May 19, 2009 - regular tuesday meeting

Water & Sewer Administration Building
Presentation to David Griggs, Emergency Medical Technician, of the County’s Humanitarian
Efforts Recognized by Okaloosa County (H.E.R.O.) Award
Employee Awards
Public Information Update
Scheduled Items
Angela Balent, Partner, O’Sullivan Creel, L.L.P., to present the
Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the year ended
September 30, 2008. Gary Stanford, Finance Officer, Okaloosa
County Clerk of Court,
to present the Annual Investment Report.

Consent Agenda
1. April 21, 2009 Regular BCC Meeting minutes.
2. April 28, 2009 Budget Policy Workshop minutes.
3. Request approval of a Proclamation declaring May 20, 2009 as “Emergency Preparedness for
People with Disabilities and Special Needs Day” in Okaloosa County. 4. Request approval and signatures on a Public Official Bond with Western Surety Company for 5. Request approval of a Special Event Permit for the use of grassy areas in front of the restrooms at Marler Park, for a fundraising music event/jazz festival to be held on May 24, 2009, from 1:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m., sponsored by Barry Gray, Greater Sylvania Heights Front Porch, Inc.
Department Business

Darrel Jones /Tourist Development Council
Request approval of a request by Tourist Development Council members to change regularly
scheduled Council meetings from monthly to quarterly. District: All

Kay Godwin/Human Resources
Request approval to add a Pandemic Disease/Virus section into the Human Resources Policy
Manual and re-title Chapter XXIV from AIDS: Crisis Management Policy to Health Crises Management Policy. District: All.
Donald Turner/Facilities Maintenance

1. Request staff direction concerning assisting Elder Services in response to the Florida
Department of Environmental Protection’s warning letter concerning work done at the Autumn House. District: All. 2. Request staff direction concerning a proposed Consent Order from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection related to work done at the Autumn House. District: All.
Elliot Kampert/Growth Management
Request staff direction concerning a request for development of a Recreational Vehicle Park on
Okaloosa Island as related to the Island’s Covenants and Restrictions. District: 5
Dino Villani/Public Safety
1. Request approval of and authorize the Chairman to execute a Fire Dispatch Services
Agreement between Okaloosa County and 17 local fire departments and/or districts. District:
2. Request approval of and authorize the Chairman to execute a Memorandum of Understanding
with Walton County for regional 911 call routing between Okaloosa and Walton Counties.
District: All.
3. Request approval of and authorize the Chairman to execute Amendment 2 to the lease
agreement with Pier Associates to add a lifeguard tower on the Okaloosa Island Pier to implement the Tower Zero operations plan. This tower will have an automated external defibrillator, first aid equipment and lightning detection/warning systems. District: All.
Danielle Slaterpryce/Public Works
1. Request approval of and authorize the Chairman to execute a Cooperative Agreement with the
Florida Department of Environmental Protection for a Household Hazardous Waste Cooperative Collection Center Arrangement Grant Agreement. District: All. 2. Request approval of and authorize the Chairman to execute a State of Florida Department of Transportation Traffic Signal Maintenance Form which acknowledges the County’s responsibility for a signal to be installed by the state on SR 85 at Duke Field and 7th Special Forces Way. District: 3. 3. Request approval of and authorize the Chairman to execute a renewal for the Sovereignty Submerged Land Lease with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection for the Okaloosa Island Pier. District: 5. 4. Request approval of an additional street light installation and lowering of rates for the Colony 5. Request approval of and authorize the Chairman to execute a 5 year lease with The Nature Conservancy as the new owner of Guest Lake Park & Boat Launch, located on the Yellow River in the Holt vicinity. District: 3. 6. Request staff direction for current infrastructure condition in Countrywood Estates subdivision (Blackberry Circle) under temporary maintenance. District: 3. 7. Request approval for staff to authorize HDR Engineering to perform an intersection analysis of Matthew Blvd and Commons Drive in an effort to improve traffic flow at the intersection. District: 5.
