A REGULAR MEETING OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
September 23, 2014
The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, September 23, 2014 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: Jimmy Conner, Chairman; Sean Parks, Vice Chairman; Timothy I. Sullivan; Leslie Campione; and Welton G. Cadwell. Others present were: David Heath, County Manager; Sanford A. “Sandy” Minkoff, County Attorney; Wendy Taylor, Executive Office Manager; Barbara F. Lehman, Chief Deputy Clerk, County Finance; and Amy Knoll, Deputy Clerk.
invocation and pledge
Jamie Wrigley from Freedom in Christ Ministry led the invocation and the Pledge of Allegiance.
There were no changes to the Agenda.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Sullivan, and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Minutes of the BCC Meeting of August 26, 2014 (Regular Meeting).
citizen question and comment period
Mr. Dan Robuck, a Lake County businessman, spoke regarding the local option penny sales tax, and he related that a consultant who studied the sales tax about 14 years ago expressed a concern about the adverse effect that an ad valorem tax increase could have at this time to the effort to renew the sales tax. He specified that the County receives about $10 million from the sales tax and will be forced to deal with the loss of that revenue if the sales tax does not pass next year, and he was concerned that the County will raise ad valorem taxes again as a result of the loss of that revenue. He also opined that the school system is currently the largest deterrent to economic development and bringing businesses to Lake County, and further economic problems may make the school system even worse. He asked the Board to consider the timing of the increase in property taxes and whether it was worth risking the $10 million in revenue from the sales tax, along with the loss of revenue that would go to the cities and the schools, when they vote later on the ad valorem tax increase, and to reflect on what would be best for Lake County.
PRESENTATION OF PROCLAMATION
Commr. Parks presented Proclamation No. 2014-119 proclaiming the week of October 5 through 11 as National 4-H Week in Lake County. He read the proclamation honoring the 4-H program in Lake County aloud and presented it to Ms. Rachel Fautsch.
Ms. Fautsch, 4-H agent in Lake County, spoke regarding the local 4-H Clubs and upcoming activities that they will be involved in. She related that there were about 24 traditional 4-H clubs that meet throughout their area, with over 400 youths who are members. She commented that National 4-H Week is an opportunity for youth across the nation to represent their organization. She also thanked the Board for their continued support for the 4-H program and facilities, and she commented that she enjoys the partnership they have with the County.
clerk of courts’ consent agenda
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Clerk of Courts’ Consent Agenda, Items 1 through 5, as follows:
List of Warrants
Request to acknowledge receipt of the 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.
Notice of Application from Florida Public Service Commission
Request to acknowledge receipt from the Florida Public Service Commission regarding a notice of application of Lakeside Waterworks, Inc. for a staff-assisted rate case in Lake County. There will be a customer meeting Thursday, September 11, 2014 at 6:00 pm at the Shangri-La By The Lake Clubhouse, 100 Shangri-La Boulevard, Leesburg, Florida.
Lake County Water Authority’s Draft Tentative Budget for 2014-15
Request to acknowledge receipt of the Lake County Water Authority’s Draft Tentative Budget for 2014-2015, along with a transmittal letter dated August 27, 2014 stating that the tentative budget hearing is scheduled for September 10, 2014 at 5:05 p.m. and that the final budget hearing is scheduled for September 24, 2014, at 5:05 p.m., both to be held in BCC Chambers, Administration Building, Tavares.
Southwest Florida Water Management District’s Fiscal Year 2015 Meeting Schedule
Request to acknowledge receipt of the Southwest Florida Water Management District’s Fiscal Year 2015 Schedules of Meetings and map depicting the District’s boundaries as required by Section 189.417, Florida Statutes.
Property Placed on Lands Available List
Request to acknowledge receipt from Administrative Services of property placed on the Lands Available List. Lake County has until November 27, 2014 to purchase property from the Lands Available List before it is available to the public.
county manager’s consent agenda
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the County Manager’s Consent Agenda, Tabs 4 through 22 as follows:
Request for approval of Proclamation No. 2014-120 proclaiming October 2014 as Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Request for authorization for the Chairman to sign a letter of support for Gateway Community Health Network, Inc. to include with their application for the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Section 330 operation grant. There is no fiscal impact.
Request for authorization for the Chairman to sign a letter of support for LifeStream Behavioral Center, Inc. to include with their application for the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Section 330 operation grant. There is no fiscal impact.
Request for approval to apply for the Shirley Conroy Rural Area Capital Equipment Grant for two buses for the Transportation Disadvantaged (Paratransit) program for the 2014-2015 Fiscal Year budget; approval and signature of supporting Resolution No. 2014-125, and acceptance and implementation of the grant, if awarded; and approval to purchase the vehicles, if the grant is awarded, under the State Transit Research Inspection Procurement Services Program. The fiscal impact is $152,136.00.
Request for approval and execution of Agreement between Lake County and Weston Hills Homeowners Association, Inc. for Traffic Law Enforcement on Private Roads. There is no fiscal impact.
Request for approval to order the 2014 tax roll be extended prior to completion of the Value Adjustment Board hearings. There is no fiscal impact.
Request for approval for a Short Sale which would cancel a Mortgage executed by Eric Alma and Belitza Estanislau on July 3, 2008, and recorded at O.R. Book 3662, Pages 1731 through 1738, upon receipt of the $3,000 payment. Fiscal Impact: The original loan amount was $30,000; recovery will be $3,000.
Request for approval of the ratification of Women's Hall of Fame Committee's selection of Dolores Walker and Jacquelyn Hester as the 2014 inductees.
Fiscal Administrative Services
Request for approval of Resolution No. 2014-121 adopting fee schedules for Fiscal Year 2015.
Request for approval of payment of the aiSmartBench software invoice for software used to facilitate the paperless mandate from the Florida Supreme Court. The fiscal impact is $28,848.00 (expenditure) (Fiscal Year 2015).
Request for approval of Resolution No. 2014-122 responding to Astatula Resolution 2014-D, initiating the process pursuant to Section 171.023 F.S. for negotiating an Interlocal Service Boundary Agreement. There is no fiscal impact.
Request for approval and signature of the FY 2014-2015 State Aid to Libraries Grant Application and Agreement. The fiscal impact is $200,000 - Revenue (Estimate for FY 2015).
Request for approval of "Green Mountain Scenic Overlook and Trailhead" as the official name of the property previously known as the North Shore Overlook and Trailhead. There is no fiscal impact. Commission District 2
Request for approval of Proclamation No. 2014-118 for Fire Prevention Week 2014: October 5-11, 2014. There is no fiscal impact.
Request for approval and signature of Resolution No. 2014-123 to advertise Public Hearing to vacate right of way on Harrison Street, according to the Plats of Edgewater Beach, in the Clermont area. There is no fiscal impact. Commission District 2
Request for authorization to accept a performance bond in the amount of $40,000.00 associated with Right-of-Way Utilization Permit #6436 approved on August 14, 2014 for the City of Umatilla water main project. This project is located on Palm Street, North of Umatilla in the Silver Beach Heights subdivision off SR-19. There is no fiscal impact. Commission District 5
Request for approval of Sumter Electric Cooperative's Perpetual Utility Easement to provide power to the Renaissance Faire vendors on the Astatula Landfill property (AK#1111935). There is no fiscal impact. Commission District 3
Request for approval of a Purchase Agreement with Daniel Z. Wise, as Trustee of the Zelig O. Wise Living Trust, for right of way for a roadway to the new County fire station and for the future Hartle Road Extension Project in the Clermont area, and authorization for the Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners to sign any and all documents necessary for closing. The fiscal impact is $363,250.00 (Expenditure). Commission District 2.
Request for approval of contract award to A1 Assets Inc. (Longwood, FL) for Request for Proposal 14-0635, Recycling/Reclamation of End of Life Electronics, and authorize the Procurement Office to execute all supporting documentation. The fiscal impact is $111,000.00 per year - Estimated (Expenditure).
public hearing – vacation petition 1212 – groveland area
Mr. Jim Stivender, Public Works Director, reported that the applicant is Mr. Rolland Little represented by Mr. Rick Newman with the law firm McLin Burnsed to vacate drainage and utility easements for drainage purposes. He explained that this easement is between two plats, and he sees no purpose for that drainage easement to continue. He recommended approval, noting there are no letters in favor or opposition to this issue.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
There being no one who wished to address the Board regarding this issue, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved Vacation Petition 1212 to vacate drainage and utility easements in the Plats of Lake County Central Park, Phase I (PB 35/1-5) and Phase 2 (PB 40/84-87) in the Groveland area and approval of Resolution No. 2014-124.
public hearings: rezonings
rezoning consent agenda
Mr. Chris Schmidt, Manager of Planning and Community Design, Growth Management, submitted the advertisement for the day’s public hearing. He noted Tabs 1, 2, 3 and 4 were approved unanimously on consent by the Planning & Zoning Board on September 3, 2014, and the staff recommendation is for the Board to approve the Consent Agenda, consisting of Tabs 1, 2, 3 and 4.
The Chairman opened the public hearing regarding the Rezoning Consent Agenda.
