Board of County Commissioners

Gadsden County, Florida

Regular Public Meeting

September 5, 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

                                Opal McKinney-Williams, Assistant County Attorney

                                Marcella Blocker, Deputy Clerk


Call to Order, Invocation and Pledge of Allegiance

  Chair called meeting to order at 6:01 pm, welcomed everyone, asked Hinson to say the Invocation, and Chair then led in the Pledge of Allegiance


Amendments and Approval of Agenda

  Dixon asked to add Item 13a-CHP Insurance; 13b-Figgers Settlement under Consent


Green/Hinson 4-0


Awards, Presentations and Appearances



Recognition of Clarence Bryant



Recognition of Christopher Holt

  Commissioner Green read aloud the Recognition and it was presented to Mr. Holt.


Commissioner Holt arrived at 6:11 p.m.


Mr. Holt said a few words and thanked everyone for their support.



Acknowledgement of Recognition of Rev. Sterling Barkley, Sr. previously presented on August 19, 2023



  Simpkins asked to pull items 7-11


Hinson asked to pull 13a – said he just received the item and asked the reason for the increase


  Hinson asked to pull item 6


Hinson/Simpkins 4-1 Green opposed



Ratification Memo



BOCC Meeting/Workshop Minutes:

a.       June 13, 2023 Budget Workshop

b.      July 14, 2023 Special Meeting

c.       August 8, 2023 Workshop



Approval of SHIP Annual Report and Certification

Item pulled for discussion



Approval of Appointment/Re-appointment to Juvenile Justice Circuit Advisory Board

Item pulled for discussion



Approval of Appointment/Re-appointment to the Big Bend Continuum of Care (CoC)

Item pulled for discussion



Approval of Appointment/Reappointment to the Circuit 2 Alliance Community Action Team

Item pulled for discussion



Approval of Appointment/Reappointment to the Inmate Commissary and Welfare Funds Committee

Item pulled for discussion



Approval of Value Adjustment Board Members

Item pulled for discussion



Approval of E911 2023 Fall Rural County Grant Application



Approval of Flood Plain Interlocal Agreement with the Town of Greensboro



Approval of Health Insurance Rate Increase and payment

Item pulled for discussion



Approval of Settlement with Figgers Communication Inc.





Approval of SHIP Annual Report and Certification

  Dixon introduced item and said was an annual close-out report of monies not spent

  Hinson asked the number of houses completed, etc and if the info was captured here.


Hinson/Green 5-0



Approval of Appointment/Re-appointment to Juvenile Justice Circuit Advisory Board

  Simpkins said items 7-11 could be discussed together.  Who decided who was on the committees.  Dixon said they have placed who previously served.


Simpkins said she was interested in serving on Juvenile Justice.  Holt agreed.


Holt/Green to appoint Simpkins 5-0



Approval of Appointment/Re-appointment to the Big Bend Continuum of Care (CoC)

Simpkins/Hinson 5-0



Approval of Appointment/Reappointment to the Circuit 2 Alliance Community Action Team

  Dixon introduced-

Holt/Hinson 5-0



Approval of Appointment/Reappointment to the Inmate Commissary and Welfare Funds Committee




Approval of Value Adjustment Board Members

  Dixon introduced item. 

Holt/Green 5-0  Motion was rescinded


Dixon said misspoke, Bradley Munroe was previously on Board and new person to be Gay Steffen.


Deputy Clerk, Marcella Blocker, spoke up to clarify that Ms. Steffen could not serve as she no longer owned homestead property, Chrissy Shorter Arnold had agreed to serve in that capacity and the previous year the Board hired Louis Baptiste to serve as Board Attorney.


Holt/Green 5-0



Approval of Health Insurance Rate Increase and payment

  Dixon introduced above item.


  Hinson asked if this was bid out, if there was competition.  Dixon explained agent does not change or impact price.  Price is set by CHP.  Hinson clarified he meant not the agent but the company itself.  He asked if the price could be brought down any.  Dixon explained the County had a great plan and have used it as a reason to come to Gadsden County.


