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Little Free Pantry
opens in Chiefland

Little Free Pantry HardisonInk.com
Christina Buscher and Chad Austin stand near the Little Free Pantry they donated.

Published July 20, 2018 at 1:48 p.m.
     CHIEFLAND –
A new resource for people to give and to receive has seen success on the grounds of the Tri-County Community Resource Center (TCCRC) in downtown Chiefland.

 


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Little Free Pantry HardisonInk.com

     The TCCRC is located on the east side of U.S. Highway 19, just north of the traffic light at Park Avenue.
     Little Free Pantries have popped up all over the country, inspiring neighbors to help neighbors address food insecurity in their community.
     Smaller than a traditional food pantry, the little free pantry can’t stock the same amount or variety of food as a food bank.
     The one in the grassy area (on the northeast part of the property) next to the TCCRC was donated by Gainesville residents Christina Buscher and Chad Austin.
     Norinda Yancey, Director of Community Impact with United Way, was the person that facilitated placement of the donated pantry at this location in Chiefland.
     The Little Free Pantry is open 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week with no qualifications to receive food. Passersby will not know whether someone accessing the pantry is donating or receiving (or both).
     The pantry is stocked by community members with a desire to give back.
     Wondering what to donate?
     Unopened, unexpired non-perishable food (canned vegetables and proteins, crackers, granola bars), personal care items, paper goods, children’s items (school supplies, etc). Ideally, items should be new and sealed in their original packaging.
     Everyone is asked to leave what they can – Take what they need.
     Notice a problem, call 352-507-4000.

 


Veterinarian notes cats
are seeking new homes;

Death is the other option
Needles The Community Cat  HardisonInk.com
Needles the community cat of the unrecorded subdivision known as Jemlands relaxes in the area on Tuesday afternoon (July 17). He was the first cat spayed in the current trap-neuter-release program of Levy County Animal Services. Needles is current on his rabies vaccination too. The tip of his left ear was surgically removed for easy identification as a community cat that has been neutered. He has become less feral, although he is fearful of most humans. There are a couple of people that Needles allows to feed and pet him. He seems to want to become an indoor cat, however so far conditions have not been conducive for that transition in his living arrangements. (He is named Needles because he blends in with the pine needles in the area.)

Story and Photos
By Jeff M. Hardison © July 18, 2018 at 11:48 a.m.
     BRONSON --
Levy County Veterinarian Dr. Darlene Esler mentioned on Tuesday (July 17) about the need for families to adopt cats from Levy County Animal Services to avoid the county having to euthanize some felines.


Goldy Hardison of HardisonInk.com
Goldy the cat Hardison helps type stories and captions. This cat was adopted from the wild almost a decade ago after it is believed a raptor of some sort (probably a hawk) dropped the kitten from the sky, because she was too scrawny to eat. She was adopted. Goldy became the senior mascot of HardisonInk.com and has helped in marketing the daily news website.

Inky the cat Hardison of HardisonInk.com
Inky the cat Hardison was adopted from Dr. Ronald Spink of Chiefland some years ago to provide Goldy with a cat friend, and to assist as a junior mascot for the daily news website. Although both feline mascots of HardisonInk.com are always indoors, they are both neutered and both are up-to-date on their rabies vaccinations. In this photo, Inky is seen as she tries to blend in with stuffed animals after walking behind a television screen.



