The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in joint session with the Lake County Legislative Delegation on Monday, December 14, 1992, at 10:45 a.m., in the Board of County Commissioner's Meeting Room, Lake County Administration Building, Tavares, Florida. Commissioners present at the meeting were: G. Richard Swartz, Jr., Chairman; Catherine Hanson, Vice Chairman; Don Bailey; Welton G. Cadwell; and Rhonda H. Gerber. Others present were: Annette Star Lustgarten, County Attorney; Peter F. Wahl, County Manager; and Marlene S. Foran, Deputy Clerk.
Those present from the Lake County Legislative Delegation were: Everett A. Kelly, Chairman of the Legislative Delegation, House of Representatives, District 42; Karen Johnson, Vice Chairman of the Legislative Delegation, Senator, District 11; Stan Bainter, House of Representatives, District 25; and Robert Sindler, House of Representatives, District 38. Those not present were: Richard McMahan, House of Representatives, District 26; Daniel Webster, House of Representatives, District 41; and Jeff Stabins, House of Representatives, District 44.
Representative Everett Kelly opened the joint meeting between the Legislative Delegation and the Board of County Commissioners, at which time each delegate introduced themselves, and commented on the committees which they serve.
Commr. Swartz introduced the Lake County Board of County Commissioners and County staff. Commr. Swartz noted that the Legislative Delegation has before them this date a booklet outlining the Lake County Board of County Commissioners' legislative package for the 1993 Legislative Session.
Commr. Swartz stated that the Board of County Commissioners has adopted, by resolution, an item expressing its support of a Special Act of the Legislature to create a Career Service Program
for the Sheriff's Department, and encouraged the Legislative Delegation to support said program.
Commr. Swartz reviewed various issues as addressed in the legislative package, the first being the Pollution Control Board Legislative Amendment. He stated that the amendment is to allow the Pollution Control Board to levy fines, change the name of the Pollution Control Board to the Environmental Control Board, and allow the Pollution Control Officer to be renamed the Environmental Protection Officer.
Commr. Swartz addressed funding for the State Stormwater Demonstration Grant Program and stated that the Board of County Commissioners supports the State renewing its commitment to the Stormwater Demonstration Grant Program, and encouraged the Legislative Delegation to support the program by providing necessary State funding.
Commr. Swartz addressed funding for the Surface Water Improvement & Management (SWIM) Program and stated that the Board supports the State renewing its commitment to the SWIM Program, and encouraged the Legislative Delegation to support the program by providing the necessary State funding.
Discussion occurred regarding State Grant Funding for the Recycling Program, Markets for the Sale of Recyclables, and Product Packaging Standards. Commr. Swartz stated that it is critical that the Governor, and Legislature, not reduce grant funds for recycling program development, and encouraged their support and consideration to extend the Recycling Grant Program.
Representative Sindler questioned if the Board had any specific proposals or bills prepared to address the recycling issues, at which time Commr. Swartz responded that County staff would be happy to work with the legislative staff on said issues.
Commr. Swartz stated that the Board has adopted a resolution requesting that the Legislature pass a bill mandating statewide posting of alcohol health warning signs.
Representative Kelly stated that his staff has been instructed to review the issues regarding statewide posting of alcohol health warning signs; and a posting law, hopefully, will be implemented within the next two (2) year period. Representative Bainter noted that he is co-sponsor with Representative Webster on a bill regarding posting of alcohol health warning signs.
Discussion occurred regarding Animal Control issues as addressed in the legislative package. Representative Sindler stated that a bill has been pre-filed on the "Appeal Process and Notification Regarding Dangerous Dog Designation and Confiscation" and the "Certification of Personnel Performing Euthanasia on Animals", and consideration will be given to the inclusion of the remaining Animal Control issues in said bill.
Representative Kelly commended the Lake County Animal Control Department, and County staff, for the excellent job that they are performing.
Commr. Swartz addressed judicial costs and the issue of full State funding for Article V costs for Criminal Justice and Corrections. He stated that there are a number of Article 5 costs that the Counties continue to fund at increasing levels each year. He encouraged the Legislative Delegation to take the lead in resolving some of these issues.
At this time, Representative Kelly introduced public officials that were present in the audience.
