Nassau County Board of County Commissioners Regular Session, January 10, 2011, 6:00 p.m.

Nassau County Board of County Commissioners
Regular Session, January 10, 2011, 6:00 p.m.
Commission Chambers, 96135 Nassau Place, Yulee, Florida

Call to Order, Invocation and Pledge of Allegiance to the American Flag

Present: Chairman Walter J. Boatright, Commissioners Daniel B. Leeper, Steve W. Kelley, Stacy T. Johnson, and Barry V. Holloway.

Other Officials Present: David A. Hallman, County Attorney; and Ted Selby, County Manager.

Staff Present: Gene Knaga, Clerk’s Fiscal Management Compliance; Shanea Jones, Office of Management and Budget Director; Scott Herring, Public Works Director; Walter Fufidio, Planning Director; and representing the Clerk’s office Brenda Linville, Deputy Clerk.

Official Agenda Summary:

Audience Input:

RS110110 – 6:02:47

Motion: Approve Resolution 2011-01 Honoring and
Commemorating J.H. “Pete” Cooper for His Service to the Citizens of Nassau County as a Member of the Nassau County Board of County Commissioners.
Maker: Commissioner Holloway
Second: Commissioner Leeper
Action: Aye: Commissioners Leeper, Kelley, Johnson,
Holloway, and Boatright.
Follow Up: Clerk Staff

RS110110 – 6:06:07 (Tab A) Melvin Usery, Chair, and Clyde Davis, Ocean, Highway and Port Authority (OHPA) of Nassau County re: proposal for the creation of one or more enterprise zones for the development of Intermodal Transportation and Port related facilities. (See Attachment “B” for verbatim)

Discussion: Mr. Usery, OHPA Chairman, came forward to provide opening remarks regarding the history of the OHPA and proposal to create one or more Enterprise Zones. Clyde Davis, OHPA attorney, came forward to outline an alternative request. Michele Kling came forward to speak against the proposal and request that the Board pull this item from the agenda. Discussion ensued regarding Florida Statutes; whether the area meets the criteria; affects on citizens that live in the proposed area; and establishing a committee to research this matter. Mr. Davis commented that the map areas in the packet are not compliant with Florida Statutes.

Mr. Hallman suggested that any meetings held pursuant to this matter be conducted subject to the Sunshine Law. One of the first orders of business would be to decide what other entities are required to be part of the discussion.

Motion: Approve to appoint Commissioner Johnson as the
Board’s representative to work with the Ocean, Highway, and Port Authority to establish a working group to research Florida Statute 290 as it relates to the creation of an enterprise zone in Nassau County and bring back a report to the Board on September 30, 2011.
Maker: Commissioner Holloway
Second: Commissioner Leeper
Action: Aye: Commissioners Leeper, Kelley, Johnson,
Holloway, and Boatright.
Follow Up: County Manager, OHPA, County Attorney

Commissioner Johnson indicated that she would provide the Board with periodic updates under her Commissioner business.

RS110110 – 6:25:13 (Tab B) Authorize the Chairman to sign the Certificate of Acceptance of Subgrant Award Form as required by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Office of Criminal Justice for the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant, Contract No. 2011-JAGC-NASS-1-B2-249.

Motion: Approve Tab B as stated above.
Maker: Commissioner Leeper
Second: Commissioner Holloway
Action: Aye: Commissioners Leeper, Kelley, Johnson,
Holloway, and Boatright.
Follow Up: Finance, OMB, Sheriff

RS110110 – 6:25:52 (Tab C) Approve Finance Package 2011-07 and associated Resolutions. (See Attachment “C” for verbatim)

Discussion: Mr. Selby reviewed the request as well as the letter received from Mr. Crawford, dated January 7, 2011.
He questioned Ron Whiteside, Purvis Gray Company, regarding their years of service with the County, whether there have been any issues regarding the Board’s compliance in regards to the budget; recommendations or comments relative to the handling of the cash carried forward; whether he has reviewed the finance package in question; and if there are any requirement to process this type of Cash Forward. Discussion ensued regarding how other counties handle this process. Mr. Whiteside briefly commented on the County’s and Clerk’s interpretation of the Florida Statute, Chapter 129.06.(2).

The group discussed concerns regarding Mr. Crawford’s letter, paying the vendors, and holding a public hearing.

Mr. Hallman advised the Board regarding three different approaches related to this matter.

Motion: Approve Tab C as stated above. (See Attachment
“A” and meeting on January 24, 2011 at 7:05:27)
Maker: Commissioner Holloway
Second: Commissioner Leeper
Action: Aye: Commissioners Leeper, Johnson, Holloway, and
Nay: Commissioner Kelley.
Follow Up: Finance, OMB

RS110110 – 6:59:53 (Tab D) Authorize the Chairman to sign the Maintenance Map for Motes Road and direct staff to record the map and supporting documents in the Public Records of Nassau County.

Discussion: At the request of Larry Motes, Brenda Ezell, attorney representing several families, came forward to discuss the issue as it relates to Florida Statutes. Mr. Hallman reviewed the history of the road and the requested action.

Denise Motes Kirkland and Charleen Whittemore, citizens, came forward to speak in favor of the request.

Responding to an inquiry from Commissioner Holloway, the County Attorney explained that an individual who has disputed the County’s ownership of the road may challenge the County in Circuit Court.

Ms. Ezell came forward to clarify that the rights of any property owner who opposed this would have had seven years after the initial date of regular maintenance (pursuant to Florida Statute Section 95.361) or one year after the effective date of this subsection, which has clearly been several years.

Motion: Approve Tab D as stated above.
Maker: Commissioner Johnson
Second: Commissioner Holloway
Action: Aye: Commissioners Leeper, Kelley, Johnson,
Holloway, and Boatright.
Follow Up: Engineering, Finance, OMB, County Manager

RS110110 – 7:10:10 Recess.

Motion: Adjourn as the Board of County Commissioners and
convene as the SAISS MSBU Governing Board.
Maker: Commissioner Leeper
Second: Commissioner Holloway
Action: Aye: Commissioners Leeper, Kelley, Johnson,
Holloway, and Boatright.

RS110110 – 7:26:53 (Tab E) Consider a Resolution Pursuant to Ordinance No. 93-14, as Amended, and Ordinance No. 2007-37, Stating the Intention of the County to Undertake a Public Improvement Constituting a Beach Renourishment Project in the South Amelia Island Shore Stabilization Municipal Services Benefit Unit; Declaring that the Costs of Said Project Shall be Paid by Federal and State Government Grant Funds and Special Assessments Levied Against Real Property Specially Benefited by Said Project; Providing the Manner in Which the Special Assessments Shall be Levied, Imposed, and Paid; Providing for Collection of the Special Assessments Pursuant to the Uniform Method of Collection; Providing for the Funds to be Used to Pay the Cost of the Project; Determining the Estimated Total Cost of the Project; Establishing a Public Hearing; Authorizing and Directing Mailing and Publication of Notice of the Public Hearing; and Providing an Effective Date.

