The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in special session on Thursday, July 27, 1995, 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: Rhonda H. Gerber, Chairman; William "Bill" H. Good, Vice Chairman; G. Richard Swartz; Catherine C. Hanson; and Welton G. Cadwell. Others present were: Sue B. Whittle, Interim County Manager; Rolon Reed, Interim County Attorney; Ava Kronz, BCC Office Manager; Barbara F. Lehman, Chief Deputy Clerk; and Marlene S. Foran, Deputy Clerk.
It was noted that the following individuals were present from the Clerk's Finance, Audit & Budgets Department: Sarah R. LaMarche, Budget Director; Tracy L. Zeller, Senior Budget Analyst; Kevin M. McDonald, Senior Budget Analyst; and Julia A. Wilson, Budget Assistant.
At this time, the Board was directed to the budget booklet which contained the Items For Further Review and/or Consideration, for the 1995-96 Proposed Operating Budget, and the Board discussed the Items for Further Review and/or Consideration for Wednesday, July 12, 1995.
The following individuals were present from Community Services to answer questions and provide statistical information during the budget workshop: Mr. Fletcher Smith, Director of Community Services; Ms. Hillary Knepper, Children's Commission; Ms. Allison Thall, Human Services Manager; and Ms. Wendy Breeden, Library Services Coordinator.
At this time, Mr. Fletcher Smith, Director of Community Services, discussed the revised pages of the requests appearing in the enhanced budget for further consideration.
Ms. Hillary Knepper, Children's Coordinator, discussed a proposed decrease in the Children's Home Society Baby Dangerfield Program from $40,000.00 to $35,000.00. She stated that the Children's Home Society had originally requested $48,000.00, and that the funding was for support services for the Baby Dangerfield Program. Ms. Knepper explained that a large amount of the funds for the Children's Home Society goes toward printing costs and suggested that the County offer to provide printing services for the Society.
Ms. Whittle addressed the request for a reader/scanner for the Supervisor of Elections Office, in the amount of $39,550.00, and informed the Board that the Supervisor of Elections has indicated that she would need one reader/scanner within the next five years and was willing to do a lease purchase agreement as was done with the original equipment. She suggested that the savings resulting in the lease purchase agreement would be available for use in other programs.
It was the decision of the Board to leave the Children's Home Society funding at $40,000.00, as indicated in the Enhanced Budget.
Discussion occurred in regard to the funding for Haven of Lake and Sumter Counties in the amount of $5,000.00.
Commr. Hanson requested that further consideration be given to funding the North Florida Health Planning Council, in the amount of $8,550.00.
Discussion occurred in regard to the request for a Delivery Services Driver, and a Technical Services Assistant under Library Services. Commr. Swartz suggested that the position of a Delivery Services Driver was not a full time position, and if the delivery service was being used by other agencies, a pro rata share for the courier service should be considered.
Discussion occurred in regard to the debt service funding for the automation system for Library Services; at which time, Ms. Wendy Breeden, Library Services Coordinator, explained that the automation system was included in the budget two years ago with the understanding that a new automation system would be purchased on a five year lease purchase program which was funded the first year partially with infrastructure funds and general funds, and funded last year with general funds.
Discussion occurred in regard to the request from Record Management for a one year microfilming contract, in the amount of $45,000.00. Ms. Barbara Lehman, Chief Deputy Clerk, stated that the Clerk's Records Center budget request called for an additional microfilming technician, however, was cut from the Clerk's initial budget this year. She stated that the Clerk's Office did not have the ability to support the microfilming requirements of the Records Management Department at this time.
