Board of County Commissioners

Gadsden County, Florida

Regular Public Meeting

April 18, 2023

6:00 p.m.


Present:               Kimblin Nesmith, 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

                                Adriana Quijada, Deputy Clerk



  Chairman called the meeting to order at 6:05 PM. Simpkins led into provocation and Chair led into Pledge of Alliance to the U.S. Flag.  


  Dixon stated Item #13A Dewberry Contract for Stevens School to be amended.





  Dixon stated they have proclamation honoring National Library Week.



   Proclamation Honoring 2023 National Library Week

The Board presented proclamation to Library Director Tabetha Washington.



Presentation Regarding the Gadsden Arts Center & Museum

 Dixon presented the above.


Grace Robinson appeared before the Board and gave an update regarding Gadsden Arts Center & Museum.  


    Motion to approve consent agenda:


   Hinson seconded with a question. Asked for the CA to expand on agenda item 7 due to what was going on nowadays with all the shootings. 


   Dixon explained it was a letter of agreement to authorize the Tallahassee Big Bend Crime Stoppers. Primary funding comes from state office of Attorney General through a Trust Fund Grant. Required to be renewed every 3 years. Requires to obtain letter from each Commissioner authorizing them to act as their agent for the purpose of applying for receiving monies from the Crime Stoppers Trust Fund.






Ratification Memo



Approval of Minutes

·         March 21, 2023 BOCC Meeting



Approval to Confirm the Director of Public Works



Small County Consolidated Waste Grant Amendment with FL Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)



Letter of Agreement Authorizing Tallahassee Big Bend Crime Stopper, Inc



Approval of Memorandum of Understanding Between Gadsden Board of County Commissioners





The Gadsden County Board of County Commissioners welcomes and encourages public participation at all meetings of the Board. Citizens are free to speak for up to three (3) minutes on non-agenda items. Public comments and participation are also encouraged for items on the agenda.  Additionally, if you are unable to attend a meeting in person, comments from the Public can also be submitted via email to until noon on the date of the meeting. 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.  Citizens are further encouraged to participate via Zoom using the credentials on the County’s website. The Board’s meetings are also broadcast live on the Board’s Facebook page.

  Dixon read aloud the above statement.   



  Elizabeth Jenkins, 111 Minnie McGriff Lane, Havana FL

 Appeared before the Board to discuss re-zoning in their area. Requesting to be changed back to residential instead of Agricultural.  


   Hinson stated it was Ag 3 property. One house per 20 acres. He stated he thought there was something in place where if they wanted to give a piece of property to their child, they could do that. He stated he believed it was passed about 2 or 3 years ago. 


  Dixon stated if they were talking about 1991, that was when they were all forced to do COMP plans. Land across the county was changed. County had to justify its growth. Either show the state where they were growing, or all other properties had to go in some form of stasis. Cannot call it residential if population cannot fit the growth.


   Holt stated it was called the Family Exemption. They would have to get with the Administrator and Mr. Stiell.


Ralph Jenkins, 111 Minnie McGriff Lane Havana, Fl

 Mr. Jenkins appeared before the Board and discuss the zoning issues in his area.


  Green stated need to look back at what Ordinance were saying so they could make the necessary additions or modifications.


  Holt stated she was still trying to get COMP plan worked. Stated they put in 3 acres because it was easier to get a house on it. Needs to work the COMP plan and look at it.


   Denise Pouncy Hannah, Gadsden County

 Ms. Hannah appeared before the Board and stated she wanted them to go look at their archives and ordinance to see how it was advertised. If they advertised that they were going to change property, then people would come. Wanted to know the date published and which paper it was in. She told the Commissioner if something was happening in their district that would impact their constituents, let them know. She also mentioned about having to walk all the way around the building and the front door being locked. She asked why it was locked.


  Hinson stated had workshops about COMP plan, that’s why it was changed. They could add their daughter in there based on the Family Exemption.


  Holt stated it takes a while. Once they do zone changes, it has to be sent to the state.


  Dixon stated the front door being locked was a security issue.





Approval of Ordinance 2023-02


   Chair presented above item.


  Dixon stated item was related to Indigent Burial.  


Chair stated open to public, asked if anyone from audience would like to speak for this issue.


  Holt needed clarity. Asked Attorney to give specifics on this.

Attorney stated they incorporated changes that the Board requested regarding limiting who qualified for this and limiting the Board’s responsibility for burying just anyone. He stated the funding would be $5,000. It would be brought back to the Board if additional funding was needed. Next step would be to either put out an RFP or RFQ for the local funeral homes.


  Holt stated need clarification on what was changed from previous.


  Green stated asked if $5,000 is for the year or what it was for.


  Attorney stated that was a total line item, so that would be all money budgeted for entire fiscal year.


Hinson/ Holt






Approval of Lease Agreements with the Tenants on the newly purchased property located at 2426 Pat Thomas Parkway

  Dixon presented above item.


  Hinson stated he noticed they had 175 per month. Asked if that was a house. Dixon stated yes, 2 of them are lots. 