Old Business
1. Discussion concerning the Tax Collector/Property Appraiser building lease with 99 Eglin, LTD.

Okaloosa County adheres to the Americans with Disabilities Act and will make reasonable modifications
for access to this meeting upon request. Please call the County Administrator’s Office at (850) 651-7515
to make a request.
For Hearing Impaired, Dial 1-800-955-8771 (TDD), and 1-800-955-8770 (Voice).
Requests must be received at least 48 hours in advance of the meeting in order for Okaloosa County to
provide the requested service.
The regular Tuesday meeting of the Okaloosa County Board of County Commissioners was called to order at 8:30 a.m. at the Water & Sewer Administration Building in Fort Walton Beach. Members present were William J. Roberts, III, Chairman; Wayne Harris, Vice Chairman; John Jannazo; Don Amunds; and James Campbell. Also present were Gary Stanford, Finance Director, Clerk’s Office; James Curry, County Administrator; John Dowd, County Attorney; and members of the press. PRESENTATION TO DAVID GRIGGS - OKALOOSA COUNTY H.E.R.O. AWARD Mr. Curry stated we have a special award presentation this morning and noted the timeliness of the award to coincide with EMS Week. He explained that several months ago the Board directed staff to develop an employee recognition program. One of the awards authorized was the H.E.R.O. Award, an acronym for Humanitarian Efforts Recognized by Okaloosa County. The award was designed to recognize the efforts of employees truly exemplifying heroic efforts during and outside of scheduled work hours when encountering events that impact fellow citizens. Mr. Curry asked Public Safety Director Dino Villani, Al Herndon, EMT David Griggs and his wife to join him at the podium. Mr. Curry reported that on the morning of April 8 while in route to work at Medic 8, EMT David Griggs came upon an accident at Highway 85 and Highway 2 near Almarante. A pickup truck rear-ended a cement truck and EMT Griggs broke out a passenger window of the pickup and crawled in to attend to the patient prior to arrival of the ambulance. EMT Griggs remained to assist the crew from Medic 6 until the extrication was complete and the patient was flown to Sacred Heart Hospital by Air Heart. Mr. Curry noted the patient turned out to be an Okaloosa County Public Works employee. He added that Mr. Griggs went above and beyond the call of duty. Mr. Griggs was given the H.E.R.O. Award and a standing round of applause. Mr. Villani stated we are very proud of EMT Griggs. He reiterated this is EMS Week and asked everyone to give all emergency personnel a “pat on the back” when they see them during the week. Mr. Villani stated in conjunction with EMS Week, the Public Safety staff will conduct a food drive at the Publix Super Markets in Fort Walton Beach and Crestview today from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. The collected food will be given to Sharing and Caring. May 19, 2009 -1- Minute Book 61, Page Okaloosa County Board of County Commissioners Mr. Herndon said there are a number of EMS employees here this morning and asked them to stand. He called them everyday heroes and told the Board and audience “It is a privilege to serve you.” PRESENTATIONS - EMPLOYEE SERVICE AWARDS Mr. Curry presented service awards to the following employees, expressing appreciation for their continued service to Okaloosa County: Monica PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER UPDATES Mrs. Kathy Newby, Public Information Officer, provided the following sustainability tip: Boat owners should utilize the boat pump-out stations and sustain inland bays, rivers and the Gulf of Mexico. A list of telephone numbers for these pump-out stations, many of which are free or have a small fee, can be found on the county’s website under Public Works, Clean County Programs. Slides of the Tourism Week Celebration at the Emerald Coast Conference Center were shown. Mrs. Newby also provided pictures of her tour of the two Fixed Base Operators’ facilities at the Destin Airport. The Public Safety Department is celebrating EMS Week this week and will sponsor a food drive for Sharing and Caring at the Publix Super Markets in Crestview and Fort Walton Beach. EMS Week will be followed by Beach Safety Week which coincides with the Memorial Day Weekend. Mrs. Newby reported the Extension Office has organized A Weekend Retreat for Adults Only for May 30-31. Fliers with details, as well as a calendar of events, are available at the entrance to the Commission Chambers. Moment in History: The concept for the Okaloosa County Veterans Memorial Park was originated by long-time Crestview Mayor George Whitehurst. He gained the support of 20 people who formed the Okaloosa County Veterans Memorial Committee. The monument, which contains the May 19, 2009 -2- Minute Book 61, Page Okaloosa County Board of County Commissioners names of more than 200 servicemen and women from the area killed
on active duty, was dedicated on March 22, 2003. Mrs. Newby
also provided the etiquette for displaying and retiring the
American Flag.