  Simpkins said would like to have a conversation with CHP concerning urgent care and after-hours care in Gadsden County.


  Holt said also HCA could qualify as a provider under CHP. 


  Hinson asked for a workshop with CHP


  Dixon said was glad it was brought up, they have built 3-4 new centers in Leon County.


  Holt said also HCA has clinic, they could build one here.


Simpkins/Hinson 5-0      



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.



Kyle Kwik, 680 Maple St., Chattahoochee, FL  32324 – Low-income pool

  Appeared before the Board along with Micky Presha and asked the County for $1 Million from the Indigent Tax Fund.  Funds placed into a bank account and money drawn down as they see patients for primary care, dental, mental health, labs and transportation.


Asking on year 2 to advance $100,000 for LIP matching-will not cost Gadsden County anything


NeSmith said this matter needed to be workshopped as this was a lot of information and Commissioner Simpkins agreed.


  Holt said they needed to come to a workshop and she had asked Lawson about the LIP program.


  Simpkins said this definitely needed to be workshopped and wanted percentage of citizens uninsured in Gadsden County that would be receiving services.


  Hinson said he appreciated everything they were doing on bringing services to Gadsden County.  Felt this was contradicting-have facility in Havana fully functional facility providing services and Board refused to put AC unit in so people now have to go to Tallahassee for services.  Need to have workshop in Havana first. 


  Green thanked them for presentation.  Situation in Havana different but both serving the County. 


  Holt agreed for the health of the County but looking for them to bring resources.


  NeSmith said workshop would be held.   



Mike Watson, 2793 Sycamore Road, Quincy – Sycamore Road

  Appeared before the Board concerning the bad condition of Sycamore Road.   He asked for a workshop to discuss the condition of roads in the County.



William (Bill) Farr, 564 Middle Creek Road, Mil Rate Increase

  Appeared before the Board and requested that the mil rate stay the same as last year. 



Cathy Farr, 564 Middle Creek Road, Mil Rate Increase

  Appeared before the Board concerning the millage rate. 



Pastor Willie Gaines, 5775 Ben Bostic Road – Community event



Willie Earl Banks & Company, PO Box 2394 – Gadsden County Athletic Hall of Fame



Dr. Tracy Stallworth, 770 Selman Road – Ordinance #2024





Public Hearing-Legislative-Consideration of Ordinance 2023-04 Revising the Alcoholic Beverages Ordinance, Chapter 6 of the Gadsden County Code of Ordinances

  Dixon introduced above item and was asking prohibition of limit of the beverages Ordinance. 


  Justin Stiell appeared before the Board to further explain the revised Ordinance.  Current Ordinance


Commissioner Green said he was a part of the IGIC council and asked if he would have a conflict in voting in regards to this matter.


  Simpkins asked where this particular lay-out for the proposed ordinance came from.  Stiell said looked at other related ordinances


Holt returned 7:52 pm


Stiell said development orders did not expire.  Simpkins asked about restaurants and bars, did not agree with removing the restrictions as it related with churches.


Stiell said from planning standpoint, companies look at Comp Plan; when they see ordinance, it’s a no for them. 


  Dixon said what hearing, this is not quick fix, but have people going to website, looking at rules and seeing how difficult it is to come to the County.  Good example was West End Grill was in close proximity to church.  No particular company asking, County is just reviewing and one thing mentioned to them was liquor stores.  She felt they needed to take a look at that was presented to them with the Ordinance. 


  Green asked if they knew estimated footage in Shiloh and there was an old convenience store that was located across the street.  When it was a convenience store, they sold beer and wine there, how were they able to do so then and cannot now?  Dixon said they were there before State created land development.


  Hinson said beer and wine different from liquor.  Can sell beer and wine without license.


