JULY 12, 1993
The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in special session on Monday, July 12, 1993, at 9:00 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; Rhonda H. Gerber; Don Bailey; and Welton G. Cadwell. Others present were: Annette Star Lustgarten, County Attorney; Peter F. Wahl, County Manager; Ava Kronz, BCC Office Manager; Barbara Lehman, Chief Deputy, Finance & Audit Department; and Sandra Carter, Deputy Clerk.
The Chairman, Commr. Swartz, opened the meeting.
BUDGET OVERVIEW BY COUNTY MANAGER
Mr. Pete Wahl, County Manager, gave a brief overview of how the proposed budget before the Board this date was prepared, noting that it had been broken down into five levels of priority, which he discussed. He stated that the major issue in the preparation of this year's budget is revenue, noting that, as they look at that side of the budget, the County finds itself $5.5 million out of balance. He stated that the major reason for it is the inability of the County to count on Federal contract dollars for inmate housing, noting that the budget last year depended heavily on those dollars. He stated that, in terms of appropriations, the County has taken a relatively conservative view, as they have with the General Fund, in that staff has recommended very few positions, and, in many instances, where new positions are reflected, they are upgrades from current part-time positions to full-time positions.
Mr. Wahl stated that, in terms of Capital, staff is recommending that, where feasible, all such items be funded out of infrastructure sales tax, to relieve the General Fund. He stated that the Sheriff is requesting 15 additional law enforcement officers and the Clerk of Circuit Court is requesting 2 additional positions for his Office. He stated that the Property Appraiser is requesting 4 new positions, due to the implementation of the Save Our Homes Program on a State level. He stated that, in terms of salary, staff is recommending a two percent cost of living adjustment and a one and one-half percent merit increase on the employee's anniversary date. He stated that staff is recommending that the Board share in health insurance costs, which he noted has elevated from $300 to $382 per month, per employee, and that dependant coverage be increased from $61 to $71 per employee.
Mr. Wahl stated that, in terms of new revenue, staff has identified two new sources and is asking the Board to authorize them to continue to prepare the budget using an indirect cost ratio applied through special revenue funds and accounts, or special taxing districts, where possible. He stated that staff is suggesting 9% for those activities that need to be charged to indirect costs, which will generate approximately $1.2 million, which will help offset the $5.5 million deficit.
Mr. Wahl stated that the other area staff would like for the Board to consider is the electric utility fee, noting that he had asked the County's Budget Director, Ms. Anderson, to update the figures, and found that it would generate between $2.6 and $2.8 million annually, which would assist the County in meeting the remaining deficit. He stated that it would apply to the unincorporated area of the County and would be assessed to individual electric bills. He stated that major vendors in the area are willing to work with the County in the implementation of it. He stated that, if the Board allows them to use it, they need to move forward with it very quickly.
COUNTY'S PROPOSED BUDGET FOR FY 1993/94
Ms. Eleanor Anderson, Director, Office of Budget, appeared before the Board stating that staff had made an adjustment in the General Fund, since the proposed budget before the Board had been distributed, due to a miscalculation during the transfer of figures to other funds, therefore, another $115,928 would need to be added to the General Fund Appropriations figure. She noted that there is now a revised figure of $44,220,219 in Appropriations.
Ms. Anderson reviewed, in detail, a memorandum from her to the Board, dated July 10, 1993, in which she notes that all funds are in balance, with the exception of the General Fund. She notes that the deficit for the General Fund is $5,634,713 and that the total for the proposed indirect cost rate and the direct charges for FY 1993/94 is $1,112,349. She also notes that the franchise fees proposed at 6% will provide $2,855,094 in additional revenue and that the balance of $1,809,971 will require either a tax increase in the current millage rate or a reduction to the budget.
Ms. Anderson discussed the Corrections Budget, at which time she reviewed several tables on Page 2 of her memorandum beginning with the Adopted Budget for FY 1992/93, Mid-Year Adjustments, and the Proposed Budget for FY 1993/94, reiterating the statement made by Mr. Wahl, County Manager, that the loss of Federal dollars for housing prisoners is the major thing that is throwing this year's budget out of balance. She stated that when the budget was adopted on October 1, 1992, for FY 1992/93, staff went on the assumption that the County would bring in $2.9 million for housing Federal prisoners, however, that figure has dropped down to $949,000. She noted that during the mid-year adjustments, for FY 1992/93,
$2,454,539 was absorbed through other revenue sources and there has been an increase of over $4 million, or .87 mills, in the Corrections' budget since October 1, 1992, needed to operate the Corrections facility.
