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Progress Continues Toward Otter Springs
Park And Campground Switching 
From Septic Tanks To Sewer Service

-- LEISURE PAGE

 


People urged
to welcome the Census

United States Census can mean
more power and money
for the Tri-County Area

2020 Census Florida HardisonInk.com
Jennifer Pyle, a partnership specialist in North Florida, speaks to people in the audience Tuesday night (Feb. 18) at the regular twice-monthly meeting of the Levy County Board of County Commissioners. Pyle is with the United States Census 2020.

Story and Photo
By Jeff M. Hardison © Feb. 19, 2020 at 11:10 a.m.
     BRONSON --
The United States Constitution created a method for the federal government to fairly distribute tax money and power when the Founding Fathers created the requirement for a census each 10 years.

 

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     Jennifer Pyle, a 2020 Census partnership specialist in North Florida, brought information Tuesday night (Feb. 18) to the Levy County Board of County Commissioners about the United States Census 2020.
     Everything anyone needs to know about this people-counting, money and power-splitting process is at https://2020census.gov/.
     As she spoke to the County Commission Tuesday night, Pyle said her job is to engage, educate and encourage the public to respond and participate in the 2020 Census.
     There are 435 members of the United States House of Representatives. Federal law, passed on Aug. 8, 1911, determined how many members are in the House of Representatives. That measure raised the number of representatives to 435 from 391 because of population growth in the United States.
     The Census determines how many of those 435 individuals represent each state. Florida gained two House members as a result of the population shifts between 2000 and 2010, as a result of the 2010 Census, which means those two seats came from one or two other states.
     Pyle said $675 billion will be distributed per-year during each of the 10 years after the 2020 Census based on population counts in the 50 states. That funding is distributed based solely on population counts from the 2020 Census, Pyle said.
     “The money follows the numbers,” Pyle said, “not the need.”
     Among the things that cash goes toward are federal funding goes toward highway planning and construction; formula grants for rural areas; federal community development grants; and water and wastewater systems in rural communities.
     The date when people need to consider where they reside is April 1 as they fill in the Census form. Every person counts, and every person is sought to be counted once and in the correct place, Pyle said.
     She knows some number of Florida residents live in various places. However, they can only reside in one place on April 1 and that is where they are counted. There are methods for counting people in the military, in institutions such as hospitals and prisons, and for counting the people who literally live on the streets or in the woods as homeless individuals.
     There are three methods for people to be counted in the Census. They can use the online method. They can use the telephone method, or they can actually write in their information on a paper form and mail it in.
     Completing the Census questionnaire does not take a long time and it is not intrusive, Pyle said. The information is protected from view for more than 70 years.
     Pyle reminds people to remain alert to scammers who may try to use this process for illegal or improper purposes.
     Click HERE to see information about avoiding scams and fraud.
     To begin the process of completing the Census 2020, click HERE.

 


Levy County library
use stays strong;

Diversity and inclusion prevail
over homogenous exclusion

Levy County Commissioner Lilly Rooks HardisonInk.com
County Commissioner Lilly Rooks tells people that she would not seek to be more restrictive for use of the public libraries in Levy County, despite one county resident expressing an opinion that is what should occur.

Story and Photos
By Jeff M. Hardison © Feb. 19, 2020 at 12:10 p.m.
     BRONSON
-- A Levy County woman complaining about the Levy County Democratic Party somehow "tainting" the Bronson Public Library resulted in an even more liberal set of guidelines for use of the public libraries being drafted by the Levy County government.

Levy County Library HardisonInk.com
Levy County Library Director Jeanine Turner tells the County Commission that many groups use the library during regular hours and after hours.

