Former DeSantis appointee claims
Marxists and communists
are causing problems in Alachua County
Woman notes intent
to seek Florida House seat

Republican notes intent to run for House District 22
Raemi Eagle-Glenn, Esq., tells the Levy County Board of County Commissioners why she intends to run for Florida House of Representatives District 22 in the next election.

Story and Photo 
By Jeff M. Hardison © March 22, 2023 at 9:30 a.m.
     BRONSON –
In June of 2022, Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed Raemi Eagle-Glenn, an attorney, to be a member of the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners.

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     DeSantis appointed Eagle-Glenn to fill a vacant seat until the November 2022 election. 
     Alachua County Vice Chair Mary Alford won the election in November and returned in January to the very seat from which she had resigned as the Alachua County Commissioner for District 1. Alford is a Democrat.
     In early February, Glenn-Eagle noted her intent to run for the Florida House of Representatives in the 2024 race.
     On Tuesday morning (March 21) Eagle-Glenn told the Levy County Board of County Commissioners that she intends to run as a Republican candidate for the Florida House of Representatives District 22 seat now held by Florida House of Representatives Speaker Pro Tempore Chuck Clemons Charles Wesley "Chuck" Clemons Sr. (R-Newberry, Dist. 22).
     Florida House District 22 includes all of Levy, all of Gilchrist and part of the southwest corner of Alachua County.
     Eagle-Glenn of Gainesville said she came to tell the County Commission about her plan to be elected to the Florida House as the representative for Levy County, because Clemons cannot run due to term limits.
     She said Clemons has well-served the people of District 22 so far since his election in November and his taking office in January, “especially in the radical land of Alachua County.”
     She said Alachua County from an ideological perspective is “the Berkley of the South.”
     “We deal with some pretty radical things,” Eagle-Glenn said.
     The candidate made clear that she feels Alachua County has too many Democrats for her. She ranted about Gainesville Regional Utilities, too. 
     “They are using our utility as a cash cow,” Eagle-Glenn said,
 “to fund their radical agendas, like hiring personnel for every single aspect of your life – to come knocking on your door, invading your privacy and telling your that the government wants you to do things their way, or they are going to fine you.”
     In this sentence, Eagle-Glenn may be speaking “they” as Democrats, but she was only speaking for three minutes during the time on the Levy County Commission agenda when members of the public can say anything they want to those five elected leaders of Levy County.
     Eagle-Glenn, as noted a former appointed county commissioner who lost in the election, said her county is now under single-member districts for elections, rather than like in Levy County where elections are countywide. She lost when the county elections were countywide.
     Eagle-Glenn believes the next Alachua County District 1 election for County Commission may result in a Republican taking that seat.
     When Eagle-Glenn said she lost her bid for election, it was expected because she is a Republican. Eagle-Glenn made it clear that she sees the United States and Florida as an “us Republicans” versus “them Democrats” environment with “red” versus “blue” rather than “one nation indivisible.”
     As a resident of Alachua County, Eagle-Glenn said she understands what “we are up against with this radical spirit of Marxism and communism that trickles down to our local level” from the federal level of government.
     With a three-minute limit, this speaker did not have a chance to explain how the United States of America is now led by people with a radical Marxist or communist spirit that trickles down to the state level, or how her election to the Florida House is going to improve the quality of life for residents and visitors in Florida.
     Eagle-Glenn spoke during the point on the agenda noted as “Public Comments.”


Town Hall meeting brings answers
More events coming in the future

Town Hall Meeting
Dixie County Commissioner Jody Stephenson looks over while he was talking to a Vietnam veteran before the start of the meeting, when a journalist catches his attention and interupts the conversation for a few seconds.

Story and Photos
By Jeff M. Hardison © March 19, 2023 at 8:30 p.m.
Dixie County Commissioner Jody Stephenson (Dist. 1) found the Town Hall Meet and Greet he conducted on Saturday (March 18) turned out very well.