Mr. Dino Villani, Public Safety Director, stated that at the
April 21 meeting he reported the current agreement with 17 fire
departments for dispatch services will expire in September of
this year. The Board directed staff to meet with the fire
chiefs to negotiate a new agreement which may or may not cover
the departments’ costs. Currently the fire departments provide
40% of the funding which totals $354,348. Mr. Villani said
staff was also directed to investigate the use of 9-1-1 funds to
defray the cost of these dispatch services. He advised, that
based on current revenues, a total of $202,348 in 9-1-1 funds
can be used for the call-taking function. The remaining cost
for dispatch services is estimated to be $152,000.
Mr. Harris attended the negotiations on behalf of the Board. He
noted the participants worked together well. Mr. Harris made
motion, seconded by Mr. Jannazo, to approve the proposed
Dispatch Services Agreement and for the county to assume the
$152,000 cost not defrayed by 9-1-1 funding. 5 yeas.
(NOTE: This document has not yet been submitted to the Clerk’s
Ms. Lenora Wilson, representing Okaloosa-Walton Homeless
Continuum of Care and Opportunity, Inc., advised these
organizations have been working with the residents of Sylvania
Heights to provide short-term and mid-term housing for those
families which have suffered job losses. The document presented
for Board review was entitled “Vision Plan for Opportunity
Place.” She reported Sylvania Heights received site control
approval on May 14. Ms. Wilson stated the application for
funding is due by May 22 and requires a statement of approval
from the county. Mr. Amunds made motion, seconded by Mr.
Jannazo, to authorize the Chairman to execute the Certificate of
Local Government Approval for Nonprofit Organizations
which will
allow the Continuum and Opportunity, Inc. to seek grant funding.
5 yeas.
May 19, 2009 -3- Minute Book 61, Page Okaloosa County Board of County Commissioners CONSENT AGENDA APPROVAL Mr. Jannazo made motion, seconded by Mr. Amunds, to approve the Consent Agenda: 1. 3. Proclamation designating May 20, 2009 as Emergency Preparedness for People with Disabilities and Special Needs Approval of Public Official Bond for Sheriff Edward Spooner Special Event Permit request from Greater Sylvania Heights Front Porch, Inc. to use grassy area at Marler Park for 5 yeas. TOURIST DEVELOPMENT - REQUEST FROM TOURIST DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL TO SCHEDULE QUARTERLY MEETINGS Mr. Darrel Jones, Tourist Development Director, stated the Tourist Development Council (TDC) at its advertised meeting on April 22 discussed and agreed upon having quarterly meetings rather than monthly ones. He pointed out TDC has been having monthly meetings for the past 19 years. Mr. Jones asked TDC Chairman Ken Paine to come forward to comment. Mr. Paine advised discussions on changing the schedule for meetings began under the prior TDC Chairman. He stated Florida Statutes only require quarterly meetings. However, Mr. Paine said the TDC realizes more than four meetings per year may be needed to conduct business and additional meetings will be called as needed. Estimated savings for this schedule change are $1,490 annually. Mr. Paine said the idea is simply to improve operating efficiency and all meetings will be properly noticed, saying email notices can also be provided. He pointed out the Operations and Procedures Manual approved by the Board of County Commissioners does permit this change. Mrs. Rebecca Sherry, Okaloosa Island, expressed her concerns about the existing TDC meeting processes and the proposed changes. She said she has been unable to obtain copies of notices for executive sessions, committee meeting minutes, and membership rosters. Mrs. Sherry reiterated that her requests for public records have not been answered. She opposed a change to quarterly meetings and any proposals that would lead to what she termed “closed door measures of meetings.” May 19, 2009 -4- Minute Book 61, Page Okaloosa County Board of County Commissioners Mr. David Sherry, Okaloosa Island, said he believes his wife said everything. He, however, added that he does not believe this is the time to move things behind closed doors. Mr. Sherry was of the opinion TDC has an abysmal record of notifying people of its meetings. He felt a regular monthly schedule is more appropriate. Mr. Harris asked Mr. Jones if he