January 14th edition of:

Community Update
A Report on the Activities of Alachua County Government

 

This Issues Features:

Wild Spaces & Public Places Sales Surtax Expires
Town Hall Meeting
What’s On “Alachua County Talks”
Upcoming Special Meeting
FGP and RSVP Volunteers Celebrate MLK Jr's Legacy
ACHD Encourages Flu Vaccination
Tax Collector Reaches Cell Phone Goal
Upcoming Election Information
January Extension Programs
Commission Meeting Highlights


Wild Spaces & Public Places Sales Surtax Expires

Alachua County Manager Randall H. Reid reminds citizens that the Wild Spaces & Public Places voter approved .5 cent sales tax has expired. The sales tax in Alachua County has gone down from 6.75 cents to 6.25 cents. This change went into effect on January 1, 2011.

Wild Spaces & Public Places was a two year sales surtax approved by voters in 2008. The tax revenues are used for land conservation and park improvements.

To view the most recent Wild Spaces and Public Places Progress Report, click here.

For more information, click here or contact Alachua County Land Conservation at 352-264-6800 or landconservation@alachuacounty.us.

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Town Hall Meeting

On February 1, 2011, at 6 p.m., the Alachua County Commission will be holding a Community Dialogue/Town Hall meeting to discuss potentially going to voters with a 2012 referendum for a one-cent or one-half-cent sales tax for infrastructure. The meeting will take place in Room 209 (the Commission Chambers) of the County Administration Building located at 12 SE 1st Street in downtown Gainesville.

Infrastructure refers to the capital projects constructed by local government, such as roads, parks, buildings, and acquisitions of major equipment or property by local governments. Under State of Florida law, the sales tax may be enacted for a multi-year period and voters must approve the referendum to enact such a sales tax.

A presentation on the legal requirements and legal uses of the one-cent sales tax and how it can be placed on the ballot will be made at the meeting. A County staff presentation entitled "A Penny for Pavement" will be presented to discuss the potential use of the sales tax for pavement management of County and municipal roadways. The public will have an opportunity to comment on and discuss this potential referendum.

"The County Commission has not made a decision to place a referendum on the 2012 ballot," County Manager Randall H. Reid stated, "The meeting is being held because of the Commission's desire to gather public input concerning this subject."

For more information, contact the Alachua County Communications office at 352-374-5204.

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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 Angela Pate, Executive Director of FloridaWorks, the workforce board for Alachua and Bradford counties, provide a broad overview of the services provided by FloridaWorks that can assist citizens in finding employment.

Click here to watch Alachua County Interim Court Services Director Jim Santangelo discuss the Court Services Department, its duties, programs, and the services it provides.

Click here to watch Alachua County Public Safety Director Ed Bailey discuss the Public Safety Department, its duties, programs, and the services it provides.

Click here to watch Alachua County Administrative Services Director Betty Baker discuss the Administrative Services Department, its duties, programs, and the services it provides.


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Upcoming Special Meeting

The Alachua County Commission is conducting a special meeting on Tuesday January 18, 2011 at 1:30 p.m. in the Jack Durrance Auditorium on the second floor of the County Administration Building located at 12 SE 1st Street, downtown Gainesville.

The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the Community Agency Partnership Program (CAPP) and to identify any changes desired by the County Commission for the 2011 process.

To learn more about CAPP click here.

The meeting will be broadcast live on Cox Channel 12 or may be viewed live online at the County's Video on Demand site.

As always, the public is encouraged to attend. Current or future applicants are especially encouraged to attend.

For more information, call the Alachua County Communications Office at 352-374-522.

 

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FGP and RSVP Volunteers Celebrate MLK Jr's Legacy

On January 21, 2011, Volunteers with the Alachua County Foster Grandparent Program (FGP) and the Retired & Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) will participate in the National MLK Day of Service. 100 volunteers, all age 55 and over, are making double-layered fleece blankets for distribution by the Alachua County Housing Authority to the area's homeless.

