The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in special session on Monday, April 17, 1995, at 9:00 a.m., in the Board of County Commissioners Conference Room, 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; and Marlene S. Foran, Deputy Clerk. Others present were: Carl Lundstrand; and Henry Stephens (Daily Commercial).
Ms. Sue Whittle, Interim County Manager, distributed a copy of a suggested outline for discussion this date titled 1995/96 Goals Discussion, April 17, 1995, and a list of the 1994 Priorities prior to the start of the meeting this date.
REVIEW OF 1994 PRIORITIES
Ms. Whittle directed the Boards' attention to the 1994 priorities list for discussion, and it was noted that the priorities for 1994 were Economic Protection; Streamlining Government; Environmental Development; Crime/Juvenile Development; Health, and Comprehensive Plan/Land Development Regulations.
At this time, a review was made of 1. Economic Development, and the Board briefly discussed the status of the following goals: a. Summit; b. Economic Development Element; c. Expo Center/Existing Fairgrounds; d. Infrastructure on County Property: e. Support and Encourage the Development of an Education Element; f. Update to Board of County Commissioners on programs quarterly; and g. Lake Restoration Effort.
Discussion occurred regarding f. Update to Board of County Commissioners on programs quarterly; at which time, Ms. Whittle stated that staff has indicated they would like to have the opportunity to talk occasionally with the Board on an informal basis. It was the decision of the Board to hold quarterly informal retreats with department heads, starting in October 1995, with no formal presentations or reports being made.
Discussion occurred regarding g. Lake Restoration Effort, at which time, Commr. Gerber requested that staff provide a stormwater update at the next quarterly retreat in October. Discussion continued regarding the involvement of the cities in stormwater management, and Commr. Gerber questioned why the County was not working with the cities in regard to this issue.
Commr. Hanson briefly discussed the "LAKEWATCH" program and the "Adopt-A-Lake" program where the citizens participate in programs to protect their lakes. She discussed her participation in the Clean Lakes Coalition and suggested that a satellite chapter of Clean Lakes Coalition be established in Lake County.
Discussion occurred in regard to a transportation network as it relates to Economic Development; at which time, Commr. Good discussed the feasibility of a Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) looking at an East West Connector. He stated that he would like a statement under Economic Development committing to continue to plan and develop a viable transportation network that was conducive to economic development.
At this time, a review was made of 2. Streamlining Government, and the Board briefly discussed the status of the following goals: a. Kitchen Cabinet Recommendation; b. Hold the line on taxes; c. Impact Fees; d. One Stop Permitting; and e. Management Style.
Discussion occurred regarding a. Kitchen Cabinet Recommendation, at which time, Commr. Hanson stated that there needs to be an on-going budget review committee to look at efficiency and to provide a citizen review.
Mr. Carl Lindstrand, a local resident, stated that it would be a simple process for the Board, through the County Manager, to establish a list of priorities, accomplish as many of those priorities as funding allows, and then provide the citizens of Lake County the opportunity to comment and list their priorities, and provide the funding for their priorities.
Commr. Swartz stated that it was his understanding that, if the Board implemented the Pay Classification Study in April 1995, there would be no cost of living increase until October 1, 1996. Discussion occurred regarding the Pay Classification Study, and the Board's understanding of the merit increases. It was the consensus of the Board that the understanding was that there would be no cost of living increase until October 1, 1996.
Commr. Swartz briefly discussed e. Management Style, and explained that this issue relates to the quality of life of the employees in the work place. He explained that David M. Griffith & Associates (DMG), and Ms. Lois Martin, Director of Human Resources, were working on a Quality of Life Survey.
Ms. Whittle explained that the Quality of Life Survey was a complicated program, and David M. Griffith & Associates could not provide the program at no cost to the County. She suggested that the Board place suggestion boxes throughout the County buildings for the purpose of inviting the employees to make comments.
RECESS & REASSEMBLY
At 10:25 a.m., the Chairman announced that the Board would recess for ten minutes, and reconvene at 10:35 a.m.
REVIEW OF 1994 PRIORITIES (CONTINUED)
At this time, a review was made of 3. Environmental Protection, and the Board briefly discussed the status of the following goals: a. Storm Water Management on a basin by basin basis; and b. Collaborative efforts to clean up our lakes and rivers: (1) Utilization of grants; (2) Partnerships with the following: Water Authority, St. Johns River Water Management District, Extension Service, Game & Fresh Water Fish Commission, Other Counties, Ocklawaha Chain of Lakes Restoration Committee; (3) Education Vehicles.
Discussion occurred regarding a. Storm Water Management, at which time Commr. Gerber briefly discussed wetlands protection and informed the Board that she would be meeting with Mr. Steve Adams, The Land Planning Group, and staff to discuss the feasibility of reinstating the Wetlands Ordinance that was drafted by a Citizens' Committee. She noted that a Shoreline Protection Ordinance would be looked at in the next few months.
