The Escambia County Board of County Commissioners is seeking applications from county residents to serve on the Children's Services Council (CSC). Applications are available online at myescambia.com or in person at the Ernie Lee Magaha Government Building, located at 221 Palafox Place, fourth floor. The application consists of several parts: an Escambia County CSC application, a questionnaire for Gubernatorial Appointments and an optional resume. Both applications must be completed and submitted together to be considered for an appointment. The deadline to apply is Jan. 30, 2021 by 5 p.m. CST.
On Nov. 3, 2020, 61% of participating voters in Escambia County supported the creation of the Children Services Council to be funded by an increase in ad valorem taxes of up to a maximum of 0.5 mil. The Children's Trust of Escambia County will provide early childhood education, safety, developmental, preventative, health, and well-being services, including after school and summer enrichment programs.
Once members are appointed to the CSC, the newly formed government body is responsible for assessing the needs of the children in the county and developing a strategic plan for addressing unmet needs which must then be submitted to the Board. The CSC, like the county, must also go through the process of adopting a millage rate and budget in accordance with Florida’s Truth In Millage (TRIM) Act, and the CSC must submit an annual report to the Board as required by Florida law.
To be considered for the CSC, Florida Statute criteria include the requirement that nominees have been residents of Escambia County for the previous 24-month period and are willing to submit an annual Statement of Financial Interests Form. Florida Statutes also require that gubernatorial appointments are representative of the demographic diversity of the county’s population.
After the application deadline of Jan. 30 has passed, the eligible applications will be compiled for the Board’s consideration during the Feb. 18 meeting. In order to narrow down the pool of applicants to the 15 nominations that will be submitted to the Governor, each Commissioner will nominate two applicants and the full Board nominates five additional applicants.
Following the Board’s selection, the County Administrator will then send a letter to the Governor and the Governor’s Appointments Office with the list of 15 nominees to be considered for appointment to the CSC. All of the candidates will be notified of their nomination. In accordance with Florida Statutes, the Governor then has 45 days to make a selection or request a new list of candidates.
Per Florida Statutes, the length of the terms of the initial appointees must be adjusted to stagger the terms. To fulfill this requirement, the following term lengths are for each vacant seat on the CSC:
• Seat #1: Four-Year Term
• Seat #2: Two-Year Term
• Seat #3: Four-Year Term
• Seat #4: Two-Year Term
• Seat #5: Four-Year Term
Each of the five gubernatorial appointees will be randomly assigned a seat number and corresponding term length. It should be noted that there is no statutory limit to the number of terms an individual may serve on a CSC, so those assigned a two-year term will be eligible to apply for reappointment. As part of the Board’s annual Commissioner appointment agenda item, the Board will select a Commissioner to serve on the CSC.
Per Section 125.901, Florida Statutes, the Children's Services Council (CSC) shall consist of ten (10) members, including:
• The superintendent of schools;
• A school board member as appointed by the school board;
• The Department of Children and Families District Administrator, or his or her designee;
• A judge assigned to juvenile cases as appointed by the chief judge;
• A county commissioner as appointed by the Board of County Commissioners; and
• Five (5) members appointed by the Governor from candidates nominated by the board of county commissioners to serve a four-year term.
Resumes and both applications may also be submitted via email to email@example.com or by mail to:
Shamara Jernigan, Program Coordinator
Escambia County Board of County Commissioners
P.O. Box 1591
Pensacola, FL 32502
Visit EscambiaChildrensTrust.org for more information about the Children's Trust of Escambia County and how to donate to the cause.