According to Gail Monahan, Executive Director of the Alachua County Housing Authority, "The blankets will be put to excellent use, especially with this season's extremely cold temperatures."

"Dr. King devoted his life to advancing equality, social justice, and opportunity for all, and taught us that everyone has a role to play in making America what it ought to be. By serving today and throughout the year, we honor Dr. King and help realize his dream of equality and opportunity for all." said Norma Berger, Alachua County FGP Coordinator. She added, "This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal holiday, and organizers see the milestone as a perfect opportunity for Americans to remember Dr. King's life and legacy and to honor him by taking action to solve problems in their communities."

For more information, contact Norma Berger at 352-264-6730.


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ACHD Encourages Flu Vaccination

The Alachua County Health Department is encouraging citizens to get vaccinated against influenza. Surveillance systems have detected increased local activity. "Receiving an influenza vaccine is a primary preventive measure against influenza infection." stated Jean Munden, Administrator of the ACHD. "In addition to getting a flu shot, staying home when ill, practicing proper cough etiquette and washing your hands are effective personal means to protect yourself and the community from a variety of illnesses."

Flu shots are being offered at the Health Department's main Gainesville clinic (224 SE 24th Street), phone number 352-334-7950, and the City of Alachua satellite clinic located in the Hitchcock's shopping plaza (15530 NW US Hwy 441), phone number 386-462-2542.

Citizens who normally receive their vaccines from providers other than the Health Department should contact them for vaccine availability and costs.

General media inquiries should be directed to Paul Myers at 352-334-8873.

For more information, visit http://www.alachuacountyhealth.com/.

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Tax Collector Reaches Cell Phone Goal

With the help of the Citizens of Alachua County, the Tax Collector's Office has reached their goal of collecting 10,000 cell phones by the end of 2010. They continue to collect cell phones, accessories, chargers, batteries, Blackberry PDA's and pagers for the Cell Phones for Soldiers Program. Items may be dropped off at any Alachua County Tax Collector office during normal business hours. Cell phones are sent for recycling which enables Cell Phones for Soldiers to buy calling cards for military personnel.

Locations for drop off are:
The County Administration Building Downtown
12 SE 1st Street, the NW office at 5801 NW 34th Street
or the SW office (in the Wal-Mart Plaza)
3207 SW 35th Blvd.

If you know of a military person in need of a care package, contact the Military Support Group of Alachua County at www.msgfac.com. For information about the Cell Phones for Soldiers Program, visit their website at www.cellphonesforsoldiers.com.

The Tax Collector's office has staff that attend the monthly night meetings of the Military Support Group of Alachua County to give them the calling cards to be included in the care packages sent to the troops.
For more information, contact the Tax Collector's office at 352-337-6228 or 352-264-6935.

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Upcoming Election Information

Candidate Qualifying for the City of Gainesville, March 15th Election begins noon, January 24, 2011 through noon, January 28, 2011.

OFFICES UP FOR ELECTION
Gainesville City Commission – At-Large 2
Term of Office – 3 Years
Qualifying Fee - $304.03 (Undue Burden available)

The At-Large Commissioner is elected by the electors of the City of Gainesville to serve a 3-year term. Each candidate for an At-Large seat must be a qualified voter who is a resident of the City for a period of not less than 6 months prior to the date the person qualifies to run for office. The person elected to an At-Large seat shall continuously reside in the City during the term of office. The last dates to have moved into the City District to meet the residency requirement for the 2011 election would be between July 26, 2010 and July 30, 2010 depending on which day the candidate qualifies in 2011.