Motion: Approve Tab E as stated above and authorize the
Chairman to sign Resolution 2011-31 regarding same, and include changing “County Administrator” to “County Manager”. (Public Hearing date February 28, 2011 at 7:00 p.m.)
Maker: Commissioner Holloway
Second: Commissioner Johnson
Action: Aye: Commissioners Leeper, Kelley, Johnson,
Holloway, and Boatright.
Follow Up: Bill Moore, County Attorney, County Manager, Tax
Collector, Property Appraiser

RS110110 – 7:30:21 (Tab F) Approve SAISSA Finance Package 2011-03, Draw #194.

Motion: Approve SAISSA Finance Package 2011-03, Draw #194
as follows: Omni Amelia Island Plantation, Management Fee – November 2010 in the amount of $2,000.00; Jacobs and Associates, P.A., Legal Fees – November 2010 in the amount of $2,000.00; Olsen Associates, Inc., in the amount of $16,244.00; SAISSA, Advertising (Check #179) in the amount of $67.12; SAISSA, Postcards (Check #175) in the amount of $86.58; SAISSA, Meeting Setup (Check #176) in the amount of $80.25; SAISSA, Conference Calls (Check #177) in the amount of $80.18; SAISSA, Website Service (Check #178), in the amount of 100.00; SAISSA, Check #1007) Copies in the amount of $1,787.00 and Postage in the amount of $2,108.04; SAISSA, Meeting Setup (Check #180) in the amount of $80.25; SAISSA, Meeting Setup (Check #181) in the amount of $1,312.31; SAISSA, Meeting Setup (Check #182) in the amount of $199.13; SAISSA, Meeting Setup (Check #183) in the amount of $80.25; SAISSA, Meeting Setup (Check #1184) in the amount of $131.45; and Olsen Associates, Inc., in the amount of $36,750.00.
Maker: Commissioner Holloway
Second: Commissioner Leeper
Action: Aye: Commissioners Leeper, Kelley, Johnson,
Holloway, and Boatright.
Follow Up: Finance, OMB

Motion: Adjourn as the and SAISS MSBU Governing Board
reconvene as the Board of County Commissioners.
Maker: Commissioner Johnson
Second: Commissioner Leeper
Action: Aye: Commissioners Leeper, Kelley, Johnson,
Holloway, and Boatright.

RS110110 – 7:31:12 (Tab G) Approve request from Omni Amelia Island Plantation to utilize Burney Park for additional parking during the Gooding and Company auction being held on Saturday, March 11, 2011, in conjunction with the Concours d’Elegance.

Motion: Approve Tab G as stated above.
Maker: Commissioner Leeper
Second: Commissioner Johnson
Action: Aye: Commissioners Leeper, Kelley, Johnson,
Holloway, and Boatright.
Follow Up: Finance, OMB, Facilities Maintenance, County

RS110110 – 7:32:01 (Tab H) Approve request from Les Loggins Marketing to prepare a Resolution Proclaiming February 2011 as Manufacturing Month in Nassau County.

Motion: Approve request from Les Loggins Marketing to
prepare a Resolution Proclaiming February 2011 as Manufacturing Month in Nassau County and County Attorney and County Manager to bring back Resolution to the Board on January 12, 2011.
Maker: Commissioner Leeper
Second: Commissioner Holloway
Action: Aye: Commissioners Leeper, Kelley, Johnson,
Holloway, and Boatright.
Follow Up: County Manager, County Attorney

The Chairman signed the register for the following warrants: Warrant Nos. 173809 thru 173860 dated 12-14-10 for a register total of $423,351.77; Warrant Nos. 173861 thru 173970 dated 12-17-10 for a register total of $561,473.29; Warrant Nos. 173971 thru 173983 dated 12-22-10 for a register total of $306,967.28; Warrant Nos. 173984 thru 174109 dated 12-23-10 for a register total of $1,071,986.37; Warrant Nos. 174110 thru 174188 dated 12-30-10 for a register total of $597,956.83; Warrant Nos. 174189 thru 174253 dated 1-04-11 for a register total of $358,478.72; Warrant Nos. 174254 thru 174266 dated 1-06-11 for a register total of $15,905.78; Wire Transfer Nos. 3393 thru 3396 dated 11-04-10 for a register total of $400.00; Wire Transfer Nos. 3397 thru 3400 dated 12-06-10 for a register total of $400.00; Wire Transfer Ns. 3401 dated 12-07-10 for a register total of $5,000.00; and Warrant Nos. 174267 thru 174378 dated 1-07-11 for a register total of $261,803.97;

RS110110 – 7:34:13 Mr. Herring informed the Board of a minor water leak on Amelia Island Parkway at Scott Road.

RS110110 – 7:35:05 Mr. Selby distributed an e-mail from Gil Langley, Amelia Island Tourist Development Council (AITDC), dated January 5, 2011 regarding a nomination to the AITDC. He advised that he would bring this item back for discussion on January 12, 2011.

RS110110 – 7:24:10 (Tab I) Approve a Resolution Electing to Use the Uniform Method of Collecting Non-Ad Valorem Special Assessments Levied Within the South Amelia Island Shore Stabilization Municipal Service Benefit Unit in the Unincorporated Area of Nassau County, Florida; Stating a Need for Such Levy; Providing for the Mailing of this Resolution; and Providing for an Effective Date.

Motion: Open floor to public discussion.
Maker: Commissioner Holloway
Second: Commissioner Leeper
Action: Aye: Commissioners Leeper, Kelley, Johnson,
Holloway, and Boatright.

No Public Input.

Motion: Close floor to public discussion.
Maker: Commissioner Holloway
Second: Commissioner Leeper
Action: Aye: Commissioners Leeper, Kelley, Johnson,
Holloway, and Boatright.

Motion: Approve Tab I as stated above and authorize the
Chairman to sign Resolution 2011-30 regarding same.
Maker: Commissioner Holloway
Second: Commissioner Leeper
Action: Aye: Commissioners Leeper, Kelley, Johnson,
Holloway, and Boatright.
Follow Up: Finance, OMB, Tax Collector, Property Appraiser,
County Manager

RS110110 – 7:23:21 None.

RS110110 – 7:37:12 Commissioner Leeper’s Business:

• Recognized Katy Lawson from Fernandina Beach High School for winning the “Students Who Care” essay contest held by First Coast Oncology and perhaps bring back a resolution for her.

• Requested that everyone remember former Commissioner Pete Cooper’s family as well as the tragedy in Tucson, Arizona.

RS110110 – 7:39:14 Commissioner Kelley’s Business:

• Suggested placing an informational sign at Fire Station 60.

RS110110 – 7:35:43 Commissioner Holloway’s Business:

• Update regarding the Bryceville Fire Station 60.

• Advised that the Florida Association of Counties Trust has partnered with the State Fire Marshal’s Office to provide $16,000.00 in scholarship funds. Firefighters will now be able to take their classes online. He noted that he would be traveling to the State Fire Marshal meeting in Daytona Beach, Florida, on January 20, 2011 to help present a check for the Firefighter’s Scholarship.

