Jun 04 1996
The Board of County Commissioners of Brevard County, Florida, met in regular session on June 4, 1996, at 9:00 a.m. in the Government Center Commission Room, Building C, 2725 Judge Fran Jamieson Way, Melbourne, Florida. Present were: Chairman Mark Cook, Commissioners Truman Scarborough, Randy O?Brien, Nancy Higgs, and Scott Ellis, County Manager Tom Jenkins, and County Attorney Scott Knox.
The Invocation was given by Reverend Jay Seabrook of St. Luke?s Presbyterian Church, Titusville, Florida.
Commissioner Truman Scarborough led the assembly in the Pledge of Allegiance.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Motion by Commissioner Scarborough, seconded by Commissioner O?Brien, to approve the Minutes of January 29, 1996 Regular and Zoning Meeting, and February 16, 1996 Special and Workshop Meeting. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
REPORT, RE: STATUS OF CHUCK MAXWELL
Commissioner O?Brien advised his Special Assistant Chuck Maxwell underwent a successful angioplasty and should be back to work soon.
APPOINTMENTS, RE: CITIZEN ADVISORY BOARDS
Motion by Commissioner Higgs, seconded by Commissioner Scarborough, to appoint John Butler, 200 Oak Street, Melbourne Beach 32951, to the Citizen Budget Review Committee, replacing Rickie Wertz, with term expiring December 31, 1996; and appoint Margaret Hames, 667 Acacia Avenue, Melbourne Village 32904, to the Landscape/Land Clearing Task Force, replacing Paul Lowry, with term expiring December 31, 1996. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
REPORT, RE: BAREFOOT BAY UTILITIES
Commissioner Higgs advised the Board authorized the Financial Advisor and staff to do a preliminary analysis on Barefoot Bay Utilities; that item will be on the Agenda in July; in the meantime, she would like to continue working with Avatar, and have staff discuss things with the Utility people, so when it gets to the Board it will have meaningful information. Motion by Commissioner Higgs, seconded by Commissioner Cook, to authorize Commissioner Higgs and appropriate staff to meet with Avatar and discuss its utility facilities. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
REPORT, RE: CLOSING OF CLERK?S MELBOURNE OFFICE
Commissioner Ellis advised this is the last meeting until July, and inquired if the letter was sent to the Clerk on May 21, 1996; with County Manager Tom Jenkins responding no, it was delayed, but they will send it. Chairman Cook stated the letter has gone out. Commissioner Ellis stated the Board authorized a letter to the Clerk requesting he keep the office open; the week after the Board voted to send the letter, another letter went from the Clerk to the Judges about the closing of the Clerk?s Office; and it said, ?The Commission has not budgeted funds to allow me to maintain offices in Rockledge or Melbourne.? He stated the Clerk has never asked the Board for any kind of funds; it did budget for Rockledge, and was left holding the bag on that lease for nine months after it was vacated; by statute, the Board is responsible for providing facilities for the Clerk; and all the facilities in Melbourne Courthouse are still there and have not been given away to anyone. He inquired how much control does the Board have over where the Clerk places his employees and what employees he puts on the payroll.
County Attorney Scott Knox advised the Board approves the budgets for Constitutional Officers; and once the budgets are approved, they get to spend it at their discretion.
Chairman Cook inquired who decides if the Clerk is a fee officer or budget officer; with Mr. Knox responding that decision is made primarily by the Clerk, and he has the opportunity to become a budget officer if he chooses. Chairman Cook stated some Clerks in the State are all budget and some are fee and budget.
Commissioner Ellis stated when the Board discussed the issue on May 21, 1996, the comments were it is the Clerk?s decision where he has offices and where he puts people, yet the letter from the Clerk says the Board is closing Rockledge and Melbourne; and for FY 1997, he is requesting a 5% increase with less offices.
Commissioner O?Brien stated the Clerk makes his own budget; the only time the Board cut it was when he broke the lease in Rockledge; and last year the Board said any office that wants to increase its budget tell the Board why. He stated for example, the Sheriff said he wanted 12 more deputies; the Board budgeted for 12 new deputies; but if next year he cannot prove he hired 12 new deputies, the Board will cut his budget by the same amount that it raised it last year. He stated in this case, the Clerk accused the Board of not budgeting something he never asked for; he made his own budget, and the Board approved it last year and the year before that; and maybe the Board needs to look at his budget this year and tell him it is trying to lower taxes and he is not because he is asking for an increase of 5.4%.
Discussion continued on closing offices, letters from the Clerk, closing of the Rockledge office, and the letter from the Board to the Clerk.
Commissioner Scarborough stated if it is going to be a perpetual problem with the Board and Constitutional Officers, the Board needs to make the transition from having independence to having more control over the budgets of Constitutional Officers; the Board is ultimately responsible for the dollars; and it has tried to direct dollars to be responsive to the people of Melbourne, so they would have access to the courts. He stated the Clerk claimed the Board line-item vetoed his budget when the contrary is true; he acted contrary to the Board?s desires to keep the office open; and inquired what are the time parameters to get something on the Charter regarding independence of Constitutional Officers on the ballot.
Commissioner Ellis stated the Board has staff working on a capital budget to be controlled by the Board; and it would budget for the Constitutional Officers, but they would come to the Board to draw down from that capital budget to ensure what is appropriated for capital is exactly what the money is spent on. He stated the Clerk has done some things that are good; he has BellSouth pages with the Clerk?s guide and how to call in for information; and although that is expensive, it should save some positions, but it does not justify closing the Melbourne Office. He expressed frustration that letters were sent to judges and attorneys on closing of the Melbourne Clerk?s Office.
Chairman Cook stated he was told the BellSouth page costs $7,500 a month, but does not know if that is true; it has not saved positions because the Clerk?s budget is up 5%; and maybe the County Attorney should look at the Charter to address the problem through an amendment. He stated if the Board is going to continually be blamed for those things, it should exert some control; and he received calls about why the Board closed the Rockledge Office, but the Board did not close it.
Commissioner O?Brien stated if the Constitutional Officers add 5.4% to their budgets, the Board would have to lower the County?s budget by 25 to 30% to not raise taxes; and if the Board did not do that and raised taxes, the Commissioners would get fired, but the Constitutional Officers would not. He stated people still want the services, good roads, sewers that work, and water that runs; that is the Board?s job; but the Board has no control over other elected officials? budgets. He noted the Board is not getting cooperation from other elected officials.
Commissioner Ellis advised the move to the Justice Center is scheduled for the 4th of July weekend; the Board meets on July 2, 1996, so it is imperative it gets all the information back from the County Attorney on what control it may have over the budgets of the Clerk?s Office, and from Messrs. Muller and Jenkins on space needs, space availability, so it can address those issues on July 2. He stated he hopes the Board will have a response from the Clerk prior to that meeting on what it would take to keep the Melbourne Office open, and what would be saved by closing it. Chairman Cook stated that is in the letter that has just gone out, and hopefully the Board will have a response by then.
Commissioner Higgs advised the Charter provides a different mechanism by which Brevard County is governed; the State Constitution, developed in the 1800's, envisioned the balance of power between Constitutional Officers and the Board; as the County moved into a new form under the Charter, it is still finding how it needs to balance that power; the original Constitution tried to look at the Board as the legislative branch and the constitutional officers as the executive branch; so the balance of power was provided in that original Constitution. Commissioner Higgs stated as the Board moves into making the Charter work, it needs to look at ways of working the balance of power so that not too much power is vested in any one branch of government; however, the Board is being blamed for the tax issues which is not totally within its control. She noted the information the Board received from the Finance Office pointed out that Tax Collector Rod Northcutt achieved a decrease in taxes. Commissioner Ellis stated Mr. Ford has been good about working with the Board after he picked up the new GIS group.
Commissioner O?Brien inquired if the Board could have the tax bill delineate the amount of taxes being collected for each Constitutional Officer; with Mr. Knox responding it cannot be done on the TRIM Notice, but there is nothing that stops the Board from sending out an informational brochure on something like that. Commissioner Higgs stated in fairness to the Constitutional Officers, they are also dealing with a growing demand for services in the courts, with law enforcement, and each of those offices; so it is unfair to simply say their budgets are growing. Commissioner O?Brien stated 10 and 20 years ago everybody said growth is good, the more growth, the lower the taxes; now elected officials are saying just the opposite; and because there are more people in Brevard County taxes have to go up. He stated the public is being told two different things; one is to have more houses to lower the taxes by spreading out the tax base; and the other is more houses means taxes have to go up because of more services required. Commissioner Ellis stated the problem is government is growing at a faster rate than the population; with Commissioner Higgs responding Brevard County government is not.
Chairman Cook stated the Board cut its budget last year, and has a growing demand for services also; it maintained the level of service; but some Constitutional Officers do not have the same discipline that the Board has imposed on itself; and that creates a problem.
Commissioner Ellis stated he wants to make sure the issue of the Clerk?s Melbourne Offices will come back on July 2, 1996. He stated one of the issues that came up during the Rockledge discussion was that 15 positions were held by a hiring freeze, but at the end of the year the money was not returned to the County; and inquired if they were budget positions or fee positions.
Chairman Cook instructed staff to bring it back on July 2, 1996 as an agenda item.
REPORT, RE: PINEDA EXTENSION NEGOTIATIONS
Chairman Cook inquired about the status of the Pineda Extension negotiations with the Church; with County Manager Tom Jenkins responding Public Works Director Henry Minneboo is working on that, and will have a report to the Board.
REPORT, RE: JEP BOARD
Chairman Cook recommended the County Attorney contact the JEP Board and make sure all the members who are appointed are aware of the financial disclosure requirements and Sunshine Law requirements, and that their meetings are advertised correctly.
REPORT, RE: INTERPRETATION OF ELECTION LAWS AND DECLARATORY JUDGMENT ON NONPARTISAN ELECTIONS
Chairman Cook advised a letter from the Attorney General?s Office replied to the questions asked by the Board regarding nonpartisan elections; noted that previous opinions indicated they could not have nonpartisan county commission and elected officers elections; and mentioned the Board can seek a declaratory judgment to determine the appropriateness of what course to go in.
Commissioner Scarborough stated the matter could have a profound impact on a lot of people; qualifying is between July 15 and 19, 1996; some people have proceeded in a nonpartisan sense; and inquired if the Board gets a declaratory judgment that it has to be partisan, could it proceed with the election or would it be in jeopardy.
County Attorney Scott Knox advised the Charter is presumed valid until a court presumes otherwise; if the Board wants to proceed with a declaratory judgment, and the judge rules before the election that it had to be partisan, the Board could appeal to get a definitive opinion from the District Court of Appeals. He stated that would automatically stay any effect of the judge?s order from the lower court, so the election would take place as a nonpartisan election no matter what happens. Commissioner Scarborough stated that is important because a lot of people have done a lot of work getting signatures and other things. Chairman Cook stated the Board could start the process to get a definitive answer.
Commissioner Higgs stated the Attorney General?s letter points out that the Charter or any other law is presumed valid until a court of competent jurisdiction determines otherwise; it also points out that the Attorney General is not authorized to interpret local codes and ordinances or charters; the County Charter was passed by the people and is valid; and the Board should stand by what the voters passed. She stated it is not the Board?s position to go through the judicial process for a ruling; it should stand by the Charter; if someone wishes to challenge it, then that is his or her prerogative; and the County could respond on behalf of the citizens. She stated at this point the Board should allow things to go forward under the valid Charter.
Commissioner Ellis advised there are two separate issues; one is challenging the nonpartisan nature of the Charter; and it may be more appropriate for the two political parties to go to court on that. He stated the other is an opinion from Attorney Knox which triggered the letter to the Attorney General that all nonpartisan candidates may be held to the same rules as judicial candidates and cannot state what their party is. He stated judicial candidates cannot attend partisan functions unless all candidates are invited; and it was not the intent of the Charter to hold nonpartisan candidates to the same strict regulations that the statutes have for judicial candidates.
Chairman Cook stated that is why the Board needs to get a declaratory judgment; it will not have an effect on this election because it will be a long and drawn out process; but at least the Board can get something definitive. He stated the Board cannot ignore the fact that the Attorney General, in an opinion, said it is illegal to have nonpartisan elections for county commissioners and constitutional officers; it is unfair to say let someone sue the Board, and let them go through the expense, time and effort to resolve the issue; the Board can resolve it in the public interest one way or the other; and whatever the courts decide is what it will live by. He stated the Board needs to seek a declaratory judgment to find out whether or not they can be nonpartisan and if they can, what rules do candidates abide by when they run for nonpartisan offices.
Commissioner Ellis stated it is critical for candidates involved in nonpartisan elections this year that they know definitively what the rules will be because it would be unfair to hold them to judicial candidate standards which were written for a specific reason, and that is because they should be impartial as judges. He stated they cannot say anything except where they have been and what they do for a living; and he does not want that standard tied into other campaigns. He stated the Board also needs to decide definitively if it has only two candidates in a race that it will be held in September or November; and Mr. Knox is of the opinion it would be November. Mr. Knox commented that is his opinion. Commissioner Ellis stated the Board needs to abide by Mr. Knox? opinion that if there are only two candidates, they will not be on the ballot until November.
Chairman Cook suggested a letter to the Division of Elections regarding how candidates conduct themselves under nonpartisan situations and proceed with a declaratory judgment to get a definitive answer whether or not nonpartisan is legal under State laws and the Constitution in the future after this election. He stated those are the two actions the Board could take that would settle the issue.
County Attorney Knox advised the courts do not render advisory opinions; if the Board asks the court what does nonpartisan mean or can the Charter be nonpartisan, it is not going to answer that question; and it has to have a case of controversy, meaning it has to have a party that basically opposes the Board?s position so both sides are presented. He stated if the Board decides to go the declaratory judgment route, it has to have another party on the other side; so it may want to find a friendly adversary. Chairman Cook stated the Board could invite the two political parties to be the other side. Commissioner Ellis stated the parties could challenge and the Board could defend. Commissioner Higgs advised there are plenty of political groups that have the legal expertise to bring that suit forward. Chairman Cook stated it would put the burden on them; with Commissioner Higgs responding the Board?s burden is to defend the Charter because that is what the voters passed. Chairman Cook inquired if Mr. Knox could invite the two parties to join the County; with Mr. Knox responding one of the parties addressed the Board claiming the Charter was probably invalid because it provided for nonpartisan elections; if that party were to press that claim and the Board sued for a declaratory judgment, it could be a named party; however, someone has to defend it from their standpoint which will require expenditure of funds on their part.
Discussion ensued on the procedure to obtain a declaratory judgment, standards of judicial candidates, obtaining an opinion from the Division of Elections, validity of the Charter, postponing the process until after the November election, and possible disruption of the upcoming elections.
Motion by Commissioner Scarborough, seconded for discussion by Commissioner O?Brien, to instruct the County Attorney to contact the political parties regarding participation in legal proceedings for a declaratory judgment on nonpartisan elections as set forth in the Charter.
Discussion ensued on affects of the judgment on the upcoming election, appealing an adverse decision against the Charter, political posturing, consensus to let the upcoming election go forward, and filing for a judgment after the November election.
Motion by Commissioner Scarborough, to amend the motion to direct the County Attorney to contact the political parties and suggest the pleadings be filed after the November election.
Discussion continued about campaigning, possible outcome of the lawsuit, election challenges, postponing filing for a declaratory judgment until after the November election, and sending a letter to the Division of Elections immediately.
Commissioner O?Brien accepted the amendment to the motion, with authorization for the Chairman to send a letter to the Florida Elections Office immediately to get an interpretation of the Election Laws regarding nonpartisan elections. Commissioner Scarborough accepted the additional amendment.
Motion by Commissioner Higgs, to table interpretation of Election laws and declaratory judgment on nonpartisan elections. Motion died for lack of a second.
Chairman Cook called for a vote on the motion as amended. Motion carried and ordered; Commissioner Higgs voted nay.
County Attorney Knox advised his interpretation of nonpartisan is they do not campaign as a party candidate; he took a conservative view so nobody would get in trouble; the Elections Division is the definitive answer on that question and can provide the guidance the Board needs, as it has provided similar opinions in the past; and the Board can rely on its opinions.
Commissioner Ellis stated the motion is to contact the parties now, not file until after the November election, but send the letter to the State Division of Elections now.
Chairman Cook instructed the County Attorney to prepare the letter for his signature.
