Board of County Commissioners

 FY23-24 4th Budget Workshop

 September 18, 2023 at 3:00 PM


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, appeared through Zoom

                                Edward J. Dixon, County Administrator

                                Clayton Knowles, County Attorney

                                Adriana Quijada, Deputy Clerk


Call To Order, Invocation, Pledge of Allegiance

  Chair called the workshop to order at 3:04 pm. Pastor Farr provided invocation; Chair led into the pledge of allegiance. 


Citizens Requesting to Be Heard (3-Minute Limit)

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.

 Chair read aloud the above statement. 

Bill Farr, 564 Middle Creek Rd

 Bill Farr appeared before the Board to talk about the Budget. Thanked CA for great report on website. Learned that all employees in County received bonus of $2,000 last year. Also learned about 9 million American Rescue funds given to County. Asked that mill rate stay the same or go lower.


Hinson appeared at 3:13 pm.


General Business

1.     Introduction

(Edward J. Dixon, County Administrator)


2.     Summary Highlights & Budget Review
(Georgette Daniels, Assistant County Administrator / Jenifer Burgess, Budget Manager)

 Daniels stated they will be walking them through budget 

 Burgess appeared before the Board. She stated 9.25 mill rate; budget will be $63,483,156 

 DOEA includes salary and benefits for 5 full time and 10 part time staff. 

 Chair asked CA about utilities being municipal. Dixon stated it was municipal.

 Capital project for elevator for $225,000

 Capital project for roof $125,000  

 Capital project 0342 Fire truck replacement for Midway  

 Simpkins asked about budgeting in for other employees

 Simpkins asked about insurance and if they were able to get a better rate. Asked about policy

Simpkins asked about black history and FAMU

  Simpkins stated she had a problem with having residents from Gadsden attending FAMU but not able to access the funds

 Simpkins stated would like a copy of contract. Funds need to be available not just to a band member.

 Green stated they should have partnership with local high school band to help push people to attend FAMU under music dpt.

 Holt asked Daniels if addressed all comments with Commissioners. Daniels stated those that contacted her.

 Simpkins mentioned public info office. Difference of $64,000

 Simpkins mentioned talking with the schools. Would like to see the RFP

 Daniels stated have been using more medio billboard ads.

Holt stepped out at 4:03 pm.      

Holt returned at 4:05 pm.

 Holt stated need to market those items.

 Holt stated she was used to sitting down with director and getting questions answered.

Hinson asked about tourism. Daniels stated TDC receives funding from Bed tax.

 Hinson asked if TDC is under County, Chair stated yes. Hinson stated it was a rhetorical question.

 Daniels stated 120 was separate fund under TDC         

 Green mentioned budgeting for possible increase for employees. Had concern bc supervisors making the same thing as people that they supervise.

 Daniels stated compensation study was well on the way 1.5 million in reserve, not allocated.

Dixon stated they had a lot of people under $15, moved a bunch of people already.

 Green stated he made motion of 9.25 because was interested in what they could do with that.   

  Increase by $478,00 if go with 9.25

 Chair stated they need to look at ways to collaborate with entities. 

 Simpkins asked about elderly affairs $40,000; thought foundation was established to raise money to assist with senior’s budget.  Asked why giving $40,000

 Dixon stated part of it was to do things they could not do.

Dixon stated they were chastised heavily for assisting them in writing Grants.

 Hinson asked who is exec director for foundation. Dixon stated they did not have one, Just Chair Germany

Hinson asked how long been operating. Dixon stated they have met a couple a times.  

 Hinson stated exec director job to find grants, vision of the Board. Hinson stated needed to give them direction

 Hinson asked how much in general funds  

 Burgess stated they have balance of $6,256,457

 Hinson asked how many employees they have working $15 an hour and under $20 an hour. Burgess stated did not have those numbers

 Hinson stated they need to hold convos about community centers in east and west of Gadsden County. 

 Simpkins stated there was not an increase in fire services.  Chair verified with CA about doing the study.

 Simpkins stated in district 2, people are not hearing about doing a study. She stated they need a right now plan for fire services.

 Daniels stated fire services fund comes from half cent sales tax and other revenues. $487,00 is in reserve for contingency …

Holt stepped out at 5:38 pm.

 Green stated only way he would support mill rate is if they allocate…

Holt returned at 5:41 pm.  

 Holt stated for them to invite fire

Chair asked why Gretna fire is inactive. Dixon stated volunteers.

 Simpkins stated they need to provide funding…

Chair asked how many fire dept. they fund every year. Dixon stated 12.

Simpkins stepped out at

Simpkins returned at 6:01 pm.

Chair asked if Midway fire was volunteer

Chief Hood stated they just started part time position

 Simpkins stated they need to put in action with fire services

Holt stepped out at 6:28 pm

Motion to Adjourn

Workshop adjourned at 6:51 pm.





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