• Noted that Harrison Neil is the only resident outside of Villanova University that has ever received this scholarship in the United States. He is going to service the Vatican for one year; noting that he currently attends Stetson University. He requested that as time goes by the Board use Discretionary Funds to assist Mr. Neil with his expenses.

RS110110 – 7:40:38 Chairman Boatright’s Business:

Motion: Approve to waive the rental fees for the Multi-
Purpose Facilities for the Greater Mt. Pleasant Missionary Baptist Church to hold their annual Red and White Ball on February 12, 2011.
Maker: Commissioner Leeper
Second: Commissioner Holloway
Action: Aye: Commissioners Leeper, Kelley, Johnson,
Holloway, and Boatright.
Follow Up: Finance, OMB, Facilities Maintenance, County
Manager, Winifred Favors

There being no further business, the regular session of the Nassau County Board of County Commissioners adjourned at 7:42 p.m.

Walter J. Boatright, Chairman


John A. Crawford, Ex-Officio Clerk


Finance Package 2011-07:

Budget Transfer(s):

1. In the General Fund in the amount of $500.00 to adjust to the Detention Shower Project.

2. In the General Fund in the amount of $500.00 to adjust to the Detention Shower Project.

3. In the General Fund in the amount of $5,000.00 for repairs and maintenance associated with the Sheriff Administration Cost Account.

4. In the One Cent Surtax Fund in the amount of $1,947,000.00 to adjust budget reflecting cash forward support of transfers out for capital projects to fund 363-Chester Road (CHDHI) and Radio Avenue.

5. In the One Cent Surtax Fund in the amount of $30,047.00 to reflect cash forward support of Thomas Creek Project.

6. In the Nassau County Anti-Drug Enforcement Fund in the amount of $18,396.00 to reflect cash forward support of Thomas Creek Project.

7. In the Amelia Island Tourist Development Fund in the amount of $47,202.00 to adjust accounts based on cash carried forward calculations.

8. In the Amelia Island Tourist Development Fund in the amount of $247,181.00 to carry forward the Marketing Budget from 09/10 to 10/11.

9. In Amelia Island Tourist Development in the amount of $65,542.00 to carry forward the Trade Budget from 09/10 to 10/11.

10.In the Capital Project Transportation Fund in the
amount of $753,933.00 to adjust budget for projects based upon cash forward calculations M54A-Miner Road, CAC4L-Chester Road/A1A intersection/Amelia Concourse, BRR50-Blackrock, Wbe62-William Burgess Boulevard Extension.

11.In the Capital Projects Fund in the amount of
$115,655.00 to adjust budgets based upon cash carried forward.

12.In the Capital Projects Fund in the amount of $282.00
to adjust budget due to 09/10 charges for Station 60.

13.In the Water and Sewer Fund in the amount of
$163,098.00 to adjust budget based upon cash forward calculations.

14.In the Water and Sewer Fund in the amount of
$301,460.00 to adjust budget based upon cash forward calculations.


1. Resolution 2011-03, regarding budget amendment in the General Fund in the amount of $80.00 for donations received for the Nassau County Library System.

2. Resolution 2011-14, regarding budget amendment in the EMS County Award Fund in the amount of $27,488.00 due to funding received for the C9045 EMS County Grant.

3. Resolution 2011-18, regarding budget amendment in the SAISSA Special Revenue Fund in the amount of $36,000.00 for reimbursement of beach monitoring costs.


Verbatim Record BOCC January 10, 2011
6:06 p.m. – Tab A – Commissioner Johnson request – Presentation of Ocean, Highway and Port Authority for the creation of Enterprise Zones for development of Intermodal Transportation and Port related facilities.

6:06:03 Chairman Boatright: Moving into Tab A – A presentation from Melvin Usery, Chair, at Ocean, Highway and Port Authority, and Clyde Davis, Attorney, of Ocean, Highway and Port Authority Proposal for the creation of one or more enterprise zones for the development of Intermodal Transportation and Port related facilities. And you all are signed up on here to speak, so, we’ll let you speak at this time, whichever one wants to go first.

Mr. Usery: Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Commissioners, all. I appreciate the opportunity to address you today. I’d like to have some opening remarks, I’ll be glad to pass those to the Clerk once I’ve concluded those for your record, if you like to have those; and, then, if I could yield some of my time to our Port attorney, Clyde Davis, who’ll wrap us up with our remarks. Over the 70 years the Ocean Highway and Port Authority has been in existence serving the people of Nassau County and Northeast Florida, its leadership has provided assistance in times of need. Dating back to the middle of the last 40 years or so, the visionary leadership by those who preceded me assisted with such projects as connecting Northeast Florida ports via an Ocean Highway; providing ferry services; serving both mills with a funding source for expansion and for meeting environmental compliance; and, of course, moving from wood docks to the modern-day Port of Fernandina. Florida’s designated commercial deep water seaports are tremendous assets and serve their respective counties and regions; not only with direct jobs, but through the ancillary service jobs. These jobs are high-wage job and salaried management positions with benefits. Economically successful seaport regions in our state and neighboring states have a common denominator; governmental entities meet, agree, lock arms, and presented a united front for all to see. Specifically for Florida, the early release of a working draft and the segments of it, of the Florida Trade and Logistics Study, outlined the importance of port infrastructure. A widely used vehicle to attract new companies and investments is the Enterprise Zone concept. At the December 8, 2010 meeting, the Ocean Highway and Port Authority in anticipation of the formal release of this study, approved to move forward with a resolution as a much needed first step to be a part of the solution to overcome high unemployment and underemployment. Each of us, no doubt, personally know people out of work or those working in jobs well below their skill levels. You, no doubt like me, find new names getting added to the list of unemployed every week. I know I’ve spoken to those who, at first, have tried to live off their savings and now had to seek jobs outside of our County. On December 16, 2010, the long-awaited final release of the Florida Trade and Logistics Study report came out. This report was jointly commissioned by the Florida Chamber Foundation and the Florida Department of Transportation. On December 22, 2010, Governor Scott’s transition team used the Florida Trade and Logistics Study as reference documentation and their road map report to get Florida’s Floridians back to work and the State’s economy revitalized. Then the Governor’s report called for increased port funding for three areas; land plans, mutil-modal infrastructure plan, and dredging plans. When congestion or land availability restrict dockside rail, the only competitive answer for Florida is the inland port concept. Just as a retail anchor store provides to a shopping center, a governmental entity when utilizing the public/private partnership, needs an investor as the anchor. And, the investor’s risks can be offset with incentives offered by the Enterprise Zone. Of the 67 counties in Florida, only 14 have a commercial deep-water seaport. Nassau County is one of those 14 which make us part of the Florida Department of Transportation’s Strategic Intermodal System (SIS) for port-to-port; port-to-rail; and port-to-consumer connectivity via designated major federal and state highways. This benefits significantly all Nassau County citizens and businesses. The expansion to an inland port allows for the SIS infrastructure to follow. For County landowners seeking a highest and best use and do not wish to inclusion; then, by all means, that should be respected. However, there are other landowners and business owners who do want to pursue Enterprise Zone status and that should be addressed. Lastly, though we have a critical timing issue in order to be considered during the 2011 State Legislative session, it has become apparent several parties want to offer additional input. I’d like to yield, Mr. Chairman, to the OHPA attorney, Clyde Davis, who will conclude our remarks to you.