The memorandum notes that the increase for the Sheriff, Property Appraiser, Tax Collector, Supervisor of Elections, and Clerk to the Board of County Commissioners, including all costs in the General Fund associated with their operations, is $976,913. Ms. Anderson continued to review the memorandum, noting the following: An increase of seven percent for Sheriff's Equipment (paid for out of the Infrastructure Sales Tax Fund); an increase of
six percent for the Judiciary; an increase of two percent for all the other BCC departments, with the exception of Corrections; and the Cash Balance Forward and Contingency Reserves have been maintained at the same level as adopted on October 1, 1992. (She noted that these two funds should be maintained at a higher level, but money that would have been used mid-year to increase the account was put into the Corrections budget.)
Ms. Anderson noted that the Reserve for Salary Adjustment is established at 2%, in the amount of $469,090, and a reserve for life and health insurance rate increases at 27% has $700,482 set aside for FY 1993/94. She noted that said figure includes the costs for the Sheriff and the Clerk of Circuit Court, at this point in time.
She reviewed that portion of the memorandum pertaining to Equipment, which notes that Capital equipment and/or projects requested to be funded through the General Fund that meet the criteria for eligibility from the infrastructure sales tax monies are currently included in a designated account within the Infrastructure Sales Tax Capital Fund. The amount prioritized for funding is $431,354, which includes $312,990 for the Sheriff's Office and $118,364 for the other BCC Departments. The balance of $30,059 is for equipment that would have been appropriated in other funds that are not tied to specific revenues or grants.
The dollar amount for adding new positions, upgrading or reclassifying existing ones, and providing additional overtime or temporary personnel support funded through the General Fund is $332,933. She stated that, out of that, $77,529 will come out of infrastructure sales tax, so the over-all dollar amount from the General Fund is $255,404. The total amount, including all funds, is $1,015,551, with $426,850 attributable to the Private Industry Council (Federal Funding).
Ms. Anderson stated that, regarding the Revenue - General Fund, in addition to the increase to Appropriations, beginning FY
1993/94, revenue projections are $2.7 million lower than the mid-year budget, primarily due to the reduction in housing Federal prisoners, which has dropped by $1.3 million, and the Cash Balance Forward, which has dropped by $2.1 million. She stated that, due to the fact that said funds had to be used mid-year to supplement the Corrections Budget, the County does not have as high a Cash Balance Forward going into the 1993/94 budget.
Ms. Anderson stated that the adopted budget for FY 1992/93 was $39,998,800, which included the $2.9 million for housing Federal prisoners. She stated that the difference, without said funding, is $37,003,904 and, if the Board compared this amount with the proposed budget, without revenue for housing Federal prisoners, there would only be an increase in revenue, from the adopted budget, of $632,602. She then reviewed a General Fund - Revenue Analysis, on Page 5 of her memorandum, indicating how she came up with the pluses and minuses for each category.
SHERIFF'S PROPOSED BUDGET FOR FY 1993/94
Sheriff George Knupp, Jr., appeared before the Board to discuss his budget, noting that he was requesting funding for the purpose of hiring 15 additional deputies. He explained the situation that the Sheriff's Office is faced with in dealing with issues such as response time for E-911 calls, due to a shortage in manpower, noting that there were 1.5 deputies per 1,000 population in 1989 when he became Sheriff, however, that figure has dropped to 1.4 deputies per 1,000 population today and that it was not going to get any better unless he added more manpower to the force. He stated that, in 1989, the Criminal Investigations Bureau was investigating 3,600 cases, however, today they are investigating 8,200 case, utilizing the same amount of manpower.
Chief David Hall, Sheriff's Office, appeared before the Board and reviewed a zone map, contained in a booklet which had been prepared for the Board by the Sheriff's Office, made up of 11 zones, at which time he discussed problems the Sheriff's Department
is faced with in handling calls within those zones and the importance of having enough deputies to do so. He discussed the Tactical Patrol Force (TPF), noting that said deputies are utilized mainly in the evening hours, when the peak calls for service come in, as well as a chart contained on Page 12, of the booklet, which gives a comparison of additional positions of law enforcement officers for various counties in Central Florida, between FY 1989/90 and FY 1992/93, which he reviewed.