     There were 92 cats (most were feral) that had to be euthanized between April 1 and June 30, the veterinarian said.
     Dr. Esler was speaking with the Levy County Board of County Commissioners Tuesday morning about an amendment in the final budget for Fiscal Year 2017-2018, which ended Sept. 30, 2018, where there was a need to move $8,424 that had been donated to the county from the donation line item to the line item for the purchase of medical supplies.
     On a motion by County Commissioner Lilly Rooks, seconded by County Commissioner Mike Joyner, there was a 5-0 vote granting that requested resolution.
     County Attorney Anne Bast Brown was absent because she was on vacation. Levy County Commission Chairman John Meeks jokingly directed a question toward her empty chair to hear Dr. Esler's quarterly report on matters regarding Levy County Animal Services, because the report was not listed on the agenda.
     Commissioners agreed to listen to the non-agenda report.
     While there was the tragic news about more cats potentially being euthanized in the near future due to them not being adopted, Dr. Esler's report showed Levy County Animal Services continuing on a strong positive trend toward taking care of the dogs, cats and other critters of the county.
     Levy County has made excellent strides, especially in the past 12 years, to reduce the number of dogs and cats that must be killed.
     In her quarterly report, she began with canines.
     Twenty-one dogs were brought to the compound for low-cost clinic work during the quarter from April 1 through June 30. Low-cost spays and neuters will be made available to residents of Levy County who are of retirement age (older than 62 years) or low-income status (determined by eligibility for other types of government aid).
     Eleven dogs were brought in as quarantine animals in that three-month period, Dr. Esler said. These are dogs that bit a person and were not up-to-date on their rabies shots.
      There were 23 dogs that came into the shelter as strays, she said, and were transferred within the community.  Another 85 were unwanted dogs, which are primarily owner releases.
     Of those animals, 45 were adopted. Seven were euthanized. All seven dogs that were put to death were from among the 11 quarantined or aggressive animals, Dr. Esler said. Two dogs euthanized were puppies that were actually stillborn, she added. One dog that was hit by a car died on the way to the office after being picked up by Levy County Animal Services during that three-month period.
     During that three months, there were also 133 dogs that were rescued, and 34 dogs were returned to owners.
     As for cats, Dr. Esler said, there were 44 low-cost clinic visits.
     People who are using the trap-neuter-release (TNR) program are also using the low-cost neuter program, because the TNR program has limits, Dr. Esler said she is happy to report.
     She told the County Commission that Levy County Animal Services has seen some feral cat colonies being brought under control as a result of the program to stop cats from making kittens.
     There were 168 stray cats that came into the Levy County Animal Services compound during that three-month period, she said. There were 44 cats in the TNR program. There were four cat transfers within the community, she said.
     Four other cats in that three-month period were owner released.
     Of the cats that came in, eight were adopted; three escaped (feral cats can get away from staff on occasion); 80 cats were rescued by other groups; one cat was euthanized for illness; two cats were stillborn; and 92 other cats (mostly feral) were euthanized in that three-month period, she said.
     Dr. Esler said the cat population at Levy County Animal Services has reached a point again where euthanasia is going to occur.
     County Commissioner Rock Meeks said an unknown person dropped off a cat at his house, and that cat has become part of his family now. Otherwise, Meeks said, he would adopt a cat from the county.
     All animals that are adopted or rescued from the Levy County Animal Services are required by Florida Law to be Spay/Neutered and also have a rabies vaccination.
     To adopt a male dog from the shelter the fee is $40, which covers neutering, rabies vaccination (if age appropriate) and microchipping.
     To adopt a female dog from the shelter the fee is $55, which covers spaying, rabies vaccination (if age appropriate) and microchipping.
     To adopt a male cat from the shelter the fee is $25, which covers neutering, rabies vaccination (if age appropriate) and microchipping.
     To adopt a female cat from the shelter the fee is $40, which covers spaying, rabies vaccination (if age appropriate) and microchipping. Adoptions can be done Monday thru Friday between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.
     Staff members encourage people to get there by 3:30 p.m. to give them time to complete the required paperwork. All adoptions are done on a first-come basis.
     All transactions such as adoption, impounding, etc., are cash payment only – no checks or cards.
     Click HERE to see the adoptable pets at Levy County Animal Services.
     Anyone interested in adopting a cat or dog from Levy County Animal Services is invited to visit the dog and cat compound.
     From Gainesville take State Road 24 westbound to Bronson then turn left on U.S. Alt. 27 (Hathaway Avenue) in Bronson.
     From I-75 Ocala (Exit 354, old number 70 Ocala/Williston) Take 27 North to Williston take Alt. 27(27A North).
     From U.S. Alt. 27 either coming from Bronson or Williston, go to Levy County Road 335 and turn down the road where the signs are pointing to the Animal Shelter.
     Once on CR 335, go about 1/4 mile to Northeast 69th Lane and turn right. Follow the signs for Levy County Animal Services/Levy County Landfill. The shelter location is at the landfill.
     The street address is 12055 N.E. 69th Lane, Bronson, Fla., however some GPS equipment does not take a person to the correct location.
     The telephone number is 352-486-5138.
     The email is animailservices@levycounty.org.
     The main office hours are Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.