Mr. Howard "Skip" Babb, Public Defender, appeared before the Legislative Delegation and noted that Mr. Greg Smith, Chief Assistant State Attorney, was present in the audience. He stated that the Criminal Justice System is in a funding crisis, noting a decrease in the Legislative budget for the 1992-93 year, with an increase in their case load. Due to this situation, Marion County has provided funding for one (1) additional attorney for his staff in Marion County. He stated that a resolution is circulating around the State of Florida requesting that the Florida Association of County Commissioners actively support and pursue additional
State funding for Public Defenders in the 1993 legislative session. Mr. Gary Nelson, Councilman with the City of Minneola, appeared before the Legislative Delegation and stated that the City of Minneola is committed towards growth and, therefore, is requesting that the right-of-way boundaries for the City be extended to allow for future growth.
Representative Kelly stated that the request for the extension of the right-of-way boundaries will be filed as a local bill once appropriate language is drafted and presented to Senator Johnson and his office.
Dr. Terry Jackson, representing the North Lake County Hospital District, appeared before the Legislative Delegation and stated that the North Lake County Hospital District Board is elected to represent the citizens of Lake County in the dissemination of approximately 3.3 million dollars in tax funds for indigent health care. He noted that said funds are distributed to Florida Hospital/Waterman Medical Center, Leesburg Regional Medical Center, and Lake Sumter Community Mental Health Center. He stated that he is proposing to add one member-at-large to the District Board in order to address situations when there are ties during the voting process. He noted that currently there are three members from Northwest Lake County and three members from Northeast Lake County. The special act is asking that a seventh member-at-large be added to the Hospital District's Board of Trustees. He stated that they are also requesting a change in the existing election procedure that would extend the terms of office to four (4) years, and the elections for said offices would be changed to coincide with the general election. Currently elections are being held in odd number years and do not fall during the general election. At this time, Mr. Tom Wetherington distributed a copy of a resolution, to the Legislative Delegation, addressing these issues.
Mr. John Cogan, speaking on behalf of Mr. John Gammon, appeared before the Legislative Delegation and stated that there has been an increase in the corporate annual filing fee for non-
profit organizations from $61.25 per year to $200.00 per year. He stated that this is unfair to the small non-profit organization, namely, the small rental parks that are incorporated per Florida Statute 723.
Mr. Robert Proctor, City Manager, City of Fruitland Park, appeared before the Legislative Delegation to address issues regarding the Comprehensive Plan and stated that he is not opposed to the Comprehensive Plan requirement, but is concerned with the overzealousness of government to do their job in what they think is the best manner possible. He stated that the preparation of the Comprehensive Plan has cost the City of Fruitland Park approximately $50,000, or one-fifth of their yearly budget. It will costs the City approximately $10,000 per year to comply with the updated rules and regulations. He stated that he encourages the formation of a committee or group to review, on a continuing basis, documents and costs associated with compliance with the Department of Community Affairs' (DCA) updated rules and regulations.
Representative Kelly noted that the Speaker of the House has appointed a Select Committee to review the rule making process being used in the State of Florida, for the purpose of streamlining said process.
Ms. Helen Elleck, an advocate for Senior Citizens, appeared before the Legislative Delegation and stated that the cost of health care has escalated to the point that there are a growing number of people that have no health care coverage because they cannot afford the premiums. She encouraged the Legislative Delegation to promote legislation that will work towards solving the health care crisis.
Mr. Tony Otte, City Manager, City of Tavares, appeared before the Legislative Delegation and questioned why the "Partial Year Assessment Bill" has not passed the Legislature, noting that this bill has been before the Legislature for several sessions. He
further commented that he encourages the Legislative Delegation to reiterate their commitment to stop unfunded mandates.
Senator Johnson stated that she would like to work with Mr. Otte on the "Partial Year Assessment Bill" and requested that he contact her staff.
Mr. Robert Pratt, Legislative Committee, American Association for Retired Persons (AARP), appeared before the Legislative Delegation, and stated that State Bill 264, commonly known as the "Bed Tax", is a fee of $1.50 per day, per patient, for those in hospitals and nursing homes. He stated that this fee is being passed on to the patient, resulting in an increase in hospital and nursing home care costs. He noted that this legislation will be up for renewal after one year, and encouraged Senator Johnson to review this tax and support the elimination of said tax. Senator Johnson responded that the nursing homes and hospitals supported State Bill 264 in order to receive additional federal monies.
Representative Sindler stated that it is his understanding that State Bill 264 allows nursing homes to receive more money from the State and Federal levels, therefore, allowing them to hold the costs to patients down, if the nursing homes have medicaid and non-medicaid patients.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Lake County Legislative Delegation, the joint portion of the meeting between the Lake County Board of County Commissioners and the Legislative Delegation adjourned at 12:05 p.m.
G. Richard Swartz, Jr., Chairman
JAMES C. WATKINS, CLERK