The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in special session on Thursday, July 30, 1993, at 9:00 a.m., in the Board of County Commissioner's Meeting Room, Lake County Administration Building, Tavares, Florida. Commissioners present at the meeting were: G. Richard Swartz, Jr., Chairman; Catherine Hanson, Vice Chairman; Rhonda H. Gerber; Don Bailey; and Welton G. Cadwell. Others present were: Annette Star Lustgarten, County Attorney; Peter F. Wahl, County Manager; Ava Kronz, BCC Office Manager; Barbara Lehman, Chief Deputy, Finance & Audit Department; and Toni M. Riggs, Deputy Clerk.
The Chairman, Commr. Swartz, opened the meeting.
Mr. Pete Wahl, County Manager, explained to the Board that, after making the necessary adjustments, as directed by the Board at the previous workshops, the County is still confronting a shortfall of $5,038,903.00. He stated that the Board has before them today recommendations that will result in a reduction of costs, or a transfer of revenue, in the amount of $2,978,886.00, which will leave a shortfall in the amount of $2,163,018.00. Mr. Wahl discussed several of the proposed recommendations, as follows:
1. Salary Reserve - 2% cost of living adjustment on October 1, 1993, and withholding the implementation of funding for the merit system until mid-year, and assuming that the money is available at that point, it will be implemented and made effective October 1, 1993, on the employee's anniversary date. This amounts to $220,481.00.
2. Five Deputies - Sheriff - withhold approval of five (5) of the fifteen (15) deputies until mid-year, which amounts to $173,605.00.
Mr. Wahl discussed preliminary recommendations that have been made to the employee's health insurance program; the request for twenty (20) Corrections Officers programmed for hire at mid-year; Books, Publications and Subscription; and Indirect/Administration Fees - Other Funds.
Mr. Wahl stated that the $2,163,018.00 reflects a .48 mill increase, or a 9.8% increase in the existing millage. He further stated that all of the equipment within the General Fund has been moved to Infrastructure Sales Tax.
Sheriff George E. Knupp appeared before the Board, with staff members consisting of Ms. Linda Maresca, Finance Director, and Mr. Dave Hall, Chief Deputy.
The Board members were presented with a package of information from the Sheriff entitled "Manpower Justification Hearing 1993-1994".
Sheriff Knupp appeared before the Board to discuss his request for fifteen (15) Deputy Sheriff positions. He stated that the County Manager is recommending ten (10) deputies, with consideration being given to the additional five (5) deputies at mid-year. Sheriff Knupp discussed the amount of overtime that has been paid to the deputies, and the established use of the overtime fund. He discussed action taken by the Board during the Fiscal Year 1992-93 to increase the budget for the Lake County Detention Center, in the amount of $1,751,993.00, which included the hiring of 26 Corrections employees.
Sheriff Knupp reviewed the information in the package that his staff presented to the Board. The information consisted of charts indicating the Average Response Time; Calls for Service; Average Call Per Man; Criminal Investigations Bureau (CIB) Assigned Cases; Cases per Detective per Year; and Crime Scene Responses (Technical Services Division).
Chief Deputy Hall and Captain Fred Johnson, CIB, commented on the unsolved crimes that are carried forward each year, and the system used in determining priorities. Sheriff Knupp explained that the Sheriff's Department processes crimes scenes for every city.
Discussion occurred regarding the Special Investigative Bureau (SIB), July 1, 1992 to July 1, 1993 Statistics information presented to the Board, with Captain Jimmy Horner, SIB, providing detailed information on the statistics.
Sheriff Knupp explained that cash seized at the State level goes into a Law Enforcement Trust Fund, and if it is a Federal seizure, it goes into a special fund setup for Federal seized monies. He then explained how these funds can be utilized, and stated that the monies cannot be spent for General Fund purposes. He further stated that, if a city is involved with the Sheriff's Department, and monies are seized, the money is split between the participants.
Sheriff Knupp discussed the situation at the Lake County Detention Center, and the request being made for twenty (20) additional Corrections Officers programmed for hire at mid-year. He suggested ways to save money at the Detention Center, including the purchase of materials from Starke.
Commr. Hanson stated that she has suggested the creation of a Study Committee to look at the Detention Center, in order to consider ways to cut costs, and to determine whether it would be cost effective to give the Detention Center back to the Sheriff to run. She stated that all alternatives need to be considered, in order to run the Detention Center more efficiently.
Discussion occurred regarding the cost per inmate in the Detention Center as compared to the State average cost, and the effect that 15 additional deputies will have on the jail population, and the average response time.
