MINUTES OF A REGULAR MEETING OF THE GILCHRIST COUNTY BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS HELD JULY 21, 1997.



The Gilchrist County Board of County Commissioners, in and for Gilchrist County, Florida, convened in a regular meeting on July 21, 1997, at 5:00 p.m., in the Commissioner's Meeting Room at the Courthouse in Trenton, Florida, with the following members present to-wit:



Sue B. Suggs, Chair

Randy Durden

Jimmie Sheffield

Fred Wilkerson



Other persons in attendance were: Joe Gilliam, Clerk of Court, Sam Mutch, County Attorney, Ron McQueen, EMA/County Coordinator, Sherree Pitzarell and Sam Ferguson, Deputy Clerks, John Ayers, Gilchrist County Journal, David Turner and Harvey Montgomery, Gilchrist County Sheriff's Department, Cordelia Blank, SHIP recipient, Denis Riordan, Gilchrist Development Authority, Jim and Maria Zeigler, Hart Springs Park, Theron Hudson, Bonnie Keiser, Brian Lewis, David Turner, Harvey Montgomery, Ken Frey, Jean Wonser, and Jim Moore, county residents.



Minutes of the meeting held June 16, 1997, were unanimously approved, following a motion from Commissioner Durden, which was seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson.



Attorney's Report:



Mr. Mutch presented a resolution for the Board's consideration, establishing policy on personal watercraft (jet skis). This policy would prohibit the sale or rental of jet skis in county owned parks. Commissioner Durden made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson, to adopt the policy by resolution. The motion carried unanimously.



RESOLUTION 97-39



A RESOLUTION OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF

GILCHRIST COUNTY, FLORIDA ADOPTING A POLICY CONCERNING

THE COUNTY'S POLICY ON PERSONAL WATER CRAFT USE AND

RENTAL OR SALE IN COUNTY RECREATION AREAS AND PARKS.



WHEREAS, the Board of County Commissioners of Gilchrist County has received evidence that personal water craft can be dangerous if the operator is not properly trained in the use of personal water craft; and



WHEREAS, the Board of County Commissioners of Gilchrist County recognizes the need to protect the health, safety and welfare of citizens of the county and visitors to the county from unsafe operation of personal water craft; and



WHEREAS, the Board of County Commissioners of Gilchrist County recognizes the need to protect the citizens of the county from needless tort liability;



NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF GILCHRIST COUNTY, FLORIDA THAT:



It shall be the policy of the Board of County Commissioners of Gilchrist County to prohibit the sale or rental of personal water craft, commonly known by the trade names of Ski-Doos, Water Jets, etc., by any vendor or lessee of the county in county recreational areas, parks or any other property owned, leased or controlled by the county.



This Resolution is passed this 21st day of July, 1997.



BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS

ATTEST: GILCHRIST COUNTY, FLORIDA:

/s/Joseph Gilliam, Clerk /s/Sue B. Suggs, Chair



Mr. Mutch presented a resolution for the Board's consideration, which, if adopted, gives the Board the option to be the Board of Adjustment, to appoint the Planning and Zoning Board as the Board of Adjustment, or to appoint a group of private citizens as the Board of Adjustment. Adoption of this resolution does not make any changes to the current structure of the Board of Adjustment, however, it does give the Board the opportunity to change the Board of Adjustment if desired. Commissioner Durden made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Sheffield, to adopt the resolution. The motion carried unanimously.



RESOLUTION 97-40



A RESOLUTION OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF

GILCHRIST COUNTY, FLORIDA, INSTRUCTING THE GILCHRIST

COUNTY PLANNING AND ZONING BOARD TO INITIATE A PETITION

TO AMEND THE GILCHRIST COUNTY LAND DEVELOPMENT CODE TO

PERMIT THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS TO APPOINT

EITHER: (1) THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS; (2) AN

INDEPENDENT GROUP OF CITIZENS; OR (3) THE PLANNING AND

ZONING BOARD AS THE BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT FOR GILCHRIST

COUNTY.