There being no one who wished to address the Board, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the Rezoning Consent Agenda tabs 1 through 4 as follows:
Tab 1. Ordinance No. 2014-58
East Town Center CP Rezoning – Ellen Avery Smith, Rogers Towers, PA
Request to amend Planned Commercial (CP) Ordinance #2001-95 as it applies to AK#s 3815489 & 3824982 and replace it with a new ordinance to include medical service, veterinary clinic, fast food restaurant, and consumer services and repair uses. Ordinance #2001-95 will remain in effect for AK# 3818669 only.
Tab 2. Ordinance No. 2014-59
Powers Property Rezoning – Gilles Paul DuPuis
Request to amend the Planned Commercial (CP) Ordinance #2014-31 which allows vehicular sales uses to add Retail, Professional Office, Meeting/Activity Room (Banquet) and Restaurant (prohibiting fast food restaurant) uses.
Tab 3. Ordinance No. 2014-60
Proposed small-scale amendment changing the Future Land Use from Regional Commercial to Urban Low on the parcel owned by Winifred L. Jackson and described as Alternate Key #1388678, which consists of 5.6 +/- acres. Jackson Small Scale Amendment
Request to transmit amendment of Chapter I, Future Land Use Element by amending Policy I-1.3.6, entitled Regional Office Future Land Use category; and Policy I.1.3.7, entitled Regional Commercial Future Land use category to add Economic Development Overlay District uses as a typical use. Also amend the Economic Development Overlay District Map, Number 20 of the future land use map series, to include the aforementioned future land use categories.
rezoning regular agenda
village pet spa – cup #14/9/1-5
Mr. Schmidt explained that Tab 5, CUP #14/9/1-5, Village Pet Spa, involved the request to amend the existing kennel conditional use permit in the Agriculture zoning district to add an additional kennel building to house 40 additional dogs and cats for a total of 80 animals on the site. He specified that the approximate five-acre subject site is located in the Lady Lake area west of Rolling Acres Road and approximately two miles west of the intersection of Lake Ella Road and US Hwy 27/441. He stated that the case was on the Planning & Zoning Board consent agenda and was pulled and put on the regular agenda due to the adjacent property owner to the south. He explained that the Planning & Zoning Board added a condition for additional fencing and then unanimously approved the project. He also noted that after the Planning & Zoning Board hearing, the applicant and the adjacent property owner reached an agreement resulting in a condition that specifies that the gravel play area located on the west side of the existing kennel building be enclosed with a minimum 8-foot fence on all sides, not abutting a building wall, and that the south side of the fence be constructed of, or include, sound abatement material. He further noted that the condition meets the intent of the fencing requirement made by the Planning & Zoning Board, and the staff recommendation is for the Board to approve Tab 5.
The Chairman opened the public hearing regarding this issue.
There being no one who wished to address the Board, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Tab 5, CUP# 14/9/1-5, Village Pet Spa, to amend the existing kennel Conditional Use Permit (CUP) in the Agriculture (A) Zoning District to add another kennel building to house forty (40) additional dogs and cats for a total of eighty (80) animals on site, and Ordinance No. 2014-62.
green swamp lakeshore drive rural support corridor
Mr. Schmidt then presented Tab 6, Green Swamp Lakeshore Drive Rural Support Corridor, LPA#14/4/1-2, and stated that the approximate 60-acre site is located at the section of Lakeshore Drive between Hull Road extending north and northeast along the east side of Lakeshore Drive, encompassing property with Alternate Key Number 1587662. He explained that the request is a Comprehensive Plan Amendment and Future Land Use Amendment to allow limited support commercial uses within the Green Swamp Rural Land Use Category within a designated rural support corridor along Lakeshore Drive. He then went on to explain that the rural support uses would allow up to 5,000 square feet of limited commercial and office uses per parcel with a maximum of 10,000 square feet of new development within that corridor, but the maximum limitation of square footage does not include existing developed sites that could be redeveloped on the same footprint or at the square footage less any further reductions in footprint or square footage required by the Comp Plan. He related that after the Planning & Zoning Board Hearing, a community meeting was held on Monday, August 4, 2014 in Clermont, where approximately 200 residents attended. He stated that due to concerns raised at that meeting, additional language was added to exclude residential platted subdivision parcels and residential lots of record from the rural support corridor uses, and they also included additional language to clarify existing developed sites. He commented that as of yesterday afternoon, there were 429 letters or emails from citizens opposed to the project, 98 who supported the project, and 8 letters with questions of concern received by the Planning Board. He stated staff recommendation is to approve the transmittal of this Rural Support Corridor text amendment.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
Ms. Miranda Fitzgerald, an attorney with the law firm Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor and Reed, P.A. representing the applicants, Patricia and Joe Dougherty, spoke to the controversy of the proposed project, and she pointed out that the initial application which was considered a bit too aggressive was withdrawn months ago. She opined that the people who were organizing the campaign against this project have been using outdated and incorrect information. She explained that they were at the beginning of a lengthy process and were asking the Board to approve the transmittal of the Comprehensive Plan Amendment to the state and regional agencies for review and comment. She stated that during that process, the staff would be reviewing a PUD zoning application that would then track with the Comprehensive Plan as it moves forward to adoption. She related that the purpose for the amendment is to create policies in the Comprehensive Plan to allow limited commercial uses in a specific corridor. She displayed the site on a map on the overhead monitor, and she explained that the applicants were proposing a country store and farmer’s market on the site. She noted that staff felt that there was a need for additional services for the citizens at that location after looking at the area. She commented that the County and the City of Clermont has expressed concern about the vast areas of residential communities and urban sprawl-type communities since 2010 which do not have neighborhood services in them, resulting in a lower tax base for the County that does not pay for the services that are needed. She opined that this location is actually the perfect place for that commercial corridor, and she pointed out the existing land uses on the overhead map. She noted that the Low Density Urban area actually has a larger lot size pattern than the area that lines Lakeshore Drive.
Ms. Fitzgerald emphasized that this area is far from rural today, and the lots adjoining the property and extending on Lakeshore Drive are slightly over one-third of an acre on the west side of Lakeshore and south of Hull Road, with those on the east side of Lakeshore Drive slightly over one-quarter of an acre. She specified that there are 2,049 street addresses in that area, and a reasonable population projection of 2.6 people per house equates to 5,471 people living within a one-mile radius of the Dougherty property in this Lakeshore Drive neighborhood, which is more people than any of the surrounding cities. She summarized that the area is completely urbanized and underserved by commercial, and staff has asked to put in place an area that would have limited commercial use. She displayed the site plan on the monitor, pointing out that they have a tremendous area of green space, substantial setbacks, a berm and a hedge at the south boundary, an existing wall on property to the north, a large landscape buffer on property to the west, and a lot of other buffers. She explained that the site plan shows three gas islands, since there is a need for additional fuel sales in the area, but they did not have the capabilities for having anything on the scale of a Wawa or Racetrack facility. She pointed out that the immediate neighbor to the east is completely in favor of the project and noted that there are no wetlands on the site. She assured everyone that EPA regulations would govern any gas sales on this site, and she related that they have gotten an opinion from a well-known real estate broker in the area stating that this project would not have any adverse effect on value. She indicated that they have more than 100 emails and letters in support. She requested that the Board transmit their Comp Plan amendment for review.
Ms. Christine Cavender, who lives in the area of the proposed project, commented that she has no problem getting gas, groceries, or other necessities from existing businesses in the area. She commented that she is opposed to this project, which she believes will create excessive traffic and activity in the area, and she chose her home because it was away from commercial area.
Mr. Henry Kones, a resident of Susan’s Landing, commented that this is a somewhat residential property that is two to three miles away from Susan’s Landing which has sat vacant for the better part of five years; however, there is a large amount of undeveloped commercial land on US 27 since the real estate crash in 2008. He stated that there are many other options for sites for the proposed project and that there are stores, gas stations and other commercial businesses within three and a half miles from this area that meet the needs of the citizens, and he pointed out that the development on US 27 currently is quite substantial in terms of supporting the outlying residential communities that are typically within two miles of the property. He concluded that he does not see a need for this project.
Ms. Paula Kones, a resident of Susan’s Landing, stated that she does not see the need for an additional gas station or market in the area, and she believes there needs to be a development plan that would increase the property values in the Clermont area rather than more of the type of development that has been put in place. She commented that she does not want a gas station next to her home. She stated that the residents do not have legal counsel because they trust the Board to listen to the residents and vote in their favor.
Mr. Bernie Woody, a resident of Clermont, stated that he moved to South Lake County to get away from uncontrolled growth and resulting crime in Orange County, but he did not perceive the growth in South Lake County at that time. He commented that although he did not think of their area as rural as the attorney implied, he believed the area to be residential and a sanctuary to protect and insulate the residents somewhat from the negative aspects of growth which they all have to deal with. He opined that Mr. Dougherty has the option of disregarding the wishes of his community and neighbors, but he did not believe the Board had that option as elected officials. He noted that he has been to three meetings addressing this proposed project and that he has not heard from a single person in favor of this project short of the applicants, noting that the people are overwhelmingly against this project.
Ms. Mary Jo Pfeiffer, a resident of Clermont, commented that only 98 out of the 5,000 residents in this area have said anything in favor of this project. She related that she is concerned that if this parcel is rezoned commercial, then Mr. Dougherty can then sell the property to anyone to do with whatever they choose, and she pointed out that the new owner has made no promises to anyone as to what the intended use would be. She expressed concern that they will be stuck with a commercial development they do not want while Mr. Dougherty makes millions.