would like to respond. Mr. Jones stated the minutes the Sherrys have requested are on his desk waiting for them to be picked up. He advised the department did have a computer crash which may be confirmed by the IT Department. However, staff did go through all stored records. Mr. Jones said there are minutes on all executive sessions and TDC meetings. He explained the Executive Committee is a committee that makes recommendations to the TDC, noting those recommendations are not binding. Mr. Jones emphasized that these meetings have been advertised in the legal section of the newspaper for the last 19 years. He added the notice for executive sessions is also sent to the newspaper and “It is posted on the building and sent out to people.” Mr. Jones stated the recommendation to change to quarterly meetings is to save money. Mr. Roberts asked if the executive sessions will be held quarterly or monthly. Mr. Jones replied that determination will be based on what needs to be discussed. He commented many steps are taken before any TDC funds are expended. Committee recommendations are made to the Tourist Development Council which in turn presents recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners for approval. Mr. Roberts said he would like to see an annual schedule of meetings prepared. He expressed confidence in Mr. Jones’ and the TDC’s knowledge of the advertising requirements and the Sunshine Law. Mr. Amunds asked if the department can put out an “email blast” regarding meetings. Mr. Jannazo asked if anyone from staff has looked at this from the outside. Mr. Curry’s response was, “no.” Mr. Jannazo said he would like for staff to look at this. Mr. Curry replied that can be done and noted the notices and minutes have been provided. Mr. Jannazo suggested the Institute of Senior Professionals “take a non-judgmental view of how it works” and ask them for recommendations. Mr. Roberts pointed out we have volunteer board members representing the municipalities and the TDC. He said they understand the requirements of their meetings better than the BCC. Mr. Roberts stated if they feel they can get the business May 19, 2009 -5- Minute Book 61, Page Okaloosa County Board of County Commissioners done on a quarterly basis, he will support that. He said if they find out it is not working, they can return to the Board and propose a change. Mr. Jannazo said he does not have a problem of when they have the meeting but the concerns expressed seem to deal with proper notification/advertising. Mr. Harris stated that he is not concerned about the holding of quarterly meetings but it is more important to have proper notification and to have the minutes prepared. He added that he is not opposed to a non-partisan group looking over this. Mr. Amunds stated that he looks at this differently. He said if there is a question of checks and balances he believes the review should be done by Mr. Dowd, Mr. Hall (TDC attorney), Mr. Curry and Mr. Jones. Mr. Amunds was certain these four individuals can address the concerns and determine if there is compliance. He said he would prefer this to be tweaked in the next few weeks. Mr. Amunds stressed that just because the Board requests a review does not mean anyone has done anything wrong. Mr. Amunds made motion, seconded by Mr. Campbell, for the four individuals mentioned above to meet to review the concerns shared by the Sherrys. Mr. Campbell advised that he has had the opportunity to sit on the TDC Board and he feels many things can be handled on a quarterly basis. He saw no problem with calling a special meeting when necessary. Mr. Campbell commented that normally it is the same people who attend each of these meetings. He added that he has never seen anything hidden. Mr. Jannazo suggested bringing someone in from the Walton County or Santa Rosa County TDCs to review the process, saying they might be able to provide some best practices. Mr. Amunds responded that he has no problem with a review but cannot support someone from another county coming in because that would imply we have a problem. Mr. Harris said he thinks it should be reviewed. Mr. Amunds noted that Mr. Campbell has sat on the TDC Board and he sees no problem with a commissioner, perhaps Mr. Campbell, sitting in. However, he said that he does not want to go outside of the county. Mr. Campbell said because he is a representative on that board, it should probably be someone