September 26th edition of:

Community Update
A Report on the Activities of Alachua County Government


This Issues Features:

Moving Alachua County Forward Video and Oversight Committee
Empowerment Center Oversight Advisory Board
Victim Services and Rape Crisis Center Seeks Volunteers
Upcoming CERT Classes
Preventing Mosquito-Borne Diseases
October Extension Programs
Important General Election Information
Commission Highlights

Moving Alachua County Forward Video and Oversight Committee

Alachua County announces the release of a new Moving Alachua County Forward informational video and the selection of the Moving Alachua County Forward Citizen Oversight Committee members. The Moving Alachua County Forward sales tax is a ballot initiative to improve the transportation system in Alachua County. The County and the nine municipalities have signed inter-local agreements that include project lists which, if the initiative passes, will be funded through a 1%, 8 year transportation sales tax. County voters will decide on the referendum on November 4, 2014.

The informational video gives voters an in-depth look at the ballot initiative. The video features Alachua County Commission Chair Lee Pinkoson, County Commissioner Charles Chestnut, City of Gainesville Mayor Ed Braddy, City Commissioner Lauren Poe, Hawthorne Mayor and Alachua County League of Cities Chair Matt Surrency, and Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce Vice President for Public Policy Kamal Latham.

View Moving Alachua County Forward Video.

If the ballot initiative passes, the Citizen Oversight Committee duties will include:

Assuring citizens and elected officials that funds approved through the referendum are expended only for projects as approved in the Moving Alachua County Forward Ballot Language and the County and Municipal Transportation System Project Lists

Track overall expenditure of Moving Alachua County Forward one percent sales surtax revenues

The members and their appointing entities are:

City of Gainesville
Jason L. Haeseler – 4 year term
Kinnon Thomas – 2 year term
Gia M. Arvin – 4 year alternate

Alachua County
Chandler Otis – 4 year term
Ronald Thornton – 2 year term
Wallace Mazon – 4 year alternate

Alachua County League of Cities
Debbie Boyd – 4 year term
Mike Giampietro – 2 year term
Jeri Langman – 4 year alternate

Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce
John F. Roscow, IV – 4 year term
4 year Alternate TBD

For more information, contact Mark Sexton at 352-283-2317 or

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Empowerment Center Oversight Advisory Board

The Alachua County and Gainesville City Commissions are pleased to receive applications for consideration to the Empowerment Center Oversight Advisory Board. Applications are being solicited for one member of the Advisory Board who must be a resident of Alachua County, and will be appointed by the four Commissioners. Applications must be received by Tuesday, October 7, 2014.
The Gainesville City Commission and Alachua County Board of County Commissioners have partnered to create this advisory board that will provide oversight for the Empowerment Center. The board will develop a long-term vision for the success of the Empowerment Center and the broad range of homeless and social/community services that are or may be provided at the center. The board will review the performance of the providers (including the existing provider) that utilize the Empowerment Center. However, the Oversight Advisory Board will not direct the day-to-day operations of the providers or the Empowerment Center.

The board will be advisory to the Gainesville City Commission and the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners. The Oversight Advisory Board consists of five members:

Interested persons are encouraged to apply online at either the City of Gainesville’s Advisory Board website or Alachua County’s Advisory Board website.

For paper applications or additional information contact:

Mail completed applications to, PO Box 5547, Gainesville, FL 32627, or fax 352-338-7363.

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Victim Services and Rape Crisis Center Seeks Volunteers

The Alachua County Victim Services & Rape Crisis Center is seeking caring and compassionate citizens looking to make a difference in the lives of individuals hurt by crime.

Volunteers serve as hotline counselors; answering the agency’s phone lines while the office is closed (nights and weekends). In preparation for their role as hotline counselor, participants will receive 40 hours of training. This begins with an online course provided by the Florida Council Against Sexual Violence and continues with one-on-one sessions and interactive role plays facilitated by the agency’s staff.

When describing the unique work of a hotline counselor, Sexual Assault Program Manager, Laura Kalt, said “Establishing connection with a caring and non-judgmental supporter can be the biggest catalyst for healing for many trauma survivors. Hotline counselors have the opportunity to become a part of this healing process.”

Applications are available on the agency’s website.

For more information, contact Laura Kalt at 352-264-6765.

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Upcoming CERT Classes

Alachua County Emergency Management is enrolling citizens for its Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program. The seven classes are on Tuesday evenings (from October 7, through November 18, 2014), and each session runs from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Classes are held at the Alachua County Emergency Operations Center (1100 SE 27th Street, Gainesville). The registration deadline is October 3, 2014.