     Levy County Commissioner Lilly Rooks on Tuesday night (Feb. 18) opened the discussion about the complaint lodged by Toni Collins, first in Collins' email of Jan. 26 and then repeated verbally by Collins on Feb. 4 at the regular County Commission that Tuesday morning.
     (For background information, click HERE for the Feb. 5 story about the Feb. 4 complaint, and click HERE for the second story about the actual existing county policy, as well as the initial apology by the current library director, formerly an administrative assistant.)
     Rooks parsed words as she opened her statements, saying she did not say she would “investigate it,” instead she said she would “look into it.”
     Rooks has served on the County Commission at various times for more than 20 years. Former County Commissioner Ryan Bell also represented that district in Levy County in the past.
     Many different types of groups use the five public libraries in Levy County, including Democrats, yoga enthusiasts, honeybee farmers, people providing income tax filing assistance, home-schoolers and others. The county government does not own any of the structures.
     Levy County tax dollars go to pay the employees. County Commissioner Mike Joyner said he was concerned about paying employees for after-hours meetings. He learned that carefully vetted volunteers open and close the library for after-hours meetings, and those volunteers stay from start to finish for those meetings.
     State and federal tax money subsidizes the purchase of books, just as donations from the various friends of the public libraries’ groups in Levy County help support those and other purchases. As for the public library in Bronson, the building is owned by the Town of Bronson.
     Rooks cited the 2002 policy that was adopted by the County Commission regarding qualifications of groups using the public libraries in Levy County. (It is shown in the background stories.)
     During her couple of decades on the County Commission, Rooks said she has seen those county leaders attempting to be inclusive of everyone having equal opportunity to use the public libraries.
     “We want to serve everyone,” Rooks said. “That’s our job.”
     Rooks said the county commissioners answer to the people of Levy County. As for political group, she said, they are striving to educate people so that more people will vote.
     “I cannot see why we would not allow a political group to meet in the library,” Rooks said.
     County Commission Chairman Matt Brooks asked County Attorney Anne Brown to work with Library Director Jeanine Turner to improve the current policy.
     Brooks said he sees the qualifier of “non-profit” as being something other than inclusive in the current policy.
     Attorney Brown said she believes the county should remove the exclusive qualifiers and incorporate the library system’s patron code of conduct policy.
     County Commissioner John Meeks said he felt the policy was good as it stands, however by the end of the discussion it was clear that the current policy would be improved by Attorney Brown and Library Director Turner working together so that there is a reduced potential to discriminate against any class of people – such as Democrats or members of other political parties.
     Collins is a regular attendee of County Commission meetings, often providing her opinion from wherever she happens to be sitting in the audience.
     On this occasion where Collins complained about “tainting” a library by politics, she stood at the podium on Feb. 4, opening her remarks then with a complaint about the County Commission not responding quickly enough to her Jan. 26 email, despite an email response within hours after that Sunday starting point.
     Several people were prepared to speak against the Levy County government adopting a policy to discriminate against groups by restricting the use of the county’s five public libraries. With Rooks opening the discussion, and making it clear that was not going to happen, those individuals did not need to speak about the issue.

 


Jerry Lawrence announces
candidacy for Levy County
Superintendent of Schools

Information and Photo Provided
Published Feb. 16, 2020 at 8:10 a.m.

Jerry Lawrence of Cedar Key    




 

Jerry Lawrence

 


CEDAR KEY – Jerry Lawrence sent information Thursday (Feb. 13) to announce his candidacy for the post of Levy County Superintendent of Schools.
     Lawrence, who is listed as No Party Affiliation, is the only other candidate so far who has announced an intention to run running against incumbent Jeff Edison, a Republican, who has announced his intent to seek reelection to that office.
      “It is with a clear and realistic vision for education in Levy County that today (Feb. 13) I announce my candidacy for Superintendent of Schools,” Lawrence noted.
     Following is the vision for Levy County that Lawrence is noting. Lawrence wrote that he will:
     • Consistently keep and attract the best and the brightest educators to Levy County.
     • Prioritize and Expand the Vocational Trades Program. Build strong relationships with local businesses to create a dynamic apprenticeship program where businesses partner with students to teach them life skills.
     • Increase Levy County graduation scholarships to $1 million.
     • Raise Levy County student achievement to the top 50 percent of Florida counties, and higher.
     • Create an Annual Superintendent and School Board Report Card. Employees will grade their leaders, and it will be published.
     • Hold community forums in the evening in schools to listen to the people of Levy County and to answer their questions.
     • Acquire major grant funding, such as a MacArthur grant, a Gates grant, an Apple grant.
     • Communicate a vision for Levy County to parents, students, teachers, staff, and the broader community using Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. “Social media is just plain smart,” Lawrence contends.
     • Transform the culture of leadership in Levy County: Rid the county of fear and bullying.
     • Make Levy County a state and national example of what committed citizens working together can accomplish.
     • Lead. In every encounter see each person as God sees him or her. Help each person lead the life he or she has been called to live.
     • Inspire everyone to dream big.
     Lawrence noted that in 2018, Levy County reached an historic low in student achievement: 57th out of 67 Florida counties. Only 10 counties performed worse.
     Lawrence noted that “The great football coach Lou Holtz once said, ‘If a coach isn’t winning by his third year, he’s not going to make it.’”
     Lawrence wrapped up his announcement with the following:
     “It’s time we got on a path to success. If we want something we’ve never had, then we need to do something we’ve never done. I’m asking for your vote. On Tuesday, Nov. 3. I’m asking you to vote for our children. May you continue to be richly blessed.”
     Lawrence has a website for his campaign. It is at https://lawrenceforlevy.com/.
     The candidate has created a video for people to see in regard to why he should be elected for Levy County Superintendent of Schools. That is at https://youtu.be/6HJzpfd_iYM.

