A REGULAR MEETING OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
february 7, 2012
The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, February 7, 2012 at 9:00 a.m., in the Board of County Commissioners’ Meeting Room, Lake County Administration Building, Tavares, Florida. Commissioners present at the meeting were: Leslie Campione, Chairman; Jennifer Hill, Vice Chairman; Sean Parks; Jimmy Conner; and Welton G. Cadwell. Others present were: Darren Gray, County Manager; Sanford A. “Sandy” Minkoff, County Attorney; Niki Booth, Office Associate V, County Manager’s Office; Neil Kelly, Clerk of Court; Barbara F. Lehman, Chief Deputy Clerk, County Finance; and Susan Boyajan, Deputy Clerk.
INVOCATION and pledge
Reverend Karen Burris from Morrison United Methodist Church gave the Invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Commr. Campione requested to move Tab 27, which was the second reading of the sex offender ordinance, before Tab 24.
Ms. Mary Makovec, Employee Services Manager, presented the following awards:
Nova Atkinson, Paralegal (not present)
County Attorney’s Office
Melanie Ellixson, Office Associate III (not present)
Conservation & Compliance/Animal Services Division
Temia Jackson, Database/Administrative Program Manager
Public Works/Road Operations Division
Sherry McDermott, Public Works Contracts Associate
Public Works/Environmental Services Division
Edith Mordini, Welcome Center Worker (not present)
Office of Economic Development & Tourism
Brandy Padgett, Library Page (not present)
Public Resources/Library Services Division
Michelle Wilkinson, Property Management Agent
County Attorney’s Office
Dilcy Baltazar, Scales Attendant I
Public Works/Solid Waste Division
Jim Dowling, Senior GIS Analyst
Information Technology/Geographic Information Services Division
Kathleen Gralton, Library Assistant I (not present)
Public Resources/Library Services Division
James Kennedy, Equipment Operator IV (not present)
Public Works/Solid Waste Division
Anthony Lopresto, Licensing Investigator (not present)
Growth Management/Building Services Division
Joseph Petrik, Equipment Operator III
Public Works/Road Operations Division
William G. Welstead, Conservation & Compliance Director
Conservation & Compliance
Greg Ybarra, Equipment Operator I
Public Works/Road Operations Division
Eric Palmer, Battalion Fire Chief
Public Safety/Fire Rescue Division
Michael Cordle, Battalion Fire Chief (award presented by Chief John Jolliff)
Public Safety/Fire Rescue Division
Randy Dean, Area Maintenance Supervisor (award presented by Jim Stivender)
Public Works/Road Operations Division
Gary Steverson, Equipment Operator III (award presented by Jim Stivender)
Public Works/Road Operations Division
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Hill, and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Minutes of December 6, 2011 (Regular Meeting) and January 10, 2012 (Regular Meeting) as presented.
citizen question and comment period
Mr. Vance Jochim, a resident of Tavares and writer of a blog called fiscalrangers.com, noted that no copy of the contract, which was worth $800,000, or information was available regarding Tab 18, and he encouraged the Board to use E-Verify for local contracts or have a public discussion regarding why it is not being used. He also encouraged the Board to meet with the School Board to discuss the waiving of about $4.5 million in school impact fees, since the lack of funding for the schools is an important issue, and he opined that since the waiving of those fees is hampering the School Board’s ability to keep their buildings repaired and maintained, the Board should be part of the solution to help them replace that funding with something else.
Commr. Campione mentioned that she intended to bring this issue up under her reports and that she spoke at great length with the Chairman of the School Board and would relate that information as well as their recommendation to the Board at that time.
Commr. Conner replied that the School Board recommended waiving impact fees, with the difference being the length of time, and that was done to incentivize job growth. He also noted that the School Board has the obligation to make a recommendation to the Board, which would precede any meeting between the two boards.
Ms. Linda Nagle from the Home Builders Association related that all five of the school board members expected the moratorium to be extended, and she pointed out that impact fees could not be used for maintenance of the schools.
Ms. Patricia Lee informed the Board about the 2012 Lake County Celebration of Nations and Leesburg Olympics event that is scheduled for March 31, 2012, which she commented would be a large, unique, and family-oriented event, and she specified that it consisted of four components, including sports and education, and that it would honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. She noted that she was inviting people from many different cultures to participate. She asked for the County’s support for that event, and she explained that the purpose of the event was to raise money to strengthen the capacity of local non-profit organizations.
CLERK OF COURTS’ CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Clerk of Courts’ Consent Agenda, Items 1 through 3, as follows:
List of Warrants
Request to acknowledge receipt of list of warrants paid prior to this meeting, pursuant to Chapter 136.06 (1) 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.
Florida Public Service Commission Conference Agenda
Request to acknowledge receipt of Commission Conference Agenda from the Florida Public Service Commission for Tuesday, January 24, 2012 at 9:30 a.m. at the Betty Easley Conference Center, Room 148.