Ms. Irene Chojnizki, a resident of Pleasant Cove, related that she is opposed to the project and concerned about increased crime in the area should the project go forward. She commented that they do not need any more businesses where they live.
Ms. Rebba Goehrig, a resident of Crescent Lake Club on Lakeshore Drive, commented that she has been in this residential area for 15 years and is totally opposed to the project. She opined that they have no need for commercial buildings, especially the service station, on that property. She noted that there were 200-300 people opposed to the project who were present at the community meeting, and a major concern for her is the increased traffic and the safety of the children, especially since there are no sidewalks or bike trails there. She requested that the Board not approve this project.
Mr. James Solomon, a resident of Susan’s Landing, commented that increased crime is a concern, noting that incidents have already occurred in the area due to the Circle K store. He elaborated that placing a cash-handling business in a residential area, especially those that are open all night, opens the door for crimes of opportunity, and he suggested that those businesses should remain on major commercial thoroughfares where there is ample lighting and more human activity to help deter crimes of opportunity.
Ms. Dawn Solomon, a resident of Susan’s Landing, opined that the government should work for the people rather than for one greedy man who wants to make a lot of money off of a piece of property that he purchased for next to nothing. She commented that she and her family moved from a suburb of Chicago to live and raise their children in a residential area that was peaceful and wholesome in a natural setting, noting that her husband travels an hour each way to work in order to live in such a place. She also noted that Lakeshore Drive traffic is already significant without the proposed project and is concerned about the safety of her children. She pointed out that this was their home and not just a piece of investment property for them, and she was concerned about the increased crime that the project would bring.
Mr. Patrick Solomon, a resident of Susan’s Landing, commented that he drives more than an hour to work, because he and his family chose the rural area of Clermont because of the quiet neighborhood and the presence of wildlife such as fox and woodpeckers. He noted that a concern is an increased rate of crime as well. He also mentioned that he visited the website for this project to express opposition to it, but his comment was voted as a “positive” comment in their metrics, because a visit to the website was seen as a show of interest. He concluded that they were all residents who lived there and were representing their interests.
Mr. Frank Pfeiffer, a resident in an adjoining area to the project, commented that the land could be developed into more homes versus a commercial business, noting that the property was surrounded by homes. He suggested that there were many other properties available for this proposed project.
Mr. Jim Larkin, a resident of Crescent Bay, which was directly across the street from the Dougherty property, commented that he is opposed to that sort of development and expressed a concern with the increased traffic in the area. He elaborated that it was already difficult to get in and out of their neighborhoods during rush hour and that development there would just add more to the problem.
Ms. Nancy Elder, a resident of Lake County since 1998, stated that she was drawn to the area by the serenity, the rolling hills, the lakes, and nature; and she commented that in order for that peace and serenity to continue on Lake Shore Drive, Mr. Dougherty’s request to have his parcel of land rezoned from Agricultural to Commercial needs to be denied permanently. She pointed out that the residents did not ask for, do not need, and do not want this parcel of property to be rezoned as Commercial in any form; and she noted that the applicant has had a myriad of proposals over the course of a year, including a church, daycare, farmer’s market, and a convenience store, although a gas station was the real business the applicant wanted to build on his property. She listed all of the gas stations that were within a five-mile radius of that property in order to illustrate that gas was not an issue for that area. She opined that the applicant was only interested in making money and not concerned with how the residents in the area feel.
Ms. Kristina Campbell, a 13-year resident of Clermont, stated that she spoke for many people who could not be there today, many of whom were at the community meeting which drew the attendance of over 300 residents. She related that she had the same concerns as many residents who have already spoken regarding the traffic and crime situations. She also emphasized that she has no problem with driving a few miles away for gas and groceries, and she did not want a country store or another gas station. She commented that her family loves sitting outside to enjoy the peaceful atmosphere and watching the hawks, osprey, and birds coming into their yard. She opined that this project was not a good idea.
Mr. Joel Lowney stated that he is opposed to the project.
Ms. Marsha Simek stated that she is opposed to the project.
Mr. Travis Campbell, a resident of Lake Crescent Pines, noted that none of the corridor is in the city limits, and he does not feel that he lives in a city or an urban area. He pointed out that people who choose to live in rural areas also choose to have limited services and are aware that it may be a long drive to the grocery store or that it may take emergency vehicles longer to respond. He commented that people should have this choice, and it is wrong for government to force urban services on rural residents at a taxpayer’s expense. He stated that the Board’s constituents have elected them to be their representatives and the voice of what is best for their communities, and they look to the Board to represent them and the majority of the people in their neighborhoods and communities. He implored the Board to make the right decision and look out for the best interests of the majority of the people in their rural community.
Mr. George Simek, a 23-year resident of Crescent Bay, commented that the statistics presented by the applicant’s attorney were incorrect and added that comparing the Clermont area to Astatula did not make sense. He questioned why the transportation level of service statistics were only based on the afternoon peak periods and brought up other issues with that study. He related that bus stops on Lakeshore Drive were moved back further off the road to ensure more safety, and increased traffic would cause further safety issues.
Ms. Georgianne Lowney, a resident of Susan’s Landing whose property abuts the Dougherty property, expressed her opposition to the project and opined that the applicant has failed to show a need for a gas station or a commercial development or a reason why that land should be rezoned. She expressed concern that the proposed gas pumps would threaten the Green Swamp and the water supply. She added that there appears to be a lack of evidence for changing the existing Comprehensive Plan, which should only be done to improve rather than degrade the area, and it should have the support of the people. She opined that the report of staff was inadequate with critical areas of omission and lacking in clarity, including a lack of an accurate crime analysis from the nearby Circle K and mention of the public outcry opposed to the project.
Ms. Gordana Dinello commented that a class action lawsuit against the applicant was an option the residents could pursue for devaluing their property and undermining their security.
Mr. Charles Francis, a retired law enforcement officer, marine, and resident of Crescent Bay, related that his main concern involved the safety of the school children. He noted school buses stop in front of the subject property with traffic traveling at a high rate of speed on Lakeshore Drive. He commented that the residents had many options for goods and services in their area and did not need those services at that location.
Ms. Dorothy Spartz, a resident of Crescent Bay, related that she moved out there 20 years ago from the Orlando area to get away from all of the commercialization, and she expressed a concern that the subject property is located right where the high school and middle school children catch the school bus. She commented that increased traffic and safety for the children were her highest concerns.
Ms. Lujo Karkovice stated her opposition to the project.
Mr. Frank Miller, a resident of Susan’s Landing, pointed out that there was already an existing gas station on the north side of his neighborhood, and this proposed project would add one on the south side of their community. He opined that the proposed project would devalue and affect the desirability of the homes in his neighborhood. He commented that the existing gas station already exposes half of the community to light and noise pollution as well as a long list of criminal incidents, which he noted that Planning and Zoning did not include in their report. He added that the intersection at the Dougherty property corner is a school bus drop-off point, noting that this is a safety issue. He also noted that the corner is on a blind curve with high speed traffic and community entrances on both sides of Lakeshore Drive. He related that there is no need for the services proposed by this project, and he suggested a park for the residents instead of another gas station or convenience store. He urged the Board to vote “no” to this project.
Mr. Steve Edwards appealed to the Board to stop the project now, since he believed that this project does not make sense, and the zoning request was absurd and did not fit in the area. He related that the community needed the Board’s support in voting “no” on this project.
Mr. Mark McNealy, a resident of Susan’s Landing, noted his property is adjacent to the Dougherty property and expressed hope that the Board will listen to the many voices expressed that day and would agree that rezoning this property is not in the best interest of this community. He commented that an approval of this project will result in his dream home and community being changed by traffic, crime, pollution, and a whole host of other issues, which he has witnessed as a result of the convenience store that was built on the other side of Susan’s Landing, and he stated that he is extremely concerned about what would happen if the land adjacent to him is rezoned to become another gas station. He urged the Board to vote “no” to this request.
Mr. Robert Meredith, a resident of Susan’s Landing, stated that most of his points have been discussed previously, but he wanted to add that he compiled a list of 19 gas stations that were less than five miles from the Dougherty property, emphasizing that there is no need for a gas station. He commented that the fuel pumps would generate more light or crime.
Ms. Janice Hull, a resident of Clermont, commented that although she believes Mr. Dougherty should be able to do something profitable with his land, the wisest use for the property would have been the development of homes as he had previously proposed, and she opined that the store would be totally unprofitable without the sale of gasoline. She expressed concern with the proposed gas station causing environmental issues and increased traffic hazards. She noted that there was still plenty of property south of this location that could be developed in the next few years. She pleaded that the Board have the interests of South Lake County in mind and requested that the Board respect the opinions of the residents.
recess and reassembly
The Chairman called for a 15-minute recess at 10:31 a.m.
green swamp lakshore drive rural support corridor (cont’d)
Mr. Paul Curtis, a resident of Crescent Cove, commented that he would have been in favor of an organic farm at the site. He noted that he went to the website regarding the project and sent an email expressing concerns about the possibility of the property being turned into an eyesore within a couple of years in that email, which was sent in October of 2013, to which he never got a response. He related that he later learned that his email counted as one of the 98 positive emails the applicant reported, and he respectfully requested that the number be made 97 because he was not in favor of the proposed project.
