Springs County opens Welcome Center

All photos by Troy Fisher


Springs County held a ribbon-cutting for its new Welcome Center in High Springs on Sunday afternoon, with a crowd of about 150 people at the event. Congresswoman-elect Kat Cammack was there to add her support to the effort to create Florida’s 68th county from part of western Alachua County. Cammack said, “Springs County represents what we all believe: less government, less taxes, more freedom, more liberty; the right for us, as individuals, to make decisions for ourselves and our families… Springs County is a new idea that will empower people like us to make decisions and really prosper in a way that we haven’t seen in this area in a long time.”

State house representative Chuck Clemons said that although High Springs isn’t in his district, he supports the Springs County effort. He pointed out that the most recent county to be created was Gilchrist County, 95 years ago. He talked about the difference in road quality at the county line between Gilchrist County and Alachua County: “What happens to all the gas tax to pay for roads? Why can our neighbor next door, Gilchrist County, have some of the best roads in north central Florida, and we have some of the worst roads in the state of Florida?… Well, maybe it’s time, after 95 years, to start a new county… I’m for it… Next August, I’ll file a bill in the Florida Legislature that will help to create a brand new county… Bring more people to this movement… You’re gonna have to each reach out and bring someone else.”

Tim Marden, the leader of the Springs County effort, said the timeline includes an educational effort during the 2021 Legislative Session and a bill in the 2022 Session with an effective date of 2025. The 3-year gap gives the new county time to “stand up all the systems that we need to put in place to make this happen… Symbolically, it will line us up perfectly with the hundred-year anniversary of when Gilchrist County did it last, and ironically, we’re doing it for a lot of the same reasons that Gilchrist County did, just a hundred years later… I think, at some point, Springs County is inevitable. You’re here… at the ground floor.” Marden encouraged attendees to sign the Springs County petition.

After a ribbon cutting and the unveiling of the new sign, attendees were able to explore the Welcome Center, purchase Springs County merchandise, and eat a variety of food from local caterers.

  • More sloppy reporting by the Chronicle. “Springs County” did not open a welcome center because there is no “Springs County.” It does not exist. It is only a delusional hallucination of some bitter Republicans.

    • O. StillADumb@rse!
      Can you not read? The flag says “Springs County Welcome Center.” No one said you had to visit but there is a welcome for you if you choose to.
      I almost forgot, you only choose to see things the way you want them to be seen. Sounds like a typical liberal DemoRat to me.

  • Thank you Alachua Chronicle for the accurate reporting of the Springs County movement and of the Springs County Welcome Center Ribbon Cutting Ceremony. The new Welcome Center will provide a base of operations from which people may get information on the Springs County proposal, sign a petition, purchase merchandise in support to help defray the expenses associated with this endeavor, and also to get involved. The Springs County idea is about hope for a better county government, belief in the people that will be represented by this new county to know what is best for their family and loved ones, and about giving all of the citizens a voice by having representatives from each of the municipalities and areas-at-large to effectively serve their constituents interests. Everyone should check out the website wwwSpringsCounty.com, the facebook page Springs County, Florida, and if you have any questions email at info@SpringsCounty.com. Thanks again, Alachua Chronicle, looking forward to following you and reading more!

    • Dear SC Aficionado:
      You have obviously been taken in by the jingoism, anti government philosophy, and rhetoric of a small group of folks who are disgruntled they cannot get a Republican elected to the Alachua County Commission, so they want to destroy Alachua county out of vindictive spite. Like Trump is doing to America. This “movement” is not about a creation of a new county, it is about a total destruction of existing Alachua County. Google “take my ball and go home” for more information.
      Sadly their proposals lack details and they lack facts and they lack legality. For example, I see you like their idea of a county run by a commission composed of one representative of each municipality. Sounds great, right?
      One problem. It is not allowed by State Law. Oh snap. In Florida a county must be run by a commission of FIVE members, each elected from a district with EQUAL POPULATIONS. For information the SC Cheerleaders do not know or do not want you to know, read Florida Statutes 124.01. It is very clear.
      More inconvenient facts. The disgruntled Republicans pushing this idea are upset they cannot get single member commission districts adopted in Alachua County, as if a rural/conservative district to elect a Republican county commissioner to represent “their interests” is the solution to everything. One problem. They have NEVER drawn a proposed map of the single member district they propose and shown it to the public. Why not? Simple. It cannot be done.
      Because of the population distribution in Alachua County it is not possible to draw a legal “rural” district that complies with Florida Statutes 124.01. Any legal district with one fifth of the county voters will include enough urban/city/Democrat/gaspmightbeliberal people to NOT have a rural/conservative/Republican majority. Fact. Single member district proponents and you two know who you are, it is put up time. Draw a map and show the people. You cannot. You are all hat and no cattle.

