OCTOBER 14, 2008

The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in special session on Tuesday, October 14, 2008, at 9:00 a.m., in the Board of County Commissioners’ Meeting Room, Lake County Administration Building, Tavares, Florida, for the 2008 State of the County Address.  Commissioners present at the meeting were: Welton G. Cadwell, Chairman; Jennifer Hill, Vice Chairman; Elaine Renick; and Linda Stewart.  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; Neil Kelly, Clerk; Barbara Lehman, Chief Deputy Clerk, County Finance; and Sandra Carter, Deputy Clerk.


Commr. Welton Cadwell, Chairman, welcomed those present to the 2008 State of the County Address, at which time he recognized his fellow Commissioners, Commr. Jennifer Hill, Vice Chairman; Commr. Elaine Renick; and Commr. Linda Stewart.  He then recognized Mr. Bob McKee, Lake County Tax Collector; Mr. Neil Kelly, Clerk of the Courts; Sheriff Gary Borders; city elected officials; the new Superintendent of Schools, Ms. Susan Moxley; Chairman of the Lake County School Board, Mr. Larry Metz; Ms. Cindy Barrow and Ms. Kyleen Fischer, Lake County School Board Members; Mr. Jimmy Connor, former Lake County School Board Member and newly elected Commissioner to the Board of County Commissioners; staff from Representative Alan Hays’ office; Ms. Cindy Hall, County Manager; and Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, who were present in the audience, as well as staff from the Information Outreach Department, who prepared today’s presentation, under the direction of Ms. Kelly LaFollette, Director.


Chaplain Bob Whitworth, Lake County Sheriff’s Office, gave the Invocation and Sheriff Gary Borders led the Pledge of Allegiance.


Commr. Jennifer Hill announced that the Lake County Women’s Hall of Fame, which was created by the Board of County Commissioners in 1995 and has enshrined 23 inspiring and outstanding community leaders since that time, will now enshrine two additional inductees for 2008, being Ms. Harriette Mann and Ms. Mary Annie Morse Nutt.  She provided a brief narrative on the accomplishments of Ms. Mann, noting that she was being inducted into the Women’s Hall of Fame for her dedication to the Leesburg Food Bank, having volunteered there for 30 years, as well as her dedication and volunteerism to the Salvation Army, the March of Dimes, and the YMCA.  She commented that Ms. Mann was also recently honored for her volunteerism at the Leesburg Food Bank by the Florida Council on Aging at its annual luncheon and ceremony.  Ms. Mann was then presented with a plaque commemorating her induction into the 2008 Women’s Hall of Fame.

Commr. Linda Stewart introduced the second 2008 Women’s Hall of Fame inductee, Ms. Mary Annie Morse Nutt, at which time she provided a brief narrative on the accomplishments of Ms. Nutt, noting that she was one of Lake County’s true pioneers.  She stated that Ms. Nutt passed away on June 21, 1944, but her legacy lives on in so many facets of the Lake County community, from Grand Island to the City of Tavares.  Ms. Nutt, who taught school in the County, organized the first Parent/Teacher Association (PTA) in the entire State; formed the first Women’s Club, which later evolved into the Tavares Women’s Club; was instrumental in the formation of the Boy Scout Troop in Tavares, which was later recognized as the oldest Scout Troop in the entire State; donated, along with her husband, five acres of land for the formation of the Tavares Baptist Church and then ran pipes to the church from their well, as well as provided their carriage house as the pastor’s residence; and she headed a women’s group in the Grand Island community.  She was not only a philanthropist and community servant, but a successful business woman.  She helped her husband, the Mayor of Tavares and the County’s first elected Tax Assessor at the time, and from the knowledge she gained about property values, started her own insurance company.  Her finest act of civic, unselfish pride was when she and her husband agreed to buy the struggling Osceola Office Building and Hotel and renovated it, to attract people and business to the City of Tavares.  The granddaughter of Ms. Nutt, Ms. Barbara Annie Reese, was presented with a plaque commemorating the induction of her grandmother into the 2008 Women’s Hall of Fame.


Commr. Elaine Renick informed those present that being good stewards of the land is what is done in good times, as well as bad times, and that she was very proud to be part of a Board that is committed to being good stewards of the land.  She stated that their focus is on sustainable initiatives and promoting green practices and that the County has put together a “Green Team” to advise them on all things green, what they should be doing, and Ordinances that they should be putting in place to accomplish those tasks, noting that the County currently has a Green Building Ordinance and is working on putting together Landscape and Irrigation Ordinances.  She commented that one of their initiatives will be a Green Fair, scheduled to be held at Wooten Park, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., on November 1, 2008, at which time she recognized the various Green Fair sponsors who were present in the audience.


Commr. Welton Cadwell, Chairman, presented a video presentation for the 2008 State of the County Address, which explained that Lake County continues to unveil aggressive and unique programs, with the purpose of improving and protecting its natural surroundings, from its Adopt-a-Lake Program to its Green Building Ordinance.  It is on the cutting edge of identifying and implementing effective “green” solutions.  The road to sustainability is long and not without challenges, but “Walking A Green Path” is what living, working, and visiting Lake County is all about.  The video further explained what the County has done, with regard to enhancing customer service, stretching taxpayers’ dollars, and engaging in conservation efforts, as well as leading the way in sustainable living, by protecting its natural resources, promoting a sense of responsibility to the environment, and easing financial constraints through reduced costs in electricity and fuel.  A cooperative effort between the Board, county staff, the Constitutional Officers, and many of the County’s partner organizations effectively addressed legislative budget reductions.  As a cohesive unit, they met new financial considerations, while protecting Lake County’s services that support the community’s expectations and quality of life that its citizens enjoy.  Leading by example, Lake County is establishing a baseline for community partners to follow to ensure that the beauty of the County’s sparkling lakes and rolling hills is shard with future generations.  With an inspired commitment and a helping hand from its citizens, Lake County is “Walking A Green Path” with resolve, inspiration, and determination.


A special recognition of Commr. Debbie Stivender, District 3, was slated for this meeting; however, due to unforeseen circumstances, that presentation will take place at a later date.


            There being no further business to be brought to the attention of those present, the State of the County Address was adjourned at 9:45 a.m.




                                                                        WELTON G. CADWELL, CHAIRMAN