Notice of Public Hearing from St. Johns River Water Management District
Request to acknowledge receipt of Notice of Public Hearing from the St. Johns River Water Management District for Tuesday, February 14, 2012 at 1:00 p.m. at the District Headquarters at 4049 Reid Street, Palatka, Florida 32177 to receive public testimony regarding the District’s Florida Forever Work Plan Annual Update.
COUNTY MANAGER’S CONSENT AGENDA
Commr. Campione explained that in Tab 18, the County has been told in the past that state and federal contracts require E-Verify, and she asked for clarification about that.
Mr. Gray responded that staff is working out a few logistic issues regarding that, and he will be bringing that back to the Board.
On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the County Manager’s Consent Agenda, Tabs 3 through 18 as follows:
Request for approval and signature on the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Agreement with Altoona School, Inc. in an amount not to exceed $75,000.00 (from CDBG Fund) for Community Center Improvements. The fiscal impact is $75,000.00.
Request for approval and signature on the FY 2011-2012 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) agreement with the Town of Montverde, in an amount not to exceed $52,500.00 (from CDBG Fund) for ADA improvements in Montverde. The fiscal impact is $52,500.00.
Request for approval of the award of a term and supply contract 12-0804 for batteries, auto and general use to Battery USA, Lakeland, FL, and authorize the procurement office to execute all implementing documentation. The fiscal impact is estimated at $25,000.
Request for authorization to fill one (1) vacant Fleet Section Chief position within the Fleet Management Division. The fiscal impact is $51,348.
Economic Development and Tourism
Request for approval of sponsorship funding for the 2012 Florida State Harley Owners Group H.O.G. Rally. The fiscal impact of this request is $25,000.
Request for approval of an amended Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) Model Substance Abuse Policy for the Public Transportation Division.
Request for approval and execution of release of fine; unlicensed contractor citation paid.
Request for approval to advertise an ordinance changing the name of the Zoning Board to the Planning & Zoning Board. No fiscal impact.
Request for authorization to fill one (1) vacant Senior Building Inspector position within the Growth Management Department/Building Services Division as a limited term position; duration of the position would be based on operational need, up to the end of the 2012 fiscal year. The total fiscal impact is $30,439 for the remainder of the 2012 Fiscal Year.
Request for authorization to fill one (1) vacant GIS Analyst position within the Information Technology Department/GIS Division. The fiscal impact is $53,857
Request for approval of award of contract 12-0408, Janitorial Services for Lake County Parks to Nathaniel Sanders of Leesburg, Florida. The fiscal impact is $30,000.
Request for approval to accept a donation of fire safety equipment valued at $18,518.16 from the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation.
Request for the County Manager to be given authorization to execute several amendments to Developer’s Agreement for Construction of Improvements between Lake County and developers to grant two year extensions in conjunction with House Bill 7207. There is no fiscal impact.
Request for authorization to accept the final plat for Hammock Reserve and all areas dedicated to the public as shown on the Hammock Reserve final plat; accept a letter of credit for performance in the amount of $21,054 and execute a Developer’s Agreement for Construction of Sidewalk Improvements between Lake County and Hibiscus Land Developments, LLC; accept a letter of credit for performance in the amount of $65,021.00 and execute a Developer’s Agreement for Construction of Landscape Improvements between Lake County and Hibiscus Land Developments, LLC. Hammock Reserve consists of 40 lots and is located in Section 6, Township 23 South, Range 26 East. Commission District 2. There is no fiscal impact.
Request for authorization to award CR-561 Sidewalk, Project No. 2011-10, Bid No. 12-0018, FMN: 430268-1-58-01 to Pillar Construction Group, LLC, in the amount of $ 57,508.95, and to encumber and expend funds in the amount of $57,508.95 from the State/Federal Grants/LAP Projects/-Infrastructure-Construction/CR-561 Sidewalk Fund. (Fully grant funded) Commission District 3. Fiscal Impact is $ 57,508.95.
Request for authorization to award #1710 North Sunset Avenue and South Sunset Avenue Improvements Project No. 2011-09, Bid No. 12-0017, to Allstate Paving, Inc, in the amount of $ 849,594.60, and to encumber and expend funds in the amount of $ 849,594.60 from the Road Impact Fee Benefit District 6-Infrastructure-Construction Fund. Commission District 1. The fiscal impact is $849,594.60.
COUNTY ATTORNEY’S CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Conner, and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the County Attorney’s Consent Agenda, Tabs 19 through 23 as follows:
Request for approval to Advertise an Ordinance Extending the Moratorium on the Issuance of New Business Tax Receipts for Pain Management Clinics, amending Article VII, Chapter 14, Lake County Code.
Request for approval of Second Amendment to Agreement with Bryant Miller Olive PA for consultant services for disclosure counsel with regard to County financings.
Request for approval and execution of Release of Code Enforcement lien on property formerly owned by Miguel A. & Michelle F. Castillo located at 11632 Valley Road, Clermont. No fiscal impact.
Request for approval for County Manager to execute Releases of Lake County Mortgages or Satisfactions of Lake County Mortgages, with review and approval by the County Attorney.
