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WEEKEND Washington County News Saturday, JUNE 22, 2013 For the latest breaking news, visit CHIPLEYPAPER.COM IN BRIEF Smyrna School reunion CHIPLEY — Former students and friends of the Smyrna Country Schools are getting together at Baileys Surf and Turf Restaurant in Chipley at 11 a.m. today, June 22, for fellowship. Lunch is at noon, and friends are welcome. For more information, call Thelma Garrett at 547-1409. w w w. c h i p l e y p a p e r. c o m Peer review of manager candidates would cost $5,000 By RANDAL SEYLER 638-0212 | @WCN_HCT CHIPLEY — The Washington County Board of Commissioners took no action on a plan that would have accepted help from the Florida Association of Counties in the search for a county administrator. Florida Association of Counties Executive Director Chris Holley presented a plan to the commissioners on Wednesday in which the FAC would provide a peer review system of applicants for the county administrator position. “The recruitment process is a struggle,â€? Holley said, “especially for smaller counties.â€? For $5,000, Holley offered to provide the network services of the FAC to promote the open position in Washington County and to provide a peer review committee of current county mangers who would go through the applica- tions and pick the top applicants for the county commissioners to interview. The county has been without an administrator since Steve Joyner resigned in April. Public Services Director David Corbin has been serving as a “point of contactâ€? in Joyner’s absence. The $5,000 would be divided evenly, with $2,500 going to the FAC and $2,500 going toward Holley’s expenses in pursuing applicants. The county would be responsible for advertising costs and for collecting the applications, which would be forwarded to the peer re- By RANDAL SEYLER 638-0212 | @WCN_HCT PHOTO BY RANDAL SEYLER Sen. Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, discusses the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act with NFCH administrators and staff on Tuesday in Chipley. "" ! Gaetz: Medicaid without physician support ‘cruel joke’ By RANDAL SEYLER 638-0212 | @WCN_HCT INSIDE CHIPLEY — Providing Medicaid benefits to people without improving the incentives for physicians to accept federal benefits INDEX Community............................A3 Faith .....................................A4 Classifieds .............................A5 is a “cruel joke,â€? Sen. Don Gaetz said on Tuesday. Gaetz, R-Niceville, met with Northwest Florida Community Hospital CEO and President Pat Schlenker and a handful of doctors and hospital staff when the Senator was in Northwest Florida for a “Neighborhood Day.â€? “For the federal government, Medicaid reform was all or nothing,â€? Gaetz said. “The governor went from saying ‘no, no, hell no,’ See MEDICAID A2 Gaetz: Committee should hear all sides on gambling issue By RANDAL SEYLER Phone: 850-638-0212 Web site: Fax: 850-638-4601 See SEARCH A2 Panel will select lawyer on Monday See BRIEF A2 Get your free copy now view committee, Holley said. The peer review program is new, and Walton County has been the first county to engage the FAC’s assistance in looking for a county manager. Holley said small counties are often the starting jobs for professional county managers, and the average job span industry-wide is about 2½ years. “You are looking for a professional with a very specific set of managerial skills and experience,â€? Holley said. Vernon City Council to choose attorney SEN. DON GAETZ VISITS COUNTY CHIPLEY — The 57th annual Panhandle Watermelon Festival kicks off Friday, June 28, at Pals Park with concerts by Andy Griggs at 6 p.m. and Joe Diffie at 7:30 p.m. Gates will open at 5 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. On June 29, the festival begins with a Pancake Breakfast at 7 a.m. hosted by the Shriners and the 35th annual Hot Trot 5K and 1 Mile Fun Run at 7:30 a.m. at WashingtonHolmes Technical Center. There is a fee for both the breakfast and the run. There will also be a car show all day at     50¢ Volume 90, Number 20 County turns down help with search Watermelon Festival begins Friday     Faith Events A4 638-0212 | @WCN_HCT “I was as surprised as anyone by the results of the Washington County referendum on slot machines,â€? Senate President Don Gaetz said on Tuesday. Gaetz was in Chipley for a “Neighborhood Day,â€? visiting with residents and local officials. A Republican from Niceville whose district includes Bay, Holmes, Jackson and Walton counties, as well as southern Okaloosa, Gaetz serves on the Senate Gaming Committee and said there should be an “earnest and complete analysis of gamingâ€? to determine what are pros and cons. The opposition also has been outnumbered when Florida voters go to the polls. Several counties around the state have approved slot machines, including Washington County in January. See GAMBLING A2 VERNON — The Vernon City Council heard proposals from two attorneys on Monday during their workshop meeting at City Hall. Panama City attorney Charles J. Stafford and Chipley attorney Michelle Blankenship Tagert both submitted proposals for service to the city council. Tagert offered to serve the city for a $500 monthly retainer, which would include attendance at two meetings and two hours of legal service per month. Services beyond the two hours would be billed at $150 per hour. Stafford offered to attend two meetings a month for a $500 monthly retainer, and would bill the city at $200 per hour for legal services. Travel expenses were negotiable, Stafford said. “We have a case pending, what kind of money are we looking at to get you up to speed?â€? Council member Tray Hawkins asked Tagert. She said her hourly billing rate would apply, but the city would receive two hours of legal service each month with the monthly retainer. Stafford said he would not charge the city for hours spent getting up to speed on the pending cases. Both Tagert and Stafford said they had experience in land dispute cases such as the one the city is currently involved in. See VERNON A3 Connect with us 24/7 Get breaking news, videos, expanded stories, photo galleries, opinions and more... @WCN_HCT

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