After a discussion about process and the qualifications of one candidate, the Leon County Commission settled on 15 names to send to Governor Ron DeSantis for the Children’s Services Council Board.
Based on a process set earlier, each of the seven county commissioners had two picks from the pool of 83 applicants. The fifteenth selection was made by the Board.
The governor will choose five of the 15 names to ultimately set on the Board. The other five seats are required by law to be filled by the County Commission, a Leon County School board member, the Leon County Schools superintendent a Juvenile Court Judge, and a DCF Administrator.
The nominees were approved but not before questions were raised by Board Chairman Rick Minor about Commissioner Proctors appointment of Barney Bishop.
Minor raised concerns about Bishop’s opposition to the Children’s Service Council and his potential role a “watchdog” over the group.
Proctor pushed back by noting Bishop’s credentials which include serving on the FAMU Board of Trustee’s and as the Executive Director of Associated Industries of Florida.
The fifteen nominees are:
- Mark O’Bryant
- Paul Mitchell
- Eric Whitehead
- Brooke Brunner
- Dr. Mimi Graham
- Tom Derzypolski
- Max Herrle
- Matt Guse
- Jay Reeve
- Dr. Zandra Glenn
- Carmen Conner
- Liza McFadden
- Dr. Benny Bolden
- Barney Bishop
- Dr. Henry Lewis
After receiving the list of names, the governor will have 45 days to choose five.
The vote came after an intense debate, with Commission Chair Rick Minor disputing Vice Chair Bill Proctor’s nomination of Barney Bishop, who was vocal in his criticism of the ballot initiative before it passed. Commissioner Minor argued that Bishop’s desire to serve as a watchdog would be better implemented from outside of the CSC, but the list of 15 passed six to one.
The ballot initiative to create the Children’s Services Council passed in Leon County with about 65% of the vote in November of 2020.