Bronson Town Council
to interview five of 12 applicants
for town clerk position

Story and Photos
By Jeff M. Hardison © July 17, 2018 at 4:38 p.m.
     BRONSON --
During a special meeting Monday night (July 16), held before the regular twice-a-month meeting of the Bronson Town Council, four of the city's leaders selected the five candidates to interview for the vacant town clerk post.


     Town Councilwoman Katie Parks was not present for the meeting. She was selected, by a vote of one, to be among the five people interviewed. Since Councilwoman Parks put her application in the mix, she has not discussed with the other town leaders anything about the selection process.

Bronson Deputy Town Clerk Melissa Thompson (at left) started working for the town on June 25 and she will be serving with the person chosen as the town clerk by the four Bronson Town Council members. Town Councilwoman Katie Parks is among the five to be interviewed, and therefore she is not particiating in the interview process or vote -- except as an applicant for the position.


     Public Works Director Erik Wise as the acting town clerk is tasked with arranging five interviews to be held starting at 5 p.m. on July 24. The meeting in the Dogan Cobb Municipal Building is open to the public to watch.
     The two applicants selected by Mayor Bruce Greenlee, Vice Mayor Beatrice Roberts, Councilman Jason Hunt and Councilman Robert Partin are Siadus Rish and Shirley Miller.
     The three other applicants are Councilwoman Parks, selected by Mayor Greenlee; Joannie Morse, selected by Councilman Hunt; and Heather Linde-Kaminski, selected by Councilman Partin.
     Miller, who is currently working at the Levy County Department of Public Works, is said to have accounting experience in a government job.
     One applicant withdrew his name from consideration just before the start of the special meeting Monday night.
     The other seven applicants are Melinda Jelks, Kelly King, Sarah Martinez, Amber Schuler, Judith Dameron, Sherrie Mozdizer and Stephanie Bender.
     During this aspect of the selection process, during the special meeting for that purpose, the mayor and Council spoke about seeking to pay people to serve at town functions such as the Halloween Festival, Blueberry Festival, Fourth of July, and games of the various teams of the Bronson Parks and Recreation leagues.
     This discussion relates to the town being critiqued for having so much overtime, as noted in the most recent annual audit by Purvis Gray & Co.
     A three-page May 16 letter from the auditor, included in the 38-page annual report for the year ending Sept. 30, 2017, was critical of some aspects of the town’s records.
     Mayor Greenlee and former Town Clerk Pamela Whitehead responded to all of the criticism in a three-page response.
     One ongoing problem is segregation of accounting and administrative duties. That is not likely to ever go away.
     “Due to the small number of staff (members) it is very difficult to separate all accounting and administrative duties completely,” Greenlee and Whitehead noted in the town’s response, “but we feel these processes address the concern of the auditors. Any mistakes are caught and dealt with in a timely manner.”
     In regard to a 2015 notation from the auditor, the town noted that the town clerk would be seeking training to gain an understanding of all necessary adjustments, as well as to post journal entries in a timely manner.
     The town also responded with positive methods to overcome issues with payroll procedures, payroll taxes, bank reconciliation, accounting records, and budget amendments.
     Water and sewer rate increases will continue as the town seeks to bring revenue up to meet expenses – such as payment on the grant-loan to upgrade and expand its sewer collection system from some years ago. In another similar matter, it was noted that the town intends to establish a separate reserve fund account for its USDA Rural Development loan so that it meets all of those requirements.
     In response to the town’s alleged violation of the Florida Constitution, as noted in the audit, by extending $5,004 worth of credit as a public agency to a person -- former Town Councilman Aaron Edmondson -- for health insurance payments, Edmondson is to be told to pay all of the outstanding balance owed, and the town clerk will inform him when the amount is paid in full, according to the response by Greenlee and Whitehead.