Ms. Whittle directed the Board's attention to a memorandum from Mr. Brent Holladay, Information Resources Director, dated July 20, 1995, in regard to the Clerk's Office Support for microfilming in Fiscal Year 1995-96; at which time it was the decision of the Board to direct staff to discuss with the Clerk's Office a less expensive cost effective method for the Board to meet their microfilming needs. Ms. Whittle clarified that $45,000.00 had been budgeted for a one year microfilming contract, and explained that the question was whether it would be more cost effective to fund and put a position into the Clerk's records operation to perform the Board's microfilming when the Clerk's equipment was not being used for the Clerk's daily records.
FACILITIES & CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS
Ms. Whittle discussed the request for a Maintenance Specialist II position, under Energy Management Services, and stated that said position could not be moved to another fund; however, could be funded within the utility costs of the Operating Budget in the existing County Manager Recommended funding in Energy Management Services.
Mr. Mike Anderson, Director of Facilities & Capital Improvements, discussed the items for further review and/or consideration. He stated that Public Services has agreed to perform the roadway and sidewalk work at the Fairgrounds/Expo Center.
Mr. Bruce Thorburn, Director of Information Services, briefly discussed the request for a Voice/Data/Network Technician, in the amount of $35,000.00, and the need for said position during the renovation process. He noted a reduction of forty-eight (48) to fifty (50) percent in the contract with GTE as a result of said position.
Commr. Swartz stated that the contract with GTE was being funded out of infrastructure sales tax and suggested that this position be moved to the Facilities and Capital Improvements budget under Contractual Services.
Mr. Thorburn suggested putting Contractual Services totally under E 9-1-1 using some of the carry-over monies from E 9-1-1 and contracting back to the County on an as needed basis at the $33.66 per hour rate.
Discussion occurred in regard to the request that the Reprographic Technician position go to forty (40) hours per week; at which time, Ms. Sarah LaMarche, Budget Director, directed the Boards' attention to a memorandum from Ms. Kelly Adams, Purchasing Manager, dated July 19, 1995, in which Ms. Adams suggested that the $1,727.00 for Reprographic Personal Services be obtained by reducing the Repair and Maintenance line item by $1,727.00 due to successfully negotiating a reduction in the cost per copy for maintenance and supplies with Danka for the Konica Copiers.
AGRICULTURAL EDUCATION SERVICE
Discussion occurred in regard to the Horticultural Learning Center. Commr. Swartz suggested that the Board provide funding for the Horticultural Learning Center, however, request that the Friends of the Horticultural Leaning Center (HLC) fund one of the requested positions, which would relieve the Board from annual appropriation.
Ms. LaMarche directed the Board's attention to a memorandum from Mr. Russ Giesy, Lake County Extension Director, dated July 20, 1995, in regard to the history of the ground penetrating radar; at which time Commr. Swartz suggested that the County's ground penetrating radar equipment be used to generate revenue to help defray the cost of said unit. It was the decision of the Board to request the County Manager to review a fee schedule for use of the ground penetrating radar.
Ms. Whittle stated that the Board had directed the Lake County Soil and Water Conservation District, at the time that the fee schedule was developed, that there would be no charge for agricultural uses, and it has been suggested that agricultural uses in Lake County have changed to the point that a fee for said uses would be appropriate. It was the decision of the Board to request the County Manager to review this issue and consider policy revision.
Ms. Whittle informed the Board that the request for the Technician I position, under Lake Soil and Water Conservation, in the amount of $31,000.00, had been frozen, however, has been included in the budget. It was the direction of the Board to release the Technician I position.
RECESS & REASSEMBLY
At 10:25 a.m., the Chairman announced that the Board would recess for ten minutes.
BUDGET WORKSHOP (CONTINUED)
Ms. LaMarche informed the Board that notification had been received concerning a Legislative update that the method of calculating the roll-back would be different in that the new method would be based on the value after the Value Adjustment Board adjustment, which made the roll-back rate higher than it would have been; however, the original bill did not pass. She stated that the final bill requires that the roll-back rate, and the percent of increase be advertised, and stated that a certain percent was due to the Value Adjustment Board adjustment. She stated that the Board lost approximately $50,000.00, and that the roll-back has been changed from $461,849.00 to approximately $400,000.00.