 


Chiefland gets new police cars;
USDA Rural Development visits
Chiefland Police Cars USDA Rural Development HardisonInk.com
USDA Rural Development State Director Philip Leary (left) and CPD Police Chief Scott Anderson are seen near one of the new cruisers Monday morning (Feb. 10).

Story and Photos
By Jeff M. Hardison © Feb. 10, 2020 at 4:10 p.m.
     CHIEFLAND –
The city manager, mayor, police chief, fire chief, and some members of the Chiefland City Commission were among the many people in the parking lot of the Hardy Dean Sr. Municipal Building (Chiefland City Hall) Monday morning (Feb. 10).

Chiefland Police Cars USDA Rural Development HardisonInk.com
One of the new cruisers and one of the new K-9 cruisers are seen showcased in the parking lot Monday afternoon. Meanwhile, celebrants were in City Hall enjoying lunch.

Chiefland Police Cars USDA Rural Development HardisonInk.com
USDA Rural Development State Director Phil Leary (from left) are Area Director Stephanie Hodges, Acting Director Community Programs Jeanie Isler and Area Specialist Rebecca Manning.

Chiefland Police Cars USDA Rural Development HardisonInk.com
Among the people at the event are City Manager Mary Ellzey, Mayor Chris Jones, Police Chief Scott Anderson, Fire Chief James Harris, and Chiefland City Commission members Tim West, Norman Weaver and Lewrissa Mainwaring. Several police officers, firefighters and City Hall staff enjoyed the lunch as well.

Chiefland Police Cars USDA Rural Development HardisonInk.com
Tim West of the Chiefland City Commission reaches for his lunch, shortly after Chiefland Fire Rescue Chaplain Tom Keisler had said the blessing.


     Joining the elected and appointed municipal leaders were members of the Chiefland Police Department and Chiefland Fire Rescue Department, as well as representatives of the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development.
     The USDA Rural Development is a mission area within the United States Department of Agriculture which runs programs intended to improve the economy and quality of life in rural America. Its motto is "Together, America Prospers."
     Founded in 1994, its predecessor is the Farmers Home Administration. It offers several programs, including a grant-loan program that helped the Town of Bronson expand its sewer collection system years ago,
     It was no daytime soiree, but lunch from Subway was provided by the city.
     The reason for the get-together was in celebration of the Chiefland Police Department obtaining three new police cruisers.
     The City of Chiefland applied and was awarded a Community Facilities Program grant to purchase four new police cars. The CPD bought two new cruisers and two new cruisers equipped for K-9 services.
     The grant assisted the CPD in replacing three cars that were 12 years old and one that was eight years old. The total purchase price of the cars was $187,460. The USDA Rural Development Community Facilities grant was for $79,700 and the city contributed $107,760 toward the purchase.
     After a brief look at the new vehicles in the parking lot, everyone adjourned to the meeting room, where City Manager Mary Ellzey had provided Subway sandwiches buffet style.
 
