SPECIAL MEETING OF THE BOARD OF
JANUARY 18, 2008
The Lake County Board of
DISCUSSION OF COMMISSIONERS
The first hour of the meeting consisted of a
discussion between the Commissioners; Ms. Cindy Hall,
Commr. Renick stated her concerns about problems
and delays that some major developers of commercial projects were experiencing,
especially in the south
Commr. Stivender commented that when there was one designated staff person working on a project of that magnitude, it got through the system faster.
Mr. Minkoff pointed out that one of the projects Commr. Renick was referring to was totally within the city limits of Clermont, so he did not believe that it had ever come through a County site plan process. He thought that Public Works would be the department that would be involved in this particular project.
Commr. Renick explained that there was a problem with Steve’s Road that was a County issue with this project. There was discussion about how they would look for a project that they could use as a case study to analyze exactly what the problems were and what the solutions would be.
Commr. Cadwell pointed out that even some of the good policies, such as the environmental assessment, might slow down the process to some extent, but that he still supported those.
Ms. Hall stated that they had talked about having an ombudsman in that department that could actually walk people through the process. There was also discussion about having a checklist to guide developers through that process.
Commr. Cadwell commented that he believed the current staff in the Planning and Zoning Department understood the Board’s philosophy and had a cooperative attitude.
Ms. Hall added that she thought everyone was on the same page and had the same interest in mind, but unfortunately were still trying to grasp the problem. She asked for the Commissioners to let her know when they heard about particular problems, because they might be in addition to other ones she was already aware of.
Commr. Renick commented that if there was a problem involving a city, they might need to get involved with that as well. She also asked if they could fast track businesses that were willing to follow the guidelines for green building as an incentive.
Ms. Hall commented that that was a very good idea and that the County needed to fix the fast track program they currently had so that the process was quicker.
Commr. Renick expressed concerned about the County hiring contractors knowledgeable about the LEED certification and then deciding not to do it.
Ms. Hall did not think that any contractor was eliminated from being considered for the job because of that factor.
Commr. Cadwell related that they started looking at that certification with the architect and builder, and then they decided to try to engineer all of that in without actually going through the process to obtain the certificate.
Commr. Renick stated that it was a trust issue about whether all of those things were being done.
Ms. Hall commented that Mr. Jim Bannon, Facilities Development and Management Director, was working on getting information on the cost of the LEED certification and might have that at the workshop later that day, but she did not think that they could do that with the Constitutional Officer Building. She noted that they were going for LEED certification for the Umatilla Health Clinic, which would be easier since it was a small building.
Mr. Minkoff commented that the
Commr. Renick was concerned about “district territorialism” and about what Commissioner should be in contact with people from various districts.
Commr. Stewart commented that she believed that they were selected County-wide, and she talked to people from all over the County.
Commr. Cadwell also did not see a problem with talking to any individual citizen from any part of the County and stated that he would like to know about any large issue that was happening.
Commr. Hill noted that sometimes the input was driven by the committees they sat on.
Mr. Minkoff commented that he would usually tell a citizen concerned about an issue to see their district Commissioner first, but he would not dissuade anyone from seeing any of the other Commissioners.
Commr. Renick asked what the extent of the Board’s involvement on water conservation would be. She thought they should do everything they could to push the 2013 date out into the future as far as they could before they were required to use the alternative water supply.
Commr. Cadwell thought that it was important for the whole region to work together on this.
Commr. Renick commented that this issue would be a good way to put myregion.org to the test, but she had concerns about the attitude of some of the other surrounding counties regarding water conservation and availability.
Ms. Hall commented that she was expecting that water issues would be a priority, and she would like to put in place a team of people to focus on water conservation. She related that Mr. Gregg Welstead, Deputy County Manager, was charged with looking at things that they could bring back to the Board that were water conservation oriented. She also stated that she would be in favor of working regionally, either through the myregion.org or some other mechanism, to do that. She assured the Board that if they made this a priority, her office would do everything they possibly could think of, including bringing it forward to the region.
