January 12th edition of:

Community Update
A Report on the Activities of Alachua County Government


This Issues Features:

Rick Drummond named Acting County Manager
What's On "Alachua County Talks"
Transportation System Surtax
Indoor Dust Study Cabot-Koppers Superfund Site
Phifer Flatwoods Preserve Land Management Plan
Basic and Advanced Storm Spotter Class
Upcoming Election Information
Florida State Association of Supervisor of Elections Scholarship Opportunity
January Extension Programs
Commission Highlights

Rick Drummond named Acting County Manager

At the Board meeting on 01-10-12, the County Commission unanimously approved an agreement for Assistant County Manager Rick Drummond to become the Acting County Manager.

Commissioner Lee Pinkoson said Mr. Drummond received "ultimately a fair compensation package" given the difficulties ahead.

Mr. Drummond started with the county in 2000 as Growth Management Director. He has been assistant County Manager since 2007.

Click here to view Mr. Drummond's resume.

As a condition of his selection as interim manager, Mr. Drummond agreed not to apply for the permanent manager's post. He is in the Deferred Retirement Option Program, which allows employees in the state retirement system to gain interest on their retirement benefits while continuing to work for five years, and has a July 2013 retirement date.

To view the Video of the Board discussion, click here (scroll down and click item 14 to go directly to this agenda item).

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What's On "Alachua County Talks"

Click here to view this edition of "Alachua County Talks." it features an in-depth interview with Alachua County Court Services Director Tom Tonkavich. The subject is the Court Services Department, its duties, programs, and the services it provides.

Check out the latest editions of Alachua County Talks on Community 12 TV by viewing the Channel 12 Show Schedule.

For more information, call the Alachua County Communications Office at 352-374-5204.

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Transportation System Surtax

At their September 20, 2011, Special Meeting, the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners directed staff to begin discussions with municipalities for consideration of a 2012 ballot initiative for a 1-cent Charter County Transportation System Surtax.  The purpose of the surtax would be to generate funds for the County's Pavement Management program, and provide funds to the cities for transportation projects.

Should this initiative be on the 2012 ballot and pass, the Commission has pledged to use the County›s portion of these funds for the projects included in the Pavement Management Program›s ranked project list.

Pavement Management Program Project Report

The Alachua County Public Works Department has created a website to provide information about the proposed initiative. The website includes links to presentations on the issue, how Alachua County intends to use the funds, a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), and reports from the State of Florida Department of Revenue and Florida Tax Watch on a variety of tax revenues for all Counties over the last few years.  The site is accessible on the home page of the County›s website, www.alacuacounty.us, or by clicking below.

Transportation System Surtax Website

For more information, contact Brian Singleton, Civil Engineer I of the Alachua County Public Works Department at 352-548-1306 or bsingleton@alachuacounty.us.

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Indoor Dust Study Cabot-Koppers Superfund Site

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) is seeking participation from residential property owners in a study of indoor household dust contamination levels in Gainesville.

Residents from neighborhoods near the Cabot-Koppers Superfund site have expressed concerns about potential indoor dust contamination levels. In response, an interagency work group led by the Florida Department of Health developed a testing plan to address these concerns. USEPA has agreed to conduct the study, and the test results will be used to inform the community about concentrations of dioxin and related chemicals in house dust in Gainesville.

Click to view the indoor house dust study plan.

USEPA will require permission from property owners to test indoor house dust samples, which will be collected from 15 homes near the Cabot-Koppers Superfund site and 15 additional homes located in "background" neighborhoods about 2 miles away. Dust sample collections are tentatively scheduled for March/April, 2012.

During the week of January 9, 2012, USEPA is mailing out letters to approximately 400 property owners soliciting participation in the study; the 30 tested homes will be selected from properties whose owners responded positively to the solicitation. The solicitation letters will include a brief survey and property access consent forms. The Alachua County Environmental Protection Department (ACEPD) is assisting USEPA in the distribution and processing of the property owner consent forms.

For more information, contact Scott Miller, USEPA Project Manager at 404-562-9120 or Chris Bird, ACEPD Director at 352-264-6801.

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Phifer Flatwoods Preserve Land Management Plan

The Alachua County Environmental Protection Department is looking for citizen input on the Phifer Flatwoods Preserve Land Management Plan.

