OCTOBER 26, 2006

The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in special session on Thursday, October 26, 2006, at 7:30 a.m., at Lake Receptions, Mount Dora, Florida, for the 2006 State of the County Address.  Commissioners present at the meeting were: Catherine C. Hanson, Chairman; Welton G. Cadwell, Vice Chairman; Jennifer Hill; and Robert A. Pool.  Commissioner Debbie Stivender was not present, due to illness.  Others present were:  Sanford A. (Sandy) Minkoff, County Attorney; Cindy Hall, County Manager; Wendy Taylor, Executive Office Manager, County Manager’s Office; Barbara Lehman, Chief Deputy Clerk, County Finance; and Sandra Carter, Deputy Clerk.


Commr. Catherine C. Hanson, Chairman, Lake County Board of County Commissioners, welcomed those present to the 2006 State of the County Address, stating that the theme for this year’s presentation was “A Fresh Outlook”.


Reverend Dr. Isaac Deas gave the Invocation.


Commr. Robert A. Pool led the Pledge of Allegiance.


Commr. Jennifer Hill announced that the Lake County Women’s Hall of Fame inductees for 2006 were Ms. Norma Hendricks, former Journalist with The Daily Commercial and The Lake Sentinel; and Ms. Susannah (Sanna) Henderson, retired school teacher and Mayor Pro-Tem, with the City of Leesburg, at which time she provided a brief narrative on the accomplishments of Ms. Hendricks and Ms. Henderson.  Ms. Henderson was presented with a plaque commemorating her induction into the 2006 Women’s Hall of Fame and Ms. Hendricks’ son, Mike, and his wife, LouAnn, were presented with the plaque commemorating his mother’s induction into the 2006 Women’s Hall of Fame.


Mr. John Jackson, Jr., Extension Agent IV, Cooperative Extension Service, Lake County Agricultural Education Services, who is retiring after 38 years of service with the County, presented Agribusiness Awards to the following companies:

AgriStarts 3, Inc.

Cherry Lake Tree Farm

Florida Food Products

Holloway Irrigation Systems

Senninger Irrigation, Inc.

Valencia International


Commr. Hanson recognized the other members of the Board of County Commissioners who were present; Senator Carey Baker; Mr. Bob McKee, Lake County Tax Collector; Mr. Ed Havill, Lake County Property Appraiser; Interim Sheriff Gary Borders; Lake County Superintendent of Schools, Ms. Anna Cowin; Ms. Cindy Hall, County Manager; and Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, as well as various other city and county officials who were present.  She stated that twelve years ago she recommended that Lake County begin to host a State of the County event, noting that she felt it was an excellent opportunity for Lake County Government to openly share its highlights and achievements from the past year and, more importantly, the State of the County provides the citizens of Lake County with a report that reflects the Board of County Commissioners’ accomplishments and priorities.  She stated that she and her fellow County Commissioners developed long term goals and are taking the steps necessary to begin their implementation and, more than ever, the County, its citizens, and its municipal partners are jointly addressing Lake County’s future.  She stated that the County’s community partners are key in moving forward with the County, as they build the future of the County with “A Fresh Outlook”.  She stated that this year’s theme is also an interpretation of the abundance of natural resources found in the County, noting that, for decades, the fertile land of Lake County has been the foundation for great families and communities.  She stated that this year’s annual report contained a keepsake photo, depicting some of the natural wonders of Lake County, and that complimentary Dahoon Holly saplings, as well as sunflower, marigold, and butterfly mix seed packets, were on each table, for those present to take home with them, to celebrate the natural gifts of Lake County.

Commr. Hanson thanked this year’s sponsors:  Colonial Bank, Florida Hospital Waterman, Grass Roots Nursery, Leesburg Regional Medical Center, Nabors, Giblin and Nickerson, P.A., Progress Energy, Sumter Electric Cooperative, and United Southern Bank.  She thanked staff for their dedicated work, in making this event successful, noting that it has come a long way since 1994.  She stated that she was impressed with the professional quality of the Annual Report and the video presentation.  She spoke of the County’s high unemployment rate after the freezes and the fact that, since the 1990s, the Board has become much more involved in solving problems within the County, at which time she noted all the things that the Board now focuses on.  She stated that the County has the Christopher C. Ford Commerce Park; the Board held its first Economic Summit in 1994; there is now a Volunteer Center for the County; a Citizens’ Academy; the County has an Adopt-a-Highway Program; a Blueways Program; one of the County’s residents, Bruce and Cathy Brown, was recognized by the National Wildlife Federation for their backyard wildlife habitat and received the Federation’s 2006 “Volunteer of the Year” award; the County now has a Land Acquisition Program; it now requires that public buildings meet “Green Building” regulations; the County has enhanced the Wekiva Basin; it is working on a fixed transit system; the County was able to get the waste to energy facility contract rewritten, which was a major accomplishment for the County; the County implemented a mandatory Solid Waste Disposal Program; transportation in the County seeks funding through legislative efforts; the County has a potable water system; it is involved in Social Services; and it has been a strong proponent of Smart Growth.

In her closing remarks, Commr. Hanson encouraged the Board to, among other things, enter into public/private partnerships; tread lightly on the environment; keep thinking outside the box; steal ideas and pass them on; and listen to the community.


There being no further business to be brought to the attention of those present, the State of the County Address was adjourned at 8:50 a.m.





                                                                        CATHERINE C. HANSON, CHAIRMAN