Request for approval of Budget Transfer, Perpetual Utility Easement to Sumter Electric Cooperative, and authorize Chairman to execute document. The fiscal impact is $29,669.33.
ordinance regarding restrictions for sex offenders
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, placed the proposed ordinance on the floor for its second and final reading as follows:
AN ORDINANCE OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF LAKE COUNTY, FLORIDA; RENUMBERING SECTION 14-6, LAKE COUNTY CODE, TO SECTION 14-7 AND RENAMING THE SECTION TO RESTRICTIONS FOR PERSONS CONVICTED OF CERTAIN SEX OFFENSES; CREATING CERTAIN DEFINED SAFETY ZONES; REQUIRING OFFENDERS TO DECLARE THEMSELVES AS OFFENDERS WHEN ENTERING A PUBLIC EMERGENCY SHELTER; PROHIBITING OFFENDERS FROM RESIDING WITHIN 500 FEET OF ANOTHER PERSON CONVICTED OF THE SAME OR SIMILAR OFFENSES; PROVIDING THAT THE MEASUREMENT OF SUCH DISTANCE SHALL CROSS MUNICIPAL OR COUNTY BOUNDARIES; PROVIDING FOR EXCEPTIONS; PROVIDING FOR ENFORCEMENT; PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY; PROVIDING FOR INCLUSION IN THE CODE; PROVIDING FOR FILING WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
There being no one who wished to address the Board regarding this ordinance, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the adoption of Ordinance No. 2012-11 regarding Restrictions for Persons Convicted of Certain Sex Offenses. There is no fiscal impact.
reciprocal local vendor preference ordinance
Mr. Darren Gray, County Manager, recapped that the Board had a discussion a couple of months ago regarding whether they wanted to establish a local preference policy, and the Board directed them to survey other counties as well as Lake County cities to see what they were doing. He also related that since the Board asked for public input for this agenda item, they contacted everyone in the vendor database who does business with the County to give them notice of this discussion.
Mr. David Heath, Deputy County Manager, mentioned that this was a follow up to the October 4 work session, and he summarized that this presentation would provide an overview of the various local vendor preference practices that everyone else was doing, update the information provided on October 4, give a working definition of a local business, and provide two approaches for consideration by the Board. He recapped that at the previous workshop he had given an overview of the procurement function and the quantities and amounts that are procured by Lake County, the policy the Board currently has in place, and how adjacent counties handle local preference. He reported that Lake County procures about $117 million in goods including vehicles and office supplies, 25 percent of which goes to Lake County vendors, 31 percent to other Central Florida counties, and 34 percent to other parts of the state. He illustrated on a pie chart that their largest trading partner is Orange County, which receives 40 percent of the regional business, with the next largest being Sumter and Seminole Counties. He showed a list of the various practices Lake County currently employs for local vendors regarding bids and proposals. He mentioned that he; Mr. Gray; Mr. Minkoff; and Mr. Barnett Schwartzman, Procurement Director; meet on a monthly basis to review all of the continuing contracts that are up for renewal and deem approximately one out of every five appropriate for being rebid. He explained that Osceola, Polk, Sumter, and Marion were counties that had a specific and defined local preference that benefits only vendors in their county, as well as the City of Leesburg, which has a sliding scale local preference, and the City of Clermont, which awards the contract to local vendors that are within 2.75 to 6 percent of the lowest bid and match that bid, and he indicated that no other Lake County entity has a local vendor preference.
Mr. Heath went over the policies for the counties to the east of them, noting that Seminole and Volusia have regional local preferences that include Lake County vendors, since they believe that the region should be working together rather than competing with each other. However, Volusia County would mirror the local preference policy of Lake County when dealing with those vendors. He stated that when an out-of-county firm is a low bid on a contract in Orange County, which has a reciprocal preference, as part of the staff’s due diligence, they will call the county purchasing office from where that vendor is located, and Orange County would use that county’s local preference. He related that the new data that they have gotten since the last workshop on this issue shows that Orange County gives Lake County vendors $11.8 million in contracts, which would be in jeopardy if Lake County enacted a vendor preference policy. He gave the Board some criteria to identify what they are trying to achieve, which were to avoid additional cost, maintain competition, maintain an adequate vendor base, provide support to local vendors, maintain a “level playing field” for all vendors that would not result in a disadvantage for local vendors who bid outside the county, and adhere to the current County procurement process.
Mr. Minkoff related that they had come up with ideas for two possible ordinances that were loosely based on other county’s ordinances, which were a reciprocal ordinance based on the Orange County model and a match based on the Polk County approach. He explained that with the Orange County model, if the lowest priced bidder on a Lake County bid is from an out-of-county vendor, they would check to see if that vendor had a preference in its county and apply that preference to the bid. He continued to explain that with the other alternative, if the Lake County bidder is within five percent of the low bidder’s price from an out-of-county vendor, the Lake County bidder would be able to match the price and get the award. He reminded the Board that with this option, any local vendor who then bids in Orange County would have that same five percent disadvantage against Orange County vendors. He then mentioned that it is difficult to define what would constitute a local business, but gave some factors to consider, including physical presence in the county and whether that would include headquarters, primary business office, local-owned franchise, or manufacturing facilities; a requirement for the owner or principal of the business to live within the county; or a requirement for a significant percentage of the vendor’s employees to reside within the county. He commented that some of these factors could become difficult and cumbersome with all of the bids that the County keeps track of, so he has come up with an approach that was more flexible, which would define a local vendor as a business that have its primary or a significant physical location in Lake County at which employees are located and business is regularly transacted.
