BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
SEMINOLE COUNTY, FLORIDA
SEPTEMBER 9, 1998
The following is a non-verbatim transcript of the BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS MEETING OF SEMINOLE COUNTY, FLORIDA, held at 7:05 p.m. on Wednesday, September 9, 1998, in the SEMINOLE COUNTY SERVICES BUILDING at SANFORD, FLORIDA, the usual place of meeting of said Board.
Chairman Randy Morris (District 2)
Commissioner Grant Maloy (District 1)
Commissioner Dick Van Der Weide (District 3)
Commissioner Daryl McLain (District 5)
County Manager Gary Kaiser
County Attorney Robert McMillan
Deputy Clerk Carylon Cohen
Absent: Vice Chairman Win Adams (District 4)
The Invocation was given by Pastor E. A. Reuscher, Lutheran Church of the Redeemer, Sanford.
Deputy Clerk Carylon Cohen led the Pledge of Allegiance.
TENTATIVE FY 1998/99 SEMINOLE COUNTY BUDGET
The Annual Budget Booklet for the Tentative FY 1998/1999 Annual Operating and Capital Improvement Budgets First Public Hearing was received and filed. Chairman Morris reviewed from pages 1 through 3 of this booklet advising this is the first public hearing on the tentative budget and tentatively approved millage rates. He reviewed the actions the Board must take tonight, and announced that the second public hearing to adopt the final budget and millage rates will be held on September 22, 1998, at 7:00 p.m., or as soon thereafter as possible. Chairman
Morris also advised that a separate public hearing for adoption of the non-ad valorem assessment rolls for street lighting districts and MSBU’S will follow this public hearing.
Fiscal Services Director, Cindy Hall, addressed the Board to discuss the certified tentative millage rates as follows: Countywide Operating General Fund is 4.6990 and Countywide Transportation is 0.4589 for a total Countywide millage of 5.1579; Debt Service for Environmentally Sensitive Lands is 0.1234; Unincorporated Fire/Rescue is 2.0971; Unincorporated Roads is 0.6591; the total of Unincorporated, including Debt Service, is 8.0375; the total Unincorporated, excluding Debt Service is 7.9141. She stated based upon these tentative millage rates, the tentative "aggregate" millage rate, exclusive of voted Debt Service millage, is 6.5248 which represents a 3.4% increase over the "aggregate" rolled-back millage rate of 6.3116.
County Manager, Gary Kaiser, gave comments on the proposed budget for next year. He stated the proposed philosophy on the budget reflects performance results, accountability, and customer service. He gave highlights on the following: Computer Link Program, Adopt-a-Building Program for administrative services, Emergency Transport, Library Books per capita, Landfill Management, construction of the Public Safety Building, new Land Management Program, restructuring of the Compensation Program and implementation of the Awards Program, Trail development and maintenance, funding for Parks and Land Acquisition, Neighborhood Roads and Retrofit Rehabilitation Program, funds identified for professional Soccer Fields, two new Case Workers for the Probation Office, progress on Courthouse crowding problem, refurbishing of County Services Building, reporting mechanism to identify the results of the Financial Performance Management, communication with the public through the Community Information Officer, and the growing spirit of teamwork.
Ms. Hall gave an overview of the size of the budget and changes made since the tentatively approved budget on July 14, 1998. She stated the tentative budget totals $378,929,728; the General Fund budget totals $116,138,553, a little over a $1.8 million increase from July 14, coming mainly from revenue increases. There has been a $1.3 million addition to the Cash Carry Forward; a $108,000 increase in Legal Aid fees and expenditures to offset that; $177,000 increase in the Sheriff’s grants and expenditures to offset that; and increased Court costs of approximately $265,000. Ms. Hall further reviewed the changes to the expenditures: HTE Contract changes; relocation and lease of the Public Defender Office; increase of $50,000 to the YMCA; adjustments to personal services; reduction of Lynx budget to reflect the City of Sanford’s direct payment of $75,468; and $163,824 addition to the Dixon Road MSBU.
Ms. Hall referred to memorandum (copy received and filed) from her to the Board on reallocating some of the funds allocated to Lynx. She explained the reallocation would be directed to projects in the 17-92 Corridor. She advised, if approved, the budget to Lynx would be $3,331,797 which includes $100,000 for the route from Volusia County to Sanford and $500,000 for buses.
Motion by Commissioner McLain to incorporate the amendment to the budget regarding the Lynx funding, as outlined.
Chairman Morris called for second to the motion three times, without response; whereupon, he passed the gavel to the Vice Chairman for the purpose of seconding the motion.
The gavel was returned to Commissioner Morris to resume the duties of Chairman.
Under discussion, Commissioner Maloy stated he is not sold on the hardscaping concept.
Commissioner McLain stated he is not 100% sold on the idea of hardscaping either, but he is looking at the proposed improvements that would have to be defined.
Chairman Morris stated the $167,000 for hardscaping could be put on hold; whereupon, Commissioner McLain concurred to amend the motion doing that.
Districts 1, 2, 3, and 5 voted AYE.
Commissioner Maloy asked for clarification on the Jobs Growth Incentive Fund. Ms. Hall responded to him that no money was taken out of this fund in the 1998/99 budget for 17-92 projects. A brief discussion ensued.
