Board of County Commissioners

Gadsden County, Florida

Regular Public Meeting

May 16th, 2023

6:00 p.m.


Present:               Kimblin NeSmith, Chair, District 3

                                Eric Hinson, Vice-Chair, District 1

                                Alonzetta Simpkins, District 2

Brenda Holt, District 4

                                Ronterious “Ron” Green, District 5

                                Edward J. Dixon, County Administrator

                                Clayton Knowles, County Attorney

                                Adriana Quijada, Deputy Clerk



Chair called the meeting to order at 6:01 pm, asked for moment6 of silence and then led in Pledge of Allegiance.



Dixon stated would like to add 19A-Housing Request, 19B- Update on Bicentennial. Attorney requested to add 16A-Approval of Engagement Letter for Coppins/Monroe


Hinson stated Item 19a had fiscal impact of $20,000 and asked if had to be advertised first since under threshold of $35,000.  NeSmith asked to give attorney chance to review.  Attorney suggested to approve agenda with item and if need to pull could do so when they get to that item.

Holt/ Green 5-0




Proclamation Recognizing EMS Week

 Dixon presented the above item. Chair presented proclamation to EMS persons.



Proclamation Recognizing Public Works Week 

Dixon presented the above item. Chair presented proclamation to Public Works



Mental Health Awareness Month Proclamation

Dixon presented the above item.



Family Abduction Awareness Day – May 25th Proclamation

Dixon presented the above item.



Recognition of Ms. Cathy Johnson 

Dixon presented the above item.

Ms. Cathy Johnson was awarded



Update on the 2023 Employee Climate Survey

  Dixon presented the above item.


  Ms. Maas appeared before the Board to discuss the update on the 2023 Employee Climate Survey.


  Hinson asked if they asked for names on the survey. Maas stated no.

  Simpkins asked what was the total number of people that surveyed. Maas stated 136.  Simpkins asked if survey included certain departments.  Maas stated did not know what 136 responded and have total of 220 employees.


  Green asked if everyone had the adequate amount of time to do the survey. Maas stated correct.


  asked why 100+ employees did not do survey.  Maas said 60% of employees responded, have OPS employees that may not been working that week or EMS workers off that period of time.


  Holt asked if survey could be done at beginning of year or fiscal year.


  Hinson stated he was ok for once a year  




Holt/NeSmith 5-0


 Hinson asked about Item 13 if Dixon could give brief summary.  Dixon read through the item. Hinson stated he believed in public-private partnership.



Ratification Memo



Approval of Minutes

BOCC Meeting Minutes:
a.    April 18, 2023 Regular Meeting



Approval of the EAP Services Contract with Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare



Sheriff’s Office – Training Funding Request (Florida Association of School Resource Officers - 44th Training Conference)


 Acceptance and Signature of the Spring 2023 E911 Rural County Grant Award Agreement for E911 System and MapSAG Annual Support and Maintenance


Approval and Signature(s) for Satisfaction of Special Assessment Lien


Approval of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Between Gadsden County and Second Harvest of the Big Bend


HCA Florida Capital Hospital Request to Replace the Existing Nurse Call System at the Gadsden Facility


Approval to Apply for the Historic Preservation Grant for the Gadsden County Courthouse


Items Pulled for Discussion




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.

  NeSmith read aloud the above statement. 



Bishop Willie C Green, 296 Bradwell Rd Quincy, FL

  Bishop Green appeared before the Board and asked about the items that were added to agenda at beginning of meeting and citizens would not be able to read through the items once added during meeting.  How will they allow for discussion on item if not on agenda?


Chair stated typically they frown upon items added at last minute but sometimes there are items that need to be addressed that come after agenda approved and Administrator deems important enough to keep business of County moving forward.  If has fiscal costs or something that does not need to be responded to at that moment, have right to table and bring back at later date.


Green said once add items, how would public know what those items were after added to agenda and if wanted to speak on any of those items, would allowances be made so he could speak?


Attorney said if any citizen wanted to speak on item after announced, they have right to do so when item comes up.