Mr. Davis: Thank you, Mr. Chairman and Mr. Usery, and thank you for the opportunity to speak to you. The packet that was prepared is not intended to be a final product. We were asked to provide you with a packet or a proposal. You have a template for action, but, understand; only the County Commission for a municipality can institute the process of creating an Enterprise Zone, only the County Commission can nominate an area to be designated as an Enterprise Zone. Only the County Commission, in this situation, could develop a package and provide the incentives that may be necessary to bring this type of industry; this type of construction; these kinds of jobs to Nassau County. I thank you for the opportunity to initiate the discussion. What I would like to see today if you will is ask the Commission to designate someone, a member of the Commission, to go with the next step; to meet with a designee from the Port, from the Economic Development arms of Nassau County including our Chambers of Commerce, affected landowners and anybody else who would like to have input and participate in the process. It may be that this is not the right choice for Nassau County; but, if we don’t ask the questions and look, we won’t ever get that answer and those potential jobs will go somewhere else. We have the opportunity. I ask you to simply take advantage of that opportunity and let’s move this forward.

Chairman Boatright: Thank you. I have a note from the Clerk, Michelle Kling would like to speak to this matter.

Ms. Kling: Michelle Kling, 905 Amelia Drive, I wasn’t prepared to get up and speak as I was under the impression this was going to be pulled off of the agenda; but, I would like to urge you to table this at this point because I don’t feel, and I haven’t done all my research yet, that this is in the best interest. To my understanding, this affects not helping the community but lowering property values, etcetera. It’s also my understanding that according to the minutes which I will be addressing at the Port Authority meeting, that this was not voted on to come before you by all of the Commissioners at that time. Now, maybe I didn’t go over something really good, but, I’ve read the notes several times; I couldn’t make it to the meeting; I had a new grandchild so, you know. But, regardless, I think this is something that needs to be tabled right now to prevent any further problems that may very well arise doing something about this. Thank you.

Chairman Boatright: Thank you, Ms. Kling. Commissioner Johnson.

Commissioner Johnson: I received my packet on Friday; had a little bit of a vague description of what was coming from a prior conversation; but, I’ve just had a weekend to go over my packet which is, as far as the State Statutes, pretty intense and pretty involved. I assumed we’re going to be asked to vote on a resolution tonight. I guess we’re changing that. We’re being asked to consider discussion, starting discussion. I don’t have a problem with discussion because anything we can do to pursue jobs and any type of economic development and incentives in our County, I’m in favor of. I would like to suggest, I’m not going to make a lot of comments unless we get in deep, and I’ve got plenty of notes. But, I would like to suggest it that if there is a Commissioner that’s appointed to that, one of the large areas is being discussed in my district and being the Commissioner on the Economic Development Board, I think I would make the most sense of being that appointee; but, obviously, that is a Board decision. I’d be willing to serve in that capacity but I’m not willing to approve any resolution that hasn’t been vetted through the correct process at this time.

Chairman Boatright: Commissioner Leeper.

Commissioner Leeper: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Commissioner Usery and Mr. Davis, I guess I was also … I thought we were going to be voting a resolution tonight and I really, after looking at it at great length today and in reading Chapter 290 pretty much word for word, I’m a little concerned. I’ve got some great concerns, actually, and I don’t know if tonight’s the time to get into it or let it carry out its process. But, I don’t think tonight is the night to discuss this because there’s a lot of open-ended questions that I have. I mean, we’re being asked to designate Enterprise Zones, on the surface it sounds great, but, as I read 290, it’s asking us to designate an area as a blighted area; an area of poverty; an area of high unemployment; an area of high crime. And, I don’t know about the rest of the Board members, but I can’t sit here tonight and the two areas that have been identified in the packet and say that those areas meet that criterion without some type of justification or documentation to back it up. Now, I’m more concerned about the residents who live in those areas and what we’re trying to do. We want jobs to come to this County; but, at the same time, we don’t want a negative impact to our residents that live in that area as well. So, I’m a little concerned right now about where we’re going to go and Enterprise Zones might not be the answer; it might be something else. But, as I read 290, I did have some great concerns and I’m throwing that out at you tonight. In all due respect to the Port, I served there twelve years, and I respect you coming forward with this; but, at the same time, with what I have tonight, I did have some questions. I’ll let it go at that for now.

Chairman Boatright: Okay. Commissioner Holloway.

Commissioner Holloway: Thank you. All right, the way I understand this from Mr. Davis is that you would ask us to appoint a Commissioner from our Commission to form some type of research committee or some kind of group to talk to different chambers of commerce, different large landowners within the County, research Statute 290 and then bring back a recommendation to this Board either to move forward or not to move forward, it that what you’re asking us to do tonight?

Mr. Davis: That’s what we’re asking you to do tonight. And, if I may respond, the map areas in the packet are not compliant with the Statute. The Statute limits the area within which an Enterprise Zone could be established. Those are certainly not intended to be the Enterprise Zones. You pick an area and you designate it. You could have picked the intersection of A1A and US 17 in Yulee or a spot on Amelia Island as an example. You need… you have to…the Statute requires you to designate a particular area as …for your Enterprise Zone. I believe the Statute actually requires you ask to use your census data districts and they want you to be a relatively compact and contiguous area; so, if you want to pull the maps out, throw them out. They describe areas that are much larger that you legally could include in an Enterprise Zone anyway. But, you’re going to have to pick an area. The County Commission is going to have to dominate that area. We don’t have to reinvent the wheel; there are other Enterprise…rural Enterprise Zones in the State of Florida. We just don’t have any in area code 904. Thank you.

Commissioner Holloway: Mr. Chairman, I guess my request would be that Commissioner Johnson has expressed an interest to be our representative on the Board. I don’t want to stop anything that might not help create jobs in the future for our citizens here; but, I do agree with Commissioner Leeper, there’s a lot of questions that need to be answered to move forward. I don’t want to shut it down totally. I think that would be unfair to our citizens to do that when there may be an end unit here that can work for everybody concerned. So, I’ll make the motion that we appoint Commissioner Johnson to this task force committee, whatever words legal says we should put to it, to move forward to, I guess, liaison with Mr. Davis and Mr. Usery to make these meetings happen. You know, let’s move forward with it and let’s bring it back within a certain amount of time. How much time do you think you need? Six months? Nine months? One year? What’s the…I don’t want to do it overnight but again, we don’t want to drag this on forever, either.

Mr. Davis: I think that’s true, Commissioner, and I think our window of opportunity for the 2011 Legislative Session is so close on us that that’s probably not in our discussions right now in the realm of possibilities.

Commissioner Holloway: Would September 30th of this year be sufficient?

Mr. Usery: I think that would certainly be more than sufficient to let people move forward.

