The regular attendees said there would be no fireworks this time. Yet it was a very interesting meeting, especially once the County Attorney asked for scheduling a date to select the consulting engineer about the phosphate mine. The Commissioners and staff discussed August 8 in the morning or August 17 in the evening. Public comment preferred the latter. The County Attorney strongly advised they go ahead and decide when so there will be plenty of time to advertise it. The decision: Thursday evening, August 17, 2017.
Below are links to each WWALS video, followed by a video playlist. See also the agenda.
- Order, Invocation, Pledge
Sheriff Report instead of Public Hearing, because appeal withdrawn
Video. An award to Mr. Sammy Eunice for his 45 years of faithful and distinguished service to the Florida Sheriffs’ Association.
Jim Tatum, Our Santa Fe River (1 of 2)
Video. He talked about the Marion BOCC just a few days before denying rezoning for the huge Ocala Ranch development near the Withlacoochee (South) River. Among the reasons Marion Commissioners gave were that the development would have used too much water with too much effect on local springs and rivers.
Jim Tatum, OSFR (2 of 2)
Video. He said the Marion County Commissioners heeded the local citizens and not corporate interests, and that’s how it is supposed to work. People do not want this mine, all the way down the Santa Fe and Suwannee Rivers to the Gulf. See also Jim Tatum’s own blog report for Our Santa Fe River.
Jane Blais, Citizens Against the Phosphate Mine (CAPM)
Video. She talked about a lawsuit filed elsewhere by people living on top of a former phosphate mine site: “for decades, the land around is messed up”. Among the problems is gamma radiation from radon.
John S. Quarterman, Suwannee Riverkeeper
Video. I mentioned flying over the phosphate mine in Hamilton County, and how that mine says they had nothing to do with White Springs drying up. I expressed my scepticism about any sort of regulation, due to the leak at the Sabal Trail Dunnellon Compressor Station, and none of the permitting agencies seemed to know anything about it. A slightly expanded transcript will go to the Bradford BOCC as a letter.
Whitey Markle, Suwannee-St Johns Group, Sierra Club Florida
Video. He’s the Chair of the SSJGSCF, which covers 15 counties in North Florida. He suspects any restrictions on the mine would be enforced by FDEP, the same as is responsible for Pilgrim’s Pride, which is currently being sued for dumping effluents into the Suwannee River.
Paul Still: BOCC should appoint a Planning and Zoning Board
Video. He noted with the recent controversies they would probably have plenty of applications to be on such a board, which would provide new eyes and avoid conflicts. I thoroughly agree with his reccommendation. Afterwards, somebody told me the BOCC only recently (within a year) appointed itself to be its own Planning and Zoning Board. Maybe it seemed like a good idea at the time, but now….
- Paul Still: BOCC should appoint a Planning and Zoning Board
- Payment of Bills passes unanimously
- Attorney Report: proclamation of state of emergency for flooding
Conflicting events + schedule selection phosphate mine consultant
Video. Oh, by the way, about that phosphate mine….
This is the RFQ for engineering services that the Chairman said produced only one applicant. I don’t know whether they would still accept applications after the deadline.
Carol Mosley of Graham, FL
Video. She retracted her previous identification of who was doing testing for the phosphate mining and said a different group was doing it, and she had to figure that out because the county did not provide that i. She noted HPSSII is now suing North Central Florida Regional Planning Council. They also submitted an incomplete application to the BOCC. She recommended the BOCC feel no compulsion to approve the project. She asked for the minutes of a May meeting in which the Commissioners apparently admitted they knew about the permit before the meeting to be amended to include that.
Kate Ellison, timing
Video. She wanted to know if the BOCC was going to decide whether to hire the expert. Answer: yes, August 7th in the morning. She asked for the decision meeting to be held when the public could attend.
Schedule now for minimum time of notice
Video. The County Attorney again recommended providing adequate time for public notice for the decision meeting on hiring the engineering consultant for the phosphate mine application.
Chairman Danny Riddick suggested moving the decision to the August 17th evening public meeting, and noted there was only one applicant for the engineering consultant decision.
Commissioner Chris Dougherty wanted to know whether they were giving the public the decision on hiring. The County Attorney assured him that was not the case; the BOCC would make that decision.
Chairman Riddick again recommended moving the decision to the agenda for August 17th. Commissioner Dougherty didn’t seem to agree, but he and all the Commissioners eventually nodded for August 17th.
- No reports from courts or County Manager
Delegation to DC about Internet access –Commissioner Commments
Video. Commissioner Dougherty has volunteered to attend a conference in DC. He said he has a conference set up with Rep. Ted Yoho’s office about 1) federal funding for telecommunication and Internet and 2) career source(?) about apprenticeship programs. The other Commissioners seemed glad he had volunteered.
Thanks to the Bradford County Sheriff Department and the Chairman for welcoming me taking these videos. Here is the WWALS video playlist:
You may wonder why they were meeting in such a large room. Immediately before the Board of Adjustment met, and on its agenda was setting the process for determining rezoning or not for a large RV park. The room was full for that.
-jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®
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