October 30 edition of:

Community Update
A Report on the Activities of Alachua County Government


This Issues Features:

2010 Complete Count Committee Meeting
What’s On “Alachua County Talks”
Roland Loog Becomes Chairman of FACVB
CHOICES Health Walk
Operation Medicine Cabinet
Your Money and Your Health
Veterans Day Celebration
County Update on Channel 12
November Gardening Classes
Residents Voice Opinions on Health & Healthcare
Commission Meeting Highlights


2010 Complete Count Committee Meeting

On Wednesday, October 28, Alachua County Commissioner Rodney J. Long hosted a kickoff meeting to begin the process of organizing the County’s 2010 Census Complete Count Committee. Commissioner Long’s goal, as the Commission’s selected “champion” for the 2010 Census, was to partner with each municipality, K-12 schools, Santa Fe College, the University of Florida, the media, the business community, service agencies, civic leaders, and faith-based and community-based organizations. 

The meeting had a great community response. All of the needed sub-committees were formed, a Chair and Vice Chair for each Sub-committee was assigned, and dates for initial Sub-committee meetings were set. The Complete Count Sub-committees include: Business, Community Based Organizations, Countywide Coordination/Government, Education, Faith-based Organizations, Hard-to-Enumerate, Media & Publicity.

The Complete Count Committee is a team of community leaders working to develop and implement the local outreach plan for the 2010 Census. The purpose of this committee is to raise awareness about the importance of the 2010 Census, reach out to hard-to-count groups, and encourage overall participation in the 2010 Census.

The official Census questionnaires will be mailed in March, 2010; Census Day is April 1, 2010. Census data is a critical basis for the allocation of state and federal funding to Alachua County, election redistricting, and as an important tool for making many decisions in our community. Therefore, it is vital that the Census be as complete and accurate as possible.

To view a short video about the upcoming census, click here.

To visit the U.S. Census Bureau website, click here.                                

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What’s On “Alachua County Talks”

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

Click here to watch Karen Deeter, Alachua County Assistant Public Works Director discuss the new contract for solid waste, recyclable materials and yard trash collection.

Click here to watch Alachua County Pretrial Services Manager Gerie Crawford discuss pretrial services, including community supervision and case management services provided to defendants to ensure compliance with release and court appearance orders.

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Roland Loog Becomes Chairman of FACVB

The Florida Association of Convention and Visitor Bureaus (FACVB) has announced Roland Loog as Chairman of the Board. Mr. Loog was elected by the membership as Chairman at the 2009 annual meeting of the FACVB in Punta Gorda, Florida.

Mr. Loog is the Director of the Alachua County Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB). He has served many positions on the board of directors since October 2004 including Vice Chair and CEO Director.

“This is a well-deserved recognition of the many valuable contributions Roland has made to our organization,” said Becky Bovell, past chairman of the FACVB and executive director of the Charlotte Harbor Visitor and Convention Bureau. “He has a unique national perspective of the tourism industry that provides a tremendous advantage. This knowledge, combined with his keen leadership skills, will help position the association for continued positive growth into the future.”

Organized in 1996, FACVB strives to increase the overall effectiveness of Florida CVBs’ destination marketing efforts. Its stated mission is to provide cooperative action to enhance and encourage the growth of Florida’s convention and visitor industry through promoting tourism industry education, enhancing professionalism, facilitating the exchange of information between Florida CVBs, developing an awareness of legislative issues and unifying the state’s CVB industry through public relations.

For more information, contact FACVB Executive Director, Robert Skrob at 850-222-6000.

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CHOICES Health Walk

Alachua County’s CHOICES Health Services will hold a Community Health Walk on Saturday, November 14, 2009. The 1.2-mile walk begins at the Alachua County School District’s Kirby Smith Building (620 East University Avenue, Gainesville). Registration and activities begin at 7:30 a.m. The inaugural Community Health Walk will kick off “Alachua County on the Move” to begin in January.

This Community Health Initiative aims to raise awareness about the County’s high rates of death and disability from diabetes and other preventable chronic diseases. “Alachua County on the Move” will feature activities and information to help citizens understand that the risks of diabetes, heart disease, stroke and asthma can be reduced with simple lifestyle changes: increased activity, improved diet, avoiding tobacco and preventative health care. The intention is to help residents take the first steps toward being part of a healthier community.

In partnership with the University of Florida Diabetes Center of Excellence, the walk is being held on World Diabetes Day to highlight the importance of prevention and early detection of diabetes.

Those who wish to participate in the walk may pre-register by calling 352-334-8889, or visiting www.acCHOICES.com.

Activities will include events for kids, free blood sugar and blood pressure screenings, free chair massages and Zumba and Salsa instruction. The walk begins at 9 a.m. and ends at the Downtown Fall Arts Festival, only a few blocks from the event start.