Discussion occurred regarding (1) Utilization of Grants, and it was the decision of the Board to change this subheading to Identification and Utilization of Grants.
Discussion occurred regarding (3) Education Vehicles, and it was the decision of the Board that the Lake County School Board, Keep Lake County Beautiful, Ocklawaha Audubon Society, and Clean Lakes Coalition be included in the list of education vehicles.
At this time, a review was made of 4. Crime/Juvenile Delinquency, and Commr. Hanson briefly discussed the status of the following goals: Establishment of Neighborhood Resource Centers with Assistance of Childrens' Commission; Support Sheriff within funding limits on programs in the schools; Have the Childrens' Commission establish a program for education on and assistance with parenting skills; Contact School Board for participation in programs affecting children; Continue efforts to lease jail space; Community resource officers in areas of prevention; and Support Sheriff's recommendations for deputies when funds are available.
Discussion occurred regarding the continued efforts to lease jail space, and Commr. Hanson informed the Board that Ms. Hillary Knepper, Childrens' Coordinator, was working on the possibility of a juvenile assessment program and using the Prelude as a juvenile assessment facility.
Commr. Good discussed the affordable housing program as a preventable measure in addressing crime and juvenile delinquency. He stated that funding programs were less expensive than building detention centers and providing family support activities. He stated that the County should continue to support programs such as the affordable housing program.
At this time, a review was made of 5. Health, and the Board briefly discussed the status of the We Care Program. Commr. Good informed the Board that the Governor's Office was working on the Florida Health Securities Act which would returned $2,900,000,000 in federal funding to the State of Florida. He stated that the Governor was suggesting that the Legislature pass the Health and Human Services Board Managing Partnership Legislation. At this time, the Board requested that Ms. Whittle review these issues with Mr. Fletcher Smith, Director of Community Services.
1995/96 FUNDING ISSUES
Ms. Whittle directed the Board's attention to funding issues for 1995/96, at which time the Board discussed Public Safety, Community Issues, and Constitutional Officers/Judicial Needs, as follows:
Fire Level of Service
Ms. Whittle requested direction from the Board in regard to the level of service for fire protection; at which time, Commr. Swartz stated that, without a completed review and substantial changes in the current fire assessment program, the level of service would be equal to that amount of money that was derived from the $35.00 fire assessment and associated commercial and vacant land. He further stated that fire service would have to continue to be more effective and efficient, and operate within the available source of funds.
Commr. Cadwell discussed the importance of encouraging volunteer fire service and ways in which to make it easier for citizens to become volunteers.
Commr. Swartz requested data on the number of volunteers that are enrolled in the volunteer program by station, and the number of volunteers that routinely respond to calls for service.
Commr. Hanson suggested that the Board focus on the volunteer program in terms of recruitment, retention, training and recognition. She discussed the concerns of the citizens in regard to the public safety aspect of the Emergency Medical Service (EMS), and noted that the fire assessment, in the amount of $35.00, was expected to cover fire protection and Emergency Medical Service.
Commr. Swartz discussed the option of a Municipal Service Benefit Unit (MSBU) as a new type of fire assessment for those communities that want a better level of protection than what was currently available for funding.
Commr. Hanson discussed the issue of the communities raising money to purchase fire equipment for their areas and requested that the Board provide more flexibility with interlocal agreements with private communities to enhance the fire equipment for their community.
Commr. Swartz clarified that the direction in regard to the level of service for fire protection was to place a high reliance on a volunteer program. He noted that a change in conceptually the type of equipment, and the approach that the County was taking in fire protection needs to come back to the Board for discussion and approval.
Sheriff's Five-Year Plan
A brief discussion occurred regarding the Sheriff's Five-Year Plan, at which time Commr. Swartz stated that law enforcement was one of the statutory requirements that the County was required to provide and was a high priority item. He stated that the Sheriff's Five-Year Plan was predicated on a population increase, and on the same type of development patterns that have occurred during the last few years and that those factors may moderate what the Sheriff's charts were indicating.
Ms. Whittle brought up for discussion the level of grant funding for Children's Services issues, and noted that the request from Children's Services for grants was in the amount of $350,000.00.
Commr. Hanson stated that her focus was prevention, and the need to set priorities. At this time, a review was made of the Citizens' Commission for Children programs and funding for said programs.
Extensive discussion occurred regarding the millage rate for Fiscal Year 1995/96. Commr. Cadwell stated that the County needs millage stability, and the millage rate should remain unchanged for Fiscal Year 1995/96.
Commr. Swartz stated that his position was that the goal should be to instruct the Interim County Manager to begin the budget process based on roll-back, and the Board can then determine where the demand was for funding and make the decision to hold the line on the millage to generate those funds.