Commr. Cadwell commented that he thought that another good place to discuss this issue was at the Congress of Regional Leaders.
Commr. Renick informed them that the St. Johns River Water Management District would do a presentation for the Board on domestic self supply to get a feel for how much water they really were using, including the well usage. She also was thinking of getting more involved in the Water Alliance, now that the original agreement had sunsetted and they had voted to take a new direction other than just looking at alternative water supplies, including taking a look at water conservation. She was trying to decide whether she should be a voting member or just a liaison so that she could still be able to talk to the other members.
Mr. Minkoff commented that the concern the Water Alliance had with Commr. Renick being just a liaison was that they were looking for the County to be a financial contributor and that if she was not a member, there might not be as much commitment to the process.
Commr. Stivender agreed with Commr. Renick that putting her as a liaison would give her more freedom to be able to discuss things.
Commr. Cadwell stated that he had spoken with Mr. Welstead about generating some money for water conservation measures by monitoring of new wells that get installed within the County.
WELCOME - GOAL RETREAT
Ms. Hall announced that they had prepared a
package regarding eight goals along with some defining statements underneath
the goals that the County had adopted in January of 2006, relating what they
would like to be able to say about
Ms. Sharon Wall, Employee Services Director,
reported that they were finding ways that they could inspire their employees to
do the best job they could and enjoy the work they did. They had been looking at their processes and
technology when possible to automate things.
She enthusiastically related that customer service was being improved
and that they were always striving to fine tune it up to that next level. They wanted
Ms. Hall commented that external communication was another area they were trying hard to improve by being out in the community and work with homeowner’s associations, rotary clubs, some lunch and breakfast groups, and other organizations so that they were familiar with them. She wanted them to present themselves as approachable, and department directors were encouraged to get out in the community to participate in events.
Mr. Gregg Welstead, Deputy County Manager,
commented that they have accomplished a great deal in the last two years. He related that school concurrency and
traffic concurrency were a pipe dream at the time those goals were set. He also noted that public safety had been an
area that they had focused on, and that since the hurricanes of 2004, they have
seen a shift in that entire effort from an organization that had dealt with
emergencies in a disjointed way to an organization that really recognized the
value of everyone in the organization, and that currently everyone pitches in
when something is needed, as shown by the tornadoes of 2006. He noted that they led the State in
intergovernmental cooperation during the Groundhog Day Tornados. He stated that the fact that they developed
first responder agreements with most of the cities and that they communicated
with them on a great basis was reflected in the Board’s approval of the 800 mHz
radio system. He mentioned that the
Cagan Crossings Library was a perfect example of regional cooperation with the
neighboring counties. He also stated
that the County’s involvement in the League of Cities shows that it was
important for them to help the cities when needed and to provide them with the
County’s recommendations and observations of how they were working to ensure
that all of them were working together.
He pointed out that the Water Alliance was one of the prime examples of
where they had cooperated with the cities over the last four years, such as in
objecting to OUC (Orlando Utilities Commission) and
Ms. Hall added that they were very active in the myregion.org process that involved seven counties, such as by heading up the greenprint effort of that. She emphasized that the city managers and the County were working on some countywide proposals discussed at the Quarterly Managers’ Meeting to bring forward having to do with water conservation.
THE ECONOMY OF
Ms. Dottie Keedy, Economic Growth and
Redevelopment Director, stated that her department was created out of the
adoption of this economic goal about a year and a half ago. She related that they have not really
achieved the four bulleted points underneath it, but she believed that they
were well on their way to doing that.
