The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in special session on Monday, September 10, 1990, at 7:00 p.m., in the Board of County Commissioner's Meeting Room, Lake County Courthouse, Tavares, Florida. Commissioners present at the meeting were: Michael J. Bakich, Chairman; C. W. "Chick" Gregg; Don Bailey; and Richard Swartz. Others present were: Annette Star Lustgarten, County Attorney; Alan A. Thelen, County Manager; Ava Kronz, Assistant to the County Manager; and Toni M. Austin, Deputy Clerk.
Commr. Bakich requested a moment of silent prayer, with Commr. Bailey leading the Pledge of Allegiance.
Mr. Al Thelen, County Manager, presented an overall review of the tentative annual budget, and the personnel schedules, which have been developed for the first time. He stated that the budget reflected 565 employees, an increase of 32 from last year. He further stated that, one of the major increases relates to the Corrections budget and the opening of the Prelude project.
Mr. Thelen discussed the reserve funds, with the Board voting earlier to consolidate the General Fund with the Fine and Forfeiture Fund, establishing a reserve policy. The Fund Balance is $2,250,000.00, or 7% of the General Fund. The goal, based on the resolution adopted, is to reach 10% over a two to three year period. Mr. Thelen stated that County is projecting $4,137,000.00 of cash carried forward to be used, compared to $2,013,000.00 last year. At this time, Mr. Thelen discussed the largest increases in the budget, which included the Corrections Budget, Salaries and Wages, Sheriff's Department, Clerk of the Courts, and Contingency. He stated that the mill levy remains the same.
Mr. Thelen discussed the future budget, with his main concern relating to public safety and the fire area. He also discussed the tipping fee remaining at $40.00 per ton, and the future of the
Corrections Department increasing approximately three million dollars. Mr. Thelen discussed service fees, with the budget including a $50,000.00 appropriation for a service fee study, which can generate up to an additional $1,000,000.00, even though the service fees included in this budget will provide approximately $100,000.00. He went on to discuss franchise fees, which can also generate up to $1,000,000.00; impact fees; and the utility area.
Ms. Eleanor Anderson, Executive Director of Management and Budget, appeared before the Board and presented a slide show, which consisted of the Property Tax Rates for Five Fiscal Years, with no increase in 1990/91. The presentation also consisted of the Revenues by Source; Appropriations; 90-91 General Fund, Revenue; 90-91 General Fund, Appropriations; 90-91 Transportation, Revenue; and Transportation Budget, Appropriations.
Captain Eric Liff, Sheriff's Department, questioned the percentage relating to Constitutional Officers (33.9%) in the General Fund, Appropriations, with Ms. Anderson stating that 21% of the total General Fund Budget pertains to the Sheriff's Department.
Mr. Gerard Dunican appeared before the Board and questioned the definition of ad valorem taxes, and the 7% sales tax.
Captain Liff appeared before the Board and questioned the percentage of the total budget allocated to the Sheriff's Department, with Mr. Thelen stating that the number is approximately 5%.
Mr. Thelen discussed a memorandum regarding the Sheriff's Budget and a recommendation he made to delete an estimated $277,000.00 for eight additional positions, and an additional $78,389.00 for four cars ($60,556.00) and special equipment ($17,833.00) identified with eight positions. While staff was reviewing the Sheriff's budget in July, the Board requested additional data relating to the automobile replacements requested by the Sheriff. When that data was submitted, the cost of four vehicles ($60,556.00) had already been eliminated by County staff. The Sheriff assumed that the funds for these four cars were still in the budget. His vehicle replacement was based upon this
assumption. Mr. Thelen stated that he talked with Sheriff Knupp in early August and again in September and advised him that he would recommend the restoration of the $60,556.00 for the replacement of four vehicles, if he would absorb the $17,833.00 in the proposed 1990-91 budget. At this time, Mr. Thelen stated that he is recommending that $60,556.00 be added to the Sheriff's capital budget to be taken from the General Fund Contingency. This would follow the Sheriff's policy of replacing vehicles when they have been driven 100,000 miles.
Sheriff Knupp was present to answer any questions regarding this issue.
On a motion by Commr. Swartz, seconded by Commr. Bailey and carried unanimously, the Board approved to reduce the General Fund Contingency by $78,389.00, and to place it into the Sheriff's budget into those line items for the vehicle and additional equipment.
At this time, Sheriff Knupp requested that the Board reconsider his request for eight deputies.
