AUGUST 30, 2005

The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in special session on Tuesday, August 30, 2005, at 9:00 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; Welton G. Cadwell; and Robert A. Pool.  Others present were:  Neil Kelly, Senior Chief Deputy Clerk, Lake County Clerk’s Office; Honorable Don Briggs, Administrative Judge; Chief Gary Borders, Chief of Operations, Lake County Jail; Jim Bannon, Facilities Management and Development Director; Richard LeBlanc, Staff Architect, Planning and Development Services, Growth Management Department; Dottie Keedy, City Administrator, City of Tavares; Sanford A. “Sandy” Minkoff, County Attorney; Cindy Hall, County Manager; Wendy Taylor, Executive Office Manager, Board of County Commissioners’ Office; and Sandra Carter, Deputy Clerk.


            Commr. Hill opened the meeting stating that presentations would be made this date for the selection of the architectural firm that will be used for the downtown Tavares government facilities projects.  She welcomed those present and introduced each member of the Board and the Selection Committee that would be participating in the selection of the architectural firm that will be used for said projects.


            Ms. Donna Thielhart, Contracting Officer, Procurement Services, addressed the Board and Selection Committee stating that three firms would be giving presentations this date.  She stated that seven (7) firms responded to the County’s RSQ (Request for Statement of Qualification), which the Selection Committee shortlisted down to the firms present this date.  She stated that the Selection Committee was comprised of the users of the facilities, as well as stakeholders.  She stated that each firm would have 40 minutes to give their presentations and would then be allotted 30 minutes for questions and answers from the Board and the Selection Committee.  She stated that, once all three firms had given their presentations, the Board and the Selection Committee would rank them and opt to negotiate a contract with the first ranked firm.

            Presentations were given by the following firms, for the Lake County Judicial Center expansion; the Jail expansion; the Central Energy Plant; and the proposed Parking Garage, at which time representatives of the firms discussed their organizations, their experience in like projects, their design philosophy, their project approach, and why the Board and Selection Committee should choose them for the job, after which all three firms answered questions from the Board and Selection Committee regarding the proposed projects:

            DLR GROUP

            HLM Design/Heery International, Inc.


            At 11:40 a.m., the Chairman announced that the Board would recess for lunch and reconvene at 12:30 p.m.


            At this time, the firm PGAL gave their presentation, with representatives of the firm covering the same points as the two firms before them had, and answered questions from the Board regarding the proposed projects.


            At 1:40 p.m., the Chairman announced that the Board would take a ten minute recess.



            Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, stated that the Board and the Selection Committee were at the last step of the Consultants’ Competitive Negotiation Act (CCNA).  He stated that the Board was sitting this date as the final committee and the members of the Selection Committee, who were assisting the Board in their decision, were welcome to join in the discussion, but, ultimately, a motion and approval would be needed from a majority of the Board.  He stated that their job was not to choose the one firm that they felt was the best, but to rank all three firms.  He stated that the way the process works is that, once the firms are ranked, staff will try to negotiate a contract with the top ranked firm, at which time they will check references, as well.  He stated that they will then bring the proposed contract before the Board and, if the Board approves it, the County will enter into a contract with said firm.  He stated that, if the County cannot negotiate with said firm, or the Board does not like the proposed contract, staff with repeat the process with the second ranked firm, down to the third ranked firm.  He stated that, if the County is not successful with any of the three firms, the process will have to be started all over again, noting that the law will not let the County renegotiate with a firm that has already been passed over.

            At this time, the firms were ranked by the Board and the Selection Committee, with each member giving the reasons for their ranking.


            On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Hanson and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the ranking of the firms, as follows:

            HLM Design/Heery International, Inc.

