Commission chair closes door on spat over travel

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Disagreement over attending national meeting while cutting budget

By Lou Elliott Jones, Editor

Levy County Commission Chair Nancy Bell had a closed door talk with fellow Commissioner Danny Stevens after the two sparred in a public meeting over her plans to attend a national conference while forcing budget cuts on county constitutional officers, departments and agencies.

The disagreement that started in a public budget workshop moved behind closed doors when Bell politely ushered County Coordinator Fred Moody out of his office and pointed her finger at Stevens indicating he was to come into the office with her. She closed the door as Commissioner Marsha Drew, with her back to the scene, chatted with a county employee and reporter. The fourth Commissioner Lilly Rooks was in a meeting with SHIP program director Dick Tummond down the hall.

Bell and Stevens met for several moments and when the door opened, Bell went into the restroom while Stevens went into another office.

Earlier, Stevens sparked a heated discussion when he asked how many commissioners would be attending the National Association of Counties meeting this week in Nashville, Tenn., where rooms at the conference hotel cost $450 per day.

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