Mr. Ralph Roberts appeared before the Board to discuss Zone Four and an incident when the deputy in this zone had to cover approximately 60 square miles by himself, while other deputies were on a call. Mr. Roberts stated that the Sheriff could use a minimum of fifteen additional deputies.
Mr. Bert Evans, Officer of Minneola, appeared before the Board to discuss the growth of Lake County and the County providing the necessary and proper law enforcement. He requested that the Board approve the funds needed by the Sheriff.
Mr. Richard Ranize, Deputy, appeared before the Board and stated that his taxes will decrease this year, the County is increasing in population, and the millage rate remains the same. Mr. Ranize discussed the County Commissioners taking over the jail, and the funds the County approved to hire a jail administrator, and two other positions, when the County already had an appointed official who has been running the jail. He discussed the hourly
rate for deputies, and stated that the Sheriff's Department is not asking for a raise for the deputies, but that the Department is in need of additional deputies. He suggested that the monies received from the 1,500 citations be given to the Sheriff, and the monies would be enough for the Sheriff to hire 16 new deputies.
Commr. Bakich explained the hiring of the jail administrator, and stated that the action to do so by the Board was justified.
Commr. Swartz stated that he would be willing to review the Sheriff's request for additional staffing at mid-year, if new revenues come in from the unincorporated areas.
Mr. Ranize stated that the Sheriff's Department was not in the position to wait until mid-year, and suggested that, if the Board wanted to alleviate the problem, the Board approve unlimited overtime for the deputies.
Sheriff Knupp appeared before the Board and addressed the position he took when the issue of hiring a jail administrator was being reviewed by the Board. He stated that the Board wanted an estimated proposal, and that it was understood that the County Manager had the Sheriff's budget for the operation of the jail. Sheriff Knupp stated that he would have operated the jail within the guidelines of the budget set forth by the Board of County Commissioners.
Mr. Gerard Dunican appeared before the Board and questioned the consideration being given as to the formation of a County police force, and doing away with the city forces, eliminating double taxation.
Sheriff Knupp addressed the question presented by Mr. Dunican and stated that he has spoken to the City Manager of Umatilla regarding contracting law enforcement, with contracts coming in from Broward County, and will be approaching all of the cities with the contract that currently need police chiefs. He stated that, hopefully, this will save the taxpayers money. Sheriff Knupp stated that the Sheriff's Department dispatches for five municipal
ities, and that the Department is moving in the direction of contracting law enforcement.
Mr. Thelen discussed the issue that was reviewed by the Board for MSTU's, which would include law enforcement. He stated that a resolution will be presented to the Board in December regarding this issue.
Discussion occurred regarding the new jail and the design made for the expansion of the existing jail.
Ms. Mary Lee Morrison, Leesburg, appeared before the Board and discussed how she has protected her disabled husband, and her 87 year old mother, who is critically ill with a heart condition, from being harmed by someone who has tried to break into her mother's apartment. Ms. Morrison stated that she has repeatedly called 9-1-1 for assistance, with a vehicle arriving three hours later. She stated that the jails need to be built without the frills, and that her taxes are high, but she would be willing to pay more taxes for better protection.
Commr. Bakich discussed the increases in the Sheriff's budget, including mandated State costs for retirement and health benefits.
Mr. Claude Gnann, Sheriff's Department, appeared before the Board to discuss the critical need for additional deputies. Mr. Gnann stated that a survey was taken to determine the necessary manpower for any Sheriff's Department, or Police Department, in the nation, and based on those numbers, the Lake County Sheriff's Department is the least funded in the entire County. Every police agency in Lake County has more law enforcement personnel.
Mr. Ed Treon, Deputy, Lake County, appeared before the Board and stated that he works Zone Five, and discussed the new homes which have been developed, and the taxation Lake County will be receiving due to future development.
Mr. Dan Pincus, Deputy, Lake County, appeared before the Board and stated that he was the responding deputy to the call made by Ms. Morrison. He stated that the public does not need this type of
aggravation. Mr. Pincus then discussed the 32 positions approved by the Board, with fourteen of these to begin October 1, 1990.
Mr. Pincus requested that the Board reconsider the request being made today by the Sheriff for additional deputies.
Mr. Eric Liff, Captain, Sheriff's Department, appeared before the Board to discuss the increases in taxes, and the fact that the Sheriff needs a minimum of eight deputies. Captain Liff stated
that there are presently 35 reserve deputies, which carry the older weapons, and requested that the Board reconsider the request being made by the Sheriff for additional deputies.
