The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in special session on Tuesday, March 20, 1995, at 9:00 a.m., at the Kenneth Bragg Safety Complex, Tavares, Florida. Commissioners present at the meeting were: Rhonda H. Gerber, Chairman; William "Bill" H. Good, Vice Chairman; Welton G. Cadwell; Catherine C. Hanson; and G. Richard Swartz, Jr. Staff members present were: Barbara Lehman, Chief Deputy Clerk, Finance, Audit & Budgets Department; Sarah LaMarche, Office of Budgets; Sue Whittle, Interim County Manager; Jim Stivender, Director of Public Services; Russ Giesy, Lake County Extension Director; Dave Warren, Director of Tourist Development; Fletcher Smith, Director of Community Services; Craig Haun, Director of Fire and Emergency Services; David Crowe, Interim Director of Solid Waste Management Services; Joe Grawet, Personnel Manager; Bruce Thorburn, Information Services Director; Wayne Hamilton, Risk Manager; Kelly Adams, Purchasing Manager; Paul Bergmann, Senior Director, Planning and Development Services; Lois Martin, Director of Human Resources; Ava Kronz, BCC Office Manager; and Marlene S. Foran, Deputy Clerk. Others present were: Steven Richey, Attorney; and Henry Stephens (Daily Commercial).
Commr. Gerber provided an overview of the agenda this date, which would include presentations by the Public Services Department, Office of Purchasing, and Solid Waste Management Services. She stated that the Board would be discussing budget philosophy, and goals in order to provide Ms. Sue Whittle, Interim County Manager, direction to go forward with the budget process.
PUBLIC SERVICES DEPARTMENT
Mr. Jim Stivender, Jr., Senior Director, Public Services Department, explained that the Public Services Department was comprised of a Senior Director, Engineering Division, Special Services Division, and Road Operations Division, and he provided a brief overview of each division, and the programs and budgets associated with each division.
Mr. Stivender explained that the Special Services Division was funded primarily from the County Transportation Trust Fund and Road Impact Fees, although funding for specific programs, such as Parks and Recreation, Boating Improvements, Fish Conservation/Ramp Construction, Mosquito Management, and Aquatic Plan Control, were allocated from the General Fund and designated funding sources.
Mr. Stivender discussed the Mosquito Management Program and presented, for the Boards' review, a pamphlet that addresses ways in which the homeowner can contribute to the decline of the mosquito population.
Mr. Stivender discussed the programs associated with the Engineering Division which was comprised of Road Projects, Stormwater, Surveying, Right-of-Way, Transportation and Traffic Operations.
Mr. Stivender discussed the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), an organization of elected officials from Orange, Osceola and Seminole Counties, and distributed a copy of a newspaper article that appeared in an issue of the Orlando Sentinel, dated February 26, 1995, in regard to Lake County's decision not to become a member of the MPO. Mr. Stivender stated that there were eighteen officials in the MPO, and Lake County's representation would be two (2) officials.
Commr. Gerber stated that she would support Lake County becoming involved in a Metropolitan Planning Organization with Sumter County. She stated that she would like direction from the Board in regard to this issue because this could be discussed during Lake County Days in Tallahassee.
Mr. Stivender stated that staff attended a planning meeting on the North South I-4 Corridor Commuter Rail Service, and noted the Commuter Rail has a western rail going into the City of Tavares and the City of Mount Dora. He stated that there would be a meeting in Tavares to review this issue.
Mr. Stivender provided a summary on the following issues:
- Land Development Regulations - Engineering standards
- Land Use Plan Map versus Reality
- Stormwater Design
- Parks and Recreation - Future Source of Revenue.
- Parks versus Rail Trail Parks
- MSBU Countywide for Mosquito Management, Aquatic Plant Control and Stormwater Management
- Road Funding - Gas Tax Issue versus Impact Fee Issue
- Mid Year Adjustments - No new programs without additional revenue source.
- Road Operations - Base Labor Positions at Mid-Year
Commr. Good questioned whether the County was considering mass transit stations as a long range option, and suggested that the Board should consider staging areas, stations, or some type of transfer system.
