The Gilchrist County Board of County Commissioners, in and for Gilchrist County Florida, convened in a regular meeting on Monday, September 17, 2001, at 3:30 p.m., in the courtroom, located in the Gilchrist County Courthouse, 112 South Main Street, Trenton, Florida, with the following members present to-wit:


Commissioner Randy Durden, Chairman

Commissioner Wilbur Bush

Commissioner Sue Suggs

Commissioner John Rance Thomas

Commissioner Fred Wilkerson, Vice Chair


Others in attendance were: Joseph W. Gilliam, Clerk of Circuit Court, Sam Mutch, County Attorney, Ron McQueen, EMA/County Coordinator, Karen Heaton, Deputy Clerk, Sam Ferguson, Director of Finance, C. David Coffey, John K. McPherson, Michael D. Hunt, Nick Camuccio, Lee Schaltenbrand, Brenda Schaltenbrand, Freances Brooks, Margot Alexander, Don Alexander, Troy Breton, Jeanne Payne, Troy Payne, Mike Ortiz, JoAnn Ortiz, Ron Mills, Kathy Fink, Joe Fink, Bob Koon, Ann Patrick, Liz Floyd, Wilma Matucci.


Call to Order:


Chairman Durden called the meeting to order at 3:40 p.m.  Commissioner Bush led the Invocation and Commissioner Suggs led the Pledge of Allegiance.


Attorney Proposals:


Mr. Gilliam stated that at the Board’s direction on August 6th, Request for Proposals for legal services had been placed in the local news papers and the Florida Bar News.  Four (4) proposals were received as follows;


1)                  Chiumento & Associates, P.A.

4 North Old Kings Road, Palm Coast, FL 32137  


2)                  Coffey & McPherson, P.A.

5346 SW 91st Terrace, Gainesville, FL  32608‑7124


3)                  Mutch & Bringham, P.A.

2114 NW 40th Terrace, Suite A‑1, Gainesville, FL  32605


4)                  Michael D. Hunt, P.A.

4816 Cypress Lake Court, Sarasota, FL 34243


Mr. Gilliam advised the Board that he had received notification from Chiumento & Associates that they wish to withdraw their proposal.   (01/95)



Coffey & McPherson – Mr. John McPherson and Mr. David Coffey were present to discuss their proposal.  Mr. McPherson addressed the Board and reviewed the firms experience which included various capacities of local government law.   They presently represent the City of Cedar Key and the Cedar Key Water and Sewer District.  Some areas of local government they have focused on are Open Government Law, Zoning, Land Development Regulations, Comprehensive Planning, Downtown Redevelopment and Historic Preservation.  Their firm is also experienced in drafting ordinances, interlocal agreements, contracts, comprehensive plan provisions and grants.  Due to the firms work load, Mr. McPherson explained that if their firm were accepted for this position, he would serve as the County Attorney and that Mr.Coffey would also be available to assist the County when necessary.


The Commission directed questions to Mr. McPherson and reviewed the legal services needed by the County.  Commissioner Thomas expressed the importance of dealing with issues of the increasing population, agriculture and planning and zoning.  Mr. McPherson indicated that their firm would be able and willing to assist the County with these matters.  (1/171) 


Mr. Michael D. Hunt – Mr. Hunt appeared before the Board and reviewed his qualifications and experience.  He has been a trial attorney and an administrative attorney for the past 20 years.  Mr. Hunt has represented Jacksonville, Florida and Manatee County, Florida.  As a local government attorney, he has assisted in the regulation of items such as cable television, solid waste and communications towers.  He has also worked with land use issues and municipalities.  Mr. Hunt expressed his views of the client and attorney relationship. 


The Commission questioned Mr. Hunt regarding his experience and discussed the issues facing Gilchrist County with Planning and Zoning issues and agriculture.   Mr. Hunt stated that he had represented the City of Jacksonville Public Works Department for several years and he was the County Attorney for Utilities and Cable Television in Manatee County, Florida.  He also had his own consulting business in which he dealt with zoning issues from time to time. 