ACCEPTANCE OF RIGHT-OF-WAY DEED FROM THE VIERA COMPANY, RE: EXTENSION OF JUDGE FRAN JAMIESON WAY
Motion by Commissioner Scarborough, seconded by Commissioner O?Brien, to accept the Right-of-way Deed from The Viera Company for extension of Judge Fran Jamieson Way; and authorize staff to record the Deed. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
REQUEST FOR REFUND OF PERMIT FEES AND WAIVER OF RE-INSPECTION FEES, RE: COALITION FOR THE HUNGRY AND HOMELESS OF BREVARD COUNTY
Motion by Commissioner Scarborough, seconded by Commissioner O?Brien, to approve refund of permit fees and waive re-inspection fees for two duplexes at 1526 Paradise Lane, Cocoa, renovated for the Coalition of The Hungry and Homeless of Brevard County, Florida. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
APPROVAL, RE: ANNUAL CERTIFICATION OF LOCAL OPTION GAS TAX FORMULA
Motion by Commissioner Scarborough, seconded by Commissioner O?Brien, to approve the annual certification of the Local Option Gas Tax formula; and authorize Finance to submit the allocations to the Department of Revenue by July 1, 1996. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
AGREEMENT WITH THE VIERA COMPANY, EAST CENTRAL FLORIDA REGIONAL PLANNING COUNCIL, FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNITY AFFAIRS, FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, AND CITY OF ROCKLEDGE, RE: VIERA TRANSPORTATION METHODOLOGY
Motion by Commissioner Scarborough, seconded by Commissioner O?Brien, to execute Agreement with The Viera Company, East Central Florida Regional Planning Council, Florida Department of Community Affairs, Florida Department of Transportation, and City of Rockledge for the Viera Transportation Methodology. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
ACKNOWLEDGE RECEIPT OF ORDINANCE FROM CITY OF MELBOURNE, RE: DE-ANNEXATION OF REAL PROPERTIES
Motion by Commissioner Scarborough, seconded by Commissioner O?Brien, to acknowledge receipt of Ordinance 96-15 from the City of Melbourne, de-annexing two parcels on the west side of Wickham Road north of Parkway Drive, as requested by the property owner. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
RESOLUTION SETTING PUBLIC HEARING, RE: VACATING PUBLIC UTILITIES AND DRAINAGE EASEMENT IN VILLA DE PALMAS, SYKES COVE, SECTION 2 - JOHN AND MARGARET SMITH
Motion by Commissioner Scarborough, seconded by Commissioner O?Brien, to adopt Resolution setting the public hearing for July 2, 1996, to consider vacating a portion of public utilities and drainage easement in Villa De Palmas, Sykes Cove, Section 2, as petitioned by John R. and Margaret G. Smith. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
CONTRACT FOR SALE AND PURCHASE AND ADDENDUM WITH WALTER L. BRYAN AND O?DESSA L. BRYAN, AND EASEMENTS, RE: MERRITT RIDGE 1G PROJECT
Motion by Commissioner Scarborough, seconded by Commissioner O?Brien, to execute Contract for Sale and Purchase and Addendum with Walter L. Bryan and O?Dessa L. Bryan to acquire a stormwater pond for Merritt Ridge 1G Project at $83,820 for 2.54 acres, and accept non-exclusive ingress/egress Easement from the Bryans. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
APPROVAL OF TENTATIVE BUDGET AMENDMENT, RE: INSURANCE REIMBURSEMENT
Motion by Commissioner Scarborough, seconded by Commissioner O?Brien, to approve a $16,000 tentative budget amendment for Parks and Recreation Department, Central Area Parks Operations, Mainland, recognizing insurance proceeds for electrical damage at Stradley Park caused by lightning. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
USE AGREEMENT WITH SCHOOL BOARD, RE: USE OF SWIMMING POOLS FOR AQUATIC PROGRAMS
Motion by Commissioner Scarborough, seconded by Commissioner O?Brien, to execute Agreement with the School Board for use of swimming pools at Merritt Island High, Rockledge High, Titusville High, Satellite High, Jackson Middle and Madison Middle Schools for aquatic programs. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
AGREEMENT WITH VANPOOL SERVICES, INC., RE: LEASE OF VANS FOR RECREATION PROGRAMS AND CAMPS
Motion by Commissioner Scarborough, seconded by Commissioner O?Brien, to execute Agreement with VanPool Services, Inc. for lease of three vans from June 10, 1996 through August 9, 1996 for recreation programs and camps. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
PERMISSION TO ADVERTISE REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS, APPOINT SELECTION AND NEGOTIATING COMMITTEES, AND PERMISSION TO NEGOTIATE, RE: CONSTRUCTION OF FACILITY FOR WINDSURFING AT KELLY PARK
Motion by Commissioner Scarborough, seconded by Commissioner O?Brien, to grant permission to advertise request for proposals for construction and operation of a facility for a windsurfing program at Kelly Park; appoint Commissioner O?Brien, Joan Madden, Charles Nelson, Scott Wallace, and Marsha Cantrell or their designees to the Selection Committee; appoint Kyle King, Joan Madden and Charles Nelson or their designees to the Negotiating Committee; and grant permission to negotiate beginning with the top ranked company. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
AGREEMENT WITH SUNTREE/PINEDA ROTARY CLUB FOUNDATION, INC., RE: IMPROVEMENTS AT ROTARY PARK AT SUNTREE
Motion by Commissioner Scarborough, seconded by Commissioner O?Brien, to execute Agreement with Suntree/Pineda Rotary Club Foundation, Inc. to provide a pier that extends over 140 feet into the Indian River Lagoon on the northeast section of Rotary Park at Suntree. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
AGREEMENT WITH SPACE COAST UNITED SOCCER CLUB, RE: USE OF WICKHAM PARK
Motion by Commissioner Scarborough, seconded by Commissioner O?Brien, to execute Agreement with Space Coast United Soccer Club to provide organized and supervised soccer league play at Wickham Park from June 21, 1996 through June 20, 1997. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
HOLD HARMLESS AGREEMENT WITH CITY OF MELBOURNE, RE: INDIAN RIVER LAGOON TRIATHLON
Motion by Commissioner Scarborough, seconded by Commissioner O?Brien, to execute Hold Harmless Agreement with City of Melbourne for the Indian River Lagoon Triathlon on June 9, 1996. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
AGREEMENT WITH FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNITY AFFAIRS, DIVISION OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT, AND DESIGNATE REPRESENTATIVE, RE: STATE AND LOCAL ASSISTANCE GRANT
Motion by Commissioner Scarborough, seconded by Commissioner O?Brien, to execute Agreement with Florida Department of Community Affairs, Division of Emergency Management, for State and Local Assistance Grant, and appoint Mark McMichael, Emergency Management Director, as the authorized representative for grant administration. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
APPROVAL TO REMOVE FROM INVENTORY, RE: TANGIBLE PERSONAL PROPERTY OF SCAT
Motion by Commissioner Scarborough, seconded by Commissioner O?Brien, to approve removal of Motorola Mobile Radios PR #D202-0789 and #D202-0478, Power Supply Base Station PR #D207-0684, and Telephone Communication Device C-Phone PR #A-13-0358, from the property inventory of SCAT which were assigned to Coastal Health Systems of Brevard, Inc., were unable to be located, and the depreciated value paid for by Coastal. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
PERMISSION TO ADVERTISE REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS, AND APPOINT SELECTION COMMITTEE, RE: 1-800 TELEPHONE SERVICES
Motion by Commissioner Scarborough, seconded by Commissioner O?Brien, to grant permission to advertise request for proposals for Tourist Development Council 1-800 telephone answering and optional reservation service; and appoint the TDC Marketing Committee and Tourism Development Executive Director to the Selection Committee. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
APPROVAL, RE: TDC CATEGORY B BEACH CLEAN-UP GRANT APPLICATION HANDBOOK
Motion by Commissioner Scarborough, seconded by Commissioner O?Brien, to approve TDC Category B Beach Clean-up Grant Application Handbook which includes eligibility requirements, type of grant available, criteria for evaluation, instructions and application forms. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
APPROVAL, RE: TDC CATEGORY B EMERGENCY BEACH GRANT APPLICATION HANDBOOK
Motion by Commissioner Scarborough, seconded by Commissioner O?Brien, to approve revised TDC Category B Emergency Beach Grant Application Handbook which includes eligibility requirements, type of grant available, criteria for evaluation, instructions and application forms. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
APPROVAL, RE: TDC CATEGORY E CULTURAL EVENTS REVISED GRANT APPLICATION HANDBOOK
Motion by Commissioner Scarborough, seconded by Commissioner O?Brien, to approve revised TDC Category E Cultural Events Grant Application Handbook which includes eligibility requirements, types of grants available, criteria for evaluation, instructions and application forms. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
AMENDED EASEMENT TO FLORIDA POWER & LIGHT COMPANY, RE: TRANSMISSION LINE ALONG ENCHANTED FOREST SANCTUARY
Motion by Commissioner Scarborough, seconded by Commissioner O?Brien, to execute amended Easement to Florida Power & Light Company, granting an aerial easement for a transmission line along the property line of the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
ACCEPT RESIGNATION, RE: CIRCUIT CONFLICT ATTORNEY HARDEE HENDERSON
Motion by Commissioner Scarborough, seconded by Commissioner O?Brien, to accept the resignation of Hardee S. Henderson as Circuit Conflict Attorney, effective June 4, 1996, with all terms contained in the Agreement remaining in full force and effect for all cases assigned prior to the effective date. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
RESOLUTION, RE: TAX ABATEMENT APPLICATION FROM ADVANCED STEEL SYSTEMS
Motion by Commissioner Scarborough, seconded by Commissioner O?Brien, to adopt Resolution acknowledging that Advanced Steel Systems is a new business qualified to receive ad valorem tax exemption; grant permission to advertise a public hearing to consider an exempting ordinance; and request the Property Appraiser provide a report to the Board prior to the public hearing. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
RESOLUTION, RE: TAX ABATEMENT APPLICATION FROM B & H STEEL COMPANY
Motion by Commissioner Scarborough, seconded by Commissioner O?Brien, to adopt Resolution acknowledging that B & H Steel Company is a new business qualified to receive ad valorem tax exemption; grant permission to advertise a public hearing to consider an exempting ordinance; and request the Property Appraiser provide a report to the Board prior to the public hearing. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
AWARD OF BID #B-3-6-68 AND AGREEMENT, RE: SUMMER FOOD SERVICE PROGRAM Motion by Commissioner Scarborough, seconded by Commissioner O?Brien, to award Bid #B-3-6-68, Summer Food Service Program, to Jerry?s Caterers at $45,053.75, and approve an Agreement with Florida Department of Education to fund the Program. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
AWARD OF BID #B-2-6-73 AND AGREEMENT, RE: SOUTH BEACHES REGIONAL MAINTENANCE FACILITY
Motion by Commissioner Scarborough, seconded by Commissioner O?Brien, to award Bid #B-2-6-73, South Beaches Regional Maintenance Facility, to Hearndon Construction at $431,549, and execute Agreement with Hearndon for the project. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
AWARD OF BID #B-2-6-85 AND AGREEMENT, RE: GOVERNMENT CENTER NORTH 4TH FLOOR BUILDOUT FOR STATE ATTORNEY?S OFFICE
Motion by Commissioner Scarborough, seconded by Commissioner O?Brien, to award Bid #B-2-6-85, Government Center North 4th Floor Buildout for State Attorney?s Office, to Doug Wilson Enterprises, Inc. at $86,892, and execute Agreement with Doug Wilson for the project. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
PERMISSION TO BID AND AWARD BID, RE: RE-ROOFING OF MELBOURNE COURTHOUSE UPPER ROOF
Motion by Commissioner Scarborough, seconded by Commissioner O?Brien, to grant permission to bid re-roofing of Melbourne Courthouse Upper Roof, and authorize award of the bid to the low bidder. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
PERMISSION TO BID, AWARD BID, AND USE ALTERNATE FOR COST DETERMINATION, RE: RE-CARPETING OF DEGROODT LIBRARY
Motion by Commissioner Scarborough, seconded by Commissioner O?Brien, to grant permission to bid re-carpeting of DeGroodt Library, award bid, and use alternate to determine costs associated with installing carpet during regular working hours compared to closing the Library while the new carpet is being installed. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
RESOLUTION, WATER AND SEWER EASEMENTS, AND AGREEMENT WITH CALVARY CHAPEL, RE: WEST MELBOURNE PUBLIC LIBRARY
Motion by Commissioner Scarborough, seconded by Commissioner O?Brien, to adopt Resolution and authorize the Chairman to execute Driveway Ingress/Egress Easement, Water line Easement, and Sewer line Easement Agreements with Calvary Chapel for new West Melbourne Public Library. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
APPROVAL OF DONATION, RE: CONFISCATED VEHICLE TO FLORIDA COUNCIL ON CRIME AND DELINQUENCY
Motion by Commissioner Scarborough, seconded by Commissioner O?Brien, to approve donation of a 1986 S-10 Blazer, confiscated by the Sheriff?s Office, to the Florida Council on Crime and Delinquency. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
APPROVAL OF APPLICATION, RE: STATE REVENUE SHARING FOR FY 1996-97
Motion by Commissioner Scarborough, seconded by Commissioner O?Brien, to authorize the Chairman to execute the State Revenue Sharing Application for fiscal year 1996-97. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
RENEWAL AGREEMENT WITH TAX COLLECTOR, RE: UNIFORM NON-AD VALOREM ASSESSMENTS
Motion by Commissioner Scarborough, seconded by Commissioner O?Brien, to execute Renewal Agreement with Brevard County Tax Collector to utilize the uniform method of levying and collecting non-ad valorem tax assessments to the end of the 1996 tax year. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
RENEWAL AGREEMENT WITH PROPERTY APPRAISER, RE: UNIFORM NON-AD VALOREM ASSESSMENTS
Motion by Commissioner Scarborough, seconded by Commissioner O?Brien, to execute Renewal Agreement with Brevard County Property Appraiser to utilize the uniform method of levying and collecting non-ad valorem assessments to cover the end of the 1996 tax year. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
APPOINTMENTS/REAPPOINTMENTS, RE: CITIZEN ADVISORY BOARDS
Motion by Commissioner Scarborough, seconded by Commissioner O?Brien, to appoint and/or reappoint the following:
Commission on the Status of Women
Jennifer DiCandio, 696 West Avenue, Cocoa 32927, with term expiring June 30, 1999.
Jackie Fleener, 1480 N. Lester Court, Merritt Island 32952, with term expiring June 30, 1997.
Brevard MPO Citizens Advisory Committee
Richard Stodden, 7555 Turkey Point Drive, Titusville 32780, replacing Gil Caulderwood.
Titusville-Cocoa Airport Authority
Walter G. Santschi, 5210 Vance Place, Cocoa 32927, with term expiring July 18, 1999.
Jay Schenck, 5440 Schenck Avenue, Rockledge 32955, with term expiring June 1, 1998.
Port St. John Public Library Board
Constantine Daniel, 6375 Wien Lane, Cocoa 32927, with term expiring December 31, 1997.
Reuse Advisory Committee
Richard Young, 4600 Hartville Avenue, Cocoa 32926-3859, with term expiring July 21, 1997.
Merritt Island/Beaches Service Sector Advisory Board
John J. Kabboord, 1980 N. Atlantic Ave., Suite 801, Cocoa Beach 32931, replacing Sheila Tubbs with term expiring May 6, 1997.
Citizen Budget Review Committee
Roger Dobson, 215 Baytree Drive, Suite 1, Melbourne 32940, with term expiring June 3, 1997.
Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
APPROVAL, RE: BILLS AND BUDGET TRANSFERS
Motion by Commissioner Scarborough, seconded by Commissioner O?Brien, to approve bills and budget transfers as submitted. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
PERSONAL APPEARANCE - CHAIRMAN BILL HOFFART, RE: CITIZENS JAIL ADVISORY COMMITTEE, RE: ACCEPTANCE OF FINAL REPORT
Bill Hoffart, Chairman of the Citizens Jail Advisory Committee, advised the Committee was formed pursuant to Resolution No. 95-321 to deal with the add-on to the jail; and it was a diverse group of citizens who met many times over nine months and considered suggestions and what they were charged to do. He stated the Committee found expansion was necessary and overdue; suggested funding it with a one cent sales tax for six or seven months; and recommended the Board request municipalities to turn over their share of the tax to the County solely for operation of the jail, and that the tax be imposed during the heavy tourist months. He stated one pod would provide 240 beds and the other pod would provide 196 beds; however, they heard the Board would only support one pod. He requested the Board reconsider two pods because of potential lawsuits. Mr. Hoffart advised the Committee had a lot of discussion about changes to lower the jail population, but it was out of their scope of interest described in their task; and suggested the Board establish another committee of diverse citizens with high power and the proper background to move in those areas. He stated one pod will barely meet the needs and will leave the County in jeopardy of lawsuits for overcrowding and release of inmates. Mr. Hoffart stated it would be short-sighted to build one pod now and ask for another pod in three years; they should both be done now; the committee went into the community and polled constituents; and it came back that the average citizen is confused and cannot define what is a State institution and what the function of the County jail is. He stated there needs to be media campaigns to explain the pressures placed on the County, constraints from State and federal governments, increased costs, and to clarify what a County jail is, what a prison is, and the functions they serve. Mr. Hoffart advised the additional reports are information on different areas, work camps, juvenile justice, etc.; and told a story about men from Massachusetts who chose Florida as a destination to commit crimes because of the way the laws are set up.
Commissioner Scarborough inquired what should the Board do next; with Mr. Hoffart responding if it is sincere about providing facilities to incarcerate people it should start a media campaign and set up a group to isolate issues to educate the average citizen on what the County is required to provide and how long it has to incarcerate people. Commissioner Scarborough stated the Board has to get with the cities, get an agreement on funding the jail project, and get the idea to the community; however, it will have a problem because it cannot promote an item that is placed on the ballot. Mr. Hoffart stated members of the Committee may be interested in helping, but it is a small group; however, the Board could enlarge it to help, because it is a very saleable issue.
Commissioner Ellis advised the big factor to do one pod expansion is because most people who need to be locked up are not in County jails, but in State prisons; one pod is 240 beds; the minimum security expansion will be 180 beds; and that is over 420 beds which is almost 50% increase in the jail capacity. He stated the jail cap is State imposed and not federal standards. Mr. Hoffart stated it is a State standard, but funding and guidelines come from the federal level based on cases in the Supreme Court of the United States.
Chairman Cook advised the Board has discussed tents, barracks, and other less costly methods of incarceration; and inquired if it is necessary to build a jail facility. Commissioner Ellis stated the Board needs to find out if the hindrance is at the State or federal level; with Mr. Hoffart responding both. Mr. Hoffart stated the recommendation of the Committee is to set up a higher level committee with clout that can address those issues on the State and federal level.
Discussion ensued on the use of tents in Arizona by the sheriff, prisoner classification, need for more guards if tents are used, and the need to keep the Committee active to work on problems in the Criminal Justice System.
Assistant County Attorney Shannon Wilson advised the jail cap came from the Florida Department of Corrections based on State laws and Administrative Codes; however, those were developed in response to federal cases and based on decisions that dealt with overcrowding, issues of cruel and unusual punishment, lack of proper care, proper food, etc. She stated the State?s guidelines were developed to help prevent those same issues from arising in the future; and the caps were based on those standards. Ms. Wilson advised the square footage standard was based on what needed to be provided for inmates, including the number of recreational hours, etc.; and there are different standards based on whether or not a person is in jail on a convicted status or pretrial status.
Mr. Hoffart reiterated the importance of having a high-powered committee; Commissioner Scarborough emphasized it should be a political action committee independent of the County; and Chairman Cook stated the Board cannot become advocates of a referendum question.
Commissioner Higgs inquired if the referendum will be on the November ballot for one pod; with Ms. Wilson responding that was the last Board direction. Commissioner Higgs inquired about the status of the cities; with Mr. Knox responding they met with all the cities and presented information but did not ask them for a formal action until the Board gives direction to do that. He stated Palm Bay passed a resolution supporting it; and if the Board decides to go forward, it needs to make a decision whether it wants to do that now or wait to see what happens with the election. Commissioner Higgs inquired if the ballot language will come back to the Board in time for the November election; with Ms. Wilson responding it is planned to come back to the Board in July.
Clarence Rowe, President of Central Brevard Branch of the NAACP and member of the Jail Advisory Committee, advised the Chairman presented the Committee?s thoughts, but he wants to stress alternatives for individuals who are incarcerated. He stated if the government is not going to do anything with inmates to turn them around and decrease that population, it will continue to build jails; alternative measures are job opportunities and education; it does not make sense to incarcerate someone who will come out in the same environment and cannot make any moves; so it is important to try and turn them around. He stated drug rehabilitation and prevention of horrible diseases also play a part in whether they will circulate in the community and survive; the County needs alternatives other than building jails; young people who do not have a thought of what they are doing are getting involved in outlandish and vicious crimes and continue that pattern through adulthood; the Board has to look at the situation with a long-range plan; and if it is not going to turn the young people around, he does not know what will be left to run the government. Mr. Rowe advised the cities need to understand it is a partnership and they are a part of it to make it work; and if the cities do not participate and there is not adequate jail space, the cities that have holding cells need to hold prisoners until there is adequate jail space. He stated what is being requested is a limited source of funds to help the entire community; the State, School System, and preventive organizations can help to educate inmates because the County cannot continue to build jails or let criminals run wild and have a drastic impact on young people; and he hopes the Board will see fit to do something.
Commissioner O?Brien stated reports claim there will be a teenage juvenile crime explosion in eight to ten years because of dramatic increases in unwed mothers, babies having babies, lack of child support payments from teenage fathers, etc.; Mr. Rowe recommended teaching inmates to read and write; however, if they did not want to learn at ages 11 and 12, they still do not want to learn at ages 17 and 19. He advised of a teacher at Sharpes prison who said half the students do not want to be there, and it is a tough job; it is not education, but the need to go back to the root and work up from there; however, if young children are going to be bad, he wants a jail to keep them in.
Mr. Rowe stated he did not say not to lock them up, but to give them an opportunity to be educated because they are basically illiterate; the root of the problem is HRS which has a lot to do with sparing the rod and spoiling the child; the average parent is being threatened by teenagers because they know they can call HRS and conjure up something to put them on the spot; so HRS needs to let parents take on the responsibility without being threatened with jail or taking away of their children. Commissioner O?Brien inquired what can the Board do to rectify that problem; with Mr. Rowe responding abandon the thought that teenagers can call HRS and put their parents in trouble. He stated he does not know what powers the Board has, but it needs to invest them into trying to turn the problem around. Commissioner O?Brien recommended Mr. Jenkins find out what powers and authority the Board has or what it can do to affect changes with the State.
Chairman Cook suggested putting something in the legislative package to address the problem. He thanked Mr. Hoffart, Mr. Rowe, and the Jail Advisory Committee for their recommendations.
PERSONAL APPEARANCE - DONALD L. STUMP, RE: COMMENDATION RESOLUTION Motion by Commissioner Higgs, seconded by Commissioner Cook, to adopt Resolution commending Donald L. Stump for 23 years of faithful service to Brevard County, and extending best wishes for good health and happiness during his retirement. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
PERSONAL APPEARANCE - NORMAL SAVELL, RE: CITIZEN CONCERN ABOUT GOVERNMENT INTIMIDATION
Norma Savell played a recording of the Manatee Workshop of May 16, 1996, and stated there were no whistles, just applause. She quoted President Clinton?s Sub-cabinet Officer George Frampton as saying, ?Many Americans believe environmentalism has replaced communism as the number one enemy?; and stated that quote came from Trashing The Economy by Arnold and Gottley. She stated Ron Arnold is a former Sierra Club official who became disillusioned and got out, accusing mainstream groups of ?exaggerating or even inventing environmental threats in order to advance narrow political goals that have little to do with safeguarding natural resources.? She stated that was also a quote from the book. Ms. Savell read a paragraph from the June ?96 Loggerhead, the Sierra Club?s newsletter, misrepresenting what she said at the Manatee Workshop, ?The meeting was filled with angry verbal assaults on County and DEP staff, Commissioner Higgs, and environmentalists, none of which was limited by Chairman Cook.? She stated to her that means Chairman Cook should have denied those people their right to speak. She continued to read, ?At one point property rights activist Norma Savell stated that environmentalists were communists which prompted loud cheers and whistles from the anti-manatee plan members of the audience. Also, Commissioner O?Brien, who had campaigned as being a founding member of the local Save the Manatee Club two years ago, directed a violent tirade at Commissioner Higgs in response of her defense of manatee protection.? She stated she and her husband care about manatees, and she assumes Commissioner O?Brien cares about manatees. She stated when she read the newsletters, she saw a pattern of presenting invented problems and encouraging readers to call, write, or act on what they read; calls came in and were made to her husband?s office, but he had nothing to do with it. She stated the quote about her is an inflammatory misrepresentation which offended her; and she received it as intimidation to suppress her speech. Ms. Savell stated what she did not see reported in the newsletter was an assault on a professional member of the County staff by Commissioner Higgs; it was not just a remark made, but seemed to go on and on in front of an auditorium full of people; and staff reprimands should be made in private and not before an audience. She stated the block where the editor?s name is customarily given said, ?The Loggerhead is published monthly by Sierra for its members in Brevard County and Indian River Counties. This issue contains information collected from among others, District 3 County Commission Office, which is Commissioner Higgs? Office, Florida Sierra, Florida Audubon Society, Brevard County staff and others.? She stated that declaration of names and groups has been in each of the publications that she has seen; County records are public information available to anyone; but there is an interesting mix of County and environmental agencies credited for the publication which brings a lot of questions to mind. She stated when people see County Government mentioned they think it is true; she was intimidated and threatened by the article; the misrepresentation about her seemed to be written to inflame readers to action and frighten her into not speaking out; and the only solution she could see was to discredit the article in the open before the Board.
Commissioner Higgs stated in response to Mrs. Savell?s comments that she attacked a staff person, she did express displeasure at that meeting that the County Attorney did not have the manatee plan; and nothing beyond that transpired at that meeting.
Chairman Cook stated the meeting was kept under control; and he interjected to ensure both sides had an equal opportunity to express their opinions. He stated the newsletter mentioned EELS bill being passed by the State Legislature; the Board brought that bill through its legislative package to the Delegation to allow expenditure of the excess millage on the EELS program, so it had a hand in getting the bill passed; and it was a unanimous decision of the Board.
Commissioner Higgs stated they are not always happy with the coverage they gain from anyone on issues; whether it is Mrs. Savell?s feelings of that newsletter or other people?s feelings about how the coverage is gained in the newspaper, they often disagree; and Ms. Savell and she has disagreed on a number of issues and will continue to do so. She stated there are different perspectives of covering meetings; Ms. Savell may not like the Loggerhead, and some of the Commissioners may not like the way Straight Talk covers issues; and the public needs to be aware that frequently there are disagreements among all the Commissioners on how coverage is gained.
Commissioner Scarborough advised he received calls from both sides of the issue on why the meeting was not broadcast; recommended items of public concern be televised; and inquired how that can be accomplished; with Chairman Cook responding he agrees the issues of high public concern should be televised; and if the manatee plan workshop was televised, it would give a different perspective on what happened to be reported in the newspaper. He stated the Board needs to look into that. Commissioner Scarborough stated Mr. Jenkins said he would look into that.
Commissioner Ellis stated when County staff provides information to people, whether they agree or disagree with the item, it should be provided in a factual and objective manner; and he does not know what happened on this issue, but the Board needs to ensure staff provides information in an objective manner.
Chairman Cook stated staff may not always agree with the policy of the Board, but that is why the Board is the policy maker and staff should not be making policy; and if they are contributing to a newsletter, he hopes the contribution is objective, factual, and does not advocate for one side or the other. He stated the County Manager needs to ensure that is what happens.
Commissioner Scarborough stated he is not making any assumptions on what information was provided; the record speaks for itself; and anyone who wanted to know what went on could have gotten tapes. Commissioner Higgs stated the County is required to respond to citizen requests for public information or it would be violating the law. Chairman Cook stated he is saying be objective and not an advocate; and there are a few things that were not accurate such as the violent tirade by Commissioner O?Brien. Commissioner Higgs stated nor did she attack a County staff person; however, she did express displeasure. She stated if anyone on the Board has been respectful of County staff, it has been her; and she did ask Mr. Knox about his information and preparation and admits to that, but she did not attack him which is a total mischaracterization. Chairman Cook stated when County staff is put at the bottom of a newsletter, it projects legitimacy to what is in the newsletter, and in this case it is not correct. Commissioner O?Brien stated he would like to know which County staff provided the information. Commissioner Ellis stated he does not want to turn this into a witch hunt; in the future, everyone should understand they are to provide factual objective information; and that is all the Board should be concerned about. Commissioner O?Brien stated he will admit to a tirade, but it was not violent or planned.