Commr. Bakich questioned the willingness of the Board to fund additional positions for the Sheriff's Department, with Commr. Gregg and Commr. Bakich stating that they had both expressed a desire, at the last workshop, to compromise by adding four additional positions.
Commr. Gregg made a motion to approve the funding for four additional positions for the Sheriff's Department.
Under discussion, Commr. Gregg stated that, with the additional growth in Lake County, it is not reasonable to expect the Sheriff to operate without any increase in personnel. He suggested that Contingency be decreased from 6% to 5%, in order to fund the additional positions for the Sheriff.
Commr. Bailey seconded the motion for discussion, and stated that, unless the County can develop some other funding source, such as a MSTU, in order to revisit this issue at mid-year, he will not support the motion.
Commr. Bakich informed the Board that the budget office has come up with additional monies, since the last budget hearing, and that, basically, some of the monies have been allocated to the Sheriff's Department for the vehicles, and approximately a balance exists in the amount of $140,000.00. Also with the franchise tax, he felt that additional monies would be available by mid-year.
Ms. Eleanor Anderson, Executive Director of Administrative Services/Budget, discussed the funds available in the Reserve
accounts. Ms. Anderson stated that there would be a balance of $138,612.00, to fund the deputies.
Commr. Swartz stated that, at the time the jail was transferred from the Sheriff to the Board, three new positions were reallocated to the Sheriff in his Law Enforcement budget, with the Sheriff choosing to allocate these to some type of clerical work.
Sheriff Knupp stated that these were not new positions, and presented an explanation of the funding for each position.
Commr. Swartz stated that he cannot support the motion on the floor for additional positions for the Sheriff, due to foreseen action that will be necessary by the Board to put into place a MSTU, or utility franchise. Commr. Swartz stated that he would like to see the Board review the funding for the positions at mid-year.
Sheriff Knupp requested that the Board fund the four positions now and review the funding for the other four at mid-year.
Commr. Gregg stressed the responsibility to maintain service for the taxpayers, and that the request made by the Sheriff is reasonable.
Commr. Swartz stated that the Board has the ability to review this issue further before the approval of the actual budget, and that he would like to review further information and input on this issue.
Mr. Carl Lau appeared before the Board to discuss areas mandated by the government, and suggested that the Board determine the number of deputies needed by the County, and to increase the number of deputies as the population increases within the County.
Commr. Bakich stated that approximately $138,000.00 is needed to fund the four positions for the Sheriff. With the Board using the overage reserve, in the amount of approximately $118,000.00, a balance of $20,000.00 will be needed, which he felt the County will have, in all probability, before the end of next year.
Mr. Thelen stated that he interpreted the Board wanting $20,000.00 to be taken from the Contingency fund.
The Chairman called for a vote on the motion, with the motion failing with a vote of 2-2.
Commrs. Bailey and Swartz voted "no".
Mr. Thelen stated that the second public hearing on the budget will be held September 25, 1990, at 5:05 p.m.
On a motion by Commr. Swartz, seconded by Commr. Bailey and carried unanimously, the Board approved to adopt the tentative Countywide millage rate of 4.938, which is a 4% increase in revenue over the previous year.
On a motion by Commr. Gregg, seconded by Commr. Bailey and carried unanimously, the Board approved the total tentative budget, in the amount of $138,418,944.00.
On a motion by Commr. Gregg, seconded by Commr. Bailey and carried unanimously, the Board tentatively approved the millage rate of 1 mill for the North Lake Hospital District.
On a motion by Commr. Swartz, seconded by Commr. Bailey and carried unanimously, the Board tentatively approved the millage rate of .223 mills for the Northeast Ambulance District.
On a motion by Commr. Gregg, seconded by Commr. Bailey and carried unanimously, the Board tentatively approved the millage rate of .223 for the Northwest Ambulance District.
On a motion by Commr. Swartz, seconded by Commr. Bailey and carried unanimously, the Board tentatively approved the millage rate of 4 mills for Greater Hills MSTU, subject to the provisions in the application.
On a motion by Commr. Swartz, seconded by Commr. Bailey and carried unanimously, the Board approved to continue the public hearing for final adoption of the budget until September 25, 1990, at 5:05 p.m, or as soon thereafter as possible.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting adjourned at 8:35 p.m.
MICHAEL J. BAKICH, CHAIRMAN
JAMES C. WATKINS, CLERK