It was noted that the Sheriff's Office renovates some of their vehicles, rather than purchase new vehicles, at which time Commr. Swartz requested Mr. Wahl, County Manager, to get with the Sheriff's staff about the renovations to their vehicles, noting that, in some areas, the County may want to look at doing that, rather than purchasing new vehicles for the County. He then requested the Sheriff to obtain the response time of deputies in other counties and bring same back to the Board, for their review.
Sheriff Knupp reviewed Pages 5 and 6, of the booklet alluded to earlier, discussing the figures contained in his Personal Services budget, as well as his Operating and Equipment budgets. He then stated that, as noted in a letter he had sent to the Board in June of this year requesting the 15 additional deputies, the Sheriff's Office receives approximately $106,00 to $116,000 each year in fees, which goes to the County, noting that he wanted the Board to keep those funds in mind while considering his request for additional deputies.
Sheriff Knupp briefly discussed the issue of health insurance for his employees, noting that it has gotten to the point where the Sheriff's Office can no longer afford to foot the bill. He discussed how his office was going to handle the matter, indicating the amount of money that his single and married employees will be expected to pay. He stated that it is time for everyone to pay their fair share for health insurance.
The Board questioned whether the Sheriff had done all he could to cut his budget, to which he responded that he had, noting that he does not present a budget that has fat or waste in it. He noted things that he has done, personally, to cut his budget.
Sheriff Knupp referred to Page 4, of the booklet his office had prepared, which indicates that $13,334 was put in his budget, funded by D.U.I. fines, as established by Administrative Order, however, noted that he was using said funds to purchase cameras for the cities and the Florida Highway Patrol - that said funds were not being utilized by the Sheriff's Office.
RECESS & REASSEMBLY
At 10:20 a.m., the Chairman announced that the Board would recess for 10 minutes.
CLERK OF CIRCUIT COURT'S PROPOSED BUDGET FOR FY 1993/94
Mr. James C. Watkins, Clerk of the Circuit Court, informed the Board that they had before them two items pertaining to his tentative budget, being (1) a cover letter from him to the Board and (2) a booklet explaining the numbers given in his budget. He stated that they would be receiving another booklet, prepared by his staff, containing supporting documentation for his tentative budget.
Ms. Barbara Lehman, Chief Deputy, Finance & Audit Department, reviewed Page B-3 (Budgeted Statement of Operations for FY 1993/94) of the booklet alluded to by Mr. Watkins with the Board, which lists the Revenue for the 1993 Amended Budget at $4.3 million and $4.5 million for the 1994 Tentative Budget, an increase of 5.6% over the previous year. The Expenditures listed for the 1993 Amended Budget is $2.7 million and $2.9 million for the 1994 Tentative Budget, an increase of 7.4% over the previous year. The Expenditures Funded by Clerk Fees listed for the 1993 Amended Budget is $1.4 million and $1.6 million for the 1994 Tentative Budget, an increase of 11.1% over the previous year. The Total Expenditures for all of the Clerk's functions are listed as $4.1
million for the 1993 Amended Budget and $4.5 million for the 1994 Tentative Budget, an increase of 8.7%. Excess fees that will be funded back to the Board at the end of the year are listed as $135,858 for the 1993 Amended Budget and $12,935 for the 1994 Tentative Budget, a difference of minus 90.5%.
Ms. Lehman referred to a memorandum, dated July 6, 1993, that the Clerk's Office had sent to each of the Board members, stating that it gives additional information about the Clerk's expenditures, by object code. She stated that said memorandum had each function and expenses listed for 1993 and 1994 by Personal Services, Operating Expenses, and Capital Outlays.
A brief discussion occurred regarding the drop in the figure for excess fees and the fact that 2.5 additional people will be hired for the Clerk's Office - a full time person for the Recording Department, a full time person for the Procedures Department, and a part time person who presently works in Property Records will be hired as full time.
A brief discussion occurred regarding the fact that staffing for the Clerk's Office had decreased significantly over the last few years, by the Board of County Commissioner's taking responsibility for supervision of certain operations that the Clerk used to supervise and budget for. It was also noted that, in moving to the new facility, there were certain changes in the Clerk's staffing and realignment, which resulted in an additional decrease, last year, of four positions.
Mr. Watkins, Clerk, stated that he shared the same concerns as the Sheriff concerning salaries, noting that whatever the Board does, with respect to County employees, he would want the ability to do the same with his employees. He then discussed the issue of insurance and the fact that he did not share the Board's feelings, with respect to what share employees should have to pay, noting that the employees who will get hurt the most are the ones in the lower salary bracket. He briefly discussed the issue of costs
involved, with respect to books and publications that the Clerk's Office subscribes to, noting what books and publications his office receives and the reason for receiving them.