     Despite cold and wet weather as well as other activities vying for the attention of people, there was a generally positive set of conversations during the meeting that started shortly after the planned 4 p.m. beginning.
     This get-together happened at the First District Community Building, 9333 N.E. 349 Highway (Dixie County Road 349), Old Town.
     The structure is was dedicated to the people for use on March 3, 2016, and it was named after C.W. “Johnny” Stephenson, Jody Stephenson’s father, who served on the Dixie County Board of County Commissioners from 1969 through 2000. 
     Commissioner Jody Stephenson and his wife Tracy Lee Stephenson were on the elevated stage. There were plenty of comfortable cushioned seats for the 30 or so people who showed up. Cool bottled water was not only available, but people walked around to assure anyone who wanted it would have it.

Town Hall Meeting
Dixie County Commissioner Jody Stephenson welcomes everyone to the get-together.

     This community building is equipped with a full kitchen as well as bathrooms. There have been weddings, funerals, and meetings by hunting groups and many others conducted in this building in the years since it opened. There are also covered picnic tables in front of the structure.
     Commissioner Stephenson opened the meeting by reminding everyone that he was elected by the voters to do a job for all of the people in Dixie County, because while commissioners come from specific districts, elections are countywide and every commissioner considers the whole county, while focusing on their district.

Town Hall Meeting
The first of many people take their seats about 15 minutes before the start of the Town Hall.

     Stephenson said he held the meeting to hear from constituents. Not everyone has Thursday mornings or evenings when they can go to a County Commission meeting. Of course, People can contact him or any other County Commission member by phone, through the mail sent via United States Postal Service or by email.
     Nonetheless, this gave the group of people a chance to hear questions and comments from others and to respond to them.
     Jody Stephenson asked everyone to be polite and wait for a person who was speaking to finish before they started speaking. 
     Tracy Lee Stephenson took notes to follow-up with finding more information after questions were raised, and perhaps not completely answered – such as resources available for senior citizens, or how Habitat for Humanity may help some people.
     Commissioner Stephenson said he is doing his best to meet the needs of the residents and visitors or Dixie County within the limits he must abide by as a county commissioner. Nevertheless, he said in Dixie County, this is a place where people care about each other, and if need-be, then fish fries or other fundraisers can happen to try to help the less fortunate people in the county.

Town Hall Meeting
Tracy Lee Stephenson and Dixie County Commissioner Jody Stephenson listen to their fellow Dixie Countians to take the pulse of the community and to answer any questions from Commissioner Stephenson’s constituents. Tracy Lee Stephenson took notes to remember to search for information to share at a future meeting.

     Among the most talked about topics was special exceptions to allow Recreation Vehicles in places in the county where the zoning requires a special exception to allow them – such as in Environmentally Sensitive Areas and Agricultural zonings.
     None of the people speaking mentioned the concept of managed growth, where the elected county leaders have created zones for certain types of development – including for specific residential, business and leisure purposes.
     Another point not broached was the word “recreational” is not “residential” in RV. Another concept not covered was that there are RV parks and resorts in existence today as business interests in Dixie County where RV users can park.
     Commissioner Stephenson said state law limits RVs from staying at one site for more than six consecutive months at a time. Given that some people have reportedly lived in RVs in Dixie County for 30 years nonstop, this law in this county may be a moot point.
     There were opinions expressed about how an RV placed next to a site-built home may decrease the property values of the house. There was mention of some people with RVs building structures attached to them to create actual residences, when no building permits were issued for this.
     Commissioner Stephenson said that he believes at least 90 percent of the people who are violating zoning codes in this manner, or who let their property start to look like a dump, are not the people who pay a $300 annual fee for the exemption from local laws that restrict where RVs can be placed in Dixie County.
     There was a plea, too, for people to show compassion and love for their fellow human beings, and to understand that some people are so poor they use RV for residences.
     Among the other general topics Commissioner Stephenson strived to help people understand were the fiscal responsibility of county commissioners to balance the budget; how certain grants and tax revenues have definitely designated specific places to be used; and the like.
     Another more specific matter discussed was waste management in Dixie County. The commissioner spoke about the sites available for Dixie County residents to use, which are not for commercial interests or for people who live in some county other than Dixie County.
     A couple of people complained, too, that they felt information provided to them from the Dixie County Building Department was not understood clearly by them. And there was some discussion about the costs of engineers, lumber and other construction materials as well as the unavailability of materials, adding to some confusion about the methods to build homes in Dixie County.
     The never-ending issue of people using All-Terrain Vehicles in places where those ATVs and similar vehicles are not permitted was briefly mentioned. No law enforcement agency in the Tri-County Area appears to have found an answer to solve this problem.
     Many people probably left the Town Hall meeting with a little better understanding of county, state and federal government after attending the meeting.
     Commissioner Stephenson said after this that he felt it succeeded in meeting his goal of letting people come together and discuss matters, and ask questions and get answers.
     He said he intends to hold this type of meeting quarterly, although the events in the future may be daylong and include separate activities for children, such as bounce houses, and have other entertainment or leisure activities, as well as providing an opportunity for people to confer with him regarding government matters.
     Everyone, including all elected officials, was invited to this open meeting where people can express their concerns and suggestions to improve Dixie County.
     During this ad hoc meeting, no one was required to state their name before they spoke. It was relatively informal, although as noted, there was a certain decorum expected of participants to respect others and not talk over them or lash out with statements or questions before they finished their sentences.