Mr. Heath related that staff is recommending that the Board adopt the reciprocal/match approach of the first or Orange County alternative, which staff felt would avoid additional cost, provide tangible support to the local vendors, and attempt to level the playing field and avoid any impacts to the County’s vendors when bidding outside of the county. He also recommended maintaining existing “business-friendly” practices under the CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate) and proposal purchases. He stated that if the Board approves the staff recommendation, it is requested that they authorize staff to prepare a local vendor preference ordinance to include a reciprocal/match procedure as well as authorization to advertise the ordinance.
Commr. Parks asked if they could do something proactively for outreach to their vendors to make them more prepared and aware of what was available to them.
Mr. Gray stated they immediately send out notification to vendors who were registered with the County of any type of contract or service, and it was also posted on their website.
Commr. Cadwell stated that he wanted to take some action on this today after hearing public comment.
Commr. Conner clarified that this ordinance would only address hard bid proposals and not professional services, and he opined that the Board has tried to adjust its policies in order to prevent glaring omissions of local vendors in the professional services area. He added that he wanted to see a broader definition of local vendor to include those that were primarily located one mile across the county line with 80 percent of employees living in Lake County.
Commr. Cadwell asked about the changes in Tallahassee of the CCNA process.
Mr. Minkoff pointed out that all bids were not subject to a preference because of federal and state rules that would require them to take the low bid under certain circumstances and would not allow them to apply preference. He responded that the CCNA approach that was being discussed in Tallahassee was to allow them to consider price when they are doing the rankings, but he did not know whether that would pass.
Commr. Campione commented that they would not want to jeopardize the significant amount of work that their vendors were getting from Seminole County purchases, and it seems like the Orange County model would be the best of both worlds.
Commr. Cadwell emphasized that this issue only involved purchasing goods, and the other problems they have been having trying to help local service vendors is a separate issue.
The Chairman opened the discussion up for public comment.
Mr. Joe Treshler, Vice President of Business Management and Development for Covanta Lake located in Okahumpka, commented that he was pleased to see that the County was moving in the direction of recognizing the importance of local vendor preference to ensure the economic health of Lake County. He noted that Covanta Lake was a local business which was established as a special purpose subsidiary dedicated to providing high-quality environmental services to Lake County since 1991, and he pointed out that they try to purchase locally themselves. He stated that they have received a 51 percent reduction in the costs of services since 2004 and that they were helping to find ways to reduce the County’s landfill leachate locally rather than shipping it to Jacksonville. He related that they avoid drilling 163,000 barrels of oil every year by the renewable energy that they provide to citizens while providing 36 high-paying jobs and another 60 jobs that support the facility through goods and services which they purchase locally. He commented that any of the two options that were presented would benefit Lake County.
Mr. Greg Beliveau related that he was a local service provider who does not do work in Seminole, Volusia, or Orange because of the competition and the process in those markets that keep him from getting selected, due to the cultural change and the way the industry has changed in the last three years to the extent that the existing firms are much different than before, as a result of large firms buying up small ones. He requested that the Board look at the service providers as a next step to help them stay in business and be able to compete in this arena, and he pointed out that he has not been able to compete locally for three years, although the School Board was making changes to their process and procedures in the last month to give his firm an opportunity to compete that it did not have before. He commented that the CCNA practices can be amended to allow preferences for local vendors, and that was being done in other counties. He specified that the City of Ocala and Marion County had a strong vendor preference policy that completely excluded services as well as vendors from other counties.
Commr. Parks asked if a reciprocal policy would work for professional services as well.
Mr. Gray responded that CCNA is governed by statute, and they could not discriminate under that process; however, there are areas where they could firm the point system up more.
Commr. Campione stated that this was great input for the next stage of this, which she would like to see brought back before the Board as quickly as possible, but they needed to focus on the vendor side of this today.
Commr. Conner commented that regarding the issue of companies including the name of a local vendor to win an award of a bid, he believed there needs to be some contractual commitments to those local vendors for certain percentages of the work awarded. He opined that the issues involving service providers that were brought up were equally or more important than the local vendor hard bid issue they were looking at today.
Mr. Tim Green, President of Green Consulting Group, a landscape architect, opined that a local vendor policy may be one reason for businesses to move their companies to Lake County. He also commented that the Board’s policies that have been adopted are helping some, but it was difficult to determine how much it has helped without a point system, since the current system is arbitrary. He also opined that the definition of local businesses that was presented would protect firms that were really helping the economy of Lake County rather than businesses that were just using business tax receipts as proof that they are local.
Commr. Cadwell asked about some of the CCNA guidelines.