Ms. Whittle stated that she was not comfortable with roll-back at this point. She stated that the budget presented for Fiscal Year 1995-96 has been cut substantially to the point that next year the budget would not have the fund balance forward to sustain a roll-back millage for next year.
Ms. LaMarche directed the Board's attention to the General Fund Balance Analysis and explained that the Enhanced Budget reflected a total Contingency and Reserve of $5,232,282.00, which includes $100,000.00 in the Sheriff's Contingency.
Ms. Whittle stated that the budget that she presented on July 10, 1995 recommended that the Board raise the millage to fund the requests; however, due to changes made during the budget workshops, the Board can comfortable go somewhere between roll-back and the existing millage of 5.135 assuming an agreement can be reached with the Sheriff in regard to some budgetary questions within the Sheriff's budget. She stated that the roll-back would not allow the Constitutional Officers to increase their pay classification plans as they have requested. At this time, extensive discussion continued in regard to whether or not to go to roll-back.
At 11:20 a.m., the Chairman turned the Chairmanship over to Commr. Good, Vice Chairman. At 11:27 a.m., Commr. Good returned the Chairmanship back to Commr. Gerber.
BUDGET WORKSHOP (CONTINUED)
AGRICULTURAL EDUCATION SERVICE (CONTINUED)
Discussion occurred in regard to the Ecosystem Education Lab budget, in the amount of $91,910.00, under Agricultural Education Service; at which time Ms. LaMarche stated that the Horticultural Learning Center Total Expenditures have been decreased to $86,910.00.
Commr. Swartz stated that he has been notified that the U.S. Federal Marshals wish to transfer prisoners from other facilities to Lake County due to the proximity to the Orange County Federal Building. He stated that the Federal Marshals are looking for a commitment from Lake County to house up to 100 prisoners, which would bring in an additional $1,898,000.00 in revenue. He stated that the Federal Marshals would absorb the medical costs for said prisoners. Discussion occurred in regard to the impact of the above noted additional revenue on the Sheriff's budget.
Commr. Swartz brought up for discussion the funding of a deputy out of Solid Waste to track the flow of garbage and trash being taken out of the County and brought into the County. He requested information on the results of said position.
Discussion continued in regard to the Horticultural Learning Center; at which time Commr. Swartz stated that the Friend of the Horticultural Learning Center have been working on this project since 1988. He expressed concern that, if the County did not fund a significant portion of the project, the project would fail. He noted that there were economic benefits to be derived from the Horticultural Learning Center.
RECESS & REASSEMBLY
At 12:30 p.m., the Chairman announced that the Board would recess for lunch and reconvene at 1:30 p.m.
COUNTY ATTORNEY/CONTRACTS, LEASES & AGREEMENTS
Commr. Cadwell presented the Employment Agreement Between Lake County and Sanford A. Minkoff for the position of County Attorney. It was noted that a copy of the agreement had been distributed to the Board. He briefly discussed the terms of the contract, and stated that Mr. Minkoff would begin duties as County Attorney on a part time basis on August 14, 1995, and begin full time employment on August 31, 1995. He stated, in the event that Mr. Minkoff was terminated by the County for any reason other than cause, the County agrees to provide severance pay in the amount of four (4) months pay.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Hanson and carried unanimously, the Board approved to enter into the Employment Agreement between Lake County and Sanford A. Minkoff for County Attorney services.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Hanson and carried unanimously, the Board approved to terminate the Employment Agreement between Lake County and Mr. Rolon Reed for Interim County Attorney services effective August 14, 1995.
At this time, the Board expressed their appreciation to Mr. Rolan Reed for his service as Interim County Attorney for Lake County.
