SEPTEMBER 15, 2010


     The following is a non-verbatim transcript of the BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS MEETING OF SEMINOLE COUNTY, FLORIDA, held at 7:00 p.m., on Wednesday, September 15, 2010, in Room 2018 of the SEMINOLE COUNTY SERVICES BUILDING at SANFORD, FLORIDA, the usual place of meeting of said Board.


     Chairman Bob Dallari (District 1)

     Vice Chairman Brenda Carey (District 5)

     Commissioner Mike McLean (District 2)

     Commissioner Dick Van Der Weide (District 3)

     Commissioner Carlton Henley (District 4)

     Acting County Manager Joe Forte

     County Attorney Robert McMillan

     Deputy Clerk Eva Roach


     Commissioner Van Der Weide gave the Invocation.

     Commissioner McLean led the Pledge of Allegiance.



     Chairman Dallari announced that the Board does not have any control over the tax levies and budgets of the School Board, the Water Management District, or any of the seven cities.  Questions regarding property assessments should be addressed to the Property Appraiser.  The Board of County Commissioners (BCC) has limited authority over the budgets of the Constitutional Officers of the Clerk of Court, Property Appraiser, Sheriff, Supervisor of Elections and Tax Collector.  The Property Appraiser and Tax Collector budgets are reviewed and approved by the State Department of Revenue.  The Sheriff has the right to appeal any decision regarding his budget to the Governor and Cabinet.  He stated the purpose of this public hearing is to take public comment regarding the proposed millage rates and budget, amend the budget as desired by the Board and tentatively adopt the millage rates and budget of the County for FY 2010/11.  He asked the County Manager and staff to discuss the proposed budget for FY 2010/11.

     Lisa Springs, Fiscal Services Director, addressed the Board to state the proposed budget for FY 2010/2011 can be reviewed on the County’s website (  She stated she will be outlining what they have done as far as developing this budget.  She displayed and reviewed a PowerPoint Presentation (not received and filed) showing the dates the preliminary budget work sessions, County Manager’s budget and budget work sessions were held.  She said staff is asking the Board to approve the tentative budget and millage rates for FY 2010/2011.  She advised that the total proposed budget is $755,783,991.  She reviewed the following budget summary as outlined:  General Fund - $271,417,554; Restricted Governmental Service Funds - $299,302,321; Enterprise Funds - $146,869,698; and Internal Services Funds - $38,194,418.  She displayed and reviewed a graph showing the Appropriations by Activity and a breakdown of Appropriations by Classification.  She outlined the certified rolled-back millage rates, proposed millage rates and percentage increase/decrease over rolled-back for each millage levy as summarized on page 7 of the Budget Proposal Book (received and filed).  She concluded by reviewing the decrease in taxable valuation, and property tax revenue impact from the decrease in valuation.

     John Horvath, 1004 Bradford Dr., addressed the Board to state he has watched the County grow to nearly 425,000 residents since 1974.  He stated he has been following the County’s budget for many years and a lot of things in this budget are unfunded mandates from the State.  He spoke in regard to the State “taking up the cross” to support what they passed down to the counties; the level of services that have grown over the years; elimination of staff; and that the County needs to provide the services that taxpayers need. 

No one else spoke in support or in opposition.

     Speaker Request Form was received and filed.

     Commissioner McLean stated the County is currently dealing with a 4.9 millage rate and in that budget they are looking at nearly $82 million worth of reserves.  He stated the County will go through those reserves by 2014/2015 if they keep going down the path they are using the projections.  He said during the budget work sessions he discussed lowering the millage to 4.4 which would result in $12 million being turned back to the citizens of Seminole County.  He added when they look at the reserves, they look at them to say they can use them for a rainy day.  He discussed the issues of future revenue options, unemployment, changes for appraised values, being sensitive to the taxpayers who are struggling, and being realistic about maintaining the basic government structure.  He suggested that because the debt service rate has gone up a little, perhaps they can consider reducing the millage to 4.8.

     Mr. Forte left the meeting at this time.

     At the request of Commissioner Henley, Ms. Spriggs advised the additional .1 mill drop would result in an additional drop in revenue of $2,440,000 and the reduction in revenue would total $15,153,000.

     Upon inquiry by Commissioner McLean, Ms. Spriggs advised if they would go to 4.8, from a forecasting view, they would exhaust their reserves during the year 2013/2014.  She said as opposed to where they are at today, they would not completely exhaust the reserves until 2014/2015. 

     Mr. Forte reentered the meeting at this time.

     Ms. Spriggs displayed and reviewed for Commissioner Carey a graph showing the 5-year forecast of General Revenue funds, operating expenditures, loss in property tax revenue, operating revenues, projected deficits, operating balances and reserves levels.