Discussion occurred regarding Lake County's participation in the Community Rating System, the updating of the Lake County FIRM Maps through FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency), and the benefit from expansion of this program. Mr. Stivender stated that any modification to the FEMA maps would provide more accurate detailed information on the location of the wetlands and would result in lower flood insurance for the residents if they were located outside of the wetlands designations.
Mr. Stivender briefly discussed the need for a Transportation Lobbyist for the purpose of providing more interaction with the State Legislators, and members of the Board on Transportation to keep on top of the issues.
Commr. Swartz stated that the County was a member of the Association of Counties which has an extensive lobbying effort on behalf of counties, and he has difficulty accepting the idea of governmental entities hiring lobbyist to lobby their own legislative delegation.
Commr. Cadwell suggested that the Vice Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners become the Liaison Commissioner to the Legislature.
OFFICE OF PURCHASING
Ms. Kelly Adams, Purchasing Manager, stated that the primary mission of the Office of Purchasing was to provide the County with
centralized service for the procurement of materials, supplies, equipment and services in a timely manner and at a competitive price. Ms. Adams distributed additional information on the Goals and Objectives for Fiscal Year 1994/95 prior to the start of the meeting this date, which also included annual statistical data and a comparison in regard to the volume of work that the Office of Purchasing performed during Fiscal Year 1992/93 and Fiscal Year 1993/94.
Ms. Adams stated that she would be writing an issue paper on the Reprographic Center, which would explain what services are currently being provided, the accuracy of the first year's budget, the first quarter's copy volume, the projected first year's copy volume, and a cost per copy expenditure summary.
Ms. Adams briefly discussed the following proposed projects that have not been initiated at this time:
1) Develop and implement a Contracts Administration Policy and Procedure.
2) Workshop for local vendors on how to do business with Lake County.
3) Review SCT's contract for compliance and determine software need program modifications.
4) Determine what additional services the County Departments would like the Reprographic Center to provide.
5) Obtain more volunteer workers from Departments to assist in being a backup for the Reprographic Technician.
Ms. Adams requested that the Board allow her to present a policy change, which would allow the County Manager permission to bid, if the Board has already approved the commodity or goods through the budget process, in place of having to go back before the Board to get permission to bid. She stated that the proposed policy would streamline the turnaround time by two (2) weeks.
Ms. Adams stated that she has been active with the Computer Committee and that the primary issue was in-house support for hardware and software technical support. She requested permission to do a workshop, or present an issue paper to the Board in regard to the County's computer needs, such as the need for an in-house technician for computer hardware and software support, and current and long range goals for computer replacement. She stated that she has had discussions with George E. Knupp, Jr., Sheriff, in regard to utilizing the Sheriff's two in-house support people. She explained that an in-house support person could address issues such as on-site computer repair, on-site software support, on-site user training, network support, network configuration, and licensing on the Novell Network system.
Mr. Bruce Thorburn, Director, Information Services, discussed the issue of an in-house technician. He suggested that the Board consider signing a contractual agreement with Mr. Ken Kleaka, who installed the 9-1-1 System and all of the telephone systems, in the amount of $35,000.00 per year, to work 20 hours per week or any combination as necessary to get jobs completed. He stated that the County was presently spending $80.00 per hour for the same services, and explained that the County could train Mr. Kleaka to do installation and repair and utilize the dollars already spent on wiring, fiber optics, and networking equipment to replace the majority of the Novel Networks.
At this time, each department head briefly discussed their relationship with the Office of Purchasing and problems that they may have had, or were presently having, in regard to the Reprographic Center. Craig Haun, Senior Director, Fire and Emergency Services, stated that the Board had directed staff at the retreat last year to look at running County government like a business, and he has had discussion with Ms. Adams, and the Finance, Audit and Budgets Department in regard to different methods in purchasing to accomplish that goal. He discussed the procedure in purchasing specialized equipment required for Fire and Emergency Services and suggested that it was not necessary for the purchasing agent to be dealing with issues that would be better handled through Fire and Emergency Services. He suggested that consideration be given to a credit card system, and the elimination of the blanket purchase order system.