Commissioner Bush asked Mr. Hunt, considering the distance to Sarasota, why he would want to represent Gilchrist County.  Mr. Hunt replied that he wanted to return to his roots and that he grew up as a local government attorney.  He explained that he has enough time to represent the County and if needed he would be willing to relocate.  (1/1200)


Mutch and Bringham – Mr. Bringham, Mr. Mutch and Mr. Camuccio were present to discuss their  proposal.  Mr. Pete Bringham delivered a presentation to the Board which reviewed the established working relationship with the County.  He explained that because of the established procedures the County has through their office and their local knowledge and insight, they will be able to save the County a substantial amount of money on legal cost. 


Mr. Bringham discussed the fees, which are charged based on actual work performed.  Their proposal includes an option to contract with a planner to work on an interim bases at a cost of $50 per hour.   They will attend all public meetings and are willing to provide office hours at the County Courthouse for up to three half days per week if requested.


Mr. Bringham answered questions directed by the Board relating to their strengths and weaknesses.  Concerning weaknesses, Mr. Mutch discussed areas in which he needs to improve.  He mentioned that they have been more pro-active but should probably be more reactive.  Discussion was held regarding some of the issues of timeliness, communication and invoicing.  Mr. Bringham and Mr. Mutch addressed the issues and offered various solutions.  Their law firm is undergoing a reorganization which will be complete on October 1st and that this should improve some of the problems that have existed in the past.  (1/1872)


Selection of Attorney  


Chairman Durden stated that he had participated in the interviews held six (6) months ago at which time Mr. Mutch’s firm was retained.  He explained that the issues discussed with Mr. Mutch in the past have not changed.  Chairman Durden recommended that Coffey and McPherson be hired for the position of County Attorney.


Commissioner Thomas related that he had attended the meeting with Sam Mutch, Joe Gilliam and Ron McQueen to try and resolve some of the differences before it came to this point.  He stated that he does not believe that these problems will change.  Commissioner Thomas stated that he liked Mr. McPherson’s presentation.  He pointed out that this firm is knowledgeable and experienced in planning and zoning.


Commissioner Bush commented that the past service could have been a lot better.  He also stated that he liked Mr. McPherson’s presentation and believes they would do a good job.


Commissioner Wilkerson stated that he does not believe the problems with the attorney services have improved and the he too liked the proposal from Coffey and McPherson.


Commissioner Suggs said that she is comfortable with everything that has been said.


Motion by Commissioner Thomas, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson, to offer the position to Coffey and McPherson effective October 1st.  Commissioner Suggs clarified that she was comfortable with the statements that things have not improved but in light of Mr. Camuccio’s and Mr. Bringham’s pledge to do what ever is necessary to keep our business she feels they should be retained.  She stated that those two attorney’s would have a working knowledge of Gilchrist County.  She stated that David Coffey and John McPherson do not have any experience of Gilchrist County or of County Government.  Chairman Durden replied that Mr. Camuccio and Mr. Bringham have had opportunity to address some of the problems in the past as they were in attendance at the meetings to resolve the issues.  The motion on the floor carried with Commissioner Suggs voting ‘no.’   (2/310)



Agenda Changes:


·                     Grant-in-Aid Agreement / Clerk’s Report

·                     Renewal of Mediation Contracts / Clerk’s Report

·                     Disbursement Report, August 2001 / Clerk’s Report


Motion by Commissioner Suggs, seconded by Commissioner Bush, to accept the agenda.  The motion carried unanimously.  (2/780)



Consent Agenda:


5)                  Approval of Budget Entries: #LAB1-14 and #BE1-132 through #BE1-137

6)                  Minutes: Budget Workshop / August 2, 2001


Motion by Commissioner Suggs, seconded by Commissioner Thomas, to approve the Consent Agenda.  The motion carried unanimously.  (2/820)




Mrs. Wilma Mattucci, County Librarian, requested permission to change the hours for the County Library.  She explained that the Library is currently closed from 1:00 p.m. on Saturday until 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday and she recommends that the hours be extended to include Mondays.  The proposed schedule will not cost any more in salaries.  Connie Robison currently works on Saturday but will work on Monday’s instead. 



Projected Library Hours


Current Library Hours




10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.








  9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.




11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.




  9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.




  9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.




  9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.




  9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.




  9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.




  9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.




  9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.




  9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.










Motion by Commissioner Suggs, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson, to approve the proposed library hours.  The motion carried unanimously.  (2/830)   


Mrs. Mattucci told the Board that she has asked Mr. McQueen to have the exterior of the building cleaned because of the mold.  She explained that they also have a problem with moisture and mold on the inside of the building which originates from the foundation. 