Alachua County Emergency Management Coordinator, Ebbin Spellman said, “We are in the middle of hurricane season but we can be impacted by other incidents such as wildfires, extreme weather, manmade and technological hazards to name a few.” He continued, “The Alachua County Division of Emergency Management recognizes that preparedness is vital. So there’s no better way to get prepared for disasters than to attend the CERT Course.”

Class topics include:

Click to register.

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

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Preventing Mosquito-Borne Diseases

“The Alachua County Health Department would like to remind citizens and visitors the importance of preventing infection from mosquito-borne diseases as our surveillance system is detecting the presence mosquito borne viruses,” said Anthony Dennis, Environmental Health Director, Florida Department of Health in Alachua County.
To prevent mosquito-borne diseases, the Florida Department of Health recommends practicing Drain and Cover:
DRAIN standing water to stop mosquitoes from multiplying.

COVER your skin with clothing and use mosquito repellent.

COVER doors and windows with screens to keep mosquitoes out.
Keep mosquitoes out of houses. Repair broken screens on windows, doors, porches, and patios.
Rid the wrigglers: Lose the larvae
Mosquitoes lay their eggs where there is moisture. It takes only a few days for an egg to grow into an adult mosquito, which can live for several weeks. During that time, an adult female mosquito can lay many eggs. In order to produce eggs, the adult female seeks a host (such as a bird, a horse, or a human) to provide a blood meal. Some species of adult mosquitoes can fly two miles from their breeding sites (even further if blown by the wind). Elimination of mosquito breeding sites is one of the keys to prevention.

For more information, see the CDC’s guidelines: or the EPA guidelines.
Report mosquito problem to the local municipality’s mosquito control, or the Alachua County Health Department at 352-334-7930.
For more information, contact Anthony Dennis at 352-334-7930.

