November 23rd edition of:

Community Update
A Report on the Activities of Alachua County Government


This Issues Features:

Commission Chair and Vice Chair Elections
Kanapaha Park Recreation Center Progress
New Hours for Health Department Clinic
Job Openings
Turkey Frying/Thanksgiving Safety
November Extension Programs
What's On "Alachua County Talks"
Democracy in Action
Commission Highlights

Commission Chair and Vice Chair Elections

At the November 15, 2011 County Commission Special Meeting, elections were held for Board of County Commissioners Chair and Vice Chair. Paula Delaney was elected Chair and Mike Byerly was elected Vice Chair for the coming year.

Departing Chair Lee Pinkoson and Vice Chair Paula Delaney were presented remembrance plaques as recognition of their year of service.

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Kanapaha Park Recreation Center Progress

Construction has begun for the Kanapaha Recreation Center. Concrete slab has been poured for this 5,311 sq. ft. recreation center, which includes 1,400 sq. ft. of multi-use porch areas.

The center will provide an indoor air-conditioned structure for public events, and will provide additional space for veteran monuments. The project also includes additional lighting and parking for the park.

"This project will not only provide much needed recreation opportunities to Alachua County residents," said Manager Reid, "It will also be of great service to the Veterans community as it will assist in the maintenance of the County's premier Veterans memorial and enhance the County's Veterans Day activities."

For more information, contact the Communications Office at 352-374-5204.

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New Hours for Health Department Clinic

Effective December 1, 2011, the Alachua County Health Department, located at 224 SE 24th Street, Gainesville, is changing its clinic hours to: Monday through Friday, 7.30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Health Department clinics will be closed on weekends.

On Wednesday afternoons from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., available clinical services are: immunizations, foreign travel consultations, tuberculosis, epidemiology, AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) eligibility determinations and medicine pick-up, sexually transmitted disease test results and family planning triage.

"These changes reflect times that clients most often visit our clinics." stated Paul Myers, Interim Administrator of the ACHD. "They better align client services with available resources."

Clients are encouraged to make an appointment by calling (352) 334-7910. Forms that can be filled out prior to visits, that will shorten wait times, are available on the ACHD website at

For more information, visit

The goal of the Alachua County Health Department is to promote, protect, maintain and improve the health and safety of all citizens and visitors.

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Job Openings

Alachua County currently has open positions. Click on the links for each position to find out more about job functions and requirements. Please take note of application closing dates. All of the positions listed below are full -time openings.

Current Openings (click on job title to find out more)
Assessment Technician/Department of Public Works- Waste Management
Collection Center Operations Supervisor/Department of Public Works- Collection Center
Drug Counselor/Department of Court Services- Outpatient-Housing-Jobs Program
Project Leader/Information & Telecommunication Services
Senior Office Assistant/Growth Management- Planning & Development
Social Services Coordinator/Community Support Services- CHOICES
Waste Alternative Manager/Department of Public Works- Waste Alternatives

Applications are due for these positions by December 2, 2011. The County's employment webpage is updated regularly. Click here to see all of the current job openings.

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Turkey Frying/Thanksgiving Safety

The following tips are designed to ensure our citizens have a safe and enjoyable holiday season. 


Thanksgiving is a time of celebration and cooking as millions of people across the United States come together to share food and good cheer.  A variation of cooking the traditional Thanksgiving turkey has gained in popularity in recent years.  Deep frying a turkey can be done safely, but there are some safety tips that should be followed.  Post the following deep frying tips near your favorite deep frying turkey recipe.

• Oil inside turkey fryers can overheat, splash onto the fryers' open flame and gnite causing house fires and property damage.
• Fryers overfilled with oil may spill when the turkey is placed into the cooking pot causing severe burns and possibly starting a fire that can swiftly engulf the entire fryer and spread.
• Turkey fryers should always be used on a flat surface, outdoors and at a safe distance from buildings
• Never use turkey fryers on wooden decks or in garages.  It can be tempting to fry your turkey on the porch if the weather is inclement, but this is very dangerous and can result in a house fire which could ruin your holiday
• Never leave the fryer unattended. Most units do not have thermostat controls, so you must watch the fryer carefully to keep an eye on the oil temperature.  Remember that the oil will continue to heat until it catches fire 
• Generally, it is best to keep the temperature at 350°F.  If any smoke at all is noticed coming from a heating pot of oil, the oil is overheated and the burner should be turned off immediately.  According to the National Turkey Federation, cooking oils with high smoke points should be used when frying turkeys.  Peanut oil, which has the highest smoke point (425°F) is highly recommended
• Keep children and pets away from the fryer when in use. Even after use, bear in mind that the oil inside the cooking pot can remain dangerously hot for hours after use.
• To avoid oil spillover and splashing, do not overfill your fryer and be extremely careful when lowering your turkey into the pot
• Use well-insulated potholders or oven mitts when touching pot or lid handles and wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from oil splatter.
• Make sure the turkey is completely thawed and be careful with marinades. Oil and water don't mix, and water may cause the hot oil to spill over, igniting a fire or even creating an explosion hazard.
• Keep an all-purpose fire extinguisher nearby
• Never use water to extinguish an oil or grease fire and mmediately call 9-1-1 for help if a fire should occur


Thanksgiving is just a day away and extensive cooking can result in kitchen fires and other dangerous mishaps like burns and scalds. Serving a traditional turkey requires extra attention to safety.  The following tips are meant to lessen the chance of common holiday accidents or injuries occurring in your home. 
• Start your holiday cooking with a clean stove and oven.
• Turn pot handles toward the rear of the stove.
• Don't wear dangling jewelry or clothing with loose sleeves when cooking. Sleeves can catch on fire and jewelry can snag on pot handles causing spills in addition to severe scalds and burns.
• Nearly 50% of house fires across the nation start in the kitchen, so never leave your cooking unattended, even for a moment.
• Have a working fire extinguisher nearby and know how to use it.
• In the event of a fire or medical emergency, always call 9-1-1.
As Thanksgiving approaches, The Alachua County Department of Public Safety and Gainesville Fire Rescue encourages everyone to have a safe and happy holiday. For more information concerning fire safety or fire prevention, call 352-384-3101.  

