August 16th edition of:

Community Update
A Report on the Activities of Alachua County Government

 

This Issues Features:

Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Added to Human Rights Ordinance
Crisis Line Counselors Needed
Alachua County Resumes Biodiesel Production
CHOICES Advisory Board Recognized for FluMist Program
Apply to the Historical Commission
Life-Sized Artwork Installed at SOS Memory Garden
Carson Springs Wildlife Conservation Foundation on Alachua County Talks
County Hosts Disaster Coalition Training
Help Prevent Mosquito-Borne Illnesses
August Family and Consumer Sciences Programs
Master Gardener Program
Commission Highlights

Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Added to Human Rights Ordinance

On Tuesday, August 13, 2013, the County Commission voted to amend its Human Rights Ordinance to provide protections based on sexual orientation and gender-identity or expression from harassment or discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations. The ordinance lowers the threshold of a covered employer from 15 to 5 employees, and requires public accommodations to allow individuals access to gender-specific restrooms or facilities that are consistent with the individual’s gender-identity as presented (based on physical appearance/ attire).
The amended ordinance becomes effective on January 1, 2014 and will be applicable to incidents of alleged discriminatory practices within the geographic boundaries of Alachua County. The ordinance would not apply to a municipality that has its own human rights ordinance or which enacts an ordinance to opt-out of some or all provisions of the Human Rights Ordinance, to the extent of the conflict between the two ordinances.

Click to read a Gainesville Sun story about the Ordinance.

Private employers are encouraged to participate in the 4th Annual Gainesville-Alachua County Employment Law Seminar on Wednesday, September 18.  Workshops include information on federal labor laws such as the Fair Labor Standards Act and Family Medical Leave Act; and diversity training on Creating an Inclusive and Respectful Workplace.

View the conference brochure.


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Crisis Line Counselors Needed

The Alachua County Crisis Center is seeking volunteers to become Crisis Line Counselors.  Interested volunteers receive sixty hours of in-depth training. The next Crisis Center training class begins Saturday, September 7, 2013, at the Crisis Center (218 SE 24th Street, Gainesville). There is no fee for the training.  Applicants do not need to possess any specific degrees or certification. 

After the initial all day session, training is on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. for six weeks.  Volunteer candidates learn active listening, crisis intervention, suicide prevention, community disaster response and more. A 24 hour shift commitment is requested after the successful completion of training.

According to Alachua County Crisis Center Training Coordinator, Gerald Macdaid, “This is an opportunity to impact the lives of fellow community members and to gain life-enhancing communication skills.” He continued, “The Center’s volunteers are diverse members of our community.” 

Visit the Crisis Center website to learn more.

For more information, contact Gerald Macdaid at 352-264-6782.

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Alachua County Resumes Biodiesel Production

The Alachua County Environmental Protection Department hosted a “Biodiesel Production Re-start” event on July 15, 2013 at the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Center (5125 NE 63rd Ave., Gainesville). The event celebrated the County’s reentry into biodiesel manufacturing.

Click to view a short video about the Biodiesel Re-start.

The County had suspended production because of the costly and time consuming paperwork and reporting previously required by the State. The reporting made it financially prohibitive for local governments, wanting to promote recycling of waste vegetable oil and reduce fossil fuel costs, to operate a small scale biodiesel manufacturing operation. The re-start was made possible because of the passage by the Florida Legislature of House Bill 633, which simplified the paperwork and reporting requirements for local governments. The Alachua County Legislative Delegation championed the bill in Tallahassee. In the House, the bill was sponsored by Rep. Keith Perry and co-sponsored by Rep. Clovis Watson. In the Senate, the bill was sponsored by Senator Rob Bradley.

The event included a demonstration of the biodiesel production process and a tour of the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Center.

“We are very appreciative of the good work of our State delegation,” said Alachua County Environmental Protection Director, Chris Bird. “The passage of this bill will encourage citizens to recycle this material, rather than putting it into landfills or down the drain where it can damage our sewage systems.”

For more information, contact the Household Hazardous Waste Coordinator, Kurt Seaburg at 352-334-0440 or kurt@alachuacounty.us.

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CHOICES Advisory Board Recognized for FluMist Program

On July 1, 2013, the Alachua County CHOICES Advisory Board received recognition and a plaque for their participation in the FluMist program. The recognition was presented by the Florida Department of Health in Alachua County Administrator, Paul Myers.

At a Statewide Florida Department of Health meeting in Tampa on June 25, 2013, State Surgeon General Dr. John Armstrong recognized the County’s flu control efforts as a model that the rest of the State should consider. Evaluation of Alachua County’s model for statewide implementation is currently underway.

