Commissioners to review recommendation for Okee-Tantie

OKEECHOBEE — The committee recommendation for Okee-Tantie Acquisition and Development is on the agenda for the Thursday, June 22, meeting of the Okeechobee County Board of County Commissioners.

On May 16, the county received two proposals for the Acquisition and Redevelopment of Okee-Tantie Campground and Marina from Outpost Club Lake Okeechobee LLC (Guy Harvey) and Bass Pro Shops.

On June 19, the Okee-Tantie RFP Review Committee met and discussed the proposals and determined their pros and cons for Okeechobee. The committee appointees are: John Campbell, Don Fox, Frank Irby, Eddie Lehman and Wes Williamson. They are assisted by the county administrator Robbie Chartier.

The committee made a list of pros and cons for each proposal. They ranked Bass Pro Shops as their top choice for the project.

After reviewing the recommendations, the county has several options. The board can: accept the recommendation and proceed with a development agreement; reject all of the proposals; or, interview any respondent regarding their proposal prior to entering into an agreement.

In other business, the use of social media by county employees is a topic on the agenda. The board will consider a Social Media Policy to be incorporated into the Employee Handbook. If approved, the policy change will have a 14-day grace period.

According to the staff report, the county understands that social media can be a fun and rewarding way to share one’s life and opinions with family, friends and co-workers around the world.

However, use of social media also presents certain risks and carries with it certain responsibilities. To assist employees in making responsible decisions about their use of social media, the county has established these guidelines for appropriate use of social media. This policy applies to all employees who work for the county commissioners.

Given the nature of social media and the pace of technological changes and advancement, this policy is subject to modification at any time by the county and the responsibility for interpretation and application of this policy rest primarily with the county administrator or the administrator’s designee.

The policy was reviewed by outside legal counsel Brian Koji and county attorney John Cassels. A few suggestions were added by Mr. Koji, the policy was then reviewed by Mr. Cassels. Both attorneys state that the policy is legally sufficient.

The policy calls for county employees who post on social media to:
• Be respectful;
• Be honest and accurate; and,
• Post only appropriate and respectful content.

In addition, the policy restricts posting on social media while on work time or on county equipment unless it is work-related and authorized by the employee’s manager.

Employees may not use county email addresses to register on social networks, blogs or other online tools for personal use.

The proposed policy states that any employee who retaliates against another employee for reporting a possible deviation from this policy or for cooperating in an investigation will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

The policy also prohibits employees from speaking to the media on behalf of the commissioners without contacting the county administrator.

At 1:30 p.m. the commissioners will convene an executive session regarding collective bargaining with the Local International Association of Firefighters Union.

Publisher/Editor Katrina Elsken can be reached at kelsken@newszap.com

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