The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in special session on Tuesday, September 25, 1990, at 5:05 p.m., in the Board of County Commissioner's Meeting Room, Lake County Courthouse, Tavares, Florida. Commissioners present at the meeting were: Michael J. Bakich, Chairman; C. W. "Chick" Gregg; Don Bailey; and Richard Swartz. Others present were: Annette Star Lustgarten, County Attorney; Ava Kronz, Assistant to the County Manager; James C. Watkins, Clerk; Mike Anderson, Director of Capital Improvements; and Sandra Carter, Deputy Clerk.
Ms. Eleanor Anderson, Director of Administrative Services-Budget, for the County, appeared before the Board and noted changes which had been made from the original budget, which was presented at the September 10, 1990 meeting.
Mr. Guy Maresca, a local resident, appeared before the Board questioning why it cost the taxpayers of Lake County $366,000.00 more, per year, to prepare the budget and run the Finance Department, since this Board was elected.
Commr. Bakich responded, stating, with the way the system was set up, prior to this Board being elected, the Clerk had those responsibilities, as well as the responsibility of running his own office, as a constitutional officer, however, it was the opinion of this Board and the County Manager, Mr. Al Thelen, to separate those two functions and provide its own office of Management and Budget, so that they would have the ability to use funding for said offices to the Board's benefit, without encumbering the Clerk's Office and its personnel.
Commr. Swartz stated the Clerk and his personnel performed a valuable task, in running the Finance Office and preparing the budget in the past, however, in order to have done the operations which this Board required, in managing this budget during the course of the year and preparing the budget which is presently
before the Board, would have required the Clerk to have added personnel in order to accomplish the task. He stated the budget, as it is presently prepared, is much easier for the Board to follow and understand, as well as for Department Heads, who now have the responsibility of monitoring their own budgets, noting that in the past they did not.
Mr. Maresca then discussed the operation of the Jail, stating the Board had stated they were taking over the operation in order to save the County money; however, since taking it over, the budget has increased by $204,000.00, and the addition of three new Jail employees has cost the County $79,000.00 yearly, aside from the $204,000.00 increase. He stated the Board also hired a new Jail Administrator, with a yearly salary of $60,000.00 ($20,000.00 a year higher than the previous Administrator's salary). He stated, even though the previous Jail Administrator, Captain Gary Borders, ran the Jail efficiently and without incident, the Board decided he was uncapable of doing the same under their direction. He stated this does not add up to a savings, which the Board had stated they would do.
Commr. Bakich responded, stating no one had ever questioned the job that Captain Borders was doing - that was not the reason for going with a change, and, over time, feels the County will show a cost savings to the taxpayers, in having taken over the Jail. He stated, like with any new venture, there are startup costs, which is what the County incurred when they took over the Jail.
Commr. Swartz stated the Board has a higher respect for Captain Borders and his ability, since taking over the Jail; however, one of the reasons they felt they needed to have a new Jail Administrator was due to the fact that there is going to be a tremendously increased responsibility over the next couple of years in two different areas, being (1) the impact of the number of employees to be supervised in the new facility and (2) the increase in the number of programs which the Board hopes to put into the facility, to allow the County to recoup some of the costs involved
with it. He stated the Board felt they needed someone with more hands-on and indepth experience in handling these matters, than what Captain Borders has, noting that he will gain it in time.
Mr. Ralph Roberts, with the Sheriff's Advisory Committee, appeared before the Board concerning a request from the Sheriff's Department for eight additional deputies. He distributed a packet of petitions, in support of said request, as it is felt the additional deputies are badly needed.
Commr. Swartz brought up for discussion the matter of the MSTU for Greater Hills, stating the County Attorney, Ms. Lustgarten, since the last public hearing regarding same, had researched the issue relative to whether or not funds from the MSTU, as it is currently in place, by ordinance, could be used to cover the operation and maintenance of all the common areas, including recreational, street lights, sidewalks, landscaping which occurs within those common areas, and stormwater drainage.
Ms. Lustgarten, County Attorney, informed the Board that recreational facilities can be funded by ad valorem taxation raised in an MSTU. She stated this is approved by the Board, annually, during the course of their budget year. She noted, however, that the millage, as it is proposed this year, is limited to street lighting, retention areas, and drainage, based on information which was provided to the County Budget Director from Greater Hills.