Mr. Ed Cassano expressed his opposition to the proposed project.
Ms. Cynthia Lewis, a resident of Susan’s Landing, expressed opposition to the change in the Comprehensive Plan and noted that their neighborhood would be flanked by gas stations if the project was approved, which she and her neighbors believed was completely unnecessary. She requested that the Board be true to the Comprehensive Plan that has already been approved for their area. She commented that she has lived in the area 16 years after moving from Orlando in order to live in a more rural or family-friendly area. She pointed out that the residents chose to live in a less commercialized area, and she did not think that this store would be supported or patronized. She expressed concern about the increased crime that the new business would bring, noting that the existing Circle K already brings enough additional crime to their neighborhood. She commented that the nature of the increased traffic will include semis and gas tankers, which will cause increased safety concerns as well. She opined that there was a higher and better use for this property, such as a park for their children to play in.
Ms. Ann Saraceno, a resident of Crescent Bay, opined that the Board and the Planning and Zoning Board have been given false information in order to get them to approve this project and pointed out that the residents have been illustrating that during this public hearing. She stated that she hoped the Board would vote against the project. She commented that the increased traffic, including vehicles pulling boats, was another concern, and the residents wanted the area to stay the way it currently is, which was a local community. She opined that the business would become an eyesore with barred windows if it failed in the future, especially since Lakeshore Drive has recently been declared by Clermont as a scenic route. She concluded that there was so much development happening on SR 50 and Hwy 27, and the residents did not need or want this business.
Mr. Peter Ciccio, a resident of Clermont, stated that he purchased his property 22 years ago with the knowledge that there would not be any services in that area, and he commented about the increased crime due to the Circle K that was near his neighborhood. He noted that there recently was a sinkhole in front of the existing Circle K Store, and he expressed concerns about how the gas pumps would affect the water supply. He commented that his home was in a rural setting, surrounded by acreage, and he liked it that way.
Ms. Mary Turton, a resident of Lake Crescent Pines, expressed that she is opposed to the proposed project, and she commented that there was a Walmart three miles away from their group of residential communities, which was not the case in other areas they were compared to by the applicant, such as Astatula and Mascotte. She asked that the Board vote “no.”
Mr. Ernest Fritinger, a concerned resident, expressed his adamant opposition to the proposed project. He asked the Board to consider the fact that the residents are adamantly opposed to this particular gas station and commercial development and noted that there was plenty of that kind of development on Hwy 27. He requested that the Board vote against the project.
Ms. Lori English, a resident of Susan’s Landing, commented that all of the growth and development have made Lakeshore Drive very hazardous, and she has witnessed several fatalities along that road. She opined that putting a gas station at that location would be a disaster as far as safety and the environment. She expressed serious doubts about the success of this business, since many residents would be boycotting it, and she pointed out that the applicant was not serving the community by proposing and planning to build his business there.
Ms. J. J. Dahl suggested that the Commission go back to staff and review the formula that the applicants are using to make a determination about the need for these additional services in this area, since there was definitely not a need for this business in this case. She noted that she and her family made the decision to move to this area 21 years ago, despite having to travel to the Orlando area for many services at that time, and now there are many other choices of commercial development within a few miles of their home. She commented that they wanted this quality of life.
Ms. Helene DeRosa, a resident of Lake Crescent Pines, mentioned that the notification of the proposed development initially stated that it would be a farmer’s market, which she would be in favor of since she enjoys buying local produce from farmers markets. However, when she learned that it was not, in fact, what was being proposed, she was shocked and felt that the residents in the area were being purposely deceived. She commented that she would like to see the property used for a seasonal fruit market as it had been years ago, which would best serve their community.
Ms. Debbie Hauert, a real estate agent, commented that the applicant had bought the property in foreclosure for about $85,000 and has used less than savory aspects to try to get his proposed project approved. She commented that the application can be denied for lack of burden of proof of need. She pointed out that the County spent 15 years and over $4 million to build a very expensive connector road that puts all of the needs of the residents out on the commercial corridor, and there had been a 10-year effort to get the Green Swamp designated as an area of critical concern. She related that the reason this parcel and the parcel in Lake Susan’s Lodge were left rural was so that there would still remain a watershed to the Green Swamp to keep the river and lakes, which are not spring fed, environmentally clean. She commented that approving this project would open up more opportunities for additional rural development along Log House Road, Pine Island Road, and south 561 where there are even higher acreages of tracts where people still want to drive the few minutes to get to the various stores and businesses available. She pointed out that the applicant’s application and traffic study were in direct inconsistency with each other, and she opined that most people would stop at a major grocery store to pick up needed groceries on their way home from work rather than at a convenience store. She emphasized that as a major land developer in Lake County, the applicant was very aware that the land use was rural, and she respectfully requested that the Board deny his request.
Ms. Mary Ann Lunde, a concerned resident who owns three properties south of this project, expressed concern that this would only add to the traffic problems that already existed on Lakeshore, and commented that it would devalue the surrounding properties. She related that she would consider joining a class action lawsuit if the project was approved.
Ms. Jackie Beatty expressed opposition to the project.
Ms. Lois Dimos, a resident of Vista Grande south of the proposed property, commented that she had relocated to the Clermont area 15 months ago from Miami after extensive research for the specific purpose of being in a quiet area, and she elaborated that she chose Clermont because of the quality of the hills and the beauty of the area. She pointed out that there were 500 emails against this project versus less than 100 in favor of it, and the Board represented the residents in this community. She mentioned that that people loitering was a safety concern along with the volume of trash that accompanies these types of developments. She encouraged the Board to oppose this development.
Ms. Katy Farmer, an 11-year-old resident of Crescent Lake Club, stated that she did not want the danger of crime or the traffic, because she enjoys riding her bicycle without fear of being hit by vehicles. She added that she did not want a gas station or country store and asked that the Board vote “no” to this project.
Mr. Rick Ault, a concerned resident, noted that most of his concerns have already been stated by the residents who have previously spoken and pointed out that this opposition illustrates that this community is trying to protect its culture and character. He stated that a section of policy I-7.13.1 of the Comp Plan specifically allows the Board latitude to deny a proposal, reading aloud the portion that states “the County shall consider whether or not the proposed amendment protects the character and quality of life in the county and serves the public interests.” He commented that unless there is a compelling reason why this project would benefit the rest of the county, he urged that the Board deny it, and he elaborated that it was not an economic driver and had no tangible benefit, but it comes at a huge impact to the residents. He emphasized that the notification signs that are currently on the applicant’s parcel compare his proposed use to the previous use of that property, which was actually a pole barn with wood chip floors that was opened on weekends six months a year. He encouraged the Board to look at the minutes or listen to the audio for the Planning and Zoning meeting which noted that one of those board members openly admonished the applicant for representing the 97 comments as in support of the development, since many of them simply stated “no gas” or indicated support of an organic market.
Ms. Fitzgerald related that the emails received were of a variety of comments. She noted that the applicants live in Crescent Bay, and Mr. Dougherty is an investor and financial advisor but not a developer. She stated that the issue really is what is best for the community, and there are a lot of people in the community who support the project and did not want to drive miles for groceries or gas. She pointed out that there is a precedent for commercial uses at that site, and Susan’s Lodge has been there for years. She assured the Board that she has heard the neighbors’ concerns, and as a result of the community outcry, the gas station component will be removed from the proposal. She opined that there is a need in this area for additional services that is not available today. She stated that she spent 20 minutes at the Circle K Store watching the traffic coming and going and noted it is the typical convenience store, adding that the proposed project is not at all like that. She assured the Board that they would work with staff during the PUD analysis to make arrangements for sidewalks, right of ways, and traffic issues to ensure that the safety issues would be addressed. She opined that people, not uses, created crime and that it was unfair to assume that convenience retail would bring crime to the neighborhood. She presented some statistics from the Sheriff’s Office indicating that the Circle K had a total of 40 incidents during a three-year period of time that were actually classified as criminal activity, with a total of 149 incidents when cases such as verbal disturbances, sick persons, and reckless drivers were taken into account, whereas the neighborhood within a one-mile radius around the Circle K had 64 criminal incidents in a six-month period with a total of 170 reports. She asked the Board to let the proposal be transmitted to get to the next step in the process, allowing them to work with the staff, and she emphasized that gas was taken out of the proposal. She concluded that there were very strict limits on what can go in this area which would be appropriate for some additional convenience uses.
The Chairman closed the public hearing.
Commr. Sullivan commented that although he believes they need to move forward with the rural-support corridor, he agrees with the residents that a gas station is not the proper or highest use of this property. He stated that they could possibly come up with something fitting the community character through the PUD process. He related he had been undecided about this issue and criticized for that, but felt he needed to make an educated decision on what is best for Lake County. He related that he is not sure that this proposed project is the right and best use for this property as it is currently written and mentioned that he would have required the removal of the gas station use if they had moved forward.
Commr. Campione stated that she met with the residents that asked for a meeting, which also included the applicant. She also noted that she would have been at the community meeting, but she had been stranded at the airport in Miami at that time; however, she did take note of the things that were on the record during that meeting. She mentioned that she also traveled to the proposed site and neighborhood and took note that it was a beautiful and bucolic area, although it was residential. She commented that she believes the rural support corridor should be used to address Lake Susan Lodge to rejuvenate that area in order to be an asset to the community, but she would not support a change of land use for this particular property, adding that the only thing she could visualize for that site would be an organic market concept with some seasonal-type sales similar to what it had before.