Mr. Thorburn stated that he has met with the Finance, Audit and Budgets Department at the Board's direction, and he would like to recommend that the departments and the divisions be responsible for the planning, purchasing, and implementation of their actual purchasing of computers, and that the present procedure for replacement cost be eliminated.
At this time, Commr. Swartz discussed the proposed change to the Purchasing Policy, the request for a workshop to discuss the County's computer needs, and the benefits of changing the County's current Line Item Level Budget to a Major Object Code Level Budget, as addressed in a memorandum from Ms. Kelly Adams, Purchasing Manager, dated March 1, 1995.
RECESS AND REASSEMBLY
At 11:00 a.m., the Chairman announced that the Board would recess for ten minutes.
SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT SERVICES
Mr. David Crowe, Interim Solid Waste Management Director, presented an overview of the Solid Waste Management Services Department which was divided into seven departments, as follows: Administration, Special Assessments, Capital Projects, Recycling, Hazardous Waste, Disposal Operations, and Citizen Drop-off Facilities. Mr. Crowe briefly discussed the Solid Waste Management Services Department's current active and proposed programs, which were provided in summary by Division in the booklet distributed prior to the start of the meeting.
Mr. Crowe stated that the Administration Division was currently working on a cost study to determine the cost basis of each solid waste activity, which would provide the County data for various decision relating to the delivery of the charge for services, the real cost of that service, and future funding possibilities. He discussed the importance of this study to the "Rate Basis Charge in Method of Charging" project. He stated that, by lowering the current tipping fee, the County becomes more
marketable and, therefore, an economic incentive for the municipalities to use the Lake County facilities.
Mr. Crowe discussed the Cooperative Flow project and explained that discussions have been held with Reedy Creek Development District, Osceola County and Polk County regarding accepting their Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) in exchange for their acceptance of a Lake County water or recyclable commodity. He explained that the County has discussed with the Reedy Creek Development District the ability to combine some of their commodities with the County's to increase the County's marketability once the County's Intermediate Storage Facility was opened for recyclable. He noted that the Intermediate Storage Facility was scheduled to open toward the end of the calendar year.
Commr. Good stated that the goal of the recycling program must be to aggressively look at production and provide a value added product which would result in a successful solid waste program.
Mr. Crowe presented a brief overview of new assessment programs and further development of assessment programs for the Division of Special Assessments.
Mr. Crowe presented a brief overview of Capital Projects, and discussed the Umatilla Sanitary Landfill Closure Repair, Landscape Planting Berms and Tree Relocation Program. He explained that the County has committed to the construction of landscape planting berms along the east and north side of the Astatula Landfill Facility.
Mr. Crowe provided an update on the status of the Citizen Drop-Off Facility located in Lady Lake, and stated that plans are to create a new facility within the same immediate vicinity that would accept both municipal solid waste and recycling material.
Mr. Crowe informed the Board that Mr. Steve Hiney has resigned as Recycling Coordinator. He stated that he had discussed with Mr. Hiney the importance of public education in regard to the
recycling program, and the Mobile Household Hazardous Waste Collection Program.
Mr. Crowe stated that Solid Waste Management would be presenting to the Board a preliminary budget for a not-to-exceed rate for first class notice purposes on April 18, 1995, and that the normal budget process would determine the actual rate at a later date.
Discussion occurred regarding the Leachate Disposal program, at which time, Commr. Gerber stated that the various options of leachate treatment/disposal and preliminary system cost projections should be presented to the Board much sooner than the projected 360 days. Mr. Crowe stated that he would project that the various options would be presented to the Board within 120 days.
Commr. Gerber stated that she would like to discuss during the afternoon session, the possibility of eliminating the special waste that was being burned at the Ogden Martin facility.