The meeting recessed at 10:39 a.m. and reconvened at 10:58 p.m.
REPORT, RE: DECLARATORY JUDGMENT ON ELECTIONS
Chairman Cook advised someone mentioned filing for a declaratory judgment after the elections may cause the Board to lose standing; and recommended the County Attorney check on that.
County Attorney Scott Knox advised the County will not lose standing because it will be an issue no matter what happens.
DISCUSSION, RE: PORT ST. JOHN ADVISORY BOARD
Maureen Rupe, President of Port St. John Homeowners Association, requested an ordinance to create a special district to enable the residents of Port St. John to have an elected advisory board.
She stated the Association and other community groups have worked very hard to ensure Port St. John is a place to be proud of, but with their growth and area changes, they need to involve the whole community, create more autonomy, and speak with one voice with direct input to the County Commission. She stated there will be no increased tax burden and it will give them more control over their destiny; they also request that volunteers willing to serve on the board have their names on the November ballot; and they hope the Board will help them to help themselves.
Motion by Commissioner Scarborough, seconded by Commissioner O?Brien, to authorize the County Attorney to prepare and advertise an ordinance establishing Port St. John Special District Advisory Board for a public hearing on July 2, 1996.
Commissioner Ellis inquired if the Board will get information on the powers and duties of that advisory board; with Commissioner Scarborough responding it will be fully defined prior to the public hearing.
Chairman Cook called for a vote on the motion. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
PERSONAL APPEARANCE - LEONARD BECKETT, RE: ROADSIDE VENDORS
Leonard Beckett, Brevard County Florist Association, advised for the past 20 years the County has had an Ordinance in place prohibiting roadside sales; Ordinance 76-17, Section 22-29 states, ?It shall be unlawful for any person or persons to operate or cause to be operated any roadside stand within any right-of-way along any County road in Brevard County.? He stated Section 22-30 provides a penalty for a fine not to exceed $500 and/or imprisonment in the County jail not to exceed 60 days; and as a properly licensed legitimate business operator who has been directly harmed by violators of the Ordinance, he must asked himself why is the law not enforced, why is he required to have occupational license, why is he required to report and collect sales tax, and how can the County expect business to comply to its laws and the laws of the State of Florida if it chooses not to impose those laws on all persons. He stated extensive proliferation of roadside sales in this County has created a level of anger among legitimate businesses; the fact that State and County laws have been ignored is intolerable and unacceptable; he was made aware that Code Enforcement was charged with enforcing the laws; however, Code Enforcement cannot issue the citations called for in the laws and cannot complete with satisfactory results the policing required to stop the flagrant violations of the laws of the State and County. Mr. Beckett advised the most cost efficient method to enforce the laws, and the only method by which the County can enforce the laws, is by making it the responsibility of Brevard County Sheriff?s Department; it is the only agency within County Government that has the ability to write an immediate citation to persons who violate those laws; the Sheriff?s Office has deputies patrolling the roads that are inundated with those criminals; and it is beyond his ability why after 20 years they have yet to see substantive action taken against violators of those laws. He requested immediate action with zero tolerance that conforms to the laws of the State and County and that the following list of actions be completed: (1) amend Ordinance No. 76-17 to change the term County road to public road, define the term right-of-way to include specific measurements in feet, such as 30 feet, identify the Sheriff?s Department as the responsible agency to police the unincorporated areas of the County, authorize the Tax Collector to require all persons conducting business transactions in the County to obtain occupational licenses, require itinerant merchants to provide a notarized letter of permission from the owner of record of any property they sell from, and the signature be verified by the Tax Collector, require itinerant merchants to file site plans which show trash collection facilities, restroom facilities, and off the road right-of-way parking, require State sales tax identification number before permits are issued, require all documents be filed with the Tax Collector and copies kept with the permit and available for inspection by citizens who wish to see them, and prohibit signage on the road right-of-way; (2) instruct the County Attorney or Chairman to draft a letter to the Sheriff asking for immediate pro-active enforcement of the present Ordinance on County and State roads until a new ordinance is passed; and (3) the County Attorney and staff be required to have the amended ordinance in place in 90 days from today?s date, and the subject placed on the Agenda at least every 30 days to ensure its progress.
Commissioner Higgs inquired if the Board can ask the Sheriff to enforce the Ordinance; with County Attorney Scott Knox responding the Sheriff can enforce the Ordinances of the County. Commissioner Higgs inquired why Code Enforcement is not able to enforce the Ordinance; with Mr. Knox responding Code Enforcement is also authorized to enforce Ordinances, although there are certain Ordinances it does not enforce as well as the Sheriff because of the type of situation. Commissioner Higgs stated the businesses that contribute to the community and comply with the laws are being harmed; and recommended the County Attorney give the Board a memorandum for its July meeting on the issues requested to be incorporated into law, the appropriate language, and implications of those recommendations, so the Board can discuss how or if it wants to amend the Ordinance.
Motion by Commissioner Higgs, seconded by Commissioner Scarborough, to direct the County Attorney to comment on the suggestions made by Leonard Beckett to amend Ordinance No. 76-17, regulating roadside vendors, to change County roads to public roads, require occupational licenses, letter from owner of record, site plan with trash collection, restrooms and parking, tax ID number, and verification by Tax Collector; and to comment on the implications of those suggestions, where problems are with the current Ordinance, and provide proposed language to be discussed at the July meeting.
Commissioner Ellis advised the basic problem is enforcement of the present Ordinance; it states they cannot be on the right-of-way and need permission from the property owner; and if the Sheriff enforces that, it would be all that is needed. He stated the detailed list from Mr. Beckett can apply to garage sales, sidewalk sales, and art festivals, and require those residents to have a site plan and obtain occupational licenses; so he prefers to look at making the present Ordinance effective rather than enacting a new set of rules that would affect areas it was never intended to affect. He noted patrol cars are on the roads 24 hours a day and Code Enforcement is not; so the Sheriff needs to enforce the Ordinance. He stated all the issues brought up do not address the problem and will affect a broad area of the County and people who never thought they would be affected.
Commissioner O?Brien suggested exempting garage sales, yard sales, etc. in residential areas but not along public roads. He stated the problem is not just with the florists; they pay rent or mortgage on a building, buy occupational licenses, pay for insurance, workers? compensation, etc. and abide by the laws, but down the street a person sells roses for $5.00 a dozen from a pickup truck; and it is a bad deal for the business person even though it is a good deal for the consumer. He stated the roadside vendor does not have expenses which makes the business person noncompetitive; it is a disservice to the small businesses; the Board has a responsibility to them who are the real working people of the County; and art shows, fairs, sidewalk sales, etc. can be exempt.
Chairman Cook stated to start a small business in the County takes a small fortune; most big businesses started as small businesses; and through the regulatory process, the County may be limiting who can go into business. He stated the Board needs to look at some of the requirements, restrictions, and regulations to determine if they are all necessary for small businesses, because it may be keeping people out of business who could start and someday be successful.
Commissioner O?Brien advised the Board received a list from Lynda Weatherman on all the licenses, taxes, and fees people have to pay to be in business; and it may be a good idea for the Board to look at what it has done to make it difficult to start up a company. He stated an Ordinance regulating roadside vendors would enhance small businesses; the Board told Code Enforcement not to be pro-active which could be where the problem starts; so it should ask the Sheriff to enforce it.
Commissioner Scarborough inquired about the nature of the motion; with Commissioner Higgs responding to get information on those items brought up by Mr. Beckett and ask the County Attorney to research the items and give the Board information and implications; and if there are any problems that could be created by implementation of what was suggested, the Board needs to know that. She stated the second part, which is not part of the motion, is to deal with what can be done under the current Ordinance with Code Enforcement and the Sheriff.
Commissioner Ellis advised there is a major problem with over regulation; the solution to over regulation is not more regulation; the County has an Ordinance that states they cannot sell from the right-of-way and need permission from the property owner; and all it has to do is have the Sheriff enforce it. He stated it has to be done by the Sheriff and not Code Enforcement; so a letter to the Sheriff is all that is needed. He recommended the Board review the current Ordinance and what can be done to make it work. Chairman Cook stated if the current Ordinance was being enforced, it would eliminate 99% of the problems. Commissioner Ellis stated if it cannot be enforced, the Board should be told why.
Commissioner O?Brien suggested the County Attorney bring the Volusia County Ordinance to the Board with opinions from people on whether it is good or bad; it could fine-tune its current Ordinance to protect the small businessman and exempt garage sales, yard sales, etc.; and that would not be more regulation. Commissioner Higgs stated the motion was to ask for information on Mr. Beckett?s request for amendments to the existing Ordinance and not adopting a new ordinance. Commissioner Ellis stated some of the requests are new such as requiring the Tax Collector to require all persons conducting business transactions to obtain occupational licenses; so if he sold a used car, he would need an occupational license if that provision is included in an ordinance. Commissioner Higgs stated the motion is asking the County Attorney to comment on the suggestions which has been the general policy of the Board when people ask for personal appearances; and the second recommendation is for the County Attorney to advise the Board of problems with the enforcement of the current Ordinance; and after the Board deals with that, she will make a motion to send a letter to the Sheriff. Commissioner Ellis stated the County Attorney needs to contact the Sheriff and Code Enforcement.
Commissioner Scarborough recommended incorporating authorization for the Chairman to send a letter to the Sheriff requesting enforcement of the current Ordinance into the motion.
Commissioner Ellis recommended the Board address the specific problem and not drag everyone into the same morass. Chairman Cook stated the motion is broad enough to get ideas; and if the Board can make the current Ordinance effective, it should do that.
Chairman Cook called for a vote on the motion. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
AWARD OF PROPOSAL #P-3-6-17 AND AGREEMENT, RE: COURT REPORTING SERVICES Shirley King and Gerry Ryan, representing Brevard Associated Court Services, advised the Selection Committee was unanimous in ranking Brevard Associated Court Services as the number one proposer; they were ranked number one because of their skills and expertise developed over many years; and that experience should not be taken lightly. Ms. King stated Seminole County had an inexperienced low bidder that had to be declared in breach of its contract for non-performance; and that County is re-trying cases where transcripts were not produced. She stated they analyzed their production costs, dropped the reprint rate to 50 cents per copy, and presented two schedules of proposed rates for the Board to decide which one it prefers. She noted the bottom line is that the County only pays for what they actually produce.
Chairman Cook inquired if the proposed rates are in line with rates in other counties; with Ms. King responding yes, and they are among the lowest in the State. Commissioner Ellis inquired about rates for reprints beyond two copies; with Ms. King responding 50 cents a page. Commissioner O?Brien stated the County Attorney should have enough common sense to make his own copies after obtaining the initial copy from the firm. He stated he read that the Justice System gets the original and there are two certified copies made, one for the defender and one for the prosecutor; however, associate attorneys should make copies of the certified copy to work with rather than burden the taxpayer at 50 cents a page. Ms. King advised when they provided the original and two copies that the court orders, it has always been the case that attorneys copied them for each other; and they have no restrictions on that, never had, and do not anticipate any. Chairman Cook inquired if they just supply what the court orders; with Ms. King responding yes.
Commissioner Ellis inquired if he as an individual citizen went to the Courthouse and asked for a copy of a transcript, would he be required to pay a dollar a page; with Gerry Ryan responding yes, the Clerk presently charges a dollar a page. Commissioner Scarborough inquired what if a person came to the company and were non-party to the case, what would they pay and what does the company charge the Clerk; with Mr. Ryan responding if a person goes to the Courthouse and wants to copy a file, the Clerk charges a dollar a page; and if that person came to him, he would charge 50 cents a page. Commissioner Ellis stated that is Option 2 which is $3.00 and 50/50, but Option 1 is a dollar a page no matter where they go. Chairman Cook inquired who established the dollar rate per page; with Mr. Ryan responding the Clerk.
Discussion ensued on the pros and cons of Options 1 and 2, the various rates charged for originals and copies, the time period for producing the transcripts, distribution of transcripts, the Board?s current policy on charging for copies, and rates charged by Constitutional Officers.
Motion by Commissioner Scarborough, seconded by Commissioner O?Brien, to award Proposal #P-3-6-17, Court Reporting Services, to Brevard Associated Court Services, Inc. at estimated annual fee of $490,621, based on Option 1 rate schedule; and execute Agreement with the firm for the service. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
Motion by Commissioner Scarborough, seconded by Commissioner O?Brien, to direct the County Manager to provide the Board with information on copying costs in all areas of the County, including Constitutional Officers. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
RESOLUTION, RE: APPROVING ISSUANCE OF BREVARD COUNTY HEALTH FACILITIES AUTHORITY HOSPITAL REVENUE BONDS, SERIES 1996 (HOLMES REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER PROJECT)
Attorney Angela Abbott, Investment Banker Steven A. Stern with William R. Hough and Company, and Robert Galloway of Holmes Regional Medical Center, were available to answer questions.
Commissioner Ellis stated all the information received from Mr. Tom Holley is that Holmes is very solvent and had the ability to carry the debt and do the expansion.
Motion by Commissioner Scarborough, seconded by Commissioner Ellis, to adopt Resolution approving the issuance by Brevard County Health Facilities Authority of its Brevard County Health Facilities Authority Hospital Revenue Bonds, Series 1996 (Holmes Regional Medical Center Project) in an aggregate principal amount not exceeding $80,000,000.
Chairman Cook inquired if the bonds will be rated and insured; with Steven Stern responding the bonds will be rated and insured or rated and uninsured, depending on which is more cost effective for the Hospital; it will receive an A-1 rating from Moodys; and they have an underwriting commitment from MBIA. Chairman Cook inquired if there is exposure to the County; with Mr. Stern responding no, they are limited obligations of the Authority which will be stated on the bonds.
Commissioner Higgs stated she thought the bonds were rated by two services; with Mr. Stern responding they applied for a rating only to Moodys. He stated they do not have the formal letter yet, and will not get it until right before the bonds are issued; they are going through the bond process; they have a confirmation verbally and have an outstanding A-1 rating on the Hospital as of August 31, 1995; so the Hospital?s credit is rated. Chairman Cook inquired if they are not junk bonds; with Mr. Stern responding they are high-quality stand alone health care bonds.
Chairman Cook called for the vote on the motion. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
PERSONAL APPEARANCE - O. J. W. CHRIST, RE: ORDINANCE NO. 83-46, ANIMAL CARE FACILITIES
Joe Christ advised last year he asked the Board to eliminate ?horse? from Ordinance No. 83-46; Commissioner O?Brien recommended including except horses from the smooth floor impervious to water provision, and that is what happened; however, there is more to be said about the Ordinance. He requested Dawn Brooks be allowed to speak on that issue.
Dawn Brooks, 360 Normandy Drive, Indialantic, advised the definition of livestock is a domestic animal such as cattle or horses raised for home use and/or profit; the definition of a boarder is one who pays a stipulated sum in return for regular meals or meals and lodging; and to be a boarder it has to receive meals. She stated in Section 14 of the Ordinance the definition says, ?except livestock? but before it excepts livestock, it says ?horses or other animals?; and it further states, ?except such facilities which are licensed, permitted, and subject to regular inspections by another animal regulatory agency.? She stated Mr. Christ?s stables are licensed, permitted by the Board, and regulated by a regulatory State agency; there is not one horse boarded at Mr. Christ?s facility; he does not feed or take care of horses; and all he does is rent space in his facility. She stated his license said a rental leasing service and not a boarding facility; and nothing in the Ordinance changes leasing facilities to stables, but in his new license it stated stables; and she cannot find how that was done. Commissioner Ellis inquired what is the problem; with Ms. Brooks responding the County wants him licensed as an animal care facility and it is not; horses are livestock and not domestic; and he is challenging the ability to take part of the word livestock and consider them domestic animals and keep the other half as livestock. She stated it is a discrimination because he chooses to rent space to horses instead of cattle, sheep or goats; livestock is livestock; and there is no boarding.
Chairman Cook inquired if Ms. Brooks is saying Mr. Christ should not be required to have an occupational license; with Ms. Brooks responding he has an occupational license, but they want him to have a license for animal care; and he does not have one because stables cannot have animal care facilities. She suggested changing the Ordinance to except livestock and remove the word ?horses? so it will be a good Ordinance that will protect the animals rather than having half livestock regulated and the other half not regulated.
Commissioner Ellis stated when it first came to the Board he wanted to scrap the whole Ordinance. Commissioner O?Brien stated to some people horses are their pets, but livestock is not necessarily considered pets and are generally slaughtered for food.
Discussion ensued on animals considered pets, removal of the word ?horses? from the Ordinance, covered pasture, adequate control, and renting of stalls.
Motion by Commissioner Scarborough, seconded by Commissioner O?Brien, to direct the County Attorney and appropriate staff to work with O. J. W. Christ to resolve the problems concerning Ordinance No. 83-46. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
PUBLIC HEARING, RE: RESOLUTION VACATING PUBLIC UTILITY EASEMENT IN RIO VISTA, UNIT 1 - MEREDITH AND LINDA CONNOR
Chairman Cook called for the public hearing to consider a resolution vacating a public utility easement in Rio Vista, Unit 1, as petitioned by Meredith and Linda Connor.
Commissioner O?Brien advised it costs $400 to process requests for vacating easements; a neighbor asked to remove 2-1/2' and was told it would cost $400; and he asked staff to give him a report on it. He stated in 1989 the Board established a fee; the County makes no profit; and the petitioner is charged for review by several Departments and for the advertising and recording costs. Commissioner Ellis recommended scheduling discussion of the vacating fee for July, as the hours spent on review seems to be in excess of what is needed.
There being no further comments or objections heard, motion was made by Commissioner O?Brien, seconded by Commissioner Scarborough, to adopt Resolution vacating a public utility easement in Rio Vista, Unit 1, as petitioned by Meredith and Linda Connor. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
PUBLIC HEARING, RE: RESOLUTION VACATING PUBLIC UTILITY EASEMENT IN RIVER MOORINGS SUBDIVISION - HENRY AND LESLIE BURSIAN
Chairman Cook called for the public hearing to consider a resolution vacating public utility easement in River Moorings Subdivision, as petitioned by Henry and Leslie Bursian.
There being no objections heard, motion was made by Commissioner O?Brien, seconded by Commissioner Ellis, to adopt Resolution vacating public utility easement in River Moorings Subdivision as petitioned by Henry and Leslie Bursian. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
PUBLIC HEARING, RE: RESOLUTION VACATING PUBLIC UTILITY EASEMENT IN RIVER MOORINGS SUBDIVISION - RIVER MOORINGS, INC.
Chairman Cook called for the public hearing to consider a resolution vacating public utility easement in River Moorings Subdivision, as petitioned by River Moorings, Inc.
There being no objections heard, motion was made by Commissioner O?Brien, seconded by Commissioner Scarborough, to adopt Resolution vacating public utility easement in River Moorings Subdivision, as petitioned by River Moorings, Inc. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
PUBLIC HEARING, RE: RESOLUTION VACATING PUBLIC UTILITY EASEMENTS IN BAREFOOT BAY, UNIT 1 - GEORGIA METCALF
Chairman Cook called for the public hearing to consider a resolution vacating public utility easements in Barefoot Bay, Unit 1, as petitioned by Georgia Metcalf.
There being no objections heard, motion was made by Commissioner Higgs, seconded by Commissioner Scarborough, to adopt Resolution vacating public utility easements in Barefoot Bay, Unit 1, as petitioned by Georgia Metcalf. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
PUBLIC HEARING, RE: RESOLUTION VACATING PUBLIC UTILITIES AND DRAINAGE EASEMENTS IN THE WILLOWS - VINCENT AND JULIE TORPHY
Chairman Cook called for the public hearing to consider a resolution vacating public utilities and drainage easements in The Willows, as petitioned by Vincent and Julie Torphy.
There being no objections heard, motion was made by Commissioner Scarborough, seconded by Commissioner O?Brien, to adopt Resolution vacating public utilities and drainage easements in The Willows, as petitioned by Vincent and Julie Torphy. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
PUBLIC HEARING, RE: ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING TAX EXEMPTION FOR EXCELL AGENT SERVICES
Chairman Cook called for the public hearing to consider an ordinance authorizing tax exemption for Excell Agent Services.
There being no objections heard, motion was made by Commissioner Scarborough, seconded by Commissioner O?Brien, to adopt Ordinance granting an economic development ad valorem exemption to Excell Agent Services, specifying the items exempted; providing the expiration date of the exemption; finding that the business meets the requirements of Chapter 196.012(15), Florida Statutes; providing for proof of eligibility for exemption; providing for an annual report by Excell Agent Services; providing an effective date. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
PUBLIC HEARING, RE: ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING TAX EXEMPTION FOR USBI COMPANY
Chairman Cook called for the public hearing to consider an ordinance authorizing tax exemption for USBI Company.
There being no objections heard, motion was made by Commissioner O?Brien, seconded by Commissioner Scarborough, to adopt Ordinance granting an economic development ad valorem exemption to USBI Company, specifying the items exempted; providing the expiration date of the exemption; finding that the business meets the requirements of Chapter 196.012(15), Florida Statutes; providing for proof of eligibility for exemption; providing for an annual report by USBI Company; providing an effective date. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
Chairman Cook inquired when the revised procedure on EDC will come to the Board; with Economic Development and Legislative Affairs Director Greg Lugar responding the Board should receive a rough draft in a week to consider review and approval on July 2, 1996.
PUBLIC HEARING, RE: ORDINANCE REGULATING TRANSITION OF COMMISSIONERS LEAVING OFFICE
Chairman Cook called for the public hearing to consider an ordinance regulating transition of commissioners leaving office.
