The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in special session on Tuesday, March 11, 1997, at 9:00 a.m., at the River Forest Group Campground. Commissioners present at the meeting were: William "Bill" H. Good, Chairman; G. Richard Swartz, Vice Chairman; Catherine C. Hanson; Welton G. Cadwell; and Rhonda H. Gerber. Others present were: Sandy A. Minkoff, County Attorney; Sue B. Whittle, County Manager; Alvin Jackson, Deputy County Manager; Ava Kronz, Director of Continuous Quality Improvement; Fletcher Smith, Senior Director, Community Services; Mike Anderson, Senior Director, Facilities & Capital Improvements; Craig Haun, Senior Director, Fire & Emergency Services; Leslie Little, Economic Development Director; Sharon Farrell, Senior Director, Growth Management; Jim Stivender, Jr., Senior Director, Public Works; Don Post, Senior Director, Solid Waste Management Services; Sarah LaMarche, Director of Budget; Barbara Lehman, Chief Deputy Clerk; Marilyn Crotty, University of Central Florida Institute of Government; and Toni M. Riggs, Deputy Clerk.
Commr. Good opened the Board Advance meeting and introduced Ms. Marilyn Crotty from the University of Central Florida Institute of Government.
Ms. Crotty explained that the Board and staff would be establishing "norms", in terms of the operation and behavior for today's meeting; participating in group dynamics; reviewing last years goals and objectives, as well as this year's goals and objectives; and discussing expectations between staff and Commissioners.
There was indepth discussion regarding the roles individuals assume when working in groups. The group addressed the areas that are working in the County, which included the Advance meetings, staff meetings, and team building, and what is not working, which included some employee discontent at the lower position levels. They also addressed the different teams that had been developed to help with specific areas of concern, with communication being noted as the biggest problem among the Board members, staff and other employees.
Ms. Crotty shared information regarding "Maturity Continuum" and explained how individuals and organizations start out as dependent, and move onto being independent, and inter-dependent. She explained what would be necessary to move people on the "Maturity Continuum".
RECESS AND REASSEMBLY
At 10:55 a.m., the Chairman announced that the Board and staff would take a ten minute recess.
BOARD ADVANCE (CONTINUED)
Ms. Crotty presented everyone with information from a book written by Peter Senge regarding "Types of Discourse". She noted that there were two types of discourse - discussion and dialogue. Ms. Crotty explained that discussion was probably not the best form of communication between individuals, with it being noted that a discussion would be to have one's views accepted by the group (to win), and a dialogue would be a free flow of meaning between people (we all win if we do it right). She explained that the ground rules included all participants suspending assumptions; all participants regarding one another as colleagues, and a facilitator "holding the context" of the dialogue. Ms. Crotty explained a chart outlining the different levels of consideration and courage to be found in situations involving Win/Lose (competition -not cooperation); Lose/Win (not a strong position to take); Lose/Lose (both end up losing); and Win/Win (looking at all alternatives and everyone is truly committed to carrying out what had been agreed to). Ms. Crotty noted that the presence of a high degree of consideration and a high degree of courage will put someone in a Win/Win situation, and a high level of trust is achieved through mutual respect and a high degree of consideration.
GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
Ms. Crotty presented the Board and staff with a copy of its FY 96/97 goals and objectives for the following four focus areas:
To Build A Sustainable Environment For Current and Future Generations in Lake County.
To Develop An Economic Base Which Will Allow Our Citizens To Enjoy Optimum Employment, Varied Cultural Opportunities, And A Quality Standard of Living.
To Nourish Our Communities Enabling All Residents The Enjoyment An Aesthetically Pleasing, Safe, Abundant and Healthy Lifestyle.
To Increase Citizen Confidence In Lake County Government.
Each Commissioner, as well as staff member, highlighted points of interest, from the list of goals and action steps under each focus area, and provided additional information, in order to update everyone on the progress achieved to date.
RECESS & REASSEMBLY
At 12:30 p.m., the Commr. Good announced that the meeting would recess for lunch.
GOALS AND OBJECTIVES (CONTINUED)
At 1:30 p.m., Commr. Good called the meeting back to order.
Ms. Crotty stated that, by breaking down the goals into the four focus areas, the Commissioners and staff have made them more cohesive.
Ms. Whittle stated that, by establishing this type of outline, it allowed for more clarity through the budget process, and in the documents that are prepared by staff.
Discussion occurred regarding any changes or additional language to be added to the four focus areas for FY 97/98, with the following being noted for the record:
FOCUS AREA I: TO BUILD A SUSTAINABLE ENVIRONMENT FOR CURRENT AND FUTURE GENERATIONS IN LAKE COUNTY
Add to Goals:
Establish a method and identify priorities to fund the storm water management program
Add to Action Steps:
Develop a countywide inventory of agricultural productions and practices.
FOCUS AREA II: TO DEVELOP AN ECONOMIC BASE WHICH WILL ALLOW OUR CITIZENS TO ENJOY OPTIMUM EMPLOYMENT, VARIED CULTURAL OPPORTUNITIES, AND A QUALITY STANDARD OF LIVING.
Change Language to Focus Area:
To develop an economic base and the infrastructure needed which allows our citizens the ability to enjoy optimum employment, varied cultural opportunities, and a quality standard of living.