Sherrie Taylor, 217 W Clark St. Quincy, FL

  Ms. Taylor asked for update regarding the funding for Gadsden Wellness.   Met with staff with regards to funding that was approved.  Read comments made by Administrator after meeting and thought they had different opinion as to what came from meeting.  Talked about meeting with funding agency, talked about partnership, but one statement made in information to commissioners, had difference of opinion. Was no refusal in signing agreement but indicated was applying for grant and so was County to some degree and he wanted to come beck to Board.  In second meeting in May, item would be placed on agenda and was not.  Said shared at meeting she would be applying and was stated at meeting by couple of commissioners if she applied and received, she would have to return $45,000.  Asked when could be placed on agenda, when could have discussions so much needed funding could go to seniors at her program.  Also said at meeting where funding approved, was 2 concerns echoed by 2 commissioners: 1) sustainability and she will present letter from her bank of 25 years to Administrator’s Office tomorrow morning to show sustainability; and 2) process-had nothing to do with removal or way grant was given, only trying to make sure funding stays in Gadsden County.


Dixon stated if the Commissioners would like to agenda this they could. He and attorney were present and Taylor did not sign document and informed them was applying to same program County was.  What he understood Board to say with that, she did not qualify.


Taylor said more than willing to sign as is but when she indicated to Administrator was applying, he said he was uncomfortable moving forward and would rather take back to Board.  Agreement was taken off by Administrator, not by her. 


NeSmith asked if terms in agreement she disagreed with because was grant same as Board applying for.  She said yes.  NeSmith said violates noncompete clause and she said they were at a stalemate is because whether or not board could apply because of stipulation outlined by granting agency.  Stipulation indicated has to be a 501c3 and present documentation indicating such, have necessary experience and a couple of other items funding agency put in RFP.  One very profound one was no governmental agency could apply, had to be nonprofit.  Those are bullet points county cannot get around.  Bills come full claim for grant because based own qualifications, county could not apply.


  Hinson stated item should come before the Board.


  Holt said if Taylor applying for same grant Board applying for then she could not have money.  If she applying for that money, then did not need money from County in order to apply,


  Dixon stated that was what Ms. Taylor said was her interpretation of what she believed was in document.   Not what contract called for, clearly stated if County deemed necessary, for her not to compete in this grant, then she would not, not for her to determine if county was qualified or eligible.


  Hinson stated they need public-private partnership. Costing County almost $500,000 plus another $100,000 that did not have to pay in past.  Need to embrace public-private partnerships more.  Think fair to her and community to have this item placed on agenda.


NeSmith said research should take place before being placed on agenda and was more interested in having research to sit with administrator and Attorney to see what language being discussed because of different level of interpretation.  Need background before moving forward.


Ms. Taylor stated that the County Administrator stated same.  Apparently being told two different things by agency and need meeting to get total understanding.  Also in meeting was going to be language drawn up stating for county not to apply for grant to keep someone else from applying.


  Green stated it was a needed conversation. Wanted to get clarity that the County was applying and the way they were applying. Stated it was their job to take care of their citizens holistically.


  Dixon stated characterization of Taylor was misleading. Their attorneys talked back and forth about possibilities. He made it clear that the document she has was interpreted very clearly. Not an attempt to keep Taylor from receiving funds. It was to keep her from competing with the County. It was her interpretation of what the Area on Agency was saying.


  Holt stated if it was going to be brought back, the research could be verified before anything was put on the agenda.


  Hinson stated she should be able to ask the Attorney a question.


Chair stated he needed to move the meeting forward.



Pastor Kenneth Frame, 120 McArthur St.

  Pastor Frame presented a poem for this county.

  Simpkins stated the poem was awesome. It was fitting especially with the Bicentennial. Wanted to make sure they had his contact info.


   Green stated he had the chance to already meet with Pastor Frame. He thanked Pastor Frame for coming.


  Holt stated it was a beautiful poem. Stated it would be great for marketing.


Pastor Frame stated he wrote it for tourism in the County. 


  Hinson thanked Pastor Frame. 


  Holt stated she wanted to invite him to TDC meeting. 


Green stated for him to consider radio ads.



Public Hearings



General Business



LAP Multi-Project CEI – Task Orders
   Dixon presented the above item.

Hinson/ Green 5-0



Approval of the Engagement Letter and Fee Structure with Coppins/Monroe PA for Case No. 2022 CA 500 (FCI v. Gadsden County

Attorney stated presented for approval in ratification of engagement letter in fee structure with Coppins Monroe for matters pertaining to litigation with FCI.


Green/ Simpkins 4-0 Hinson stepped out  



Gadsden County Parks and Recreation Advisory Board
  Dixon presented above item and seeks approval to appoint members to serve on Gadsden County Parks and Recreation Advisory Board.