Phifer Flatwoods Preserve is located in southeast Alachua County, near Grove Park.  The Preserve contains two separate tracts – Phifer Flatwoods and Phifer Addition – which were acquired to protect, preserve and enhance the unique natural and cultural resources found there, and to provide an enjoyable and educational passive recreational experience.  A management plan is being developed for the property, and the County is seeking public input.

Click to view a draft management plan, or a copy of the plan can be requested by calling 352-264-6835. Citizen input can be given by submitting written comments by January 16, 2012.

For more information, contact Alachua County Senior Environmental Specialist Susie Hetrick at 352-264-6835 or shetrick@alachuacounty.us.

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Basic and Advanced Storm Spotter Class

Alachua County Emergency Management, in cooperation with the National Weather Service in Jacksonville, is sponsoring a Basic and Advanced Storm Spotter class on Tuesday, January 24, 2012, from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. The class will be held at the Alachua County Public Health Auditorium (224 SE 24th Street, Gainesville). This class is free and open to the public.

Alachua County Emergency Management Director, David Donnelly said, "Severe weather is a fact of life in Florida, and Alachua County is looking for a few good volunteers." He continued, "Even with advancements in technology, such as Doppler radar, government officials must still rely on a network of trained volunteers to become their eyes and ears on the ground to provide better weather watch and warning services. You can be the one to make a difference, and be an asset to our community." 

For more information or to register, contact Alachua County Emergency Management at 352-264-6500 or acem@alachuacounty.us.

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Upcoming Election Information

Early Voting Availabe Starting Saturday, January 21, 2012

To be eligible to vote in the Presidential Preference Primary, you must be registered in the Republican Party.  By law, Florida is a closed primary state and as such the Presidential Preference Primary is a partisan election for registered Republicans.  There is no Democratic or Minor Party Presidential Preference Primary scheduled in 2012.

To be eligible to vote in the City of Gainesville Election, you must be a resident of the City of Gainesville.  All registered voters living in the City may vote for At-Large candidates, but only those voters living in City District 1 may vote for District 1 candidates.

Early Voting
2012 Presidential Preference Primary And City Of Gainesville Election

Dates & Times
Saturday, January 21st and Sunday, January 22nd: 10AM – 4PM
Monday, January 23rd to Friday, January 27th: 10AM – 5PM
Saturday, January 28th: 10AM – 4PM

Supervisor of Elections Office
County Administration Building Location
12 SE 1st Street, Gainesville

Millhopper Branch Library
3145 NW 43rd Street, Gainesville

Tower Road Branch Library
3020 SW 75th Street, Gainesville

Audio Sample Ballots
An audio sample ballot is also available on the Supervisor of Elections' website at www.VoteAlachua.com, or if you prefer, you may borrow a CD with the audio format from one of the following locations:

All Alachua County Public Libraries
Center for Independent Living, 222 S.W. 36th Terrace, Gainesville
Division of Blind Services, 3620 NW 43rd Street, Suite C, Gainesville
WUFT-FM Radio Reading Service, UF - 1316 Weimer Hall, Gainesville
Supervisor of Elections Office, 111 S.E. 1st Avenue, Gainesville

Florida Law requires voters to present picture and signature ID in order to vote, or vote a provisional ballot.

For additional information, please view our website at www.VoteAlachua.com or contact the Supervisor of Elections Office at (352) 374-5252.
Sample Ballots

Voters may view sample ballots for the January 31, 2012 Republican Presidential Preference Primary and the City of Gainesville Election online at www.VoteAlachua.com by clicking Quick Link "Upcoming Elections", then "Sample Ballots". Voters may view their individual ballot by clicking on the link, "My Voter Information Page" (My VIP).

If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact the Supervisor of Elections Office at (352) 374-5252.

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Florida State Association of Supervisor of Elections Scholarship Opportunity

Pam Carpenter, Alachua County Supervisor of Elections announces the opportunity for local college or university students to apply for a $1,200 scholarship through the Florida State Association of Supervisors of Elections (FSASE).
FSASE will award one $1,200 scholarship. The deadline to submit applications to the Alachua County Supervisor of Elections is March 19, 2012.