Ms. Kelly Adams, Purchasing Manager, Office of Purchasing, provided an update on radio towers and the maintenance of radios, and explained that the Office of Purchasing has been working with the departments to create a central list of all of the radio towers in Lake County in an effort to resolve the current problems associated with the County's radios. She explained that Two-Way Communications has performed an evaluation of all of the towers and has prepared recommendations in which to improve the current conditions.
Ms. Adams stated that prices would be available this week in regard to what the figures would be to do some modifications to the existing towers. She stated that Public Services and Fire and Emergency Management have been covering the costs associated with this project, at which time discussion occurred regarding the existing system, two-way technology of the future, and a revenue source through moving violations per Florida Statutes.
DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNITY SERVICES
Mr. Fletcher Smith, Director, Department of Community Services, referred to a memorandum from Ms. Hillary Knepper, Children's Services, dated March 28, 1995, which was an Addendum to the February 27, 1885 memorandum to Commr. Gerber, and contained information from the Citizens' Commission for Children on the goals, strategies and action plan for the 1995-1996 year, and Concept Paper Requests for Funding. At this time, Mr. Smith provided an overview of the mission statement, strategies to accomplish the mission statement, and discussed the following goals to make the strategy happen:
Goal 1: Maternal, child and adolescent wellness and child protection.
Goal 2: Early child development and education, youth development and public safety.
Discussion occurred regarding the Concept Paper Requests for Funding, at which time, Commr. Hanson stated that there needs to be a method of tracking the results of the programs. She requested additional information on the Young Parents Network, and explained that she was looking for community commitment and involvement. She stated that it was important to look at the agencies that have value on a year to year basis, and cautioned not to fund a program and then pull out of the funding for said program.
RECESS & REASSEMBLY
At 12:15 p.m., the Chairman announced that the Board would recess for lunch and reconvene at 1:15 p.m.
BUDGET CONCERNS, PHILOSOPHY AND DIRECTION
Ms. Sue Whittle, Interim County Manager, stated that there needs to be discussion on the Board's philosophy, and on general guidelines as the Board prepares for the budget preparation, and discussion on the projects and goals of each of the Board members for next year. She directed that Board attention to an outline titled Policy Issue Discussion, which had been distributed prior to the start of the meeting this date.
Discussion occurred regarding General Fiscal Policy, and Ms. Whittle explained that operating budgets need to be formulated to accomplish the following:
Achieve the goals established annually by the Board.
Balance the needs of the County with the capability to pay for the services.
Balance the provision of services with priority to (public safety, mandates, quality of life?).
Provide services on a cost effective basis.
At this time, discussion occurred regarding the balance of provision of services and which issues become priority, at which time Commr. Swartz stated that statutory requirements, such as public safety, Constitutional Offices, and the mandates of health care acts, become the first priority.
Commr. Good stated that he has requested that the Finance, Audit and Budgets Office identify the mandated expenditures by line item in the budget. He stated that it would also be beneficial to know the source of the statutory requirement, and the levels of funding that may be required.
Discussion occurred regarding providing services on a cost effective basis, and the maintenance of current facilities. Commr. Good stated that a priority for him would be to make sure that the level of maintenance that the County was paying for was the level of maintenance that the County was receiving, and that the maintenance was delivered as efficiently as possible.
Commr. Hanson discussed the concept of Total Quality Management, and the need to discover more efficient ways to accomplish Total Quality Management. Ms. Whittle interjected that the Total Quality Management Concept should be stated as policy so that the County Manager can implement the training, and the continuing discussion of the Total Quality Management Concept.
Commr. Swartz suggested that one of the ways to insure that services are being provided on a cost effective basis would be to review staff and organizational structures to determine if the
number of employees that are required to staff a certain type of function within a governmental institute are adequate to perform the service. He stated that the Solid Waste Enterprise Fund should be reviewed in terms of the number of employees because it ultimately comes back to impact the dollar number on special assessments.
Commr. Hanson stated that the County needs a long term Citizens Advisory Committee and an on-going system for Total Quality Management. She suggested the need for more staff interaction on a quarterly or monthly basis.