Dolphin researcher in Cedar Key
seeks data from general public




These photos are examples of what Dr. Stefanie K. Gazda is seeking from residents and visitors to the Cedar Key, or Waccasassa Bay/Withlacoochee Bay areas.

Photos taken under NMFS scientific research permit number 14450.
Photos Provided By Dr. Gazda Via Cedar Key Public Library Manager Molly Jubitz


By Jeff M. Hardison © July 14, 2018 at 8:28 a.m.
     CEDAR KEY --
Cedar Key Public Library Manager Molly Jubitz passed on a note via email Friday morning (July 13) to show a scientist's request for help in documenting dolphin behavior in that neighborhood.
     Stefanie K. Gazda, Ph.D., is the head of Cedar Key Dolphin Project. The group she leads is having a robust field research season right now, Jubitz noted.
      Dr. Gazda is an associate lecturer of biology University of Massachusetts Boston, College of Science and Mathematics, according to UMB. Her students give her good reviews as a professor as well, according to social media input regarding students grading professors.
     She also has presented programs for the general public on several occasions over the past many years at the Cedar Key Public Library.
     Dr. Gazda began researching Cedar Key bottlenose dolphins in 2001 for her master’s thesis. She came to the Cedar Key area to study bottlenose dolphins’ foraging behavior. Her research uncovered aspects of dolphin behavior.
     She began calling her research the Cedar Key Dolphin Project in 2010. 
     Dr. Gazda and her team of researchers are inviting residents and visitors to the Cedar Key area to contribute to the field this season by providing descriptions of sightings of the driver-barrier behavior exhibited by local dolphins.
     Driver-barrier feeding behavior in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) is when they jump into the air and capture a mullet as it jumps from the water too.
     In part of an abstract from an article published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, in February of 2005, which was authored by Gazda, Richard Connor of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, Robert K. Edgar and Frank Cox, it was noted that "Individual role specialization during group hunting is extremely rare in mammals."
     In her note to Jubitz, Dr. Gazda asked the library manager to pass on to the Friends of the Cedar Key Public Library, her request for assistance from people to document driver-barrier feeding, which is a precise form of hunting by this type of marine mammal.
     Seeing barrier feeding is extremely rare, Dr. Gazda noted as she seeks to recruit assistance in the collection of data relating to the natural world by members of the general public.
     Dr. Gazda asks the general public, when a person specifically sees dolphins catching mullet in the air, in the area of Cedar Key, or Waccasassa Bay/Withlacoochee Bay between now and Aug. 20, to send the researchers a message via email at ckdolphinproject@gmail.com.
     "Let us know when and where you saw it," Dr. Gazda noted. "A couple pictures or a short video could also be really helpful. This is your chance to participate science and help us achieve our research goals this summer!"

 


Two Trenton firefighters
critically injured in crash

By Jeff M. Hardison © July 12, 2018 at 10:38 p.m.
      GILCHRIST COUNTY --
Two firefighters with Trenton Fire Rescue were critically injured in a crash on State Road 26 Thursday evening (July 12) at 6:25 p.m., the FHP said.
     Ryan Cumbie, 22, of Trenton was driving the 2007 Ford Explorer TFR vehicle. Troy Breton, 55, of Trenton was a passenger in the Ford, according to information in a press release from Florida Highway Patrol Lt. Jonathan H. Young, based on information from crash investigator FHP Trooper D. Fulton.
     Jodi Turner, 39, of Trenton was driving a 2014 Volkswagen Jetta, the FHP said.
     The Florida Highway Patrol was dispatched to a traffic crash at the intersection of State Road 26 and Southeast 25th Avenue, the FHP said.
     Troopers arrived on scene of a two-vehicle crash involving a Trenton Fire Rescue vehicle that had been responding to a separate traffic crash that involved a vehicle fire, the FHP said.
     Cumbie and Breton were transported to North Florida Regional Hospital with injuries listed as critical, the FHP said.
     Turner was also transported to North Florida Regional Hospital with injuries listed as serious injuries, the FHP said.
     The investigation is ongoing and charges are pending the outcome of the investigation, the FHP said.