Ms. Fitzgerald related that she had been directed to withdraw the application for the proposed project.
Commr. Conner asked Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, whether the Commission was able to choose whether to accept or deny the withdrawal of the petition.
Mr. Minkoff responded that it is the Board’s decision whether or not to accept a withdrawal of the application once the public hearing has started.
Commr. Conner commented that he believed that a vote needed to be taken on this application denying the withdrawal.
Commr. Cadwell commented that there needed to be a level of trust in a rural community in order to approve this type of PUD in this type of land use. He noted that although this was done before in other communities, there was a level of trust in those communities that the PUD would also reflect the community, and he did not feel that was the case in this instance. He stated that he would not support this application.
Commr. Parks thanked all of the residents for coming to the meeting. He commented that he felt people needed to be participant in all levels of government and that their participation shows that they care about their community. He listed four reasons why he would make a motion to deny this application, including that the Green Swamp Rural Corridor criteria is problematic, and it is still unclear whether or not this promotes more typical commercial development. He opined that the individual application should have been heard separately and not within an entire corridor application because of all the controversy. He pointed out that the guidelines contained on page 3 of the ordinance, lines 22, 23 and 24 which discuss LDRs that are specific to Lakeshore Drive should have been written prior to any commercial development. He also commented that there is a serious traffic safety concern along Lakeshore Drive that many have talked about during this hearing and that he has experienced himself, and he proposed that a plan be put in place specifically for the Lakeshore Corridor area, adding that there should be input from the community as to what that plan would look like. He noted there should be traffic calming that needs to be done all along the road with the need for the speed limit to be lowered to make it safer and to incorporate this into a plan with the LDRs that are specific to the design guidelines and to the area.
Commr. Conner stated he would be voting against the application primarily because he felt it would have a negative impact in multiple areas on the surrounding area.
On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board denied the requested application for Tab 6, LPA#14/4/1-2, the transmittal of the Comprehensive Plan text amendment to allow limited support commercial uses within the Green Swamp Rural Land Use Category within a designated corridor along Lakeshore Drive and Future Land Use Map amendment to add a Rural Support Corridor along Lakeshore Drive within Section 1, Township 23, and Range 25.
reports – Commissioner parks – district #2
cfac meeting regarding impact fees
Commr. Parks reported that there was a CFAC (Capital Facilities Advisory Committee) meeting last Tuesday, September 16, to discuss educational impact fees, and he opined that it was a very productive meeting. He added that the committee will meet again in October, at which time they will make a recommendation that will come back to the Board on December 2 regarding whether or not to re-implement that impact fee.
reports – Commissioner Campione
school board workshop regarding concurrency
Commr. Campione reported that she attended the School Board workshop regarding the school concurrency agreement, including the concept of rearranging and changing the concurrency service areas in South Lake County. She opined that the developers of large developments need to be responsible up front for addressing their school needs. She also commented as to the importance of the sales tax renewal to all of Lake County and expressed concern about whether a large millage increase would affect the voters’ decision to renew that.
Recess & Reassembly
The Chairman announced a recess until 5:05 p.m.
approval of final millage rates
Mr. David Heath, County Manager, explained that this was the second of two public hearings on the Fiscal Year 2015 budget as required by Florida Statutes, and the purpose of this meeting was to present to the public the final budget for FY 2015 including the final millage rates and their change from the rollback millage rates, which was a rate when applied to next year’s tax base, excluding new construction, that will generate the same revenue raised in the previous year. He commented that the recommended budget for the General Fund addresses the requests from the Constitutional Officers, maintains the current levels of service, addresses employee compensation, and is structurally balanced. He explained that the Parks and Stormwater MSTU addresses the countywide funding of parks, maintains the current level of service in the park system, includes funding to address growth in the parks system, and provides funding stability for the parks. He elaborated that this MSTU also maintains the current level of service for the stormwater division but does not address future stormwater needs or projects. He related that the Fire Rescue MSTU budget maintains the current level of service, addresses employee compensation, provides for long-term funding stability, and is more structurally balanced, although it does not address the salary compression. He noted that since the property values have risen slightly above expectations, they are recommending a slight millage reduction in the Public Lands Voted Debt millage, which will leave enough funding to meet the obligations with a reasonable reserve to mitigate any fluctuation in revenue; also, the Lake County Ambulance MSTU addresses Lake County EMS funding requests including capital needs, maintains the current levels of service for EMS, provides long-term funding stability, and is more structurally balanced. He thanked the Constitutional Officers and senior staff for their cooperation throughout the budget process, as well as County staff for their assistance in attempting to balance the budget.
Mr. Steve Koontz, Fiscal and Administrative Services Director, stated that he would read the millages as compared to the rollback rates and noted that Chapters 129 and 200 of the Florida Statutes which outlines the procedures for the annual adoption of tax rates and budgets require that he identifies the tentative millage rates for the 2015 Fiscal Year as well as any adjustments the Board will consider before adopting the final millage rates and the final budget. He mentioned that this public hearing was advertised in the Lake section of the Orlando Sentinel on Friday, September 19, which was within the required timeframes for publication outlined in the Florida Statutes. He reported that the proposed Lake County General Fund Millage is 5.3856 mills, which is an increase to the current rate and a 16.23 percent increase from the rolled back rate of 4.6337 mills; the proposed Lake County Ambulance MSTU millage is .4629 mills, which is an increase to the current rate and 22.66 percent increase from the rolled back tax rate of .3774 mills; the proposed Lake County Stormwater, Roads, and Parks MSTU millage is .4957 mills, which is a decrease to the current rate and a 1.1 percent increase from the rolled back rate of .4903 mills; and the proposed Lake County Fire MSTU millage is .4704 mills, which is an increase to the current rate and a 48.53 percent increase from the rolled back tax rate of .3167 mills. He summarized that the total of those four millages is 6.8146 mills, which is an increase to the current aggregate rate and a 16.77 percent increase of the aggregate rolled back rate of 5.8181 mills. He read the proposed Lake County Public Lands-Voted Debt millage of .1600 mills, which he indicated did not figure into the rolled back rate calculations, noting that it reflected a reduction to the rate adopted in 2014 of .1900.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
Mr. Andy Dubois, a concerned citizen, respectfully requested that the Board hold the line on their current millage rates and expressed a belief that good government only spends what it takes in. He opined that this Board could get that done by adjusting their budget and still provide for essential services in the county. He commented that he resented the fact that his taxes would go up to provide for nonessential services.
Ms. Marie Dubois stated that she was pleasantly surprised when she moved to the area 11 years ago that Lake County was a conservative county; however, she now feels that the Board is betraying that belief fiscally. She compared the County to the federal government by allowing proponents of libraries and special needs facilities to speak at the last public hearing, even though they knew it was not necessary. She requested that the Board find a way to make the budget work without raising taxes and expressed support for Commr. Campione’s proposals.
Mr. Bob Peraza, a resident of Clermont, indicated that he has read several documents concerning this issue and was in favor of the Sheriff’s request for additional funding and raises for the County employees. He commented that he believed the biggest issue is the funding of the Judicial Center from the sales tax money or the general fund, and he expressed agreement with Commr. Campione’s idea of using sales tax revenue. He opined that the budget process was poor and should be changed, especially the practice of starting with a large proposed tax increase and reducing it afterwards, and he suggested that the 18-percent increase should have been proposed to a committee which could have reduced that increase to something more reasonable.
Mr. Walter Price, a resident of Lake County for 34 years and a small business owner, commented that when business is down due to competition, he does not have the luxury to raise fees and has to adapt to the situation to maintain his revenue by either cutting expenses or increase volume. He related that over the past few years, he has had to cut his expenses and lay off staff like most businesses and similar to the Board during the same timeframe. He related that in the County’s situation, there was an automatic increase in volume occurring, since the total real estate assessments for Lake County were up 4.4 percent last year, which means that the County would have an increase in revenue even if the Board maintained the millage rate at the current level. He pointed out that indications for next year’s tax assessments shows an upward trend and an increase of 7.35 percent so far; in addition there is new construction activity taking place which also adds to the tax base. He opined that any additional increases in the millage rate over and above the increasing revenues from current market conditions is abusive to the taxpayers of Lake County, who were already trying to recover from hard times and were inundated by higher prices and increasing taxes at all levels. He urged all of the Commissioners to vote “no” to any increase in the millage rate, since he believed that there is a valid plan put forth to balance the budget without a tax increase. He added that raising taxes was not friendly to taxpayers or businesses, and he opined that turning against their own principles and the expectations of those that supported and elected the Commissioners is offensive and wrong and would result in the loss of their respect and the votes of their constituents.
Ms. Patricia Sullivan stated that she pities the mess that the Board has created for themselves, since they ran on conservative principles, and she opined that they have turned their back on those principles as well as the taxpayers. She commented that she was proud of Commr. Campione for her perseverance in continuing to put forth a proposal that would allow them to keep their services and still live within their means with a budget that does not increase their taxes. She related that social media has reported extensively on this issue, which she believes would produce really good government by engaging those that have not previously been engaged. She commented that they would not have to attend these meetings and could go about their lives if they were able to know who their public servants were and trust them, although that was not happening tonight. He urged the Board to vote “no” to the tax increase.