Agricultural Advisory Committee / Dairy Waste issues:


At the request of the Board of County Commissioners, the Gilchrist County Agriculture Advisory Committee met on Thursday, August 16, 2001 to provide a recommendation concerning agricultural waste and the fly problem.  This request was made in response to a petition submitted by Mr. Joseph Fink on August 6, 2001.  The Committee submitted a memorandum to the Commission which summarized the use of dairy waste by the agricultural community to better the soil.  The State Department of Environmental Protection and the local Water Management District have dictated Best Management Practices which must be followed by dairy operations.  These two state departments constantly monitor these operations.  The Committee also addressed the issue of pesticides and their use.  The Committee concluded that if property is zoned agriculture, legal agriculture activity should be allowed.

Commissioner Durden invited comments from the audience.  Mr. Joseph Fink stated that he had read the response from the Agricultural Advisory Committee.  He explained that when he submitted the petition, he did not have any arguments about agriculture but the issue was proper disposal of the waste. 

Mr. Don Alexander, Mr. Lee Schaltenbrand and Mrs. Jeanne Payne also addressed the Board concerning the management of dairy wastes and possible solutions to preventing the problems experienced with the flies the past few months.  Commissioner Suggs suggested that the County have a reporting system whereby the dairy’s notify the Building Department when dairy wastes are going to be dumped and spread.  There would not be a permit required but notification so that there would be a method of tracking in place.  Motion by Commissioner Suggs, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson, to direct the Chairman to meet with the dairies in the County and work out a permit/notification formula to notify the Building Department of when, where and how much will be hauled and spread.  The motion carried unanimously.


Mr. Mutch pointed out that this request would only be on a voluntary basis as the County cannot regulate agricultural activities. (2/1005)


Attorney’s Report:


Resolution #01-64 – Mr. Mutch presented a resolution for the Board’s approval, urging the President of the United Sates of American to call upon all Americans to pray for the victims of the September 11th terrorist attacks.  Chairman Durden read the resolution.  Motion by Commissioner Suggs, seconded by Commissioner Bush, to approve the resolution.  The motion carried unanimously. (A copy of Resolution #01-64 is on file in the Clerk’s Office.)  (2/2400)


Ginnie Springs vs. Gilchrist County  – Mr. Mutch reported that the attorney’s for Ginnie Springs are planning to go forward with the hearing without taking the depositions. 


Associated Uniform Rental Service – Because the company had refused to pick up the uniforms, Mr. Mutch suggested that the uniforms be shipped back to Associated Uniform Rental Service. 


Requirements of Building Code Statute – After reviewing the statutes, Mr. Mutch stated that it was his opinion that building permits cannot be issued by the County on agricultural buildings.  However, it is required by the Land Development Regulations that a zoning compliance permit be issued.  (2/2532)


Non-Residential Agricultural Buildings  – The Board discussed the permitting of non-residential agricultural buildings.  Mr. McQueen mentioned an example of someone who came in this week to obtain a permit for a one piece metal building.  These buildings are placed on a slab which will need a permit.  The resident had drawn up his own footer plan which was not safe for that building.  The Board scheduled this issue on the October 1st agenda to be discussed in the Building Department’s Report.


Mr. William Koon, a resident of Gilchrist County, asked the Commission if they planned to readdress the exemption for the elderly.   Mr. Gilliam replied that this exemption has been considered in the past and it was found that the Property Appraiser does not have a method of verifying the income of individuals who apply for that exemption.  


(Commissioner Thomas left the meeting at 6:55 p.m.)


Pubic Hearing / Final Budget FY 2001/2002:


(A notice of this public hearing appeared in the September 13, 2001 issue of the Gilchrist County Journal and proof of publication is on file in the Clerk’s Office.)


Chairman Durden opened the public hearing at 7:00 p.m.  The Tentative Budget for FY 2001/2002 was approved at a public hearing held September 6, 2001.  Mr. Gilliam stated that the percent of increase over the current year roll back rate is 6.61% and the roll back rate for this year was 9.3771.  The proposed increase is to fund General Revenue for Personnel Services, Operating Expenses and Capital Outlay.