            DLR Group


            OTHER BUSINESS


            Ms. Cindy Hall, County Manager, stated that a few weeks ago staff went out for a Request for Proposal (RFP) for “branding” services and received seven (7) responses back.  She stated that they were all very good and the Selection Committee, consisting of Mr. Gregg Mihalic, Economic Development and Tourism Director; Ms. Kelly LaFollette, Information Outreach Supervisor; and Ms. Regina Frazier, Budget Director, ranked their top choice, which happened to be the least expensive, noting that it comes under the $25,000 threshold where staff is required to bring it back to the Board.  She stated that the amount is $24,000 and the firm has proposed a focus group, mission statement, tag lines, logo design, and development production, in standardizing all the items that contain the County’s current logo, such as its literature, paperwork, etc.  She stated that all the things she alluded to will be brought before the Board in approximately six weeks, for their selection.  She stated that it is an exciting project, the price is good, and the firm is excellent, therefore, would like to have a consensus from the Board to start moving forward on it.

            Commr. Stivender stated that she wanted to make sure that the historical side of Lake County is not lost, in going forward with the “branding” process, noting that it is a concern of hers.  She asked that the County Manager keep the Board very much in the loop, during this process, and not just present them with the final product.

            Commr. Hill stated that she was curious as to whether there was a county logo, prior to the present one, since the County has been in existence since 1887.

            Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, interjected that the County redid the County’s seal in a formal way in 1987.

            Ms. Hall stated that staff will check into the matter and bring any information they find back to the Board at a later date.

            Commr. Hanson stated that she feels the photographs of former Commissioners, which once hung in the 4th floor Courtroom of the Historical Courthouse, need to be located, so that they can be hung in the Administration Building.

            Mr. Minkoff stated that he felt the photographs alluded to were those of elected officials who had died, consisting of judges, constitutional officers, etc.  He stated that he did not recall whether there were any photographs of former commissioners.

            Staff was directed to try to locate said pictures, so that they can be displayed in the Administration Building.


            Commr. Hill informed the Board that she met with the School Board and the Superintendent of Schools, as the Board had appointed her to do, but that they never did get to a point where she could sit down with them individually.  She stated that they were already in their budget process and she did not want to lose the opportunity to be heard, while they were in that process, before they had their budget set.  She stated that she discovered that they were to discuss their General Fund budget at an upcoming workshop meeting, but did not know if they would give her an opportunity to speak, however, noted that they did let her address them regarding the issue of School Resource Officers (SROs).  She stated that she expressed upon them the fact that the Board was very committed to having law enforcement present in the schools, in the form of SROs, and that they had made the commitment that they wanted to keep children safe, which she made paramount in her remarks.  She stated that she let them know that, along with the Sheriff, the Board needed to know the staffing level and the funding level.  She stated that she requested a 50/50 split for the staffing level, noting that the County would pay the operational expenses for those deputies.  She stated that the School Board was not opposed to the 50/50 level for staffing, but they want all 14 municipalities in the County to respond to them, which she was not real clear on, as to how or why they thought the municipalities were to be included.  She stated that they wanted her to say that the Board thought the municipalities should be there, but she did not feel it was her place to do that - that she was present on behalf of the Board only.  She stated that she feels it will be a higher level, if the municipalities want to include money in their 50% of the cost.  She stated that Sheriff Daniels informed her that it would take 21 deputies (School Resource Officers) to cover every middle and high school in the County.

            Commr. Hill stated that the School Board asked that she and Ms. Cindy Hall, County Manager, meet with their Chief Financial Officer, Mr. Tommy Crosby, and go over the exact number needed, at which time she can discuss the matter further with the Board.  She stated that the School Board appeared to be very positive about the 50/50 split, however, noted that the Superintendent of Schools, Ms. Anna Cowin, did not seem to be as positive, in that she does not feel there is money in the budget for it.  She noted that, although there are 14 municipalities, there are only 6 municipalities that have schools within their boundaries.  She stated that she and Ms. Hall will sit down with the School Board’s Chief Financial Officer, per their instructions, and bring something back to the Board at a later date.


There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 2:20 p.m.