Add to Goals:
To adopt the five year Capital Improvements Plan
To develop an economic strategy which would include cultural, tourism and educational activities
A category that lists the dollars spent on remodeling and historic preservation of capital improvement beyond road projects and County payroll and operations budget beyond those projects.
FOCUS AREA III: TO NOURISH OUR COMMUNITIES ENABLING ALL RESIDENTS THE ENJOYMENT AND AESTHETICALLY PLEASING, SAFE, ABUNDANT AND HEALTHY LIFESTYLE
Add to Goals:
Completion of Evaluation and Appraisal Report (EAR)
Change language in second goal, as follows: Provide facilities and programs for public recreation, health, education, and community building activities.
The third and fourth goals would be combined turning it into a public safety concept, which incorporates fire, crime prevention education, public safety, and emergency preparedness.
Response to the Comprehensive Health Care Committee Indigent Health Care and Needs Study
FOCUS AREA IV: TO INCREASE CITIZEN CONFIDENCE IN LAKE COUNTY GOVERNMENT
Mr. Minkoff stated that the Charter Development Committee was meeting, and it was anticipated to be done next year, so the Board will have a Charter to consider. He presented to the Board members a portion of the minutes from the last meeting and noted that the Charter Development Committee issued an invitation, or request, for the Commissioners to come to the next meeting. He stated that the Committee issued the same request to the Constitutional Officers, and noted that Ms. Emogene Stegall, Supervisor of Elections, did not appear; Mr. Bob McKee, Tax Collector, did not appear, but he sent Mr. T. Keith Hall who made a presentation; Sheriff George E. Knupp, Jr. appeared and made a presentation; Mr. James C. Watkins, Clerk, appeared and presented a film and made a presentation. Then the 17 members of the Committee asked them questions.
After some discussion, it was noted that Mr. Minkoff would deliver a message to the Committee that the Board felt the Committee should write the charter themselves, and the Board wanted to wait to review it rather than have the Board provide input.
Add to Goals:
Increase communication with citizens
Add to Action Steps:
Use of the internet
RECESS & REASSEMBLY
At 2:40 p.m., Commr. Good announced that the group would take a short recess.
EXPECTATIONS OF BOARD AND STAFF
Ms. Crotty directed staff and Commissioners to separate into two groups, and asked that staff develop answers to "what staff expects from the Board and what staff was willing to give to the Board", and the Board develop answers to "what the Board expects from staff and what the Board was willing to give staff".
After each group completed its task, they joined together and reviewed their expectations of one another.
Ms. Whittle informed the Board that staff has been working with the year end financial close out, and there were a couple of items she wanted to make the Board aware of today. She stated that the City of Leesburg adopted a new Community Development District, and the County did not have notification on this issue until very recently, and staff was not sure that it had the kind of notification that was required.
Ms. Lehman explained that the County owed the City of Leesburg $64,000 out of this year's tax collection, which was not budgeted.
Mr. Minkoff explained that, before the Lake Port Square's addition went on the tax roll, they created the district, in an effort to capture the increase in the tax roll the first year, because it was approximately a $12 million addition. The County did not have the ordinance delivered to it, and staff was looking at it to see if they were correct, but if they were correct, the County's financial obligation would be $64,000. Mr. Minkoff noted that the Clerk's Office and the County Attorney's Office were closely reviewing the issue.
Ms. Whittle stated that this was the year that the arbitrage calculations were due on the 1992 refunding of the bonds.
Ms. Lehman explained that, in 1992, the County refunded the 1987 bond issue. As a result, bond proceeds were put into an escrow deposit account to be held on the behalf of the holders of those previous bonds and to pay them off as they became due, and to pay them off in full on the first call date, which was December 1, 1995. At the time of the bond closing, a verification report was prepared by an outside accountant to verify that the amount of money that had been put aside would meet the obligations as they became due, with the interest that was earned on them. There was also an escrow deposit agreement that the County had entered into at First Union at that time, and as part of that agreement, First Union bought the securities, in accordance with the verification report, and the recommendation of the County's financial advisors. On August 15, 1995, one of the securities matured and should have been put into a zero interest bearing security with the U.S. Treasury at that time, but it was not done for 38 days. As a result of that, because of prior interest earnings on the escrow deposit account, the County could have a rebate liability on that bond issue, and the amount could range as high as $150,000. She noted that staff and bond counsel would be meeting with First Union tomorrow to see if they could work out a solution, and the County would not have to pay anything out of pocket.
Mr. Minkoff explained that bond counsel was of the opinion that First Union should bear some of the obligation. Staff did not know if it should be First Union, or bond counsel, or the former financial advisor, but staff was going to try and work through the process to minimize County liability.
Ms. Lehman noted that on March 31, 1997, the return was due to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
It was noted that the item may be placed on a March agenda.
Commr. Good informed everyone that, on March 13, 1997, there would be an Article V meeting in Tallahassee, Room 309 in the Capitol. The Florida Association of Counties has stressed the importance of the meeting and someone should attend, because the Board needed to continue the support in some fashion.
Mr. Minkoff noted that there was a Florida Association of County Attorneys' meeting later this month of the county attorneys who wish to be involved with and participate in the possible litigation, and he would be attending that meeting.
Ms. Whittle stated that it was important that there be a show of support at this particular meeting, because this was the hearing being held by the Senate Ways and Means Criminal Justice Sub-committee.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting adjourned at 3:35 p.m.
WILLIAM "BILL" H. GOOD, CHAIRMAN
JAMES C. WATKINS, CLERK