  Holt asked if she was pastor and bought land to put church, would prevent liquor from being sold within certain footage.  She asked any restrictions for anyone to open church?  No.  She said pastors needed to help fix this problem. 


  Hinson said had conflicting thoughts-wanted to make sure if 5-star restaurant or hotel wanted to come to area, they were able to come.  He asked how long churches had to build before restriction was removed.  Stiell said never nullified.  He said he was on board agreed for store to sell alcohol; few years later they created a full-fledged liquor store.  They need to have conversation to change the code with the help of churches.  Need to make sure do not have too many liquor stores in area. 


  Simpkins said they could look at the health in the County.  Not against restaurants but still felt should be distance but did not want to prevent economic growth.


  Green said there was no way they could vote on this item right now, but they have talked about this when he first got on Board and this is one that needs attention. 


  Holt asked the map be put back up and she said they were going to have to restrict the numbers some way.  The numbers keep populating.  Restrictions need to be placed on the church’s development orders. 


  Hinson said they may want to consider revising the work “alcoholic”. 


  Green said they could not forget about the Midway interchange that would be impacted. 


  Dixon said what he was hearing, from another perspective was not keeping churches out or prohibiting, if they locate in certain areas, they would lose their potential to prohibit others from coming into that corridor.  


  Dr. Tracy Stallworth appeared before the Board.


  Green stepped out at 8:29 pm


  Stallworth said “Rome wasn’t built in one day and wasn’t destroyed in one day”.  He said population is drastically decreasing. 


  Green returned at 8:31 pm


  Stallworth continued and said they had to figure out something and felt it could be solidified.


  Rev. Chris Jordan, 359 Quail Ridge, Havana, appeared before the Board.  He was glad they clarified earlier they said “removing the dots” and that was losing churches.  Need to consider what was trying to do.  Need to make sure when look at ordinance, I’s are dotted and t’s crossed. 


  Pastor Jefferson Flores, 901 Bellamy Drive, Quincy, appeared before the Board.  He asked they remember the important part churches play in the community. 


  Hinson said was not for adding additional liquor stores.  Was for restaurant that could do 70/30 ratio food and alcohol. 


  Simpkins thanked Impact, Elder Moss and all other pastors, this was just one of many issues. 


  Holt thanked everyone for coming out,


  Dixon said doors were open for anyone that would like to meet with the County. 


  NeSmith said this would be workshopped to be able to get into the essence of this matter.  


  Green said as an active member of Impact Gadsden, only been in existence for 2 years but have been very involved.


  Holt said farmers that have applied for a loan up until 2022 that was turned down can show up


Green motion to table/Holt 5-0



Public Hearing-Consideration of Ordinance 2023-05 Revising Rules of Procedure and Decorum for the Gadsden County Board of County Commissioners

  Mr. Dixon introduced the above item.


  Green stepped out 8:55 pm


  NeSmith asked what the update was.  Dixon said commissioner comments at the end of the meeting in Commissioner comments be limited to three minutes and shall not be interrupted. 


  Simpkins said did not want them to put in place where trying to mute fellow commissioners


  Green returned 8:56


  If want to put in that will workshop every meeting, fine, but already limited. Did not agree with three minutes. 


  NeSmith said his purpose for the time limit was for them not to be extensive and go on 5-10 minutes. He said they could train themselves to be very precise and on point.  She recommended it be 5 minutes.


  Green was glad for more clarity.  He also wanted to throw in 5 minutes as there are a lot of issues that may come before them that they may need to address. 


  NeSmith said this was the Board’s rule and was flexible. 


  Holt said there needed to be something in there that the Commissioners meet with the Administrator before the meeting and then could discuss the bulk of the questions.


  Hinson said they were having a public hearing on Commissioners’ time but have millions of dollars for infrastructure that they were not talking about. 


  Commissioner Green said he wanted to give some clarity as related to the item that NeSmith has brought to the Board.  They all have equal opportunity to bring items to the Board. 