Sports group plans fundraiser
on April 16 in Trailhead Park
TCAC to change name
Animals reportedly invading stores

By Jeff M. Hardison © March 16, 2023 at 3 p.m.
Victoria Larkin of the Tri-County Athletic Commission (TCAC) received permission from the Chiefland City Commission Monday (March 13) to set up a fundraiser for the TCAC.

     As she updated the City Commission about the TCAC, she said children from Dixie County are especially joining the TCAC football program, and now those rosters are full.
     The basketball season is over this year, she said. Larkin said the soccer program is thriving in its sixth season.
     Larkin said the TCAC is changing its name to Tri-County United (TCU).
     She said coaches are coming from Fort White (Columbia County) as well as Gainesville (Alachua County) to add to the TCU leadership.
     On April 16, a Sunday, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., the TCU has planned its first major event of the year, Larkin said. This will be a farmers’ market type of thing, she said, where parents with small businesses will set up tents.
     She plans to have organizations with information at booths, too, like Another Way, the women’s shelter, and others.
     The City Commission gave Larkin to have the TCU fundraiser event in Trailhead City Park, which is just north of The Deer Camp on U.S. Highway 19 (Main Street) in downtown Chiefland.
     Larkin expressed her gratitude for the city improving the recreational facilities at Buie Park.
     In another matter, a man from Bronson said he is seeing animals other than actual service animals in grocery stores and restaurants in Chiefland.
     He said emotional support dogs, pets and hunting dogs do not qualify as actual service animals from what he understands regarding the federal law created to help disabled people.
     Fleas, ringworm and other parasitic pests can be transmitted by these animals and he sees the most vulnerable victims as being infants and young children. He said the potential for children being bitten by animals that are not actual service animals is of concern to him as well.
     He stressed that it’s not Walmart’s law or Winn-Dixie’s law that says “No Pets Allowed.” That is from Florida law to protect the public health and safety.
     He said he saw two hunting dogs in a shopping cart in Walmart, in Chiefland, the other day.
     After speaking more than eight minutes, the man was addressed by Chiefland Mayor Chris Jones.
     City Attorney Norm Fugate said the state government and federal government have jurisdiction. 
     Fugate said the United States Food and Drug Administration or the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services are the agencies responsible for assuring stores and restaurants abide by those law.
     Fugate said he believes that neither the city’s code enforcement officer or the Chiefland Police Department can effectively enforce those particular federal and state laws.
     The bottom line on this matter, which was not on the agenda other than “Visitors,” is that the Chiefland City Commission is not taking upon itself the enforcement of these laws.
     Among the many other actions and information shared at the March 13 meeting was honoring of three students.
     Niles Berry, a Chiefland Elementary School fourth grader, Arvian Sweet, a Chiefland Middle High School eighth grader, and Devon Bowser, a Chiefland High School twelfth grader, accepted certificates as well as $20 gift cards each to spend at Walmart.
     The gift cards are courtesy of the Chiefland Rotary Club.