Mr. George Fazio, a resident of Leesburg, thanked the Board for their service to the County, and he related that he has campaigned for most of the Commissioners because they indicated to him that they were fiscal conservatives, but raising property taxes to avoid making difficult decisions is not the definition of being fiscally conservative. He stated that Commr. Campione has presented a comprehensive plan that keeps property taxes at the current level and meets the needs of the County, but does not grant the wants of every special interest group. He urged the Board to be patient until the improvement in the economy gives them the tax dollars to work with for the “wants” list and to keep the property taxes at the current level in the meantime by adopting Commr. Campione’s recommended budget.
Mr. George Verkaik opined that there was an epidemic going on in their country which is especially apparent at the federal level, although Lake County had been free of that for a number of years until recently. He commented that he was appalled, because many of the Commissioners ran on conservative principles but has not given a proposal to keep taxes level much consideration. He related that the Commissioners who vote in favor of this budget increase would lose his vote, and he would try to convince as many others to do so as he could.
Ms. Linda Wentworth, a resident of Montverde, expressed concern that the citizens of Lake County will not approve the one cent sales tax that is up for renewal in November 2015 if the proposed property tax is approved, and she asked about the Board’s plan to take care of that problem. She also asked why they are not charging developers the impact fee rates recommended by the expert consultants, since they paid for the expertise of those consultants. She commented that the residents are the resource for the impact fees that are not being charged, which does not seem like a good way to run a government.
Ms. Marilyn Bainter, a resident of Eustis, stated that she was present that evening to support Commr. Campione on her stand on the tax issue. She asked if the budget includes work on the Wolf Branch sink, what they were doing at the Emergency Operations Center, and whether the roads were still included in the MSTU. She pointed out that even though the South Lake County cities have indicated that they do not want the County residents to use their parks, County residents also use their businesses and restaurants. She commented that she agreed that they have to pay for the services, but she believed the County should charge to park in the parking garage and to use their parks, the way the state parks do. She mentioned that she has had several burglaries in her home, despite following the Sheriff’s recommendation that she install burglar alarms. She opined that businesses can recover from these taxes by charging more to customers, but residents have no recourse other than their vote, which does not matter when there is no opposition.
Commr. Conner assured Ms. Bainter that they will have staff answer her questions after they hear the public comments.
Mr. Richard Skyzinski, a resident of Groveland, expressed disappointment with the Commissioners during the public hearing two weeks ago in the comments made when asked whether they had already made up their minds and in their statement that there was nothing else to cut in the budget. He commented that the Board was there to implement acceptable resolutions for all the people who live and work in Lake County and not to make their day-to-day existence more difficult. He expressed gratitude to Commr. Campione for some of her suggestions about how to make the county successful and a better place for the residents, which he believed were reasonable and thoughtful.
Ms. Carolyn Maimone noted that she supports the Sheriff’s budget, as well as the Sheriff and all of the deputies, and she believes they deserve a raise for what they do for their community. She expressed disappointment that the rest of the Board was not working with the ideas of Commr. Campione or giving her the credit that she is due, as well as disappointment that the Board used scare tactics to fill the Chambers with special interest groups two weeks ago, even though their special interests were not a factor in this budget. She opined that a few Board members have turned their backs on their constituents, which will result in those Commissioners being replaced during the next election, and she expressed disappointment in intimidation tactics by the Chairman. She stated that she hoped that they will do the right thing for the county, do their homework, and treat Commr. Campione with the respect she deserves.
Mr. Bud Beucher, a resident of Howey in the Hills, commented that the Commissioners’ jobs are not easy. He related that just because residents do not support an 18 percent tax increase does not mean that they want to live in the cheapest county, and political discourse is their right as well as their obligation as citizens. He opined that a tax increase of even 14 percent is absolutely not needed, and the problem is that the Board collectively has not shown an appetite to truly save money by being creative in their thinking, delaying gratification, and leading in these tough times. He suggested that the County finance the purchase of equipment needed by EMS instead of allocating a portion of the $1 million of the EMS capital budget to buy that equipment, and specified that the $270,000 in IT equipment for EMS could be purchased now and financed over two or three years. He asked whether it was necessary to fund a 15.1 percent increase in EMS pensions or if they could manage with a smaller increase such as ten percent, especially in light of what is happening in the private sector, and whether it was necessary to give EMS an increase in their travel budget of almost $30,000 this year. Regarding the request for completing the build out of the Judicial Center, he suggested that they ask the City of Tavares what it would cost to extend the County’s occupancy of the current annex or allocating approximately $300,000 to develop an RFP for architectural services and construction bidding. He indicated that he would present a handout of these and other suggestions. He concluded that Commr. Campione has tried to do the right thing for the taxpayers and requested that the Commissioners to their jobs.
Mr. Don Magruder opined that the Commissioners who voted for the proposed tax increase must be oblivious or indifferent to the economic struggles of working families and seniors in Lake County. He commented that the Lake County housing market is a disaster, and it would be cruel to tax people more for houses, apartments, and businesses. He reported that the new foreclosure filings in the state rose 74 percent from July to August and 24 percent year over year, and 1 out of 537 homes in Lake County are in foreclosure. He also related that the yearly trend in housing permits in the county through July is 2,515, which is 32 percent lower than the pre-boom level of 2001, although this year’s permits are significantly improved over last year, which is partially due to people trying to get a permit before the impact fees are in place. He stated that Lake County population has grown by 37 percent since 2001, with new home permits dropping 32 percent, indicating that the economy is bad and that families are forced to live wherever they could. He added that home values in August are 2.4 percent below the 2004 levels, resulting in many homeowners being financially “underwater.” He also mentioned that unemployment in August was 6.8 percent. He stated that there may be a collapse in the housing market next year, and he predicted more vacant businesses and foreclosures if this tax is passed.
Dr. Ed Schlein commented that he has not seen the county in this condition in the 35 years he has lived there, and he believed the county will be in worse shape if they raise the taxes as they are proposing to do, with loss of more jobs, businesses, and revenue. He suggested that they need to attract more businesses and building if they wanted to improve revenue, and he stated that it has been proven over and over again that that could not be done by raising taxes. He called for the election of new Commissioners if the tax increase was approved.
Mr. John Wentworth related that he recently attended a meeting of the St. Johns River Water Management District regarding an unpopular water use application, and it was apparent to him after a few minutes that the board members had made their decision prior to meeting and that the comments from the public were of little interest to them. He commented that he hoped that was not the case during this hearing and that the Board will listen and take to heart the words spoken there that night from the people they serve.
Mr. David VonGunten commented that it was bad timing for a tax increase and that it should have been eight years ago when revenues were going up and all of the bureaucracies they were now trying to support were being built. He stated that he has heard suggestions from people that night of ways to reduce the bureaucracy so that they would not need that tax increase, and he encouraged the Board to take advantage of the help from those people who seem to have a good handle on how to reduce expenses in the County. He wondered if anyone has compared the Sheriff’s budget nationwide in order to see how many deputies would be enough, and he suggested looking to see if the increase in salaries should come from fewer deputies on the roll, if that is what it calls for in order to bring their public safety budget in line with other places.
Mr. Donald Bronson stated that he has been a taxpayer in this county since 1958 and opined that just because other surrounding counties were raising taxes, there was no reason why the Commissioners in this county should do the same. He related that he understands why the Sheriff’s deputies and public safety employees wanted raises, since they save a lot of lives and do a lot of good, but he pointed out that a lot of other people have not had raises either. He reiterated the belief that raising taxes will result in more unemployment and foreclosures. He stated that the Board needs to consider that the citrus industry will be gone in another two to three years. He commented that it was easy to spend someone else’s money, and he mentioned the fire department’s lenient retirement policy. He added that the Commissioners will have to learn to say “no,” and he requested that they find a way to get more tax money from Niagara Bottling Company.
Ms. Fran Grossi, a resident of Leesburg, stated that she supported Commr. Campione’s proposal and would like the Board to take that into consideration. She commented that people all over the country have to tighten their belts, and she believed it was time for government to tighten its belt.
Mr. Vance Jochim, a writer of a blog regarding local fiscal and governmental issues, opined that the Board was taking the easy way out by bringing more money to the problem instead of managing and analyzing their operations and following some of the good suggestions that Commr. Campione and others have mentioned. He added that the Board was handing out $60 million to the constitutional officers, including the over $3 million increase to the Sheriff, and yet constitutional officers in the State of Florida do not seem to ever have to be accountable for the money they get, with only about a two-page budget in the County’s over 400-page budget book and no requirement for public hearings. He asked why the Board did not demand a detailed budget, as well as performance audits and peer cost studies of metrics comparing them to national statistics, from the constitutional officers before it gave them $60 million.
Mr. Bill Stone mentioned that he has supported the Commissioners in previous elections and have liked what they had previously done; however, he commented that they have had a parting of ways regarding this issue. He indicated support for Commr. Campione’s proposal, which he believed would at least be a starting point even if the Board decided to do things differently. He expressed concern that the Commissioners’ pride or ego would prevent them from stepping back from what they have indicated they would do, and he strongly recommended against that. He asked that they keep the millage rate the same and find a way to make it work, although he does not expect that to be easy, but he pointed out that the Commissioners volunteered for that job. He also requested that the Board think again before they vote to raise the millage rate for the community, and he elaborated that the Board has an obligation to work to find creative ways of solving a problem so that they do not lose the benefit of what they have already been able to accomplish to reduce County expenses.