Chiefland leaders vote 3-2
to keep Sunday alcohol sales ban

Chiefland Mayor Betty Walker via HardisonInk.com
Mayor Betty Walker, seen here at the meeting on Monday night (July 9) seconded the motion to revise the current law, which would have allowed alcoholic beverages to be sold in Chiefland on Sundays.
Story and Photos
By Jeff M. Hardison © July 11, 2018 at 12:08 p.m.
     CHIEFLAND --
Having waited too long to poll the voters of Chiefland via a straw ballot on the question of whether the city government should allow the sale of alcoholic beverages on Sundays, the Chiefland City Commission voted 3-2 Monday night (July 9) to retain its "blue law" stance in that regard.


Vice Mayor Chris Jones via HardisonInk.com
Vice Mayor Chris Jones

Chiefland City Commissioner Donald Lawrence via HardisonInk.com
City Commissioner Donald Lawrence

City Commissioner Rollin Hudson via HardisonInk.com
City Commissioner Rollin Hudson

City Commissioner Teresa Barron via HardisonInk.com
City Commissioner Teresa Barron

Anna and Tim West via HardisonInk.com
Anna and Tim West are seen in the audience Monday night. Tim West is running against Teresa Barron in the upcoming city election. West said he would have voted in favor of allowing alcoholic beverages to be sold on Sunday in Chiefland. If Mayor Walker and Vice Mayor Jones maintain their current choices in that regard, and if West is elected and the question is posed to the City Commission again, then the local law could be amended to allow sale of that type of beverage in the city limits on Sundays.


