The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in special session on Tuesday, November 29, 1988, at 9:00 a.m., in the Board of County Commissioner's Meeting Room, Lake County Courthouse, Tavares, Florida. Commissioners present at the meeting were: C. W. "Chick" Gregg, Chairman: Don Bailey; Richard Swartz; Thomas J. Windram; and Michael J. Bakich. Others present were: James C. Watkins, Clerk; Michael C. Willett, County Administrator; Katherine A. McDonald, Assistant County Administrator; Robert K. McKee, Chief Deputy Clerk; and Sandra Carter, Deputy Clerk.
James C. Watkins, Clerk, gave the Invocation and the Pledge of Allegiance was led by Commr. Bakich.
The Chairman, Commr. Gregg, opened the meeting by stating that the purpose of this meeting was to try and get a better understanding of what the various jobs are, how each department is structured, and to familiarize the Board with the various department heads.
HEALTH AND GENERAL SERVICES
Mr. Lonnie Strickland, Director of Health and General Services, appeared before the Board and introduced the department heads which fall under his division, being: Mr. Donald Priem, Director of Veterans Services; Ms. Robbie Baird, Director of Private Industry Council: Ms. Myra Smith, Operations Supervisor of Social Services: Mr. Robert Reymont, Director of Emergency Management Services: Ms. Teresa Dunham, Director of Section 8 (Public) Housing; and Ms. Frankie Thorpe, Director of Animal Control. He indicated that one department head, Ms. Betty Dittman, Director of the Expo/Fairgrounds, was not present, due to her attendance at a seminar.
Discussion occurred regarding said departments, as well as various liaison organizations which his department deals with, such as Mental Health, the County Morgue, TASC (Treatment Alternatives to Street Crime), the Fairgrounds, and the old nursing home in Leesburg (Leesburg Nursing Center), to which Mr. Strickland answered.U-29-88 questions presented to him, by the Board, regarding same.
A brief discussion occurred regarding the various hospital taxing districts, at which time it was noted that if a resident of another county is admitted into a Lake County nursing home, they automatically become a resident of Lake County and Lake County foots the bill.
Commr. Gregg suggested that this may be an issue the Board might want to discuss with the legislative delegation.
Ambulance service, as well as fire protection, in Lake County was briefly discussed, at which time Mr. Willett, County Administrator, gave some input regarding fire dispatch.
Mr. Strickland stated that one problem the County is having is the need to update the emergency services dispatch console, which is out for bid, at present. He stated that staff has asked the ambulance service to develop some sort of five (5) year plan for updating the County's communications system, which is being pursued at this point. An independent consultant has been hired to review said needs, at which time staff will inform the Board of their findings. He also stated that a committee is in the process of being formed, consisting of the consultants; Mr. Bill Compton, Director of Lake County Emergency Medical Services (Ambulance Operation); Mr. Bill LeHeup, Lake County Purchasing Agent; as well as himself, to review the bids that come in. A presentation will then be given to the Board, at which time a recommendation will be made by staff.
Indigent health care in Lake County was briefly touched on.
Ms. Frankie Thorpe, Director of Animal Control, appeared before the Board stating that she has been a paid employee of Lake County since 1975, however, has been with the shelter since March of 1974. She got involved with the shelter, in the beginning, due to her concern for animals. She stated that the Animal Shelter presently has eight employees (seven full-time and one part-time). Due to the fact that so many animals are euthanized, and the employees have a hard time dealing with it, there is a large turnover at the shelter.
At this time, she questioned the Board as to the possibility of going to intravenous injections. This is something that the Humane Society has requested of the Animal Shelter. The cost is approximately the same, however, it would require more man hours.
Discussion occurred regarding the safety of employees, if this process were incorporated at the shelter, such as the possibility of an employee accidentally injecting himself, while in the process of trying to inject the animal.
Commr. Swartz stated, at this time, that this was an area that was discussed at a meeting held at an earlier date, with Mike Willett, County Administrator, at which time he was asked to have the department present some information on this subject - such as man hours, and how much additional space would be required (it has been 12 years since the building was expaned). The shelter presently has 3,000 square feet.
Discussion occurred regarding how many animals are euthanized each month (which ranges from approximately 500-600), and the advantage of lethal injection versus euthanasia. It was noted that approximately 600-900 animals are processed through the shelter, each month.
Ms. Thorpe stated that, should the County choose to go to euthanasia, she would like to retain the present euthanasia chamber, for dealing with wild animals.
Mr. Strickland noted, for the Board, that out of the 600-900 animals that are processed through the shelter, each month, he only receives l-2 complaints, and commended her on a job well done.
Section 8 Housing
Ms. Teresa Dunham, Director of Section 8 Housing, appeared before the Board and stated that she has been an employee of the County for a years. She gave a brief summary of what her duties are and what her department handles. She noted that her department has recently taken over the Eustis Section 8 housing program.