No one spoke in support or in opposition to the budget.
Commissioner Maloy proposed three suggestions to amend the budget that would provide enough funds to make a tax cut.
Motion by Commissioner Maloy to delete from the budget and cut the millage rates by this amount: renovation to the County Attorney’s Office ($130,000); renovation of the front entrance to the County Services Building ($50,000); and the County’s Annual Report Calendar ($120,000) for a total of $300,000.
Commissioner McLain stated at the budget hearings the Board agreed to cut these items, except the Annual Report Calendars, based on the revenues and reserves, and they were insistent they would not have any less reserves. He thinks their reserves are higher than anticipated. He said knowing the condition of the entrance to the County Services Building and it is the one the public uses, he thinks they need to improve it and make it a better area for the public to enter. He thinks the Board is committed to the building and they need to bring the areas up to code, as far as bathroom sizes and design. He stated he can go along with putting off the County Attorney’s Office, but they do need to use the money for accessibility and use by the public.
Chairman Morris said improvements to this building, particularly the County Attorney’s Office, are long overdue. He thinks the renovations are important, because they show the Board’s commitment to the County Services Building. Regarding the Annual Report Calendars, the intent was to inform the public of the budget, who to contact when the schedule shows a meeting, and to communicate better with the people. He believes it is important for the Board to communicate hard facts and numbers to the public and he believes they should have that vehicle. He would like to do an annual report, but it does not have to be a calendar. He said this can be a direct annual report, without a calendar, that is published and sent out.
Commissioner Van Der Weide stated he thinks it would be premature to remove these from the budget with one Commissioner missing.
Whereupon, Chairman Morris stated he received communication late this afternoon that Commissioner Adams is ill.
Commissioner McLain stated they spent a lot of money on E-mail and the Internet, and there is still a vast majority of the public who don’t have E-mail, are not on the Internet, and don’t have access to high-tech information that the Board tries to fervently get out to the public. He thinks it is a foolish mistake for them not to spend the amount of money they are talking about that keeps the public informed on a day-by-day basis of what the County is doing. If they continue with the calendar this year, it has to get out to the public before the first of the year. He said the calendar is valuable to the elderly. He asked that they not focus on just one segment of the County’s population.
Chairman Morris asked the Board to consider some kind of communication report to the public. He said he thinks an annual report in a more traditional form is the way to do it. The Board will wait until Commissioner Adams is in attendance, so these three items will come back for discussion at the next Board meeting.
Ms. Hall read again the tentatively approved millage rates.
Motion by Commissioner Maloy, seconded by Commissioner Van Der Weide, to adopt the tentative millage rates.
Districts 1, 2, 3, and 5 voted AYE.
Motion by Commissioner Maloy, seconded by Commissioner Van Der Weide, to adopt the tentative budget for all funds and recommended positions and pay bands as initially presented to the Board of County Commissioners by the County Manager in his official capacity as Budget Officer (per Florida Statute 129.025) and subsequently amended by the Board of County Commissioners.
Districts 1, 2, 3, and 5 voted AYE.
Chairman Morris reannounced the next and final public hearing for the budget will be held on September 22, 1998, 7:00 p.m., or as soon thereafter as possible.
ADOPTION OF NON-AD VALOREM ASSESSMENT ROLL
Proof of publication, as shown on page __________, calling for a public hearing to consider adoption of the Non-ad Valorem Assessment Roll, received and filed.
Gail Bigelow, MSBU Analyst, addressed the Board to present the request. She stated the non-ad valorem assessments must be certified to the Tax Collector by September 15, 1998, to be included on the tax bills to be mailed in November, 1998.
Chairman Morris read from the one written comment form (received and filed) received from Ernest Herslebs in opposition to the County collecting for garbage pick-up. Chairman Morris advised that the same sentiments, to a degree, have been suggested by the Board and adjusted changes have occurred.
Lola Pfeil, MSBU Coordinator, discussed the four options that Mr. Herslebs has; however, Mr. Herslebs addressed the Board to state the County is still taxing people for a service and getting involved in a free enterprise business that government has no business regulating.
Chairman Morris explained it was the wisdom of the Board at the time to lower the number of garbage companies and increase the level of services to some. On the issue of the tax bills, the Board removed that from the tax bill last year.
Commissioner McLain explained that the main reason for the action of the Board at that time on the garbage issue was due to unfunded mandates from the State. Discussion ensued.
No one else spoke in support or in opposition.
Motion by Commissioner Van Der Weide, seconded by Commissioner Maloy, to adopt appropriate Resolution #98-R-196, as shown on page __________, and authorize the Chairman to execute the Resolution and Certificate, as shown on page __________, adopting the Non-Ad Valorem Assessment Roll.
Districts 2, 3, and 5 voted AYE.
Commissioner Maloy voted NAY.
COUNTY MANAGER’S REPORT, Continued
Mr. Kaiser distributed copies of memorandum (copy received and filed) from Dr. Polkowski regarding a public meeting scheduled by the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency regarding the Sanford Gasification Plant site. DCM, Cindy Coto, stated the City of Sanford is aware of this.
Chairman Morris thanked staff and the County Manager for an excellent report and for all their good work.
There being no further business to come before the Board, the Chairman declared the meeting adjourned at 8:17 p.m., this same date.