It was the consensus of the Board to direct the Interim County Manager to begin the budget process at roll-back.
At this time, discussion occurred regarding the funding of recreation programs, and Commr. Cadwell stated that the cities were pleased with where the County was at this time in regard to funding recreation.
CONSTITUTIONAL OFFICERS/JUDICIAL NEEDS
Ms. Whittle stated that the Judges were requesting that Courtroom 8 be completed this year, in the amount of approximately $300,000.00. She noted that she had recommended, in the mid-year budget, that the Board fund $50,000.00 for computers for the
Judges. She stated that the Judges' computer system needs to be networked to the Clerk of Circuit Court offices.
Ms. Whittle informed the Board that there would no longer be state funding for court reporter services due to a change in the system.
At this time, Ms. Barbara Lehman, Chief Deputy Clerk, Finance, Audit & Budgets Department, provided the Board with information in regard to the change in the state court reporter system.
COMMUNITY ISSUES (CONTINUED)
Commr. Hanson discussed the Rails to Trails program in Lake County and expressed support of a long term plan for the biking trails from the recreation area with involvement with the Tourist Development Council (TDC). Discussion occurred regarding the Rails to Trails program tieing in with the number of room nights generated from the program.
Commr. Good stated that he did not object to the County maintaining passive recreational infrastructure, which was different from funding active recreational programs. He clarified that maintaining infrastructure was one issue, and running programs and the personnel cost associated with said programs was an entirely different issue.
Commr. Swartz stated that it was his opinion that it was appropriate for Tourist Development money to be used for infrastructure, and that he would like to see that a portion of Tourist Development funds be used for the continuing funding necessary to complete the first phase of the rail program on the West Orange Trail from the Lake County line to Clermont.
RECESS & REASSEMBLY
At 12:20 p.m., the Chairman announced that the Board would recess for lunch, and reconvene at 1:30 p.m.
COMMISSIONERS' NEARS AND DEARS
At this time, the Board members comprised a list of issues that were "near and dear" to each of them for Fiscal Year 1995/96, and a brief discussion occurred on each issue, as follows:
Overall organizational review prior to filling vacant positions with only essential positions being filled. - Ms. Whittle stated that there were a number of organizational issues that require direction from the Board. She stated that it was her recommendation that the Board hire an Assistant County Manager to handle the enormous day to day issues, planning issues, and interdepartmental coordination issues, which would allow the County Manager to spend time with the Board members, address community issues, and have a major involvement with the budget process. She stated that the department directors have been informed that there would be a review of the organizational structure and needs through the budget process and that adjustments would be made as needed.
Special Waste at Ogden Martin of Lake, Inc. - Commr. Gerber expressed her concern with special waste at the Ogden Martin facility. Discussion occurred regarding this issue, and it was the decision of the Board to request staff to review other municipal solid waste systems, particularly those systems that are recycling; pursue other options; and evaluate and present to the Board recommendations on the appropriate method of operation of the Intermediate Storage and Recycling Facility.
Fairgrounds/Expo Center - Commr. Good stated that it was essential that the Board address the conditions of the fairgrounds/exposition center and, at the very minimum, consider a restoration cleanup of the facility, or give consideration to a site in Lake County for a new exposition center.
Sports Commission Decision - Commr. Hanson stated that it was critical to reach a decision on the Sports Commission.
Stormwater/Transportation - Commr. Cadwell stated that stormwater/transportation has been included in the Economic
Development Element and the Environmental Element and needs to remain a top priority of the Board.
Geographic Information System Automation - Commr. Gerber presented Geographic Information System Automation (GIS) as a long term and short term goal. Ms. Whittle reported that it would take three to five years to get GIS up and running with the data base that the County requires, and the connections that are needed. Discussion occurred regarding GIS Automation as a planning tool at this time and in the future, at which time, Commr. Good stated that GIS Automation as a planning tool at the present time was critical; however, in five years it would not be an important planning tool. Ms. Whittle stated that the short term priority was to develop a Master Plan in automation as quickly as possible, and indicated that she would bring to the Board a proposal for a master plan in the near future.
Transportation Network - Commr. Good stated that stormwater was an essential part of transportation planning and transportation planning has to be seen as inter-modal transportation and not as a road building or road improvement program. He suggested that the Board reassess how they evaluate the County transportation network. He stated that the South Lake Rail Trail ties into the transportation network and should be accomplished in the next two (2) years as a real project that would put money in passive recreation and would be a low maintenance asset to Lake County.
Alternative ways to address rural roads in place and services to those roads - Commr. Hanson stated that the County needs to address road surfaces for rural roads that are in place in rural Lake County (Districts 2, 4, and 5), and alternatives for garbage collection that makes it more user friendly in the rural areas.
