A REGULAR MEETING OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
JANUARY 6, 2004
The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, January 6, 2004, 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: Debbie Stivender, Chairman; Jennifer Hill, Vice Chairman; Welton G. Cadwell; Catherine C. Hanson; and Robert A. Pool. Others present were: Sanford “Sandy” A. Minkoff, County Attorney; William “Bill” A. Neron, County Manager; Wendy Taylor, Executive Office Manager, Board of County Commissioner’s Office; Linda Green, Executive Associate (present at the 5:05 p.m. hearing); and Toni M. Riggs, Deputy Clerk.
INVOCATION AND PLEDGE
Commr. Cadwell gave the Invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.
PRESENTATION - COMMISSIONERS
Commr. Stivender stated that she would like to present Commr. Cadwell with the gavel from last year and recognize the very good job he did as Chairman last year.
Mr. Bill Neron, County Manager, noted that there was one consent item on Addendum No. 1.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, stated that the closed session scheduled for 10 a.m. regarding Covanta has been cancelled.
On a motion by Commr. Hanson, seconded by Commr. Pool and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Minutes of December 2, 2003, Regular Meeting, as presented.
On a motion by Commr. Hanson, seconded by Commr. Pool and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Minutes of December 9, 2003, Regular Meeting, as presented.
CLERK OF COURTS’ CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Hanson, seconded by commr. Hill and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Clerk of Courts’ Consent Agenda, as follows:
4761-04Randy L. Qualls (Electrical)
5209-04William L. Blackwelder DBA Bill Blackwelder Signs
(Spec. Electrical Signs)
5637-04Ronald R. Howe/Southerland Electrical Solutions, Inc. (Electrical)
5767-04Bill Porter DBA Bill Porter Plastering Inc.
5853-04William Weaver III DBA Weaver Air, Inc. (Air Conditioning)
6056-04Alan Wing DBA Twin Lake Land and Water
6109-04Brian D. Rossell/Central Florida Heating & Air Conditioning (Electrical)
6147-04Stone Mason Inc. (Concrete Masonry)
6148-04Miguel Castillo DBA Castillo Landscaping Irrigation Inc.
6149-04Patricia Anne Weeks DBA Arlington Homes LLC
6150-04Emerson J. Kelly (Electrical)
6151-04Russell Langford DBA Ambient Electric
6152-04Gene Cone DBA Alarmax, LLC
6153-04Anthony Okeith Fennell/Fennell Electric, Inc.
6154-04Al Geluso DBA United Mechanical Services Inc.
4849-04Larry D. New/Economy Electric - Principal changed from Larry D. New/Economy Electric to Larry D. New/Economy of Central FL, Inc.
List of Warrants
Request to acknowledge receipt of the list of warrants paid prior to this meeting, pursuant to Chapter 136 of the Florida Statutes, which shall be incorporated into the Minutes as attached Exhibit A and filed in the Board Support Division of the Clerk's Office.
Distribution of Revenue Traffic/Criminal Cases
Request to acknowledge receipt of the Monthly Distribution of Revenue Traffic/Criminal Cases, for the month ending November 30, 2003. Disbursements due to Board: $165,109.07. Same period last year: $143,231.46.
Ordinances - City of Tavares
Request to acknowledge receipt of the following:
Ordinance 2003-33Annexing the Boundaries of the City of Tavares by Annexing Approximately 9.97 Acres Located on the Northern Side of County 448, 800 Feet East of County Road 561 and as further described, passed and ordained the 15th day of October, 2003, by the City Council of the City of Tavares, Florida.
Ordinance 2003-35 Amending the Boundaries of the City of Tavares by Annexing Approximately 41.70 Acres Located on the Northern Side of Woodlea Road, Approximately One-Half Mile West of Woodlea Sports Complex and as further described, passed and ordained the 19th day of November, 2003, by the City Council of the City of Tavares, Florida.
Lake County Water Authority - Meeting Schedule
Request to acknowledge receipt of the Lake County Water Authority Board of Trustees meeting schedule for 2004. All Regular meetings are scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m. The Budget meetings are scheduled to begin at 5:05 p.m.
St. Johns River Water Management District - Meeting Schedule
Request to acknowledge receipt of the Governing Board Meeting Schedule for the St. Johns River Water Management District for 2004.
Florida Midland Railroad Company - Abandonment Exemption
Request to acknowledge receipt of the Surface Transportation Board Decision, STB Docket No. AB-325 (Sub-No. 2X), Florida Midland Railroad Company-Abandonment Exemption-In Sumter and Lake County, FL - Decided December 3, 2003.
Ordinances - City of Leesburg
Request to acknowledge receipt of the following:
Ordinance No. 03-105 Annexing Certain Property Owned by William F. Campbell approximately .45 Acre and Being Generally Located Approximately 220 Feet West of the Intersection of Ice Cream Road and Third Street and as further described, which was passed and adopted at the regular meeting of the City Commission of the City of Leesburg, Florida, held on the 8th day of December, 2003.
Ordinance No. 03-107 Annexing Certain Property Owned by Steven J. Richey, as Trustee for Lester W. Huey, Jr. Consisting or Approximately 3.84 Acres and Being Generally Located at the Northeast Corner of the Intersection of Richey Road and East Richey Road and as further described, which was passed and adopted at the regular meeting of the City Commission of the City of Leesburg, Florida, held on the 8th day of December, 2003.
Southwest Florida Water Management District - Minutes
Request to acknowledge receipt of the Southwest Florida Water Management District - Governing Board - Approved minutes of the October 28, 2003, meeting held at District Headquarters in Brooksville, Florida.
Southwest Florida Water Management District - Public Meeting
Request to acknowledge receipt of the Southwest Florida Water Management District - Agenda of the public meeting of the Governing Board at 9:00 a.m. on December 16 and 17, 2003, at 2379 Broad Street, Brooksville, Florida.
Ordinances - City of Eustis
Request to acknowledge receipt of the following Voluntary Annexation Ordinances from the City of Eustis:
Ordinance No. 03-67 adopted by the Eustis City Commission on October 2, 2003, with an immediate effective date - 2.75 acre parcel on the south side of Harlem Avenue , between Wall Street and Coolidge Drive and as further described;
Ordinance 03-76 adopted by the Eustis City Commission on November 20, 2003, with an immediate effective date - approximately 1.2 acres located on the east side of CR 44-B and as further described - Gerald R. Cobb;
Ordinance No. 03-80 adopted by the Eustis City Commission on November 20, 2003, with an immediate effective date - approximately 0.81 acres located at 16615 Orange Avenue and as further described - James and June Revels;
Ordinance 03-82 adopted by the Eustis City Commission on November 20, 2003, with an immediate effective date - approximately 0.79 acres located at 16601 Orange Avenue and as further described - Herbert and Joyce Hamlin;
Ordinance 03-84 adopted by the Eustis City Commission on November 20, 2003, with an immediate effective date - approximately 0.28 acres located at 16900 Cumbermore Lane and as further described - Walter and Akiko Humphrey.