Commissioner Holloway: Then I would put that in my motion, Mr. Chairman, that we’d have a report back from this task force, for lack of a better word, to report back to the Commission whether it’s feasible or not to proceed forward with this, it that okay? Is that…does everybody agree with that wording? That’s my motion, Mr. Chairman.

Chairman Boatright: Well, my question is … that I have for the attorney and then we’ll go to him, he’s on here to talk; but, do we need to decide right now? I know we’re …the motion is to have Commissioner Johnson, but do we want to say we want a representative from the Economic Development Board; representative ….do we have to name all the Boards that we want to serve on this? Okay, well that’s …..

Commissioner Holloway: I think they brought that up, Mr. Chairman.

Chairman Boatright: I know, they did; but that needs to be in the motion, whatever we decide.

Commissioner Holloway: It does?

Mr. Hallman: Through the Chair…and I’ll let the Board decide how you want to craft your motion; but, my suggestion would be that all …any meetings that happen pursuant to this be conducted subject to the Sunshine Law so that if Commissioner Johnson were to have a meeting with anyone, it would be in a publicly noticed meeting in a public forum. And, one of the first order of business would be to decide who else needs to be part of the discussion; and, that would be my suggestion that no meetings happen one on one; but, then all those meetings be conducted pursuant to a publicly noticed meeting. And, maybe one of the first orders of business is for her to report back to you with a recommendation of whatever groups, community entities, activities; you know…who else should be at the table for this discussion.

Chairman Boatright: Okay, so the motion is to appoint Commissioner Johnson to serve on this committee….

Mr. Hallman: Through the Chair, you might want to call it a working group at this point.

Chairman Boatright: …..a working group to get the ball rolling to see who all we need to have on this and bring information the back to us, correct Commissioner Johnson?

Commissioner Johnson: Yes, sir, Mr. Chairman. I can give you up-to-date reports in my Commissioner business of who I meet with and, obviously, I will be meeting with all the interested parties….I mean, I feel like we would need to hold public meetings in the areas that were being considered for the public to have input. Obviously, the Chamber of Commerce, the property owners; there’s a myriad of people that would be included in the discussion and I can just, as they occur, bring back a report.

Chairman Boatright: Commissioner Holloway.

Commissioner Holloway: Thank you. I agree with that. To try to sit here and determine who’s going be on this work group is impossible because it’s going to go and fall off and then people are going to be at it at any time. But, I think we need to put a time limit in that, that is in my motion, September 30, 2011, to come back with this but the motion is to let Commissioner Johnson head up this work group, That’s just what we’re going to call it right now. That’s my motion, Mr. Chairman.

Chairman Boatright: Okay, and we have the second…that is your second, Commissioner?

Commissioner Leeper: Commissioner Johnson serve as Chair.

Chairman Boatright: Call the vote. You have it, Brenda? Record the vote.

Ms. Linville: Five ayes, no nays.

Chairman Boatright: We have approved Commissioner Johnson to be in on the working group.


Verbatim Record BOCC January 10, 2011
6:25:52 – Discussion regarding Tab C – Approval of Finance Package 2011-07

Chairman Boatright: Tab C – Approve Finance Package 2011-07 and associated Resolutions. Mr. Selby, do you want to speak to this?

Mr. Selby: Yes, sir. What we have before you is a finance package to address the Cash Forward to be put into the 2010-2011 budget. We have presented this in the same manner for many years in Nassau County. I’m not saying that makes it correct and right; I’m just saying that is a fact. We have not had any non-compliance issues for audit recommendations regarding our audit adjustments; however, all of you received the letter from Mr. Crawford, Clerk of Courts, dated last Friday. He is of the opinion that we are in non-compliance with Florida Statute 129, at this time, relative to the process in your Cash Forward. There are two types of Cash Forward that are addressed in this particular finance package. One of them is the Unexpended Balances that are carried on the balance sheet that are a result of Revenues exceeding Expenditures for 2009/2010. That amounts to approximately $10.7 million. We are of the opinion that that particular portion of the finance package is covered by Florida Statute 129.06.4; which to the best of our knowledge does not require a public hearing. In fact, it is not even required that that money be placed on the current year’s budget. Now, before I go any further and explain the second package, I will tell you that we’ve asked Mr. Ron Whitesides from Purvis Gray to answer any questions you may have. Once I say a few more words, I’d like to start, with the Chair’s permission, by directing a couple of questions to Mr. Whitesides. The second category of cash forward in this finance package is $1.3 million worth of cash that is on the books that was approved by the Board of County Commissioners and budgeted for projects and various other items that we anticipated were going to be completed by the end of the Fiscal Year 2009/10. Now, for any number of reasons, all the work and the money was not expended in 09/10. I will just call your attention; I did send each of you a memo this afternoon with a few of my opinions on this. This process starts in July when the balanced budget must before the Board of County Commissioners. We’re asked at that time to estimate how much cash balance is going to be on the books to be continued into the 10/11 budget. At that time, if we know something’s not going to be done by September 30th, we budget that in 10/11 and include it in the cash forward in the adopted budget that’s presented to you in September. However, between July 15th and approximately five and a half months that it takes to close out the fiscal year and have the external auditors review everything and make any necessary audit adjustments, there are literally thousands of actions and transactions taking place on that General Ledger. In my opinion, that makes it virtually impossible to be able to identify exactly how much money is going to be left in any one of these funds. So, all we’re asking is, at this particular time, is to bring that forward into 2010/2011. We believe that is covered by Florida Statute 129.06.2(d) which identifies Unanticipated Revenue in the 10/11 budget and receipts for a specific nature. You saw in Mr. Crawford’s letter some supporting documentation from Mr. Londot of Greenberg Traurig that indicated his belief that receipts were not revenue. The Cash Forward is not a receipt; i.e., not a revenue; however, several places in Florida Statute 129, it clearly says the receipts include cash balances. At least three different places that we’re able to show you where they are considered receipts. We consider this to be Unanticipated Revenue for 2010/11 because, in our estimation, it was going to be expended in 09/10. So, it wasn’t anticipated to be in the 10/11 budget. Also, it is for designated purpose and it has already been approved by the Board of County Commissioners in the prior year budget and it’s coming forward to continue that particular project or item that it was budgeted for in the first place. So, we feel that 129.06.2(d) which is an exception from having a public hearing applies in that case. I would say this, that one of the questions I will address with Mr. Whitesides, that $1.3 million; the way we’ve handled that has never been, as I said before, considered to be non-compliant or to have any comments about the way we handle it. And, $1.3 million is less that one percent of the total budget that we’re dealing with here and this covers all funds; not just the Operating funds, as far as Cash Forward. That’s less than one percent of the total budget. I don’t have any further comments on anything additional that Mr. Crawford brought up in his letter at this time; but, with permission of the Chairman, I would like to ask Mr. Whitesides a few questions and then open it up to any questions you may have.

Mr. Whitesides: Good evening. Nice to see you all again.

Chairman Boatright: Could you identify yourself for the record please, Ron?