Chief Hall discussed the survey that has been presented to the public by the Sheriff's Department, which reflects that the Sheriff's Department does not respond to calls in a reasonable amount of time.
Discussion occurred regarding the amount of overtime that has been spent from the Sheriff's budget; the duration of the DARE grant; and the amount being charged for each false alarm and nuisance 911 call.
Sheriff Knupp requested that the Board review the package of information he presented to them, and to set priorities for spending taxpayer dollars.
Commr. Swartz requested that, between now and Tuesday, when the Board is scheduled to set the millage rate, the Sheriff have his staff look at, in comparison to what other counties may be doing, some reasonable policy, in order that the Board can determine what would be a reasonable amount of revenue to derive from certain false alarms that the Sheriff is incurring costs for. He stated that, if he had to make a decision now, or with the same information that he has now on Tuesday, he would vote to advertise a millage that would include the fifteen (15) positions, in order to give the Board an opportunity, through the public hearing process, to have a better idea as to what the public wants.
Mr. Pete Wahl, County Manager, informed the Board that a package consisting of seven (7) different scenarios for employee insurance coverage has been presented to the Board for consideration. Mr. Wahl stated that the other constitutional officers are aware of the changes being proposed. He stated that, after communicating with staff, and groups of employees, the largest concern being expressed is the shift in the cost of insurance to the employee and the contribution toward their own coverage, rather than to the concern about the proposed increase in dependent coverage. He referred to Tab 2, Page 33, in the backup information, and the comparison that has been done with surrounding jurisdictions, in relation to the cost of dependent coverage. Mr. Wahl stated that Option 5, New Benefits with Dependent Coverage of $80 per Month, appears to be the best proposal. At this time, Mr. Wahl reviewed Pages 28-29, Attachment "B" with the Board, and explained the proposed changes.
Mr. Wayne Hamilton, Risk Manager, stated that the major changes will be to the deductibles and the co-insurance limit. He stated that the proposed benefits would include a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO). At this time, Mr. Hamilton explained the PPO program to the Board, and stated that consideration is being given to an independent PPO program. Mr. Hamilton continued the discussion by explaining the recommendations being made to the prescription drug benefit.
Mr. Wahl stated that he has received much comment about the proposed benefit change, in relation to the scriptcard, and consideration being made as to a percentage of cost for participation. He stated that, after consulting with Mr. Hamilton, he is going back to try and determine a factor to go to a fixed rate for the use of the script card, as opposed to the percentage.
Mr. Hamilton referred to the scenarios presented to the Board. He stated that Proposal 2A, reflects the County's participation at $300.00 and includes the new benefit program, with a decrease in the cost of dependent coverage, which amounts to $25.00 per month. He stated that Proposal 2B is the current benefit program, which keeps the County's participation at $300.00, but increases the dependent rate to $149.00 per month.
After some discussion, it was determined by the Board that the employees should be given some choices to the proposed recommendations being made for insurance benefits. Mr. Wahl stated that a survey could be presented to the employees on this issue. He pointed out that Sheriff Knupp has been exploring participation in the County's insurance program, but that he has not budgeted at the $300.00 level, which would present a shortfall, and an adjustment would need to be made within his budget.
It was noted that, with the County contributing $300.00 per employee, the savings would reflect an approximate amount of $700,000.00. Commr. Swartz stated that staff needs to work with the employees to determine what benefits and cost sharing they want, in order to go forward with a tentative millage, and to have time to make the necessary adjustments. He requested that staff structure a questionnaire for the employees, in order to determine their choices for costs and benefits.
Ms. Lois Martin, Director of Human Resources, was present for the discussion.
Commr. Swartz explained to those present representing the employees that it is the Board's intention to maintain as many benefits as possible, and to give the employees options that will assist the Board in making a decision as to what choices they would prefer, both in terms of benefits and costs.
Mr. Wahl directed the Board's attention to Tab 1, Page 18, the 1993 Survey Results for Health Care Costs in Tampa Bay, Central and South Florida.
RECESS & REASSEMBLY
At 10:40 a.m., the Chairman announced that the Board would take a short recess.
Mr. Pete Wahl, County Manager, stated that he is proposing a cost of living adjustment at 2% on October, 1, 1993, and a 0-3% merit increase on the employee's anniversary date, but that he is recommending the Board withhold the implementation of the merit program until mid-year. If the funds are available at that time, the program would be applied retroactively to all employees. He stated that this action would reduce the shortfall by $220,481.00. He further stated that this would be conditioned upon the cash flow at mid-year.