      • O.WhatADumb@rse you are. You can always move out if you don’t like it. You resemble many of the people flocking to Florida to escape the oppressors you elected in your home state. You don’t like the high taxes, you don’t like the lack of freedom and yet you move here and think it will be better “this time.”
        You’re an idiot if you think changing your latitude is going to change your leftist’ attitude.
        Haven’t you heard the old saying “you can take the Dumb@rse out of ignorance but you can’t take the ignorance out of Dumb@rse”?

        • If you do not like MY county YOU can leave. Do not ever tell me to leave MY county you (expletive deleted.) Plain enough for you? I was here before you. Move outa here. The air will be so much cleaner after you leave. You can get the #### out of MY county but you leave the land behind. You do not get to take it with you to become Pollutedsprings County. But do take your Bircher-Klan buddies with you.
          Please continue, keep making the stupid mistake that everyone who has better political values than you is a Yankee transplant. Like other areas, you are wrong. If being wrong was painful you would be in a world of hurt.
          Wait, why a I replying to a total nut job? Bye Felicia WrongLies0000.

          • O.Dumb@rse…didn’t tell you to leave but wish you would take your own suggestion and “just do it.’
            On top of that, I sincerely doubt you were here as long as you claim to be. Sorry, I may be wrong on that account. Like most liberal hypocrites, you lay claim to everything after you have what you want and then only wish to deny others the same opportunities. You have in some way, either lying, stealing, cheating, purchasing, inheriting part of the American dream. You and others like you only wish to keep people in bondage to welfare. That’s your form of slavery.

            Speaking of hurt, those appendages of county and city leaders you have stuck up your @rse, I would have thought that would be hurting you more than the real truth.

        • I want to thank you for your reply. The “Springs County” proponents claim they want “More freedom, less government.” Sounds good to me.
          One Freedom we have in America is the right to live where we want. No government can tell us “We do not like your voter party registration, move out of our county.” Guess what? If a government cannot tell me to move because they don’t agree with me politically, my neighbor cannot either.
          In one phrase “you can move out” you demonstrated why you should not ever be allowed to run a county. Not Old Alachua, not New Alachua, not Springs, not Polluted Springs County. You do not believe in democracy or Freedom, you want a fascist dictatorship with you and your ilk in charge. News flash: I do not go goosestep to your agenda, unlike the mask free cult groupies at your Welcome Center.
          Thank you for showing all thinking people why the “Springs County” movement is more like the results of a male bovine bowel movement. Claiming you want More Freedom and telling me to leave makes you a giant steaming pile of Hypocrite.

          • And on this farm we had some pigs, O.WhataDumb@rse, O.WhataDumb@rse…
            Wrong movie but at least you’ve been here long enough to determine the difference between a boar’s pig crap and a sow’s pig crap. You are quite entertaining.
            Once again you are wrong. In this country you can not live where you want. Just ask some of the disenfranchised residents in the predominantly minority neighborhoods in Gainesville, USA. I may soon be wrong regarding that if your heros Bernie and AOC get their wish. They’ll just move the people from homes who have worked, earned, inherited, lied, cheated or stole to obtain them until the next “free” thing comes to mind. But they will conveniently find a way to disqualify themselves. Don’t see many of the hypocritical elites offering their multi-million dollar homes to house the homeless. Think Oprah, Lebron, Nancy, amongst a horde of others.
            You also have the right to express your feelings just like I do. Some of us made sacrifices to protect those freedoms you so proudly shout about but you also seek to silence those who have a different opinion. Your vitriolic banter regarding “Springs County” redundantly is the real proof to the “real truth” about you.