Mr. Whitesides: Ron Whitesides. I’m a partner with Purvis Gray and Company and in charge of the County’s annual audit.

Mr. Selby: I would just like to start, Ron, by asking how many years Purvis Gray’s been Nassau County’s auditor?

Mr. Whitesides: We’re on our seventh or eighth audit.

Mr. Selby: During that time, has there ever been a finding of non-compliance with regard to budget?

Mr. Whitesides: You’ve probably researched this. I do not remember one, offhand. We’ve written a few comments over the years. More in the early years; not so much lately. But, I don’t recall one on the budget….

Chairman Boatright: You sound a little like Perry Mason…..

Mr. Selby: Have you ever made a recommendation or comment relative to the handling of the Cash Forward?

Mr. Whitesides: No.

Mr. Selby: Specifically?

Mr. Whitesides: No.

Mr. Selby: Are you familiar with the Finance Package in question? In detail?

Mr. Whitesides: I have looked at it, yes.

Mr. Selby: We contend that there are two types of transactions in this package. The $10.7 million that’s to handle Unexpended and Uncommitted balances at the end of a prior year which is addressed in Florida Statute 129.04.4. Are you aware of any requirement to process this type of Cash Forward at all?

Mr. Whitesides: No, I’m not aware that your budget has to be amended for Cash Forwards that are not anticipated to be expended.

Mr. Selby: And, are you aware of any other counties who choose not to bring these balances forward?

Mr. Whitesides: In anticipation of this meeting, I called two other counties and I asked them how they handle them. Those two do, in fact, make these amendments and notice them. But, I have been told that there are other counties in the State that do not make these adjustments.

Mr. Selby: So, I would just tell the Board that the reason that we’re making these adjustments now is for transparency purposes so the citizens can see the amount of money that’s brought forward in these Reserve accounts to handle that. The $1.7 million in Cash Forward in this package that’s relative to what we refer to as rollovers of previous accumulated balances. We believe these are addressed in Florida Statute 129.06.2 delta. Based on our interpretation, would you find Nassau County to be in non-compliance following the processing of these items?

Mr. Whitesides: Now, there’s the question. You’ve got certain items that are Carried Forward items that are going to be expended in your current year that have not been budgeted as part of the current year budget but were budgeted last year, properly authorized. That’s where my reading of the Statute, I’ve not dealt with this particular nuance of that Statute like this before; but, as I read it, you know, the answer is I don’t know. You know, I’ve read both the Clerk’s and the Board’s interpretation of that Statute and I can see how both positions are certainly arguable. So now, you know this sort of thing actually happens a pretty fair amount so I’ve got lots of lawyers about; is that you’ve got a Statute that can be interpreted in different ways. And, I don’t know what the correct interpretation is. My….I’m not a lawyer and I’m aware that that issue has been litigated. My reading of it and our – conducting your annual audit and understanding now the issue and how you handle it; I wouldn’t, we wouldn’t give you a compliance finding with regard to that issue because I don’t know that you’re doing anything wrong. Now, I can …. Here’s what I would say: I would say, “We’ve got two interpretations of the Statute; I’m not sure which is correct. But, if I’m going to err; in general, I’d just as soon err on the side of over-complying with the Statute than potentially under-complying with it.” So, for our purposes, what I would say to the Board is, “You know, if we’ve got an issue here that is a gray area that we’re not sure about, it doesn’t hurt to modify the newspaper advertisement to include the dollars and hold the public hearing on the $1.7 million that we’re talking about. Then, you know you’re in compliance either way.” But, I certainly would not say that you’re currently out of compliance with the way you do it because, to my knowledge, you’re not out of compliance, but it is a debatable topic.

Mr. Selby: Are you aware of any other counties that process committed Cash Forward in this manner that we do?

Mr. Whitesides: No, but I’ve only inquired of two and they both advertise it. I have not tried ….we’re currently auditing eight or ten counties and I’ve not gone to all of them to see what they’re currently doing.

Mr. Selby: Mr. Chairman, our position is we believe we’re in compliance with the Florida Statute. Subject to any questions you may have of Mr. Whitesides, I don’t really have any further comment.

Chairman Boatright: Any comments from the Commissioners? Commissioner Leeper.

Commissioner Leeper: Mr. Whitesides, thanks for being here again tonight. I guess Mr. Selby asked some questions that I had and I appreciate that. I think this Board has been as transparent as we could be over the years. And, I guess I’ll just go back to the Clerk’s letter and apparently he called out spanning the last several years, I guess my question maybe…might be to Ted. We’ve had budget amendments for a number of years while the Clerk’s been in office; he’s approved and signed with no comment, correct?

Mr. Selby: That’s correct.

Commissioner Leeper: I guess, Mr. Whiteside, the question that I’ve got for you is this – and I wish Mr. Crawford was here because I really got concerned about this letter. I’m not here to pick a battle and I’m not here to pick a fight; but, I really think he crosses the line. In your professional opinion over the seven or eight years dealing with this Board, has this Board ever tried to evade full disclosure or try to hide anything financially from the public?

Mr. Whitesides: Not that I have ever been aware of or had an indication of.

Commissioner Leeper: Thank you. See, because that’s what he says in this letter and I think he’s questioning the integrity of this Board. And if Mr. Crawford’s was here, I’ll tell him. You not only question the integrity of this Board, you’re questioning my integrity and I don’t appreciate it. And, I’ll have a chance to talk to him later, I guess.

Chairman Boatright: Commissioner Johnson.

Commissioner Johnson: I have fallen on the same lines and I always want to err on the side of caution; so, whatever you do as a Board, and if you need to get one side or the other to appear more transparent, even though I know that we’ve been transparent, done everything by the book for years, I do, just like Commissioner Leeper, have the same issues of what I feel are personally kind of an attack of the Board; not just Office of Management and Budget, but as a Board and as a Commissioner myself. Not only did he say the purpose or the effect of underestimating the revenues was to evade full disclosure, he also goes on to say the purpose of that fact is to essentially hide it from the view of the public the total amount of Cash Revenues. And, I can say we are not hiding anything from the public; and, I’m frustrated as well. That’s all I’ll say now.

Chairman Boatright: Commissioner Holloway.

Commissioner Holloway: Thank you. Thanks, Ron, for coming. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Ron over a few years; we’ve gone through the negotiation process. But, my concern is that when I got this letter, obviously, I read it and put it down and had to wait awhile before I read it again. To do that is that we’ve, I’ve been going through this for four years and there’s never ever been a question asked. So, my concern is what’s triggering this? What has brought forth this letter from the Clerk to question our auditing standards as set forth by the government to which we employ an outside firm to come in and look at the numbers provided by the Clerk to be audited, to come in compliance each year. Am I right or wrong, Mr. Whitesides?

Mr. Whitesides: You do hire us to come in and audit the financial records. I would say that the point in question probably has more to do with budgetary compliance that the audit process.