Chairman Durden called for any questions or comments from the public. Mrs. Ann Patrick, 5480 NE 51 Avenue, Trenton, asked the Board to explain the reason for the increase in the County’s budget.  Mr. Gilliam pointed out that a majority of the 38% increase was due to a loan to build a new Judicial Complex for an approximate cost of $6,000,000.  Mrs. Patrick also discussed the increased property assessments.  Mr. Gilliam explained that the Department of Revenue historically does an audit of taxable value and comparable sales.  This past year the Property Appraiser submitted the Tax Roll and was advised by the Department of Revenue to amend the Tax Roll to reflect an increase based on comparable sales.


Resolution 01-59 / Final Millage Rate - Chairman Durden read the short title of Resolution 01-59 adopting the final millage rate for Fiscal Year 2001/2002.  The final ad valorem tax millage rate to be levied for the fiscal year beginning October 1, 2001 shall be ten (10) mills ($10.00 per $1,000).  The said millage rate exceeds the rolled-back 6.61%.  Motion by Commissioner Wilkerson, second by Commissioner Suggs, to adopt Resolution 01-59.  The motion carried unanimously. 


Resolution 01-60 / Final Budget for FY 2001/2002 - Mr. Gilliam read Resolution 01-60 aloud.  Motion by Commissioner Wilkerson, second by Commissioner Bush, to adopt Resolution 01-60 adopting the final budget for Fiscal Year 2001/2002.  The motion carried unanimously. 


Resolution 01-61 / Final Millage Rate - Chairman Durden read the short title of Resolution 01-61 adopting the final millage Rate for Fire Protection Services for Fiscal Year commencing October 1, 2001.  Mr. Gilliam stated that this is the MSTU that funds fire services only.  The millage rate is one (1) mill or $1.00 per $1,000.  Motion by Commissioner Bush, second by Commissioner Suggs, to adopt Resolution 01-61.  The motion carried unanimously. 


Resolution 01-62 / Final Budget for MSTU - Chairman Durden read the short title of Resolution 01-62 adopting the final budget for Municipal Service Taxing Unit for Fire Protection Services for Fiscal Year commencing October 1, 2001.  Motion by Commissioner Suggs, second by Commissioner Wilkerson, to adopt Resolution 01-62.  The motion carried unanimously.  (3/200)


(Resolutions 01-59, 01-60, 01-61 and 01-62, are on file in the Clerk’s Office.)





Clerk’s Report:


Resolution #01-63/ Budget Entry #BE1-133 – Mr. Gilliam presented Resolution #01-63 amending the Emergency Medical Services Fund (410) by an increased amount of $2,500 which represents the grant awarded by the North Florida Health Planning Council, Inc. to provide tuition and books for the upgrade of two (2) EMT’s to licensed paramedics.  Motion by Commission Suggs, seconded by Commissioner Bush, to approve the resolution.  The motion carried unanimously.  (3/400)


Value Adjustment Board Meeting  – Mr. Gilliam advised the Board that the V.A.B. Meeting has been scheduled for 9:00 a.m. on October 5th.  This meeting will be held in the School Board Meeting Room.  Chairman Durden appointed Commissioner Wilkerson, Commissioner Bush and himself to serve on this Board.  Mr. Gilliam stated that he will contact the School Board for their appointments. (3/438)


Juvenile Assessment Center – Mr. Gilliam brought a budget request from Sheriff Turner.   Alachua County lost funding from the State for the Juvenile Assessment Center which is utilized by Gilchrist County as well.  The Alachua County Sheriff will continue to fund the facility through his office.  During the budget process, Sheriff Turner requested the Commission to approve payment of $2,100 to help fund the center.  Motion by Commissioner Suggs, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson, to approve the request.  The motion carried unanimously.  (3/550)


Grant-in-Aid Agreement – Mr. Gilliam presented the Grant-in-Aid Agreement with the Eighth Judicial Circuit and Office of the State Courts Administrator.  The Grant-in-Aid Agreement provides funds in the amount of $250,000 to Gilchrist County to assist with the costs incurred for consulting or architectural studies related to the improvements of courthouse facilities.  Motion by Commissioner Suggs, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson, to authorize the Chairman to execute the agreement.  The motion carried unanimously.  (3/582)


Mediation Renewal Contract – For the Board’s approval, Mr. Gilliam also presented  renewal contracts for mediation services with the following attorneys:


– C. Valentine Bates                             – Ause Brown

– Joseph Davis                          – Louise Godfrey

– Beverly Graper                                  – R.A. Green

– Madeline McCloud                             – Diana McPherson

– Trish Peterson                                    – Edith Richman

– E.A.W. Zettler


 Motion by Commissioner Suggs, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson, to approve the contracts.  The motion carried unanimously.  (3/598)


EMA/ County Coordinator: 


(Mr. McQueen told the Board that he will hold items #1, #4 and #5 for the next meeting.)