  Attorney stated not much change, it was more tightened up.


  Holt asked if doing repairs on those houses


  Attorney stated no repairs, but issues with fence and barns.





Approval of Non-Profit Request for Funding Application and Guidelines

  Dixon presented above item.


    Hinson asked if can have workshop on this. Wanted to focus on infrastructure.


   Holt stated non-profits do have ability to apply for own funding. Did not have to go to government for funding.


  Hinson said great year for non-profit. A lot of funding out there to get it.




Approval of the Agreement with the Gadsden County Emergency and Services and ESO Regarding Fire Incidents


  Dixon presented above item. ISO ratings were reported to fire departments. Looking to put in place a system where they can keep in house the fire incident reports. Producer who keeps EMS has a system that would marry theirs, seek approval to adopt that system.


  Hinson stated he knows they had an issue in Havana. Asked if Concord was penalized.


Dixon stated no. It was Concord, Chattahoochee, and Quincy. The rest were penalized.


  Hinson asked how come Concord was off the hook.    


  Dixon stated Concord is separate entity. 


  Green stated recently had meeting with volunteer fire fighters and trying to work out things to present to Board. 


   Holt asked Dixon if consider getting with school district, maybe interested in taking course.


   Simpkins stated spoke with Dixon in January, top priority for her. Need to workshop this. Not something they can drag on; people are about to lose their insurance, especially business. Need to get done within next couple months.  


  Hinson asked if could put fire department before non-profit. Stated this was urgent.


  Green stated the Superintendent of the Schools was already on board with the process of implementing the program.


Holt/ Hinson




Approval to Extend the Integrity Group Professional Continuing Service Contract

  Dixon presented above item.


  Simpkins stated when it came to monies being spent, amount was close to a million dollars. Workshop needed to be scheduled. Need to sit down and go over organization chart. Spending a lot of money.


  Hinson stated Integrity Group’s focus was how much money they could bring into Gadsden County. Wanted to know what they have brought into Gadsden County the past 3 years. Hinson asked if everything was 10%. Dixon stated yes. Hinson asked why Tallahassee was not 10%.


  Green stated they do not have staff for that type of department. Concern was if they looked for other people that provide these types of services.  


  Chair asked if it was a one-year contract. Dixon answered yes.


  Green stated if they could negotiate their percentage ratings. Maybe a discount for the recurring of contract.


  Dixon stated if directed to do that, he could talk to them.


    Holt stated she met with several companies. It was difficult to get anyone to take these contracts. The amount of federal paperwork it takes, especially during a disaster. Stated need to have professionals to do this; they do not have the qualifications.


   Simpkins stated she heard Hinson state that there was supposed to be finding grants and funding. Not listed anywhere. It entailed administering the grant and preparing correspondence. Can pull a team together with $800,000. Everything deals with assisting and preparing of the close out packages for the grants.


  Dixon stated it was a federally precured contract.


  Hinson stated would be first time since been on board that they never did RFP on an item of this magnitude. It would send a strong message to community if being consistent. Talking about a million dollars on the line. Never approved something without RFP of this magnitude.

Hinson stated need to do RFP then bring it back.


  Chair asked when current contract ends


Dixon stated the end of last month.


  Green stated to do it the proper way. Only few selected providers in industry, but to give opportunities. Percentage levels may be different. No problem with integrity. If stick with them, hope they could reconsider to have something less on the table.


  Holt stated cannot select someone because of prize of this, not paying the money ourselves. Whatever is done needs to be done quickly. Wanted to emphasize if going to do RFP, need to do short period of time. The requirements in the RFP have to meet federal standards.


  Simpkins mentioned DEO Broadband tool kit project, need special person to overlook that. Keep mentioning have to have experience in all of it, asked if all counties that received ARPA Funding had to have someone that had experience in homeland security.


Dixon stated yes.


  Hinson stated would like a motion where they send this to CA to do RFP for this particular item.

Hinson stated the CA should not put this Board in this position. Deadline was last month. If came to them 3 months in advance, then would’ve had time to see this through.


  Holt stated they put county in jeopardy, not getting a penny because of no contract. If they go month to month the still aren’t getting a penny. If a hurricane or tornado hits, people are put in danger. Need to have coverage for citizens.


Hinson/ Simpkins

4-1 Holt opposed



Dewberry Contract for Stevens School


 Dixon presented above item. Has been approved by DEO.


Hinson made motion to approve, Simpkins seconded.


Holt asked CA the amount of this is 1.7 million. Dixon answered yes.


Hinson said this was urgent, need to do it quick.


 Dixon stated Stevens School had been authorized as a COVID shelter. Due date is September 30th.  Been having problems with DEO.


Holt stated she was not going to vote against it.









Nothing to report.






Nothing to report.






Nothing to report.








Commissioner Alonzetta Simpkins, District 2

  Simpkins wanted to announce town hall meeting in Havana on May 3rd at 6PM. Asked if organizational workshop had been put on schedule.