Commr. Cadwell suggested that the Board formulate policy that provides direct quantitative ways to look at Total Quality Management.
Ms. Whittle stated that one way to provide staff interaction was to schedule interdepartmental strategic planning sessions where employees from different departments converge on a single department and review the programs of that department and, with the employees of that department, determine the best way in which to meet the mandates and the goals of that department.
Discussion continued on operating budgets, and Commr. Swartz stated that the County Manager has to review staffing requirements, organization, and setting up computers and networks that allow staff to function better.
At this time, discussion occurred regarding fiscal responsibility as a high priority, with the following issues being discussed:
Basis for new programs (Need, citizen demand, etc.);
Funding for new programs (Taxes, fees, reductions);
Capital improvements should be identified and prioritized (identified in Comprehensive Plan, requests from Constitutional Officers, Judiciary, Departmental requests). First maintenance of current facilities, second new projects;
Accounting practices in accordance with generally accepted accounting principals;
Basis for revenue projections: conservative estimates using historical data and projects.
Discussion occurred in regard to holding the millage rate at 5.135, at which time Commr. Swartz stated that there should not be an increase in the millage rate and noted that holding the millage rate results in a tax increase. He stated that his goal would be to have no tax increase unless there was a need for a tax increase.
Commr. Hanson expressed concern that the level of service to the public would decrease if there was a roll-back in the millage rate, at which time discussion occurred regarding the effects of a roll-back.
Commr. Hanson clarified that she was suggesting that there be no tax increase for the current level of service, the Board look at the increase if the millage rate remains same, and look at the increase if there were increases in the number of deputies, a change in level of service, and quality of life issues.
Commr. Swartz stated that he would consider increases in the area of Planning and Development Services; however, he would have to be convinced that the cost of operating the department was what it needed to be, and that new fees were related to the cost of services in an accurate way. He stated that he would like to see that Animal Control was provided the computers required to track the animals, which could result in a greater number of vaccination, sterilization requirements, and greater payment of tag fees.
Ms. Barbara Lehman, Chief Deputy Clerk, Finance, Audit and Budgets Department, discussed budgeting on a Major Object Code Level Budget basis, and explained that the Board could adopt the budget on a major object code basis, which would be comprised of the four major object codes of personal services, operating expenses, capital outlay, and debt service. She explained that staff could input the budget on a line item level, and check the funds at the higher level to assure there was money to pay the expense.
Ms. Sarah LaMarche, Director of Budgets, explained that the budget was presented at the major object code level in the budget
book, and at the bottom of each page was a detail of each capital outlay request with the dollar amount associated with said request, and the total ties up to the total in the capital outlay. She further explained that capital outlay was anything over $500.00 that has a useful life of longer than one year.
Discussion occurred regarding the major object code process, at which time, Commr. Swartz suggested that a review and authority to authorize a review at the administrative level be provided in lieu of acquiring budget amendments.
Ms. Whittle clarified that one of the items submitted from Ms. Kelly Adams, Purchasing Manager, for consideration was permission to bid acquisitions requirements over $25,000, if prior Board approval for the specified capital item had been obtained via the budget approval process. She stated that she does not agree with that policy. She stated that, if the request was over $25,000.00, the Board should review the request. She suggested that, in departments where contractual services are a major item, such as Public Services, Solid Waste Management, Planning and Development Services Division, and possible Informational Services, those services need to be treated somewhat like capital projects. She stated that, within object codes, she was accustomed to signing off on every budget transfer that was made.
It was clarified that the consensus of the Board was that transfers would be allowed within object codes that require the County Manager's review, but could be done administratively without a budget amendment.
Discussion occurred regarding the feasibility of performing a survey of the taxpayers to determine their needs and priorities.
Discussion occurred regarding the advertising procedures for the mid-year budget review, at which time Commr. Swartz suggested that language be added to the advertisement encouraging public participation and clearly outlining the purpose of the public hearing.