          • More projection of what you do. I do not seek to “silence critics”, but “Sprigs County” for sure does. Their facebook page deletes tough questions and bans posters who do not goosestep to their narrow mindset. Fact, I know firsthand.
            Opposing a BS destruction of Alachua County is not “silencing those with a different opinion.” Spare us playing the victim card “those folks are trying to silence cancel culture the conservative viewpoint.” It is my political right as a Alachua County resident to oppose your plans. You Republicans have taught us that hardball politics is the standard game plan.
            Question for you. Suppose the City of Gainesville tried to involuntarily annex the City of Newberry and eliminate the Newberry city commission. How much “vitriol” would YOU Newberry citizens exhibit? None? Some? A whole lot? “Sprigs County” is attempting to involuntarily annex My House and My Property into a county I have no desire to live in. If someone tried to steal YOUR house, how much “vitriol” would you manage to exhibit?
            If Chuck Clemons is foolish enough to introduce a bill in August like he says, the organized “vitriol” of 50,000 residents who live in West Gainesville you are trying to involuntarily annex into “Sprigs County” will be much louder than me.
            Want to lessen the “banter?” Reply to the issues I bring up. In every post I make I try to use facts and Florida Statutes and such as issues. You never address them, showing I am right and you cannot/will not debate on the facts. So you resort to the same old “if you can’t address the message, make a personal attack against the messenger.” And people like you want to run MY county government. Sad.

  • As proposed, Springs County would take a huge portion of Alachua County’s tax base away. Butler Plaza, Oaks Mall, NFRMC, and Celebration would all be in Springs County. I don’t see it happening.

    • That is the plan here. The goal is not just to create a white conservative Republican “Springs County”, the goal is also to deprive New Alachua County of all its tax base and punish it into poverty for DARING to have a university and a majority of liberal Democrat voters who are too educated to fall for the failed Republican agenda.
      This is not a friendly “divorce” of half the county into a new county as the proponents lie, this is the total destruction of existing Alachua County and creation of two entirely new counties. One or both new counties may get classified as Fiscally Constrained Counties under F.S. 218.67, meaning they are so poor they get welfare subsidy payments from the wealthier counties. The Legislature would be Fools to create such an impoverished New Alachua County.

      This is a “we hate the Gainesville liberals” movement above all else.

      • O Dumb@rse, what do you think the current idiots of local leadership are doing? They are destroying the community now. You, like them, are afraid to get out and see the community. You hide behind your masks and live in your little bubble thinking “we’re making it better.” Idiot! If it’s better why is the homeless population going higher? Why do taxes keep going higher? Why do utility rates keep going higher? Because of idiots like you who actually believe the BS they peddle and keep voting for fiscally incompetent leaders who don’t have a clue.

        • The county board of commissioners does not set utility rates. GRU does, which is the City of Gainesville. Go yell at them. You don’t even know the correct governmental body to address. No wonder you are so clueless. Sad.

          • O.Dumb@rse, once again you choose your filters to fit your agenda. I said “local leadership.”
            Those individuals, or the collective of the two groups and singularly for GRU rates – both city and county, determine mileage rates, and ad valorem taxes for residents. In case you also forgot, they also determine the taxes on every gallon of gas sold within the county. They also decide on where funding is to be distributed according to their own political agendas. Many have already noted on past postings that now they want to tell communities and citizens what they can and can’t do on their property. That piece of dirt you claim to own…you don’t.
            I, like many others have yelled at City Commissioners. They, like you, continue to be completely ignorant about the economic impact it has on struggling families having to decide on feeding their children or paying their utility bill.
            One day, when you wake up from La La Land, you’ll understand the real truth.

  • For O.StillADumb@rse…here’s your answer.
    The county is the entity that IS seeking to control the city of Newberry…without the City of Newberry’s consent. That is exactly why there is such vitriol towards the county.
    Did someone just hit you with the common sense stick? That’s why there is such an objection to the county’s meddling in a rural community. The county is already telling YOU what YOU can do with your property. If “Springs County” is successful, maybe you can opt out and remain a resident of the “soon to be bankrupt” New Alachua county.
    I’m not a victim like the current “movement” in this country is claiming to be but I’m also not going to stand down for dumb@rses like you to tell me what I can and can’t do. You don’t have to stand up for everything but you have to get up for something. For all the conservative voices out there who people like you try to silence, I’m speaking up.
    I’ll be willing to bet you haven’t made an offering to the homeless population in Gainesville/Alachua county.
    I find a great deal of satisfaction knowing that the “real truth” has struck a nerve with you.