Dixon stated not yet, they would schedule it alter this week.


Simpkins wanted to hope will be this month.  Asked if they were able to take a look at CDBG and Public Works grant.


Dixon stated did not recall.


  For the bicentennial, asked if supposed to give names to Dixon. Chairman stated yes. Simpkins asked about the playgrounds and where they were with that.


   Dixon stated the engineers and Public Works were going to refresh the parks. Brought in suggestions, will get feedback from Board on how to move forward.


  Simpkins stated need to know exactly where they are with it. 


  Holt asked what was deadline for the Grant. Dixon stated just closed one.


  Simpkins stated in order to move forward, need to put timelines.


Chair asked if Simpkins came up with a theme.


Simpkins stated had given CA some ideas. No theme yet.


  Simpkins asked if there is a schedule as it relates to grass mowing.


   Mr. Young appeared before the board. Stated will give schedule to Dixon.


  Simpkins asked about bonuses.


Dixon stated he knew it was done, will bring up in next meeting.


  Simpkins asked where they were with Granicus.


Dixon stated would send report in the morning.



Commissioner Brenda Holt, District 4


  Holt asked CA if someone could produce charts of what they were talking about. She stated to improve staff to get where they need to be, they need some numbers. Stated not getting good feedback on some employment opportunities. She stated there are people that are technologically savvy that could give them some of that information. Holt stated they used to have it where the Department heads did their presentations on agenda items.  They would get a lot of more information. Also, they were having workshops where the CA and Department heads practiced those agenda items beforehand. Need a program to keep the county clean. She mentioned the speakers from earlier and their zoning issues and stated there were thousands of people in the county that also were having issues with their property. But it would not work unless Planning and Zoning Board understand what they were looking for. Need to meet with them so they could understand. Need tiny houses. She stated the Commissioners should be doing research and bringing in numbers. If not, they would just be going back and forth.

Chairman asked if she came up with a theme. Holt stated no.



Commissioner Ronterious Green, District 5


  Green asked about Integrity. To his understanding, they were also working on a project. If they did not renew the contract, did that mean they were not going to complete the project. His vote was a no for Integrity item.


Attorney mentioned section 2-52 Sub F.


  Holt stated if changes to no, cannot bring item back. Needed to leave it as it is.


  Green stated they did not know when they were going to get the RFP; anything could happen. Wanted to make sure they were protected. He asked what if something would happen. Green stated he would keep his vote as it was before, 4-1.


  Asked if they got a date for agenda item for summer program application and interviews. Green asked Dixon where they were with this.


  Dixon stated application would be out the end of the month. Working through issues, but everything was ready for program. Would put it out in the next week or so. Green stated he did have his 2 people to submit to CA for Bicentennial.


   Stated had things to email regarding Bicentennial. 


  Holt asked if there was a deadline for Broadband.


 Dixon stated completing all projects currently have. 



Commissioner Eric F. Hinson, Vice Chair, District 1

  Hinson asked CA about summer youth employment. He stated that the CA stated at the last meeting that it would be out by that Friday. Two weeks later, it still had not been displayed.


Dixon stated he did not say that.


Hinson stated he had asked him to put on the agenda for Havana and Midway to be one of the recipients for funding, and CA did not do it.


 CA stated he did not have a program.


Chairman clarified with CA that the other cities submitted proposals.


Dixon stated yes.


Hinson stated they did not agree to have Gretna or Chattahoochee on the Agenda. It was just on the agenda. The Board agreed to place Havana and Midway on the Agenda. It was not on there. He stated the Summer Youth Employment was near and dear to his heart.  


Hinson stated Dixon needed to have a sense of urgency and did not respect the Board. When Commissioners ask him to put things on the agenda, he was not doing it. Hinson stated the Board is supposed to give the CA directives.


  Hinson stated a few years back, did a roof for a lady. Within a year or two, water was leaking out of roof. 


  Hinson stated he sent an email to staff stating that they needed to look at her roof and the floors. Hinson stated now there was mold in her ceiling. He stated he sent it to the County Administrator, not sure if it was Dixon or a different one. Needed to look into this to see if they could help her out. Hinson stated few years back, each Commissioner had $20,000 for Emergency Housing funds. If an elderly needed assistance, they could apply and they could get the help.  Hinson stated should do $50,000 for emergency housing per district.


 Holt stated may take a while to look at that. She stated that people that specialize in housing needed to look at this as well. She stated if there was going to be a vote for it, needed to be planned.


  Chair stated needed to understand and do research so that he could implement ideas that could be long term. 



Chairman Kimblin Nesmith, Chair, District 3


  Chair stated he will give the 2 names to Dixon. Wanted to thank community and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. for an awesome event they had for expecting mothers. Also wanted to congratulate Twin City Brewery for their grand opening in the city of Chattahoochee.  


 Simpkins stated she wanted to give a shoutout to Mothers Care, the minority health fair.  


Simpkins provided quote:


“We cannot solve problems with the kind of thinking employed when we came up with them.”



Adjourned at 8:44PM.





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