Ms. Lois Martin, Director of Human Resources, was present to comment on the merit increase program.
Mr. Pete Wahl, County Manager, stated that he is projecting an increase of $1,500,000.00 in Revenue for Administrative Fees. He further stated that he is recommending a 4.75% rate rather than 9% for indirect costs and, if there is an excess amount, it will be moved into Reserve.
Mr. Pete Wahl, County Manager, stated that he has discussed with Chief Judge Don F. Briggs, and Mr. Fletcher Smith, Director of Community Services, a pre-trial release program, or pre-trial home confinement. Mr. Wahl stated that the Chief Judge has also expressed a willingness to work with staff on a Jail Population Management Program, that was previously in place in this County, and which can be put into place again this year.
Mr. Kevin Drinan, Chief of Security, appeared before the Board and recommended that the Board look at procedural changes within the Lake County Detention Center, in order to help consolidate some of the operations, and to make it less labor intensive.
Mr. Wahl stated that he has been in contact with the State of Florida, and has indicated to them that the County is willing to work with them, and that the following three items still need to be addressed: 1) the cost per day that the State is willing to pay per bed, and whether or not the County can obtain a guarantee for those beds; 2) the State's assumption of "other than routine" medical costs; and 3) the release of State prisoners to Lake County's facility without providing transportation, or money.
Commr. Hanson requested information that gives the breakdown of categories of crimes in Lake County, as compared to surrounding counties.
TRAVEL/BOOKS, PUBLICATIONS & DUES
Mr. Pete Wahl, County Manager, stated that he is recommending reducing the Books, Publications & Dues total amount in the General Fund by 50%, and directing the departments to reexamine their priorities within the two line items, Travel, and Books, Publications & Dues. This will reflect a reduction in the amount of $58,495.00 in Books, Publications & Dues. It was noted that there is a total amount of $100,000.00 in Travel.
Ms. Ava Kronz, BCC Office Manager, discussed the recommendation to cut 50% out of the Board Administrative Support budget in Books, Publications & Dues, and stated that a decision needs to be made in terms of the Florida Association of Counties, National Association of Counties (NACo), and the Lake County League of Cities.
Commr. Swartz suggested eliminating NACo this year, and considering it the following year.
Mr. Wahl discussed placing all travel into a single fund, and establishing a list of travel that is mandated. He stated that, by reducing the two line items, Tavel, and Books, Publications & Dues, by 50%, this would allow a reduction in the amount of approximately $112,000.00 throughout the General Fund.
Discussion occurred regarding the South Lake Annex Office. Mr. Wahl stated that, if the supervisor position is not filled, and the two existing employees are moved to Tavares, there will be a reduction in the approximate amount of $57,000.00. It was noted that the revenue side, along with the expense side, of the South Lake Annex Office will be provided to the Board at the next meeting.
Commr. Bailey requested that staff provide the Board with a recap of the positions being proposed. Mr. Wahl directed the Board's attention to Tab 2, Pages 35-41, and reviewed the funding for each position.
Mr. Mike Anderson, Director of Facilities and Capital Improvements, commented on the proposed positions for his department.
Discussion occurred regarding the seasonal spray truck drivers, with it being noted that this request will be considered at mid-year.
Mr. Jim Stivender, Director of Public Services, addressed the Board and stated that a proposal has been made to the State to determine the costs to the County to maintain those additional lands that are being turned back into swamp land from the muck farms.
Mr. Wahl stated that he has received correspondence from Mr. James C. Watkins, Clerk, indicating that there are no available dollars that can be reduced from his budget.
Ms. Annette Star Lustgarten, County Attorney, informed the Board that the Municipal Services Benefit Units (MSBU) and Municipal Service Taxing Units (MSTU) created by the County have been reviewed, and that staff is currently in the process of reviewing all other statutory created funds.
Ms. Eleanor Anderson, Director, Office of Budget, discussed the State Mandated Costs for the Corrections Department, and clarified that the functions are mandated for this department, but the Board determines the dollar amount.
Commr. Hanson requested that staff present her with information regarding any reductions in State and Federal Revenue since last year.
Discussion occurred regarding Tab 2, Pages 43-46, the Capital Items to be paid for with the Infrastructure Sales Tax.
Commr. Hanson commented that the Board still needs to consider the following: prioritizing programs; Total Quality Management; and establishing a Jail Study Committee. She stated that she would like to see the Board continue working on these three issues.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting adjourned at 11:38 a.m.
G. RICHARD SWARTZ, JR., CHAIRMAN
JAMES C. WATKINS, CLERK