Release of Fine - Rohrer
Request to approve and signature authorization on the Release of Fine fully releasing and discharging Eugene C. Rohrer from any claims, demands, causes of action and judgments arising to the Order of fine, in the amount of $14,500.00, dated October 4, 2000, and recorded in OR Book 1867, Pages 2164 through 2165, of the Public Records of the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Lake County, Florida, on October 5, 2000.
COUNTY MANAGER’S CONSENT AGENDA
Commr. Cadwell addressed the consent item on Addendum No. 1 pertaining to the Paramedic Certificate Finance Agreement with Valencia Community College and questioned whether the reason that they were not using Lake Sumter EMS was due to a scheduling problem. He wanted to know that Lake Sumter EMS was being used first in this certification program.
Mr. Bill Neron, County Manager, stated that some courses are only offered at certain times of the day and this helps to meet the needs of those who are working different shifts. It has been an ongoing program, and they preferably work through Lake Sumter EMS.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Pool and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the County Manager’s Consent Agenda (Tabs 3 through 21), and Addendum No. 1, I.A.1., as follows:
Budget Transfers/Public Works/Lease of Graders
Request from Budget to approve a budget transfer - County Transportation Trust Fund, Department of Public Works, Road Operations Division, in the amount of $135,600.00 is requested. Transfer $135,600.00 from Machinery & Equipment to Rentals & Leases. Funds were originally budgeted in the Machinery & Equipment account for two graders on buy back. It was determined that it would be more cost effective to lease the graders. The cost for each grader is $1,130.00 per month for 60 months for a total cost of $135,600.00 for both. Funds are available in the Machinery & Equipment account.
Budget Transfers/Special Assessments/Property Owners Share/Quiet Lane Project
Request from Budget to approve a budget transfer – County Transportation Trust Fund, Department of Public Works, Special Services Division, Special Assessments Section, in the amount of $84,048.00 is requested. Transfer $84,048.00 from Reserve for Operations to Roads – Property Owners Share. On September 23, 2003, the Board of County Commissioners approved Special Assessments – Quaker Ridge and Thornhill Drive, located in the Mt. Plymouth subdivision. The total funds required for the Property Owner’s Share for these two projects is $102,919.00. There is a remaining balance of $18,871.00 on the Property Owner’s Share of the Quiet Lane project, leaving $84,048.00 needed for the Quaker Ridge and Thornhill Drive project. Funds available in Reserve for Operations.
Capital Substitution/Hunter Building and Judicial Center
Request from Budget for approval of Capital Substitution – Sales Tax Capital Project Fund, Department of Public Works, Sales Tax Capital Projects, in the amount of $400,000.00 is requested. Transfer $400,000.00 from Buildings – Campus Re-roofs: Hunter Building and Judicial Center to Buildings – Judicial Center Re-roofing Project. The Public Works Department plans to include the Judicial Center re-roofing project with the Judicial Center water intrusion repair project bid to insure proper coordination of the two related projects. The budget for the Judicial Center re-roofing project needs to be separated from the other re-roofing projects to achieve this purpose. Funds are available in Buildings.
Capital Substitution/Public Works/Pumps
Request from Budget for approval of Capital Substitution – County Transportation Trust Fund, Department of Public Works, Road Operations Division, in the amount of $35,800.00 is requested. Transfer $35,800.00 from Machinery & Equipment – Graders to Machinery & Equipment - Pumps. There is a need to purchase three new pumps. Some of the pumps date back to the 1960’s. During the last rainy season Road Operations was unable to pump some flooded areas because the old pumps constantly broke down. Funds are available in Machinery & Equipment, from the amount saved by leasing graders instead of purchasing them.
Capital Substitution/Road Operations/Machinery & Equipment
Request from Budget for approval of Capital Substitution – County Transportation Trust Fund, Department of Public Works, Road Operations Division, in the amount of $110,000.00 is requested. Transfer $110,000.00 from Machinery & Equipment – Graders to Machinery & Equipment. Surplus funds resulted from leasing graders instead of purchasing them. Road Operations would like to utilize a portion of the surplus to purchase two brooms (attachments), two rubber tire rollers, a drop neck trailer, two spray truck assembly’s, a sand spreader and a used message board. Funds are available in Machinery & Equipment.
Clerk’s Office/Criminal Court Costs
Request from Budget for approval of request from the Clerk’s Office for payment of Criminal Court costs for November 2003. The request exceeds the County Manager’s approval limit of $25,000.00. Total payment is for $31,466.00.00.
Memorandum of Understanding/University of Florida, Institute of Food & Agriculture
Request from Community Services for approval of Memorandum of Understanding between Lake County and the University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agriculture and authorization for the County Manager to sign the Memorandum.
Special Masters Settlement Agreement/Godby
Request from Growth Management for approval of Special Masters Settlement Agreement for Shanna Howell Godby, et al (SM-2-03).
Offer to Settle/Thomas
Request from Human Resources for approval of an offer to settle Amy Lou Thomas’ claim for bodily injury, subject to the County Attorney’s review and approval.
Resolutions/Program Analysis & Contract Management/Transportation Disadvantaged
Request from Program Analysis and Contract Management for approval of the Authorization Resolution 2004-1, which authorizes the Program Analysis and Contract Management Director to sign the Florida Commission for the Transportation Disadvantaged reimbursement invoices.
Resolutions/Program Analysis & Contract Management/Transportation Disadvantaged
Request from Program Analysis and Contract Management for approval of the Lake County Office of Program Analysis and Contract Management Transportation Disadvantaged staff to apply to the Florida Department of Transportation for Section 5311 Transit Grant Application FY 2004-2005 and Resolution 2004-2.
Resolutions/Program Analysis & Contract Management/Transportation Disadvantaged
Request from Program Analysis and Contract Management for approval of the Lake County Office of Program Analysis and Contract Management Transportation Disadvantaged staff to apply to the Florida Department of Transportation Section 5310 Transit Grant Application FY 2004-2005 and Resolution 2004-3.
Florida Department of Health EMS Grant
Request from Public Safety for approval of the execution of the Florida Department of Health EMS Grant in the amount of $70,325.47 to be divided between Lake County Fire Rescue and Lake-Sumter EMS.