There being no objections heard, motion was made by Commissioner Scarborough, seconded by Commissioner O?Brien, to adopt Ordinance establishing obligations for commissioners leaving office which will facilitate the incoming commissioner?s assumption of official duties; providing for commissioner compliance with State and County public record retention and inspection policies prior to leaving office; providing for an explanation of district office record retention, storage and filing systems for incoming commissioners; providing for access to district office records prior to the PUBLIC
incoming commissioner?s assumption of official duties; providing for severability; and providing for an effective date. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
PUBLIC HEARING, RE: APPEAL OF ADMINISTRATIVE INTERPRETATION OF COMPREHENSIVE LAND USE PLAN AND WETLAND PROTECTION CODE FOR FORTENBERRY PLAZA PROJECT
Chairman Cook called for the public hearing to consider an appeal filed by Leonard Spielvogel, representing 1st United Bank, on the administrative interpretation of the Comprehensive Land Use Plan and Wetland Protection Code for Fortenberry Plaza Project.
Attorney Leonard Spielvogel, representing 1st United Bank, owners of the property, advised they are appealing the interpretation rendered by the Office of Natural Resources Management because it makes the property worthless. He stated the property is 1.9 acres in size, and fronts Fortenberry Road directly across from Merritt Square Mall; and explained Exhibit 1 identifying surrounding development. He displayed and explained Exhibit 2, an aerial map of the area, and advised the Property Appraiser?s assessed valuation of the property is $322,110; and from 1989 through 1995, his client has paid over $39,000 in real property taxes. He stated his client has a Contract to sell the property which was signed on May 10, 1994; the buyer, Mrs. Clark, spent the last two years going through the permitting process; she obtained a permit from St. Johns River Water Management District on December 12, 1995; however, she was advised by the Office of Natural Resources Management she could not do anything with the property because of the findings that the property has wetlands. He stated because of the provisions of the Comprehensive Plan and Code interpreted by County staff, the presence of any wetlands on property intended for commercial use renders that property unusable. Mr. Spielvogel presented a folder to each Commissioner and the Clerk containing affidavits to present some of the testimony of Messrs. Duane Watson, Ben Elliott and Frank Plata; and requested the original affidavits, which were presented to the Local Planning Agency, be made a part of the record. Chairman Cook stated without objections they will be made part of the record of this proceeding. Mr. Spielvogel advised the folder also contains Resolution Z-2013 dated November 10, 1966, which confirms the BU-1 zoning classification for the property; notice from Brevard County Property Appraiser confirming the assessed valuation of $322,110; and affidavit from Duane Watson, Florida Real Estate Broker, who introduced the buyer to the property, providing that all conditions to closing with the exception of payment of sewer connection fees have been satisfied except for the interpretation; and if the interpretation is sustained by the Board, the property would have little if any market value. He stated the affidavit from Ben Elliot, Project Coordinator and Engineering Technician with Plata Engineering, indicates the elevations of the property at 3.1 feet and elevations of surrounding properties, and explains why the property is a catch basin, due in large part to actions taken by previous Boards and staff which allowed things to happen around the property causing it to be a retention pond. He stated the affidavit from Frank Plata, Professional Engineer of record for the buyer, indicates he requested a permit from St. Johns River Water Management District for a 12,640 square-foot building with 63 parking spaces; and it was reduced through negotiations with the District to 7,000 square feet and 42 parking spaces. He noted the permit is attached to the affidavit. Mr. Spielvogel advised in accordance with the permit, the property was committed to a mitigation wetland retention area of .8 acre and an additional .2 acre will be left as a natural buffer; and Mr. Plata?s affidavit explains drainage problems and gives historical background of the property, including that it was cleared and graded and had adequate surface water drainage, but development in the area affected the drainage as well as no curbs, swales or drainage facilities on the south side of Fortenberry Road.
Commissioner Scarborough inquired if Mr. Spielvogel intends to call the affiants; with Mr. Spielvogel responding no, the affidavits are in lieu of calling them. Discussion ensued on additional time to allow Mr. Spielvogel to complete his presentation; and the Board agreed to grant him an additional ten minutes.
Mr. Spielvogel advised staff told him they are bound by the language of the Comprehensive Plan and Brevard County Code; in reading the Comprehensive Plan and Code, he found at least ambiguity if not contradiction between the languages of the Plan and Code; Ms. Cole?s interpretation cites Policy 5.2 of the Conservation Element, and Section 62-3695 of the Code; and Criteria F.2 of Policy 5.2 reads, ?Commercial and industrial land uses shall be prohibited unless the project has a special reason or need to locate within wetlands, and there is an overriding public interest; the activity has no feasible alternative location; the activity will result in the minimum feasible alteration; and the activity does not impair the functionality of the wetland.? He stated it appears that the Code has much more flexibility than the Policy; however, staff takes the position that the Comprehensive Plan takes precedence over the Code, and it says ?shall not,? whereas the Code says ?should not.? He quoted sections of the Comprehensive Plan and Code, including the introductory paragraph of Policy 5.2; and indicated how inflexible the language was and how it tied the hands of the Board and subjected the County to liability for taking of properties without compensation. Mr. Spielvogel advised they received an affirmative vote from the Local Planning Agency; Ms. Lynn Olson, Environmental Scientist with the St. Johns River Water Management District, was asked by Mr. Pence if it was a normal functional wetland and what type of mitigation would be required; and Ms. Olson responded if it had been a normal functional wetland, four acres of creation would have been required; in this case, only .8 acre is required which is saying it is not a normal functional wetland; so it is a blanket condemnation if the Board finds any wetland on the property regardless of how insignificant or degraded it is; and he does not believe that is what the Board meant or what the taxpayers want, because the County would end up owning a lot of wetlands that could otherwise be utilized. He introduced Environmental Consultant Charles Turner.
Charles Turner, 878 Wandering Pine, Rockledge, explained a site plan of the proposed project, identifying the parking lot, building, retention area, preservation area, open area, buffer, and mitigation area. He advised of what happened to the area in 1980 when it was bulldozed and filled, and in 1984 when it was bulldozed again; and stated there is no historic vegetation present, but there is opportunistic vegetation that grow readily in disturbed areas, as well as Brazilian peppers and Melaleuca trees which are highly nuisance species. He stated the site is highly disturbed; Brevard PUBLIC HEARING, County Code states, ?A functional wetland is determined by the ability of the wetland to provide a diversity of habitat and food resources, flood storage capacity, and protection of water resources,? which is filtration, sedimentation, and converting stormwater into groundwater; the only one of the three functions the property is currently providing is some storage capacity; and if the project is approved, the flood storage capacity and protection of water resources by the proposed water treatment retention area will be greatly enhanced. Mr. Turner advised the diversity of habitat and food source for wildlife will also be greatly enhanced; and stated the site is 1.95 acres; .7 acre is proposed for development and was upland from historical wetland delineation, only .3 acre of wetland is being impacted; and in return the client proposes to create .8 acre forested in herbaceous wetland species and native species that have great habitat value and food resource for wildlife. He stated the wetland function will be greatly enhanced by the project; and they will minimize impact of the functional wetland and will provide a larger area of natural wetland. He stated it is basically a Brazilian pepper forest and disturbed area wetland; and not allowing the project would be counter-productive to State and local Brazilian pepper eradication programs.
Commissioner Higgs inquired if .7 acre has been identified for development and what is identified as wetlands; with Mr. Turner responding .4 of the .7 acre was not considered part of the wetland, so his estimation of the wetland impact is .3 acre. Commissioner Higgs inquired if they will create .8 acre; with Mr. Turner responding they will create restoring hydro-period and native planting of .8 acre high-quality wetland. Commissioner Higgs inquired if originally the entire site and area was wetland, but it was filled and bulldozed; with Mr. Turner responding yes, historically the entire site was jurisdictional wetland with exception of .4 acre.
Margaret Hames, 667 Acacia Avenue, Melbourne Village, advised she is confused over why the appeal is coming to the Board now; it does not have a definitive agreement with Department of Community Affairs; that could take care of the problem that exists here; and if the developers were patient until that happens, the Board would not have to have this appeal hearing. She stated she does not understand how they can appeal since they do not meet any of the permitted use requirements of Section 62-3694, such as having to be next to the water; and only two of the four are addressed whereas the other two are not included from Section 62-3695 and the prohibition. She stated if the Board does not support staff?s evaluation and appraisal of this project, it is saying to staff it does not matter what the Code and Comprehensive Plan says, the Board is going to interpret it whatever way it wants to; and that does not give the citizens a warm and cozy feeling if the Board can do that. Ms. Hames stated she is not speaking against the project, but against the appeal at this time and the conflict with staff?s interpretation, because if staff follows what is enacted in the laws which the citizens approved, then they are doing their job. She stated a threat of lawsuit is a little intimidating; the Bird-Harris Act does not apply in this case because they already have a permit from the St. Johns River Water Management District; staff has given an alternate option for the development to go forward, so it is not being denied; therefore, the Bird-Harris Act does not apply. She stated taxes paid or economic expectations should not enter into the consideration; and requested the Board not take action until it has an agreement with Department of Community Affairs. She noted if proper planning had occurred in the beginning, the Board would not have the site acting as a catch basin for development that occurred around it; it needs to look at the cumulative effects; and that is what the Comprehensive Plan is for.
Commissioner Ellis inquired which option Ms. Hames referred to with Ms. Hames responding going with the St. Johns River Water Management District permit. Commissioner Ellis stated that is option 3. Chairman Cook stated Option 3 is to allow the proposed development by upholding staff?s administrative interpretation, but reversing its application to the facts if St. Johns permit conditions are followed.
Charles Moehle, 65 Country Club Road, Cocoa Beach, advised he has no relation to the project and has not been contacted by the people to speak for the project; however, he spoke for it at the Local Planning Agency meeting and wish to do so again because it is the exact problem that has been a consternation for two years. He stated they have been patiently waiting for the County to work it out with Department of Community Affairs and the St. Johns District; there is always something to stop it from happening; and the people of this project will go forward with a legal process because for two years nothing has happened to alleviate the condition which has hurt people in this situation. He noted they lost their rights before there was a Comprehensive Plan; the property had zoning since the 1960's; there are other properties like it; so the Board should approve this project and look at other properties in similar situations and give staff direction that the interpretation is not what the Board?s interpretation is. Mr. Moehle advised he attended the workshops and meetings regarding this issue, with Department of Community Affairs and St. Johns River Water Management District representatives present; the County received a letter from Charles Patterson, Director of Resource Planning and Management of Department of Community Affairs dated February 22, 1996; and read excerpts from the letter offering some thoughts as to how the Board might address the concern while maintaining adequate protection of natural resources, including wetlands, and allowing commercial/industrial development; and that the County undertook land use planning to appropriately locate commercial and industrial uses and could develop a policy which would allow as exceptions the permitting process of regulatory agencies such as the St. Johns River Water Management District, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, and U.S. Corps of Engineers to afford wetland protection of those areas currently designated for commercial/industrial uses. Mr. Moehle stated the limited exception policy appears to be acceptable; his understanding from St. Johns District is that the wetlands subject to this exception are limited in magnitude; and recommended such policy reference that development within currently designated commercial and industrial land uses must comply with Brevard County Land Development Regulations. He noted future land use is just that, for things that are in the future.
Chairman Cook stated the letter from Department of Community Affairs basically said the areas already designated for commercial and industrial uses could be left to the regulatory agencies and without the County being involved. Mr. Moehle stated that is correct, they would look after stormwater management issues, environmental resources, wetland mitigation or something reasonable. Chairman Cook stated it would avoid duplication.
Attorney Spielvogel advised he does not have any problems if the Board says staff is correct, but the project is okay also because they fully intend to comply with the permit issued to them by the St. Johns River Water Management District; he did not mean to intimidate the Board; it is his responsibility to say one of the criteria was an overriding public interest; and an overriding public interest is to minimize costs to the taxpayers. He stated every time staff or a Commissioner gets an idea about doing something profound, someone should do an economic impact study to find out what it will cost; he understands why the interpretation was made; but the property is assessed at over $300,000, and multiplying that by other properties with similar situations, will be a big hit to the County; and that is why there is an overriding public interest. Mr. Spielvogel advised the reason why they did not wait until the Board worked out the situation with Department of Community Affairs is because they have a contract with a buyer; and the buyer is going through the permitting process. He submitted Exhibits 3 and 4 which were used by Mr. Turner in his presentation, and requested the items be made a part of the record of this proceeding. Chairman Cook stated with no objection that will be done. Mr. Spielvogel advised his client had to pay $1,000 to come before the Board; his client is a bank and perhaps can afford it; but not everybody out there is a bank. He stated there are other property owners who should have the right to come to the Board, if they are wronged and prejudiced, and ask for a hearing; charging $1,000 is an imposition; and requested that fee be waived. Chairman Cook stated there is an Agenda item coming to the Board with regard to fees.
Commissioner Higgs asked staff to explain how they got to their interpretation. Assistant County Manager Stephen Peffer advised there are two fundamental factors staff looked at regarding the project; first if it is a commercial or industrial development, which it is, and second if it is in a wetland, and it is; so they looked for guidance on how to deal with commercial/industrial development in wetlands, and looked to the Ordinance then the Comprehensive Plan. He stated the section referred to in the Ordinance says commercial and industrial uses should not be permitted in wetlands which means they should not receive a development permit for commercial/industrial development in wetlands; that section of the Ordinance does not articulate any further conditions under which commercial or industrial development should be allowed; however, there are conditions contained in the Comprehensive Plan. He stated the Comprehensive Plan was amended subsequent to the Ordinance and currently is more restrictive; the Comprehensive Plan is an Ordinance in itself and has precedence over the language of the Ordinance; and it says that commercial and industrial land uses shall not be allowed in wetlands and lists several conditions. He noted all those conditions have to be met; this project has no need to exist in a wetland; there are certain projects that need to be in areas where there are wetlands, such as a marina; and the Ordinance was trying to say under certain circumstances it could be allowed, but unless there is a need for the project to locate in wetlands it shall be prohibited. Mr. Peffer advised it has been difficult for staff because it recognizes that the Board addressed this issue and stated its desire to find a more flexible way to deal with commercial and industrial development; but that is something that is intended to occur in the future; staff is working under the current Ordinance and Comprehensive Plan language; and they feel that until a change is made, they must continue to interpret the language as it is written. He noted that is the fundamental issue before the Board, not whether the project is good or bad, but did staff interpret the language correctly; and Ms. Coles and Mr. Scott may have more to add.
Commissioner Higgs stated she does not understand how the Board can go with Option 3; with Mr. Peffer responding the Board would be looking specifically at whether or not, in staff?s interpretation, the project met the requirements of the Comprehensive Plan in spite of the language they have and the way staff interpreted it.
Commissioner Scarborough inquired if Option 3 is approved, where does it leave the project, how does it differ from saying go ahead with the project, and what would be the impact; with Mr. Peffer responding Option 3 would allow the development to occur; it would say staff did not interpret the Comprehensive Plan correctly in this particular project, but the basic way of interpreting the Comprehensive Plan is correct until the Plan and Ordinance is changed. Commissioner Scarborough inquired if Option 3 will accomplish Mr. Spielvogel?s purpose; with Mr. Spielvogel responding if it is to allow them to go forward with their project in accordance with the District?s permit, it would be acceptable. Commissioner Scarborough inquired if he read everyone correctly by saying staff, Ms. Hames and Mr. Spielvogel do not have problems with Option 3.
Commissioner O?Brien stated if the project is allowed, the environment will improve; he walked the property about five months ago; it is degraded; but the local laws prevent the Board from doing something better for the environment. He stated the Board needs to use common sense.
Motion by Commissioner O?Brien, seconded by Commissioner Scarborough, to approve Option 3, allow the proposed development by upholding staff?s administrative interpretation, but reversing its application to the facts if St. Johns permit conditions are followed.
Commissioner Ellis advised it is cases like this the Board is trying to address in the amendment sent to Department of Community Affairs which it has been criticized for; and there are sections of the Comprehensive Plan that deals with having to buy property if it forces an unbuildable status. Mr. Knox advised the Comprehensive Plan Ordinance provides the appeal process and also a taking process; and if this situation constitutes a taking, the owner can make a claim for taking. Commissioner Ellis stated this parcel is less than two acres; and if it were taken to the lowest use which is residential, it would not meet the Comprehensive Plan requirements which say they must have five acres; so what the Board has under Lucas is a taking of the property. He stated the Board has to make a decision, after it is through with Department of Community Affairs, if it cannot get it straightened out, how will it pay for all those parcels of property.
Chairman Cook stated the wetland issue has been distorted in the Press and otherwise; the amendment sent to Department of Community Affairs was by unanimous vote of the Board; Department of Community Affairs is not taking the Board to court and they are working out negotiations, which the Board initiated months before sending the amendment to Department of Community Affairs, to insure it could provide common sense to the issues and not cost the taxpayers an enormous amount of money by having to purchase properties because of a taking. He stated someone from the Audubon Society said it would have negative impact on thousands of acres of wetlands; and that was untrue, yet it was put in the newspaper and not challenged by the reporter. He stated this is the right solution for this case; he walked the site yesterday and it is dry; and it is surrounded on all sides by commercial development.
Commissioner Higgs advised in this case, there are two applicable sections of the Wetlands Ordinance, one is permitted uses and the other prohibitions; she does not understand how the Board can approve Option 3 and not do permanent damage to the interpretation; and inquired how can the Board say staff?s interpretation is okay, but the application in this case is wrong.
County Attorney Scott Knox advised Option 3 basically allows the development to proceed under the St. Johns River Water Management District?s permit, but at the same time, staff is saying they cannot do that development on that kind of property; it is a contradiction; and the only way to allow it to happen under the current rules is to blend the appeal procedure with the taking procedure, by saying the Board feels if it adheres to staff?s interpretation as it applies to the property, it could be taking the property and it does not want that to happen; consequently it is saying they can do it in accordance with the permit conditions.
Chairman Cook stated the interpretation is not being applied to this site, but it does not do damage to other things; and what was sent to Department of Community Affairs will address those issues in the future. Commissioner Higgs stated she is concerned that the Board follow the laws; the policy sent forward to Department of Community Affairs will address this issue; but she can accept the County Attorney?s opinion. Chairman Cook stated if the Board did not accept it, it would be in violation of the Bird Harris Act and would bring action against the County and subject it to damages. Commissioner Higgs stated the Board should not be intimidated by the possibility of a lawsuit and should follow its laws and not let that potential intimidate it into action. Mr. Knox stated the only way to get to Option 3 is to declare there is a possible taking if staff?s interpretation is upheld. He noted the taking procedure is in the same set of regulations and what the Board would be doing is re-characterizing the appeal as a taking appeal. Commissioner Scarborough stated he does not want to do anything fundamentally wrong; with Mr. Knox responding it is a sustainable position. Commissioner Ellis stated the Harris Act is not a factor in this case because the Ordinances have a taking provision that exists for every piece of property.
Chairman Cook called for a vote on the motion. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
The meeting recessed at 1:06 p.m. and reconvened at 2:10 p.m.
RESOLUTIONS AND JOINT PARTICIPATION AGREEMENTS WITH FDOT, AND AGREEMENT TO EXTEND EXISTING CONTRACT AND WORK ORDER NO. 3 WITH BRISTOL, CHILDS & ASSOCIATES, RE: T-HANGARS AND INFIELD MAINTENANCE PROJECTS AT VALKARIA AIRPORT
Martin Hadley, 1479 Ashboro Circle S.E. Palm Bay, advised he is one of ten potential leaseholders; gave a deposit on the hangar; and is waiting for the project to go through. He requested a positive vote from the Board.
Linn Walters, 1955 Valkaria Road, Valkaria, advised he applauds the Board?s sensitivities to his neighbor?s complaints of vandalism that it heard before; the vandalism activity is repugnant; the item was tabled to give time to receive a report from the Sheriff?s Office on the vandalism; and it is time to allow the project to move forward and those ten citizens who paid the deposits to see the hangar constructed. He stated it is time for Valkaria Airport to collect the lease payments and lessen its use of general funds; it is time to allow the Sheriff?s Office to take care of the law enforcement problems; and it is time to vote favorably on this item.
Johnnie Wimpee, 4180 Rosewood Avenue, Valkaria, representing Valkaria Area Residents Improvement Association, thanked the Board for improving patrols by the Sheriff?s Department in their area and the improvement to the intersection of Old Dixie Highway and Valkaria Road. He stated they still have problems in the area; several residents have reported nails in driveways, and a postal worker reported several tires damaged on his vehicle. He stated the position of the T-hangars is in part of the Airport that is now woods, so they would have to clear the area; and to save money they could look at putting it on the closed runway similar to the T-hangars that are there now, and closer to the Airport Manager?s trailer. He stated the current plan does follow the Master Plan which calls for this set of T-hangars and several more; but he is not sure with a surplus of hangars in the County whether the additional T-hangars would be built. He stated there are minor points that could be looked at in the design of the T-hangars to save money; the homeowners were in favor of the T-hangars to start with because it would bring the Airport off the tax rolls; and requested the Board consider the additional cost saving points in its recommendation.
Motion by Commissioner Higgs, seconded by Commissioner Scarborough, to adopt Resolutions and execute Joint Participation Agreements with Florida Department of Transportation for the T-hangar Project and the Infield Maintenance Project at Valkaria Airport; execute Agreement to Extend Existing Contract and Work Order No. 3 with Bristol, Childs & Associates, Inc. to provide consultant engineering services for the Projects; and to coordinate with Mr. Wimpee for input in regard to the location of the T-hangars.
Chairman Cook inquired if the cost of the work order is not to exceed $9,800 for Item 4, and if the funding would come from a loan to be paid back over 20 years; with staff responding yes. Commissioner O?Brien inquired if Valkaria Airport is off the tax rolls; with Mr. Minneboo responding yes. Chairman Cook called for a vote on the motion. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
TERMINATION OF CONTRACT WITH PANHANDLE FENCE & DECK COMPANY, RE: CONSTRUCTION OF MALABAR SCRUB SANCTUARY FENCE
Chairman Cook inquired if the Company was notified; with Assistant County Manager Stephen Peffer responding yes, and they did not want to comply with the Contract. Chairman Cook inquired if the fencing would be completed with public access; with Mr. Peffer responding yes.
Motion by Commissioner Higgs, seconded by Commissioner Scarborough, to terminate Contract with Panhandle Fence & Deck Company for construction of Malabar Scrub Sanctuary Fence; tender matter to surety for performance under the performance bond; and authorize the Chairman to execute take-over agreement with the surety. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
STAFF DIRECTION, RE: SETTLEMENT OF LEGAL ENVIRONMENTAL ASSISTANCE FOUNDATION vs. BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS Motion by Commissioner Scarborough, seconded by Commissioner O?Brien, to accept Legal Environmental Assistance Foundation, Inc.?s offer to settle for $55,926 in LEAF vs. Board of County Commissioners.