Friends group resumes
for Chiefland library
Free seeds offered

Seen here are (from left) Friends of the Luther Callaway Public Library Co-Chairperson Liz Burr, Secretary/Treasurer Sandy Stroebel and Chairperson Shelah Davis. They are leading the restart of this Friends group, and they invite people to join them. They stand in front of the place where people can take free seeds.

Photos and Stories
Provided By Shelah Davis
Published March 12, 2023 at 11:30 a.m.
The Friends of the Luther Callaway Public Library in Chiefland is a volunteer-run organization whose purpose is to support the Luther Callaway Public Library.

     This group of friends of this, one of five public libraries in the Levy County Library System, has a mission to bring an excitement of books, reading and learning to this library.|
     The start of the global COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 forced the cancellation of all programs and events for the Luther Callaway Public Library. The pandemic created many losses for the then-struggling Friends of the Library group. With few members present and no way to meet, the existing board members placed the group in an inactive status with the state of Florida.
     During the break many of the older members succumbed to the virus, moved away or simply lost interest.
     In August of 2022, Shelah Davis began volunteering at the library. Davis moved to Chiefland from Miami in early 2020. She has always been an avid reader and a book lover. Seeing the various struggles that public libraries were facing prompted her to actively pursue reestablishing the Friends of the Library Group at Luther Callaway.
     With the support of the two librarians, Sue Burkhardt and Dawn Alexander, Davis held an organizational meeting on Jan. 26. She presented the need for the group to approximately 15 people who attended and the new group was established.
     Davis proudly boasts that all of the people who attended that first meeting are still very active within the group.
     “I established very quickly that I did not want this group to be dictated by a panel of board members,” she said. “We were going to operate and work as a team in order to bring success to the endeavor. Each person who volunteers is important to our ability to make this work.”
     The group is currently being led by three officers -- Davis, chairperson; Liz Burr, co-chairperson; and Sandy
Stroebel who is serving as secretary/treasurer.
     Since the January meeting, the group has established a schedule of monthly meetings that are open to the public. At each meeting, the group works to plan an extensive list of programs which they plan to bring back to the Luther Callaway Public Library beginning in April -- as well as discuss any needs the library has at that time.
     The group’s first task was to organize a large seed library installation. The seed bank was placed at the library on Friday, March 3. Davis shared that this was a project that she held close to her heart. She is proud to see it as the first offering of the Friends to the community.
     The group has a large book sale planned for May 6, too, and it will utilize this event to formally introduce the group to the community and raise funds for the programs they are developing for the library.
     Anyone who would like to join the Friends of the Luther Callaway Public Library group can visit its Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/FriendsofLibraryChiefland, or they can attend any of their monthly meetings.
     The next meeting of this Friends’ group is scheduled for Thursday, April 6, at 3 p.m. at the Luther Callaway Public Library in Chiefland.

Free seeds offered
at the Luther Callaway Public Library

This shows how seeds can be taken by library visitors.

     On Friday, March 3, The Luther Callaway Public Library received the first of many planned upgrades from its newly established Friends of the Library group - a seed library.
     The group worked tirelessly to sort and label a collection of heirloom variety seeds that it received from several large seed companies. Baker Creek Seed Co. made the largest donation, offering an estimated 250 seed varieties to the group for the project. Seed donations also were received from True Leaf Market, a division of the larger Mountain Valley Seed Co. and Ferry Morse.
     The seed library was installed to offer the community in Chiefland easy access to high quality heirloom seeds to add to their own home gardens.
     “Food security, especially during this time, is important to the health and wellbeing of our community,” Luther Callaway Friends of The Library Chairperson Shelah Davis said. “We wanted to give our residents a means to grow food in their home gardens. High quality, heirloom seeds provide security by allowing the gardeners to collect seeds at the end of each season and to replant them again next season.” 

