have to inform the board, will not pay the contract if vote for it.  Can sue, Figgers can sue, take him to Court and under court order, would be bound under those terms.


  Holt said agree with some of Clerk’s comments.  Just as he cannot receive campaign donations and award contracts under his position as a constitutional officer and is an accusation and should not be made in this meeting.  Should be talking about this contract.  She added that $1.7 million has been spent on couple of roads that board did not approve since her history and that is not justified either.  She asked who typed it up.  Knowles said they received it from FCI, did see on first page said “Figgers Communications, Inc” and corrected it.  Did not see “s” on signature page. 


 V said his comment, this particular item they have here, if recall, on March 31st became null and void.  Asked Administrator at last commission meeting, they had item where was approved for substantial amount of broadband for County? Yes.  County just released from DEO where government willing to give to small Counties and for citizens to complete household speed test.  This concerns him.  Have tremendous amount of money coming to County for Broadband for citizens and all asking is for citizens to conduct speed test to enable to qualify for more than one million dollars for the same thing, broadband.


 Hinson said personally, he disclosed he spoke with representatives from Figgers, some may suggest too (speaking to Clerk) that sometime have heartburn when people campaign against a person as well.  May be having heartburn if someone contributed $1,000 against him. 


  V stepped out 6:56


Said first time seeing him “come out of the ballpark” because he was giving his opinion and normally gives facts.  Think someone must have targeted him, and someone should look to see if someone donated against him, not sure if true or false and know would never go against person that campaigned against him.  Was talking with lady in Gretna, had two kids moved from Quincy to Sawdust; had to purchase hotspot for children.  If look at distance from Gadsden County high school to Sawdust, willing to bet almost 1-hour trip.  2 hours day is 2 hours out of day cannot do their work. 


  V returned 7:00


He voted for Motorola, asked Clerk for ballpark figure on what spent, Clerk said could not give figure, was unsure.  Hinson said paid over $2 Million, then said spent between $2.5 - $5 Million.5-6 years ago and yet to use. 


 Clerk said County agreed to enter into agreement to provide equipment and communications for law enforcement, EMS and fire and is a legitimate expenditure.  Whether as you, as a body or staff, messed up that contract or said they could do certain things that turned out staff could not do and made mistakes that caused things to not get done in a timely manner. 


 Hinson said was bold this year and purchased 3-4 EMS.  Spent for Motorola almost $3-4 Million just for Motorola but have hiccups.


  Clerk said there was nothing stopping their friends from setting up a storefront or website selling their wares as any other communications company does.  Nothing saying Gadsden County was obligated to spend $1.765 Million on 25,000 units that will rot.  Hinson said he did not assume he was his enemy and hoped he didn’t put money in his campaign and hoped it was not fixed.  He then said he was gonna look into it check it out himself. 


  Hinson said heard the cry of Commissioner Green and other board members.  Hinson said went to Clerk’s Office but clerk was out of town.  Would like, because heartburn all over this thing, would like it to be given directly to County Administrator, Attorney and Chair and have them come up with resolution.  Hinson said was asking that all parties get together, contract says up to 25,000.  If that is the heartburn, think need to look and everyone get together, including Clerk and make this feasible.


  Levi Williams spoke via Zoom.  Appreciate the discussion.  In response to some of the comments, scriveners error his fault.  Need for high-speed internet, hinders…, Figgers did do test of need and found need of?  Also found businesses that have need.  Contract was initially put out to bid and only response was Figgers for his hometown.  He designed opportunity for residents.  Nowhere in contract for $10.00 month but citizen can continue to use.  Think product, service and price given would be incredible benefit to community.  Think hard to beat this opportunity.


  Hinson move motion to direct County Administrator and County attorney to speak with Figgers Communication and find happy median and to satisfy other concerns Clerk had regarding W-9.  Motion died for lack of second.



2022 Congressional Priorities when

  Dixon introduced above item and apologized for delay in getting information to Commissioners


  Green stepped out at 7:22 p.m.


Also enclosed is request from City of Gretna regarding their wastewater expansion.  Also 2 requests from City of Midway regarding their sewer projects.  Also asked Congressman for assess road that would give Orion’s Point and Rustling Pines


  Green returned 7:24   


Dixon said looking forward and this creates opportunity to get neighborhood to county road 268


Hinson/V second for discussion


Holt asked presentation be made.


  Dr. Henry Grant appeared before Board speaking about projects in Midway.  One is septic to sewer and other is Midway Access Road Project.  Administrator summarized what projects were.  Septic to sewer is city’s first step in connected large subdivisions to sewer in Midway.  Other project will help this neighborhood out in case of disaster.  Only one way to egress from neighborhood.  Trying to eliminate environmental impact on this road and trying to connect with County Road 268. 


  NeSmith said have heard about these 2 major issues.  Asked number of houses-120 and a substantial amount more that would be developed.  He asked is $2Million would complete the connection project-yes.


  Antonio Jefferson appeared before the Board.  Thanked Dixon for advancing this request.  Over last several years been on aggressive effort to expand to I-10 and 12 exchange.  Do not have sewer service.  $650,000 in to Requesting to build lift station; increasing main that runs Dewey Johnson Way, total budget little over $4 Million.  City just completed feasibility study that believes if conducive for development. 