Chairman Cook stated the County acted in good faith with the original thing; and inquired what was the reason for rejecting the $50,000; with County Attorney Scott Knox responding the negotiations started at over $80,000; and after Ms. Harasz did the analysis of the time they spent on the case and amount of compensation they were seeking, she requested the court to reduce it to $59,926; and they basically agreed to take that amount of money; so had the County gone into the judicial proceeding, they would have gone in with that number. Chairman Cook inquired if it will cost more money if the Board goes forward; with Mr. Knox responding it is possible; they spent 300 hours on the case through the trial court, 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, and Florida Supreme Court; and as a comparison point, the Appellant?s attorneys in the Grissom Road case spent 402 hours; they went through three different proceedings for 300 hours versus 400 hours on one proceeding in a different case; so it is not an unreasonable amount of time; and the judges would probably be sympathetic to them.
Chairman Cook called for a vote on the motion. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
Commissioner O?Brien stated this is about deep well injection in North Merritt Island and the South Beaches; and the County depended upon the DEP permit to use the wells, and LEAF sued it. Mr. Peffer advised Brevard County went to deep well injection because it did not have a surface water alternative that would be available for long; and it was considered to be the most environmentally safe and cost-effective alternative available at that time. Chairman Cook stated there was one Commissioner on the Board at the time who completely opposed that because there were other options available that were environmentally sensitive; and deep well injection was not a total consensus item with that Board. Mr. Knox advised DEP issued a construction permit and the County continued to operate the well after it was constructed under the construction permit which DEP said was allowable under its rules at that time; LEAF challenged that interpretation of DEP?s rules; and the courts basically said DEP was wrong in interpreting its own rules; and the Board needed to obtain an operating permit. Chairman Cook inquired if the court ruled in their favor regarding attorney?s fees; with Mr. Knox responding yes.
SPEED HUMP REQUEST, RE: BEL AIRE DRIVE
Commissioner O?Brien stated 79% of the residents requested it; traffic going to the mall use Bel Aire as a short cut from Courtenay Parkway to Plumosa; and a lot of the cars are speeding.
Motion by Commissioner O?Brien, seconded by Commissioner Scarborough, to approve installation of speed humps on Bel Aire Drive. Motion carried and ordered; Commissioners Ellis and Cook voted nay.
AUTHORIZATION, RE: SUBMITTAL OF PROJECT PRIORITIES TO BREVARD MPO
Commissioner Ellis stated the Board discussed SR 3 and talked about putting it on the project list, but he does not understand how it moved ahead of Babcock Street. Growth Management Director Susan Hann advised staff?s technical data indicated SR 3 is a more critical need than Babcock Street; but the Board has the option of adjusting its priorities and directing staff accordingly. Commissioner Ellis stated he understood SR 3 would be behind everything else that was there and not moved ahead of the existing projects. Ms. Hann stated the activities being requested for SR 3 and Babcock Street are PD&E, and neither is requested for construction funding at this time. Commissioner Ellis stated generally projects are not pulled out once that cycle starts; and Babcock Street has right-of-way. Commissioner O?Brien stated because of the need it should supersede Babcock Street. Commissioner Ellis stated SR 3 is corridor improvements which is more expensive than Babcock Street which is a widening project.
Discussion ensued on projects and funding of projects, right-of-way requirements, utility lines, commercial corridor, corridor studies, and population growth.
Motion by Commissioner O?Brien, to add SR A1A corridor study as #7 and Barnes Boulevard as #8.
Commissioner Ellis stated Barnes should be 9 under widening, as there is no need to do a corridor study since it only has two lanes.
Commissioner Scarborough advised he will meet with FDOT on SR 46; the pavement in Brevard County is substantially less than Seminole County; and with truck traffic, some people were killed and others ran into the ditch because there is no place to move. He requested SR 46 be added to the motion. Ms. Hann stated SR 46 was included under Safety Projects; however, FDOT indicated it may be an expensive project, so it may be appropriate to add it also under Category B, Corridor Improvements. Chairman Cook recommended Barnes be #9 under Category A.
Motion by Commissioner O?Brien, seconded by Commissioner Scarborough, to rescind the previous motion and add Barnes Boulevard under Category A as Item 9; add SR 46 under Category B, Corridor Improvements, and Port Canaveral through PAFB as 7 under Corridor Studies.
Ms. Hann advised project C4 is from PAFB to SR 401; and inquired if the intent is to extend the limits of that project to SR 404 in Port Canaveral rather than adding No 7; with Commissioner O?Brien responding yes, from the west side of Port Canaveral to the south side of PAFB.
Chairman Cook called for a vote on the motion as amended. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
Commissioner Higgs advised the Micco Area Railroad Bridge under Corridor Improvements has no data at this point. Ms. Hann stated the County has no data and is requesting a proposal from the engineering consultant to prepare a feasibility study to identify an appropriate location for a future bridge in that general area. Commissioner Higgs stated until she can discuss it with the community, she cannot support Item 7.
Motion by Commissioner Higgs, seconded by Commissioner Scarborough, to delete Item 7, Micco Area Railroad Bridge.
Commissioner Ellis stated they have problems in Little Hollywood crossing the railroad tracks. Commissioner Higgs stated the bridge will be located somewhere between Daytona and Holly Streets and would fly over the area; and until she has further information and discuss it with the community, she cannot support it. Discussion continued on a proposed bridge in Micco, traffic problems, public meetings, and the likelihood of getting it approve being small.
Chairman Cook called for a vote on the motion. Motion carried and ordered; Commissioner Ellis voted nay.
Motion by Commissioner Ellis, seconded by Commissioner Higgs, to scheduled Babcock Street as 7 and SR 3 as 8.
Commissioner O?Brien stated he will not support the change and asked the Board not to support it because the corridor study indicated it is a critical juncture for SR 3. He stated they have to look at the real needs of the entire road in the future; the cost is about the same as other roads; and that is where it belongs. Commissioner Scarborough stated it was placed as 7 because staff analysis said it needed to be in that position, so he will support staff?s recommendation.
Chairman Cook called for a vote on the motion. Motion did not carry; Commissioners Higgs and Ellis voted aye; Commissioners Scarborough, O?Brien, and Cook voted nay.
Motion by Commissioner Ellis, seconded by Commissioner O?Brien, to add Palm Bay Road Beltway under the Corridor Study.
Commissioner O?Brien stated in his conversation with Malcolm Kirschenbaum, Chairman of the Florida Transportation Commission, it appears the Commission will be happy to look at Palm Bay Road corridor study and see if there is funding from the State. Commissioner Higgs stated they are doing a north/west Palm Bay traffic study, and part of that will include implications regarding the beltway; and inquired if the beltway could be included in that item. Ms. Hann advised the north/west Palm Bay Transportation Alternative Study is going to look at a variety of transportation opportunities in that sector of Palm Bay; and it is not specifically designed to look at the beltway although the beltway will have an impact on the ability of other transportation improvements to solve the problems in that area. Discussion ensued on public meetings to discuss Palm Bay Beltway, and meeting with Palm Bay City Council.
Chairman Cook called for a vote on the motion. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
Ms. Hann advised the previous priority list had Palm Bay Beltway as #4 under Category C; and inquired if the Board wants to put it back in the same spot; with Commissioner Ellis responding it should be at the bottom of the list. Chairman Cook stated it should be 7 under Category C.
Commissioner Higgs advised under the Florida Interstate Highway System G, there are a number of proposals; the interstate south of U.S. 192 does not appear as a widening project; she understands that will be needed; and inquired if it would be appropriate to have it on the list. Ms. Hann advised the item on the list includes from Malabar Road to SR 528, so it would take into consideration that section south of U.S. 192. Commissioner Higgs stated there are no interchanges between U.S. 192 and Palm Bay or Malabar and U.S. 192; there is a need for a new interchange between Malabar Road and U.S. 192; but it would probably make more sense to have an interchange at Babcock if they can find a way to configure it to conform to FDOT standards. Commissioner Ellis stated he agrees if they could build an interchange at that location it would be a tremendous benefit. Commissioner Higgs stated that would be the most important way to solve some traffic issues; and inquired if there is a way to get a serious look at Babcock/I-95 interchange; with Ms. Hann responding they could put it on the priority list in that category and start dialogue with FDOT as to how to accomplish it. She stated that process is very involved; doing an interchange justification report requires technical analysis; but FDOT will look at whether or not it meets spacing standards first, and staff will get input from a series of public meetings so it may have a better feel for a potential location of a new interchange in the Palm Bay area.
Motion by Commissioner Higgs, seconded by Commissioner Ellis, to include Babcock Street interchange at I-95 on the priority list, and authorize staff to begin dialogue on the issue with FDOT.
Commissioner Higgs stated if Babcock is four-laned, it will be a significant traffic enhancement. Chairman Cook stated he has no problem adding it to the bottom of the list. Ms. Hann inquired if the Board wants staff to send a letter to FDOT to ask it to take an initial look at the project in addition to including it on the priority list; with Chairman Cook responding that would be acceptable.
Chairman Cook called for a vote on the motion. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
TEMPORARY LOAN FROM SOLID WASTE, RE: MSBU DEBT SERVICE
Motion by Commissioner Scarborough, seconded by Commissioner Cook, to approve temporary loan of $180,000 from Solid Waste to make a principal payment on Commercial Paper for the Municipal Service Benefit Unit assessments. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
FINAL ENGINEERING APPROVAL, RE: VIERA WEST
Motion by Commissioner Higgs, seconded by Commissioner O?Brien, to grant final engineering approval for Viera West, Tract 12, subject to minor engineering changes as applicable, and Board approval not relieving the developer from obtaining all necessary jurisdictional permits. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
ACKNOWLEDGE RECEIPT OF ORDINANCE FROM CITY OF MELBOURNE, RE: VOLUNTARY ANNEXATION
Motion by Commissioner Higgs, seconded by Commissioner O?Brien, to acknowledge receipt of Ordinance No. 96-24 from City of Melbourne regarding voluntary annexation of real properties into the City.
Commissioner O?Brien advised Croton Road is considered to be a County Road; and recommended staff be directed to see if Melbourne wants to take the whole road. Commissioner Ellis stated they may be able to work with Melbourne to accept Croton from Sarno to Aurora, but they would not go further than that.
Chairman Cook stated there are some actions looking at making improvements to the north; and it may not be feasible. Commissioner O?Brien stated Melbourne should be asked now to accept Croton Road; with Commissioner Ellis stating the property is a church and the City will not get tax revenue from the property; and the only reason they are annexing is to get sewer service.
Commissioner O?Brien stated if the County keeps allowing cities to take property and not the roads, it will put the County in a fix if it does not reverse the trend. Chairman Cook stated in the past letters were sent on that, but this is not going to generate revenue for the City, so this would not be the item to address that issue.
Chairman Cook called for a vote on the motion. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
AGREEMENT WITH RICKWORKS & SOUTHEASTERN PRINTING, RE: DESIGN AND PRINTING OF BREVARD COUNTY HISTORY BOOK, VOLUME 2
Motion by Commissioner Scarborough, seconded by com Higgs, to execute Agreement with Richworks & Southeastern Printing, to design and print the Brevard County History Book, Volume 2. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
PURCHASE OF LAND, RE: EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTER EXPANSION AND/OR REPLACEMENT
County Manager Tom Jenkins advised staff was approached by a real estate broker to purchase the land; at some point and time it will be necessary to expand the existing Emergency Operations Center; this will be the most cost effective way to expand it; there are no immediate plans or funding to expand the facility; but the land is available at the present time.
Motion by Commissioner Scarborough, seconded by Commissioner Cook, to approve the purchase of 3.18 acres of vacant unimproved land lying on the east side of Huntington Lane in the City of Rockledge for a future Emergency Operations Center expansion; authorize the County Manager to make an offer of $105,000; and authorize the Chairman to execute a purchase contract if the offer is accepted.
Commissioner Ellis stated why are the funds not coming from EMS assessment instead of General Fund; with Mr. Jenkins responding EMS assessment is limited to emergency medical services and does not affect civil defense or emergency management functions which are funded by the General Fund. Discussion ensued on the source of funding and possible use of excess funds, if the entire 3 acres are necessary for expansion, and hurricane preparedness.
Chairman Cook called for a vote on the motion. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
DISCUSSION, RE: BAKER ACT FUNDING
Chairman Cook advised last year $288,000 came out of the $654,000 which was set aside for the Community Based Organizations for the Circles of Care; the majority of that, or $260,000, is mandated under the Baker Act for services; and deducting the $260,000 from the $654,000 would leave the same amount as last year in the CBO funding because the $260,000 will now be paid under mandated services of the Baker Act.
County Manager Tom Jenkins advised there will be more money available; with Chairman Cook responding yes, deducting the $260,000 increases the amount by $27,000. Mr. Jenkins stated there will not be a comprehensive mental health program as a result of that because nobody submitted a proposal for it this year.
Motion by Commissioner O?Brien, seconded by Commissioner Cook, to reduce $260,000 from the Community Based Organization budget of $654,000 for mandated Baker Act services.
Commissioner Higgs advised she wants to make it clear the Board is not taking away money from the CBO process because it will still be allocated to Circles of Care to provide services mandated under the Baker Act for adults and children.
Chairman Cook called for a vote on the motion. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
PERMISSION TO ADVERTISE, RE: APPOINTMENTS TO FILL VACANT SEATS ON EEL PROGRAM SELECTION COMMITTEE
Norma Savell, 3500 S. Courtenay Parkway, Merritt Island, read a statement that the current members of the EELS Selection Committee are elitist environmentalists who choose real estate sites for acquisition, and requesting elimination of the scientist requirement so people with other life experiences can participate. It also stated they resent publicly-owned property being fenced to keep the public out; one member should represent the people?s need for recreation or a person knowledgeable about development of such a place; and one member should be skilled in negotiating offers to purchase those lands to get the best price. She read that the County?s use of the Nature Conservancy as its environmental real estate broker and a member of the Selection Committee seems to be a conflict of interest; County Finance figures show huge payments to the Conservancy when competent people who live here would be willing to volunteer their expertise; and the Nature Conservancy was paid over $374,000 for quarterly installments, over $1,404,000 for the purchase of Malabar Woods, and like sums for numerous other parcels; and asked for a more responsible and realistic government using common sense. Ms. Savell stated she has a page of signatures; there is a lot of support for her statement; and there are a lot of people who would have signed had she had time to get more signatures.
Micah Savell, 1370 Sarno Road, Melbourne, advised the information indicates they are looking for people who are specialists in their fields, but some of the members who are on the Selection Committee are considered amateurs and so forth; and he would like to see someone who is familiar with real estate values and has dealt with those type of problems to sit on the Committee to balance it out. He stated there are a number of people who reside in the County and are willing to serve on the Committees, provide input, and bring common sense to some of the acquisitions. Mr. Savell stated a lot of people would not meet the criteria outlined; and there seems to be some discrepancy over those who are appointed to the Committee and those they are trying to appoint to fill the vacancies. He requested the Committee get some balance and the Board appoint someone who can bring real estate common sense to the Committee.
David White, 1502 Port Malabar Boulevard, NE Palm Bay, Director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Palm Bay, advised the five criteria for the Selection Committee are: (1) willingness to serve in a voluntary capacity, (2) willing to make a long-range commitment to the Selection Committee, (3) have an academic graduate degree or demonstrated expertise in biological or environmental sciences or a closely-related field, (4) have demonstrated concern for and have actively participated in environmental conservation, and (5) have familiarity with Brevard County eco-systems. He indicated they are all good criteria, but they have been in place for five years, and may need revisions. He stated in the next few years the County will be heading into an era of land management; staff is working on a draft manual for management of the properties; it will require a different set of intelligence, education, and expertise; and it would be proactive to enlist people with other fields of expertise, particularly in land management. He noted criterion (3) will not serve the program well as it heads into the next five years; and suggested adding to criterion (4), following up on the language of the referendum, to finance the cost of acquiring, protecting and maintaining environmentally endangered lands and making improvements as appropriate for passive recreation and environmental education, as the passive recreation aspect needs additional emphasis. He stated he would like to see familiarity with land management policies and procedures on the Selection Committee; and suggested the Board consider modifying and revising the criteria.
Margaret Hames, 667 Acacia Avenue, Melbourne Village, advised she is one of the elite environmentalists who has been on the Selection Committee for almost six years, and hopes the Board will continue to preserve the criteria for the appointments. She stated the management plan is being developed and coming up for review by the Board; the EELS Committee is directing its attention to the ongoing program; management will be a very vital component of that; and until that time, the criteria should be maintained while this phase is still in operation. She urged the Board to look carefully at the figures that were presented because there have been misquotes in the past concerning activities of the Committee, and to check with staff and the records before accepting them. She stated they are fulfilling the requirements of the referendum; passive recreation and environmental education are mandates; they are moving forward for those; and they have never fenced the property to keep people out except naughty people who want to destroy the land. Ms. Hames stated provisions have been made for access to the Malabar scrub property in the plan for fencing; they plan to open the Enchanted Forest as soon as they can get it developed; and volunteers are keeping it open now for the public.
Commissioner O?Brien inquired if the Nature Conservancy is selling lands to EELS; with Ms. Hames responding no, Malabar Scrub was up for RTC, and the Nature Conservancy, at the request of the Committee, bought it to give the EELS Program time to get its finances in order to acquire it. She stated it did the same thing for the Enchanted Forest; the EELS Program paid the Conservancy what it paid, plus interest; and it did not make a profit from those projects. Commissioner O?Brien inquired if there are discrepancies with the present appointees meeting the five criteria; with Ms. Hames responding she does not know what that refers to, and there is no voting member of the Nature Conservancy on the EELS Selection Committee, although she is a member of the Conservancy. She stated none of the members have changed; and they all met the criteria in the beginning as approved by the public and voted on by the Board. Commissioner Ellis stated his concern is that people who apply for the Committee should not get screened out before they get to the Board; and indicated an attorney, now judge, and geology professor may not meet criterion 3.
Discussion ensued on criterion 3 requiring a graduate degree or demonstrated expertise in biological or environmental sciences or closely-related field possibly excluding qualified candidates, deletion of criterion 3, buying environmentally sensitive lands requires someone who knows about scientific methodology and can determine if the lands are viable or not, moving out of the acquisition phase to a management phase, having someone on the Committee with recreation expertise to set up an environment that is also friendly to people who come to use the parks, public access, and recreational opportunities.
Commissioner Higgs advised there is a Procedures Committee that set up the procedures manual and criteria; and before the Board makes any changes, she wants information on how the criteria were established and if the Board should ask the Committee to look at it again and provide the Board with recommendations.
Assistant County Manager Stephen Peffer advised the procedures manual was developed by the Procedures Committee appointed by the Board prior to the referendum; the language was approved and adopted by the Board prior to the referendum; and it was done that way so the public would know what process would be used for selection of properties. Commissioner Higgs inquired if the Committee reviewed the criteria in recent months or years, and would it be proper to send it to the Committee for review then back to the Board; with Mr. Peffer responding the Committee has not met to review this issue; however, staff intends to bring the Committee together to re-examine the entire procedure. He stated there are a number of areas of the procedures manual that could be improved based on past policies and Board direction, and clarification of State land acquisition process; and the Procedures Committee has not met yet, but it would be the one to bring the manual to the Board.
Chairman Cook advised he appointed someone to the Procedures Committee, but it has not met; so he is not sure if that person is still available.
EELS Coordinator Dr. Duane DeFreese advised they hesitated to bring the Procedures Committee back until they had a circuit court declaratory judgment, because a lot of the changes they needed to do on the land acquisition manual were procedural and related to some of the information from the declaratory judgment. He stated the Selection Committee is working on a companion manual called The Natural Areas Management Manual; and they hope to bring to the Board a procedures committee, scientific selection committee, and four citizen committees for management that would be oriented in North, Central, South Mainland and the Barrier Island. He stated the four committees would be made up of a broad base constituency that could help support the passive recreation and management level. Dr. DeFreese advised it would maintain the integrity of the science that will be needed in writing management plans, but expand to new committees to address legitimate issues raised today about expanded management interest; and they hope to have those documents to the Board in August, 1996.
Commissioner Higgs stated if the Board is going to change the criteria of the Selection Committee or establish other groups, she wants to see recommendations from the Procedures Committee; and indicated there is no compelling reason to act on this issue today, since there is a sitting committee that has functioned for a while. Dr. DeFreese stated they can function for a little bit longer, but it is difficult getting a quorum when one person is absent, so they would like to fill those positions. He stated another point that needs to be made is that part of the success of the program over the last five years has been because of the scientific basis; it makes Brevard County unique among all the counties that have land acquisition programs in the State; it has been successful with CARL and writing outside grants and proposals because of the scientific basis; and they have been successful in getting money because they are judged as unique when they go to the marketplace.
Chairman Cook stated no one is questioning the scientific expertise as being one of the criteria that needs to be looked at, but the question is whether to expand it to look at recreational expertise.
Discussion continued on the land acquisition manual changes, the established process, and when recommendations from the Procedures Committee can be brought to the Board on the criteria for appointment to the Selection Committee.
Motion by Commissioner Scarborough, seconded by Commissioner Higgs, to refer the criteria for appointment to the EELS Selection Committee to the Procedures Committee, with recommendations to come to the Board in July, 1996. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
Chairman Cook inquired how the Nature Conservancy became the land consultant; with Dr. DeFreese responding it was a previous Board action; the Nature Conservancy is on a three-year fixed fee contract; it is paid a fixed fee each year, and the totals are probably accurate; however, the Malabar Scrub payment was because of an RTC deal. He reiterated the Conservancy used its own money to acquire the property because the County did not have the staff or facilities to handle the complicated bidding procedure; and it purchased the property at 34% of the appraised value so it was a good deal for the County. Chairman Cook inquired when does the contract expire; with Dr. DeFreese responding December, 1996. Mr. Peffer advised it was a competitive consultant selection process.
Chairman Cook called for a vote on the motion. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
The meeting recessed at 3:41 p.m. and reconvened at 3:58 p.m.