It was noted that the Section 8 housing program is a federally funded program, and discussion occurred regarding HUD and how Lake County is funded for said program. Ms. Dunham stated that Lake County presently has housing available, as well as people qualified for said housing, however, do not have the needed funding or certificates, as the County is only allotted 191 certificates. Also, HUD presently has a freeze on certificates.
Emergency Management Services
Mr. Robert Reymont, Director of Emergency Management Services, appeared before the Board stating that November 30th marks his first year with the County. He stated that before that, he was with the Air Force for 21 years, doing, basically, the same thing that he presently does, in different bases around the world. He gave a brief summary of what his department does, and stated that his department presently has 3 employees.
Commr. Swartz questioned Mr. Reymont as to how his department handles hazardous waste, at which time a brief discussion occurred regarding this subject. It was noted that Lake County has a Hazardous Waste Committee.
Ms. Myra Smith, Director of Social Services, appeared before the Board stating that she has been employed by the County for 25 years. She gave a brief summary of what her department does and what various programs she works with.
A brief discussion occurred regarding her department, at which time she answered questions presented to her by the Board, regarding same.
Private Industry Council
Ms. Robbie Baird, Director of Private Industry Council, appeared before the Board stating that she has been employed by the County since 1973. She welcomed the new commissioners to the system, and stated that it was good to see the old commissioners back.
She stated that the Private Industry Council is a totally federally funded program, which replaced the old CETA program. She proceeded to explain how the program works, and stated that the program hopes to help approximately 425 individuals this year.
A brief discussion occurred regarding how the Private Industry Council works with new industry coming into the area.
Mr. Donald Priem, Director of Veterans Services, appeared before the Board stating that he retired from the military after 23 years, and has been employed with the County for 2 years (11 months of that 2 years with Veterans Services). He proceeded to give a brief summary of what his department does.
It was noted that the Veterans Services Department recently moved to a new office on Alfred Street, in Tavares.
Health & General Services
Commr. Gregg brought to the attention of the Board the fact that the North Central Florida Health Planning Council presently has three vacancies and questioned Mr. Strickland as to what the functions of said council are.
A brief discussion occurred regarding said council, and the difficulties involved in finding individuals to serve on it.
In closing the first portion of the worksession, Commr. Bakich gave a brief comment regarding the new Board and how they plan to work with the department heads, as well as the public. He stated that they plan to have a new attitude, be more people oriented, and request that their employees be professional, as well as look professional. At this time, he complimented the department heads on their appearance and for jobs well done.
RECESS & REASSEMBLY
At 10:30 a.m. the Chairman announced that the Board would be taking a five minute recess.
Mr. Don Findell, Director of Environmental Services, appeared before the Board and introduced department heads which fall under his division, being: Mr. Eric Cotsenmoyer, Director of Mosquito/Aquatic Plant Management; Mr. Bob Rinehart, Asst. Director of Mosquito/Aquatic Plant Management; Mr. Richard Roof, Director of Pollution Control: and Mr. Fred Johnson, District Conservationist with Soil Conservation Service. He then briefly reviewed a brochure, which he distributed to the Board, indicating what the responsibilities of each department under his division are, as well as what priorities each department has set for this year. He stated that the division was created in October of 1987.
Considerable discussion occurred regarding various items which fall under the jurisdiction of this division, such as landfills, septic tank permitting, sewage treatment, wastewater monitoring, etc. It was noted that Lake County recently completed a water feasibility study.
A brief discussion occurred regarding the Pollution Control Board and the need to appoint, or reappoint, two members on said board.
Mosquito/Aquatic Plant Management
Mr. Eric Cotsenmoyer, Director of Mosquito/Aquatic Plant Management, appeared before the Board and briefly discussed the duties of his department. He answered questions presented to him by the Board regarding procedures for spraying mosquitos in the County, as well as how the mosquito larvae is being handled.
It was noted that Mr. Cotsenmoyer has been employed with the County since April of 1981.
A brief discussion occurred regarding the Lake County Soil & Water Conservation Board, and appointments to said board, at which time the Board requested that a list be presented to them, of all boards that come before them for approval of appointments, either by the December 6th Board Meeting, or the December 13th Board Meeting, in order for them to review the lists and take action on them.
Mr. Fred Johnson, District Conservationist, Soil Conservation Service, answered questions presented to him by the Board, regarding his department, and how it operates. It was noted that Mr. Johnson is a federal employee, working for the County, who has been on board since March of 1988.
Discussion occurred regarding "Amnesty Day", which was recently held in Lake County, and as to when another one would be held. It was noted that the recent "Amnesty Day" (held November 18-19, 1988, at the Fairgrounds) proved to be very successful. Mr. Findell stated that he would like to hold another such event in the Spring.
Commr. Bakich questioned Mr. Findell as to what areas of the County the majority of hazardous waste originated from, to which Mr. Findell informed the Board that a list was compiled, by zip code, indicating where each resident that participated lives.