RECESS & REASSEMBLY
At 11:05 a.m., the Chairman announced that the Board would take a five minute recess.
SUPERVISOR OF ELECTIONS' PROPOSED BUDGET FOR FY 1993/94
Ms. Emogene Stegall, Supervisor of Elections, appeared before the Board and reviewed a Financial Appropriation Summary for the Election Registrations section of her budget, noting the following increases and decreases:
An increase of $1,000 in the Communications Account, to cover the cost of having additional telephone lines installed at election time, in order to prevent some problems her office had to deal with last year due to a shortage of same.
A decrease of $2,000 in the Postage, Drayage, Mail Account for 1994, from 1993, for postage and freight charges. She stated that she planned to purchase some ballot stock and have it shipped this year, for which said costs would come out of the current budget.
An increase of $1,800 in the Repair & Maintenance Account to cover new equipment and maintenance of the Voter Signature Verification Systems.
A decrease of $240 in the Other Current Charges Account, noting that she anticipates receiving some community service out of the media, with regard to advertising, etc.
The total amount being requested for the Election Registrations budget is $380,530.
Ms. Stegall then reviewed a Financial Appropriation Summary for the Elections section of her budget, noting the following increase and decrease:
A decrease of $5,600 in the Other Personal Services Account.
An increase of $2,000 in the Office Supplies Account, which she noted covers the cost of some of the additional voting booths that are used on election day.
The total amount being requested for the Elections budget is $177,071.
RECESS & REASSEMBLY
At 11:25 a.m., the Chairman announced that the Board would recess until 1:00 p.m.
JUDICIAL SUPPORT'S PROPOSED BUDGET FOR FY 1993/94
Ms. Eleanor Anderson, Director, Office of Budget, appeared before the Board and reviewed a Revenue & Appropriation Summary which had been prepared for Judicial Support, indicating the total Revenue and Appropriations for said department. She stated that the total amount of monies in designated sources of revenue is $534,371 and the figure for monies that come from other sources such as sales tax, revenue sharing, etc. is $1,174,992.
Ms. Anderson reviewed a Financial Appropriation Summary for each of the following categories:
Total recommended budget - $312,000 - No change.
Circuit Court - Public Defender
Total recommended budget - $63,474 - An increase of $4,822 over the previous year.
Circuit Court - State Attorney
Total recommended budget - $78,512 - A decrease of $11,961 over the previous year.
Total recommended budget - $192,500 - A decrease of $16,000 over the previous year.
Guardian Ad Litem
Total recommended budget - $8,146 - No change.
Total recommended budget - $112,160 - A decrease of $20,000.
Total recommended budget - $49,497 - A decrease of $2,790.
Total recommended budget - $638,139 - An increase of $42,938.
Ms. Anderson stated that the total Revenue and Appropriations for the above stated categories amounts to $1,709,363, which she noted is $237.00 less than the amended budget for the current year.
CORRECTIONS' PROPOSED BUDGET FOR FY 1993/94
Mr. Gary Borders, Director, Department of Corrections, appeared before the Board and reviewed a handout which had been prepared for the Board containing a Shift Staffing report and drawings of the four pods which comprise the Jail, one of which is Prelude. He stated that the figure given for staff (38) is the ideal number of staff needed to presently run the Jail.
Considerable discussion occurred regarding the Jail, at which time it was noted what types of prisoners are housed in each of the pods, the average number of prisoners (presently 391) housed at one time, the average number of U.S. Marshall prisoners (45 to 60) housed at one time, as well as a breakdown of the number of male, female, and juveniles that are housed in the Jail.
Discussion occurred regarding a possible reduction in the number of Staff Control Officers, at which time Commr. Swartz stated that he felt there could be a reduction of six (6) positions, at $30,000 each, for a total savings of $180,000.
It was noted that the number of staff (8) given for the Control Rooms included auxiliary officers, therefore, the savings would amount to $150,000, rather than $180,000.
Commr. Swartz questioned whether there would be any benefit in either the costs or operation, if the Sheriff's Office ran the Booking/Processing center, to which Mr. Borders replied that he did not feel there would be.
Considerable discussion occurred regarding various ways in which the number of employees needed to run the Jail could be reduced, thus, saving the County money.