Here are some of the many seeds that arrived for people to take and plant.

     The Friends of the Library group not only organized the seed bank but also is actively working to plan several gardening/seed saving workshops that will be offered at the library in the upcoming months.
     Currently the seed library is not a permanent fixture. Although the initial response has been positive, the group did not know if there would be a demand for it when they began to build it.
There is discussion of building a more permanent fixture in the library to house an even larger seed collection.
     The group will be continuing to sort and label seeds throughout the year in effort to keep a good
supply of seasonal offerings available to the community.
     The seed library is located within the Luther Callaway Public Library of Chiefland and is available during regular library hours.
     A person does not need to have a library card to receive seeds. The group has placed a logbook with a simple sign-out form and asks residents to offer their name and email address when removing seeds. There is a limit of 10 seed packs per visitor.


Williston honors student
Animal shelter progresses
Action against property anticipated

Williston City Council
Seen at the start of the meeting were (from left) Williston Mayor Charles Goodman, City Council President Debra Jones, City Council Vice President Marguerite Robinson and City Councilman Michael Cox.

Story and Photos
By Jeff M. Hardison © March 10, 2023 at 4 p.m.
The regular twice-monthly meeting of the Williston City Council started 15 minutes later than its normal 6 p.m. starting time on Tuesday night (March 7), just as it was scheduled to start a bit later -- due to a very lengthy workshop regarding utilities in the city, which was conducted just before the regular meeting started.

     Among the many things completed that night was the city honoring an outstanding student.
     City Manager Terry Bovaird spoke about progress with the city’s new animal shelter.
     City Attorney Kiersten Ballou updated the City Council about some derelict property that is going to become part of the civil circuit court actions, too.
     And a Bronson man plans to conduct a Christian revival in Williston.
     Williston Elementary Student Neriah Dallas is a fifth grader who was nominated for the “Mayor’s Student of the Month” honors.

Williston City Council
City Councilman Elihu Ross is next to the seat where City Councilman Zach Bullock would occupy, however there was a Williston Middle High School sporting event where he was needed as a coach.

Williston City Council
Williston Mayor Charles Goodman stands with Neriah Dallas of Williston Elementary School as she holds the Outstanding Student certificate, and her 1-year-old sister Eriel holds the certificate for a free pizza.

     Williston Mayor Charles Goodman presented Williston Elementary School fifth grader Neriah Dallas with the Mayor’s Student of the Month Award.
     The daughter of Angel Floyd was nominated by WES Coach Owens who made the following comments:
     “Neriah is a hard-working student. She gives 100 percent effort in everything she does. She is a joy to teach and is always trying her best! Neriah is a great role model to her peers! She exceeds at displaying Williston Elementary School's expectations. She has earned this month's Student of the Month.”
     When the young lady went from the audience to the front of the meeting room to accept the award, her 1-year-old sister Eriel cried. Mayor Goodman invited the tike to the front of the room as well.
     He presented the Outstanding Student award to Neriah, and he let her little sister hold the certificate for a 14-inch pizza, that was donated as a prize by Domino’s Pizza of Williston for the student.

Animal Shelter Progresses
Williston City Council
Williston City Manager Terry Bovaird and City Attorney Kiersten Ballou are seen during the meeting.

     Williston City Manager Terry Bovaird announced there is a program in Heritage Park scheduled to celebrate the Williston Middle High School Varsity Boys Basketball Team, which earned the title of 2023 State Basketball Champions in the Florida High School Athletic Association's annual tournament for Class 1A.
     The program is Saturday (March 11) at 12;30 p.m., he said.
     On another positive note, the city manager announced that there is about $26,000 in the fund for the Williston Community Animal Shelter.
     As for the animal shelter, he said the City of Ocala is sending people to help assure the facility has electric service so that it can open officially.
     City Planner Laura Jones and Williston Animal Control Officer (and Code Enforcement Officer) Wayne Carson are among the city leaders helping move this project forward, the city manager intimated.
     Among the many matters that night, were the following:
     ● The mayor proclaimed March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month In Williston.
     ● The mayor presented a certificate of appreciation to Sparr Building and Farm Supply for donations of items to improved Cornelius Williams Park. 