     Mayor Betty Walker introduced the potential to revise the city's law that prohibits the sale of alcohol.
     After she delivered a relatively strong set of reasons to approve it, as well as adding commentary on the eight Internet Cafés in the city limits that allow gambling 24-hours-a-day, Vice Mayor Chris Jones made a cogent argument in favor of changing the ordinance too.
     Meanwhile, City Commissioner Donald Lawrence, the newest City Commission member who was appointed to his position after the tragic death of Mayor M. Teal Pomeroy, gave his reasons for voting against the possible change. Lawrence is up for reelection, but no person qualified in time to challenge him on the ballot.
     City commissioners Teresa Barron and Rollin Hudson stayed silent on the issue on Monday night, however after a Jones-Walker motion to adopt the change, it was a Lawrence-Barron-Hudson vote that shot down the proposal.
     There was some public input on the matter as well Monday night, although as has become the custom in Chiefland, the speakers addressed the City Commission from their seats in the audience.
     The next night, during the regular meeting of the Williston City Council, that city’s leaders required public input to be from the podium and a well-lit clock started when the speaker began The limit for public input during that section of that city’s agenda is five minutes.
      Meanwhile on Monday in Chiefland, Mayor Walker said that the people who gamble on Easter, Christmas and on any Sunday at the eight Internet cafés in Chiefland are no better than a person who may want to purchase or consume alcohol at an establishment in the city. Besides, she added, currently there is only the Chiefland Billiards where a person can sit and drink alcohol, she said.
     If people want to buy alcoholic beverages on Sunday, they can just drive out of Chiefland and buy it and then return to the city, Walker said. The only thing this continuation of that law in Chiefland is doing, other than causing a minor inconvenience for some people, is causing any chain restaurant like Applebee’s or Beef ‘O’ Brady’s or Red Lobster, etc., to skip over even considering Chiefland as a place to build their next restaurant.
     Walker said she prefers to not have to keep raising the millage on ad valorem property taxes in the city, and one way to help growth in the city would be to allow Sunday sales of alcoholic beverages.
     If the residents and visitors of Chiefland want the city to continue sustaining the level of service that exists today as the city goes into the future, then the city needs to add more business interests, Walker said. However, she added, if people want the status quo to go unchanged, then there is that option.
     “If we want to stay in this cowboy town like this forever,” Walker said, “then we will be here – riding in the same rut, telling him (the metaphorical horse of the economy) to get up. He ain’t getting nowhere.”
     Betty Anderson of Chiefland spoke in favor of the city revising its ban against alcoholic beverage sales on Sundays.
     She said she has worked in restaurants in Pasco County, where after 1 p.m. on Sunday the restaurant could serve beer or wine.
     “I see nothing wrong with that,” Anderson said. “All we are doing is lining the pockets of who owns the convenience stores, or whatever, outside of the city limits.”
     Mayor Walker added that the city needs to take progressive steps toward more growth. As it is, the city fails to pay its police officers enough for them to stay. Walker said they obtain their training in Chiefland and then they leave for a higher paying municipality or county.
     Walker said the same is true for the employees in the city’s water department and its wastewater department too.
     The mayor added that it was her opinion that most of the anti-Sunday alcohol sales faction is from people who do not live in the city limits, and she took it a step further to surmise that those folks may be “closet drinkers.”
     City Attorney Norm D. Fugate explained to the City Commission that it could have placed a poll question on the city election ballot, however it is too late now to change the ballots for the city election. The question would be for voters to say if they favor alcoholic beverage sales on Sundays.
     Hal Lyons, a principal in the development of Strawberry Fields For RVers – one of two RV parks currently under construction in the city limits, mentioned to the City Commission that the prohibition against alcohol in the United States was overturned in 1933.
     “And most blue laws throughout the United States were repealed in the ‘60s,” Lyons added, “and we’re (in Chiefland) still operating under partial-Prohibition here. We’ve got to get up to speed.”
     Vice Mayor Jones said Chiefland’s growth is abysmal. He said Gilchrist County, Williston and other areas are growing.
     “I think we’re staying in the Stone Ages,” Jones said.
     He thinks the city should allow the sales of alcoholic beverages on Sundays, at least after 1 p.m. or 2 p.m.
     Jones said he could care less if a bar were to open or reopen in Chiefland. His vision is more toward chain restaurants that sell alcoholic beverages as an item on their menu.
     Jones said he believes the law enforcement leadership at the Chiefland Police Department is able to cope with the addition of one more day of alcoholic beverage sales during the week.
     “I think we are losing out by keeping the stance that we have right now,” Vice Mayor Jones said.
     City Commissioner Donald Lawrence led the opposition to the change in the ordinance.
     Lawrence said he knows the change will come at some point, however he is “from the old school.”
     “I’ve seen it (alcohol) destroy people,” Lawrence said. “I’ve been in education all my life. It has destroyed people.”
     Lawrence said he recognizes that the city budget needs a stronger revenue stream that would occur from more business interests making this city their home.
     He noted his appreciation for the work by the CPD and Chief Scott Anderson.
     Most people in America understand that government entities can’t legislate morality.
     Vice Mayor Jones took issue with Lawrence’s presumption that adding a day of sales would change any person in regard to them being destroyed by alcohol or other drugs.
     Government prohibiting sales of alcohol on a day is not a guarantee that such a person will not destroy himself of herself with alcohol, other drugs or other vices, Jones said.
     While Barron and Hudson were silent except for their votes against the change that night, they did respond to questions on the telephone on Tuesday afternoon.
     Barron said she is grateful for Commissioner Lawrence making his statement that he felt that in good conscience he could not vote in favor of it. Barron voted “No,” she said, along similar lines as what Lawrence expressed.
     She felt her Christian values led her to vote “No.”
     “I just could not vote ‘Yes,’” she said.
     Commissioner Hudson said his friend the late Mayor Pomeroy would always vote “No” on this question. Pomeroy owned a bar for a time, Hudson said, but even if he owned a bar and would lose revenue, Pomeroy would vote “No.”
     When Mayor Pomeroy was on the City Council he was adamant about keeping this ordinance intact.
     Hudson said he voted “No” because while he believes that he is progressive and is in favor of some change, this is not a matter he believes should be changed in Chiefland at this time.
     His recent trip to Washington, D.C., Hudson said, reminded him that there are some things that should remain constant – like the ideals of the Founding Fathers.
     As for alcoholic beverage sales on Sunday in Chiefland, Commissioner Hudson said he just does not feel like he needed to vote in favor of it. Hudson said he thinks he voted as the majority of his constituents in the city would want him to vote in this regard.
     Tim West, a candidate who is running against Barron in the upcoming city election, said on the telephone on Tuesday afternoon that he would have voted “Yes” for alcoholic beverage sales in Chiefland on Sundays.
     “I’m for Chiefland,” West said. “I think the added revenue would benefit the city and it would benefit local business. We don’t have a problem during the other six days of the week with the sale of alcoholic beverages.
     “The ‘blue laws’ are outdated,” West said. “There was a time when you couldn’t buy clothes on Sunday. Now you can.”

