august 8, 1974

The Board of County Commissioners of Lake County convened in special session on August 8, 1974 at 9:00 a.m. in the Commissioners’ Room, Courthouse, Tavares, Florida to discuss the County Budget for the Fiscal Year 1974-75.

The following members were present:  James R. Carson, Jr., Chairman; C.A. Deems; J.M. Hoskinson; Glenn C. Burhans.  Absent was:  Thomas J. Windram.  Others present:  James C. Watkins, Clerk; Doris Babb, Chief Deputy of the Finance Department; Pat Halstead and Andrea Gambrell, Deputy Clerks.

The Invocation was given by James C. Watkins and the Pledge of Allegiance was led by James R. Carson, Jr.

The Chairman announced that there would be no action taken by the Board during the Budget Hearing; therefore, minutes of the meeting were not necessary and Andrea Gambrell was dismissed.

At 4:00 p.m. the Chairman called the meeting to order to discuss a letter delivered to the Board of County Commissioners from the International Brotherhood of Firemen and Oilers.  Mr. Christopher C. Ford, County Attorney, appeared with the following comments and recommendations.

Mr. Ford reported that he had responded to the letter from the Firemen and Oilers dated July 23, 1974.  Mr. Ford requested all correspondence and negotiations and/or relationship should be filed through the County Attorney instead of the Board of County Commissioners.

Mr. Ford gave the Board a brief update of the conversation he had with Mr. Heinz on August 7, 1974.  He reminded Mr. Heinz that a strike is prohibited by the Laws of Florida and that disciplinary action would be taken if a strike took place and that if their organization had any dealings in the strike they would be held responsible.

Mr. Ford assured the Board that he had specifically instructed Mr. Alfred Ponds, Superintendent of the Road and Bridge Department, not to make any threats to the employees in any way.

In response to Mr. Heinz’s letter where he stated that the Board and management officials interfered with the employees’ right to organize, Mr. Ford informed the Board that there will be no recrimination against any employee involved in union activity because they have the right to organize after January 1, 1975 and they will also have the right to bargain collectively if they wish.  At this point Mr. Ford reported on the information he received at the seminar he attended in St. Petersburg.  He stated that there are certain steps the unions will have to follow and Mr. Ford assured the Board that he informed the Firemen and Oilers that they will be held strictly to the procedures as laid down by the Statutes.

The County Attorney made the following recommendations to the Board:

1.     That no union organization be allowed on the premises.

2.     That no card signing or union activity be allowed except on the employees’ own time and off his or her normal work post.

3.     With regard to the request for equal opportunity time to post information on bulletin boards, show films, have discussion, etc., Mr. Ford stated that they do not have this right.

Mr. Ford stated that he felt with better communications with the employees a deal of possible potential problems could be alleviated.  The County Attorney said he is going to try and find out where the root of the problem lies.

The Lake County Board of County Commissioners took the following action upon recommendation of the County Attorney:

On motion of Commr. Hoskinson, seconded by Commr. Deems and carried, the Board appointed an interim committee of Christopher C. Ford, County Attorney; James C. Watkins, Clerk; and Kenneth Hart, Consultant, to try and improve employer-employee relationships.  Commr. Burhans voted “no.”

On motion of Commr. Hoskinson, seconded by Commr. Deems and carried unanimously by those present, the Board designated the County Attorney’s Office to receive and answer all Labor Union inquiries.

On motion of Commr. Deems, seconded by Commr. Hoskinson and carried, the Board authorized the County Attorney to retain Professor McGuire, a Labor Law Specialist, for consultation at $50 per hour plus phone costs.  Commr. Burhans voted “no.”

There being no further business to bring before the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 5:00 p.m.




james r. carson, jr., chairman



James C. Watkins, Clerk