Commr. Gerber presented the Employment Agreement Between Lake County and Sue B. Whittle for the position of County Manager. It was noted that a copy of the agreement had been distributed to the Board. She discussed the terms of the contract and stated that, in the event that employment was terminated before expiration of the initial term of employment, a lump sum cash payment equal to twelve (12) months of aggregate salary, benefits, and deferred compensation shall be paid as severance pay.
At this time, a correction was noted on Page 7, Line 15, Section 11, changing to exceed to "not to exceed".
Commr. Swartz stated that he would prefer that the County Manager have an automobile assigned in lieu of the $400.00 per month automobile allowance. A brief discussion occurred in regard to this issue; at which time Ms. Whittle agreed to an automobile in lieu of the automobile allowance.
Commr. Hanson stated that she feels strongly about the twelve (12) month severance pay clause and stated that she would support the severance pay renewable annual, however, could not support the twelve (12) months severance pay for a three year period as addressed in the contract. She stated that she would not support the contract; however, expressed her confidence in Sue Whittle as County Manager.
On a motion by Commr. Swartz, seconded by Commr. Good and carried, the Board approved the Employment Agreement between the Lake County Board of County Commissioners and Sue B. Whittle, as presented by the Chairman, with the change in language under Section 12: Automobile.
The motion carried by a 4 - 1 vote.
Commr. Hanson voted "No".
BUDGET WORKSHOP (CONTINUED)
At this time, the Board discussed the Items for Further Review and/or Consideration for Thursday, July 13, 1995.
PLANNING & DEVELOPMENT SERVICES
Discussion occurred in regard to the detail of the Consolidated Residential Site Plan Fees (CRSP), at which time Ms. LaMarche questioned if the revenue received by the County for inspections was a duplication of other revenues that are received other places in the County. She noted that the $165,000.00 had been revised downward by approximately $4,000.00 because it was a duplication of tree removal inspection.
Ms. Whittle discussed the fee structure and stated that the numbers are predicated on the new fee structures, and that a resolution would be presented to the Board at a public hearing on August 22, 1995 for formally setting the fees for next year.
Ms. LaMarche discussed the costs and benefits of having an office in South Lake County and explained that the analysis prepared by the Building Services Division illustrates the savings in the expense side only for the South Lake Annex, and indicates that the requested budget could be reduced to $1,343,395.00 with a savings of $77,315.00. She explained that, in closing the South Lake Annex, two positions would be eliminated from the budget, and the remaining positions would be required in the Tavares Office to handle the work load that was currently conducted in the South Lake Annex. At this time, discussion occurred in regard to the feasibility of maintaining the South Lake Annex.
Commr. Cadwell stated that the South Lake Annex was a fee based office, and the amount of savings received was not sufficient enough to counter balance closing said office.
Commr. Swartz requested that a table be provided that illustrates the total number of permits processed from 1994 to 1995 by the cities and by the County at the South Lake Annex and at the Tavares office to justify the request for three (3) additional positions for the South Lake Annex.
FIRE AND EMERGENCY SERVICES
Discussion occurred in regard to the request from Solid Waste to purchase and install a Crematorium, in the amount of $80,000.00, which would eliminate the need to bury animals from Animal Control; at which time, Ms. Whittle stated that the line item had been removed from the Solid Waste budget. At this time, the Board requested further information on the current animal disposal methods.
Discussion occurred in regard to the Emergency Management grant which requires a full time designated Emergency Management Director. Ms. Whittle explained that the County was required, per Florida Statute, to have an Emergency Management Program; however, the administration of said program was at the discretion of the Board.
It was the decision of the Board to consider the possibility of a staff person to assume the responsibility of the Emergency Management Program.
At this time, the Board was directed to the Items for Further Review and/or Consideration for Friday, July 14, 1995.
Discussion occurred in regard to the County Attorney reviewing a course of action to recover the cost of providing paralegal services and determining if a fee increase was legal or feasible to offset said cost. Commr. Cadwell requested that the County Attorney consider billing the state for paralegal services in the event that the County should determine to take legal action.