    


Library administrative assistant
apologizes to complainer;

Democrats offer assistance
with commissioner’s investigation

By Jeff M. Hardison © Feb. 9, 2020 at 10:10 p.m.
     BRONSON –
Democrats are offering to help a county commissioner who is investigating the use of public libraries in Levy County, after one woman complained via an email and then complained again in person.
     Within four hours after a Levy County woman complained via email to every individual county commissioner on a Sunday morning about the potential to “taint” the counties’ five libraries by allowing political groups to conduct meetings there, the administrative assistant for the counties’ libraries sent her an email to apologize.
     Public records show Toni C. Collins on Sunday, Jan. 26, sent an email to every county commissioner as well as to County Coordinator Wilbur Dean.
     All of those Levy County Democratic Party meetings in the Bronson Public Library were during the hours when the library is not open for general use. However the meetings were free and open to the public.
     “I want to lodge my objection against the local Democratic Party holding their monthly meetings in the Bronson Public Library,” Collins wrote in the email sent at 8:17 a.m. that Sunday (Jan. 26). “A county facility for the use of the public should not be ‘tainted’ by politics.”
     At 12:34 p.m. that same Sunday (Jan. 26), according to records, Levy County Library Administrative Assistant Jeanine Turner wrote to Collins in an email noting that any individual or group can reserve the space at a public library in Levy County for meetings during the hours when the library is not being used for the general public.
     “Miss Toni, I truly appreciate your continued support and dedication to our levy (sic) libraries and sincerely apologize for any grief or discomfort this has caused you,” Turner wrote back.
      Turner noted before this apology in her response that it was her opinion that any group “advertising” that it was meeting at the library would lose the ability to do so in the future because some person might presume a meeting at the library shows endorsement by the library for some group.
     The actual relevant policy that took effect on Sept. 3, 2002, when Tony Parker was the chairman of the County Commission, is shown verbatim below:
Policy:
1.   The Levy County Public Library System provides meeting space in some library facilities to non-profit organization engaged in educational, cultural, intellectual or charitable activities. Space is available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of groups requesting use. The library does not exclude any non-profit group based on the subject matter to be discussed or the ideas that a group advocates. The Library System does not advocate or endorse the viewpoints of meetings or meeting room users.
2.  Conditions and Terms of Use:
     A. Eligible groups may use the meeting space free of charge.
     B. Events and meetings must be open to the public with free admission.
     C. Collections, fund solicitation and direct sales are not permitted.
     D. Meeting space occupancy must not exceed that set for a location by the Fire Marshal.
     E. All persons attending must conform to the guidelines set forth in the Patron Code of Conduct policy.
     F. The person responsible for the group is responsible for meeting space set-up and returning the meeting space to the condition in which it was provided.
     G. The person responsible for the group must sign a liability statement accepting responsibility for any damage done to the library facilities or equipment as a result of the meeting.
     H. Groups failing to give notice of cancellation twice in succession may be denied future use of the meeting space.
     On Feb. 4, Collins told the County Commission she was unhappy with not hearing a response from any of them, despite the email of apology from Turner the same Sunday when Collins complained the first time.
     At the Feb. 4 commission meeting, Levy County Commissioner Lilly Rooks said she would investigate the library use policy.
     Attorney Brandon S. Peters, who is the director of the Voter Protection Department of the Florida Democratic Party, sent an email on the Tuesday evening after the Tuesday morning (Feb. 4) regular County Commission meeting, when Collins complained, and Rooks offered to investigate.
     Director Peters’ email is noted verbatim below.
     Good Evening Commissioner Rooks,
     I hope this email finds you doing well.
     I understand that you are investigating the use of the Bronson Public Library by the Levy County Democratic Party. Please let me know if I can assist you in your investigation in any way.
     I hope that you would agree that our local elected officials ought to resolve the issue raised at this morning’s Commission meeting by reference to a content-neutral rule or ordinance that is already on the books. Put differently, I am not sure that adopting a new standard at this juncture would be legally appropriate unless the local Democrats’ use of this library facility is hurting someone in a way that is provable by competent evidence.
     I would appreciate your including this email in your investigative report to the Commission.
     Thank you.
     Cordially yours,
     Bandon S. Peters, Esquire
     ~
     As noted in the second paragraph of the American Library Association's topic titled "Meeting Rooms: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights," it notes "If libraries adopt policies that are perceived to restrict potentially controversial groups’ access to meeting rooms, they may face legal and financial consequences."
     The American Library Association appears to endorse diversity and inclusion, rather than what can be seen as exclusion due to some alleged “tainting” by politics.
     As indicated by a letter dated Nov. 7, 2019, written to Citrus County Commission Chairman Jeff Kinnard, the Florida Library Association does not agree with government restrictions on varying viewpoints.
     Florida Library Association Intellectual Freedom Committee Chair Heather Snapp and Florida Library Association Executive Director Lisa J. O’Donnell, CAE, noted their objection to the Citrus County Commission banning The New York Times.
     In Citrus County, county commissioners voted 3-2 to not take out a digital subscription for The New York Times, but to keep the printed version of the paper instead.
     County officials’ during the board’s Oct. 24, 2019 meeting drew fire when at least one commissioner was alleged to have said The New York Times has been writing “fake news.”
     “On behalf of the Florida Library Association (FLA), representing more than 1,050 members and 60 public and academic institutions, we urge you to reconsider your position on the recent Citrus County agenda item (October 24, 2019, item E4) related to the library’s electronic subscription to The New York Times. We firmly believe that your residents and library visitors should be allowed access to varying viewpoints as promised by First Amendment rights to Free Speech and Freedom of Belief,” the Florida Library Association leaders noted in their first paragraph.
     Snapp and O’Donnell went on to note in their letter to the Citrus County Board of County Commissioners that “Public libraries are government agencies subject to the First Amendment. Rejecting or censoring a publication based upon its political viewpoint represents both content and viewpoint discrimination that is contrary to the spirit of the First Amendment. We stand by the American Library Association’s Freedom to Read Statement: we believe that democratic societies are more safe, free, and creative when the free flow of public information is not restricted by governmental prerogative.
     “We know that you support Citrus County Library System in many ways, and your dedication to the library is appreciated. In working closely with your library director, Eric Head, we know you are aware of the wonderful programs and services provided by the hardworking staff and volunteers. Your library system offers a myriad of opportunities for Citrus County and your long-standing support of the library should not be marginalized as we seek to remedy this most recent situation. 
     “Again, we ask that you take a considered and thoughtful approach to this item at your next Board of County Commissioners’ meeting this month and be mindful that personal, political views should never overshadow the freedom of information.”
     An answer to the question of excluding a group of people because of one person’s concept of “tainting” a structure by having a political party meet there may be available as soon as the next regular meeting of the Levy County Board of County Commissioners, in the Levy County Courthouse.