For more information or to apply for CHOICES Health Services, call 352-264-6772 or visit www.acCHOICES.com. Click here for more information about the CHOICES Health Education & Wellness Program.

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Operation Medicine Cabinet

Operation Medicine Cabinet, a pharmaceutical take back program, was held on this past Thursday evening, October 29, as part of a national candlelight vigil which was held in memory of those lost to drug and alcohol related deaths and those suffering from the disease of addition. The pharmaceutical collection program was provided by the staff of the Alachua County Environmental Protection Department’s Hazardous Waste Program.


According to Kurt Seaburg, Hazardous Waste Coordinator for Alachua County, “a total of 16 pounds of prescription and over-the-counter medications were collected for proper disposal during the two hour event. We were very pleased by the response from citizens to manage their pharmaceuticals properly”.


There are numerous concerns regarding the improper disposal of medications, if flushed down toilets or sinks they are not treated at wastewater treatment plants or septic systems which may result in pollution in our water and soil. The program also reduces the risk that pharmaceuticals end up in the hands of our youth, as well as unsafe storage practices that have resulted in accidental poisonings.


The Hazardous Waste Program has been accepting the pharmaceuticals since 2004 and presently collects the medications at six locations within Alachua County. Call 352-334-0440 or go to www.alachuacountyhazwaste.us for more information and locations.

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Your Money and Your Health

The Alachua County Division of Senior Services in conjunction with the Community Coalition for Older Adults will present “Your Money and Your Health,” a forum designed to assist older adults in making crucial financial decisions.  The forum will be Wednesday,

November 18, 2009, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. at Highlands Presbyterian Church (1001 NE 16th Avenue, Gainesville)

For more information, contact Linda Gardner, Chair of the Community Coalition for Older Adults at 352-375-1687 or email lmay@aclib.us.  

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Veterans Day Celebration

The Alachua County Veterans Memorial Committee, the Malcom Randall VA Medical Center and area veterans organizations invite you to the 2009 Veterans Day ceremonies at the Alachua County Veterans Memorial at Kanapaha Park (7400 SW 41st Pl, Gainesville). Activities will begin at 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, November 11, at the Memorial, located at the corner of Tower Road and S.W. 41st Place.

This year we will recognize all U.S. military veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom—the current conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. Through the generosity of citizens throughout North Central Florida, six Alachua County residents who have been killed in those engagements will be recognized with an expansion of the Memorial. The addition will feature both operations and will duplicate the design and scale of the original Memorial.

In addition, two area veterans of the 1944 D-Day invasion will receive Legion of Honor awards from the French government for their valor in helping to liberate France from totalitarian control. Jonathan Pruden, a wounded veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, will deliver the keynote address

The Lincoln Middle School Band will perform both before and after the ceremonies. A flyover by World War II vintage aircraft, a wreath laying ceremony and other events will be included in the ceremonies.

During the formal ceremonies, the Alachua County Veterans Memorial Committee will also announce the future dedication of a plaque in honor of Alachua County School Board faculty, staff and graduates who have served in our country’s military service. The plaque will be installed at the Kirby Smith Building (the headquarters of the Alachua County school district) on a date that will be set later.

Courtesy valet parking is available for handicapped guests (provided by the University of Florida’s Air Force ROTC) before and after the celebration. Other guests can park at the VFW post on Waldo Road (1100 Waldo Rd., Rt.e 24, Gainesville) and ride a shuttle bus to Kanapaha Park. Parking for other guests is available at Wiles Elementary School (4601 SW 75th St, Gainesville) and Kanapaha Middle School (5005 SW 75th St, Gainesville). After parking at these facilities, visitors can use a bus to reach the Memorial site. Seating is limited at the park, please bring a chair or other sit-upon.

To view the event flyer, click here.

For more information, contact Alachua County Veterans Services Director, Jim Lynch at 352-264-6740.

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County Update on Channel 12

County Update is a half hour news program providing in-depth information on County programs, services and initiatives. County Update airs on Community 12 and the Video On Demand website. Click here to view this month’s show.

Features This Month

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November Gardening Classes

The Alachua County Extension Office is pleased to offer the following free gardening classes in November, 2009. All classes are presented by Wendy Wilber, Environmental Horticulture Agent at the Alachua County Extension Office (2800 NE 39th Ave., Gainesville).

November classes include:

For a complete list of fall classes, click here.

To pre-register, leave a message at 352-337-6209.

For more information, call the Alachua County Extension Office at 352-955-2402.

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Residents Voice Opinions on Health & Healthcare

Alachua County residents are invited to share their views about health and healthcare in their community through focus groups, phone surveys, interviews and a “community visioning” event. This community input will be used to document current and future health needs of Alachua County and to create solutions for those needs. The Alachua County Health Department has partnered with CHOICES Health Services, North Florida Regional Medical Center, Shands HealthCare and Palms Medical Group to engage WellFlorida Council, the region’s local health council, to elicit community input on health issues as part of a community health needs assessment.