In 2010, the CHOICES Advisory Board recommended, and the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners (BoCC) approved funding of the FluMist program. The program has continued for four consecutive years, and funding from the BoCC will ensure the program continues for the next 15 years.

According to Paul Myers, “During one of the most severe flu seasons in 10 years, Alachua County had few outbreaks and only sporadic cases.” He continued, “The Health Department attributes this minimization of influenza impact to the School Located Influenza Vaccination program where 61%-66% of elementary aged students were vaccinated. This program is proving what the models from the University of Florida predicted; vaccinating kids can protect an entire community. Additionally, it is more protective of the elderly to vaccinate 20% of kids than it is to vaccinate 90% of those over the age of 65.”

Visit the Control Flu Alachua County website.

For more information, contact Alachua County CHOICES Program Manager, Sandra Barton at 352-264-6718 or smb@alachuacounty.us.

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Apply to the Historical Commission

Alachua County is looking for citizens interested in joining the Alachua County Historical Commission. All interested County residents are encouraged to apply for consideration by the County Commission for the appointment.

There are presently numerous vacancies for at-large positions, usually requiring a three year commitment.  The general meetings are held at 6 p.m., on the second Wednesday of each month at the County Administration Building in downtown Gainesville.

The Alachua County Historical Commission is an advisory board to the County Commission that works to accomplish the mission “To promote, preserve and protect Alachua County’s historic resources.”
There are no formal requirements but knowledge of local history is important, and persons who are active in local historic preservation efforts and local historical organizations are encouraged to apply.

Students of history, architecture, planning, law and historic preservation are also eligible.  Professional practitioners in these fields are especially encouraged to consider service to the community.  Current projects of the Historical Commission include review of State Historical Markers and support of nominations to the National Register of Historic Places.

Alachua County Growth Management Department Senior Planner and Liaison to the Historical Commission, Kathleen W. Pagan states “Our local history in Alachua County is important to our heritage tourism and quality of life, and we appreciate all the persons who serve on the Historical Commission as well as the countless others who participate in local history organizations and festivals.”

View the online application form (scroll down to Historical Commission).

For more information about the application process, contact Alachua County Advisory Board Coordinator, Jeremy Clements at 352-264-6904 or jclements@alachuacounty.us.

For more information about the Alachua County Historical Commission, contact Kathleen Pagan at 352-374-5249 or kpagan@alachuacounty.us.


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Life-Sized Artwork Installed at SOS Memory Garden

The Alachua County Crisis Center is pleased to announce that life-sized basalt columns were installed at the Survivors of Suicide (SOS) Memory Garden in the City of Gainesville’s Cofrin Nature Park (4810 NW 8th Ave, Gainesville) on Saturday, July 27.

The red bluff basalt columns offer local artist Greg Johnson’s representation of the six individuals who are directly affected by each suicide. The basalt, mined and brought to Gainesville from Washington State, collectively weighs over eight thousand pounds with the tallest structure standing at approximately six feet.

Johnson polished, cut and chiseled portions of the stone to help create his vision, of which he says, “The design of the sculptural element for the Survivors of Suicide Memory Garden is based on the concept of six standing basalt columns grouped around a seventh fallen, chthonic column. The six standing columns will be divided to symbolically represent a family, a couple, and a lone survivor.” Johnson goes on to say of his artwork, “What results is an abstracted form that is specific but not personal; figurative in a stylized, nonliteral way.”

Alachua County Crisis Center Director Marshall Knudson said, “Dedicated to those who have lost a loved one to suicide, The SOS Memory Garden at Cofrin Nature Park is intended as a place of comfort, meditation and healing.” He continued, “Whether a person has lost a loved one to suicide, is experiencing another type of loss, or is looking for a peaceful spot outdoors, they can take in the beauty, comfort and reflection offered by the garden. In addition to the remembrance area where the columns will be installed, the garden provides private areas and a labyrinth for walking meditation.”

The SOS Memory Garden is scheduled to be completed this November. The Friends of the Crisis Center are responsible for building the garden, and are looking for individuals or groups wishing to donate their time and/or skill to the creation and/or maintenance of the garden.

Visit the Friends of the Crisis Center website.

For more information, contact Marshall Knudson at 352-264-3792 or mlk@alachuacounty.us or Project Coordinator, Judy Broward at gatorjudy2@gmail.com.  