Williston City Council
Michael J. Sietka explains why he chose to have a revival in Williston rather than in Bronson, where he lives. Sietka said he could not find a place in Bronson to conduct the revival and he knows a property owner in Williston who said that property could be used.

     ● Allowing Michael J. Sietka to conduct a revival under a tent on March 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 18 and 19 from 7 to 9 p.m. at 12 N.W. Fifth Place, conditioned on Williston Police Chief Mike Rolls reaching a traffic control method with Sietka. There was a 3-1 vote to allow this with Debra Jones voting against it. Mayor Charles Goodman said he endorsed the revival.
     ● After Councilman Elihu Ross asked about the city’s efforts regarding “the Peso property,” City Attorney Kiersten Ballou said the city is moving forward with required legal action to bring the property into compliance or to take possession of it. She said if not for legal matters at the Williston Municipal Airport, this would have seen action more quickly.
     ● Appointed Nick Williams to the Williston Community Redevelopment Agency for a four-year term ending March 16, 2027.


Gilchrist County kicks in
$22,000 for $1 million project

Gilchrist County Commission
Members of the Gilchrist County Board of County Commissioners on March 6 stand together during a break in the regular twice-monthly meeting to provide a photo opportunity when requested. Seen here (from left) are County Commissioner Kenrick Thomas, County Commissioner Tommy Langford, Chairman Bill Martin, Vice Chairman Darrell Smith and County Commissioner Sharon A. Langford.

Story and Photos
By Jeff M. Hardison © March 8, 2023 at 3:30 p.m.
     TRENTON –
The Gilchrist County Board of County Commissioners on Monday evening (March 6) voted 5-0 to pay the Nature Coast Regional Water Authority (NCRWA) $22,000.

     The five members of the Gilchrist County Commission are Commission Chairman Bill Martin, Vice Chairman Darrell Smith, County Commissioner Kenrick Thomas, County Commissioner Tommy Langford, and County Commissioner Sharon A. Langford.
     That payment will go to cover the $22,000 invoice from the Commercial Industrial Corp. of Ocala for its work on the $1 million septic tank system improvements at Otter Springs Park and Campground.
     The NCRWA is comprised of the City of Fanning Springs, the Town of Bell, Dixie County and Gilchrist County. It is a group of county and municipal government who work together to obtain capital improvements of infrastructure. For instance, the City of Old Town is receiving water via a pipeline from the City of Fanning Springs’s water system.
     And Crosby spoke about a wastewater system improvement by the City of Fanning Spring where the NCRWA helped bring it to fruition.
     To see a 2015 story about the City of Fanning Springs looking at its budget and a then-proposed wastewater improvement project, click HERE.

Gilchrist County Commission
County Clerk Todd Newton and Deputy Clerk Kieran Bryan, who serves as secretary to the County Commission, are seen during a break in activity on Monday evening, March 6.

     As for the $22,000 payment, Gilchrist County Clerk Todd Newton explained that the County Commission previously had approved up to $60,000 for the wastewater treatment improvement plan for Otter Springs Park and Campground – home of the future Camp Valor Project.
     Newton advised the County Commission to make the payment to the NCRWA, which can then pay Commercial Industrial Corp. of Ocala.
     Crosby said the county has been working for at least four or five years to remove the 22-to-27 septic tanks at the park and campground. This new system, he explained, will reduce the nutrients entering the Suwannee River from that source.
     Until Gilchrist County worked with the consortium of NCRWA, it could not obtain the needed grant money, Crosby said.
     “Working as a group has helped put a lot of these projects together,” Crosby said. “The DEP (Florida Department of Environmental Protection) has funded most of these projects through the Suwannee River Water Management District.”
     Crosby said Gilchrist County has chosen year after year to pay its $5,000 annual fee to be a NCRWA member.