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October Extension Programs

Environmental Horticulture Programs
These programs are being offered by Wendy Wilber, Environmental Horticulture Agent, at the UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County Office (2800 NE 39 Avenue, Gainesville).
Converting to Florida-Friendly Landscape™ – October 1, from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Learn to make changes in landscapes that will save water and protect ground water.  Plant selection, micro-irrigation and rain barrels will be covered.
Butterfly Gardening and Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ – October 8, from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Florida is home to over 170 species of butterflies. Learn which plants will attract them to environmentally friendly gardens.
Growing Fruit in Alachua County – October 15, from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Learn to grow persimmons, peaches, pomegranates, figs, grapes and many more fruits in North Central Florida. This class will cover techniques for success.
Cool Season Vegetable Gardening – October 22, from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
This class will go over which plants to grow in fall and winter and how to grow them. Learn how to grow cabbage, kale, broccoli and different greens.
There is no cost to attend these classes, space is limited; pre-register at least 3 days prior to class by calling 352-337-6209 (voice mail).
Family and Consumer Sciences Program
This series is being offered by Brenda C. Williams, Family and Consumer Sciences Agent, at the UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County Office (2800 NE 39 Avenue, Gainesville).
First Time Home Buyers Education Program – This 3-part series offers resources that can help with buying, maintaining and keeping a home. Upon completion of this program, participants will receive a certificate of attendance. The classes are on three consecutive Mondays from 6 to 8 p.m. and will cover the following:
Session 1 – Monday, October 6
Information on getting your budget and credit worthiness in line, determining how much house can be afforded and understanding the responsibilities and costs of being a responsible homeowner.
  Session 2 – Monday, October 13
Understanding the sales contract, home inspections, and mortgage process, selecting homeowners’ insurance, warranties and the closing process.
  Session 3 – Monday, October 20
Question and answer time and an opportunity to get valuable tips from those involved in the process of buying a home.
The cost for the entire series is $10.00 per individual or couple.
Please pre-register by September 29, by calling 352-337-6209 (voice mail), subject to cancellation if less than 6 people registered.
Agriculture & Natural Resources Programs
These programs are being offered by Barton Wilder, Agriculture & Natural Resources Agent, at the UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County Office (2800 NE 39 Avenue, Gainesville) unless otherwise indicated.
Florida’s Certified Pile Burner Program – October 9, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at the Waccasassa Forestry Center (5353 NE 39th Avenue, Gainesville)
The registration fee is $50.00 (includes lunch).  Registration is required to attend and class size is limited.  For more information and to register, please call 352-955-2402.
Forest Stewardship/North Central FL CISMA Workshop: Invasive Exotic Species & Management – October 23, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the UF Austin Cary Forest Learning Center (10625 NE Waldo Road, Gainesville)
Many exotic plants are invasive weeds that form expanding population on the landscape, making land management a challenge. Some exotic animals have also become a program for land managers. This program will describe some of the more common and troublesome invasive exotic plants and animals in North-Central Florida.
Full day registration fee is $15.00 (includes lunch).  Please register online.
Florida Master Naturalist Program Freshwater Wetlands Module – October 22 through November 19, 2014
The Module is 40 hours and includes classroom presentations, discussions, videos, field trips, and practical experience in interpretation.  Students receive detailed course manuals and, upon completion, certificate of achievement, patch and pin, and registration in the online student database.
Students who complete all three Modules are designated Florida Master Naturalists and receive a plaque and special recognition in an online database.
This program consists of 11 classes that will begin on Wednesday, October 22, 2014 and continue through November 19, 2014.  Participants must attend at least 10 classes in order to receive the certificate of completion.  All classes (except for the field trips) will be held at the UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County Office (2800 NE 39 Avenue, Gainesville), from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., under the instruction of Barton Wilder, Agriculture & Natural Resources Agent.
The cost is $225.00 and registration deadline is October 20, 2014.  Class size is limited to 20 participants.
Click for more information regarding class schedules and registration. For additional questions, please contact Barton Wilder, Agriculture and Natural Resources Agent, UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County Office, at 352-955-2402.
Rural Energy Workshop – October 23, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Learn about sustainable energy sources for farms and homes.
Cost to attend this class is $5.00.
Please pre-register at least 3 days prior to class by calling 352-337-6209 (voicemail). 
Commercial Horticulture Programs
These programs are being offered by Aparna Gazula, Commercial Horticulture Agent at the UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County Office (2800 NE 39 Avenue, Gainesville) unless otherwise indicated.
Becoming a Beekeeper – Beginner Short Course – October 11, from 10 a.m. to noon (final course of four part series with Barton Wilder, Agriculture & Natural Resources Agent)
This workshop will feature information on preparing beehives for the winter season. This will be hands-on short courses where participants will be working with an active hive. Protective clothing is required to attend the classes. Class is limited to first 50 registrants.
Container Nursery Irrigation Workshop – October 23, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
This workshop will present information on how much water should be applied to container plants, impact of irrigation pH, EC and biological components on plant growth, and cost share funding available through different agencies. CEU’s will be awarded.
Program will be held at the Marion County Extension Office (2232 NE Jacksonville Road, Ocala).
Pre-register by calling 352-671-8400.
Green Industries Best Management Practices – October 29, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. (with Barton Wilder, Agriculture & Natural Resources Agent)
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.
Grants & Cost-Share Funding Available for Growers – October 30, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. (with Cindy Sanders, Director/Livestock Agent)
This program offers information about different grants and cost-share funding available through federal and state agencies.
There is no cost to attend these classes (unless otherwise indicated), space is limited; pre-register at least 3 days prior to class by calling 352-337-6209 (voice mail) unless otherwise indicated.
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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Important General Election Information

Voter Registration Deadline
Monday, October 6, 2014
Deadline to Request Mail Ballot
October 29th by 5 PM
Early Voting
Wed., Oct. 22nd thru Sat., Nov. 1st
Everyday except Friday – 9 AM – 6 PM
Fridays Only – 10 AM – 7 PM
Early Voting Locations
Supervisor of Elections Office - County Administration Building
Millhopper Branch Library
Tower Road Branch Library
General Election
Tuesday, November 4, 2014
  Polls open from 7 AM to 7 PM
Monday, October 6, 2014 is the last day to register to vote for the November 4, 2014 General Election.  Voters are encouraged to verify and update their registration status online at and clicking on the link, “My Registration Status.”   The Supervisor of Elections Office is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM until 5:00 PM to accept voter registration applications.  The office is located at 111 S.E. 1st Avenue and has an after-hours mail drop located at the main entrance.  Voter registration applications received through the mail drop will be accepted up until midnight on October 6th for the General Election.
Registration forms are available online at You may use this form to register to vote, update your voter information, or to update your signature by downloading the application, and returning the completed signed form to our office. To vote in the General Election, mail-in applications must be postmarked no later than the October 6th deadline.
You may also register to vote in person at the Supervisor of Elections Office, by mail, or at any of our outreach events.  For a list of other facilities in the county where voter registration application forms may be obtained or to view our outreach calendar, please visit our website or call the Supervisor of Elections Office at (352) 374-5252.
Sample Ballots Online
Voters may view the sample ballot for the November 4th General Election online at by clicking on “Elections & Records” from the menu on the left side of the page then “Sample Ballots”, or they may view their individual ballot by clicking on “My Registration Status” in the upper right hand corner.
Upcoming Outreach Events and Activities
  Alachua County Supervisor of Elections will be conducting voter registration activities at community events listed below.
Voters will have the opportunity to register to vote or update their voter information by stopping by the Supervisor’s booth.
September 27
13th Annual Downtown Latino Festival (Elections’ staff there 12 Noon - 7 pm)
Downtown Community Plaza, Gainesville
September 27
2014 Keeper of the Dream College & Scholarship Fair (Elections’ staff there 11 am - 1 pm)
Martin Luther King, Jr. Multi-Purpose Center, 1028 NE 14th Street, Gainesville
If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact the Supervisor of Elections Office at (352) 374-5252.