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Carson Springs Wildlife Conservation Foundation on Alachua County Talks

A new edition of Alachua County Talks featuring an interview with Carson Springs Wildlife Conservation Foundation President Christine Janks is available. Carson Springs is home to more than 50 exotic and endangered species, including cheetahs, lions, tigers and giraffes among other animals. Janks will discuss the foundation’s efforts to preserve these species through animal rehabilitation and human education.
In speaking of the program Alachua County Talks host Mark Sexton said, “Carson Springs provides a remarkable opportunity for Alachua County residents to learn about exotic and endangered species up close.”

View Alachua County Talks: Carson Springs Wildlife Conservation Foundation

For more information visit the Carson Springs Wildlife Foundation or call 352-468-2827.

Click to subscribe to the County’s YouTube channel (and receive updates when new videos are published).

View the complete Channel 12 Schedule.

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

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County Hosts Disaster Coalition Training

Alachua County Emergency Management is seeking to expand its network of disaster resilience partners and is hosting a community based Disaster Coalition Training. Local governments, businesses, faith based organizations, service associations, and volunteer groups are invited to attend the training from August 27, to August 29, 2013, at the Alachua County Emergency Operations Center (1100 SE 27th Street, Gainesville). Training is from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is being conducted by the University of South Florida’s College of Public Health. The training is free, but the registration deadline is August 21.

The purpose of the training is to improve the community’s disaster resilience by building and strengthening partnerships across the County, and developing tools to integrate community oriented strategies into the County’s recovery plan.

Alachua County Emergency Management Director, David Donnelly stated, “Alachua County is looking to develop a collaborative network of partners that will improve our resiliency to disasters.”

Register online for the Disaster Coalition Training.

For more information, contact Alachua County Emergency Management at 352-264-6500.

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Help Prevent Mosquito-Borne Illnesses

The Florida Department of Health in Alachua County emphasizes the importance of protection against mosquito-borne diseases. “Due to the heavy rainfall and isolated flooding throughout Alachua County this summer, our surveillance system is showing an increase in mosquito populations and is detecting the presence of mosquito borne viruses.” said Anthony Dennis, Environmental Health Director, Alachua County Health Department. To prevent mosquitoes from living and multiplying around your home or business, individuals should remember to drain and cover.
DRAIN standing water:

COVER your skin with:

COVER doors and windows with screens:

Symptoms of West Nile virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis may include headache, fever, fatigue, dizziness, weakness and confusion.  Physicians should contact the local county health department if they suspect an individual may have a mosquito-borne illness.  State of Florida Department of Health laboratories provides testing services for physicians treating patients with clinical signs of mosquito-borne diseases. 

For information on mosquito-borne illnesses, visit the Environmental Health website, or call the Alachua County Health Department at 352-334-7900.

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August Family and Consumer Sciences Programs

The Alachua County Cooperative Extension Office is pleased to announce the following Family and Consumer Sciences Programs for August, 2013. These programs are being offered by Brenda C. Williams, Family and Consumer Sciences Agent, at the Alachua County Cooperative Extension Office (2800 NE 39 Avenue, Gainesville).

Food Safety and Quality Program (ServSafe®) – August 19, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

This program is dedicated to providing training which enables food managers and staff to offer Florida consumer’s food that is prepared in a clean and safe environment. For further information and to register, please visit Food Safety and Quality website, or call toll-free at 1-888-232-8723.

View program brochure.

Before You Tie the Knot – August 21 & 22, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Before You Tie the Knot is a premarital preparation course.

Topics include: Communication, Conflict Management and Resolution, Financial Responsibility and Spending Plans, and Children and Parenting Responsibilities.

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.

View program brochure.

Please pre-register at least 5 days in advance by calling 352-337-6209 (voicemail), subject to cancellation if less than 3 couples registered.

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

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Master Gardener Program

The Alachua County Master Gardener Program is accepting new volunteer members for the class of 2013. Applications will be accepted through August 23, 2013.

The class of 24 students will be selected by September 2, 2013, and will be notified of acceptance at that time.  The first Master Gardener class will begin on September 26, and will continue through December 3 (classes will meet mostly on Tuesdays and Thursdays; however, a few Wednesdays will also be included).  All classes are held from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., at the Alachua County Cooperative Extension Office. These classes include lectures and group activities, field trips, site visits, and weekly quizzes and final exam.

Master Gardeners are citizens helping citizens who:

The class registration fee is $120.00, which includes: a flash drive containing all the commonly used publications and resources for the Master Gardener program, textbooks, reference books, class handouts and hands-on material. Class instruction, demonstrations and hands-on activities are free to those who commit to the volunteer obligation.
To maintain a certification as a Master Gardener, individuals are expected to:

Visit the Master Gardener website or the Extension Office website.

