august 21, 1972

A special meeting of the Lake County Board of County Commissioners was called for 9:00 a.m., Monday, August 21, 1972 in the County Commissioner Chambers in the Courthouse, Tavares, Florida, for the purpose of discussing the implementation of Article V, Florida Constitution and any other business which might be brought before the Board.   The following members were present when the meeting convened:  Thomas J. Windram, Chairman; James R. Carson, Jr.; C. A. Deems; J. M. Hoskinson; and Kenneth VanAuken.  Also present were Christopher C. Ford, County Attorney; Frank E. Owens, Clerk of Circuit Court; and Norma H. Coven, Deputy Clerk.

elections – primary

On the recommendation of the County Attorney and on a motion by Commr. Carson, seconded by Commr. VanAuken and unanimously carried, the Board adopted an emergency resolution providing for changes of voting places in the following precincts due to undesirable facilities available in the present locations:

Precinct No. 5            Precinct No. 7-A         Precinct No. 25

Precinct No. 5-A         Precinct No. 9             Precinct No. 27-A

Precinct No. 32           Precinct No. 10-A       Precinct No. 26-A

Precinct No. 43           Precinct No. 20-A       Precinct No. 29

Precinct No. 31                                               Precinct No. 30

Commr. J. M. Hoskinson was present at this time.

county employees

On a motion by Commr. Carson, seconded by Commr. Deems and unanimously carried, the Board agreed to enter into an agreement with Aetna Life Ins. Co. for a deferred savings plan for the County employees.

Chairman Windram presented a letter of resignation from George Reynolds effective August 18, 1972 due to ill health.  On a motion by Commr. Hoskinson, seconded by Commr. VanAuken and unanimously carried, the resignation was accepted with regret.

On a motion by Commr. VanAuken, seconded by Commr. Hoskinson and unanimously carried, the Board approved the employment of Mary Lee Ross, Clerk in the Veterans Service Office for 30 days.

public health

Chairman Windram discussed the proposed contract with the state for septic tank and sanitary landfill inspecting and permitting.  He advised that the state has offered the County $8,400 and that Mr. Patton has been notified that the minimum amount needed will be $21,000.  Commr. VanAuken moved that no action be taken on the contract until the funds from the state are brought more in line.  The motion was seconded by Commr. Deems and unanimously carried.

bonds – misc.

On a motion by Commr. Carson, seconded by Commr. Hoskinson and unanimously carried, the firearm bond for Robert E. Warfield, Jr. was unanimously approved.

article v

At this time, the following were present for further discussion of the implementation of Article V, Florida Constitution (Judicial Reform):  Circuit Judge John W. Booth, Circuit Judge W. Troy Hall, Jr., County Judge W. A. Milton, Jr., Small Claims Judge E. C. Aulls, Jr., Acting Sheriff Frank Meech, Public Defender Robert E. Pierce, State Attorney Gordon G. Oldham, Jr., P. C. Gorman, C. E. Duncan, Dewey Burnsed, Attorneys; Alan Hamlin, Official Court Reporter.

Chairman Windram turned the meeting over to Judge Booth to give an outline in his opinion of the best way to administer the supervision of the circuit and county courts due to the revision of Article V.

Judge Booth advised that the Judges in the Circuit have met and adopted a local rule which has to be approved by the Supreme Court.  The rule creates a Citrus, Sumter, and Hernando Division handling probate, juvenile, and incompetencies by Judge Huffstetler.  Criminal and civil matters in this division will be handled by Judge Booth.

Also, created a Marion County Division and all Marion County cases will be handled by the resident judges, and the same applies to the Lake County Division.

Judge Mills has been designated Administrative Judge of Marion County Circuit Court Division.  Judge Hall has been designated Administrative Judge of Lake County Circuit Court Division.

New rules on criminal procedures but feel they will be improved.  One big change is the mandatory issuance of summons for misdemeanor as well as felony cases.  A summons will be issued by the Clerk instead of the County Judge.  The issuing warrant will be signed by the committing magistrate.  The Clerk will be reimbursed for this work.  Lake County will need two part-time assistants and one investigator in the State Attorney’s office to interview the people.