Resolutions/Renaming of Road
Request from Public Safety for approval of Resolution 2004-4 to rename Shell Pond Road (2-0558) to Schofield Road (2-0558).
Amendment to Lease Agreement/Lake Agriculture & Youth Fair Association, Inc.
Request from Public Works for approval and execution of the Amendment to Lease Agreement between Lake County and the Lake Agriculture and Youth Fair Association, Inc.
Supplemental Agreement Number 2/Picciola Bridge Improvements
Request from Public Works for approval and signature of Supplemental Agreement Number 2 for the Picciola Bridge Improvements Additional Geotechnical Investigative & Engineering Work.
Resolutions/State Transportation Trust Fund
Request from Public Works for approval of Resolution 2004-5 opposing diversions from the State Transportation Trust Fund.
Interlocal Agreement/Lake-Sumter Metropolitan Planning Organization
Request from Public Works for approval to formally adopt and sign the Interlocal Agreement supporting the Lake-Sumter Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) Formation; appoint Jim Stivender, Jr., Lake County Director of Public Works, or designee, and Gregg Welstead, Lake County Director of Growth Management/Deputy County Manager, or designee, to the Lake-Sumter MPO Technical Coordinating Committee as representatives of the Board of County Commissioners on the Lake-Sumter MPO; and to approve the Transportation Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC) to represent the Lake County Board of County Commissioners on the Lake-Sumter MPO.
Resolutions/Lake Louisa Highlands/County Road Maintenance System
Request from Public Works for approval and authorization to accept the final plat for Lake Louisa Highlands, Phase III Subdivision; accept a Letter of Credit for Maintenance in the amount of $18,800.00; execute a Developer’s Agreement for Maintenance of Improvements between Lake County and ADM3 Partners; and execute a Resolution 2004-6 accepting Via Lugano Court (County Road Number 0847F) and Via Roma Circle (Part) (County Road Number 0847A) into the County Road maintenance system all relating to the Lake Louisa Highlands, Phase III subdivision. Subdivision consists of 39 lots – Commission District 2.
Resolutions/Magnolia Farms Court/County Road Maintenance System
Request from Public Works for approval and execution of Resolution 2004-7 accepting Magnolia Farms Court (County Road Number 5157B) into the County Road maintenance system all relating to the Magnolia Farms subdivision.
Award Contract/In Rem Solutions/Grant Writing Services/Budget Transfer
Request from Purchasing for approval to award the contract, subject to County Attorney approval, for grant writing services, to In Rem Solutions, Inc., and approve the budget transfer from General Fund Reserves for Operations of $37,500.00 for FY 2004.
Award Contract/Picas Painting & General Contracting
Request from Purchasing for approval to award the contract for the Interior Painting of the Atrium Ceiling, Stairwells and Penthouse of the Administration Building to Picasso Painting & General Contracting for $25,700.00 in accordance with Invitation to Bid #04-008.
List of Surplus for Disposal/Fixed Asset System
Request from Purchasing for approval to declare the items on the attached list surplus to County needs and authorize disposal as described; and accept the attached missing item investigation reports and authorize the removal of the items from the County’s Official Fixed Asset system.
Renew Annual Maintenance Agreement/Sun Microsystems
Request from Purchasing for approval to renew the annual maintenance agreement for support of the Sun Microsystems hardware and software with Sun Microsystems.
ADDENDUM NO. 1 -
Paramedic Certificate Finance Agreement/Valencia Community College
Request from Public Safety for approval of the Paramedic Certificate Finance Agreement with Valencia Community College and the Lake County Board of County Commissioners.
Ms. Cindy Hall, Assistant County Manager, presented information on each of the following employees, as Commr. Stivender presented the employee awards:
Presentation of Award to Employees with Five Years of Service
William H. Tillery, Firefighter/EMT, Public Safety, Fire & Rescue
Ronald N. Cobbs, LAN/WAN Specialist, Budget & Administrative Services/Information Technology
William J. Trantham, Building Inspector, Growth Management/Building Services/South Lake Annex (not present)
Paul L. Whitt, Equipment Operator III, Public Works/Road Operations/Maintenance Area III
Presentation of Award to Employee with Ten Years of Service
Linda A. Maggert, Office Associate III, Growth Management/Water Resource Management (not present)
Presentation of Award to Employees with Fifteen Years of Service
Margaret Carol Griffin, Solid Waste Technician, Environmental Services/MIS Scales & Residential Drop-off/MIS/Scales
Joan M. Pell, Addressing Technician, Growth Management/GIS
Presentation of Award to Employee with Twenty Years of Service
Clarence Gillard, Sign/Striping Technician, Public Works/Road Operations/Signs Signals & Striping
RESOLUTION 2003-218 REGARDING JOEY BERGSMA RETINOBLASTOMA
TO PAM BERGSMA
Commr. Stivender presented Resolution 2003-218 to Ms. Pam Bergsma and asked that she provide the Board with a little dissertation on retinoblastoma.
Ms. Pam Bergsma addressed the Board and stated that, on behalf of her beloved grandson, Joey, and the children of Lake County, she thanked the Board for proclaiming Retinoblastoma Awareness Month. Ms. Bergsma explained that retinoblastoma is the most common primary eye cancer in children and affects approximately one in 12,000 children born within the United States and this disease is imminently treatable in such a way as to both save life and, with early treatment intervention, save the affected eye with usable sight. One in every 677 live births in the United States has a treatable eye disease that will blind if not detected and treated. Information was presented to the Board explaining the “red eye” picture, which notes that a tumor will reflect “white”. She stressed that the ophthalmoscope needs to be used at every exam in a darkened room, and an infant needs an eye dilation exam. A video was shown to the Board demonstrating how a physician gives this exam. Ms. Bergsma presented the Board with a legislative update and explained that the Infant Eye Care Bill nicknamed “Joey’s Bill” was written last year (2002) and heard in four committees. In the last two hearings the vote was unanimously in their favor. Representative Susan Bucher sponsored the bill in the House and Senator Ron Klein sponsored it in the Senate. The bill numbers were HB 1117 and SB 2062. This year (2003) the bill passed through the committees in which it was heard but like last year, it did not get to continue through the process to the floor. Ms. Bergsma noted that it will make it to the floor next session (2004) and “Joey’s Bill” will pass. The bill sponsors were Representative Susan Bucher and Senator Alex Villalobos. The bill numbers were HB 0115 and SB 2174. The bill is asking for the eye dilation exam before the children leave the hospital; the six to eight week well-baby exam; and the six to nine month well-baby exam. Ms. Bergsma stated that these three exams in the first six months of life will help ensure healthy vision for all of the children in the State. Ms. Bergsma further stated that every time a poster is hung they have an opportunity to save another child’s vision or life, and she thanked Lake County.