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

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Commission Highlights

New County Attorney
The Board instructed staff to use the County’s Human Resources staff to conduct a search and administer the selection process for a new County Attorney.

Organics Recycling Technologies
The Board approved the Finance Report to rank and award RFP 13-482: A and E Services to Provide Professional Expertise in Organics Recycling Technologies and authorize staff to negotiate an agreement with the top ranked firm and then the next until an agreement is reached.
Attachment:
13482FR.pdf

Leveda Brown Environmental Park Transfer Station
The Board approved the Finance Report to rank and award RFP 13-481: A&E Services to Retrofit the Leveda Brown Environmental Park Transfer Station as a Mix-Waste Materials Recovery Facility (MWMRF) and authorize staff to negotiate an agreement with the top ranked firm and then the next until an agreement is reached.
Attachment:
13481FR.pdf

Rural Clusters
The Board directed staff to Draft language for the changes as far as the Rural Clusters are concerned and bring back to the commission at the appropriate time for an evening meeting/workshop.
Attachment:
Staff Presentation on Rural Clusters.pdf
Attachment:
ULDC Special Area Plan Process.pdf
Attachment:
Comp Plan Policies for Rural Clusters.pdf
Attachment:
Staff Summary of Rural Clusters.pdf

Medicaid and Medical Examiner
The Board authorized payment of the projected Medicaid and Medical Examiner $619,500 shortfall in the following manner: $419,500 from County Reserves and $200,000 from CSS General Fund. Attachment: Glen Volk Healthcare Analytics Gallagher Benefits Services Inc.pdf
Attachment:
Reserve adjustments for FY13 CHOICES FUND.pdf
Attachment:
Budget Amendment Form Mandated services final.pdf
Attachment:
medicaid spreadsheet.pdf
Attachment:
Medicaid Program Remittance.pdf

FY14 Budget Update
The Board accepted County Manager’s Report on the Tentative FY14 Budget Update and approved the Chair Letter to the Water Management District.

Maddie’s Pet Adoption Days
The Board approved the budget amendment and adopted the resolution for unanticipated revenues to receive Maddie’s Pet Adoption Days stipend dollars.
Attachment:
Budget Amendment.pdf
Attachment:
Maddies Donation Resolution.pdf

Bailey Survey Lot 2
The Board adopted the resolution to vacate the portion of the Bailey Survey Lot 2 as requested and authorize the Chair to execute the County Deed related to the said plat vacation.
Attachment:
BaileySurvey_Deed.pdf
Attachment:
BaileySurvey_powerpoint.pdf
Attachment:
BaileySurvey_Resolution.pdf

County’s Human Rights Ordinance
The Board conducted a public hearing and adopted Ordinance 13-10, which amends and restates Chapter 111, Alachua County Code (the County’s Human Rights Ordinance). The Board directed staff to revise the County’s personnel policies to extend protections on the basis of gender identity or expression from discrimination or harassment in the workplace. (Sexual orientation is currently a protected basis in the personnel policies). The Board directed staff to update the personnel policies to reflect changes in equal employment opportunity laws, such as the ADA and GINA. The Board directed staff to update the Equal Opportunity Handbook to reflect changes in equal opportunity laws and the amendments to the Human Rights Ordinance.
Attachment:
Human Rights Final Draft Ordinance Clean Copy 7 22 13.pdf
Attachment:
Comparison Chart II Local Human Rights Ordinances 7 23 13.pdf
Attachment:
Human Rights Revised Final Draft Ordinance 7 22 13.pdf
Attachment:
Summary of Proposed Revisions to HR Ordinance 7 23 13.pdf

Special Use Permit
The Board approved Resolution Z-13-11, approving ZOS-03-13, a special use permit to allow an excavation and fill operation.
Attachment:
ZOS0313_SR072313.pdf
Attachment:
ZOS0313.pptx
Attachment:
ZOS0313.pdf
Attachment:
Resolution_Z_13_11.pdf
Attachment:
SitePlan.pdf

Special Exception
The Board adopted resolution Z-13-12 approving the requested special exception for a child care facility and a special use permit for a private school (K-2).
Attachment:
Public Comment ZOX0213.pdf
Attachment:
ZOX0213 Staff Report.pdf
Attachment:
ZOX0213.ppt
Attachment:
Public Comment ZOX0213 2.pdf
Attachment:
Background Material ZOX0213.pdf
Attachment:
Resolution ZOX0213.pdf
Attachment:
ZOX0213 Powerpoint Presentation.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.