Mr. Bob Mandel, President of Greater Construction Corporation, appeared before the Board requesting that language to the affect of "and other common area maintenance, including recreational facilities and improvements" be inserted in the resolution adopting a final millage rate for FY 1990-91, for Lake County, under Section 3, concerning the Greater Hills MSTU, after the word "drainage".
It was noted that said request would be consistent with the MSTU ordinance, and would not affect the budgetary aspects of the money.
It was the consensus of the Board to add said language.
Sheriff Knupp appeared before the Board and requested them to reconsider his request for eight additional deputies. He also discussed the matter of the fuel budget for the Sheriff's Department, noting that the Board had cut it by $15,800.00. He stated he now needs said funds back, due to the ongoing crisis in the Middle East. He stated they have already used a portion of the $50,000.00 in their Contingency Fund, to purchase fuel for their vehicles this year, noting that he will probably have to do the same again during the next fiscal year, however, should they run short, they will need to come back before the Board for additional funding, at that time.
Mr. James C. Watkins, Clerk, interjected that he felt it would be very appropriate, with respect to the gasoline issue involving the Sheriff's Department, to use the same type of formula once used during a time when allocations were made as to who could and could not have fuel, noting that Law Enforcement took top priority. He stated funding for same could be taken from the Contingency Account.
Commr. Swartz stated he felt it would be prudent for the Board, when they get to the point where they are considering any changes to the budget, for the Sheriff, to (within their Operations line item) budget an additional Contingency reserve for fuel, which he figured would amount to approximately $50,000.00, noting he would make a motion to do so, when they get to that point in the meeting.
Discussion continued regarding the Sheriff's budget, at which time Commr. Bakich stated he was supportive of adding more deputies, as he felt the request was warranted, to which Commr. Gregg concurred, noting he would even be willing to compromise and offer four deputies, at this time.
Commr. Gregg then made a motion to approve funding for the hiring of four deputies, for the Sheriff's Department, to which Commr. Bailey stated he would second the motion, for discussion purposes, however, would not support it, although he would be
willing to revisit the issue at some point during mid-year, if the County is able to find additional revenue.
Commr. Bakich stated, should Commr. Gregg's motion fail, he would like to see the Board consider approving the four positions, for the Sheriff's Department, at mid-year. He stated he felt there were some other positions which could be cut from this budget, that are less important than deputies, such as the Bicycle Coordinator, at which time Commr. Swartz stated said position is funded out of the County Transportation Trust Fund and has no impact, whatsoever, on the Sheriff's budget - it comes from funds that cannot be appropriated and moved into the General Fund.
Commr. Swartz stated if he was not faced with considerable concern over budgetary revenue shortfalls and increases over cost, he would vote to give the Sheriff the four positions he is requesting, however, would be willing to, mid-year, should the Board (1) find they estimated conservatively and (2) are able to put into place revenue from the unincorporated area of the County, vote to give the Sheriff said positions, even though he was not sure that four would be adequate. He stated he would be willing to make a motion to take the position that is scheduled to come in at mid-year, for Purchasing, and, instead, just review it at mid-year, under the same circumstances which he alluded to earlier. He stated that, secondly, he would be willing to take the $453,000.00, which the Board currently has in the General Fund for purchasing equipment, and sequester half of it, for purchases only, during the first half of the year.
Further discussion occurred regarding the matter, at which time Commr. Gregg noted the Sheriff has the right to go to the Governor and the Cabinet and challenge the Board's decision, regarding his budget, and wanted to remind the Board of legal costs (which he estimated would be in the neighborhood of approximately $40,000.00) and time, which would be spent fighting the issue, that could be spent in doing more productive things. He reiterated the
fact that he felt adding four additional deputies was a reasonable request and should be approved.
The Chairman called for a vote on Commr. Gregg's motion, which was a split vote, with Commr. Bailey and Commr. Swartz voting "No".