CITIZEN QUESTION AND COMMENT PERIOD
No one wished to address the Board with questions, comments, or concerns.
Commr. Stivender recognized Ms. Pay Saylor, Superintendent of Lake County Schools; Mr. Dennis Reid, School Board Member; and Mr. Steve Johnson, Attorney representing Lake County Schools, who were present at today’s meeting.
COUNTY MANAGER’S DEPARTMENTAL BUSINESS
GREEN MOUNTAIN SCENIC BYWAY
Mr. Gregg Welstead, Deputy County Manager/Growth Management Director, asked that the Board delay the item regarding the Green Mountain Scenic Byway, until Ms. Amye King, Chief Planner, was present.
RESOLUTIONS/AFFORDABLE HOUSING ADVISORY COMMITTEE
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Hanson and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved and authorized the execution of Resolution 2004-9 appointing members to the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee, as follows:
Mary Walker - Representative of USDA Rural Development - reappointment;
Kelly Pisciotta - Resident who, in connection with affordable housing, is a provider of affordable housing - reappointment;
Greg King - Resident who, in connection with affordable housing, is actively engaged in the banking or mortgage banking industry - reappointment;
Jayson Stringfellow and George Rada - Residents who, in connection with affordable housing, are of those areas of labor engaged in home building - reappointments; and
Betty Graham - Concerned citizen for affordable housing - reappointment
Commr. Stivender recognized Mr. Jimmy Conner, School Board Member, who was present at today’s meeting.
Commr. Hanson stated that, in regards to the affordable housing matter, she felt it would be helpful to have a presentation by the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee, to bring the Board up to date on their accomplishments.
After some discussion and, as suggested by Commr. Cadwell, a presentation by the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee will be scheduled on the same day as a presentation from Affordable Housing by Lake.
REPORTS - COUNTY ATTORNEY
RESOLUTIONS/THE VILLAGES/GOLF CARTS
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, explained that, in December, staff was directed to bring back a resolution, which would authorize the operation of golf carts within the unincorporated portion of the Villages, which the Board has before them today.
Commr. Cadwell stated that the resolution will make the hours of operation consistent with the other entities, Lady Lake, Sumter County, and Marion County. There is still a question in regards to the other entities and what they require for reflectors. Today he would like the Board to approve the resolution with the hours, and then instruct the County Attorney to research the issue of reflectors and, if the County ordinance, at this point, is not consistent with the others, then it will be brought back to the Board with the appropriate change.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the request for approval and signature on Resolution 2004-10 allowing the operation of golf carts within the unincorporated portion of the Villages to operate 24 hours a day.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Hanson and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved to direct the County Attorney to contact all of the other entities that regulate golf carts in the Villages, in regards to their reflector requirements, and, if Lake County is not consistent with their regulations, an ordinance will be brought back to the Board for advertising.
EXTENSION OF AGREEMENT/SCHULTE/INCOMPETENCY CASES
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Hanson and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the extension of the Agreement with Kimberly A. Schulte for Legal Representation in Adjudication of Incompetency Cases.
SCHOOL BOARD/BALLOT QUESTION
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, explained that, in November, the Board received a request from the School Board to place on the ballot, at the election to be held on the 9th day of March, 2004, the proposition to authorize and require the School Board to select and appoint a Superintendent of Schools. The Board was going to consider it early in December, but the Board held up action, after they were presented with some information from Senator Anna Cowin’s Office. The School Board reconsidered the issue and still stands with their request that this item be placed on the ballot in March. Mr. Minkoff stated that Commr. Stivender asked him to prepare an agenda item to bring it to the Board, and to make a recommendation to the Board. Mr. Minkoff stated that the recommendation from his office was to return the issue back to the School Board with a request that get one of the judges to make a ruling that the March date is a valid date for this election. He provided to the Board a Memo from his office, as well as the School Board Attorney’s Memo, and the information from the Senate Elections Committee. Mr. Minkoff stated that the Board has three options, which he made clear in the Memo; one, the Board can determine that the request is valid under the Statute and forward the request and the ballot question to the Supervisor of Elections; two, the Board can send it back to the School Board and ask them to get a judicial determination; or, three, the Board itself can initiate the legal action in the form of a declaratory action to get court guidance in this matter.
Ms. Pam Saylor, Superintendent, addressed the Board and stated that this is a very significant issue to Lake County and, on November 10, 2003, and November 18, 2003, respectively, the School Board agreed to place the matter of having an appointed superintendent on the March 9, 2004 ballot. On November 18th, they agreed to the language for that resolution. Ms. Saylor wanted the Board to know some of the compelling reasons for their decision and read some of that particular agenda item that went before the School Board, which addressed Section 5, Article IX of the Florida Constitution, and Section 1001.461, Florida Statutes, which provides for the appointment of a district school superintendent by the school board in any district where a majority of the qualified electors voting in the same election affirm this proposition. To submit the proposition to the electors, the Lake County School Board must by formal resolution request that the Board of County Commissioners place this question before the voters of Lake County, which is the procedure they have followed. A presidential primary has already been scheduled for March 9, 2004 and is available for this purpose. A later date would preclude an appointed superintendent from being selected until 2008, over four years away and, since the County has already been categorized as a very large school district by national standards, the need to move to an appointed superintendent is greater now than it has ever been in the past. Ms. Saylor explained that it is pretty clear from her previous stance on this issue and, at the time she was running for election, that she has changed her mind about this issue, and she has had the opportunity to engage in discussions on governance with superintendents from all over the nation, the majority of which are appointed. She explained that having an appointed superintendent ensures that the superintendent is able to focus primarily on student achievement and fulfilling the School Board’s mission rather than on politics, special interests, and the campaign trail. Additional reasons to support this change include the appointed superintendent is the preferred method of selecting superintendents in over 95% of the school districts in America; the heighten involvement of School Board members in the public in an open selection process maintains the democratic process with an appointed superintendent; the business model of the superintendent as CEO reporting to a board of directors who are in turn responsible to the stockholders (citizens in this case) is overdue; the appointed superintendent model allows for full attention to the needs of children; the appointed superintendent model allows for school boards and communities to select persons by matching specific skills with specific needs in order to move the district forward.
Ms. Saylor stated that she recognizes that the Board’s issue is not the substantive issues of why the School Board desires to do this but is simply the pass through of placing it on the ballot for them. Because there are differences of opinion on this issue, she would appreciate the Board giving Mr. Stephen W. Johnson, School Board Attorney, the opportunity to share his views on this issue, and to answer any questions.