Commissioner Holloway: Okay, well, thank you for doing it. But, it is frustrating as a Commissioner up here as we work, and work hard, and try to do the right things for the public, I see a lot of you sitting out here in the audience, to be transparent; to fight the Sunshine Law on a daily basis as our Attorney reminds us constantly about to do. Unless you’re under the Sunshine Law, you have no idea how tough it is to be the government working people. Believe me when I tell you that. So, I share my colleagues’ frustration up here but I’m of the opinion that I’m not an attorney but I have to rely on ….I do have an attorney here; I haven’t heard from him yet; but I’m sure he will chime in on this. But, as of right now – if it ain’t broke, I not willing to fix it. I think we need to continue on the path that we’re going on now until either the attorney’s opinion or a court of law tell me I’m doing it wrong. I just think that’s the best course of action for the people. If there’s any transparency issues, then let the public bring them forward. Come up here. Tell us where you don’t think that we’re doing it the right way or what you think it may be done because I don’t know any other way based on what my auditor tells me that we do on a basic year to year basis that we’re in full compliance or whatever those words are to do that. So, Mr. Chairman, that’s really all I got to say right now is we need to move forward. So, whenever you’re ready for a motion, let me know.

Chairman Boatright: Okay. Commissioner Kelley.

Commissioner Kelley: Yes, Mr. Chairman. Being the newest kid on the block, this is my first go-around with such a budget issue. I will tell you that I went to Gainesville last Wednesday and Thursday for my education which I was encouraged to do; and you’re not going to believe it, but, one full day was spent on 129 and they discussed it and the statement was made by one of our instructors is, “Never forget that we can always delegate authority, but we can never delegate responsibility.” What that means is is that ultimately the decision to go forward rests on five County Commissioners. I appreciate Ron’s advice and Ted’s earnest feelings and I’m sure we’re going get an opinion from the Attorney. Wouldn’t you know that I got back and Friday I got the packet and I spent all weekend reading state statute 129. I went into further review today, thank you to Mrs. Jones; and, I was just unaware of the amount of money we were talking about. It’s not the $1.3 million or the rollover because I think it’s very important that we’re able to pay our bills; I was more concerned about the $10.7 million and where that’s going to go. I understand that we’re going to simply put that in Reserves. And, I don’t know how many people here are aware, but, I found out today that our total Reserves right now are $35,442 thousand; I mean million. (crowd laughter) I told you I was new at this, please. See, how I didn’t have my turn at drinking water clearing his throat.

Mr. Hallman: You think that’s water, huh?

Commissioner Kelley: Then…we then make a move here tonight into a Cash Carry Forward and all these are brand new terms for me. That and they tell me that we’re going to end up with $45 million, almost $46 million. There’s nothing wrong with profit. I come from an environment where profit is not a dirty word. I realize we don’t like to use that term in this environment for fear somebody might hear us. But, as I read the letter from Mr. Crawford and his attorney’s decision, my concern was if we couldn’t at this Board tonight just simply deal with what Mr. Selby’s calling a rollover, then what would be the problem with having a public hearing on the $10.7 million that is obviously left over that we’re going to put into the Reserves. But, once again, I’m the new kid on the block and I’m just sharing my feelings. I, once again, didn’t take Mr. Crawford’s letter personally; then again, I haven’t been here for the last two years or four years to be offended by what’s been going on. Four years from now, I may be highly offended too. I thought…I’ll tell you what, folks, you have overloaded me. I’m only committed four hours a month for this job. You guys are overworking me here. But anyway, I’m looking for some guidance more than anything else. And, maybe the County Attorney has some opinions on this. I look forward to hearing them. Thank you, Ron.

Chairman Boatright: Mr. Attorney, I guess you’ve been questioned. Remember, you’re not getting paid by the hour.

Mr. Hallman: Years ago at the end of a trial I had lost, I was the last lawyer in the courtroom putting my stuff back in my briefcase and the judge was sitting at the bench. I said, “Your Honor”, and I was trying to let him know that I didn’t hold anything personal that he had ruled against me and my client; and I said. “Your Honor, I guess after you’ve done this a while, you kinda accept the fact that you’re going have to make half the people in the room mad at you”. Without hesitating, the judge, Judge Tomlinson, said, “No, at this point in my career, I’m capable of making them all mad.” So, here goes my thoughts about this. I’ll probably make everybody mad. First of all, just a personal aside, it’s a shame that we have to air our grievances like this instead of working out our differences of opinion. I agree with Mr. Whiteside that 129.06 is very poorly written; it’s the product of decades of amendments and committees working at the Legislature; often all the members of those committees not knowing what the other one intended. So, we end up with a Statute that is susceptible of multiple interpretations. In my opinion, everyone here is trying to their job as best they can; the auditor, the Clerk, and OMB and the Manager. I think we lose a lot in this process when we make personal attacks on people who are trying to do their jobs and we see out West what happens when we let the rhetoric elevate to the point that good people with differences of opinion get themselves into a situation where it becomes personal attacks. And, I share some of the sentiments that were had here today. There is no lawyer in the State of Florida, and there are 87,000 of them; there is no lawyer in the State of Florida that can tell you with 100 percent certainty how a court would interpret 129.06.2(d). And, any lawyer that tells you that they know with absolute certainty how a court would interpret that is lying to you. And, I will say that for a fact. With that said, in my personal… in my professional legal opinion, the approach suggested by your OMB Director and the County Manager is consistent with my understanding of the law. That having been said, you know I can’t shut up with that although I should; that having been said, at the end of the day, what the Clerk is asking the Board to do is to change a few words in the Notice for this meeting and have the hearing about this finance package at 7:00 p.m. instead of 6:30 p.m. So, I tend to agree with Mr. Whitesides that I agree with the legal interpretation of the County Manager and the OMB Director; but what we’re really….and I probably shouldn’t say this….this will be the quote that’s in a box in the newspaper tomorrow; but, after the first three of these, nobody will come to the 7:00 p.m. meeting just like they don’t come to the 6:30 p.m. meeting. So…but, it is about transparency. At the end of the day, it’s a few different words in the advertisement. There are three different approaches this forward; at least three different approaches this Board could take tonight. The Board could approve the finance package in its current form as recommended by OMB and the County Manager. That will provoke a fight with the County Clerk of Court and with the potential that end up in court and cost – somebody will win and somebody will lose; after it gets to the Florida Supreme Court, and we litigate that. That typically takes about five years. This finance package could be tied up for the next five years while we determine that. The second approach would be to defer to the Clerk, write a letter and say we’re right, but let’s really don’t…we don’t want to fight about it, and defer to him. An alternate approach would be to ask a court to maybe take one of the smaller accounts in here where’s there’s not a vendor that’s being held up; take the Clerk’s approach on all of the items except that one, and then go to the court in what’s called a “declaratory judgment action” and say, “Let the Clerk tell you his interpretation; we’ll tell you our interpretation; judge, you tell us who is right.” There are at least three different approaches here. Those are my thoughts. Did I make everybody mad?

Chairman Boatright: You just about talked to 7:00 p.m., so it wouldn’t matter anyway. Commissioner Leeper.
Commissioner Leeper: Hey, Mr. Chairman, I’d…first and foremost, I’m not against a public hearing, by no means. I don’t think anyone on this Board is. But, I think what’s at stake here; we’ve got vendors that have performed services for the County that need to be paid. It’s almost like, you know, because of this letter, they’re being held hostage so we have to make a decision. So, I have no problem doing the public hearing at all.