Ms. Whittle stated that she had contacted the Property Appraiser in regard to the historical data on Scripps Howard vs. Property Appraiser, and the only issue that could be agreed upon was that the $50,000.00 for Attorney's fees be placed in the Board's Contingency. Ms. Whittle stated that the Department of Revenue has approved the Property Appraiser's budget and, if the Board does not agree with what the Department of Revenue has approved, the County must contact the Department of Revenue by August 15, 1995. She stated that official notification on the removal of the $50,000.00 from the Property Appraiser's budget would be made to the Department of Revenue.
RECESS & REASSEMBLY
At 3:20 p.m., the Chairman announced that the Board would recess for a short break.
BUDGET WORKSHOP (CONTINUED)
GUARDIAN AD LITEM
Ms. Jolene Carrola, Circuit Director, Guardian Ad Litem, appeared before the Board to discuss the increase in the lease for office space for the Guardian Ad Litem office and explained that it was her understanding that the office would be moved into the Old Historic Courthouse when renovations were completed.
Mr. Kevin McDonald, Senior Budget Analyst, explained that the 38% increase in the Guardian Ad Litem budget was due to the Lease Agreement, and that all of the cost associated with the Guardian Ad Litem budget were mandated by Florida Statutes.
At this time, the Board reviewed the Inventory of Computers and Printers for Fiscal Year 1995-96. Discussion occurred in regard to networking and automation in the Board of County Commissioners (BCC) Office and the County Manager's Office. Ms. Ava Kronz, BCC Office Manager, stated that networking would not occur in the BCC Office or the County Manager's Office until a recommendation has been received from the Innovation Group.
Ms. Whittle stated that when the Innovation Group Study comes forward, the County would review the costs to implement the recommendations. She noted that money has been set aside in the budget for computers; however, she did not intend for said money to be spent until such time that a mass plan has been established. She stated that she did not anticipate any budget requests for networking, automation, or upgrades this year; however, if recommendations were presented that would allow efficiency gains or cost savings, staff would come back with said recommendations.
Commr. Good questioned if there was a policy or procedure in place to excess those computers that were no longer functioning because of costly repairs so that they become parts available for other computer repairs.
At this time, the Board reviewed the personal computer/printer current inventory.
Ms. Whittle stated that some level of funding was necessary for automation, and it seemed appropriate to leave a level of funding in the departments that had requested funding with the understanding that said funding would not be spent until a review was made.
Commr. Hanson requested that the Budget Office provide a column illustrating the tax dollars that a 5.0 millage rate would generate, at which time Mr. McDonald directed the Board's attention to the General Fund Millage Table Incremental Impact of Different Millage Rates.
Commr. Gerber noted that the next budget workshop would be on August 1, 1995 during the Board of County Commissioners Regular Meeting and that workshops have been noticed on August 2, 3, and 4, 1995.
Commr. Gerber discussed the salary implementation schedules of the Constitutional Officers and suggested that all of the Constitional Officers be requested to phase in the personnel increases over a three year period. She requested that the Budget Office provide information on how that would affect the budget.
Ms. Lehman briefly discussed the Clerk's salary implementation schedule and explained that the Clerk's overall budget, fee side and Board side, was an increase of 4.8% percent over the prior year. She explained that the percent increase in the Clerk's budget for Fiscal Year 1995-96 was computed based on the Clerk's adopted budget for 1995 to the requested budget for 1996. She noted that the Clerk did not have a mid-year budget revision in 1995, as did the Board, and all of the Constitional Officers were in that situation.
Commr. Hanson stated that the Board should not be using the mid-year amended budget if the Constitional Officers were using the actual budget and suggested that a separate column be formulated to provide the Board with a more accurate comparison.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting adjourned at 4:35 p.m.
RHONDA H. GERBER, CHAIRMAN
JAMES C. WATKINS, CLERK