 


Town Council mitigates
town workers’ request for
revised written job descriptions

Bronson Florida Town Council HardisonInk.com
Town Clerk Shirley Miller is seen moments before the start of meeting she thought would be simple, but which digressed into a session where there were some moments of contention.

Story and Photos
By Jeff M. Hardison © Feb. 4, 2020 at 6:10 p.m.
     BRONSON --
With Bronson Town Councilman Berlon Weeks championing the resistance by elected leaders, Bronson town workers found the Town Council diluting an informational item on Monday night (Feb. 3).



Bronson Florida Town Council HardisonInk.com
Bronson Public Works Director Curtis Stacy (at the podium) explains how Town Councilman Berlon Weeks’ comment about a person not matching a job description, perhaps should not be in that job, can be viewed, as well as telling the Council that he does not want to be set up for failure by design. Meanwhile Town Clerk Shirley Miller listens as does Councilman Weeks.

 


In this video, Bronson Public Works Director Curtis Stacy (at the podium) begins part of the discussion that followed Councilman Berlon Weeks saying that if a person is not doing what is in a job description, then that person may not be right for that job. The video shows several people speaking and lasts about five minutes. This whole discussion led to a vote, even though it was listed on the agenda to just be an informational matter where the town clerk was revising job descriptions, which then would be approved or rejected by the Town Council.

Bronson Florida Town Council HardisonInk.com
Bronson Town Councilman Berlon Weeks led Town Council members’ objecting to revision of job descriptions.

Bronson Florida Town Council HardisonInk.com
Vice Mayor Jason Hunt seconded Weeks’ motion for revising a job description and adding another one after a discussion that really was just going to be an informational item on the agenda.

Bronson Florida Town Council HardisonInk.com
Mayor Beatrice Roberts is the liaison between town workers and the Town Council, giving direction to employees unless she sees a need to ask the entire Town Council for input on matters.

Bronson Florida Town Council HardisonInk.com
Town Councilman Aaron Edmondson is seen here at a moment when he agrees with Councilman Berlon Weeks regarding no need for revising job descriptions for town workers.

Bronson Florida Town Council HardisonInk.com
Councilman Robert Partin, the most recent mayor of Bronson before Mayor Beatrice Roberts again accepted those duties, is seen listening during the meeting.