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December Extention Programs

All of these programs will be held at the Alachua County Cooperative Extension Office (2800 NE 39th Avenue, Gainesville).

Livestock Program

2011 Basic Meat Goat Production- December 5, at 6 p.m.
Topics include: toxic plants, goat breeds, basic animal health and nutrition, fall forages.

The registration fee is $6.00 (includes meal). To register please call 352-955-2402 by December 2, 2011.

Environmental Horticulture Programs

Growing Shiitake Mushrooms- December 3, 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Learn the basics of shiitake mushroom growing for the home garden. Participants will learn how to prepare and inoculate oak logs for shiitake mushroom production.

There is no cost to attend this class. Pre-register by calling 352-337-6209.

Family & Consumer Sciences Program

Food Safety and Quality Program (ServSafe®)– December 15, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
This program is dedicated to providing 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, or call toll-free at 1-888-232-8723.

For more information about these program call 352-955-2402. Visit for additional programs offered by the Extension Office.

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What's On "Alachua County Talks"

Click here to view this edition of "Alachua County Talks." It features an in-depth interview with Anthony Clarizio, Executive Director of Elder Care of Alachua County, Inc. The subject is the recently opened Gainesville/Alachua County Senior Recreation Center located at 5701 NW 34th St. in Gainesville, FL (Northside Park).

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

For more information, call the Alachua County Communications Office at 352-374-5204.

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Democracy in Action

In preparation for the upcoming Presidential Preference Primary Election members of Cub Scout Pack 88 of Alachua visited the Supervisor of Elections Office. Although they have a few years before they're eligible to participate, they wanted to learn more about the voting process.

The scouts first toured the Elections Office and learned about the importance of one vote in past election history. They were then provided with mock election ballots and instructed on how to fill in the ovals so their votes would count. After depositing their ballots they each received their "I Voted" sticker. The results were tabulated and shared with the scouts. They chose the Great Blue Heron as the state bird, Gator Orange as the state color, Music and Science as their favorite school subjects, and Alachua as their favorite Alachua County city. The group, led by den leader Irena Melvin, also included some parents and siblings of the scouts. After the results were given, Supervisor of Elections Pam Carpenter provided each scout with fun election-related materials to take with them.

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Commission Highlights

The Board  heard announcements by Mark Sexton Communications Coordinator.  He unvield the dollar bill chart that explains “How Your FY12 Property Taxes are Divided

Revision to Employee Policy
The Board approved a revision to Employee Policy 5-18, Holidays effective January 1, 2012. This revision eliminated additional pay to salaried employees who are required to work on a recognized holiday and will provide comp time for working the holiday. Approve either payment for holiday worked by salaried employees, or comp time earned, retroactive to November 2009.
Holiday Pay Revision Nov 11.pdf

Pavement Management Program
The Board heard the “Analysis of General Fund Annual Allocation for Funding of the County’s Pavement Management Program” and moved ahead with the initiative which takes 25% of the property taxes generated by new growth and dedicates it to pavement management.

Attachment: GF 25 Percent New Construction Proposal Doc.pdf
GF 25 Percent New Construction Proposal.pdf

Historical Commission Report
The Board accepted the Historical Commission report and directed staff and to work to complete Historic Preservation Master Plan, including a Local Historic Registry, and pursue Certified Local Government status for Alachua County.  The Board directed staff to report back  on the cost of implementing  the Local Historic Registry
Report of Historical Commission FINAL.pptx
A Report of Historical Commission.pdf
Alachua County Code Chapter 39.7.pdf

Project Legacy
The Board approved the $500,000 for the City of Alachua’s “Project Legacy”.  $300,000 from the Visitors and Convention Bureau’s contingency Fund and $200,000 from the VCB’s operating surplus.   
Amount: $500,000.00
Attachment: fundingoptstdcnov1.pdf

Hal Brady Sports Complex Expansion
The Board approved the Interlocal Agreement and Budget Amendment with the City of Alachua for Project Legacy for construction of sports arenas at the Hal Brady Sports Complex Expansion and direct Chair to sign.
Reserve Spreadsheet.pdf
Alachua Legacy Project Interlocal Approved by City.pdf

Letters of Interest for Tourism Tax Funding
The Board differed action on the “Letters of Interest for Tourism Tax Funding”  item until after a January 2012 presentation on the scaled back plans for a new fairgrounf.  the letters of interest and direct staff on how to proceed.

Neighborhood Stabilization Program
The Board approved the Neighborhood Stabilization Program real estate contract for 3713 SE 14th Terrace, Gainesville, Florida, in the amount of $100,000 and approve the form of the deed.
NSP RE Sale 3713 SE 14th Terrace Final.pdf

The Board held the public hearing and adopted the ordinance relating to administrative expenditures to implement the CHOICES program.

Simulated Gambling Establishments
The Board held the public hearing and adopted the ordinance enacting a temporary moratorium on new simulated gambling establishments.
Moratorium _Ordinance_Internet_Cafe.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:

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.