Mr. Oldham said his office is willing to handle Juvenile cases as well as jury trial cases from the municipalities, also incompetency cases.

Mr. Owens said the probate work will be on a fee basis and should not be an expense to the County.  The Juvenile clerk and the investigator will be at the expense of the Board.

Judge Hall intervened that it was his understanding this meeting was for the purpose of discussing courthouse space and expansion.  He informed the Board that Lake County will have one additional full-time Circuit Judge, and space will be required for him and a secretary.  There will be one visiting circuit judge from Marion County who will devote part of his time to Lake County as Judge Mills has been doing.  Judge Hall recommended that the assignments of the court cases be deferred until after it is determined who the new judge will be.  The important thing is adequate space of the county and circuit courts as well as jury rooms and witness rooms.

Judge Booth said he thinks the rules require the Chief Judge to have the responsibility of assigning courtroom space.

A recommendation was made to move the Supervisor of Elections out of the Courthouse and use the space for the civil work.

recess and reassembly

The meeting recessed at 12:15 p.m. for lunch and reconvened at 1:30 p.m. to take up the remaining items of business, with the following being present:  the Board members, Mr. Gorman, Mr. Duncan, Mr. Burnsed, Mr. Owens, and Norma Coven.

Mr. Gorman informed the Board the Committee appointed by the Board to consider the implementation of Article V has met on several occasions and are now in a position to make recommendations concerning the allocation of Courthouse space, as follows:

fifth floor

1.     Room labeled “visiting judge” will be allocated to the full-time Circuit Court Judge.

2.     Court Reporter Room #3 will be allocated for the secretaries of the full-time Circuit Judge and the part-time Circuit Judge.

3.     Court Reporter Room #2 will be maintained as an office for the part-time Circuit Judge.

4.     Court Reporter Room #1 will remain in use by the Court Reporter.

5.     Probation Office #1 will be occupied by the Court Reporter.

6.     Probation Office #2 will be occupied by the Court Reporter.

7.     Probation Office #3 will be occupied by the Court Reporter.

The remainder of the space on the Fifth Floor will be utilized in the manner as it is at the present.

fourth floor

1.     Grand Jury Room will be allocated as the State Attorney’s Office.

2.     Recommend a new door be cut into the bathroom facilities off the Jury Room.

3.     New door cut into the room now used as Petit Jury Room.

4.     Small room designated “Conference” presently being utilized as a storage room will be cleaned out and utilized as a Conference Room.

5.     Small room designated “Witness” will be utilized as needed either as a witness room or conference room.

6.     The area next to the Southeast stairway will be utilized by the Court Reporter as required.

third floor

1.     Entire space will be used by the County Court with the exception of probate files and probate clerks.

2.     Office space on the Northeast corner will be occupied by Judge Aulls.

3.     Office space now occupied by Judge Milton will be retained by him.

second floor

1.     The Commissioners’ Room will be designated as a Courtroom.

2.     The balance of the space will be utilized by the Clerk of the Circuit Court.

first floor

1.     The area designated as Juvenile and Counselor will be utilized by the Finance Dept. for the BCC.

2.     The Supervisor of Elections will continue to occupy the space assigned to her.

3.     The Small Claims Office will be occupied by the State Attorney and storage.

4.     The employee “Women’s Lounge” will be used for storage.

5.     The records of the Small Claims Court will be moved to the Third Floor.


1.      Fourth Floor Courtroom will be designated as Courtroom A.

2.      Third Floor Courtroom will be designated as Courtroom B.

3.      County Commissioners’ Room on Second Floor will be designated as Courtroom C.

Any of the Courtrooms may be used by either Circuit Court or the County Court, and the Clerk of the Circuit Court will assign the use of the Courtroom depending upon the request and requirements of the Judges.

Mr. Gorman further recommended that the commissioners budget funds for architect’s fees and consulting services for a study of the courthouse needs.

This ended the discussion, and the meeting was adjourned at 3:30 p.m.