     Commissioner Carey stated if there was some way to make other changes aside from what they have done, she is for that.  But in light of where they are and the predictions they have had, there are a lot of things going on that need to be considered.  She stated with the slight savings ($7.50 annually) that they would generate for the homeowner, she is not sure a long-term result would be worth it.

     Commissioner Henley stated it is nice to cut taxes, but he doesn’t feel that $7.50 will affect the living standards of anybody living in this County.  He said the Board is elected to act responsibly and he doesn’t think they will be responsible by cutting taxes, knowing they are facing some serious situations in the near future.  He stated in his opinion, it is not good for the County to make these changes at this time.  The County is “down to the bone” with their services now and we cut employees and have not bought new rolling stock as well.  If the Board doesn’t keep the reserves at the appropriate level, then they are not protecting this County. 

     Commissioner Carey stated the County’s rating for bonding capacity is an important part of the infrastructure of their ability to do things that makes this County better.  When the County did the bond rating last year, they had to do a lot of talking to show that they are still strong.  Many of the counties in the State have been downgraded on their ratings and that affects their financial ability to operate and go forward.  This forecast is already in the red prior to 2014 and future Boards will have to look at significant increases to be able to balance the budget.

     Commissioner Van Der Weide stated he doesn’t think there is any doubt that they cannot lower the millage to lee than what it is now because it will put the County in jeopardy.  He said he is happy with what they have here tonight, and they can be proud as everyone around them is raising their millages.

     Commissioner McLean stated his intent is to have the philosophical discussion to be sure that there are avenues that they can look at to be able to benefit the citizens.

     Commissioner Henley stated he feels the public needs to understand that they have been able to do what they have done to keep this budget because the employees and firefighters have had to forego their raises that were due. 

     Commissioner Carey stated she would like to see what plan Commissioner McLean has where they can go to find $2.5 million without going into the reserves.

     Commissioner Van Der Weide stated the Interim County Manager, Ms. Spriggs and her staff have done a great job on this budget.  He stated one of issue that needs to be addressed is raises for the employees.

     Chairman Dallari stated Seminole County has one of the lowest utility taxes in Central Florida.  He stated staff has worked as a team in getting the budget to where it is, and it is not an easy task. 

     At the request of Chairman Dallari, Ms. Spriggs read the proposed tentative millage rates as follows:  General Countywide Millage 4.9000 (9.49% decrease from Rolled-Back rate of 5.4136 mills); County Debt Service Millage .1700; Fire/Rescue MSTU 2.3299 (9.14% decrease from Rolled-Back rate of 2.5642 mills); and Unincorporated Road MSTU .1107 (8.21% decrease from Rolled Back rate of .1206 mills).  The proposed “aggregate” millage rate (exclusive of voted debt service millage) is 6.5365, which represents a 10% decrease from the current year “aggregate” rolled-back millage rate of 7.2632.

     Motion by Commissioner Henley, seconded by Commissioner Van Der Weide to adopt the Countywide tentative millage rate as read for FY 2010/2011.

     Districts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 voted AYE.


     Motion by Commissioner Van Der Weide, seconded by Commissioner McLean to adopt the Fire MSTU tentative millage rate as read for FY 2010/2011.

     Districts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 voted AYE.


     Motion by Commissioner Carey, seconded by Commissioner Henley to adopt the Unincorporated Road MSTU tentative millage rate as read for FY 2010/2011.

     Districts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 voted AYE.


     Motion by Commissioner Henley, seconded by Commissioner McLean to adopt the Voted Debt Service tentative millage rate as read for FY 2010/2011.

     Districts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 voted AYE.


     Motion by Commissioner Van Der Weide, seconded by Commissioner Henley to adopt the tentative budget for all funds for FY 2010/2011 as originally presented to the BCC by the County Manager in official capacity as Budget Officer and subsequently adjusted as the proposed budget of the BCC.

     Districts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 voted AYE.


     Motion by Commissioner Van Der Weide, seconded by Commissioner McLean to authorize the scheduling of the second public hearing to take final action on the millage rates and budget for FY 2010/11, scheduled for September 28, 2010 at 7:00 p.m. in Room 1028 of the BCC Chambers, and authorize staff to advertise the public hearing pursuant to Florida Statutes. 

     Districts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 voted AYE.


     Mr. McMillan stated he submitted information (not received and filed) to the Board relating to Sun State Trees.  He stated a partial summary judgment will be addressed on the grinding on the site (and not the storage) on Monday, September 20, 2010.  The storage issue will be addressed in November.  He asked the Board to delegate authority for the County Manager to approve the final agreement.

     Motion by Commissioner Van Der Weide, seconded by Commissioner McLean to delegate the County Manager to have final authority relating to the partial summary judgment on Sun State Trees on Monday, September 20, 2010.

     Districts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 voted AYE.


     There being no further business to come before the Board, the Chairman declared the meeting adjourned at 7:40 p.m., this same date.