WHEREAS, the Board of County Commissioners of Gilchrist County has received comments that special exceptions, variances and other requests requiring quasi-judicial hearings should be heard by the final authority, the elected Board of County Commissioners; and



WHEREAS, the Board of County Commissioners of Gilchrist County recognizes that final responsibility for land use decisions should rest in the elected officials of the county; and



WHEREAS, the Board of County Commissioners of Gilchrist County wishes the Planning and Zoning Board to initiate an amendment to Section 3.2 Gilchrist County Land Development Regulations which would permit the Board of County Commissioners to appoint either: (1) the Board of County Commissioners; (2) an independent group of citizens; or (3) the Planning and Zoning Board as the Board of Adjustment for Gilchrist County;



NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF GILCHRIST COUNTY, FLORIDA, THAT:



The Board of County Commissioners of Gilchrist County instructs the Gilchrist County Planning and Zoning Board to initiate an amendment to Section 3.2 Gilchrist County Land Development Regulations which amends that section to permit the Board of County Commissioners to appoint either: (1) the Board of County Commissioners; (2) an independent group of citizens; or (3) the Planning and Zoning Board as the Board of Adjustment for Gilchrist County.



The Board of County Commissioners of Gilchrist County instructs the Gilchrist County Planning and Zoning Board to initiate this amendment immediately and to follow all the requirements for amendments to a land development code as are found in Chapter 163, Part II, Florida Statutes (1997) and the Gilchrist County Land Development Regulations.



This Resolution is passed this 21st day of July, 1997.



BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONER

ATTEST: GILCHRIST COUNTY, FLORIDA:

/s/Joseph Gilliam, Clerk /s/Sue B. Suggs, Chair



After researching the topic, Mr. Mutch reported that should individual Board members participate in the hiring or firing of employees they would need to recuse themselves from any decision or vote, should the employee file an appeal. A discharged employee has 45 days to request a hearing before the entire Board. If a commissioner assigned to the department the employee works in takes a role in the decision making to suspend or terminate that employee, that particular commissioner can not participate with the Board during the appeals process, unless the personnel policy is amended. The Board agreed to table the issue until the next meeting.



Mr. Mutch advised the Board that any change in the local option gas tax must be initiated prior to July 1st of each year. If the tax is increased or decreased, the change would be effective the following first day of January.



A request has been received from Howard and Cordelia Blank for the Board to subordinate its SHIP loan to a new first mortgage with Associates Financial Services of America. Commissioner Wilkerson made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Sheffield, to subordinate the SHIP loan, by resolution. The motion carried unanimously.



RESOLUTION 97-41



A RESOLUTION OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF

GILCHRIST COUNTY, FLORIDA ACCEPTING A SUBORDINATION

AGREEMENT ON THE "SHIP" HOUSING ASSISTANCE PURCHASE

PROGRAM MORTGAGE GILCHRIST COUNTY HAS AGAINST THE

PROPERTY OWNED BY HOWARD E. BLANK, JR. AND CORDELIA

BLANK (A MARRIED COUPLE) PERMITTING THE MORTGAGE HELD OR

OWED TO GILCHRIST COUNTY, FLORIDA TO BE SUBORDINATE TO

THE MORTGAGE OF ASSOCIATES FINANCIAL SERVICES OF AMERICA,

INC. AND INSTRUCTING THE CHAIR OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY

COMMISSIONERS TO EXECUTE SUCH SUBORDINATION AGREEMENT FOR

THE BOARD.



WHEREAS, the Board of County Commissioners of Gilchrist County has received a request to enter into a subordination agreement to permit commercial financing on a SHIP Housing Assistance Purchase Program property owned by Howard E. Blank, Jr. and Cordelia Blank (a married couple); and



WHEREAS, the Board of County Commissioners of Gilchrist County has a mortgage on that certain property as described in the mortgage recorded in Official Records Book 0218, Page 0181, of the Public Records of Gilchrist County, Florida; and



WHEREAS, the Board of County Commissioners of Gilchrist County wishes to assist the homeowners to acquire commercial credit for the completion of the project; and



WHEREAS, the Board of County Commissioners of Gilchrist County understands the implications of the subordination agreement which will provide the mortgage of Associate Financial Services of America, Inc. to have a higher priority than does the mortgage owed to Gilchrist County;



NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF GILCHRIST COUNTY, FLORIDA THAT:



The Board of County Commissioners of Gilchrist County accepts the subordination agreement in which Gilchrist County subordinates its rights to a first mortgage on the property described in the mortgage recorded in Official Records Book 0218, Page 0181, of the Public Records of Gilchrist County, Florida, including:



Lots 18, 19 & 20, Block 8, WEST & JOHNSON ADDITION TO

WILCOX JUNCTION, a subdivision as per plat thereof in

Plat Book "A", page 19 of the Public Records of Gil-

christ County, Florida.



