APRIL 19, 2005

The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in special session on Tuesday, April 19, 2005, at 8:30 a.m., in the Board of County Commissioners Meeting Room, Lake County Administration Building, Tavares, Florida. Commissioners present at the meeting were: Jennifer Hill, Chairman; Catherine C. Hanson, Vice Chairman; Debbie Stivender; and Robert A. Pool.  Commissioners not present:  Welton G. Cadwell.  Members of the Sales Surtax Oversight Advisory Committee present were:  Robert R. Speaks, Chairman; Shawn Hill; Thomas J. Kelley; Barbara Lehman; and Dan Robuck, Jr.  Others present were: Melanie Marsh, Deputy County Attorney; Cindy Hall, Interim County Manager; Grace E. Watson, County Manager’s Office; and Toni M. Riggs, Deputy Clerk.

Commr. Hill noted that the following individuals were present:  Jim Myers, City Clerk, City of Eustis; Dolly Mills, City of Groveland; Frank Royce, Mayor, City Commission, City of Eustis; and Dottie Keedy, City Administrator, City of Tavares.


            Mr. Robert Speaks, Chairman of the Sales Surtax Oversight Advisory Committee, (Oversight Advisory Committee) addressed the Board and stated that this is their joint public meeting to discuss their report of the expenditures and revenues of the one-cent sales tax for the fiscal year 2004.  Mr. Speaks pointed out that the report was well prepared by County staff and contains Tab 1 – Report of the Oversight Committee; Tab 2 - Minutes - March 21, 2005; Tab 3 – Local Government Reports; and Tab 4 – Updated List of Committee Members and Local Government Representatives. Mr. Speaks pointed out that Tab 1 contains the history of the penny sales tax, and the process of it; Tab 2 contains a few oversights and items (11 in all) that needed to be reviewed and corrected and brought up-to-date.  Those have been listed and, as of this time, all of those have been corrected; up-to-date reports have been received; and all moneys are accounted for and have been spent properly, as determined by the Oversight Advisory Committee.  Mr. Speaks stated that their next meeting will be Monday, September 12, 2005, in the Administration Building.

            Commr. Stivender stated that the School Board expended all of their money at one time, for the high school renovations, and she wanted to know if the Oversight Advisory Committee reviews what those moneys are actually spent on or if that is a part of their review process.

            Mr. Speaks stated that part of the review is to make sure that the money was spent as designated and the School Board’s money was to go to all renovations of schools and, as far as they can see, that is what took place.

            Ms. Cindy Hall, Interim County Manager, stated that, in the detailed reports (Tab 3), each entity tells them exactly what the projects are so the School Board did submit what projects they are working on and identified what portion was debt service and how much money was attributed to each school.

            Commr. Stivender stated that she has some concerns with some remodeling not being done at the Tavares High School, which was promised, but that may be an internal issue.  She was wondering if it was a duty of the Oversight Advisory Committee to oversee exactly how this money was being spent in each one of the facilities.

            Mr. Speaks clarified that the Oversight Advisory Committee is charged with the duty of reviewing the expenditures of the sales tax to make sure that the money is spent in the proper areas where it was designated to be spent.

            Ms. Barbara Lehman, Chief Deputy Clerk, County Finance, and member of the Oversight Advisory Committee, explained that, in the School Board’s report, they have it detailed by school and by debt service.

            Commr. Stivender noted that she will address her concern about the remodeling with Tavares High School.

            Commr. Hanson stated that the Oversight Advisory Committee may want to ask for more detail in the future to go along with what the cities have presented.

            Mr. Speaks stated that, for the next report, the Oversight Advisory Committee will ask the School Board for details, as far as where that money did actually go for each project.

            Mr. Speaks thanked County staff for all of their work and preparations and also the Oversight Advisory Committee and those members present today, who he introduced at this time.

            Commr. Hanson pointed out that there had been questions about the administration fees for the County, and she asked whether their questions had been answered satisfactory to the Oversight Advisory Committee, and Mr. Speaks noted that they have received proper answers, or documentation, to address each issue noted.

            Commr. Stivender felt that the process was working quite well and Commr. Hanson felt that there may also be an opportunity to have more presentation of this to the public, as they go along in the process, rather than at the end of the time period.  She suggested getting Mr. Chris Patton, Communications Coordinator, to do a press release.


            There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting adjourned at 8:40 a.m.