She has been evaluating their current programs and what they had been
doing and networking with all the individuals and partners in the County and
the region. She commented that economic
development was a very collaborative effort and included a lot of partners, and
there had been a lot of people they had been in communication with and trying
to establish relationships with in working on the strategic plan, which had
been discussed in detail recently. She
opined that they have had a lot of success at the
Mr. Jim Stivender, Jr., Public Works Director, stated that they did a reorganization of their department for this transportation goal. He commented that these goals outlined what they were already doing and reflected their continuing cooperation with the cities and FDOT (Florida Department of Transportation) on all the inter-modal operations that were already going on. He mentioned the paved shoulders they were doing, trails they were working on, and programs they were working through with FDOT on grants associated with that. One of the challenges they initially faced was that they were having trouble getting companies to bid for the projects they were putting out to bid, since those companies were busy doing private sector work. However, since that situation has changed recently, there were projects that were now in place, such as the $13 million Southern Connector, which was now officially finished as of last week. He also related that sidewalks, shoulders, and cart paths were all intricately designed into the CR 466 project, which will be started later this year. He reported that Mr. T. J. Fish, Executive Director of the MPO (Lake Sumter Metropolitan Planning Organization), had bridged a lot of the gaps in the planning efforts when it came to the cities, the County, the surrounding counties, and the FDOT. He stated that his job was to make sure the operational systems were all working very well together. He also reported that they had an agreement worked out with the concurrency issues, and they were moving forward with that.
Commr. Cadwell stated that the whole MPO process has worked well.
Mr. Stivender commented that it has allowed them
to work on some other factors, such as the fundamentals of design and
interconnection and to build roads and trails.
He related that they had a tough time in 2006 at the start of this
program, but it got better last year, and they had a lot of projects this year
out to bid. They hoped to have a lot of
roads resurfaced by May. He also pointed
out that they were making the parks that they were refurbishing, such as
SOCIAL SERVICES ARE PROVIDED TO THOSE IN NEED
Mr. Fletcher Smith, Community Services Director,
explained that the County was not in the business of doing actual direct
services, but they had been in the background providing incentive funding for
others to do things in that area. He
noted that they had just had the Social Services Needs GAP Analysis from UCF,
and transportation was one of the first things mentioned. He commented that the County did an
incredible amount of funding for transportation services, and the County funded
almost $14 million for health, human and social services, which included
transportation. He mentioned that the
UCF study also recommended that the County work with health care providers to
help address affordable health care for people in the County, and they were
working with the Lake County Medical Society through the WeCare Program to try
to make some kind of inroads with people who did not have health care to get
them some assistance when they needed specialty care. He also informed the Board that through the
Lake County Comprehensive Health Care Committee, the hospitals had established
four indigent medical clinics. He mentioned that they provide funding for the
Health Department, and they had participated with NaCo over the past couple of
years for the prescription medication card, which had saved the citizens of
Lake County over one million dollars in prescription costs. He related that the study also talked about a
centralized information, referral, and case management system (such as a 211
case management system), and he recommended that if the County decided to do
that, they should be cautious and do it at a lower cost level. He thought that the County should be a
funding partner in the system, but not necessarily the only funding partner,
since there were a lot of municipalities and businesses that would benefit by
having a system like this in place. He
reported that location of services was another issue that the study brought up
and that services tend to be clustered in more populated areas. He commented that it was a challenge for his
staff to provide transportation for the people in rural areas that needed
services. He also talked about the Human
Care Network, which he believed provided the first inroads into a county-wide
case-management type of program and had established six food distribution sites
countywide. He pointed out that the
Community Health Worker Program in
Mr. Daryl Smith, Environmental Services Director, commented that he thought they needed to develop some kind of real direction in terms of where the County wanted to go with the greening and develop some kind of comprehensive program to demonstrate the County’s commitment to preserving all the environmental resources. He related that they had made a strong commitment with their Water Atlas that provided them with a lot of information about the quality of the water in all of their lakes, and the Water Authority has been a partner in that program. He mentioned that they would be talking next week about the Adopt-A-Lake Program, which included an educational component to educate the public about how to preserve their water resources. He stated that the Aquatic Plant Management program had a significant impact, and noted that in 2006, they treated over 5,000 acres of Hydrilla at a cost of $1.8 million, but after their eradication initiative, they have had to treat less than 200 acres of Hydrilla at a cost of less than $100,000 this year. He thought that the commitment that the Board was making to the Parks and Recreational Programs was important to preserve the natural resources as well as providing recreational activities for citizens. He commented that they were moving forward with examining and evaluating other lands for purchase through the Public Lands Acquisition Advisory Council (PLAAC), and since 2005 they had purchased seven properties totaling over 1300 acres.