Request / RE: Santa Fe Ranch, Lot 67 – Mr. McQueen referred the Board to a letter received from Rafael Torres requesting permission to build a house on Lot 67, Sante Fe Ranch.  Mr. McQueen explained that this property is not a buildable lot and referred to section map including that lot.  In the past, the Board had allowed combination of various lots which fronted on the paved road but this lot is on the graded road.  Mr. McQueen recommended that the Commission continue to permit the lots that front on the paved roads.  Motion by Commissioner Bush, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson, to deny the request to build on Lot 67, Sante Fe Ranch.  The motion carried unanimously.  (3/630)


SE 70th Ave. / Waiver and Reduction of Match Requirements – Mr. McQueen discussed a letter from the Department of Transportation which states that Gilchrist County is eligible for a waiver or reduction of match requirements.  (3/630)


Waste Tire Collection – A memo was received from Mrs. Diane Avery, Solid Waste Department, requesting the Board to schedule a date for the Waste Tire Collection.  She recommends September 29th through October 13th.  She also recommended changing the limit to 25 tires per day instead of 10.  Motion by Commissioner Suggs, seconded by Commissioner Bush, to approve the Waste Tire Collection dates.  The motion carried unanimously.  (3/784)


Building Department / Truck – Mr. McQueen asked the Board to take action regarding the extra truck belonging to the Building Department.  Chairman Durden recommends that this vehicle be transferred to the Hart Springs Park Department.  Motion by Commissioner Bush, seconded by Commissioner Suggs, to transfer the Ford Ranger truck from the Building Department to Hart Springs to be used by Mr. Amos Philman.  The motion carried unanimously.  (3/800)


Commissioner’s Report:


Chairman Durden discussed the Transportation Disadvantaged Board.  In the past, it has been difficult for members of the Commission to attend the meetings which are held during the workday.  Chairman Durden offered to replace Commissioner Suggs on this Board.  Commissioner Suggs agreed and suggested that the Chairman draft a letter to Frances Terry to request the times be changed.  (3/882)


Commissioner Suggs told the Board that the Senior Citizens Center had approached her about the County purchasing the two parcels adjacent to their building.  Mr. Gilliam received a call from Frances Terry about the same property.  The houses had been condemned and the property needs to be cleaned up.  (The Board discussed the property but took no action at this time.)  (3/945)


Commissioner Suggs reported that the Parks Department is going well and she commended Mr. Amos Philman for the job he has done with the park.  (3/1030)


Commissioner Wilkerson commented on the Waste Tire Collection and the Agricultural Committee Meeting called by Mr. Marvin Weaver.


Commissioner Bush stated that the pit should have been blasted today.  The Road Department has made the rounds with the mower.  (3/1157)


Commissioner Suggs told Commissioner Bush that she has requested no dumping signs in the Waccasassa Community but that the Road Department has not responded.  Commissioner Bush told her that he would contact Mr. Martin and have it taken care of.  (3/1200)


Chairman Durden received a request regarding a reduction in speed on NW 50th Street (Willow Lane.)  He suggested that this item be placed on the agenda for the mid month meeting in October.  Motion by Commissioner Wilkerson, seconded by Commissioner Bush, to advertise for a public hearing to consider reducing the speed limit on NW 50th Street.  The motion carried unanimously.  (3/1260)


Mr. Gilliam told the Board that Susan Bryant brought in a check today in the amount of $45,000 that she received from the State for voting equipment. 


Mr. Gilliam advised the Board that a budget hearing will be held the first meeting of October to amend the budget for the$500,000 received from the Sheriff for the Administration Building and the FRDAP Grants for Waters Lake and McArthur Park.


Old Business:



New Business:



Public Participation:



There being no further business to discuss, Commissioner Wilkerson moved to adjourn at 7:48 p.m. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Suggs and carried.