Commr. Swartz requested staff to analyze the zip code list, as soon as possible, in order that they might determine, for the Board, where the majority of hazardous waste originated from.
Pollution Control (Cont'd.)
Commr. Gregg requested staff to advertise the three (3) vacant positions (layman, engineering and agricultural) on the Pollution Control Board, and in the meantime, the commissioners will be seeking out individuals for recommendation to said board.
In closing this portion of the meeting, Commr. Bakich relayed to this group how the Board will work with them, and the County, as a whole, and thanked them for a job well done.
Commr. Swartz suggested, rather than advertise for just a few positions, advertising for all positions coming up for reappointment from this date through the first six months of 1989.
RECESS & REASSEMBLY
At 11:55 a.m. the Chairman announced that the Board would recess for lunch and would reconvene at 1:30 p.m., to continue with the workshop discussion.
PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT
Mr. Mike Willett, County Administrator, introduced Mr. Jack Bragg, Building Official, and Mr. Dave Clapsaddle, Director of Development Coordination, to the Board.
Mr. Jack Bragg, Building Official, appeared before the Board and reviewed a memo, which he distributed to the Board, indicating the functions and staffing of the Building Department. Be stated that the Building Department's primary function is to assure that the general public receives safe, sound housing.
Commr. Gregg informed those present that since Mr. Bragg had taken over the Building Department, it was more professinally run than in the past, and commended him on a job well done. Discussion occurred regarding permitting procedures, at which time a suggestion was made, by Commr. Gregg, that a pamphlet be prepared and placed on the counter, in the Building Department, explaining the procedures for obtaining permits, thereby, eliminating a lot of irate individuals, who are not aware of the proper procedures. He stated that a coordinator is needed for the site planning process, who would be responsible for where the plans go.
At this time, Mr. Dave Clapsaddle, Director of Development Coordination, injected that a Citizen's Guide has been put together, by his department, and suggested that a Developer's Guide be put together, also.
A brief discussion occurred regarding how the Pollution Control, Building, Planning and Zoning Departments coordinate with each other.
It was stated that department heads need to be at the Site Planning Meetings, to answer questions by the public and/or the developers. It was noted that, in the past, they have not always been.
Commr. Gregg gave suggestions for improving public relations between the Building and Zoning Departments and the general public.
Considerable more discussion occurred regarding the Zoning Department, at which time suggestions were made for improvements, such as changing the phone system, the need to return phone calls, coordination between the Zoning and Planning Departments, the need Eor staff to meet on a weekly basis, and the possibility of computerizing the departments.
Discussion occurred regarding Lake County's Comprehensive Plan and as to whether it can be completed by 1990, which it was determined that it could not. It was noted that the Board would like to be informed of deadlines, regarding the Comprehensive Plan, and when they are not needed, to be notified of such before hand.
Considerable discussion occurred regarding an areawide DRI (for the area located around the new Expo Center/Fairgrounds, at U.S. 19/27 and the turnpike), which included the question of whether it was absolutely necessary, whether the County would be locking themselves in by doing it, whether in-house people should be used to do it (due to a shortage of staff), and what the advantages of doing it are (due to the fact that the land use in that area can be controlled through the Comprehensive Plan).
Commr. Swartz requested that staff look at the whole DRI process, for that area, and report back to the Board, as soon as possible, with a recommendation whether or not to proceed with the project, and if so, whether the County would be better off hiring a consultant to do it, thereby, freeing staff for the Comprehensive Plan.
The Wekiva River Protection Act was briefly addressed, at which time it was noted that the deadline date, for taking action, is April 1, 1989.
The need to advertise for positions on the Planning and Zoning Board was briefly discussed, at which time it was suggested that members presently on any Board, whose seat expires in the first six (6) months of 1989, and who wish to remain on said Boards, submit a letter to that effect, and that said seats be advertised. At this time, it was recommended that staff develop an application, to be used by all Boards, in the future.
The issue of ordinances was brought up for discussion, at which time is was noted that the County may need to form an Ordinance Study Committee. Commr. Swartz gave input, at this time, as to how he would like to see future ordinances handled.
The Commissioner's Liaison List was briefly discussed, at which time Commr. Gregg, Chairman, requested that the Board members look over said list, for discussion at a later date.
The Waste Review Committee was briefly discussed, at which time it was noted that the Board needs to have a meeting to discuss solid waste.
At this time, the Board scheduled a continuation of the workshop, to be held Monday, December 5, 1988, at 9:00 a.m., in the Board of County Commissioner's Meeting Room.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, a motion was made by Commr. Bailey, seconded by Commr. Bakich and carried unanimously, to adjourn the meeting.
The meeting adjourned at 4:05 p.m.
C. W. "CHICK" GREGG, CHAIRMAN
JAMES C. WATKINS