The Board of County Commissioners of Gilchrist County authorizes the Chair of the Board of County Commissioners of Gilchrist County to execute such subordination agreement in its name providing the mortgage of Associates Financial Services of America, Inc. to have a higher priority than does the mortgage owed to Gilchrist County.



This Resolution is passed this 21st day of July, 1997.



BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS

ATTEST: GILCHRIST COUNTY, FLORIDA:

/s/Joseph Gilliam, Clerk /s/Sue B. Suggs, Chair



Denis Riordan- Gilchrist Development Authority:



Mr. Riordan spoke to the Board about the current status of the GDA. They are in the process of revising their mission statement. According to Mr. Riordan, they get many inquiries from potential businesses and industries about the local utility rates, permitting process, availability of natural gas, availability of land, schools and job training. Mr. Riordan pointed out that an industrial park area is needed, which would require a change in the county's Comprehensive Plan. The GDA is in the process of updating this information, which, according to Mr. Riordan is difficult, since they have no office, files or computer. Funding for these items has been requested for next fiscal year.



Public Hearing- Occupational Licenses:



According to Mr. Mutch, the Florida Statutes specify that a portion of the county occupational licenses fee must be shared with the municipalities, based on the respective population of the county and the municipalities. Following discussion, Commissioner Durden made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Sheffield, to increase the fee, by ordinance. The motion carried unanimously. A copy of this ordinance (#97-19) is filed in the Gilchrist County Clerk's Office.



Sheriff Turner- Proposed Administration Building:



Sheriff Turner requested authorization from the Board to seek proposals for the design and engineering for the proposed administration and jail complex. The Sheriff added that the Corrections Committee will also be involved in the process. Commissioner Durden made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson, to authorize Mr. Mutch, Mr. Gilliam and Sheriff Turner to develop an RFP (request for proposals) for the above mentioned services. The motion carried unanimously.



Sheriff Turner submitted the 1997 annual report for his operations for the Board's review.



According to Sheriff Turner, the Law Enforcement Communications Plan has just been received and with the new communications system they have going in, they are already in 100% compliance.



Clerk's Report:



Mr. Gilliam asked the Board if they intend to raise, decrease or keep the current special assessment rates for next fiscal year. If the Board intends to change the rates, adequate notice would need to be given to the Property Appraiser. Commissioner Wilkerson made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Durden to keep the current rates for next fiscal year. The motion carried unanimously.



Mr. Gilliam reported that general fund is currently $900 short in the health care subsidy line item and more invoices are anticipated. Commissioner Durden made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson, to approve journal entry 97133, transferring $900 from general fund reserve. The motion carried unanimously.



Mr. Gilliam stated that the bank has asked for a copy of the county charter or a resolution authorizing the Board to incur debt in conjunction with the credit card application. The Board authorized Mr. Mutch to prepare a resolution.



Mr. Gilliam stated that the revenues for the Law Library fund were underestimated for this current fiscal year and a budget hearing is needed to amend the fund. The Board agreed to schedule a hearing at the August 4th meeting, at 3:45 p.m.



Mr. Gilliam advised the Board that Mr. Welch spoke to him about a request from the Department of Revenue. They would like the Board to adopt a resolution which designates the Tax Collector as a budget officer, rather than a fee officer. Commissioner Sheffield made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Durden to authorize Mr. Mutch to prepare a resolution. The motion carried unanimously.



Alachua County has scheduled a tour of the Jackson County Landfill next Friday; they are leaving at 8:00 a.m. from Hague. The Board indicated they would like Ms. Avery to attend.



Zoning Board Vacancies:



Commissioner Wilkerson stated that all the applicants looked good, however, he recommends Michelle Walker Crawford. Commissioner Sheffield stated that he ranked Mr. Ken Frey as his first choice based on his resume and the fine job he performed for the county on the library project. Commissioner Sheffield made a motion to appoint Ms. Crawford and Mr. Frey to the Zoning Board. The motion died for a lack of second. Commissioner Wilkerson made a motion to appoint Ms. Crawford to the Zoning Board to replace the vacancy created by Jimmy Sheppard. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Durden and unanimously approved. Jim Moore, county resident asked Commissioner Wilkerson why he selected Ms. Crawford. Commissioner Wilkerson stated that Ms. Crawford is very community minded and has not served on a county board prior to this appointment.



