Live Oak —
The Suwannee County Board of County Commissioners voted 3-2 Tuesday night, July 1, to approve the contract for Alvin Jackson Jr., who has been named the new economic development director. Commissioners Wesley Wainwright and Jason Bashaw voted against.
Jackson’s official first day on the job was Monday, July 7. His office will be located at the Suwannee County Airport.
Prior to the approval of the contract, several board members expressed their concerns and hesitations about moving forward with hiring Jackson.
The discussion began with Commissioner Clyde Fleming making a motion to approve the contract which had been signed by Jackson.
Bashaw said he still has concerns about making Jackson a contracted employee, and also about Jackson’s qualifications.
“There have been some concerns that I have found with regard to his master’s degree and his doctorate degree and the college used to obtain those certificates,” Bashaw said. “They’re very difficult to obtain. The college whereby he obtained those is no longer open and we cannot get transcripts from those, which would indicate what his specific field of study is.”
Bashaw continued, “It’s just when you put something on there, you want to have an accredited institution for that. I guess what I’m asking is, the legitimacy of the master’s and doctorate degree.”
In the application for the economic development director position, Jackson reported he obtained a high school diploma from Eustis High School; a Bachelor of Arts degree in government from the University of Maryland; and a master’s and doctorate from the Thomas Brown Bible College in Jacksonville.
In a letter dated June 13, 2014, addressed to County Administrator Randy Harris, Dr. Gregory Davis, school president, wrote, “The Thomas Brown Bible College is a Theological Seminary under the authority of the Florida Council of Private Colleges and is accredited by the Federal Association of Christian Counselors and Therapists. Alvin Jackson has successfully completed all requirements for his Doctorate Degree with Thomas Brown Bible College and Seminary as required by the Florida Council of Private Colleges.”