Mr. Leo Smith, a resident of Mount Dora, stated that he has come to this public hearing to express his concerns about the property tax increase and recapped that they have been using their reserves for several years now to balance the budget, which indicates to him that the County has a spending problem. He opined that there is not a member in the audience that night that has not experienced some type of budget problem, but they could not reach into someone else’s pocket and pull out the money they need for all of the things they want and instead are forced to cut their spending. He commented that although building parks and playgrounds for their children is a great thing when they have the money to do so, they do not have the money right now, and he asked the Board to pledge not to raise taxes. He related that he would rather see more development and houses being built to broaden their tax base, which would bring in enough money for luxuries such as parks. He opined that raising taxes is the easy way out, but they want someone who could do the tough and sometimes unpopular job of cutting spending, and he thanked Commr. Campione for her fiscal conservativeness. He expressed concern about the Board continuing to raise taxes in subsequent years and asked that they get the County on firm financial footing in order to have a balanced budget from here on out, noting that they cannot tax and spend their way into a balanced budget. He concluded that the Board has the power of the vote now, but the citizens have the power of the vote later.
Mr. Matt Collis mentioned that he was a CPA who had experience auditing global companies. He related that his research indicated that Lake County had the third highest tax increase this year out of the 67 Florida counties and elaborated that they were not consistent with their comparable counties throughout the state. He commented that a large tax increase of 21 percent indicates to him that they were going bankrupt, but he realized that was not the case after looking at the financial data. He opined that they have been poorly managed in the past and were trying to correct it in one year, and he pointed out that they have had more expenditures than revenues for the last seven years. He also opined that the County was currently being poorly managed after going through the recommended budget, noting that the recommended expenditures were at an all-time high. He concluded that he does not disagree that they need an increase in taxes, but he wanted the Board to reconsider the budget and the expenditures that they have laid out.
Mr. Jay Stringfellow mentioned that most of what he was going to talk about have already been addressed by others who have previously spoken. He related that a number of seniors do not realize that they will have a tax increase, since they have confused the millage rate with assessment of their homes. He specified that he will have to pay an additional $45,000 as a result of this increase, and his mother will have to pay $600, which is a huge amount to her and her friends. He mentioned that this will affect business owners who will have to pay an increased amount of rent or mortgage amounts, which will trickle down to the customers. He asked the Board to table this issue to think about it harder and to try to come up with ways to limit this, at least for the senior citizens.
Mr. David Hurley, a business owner, commented that he believed the Commissioners’ salaries were too high and vowed to work to make sure some of the Commissioners were not re-elected. He also expressed disappointment in the Commissioners who voted for the tax increase, and he disparaged the County’s budget. He read a quote from Cicero, a Roman politician from 55 BC, which stated, “The budget must be balanced, the treasury must be filled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officials should be tempered and controlled, and their assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed, lest Rome become bankrupt.” He noted that there were many people who left work early to attend the public hearing in order to address this problem, and he opined that there were many places to cut in the Sheriff’s budget.
Ms. Evelyn Logas mentioned that she had attended the first public hearing that was held on September 9 and has had time since then to reflect and evaluate what transpired. She opined that the public had made a remarkable presence during other County meetings she had attended to debate with clarity, facts, and truth their opinions regarding serious issues that affected their lives, but their intelligence was insulted, because the County Commission had already made up their minds, and she commented that this was the case on September 9. She commented that Commr. Campione had the very same facts regarding the state of their county and Lake County government and businesses and explained why a tax increase was not needed. She also opined that the Board was uncomfortable and unclear while explaining why a tax increase was needed, with one reason being that they had not had an increase in a long time. She noted that none of the proponents for the South Lake Park she spoke to who attended the September 9 meeting were from Lake County or paid a property tax in Lake County. She commented that many people spoke clearly and with honest reasons why a tax increase is an extreme negative for Lake County residents. She related that the Board possibly has had the opportunity to reflect and re-evaluate the facts since the last public hearing, and she requested that the Board reconsider their reasons for the tax increase.
Mr. Ralph Smith, who hosted a local radio show, stated that his purpose that night was to try to be a voice of reason, and he recited a quote from a former president which stated “When more of the people’s sustenance is exacted through the form of taxation and is not necessary to meet the just obligations of government and expenses of its economical administration, such exaction becomes ruthless extortion and a violation of the fundamental principles of government.” He related that he was angry that the Board did not do their due diligence to get this issue resolved before it became as large an issue as it had become that night. He suggested that the Commissioners donate their salary to the County to help resolve this situation. He commented that he does not have a problem with raising taxes a few percentage points in order to give the public safety employees a raise, but he pointed out that those employees will see less of that raise if the Board imposes the proposed tax increase because of the higher cost they will be paying in taxes if they have a home in Lake County.
Ms. Christine Magnifico thanked the Board for everything they have done but expressed anger at a “growing epidemic” of city, county, state, and federal governments overspending and expecting the taxpayer to pick up the tab. She commented that Lake County can have the distinction of setting a standard that they all ran their campaigns on. She pointed out that the Board conducted seven budget workshops for the 2013-14 fiscal year but that she could only find documentation of two workshops for this budget. She opined that neglectful and wasteful increases will put the penny sales tax which funds school projects in jeopardy, since taxpayers would have limited means and be less likely to approve the penny sales tax after a double-digit property increase, and she added that their schools were a necessity and not a quality-of-life issue. She suggested that the Board impose a small single-digit increase instead, if necessary, and to let the economy grow in order to increase revenues. She commented that the Board represents as elected officials the majority of the citizens and not just one section of the county, and she related that the populous has spoken out for fiscal responsibility. She noted that the private sector has been working hard without raises and doing more with less for years. She stated that the County currently has 23 parks as well as unused or underused parks such as Sleepy Hollow, Minneola, and Sorrento, and she did not see the need for another park. She concluded that the tax increase has been put off for ten years, and she did not see why it could not be put off for one or two more years. She added that decisions have consequences, and she would be dedicating a portion of her front yard to remind citizens of Lake County who voted for the reduction of their quality of life, because their elected officials would not say “no.” She expressed support for Commr. Campione’s position on this issue.
Ms. Lee Owen noted that some of the Commissioners previously indicated that taxes would have to be raised if the renewal of the penny sales tax was not approved and that the benefit of the one-cent sales tax is that is spreads the load not only among residents but anyone that does business in Lake County. She commented that property taxes hurt the people they are trying to protect the most, while the sales tax affects people who spend money. She related that she does not think anyone begrudges their law enforcement and first responders a reasonable raise, but a tax increase of this magnitude will hurt a lot of people in this county. She added that they would be taking $12 to $15 million out of the local economy by instituting this tax, which would result in less spending and less revenue generated by the sales tax. She commented that a reasonable tax increase after so many years without one would be alright, but a double-digit increase and the addition of new expenditures that can be put off are not considered reasonable. She requested that the Board get more creative.
Ms. Gail Boettger, a resident of Howey in the Hills, stated that people feel they have been taxed enough already, and she noted that she works two or three jobs in order to live within her means. She commented that the Board needed to listen to the people who supported them during their election and to work for the citizens, and she urged the Board members to support some of Commr. Campione’s ideas.
Ms. Cheryl Heggemeier related that she was a big supporter of their libraries and had sent the Commissioners emails asking them to try to keep the three libraries that were in danger of being closed open. She stated that she had applied for and received a grant through the Florida Humanities Council for a family reading program for Paisley and Sorrento. She commented that there were a lot of angry people at the meeting that evening, and she pointed out that there were good, hardworking, honest, tax-paying residents in Lake County who were liberal, although that does not mean that they believed in spending money easily and frivolously. She added that she appreciated what the Board does and cannot imagine having to listen to all of the personal attacks as they have done that night, noting that it was disrespectful to speak to their elected officials that way. She remarked that the fact that other counties are raising their tax rates as well could be an indication that there is a reason this is happening everywhere.
Mr. Gary Youngblood, owner of Silver Springs Citrus, which employs over 300 people in Lake County, commented that the tax increase will affect them as well as their employees, who will want raises to make up for the increased cost to them. He asked why they were looking at that type of tax increase that night, which did not look reasonable to him. He specified that this increase would cost his business $40,000 to $50,000, and he mentioned that the citrus business is hurting, including concerns regarding greening. He doubted that tax increases such as this one and irresponsibility would help bring in new businesses, and he asked why the Board did not work as hard to justify this budget as Commr. Campione did to tell them what was wrong with it. He concluded with a quote from Henry Ford which stated, “If you depend on the government to do everything for you, don’t; look at the American Indian.”
Ms. Maggie Denk, Director of Easter Seals Camp Challenge, related that Camp Challenge is a recipient of a grant from the Lake County Children’s Services Council, which allows services to be provided for children with disabilities within their county that their families could not provide on their own. She commented that these children are not second class citizens, and their families are not looking for handouts or special treatment but rather quality services for their children. She remarked that the services provided under the Children’s Services Council grants also help keep children off of their streets and in school, provided needed medical and dental care, help children that have been abused and those that have disabilities, and help families that have no other place to turn. She opined that it is their responsibility as citizens of this county to make sure that the least of their citizens are protected.
