thursday, june 20, 1957


The Board of County Commissioners met in an adjourned meeting in the County Commissioners Room in the Courthouse at Tavares on Thursday, June 20, 1957, for the purpose of discussing the hiring of a secretary for the Juvenile Court and discussion regarding the rental of a detention home with the following present:† Chairman Cowart; Commissioners Singeltary, Hooten, Simpson, and Cross; and Clerk Owens.† Attorney Duncan was absent due to illness.

The Board was called to order by Chairman Cowart.

A delegation of approximately 50 people from Leesburg, Clermont, Tavares, Paisley, and Groveland representing the various civic clubs and church organizations of the cities was present, as well as several pastors of churches throughout the county.† Each person present was asked to stand and give his or her name and organization represented.† Judge Hall thanked the group for coming to the meeting and stated he hopes some good will come from the meeting.† Mr. Karl Lehmann, Chairman of the Lake County Childrenís Committee, was present and offered assistance† in any way they can help.† Mr. Lehman gave a report on the Special Meeting at the Governorís request and stated that a decision was made that a survey be made of similar counties of like size of Lake County relative to the Juvenile Court.† He stated he has written letters to the counties.† (Orange and Polk Counties are not comparable.)† Have also written the State Welfare Board representative.† Mr. Lehmann stated it was brought to the attention of the Committee that the National Probation and Parole Association has facilities for making a complete study of the particular problems of a county or a community.† After which, Commr. Singeltary made a motion, seconded by Commr. Simpson that the Board authorize Mr. Lehman as Chairman of the Childrenís Committee to go ahead and contact the National Probation and Parole Association and have them make a survey and report on this county relative to the Juvenile Court.† Commr. Hooten objected to this motion.† Commr. Cross was in accord with the motion.† Therefore, the motion was carried.

Judge Hall asked in connection with that motion do you anticipate that it will cost money to have an expert to come from New York City to inspect our problem?† Commr. Singeltary stated he had a good number of people discuss this matter with him, and they are of the opinion and it is his personal opinion that someone not connected with Lake County should make the survey.

Commr. Hooten made a motion that an additional $50 per month be spent to hire a secretary to the Juvenile Court, making a total of $250 per month until the end of the current budget.† Commr. Cowart, Chairman of the Board, relinquished the Chair and seconded the motion, and Vice Chairman Singeltary asked for discussion on the motion and called for a vote to be polled by districts.† WHEREUPON, the vote was polled, and each district voted in favor of the motion, making it unanimous.† Chairman Cowart returned to the Chair.† Judge Hall thanked the Board for taking care of this emergency need.

Commr. Cowart reported that the Board met at the home belonging to Emmit Peter and made an inspection of it.† Commr. Singeltary suggested to the Chairman that since Mr. Peter was out there with the Board and is more familiar with the property than we are, that he tell the crowd about the property.† Mr. Peter stated he took the members of the Board to inspect the property, and they made this inspection.† This property is the former Cooper Nursing Home in Fruitland Park and is made into two apartments and has a fire escape.† He suggested that the zoning law should be looked into.† Mr. Peter stated he does not feel that it would be fair to try to force the Board to make a decision at this time, as they should make further investigations.† Mr. Peter stated he will rent the home for $135 (someone erroneously reported $125 at a previous meeting) per month for one year with an option to buy and receive full credit for all payments made on the rent.

On a motion by Commr. Hooten, seconded by Commr. Simpson and carried unanimously, three realtors and a contractor were to be appointed to make an appraisal of the property, known as the Peterís property in Fruitland Park and report to the Board as to the value of the home.

On a motion by Commr. Singeltary, seconded by Commr. Simpson and carried, the State Fire Marshall, the State Welfare Board, and the State Board of Health, with other appropriate authorities, would be asked to inspect the Peterís building and give this Board a report as to whether or not it will be suitable for housing children in the same.

Motion by Commr. Hooten that the rental basis be accepted on the approval of these authorities, and this be gone into on a rental basis.† This motion died for lack of a second.

On a motion by Commr. Singeltary, seconded by Commr. Simpson and carried, the Clerk was instructed to contact the Boards and Appraisers and request that they render their reports on or before the first Monday in July and that the Fruitland Park Town Council and also the Hotel Commission be contacted and their approvals be obtained.

Motion by Commr. Simpson, seconded by Commr. Singeltary and carried that the proper and suitable agency be requested to check on the couple recommended by the Citizens Advisory Committee for having charge of the Home as to their suitability for handling this home.

Mr. Williams as Chairman of the Citizen Advisory Committee requested the Board to appoint two members of the Commission to work with this Advisory Board.† No action was taken on this at this time.

On a motion by Commr. Singeltary, seconded by Commr. Simpson and carried, the meeting adjourned.

After adjournment, the delegation requested that the Board be called back into session and reconsider the motion of Commr. Hooten regarding the rental of the home; WHEREUPON, the Chairman called the Board to order, and Commr. Hooten made a motion that the rental basis be accepted on the approval of these Authorities and this be gone into on a rental basis, motion seconded by Commr. Cross and carried.† (Commr. Singeltary not voting)



/s/ Frank E. Owens††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† /s/ O. M. Simpson†††††††††††

CLERK†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† CHAIRMAN