Focus groups on health and healthcare in Alachua County will be held throughout October and November. Eligible participants will receive a $20 gift card for participating in these group discussions. Residents can determine if they are eligible to participate in a focus group by calling Kim Gokhale at WellFlorida at 352-313-6500, ext. 127.

In addition, WellFlorida will be coordinating a telephone survey of 500 Alachua County residents in late fall. Structured interviews with key informants will also provide a range of perspectives on community health issues.

Results from the focus groups, surveys and interviews, along with health outcomes and healthcare data, will be used by WellFlorida to create the “2009 Alachua County Community Health Status and Access Assessment” for the Alachua County Health Department. The report will be available in January 2010.

As a follow-up to this report, members of the community are encouraged to attend a “community visioning” event in January 2010. Based on the report’s findings, attendees will identify possible initiatives and activities that will address the leading health and healthcare concerns in Alachua County.

For more information, call Jeff Feller at WellFlorida at 352-313-65000 ext. 115.

WellFlorida’s mission is to forge partnerships in planning, research and service that build healthier communities.

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Commission Highlights

Announcements by Mark Sexton, Communications Coordinator

Health Care Advisory Board
The Board heard the presentation of the Alachua County Health Care Advisory Board program’s Annual Report and chose without objection to refer the International County Managers Association (ICMA) healthy communities dialogue to Healthcare Advisory Board and ask the Board to return to the BCC in January 2010 for discussion.
2009 2010 HCAB Workplan.pdf

Kitchen Incubator & Citizen Co-op
The Board heard a presentation on the local Foodways Initiative by the Kitchen Incubator and Citizen Co-op and directed the Manager to review presentation and identify opportunities for Alachua County to assist with this project

Scenic Road Corridors
Concerning Scenic Road Corridors, the Board chose to:

Adopt process as outlined

Advertise public hearing for CR 225 designation

Budget $4,000 per year for scenic road designation process to consider one road per year and carry forward surplus funds each year

Seek $1,200 compensation for variances from applicants 5) 60% property owners (not parcels) must approve
Attachment: CR_225 app.pdf
Attachment: Photos.pdf
Attachment: SRC.pdf
Attachment: Res_CR 225.pdf
Attachment: SR_Process_Rpt.pdf
Attachment: SRC.pptx

Oakmont Planned Development
The Board approved the agreement for Oakmont Planned Development dedications and authorized the Chair to sign.
Oakmont Resolution.pdf
Attachment: Oakmont Agreement with signatures.pdf

Letter to Utilities
Direct Attorney and Manager to edit the letter to Utilities companies asking them to request that Koppers use different chemicals in the treatment of utilities pole that  the utilities purchase for BCC to approve on Thursday, October 29, 2009 and provide the letter to the BCC prior to the October 29 meeting date.

2010 Legislative Program
The Board adopted the 2010 Alachua County Legislative Program with the amendment of the solid waste flow control item per language provided by Public Works Dept.Attachment: 

NW 16th/NW 23rd Ave Project
The Board heard the presentation on the preliminary plans for the NW 16th/NW 23rd Ave project in preparation of the public meeting in November 2009. They decided to:

Accept preliminary plans including option 3

east of intersection 43rd and 16th in front of the Kangaroo explore a business friendly option

include the possibility of 6 ft sidewalks west of 55th include

include the possibility of option 2

request the city take over maintenance once complete

Attachment: Presentation Plans 090809.pdf
Attachment: NW16th_23_BOCC _2009_10_27.ppt

Billboard Replacement Program
The Board heard the staff presentation on the FDOT Billboard Replacement Program and authorized the Chair to send the letter in the link below
Billboard Pilot Project.pdf

FY10 Budget Amendments
The Board
conducted a public hearing, adopted resolutions and approved budget amendments to amend FY10 budget for carry-forward, re-appropriations and other fund balance adjustments.
FY10 Consolidated Budget Amend General County Exhibit A.pdf
Attachment: 1 Resolution for FY10 Carryfowards general county budget.pdf
Attachment: 2 Resolution for FY10 Carryfowards MSTU Unincorporated budget.pdf
Attachment: FY10 Carry Forward Final Advertisement.pdf
Attachment: 4 Resolution for FY10 Carryfowards Gas Tax budget.pdf
Attachment: FY10 Consolidated Budget Amend Gas Tax Fund Exhibit A.pdf
Attachment: FY10 Consolidated Budget Amend General MSTU Exhibit A.pdf
Attachment: FY10 Consolidated Budget Amend MSBU Exhibit A.pdf

Airboat Curfew
The Board voted unanimously, to advertise an ordinance imposing a curfew on the nighttime operation of airboats and to hold a public hearing on this ordinance.

Attachment: AirboatExcerpts.pdf
Attachment: AirboatAGopinion.pdf
Attachment: AirboatHBexcerpt.pdf


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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.