  Simpkins/ Holt 4-0 Hinson stepped out



Approval of Billing Variance Payment to Capital Health Plan

 Dixon introduced item and said would be presented by Ms. Maas.


Ms. Maas appeared before the Board in asked for approval to issue payment to CHP an amount of $77,369.94 for billing variance as a result of unpaid premiums to employee terminations not been processed and timely basis. 


Holt stepped out 7:31 pm


   Simpkins asked if CHP billed on a monthly basis. Maas stated yes. If they were billing on a monthly basis and goes back to November 2022 for premiums incurred between July 2021 to November 2022 and in May and just figuring out that this was owed?  Maas said no.  Was brought to their attention during transition period and originally was a much higher amount.  Sent spend that have worked to reduce amount by doing research to see what communication had been provided to CHP or any discrepancies on their end.


Holt returned at 7:32 pm.


  Simpkins asked CA if received any type of communication from CHP prior to Maas coming on or since clerk makes payment, were they aware of this and did they try to take care of it prior to her coming on.  How has it been rectified so problem does not occur again.


  Dixon stated this was one of the problems found in going through HR and literally dismounting HR and beginning to put back together.  One problem was in billing between clerk’s office, county office and representative, was a breakdown in County office with their staff.  They did not reply to billing properly and have since worked intimately with the clerk’s office on this issue with their representative, Al Lawson, who represented CHP and with CHP.  Had to go through every process they had in terms of insurance and benefits.  As they come across situations they are rectifying them and putting processes in place where it does not happen again.


  Simpkins stated when info is sent from the Clerk, was there a communication before her time, when he saw there was some discrepancy, was there communication they were included on.


 Dixon stated at this level this was a problem Ms. Maas found due to her professionalism and great ability that she brought to Gadsden County.  He said as he understood, the process they reviewed did not help the situation.  It was not a “blame thing”. 


Simpkins said reading “upon going through the previously unopened mail, it was discovered” and that bothered her and asked if only receive notifications through mail and not electronically? 


Maas said during transition between former employee and herself, there was a consultant for period of time.  When she was going through back mail, she discovered that.  Do have many checks and balances in place now to avoid happening again and collaborative relationships have built with Clerk’s Office been invaluable to putting those in place.  That is a very strong relationship she now values very much.  Have personally met with CHP representative and have strong relationship with them.  Did not have that in past.  Now all reconciling on a monthly basis which is what should have been happening to avoid this problem ever occurring.  When issues pop up now they are being addressed immediately.


 Holt stated it was a good thing they had those guidelines in place now and hopeful will have other people in place to help with this.


 Green stated he recalled individuals who were there during transitional moments, asked if possible, could they get lists of other findings of things so they would not be caught off guard.  


 Hinson asked if any findings in audit report.


Dixon stated they had not done this audit yet. 


  Holt stated wanted to move approval


Holt/ Green 5-0



Approval of the Inter-local Fire and Rescue Service Agreement between Gadsden County and the City of Quincy
 Dixon presented the above item.


 Hinson stated it was great idea but, need to make sure they have convo with everyone. Stated people were misled easily, needed to have a convo with all the fire departments. 


  Dixon stated they have approved all the others except Quincy.  They were held to their current budget except Chattahoochee.


  Hinson stated they need to have a conversation. CA could tell them what they suggest.


 Holt asked CA if the others were already done. Dixon stated yes. Needs to be approved to go ahead and have…


Holt/ Hinson second for discussion purposes.


  Simpkins stated… Stated the amount may not be the amount they need in order to expand that. Asked if contract with them expired... Dixon stated…   


  Simpkins stated… $100,000. Give them the opportunity to have conversation. Agreed that they need to increase, but for the future… 


  Chair asked Dixon if they currently had an agreement with the City of Quincy.


Dixon stated… 


  Hinson stated City of Quincy received... increase to $518,

Asked how many fire departments had in GC. Dixon stated 11.


  Holt stated need to go ahead and vote. Need to look at that increase because of the services they provide. Need to beef up the training program.


  Hinson stated he did not want anyone to think… Believed in process that they are a Board and should give directives to CA.  Did not disagree but wanted to clarify.





Request from SHIP Housing program.

