By Cindy Jackson
March 26, 2020
Danny Leeper, chair of the Board of County Commissioners took his position front and center and was flanked by County Manager/Attorney Mike Mullin on his right and to his left OMB (Office of Management and Budget) Director Megan Diehl – each at safe social distance from the other. “Safe distancing,” as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control, is about six feet apart. All other commissioners –Bell, Edwards, Ford, and Taylor, participated telephonically.
That meeting, held Monday, March 23rd, 2020 lasted just 25 minutes. Most items on the agenda have been continued until April 27, 2020.
Approved during that meeting, however, were two new positions for the County Manager’s Office. Both are part of the succession plan for Mullin as County Manager that the commissioners approved January 2019. As dictated in a memo from Mullin to the Commissioners, “Staff is suggesting an additional Assistant County Manager so oversight of the 11 Board Departments can be split between the two Assistant County Managers. This will allow the County Manager additional time to attend meetings and ensure Board directives are being carried out efficiently. Staff is also suggesting an additional administrative support position to assist the County Manager and the two Assistant County Managers. Currently, there is one administrative position and that employee is stretched between providing support to the County Manager, all 5 County Commissioners, the 11 Board Departments, and assisting the general public through phone calls, office visits and emails.”
The position request for an Administrative Specialist II lists a salary in the range of $35,256.90 – $53,647.36 and the Assistant County Manager position will pay between $110,652,38 – $163,370.40.
A motion to approve the new positions was approved unanimously.
In appointment news, Commissioners Ford and Bell agreed to serve on the Value Adjustment Board. It is the Value Adjustment Board (VAB) that hears petitions from property owners who feel their appraised market values are incorrect.
As explained on the County Appraisers’ website, “Per Florida Statute 194, during hearing, [the property owner and property appraiser’s staff] present relevant evidence to the VAB through a Special Magistrate. Special Magistrates are independent industry professionals selected to hear evidence from both sides of an appeal and recommend decisions to the VAB.”
Regarding the County’s finances, Ms. Diehl spoke to approve a cash carry forward amount of $11 million. Diehl explained that about 80% of the cash carry forward amount (about $670,000) from the revenue side is a result of more interest earned, and another $6.3 million from FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) reimbursements from Hurricanes Irma and Matthew.
Mullin made a comment at that time commending the Board and noting that this is the “highest reserve Nassau County has had.”
Before adjournment, Commissioner Edwards encouraged individuals to heed the advice and recommendations made by the President and went on to caution that “we must make sure we don’t add to our troubles by moving too quickly.”
Commissioner Ford made mention of accounts on social media with individuals complaining that many businesses have not been abiding by the recommendations.
In closing, Leeper stated these times “call for aggressive measures,” and encouraged folks to support local businesses and . . . to stop the panic buying.”
How to Participate in Board of County Commissioner’s Meetings
Nassau County Insider
Meetings can be viewed live on our website at www.nassaucountyfl.com.
The meeting will be open to the public with limited seating, however we are encouraging residents to not attend unless they feel it is absolutely necessary. For those who want to participate in the meeting or make comments without being in attendance due to social distancing, we offer you the following options:
1. Submit an email to [email protected]. Provide your name and address along with your comments. The emails will then be reviewed and read into the record at the meeting.
2. Call (904) 530-6009 and leave a message which includes your name, address and the comment that you would like shared for the record at the meeting.
3. If you would like to speak live at the meeting, call (904) 530-6009 and leave a message with your name, address and phone number indicating that you would like to be contacted telephonically during the meeting. Provide an indication of the subject matter and we will call you as the topic comes up on the agenda.
Thank you for your interest in the meeting.
Editor’s Note: Born in Hagerstown, Maryland, Cindy received her BA in Political Science from Dickinson College. Upon graduation, Cindy began her career on Capitol Hill working as a legislative aide and director. She later became a part of the public relations and lobbying team of the American Iron and Steel Institute and served as director of the office of state legislative affairs for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA). Cindy was involved in economic development with the state of Maryland, and served as executive director of Leadership Washington County. As a community volunteer, Cindy participates in numerous volunteer activities serving as a member of Sunrise Rotary, and as board member of Cummer Amelia Board of Directors.