The scholarships will be awarded to full-time students attending an accredited Florida university or college.

Applicants must be enrolled or accepted as a junior or senior and be either a Political Science major, a Public or Business Administration major or a Journalism/Mass Communications major.

Applicants must: Demonstrate a financial need and furnish a financial statement which shows what their own contribution is to their educational expenses. (Student does not have to submit an official form, but can send a statement of their financial need),

Submit two current letters of recommendation which must accompany the application or be received by the deadline: one from the college or university last attended or graduated from; and one from a citizen of good standing in the community, submit a resume of their high school and/or college activities as well as their community service activities, maintain a "C" average or above for the previous year, be a U.S. citizen and have been a bonafide resident of Florida for two years preceding the academic year for which application is made, and be a registered voter.

Applications may be obtained online at www.VoteAlachua.com or from the Alachua County Supervisor of Elections Office at 111 SE 1st Avenue, Gainesville. Completed applications and letters of recommendation must be submitted to the Supervisor of Election of the County in which you are registered to vote.

All Alachua County applications will be reviewed by the Supervisor of Elections Office and one finalist will be forwarded to the FSASE Scholarship Committee to represent Alachua County. The FSASE Scholarship Committee will select one winner ($1,200 scholarship) from the finalists submitted from Supervisors of Elections throughout the State of Florida.

The scholarship is awarded in June; therefore applicants must be a student post-June of the award year.

For additional information contact the Alachua County Supervisor of Elections at 352-374-5252.

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January Extension Programs

The Alachua County Extension Office is pleased to announce the following Commercial Horticulture Programs, for January. These programs are offered by Aparna Gazula, Commercial Horticulture Agent.

Living on a Few Acres (12 part series) - This is a new program for 2012, and will be held on the third Thursday of each month. The first class is entitled "Small Farm Management Getting Started and Finding your Market," January 19, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., at the Extension Office (2800 NE 39th Avenue, Gainesville).

This monthly program is designed as an introduction to basic production techniques on a wide variety of topics from pasture management and livestock production to growing vegetables and alternative enterprises. The program is designed to provide information to individuals interested in beginning or improving a small scale agricultural operation.

Costs $10 for individuals, and $15 for couples for each class (notebook and materials provided). Pre-register by January 16.

Small Scale Mushroom Production - January 27, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Suwannee Valley Agricultural Extension Center (8202 County Rd. 417, Live Oak).

This hands-on, one-day workshop will teach participants how to select, grow, harvest, and market mushrooms appropriate for Florida.

Costs $105 (first person), $65 (second person) before January 13, or $125 (first person), $75 (second person) after January 13. Pre-register by January 20.

Click to view the program brochure.

For more information about this program, contact Sarah White at 386-362-1725 ext. 102 or sewhite@ufl.edu.

Green Industries Best Management Practices - January 31, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Extension Office (2800 NE 39th Avenue, Gainesville).

This workshop is designed to provide training in Best Management Practices for anyone working in the lawn, landscape, pest control, or municipal grounds areas. This is a required training class for all commercial and institutional fertilizer applicators in Alachua County according to the Alachua County Fertilizer Standards and Management Practices Code.

Cost $25.00 (includes materials and lunch). Pre-register by January 30

For more information or to register for any of these programs, visit http://alachua.ifas.ufl.edu/calendar.shtml or call 352-337-6209.

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Commission Highlights

The Board heard announcements by Mark Sexton, Communications Coordinator

Nonprofit Awareness Day
The Board proclaimed January 11, 2012 as “Nonprofit Awareness Day” in Alachua County, Florida.
Nonprofit Awareness Day.pdf

Mentoring Awareness Month
The Board proclaimed January 2012 as “Mentoring Awareness Month” in Alachua County, Florida.
Mentoring Awareness Month 2011.pdf

Informal Meetings

The Board directed the County Attorney to bring back a resolution implementing changes to the BoCC Rules of Procedure concerning Informal Meetings. The following is the language for the resolution:

The Special Meeting – General Policy Discussion will normally be held on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month.