else. Mr. Dowd requested clarification on what the proposed committee is to review. He pointed out there are public notice requirements, as well as Sunshine Law requirements. Mr. Dowd May 19, 2009 -6- Minute Book 61, Page Okaloosa County Board of County Commissioners stated there is a requirement to have public notice for an executive session but no requirement for it to be advertised in the newspaper. He said the notice could be posted on the Courthouse steps, at the Annex, or at the TDC executive office. Mr. Dowd stated they know the requirements and have acknowledged that fact in this meeting. He said he does not know what else is to be reviewed, noting that is the only legal question. Mr. Dowd stated the department head pointed out there had been a computer problem. He said the Sherrys have asked for everything done in the past several years and they make requests on an almost daily basis. Mr. Campbell said an option is for Mr. Jones to correspond with Mr. Curry about the meetings, then that information could be put in the BCC agenda packages. He felt having a list of the TDC meetings available in county offices would be an example of checks and balances. Mr. Amunds stated that he does not think the issue is whether or not the commissioners know when the TDC meetings are but it is one of having the information available for the public. He believes there are members of the public who want to take a more active role. Mr. Sherry came forward and stated he takes exception to the earlier comment they make requests daily. He objected to the notion that posting a notice on the Courthouse steps is adequate notification. Mr. Sherry repeated that he and his wife have asked for copies of prior notices of meetings and received “zero.” His conclusion, “So, we don’t think they were noticed any where. No one is producing paperwork.” He reiterated documents have been asked for and either not found or not produced. Mr. Campbell responded by saying the minutes of those meetings have been given to the BCC for several years. Mr. Roberts said the motion was made by Mr. Amunds and seconded by Mr. Campbell calling for Mr. Dowd, Mr. Hall, Mr. Curry and Mr. Jones to review the concerns and return with a commentary in two weeks. 4 yeas, 1 nay. (Mr. Jannazo voted no.) VISITOR - ANGELA BALENT, O’SULLIVAN CREEL LLP, PRESENTATION OF COMPREHENSIVE ANNUAL FINANCIAL REPORT Ms. Angela Balent, Partner, O’Sullivan Creel LLP, stated she will present a summary of the audit findings and highlights of the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR). She began the review with a chart of the reporting organization and the flow May 19, 2009 -7- Minute Book 61, Page Okaloosa County Board of County Commissioners chart which is found in the introduction to the CAFR. Ms. Balent pointed out the CAFR is the combined reporting of six separate functions of the county. The CAFR also contains a separate information section for each of the elected officials. She stated it is important when reviewing this report to remember that all elected officials are on a par with each other. Because Okaloosa County is not a charter county, the Clerk of Courts under Florida Statutes is “basically the accountant. They record and report financial information of the Board.” Ms. Balent stated the Supervisor of Elections has asked the Clerk to perform those same functions for that office. All other elected officials set their own policies and are their own accountant. Ms. Balent stated the Yellow Book Standards are employed by the auditors whose job is to express an opinion on the financial condition of the county. Tests are performed to determine compliance with internal controls and the law. She referred to Page 168 of the report, saying the format is prescribed by the various information just described. Ms. Balent stated they have tried to summarize the information in a concise manner. An unqualified opinion on the financial statement was issued, advising they believe it is properly represented with regard to compliance of state and federal grant. She stated they did not report material weakness of internal controls. Ms. Balent defined the term deficiency and reported 6 significant deficiencies and 5 compliance citings. There were no significant deficiencies on federal or state awards. She said this finding is based on the major grants which were reviewed. Ms. Balent advised the full outcome is uncertain at