    • You still don’t grasp what you are actually trying to do. You tell me “You can always move out if you don’t like it.” By moving the county boundary line, you are forcibly, involuntarily, against my will moving me out to another county. That does not sound like my definition of Freedom.
      There is an easy way for you to convince me your side is right Answer one question correctly. See if you can make one post without cursing, name calling, personal attacks, or diversions to unrelated topics like the homeless population, GRU rates, or RTU bus schedules. Just explain the truth since you claim to be so full of it.
      Question 1. The Springs County signs contain the words “More Freedom”. Why is Your Freedom to live in Springs County more important than My Freedom to not live in Springs County?

      • Sounds like what the settlers did to native Americans doesn’t it? I don’t see many elitists offering their thousand acre ranches back to them do you? They reek of hypocrisy. I don’t understand how you do not see that. They should at least be honest about it and admit their greed. Almost everyone has it, it is in human nature.
        Jacksonville did not ask Duval county residents if they wanted to be annexed either. I’m not saying you’re wrong or you’re right. What I’m saying is every time you make a comment regarding “Springs County” all you do is attack, call names and everything else I do to you. If you can’t take it, don’t dish it to others. You choose to exercise your difference of opinion by attacking the conservative leanings of the people who would appreciate greater representation by county leadership. You don’t think conservative values are being attacked by local leadership? Then why have they chosen to punish businesses and individuals who don’t obey their Draconian orders? People in the rural communities and outlying areas do not feel represented by county leadership. That is why there is a huge push for the Springs county proposal.
        As far as my freedom to live in a, “proposed,” county called “Springs County” being greater than your’s or not, it isn’t. That being said, if a majority of current residents choose to petition the State of Florida for a separate county entity called “Springs County” it should be strongly considered. If it comes to fruition, fantastic. At that point, if you choose to move into the more liberal remains of Alachua county then you will always have the freedom to do that as well.
        Right now, today – there is no Springs County. If you’re going to continue being a bully, don’t expect everyone to bow down to you and your vitriol comments on this particular website.

  • If it is Sunday it must be time for:
    Stop the Steal-The Real but Inconvenient Truth in Facts and Figures
    The proponents of “Springs County”(sic) (SC) tell us “It is just like 1925 when Gilchrist County split off from Western Alachua County. No, it is not. They con us with lies and misinformation, but no facts and figures, because the real facts do not support their agenda. They parrot plenty of ultra right wing political philosophy that says copying the Republican economic methods that bankrupted the state of Kansas will bring prosperity to Alachua County. They say it is just a polite and gentle “political divorce” of the western rural area. No, it is not.
    Facts: In 1925 Alachua County had a salient bulge on the western edge that was very rural and very sparsely populated. The farmers there objected to a county proposal to end open range livestock grazing and require cattle fencing. Gilchrist was split off into a new county. The move bought them about 20 years, as Florida outlawed open range grazing statewide in 1947. SC proponents have not told us yet if they propose a return to the good ole days of open range grazing in their new rural utopia of “Springs County.”
    In 1925 the Gilchrist area had 11% of the Alachua County population. Gilchrist County started with 4000 residents, while remaining Alachua had 34,000 residents. (1930 census data.) Today Gilchrist has 18,500 residents, 7% of Alachua County’s 269,000. In 95 years Gilchrist has grown 450%, while Alachua has grown 780%.
    The SC proponents attempt to con us with the idea that they want to create a RURAL county out of Western Alachua County, claiming without offering any proof that the “needs” of rural residents are not “properly represented” on the current Alachua County Commission. Drive Hwy 41 between Newberry and High Springs and it does look like a lightly populated rural area, far different from the Oaks Mall and Butler Plaza areas of West Gainesville, or even the Jonesville urban area. However SC wants everything west of 34th Street for their new “rural” county. This area contains 55% of the population of Alachua County and 65% of the property tax base of the current county.
    Proposed SC is not a small western rural area. SC is a steal of the majority of today’s Alachua County, being renamed “Springs County”, which then wants to forcibly eject the University, East Gainesville and the pine woods between Waldo and Hawthorne into New Alachua County. With 45% of the population and 35% of the tax base, New Alachua will be a poverty stricken Fiscally Constrained County under F.S. 218.67, requiring state welfare payments to survive. (Gilchrist County is today a Fiscally Constrained County. Taxes paid in Alachua County go to subsidize it.) But New Alachua County will have a University and a Regional Airport, so there is a big plus.
    Their proposed 34th Street split makes Springs County the Big Dog in population and wealth, and the more urban of the two new counties, while New Alachua County actually ends up a smaller and more rural county than Springs. Their whole proposal is backwards from what they claim it is.
    The SC web page has none of these fact and figures on it, just a plea for more blindly loyal supporting cult members and pleas for DONATION$ to their Dear Leader, who asks for $25,000 minimum. The money does not go to an organization’s bank account with public transparency and accountability, but into the personal pocket of one individual. If SC proponents want to run a new government, they need to start operating in the Sunshine TODAY like they will be required to if they were to get their new county government to run. Sadly, the SC ”movement” looks to be nothing more than an elaborate money grifting scheme. How Trumpian.
    Stop the Steal. Concerned Alachua County citizens must not let the SC movement steal and destroy all of existing Alachua County. It is time to call out this bull manure idea for what it is, before a low information High Springs hick like Rep. Chuck Clemons listens to these Newberry anarchist sovereign citizen 2A secessionist “Springs County” hicks and puts a bill before the Florida Legislature to utterly destroy the existing Alachua County.