Commr. Stivender recognized Ms. Kyleen Fischer, Chairman of the Lake County School Board, who was present at today’s meeting.
Mr. Stephen W. Johnson, School Board Attorney, addressed the Board and stated that he and Mr. Minkoff have had the opportunity to exchange their memorandums, and he is here today on behalf of the Superintendent, and the majority of the School Board, who has requested this particular action be taken to the Board of County Commissioners. Mr. Johnson pointed out that the Statute that was written that deals with this appointed superintendent issue is in the Education Code. He gave an Attorney General Opinion to the School Board, and he pointed out to them that, in this Opinion, the language that dealt with this issue was really not relevant to the issue at hand, because the Legislature changed the Statute to get rid of the result of that particular Opinion. Detailed information was provided in the backup pertaining to this issue. Mr. Johnson stated that, if the Board places the matter on the ballot in March, then the School Board will go forward with the debate of having an appointed, or elected superintendent. If the Board feels it would be inappropriate to approve their request, then the School Board, if they are going to go forward with the March election, are left with two options; one, to file an action against the County Commission to compel it to do what they believe the Statute says it is required to do, which is place the matter on the ballot, or two, it would be the issue, as brought forth by Mr. Minkoff, to have one or both of the two bodies go to the judge for a declaratory judgment, because there is a dispute over the legal ramifications of this language between the School Board and the Board of County Commissioners, which he feels could be done in a timely manner. Mr. Johnson clarified that the School Board has not asked which opinions they prefer or whether they would like to do a declaratory judgment action, as opposed to any other action and, depending on what action the Board takes today, he will then go back to the School Board and provide them their options and let them make a decision at that time.
Commr. Cadwell explained that, in its discussions, the Board had questioned whether it should put a very important issue on the ballot in March, because of some of the same reasons he is concerned about today, and he would question why this Board would put the School Board’s issue, that is just as important as the issue that had been discussed by this Board, on the ballot in March, when considering some of those same concerns. Commr. Cadwell stated that he clearly understands the problem with the timing of getting a new superintendent, but he has not been able to overcome the appearance that the School Board wants to have it on the ballot in March, because it will have a better chance of passing. He is concerned about being able to look at the voters and say that they gave everybody an opportunity to look at this issue. Commr. Cadwell stated that he would prefer that the School Board wait but again that is their business but, if the Board has a say today, and there is a question about the March date, he would not recommend putting it on the ballot and, if the School Board needs to go to a judge to get an answer, then they should probably do that but, in his opinion, he does not know if this Board should be engaged in that activity.
Commr. Pool stated that historically more people will turn out in November, and more people are involved in the political process in November, and his concern is the appearance of the perception that they tried to push something forward because it would or would not pass, and the same goes with the Board’s environmental issues, which were addressed at an earlier Board meeting. The Board felt strongly that the issue should come to the ballot sooner than later, but the fact is more people will be involved in the political process in November. He felt that the Board should encourage the School Board to have this issue go before the majority of voters in Lake County, not a minority of voters. He certainly respects the dilemma of the School Board, as well as their opinions, but his opinion would be to use common sense and go to November.
Ms. Saylor stated that she respects the feelings of both of the Commissioners who have expressed their opinions, but she feels that the selection of a date is not within the province of their Board. She stated that it is clearly the School Board’s decision to make and at any time, the School Board could pay to have an election for this purpose and, if the intent of the Statute was to only have this type of a question heard at a general election, then that is the way the Statute would have been crafted, but it is not crafted in this way, and it very specifically mentions other elections that are held all through the course of a year.
Commr. Stivender stated that her concern relates to allowing everyone to have a voice in this issue, but she understands the School Board’s situation and, as stated by Commr. Cadwell, the School Board needs to let the court decide and, as explained by Ms. Saylor, they can do it anytime they want to do it, if they want to pay to have it put on a ballot. She stated that the Board, as well as the School Board, represents everyone in the County, and she thinks that everyone needs to be able to vote on such an important issue. Commr. Stivender stated that the reason for her decision is that the timing is not right; it is not because she has an opinion one way or the other on whether the position should be appointed or elected.
Ms. Saylor wanted to make sure that the Board really heard what she said because the comments that were being made to her were all about timing and, in the reading of the Statute, the timing was not something for this Board to debate, in her opinion.
Commr. Cadwell stated that, if the School Board is going to do it in March and, if there is a way that this Board cannot be a party to doing it at that time, and they do feel it should not be in March, then this would be an opportunity for this Board.
Mr. Minkoff pointed out that clearly another option would be the August 31st primary.
Commr. Hanson stated that, if the process moves forward on March 9, 2004, then it is probably a given that it will be challenged and she was not sure where this Board would stand in that challenge.
Mr. Minkoff explained that if, in fact, in August, the voters said that they would like to have an appointed superintendent, whether or not there would still be an election in November, he did not have an answer to that question, and he did not know if Mr. Johnson had an answer to that question at this time.
Ms. Saylor stated that she has read an opinion on this issue, because this issue has surfaced in many other counties, and the feeling was that, once the declaratory period had been terminated, if anyone was running at that point, the election would move forward, so there would still be an elected superintendent for an additional term.
Ms. Kyleen Fischer, Chairman of the Lake County School Board, addressed the Board and stated that the Board has a very important topic before them, the topic is a cultural change for the education system of Lake County. Ms. Fischer stated that she did not vote on the prevailing of this issue, and she did want them to know that it is her opinion that this issue should be brought before the general public in a statewide election. She believes that the August 31st date, or the November date, are the appropriate dates, but she speaks in the minority. Ms. Fischer stated that it would have taken a member of the majority to bring this item back before the School Board, therefore, the School Board members have not spoken to the issue. The Board’s deliberations are very important, because there is a time frame. Ms. Fischer stated that she does not believe it is a possibility that the School Board can employ an appointed superintendent in the time frame that has been espoused by the majority, and she feels that everyone should have the opportunity to come to the poll and vote. She does realize that, in the March election, it would be an opportunity, but that time frame is not, and is not historically, the most well attended election.
Commr. Cadwell stated that he agrees with Ms. Saylor that this Board does not have the ability to change the date, and this Board understands this and, if there is a question as to whether or not this is a valid election, then he thinks that the Board should listen to their attorney.