Gainesville City Commission – Districts 2 and 3
Term of Office – 3 years
Qualifying Fee - $304.03 (Undue Burden available)

If you are running for the District 2 Seat, you will be elected by the electors of District 2. If you are running for the District 3 Seat, you will be elected by the electors of District 3. You will be elected to serve a 3-year term. Each candidate for a District seat must be a qualified voter who is a resident of the District from which they seek to be elected for a period of not less than 6 months prior to the date they qualify to run for office. The person elected Commissioner shall continuously reside in that same City District during the term of office. The last dates to have moved into the City District to meet the residency requirement for the 2011 election would be between July 26, 2010 and July 30, 2010 depending on which day the candidate qualifies in 2011

The current list of candidates seeking election may be found on the Supervisor of Elections' website at VoteAlachua.com.

Anyone interested in qualifying or needing further information, please visit our website at VoteAlachua.com or call the Supervisor of Elections Office at (352) 374-5252.

LAST DAY TO REGISTER TO VOTEMonday, February 14, 2011 is the last day to register to vote for the March 15, 2011 City of Gainesville Election. You must be a City of Gainesville resident to vote in the Gainesville City Election. Voters are encouraged to verify and update their registration status online at VoteAlachua.com and clicking on the link, "Check Your Voter Registration Status Through My VIP (Voter Information Page)." The Supervisor of Elections Office will be open from 8:30AM until 5:00PM to accept voter registration applications. The Supervisor of Elections Office located at 111 S.E. 1st Avenue has an after-hours drop slot located at the main entrance. Voter registration applications received through the drop slot will be accepted up until midnight on the 14th.

Registration forms are available online at VoteAlachua.com. You may use the application form to register to vote, update your voter information, or to update your signature by downloading the application. You may also register to vote in person at the Supervisor of Elections Office or by mail. For a list of other facilities in the county where voter registration application forms may be obtained, please visit our website or call the Supervisor of Elections Office at (352) 374-5252. To vote in the City of Gainesville Election, mail-in applications must be postmarked no later than the February 14th deadline.

VOTE BY MAIL: To request a ballot and Vote by Mail, voters may make their request online at VoteAlachua.com or call the Supervisor of Elections Office at (352) 374-5252. Voters will need to make sure their address and signature on file with the Supervisor of Elections are current. Your mail ballot may not count if the signature does not match the signature on your voter record. The last day to request your ballot be mailed is Wednesday, March 9, 2011 by 5 PM.

To request a ballot for another voter, you must be a designated member of the voter's immediate family or a legal guardian. Requests can be made online, in person, by mail, by telephone or by fax. All requests must include the voter's name, residence address, and date of birth. The request must also include the requestor's name, residence address, relationship to the voter and driver's license number if available. Mail or fax request must also include the requestor's signature.

A voter may designate in writing another person to pick up an absentee ballot starting Thursday, March 10, 2011. The designee must have a note signed by the voter, a picture identification of the designee and must complete an affidavit. The affidavit is available for download at VoteAlachua.com. The designee may not pick up more than two absentee ballots per election, not including the designee's own ballot and ballots for members of his or her immediate family.

Absentee ballots are available at the Supervisor of Elections Office for voters who may have emergencies that will not allow them to go to their polling place to vote.

All absentee ballots must be received in the Supervisor of Elections Office by 7:00PM Election Day.

EARLY VOTING: Early Voting for the City of Gainesville Election will be available starting Monday, March 7th, 2011 through Saturday, March 12th, 2011. Please view our website at VoteAlachua.com for the dates, hours, and location of Early Voting. Florida Law requires voters to present picture and signature ID in order to vote, or vote a provisional ballot.

PRECINCTS: Any voter may vote in the precinct of their residence between 7:00AM and 7:00PM on Election Day. Florida Law requires voters to present picture and signature ID in order to vote, or vote a provisional ballot. If you need to locate your precinct, go to VoteAlachua.com.

POLL WORKERS: If you are interested in serving as a Poll Worker, you may call the Supervisor of Elections Office at (352) 374-5252 or you may complete the Poll Worker Application on our website at www.VoteAlachua.com.

If you have any questions or need further information, visit our website at VoteAlachua.com or contact the Supervisor of Elections Office at (352) 374-5252.