Mr. Minkoff responded that locality is one of the factors that could be considered when evaluating professionals, and he clarified that CCNA only applies to architects, landscape architects, surveyors, and engineers and does not apply to most of the services they procure, such as planners. He also noted that the arbitrary scoring had been set aside by the courts because what is required under CCNA is a decision that is made based on a Sunshine Law-type discussion.
Mr. Duane Booth, with Booth, Ern, Straughan & Hiott, Inc., opined that the County would not have a perfect plan no matter what they do, since CCNA is still a very subjective process, but he did like the local vendor definition that was presented and thought it was on the right track. Regarding competition in other counties, he stated that they have been expanding by doing some business in other states with mining companies and doing well in the semi-private arena against the large firms, but it was very difficult to compete in the public arena and with the powerhouse firms located in Orange, Seminole, and Volusia Counties, although they are very good at what they do and have worked for large firms. He added that it was also difficult for them to compete in Marion County because of its strong local vendor preference policy, and they have to team up with another local engineering firm there to offer services that they do not have. He mentioned that there were some specialty things that they do not do that the County would have to go outside the county for. He suggested the County look into having a provision in the RFQ to have a percentage going to a local vendor, similar to what DOT does for minority businesses. He commented that the small businesses were in favor of the CCNA House bill that is currently in Tallahassee which he felt would allow them to compete a little better, since pricing should be taken into consideration, but the large firms were fighting the bill.
Commr. Cadwell commented that one of the reasons the large firms are not in favor of the bill is because they have the resources under that particular program to bring in many people to make elaborate presentations on their behalf, while small firms do not have the public relations resources of the large firms, which makes the process unfair. He noted that the County has tried to change that by limiting the amount of information that they could present, but the inability to include price is a detriment to the small companies, and he asked that the Board take a stand on the House and Senate bill regarding CCNA.
Commr. Campione responded that they will let their delegates know how they feel about that.
Mr. Sean Lahey from an insurance firm asked which areas of professional services are excluded from the CCNA proposal, such as financial, legal, or risk management services, and he commented that although using local vendors is important for the county, he believed that the intellectual pool is far more important than location.
Mr. Minkoff responded that CCNA does not apply to insurance and only applies to professional engineering, architecture, surveying, and landscape architecture.
Mr. Scott Fureman, Owner of Hank’s Truck and Auto Electric, requested that the Board notify vendors from the beginning of the process next time so that they could get more involved, and he added that the City of Groveland offers a five percent adjustment on bids for local vendors based on tax receipts. He also asked the County to consider local tradesmen as well as vendors for bids of contracts that come up to have a certain percentage of employees on the job site be local, since there were currently a lot of local tradesmen out of work. He complimented Lake County and pointed out that the County’s bid process is probably the most transparent he has found of any other county that he researched, and he specified that the information that the County provides on the website is the most transparent and user-friendly, making it easy to find the employee they need in order to do business. He stated that he hoped the Board would do everything they could to assert whatever influence they had with the communities in the county and maybe even statewide to get them to be more transparent, since their process was the best out there.
Commr. Cadwell commented that this discussion is about the policies they are asking the Procurement Office to operate under, and they try to be proactive by reaching out to the cities and the vendors and to make it as easy as they could; however, they have to operate under the policies that this Board approves, and they hopefully will make changes that would make that easier for them.
Ms. Cathy Kyle from Kyle Promotions, who has been in Clermont 32 years, related that she was a very small business, and she commented that she is still subject to the bid process, which is difficult for her. She opined that it was important to consider the cost of doing business in Lake County, including impact fees, property taxes, other kinds of taxes, and any other requirements to do business within the county; and other businesses competing from other counties would not be affected by the cost of being a business in Lake County. She also suggested that the County use a two-level program depending on the size of bids and RFP’s. She noted that the purchases of her business’ promotional projects and printing from the County are very small, and she believed it did not make any sense for the County to waste their time for some employees to go through a small order like this. She also opined that it would be sensible to use a match coming within five percent up to $100,000, and she thought that quality work, creativity, and value was important as opposed to just taking cost into consideration. She related that it was hard for her as a small business person to spend a lot of time putting together a bid for a small job, and she suggested that the County have an advisory committee to help shape the policies from a business person’s standpoint.
Mr. Mark Schwartz from Hometown Health Television, which was part of the UCF-Leesburg incubator program, stated that they provide services at a hyper-local level and support local medical practices and non-for-profit. He suggested that the Board consider improving communication to businesses as to what opportunities may be available to them and that there is a bid and registration process, as well as how to handle those opportunities once they are presented, since they could be overwhelming, and he suggested that the County could put an insert with a reminder for businesses to register with the renewal of their County license. He related that his business outbid an out-of-state business for a project for the Lake County Health Department by a third, which kept the project in the community, since they operate at a very streamlined level and much more cost efficiently, and he was confident that they could take on the five-percent handicap given to non-local businesses by other counties.
Mr. Gray mentioned that one of the purposes of breaking the county into three microregions was to have their economic development team out into those regions.