Gilchrist County Commission
Gilchrist County Administrator Bobby Crosby and County Attorney Duke Lang provide information to the County Commission.

     Gilchrist County Attorney David M. “Duke” Lang Jr. asked if the other members of the NCRWA are paying to help improve the wastewater collection and treatment system at Otter Springs Park and Campground. He asked because he thought that as a member of the consortium, there would be shared expenses to cover beyond the grants.
     County Administrator Crosby explained that when an entity, like Gilchrist County, is the sole beneficiary of a project grant, then that entity covers the added expenses. In this instance, Otter Springs Park and Campground is a Gilchrist County property that is seeing the benefit of the improved sewage collection and treatment system.
     The new facility at Otter Springs is an onsite facility, approved by DEP, Crosby said, that reduces nitrates. It still uses drain fields, but while the wastewater is in a processing tank, it reduces the nitrates.
     This facility is monitored offsite, Crosby said, and if it has problems, then it shuts down. 
     The hope for the more distant future, Crosby said, will be for sewage to be piped to the City of Fanning Springs wastewater treatment facility.

Other News
Gilchrist County Commission
Ryan Asmus (at the podium), formerly with the Florida Department of Transportation, speaks to the Gilchrist County Commission on March 6 after being introduced by Tori Humphries of North Florida Professional Services (standing behind him). Humphries said Asmus is the new NFPS transportation director. NFPS is committed to providing quality professional engineering, planning and grant administration services. As far as transportation, NFPS offers planning, engineering and design services for private and municipal clients. 

     During the first of two “public participation” parts of the agenda, Gilchrist County School Board Member F. Michelle Walker Crawford said she felt the County Commission should consider adding the Planning and Zoning Board as a separate entity as existed before.
     The County Commission sits now as both that board and the County Commission.
     Back when it had a separate entity as that board, the P&Z Board would advise the County Commission to accept, reject or accept with certain conditions, various petitions for variances, special exceptions, condition use permits and the like.
     Crawford said by reestablishing the P&Z Board, the County Commission could have those people screen and review applications for revisions or for approvals and the like.
     Later in the meeting, it was mentioned that the current method alleviates problems from people who complain when a P&Z recommendation is not followed by the County Commission, and with one set of people sitting in both sets of posts, the applicants need only go through that part of the process once rather than twice.
     Two other points mentioned to consider before reestablishing the P&Z Board are that this creates another layer of bureaucracy, and many people are not going to volunteer for this post due to the new requirements for financial disclosure to be considered as a volunteer for this job.

The Gilchrist County Vision Statement is seen framed on a wall of the John Franklin Beach Sr. Building, which includes the Gilchrist County Commission Meeting Room.

     Another comment Crawford expressed to the County Commission regards the Gilchrist County Vision Statement.
      The vision statement shows “Our Vision for Gilchrist County in 2030 is rural communities working in harmony to provide opportunities for all its citizens through balanced growth and enhanced education, while preserving our proud heritage, natural resources, and agriculture.”
     The vision statement was created in 2010 as a state initiative, she said. Crawford said she likes it as it stands. Crawford chaired the committee that drafted the statement. Crawford said she wants the County Commission “… to protect what we have.”
     The County Commission also approved:
     ● Posting speed limits signs on County Road 337 (Addy Jones Road), south of State Road 26, to show the maximum speed on straightaways is 55 mph and 45 mph on Addy Jones Road Curve, and to place a school bus stop ahead warning sign.
     ● Applying for grants to fund needed repairs for the drinking water tanks for Hart Springs. County Administrator Bobby Crosby said there are no problems with drinking water right now at the campground, but there is needed repair and maintenance needed to the system. The repairs are going to cost between $133,000 or more.
     ● Look at proposals for new signage to show the Gilchrist County Chamber of Commerce has an office in the alcove of the John Franklin Beach Sr. Building, where the County Commission meets in the building in its meeting room. 


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