Commissioner Sheffield made a motion to appoint Mr. Frey to fill the vacancy created by Reese Rowland's resignation. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Durden. Commissioner Durden stated that he is concerned about Mr. Frey's ability to work with the other Zoning Board members. Mr. Brian Lewis, county resident, stated that all members of a board do not have to agree on issues, however, they should be able to articulate their feelings. The Chair called for the Board to cast their votes. Commissioners Wilkerson and Durden voted against the motion and Commissioners Sheffield and Suggs voted in favor of the motion. During a tie vote, the motion fails. Commissioner Durden made a motion to leave the position vacant until the August 4th meeting so that Commissioner Bush can have an opportunity to cast a vote. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Sheffield and passed by split vote, with Commissioners Durden, Sheffield and Wilkerson voting in favor of the motion and Chairman Suggs voting in opposition.



New Business:



Comprehensive Community Services has requested that the entrance fee to Hart Springs Park be waived for one day in August for their clients. Commissioner Wilkerson made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Durden to approve the request. The motion carried unanimously.



Old Business:



Mediation contracts for next fiscal year have been received. There is an increase in compensation from $85 to $100 and an increase in the cancellation fee from $40 to $50. Commissioner Sheffield made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Durden to approve the contracts. The motion carried unanimously.



A letter has been received from the Board of Directors of Meridian Behavioral Health care, requesting the Board to reappoint Ms. Carol Hyde to a new three year term, effective July 1, 1997. Commissioner Durden made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Sheffield to reappoint Ms. Hyde. The motion carried unanimously.



Commissioner Durden spoke to the Board about a recent conversation he had with Mr. Martin, Road Superintendent. According to Commissioner Durden, there is some confusion about the Board's policy regarding comp time. Mr. Martin and one other road department employee have accumulated a significant amount of comp time, and the Board's policy states that it must be used within the following pay period. Mr. Martin has a difficult time using the time, especially during the rainy season. Mr. McQueen stated that the policy allows for the time to be used within a reasonable period of time, however, if the time can not be used, the Board must offer to pay the employee for accrued comp time. Allowing the time to continue to build, creates a budget problem if the employee leaves employment with the county. Commissioner Durden stated that he would talk to Mr. Martin about the policy.



Commissioner Durden recommended that the Board consider reducing the employee probation period from 6 months to 90 days. This would eliminate the need to pay unemployment benefits in some situations. Commissioner Durden made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Sheffield, to authorize Mr. Mutch to draft policy reducing the probation period for county employees from 6 months to 90 days, providing that current employees on probation will continue to be on probation until 6 months after the hire date. The motion carried unanimously.



Commissioner Durden asked that Commissioner Committee reports be added to future agendas.



Commissioner Durden asked Mr. Mutch to prepare a drive way policy for the Board's consideration for the next meeting.



Mr. McQueen stated that the Florida Institute of Government is offering computer classes at Santa Fe Community College. Beginning in August they would like to offer two introduction to computer classes in house for $30 per person. Commissioner Durden made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson to authorize the expense. The motion carried unanimously.



The Board restated their policy on raises for probationary employees. Any employee, full time or part time on probation will not receive the annual raise until their probation period has been successfully completed.



Commissioner Durden reported that the computer at the road department has been transferred to the solid waste department. This is a new computer and is not being used by the road department. Solid waste has a need for one and will reimburse the road department for the cost of the equipment.



Public Participation:



Ms. Bonnie Keiser appeared before the Board and read a letter from homeowners in the Hickory Bluff subdivision, asking the Board to revoke the decision of the Zoning Board/Board of Adjustment. She distributed information regarding nitrate levels, as well as copies of warnings posted by North Florida Holsteins. Mr. Mutch advised the Board that he would like to research the policies to determine whether or not the Board has the authority to revoke the permit issued by the Board of Adjustment. Mr. Mutch does not feel that there are any provisions for the Board to revoke the special exception granted, however, the Board may be considered an aggrieved party and wish to appeal the decision rendered by the Board of Adjustment. If an appeal is filed, it must be within 30 days from the date the permit was issued.



Mr. Zeigler, park manager, reported that they have collected $124 in change to build a playground. The Board authorized a resolution to budget these funds an unanticipated revenues, and to create a line item in the revenue and expense budget.



There being no further business to discuss, a motion to adjourn at 8:14 p.m. was made by Commissioner Sheffield, seconded by Commissioner Durden, and unanimously approved.



APPROVED:







SUE B. SUGGS, CHAIR



ATTEST:







JOSEPH W. GILLIAM, CLERK