Conference now recorded. Mayor Helen Miller welcomed everyone to organizational meeting of the Town Council. She Proceed with Invocation and Councilman Tom Moore led the pledge. Four members from the previous council were on hand (Mayor Miller, Councilors Brown, Rivers and Moore). Town Clerk Beverly Brazil gave the oath of Office to the new council members elect Anita Rivers, Nicole Williams and Helen Miller. Each raised their right hand and stated the oath after the Town Clerk Read It. I ……do solemnly swear that I will protect and defend the constitution and the government of the United States and the State of FL that I am duly qualified to hold the office under the constitution of the state and that I will faithfully perform the duties that I am about to enter.
“Welcome Ms. Williams to the Council of the Town of White Springs” stated Mayor Miller and the organizational portion of the meeting started. Councilman Tom Moore nominated Helen Miller as Mayor. Anita Rivers seconded the motion and it was carried by a 5-0 vote after no other nominations were made.. Mayor Miller than thanked the council very much for the confidence they have placed in her to chair meetings and to represent the Town.
Councilwoman Tonja Brown then nominated Councilman Tom Moore for the Vice Mayor Position. Nicole Williams provided the second. Tom Moore then requested a discussion and stated that for personal reasons he cannot accept the position an nominated Councilwoman Anita Rivers.as Vice Mayor. Councilwoman Brown then seconded the motion and it passed 5-01. Councilwoman Brown congratulated everyone as did Mayor Miller.
Today was the last day for posting the manager’s position and Mr. Jones was asked about the applications we had received. Town Clerk Beverly Brazil stated that we received four applications two of which were applications from Evett and Joe Griffin and two resumes from Emrich and Mr. Jones. Since the cutoff was 5:00 pm this evening, Mr. Jones stated he would send the paperwork to the council tomorrow morning. Mayor Miller asked whether we should continue posting the job or whether we should look at the resumes we have. It was decided that we would look at the applications we have first per Vice Mayor Rivers since they were the first four within the time frame to have an evaluation.
The Town Clerk position had the same deadline as the Town Manager position however, the Town received no applications or applicants. It will have to be posted again to get some more exposure.
Governor Ron Desantis issued Executive Order 20-2102 effective Monday May 4th is a step by step plan. In section 2 there are responsible individual activities with safety guidelines, personal protectin equipment, avoiding large groups greater than 10, not in any public place which does not allow sufficient spacing, no travel or cruses, no Bars, restaurants may open with 25% of capacity, gyms vacation rentals restricted. Other business in stores, retail of 25% capacity, Museums at 25% capacity if permitted by local governments, Libraries as functions for children remain closed. Medical Elective Procedures may go forward. museum 25% if permitted by local government. Libraries functions for children remain closed. Ellective procedures go forward. 20-69 Public Meetings by teleconference has been extended. 252.5 Stay at home order 60 days in jail or a $500 fine or both;
Mayor Miller stated the Town Hall Lobby needs to be open for business and can only accommodate one person at a time to come in with the small space. We need to include a sign on the door “No shoes; No Shirt; No Mask; No Service. 20-112 Hamilton County Health Department urges the use of face coverings to mirror the Governor’s Execute Order so the mask or homemade covering is urged.
Town hall needs to set a standard and make masks available to those who do not have any. If they do not have, make some give them some. Tommie ordered some masks at a good price, but could not readily find his order. A new vendor is donating a large number of masks. We should have a good inventory of masks for the fire, police, visitors, contractors, etc who come into Town Hall.
Mayor Miller stated that the State of Emergency has been extended and shows the enforcement part so we do not have to extend the curfew. We can go step by step in looking at how to keep our community recovering and focusing on businesses in White Springs, possibly getting some assistance from the Hamilton County Development Authority with Plexiglass, face coverings and sanitizer. Anything we can do to help our businesses stay in business and yet keep the safety of the people so as to not contract the virus we must do. She mentioned that 40 people were tested at the Health Clinic for COVID-19 and another date is being considered for more testing.
Masks have been ordered by Mr. Jones as well as his having ordered local face coverings. He has ordered 500 3-ply masks and has contacted a local lady who is making 100 masks which are washable and tie up, so we will have 600 masks. Mr. Jones has given some masks to our local businesses; Roosters; The Hardware Store; Whistling Dixie; Munchies; American Canoe. For those who did not have masks, Mr. Jones told others who called to stop by and pick up the masks. All together we should have 700 masks available and he gives two to each citizen coming by. The businesses were happy. Several have had nothing protective nor do they have plexiglass.Give two. Businesses were happy.
As to the Boat Ramp which is now open Ray Vaugh and Tommie Jones went down to the ramp the following morning to place the signs on as well as the Tape restricting the parking lot and park portion. The signs say the Boat Ramp is Open, Park is Not. No Parking by DEP signs.. Roosters told him to thank the Council. The park area had already been taped off. Ray Vaughn and Tommie Jones were thanked. A lot of people appreciated it.and Tommie went down sign roam open no parking people were coming in and out but not parking Roosters said thank ou you. Thanks to the Council Have something to do spent of restricition of not parking in the park. The park area had already been taped off. Thanked Ray and Tommie. A lot of people appreciated it. Tom Brazil said that Office Depot has plexiglass for sale. Mayor Miller stated that we would have to take a look and see how they may work for our businesses. If the businesses require custom cuts, Don Willson at the Hardware Store could do it.
Tommie Jones stated that he reached out to a local partner for a $10,000 donation as the down payment on the Fire Engine. The partner said no problem and when the funds came through electronically, they were doubled. Instead of $10,000 going through to the General Fund, they sent over $20,000. All the paperwork has been prepared and it will lease the truck to the Finance Company. It will be two weeks before the truck is here (Mid May) and our Firefighters will be able to bring the Fire Engine in. Tom Moore suggested it would be a great time to hae a celebration and welcome the personnel when they come over the bridge. At that time we could thank and honor our Corporate donor as well as Fire Chief Kevin Pittman’s birthday. Prepared paperwork is done two yars of financials actual profit and loss more requests, they will lease the truck to the finance company. 2 weeks before truck is here Mid May. Celebration with a welcome when they come over the bridge. Good idea we need a celebration. At that time we could take a photo shoot and provide details about the truck, thank the Corporate Donor and information placed about our fire department. Mr. Jones is working with Tim Trott on the new Website.
Councilman and Tennis Pro Tom Moore asked whether the gates to the tennis court could be unlocked. The Playground could have tape across it so the tennis court could be used and the gate opened. Mayor Miller made a Motion and Tonja Brown seconded the motion to have the tennis court open with tape showing the childrens play area in the park was closed The motion passed 5-0-
Mr. Jones purchased a Pitney Bowes Inserter for stuffing envelopes of 3000 an hour because it is cumbersome and slow to fold paper and stuff envelopes.
Ben Fry has been diligently working making US Highway 41 look good for the Dept of Transportation and it’s great to have the mains street look good. It was stated that Mr. Fry wore his face mask the entire time.
Batting cages may possibly fit under the Governor’s Executive Order allowing them to practice responsibly with distances of at least 30-60”. It was stated by the Council that we wish for the people to use the Town assets but to use them in a responsible and safe way when outdoors. Councilwoman Brown made the motion for the batting cages to be available for use and Tom Moore seconded the motion It passed 5-0. .
Tommie Jones told Nikki Williams she would have her Town e-mail tomorrow. The meeting adjourned at 7:50 PM.