The Lake County Board of County Commissioners held a State of the County Address on Wednesday, October 23, 1996, at 6:00 p.m., in the second floor lobby of the Lake County Administration Building, Tavares, Florida. Commissioners present at the meeting were: Welton G. Cadwell, Chairman; William "Bill" H. Good, Vice Chairman; G. Richard Swartz, Jr.; Catherine C. Hanson; and Rhonda H. Gerber. Others present were: Sue Whittle, County Manager; Sanford (Sandy) A. Minkoff, County Attorney; James C. Watkins, Clerk; Ed Havill, Property Appraiser; George E. Knupp, Jr., Sheriff; Ava Kronz, Office Manager, Board of County Commissioners; Barbara Lehman, Chief Deputy, County Finance; various Department Heads; and Sandra Carter, Deputy Clerk.
There were approximately 270 people in attendance.
INVOCATION AND PLEDGE
Mr. James C. Watkins, Clerk, gave the Invocation and Mr. David Hanna, City Administrator, City of Umatilla, led the Pledge of Allegiance.
PRESENTATION OF 1996 WOMEN'S HALL OF FAME AWARD
Commr. Cadwell stated that this evening would mark the second annual presentation of the Women's Hall of Fame Award. He stated that the Women's Hall of Fame Selection Committee chose the nominee, Ms. Lillie Mathews, from an impressive list of thirteen nominees. He noted Ms. Mathews' accomplishments, a major one being that she helped establish the Lake County Special Olympics Program in 1976, and presented her with the 1996 Women's Hall of Fame Award, recognizing her outstanding work in Lake County.
PRESENTATION OF LAKE COUNTY VISION THROUGH THE EYES OF YOUTH CONTEST AWARD
Commr. Cadwell extended the County's appreciation to its secondary art students who participated in the Lake County Vision Through the Eyes of Youth Contest, which he noted was instituted through the Clerk's Office. He stated that the students' art would be displayed in the 1995-96 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) and the 1996-97 Annual Budget Book, both of which have received awards in the past from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada. He thanked Ms. Julie Batliner, former Director of the Mt. Dora Center for the Arts, for judging the contest. He stated that the art work was on display around the room and encouraged those present to view it. He then presented awards to the various students, as follows:
Cover of 1996-97 Annual Budget Book
Chris Nguyen - Mt. Dora High School
Cover of Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR)
Amanda Guy - South Lake High School
Awards of Distinction
Beth Benson - Tavares High School
Monica Ruiz - Tavares High School
Andrea Foster - Tavares Middle School
Marina Smith - South Lake High School
Bridget Keller-Raber - South Lake High School
Heather Kleinberg - Mt. Dora High School
Avaryl Buzbee - Mt. Dora High School
Tony Segreto - Mt. Dora High School
Kim Mortimer - Mt. Dora High School
Lindsay Bowman - Mt. Dora High School
Malinda Perez - Mt. Dora High School
Mike Hanley - Tavares High School
Jeanine DeGraw - Tavares High School
Jason Tyre - Tavares High School
David Carroll - Tavares High School
Christy Fleetwood - South Lake High School
Heath Van Den Bogaert - South Lake High School
Diana Smith - South Lake High School
Amanda Guy - South Lake High School
Travis Antonio - Mt. Dora High School
Tony Smart - Mt. Dora High School
Ashley Carson - Mt. Dora High School
Kim Mortimer - Mt. Dora High School
Certificates of Participation
Victoria Toole - Tavares High School
Sara Ishmael - Tavares Middle School
Helen Henny - Tavares Middle School
Brantley Lindquist - South Lake High School
Kevin Lepp - South Lake High School
Heather Marzofka - South Lake High School
Kyle Ulinger - Mt. Dora High School
Jason Burgess - Mt. Dora High School
INTRODUCTION OF BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS, COUNTY MANAGER,
COUNTY ATTORNEY, AND CONSTITUTIONAL OFFICERS
Commr. Cadwell introduced to those present his fellow commissioners on the Board of County Commissioners, being Rhonda H. Gerber, William "Bill" H. Good, G. Richard Swartz, Jr., and Catherine Hanson; as well as the County Manager, Sue Whittle; the County Attorney, Sanford "Sandy" Minkoff; the Clerk, James C. Watkins; the Sheriff, George E. Knupp, Jr., and the Property Appraiser, Ed Havill. He noted that the Supervisor of Elections, Emogene Stegall, and the Tax Collector, T. Keith Hall, were not present, due to other commitments.
Commr. Cadwell noted that the Tax Collector, T. Keith Hall, was retiring and thanked him for his many years of service to the County.
Commr. Cadwell thanked the numerous banks that sponsored this event; the Umatilla High School Jazz Band, who performed; and those Lake County employees who participated in the event.
STATE OF THE COUNTY ADDRESS
Commr. Cadwell informed those present that the County has an operating budget that is balanced, at a roll-back rate of 4.909 mills, and noted that this is the second year that the County has been able to accomplish that. He stated that, for the 1997 fiscal year, the County has established four focus areas, being (1) to build a substantial environment, (2) to develop an economic base, (3) to nourish the communities, and (4) to increase the citizens' competence in their government.
Commr. Cadwell stated that the County committed over $750,000 towards the Lake Apopka restoration project; it received two major grants from the State this year, with regard to recycling; it is looking at establishing a Swap Shop at the County's landfill, where residents can drop off furniture, lumber, plumbing fixtures, etc., to be utilized by individuals who may need them; during 1995, it removed 190 tons of hazardous waste and recycled 225 gallons of anti-freeze and 15,000 gallons of used motor oil; it is looking at establishing a Stormwater Management Program; through its Adopt-a-Road Program, over 138 tons of trash were removed along the road sides by volunteers; through the Jobs Incentive Program Fund, 181 new jobs were created; it has collected $500,000 in ad valorem taxes; and it created $2.8 million in new payroll wages and $26 million in new capital investments.
Commr. Cadwell stated that the County, through its contacts with the Economic Development Commission of Mid-Florida, has been able to break into the film industry, which has brought a large amount of money into the local economy; it will be completing community improvement projects in Sorrento and Eustis, through a $550,000 block grant it received from the State, which will provide central water and sewer and paved roads in residential areas where it is badly needed; the AmeriCorps Grant Program has been continued for another year; the DARE program continues, in cooperation with the Sheriff's Office, and is currently in six middle schools; and its Affordable Housing Program awarded $724,000 this year, for housing improvements and to help people get into a first time home.
Commr. Cadwell stated that, during 1996, the County provided $155,000, in partnership with private service agencies, to the Childrens' Services Commission; it supports the 4-H Program; is working very hard to establish public\private partnerships with the cities; it has established an Adopt-a-Park Program; it continues to provide the Sheriff funding to fight his war on crime; for the first time, it has purchased four new fire trucks; a Cultural Affairs Council has been established, to stimulate interest in the Arts; through state grants, it will be purchasing over $5,000 of reference materials for each library in the County; during the 1995-96 fiscal year, it funded the Horticultural Learning Center; and it will be reevaluating the way that it provides services to the public.
Commr. Cadwell stated that, through continued partnership with the community, the County will continue to grow and prosper, not just as a county, but as a united community. He stated that it has been a great year and that the future is bright. He invited those present to partake in the refreshments that had been provided for them.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of those present, the event was adjourned at 6:30 p.m.
_______________________________ WELTON G. CADWELL, CHAIRMAN
JAMES C. WATKINS, CLERK