Ms. Hall stated that she met yesterday with some of the Environmental Services staff about the recycling program, which has been so successful that they were out of bins. She added that they have gotten a lot of response from businesses that wanted to participate and that it was going extremely well.
URBAN DEVELOMENT IS WELL PLANNED AND IMPLEMENTED
Ms. Amye King, Deputy Director, Growth Management,
commented that the last two goals were being addressed by almost every
department. She stated that Growth
Management, Public Works, Community Services, and the MPO had all talked about
the need to promote walkable communities and that over the last 20 to 30 years,
transportation would be addressed by multi-modal systems including bicycles and
pedestrians, as well as automobiles. She
reported that Community Services was currently working with Yalaha,
Ms. King informed the Board that one specific
objective that the LPA (Local Planning Agency) was working on in the new Comp
Plan was an overlay gateway district for roads such as SR 50 in coordination
with the cities along SR 50. She also
reported that the Lake County Arts and Cultural Alliance was promoting and
focusing public art around public transportation, and they would like to get
consensus from the Board as to where arts fell within their vision for the
County. She listed some ways they could
promote art, including the By the Bench Program to purchase public art;
purchasing only local art by policy for all of their buildings; and creating
incentives for public art through policy and the Land Development Regulations
by listing design criteria to make buildings more aesthetically pleasing, such
as enhancement of landscaping, creation of water features, and use of
sculpture. She related that Community
Services was using the SHIP Home Repair program to replace housing that was
dilapidated and met certain criteria and allocating money for exterior
improvements to enhance aesthetics. She
explained that Growth Management, Public Works, the City of
Mr. Jim Bannon, Facilities Development and
Management Director, gave some preliminary information on the potential cost of
LEED Certification, and stated that after consulting with the construction
managers, he learned that typically the cost of LEED was between two and ten
percent of the cost of construction of the traditional building. He commented that there were a lot of LEED
components in their building as it was, and they thought the five percent range
was what they potentially would be looking at if they went for LEED
certification. He also informed the
Board that he did not think they could use the LEED certification for the
Commr. Cadwell pointed out that the
Mr. Bannon replied that it was close to it, but he did not think it was possible to achieve it. He explained that part of the reason was that the construction manager was currently bidding that building without LEED, and if they decided to go back to all of those subcontractors later on and tell them they wanted LEED, they would have lost leverage in getting good numbers from those subcontractors.
Commr. Hill commented that they had already done a demolition to the area, which was part of the LEED process.
Mr. Bannon stated that he would look into trying
to achieve some other kind of green certification for the
OPEN DISCUSSION BY BOARD WITH NEW OR REVISED GOALS
Commr. Cadwell called for all the presenters to come back to the table for a discussion and related that the Board had some ideas of things they wanted to do as well as some comments which came out of some of the discussions they had in their 8:00 meeting that they wanted input on. He asked Ms. Sharon Wall, Employee Services Director, about the auditions of employees that wanted to be facilitators of their training program.
Ms. Wall explained that they went to their employees who had participated in Toastmasters so they would not have to do a lot of training, since they were people who had already expressed the interest and were able to get up in front of a group and lead people. She added that about eight people auditioned for those positions.
Commr. Renick commented that water conservation was a big issue, which encompassed a lot of things and that intergovernmental cooperation was heating up with all the annexations, service areas, and looking at urban boundaries. She also stated that the comprehensive green program that was referred to by Environmental Services and organization of a green department was also a notable goal.