Commr. Hanson stated that she felt there were several things the Board needed to look at in efficiently running the Jail, noting that she would like to have the Board create a committee of local business people to help the Board evaluate the Jail situation. She stated that she would like to have all options evaluated, in running the Jail more efficiently, noting that some of the things to look at would be the Sheriff running it, the Sheriff/County running it, other ways in which the County could run it better, or private industry running it, as well as to look at possibly renovating the Jail, to make it more cost efficient. She stated that the committee could look at all the possibilities available and come back to the Board with a recommendation.
A motion was made by Commr. Hanson and seconded by Commr. Gerber to create a study committee to look at the issue of more efficiently running the Jail.
Under discussion, Commr. Gerber noted that she had spoken with various people in leadership positions within the County who are very interested in serving on some of the committees and felt that they may come up with some good ideas.
Commr. Bailey questioned whether the committee would look at the issue of privatization for the Jail, to which Commr. Hanson stated that that would be up to the Committee to decide whether or not to look into that issue, noting that she would not want to tie their hands in any way.
Commr. Hanson stated that the Board is not going to have the time to spend on the Jail issue that it is going to demand and that it is going to take a large amount of County tax dollars and she has too many other things that she wants that money to be spent for. She stated that she is looking at how the County can run the
Jail more efficiently and effectively and get the most for the County's tax dollars.
Commr. Swartz stated that he felt it was premature to go forward with such a committee at this time, noting that he felt Mr. Borders was doing a good job of operating the Jail, with the people that he has, and that he did not feel it was going to significantly change. He stated that the problem stems from the fact that the Jail is housing 50% more inmates than it was housing just a couple of years ago. He noted that the County is obligated by the Florida Department of Corrections to staff the Jail.
Commr. Bailey stated that he felt it would have to be the right committee, structured the right way, and that he did not feel the timing was right, therefore, he would vote against the motion at this time.
Commr. Swartz stated that the Board is sending out a message that the Jail is not being operated efficiently and he feels that it is - it just takes more people than it used to take to operate it.
Commr. Hanson stated that she would like to see the committee be created immediately, with the hope that they could have a recommendation for the Board within the next six months or so.
The Chairman called for a vote on the motion, which failed, by a 3 to 2 vote.
Commrs. Cadwell, Bailey, and Swartz voted "No".
It was noted that staff would try to put together more detail, in terms of projecting the Jail population and exploring whether or not the County can use alternatives such as pre-trial releases and management in order to run the Jail more efficiently, for the Board's perusal.
A brief discussion occurred regarding whether or not the County would continue to house Federal prisoners, as the County is faced with moving to another level.
Commr. Swartz requested staff to come back to the Board, during the budget process, with some figures indicating whether or not it would be cost effective for the County to continue to house Federal prisoners and, if so, how many the County would have to house in order for it to be cost effective.
Discussion occurred regarding changes in Personnel (how many additional positions were being requested); the Jail Commissary and whether or not the County is making any kind of profit from it; prisoners that may be eligible for a Work Release Program and whether or not the County can charge the participants room and board; the Wagner-Peyser Grant and the fact that it was being discontinued and why it was being discontinued; and medical costs and insurance coverage for inmates while under the County's jurisdiction.
The Board then reviewed the Financial Appropriation Summary for the Jail Operations, at which time they discussed the figures given for the various accounts and suggested ways to possibly save money.
Commr. Swartz requested Mr. Borders to check with some of the surrounding counties and bring back to the Board per meal costs for inmates in each county.
Mr. Wahl, County Manager, noted, for the record, that (1) the County will be moving into negotiations with the Corrections bargaining unit and that any increases for represented Corrections employees will have to be established through a corrective bargaining process and (2) that there has been a recent change in State law that allows the County to contract with the Florida Department of Corrections for prisoners sentenced up to 22 months, and that where an agreement can be reached, the State will reimburse $32.00 per day for Federal prisoners, except on an infield bed basis, which he noted is not cost effective for the County.
Mr. Wahl stated that this year there was a statutory amendment proposed that would have allowed prisoners sentenced for two years to be assigned to local correctional facilities. He stated that, if a Bill has not been pre-filed, to date, one will be that will increase the two year time frame to 36 months, at local costs. He stated that the concern staff and Judge Briggs (Administrative Judge for Lake County) has is that, while the State may be willing to pay a portion of the costs for that extension to 22 months now, they only budgeted $3.5 million statewide and, if anybody takes them up on the issue, said money is not going to last very long. He stated that the concern is over what will happen if the County has the prisoners and the money runs out.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 3:10 p.m.
G. RICHARD SWARTZ, JR., CHAIRMAN
JAMES C. WATKINS, CLERK