     And instead of this being a matter for information alone, there was a 5-0 vote to revise what the town clerk told the Town Council that the town workers would have liked to have happen.
     Town Clerk Shirley Miller put on the agenda her intent to update job descriptions for the six employees of the town, as a result of changes in staffing.
     In fact, within the past few months, the job title of “director of Bronson Parks and Recreation” had been incinerated, because the BPR no longer exists as a department.
     Former BPR Director Curtis Stacy accepted the job abandoned by the choice of former Public Works Director Erik Wise, because Wise accepted a different job in a different place.
     Also, within the past few months, a former part-time worker became a full-time employee in a new job. Utilities Administration Clerk Nikki Keller is the newest employee.
     Bronson Mayor Beatrice Roberts asked City Clerk Miller what Miller meant when the agenda showed “The Town Clerk will begin working on updating job descriptions for the review of the Council to fit the changing roles of the current staff.”
     Miller told Roberts her plan was to adjust the current job descriptions to more accurately reflect what is being done by the six employees.
     In addition to Clerk Miller, there is Deputy Town Clerk Melisa Thompson, Utilities Administration Clerk Keller, Public Works Director Stacy, public works employees Russell Mitchem and Glen Smith and Bronson Fire Chief Dennis Russell.
     Town Attorney Steven Warm is an independent contractor.
     The mayor told the clerk that the only thing that is needed is to add the utilities administration clerk. Miller told Roberts that by adding the new position, the jobs of the deputy clerk needed to be revised. Also, since Mayor Roberts told Miller and Thompson to accept the administrative duties of Stacy, the clerk and deputy clerk’s job responsibilities no longer matched the written descriptions.
     Hence, there was a need for amending those written job descriptions, which then would be presented to Town Council for approval and adoption, Clerk Miller explained to Mayor Roberts.
     Stacy added to the dialogue, as he explained to the mayor and Town Council that he is in the field, and the office staff have accepted various administrative aspects of the public works director’s duties.
     “I don’t want to be set up for failure,” Stacy said.
     Mayor Roberts said she had spoken with the office staff, so that they would perform administrative duties, and that when emails come, they will go to Clerk Miller and to Public Works Director Stacy.
     Councilman Weeks fanned the flames of discontent.
     “I don’t know why we need an updated job description, “Weeks said. “The fact of the matter is that the person fits to the job, or if they don’t fit to the description (of the job), then that is not where they should work.”
     Public Works Director Stacy then spoke up.
     “I’ve got a problem with that already,” Stacy said in regard to Weeks’ assertion that any person not matching a non-amended description should not be in that post, given that the town workers were currently all working at different aspects than are listed in the current job descriptions, which the clerk was going to amend.
     “This is the thing,” Stacy said, “I’ve had enough…”
    “What the hell,” Councilman Weeks said loudly as he interrupted Stacy.
     Stacy said he was going home. Then, he told Town Attorney Warm that just as he had emailed the attorney information this past summer, Stacy anticipated that he would send the town attorney more soon.
     Weeks told Stacy that the Town Council is not trying to hurt him.
     Stacy then reminded Weeks what the councilman had just said about a person not being allowed to work in a job if he or she did not match the written job description.
     “What do you think you’re being fired because you don’t match the (job) description perfectly?” Weeks asked.
     Weeks went on to say there was a time when the job descriptions did not include for the recently-added post of utilities administration clerk. So, he continued, that will be added.
     “Nobody’s trying to fire you,” Weeks said.
     “I did not say you were trying to fire me,” Stacy said. “What I did say was that I did not want to be set up for failure, so that if things are not done correctly, and it is my responsibility because it is in my job description…”
     Mayor Roberts again mentioned that she had authorized the administrative work to be done by the employees in the office.
     After some more heated words between Weeks and Stacy, Clerk Miller said she felt it would be beneficial to the town for the revised job functions to be documented. Miller explained to the Town Council that she noted her intent to perform the duty of amending the job descriptions, because the office staff members had requested it.
     Town Councilman Aaron Edmondson provided his perspective.
     Edmondson asserted his opinion that “… there is no trust in the department that you all work in. In City Hall, there is no trust,” Edmondson said.
     According to Edmondson’s point of view, “everybody is out to get them” in Bronson Town Hall. Edmondson said Weeks said the job description for public works director already exists. Edmondson said Mayor Roberts said there is a new job held by Keller.
     Edmondson repeated no one trusts each other in Town Hall.
     Clerk Miller said she trusts all of her coworkers.
     “That’s what you say,” Edmondson replied, “But that’s what it seems like to me.”
     Deputy Town Clerk Thompson tried to clarify that the administrative work that will be done by office staff could cause repercussions for Stacy, because if an error occurs, it could reflect on him – because he is the director of the department.
     “It may be our responsibility, but who gets held accountable at the end of the day because it is in his job description?” Thompson asked.
     Councilman Weeks said the situation now, where office staff does the administrative work for public works, is not something that is a permanent situation. Weeks said when Stacy becomes more adept and can perform the administrative as well as the field work for the Public Works Department, then that will be his duty.
     Deputy Town Clerk Thompson told Weeks that now she is not doing certain jobs that have been reassigned to Keller, for instance, and so the current job description for deputy town clerk is not accurate.
     “We all talked as a staff,” Thompson told the Town Council. “So that maybe it (job descriptions) needs to be changed to more as to what we’re doing now, for the future positions (employees). We’ve grown. We’re different. There are different functions. There’s different positions.”
     Thompson concluded that when operations are revised and amended, the description of duties for the workers performing those jobs should reflect those changes.
     Edmondson responded.
     “All of y’all work for the city of Bronson,” Edmondson said.
     In his opinion, whenever he worked for a company, and he was told to do something, that is what he had to do – even when his listed position was something showing his duties were something other than what he was being told to do.
     Edmondson determined that the job revisions and the description amendments are driven by a desire by the workers to have more money.
     “Anything that’s got to be done for the city of Bronson,” Edmondson said, “that’s what you do. That’s the way I feel about it.”
     He added another of his thoughts.
     “If you want the job,” Edmondson said, “then you come to work, and work. If you don’t want the job, then I say go find you a job somewhere else.”
     After more discussion, where there was an attempt to find the chain of command and how town government operates, Mayor Roberts said she speaks with Town Clerk Miller, who is over the other office workers.
     In this instance, the mayor ruled that the office workers would do the administrative duties of the public works director. Mayor Roberts said if she determines there is some action that requires a full Town Council vote, she will bring that to the attention of the whole council.
     After more discussion, Councilman Weeks moved to amend that the public works director’s job description reflects that paperwork is done by office staff, of the clerk, deputy clerk and utilities clerk. Also in Week’s motion, the job of utilities clerk would have job description added.
     Vice Mayor Jason Hunt seconded Weeks’ motion, which met with a positive unanimous 5-0 vote from Mayor Roberts, Vice Mayor Hunt, and councilmen Weeks, Edmondson and Robert Partin.