Commr. Hill stated that she wholeheartedly agrees with Commr. Cadwell. She stated that, on the advise of their attorney, she really feels they need to follow the law, and it is also the spirit of the law that she is thinking of and, from the readings that Mr. Minkoff has researched for them, March is reserved for the selection of party candidates, not for a statewide, or a countywide issue to be decided, and she feels that this is the letter of the law. She feels that the Board should notify the School Board and, if they wish to seek a court determination, then that should be their option, but she does not believe they should be involved in their business.
Mr. Dennis Reid, School Board Member, addressed the Board and stated that the main point is that the School Board voted 3 to 2 to put this on the March ballot. They went through the procedures that they felt were legally binding for them. Mr. Reid stated that this issue has been publicized so much that people are well aware of it, and he would like to see it continue to be on the March ballot, because of the vote by the School Board. He stated that it would give them some understanding that, when the School Board votes for something, the vote is going to be supported by others out there. Mr. Reid explained that Monroe County is doing the same thing as Lake County, and they do not have the same problems.
Mr. Jimmy Conner, School Board Member, addressed the Board and stated that he feels very strongly that the Board of County Commissioners set an example that the Superintendent, Mr. Reid, and the other two supporters on the School Board did not follow and that was that the Board asked for a legal opinion prior to their vote. Mr. Conner explained that all of his opposition to the March election previously has been based on comments made by the Board about the majority of voters having the opportunity to vote. He stated that he has read Mr. Minkoff’s legal opinion, and it is very compelling and very clear that a March referendum is an illegal election, and he does not believe that the Superintendent, or Mr. Reid, or other School Board members, have any business supporting something that is so clearly illegal, as indicated in Mr. Minkoff’s Memo, as follows:
“Primary election” means an election held preceding the general election for the purpose of nominating a party nominee to be voted for in the general election to fill a national, state, county, or district office. The first primary is a nomination or elimination election; the second primary is a nominating election only.
Mr. Conner stressed that there is a difference between a Presidential Preference Primary election, and a Primary election. Mr. Conner stated that, if they did not find Mr. Minkoff’s arguments to be compelling, then all they need to do is look at the Attorney General’s Opinion, which confirms Mr. Minkoff’s arguments. Mr. Conner asked that the Board not get into a partnership with certain members of the School Board in going to a judge because, as a warning from Mr. Johnson, even if a judge grants permission to put this on the ballot, there can still be two legal challenges; one, to halt the election and, two, to overturn the results after the fact. He stated that he commends all five of the Commissioners for the stand that they have taken not just for the law, but more importantly for the people of this County who, in overwhelming numbers, time after time have said they do not want an appointed superintendent.
Mr. Minkoff clarified that he did not give the Board his independent opinion, but he did recommend to the Board that the Attorney General has issued an opinion on this subject, and the Board should follow his opinion. He further clarified that it may very well be that a court would overturn the Attorney General, but the Board typically is bound to follow what the Attorney General indicates the law says.
On a motion by Commr. Hanson, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved to follow the Attorney General’s guidance and refuse to schedule the election, and to notify the School Board that they can take action by rescheduling or seeking court determination.
REPORTS - COUNTY MANAGER
COUNTY POLICY/CHARITABLE CAMPAIGNS, ETC.
Ms. Cindy Hall, Assistant County Manager, explained that Tab 28 and Tab 29 basically come together, and they both have come through the Employee Advisory Committee (EAC) as recommendations. Ms. Hall explained that Tab 28 basically establishes criteria for employees to participate in charitable campaigns, fund-raising, or special projects, for non-profit organizations, and that Lake County government acknowledges and supports those activities, which are found to have a public purpose. It also gives the County Manager and his designees authorization to make limited use of County staff, computers and related facilities to assist approved charitable campaigns with communicating their fund-raising efforts to Lake County employees.
Mr. Bill Neron, County Manager, explained that the reason behind this policy was that the County had a number of campaigns overlapping each other, and some of the employees were feeling pressured to constantly participate in them, and there were other folks that wanted to come in during that same campaign period to do their own solicitation. Staff was hoping that this would give some semblance of order to the process.
Commr. Hill stated that she would prefer that they approve, as a Board, the campaigns that they would want to participate in or have the County participate in and, if employees want to contribute or participate, that was their option, but it was nothing they set out to require of them in any way. She feels it should be the Board’s decision rather than leaving it to the County Manager, because she feels this would set a bad precedent for him to have to make that determination.
It was clarified that the EAC would still have input before the Board takes action.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, explained that staff can make a change to the policy today and have it signed correctly.
On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Pool and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Lake County Policy, which establishes criteria for employees to participate in charitable campaigns, fund-raising, or special projects, for non-profit organizations, with a change being made to the policy reflecting that the countywide campaigns will be brought back to the Board of County Commissioners through the Employee Advisory Committee (EAC), for a final determination by the Board.
Ms. Cindy Hall, Assistant County Manager, explained that Tab 29 addresses individual employee requests for funds. Ms. Hall explained that it prohibits the selling of commercial products like makeup and jewelry on County time and County property. It does allow for the selling and distribution of products for fund raisers, such as cookies and candy and cards, that benefit schools and non-profit organizations, as long as they are done in the break areas and not by public display. The policy also allows a request by a department, or employee, for countywide aid or assistance needs to go through the Employee Advisory Committee (EAC) who would make a recommendation to the County Manager, and it prohibits vendor solicitations for donations on County property. She noted that this has gone through the EAC, and it is their suggestion.
It was clarified that, in regards to the fifth item addressing countywide campaigns for charitable campaigns, the language will be changed to reflect the same as Tab 28, that these will be approved by the Board of County Commissioners.
Commr. Hill had a question about #1 regarding posting of businesses on the intranet, or employee bulletin boards, and she asked staff for clarification.
Ms. Hall explained that it was the intent of the item to clarify that there would be no internet access to buy commercial products, and there would be no communication through the County internet.
On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Hanson and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Lake County Policy, which establishes a working environment that encourages maximum productivity and protects the privacy of employees from solicitation, with a change to #5 reflecting that countywide campaigns, as in Tab 28, will be approved by the Board of County Commissioners.
COUNTY MANAGER’S DEPARTMENTAL BUSINESS
RESOLUTION/GREEN MOUNTAIN SCENIC BYWAY
Ms. Amye King, Chief Planner, Growth Management, addressed the Board to present the Green Mountain Scenic Byway (Byway). Ms. King explained that the Byway is approximately ten miles long, from CR 455 from the northern termini at the intersection of CR 561 south to the intersection with Old Highway 50. It is locally known as the Montverde Junction. A Resolution (2001-217) supporting the citizens committee’s effort to achieve Florida Scenic Highway designation for these portions of CR 455 and Old Highway 50 was passed unanimously by the Board on November 6, 2001. On July 5, 2002, Secretary Thomas Berry signed the letter granting the Byway eligibility status. It was noted that the Corridor Advocacy Group is working on its quarter management plan to obtain this designation as a Florida Scenic Highway.