    • Don’t worry, current Alachua and Gainesville leaders are doing just fine destroying the two entities without any outside assistance.
      Didn’t take you long to digress though did it?

  • Fans of Communist Dictatorships: Have I Got a Place for You
    “Springs County” has a facebook page. A typical post there gets five replies in the first week, almost all from the cult’s groupthink supporters “Yea, dats right, go the movement.”
    Sunday evening Walking Boss Tim posted “Lots of people have asked for a plan.” And then admitted he has NO plan for how to form his county after five years of working on it. Just rah rah rhetoric and a plea for donations. In 24 hours this post got 260 relies, about 90% not very complementary of the Sprigs County idea, to put it mildly, and for the record none of the posts were from me. About 12 hours ago the thin skinned Sprigs County Dictator LOCKED the comments to prevent any more critical questions from being asked. The “movement” cannot stand the light of critical inspection.
    Folks, do you want to live in a Communist Dictatorship where government censorship is the norm? Then Springs County is being set up just for YOU. Dissent from the ultra right wing agenda will not be tolerated. A glorious one party system Putin would be proud of.
    The Sprigs County “movement” is a cult following of an un-American political philosophy. Support it at the risk of your own Freedom. You been warned.

  • Rent This Space to Follow the Money
    Monday this was on the SC farcebook page. Yesterday it disappeared. Was it the tough questions being asked about where the money goes, and deleting the post made them disappear? Or did that big mean nasty government the High Springs Codes Enforcement get an “anonymous” tip and decide the SC Welcome Center zoning and occupational license did not allow auditorium rental? Where is the Freedom? Enquiring minds want to know. Hopefully The AC will investigate and report.
    Springs County Florida
    · .
    COMING SOON: A community meeting space for your group(s). As promised, after the first of the year we will have a meeting space open to the local community at the SC Welcome Center, 18725 N Main St High Springs. Whether you have a Bible Study, Lions Club, Knitting Group, Homeschoolers, or any Civic Effort…you can host it here. Anticipated rental will be a $25 for the room and $25 for AV. We will also provide buffet area for food/water you provide. This space accommodates up to 50 persons and will have a screen, projector, and sound system. We will be taking reservations soon.
    (a concerned citizen wrote) Is there a way to track how the funds being donated/given to Spring County Movement are being used? Is this group registered to lobby the legislature?”
    Yep, Follow the Money. As Someone Else posted on the SC FB page:
    (Someone Else) “Springs County Florida what bothers me is that you, Tim Marden, know deep down this will never come to fruition but you will personally see financial gain due you grifting the poor souls who choose to believe your lies. JBS in 2020 is a racist society full of angry old white men, mad that young progressives are finally taking a stand against them.
    SC needs Gainesville, but Gainesville doesn’t need you or SC.”
    Ouch that has to leave a skidmark in front of the Welcome Center.

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