The Leon County Commissioners heard an update on COVID-19 for the county. As of September 3rd, the positivity rate was 10.7% and 59% of the population in Leon County are vaccinated. The CDC is recommending a third dose of the vaccine for Moderna and Pfizer, for those who are immunocompromised.
The Commissioners heard information contained in the Leon County Annual Report. The report included details on how the county addressed the pandemic and surges of cases in hospitals. It discussed “Leon Cares”, a program which the county created to assist citizens impacted by COVID. It also reviewed the county’s fiscal stewardship, affirming for the 10th year in a row there were no increases in the millage rate.
The Board voted to submit a bid for Leon County to host the 2026 World Athletics Cross Country Championships at the Apalachee Regional Park and approved the budget amendment request in the amount of $250,000.
The County Commissioners approved the continuation of virtual citizen comments for meetings and directed county staff to prepare an agenda item assessing a return to pre-pandemic meeting procedures when Leon County is no longer designated as an area of substantial transmission by the CDC. The estimated fiscal impact for continuing virtual citizen comments at county commission meetings is approximately $3,500 per month or $42,000 per year. The item passed unanimously.
The Board approved Brian Dasher to the Leon County Research and Development Authority (LCRDA) Board of Governors. The LCRDA was created by the Leon County Commissioners to work in affiliation with Florida State University, Florida A&M University, and Tallahassee Community College to promote scientific research and development activities, and economic development to broaden the economic base of Leon County.
Mr. Dasher is the Director of Global Quality and Business Management Systems for Danfoss Turbocor and has over 20 years of experience in original equipment manufacturing. He received his BS in Industrial Technology from Southern Illinois University after receiving his AS in Electronic Systems from the Community College of the Airforce.
The Commissioners made several appointments:
-Kristal Beharry as the citizen seat to the Animal Shelter Advisory Board for the remainder of the unexpired term ending September 30, 2023.
-Nicole Nicolas was appointed to the County Alternate Seat on the Board of Adjustments and Appeals for a three-year term ending June 30, 2024.
-James Butler was appointed the citizens seat for the Tallahassee Trust for Historic Preservation seat on the Architectural Review Board for the remainder of the unexpired term ending June 30, 2022.
-Antoneia Roe was reappointed and Dr. Marcella Torres, and Dr. Wachell -McKendrick were appointed to the citizens seats on the Commission on the Status of Women and Girls for two-year terms ending September 30,2023.
Individual Commissioner appointments to Commission on the Status of Women and Girls include:
– Commissioner Maddox reappoints Carrie Boyd.
– Commissioner Cummings reappoints Tonnette Graham.
– Commissioner Jackson appoints Dr. Michelle Gayle.
– Commissioner Welch appoints Elizabeth Paine.
A last-minute item was added on to the meeting agenda and several speakers attended the county meeting to speak against the proposed COVID-19 mitigation measures and the possible requirement of masks. Commissioner Kristin Dozier wanted to mandate masks in county government facilities, she stated that “this is how we stay safe.”
Commissioner Nick Maddox disagreed with Dozier and suggested a substitute motion to have no mandate and continue to “strongly encourage masks.” He called upon a bailiff in the room and asked how much push back he has daily from people about wearing masks and he responded, little to none. Maddox contended that a mask mandate might put county employees in a difficult enforcement situation and possibly cause altercations. The substitute motion passed 5-2 with Dozier and Chairman Rick Minor in dissent.