On a motion by Commr. Swartz, seconded by Commr. Bailey and carried unanimously, the Board approved to establish a line item within their Operations Account, for Fuel Contingency for the Sheriff's Department, and reduce the General Fund Contingency Account by $50,000.00, allocating said amount into the Fuel Contingency Account for the Sheriff's Department.
On a motion by Commr. Swartz, seconded by Commr. Bailey and carried unanimously, the Board approved to remove from the budget the position which was scheduled at mid-year, for the Purchasing Department, and transfer said allocation to the County Fund Contingency, and that said position be considered at mid-year, rather than funded at mid-year.
On a motion by Commr. Swartz, seconded by Commr. Bailey and carried unanimously, the Board approved to sequester one-half of the $453,000.00 which is allocated for general equipment item purchases, vehicles, furniture, etc., and, unless the County Manager comes to the Board with a specific request, based on a documented need, not spend it, until it is reviewed at mid-year.
A motion was made by Commr. Swartz to reconsider the request by the Sheriff for additional personnel, at mid-year, during budget review.
The motion died for lack of a second.
On a motion by Commr. Swartz, seconded by Commr. Gregg and carried unanimously, the Board approved amendments to the resolution adopting a final millage rate for Fiscal Year 1990-91, as indicated by the County Attorney, Ms. Annette Star Lustgarten.
At this time, the Director of Administrative Services-Budget, for the County, noted the percent increase in millage over the Roll Back Rate for the County, as follows:
(DECREASE) CERTIFIED TENTATIVE OVER
ROLL BACK MILLAGE RATE ROLL BACK
General 4.76 4.938 3.739%
Greater Hills N/A 4.000 N/A
SPECIAL TAXING DISTRICTS
Northlake County 0.860 1.000 16.279%
Hosp. Dist. (West)
Northlake County 0.960 1.000 4.160%
Hosp. Dist. (East)
Northwest Lake 0.220 0.223 1.363%
Northeast Lake 0.220 0.223 1.363%
On a motion by Commr. Bailey, seconded by Commr. Gregg and carried unanimously, the Board approved a resolution (No. 1990-107) adopting a final millage rate for Fiscal Year 1990-91, as read in full.
On a motion by Commr. Bailey, seconded by Commr. Swartz and carried unanimously, the Board approved a resolution (No. 1990-108) adopting a final budget for Fiscal Year 1990-91, for Lake County, as read in full.
On a motion by Commr. Gregg, seconded by Commr. Bailey and carried unanimously, the Board approved a resolution (No. 1990-109) of the North Lake County Hospital District of Lake County, adopting a final millage rate for Fiscal Year 1990-91, as read in full.
On a motion by Commr. Swartz, seconded by Comm. Bailey and carried unanimously, the Board approved a resolution (No. 1990-110) of the Northwest Ambulance District of Lake County, adopting a final millage rate for Fiscal Year 1990-91, as read in full.
On a motion by Commr. Gregg, seconded by Commr. Bailey and carried unanimously, the Board approved a resolution (No. 1990-111) of the Northeast Ambulance District of Lake County, adopting a final millage rate for Fiscal Year 1990-91, as read in full.
On a motion by Commr. Gregg, seconded by Commr. Swartz and carried unanimously, the Board approved a resolution (No. 1990-112) of the North Lake County Hospital District of Lake County, adopting a final budget for Fiscal Year 1990-91.
On a motion by Commr. Swartz, seconded by Commr. Gregg and carried unanimously, the Board approved a resolution (No. 1990-113) of the Northwest Ambulance District of Lake County, adopting a final budget for Fiscal Year 1990-91.
On a motion by Commr. Swartz, seconded by Commr. Gregg and carried unanimously, the Board approved a resolution (No. 1990-114) of the Northeast Ambulance District of Lake County, adopting a final budget for Fiscal Year 1990-91.
Commr. Bakich thanked Ms. Anderson and her staff for a job well done in preparing a budget which was easily read and understood. Ms. Anderson, in turn, thanked the Clerk's Finance and Data Processing staff for their help in preparing the budget.
On a motion by Commr. Gregg, seconded by Commr. Bailey and
carried unanimously, the meeting adjourned at 6:35 p.m.
MICHAEL J. BAKICH, CHAIRMAN
JAMES C. WATKINS, CLERK