AWARD THIRD LOW BID, RE: BID #B-1-6-72, CATERPILLAR 120H GRADER
Steve Moore, 116 Windward Way, Indian Harbour Beach, representing Linder Industrial Machinery Company, advised Linder has been doing business with Brevard County for several decades; it bid the motor grader in good faith; but the package was an all inclusive bid where the County wanted only one machine. He stated Linder bid the Galion grader and was the low bid by $17,466; the Caterpillar was the third low bid; and John Deere was the second low bid. He stated all three machines are excellent and have an enormous amount of longevity in the marketplace and the industry; the Galion has been around for almost a century and is a good product in these economic times; and County staff has reviewed the Galion, talked to operators and service people, and liked some of the features very much, and perhaps some they did not like. He advised Osceola County bought six Galion motor graders; and all three machines will do a tremendous job for Brevard County and are so close in specifications that a layman would not know the difference. He stated specifications of what the machine can or cannot do is not an issue, but when the County can save $17,466 or more, because he has information where he can expand the savings, it needs to be looked at very hard. He requested the Board and Road and Bridge re-evaluate the bid that Linder Machinery was the low bidder on and give the business to Linder; and noted they have pursued the County?s business for a long time and would like to do it in the future.
Jim Teague, 1400 S. Orange Blossom Trail, Orlando, representing Linder Machinery Company, advised they service Brevard County from the Orlando area; Mr. Minneboo?s letter justifying awarding of the bid to someone other than Linder had six basic guidelines stated as very important in considering the award of the bid; and those guidelines will justify your authorization to purchase the Galion grader. He stated Mr. Minneboo had erroneous information filled with misconceptions; the motor grader being replaced is a Galion that is 25 years old; and that is an extremely long life for a motor grader. Mr. Teague read each guideline and advised of the benefits of the Galion, noting the low maintenance and repair cost in the bid document turned in by Caterpillar had an optional price for a blade accumulator and its price was $2,275 while Galion?s was $820. He stated the Galion is easier to operate and learn to operate, works better with less shifting and blade adjustments, has low operational cost, high resale value, less gears than the Caterpillar, and torque converter; and compared it with Caterpillar as an automatic versus standard shift. He stated operators sometimes get less blade load or drop some of the load off their blades instead of shifting gears with a direct drive transmission which adds up to less production and higher operating costs; travel speeds are arbitrary and capricious; and explained the difference in older graders compared to graders of today with power steering. Mr. Teague advised the torque converter will do the opposite of the information given to Mr. Minneboo; it can work at lower RPM?s and use less fuel; the Galion can start from a stop position with a full blade load; and maintenance of the load is by using the accelerator instead of shifting gears. He explained the operation of a standard vehicle requiring down shifting, lugging the engine and causing excessive fuel consumption, contamination, and shorter engine life; and stated it is impossible to lug the engine on the Galion.
Chairman Cook advised Mr. Teague his time was up. Mr. Teague stated he needs to address Mr. Minneboo?s information. Motion by Commissioner Ellis, seconded by Commissioner Scarborough, to extend the time for Mr. Teague. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
Mr. Teague advised the inching pedal and fuel consumption information Mr. Minneboo was given was incorrect; the Galion and Caterpillar are virtually identical; the Caterpillar enjoys a higher resale value; however, if the inflation factor is figured in, the actual difference in purchase price is $39,206. He stated with a fleet of graders it is a substantial dollar figure. He stated the bid has little to do with the purchase price; it is individuals who want to buy by preference; the taxpayers should not be asked to pay more when Linder has been a quality provider for over 45 years, and sold Galions since 1911; and it has a quality product that has been proven by other counties and contractors all over the State. He stated the purchase is to spend taxpayers money in an inappropriate manner; the specifications were written in a manner that no other manufacturer could meet; there are no valid product or performance enhancing values to the specifications; and they were sent bid documents, asked to bid, then told it does not make any difference because they would buy what they want. Chairman Cook inquired who told Mr. Teague that; with Mr. Teague responding he does not want to get into names of who it came from. Mr. Teague stated they were the low bidder and was refused the order; the decision was based on arbitrary specifications and defended by using valueless and erroneous information; and the six guidelines Mr. Minneboo used were defended using erroneous information. He noted he has information from Caterpillar?s handbook and trust the County will recognize and act properly by awarding Linder Machinery the order for the motor grader. He presented the documents to the Board.
Timothy Maguire, 415 Grassland Road, Palm Bay, representing Ringhaver Equipment, advised he does not fault Mr. Teague for supporting his product, but takes issue with him throwing a cloud over the process and saying the specifications were written in an inappropriate manner. He stated County staff wrote the specifications like many other counties and cities; Caterpillar is the leading manufacturer of earth-moving equipment in the world, and has been for 50 years; so a lot of people use Caterpillar standards since it is the number one piece of equipment. He stated government agencies write specifications towards the Caterpillar equipment to set high standards and let others bid knowing there will be deviations; and that is what County staff did in this case. Mr. Maguire advised 50% of all graders sold in the world are made by Caterpillar; it outsells the Galion five to one despite its premium price; and the reason is it is a long-term proposition. He stated there are machines that are 15 and 20 years old that are still working; 50% of the people pay more for it because it is the lowest cost machine to own and operate over time; private people make their living with those machines; and they would not pay more if there was not a good reason. He noted County staff assembled a lot of good information about the grader; they came to Ringhaver and Linder to get as much information as they could; there are other counties in Florida that have standardized with the Caterpillar motor graders based on their own experiences; Putnam and Volusia Counties do not buy anything else; so it is not unusual. Mr. Maguire advised Caterpillar is the only manufacturer of motor graders that designs and builds every component that goes into the machine; all other manufacturers, including Galion, buy an engine from one manufacturer, the transmission from another manufacturer, valves from someone else, etc., and put them all together to make it work; so it does not perform as well as a machine where the engineers designed the engine, transmission, valves, and every component on the machine to work together. He stated that is one of the reasons Caterpillar enjoys a huge resale advantage in the marketplace; and the market is saying they are built better, last longer, work better, and they will pay more for them. He stated it is hard to take the long-term view with pressures to spend fewer dollars up-front, but in the long run, the taxpayers and the County will suffer. He encouraged the Board to go with staff?s recommendation and make the long-term investment for Brevard County.
Steve Porteus, 415 Grassland Road, Palm Bay, Branch Manager for the Palm Bay facility of Ringhaver Equipment, advised they are the Central Florida Caterpillar dealership; one of the key points is the local dealer product support that Ringhaver can bring; and they made a long-term commitment to Brevard County and their facility enjoys a strong working relationship with the County. He stated they recently completed a store expansion in Palm Bay; they have over 21,000 square feet dedicated to parts and service capabilities; they have 12 service bays; and they are running two shifts of mechanics to meet the needs of Brevard County. Mr. Porteus advised they have ten field service trucks dedicated exclusively to the Brevard County area; they have 40 employees in Palm Bay with personal ties to the County; Ringhaver Palm Bay is growing and sees a great future in Brevard County; and they are committed to providing strong support. He noted County staff did a tremendous amount of research on the issue; recommended the industry leader which is Caterpillar; the product is backed by strong manufacturing and local dealer dedication to quality support; and urged the Board to take staff?s recommendation and go with the industry leader.
Commissioner Ellis inquired how will the County get maintenance for the Galion; with Mr. Teague responding Linder has two field service mechanics who live in Brevard County; they do not have a highway truck engine population that Caterpillar enjoys, so there is no justification to have a facility in the County; and they have parts pickup facility in Brevard County with no charge for parts. He stated they have full service capabilities in Orlando and service the fleets of all the counties in their area, so there is no problem with parts and service; and the engine is a Cummins engine which is in 75% of all construction equipment in the world, so it is easy to get parts for the machines. Chairman Cook inquired if Linder can handle the maintenance; with Mr. Teague responding absolutely, they have a shop facility and personnel who are constantly trained; and their service support is second to none. Chairman Cook expressed concern about not accepting the low bid since the products are similar.
Commissioner Higgs suggested staff advise the Board why they standardized to the Caterpillar and when it was done; with Public Works Director Henry Minneboo responding in 1989 staff came to the Board and asked to standardize a lot of their equipment, specifically the grader and track hoe issues; vehicles were also addressed which were standardized with Chevrolet; and they have standardized in a lot of equipment areas with Caterpillar, but also use other brands. He stated when they put the bid package out, they specifically addressed issues dealing with Caterpillar; and when it went to Purchasing, because of language that said nearly new, other vendors were given consideration and possibly had that motor grader. He stated some issues looked at in 1989 are the same issues today; they are pleased that Caterpillar made a major commitment and is located in the County; they have been very successful in providing the County with necessary maintenance and equipment when needed; and they go out of their way often. Mr. Minneboo advised the County has two Galion graders and eight Caterpillar graders; they have used their own records to make the determinations on fuel consumption; and in nine years they can save the difference in cost in fuel consumption alone. He stated in 1961, the County bought a Caterpillar grader and paid $17,000 for it; in 1989 it sold the same grader for $21,000; and that is important because they keep equipment for 25 to 30 years. He stated if they had the luxury of turning in those machines every ten years, it would be a different scenario. Mr. Minneboo introduced Mike McLaughlin, grader operator with 18 years experience, and advised he went to Linder to look at the equipment but did not like the Galion grader, even though he is very familiar with it. He introduced Gary Conners with 25 years of experience in maintenance who has maintained all the Caterpillars in the County, and Charlie Burton, who maintains and operates equipment for the County; stated they are extremely impressed with the Caterpillar graders; they have done a tremendous job for the County; and they would like to continue with the Caterpillar equipment.
Chairman Cook inquired if the grader will replace a Galion; with Mr. Minneboo responding yes. Chairman Cook inquired how old is the Galion grader; with Mr. Minneboo responding 25 years old, and during the last year it cost $42,000 in maintenance, and the year before it was $36,000, so it is time to get rid of that equipment.
Chairman Cook inquired if the Galion uses more fuel; with Mr. Teague responding torque converters have changed significantly over the years; 20 plus years ago when automatic transmissions came out in cars, they burned more fuel than standard shift transmissions; but today the EPA mileage certificates on standard and automatic are virtually identical; and the same is true of the new torque converters. He stated there is no difference in the fuel consumption; the torque converters are that much more efficient; and because of the difference in the way they can be worked, it can use less fuel than a standard shift because they do not have engine lugging that a direct drive has. He stated it is a moot issue today. Chairman Cook inquired what was the purpose in standardizing; with Mr. Minneboo responding in the Road and Bridge business it is extremely important; it was in 1989 and still is today; with the same piece of equipment, everyone is familiar with the makings of that equipment and learn all the idiosyncrasies of it; and it makes it much easier on the maintenance end. He stated there are times when they have to keep a motor readily available in case one is dropped during the night and cannot be in service the next day; it is very easily done if all the engines are basically the same; and Chevrolet is a good illustration of that. Chairman Cook stated his concern is losing the competitive nature of bidding out the product by standardization; and he is not sure why it was bid if the County already made the decision that the Caterpillar was the only machine it would use. Mr. Minneboo reiterated why the bid went out and that other vendors may have had a nearly new Caterpillar they could bid. He stated standardization is important, but they are not totally dedicated to the Caterpillar line on every piece of equipment; they use other brands of track hoes rollers, and other categories where the Caterpillar does not dominate the industry; and the check and balance of standardizing is knowing what other counties pay for the same equipment.
Commissioner Ellis inquired if there is a State bid list for heavy equipment; with Mr. Minneboo responding it is a yearly process and some years it could be Galions and others John Deere; and there were years when it has been Caterpillar. Commissioner Ellis inquired if there is a State bid list to compare the Caterpillar price against; with Mr. Minneboo responding he is not sure if they are on the bid list this year. Commissioner Ellis stated he understands the need for standardization and resale value and the points on the Galion that can do essentially everything the Caterpillar can; but he wants to ensure that by standardizing, it is not giving someone the ability to charge whatever they want to, knowing the County will purchase the equipment or vehicle, etc. Mr. Minneboo advised he gets copies of bids for heavy equipment from other areas in the State to see if the prices are consistent. Commissioner Ellis recommended the Purchasing Director make a phone call about the State bid list and return to the Board with her findings.
Commissioner Scarborough inquired if a decision is required today; with Mr. Minneboo responding staff has been working on this issue since March 8, 1996; the equipment they had hoped to get would have been received today; and now they have been told it will take 120 days if it is resolved today.
Chairman Cook instructed Ms. Malota to bring the information back whenever she has an answer. Mr. Maguire advised they have bid the State bids previously; they bid a Caterpillar 130 grader; the model they bid on for the County is a 120 grader; and they are not the same machine so the price would not be comparable. He stated the 120 grader is a less expensive machine than the one on the State bid; the last time they bid it was two years ago; so if staff checks the State bid, they will not find anything comparable from Caterpillar. Chairman Cook stated the Board can find out what a grader would go for on the State bid list and what the Caterpillar grader goes for.
The item was postponed until later in the meeting for more information.
DISCUSSION, RE: LATE PROPOSAL ON PROPOSAL #P-1-6-23, GROUP HEALTH INSURANCE BENEFITS
Claudia Griffiths, representing Health Plan Services, based in Tampa, Florida, advised they provided information regarding the inadvertent error on the part of Airborne Express to meet the delivery commitment; Peggy Davenport sent in supportive information in terms of services and the attempt to deliver the proposal in strict conformance with the County?s guidelines and a letter from Airborne; and they are here to answer questions.
Peggy Davenport advised they appreciate the ability to let the Board know that the failure of delivery on time was something they could not avoid; it is a very worthy proposal; the employees of the County would benefit by it; it offers choice access and quality with cost efficiency; and they wanted the opportunity to be in the bid process.
Commissioner O?Brien advised of his personal experiences with the bidding process; stated; it is not be the County?s fault that the bid came in late; and if bid opening is at a certain time and date, all bids should be there. He stated they should have made a different effort. Commissioner Scarborough stated if it was a bid, it could be prejudiced, but the situation is an ongoing negotiation process with proposals which should not put anyone at a disadvantage in the bidding process. Commissioner O?Brien stated if they have a date and time, it should be there.
Discussion ensued on the process for bids and proposals, benefits of looking at the proposal, suing the delivery company, following the rules, and good faith effort to get the proposal in on time.
Motion by Commissioner Scarborough, seconded by Commissioner Cook, to accept the proposal from Florida Independent Physicians Association, Inc. for Proposal #P-1-6-23, Group Health Insurance Benefits.
Discussion continued on the pros and cons for accepting the late proposal.
Chairman Cook called for a vote on the motion. Motion did not carry; Commissioners Scarborough and Cook voted aye; and Commissioners O?Brien, Higgs and Ellis voted nay.
DISCUSSION, RE: VOLUNTARY PAYROLL DEDUCTIONS FOR EMPLOYEES Micah Savell, 1370 Sarno Road, Melbourne, advised a firm that is participating in payroll deductions through Brevard County has a lawsuit against the County; and inquired why the County is taking payroll deductions for that firm. He inquired what would be the proper procedure to request the Board give employees an opportunity to earmark funds for Citizens for Constitutional Property Rights educational fund to tell people where their money is being spent.
Commissioner Higgs advised the environmental fund issue was brought before the Board in 1993; it was approved unanimously by the Board; so if Mr. Savell wants to do that, he needs to follow the same procedure and put it on the Agenda for Board consideration. Mr. Savell inquired if Commissioner Higgs would sponsor it; with Commissioner Higgs responding she supported the other and supports freedom of choice; and to be consistent, she would probably agree to it, but would like to see the proposal first. Mr. Savell stated he will work on one and submit it.
Commissioner Scarborough advised payroll deductions are not the Board?s money, but employees? money; and if employees have a desire for one cause that ultimately leads to redress in the courts, the Board must separate itself and be fair to the employees by letting them exercise their political rights. He inquired if recommendations for payroll deductions should come from the employees rather than a group, and is there a way to survey employees if there are certain things they would like to see payroll deductions for on an annual basis. He stated if there is not continued interest each year, then it could be discontinued, and the Board could set a policy of how many employees would make the initial election and how many would be needed to continue it. He stated the items should not come to the Board and should be a personnel issue.
Chairman Cook stated his concern is allowing payroll deductions based on popular support. Commissioner Scarborough stated it is their money and their political right to seek an easier means of having things they believe in funding.
Discussion ensued on setting requisite number of employees for payroll deductions, popular support denying minority employees the right to support something, percentage of employees to make it practical, the cost to the County to collect, divert, and distribute the funds, how to determine which organizations, groups, causes, etc. would be approved or denied, if it should be only charitable organizations and not political causes, collecting funds for groups that sue the County such as LEAF, and the difference between government and business providing freedom of speech.
Motion by Commissioner Scarborough, seconded by Commissioner Ellis, to table discussion on voluntary payroll deductions for employees; and direct the County Manager to return with a report on how many employees are contributing to LEAF, promulgate a policy on what types of programs should be considered for payroll deductions, and how many organizations under LEAF are 501(c) organizations. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
DISCUSSION, RE: LAW LIBRARY
County Manager Tom Jenkins advised staff met several times with the law library representatives; and the most practical resolution of the issue is to pay the library for the value of the used books and deduct that amount from the Board?s contribution to operate the law library so they can keep their funds and assets intact. He stated they are more comfortable getting compensation for the used books and deducting it from the General Fund contribution.
Commissioner Ellis inquired how much is the amount; with Assistant County Manager Joan Madden responding a subcommittee was going to pick out a list of the titles that were available and what the cost would be, but nobody has come up with a complete list to date.
Commissioner Scarborough advised there is a lot of interest from attorneys in Titusville; 25 people attended the meeting; and ten attorneys, a member of the Friends of the Library and the Board of Trustees are meeting to determine what books are best and important. He stated currently they have 70% usage by the public and anticipate 90% public use; the attorneys understand the importance of having the availability of that information in Titusville; so they want the law books in the public library. He stated they will get a list of the books from the group; and encouraged the same procedure be performed for the Melbourne area to determine what books are useful to the people who are going to use them. Commissioner Scarborough stated there was concern about closing the library at Viera at 5:00 p.m.; there are attorneys who do major research at night; and he would like to defer this item until they get reports back from Titusville and Melbourne attorneys as to precisely what the libraries should have.
Chairman Cook advised the law library at Viera is on the extreme side of the Justice Center is so it could keep separate hours. Commissioner Scarborough stated the attorneys were told the closing would be at 5:00 p.m. Chairman Cook stated staff should look at that. Chairman Cook questioned letting attorneys decide which books will be in the libraries because what they may want may not be the same as what the general public may want; with Commissioner Scarborough responding that was discussed extensively and they understand it will be 90% usage by the public in Titusville.
Commissioner Ellis stated the Agreement with the Law Library Board of Trustees can only be canceled July 1, 1996, and the Board will not meet again until after that date. Commissioner Scarborough stated he is not trying to stop that, but as far as defining what books should be in the public libraries, he will know that tomorrow. He noted Melbourne attorneys should have an opportunity to come to a similar decision because they know what books can help guide the public. Commissioner Ellis stated all the books out of the Melbourne Law Library should go to the Melbourne Public Library; with Commissioner Scarborough stated that is fine if that is what they want. Commissioner Ellis stated the Board is responsible for the operating cost of the law libraries; if the books are worth $25,000, the Board should deduct $25,000 from what it gives the libraries instead of going through the exercise proposed. Commissioner Scarborough stated Gary Large said the Board of Trustees of the Law Library view themselves as an independent entity and do not see the authority to give books back to the organization that helped fund the library; and because of that, they want to work it out where it is not a gift; and Mr. Jenkins has worked diligently to satisfy that feeling that they have a fiduciary responsibility to the Board of Trustees. Mr. Jenkins advised the local statute that set up the law library says, ?Any property acquired by said library by purchase, donation, or otherwise, shall be deemed to be held and used as a charitable public trust?; so their thoughts are rather than relinquish those assets which are part of the charitable public trust, if the County paid them for the books, it would be deducted from the amount given to them annually.
Discussion ensued on the methodology for receiving the books and compensating the Board of Trustees, buying new books and not contributing funds to the law library, and closing of the law libraries in the Courthouses were agreed to because the books would be in the public libraries.
Attorney Ken Crooks, representing the Brevard Bar Association Law Library Board, advised he wants to make sure each Commissioner received copies of the letters from Gary Large to Tom Jenkins and Commissioner Scarborough that outline their position. He stated the Trustees consider themselves to be in possession and ownership of those law books; and they believe they have to show some quid pro quo in regard to this transaction. He stated he suggested an inter-departmental transfer similar to Central Fleet charging Solid Waste for maintenance of its vehicles; and it is different than what is being indicated regarding the $140,000 the Board gives to the law library. He stated the Board would give it as a budget item; at the end of the year, the County would send a bill to the law library; and the law library would turn over whatever excess funds it has at the end of the year; but the bill sent to the law library will be less.
Commissioner Ellis stated it would make more sense to take the value of the law books and deduct it from the $140,000; with Mr. Crooks responding it would end up to be the same thing, but it has to be on a budget basis. Mr. Crooks advised there are a number of books the Board of Trustees has already arranged to give to the public libraries; that is not part of the proposed auction; and no payment will be made for those books. He stated they did not know what was being requested regarding the surplus books, which ones would be transferred to the public libraries, what they had on hand, and what was available; and that is being addressed by staff at this time. Discussion continued on what books should go to the public libraries, a mix of materials that should be available in the libraries on computer terminals, documents geared to the public and the law profession, and that the majority be geared to the public.
Motion by Commissioner Scarborough, seconded by Commissioner O?Brien, to direct staff to proceed as outlined and come back to the Board for a decision on how many books will be placed in the public libraries. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
TERMINATION OF LEASE AGREEMENT WITH MARK CENTER TRUST, RE: NORTH BREVARD LIBRARY AT SEARSTOWN
Commissioner Scarborough advised the County is obligated to pay the lease for the North Brevard Public Library which was temporarily located at Searstown, and Titusville Police Department wants to use the leased area for a teen center.
Motion by Commissioner Scarborough, seconded by Commissioner O?Brien, to terminate the Lease Agreement with Mark Center Trust for space to temporarily house the North Brevard Public Library, and authorize paying the remaining rent to allow the Police Athletic League to use the space for its teen center and youth programs. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
The meeting recessed at 5:38 p.m. and reconvened at 5:54 p.m.
ALTERNATIVE, RE: KALENY LIMITED OF FLORIDA, INC. vs. BREVARD COUNTY
County Attorney Scott Knox recommended appeal on Kaleny Limited of Florida, Inc. versus Brevard County because of the legal issues involved. He noted the Board?s choices are to appeal or grant the expansion of pre-existing use that was originally requested.