Commr. Campione brought the discussion back to the Board.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board authorized staff to prepare and advertise an ordinance for a public hearing using the Orange County model and the definitions that were brought forward in regards to what is considered a local preference to include a reciprocal match procedure and defines what constitutes a local business.
recess and reassembly
The Chairman announced a 15-minutes break at 10:45 a.m.
Mr. Minkoff stated that he had previously asked for the closed session authorized by Florida Statute 286.011 to discuss pending litigation in front of a court or administrative agency, and once the closed session started, it would be confined to settlement negotiations or strategy sessions related to litigation and litigation expenditures. He noted a court reporter would record the entire session, as well as when they begin, when they end, and all discussions in the proceedings, including the names of all persons present at any time and whoever speaks. He explained the court reporter’s notes would be transcribed and be made public at the time the litigation was concluded, and at the beginning of the session the Chair or the entity was required to give notice of who would be at the meeting, which included the Board; Ms. Melanie Marsh, Deputy County Attorney; Mr. Darren Gray, County Manager; and himself. He added that he anticipated that the session would take about one hour, and they would come back into public meeting at the conclusion of the closed session.
QUARTERLY BUDGET REPORT
Mr. Gray recapped that one of their first goals regarding their budget and financial planning was to establish their five-year model, which they presented to the Board in December, stating how decisions they make today would affect the County in future years, and the second part was a quarterly budget report to communicate the state of their revenues and expenditures on a quarterly basis. He elaborated that the purpose of this update is to present an overview of the results of their first quarter of this year and how they compare with last year.
Mr. Steve Koontz, Budget Director, started with an overview of their 2012 budget and recapped that last year they had a budget of $446.2 million and $420.3 million this year; and he pointed out that the general fund was about $10.7 million less than it was last year. He went over some challenges and things they had to accomplish with this year’s budget, including the decline of property values by 8.3 percent, reduction of the general fund budget by about $10.7 million, deletion of 11 positions in the general fund, termination of the employee furloughs, reduction of the Sheriff’s budget by $3.5 million, and that the General Fund reserves were maintained at 22.4 percent of expenditures. He then related that he had done a comparison of the revenues for the first quarter of this year with the first quarter of last year, which showed that the revenues were about $3.4 million or six percent less this year compared to the first quarter of last year, which was to be expected because of the decline in property values. He reported that the revenues for the Fire Rescue Non Ad Valorem assessment were coming in at about $300,000 less, which were very close to what they had been last year, and he added that they have collected about 72 percent of the revenues that they have budgeted for the year in the first quarter. He then pointed out that the Solid Waste Disposal assessment was slightly above last year for the first quarter at $8.8 million compared to $8.7 last year, with about 74 percent of the revenues collected for the year. He related that the amount of state sales tax as well as infrastructure sales tax is almost exactly the same as last year, and he added that he believed they will meet the $11.6 million in state sales tax that they had budgeted for this year and exceed the budget of $10 million for the infrastructure sales tax, which is expected to be better than last year.
Mr. Koontz illustrated on a graph the expenditures by department, noting that all of the departments currently are below 25 percent of their annual budgeted amount, and showed an overview of total expenditures for the first quarter countywide and for the general fund. He pointed out that they were $1.5 million below last year as far as expenditures for the first quarter. He summarized that overall they were meeting expectations on their revenues; their property taxes were lower as expected due to a drop in property values; and sales tax revenues seem to be right on target at this point. Also, he opined that overall the departments seem to be doing a very good job holding the line on their expenditures. He expressed optimism for the future regarding home prices and quoted an article stating that home prices were up for December about 12 percent compared to a year ago and up 2 percent from November, and he noted that the unemployment rate in Lake County was now below 10 percent. However, he pointed out that they had a lot of challenges with the legislative session.
Mr. Gray elaborated that there were still some unknowns regarding the legislative session that would be affecting the County, including Amendment 4 for property tax reform on the ballot for November for a five percent cap on non-homesteaded properties from a current ten-percent cap, which could result in up to a $2 million impact to the County, although that was not expected to pass according to polling; as well as increases to Medicaid contributions which equates to about $1.6 million and a shift in responsibility of hospital costs starting on day 8 rather than day 10 for the County. He reported that they had their first budget kickoff on February 7 with all of their departments.
Commr. Campione commented that she believed it was important that they pin down the expectation for a five percent reduction for the constitutional officers as soon as possible so that there was no confusion.
Commr. Conner commented that unless they are willing to give direction to all of their constitutional officers of what the Board needs that number to be, they will not have any other choice but to be forced to raise property taxes; and he believes all of the Commissioners should back the Chairman up on this issue.
Commr. Parks opined that he believes Sheriff Borders is aware that cuts have to be made.
Commr. Campione added that she wanted it to be very specific next time so that there is no confusion about how much they wanted the Sheriff to reduce his budget and that he knew exactly what their expectations are.