Other Action

Among the other actions Monday night, the Town Council agreed to accept up to $1,000 as a donation from Alan (seen here) and Maureen Aulson to add paint to lines on the tennis courts, especially to make the playing of pickleball on the tennis courts easier. Aulson said he and his wife live in Bronson a couple of months a year, and they have been driving to Ocala to play pickleball.

 

 


 

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Newest Jingle Singers
Levy County Supervisor of Elections Sings HardisonInk.com Jingle

(from left) Assistant Levy County Supervisor of Elections Jordan Lindsey, Customer Relations Specialist Carole Weins, Levy County Supervisor of Elections Tammy Jones and Information Specialist Crystal Lara prepare to perform the HardisonInk.com Jingle on Jan. 15, 2020.
Photo By Jeff M. Hardison © Jan. 15, 2020 at 3:09 p.m.





121st Set Of Jingle Singers


(from left) Assistant Levy County Supervisor of Elections Jordan Lindsey, Customer Relations Specialist Carole Weins, Levy County Supervisor of Elections Tammy Jones and Information Specialist Crystal Lara perform the HardisonInk.com Jingle at the Levy County Supervisor of Elections Office on Jan. 15, 2020. Jones and her staff are ready, willing and able to help people register to vote in Levy County, as well as to perform all of the other duties related to this precious right of the American people -- voting. Lara is the most recently added member to this team, and she speaks English and Spanish fluently. (This jingle sounds exactly the same in English and Spanish.) If you want to sing the jingle, just let Jeff M. Hardison know or send an email to hardisonink@gmail.com. He asks people to sing (or perform) it, too, and some of them agree to sing it or to perform the jingle. (Thanks people!)
Published Jan. 15, 2020, at 3:09 p.m.

© Video by Jeff M. Hardison, All Rights Reserved

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