Ms. King stated that, according to the Department of Transportation (DOT), the next task to achieve the Florida Scenic Highway status is to adopt the Corridor Management Plan (CMP) by both Montverde and Lake County. The Plan includes a vision statement; goals, objectives and strategies; and a corridor map. This packet was sent to staff in September, 2003, and a Resolution accompanied the packet saying that both governments intend to adopt the applicable Comprehensive Plan amendments. The Scenic Highway Advisory Committee will accept a resolution from Montverde and Lake County stating that each will adopt and implement the CMP in the future, without having to adopt the Comprehensive Plan amendments now. The resolution that was sent to the Board was signed and adopted by the Town of Montverde earlier in 2003, and the Town has asked the Board to consider the resolution for adoption.
Commr. Stivender explained that Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, Mr. Jim Stivender, Director of Public Works, Ms. King, and she attended a couple of meetings to go over all the situations that could occur, as well as the County’s responsibility, in terms of money, and Mr. Stivender reviewed what the County was already going to do with CR 455. She noted that any monetary issues will come back to the Board and, while this is an ongoing process, there is a group working on alternate routes for the development in that area, so they can maintain this as a scenic route.
Commr. Pool explained that the community, and the Town of Montverde, feel very passionately about this item, and he thinks it is a benefit to the area, but the key is funding and finance as they go forward but he does believe that the citizens embrace this idea, and the Board should also embrace it, as they did with their other resolution.
On a motion by Commr. Pool, seconded by Commr. Hanson and carried unanimously by a 5- vote, the Board approved the request from Growth Management for approval of Resolution 2004-8 in support of the Green Mountain Scenic Byway.
REPORTS - COMMISSIONER POOL - DISTRICT #2
SOUTH LAKE COUNTY COMMUNITY FOUNDATION/PIG ON THE POND
Commr. Pool informed the Board that the South Lake County Community Foundation is having its annual Pig On the Pond event on March 12th and 13th. He asked the Board members to put this on their calendars.
REPORTS - COMMISSIONER STIVENDER-CHAIRMAN AND DISTRICT #3
PROCLAMATION/MARTIN LUTHER KING
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the request for approval and execution of Proclamation 2004-11 honoring Martin Luther King.
APPOINTMENT/REAPPOINTMENT OF COMMISSIONER LIAISONS
RESOLUTIONS/AFFORDABLE HOUSING ADVISORY COMMITTEE
TOURIST DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL
Commr. Stivender informed the Board that the Board members have a copy of her recommendations for the appointment/reappointment of Commissioner liaisons/members for Lake County Boards and Committees. She noted that she left the appointment of Commr. Cadwell with the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee, and she recommends that Commr. Pool serve as the liaison to the Tourist Development Council.
Commr. Hanson stated that one of the reasons she applied for the County-wide Solid Waste Study Committee is that, through the organization of some of the committees, there is a real possibility that it may be combined with the Environmental Protection Advisory Board.
Commr. Stivender pointed out to Commr. Cadwell that the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board will be combined with the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC).
Commr. Stivender reminded the Board that there will be a Board Retreat on January 30, 2004, at 9 a.m., at the Astatula Community Building, to review the reorganization of all committees, and other items that may need to be discussed at that time, and she feels that a lot of these committees will be combined but, because there are meetings between now and then, she would like everybody to get on their boards.
Commr. Hill stated that it would be fine with her for Commr. Hanson to continue with the County-wide Solid Waste Study Committee for consistency.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Pool and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the appointment/reappointment of Commissioner liaisons/members for Lake County Boards and Committees and approved and authorized the execution of Resolution 2004-12 appointing the Commissioner member (Cadwell) to the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee and Resolution 2004-13 appointing the Commissioner (Pool) to the Tourist Development Council.
Mr. Bill Neron, County Manager, noted that staff has put together a packet of information, which has been checked by the County Attorney’s Office, and all committees, and it has been given to all of the directors for review, and that information should be ready by the end of the week, or early next week. Staff will be distributing that to the Board members, in preparation for the workshop on January 30, 2004.
REPORTS - COMMISSIONER HANSON - DISTRICT #4
TOWN MEETING/ELDER AFFAIRS
Commr. Hanson announced that there will be a Town Meeting tomorrow, January 7, 2004, at 6:30 p.m., at the Lake Sumter Community College, Magnolia Room, for Elder Affairs.
She and Representative Hugh Gibson are co-hosting it, and Terry White, Secretary, State of Florida Department of Elder Affairs, will be there, and they are expecting a good turnout. The meeting is open to the public.
WEKIVA COORDINATING COMMITTEE
Commr. Hanson announced that the Wekiva Coordinating Committee will be meeting on Friday, January 9, 2004, in Altamonte Springs, as well as January 28th and 29th. It is anticipated that the Committee will wrap up its business by the end of the month. These meetings are open to the public, and to the Commissioners.
REPORTS - COMMISSIONER CADWELL - DISTRICT #5
Commr. Cadwell stated that he has gotten some calls in regards to the 5:05 p.m. hearing on the ordinance pertaining to exotic animals. He stated that it was designed to really tighten up the requirements in the ordinance, and there seems to be a misunderstanding that this is making it easier for someone to get a conditional use permit (CUP).
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, clarified that, with the one case that was litigated, one of the defenses used by the property owner was that the County ordinance included exotics in regular agriculture. The County won that case in court, but this eliminates that future defense to be used against the County.
Commr. Cadwell asked that the County Attorney make this same presentation at the 5:05 p.m. hearing, to help clarify the issue.
THE ORLANDO SENTINEL
Commr. Stivender appreciated Mr. Keith Schue writing a very good article in “The Orlando Sentinel” about the Wekiva issue, which she felt was on point.
Commr. Hanson stated that the article was very factual and very fair. She stated that too often the press can put their opinion in their column, whether it is based on fact or not and that is unfortunate, because it does create harm for the citizens, and for the County.
RECESS & REASSEMBLY
At 10:10 a.m., Commr. Stivender announced that the Board would recess until 5:05 p.m. for the public hearing on the ordinance pertaining to exotic animals.