Chairman Boatright: Commissioner Holloway.

Commissioner Holloway: Thank you. Now this could either go into (coughing). Haven’t we already had public hearings on all this (coughing)? This isn’t just money we’ve pulled out of thin air. I mean, we’ve already had public hearings to approve all these budgets in prior years; we didn’t spend it, but we’ve already had these public hearings, haven’t we?

Mr. Selby: All the money that is in the $1.3 million is in an approved budget which has gone through the public hearing process either in the budget process or the CIP process.

Commissioner Holloway: Then why do we need another one?

Mr. Hallman: Can I respond to that too because I agree with everything Ted said? But, it might be useful for the public both here and on the internet to know, as I understand, what the dispute is. In July, this Board has to hold meetings to determine what its new budget will be beginning the following October; and you have ongoing, in the case of this Board, you have millions of dollars of complex construction projects that are going on; and, you’re asked in July, and your staff on your behalf is asked, to do their best to estimate the dollar amount that will be un….often, these construction projects don’t get done in one year. You might have a $3 million construction project; in July, you think you’re going to have $2 million of that job done and you may miss it by $50,000 or $100,000 or whatever. And so, you’ve budgeted the million that you didn’t think was going to get done in your new budget. And this is what I would call a “true-up”. When October comes around, you say, “Wait a minute, we did our very best in July, but there’s a ‘true-up’ that has to be done.” And so, to characterize that as intentionally deceptive is, I think, is unfair to the public because this Board has been very careful and conservative in all of its approaches to that, so….pardon me for being long-winded, but I think it’s important that the public understand that we’re talking about dollars that are in the bank and it’s about whether it’s shown in one little line item on a piece of paper or it’s moved over to another line on the same piece of paper.

Commissioner Holloway: Mr. Chairman, I need to follow up on it. What I don’t want to have happen is that this theoretical money you’re talking about; we spend half of it; we have to rollover the other half; now we got to have a public hearing. What if the public says, “No, don’t finish that fire station. I want you to build a sidewalk on Blackrock Road.” I mean, that’s what we’re faced with by having another public hearing in front of the public again because we’ve got money already allocated, not spent, but allocated, to build a fire station. But yet, we have to hold a public hearing on the half we did not spend? Is that….
Mr. Hallman: Commissioner, what I would say to you at that point; if, in the middle of a public hearing ,… I’m going to pick on Ms. Kling because she’s sitting in the front row….let’s say in that public hearing, she comes up and says, “I want you to change your mind midstream in the middle of this construction project”. I’m going to push this little button that says I get to talk and I’m going to say, “Ms. Kling, the problem we’ve got there is that we’ve got a contract. And so, if we don’t finish the project, that’s fine, but we’re going to have to pay for it anyway, so we’ll just have a half-built building but we’re going to have to pay the vendor anyway.” I think …Ms. Kling seems like a reasonable lady… if I explained that to her, she would say “Oh my, okay, well, thank you for explaining that.” And pardon me for picking on you.

Commissioner Holloway: That would be my concern about having the public come back again and have other things they want to be done. Because we’ve got a contract, we do have vendors working, and now we’re going to stop in midstream? That would be my concern about having to have a public hearing when we’ve already had a public hearing because sometimes it takes four years to get stuff done in this County; i.e., fire station. So, that would be a concern about continually having public hearings every year in order to be “transparent” to let the people know where the money’s going when they’ve already had the ability to come to the public hearing. I have no problem with public hearing. I’m like Commissioner Leeper; we have them pretty much all the time to do that. But, it just seems like it’s not necessary on that issue to continue to have a public hearing about money that we know has already been allocated for specific projects. Mr. Chairman, thank you for letting me talk.

Chairman Boatright: Mr. Selby.

Mr. Selby: The only other comment I would make about the $10.7 million; none of that money is going to any new projects or any projects that have not been discussed and fully (coughing) before. Nor would it….it’s going into Reserves and as each of you know; it takes Board action at a public meeting to take any money out of Reserves and would have to go through the process again it were to be included in the future and the CIP program.

Commissioner Holloway: By way of public hearing.

Mr. Selby: By way of public hearing.

Chairman Boatright: Commissioner Kelley.

Commissioner Kelley: I had a question. I understand the dilemma that we’re in here tonight based on past practices. I guess my question might be for Mr. Selby and that is what suggestions or recommendations do you have as we approach the new budget process so that we’re not in this same position next year? Because I’m just learning the budget process and, as I understand, if we call for a project to cost $1 million and by the end of the year, by the end of September, we’ve only spent half of it, do we budget the other $500,000 in the new year? Have we done it in the past?

Mr. Selby: In many of the projects we have do have budget in the current year. The issue is being able, that far in advance, to identify exactly how much money we’re talking about. And, I don’t see any way we’re ever going to be right on top of every project to know what has cleared the books and what’s accounted for at the end of any given fiscal year. In an answer to your first question, whatever the pleasure of the Board is going forward, obviously, we will carry out your direction whether it is with this package tonight or whether it is with next year’s package or whenever, however, you direct us to handle this; we will do so.

Chairman Boatright: The only comment I got to make is in my prior occupation, I was with a government entity, we never had a problem with this because we would start a lot of jobs and our fiscal year ended September 30th and October 1st the new year went and we just rolled our money over. As far as I know right now, nobody’s in prison that I worked with.

Commissioner Kelley: Did you work with the State hospital or were you a patient there?

Chairman Boatright: I just worked there. The main thing I’m concerned with is basically the contractors and the vendors. No wonder, you know, everybody talks about “let’s run government like a business.” First of all, when you hold people’s money for 45 to 60 days before you pay them and then you’re going to get where that contractor; if he knows come September 30th all that money is going to have to go back in and be re-voted on and then put back into an account and then have the check cut, he’s going to do one of two things. He’s either not going to want to do work for the County or he’s going to ram that thing through and try to finish it before September 30th and we may get some shoddy work

Commissioner Kelley: Or double the price.

Chairman Boatright: Or double the price and I don’t blame him.

Commissioner Holloway: Mr. Chairman, I made a motion to approve the finance package.

Chairman Boatright: I see you’ve got that on there; we’ve got a motion by Commissioner Holloway and looking for a second to approve the finance package, Tab C. We have that seconded by Commissioner Leeper. Is there any other discussion? If there’s no other discussion, call the vote; record the vote.

Ms. Linville: Four ayes, one nay.

Chairman Boatright: We have approved Tab C. And I think as we move next month….or later on this month when we start into the budget process, this may be something that we should look into to see if there is anything we can do to keep Mr. Whiteside from having to come… didn’t charge us for coming out hear tonight? Maybe I shouldn’t ask that question.

Mr. Whiteside: Due to Commissioner Holloway’s foresight, we’re operating on a fixed fee contract.

End of verbatim Tab C