The notice for a Special Meeting – General Policy Discussion Meetingshall bein writing and shall contain the date, time and place of the meeting.  The notice of the meeting shall be posted at a designated area on the second floor of the County Administration Building.  The date, time and place of the meeting will be added to the meetings list.  Special Meetings - General Policy Discussion Meetings may be held upon no less than twenty-four (24) hours notice. Each Commissioner, the Clerk of the Court, the Sheriff, the County Manager and the County Attorney shall be given 24 hours prior notice of the meeting.  Such notice shall be provided by any reasonable means, including telephone, email or facsimile transmission to the person’s residence, place of employment, or other location, whichever site is most likely to ensure the person’s receipt of the notice.

Twenty-four hours prior notice of the meeting shall be provided to the business office of each local media organization that has on file a written request for notice of special meetings.  Such notice shall be provided by any reasonable means, including telephone, email or facsimile transmission.

An agenda outlining the business to be conducted will be available prior to the meeting.  Public comment shall be allowed on items on the agenda, but there will not be a separate public comment period included on the agenda.  The Agenda for special meetings shall contain the following items:

Approval of the agenda

                                (2) Emergency items requiring Board action or direction submitted by the County Manager or County Attorney and approved by the Chair.

(3) Commissioner Proposed Items for Discussion.

a. County commissioners may propose topics for discussion at the General Policy Meeting by submitting topics to the county agenda coordinator by 5:00 p.m. on Monday seven days before the Special Meeting - General Policy Discussion Meeting.

b. The Board may not adopt motions or take final action during the Commission comments section of the agenda.  The Board shall also not suspend its Rules of Procedure pursuant to Rule 36 in order to take action on an item raised during the commission comments period.

                                (4)  Commission Discussion.  The Board shall use this portion of the meeting to discuss any matters of county concern raised by a commissioner.  The Board may not adopt motions or take final action during the Commission comments section of the agenda.  The Board shall also not suspend its Rules of Procedure pursuant to Rule 36 in order to take action on an item raised during the commission comments period.

Acting County Manager
The Board approved the agreement between the Board and Richard A. Drummond to provide Acting County Manager services.
Drummond ACM Final.pdf

Special Assessment Districts
Concerning the establishment Special Assessment Districts for the purposes of applying alternative surface treatments on County-maintained unimproved roads, the Board directed staff to draft an ordinance to revise Chapter 37 of County Code and bring back to the BoCC, adding: to refer information to both the Rural Concerns and Poverty Reduction advisory boards.
Unimproved Road Special Assessment Districts Powerpoint.pdf
Criteria for Unimproved Road SAD.pdf
Unimproved Road Special Assessment Districts.pptx
Unimproved Road Surface Treatment Program.pdf
Final SAD Ordinance.pdf

Maintenance Agreement
Concerning the resolution authorizing the County to enter into a Maintenance Agreement with the State of Florida Department of Transportation for CR 329 (Main Street) from Depot Avenue to SR 331 (Williston Road), the Board decided to send a letter to the City of Gainesville to discuss this at the next MTPO Meeting.
Attachment: LOCATION MAP SMainSt.pdf
Main Street Maintenance Agreement Resolution.pdf
FDOT Main Street Maint Final.pdf

Unified Land Development Code
The Board held the public workshop and provided direction to staff on the Unified Land Development Code update.  To best understand these issues please click on the meeting video above and jump to item #17 under the video screen.

01-17-12 Special Meeting
On Tuesday, January 17, 2012, at 5 p.m. the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners will hold a special meeting in the Jack Durrance Auditorium (room 209) of the County Administration Building located at 12 SE 1st Street in Gainesville.

 There is on item on the agenda – the Local Vendor Preference Report. The intent of the meeting is to discuss the issues and details required to pursue a local vendor preference policy within the County’s bidding process.

View meeting agenda and backup

As always, the public is invited to attend this meeting.

For more information, contact the Alachua County Communications Office at 352-374-5209.

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Alachua County Advisory Boards

The Alachua County Commission is committed to citizen involvement on its advisory boards and is soliciting applications for the following vacancies:

Get Involved - Click here for an application: http://www.alachuacounty.us/government/bocc/advisoryboard.aspx

Applications are also available at the County Manager’s Office on the Second Floor of the County Administration Building, 12 SE 1st St., Gainesville. For more information, call (352) 264-6904.

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Thank you for your continued interest in County Government!

Community Update is produced by the County Manager's Communications Office.