  Hinson said Green made a good point.  Hinson said he has brought items to the Board, summer youth, emergency housing and time was of essence and have a lot of funding for different things and they need to focus on item that could benefit the community. 


  Simpkins said since discussing as relates to Board, looking at types of meetings and schedules, believe need to start calling for workshops the Commissioners wanted to schedule.  They vote for them and they are not scheduled.  She said they were voting on the budget and they have not gone through the items on the budget.


  Daniels appeared and said on September 12th was first public hearing and adoption of millage rate and that has to be conducted at that meeting.  The final hearing would be on September 19.  Simpkins said she did not think they would be able to thoroughly go through the budget. 


  Dixon said he and staff discussed this morning and if the Board felt additional meetings were needed prior to and after the first meeting, they were open to workshops if it was the pleasure of the Board.  Dixon asked about changing that date and Daniels explained notification has already been sent out.


  Simpkins asked for a workshop prior to the 12th.


  Holt said if they approve the budget and do not go over, they could move money around within the budget. 


  Dixon said the Board reserves the right to amend the budget every meeting.  What they set in place is what they think their budget would be for the year and the millage rate.  The millage rate cannot be changed.


  Simpkins said she understood they make amendments throughout the year


  Hinson said he thought they should have a workshop prior to the 12th because one year the meeting went until almost 11:00. 


  NeSmith asked the pleasure of the Board. 


  Simpkins motioned to have budget workshop on September 12th at 3:00/ Green second


  Opal mentioned there was an executive meeting


  Hinson asked if budget was on the website.  Daniels said tentative budget has been placed on website.      


  Simpkins made motion to amend proposed change in the ordinance to 5 minutes and if need for additional time, Board would seek approval for additional time.


  Dixon said Robert’s Rules of Order attempts to make the meeting flow and they may be doing a hurt instead of helping themselves.


  Simpkins motion to approve ordinance with following amendments-limit to 5 minutes but in extenuating circumstances with Board approval, Commissioner may speak for additional 2 minutes/Green 5-0.





Approval of AE Engineering, Inc. Task Order for Environmental Assessment of Proposed Gadsden County EMS Site

  Dixon introduced above item.


  Holt/Hinson 5-0



Ratification for Approval for Chairman to sign Older Americans Act Grant Contracts

  Dixon introduced above item for remainder of current year.


Green/Holt 5-0



Approval of Bridge Renaming Policy

  Dixon introduced above item.  Have proposal from attorney for bridge renaming policy.


  Hinson asked for reason brought to board.  Dixon said board has encountered number of requests to rename bridges. 


  Green said in last recommendation made, they said policies would be put in place.  He asked where $500 came from and could they consider $250.  Dixon explained it was not only the costs of the sign, it was to discourage people from coming before the board. 
It would prevent people from abusing the policy. 


  Opal said there was a blank that needed to be filled in.  Dixon explained generally it was a year if they were turned down.


Motion by Holt/ Simpkins 4-1 Hinson opposed











  Dixon said was looking at GCDC building that meetings could be held there and he was requesting that lease be taken back plus there was a sublease that the contract did not allow; it should have come back to the Board.


  Said had a long weekend for the bicentennial opportunity and was well attended by whole community.











Commissioner Alonzetta Simpkins, District 2

  Simpkins made motion to be platinum sponsor for Gadsden County Athletic Hall of Fame/Green


  NeSmith said whatever they decide would set a precedence and at the next meeting would be more organizations looking for funds.  While he was behind the Hall of Fame, but need to set process.


  Simpkins said as she mentioned before, they have not workshopped things that have been requested. 


  She amended motion to give CA authority to find funds.


  Holt said they need to put policy in place. 


  Green said he knew he could expect to hear comment was hearing about no policy set in place.  Every situation is going to be different but reason for need to have non-profit organization workshop. 


  Hinson said need to have system in place.  Just offered Boys and Girls Club $500,000, a non-profit organization, $450,000 to Senior Services, Health Council funding as well.  Also understood funded Big Bend Classic in Tallahassee.