 


FAC honors Levy County
Commission Chairman
 John Meeks with
its most prestigious award


John Meeks holds the Marlene Young Presidential Advocacy Award as his wife Stephanie Nettles Meeks stands by his side.

Photo Provided

By Cragin Mosteller, Director of Communications
Florida Association of Counties
Published July 2, 2018 at 6:48 p.m.
     ORANGE COUNTY –
The Florida Association of Counties (FAC) presented Levy County Commission Chairman John Meeks with the Marlene Young Presidential Advocacy Award during the 2018 FAC Annual Conference and Exposition, which was held in the Hyatt Regency Orlando from June 26 to June 29.

     Levy County Commission Chairman Meeks earned the Marlene Young Presidential Advocacy Award for his commitment to protect home rule and serve Florida’s counties as a leader and advocate during the 2018 Legislative Session.
     "It is an honor and privilege to represent not only the citizens of Levy County, but of the entire State of Florida," Meeks said.
     The Marlene Young Presidential Advocacy Award is presented to that county elected official who has shown extraordinary leadership and commitment to the mission of the FAC.
     Since his election to the Levy County Board of County Commissioners, Meeks has been dedicated to improving and maintaining a high quality of life for all Floridians. While serving on multiple policy committees, Commissioner Meeks has been a leader in the Association.
     “FAC and Levy County are privileged to have Commissioner John Meeks, a dedicated leader," FAC President and Charlotte County Commissioner Christopher Constance said. "During Legislative Session, he was someone the Association could rely on no matter what the circumstances. His presence in Tallahassee undoubtedly helped influence and strengthen public policy.”
     The Marlene Young Presidential Advocacy Award is named after the late Marlene Young who served as a County Commissioner in Polk County from 1988-2000.  During her public service in Polk County, Commissioner Young was very active in the FAC and served as its president from 1993-1994.
     Founded in 1929, the Florida Association of Counties has represented the diverse interests of Florida’s counties, emphasizing the importance of protecting home rule – the concept that communities and their local leaders should make the decisions that impact their community.
      The FAC helps counties effectively serve and represent Floridians by strengthening and preserving county home rule through advocacy, education and collaboration.

 


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104th Jingle Performer



Jesse Lancaster, 29, of Gainesville was a guest at the Thursday (June 28) meeting of the Rotary Club of Suwannee Valley, held at Hospice’s Community Building in Chiefland. When requested to sing the jingle, he agreed. Each performer or set of performers brings his or her, or their (when it is two or more performers) own special something to the jingle. If you see Jeff Hardison and you want to sing the jingle, just let him know or send an email to hardisonink@gmail.com. He asks people to sing it, too, and some of them agree to sing it. (Thanks people!)
Published June 28, 2018 at 8:08 p.m.
© Video by Jeff M. Hardison, All Rights Reserved

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