  NeSmith asked total amount $4,300.980.75.  NeSmith asked during time the Representative was here, was he aware of projects? Yes. 


  Holt said they met at City of Gretna and went over several projects and must say they are working on Dewey Johnson Way every other day.  For economic development,


  Holt made second.  NeSmith thanked them for letting him know came from Commissioner.  He asked regarding the Veterans, running with it Dixon said. 


Chair called for vote.  5-0






  Clerk wanted to mention what he mentioned little over year ago about budget.  Will soon be working on it and was some problems with posting and advertising.  One practice that seems to be coming routine.  They budgeted a transfer from FEMA fund to general fund of $1.3 Million and think bad practice; transfer is not complete, shows general fund receiving $1.3 Million but does not show anything in FEMA fund.  Have to reflect in Financial Statement.  In 21 budgets actually received $500,000 and revenue bounced back really good.  Thinks that practice they should not continue to use those funds to balance.


  Holt asked if saying budgeting money from FEMA and should not be.  Clerk said what has done for 2 years in row.  FEMA unpredictable and not good practice to balance based on that.  Clerk said when enter into grants, most are reimbursable and have to spend up front before getting money and why important to have fund balance to use until reimbursed from grants and when an and.  Clerk said effect is eat into fund balance and was why said it was like appropriating fund balance without appropriating.  Holt asked about money Sheriff received and he gave raises, when next year comes, no money to pay salaries…  Clerk said then he has to request more money.


  NeSmith said his question was answered.


  Green asked if contact been made with FEMA recently as to when money will be coming down.  Dixon said to Clerk’s point and his point, lot of bad budgeting practices, Clerk right, that is bad budget practice.  Like this grant, won’t create budget until receive money in hand.  Will be sent when they want to.






  Dixon said Managers of Midway and Gretna here and have been meeting with other managers in County.  Idea is have to understand are partners and in this together.  Expansion of Gretna sewer is expansion for County. 


Want to make sure everyone knows that OurFlorida is out there.  Been given a treasure trove of money to help pay rent through Children and Family.


  Green said was available on line and on May 1st at New Life Ministry, have taken the initiative to partner with OurFlorida. 


  Viegbesie asked if could put date in newspapers. 


  Green said hopefully by Thursday will have circular. 


  NeSmith said question answered.


  Dixon said additionally, have on dais listing of workshops, please complete and get back to staff to schedule workshops.   






  Have Memorandum regarding Solicitation issue for review and was not billed for the record. 


Quick update, Derrick Elias case dismissed on Summary Judgment and has been resolved in County’s favor. 


  Holt said was waiting on Attorney Taylor and will be making a comment on her behalf and will not be speaking on behalf of Board.





Report and Discussion of Public Issues



Commissioner Brenda Holt, District 4

  Thanked everyone for Stevens School presentation.  Was able to get more funding than was requesting.  Was told we were only ones that asked for COVID shelter. 


Went to rally at Capitol to voice her opinion about redistricting.  Should have opportunity to say what district want to be in.



Commissioner Eric Hinson, District 1

  Hinson thanked Midway for working hard over years with City Council as well as Administrator and Staff.  Was able to get $2.2 Million to expand Lamb Recreation Center.  Also thanked Lawson, he showed up and showed out.  Thanked City of Gretna for looking out for their residents as well.  Thanked residents, been tough two years for County. 


Need to focus on interstate exchanges.  Tallahassee brining in lot of different corporations in our area.  Think need to put emphasis in infrastructure.  Is County still committed to GCDC?  Yes.  Would like them to come talk about economic development and how to meet challenges. 



Commissioner Kimblin NeSmith, District 3

  NeSmith thanked Hinson and said


  Holt stepped out at 8:08 p.m.


Need more projects, more the better.


Happy birthday to Ms. ??Bellamy.  She is unsung “sheros”. 


Missed Guardian Graduation-


  Hinson said also at meeting he suggested a Resolution for Guardian McNealy/V second 4-0


  Holt returned 8:11


Electronic message board is awesome.  Is excellent messaging tool.  Will be recommending some version in budget year so can continue to honor all great work done in County.


One of Black History participated in relay at University of Florida, set new University of Central Florida record at track. 



Commissioner Ronterious Green, Vice Chair, District 5

  Green said on behalf of Dispatchers, thanked for resolution, was well deserved event. 


Thanked Administrator for OurFlorida. 


  Holt thanked everyone for great job for presentation, was one person not there and was Arrie Battle.  Motion to present Proclamation  5-0. 


  Green said wanted to recognize Friends of Stevens as well.  Also Ms. Maggie King, oldest teacher who taught at school. 



Commissioner Anthony O. Viegbesie, Chair, District 2

  V asked for Proclamation for Willie Scott  NeSmith/Holt 5-0


  When heard news about money for Stevens School, was ever elated.  With tenacity of Holt and Friends of Stevens…, also thanked staff.


Thanks to municipalities for understanding collaborative efforts lead to progress.


Thanked Public Works for the beginning of the mowing of public roads.


Receipt and File





  Adjourned at 8:23 p.m.





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