Chairman Cook advised this is the case where the property owner sought a substantial expansion of pre-existing use in the South Beaches which was denied by the Board and over-turned by the court. Mr. Knox advised the circuit court, in its appellate capacity, sent it back to the Board and said it was not based upon substantial competent evidence.
Attorney Ken Crooks, representing Mr. Alwill and Ms. Stallman, advised the item pertains to the Surf Caster Motel and Bernardo?s Pizza Shop in the South Beaches; they purchased the property in 1990, with a condition to their Contract with Mr. Chapman that they get an exemption from the 1990 Comprehensive Plan amendment which would change the land use designation from Mixed Use to Residential; and they were able to get that exemption and purchased the property for $375,000. He stated they proceeded with a site plan which took two years to get approved; their architect/engineer proceeded to get building permits for expansion of the existing motel to add four units and two commercial units on the ground floor; and after a long journey they got approval a week before the site plan expired, but for some reason the engineer did not get the last piece of the puzzle in place and their site plan expired. Mr. Crooks advised County staff told them not to worry because there was a new process for pre-existing use designation; they paid almost $400 and went through that process and were required to get a new set of engineering plans; it went to the Planning and Zoning Board and was unanimously approved after the applicants agreed to remove the commercial uses; and when it came to the Board, three Commissioners voted to deny the request. He stated the petition for certiorari was filed and a three-judge panel unanimously found the Board had no substantial competent evidence to support its denial; now the County Attorney is suggesting an appeal to the Fifth District Court of Appeals based on a concept that Chapter 163 deemed the application inconsistent; and they do not believe that analysis is proper. Mr. Crooks stated as a matter of equity, the item should stop here; the applicants have expended an exorbitant amount of money going through the process to maintain the viability of their existing businesses; and the County should allow them to do what they are seeking. He stated they are paying taxes on commercial property and are not able to use it commercially, build it under existing category of TU-1, or build it under the land use designation of residential; they cannot do anything with the property; and all they are seeking is to expand the motel by four units and two commercial units on the bottom floor. He stated the County can appeal it, but it will have a devastating effect on the applicants if it takes another year; they have been paying interest on their financing for the last two years; and they are willing to withdraw the commercial aspect of the expansion and limit it to four residential units with the bottom floor being the office, laundry facilities, etc. if that will induce the Board not to appeal the matter and to grant the permit for substantial expansion of pre-existing use that will benefit the County, neighbors and applicants.
Commissioner Higgs inquired how many units are existing; with Mr. Crooks responding five.
Bernard Alwill, 5935 S. A1A, Melbourne Beach, advised they have lived there for six years and had the restaurant for five years; they feel they are an asset to the community and are not speculators or trying to over-develop the hotel site; and they are close to A1A because of their environmental concerns for the turtles. He stated they were told they could build a lot more when they purchased the property; they are down to four units now; and they would not have committed their life savings to do it if they knew it was going to change and they would lose everything they had. He stated they live in the hotel; and it is their home, their dream, and where they want to be. Mr. Alwill stated he has lived in Brevard County since 1969; his taxes keep going up and are considerably high; they had an overall plan and everyone in the Building Department knew they were going to be allowed to do it; and they were a week late, but did not know they would be penalized so badly.
Hank Saunders, 5075 Malabar Boulevard, Melbourne Beach, advised he sold Mr. Alwill the property; and they made sure the zoning was for 20 units per acre and they could build 30 units and had mixed use designation before they closed on the property. He stated it is a big piece of oceanfront property of about 65,000 square feet; it has a 5,000 square-foot building on it; and all they want to do is add approximately 4,000 square feet to it. He stated the same property could have 6.5 lots of 100' x 100'; if they put 2,500 square-foot houses on the lots, it would be almost 20,000 square feet of building; and their request plus the existing building is not even half of that. He stated substantial improvements or expansion sounds like they are going to build a whole bunch of units; but if it is approved, it will be a small building on a big piece of property.
Commissioner Higgs inquired if the Board wished to entertain the idea that the applicants brought forward, could it file the appeal and schedule a hearing where the public could be made aware of the issues and allow full discussion of the options presented. County Attorney Scott Knox advised in order to preserve the right of appeal, the Board has to file within 30 days; and Mr. Crooks may be willing to work out a stipulation in that scenario if they can get away with it with the District Court of Appeals, and defer further review until the issue has been brought back to the Board. Commissioner Higgs inquired if it would be a vested rights, zoning, or substantial expansion hearing; with Mr. Knox responding they are proposing a modified expansion of pre-existing use, so it would almost be a re-hearing of the same application. Commissioner Higgs inquired what type of notice would be given to the public; with Mr. Knox responding the Board does not have to give any notice and can do it in the context of the lawsuit settlement; or if it is a pre-existing use application procedure, it would do what it normally does. Commissioner Higgs inquired how much effort does it take to file with the Firth District Court of Appeals; with Mr. Knox responding it would be a petition for certiorari and would take substantial effort unless there is a way to get them to take jurisdiction and hold off on filing of the brief, but he is not sure how it would be done or if the Court would allow it.
Commissioner Ellis stated he does not understand how long the applicants have to be tortured by County Government. He stated it was a poorly worded Agenda item; they knew there were four motel units and two commercial units and not several as written; and they need to be objective and factual in what they write in the Agenda items.
Motion by Commissioner Ellis, to grant expansion of pre-existing use for four additional motel units and no commercial use other than office and laundry facilities on the bottom floor to settle Kaleny Limited of Florida, Inc. versus Brevard County.
Commissioner Higgs objected to proceeding without public notice and excluding the public from the process, as they were in strong attendance at the meeting. Discussion ensued on the Agenda item as written, no public notice or presence at the meeting, the Agenda item providing option to grant expansion as an alternative, other court orders where the County won on appeal, and settling the lawsuit without additional time, effort and cost to the taxpayers.
Chairman Cook called for a vote on the motion. Motion carried and ordered; Commissioner Higgs voted nay.
AGREEMENT WITH KEEP BREVARD BEAUTIFUL, RE: RECYCLING EDUCATION PROGRAM
Commissioner Ellis gave each Commissioner a copy of the curriculum for 4th and 5th graders for recycling; described certain parts of the curriculum and vehemently opposed teaching those grade levels using Dr. Zeus and other methods that would make them feel guilty, or separating children into renewable and non-renewable items and designating a portion of the classroom as the landfill. He stated it is from the 4 R?s curriculum from Department of Education in Tallahassee; he does not support that curriculum and does not agree with the way it is being taught to children; consequently he will not support the Agreement.
Nancy Mellor advised that curriculum is from the State and not the program that Keep Brevard Beautiful teaches in the Brevard County schools; it is something that the Solid Waste Act of 1988 addressed and suggested teachers teach in the schools; but it has nothing to do with the local governments. She stated the Keep Brevard Beautiful program supports the State curriculum only by addressing reduce, reuse, recycle; it talks about local issues, how they can participate in recycling, the central disposal facility, and recycling opportunities there; and the State has recover, but the County does not because it does not have the waste to energy process.
Commissioner Ellis stated the Agenda item clearly states it is based on the 4 R?s curriculum of Tallahassee; and that is what he had to go by when he reviewed the item. Ms. Mellor assured Commissioner Ellis it is not.
Robert Mantor advised Commissioner Ellis looked at the letter of the law and not the spirit of it that they have developed over the past year; and that is what they actually teach. He presented the County?s documents to the Board.
Marguerita Engel advised when the State mandated recycling education, Brevard County Solid Waste chose education of 4th and 5th graders as one of the ways to educate on recycling; however, that is why the County contracted with Keep Brevard Beautiful to do a completely different curriculum than the 4 R?s from the State.
Solid Waste Management Director Richard Rabon advised they were careful to make sure what they taught was factual and had a local influence; they explain what will help the County?s program progress and teach children about the County?s system; and that is where it departs significantly from the State?s program. Commissioner Ellis stated the handout should have been provided with the Agenda packet; and thankfully it is not based on the State?s curriculum. Commissioner O?Brien described the difference between the State and County curriculum; and Ms. Engel reiterated they would not teach what is promoted in the 4 R?s curriculum.
Motion by Commissioner Ellis, seconded by Commissioner Cook, to execute Agreement with Keep Brevard Beautiful to provide the recycling education program. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
Public Works Director Henry Minneboo advised they have copies of the bids done by City of Cocoa and Nassau County illustrating the specific machine they are trying to acquire which is the Caterpillar 120H; and it is higher than the price quoted to the County. He stated Nassau County?s bid is from last year, and there has been a 3% increase in the industry from last year to this year; however, the proposal is in line with those figures. He stated staff strongly supports the Caterpillar.
Commissioner O?Brien inquired if Industrial Tractor is repurchasing a motor grader from the City of Cocoa for $67,500; with Mr. Minneboo responding it represents total cost bidding which guarantees what the machine will be worth at a prescribed period of time. He stated if the City paid $113,000 for a 120H Caterpillar, the Vendor guarantees that at the end of the specified time, that machine would be worth $86,000, so the net total cost bid is $29,000.
Chairman Cook inquired if there is nothing on the State bid list; with Purchasing Director Joellen Malota responding they could not get access to the State bid because its server was down. Chairman Cook stated that was the main thing he wanted to see; he cannot support this bid award without seeing what is on the State Contract; and the County cannot get access to it.
Commissioner Scarborough stated he will listen to the people who use and know the equipment; accepting low bids sometimes forces the Board to be less than wise; and it is hard to look at the best bid scenario, but there are differences in equipment, and there is nobody more capable of telling the Board about the equipment than the people who use it.
Motion by Commissioner Scarborough, seconded by Commissioner O?Brien, to reject the low and second low bids for Bid #B-1-6-72, Caterpillar 120H Grader, and award third low bid of Ringhaver at $117,988.
Chairman Cook stated he cannot support the motion without seeing what is on the State Contract. Commissioner O?Brien suggested amending the motion to purchase the Caterpillar if the price is lower than what is on the State bid for the same piece of equipment, and if not, Caterpillar meet that State price; with Mr. Minneboo responding he has no problem with that.
Commissioner Scarborough amended the motion to include that Ringhaver meet the State?s bid price if that price is less than the third low bid price; and Commissioner O?Brien accepted the amendment. Commissioner Scarborough stated that part of the motion would only apply if the State bid is for the same piece of equipment at a lesser price; and if it is higher, then it does not apply. Chairman Cook stated he will support it this time, but he has a problem with standardization.
Chairman Cook called for a vote on the motion. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
DISCUSSION, RE: STANDARDIZATION OF EQUIPMENT AND VEHICLES
Commissioner Ellis advised if the County is standardizing its vehicles, it should go to all the Chevrolet dealers around the State. He inquired if all the Caterpillar dealers in the southeast were contacted to bid; with Purchasing Director Joellen Malota responding the bid was sent to all Caterpillar dealers in the State; but if they go out of the service area, it is not competitive for those vendors to bid.
Chairman Cook stated he has a concern about standardizing because all three dealers would work together to respond; and he is not sure by standardizing the County is getting the best competitive price. He suggested standardization be discussed as an Agenda item for the next meeting.
Commissioner Ellis stated his problem is not standardization, but how to avoid monopoly pricing and insure if the County standardizes with Chevrolet, Ford, General Motors, etc. it will get the best price possible. He stated staff needs to shop around with other jurisdictions to see what they are paying for similar equipment, as it did with the City of Cocoa and Nassau County.
Chairman Cook stated if the machinery does essentially the same thing, he does not see what is accomplished with standardization, so it should be discussed when the Board returns in July, 1996.
APPOINTMENT, RE: EELS PROCEDURES COMMITTEE
Motion by Commissioner Higgs, seconded by Commissioner Scarborough, to appoint Michael Storey, 725 S. Atlantic Avenue, Cocoa Beach 32931, to replace Ed Weed on the EELS Procedures Committee, with term expiring December 31, 1996. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
Chairman Cook instructed staff to advise all Commissioners who the members of the EELS Procedures Committee are.
PUBLIC COMMENTS - MICAH SAVELL, RE: PAYMENTS TO NATURE CONSERVANCY
Micah Savell, 1370 Sarno Road, Melbourne, advised $374,000 was paid to the Nature Conservancy for fees or entitlements for its service to the County; there was also a 1.4 million-dollar payment to the Conservancy; and he is not sure how those figures were arrived at. He stated because they received bits and pieces of information from one group within the staff, he asked Commissioner Cook to attend a meeting with staff with him; at that meeting, a number of things came up that the Board had been told did not exist; and one item had to do with the exception of what is core property and who was involved. He suggested the Board direct staff to prepare a report on all the funds that have been dispersed, either to or for the Nature Conservancy from Brevard County or any other agency through the County, that would cover services rendered, reimbursements, copies, phones, offices, etc. so they all can see what those numbers are, how much is involved in the commissions if any, and how much was involved in the sale of real estate. Mr. Savell stated every time he has gone to staff and asked specific questions, they have always been very helpful and gave him the information; but he has spent months trying to obtain the information on this issue. He stated he should not have to look under every stack of paper to get the truth; and it should be correct and legitimate and free flowing because he has a right to know whether it was that was paid to the Nature Conservancy. He stated he doubts if any Commissioner can factually tell them what the monies paid were based on and funneled through, and whether it was EELS, CARL, Scrub, or something else; and they need to have some real knowledge to make concrete decisions on whether the money being spent is beneficial and legitimate, or whether they need to rethink what they are doing.
Chairman Cook recommended the County Manager provide that information to Mr. Savell and all Commissioners. Commissioner Ellis stated he wants to look at the total amount of dollars Brevard County has paid to the Nature Conservancy and justifications for each expenditure. Commissioner Higgs inquired what time frame; with Chairman Cook responding since 1991 when the EELS Committee was appointed.
Commissioner O?Brien stated he would hate to think something was being done wrong with the EELS Program; the County usually has audits done of Departments and agencies it contracts with; but he does not know if the EELS Program has been audited to determine if there are any discrepancies in what it is doing. He stated if there is a question about whether the money is being spent inappropriately or appropriately, the public has a right to ask and the Board has a responsibility to answer; and if they have to go back to the EELS people to find those answers, then the Board should do that. Commissioner Ellis stated it may have been done in a very appropriate manner, but the Board may be surprised at the amount.
MODIFICATION NO. 2 TO AGREEMENT WITH U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, RE: DEVELOPMENT OF SCRUB CONSERVATION AND DEVELOPMENT PLAN
Micah Savell, 1370 Sarno Road, Melbourne, advised Brevard County has been working on the modification of the Scrub Conservation and Development Plan since 1991; now it has been merged and sent off to the CARL group which is looking at it; he is not sure what the real status is at this point; but they were promised for a long time that before any plan was adopted the people would be notified and have an opportunity to have a voice in the process. He stated the County has not notified the people that are affected, whether it be 5,100, 8,600 or 26,312 people; and the plan has been submitted and is now up for modification or extension. He inquired what benefit is afforded the property owners and what input will they have when the plan comes back after U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Natural Resource, and State of Florida look at it, and CARL funds it. Mr. Savell stated he was told that the Nature Conservancy?s input was up in December; Dr. DeFreese said it is this December instead of last December; and there has to be a real course of action and direction from the Board to help the people with the problem. He stated people think it does not happen in America, but it does happen; it happened in Brevard County with the Coastal Setback line, wetland policies, and many other things; there has to come a time when people have rights; and requested the Board give them an opportunity to get involved if it is going to grant an extension.
Commissioner Ellis advised it is being extended to January, 1997; the Board has not discussed this item for over six months; he has ideas of what he would like to present for a Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP); and before the Contract is extended for another year, the Board should decide where it is going with this item and whether it will submit no HCP, an HCP similar to what it was given, or a different HCP. He stated the issue has been dragging for months with nothing happening; he received a letter from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service the first of April; it did not say anything, but at least he got a letter back; and a key part of that letter talks about the HCP goals that do not require conserving every remaining group of scrub jays which is contrary to everything the Board has heard during all the scrub jay meetings. He stated the Board was told it had to save all the populations; it had an HCP developed to save all the populations; and if the Board does not have to do that, the proper HCP to submit would be everything the County, State and federal governments, and St. Johns River Water Management District own as its contribution for scrub jays which is over 21,000 acres, and force the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to give the County something definitive. He noted he would be glad to sit through another workshop if they have something to bring to the workshop or each Commissioner present some ideas; but it is not proper to continue it through the first of January, 1997 with no action from the Board for the last six months.
Assistant County Manager Stephen Peffer advised by extending the term of the Grant Agreement, the Board will have some fiscal flexibility on how to proceed; it received dollars from Fish and Wildlife Service over the last several years to develop a scrub plan; there are between $50,000 and $58,000 remaining from the grants which are available when the Board makes its final decision as to how it wants to proceed; and if the Agreement is terminated, the County will lose those funds. He stated the funds could be used for public notices, final publication of a plan, environmental impact statement, etc. which may be necessary; there are a number of expenses pending a final decision of the Board; and this item will maintain those funds until the Board reaches a final decision.
Chairman Cook stated he does not mind having a workshop in July to address the scrub plan because the Board needs to make a decision, whether it is to submit lands it already has to get a definitive decision from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, or do something else that may be proposed. He indicated this issue has languished for a very long time.
Commissioner Higgs advised in November or December, the Board unanimously directed staff to submit the information to CARL; staff proceeded with the CARL Program for the State to purchase scrub land through the set aside funds; the County made the first cut; and the Selection Committee came to Brevard County and will be back in July. She stated final decisions will be made in November; so although the Board has not taken action, staff has proceeded with action to use State funds; and the Board will not know what the options are until it knows what the State will take. Chairman Cook stated it was a unanimous decision of the Board to request CARL funding. Commissioner Ellis stated that is completely separate from this issue.
County Attorney Scott Knox advised his office has filed a request for a declaratory statement on the impact of the taking statute on the County and what the County?s liability will be; that was several months ago; and last week they received a response from Atlanta indicating it finally got to the right attorney and he will respond in the near future.
Commissioner O?Brien stated the Board gave staff direction and asked the County Attorney to file legal action on the taking issue; those are underway; it is not languishing; and the Board does not have time for a workshop in July with double zoning meetings, heavy Commissioners? schedules and budget hearings. He inquired if the Board does not renew the Contract will it lose $50,000; with Mr. Peffer responding yes, the County would have to return the funds. Chairman Cook inquired if there is any additional obligation by renewing the Contract; with Mr. Peffer responding nothing beyond what it has under the Agreement which is to prepare a draft plan. He noted they do not have a draft plan because the Board has not approved it; after a draft was prepared by the Committee, it went through a number of workshops; and the Board basically set on another course of action. He stated the Board asked Fish and Wildlife Service what the parameters of the plan are, and what does the County have to do.
Motion by Commissioner Higgs, seconded by Commissioner Scarborough, to execute Modification No. 2 to Agreement with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, extending the period of performance through January 1, 1997, to continue development of the Scrub Conservation and Development Plan.
Commissioner Ellis inquired when will the Board discuss the issue again; with Mr. Peffer responding the County does not have a plan because it is waiting to hear from Fish and Wildlife; and after a response is received, he will bring it back to the Board to give staff direction. Commissioner Ellis stated he waited four months to get a response from an employee, and now he has to wait for a response from an attorney. Commissioner Scarborough recommended the item be put on the agenda as soon as a response is received. Mr. Knox noted he will try to prod a response.
Chairman Cook called for a vote on the motion. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
PERSONAL APPEARANCES - SHARON ZIMBRO AND CHARLES MONK, HYDRAULIC EQUIPMENT SALES AND SERVICE, INC., RE: PURCHASE AND REPAIR OF EQUIPMENT OUT OF COUNTY
Charles Monk advised he represents himself and several other business people who are concerned about the amount of money being spent by Brevard County out of County. He presented documentation regarding repair work and purchase of materials to go on heavy equipment; and stated it is just a drop in the bucket of the kind of money spent out of Brevard County when there are businesses in Brevard County that can provide the same type of services and materials. He stated he has been in business with Hydraulic Equipment Sales and Service for six years and experienced difficult things with the County; there are people who work for the County who are prejudice and may be taking favors; and there are unethical things going on that the County needs to know about and should investigate. He stated there is bid tampering; there are companies soliciting bids and people in the County government showing those companies other companies? bids so that they can "favorize" them to get the bid; he knows all that from facts; and the documentation he presented to the Board should indicate there is favoritism, even thought it is not as complete as he would like for it to be. Mr. Monk stated in 1995, there was $387,572 spent in Orlando for services and materials on equipment that belongs to Brevard County, and only a little more than $9,000 spent in Brevard County; he pays more taxes than that a year; and inquired what the Board can do to help the businesses in Brevard County to keep Brevard County money in the County. He stated it is his understanding the businesses in Brevard County cannot produce the price that the people in Orange or Volusia Counties can; that is not true; and the County has to give the people in Brevard County a chance to bid on it before it can say they are too high. He stated it has been over four years since he has had anyone from Brevard County come to him and ask if he would like to bid on working on a piece of equipment; Stockton Whitten, Assistant to the County Manager said, "There are no parameters as far as bidding practices"; and he disagrees with that, because the Assistant to Commissioner Cook indicated there are guidelines and parameters to County purchases, and Hydraulic Equipment has a valid point and should present it to the Board. Mr. Monk stated if the County is going to promote business, it should promote the businesses in Brevard County; and requested the Board recognize it, and initiate something, and take some type of action that will keep the businesses in Brevard County afloat. He stated a company in Orlando received $350,000 plus from Brevard County; he has the largest hydraulic facility in the County and just built a 12,000 square-foot facility; he employs nine people, and have the capabilities of doing anything that can be done in Orlando; and the County is paying for transportation to take equipment to Orlando when it can be done in Brevard County. He stated the County has two trucks that by-pass each other several times a day going to Orlando to save a dollar; and it does not save money when considering the cost of fuel and wages for the drivers. He stated that is what they are up against; there is some bad management; he has put it off for three or four years; it was brought to his attention; and somebody had to draw the line somewhere. He stated a female who works for him is a good friend of Henry Minneboo; he is a friend of Don Miller who was married to that girl; and it was told to her, through Central Fleet, that as long as she worked for Hydraulic Equipment, it would not get any of Central Fleet?s business. He stated in 1995, Hydraulic Equipment did zero business for Central Fleet; those sound like allegations, but it happens within his organization and can happen within the County; and he hopes what he brought to the Board will enlighten it and let it know what is going on. He noted maybe the Board can do something about it, and maybe it cannot.