  Holt said they put in place what they see with line item. 


  Chair called for vote 3-2  Holt and NeSmith opposed.


  Simpkins asked for copy of all contracts in place.  Received email concerning MediumFour and Daniels said they have hundreds of contracts.


  Simpkins asked for contract for graphic design services for MediumFour, Daniels said RFP put out and has not been awarded.  Simpkins asked if contract not awarded, to they still do business with that vendor.  Daniels said was some type of arrangement in place before RFP put out.  She asked for follow-up regarding that.


  Wanted to give thank you to G200 committee for awesome job this weekend. 



Commissioner Brenda Holt, District 4

  Holt asked Opal about survey Mr. Murray on Woodberry Road turned into Clayton and she asked about status.


She was glad to see the healthcare part come before the Board as it was definitely needed in the County.


  Holt said there is a Discrimination Financial Assistance Program and deadline is coming up for any farmer that applied for loan before 2022 that was turned down.  She also said they did not have to live in Gadsden County, it was for anyone in the region.


She asked for a policy in writing from the Clerk for them processing checks to vendors. 


She added they did good in discussing the ordinances tonight.     



Commissioner Ronterious Green, District 5

  Green said as was discussed, a few months ago, former Commissioner Taylor came and after her asking for assistance to her center, he has given to that center and has attended fundraisers.  He asked if there was any area that funds could come from and asked for $45,000 for the Wellness Center.


Green made motion for $45,000 to Wellness Center from LATCF/ Simpkins second


  Holt said her response was same because no policy in place.  If everyone has same opportunity to come before them, one thing, but no process in place.


  NeSmith said he has been consistent throughout because of no policy in place. 


  Hinson asked Chair, he voted for Boys and Girls club to receive $500,000, then asked attorney if could was a monetary amount they could vote for.


He said in defense, that organization has been here several times.


  NeSmith asked about LATCF fund.  Daniels said was a part of COVID funds received by County and she further explained it was only $100,000. 


  Holt said they could do this but one thing, they advertised when they were going to give out money-that policy needs to be looked at. 


  Opal said was not aware of any monetary threshold but would not prohibit commission from moving forward.


  Chair called for vote.  3-2  NeSmith and Holt opposed   


  Thanked Cooks Landing community for coming out for townhall meeting. 


  Updated and still have situation with hogs invading onto property. 


  Regarding approval of bicentennial, has had logo of G200 on it but will never reach everybody. 


Clean-up day at Gadsden Arms project Sunday from 10-2


  He also asked for procedure from Clerk on paying bills because have heard issues.  Would like Clerk to come in and have conversation regarding issue.


  Mr. Rodney Jones on the line and had meeting with IFAS qualified specialist


  Simpkins stepped out 10:42


  Jones said the group they know did capture and eliminated, they have been trapped and euthanized.  There are other wild hog groups they are working on trapping.  After meeting it was discussed to have a workshop for wild life services to come in and discuss trapping county wide. 



Commissioner Eric Hinson, Vice-Chair, District 1

  Said only way to get rid of pigs and hogs, bring wolves and panthers back in town or like they did in Blountstown, pay people for each hog they get.


  Made motion to recognize Pastor Willie Lamb/Green 4-0


  Made motion to recognize residing Elder Tan Moss/NeSmith 4-0


  Thanked FAMU and FSU for their win. 



Commissioner Kimblin NeSmith, Chair, District 3

  NeSmith thanked emergency management staff for plans in place for Idalia. 


Hinson asked Chair to speak with Superintendent to fix generator at Magnet school so could be used for shelter.  Daniels said ? was seeking funding to repair. 


Hinson made motion Board give Chairman instruction to speak with Superintendent to make sure generator/Simpkins 4-0


  Apologized for missing the bicentennial weekend but had to attend family reunion.


Hinson made motion if he and Green run 5K mile, he would beat.



  Adjourned at 10:55





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