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January Extension Programs

All of these programs are held at the Extension Office (2800 NE 39th Avenue, Gainesville).

Commercial Horticulture Programs

Green Industries Best Management Practices Workshop January 20, from 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.
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 18th.

Integrated Pest Management Update January 25, from 12:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
This statewide video conference is designed to provide training in Pest Management Updates for anyone working in the lawn, landscape, pest control, or municipal grounds areas. CEU's will be awarded.

Cost to attend this class is $5.00. Pre-register by January 21st.

Private Applicator Pesticide License Workshop January 26, from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
This workshop is designed to provide training in practices related to Private Applicator Pest Control License for anyone working in the agricultural industry.

Registration fee is $10.00 per person. Please pre-register by January 21st. A complete brochure with registration form can be found at: http://alachua.ifas.ufl.edu/calendar.shtml .

For more information contact Aparna Gazula, Commercial Horticulture Agent, 352-955-2402.

Family & Consumer Sciences Programs

Food Safety and Quality Program (ServSafe®) January 19, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
This program provides training which enables food managers and staff to offer Florida consumers food that is prepared in a clean and safe environment.

For further information and to register, please visit http://foodsafety.ifas.ufl.edu, or call toll-free at 1-888-232-8723.

Before You Tie the Knot January 24 & 31, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Before You Tie the Knot is a premarital preparation course.

Completion of this course is required to receive a $32.50 reduction of marriage license. Attendees will receive a certificate of completion and a copy for the Clerk of the Court. There is no cost to attend this two evening class. Pre-register by January 19 by calling 352-337-6209.

Equipping Your Financial Toolbox Series
There is no cost to attend these classes. Pre-register one week in advance for one or all sessions by calling 352-337-6209.

For more information about these programs call 352-955-2402. Visit http://alachua.ifas.ufl.edu/calendar.shtml for additional programs offered by the Extension Office.

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Commission Highlights

Announcements
Announcements by Mark Sexton Communications Coordinator included the viewing of a video on the Jonesville Park Tennis facility.
Attachment:
Click here to view.

One Stop Homeless Center
The Board heard a presentation on the status of the One Stop Homeless project by City of Gainesville Assistant City Manager Fred Murry
Attachment: 
One Stop PPT_20110111.pptx

16th Avenue Project
The Board directed staff to proceed with the development of the 30% plans including the following design elements;

Widen sidewalks to up to 10 feet wherever possible

Move utility poles and transformer boxes that encroach in the sidewalk wherever possible

Restripe the inside travel lanes to 11 feet and the outside lane to 10 feet

Create an undesignated but striped 3 foot bike lane. Utilize raised audible thermoplastic on the outside white line

Leave existing typical median widths unchanged

Create a new entry road within the Publix shopping center to allow better access to Millhopper Square shops and Kangaroo gas station

Close median opening near intersections on the east and west side of the project

Attachment: Powerpoint NW16.ppt
Attachment: 
16AveComments.pdf

Southwest Community Resource Center and Public Health Facility
The Board authorized the purchase of two properties for the purpose of developing the Southwest Community Resource Center and Public Health Facility and authorize the County Manager to execute and sign the contracts and all documents related to these purchases.
Amount: $130,000.00

Attachment: SWAG Sugarfoot Oaks Lot12 3 sample.pdf
Attachment: 
807 Offer 122810 Alachua Co.pdf
Attachment: 
legal issues20101230105818667.pdf
Attachment: 
SWAG Sugarfoot Oaks Lot10 sample.pdf
Attachment: 
816 Offer 122810 Alachua Co.pdf
Attachment: 
Sample HS Addendum.pdf

Town Hall meeting
The County Manager received clarification on and scheduled a Town Hall meeting to discuss the possibility of a voter referendum concerning an infrastructure sales tax (see article on page 2)

Letter to the US Environmental Protection Department
The Board approved the Chair signing a letter to send to the US Environmental Protection Department concerning the Beazer dioxin soil test results.
Attachment:
Letter

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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.