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Commission Highlights

Fire Prevention Week
The Board proclaimed the week of October 5th-11th, 2014 “Fire Prevention Week” in Alachua County, Florida
Fire Prevention Week 2014.pdf

Mental Illness Awareness Week
The Board proclaimed the week of October 5th-11th, 2014 “Mental Illness Awareness Week” in Alachua County, Florida
Mental Illness Awareness Week 2014.pdf

Employee Policies
The Board approved revisions to the following Employee Policies 6-11 Tobacco Free Workplace 7-2 Vacation Leave 7-3 Sick Leave and Deletion of Policy 7-11 Volunteer Leave
Pol 6 11revise tobacco use july 2014.pdf
Pol 7 2 Vacation Leave revision remove add pay.pdf
Memo to Mgr Revisions to County Employee Policies.pdf
Pol 7 3 Sick Leave revision remove add pay.pdf

Plum Creek
The Board scheduled a Special Meeting with the County Commission to discuss the Envision Alachua (Plum Creek) application on October 21, 2014. Location and time TBA.

Tree Planting Program
The Board heard a report on the Tree Planting Program history, update and next steps; including a link to an interactive sidewalks map.  They ask for more information at a future meeting
TPP 2.pdf

VOCA Contract Agreement
The Board accepted the duty to indemnify and the Board approved the VOCA Agreement and authorized the Chair to Sign the 2014-2015 VOCA Contract Agreement and approve an inter fund loan for $50,000.
Amount: $152,065.00
VOCA 2014-15 Final.pdf

Metamorphosis Transitional Housing
The Board approved and signed the lease agreements for Metamorphosis transitional housing.
Amount: $19,200.00

Attachment: McClain Residential Lease 4415 SW 20th Final.pdf
Roman Residential Lease 4345 SW 20th Final.pdf

Final FY15 Millage Rates and Budgets
The Board conducted the public hearing and adopted the final FY15 millage rates and final budgets for the General County, MSTU - Unincorporated Services, MSTU - Law Enforcement Funds, MSTU - Fire Protection Services and Alachua County Debt Service Funds.
10 FY15 Final Millages and Budget Binder.pdf

Rooftop Photovoltaic Solar Systems
The Board approved the ordinance allowing for rooftop photovoltaic solar systems in the Unified Land Development Code.

Transit Oriented Developments and Traditional Neighborhood Development
The Board approved with conditions the Preliminary Development Plan for Springhill’s Transit Oriented Developments and Traditional Neighborhood Development, project number 2012071101_P: CONDITIONS: 1. Prior to approval of a Final Development Plan, the applicant shall enter into a Developer’s Agreement with the Board of County Commissioners that addresses the requirements of Comprehensive Plan Policy 2.2.1 (e)(2)c. 2. If blocks are combined and it causes redistribution of trips then applicant shall have to redesign the segment of the roadways that changed, submit a revised traffic study and analyze all roadways and intersections affected. 3. The North CMA, at least, is to be permanently protected according to the standards set forth in ULDC Sec. 406.103 with the first final development plan approved for the project. Permanent protection of remaining CMAs, at the applicant’s discretion, may be provided with final development plans for each subsequent relevant phase or may be provided with the first final development plan.
Staff Report.pdf
Sprinhills TOD_ppt.pdf

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Community Update is produced by the County Manager's Communications Office.