Mr. Bob Glockler mentioned that he was a senior citizen on a fixed income and would prefer not to have a tax increase. However, he commented that he liked living in Lake County, including the geography, lakes, people, opportunities, parks, and libraries; and he remarked that they could not live someplace for nothing. He stated that he trusts that the Board is doing the job that they have been elected to do, but a small reduction would be better. He thanked the Commissioners for the job they do, noting that it was a tough job that he did not envy, and commented that he will give them the benefit of the doubt that they have done what they think they have to do for their county.
Mr. Mark Fisher commented that he accepts taxes as a necessary evil, but he believed that what makes the pending issue so galling is the general indifference to the objections that have been raised. He opined that there have been multiple thoughtful and considered issues that have been presented to the Board in opposition to the increases that have been proposed, and mostly those complaints have related to the absence of evidence of the need. He expressed concern about the process necessary to acquire the data regarding this issue to ensure a degree of confidence necessary to support such an increase and whether the Commissioners have been able to obtain all of the information needed to make an informed decision about whether they need to increase taxes and why, and he opined that that was why most of those in attendance that day oppose it. He suggested that they demand that the constitutional officers by statute provide the Board with the additional detail, specifically from the Sheriff, and stated that they need a process that provides the clarity that has been missing. He also opined that the job of preparing the budget and providing the rationale behind the increase was not done in this case, and he asked the Board to not make the same mistake next year.
Mr. Ed Meyer pointed out that 99 percent of the people in attendance at the meeting wanted the Board to make the best decision they could and asked whether they would be able to sleep at night after making this decision.
Ms. Lynn Moore, a new business owner for the last three years who did private care nursing services, commented that people who did not have the money for her services did not get the care, although she does her very best to make it as affordable as possible. She related that she had to think of ways recently to cut the budget for her company so that they do not have to raise prices to their clients who are disabled and elderly, and she specified that she saved $4,000 by changing their payroll company. She opined that she is aware of how to run her business and the sacrifices she has to make to make sure her clients are getting a good value, but she does not feel like she is getting a good value as a taxpayer in Lake County. She commented that they are realists and understand that they may have to have a small tax increase, but someone has to cut somewhere. She elaborated that they all want services and great things, but they should put that off as a goal if they could not afford it at this time and find a way to spend that money when they have it rather than spending money they do not have.
Dr. Kasey Kesselring, headmaster at Montverde Academy, mentioned that the South Lake Regional Park is important to those in South Lake as well as to a lot of youngsters and families. He commented that he understands and respects that people are passionate about their issues, but he wanted to know why the rest of the Board believes that Commr. Campione’s ideas will not work or are not plausible, since he likes to make educated decisions. He related that he would understand if there are capital projects that would have to be put off to lower the tax increase, and he realized that there are tough decisions that have to be made, but hopefully that could be done in a respectful fashion.
There being no one else who wished to address the Board regarding this issue, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
Commr. Cadwell commented that he knew this day was coming for the last three years, and he related that he believed they were being fiscally responsible with the budget they had put together and stands by it.
Commr. Parks assured everyone that they did look at Commr. Campione’s proposal on August 24 at a quite lengthy meeting, some of which included increasing the assessment for solid waste to all the County residents to cover the cost of the convenience centers and the existing operations for solid waste that he believed was not fair to the County residents who would be paying for city residents using those facilities. He elaborated that her ideas also would mean putting off closure costs at the landfill for another couple of years, although that cost would still have to be incurred at some point. He explained that there was a respectful disagreement about when they have to pay for existing services, emphasizing that they do not have new projects, but some of the expenditures that are factored into the budget include the cost of some equipment that is really out of date in accordance with a plan that they are trying to follow instead of covering the $12.9 million estimated cost for that equipment all at once. He gave some history about the South Lake Park which indicated that it will not be built anytime soon, but he asked that it not be taken off the penny sales tax list. He pointed out that he made a proposal, which Commr. Campione seconded and supported, to remove the third and fourth floor of the courthouse project from the sales tax list, which he believed would be the best option, would affect the least amount of people, and would result in a $5.73 million transfer to the debt service in the General Fund, but they had lost on that vote. He clarified that the County did not purchase the Minneola Athletic Complex, but it was a 30-year lease that they agreed to manage in cooperation with the City of Minneola, and he totally disagreed that there were any under-utilized parks in South Lake. He related that the problem with the budget was that they have a $12.9 million deficit after the increase in property values that have come in.
Commr. Campione commented that the debt service on the judicial complex, a capital improvement that has already been constructed, was a legitimate use of the $5.7 million of sales tax, since it is only supposed to be used for infrastructure, and she stated that she wanted to discuss that proposal again. She elaborated that using this money would help take the burden off of property owners, and she opined that it was the only prudent thing to do at this point. She related that she disagreed that they have a $12.9 million shortfall, noting that they had found out that their property value base had increased more than projected, and there should actually be a positive cash flow if everything is taken into consideration, although it would not meet all of the new requests, including that of the constitutional officers. She added that they could look at other areas to cut and asked that they discuss negotiating down some of those requests. She commented that she believed they had options, and she suggested that they put off the inmate tunnel for a year, which would save $250,000. She also stated that she did not understand why the County doubled their purchase order reserve from last year, and she mentioned that she believed that another $2.5 million would come a few months into the next year that was not budgeted, which she suggested they use for some of the capital facility needs or other projects. She noted that their reserves will exceed the statutory requirements. She reiterated that she would like them to look at what a tax increase would do to their overall economy and noted that they have heard during this public hearing what it would do to individual residents and businesses.
Commr. Sullivan recapped that he proposed at the last budget hearing that they find some specific cuts in order to lower the millage rate and did not support the proposed countywide millage rate at that time. He related that he specifically discussed cutting the constitutional officers’ requests from six to four percent, which would save $2.4 million, and changing the reserve policy from seven to five percent, which would save another $2.4 million. He commented that they can only budget 95 percent, but historically they collect 98 percent, which was the $2.5 million that Commr. Campione mentioned that would be made up at some time over the course of the year. He stated that he does believe that a millage rate increase is needed, which was why he supported the taxing unit for the MSTU’s, and he suggested that they could also use the $5.7 million in the sales tax for the debt service as Commr. Campione mentioned in order to balance the budget.
Commr. Parks added that some of the additional costs are due to things such as the increase to the Motorola contract, the Astatula fuel remediation, and the increase to the constitutional officers’ budgets. He explained that they were fortunate last year to receive money from a refund from the Department of Juvenile Justice that they were able to transfer into supporting some parks projects, and a deficit of $1.1 million this year is due to the management of projects that all of the Commissioners unanimously approved after seeing value in those projects. He mentioned that he proposed putting an efficiency committee in place for more transparency, and he pointed out that the County was required to pay a fire assessment which totaled $600,000.
Commr. Campione asked whether the reduction in the Public Lands millage was rolled into the parks budget for park maintenance countywide.
Mr. Heath explained that the Public Lands millage does not count towards the overall millage and was only for debt service.
Mr. Minkoff explained that the debt service last year was .19 and .16 this year, so it is reduced by .03, but they could look at that reduction as part of the overall general fund change.
Commr. Campione explained that she looked at all possibilities for savings when going through the budget, including whether having a lobbyist in Washington was necessary, although she understands the benefit of having that lobbyist. She asked the other Commissioners to reconsider the amount of the increase that they have proposed and expressed concern that it would hurt their ability to market the County as a business-friendly place.
Commr. Sullivan commented that they all agree with their efforts to grow economically, and he believes they are sending the wrong message by raising taxes 13 percent. He related that he believes a 4 percent rate increase would be justified because of increased costs, without continuation of using reserves as they had in the past.
Commr. Conner pointed out that their revenues from property taxes are still going to be almost $20 million less than they were in 2008 even with this increase.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried by a vote of 3-2, the Board approved the Lake County General Fund Countywide Millage of 5.3856 mills and Resolution No. 2014-112.
Commr. Campione and Commr. Sullivan voted “no.”
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried by a vote of 4-1, the Board approved the Lake County Ambulance MSTU of .4629 mills and Resolution No. 2014-113.
Commr. Campione voted “no.”
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried by a vote of 4-1, the Board approved the Lake County Stormwater, Roads, and Parks MSTU of .4957 mills and Resolution No. 2014-114.
Commr. Campione voted “no.”
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried by a vote of 4-1, the Board approved the Lake County Fire MSTU of .4704 mills and Resolution 2014-115.
Commr. Campione voted “no.”
On a motion by Commr. Campione, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the Lake County Public Lands Voted Debt of .1600 mills and Resolution No. 2014-116.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried by a vote of 3-2, the Board approved the summary of changes to the FY 2015 tentative budget totaling a reduction of $165,615.
Commr. Campione and Commr. Sullivan voted “no.”
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried by a vote of 3-2, the Board approved the adoption of the Final Budget for Fiscal Year 2015 for Lake County in the amount of $349,993,906 and adoption of budget Resolution 2014-117.
Commr. Campione and Commr. Sullivan voted “no.”
jimmy conner, chairman
NEIL KELLY, CLERK