Commr. Conner clarified that it would not be a requirement, but a target of where they need the constitutional officers to be in their budget process. He pointed out that the County has kept millage rates down a long time, especially with the declining property values, and they could not continue to do that without even more cuts. He commented that they have had a good relationship with the constitutional officers, stating that the Sheriff helped them last year, and he believes he will help them again this year.
Commr. Cadwell commented that it would take some tough cuts on the Sheriff’s part to get them to where they need to be.
Commr. Campione directed staff to start working on that so that she could present that to the constitutional officers early in the budget process.
Mr. Gray related that a letter will go out to the constitutional officers basically outlining the budget process and some guidelines, and they will add things such as a target in there as well and base it on their general fund expenditures. He mentioned that during the initial discussion with the Sheriff when they were presenting the budget information to him, he indicated that he would look internally at processes, privatization, and things like that. He related that his next leadership team meeting with the department directors and managers is scheduled for February 16, and he will go into detail then on how they were going to meet the five percent reduction for the County. He added that they were trying to centralize all of their grant activity into the budget office so that they will have a good handle on what type of grants are out there and the strings and implications attached to those grants, and they were putting together a summary sheet on every grant that they have and establishing a grants committee composed of staff to review a grant before he even brings it before the Board for consideration. He went over the rest of the schedule regarding the budget throughout the year, including a mid-year adjustment on March 27, a budget workshop in June which would include the constitutional officers’ budgets, presentation of the recommended budget in July, and the public hearings in September. He commented that the constitutional officers were very happy and encouraged that the County was getting them involved in the process earlier this year, and they will get the letter requested by the Chairman for her to hand-deliver to all of the constitutional officers which would include their budget guidelines and target numbers.
changes to land development regulations
Mr. Gray recapped that a couple of months ago they outlined how they would implement some of the Land Development Regulation (LDR) changes over the next couple of years.
Mr. Brian Sheahan, Planning and Community Design Manager, explained that the purpose of this briefing is to provide information on the status of the LDR amendments and some of the Comprehensive Plan (Comp Plan) activities that they were currently doing. He gave an overview stating that an amendment schedule for the LDR’s was approved by the Board in November 2011, and the first year includes amendments to the agricultural uses in Industrial, special event signs, Zoning Board, and the Landscape Ordinance. He related that currently they are working on 11 Comp Plan amendments which were not accepted by DCA (Department of Community Affairs) but were passed by the Board, including the Pine Lakes Rural Support Corridor amendment, vestings to the 2030 Comprehensive Plan, sector plan preparation, and a wetland setback policy amendment for previously granted setbacks and variances. He specified that during the first year they would be going through the Zoning District map, Landscape Ordinance review and amendments, mining regulations, nonconforming vested rights, and the specific ordinances he previously mentioned; and they would finish going over the Zoning Districts and map, resource protection mentioned in Chapter 6 of their code, Green Swamp and Wekiva specific area requirements, parking, and concurrency during the second year. He described what they would concentrate on during years 3, 4, and 5, which included special communities and overlay districts, sign regulations, air quality, stormwater and site alteration, and viewshed protection. He reported that so far they have completed multi-tenant signs, agricultural uses in industrial zoning, agricultural and special event signs, and the Zoning Board name change to Planning and Zoning Board that will be considered later in the meeting. He added that they were currently processing drafts for the Landscape Ordinance and the Mining Ordinance amendments, and he mentioned that the Mining Committee met on January 26.
Mr. Sheahan stated that staff has been primarily focused over the last couple of months to make changes to improve and clarify the regulations in the Landscape Ordinance with input from the effected stakeholders. He stated that an overall view of the general changes was to provide an administrative waiver of up to 25 percent, clarify the process for agricultural exemptions, delete irrigation or any other requirements that are redundant with other regulatory requirements, and increase the area that may be cleared around a structure from 5 to 15 feet. He related that the plant changes would be to change the size of shrubs to a minimum container size instead of a minimum height, clarify that shrubs can be clustered, and clarify that walls may be located within the buffer. The landscape buffer requirements that he proposed to change were to restore the 10-foot Type A buffer as an option and allow a wall as an option in that buffer between residential uses, reduce the number of canopy and ornamental trees in each buffer by one as a water conservation measure, eliminate groundcovers as a requirement, eliminate the requirement for a buffer between CFD and Agricultural zoning depending on the ordinance, provide a new buffer limited to trees only for certain rural environs, clarify the requirement for perimeter landscaping around non-residential buildings and provide an example, and clarify that a landscape plan is not required for Single Family and Duplex lots. He mentioned that there was a proposed change regarding the landscape buffer table to restructure it to reduce buffer requirements for less intense uses developing adjacent to higher intensity uses, explaining that the intense use would be responsible to put the buffer in and not a single family next to an industrial use; and he went over the proposed changes regarding tree protections, such as clarifying that a Heritage Tree may be removed for safety reasons, that no mitigation is required for trees removed for disease or hazard, and clarifying the exemption for agricultural uses. He also assured the Board that there would be no effect on existing zoning and CUP Ordinances. He requested that the Board give approval to advertise the Landscape Ordinance amendments and consideration of those amendments before the Board and Zoning Board in March and April.