  Dixon introduced the above item


  Attorney stated the line item listed in agenda item does not presently have a budget amendment and in order to fund that fund it would need to be brought back to the Board for ratification.  He explained they were approving the expenditure of the money without moving the money.


Chair stated they needed to budget these items early. 


  Hinson stated it was below the threshold.


  Green stated there would be things they would have to amend occasionally. It was a good item to amend.  


Holt/ Hinson 5-0



Update on Bicentennial Committee Meeting

Dixon introduced above item. 


Charles Hayes appeared before the Board and said overall consensus for approval of the theme is “200 years Our Community, Our Story”. 


 Green motion to approve recommendation of theme/Holt 5-0


 Commissioner Holt stated she spoke with a screenwriter and he was very interested in she will keep the board apprised.











No updates






 Attorney stated he had a question for the Board.  Wanted Board directive to adopt ordinance regarding Emergency Housing Program.  Asked for Board direction and if wanted to adopt, could use one previously presented and bring for review and later adoption.


 Holt stated that was fine.


 Attorney stated he would bring it back to them.  





Commissioner Alonzetta Simpkins, District 2

 Simpkins stated she received a request for a bridge to be named in memory of Earline Chandler on CR 159.  Stated the name was Attapulgus Creek Bridge. Simpkins asked what was the process with that.


Attorney stated he and Ms. Bradley had been working on that and will bring to the board for ratification.


  Simpkins asked if they need to add additional workers with the mowing.


Dixon stated they have had 4 mowers down the past 2 weeks.  


  Hinson asked if they had a program in place where they know what area they would be mowing and the process of it. 


  Holt stated overtime they had hired an extra mowing crew.


  Simpkins stated the Attapulgus had to go back for the bid and asked for updates on the railroad track and also the scop and scrap…


Dixon stated there was more info on the railroad track that came in today. Will let Simpkins know.



Commissioner Brenda A. Holt, District 4

 Holt stated she hoped to get with Economic Development council and locate records and information when they were employed to go out to industrial commercial sites.  Approximately 20 sites.


Agenda Request Items

Need to consider procedures for placing items on Agenda.


Simpkins said as long as info gotten in 10 days prior, they could request item on Agenda. 


Holt said have had in past, where different Commissioners ask for same thing done different ways.


Knowles said all requests for Agenda items to be presented to County Administrator no later than 9:00 am at least 7 days prior to meeting that item to be presented with all appropriate backup materials sufficient to warrant the discussion.


Hinson said been on Board few years and when he brought Summer Youth Employment jobs, he brought information.  Simpkins asked for months ago for administrator to bring staffing plan and asked if she had to do research on that matter.  With other county administrator’s if something with asked for, it was seen the following meeting. 


Holt said if formal vote taken it would be on there but not what she is saying.  Until become better prepared will not move as quickly as need to.



Commissioner Ronterious Green, District 5

 Green asked CA about update for Stevens School. Dixon stated they were currently up to date.  Have been delays due to DEO and could ask for an extension and have done so.  Continuing to keep the same pace to close asap. For September 30th deadline.


 Green asked if he had heard back about extension.  Dixon said asked for extension and have not heard back yet.


 Green stated Shiloh Community would be having May Day. Asked for support to give $500 for them.


Green made a motion to give Shiloh Community $500

Motion failed due to no second.


Chair asked Green to put in a motion to provide tents and other items needed for the Shiloh Community.


Green put in a motion to provide tents and other items needed for the Shiloh Community.


Green/ Holt 5-0


Hinson mentioned in past directors were present at meeting in case had questions.


Green stated he will host Town Hall meeting next Tuesday at Senior Citizen Building at 6:00 pm.


Dixon said met with Regional Director of USDA day before and went through issues.  Requested technical services from them for services.  Understand meeting went flawlessly. 


Simpkins stepped out at 8:59 pm



Commissioner Eric Hinson, Vice-Chair, District 1

Hinson next Saturday having mega reunion at Havana Northside High School.


Simpkins returned at 9:01 pm


When these events happen, need to help promote them because helps fill hotels, restaurants, gas stations, etc.  Holt said also something that could be promoted through Tourist Development Council. 


Holt stepped out at 9:05 pm



Chairman Kimblin NeSmith, District 3

Chair stated today was National Barbecue Day.


Holt returned at 9:10 pm


Hinson gave “Greenlight Moment”.



Meeting adjourned at 9: 10 pm





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