Implementation of Impact Fees - Discussion occurred in regard to implementation of new impact fees and increasing the present impact fees.
Community Development Block Grants - Commr. Hanson requested that focus be given to Community Development Block Grants for roads and sewers for the areas of Lake Kathryn, Lake Mack, and Montclair Road.
Transportation Funding - Commr. Cadwell stated that transportation funding should be focused on building roads. He stated that Rails to Trails was strictly a recreational, tourism, and economic development issue and not an alternative to transportation.
Intermediate Parking Plan - Commr. Swartz briefly discussed the need for an Intermediate Parking Plan for County employees.
Citizens' Commission for Children - Discussion occurred regarding the Citizens' Commission for Children with focus on an early intervention program and parenting.
Commission Outreach - Discussion occurred regarding Commission Outreach as a goal, with the Board focusing on the following: a) television programming; b) Lake Sumter Community College Commissioner's Corner; c) utilization of visual effects and equipment; and d) computer presentation of agenda package.
Sign Ordinance/Fence Ordinance - Commr. Swartz stated that one of the greatest legacies that the Board could leave to Lake County would be to have a good Sign Ordinance that would result in Lake County not having the proliferation of unsightly, unsafe signs along the roadways.
Economic Development - Commr. Hanson stated that economic development needs to remain at the top of the list of priorities.
Lakes/Wetlands Ordinance - Discussion occurred regarding the revival of the Wetlands Ordinance, and the Clean Lakes Coalition.
Quality of Life in the Work Place Survey - Commr. Swartz presented this goal; at which time Ms. Whittle stated that the County employees have expressed a need for better communication, education and training development. She suggested that the Board bring the education and training programs to the work place.
Arts Council - Commr. Hanson stated that she views the Arts Council as economic development.
Comprehensive Plan & Land Development Regulations - Commr. Swartz stated that a good Comprehensive Plan and Land Development Regulations were the future of Lake County.
Commr. Good briefly discussed the Intergovernmental Coordination Element (ICE) and explained that the element would require the County to identify their resources and determine if and how the County's resources fit in with what the regional resources.
Commr. Gerber stated that the Regional Planning Council was preparing to list the strategic regional natural resources and questioned if the Board was interested in being involved in preparing said list. It was the decision of the Board to allow staff to become involved with preparing a list with the Board reviewing the completed list.
Rails To Trails Funding - Discussion occurred regarding appropriate funding for the Rails to Trails program. Commr. Good brought up for discussion the feisibility of a dedicated staff person to devote all of his/her time to the Rails to Trails program, noting that said program was a time sensitive project. At this time, it was suggested that, through organizational restructuring, Mr. Craig Willis, Alternative Transportation Specialist, could provide the dedication necessary to this project.
Commr. Swartz brought up for discussion the issue of modifying the budget process to a Major Object Code process. Ms. Whittle stated that a change in the budget process would need to be adopted by policy, and said policy would be brought back to the Board for approval.
Ms. Sarah LaMarche, Office of Budgets, stated that staff understands the Board's direction in regard to the roll-back rate and requested further direction on how the Board would like other department projects presented. It was the direction of the Board
that a narrative of each project would be provided at the bottom of the budget page.
RECESS & REASSEMBLY
At 3:15 p.m., the Chairman announced that the Board would recess and reconvene at 3:20 p.m.
Ms. Sarah LaMarche, Office of Budget, requested direction in regard to the contingency fund and whether the Board wanted to keep the contingency fund amounts at the same amount for Fiscal Year 1995/96 as this year; at which time it was noted that the Interim County Manager would make that determination.
At this time, the Board categorized the above noted goals to form the 1995/96 Priorities (not listed in priority ranking), as follows:
2. Lakes/Wetlands Ordinance
a. Revival of Wetlands Ordinance
b. Clean Lakes Coalition
1. Special Waste at Ogden Martin of Lake, Inc.
1. Commission Outreach
3. Intermediate Parking Plan
4. Organizational review prior to filling vacant positions with only essential positions being filled.
5. Assistant County Manager
6. Quality of Life In The Work Place Survey
7. Budget Roll-Back
1. Interlocal Agreements with the Lake County School Board
2. Fairgrounds/Expo Center
3. Sports Commission Decision
1. Citizens' Commission for Children
a. Early Intervention
2. Sign Ordinance/Fence Ordinance
3. Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)
a. Lake Kathryn
b. Lake Mack
c. Montclair Road
4. Fairgrounds/Expo Center
5. Arts Council
6. Rails To Trails Funding
COMPREHENSIVE PLAN & LAND DEVELOPMENT REGULATIONS
1. Impact Fees
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting adjourned at 4:00 p.m.
RHONDA H. GERBER, CHAIRMAN
JAMES C. WATKINS, CLERK