Commissioner Scarborough stated severe allegations have been made on the record; it is important that the Board proceed with the State Attorney?s Office, Sheriff?s Department, or whoever, to somehow respond; and it should not go to the next item until it handles this one.
Chairman Cook inquired if the County Attorney had any comments.
County Attorney Scott Knox recommended Mr. Monk put his allegations in writing and those written allegations be taken to either the State Attorney or Sheriff. He stated in other counties generally the State Attorney has an investigator look into it; but the Board needs something in writing and more substance to the allegations than what has been heard today.
Motion by Commissioner Scarborough, seconded by Commissioner Cook, to direct the County Attorney to work with Charles Monk in taking the allegations forward.
Commissioner Scarborough stated a lot of times an allegation comes forward and the State Attorney?s Office never really gets a good interview; the Board has a responsibility to the public to get something back; and if the State Attorney?s Office does not want to prosecute, he needs to address the Board and give the reasons. Chairman Cook stated that is why he thought it was important for Mr. Monk to address the entire Board; those are extremely serious allegations; and they should be pursued.
Mr. Monk advised there is a situation on page 15 of the documentation he presented which indicates the County paid $2,500 to disassemble, clean, rebuild, and repack six-inch bore by 365-inch stroke tie road hydraulic cylinder for the west shredder mill cover and test cylinders; and he could have sold the County new cylinders for $700 each; that did not have a bid; and someone just said take it, do it, bill me, and I will pay for it. He stated he had a bid to do work for the County, proceeded to do the work, and had another vendor come in and pick it up and take it away from his shop to the vendor?s shop; he had a situation at Central Fleet where his sales representative initiated to a buyer at the dump site what they could do to serve the County; and the person indicated she could draw up documentation showing what they can do and go from there. He stated she drew up a paper to put a hose crimping machine in the facility, listed what would be needed, and documented the prices of the hose and fittings; and the person sought two other bids, one from Orlando and one from Volusia County. He stated he offered the County a $13,000-crimping machine at no cost as long as the County purchased the materials from him; the other two bidders told the County they had to buy the machine; and when he checked on it two or three weeks later, the bid sheet showed there were two to three pennies difference in each bid price. He stated he knows for a fact that the bid was given to those people, and they were told to beat the price, because when it is pennies different there is something wrong. He stated it is like his company has been black-balled for the last three or four years; he does not know the reason for it; but he has the proof.
Commissioner Higgs requested someone explain the procedure for bidding hydraulic equipment, as she does not recall seeing it as a bid. Central Fleet Director Eugene Melvin advised it is done on an individual job basis; and they cannot get a bid on things that may break down, so it has to be done on an individual bid. Commissioner Higgs inquired if the County has a cumulative relationship with a particular vendor for a lot of money and no bid for the work; with Mr. Melvin responding Mr. Monk is referring to Solid Waste which has not been under his direction for two years; and he does not know what their method is for getting equipment repaired. Assistant County Manager Joan Madden indicated they could be done on an open purchase order. Commissioner Higgs inquired if larger purchase orders were bid; with Ms. Madden responding not necessarily.
Commissioner Ellis inquired if the County has an open purchase order with Hydraulic Equipment Sales and Service, Inc.; with Mr. Monk responding yes, it is minimum. Commissioner Ellis stated he does not understand why the County does not have open purchase orders with all facilities and when something breaks down, they get quotes from those facilities; with Mr. Monk responding it does not work that way. Commissioner Ellis inquired if Mr. Monk has been getting calls for quotes; with Mr. Monk responding no. Ms. Madden noted before there is too much conjecture, she would like to get a full report from the Department. She stated she believes they are all done on open purchase orders, and does not know why it would not be; maybe someone can deliver in a more timely manner; but she is guessing and needs real information before more conjecture is done. Commissioner Ellis stated he does not have a problem with open purchase orders because it is a very effective way to do things; however, to make an open purchase order system work, they would generally call for quotes on a job from those who have open purchase orders. He stated Mr. Monk made a good point, that if the County has to buy a handful of parts, it may be better to pay more than to drive to Orlando. Chairman Cook stated if the County is not getting quotes, he would like to know why. Commissioner Ellis stated he can see why they would not bid every time a piece of equipment broke down; however, he would expect staff to get quotes from the open purchase orders.
Commissioner Higgs stated the Board questioned some emergency management supplies, where those were coming from, and the procurement of those under open purchase orders; and it was fairly strong in its direction that those would all be bid, so she is intrigued by the size of this procurement not having come to the Board, and interested in knowing why they have that size of a procurement that has not gone through any kind of competitive process. Commissioner Ellis stated he is not sure if they can bid an individual job; with Commissioner Higgs responding she understands that for individual jobs, but the Board has insisted that it wants to see a competitive process.
Mr. Monk stated on page 4 there is documentation, October 24, 1995, there is an open purchase order to Central Hydraulics and Truck Parts for $4,500; the next page, October 24, 1995, there is an open purchase order for $4,999, and the next page has an open purchase order for $4,995 on the same day; and that is just to one vendor. He stated he does not have all the documentation because it was so extensive he could not go through all of it; but he wanted to bring some of it to the Board to give it an indication of what the situation is. He stated he would like to see bylaws on the purchasing practices within the County.
Chairman Cook stated the Board has been steadfast in its insistence on the bidding process that no one is excluded, and they take the lowest and best bid; and Mr. Monk has raised some extremely interesting questions that the Board needs answers to.
Commissioner Scarborough recommended getting rid of the criminal investigation and going to an internal investigation then go to the purchasing practices. He stated there is a motion on the floor; the Board has gone beyond discussion of the motion; so it would be appropriate to vote on it.
Chairman Cook stated the motion is to have the County Attorney work with Mr. Monk in regards to the criminal allegations and with the State Attorney. He called for a vote on the motion. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
Commissioner O?Brien advised a memorandum dated May 30, 1996 from E. B. Melvin, Director of Central Fleet Management, has a breakdown of each hydraulic equipment company the County does business with; it lists Ecor Industries for a total of $8,413.76; the sheet from Mr. Monk says $12,940 for the same time period; so the information the Board has is not accurate. Mr. Melvin stated it is Solid Waste; with Commissioner O?Brien responding it says Central Fleet Management; and the Board is getting incomplete information on an issue which may be very serious. Mr. Melvin noted he would have to see the document Commissioner O?Brien is referencing. Commissioner Scarborough stated staff needs to get the Board a report on the purchasing procedures, and conduct an internal investigation in addition to what the Board asked for criminally.
Motion by Commissioner Scarborough, seconded by Commissioner O?Brien, to direct staff to do an internal investigation, and report back to the Board on the purchasing procedures.
Chairman Cook inquired if the report could be brought back in July; with Ms. Madden responding yes. Commissioner Ellis recommended a breakdown of what the $350,000 to Hydraulic House was for, if quotes had been taken, or if the County has an open purchase order without quotes for that kind of money. Mr. Monk stated he brought that same situation up with Mr. Minneboo about three years ago, and Mr. Minneboo assured him he would look into it; and he did look into it, but he dropped the ball. Chairman Cook stated that is why he thought it was important for Mr. Monk to come and speak to the Board; and he guarantees the Board will get some answers one way or the other. Commissioner Higgs requested a full accounting for all open purchase orders be included as part of staff?s report. Chairman Cook stated without objections, that will be included.
Commissioner Ellis stated the proper way to handle many items is the open purchase order; but the Board has to ensure it is used properly. He stated it could waste employees? time if the bidder does not have a part and staff waits around for hours rather than buy it with a purchase order for a few cents more from another vendor. Commissioner Higgs stated there should be competition in the issuance of open purchase orders; and she has a problem with purchase orders for $400,000 that are not being competitively bid. She stated they should not continuously buy off an open purchase order without any competition. Ms. Madden stated there are parameters for that.
Chairman Cook called for a vote on the motion. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
Commissioner O?Brien repeated statements about inaccurate numbers; and asked the Board to direct the County Manager to find out why there is disparity in numbers that were documented, as he needs accurate information to make accurate decisions whether something is wrong or not. Chairman Cook stated the County Manager can check on that to find out what is going on.
Commissioner Scarborough stated the Board discussed whether to give preference in the County as opposed to out of County; there is previous information on that; and perhaps in August staff can pull out the information the Board had previously. He stated there was some law on it and other things; and maybe the Board needs to look at that as a practical matter.
Motion by Commissioner Scarborough, seconded by Commissioner Ellis, to direct staff to pull out information and laws on giving preference to in-county as opposed to out-of-county vendors for the Board?s review in August, 1996.
Commissioner Ellis stated he would pay more in Brevard County if it is something he needed soon and it was a small amount; but if it is a difference of thousands of dollars and is not needed right away, then he does not have a problem going out of County or even out of State, but the County should not waste money driving to Seminole County to pick up a $5.00 part.
Chairman Cook called for a vote on the motion. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
DISCUSSION AND DIRECTION, RE: COST CUTTING IDEAS AND SUGGESTIONS FROM COUNTY DEPARTMENTS
Commissioner O?Brien stated he read all the suggestions and found them to be interesting, well answered, well addressed; and if the rest of the Commissioners agree, he will move the item.
Commissioner Ellis inquired what does that mean for item #5; with Commissioner O?Brien responding they are giving T-shirts to employees that is not part of a rental service for uniforms; if they wear coveralls which are supplied by a company, the company picks them up and launders them; but a T-shirt should be the responsibility of the employee. Commissioner Ellis stated it will pass the cost on to the employees for cleaning uniforms.
Chairman Cook instructed the County Manager to look into those issues.
PERMISSION TO NEGOTIATE CONTRACT WITH SQUIRE, SANDERS & DEMPSEY, RE: BOND COUNSEL SERVICES FOR REFINANCING OF SOLID WASTE BONDS, SERIES 1987
Commissioner Scarborough advised Holland & Knight had problems issuing the opinion; and inquired how many firms were contacted; with County Attorney Scott Knox responding the Nabors firm handled the original issue, but he did not contact it, and contacted Squire, Sanders & Dempsey and Holland & Knight because those are the two they normally deal with. Commissioner Scarborough inquired if it will be the same fees; with Mr. Knox responding it will be the same or less.
Motion by Commissioner Scarborough, seconded by Commissioner Cook, to authorize the County Attorney to negotiate a contract with Squire, Sanders & Dempsey for bond counsel services regarding the refinancing of Solid Waste Bonds, Series 1987, and to return to the Board with the final contract. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
REQUEST, RE: ESTABLISHMENT OF DEPARTMENTAL CAPITAL REPLACEMENT FUNDS
Commissioner Ellis advised most private businesses that have capital outlay establish capital replacement funds; and as equipment depreciates, they plan for future replacement, set money aside, and replace the item that is worn out; but in Brevard County that is not done in most cases. He stated money was not set aside for the golf courses or Road and Bridge equipment; the capital fund for fire trucks is not adequate; Mosquito Control has done a good job setting aside funds each year to buy a helicopter; and it is critical that Brevard County set up capital replacement funds in all Departments. He stated if Road and Bridge will need $10,000,000 of equipment in 20 years, it needs to set aside $500,000 each year; discipline is required to do that; what the County does is hit and miss; and when it gets to the budget and there is a problem, capital goods are pushed back. He stated the CIP generally is for new projects and not replacement.
Chairman Cook suggested the County Manager look into that. He stated without discipline it could encourage more spending; so there are issues that need to be dealt with, but the idea sounds good.
Commissioner Scarborough stated staff needs to have an analysis of the life expectancy of all equipment, roofs, etc. to determine where replacement expenditure is going to be coming up in the next three to five years.
Motion by Commissioner Ellis, seconded by Commissioner Scarborough, to direct staff to analyze the life expectancy of equipment for a ballpark estimate; catalog what the County has that will need replacement and the time frame for that replacement; and report back to the Board on establishing departmental capital replacement funds on July 16, 1996 if the information is available at that time.
Discussion ensued on capital replacement shortfall, more efficient operation, discipline required to establish capital replacement funds, and getting the information prior to the budget hearings.
Commissioner O?Brien stated part of the answer may be in accounting procedures; all equipment depreciates; and if the schedule is kept accurately, they would end up with the funds necessary to replace that equipment and not an extra pile of money. He stated using a depreciation schedule could provide replacement funds, but there may be occasions where they have to accelerate the schedule if the equipment does not have the life expectancy estimated. Commissioner Ellis stated government does not file tax returns with the IRS so it does not have depreciation schedules.
Chairman Cook called for a vote on the motion. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
DISCUSSION, RE: ELIMINATION OF SIGNATURE BONDS
Chairman Cook read a statement from Joyce Grant, representing ACES, stating "I endorse elimination of signature bonds. It is irresponsible of the courts to place a financial burden on the taxpayers with the expense of alleged offenders."
Commissioner Ellis advised in April, 1995, the Board discussed signature bonds and that the County never called in a signature bond on a failure to appear in court; and after a year, the situation is still the same. He stated if someone is released on his or her own recognizance (ROR), which is what a signature bond does, then the courts should just release them on ROR and not give the public an impression there is a bond involved. He advised Yvette Parker did a fantastic job getting the information for the Board; the County at least has the money for defendants who do not appear and post surety bonds; but on a signature bond, it has nothing. Commissioner Ellis stated 95% of the people released on signature bonds are indigent; and inquired if they are indigent, what is the value of the signature bond. Chairman Cook inquired if Commissioner Ellis is recommending they be released on their own recognizance; with Commissioner Ellis responding at least that would be honest; and advised of a man in Port St. John who was arrested for armed robbery and free on a signature bond and committed another robbery.
Commissioner Higgs stated the County should find a method for collecting the money rather than do away with signature bonds; and perhaps it should be through the County Attorney?s office, rather than say to the judges do not do signature bonds. Commissioner Ellis stated he agrees, but he did that a year ago and nothing was done; and the County has never called in a signature bond or FTA, so the process still continues. Commissioner Higgs suggested the County Attorney prepare a procedure and costs involved to implement collecting signature bonds. She stated the County has to file suit to do that, so it could ask the Legislature to waive the filing fee. County Attorney Scott Knox advised every time the County files a lawsuit, it pays a fee. Commissioner Ellis inquired if it is paid to the Clerk; with Mr. Knox responding yes, but the fees for litigation are set by Florida Statutes, so the Board would need an exemption for the signature bond cases. Commissioner Ellis stated if the Board has to pay the fee, it could reduce the Clerk?s general fund by that amount, so there are ways to get the filing fee to zero. Commissioner Higgs stated technically the Board could do that, but it is nonsensical to pay a fee to collect money that is owed to the County; so the County Attorney needs to work with Ms. Parker, provide a procedure and the costs associated with it, and tell the Board what it can do to implement it and fund it through the budget.
Motion by Commissioner Higgs, seconded by Commissioner O?Brien, to direct the County Attorney to work with Yvette Parker on a procedure of how to collected on signature bonds and the costs involved, as soon as possible, so the Board can implement it and fund it through the budget.
Commissioner Ellis stated a deputy has to be paid to find those free on signature bond who do not show up; from January through April, 1996, more people were released with signature bonds who did not show up than ROR; and some with pre-trial release bolted and have not come back. He indicated it is impossible to collect a signature bond from someone who is indigent, so the courts should do ROR or get the title to their vehicles, property, home, or something. He stated the judiciary needs to demand the same things because the County has had spiraling Article V costs.
Assistant to the County Manager Yvette Parker advised they are about to hand a contract to a vendor to go after a lot of the costs because the Clerk cannot uphold the collection agreement. Commissioner Ellis stated that came up in the child support issue; the court costs were rarely paid by the persons who did not pay child support; and the Board needs cooperation from all branches of government if it is going to control the cost of the court system.
Chairman Cook called for a vote on the motion. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
Commissioner Ellis recommended sending a letter to the judges inquiring why there is a signature bond issued instead of ROR, and what is the difference between the two. He stated there is concern that without signature bonds people will be in jail awaiting trial; but the judges can issue ROR as easily as signature bonds.
Motion by Commissioner Ellis, seconded by Commissioner O?Brien, to direct the County Attorney to write a letter to the Court Administrator, inquiring why there are signature bonds instead of ROR and what is the difference between the two.
Commissioner Scarborough stated he will not support the motion because there are places the Board belongs and places it does not; and it has enough to deal with without judicial issues and how the courts operate. Commissioner Ellis stated he agrees until the costs fall on the County. Chairman Cook stated it is asking a question to get a response and not telling them how to run the courts. Commissioner Scarborough stated there is a lot of discretion on how to handle different cases; from time to time the Legislature has told judges how to behave; there are reasons to have uniformity; but every individual who comes before a judge is different. Commissioner Higgs recommended the County Attorney draft a memo to the Board describing the difference between signature bonds and ROR rather than ask the Court Administrator.
Commissioner O?Brien amended the motion to direct the County Attorney to prepare a memorandum to the Board describing the difference between signature bonds and release on own recognizance; and Commissioner Ellis accepted the amendment.
Chairman Cook called for a vote on the motion. Motion carried and ordered; Commissioner Scarborough voted nay.
APPROVAL, RE: TDC CATEGORY C, CAPITAL FACILITIES GRANT APPLICATION HANDBOOK
Motion by Commissioner O?Brien, seconded by Commissioner Higgs, to approve the TDC Category C, Capital Facilities Grant Application Handbook, which includes eligibility requirements, type of grant available, criteria for evaluation, instructions, and application forms. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
DISCUSSION, RE: REVISIONS TO ORDINANCE NO. 85-33, WATER SOURCE HEAT PUMPS
Commissioner Ellis advised a citizen who had a water source heat pump was told by an air conditioning contractor he could not replace the existing unit and had to buy a new system or drill another well to send the water back down a separate well. He stated most items are grandfathered in when laws change; and he understands why the County does not want any more water source heat pumps proliferating an area, but those who have the units should be allowed to replace them. Commissioner Higgs stated they can replace the systems, but they have to put in another well for disposal of the water. Commissioner Ellis stated the cost would not be worth replacing the unit.
Commissioner O?Brien advised the Ordinance says the concentration of water source heat pumps along the coastal ridges and barrier islands withdraw significant amounts of groundwater from underlying aquifers, and increases salt water intrusion. He stated they want to ensure adequate water supply for Brevard County inhabitants in the future by returning the water back into wells because they are drawing good drinking water to cool off air conditioning units and dumping the water into canals. Cairman Cook inquired if it only applies to the Barrier Island; with Mr. Peffer responding it applies Countywide. Chairman Cook stated he can understand it on the coastal areas, but on the mainland the water goes back somewhere. Commissioner Higgs stated salt water intrusion exists well inland and not only on the coast. Chairman Cook stated he is baffled how it could have a significant effect on groundwater unless there were a thousand units lining one area; with Commissioner O?Brien responding there are more than that. Discussion ensued on demand valves, and es that may be grandfathering older systems in.
Chairman Cook instructed staff to provide information to the Board why people cannot replace old water source heat pumps without having to drill a second well, an estimate of how many are in existing and how many people it will affect if grandfathered in, and the impact on the groundwater.
PARTIAL RELEASE OF TEMPORARY INJUNCTION AND AGREEMENT, RE: BREVARD COUNTY v. ATLANTIC GULF COMMUNITIES
County Attorney Scott Knox advised the County has an injunction against the sale of any lots in a community owned by Atlantic Gulf Communities; a portion of the property is being acquired by Mercedes Homes; and there is a stipulation between the County and Atlantic Gulf that the County will release a portion of the property that is subject of a cash escrow agreement to ensure the improvements in that particular portion will be completed. He stated the attorneys for the Bank have submitted a copy of a proposed escrow agreement today which he has not had time to review; but assuming it meets the standards of an escrow agreement, staff anticipates no problem with the release of the property in question.
Motion by Commissioner Scarborough, seconded by Commissioner O?Brien, to approve partial release of temporary injunction on Atlantic Gulf Communities? specific property to be purchased by Mercedes Homes, subject to Public Works approval that it meets the standards of the Escrow Agreement and retains the amount necessary to insure completion of improvements; and authorize the Chairman to execute a Tri-party Agreement with Suntree Community Developers, Inc. and Suntrust Bank. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
DISCUSSION, RE: NAMING STREET AT SOUTH END OF LORI WILSON PARK
Commissioner O?Brien advised he receive a letter from Mayor Joe Morgan of Cocoa Beach requesting the street that goes into Lori Wilson Park at the south entrance be named "I Dream Of Jeanie Lane"; it is located on County property and is a high profile area to many visitors and tourists; and they are making a movie of "I Dream of Jeanie," so it is a good idea. He also requested a sign to indicate there is a nature center in the Park named Johnny Johnson Nature Center.
Motion by Commissioner O?Brien, seconded by Commissioner Scarborough, to authorize naming the street at the south entrance of Lori Wilson Park as "I Dream of Jeanie Lane," and authorize installation of a sign identifying Johnny Johnson Nature Center in the Park. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
SETTLEMENT OF CLAIMS, RE: CHILDERS v. BREVARD COUNTY
Chairman Cook advised the County made an offer of $35,000, but it was rejected.
Motion by Commissioner Higgs, seconded by Commissioner Ellis, to authorize settlement of all claims in James L. Childers, and James L. Childers and Lorayne D. Childers, individually and as parents and guardians of Ashley D. Childers, a minor v. Brevard County lawsuit, for a total of $40,000 including attorneys fees and costs. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
AMENDMENT TO AGREEMENT WITH GERAGHTY & MILLER, INC., RE: CONSULTANT SERVICES FOR REMEDIATION OF OLD MOSQUITO CONTROL COMPLEXES
Chairman Cook recommended the Agreement be renewed on an annual basis rather than continue until the remediation project is completed.
Motion by Commissioner Higgs, seconded by Commissioner Scarborough, to execute Amendment to Agreement with Geraghty & Miller, Inc. for consultant services for remediation of old Mosquito Control complexes, to be considered annually rather than continue until the project is completed. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
DISCUSSION, RE: SIGNING OF PETITIONS BY COMMISSIONERS
Commissioner O?Brien advised he was requested to sign a petition to Florida Department of Transportation by a committee from Cape Canaveral, Cocoa Beach, Port Canaveral and Patrick Air Force Base; and he wants to sign it as Randy O?Brien, District 2 County Commissioner. He stated it does not obligate the Board to anything; and inquired if he can do that. Commissioners Ellis, Higgs, and Cook expressed consent.
Upon motion and vote, the meeting adjourned at 8:07 p.m.
MARK COOK, CHAIRMAN
BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA
SANDY CRAWFORD, CLERK
(S E A L)