Discussion occurred regarding the basis for revenue projections, and it was noted that said projections were to be done conservatively, but realistically, using historical data and projections.
Discussion occurred regarding Operating Budget Guidelines, and the topics for discussing were as follows:
Operating budgets to be funded from current revenues;
Fees for services and facility charges to be reviewed annually with recommendations for adjustment;
Board will schedule time for discussion of staffing considerations;
Automation projects to be considered on a cost/benefit basis;
Basis and timeframe for level of service considerations;
Policy for Reserves: Cash balance forward; Emergency reserves; Contingency reserves; Others.
Ms. Whittle brought up for discussion using reserves in order to balance the budget.
Ms. LaMarche briefly discussed the reserve fund, which was under five (5%) percent at this time; and the contingency fund, which started at approximately $650,000.00. She stated that, after mid-year, the contingency fund should be down to approximately $100,000.00.
Discussion occurred regarding the feasibility of the Board scheduling time for discussion on staffing considerations, at which time Ms. Whittle explained that discussing staffing considerations during the budget workshops leading up to setting the millage rate results in focusing on one position rather than the broad overall picture, and what the department needs to accomplish.
Commr. Cadwell discussed the level of service for fire protection and expressed his concern with the direction that fire protection was going in regard to relying and utilizing volunteer firefighters.
Commr. Hanson requested help from the Board with a problem in regard to the Mount Plymouth/Sorrento Urban Node area that was urbanizing and has potential for commercial growth. She explained
that growth would not occur because of the requirement that commercial expansion, and any building provide fire flow protection. She stated that the residents in the area have discussed a Municipal Service Benefit Unit (MSBU), and discussion has occurred in regard to connecting the large water systems in the area that are in place at this time. She suggested that the County allow some special consideration and flexibility in the County regulations for this type of situation.
Commr. Swartz requested that the Interim County Manager review the issues surrounding the problem of a water system, and a method in which to provide the necessary fire flows in the Mount Plymouth and Sorrento area.
Discussion continued regarding Board policy for reserves. Commr. Swartz reviewed Board policy in regard to cash balances being at a specific level and reserves at a specific level.
Ms. Whittle stated that, in the past, she has always budgeted at eighty-five (85%) percent to ninety (90%) percent, and explained that in larger departments all positions would never be filled, and the money does not need to be allocated.
Discussion occurred in regard to Specific Fund Questions and the topics for discussion were as follows:
Enterprise funds: Self sufficient including administrative charges, direct costs, payment in lieu of taxes;
Minimize transfers for services
Basis for lease/purchase of equipment;
Maximize non-ad valorem revenue sources
Assure overhead and direct cost recovery where appropriate.
Commr. Good requested information on the Special Assessment Division, at which time Commr. Swartz briefly discussed the history of the Special Assessment Division. Commr. Good expressed concern with the management of Solid Waste Management Services and with Special Assessments being under Solid Waste Management Services.
Commr. Swartz stated that there were a number of vacant personnel positions that have occurred, or are occurring, and he would like to see consideration given to the staffing and organization to those areas before the positions are filled. He suggested that the positions of Hazardous Waste Manager and Recycling Coordinator should be combined into one position.
Commr. Hanson stated that she has a problem with filling vacant positions until the Board has resolved the forty (40) hour work week schedule. She stated that the Board needs to honor the commitment to go to a forty (40) hour work week.
Commr. Cadwell addressed personnel issues and expressed support of the positions of Hazardous Waste Manager and Recycling Coordinator being combined into one position and expressed his support of a Deputy County Manager.
Ms. Whittle stated that she may be bringing to the Board a recommendation for consideration to hire, on a short term basis, a person who has management experience to perform a fast analysis of the Division of Solid Waste Management Services.
At this time, the Board scheduled a meeting on April 17, 1995 at 9:00 a.m., in the Board Meeting Room, for the purpose of continuing discussion of the goals of the Board.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting adjourned at 4:25 p.m.
RHONDA H. GERBER, CHAIRMAN
JAMES C. WATKINS, CLERK