On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board gave approval to advertise the Landscape Ordinance as presented.
Mr. Sheahan explained that the next steps would be to finalize those changes, send to any affected party, and bring it to the Zoning Board as well as the Board in March and April.
appointment to mining committee
On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the appointment of Mr. Douglas Dufresne to the Mining Committee as a Professional Geologist or Hydrologist.
designation of commissioner as liaison to mining committee
On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Conner and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the designation of Commr. Cadwell as Commissioner liaison to the Mining Committee.
appointment to children’s services council
On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the reappointment of Ms. Jan Tobias as Superintendent of Schools representative to serve two-year term ending May 14, 2014 and appointment of Mr. Courtney Barnett as DCF Representative to the Children’s Services Council to serve the remainder of an unexpired term ending May 14, 2012 and an additional two-year term ending May 14, 2014.
appointment to library advisory board
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the appointment of Mr. Ryan Donovan as representative from the City of Mount Dora to the Library Advisory Board to complete an unexpired four-year term ending February 28, 2014.
quarterly budget report
Mr. Gray showed the Board the cover of the quarterly budget report that he referred to earlier in the meeting and noted that it will be distributed to the Board this week, as well as being posted on the County website.
central florida garden fair
Mr. Gray reminded the Board that the Central Florida Garden Fair is on Saturday, February 11, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and Sunday, February 12, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and they were getting a lot of support for that.
commissioner hill – vice chairman and district 1
inductees of oath of citizenship
Commr. Hill related that she attended the U.S. Citizens Services in Orlando where over 100 inductees took the oath of citizenship, with 43 countries represented there, and she opined that it was an extremely moving ceremony and recommended for others to go and witness it.
commissioner parks – district 2
lake county days
Commr. Parks commented that there was a good showing at Lake County Days, including four of the County Commissioners and the Enterprise Florida President, and staff did a great job and was very prepared to sell Lake County and tell Enterprise Florida what was going on in Lake County.
commissioner conner – district 3
shriners club resolution
Commr. Conner mentioned that the Shriners Club was very pleased to receive the resolution and thanked the Board for allowing him to represent the Board at that event, which was very well received and attended.
south lake chamber banquet
Commr. Conner related that he attended the South Lake Chamber banquet Saturday evening, February 4, along with Commr. Parks and some County staff, and he mentioned that positive things were said about the Board and the things they are doing to be more business friendly and have a better image in the business community. He commented that he was seeing some meaningful results from the Board’s efforts in the way they have their people out there in the community.
Commissioner campione – chairman and district 4
mount plymouth-sorrento cra
Commr. Campione related that the Board would be discussing the Mount Plymouth-Sorrento CRA at the meeting on February 28. She commented that she had received a lot of e-mails in opposition to including the golf course community in that CRA and would take out that particular area from the proposed CRA, although she originally believed that including that area in the CRA would prevent the golf course which had become closed from being divided up into lots rather than serving as an open space for the area. She opined that the Hwy 46 and Sorrento area deserves this attention and that having the CRA in place could be a positive thing for that area in the future.
Commr. Cadwell added that he also wanted to see the east boundary of that ahead of time after they get that drawn up.
school board meeting
Commr. Campione recapped that the Board had requested that the School Board give them a recommendation on the impact fee study before they met with them. She related that at the School Board meeting last night, February 6, there was not an actual vote taken, but there was a consensus of the School Board that the impact fees of about $10,000 per single-family home recommended by the school impact fee study was acceptable. She explained that if the Board was not going to impose the impact fees at that amount, the School Board wanted to meet with the Board to discuss their capital needs, deficiencies, and funding constraints, as well as a proposal by the School Board that the Board consider adopting a half mil increase to be assigned to capital school improvements. She specified that during that meeting, they would have Mr. Harry Fix from the School Board give the five-year overview he presented last night, have a financial presentation, and an overview by the impact fee study consultant.
Commr. Conner expressed concern that the School Board made that decision by consensus, which he believed showed reluctance on their part to support this increase, and commented that there is no accountability without a vote. He also thought that raising the millage rates as opposed to impact fees would not be acceptable to the general public, which would appear that they were shifting the cost of growth to current residents; however, he noted that the School Board’s sources are very limited, since they did not have real estate taxes for sales of existing homes. He opined that raising impact fees would curtail growth in a bad economy and that there were no easy answers when they were in an economic downturn.
Commr. Campione stated that she would be interested to see how that funding works, as well as their five-year plan, their projections for enrollment, and their current enrollment.
Commr. Cadwell commented that they need to have someone explain to the Board how school funding works, since it was a confusing system, and he noted that the Board had the option of extending the impact fee moratorium for 30, 60, or 90 days until they were ready to make a decision.
Commr. Campione stated that they would work on setting a date for that workshop with the School Board.
reports – commissioner cadwell – district 5
fac legislative conference
Commr. Cadwell related that he participated in the FAC (Florida Association of Counties) legislative conference, where the head of Workforce Florida made a presentation.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 1:25 p.m.
leslie campione, chairman
NEIL KELLY, CLERK