PUBLIC HEARING -
ORDINANCE RELATING TO EXOTIC ANIMALS
At 5:05 p.m., Commr. Stivender reconvened the meeting for a public hearing on the proposed ordinance relating to exotic animals.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, stated that this would be the second reading of the ordinance. He placed the following proposed Ordinance on the floor, by title only, and noted that it would be Ordinance 2004-1, if approved by the Board:
AN ORDINANCE OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF LAKE COUNTY, FLORIDA; AMENDING CHAPTER II, LAKE COUNTY CODE, APPENDIX E, LAND DEVELOPMENT REGULATIONS, ENTITLED DEFINITIONS; AMENDING THE DEFINITION FOR HUSBANDRY; AMENDING THE DEFINITION OF LIVESTOCK; AMENDING SECTION 3.01.02, LAKE COUNTY CODE, APPENDIX E, LAND DEVELOPMENT REGULATIONS, ENTITLED CLASSIFICATION OF USES; PROVIDING FOR THE KEEPING OF EXOTIC ANIMALS IN THE AGRICULTURE (A) ZONING DISTRICT WITH A CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT; AMENDING SECTION 3.01.03, LAKE COUNTY CODE, APPENDIX E, LAND DEVELOPMENT REGULATIONS, ENTITLED SCHEDULE OF PERMITTED AND CONDITIONAL USES; PROVIDING FOR A USE CLASSIFICATION TO BE KNOWN AS EXOTIC ANIMALS; PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY; PROVIDING FOR INCLUSION IN THE CODE; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
Mr. Minkoff stated that previously, in a code enforcement case, they had a citation for exotic animals, and one of the defenses used by the landowner was that keeping of exotics was allowed in general agriculture, because it was husbandry, as defined by the County Code. The purpose of this ordinance is to make it very clear that husbandry and livestock do not include exotic animals. If you do want to keep them, they are allowed in the agriculture zoning district, but you must obtain a CUP.
Commr. Stivender noted that Commr. Hanson was present by phone, and she will be able to ask questions, if necessary.
Commr. Stivender opened the public hearing and called for public comment.
Mr. Robert Bower, Royal Trails, addressed the Board and stated that he would like to have a definition of exotic animals.
Mr. Minkoff clarified that there is a definition in the Code, but it refers back to the Florida Administrative Code and exotic would be anything classified as a Class I or Class II captive wildlife, as set forth in the Florida Administrative Code, which is the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission definition. He noted that lions and tigers are listed in that group.
Mr. Greg Gerjel, Attorney, addressed the Board and stated that he has been before the Board to discuss this subject in a different context. Mr. Gerjel stated that he would like to commend the County for finally helping them with the drafting of this ordinance, and he feels it was a very good idea.
Mr. Gerjel stated that he would like to point out Section 3.01.02, B.,13., which appears to be the appropriate place for these animals, in agricultural zoning. He stated that Class I and Class II animals, as established by the Florida Administrative Code, have been delineated as being included in this and it covers most of the animals that would attract attention. He feels it is very commendable and appropriate that the drafters have added 3.01.04, 23., to mandate that anybody that brings these animals into the County has to comply with all of the state and federal regulations.
Mr. Gerjel stated that he has provided to the Deputy Clerk, for distribution, one thing that the Board, and the County Attorney, should at least give consideration to when deciding on whether to treat this as a permissible use versus a conditional use within the agricultural setting. The issue that should raise some concern is the problem of separation. He stated that Florida Constitution specifically separates the powers to regulate and the powers of the executive issues concerning exotic animals to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. He provided the Board with a copy of the Florida Attorney General’s Advisory Legal Opinion that was provided to the City Attorney for the City of Miramar, Florida. The Opinion points out that a municipality, or a County, or anyone other than the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is precluded from establishing regulations governing the regulatory powers over animals. There may be a problem when enforcing owners to apply for a CUP, which would entail establishing regulations, constraints, limitations, or modifications, other than what would generally be found in a simple agricultural permissive use. He felt that the Board should explore the idea that some of these regulations, limitations, or guidelines may infringe or pass into the subject matter of Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and violate the separation issue that is discussed in this Opinion. He felt that this was something that the County Attorney can discuss and decide whether the Board should be comfortable allowing a conditional use to impact the freedom of owners to possess these animals in a agricultural setting.
Mr. Gerjel stated that the Board should explore other ideas when getting into a conditional use question of equal protection, in terms of how these regulations for a CUP might impact possessors of exotic animals, Class I and Class II animals, in comparison with persons who may own other animals that can be just as dangerous.
Commr. Cadwell questioned whether it was Mr. Gerjel’s opinion that he would prefer that the Board have the definitions in the Ordinance but preclude anyone from having to get a CUP.
Mr. Gerjel stated that he felt that the definitions are fine, and the placement of the animals into the agricultural zoning designation is appropriate. After reading this Opinion and, based on how some of the other municipalities have handled the situation, it was his feeling that he would caution the Board about the perils that may lie when you start applying conditions to the possession of these animals.
Mr. Minkoff stated that the County has several CUPs for exotics already and, in fact, the zoning approval and terms are part of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission permit process, that they have to demonstrate that it is an appropriate zone for those animals in the first place. Staff has never crossed the line, in terms of trying to dictate types of cages, fences, or other things that are regulated by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission but, in terms of whether it should be located there at all, that would be a zoning question, which the County does regulate. He stated that the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is the constitutional agency and, if the County was totally urban like Seminole or Pinellas, chances are that a regulation like that might be upheld.
Commr. Cadwell stated that this is a good ordinance, and it is going to require those folks to come and get that CUP, and this should answer what the County is doing from their end. He asked Mr. Minkoff to see if there are any cases where a county with a similar type of makeup like Lake County has precluded those animals altogether.
Mr. Gerjel stated that the only other question he would ask the Board, and the County Attorney, is how this proposed ordinance would be handled under grandfather provisions, or whether there should be something in the ordinance addressing that issue, as to those folks who have maintained facilities and operations that pre-date this ordinance.
Mr. Minkoff stated that there should not be any such cases because, in order to be legal today, they have always maintained, as they did with his client, that a CUP was required to have exotic animals, and this Code change does not change the law. If someone has exotic animals, and they do not have a CUP, they are not a lawful use and, in order to be grandfathered, they had to be lawful in the first place. He noted that no one would be grandfathered unless they were here prior to 1971, when zoning came into place.
Commr. Cadwell stated that the ordinance tightens up the exotic animal ordinance and empowers the County even more to require CUPs in agriculture, and it specifies that agriculture is the only place you can even apply for a CUP for exotics.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously by a 5- 0 vote, the Board approved Ordinance 2004-1 relating to exotic animals, as read by title only.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 5:20 p.m.
DEBBIE STIVENDER, CHAIRMAN
JAMES C. WATKINS, CLERK