Commr. Stewart thought that working toward economic development was another important issue for the County.
Commr. Cadwell related that in their earlier meeting, the Board talked about tools to help them achieve their goals, and one of those was to take some development projects that may have had problems and analyze those as a group. He also related that Commr. Renick brought up the idea of incentivizing or fast tracking green building, and the Board thought it was a good idea and something they wanted to strive for.
Ms. Dottie Keedy, Economic Growth and Redevelopment Director, stated that she had talked to the consultant about that.
Commr. Hill commented that she thought all those goals were very important, but her main focus was to have the budget process in the forefront, because after the 29th of January, they may or may not be affected, and they might have to look at prioritizing a lot of the things they have in those lists. She opined that taxes, what was being paying out, and what services citizens received would be on a lot of people’s minds. She also stated that the second focus would probably be EDC (Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission).
Commr. Renick suggested that they do the budget process differently this year by having different departments start to look at their budgets throughout the year.
Commr. Cadwell added that they could start budget workshops as soon as Ms. Hall’s group was at a point to start.
Ms. Hall responded that they could certainly build that in sooner in the process. However, she noted that there was probably a limit to the threshold or date that it could be done by, because it took a while to compile it all, and they needed to work through the whole balancing of it. She related that the budget came out in the middle of July, they had some workshops in August, and they could change that. She also introduced the County’s new Budget Director, Mr. Doug Krueger.
Commr. Hill commented that last year was a strange budget year, because they had to wait to see what the legislature would do and then re-analyze it, which made it difficult.
Commr. Cadwell related that they would have to decide what was required by law for them to do and then what they felt was necessary. He also stated that he wanted to know for discussion purposes later on the actual dollar figure for the juvenile justice cost that would be shifted to them. He opined that it might force some consolidation of services that should have been consolidated a long time ago. Also, he felt that they needed to share with staff the fact that they wanted to look at water conservation measures, especially regionally. He noted that in order to move back the deadline of when they were going to run out of water, they had to do that as a region and thought it would be a great test to take to myregion.
Ms. Hall reported that they had an Employee Advisory Committee, which was an ongoing committee of about 15 people representing the different departments, which met once a month. She mentioned that they had met yesterday and talked about customer service and that everyone was on board.
Commr. Hill informed the Board that the EDC had a
scheduled yearly junket that was very focused on investors and leadership,
which took place at another city or state to learn what other locations have
done regarding economic development. She
specified that they had one scheduled for
Commr. Cadwell commented that he had been on a couple of those and that they were really focused, working trips. He agreed that it would be good if they could send Ms. Keedy on that trip.
Ms. Keedy informed the Board that this year’s trip
Commr. Hill commented that was something high tech that they were looking at. She also suggested that she bring back what they did as far as land use and what they had to do with infrastructure to create that area.
Commr. Stewart commented that she was amazed at how productive those trips were, and she felt it would be very beneficial.
Commr. Cadwell stated that since they were so close to having the strategic plan done, he thought that they could negotiate a price with the EDC and define the role of the EDC as well as that of other groups such as the IDA (Industrial Development Authority) after the plan was done.
Ms. Keedy informed the Board that the consultant would give them a preliminary economic strategic plan document several weeks before the end of February to get their input and feedback before presenting the final document.
Ms. Hall asked for direction regarding the Florida Association of Counties’ advertisements about the amendment that was coming up on January 29 and whether to promote it or not.
Commr. Cadwell thought that the Commissioners should individually look at them and let Ms. Hall know at the meeting on Tuesday, January 22. He commented that he had not seen the final product of that yet and would like to see it.
Ms. Hall informed the Board that she had two disks and would make sure those would get rotated around so that they could all look at it, and on Tuesday they could give Mr. Gregg Welstead, Deputy County Manager, direction since she will be out of town at that time.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 11:10 a.m.
WELTON G. CADWELL, CHAIRMAN
NEIL KELLY, CLERK