this time because of the criminal charges against the sheriff (suspended Sheriff Charlie Morris). The Tax Collector’s Office had 3 citings. Ms. Balent said the first concerns performance compliance and any annual lump sum payments should have been reported to the Department of Revenue (DOR) as special pay rather than included in salaries. This is an internal control citing and compliance citing. The second citing deals with travel expense reimbursement. She said not all travelers used the same travel voucher form and all credit card receipts were not retained. Ms. Balent reported the third citing is with regard to the extra compensation of $173,000 awarded in a short period. She said the policy may be called into question, pointing out there are issues between the Tax Collector and his attorney and the DOR and the Board of County Commissioners and its attorney. Ms. Balent advised this is a May 19, 2009 -8- Minute Book 61, Page Okaloosa County Board of County Commissioners compliance citing. She stressed these comments do not express an opinion or a legal opinion. The Sheriff’s Office had three citings. The first is an internal control citing on the payroll process, noting recommendations have been made regarding segregation of duties issues. She said the performance pay issues were a result of collusion and stated $504,000 was awarded during the period of this audit. There was no policy and no criteria. Ms. Balent said 49% of the awards went to 7 individuals. She explained this is an internal control citing because there was no policy. There is a compliance citing based on awards that were not reasonable or necessary. She advised the last citing is on alleged fraud, saying at least $30,000 was kicked-back to the Sheriff or the Director of Administration. Ms. Balent said this is a compliance issue because elected officials cannot exact personal gain. Ms. Balent stated both the Tax Collector and Sheriff believe they have a legal right to a compensation policy not tied to the Board of County Commissioners. She reported the Tax Collector and the acting Sheriff have agreed to discontinue this type of pay until legalities are worked out with all parties. Continuing, Ms. Balent said they believe there are some policies which could be put into place. First is a Whistle Blower Policy which would include a hot line for reporting suspect expenditures. The second policy recommended by the auditors is an expansion of the internal audit functions. Currently, the Clerk of Courts does have an internal audit function. The Board has used the services of the internal auditor for certain functions upon request. The recommendation is to expand the internal audit to all elected officials. Ms. Balent further recommended the whistle blower and internal auditor report findings to the Audit Committee which is composed of representatives of the Board and each of the other Constitutional Offices. She said they have asked the Clerk to research the viability of this idea and how it could be implemented. Ms. Balent reported a management recommendation regarding Water & Sewer System inventory control. She advised that all these issues will impact the 2009 audit, explaining the auditors are required to follow up with detailed testing on all comments to determine if there have been resolved. If the issues are not resolved, they will be reported. Ms. Balent pointed out there were an additional $313,000 from October 2008 to February 2009 May 19, 2009 -9- Minute Book 61, Page Okaloosa County Board of County Commissioners awarded by the suspended Sheriff in bonuses and this will be reflected in the 2009 audit. Upon inquiry by Mr. Harris, Mr. Dowd stated there is no real legal basis to expand the internal audit to other elected officials. Ms. Balent clarified the external audit is prescribed by State Statutes but the internal audit could only be done on a voluntary basis. Mr. Roberts commented the Clerk has his work cut out for him. Mr. Harris said he feels the public demands it and he believes the elected officials understand that fact. Mr. Jannazo stated during the budget policy workshop there was discussion of organizing a county-level Constitutional Officer workshop. Mr. Amunds interjected that was discussed but no formal direction was given. Mr. Roberts recommended Ms. Balent be allowed to continue and this item may be addressed at the conclusion of her presentation. Ms. Balent briefly reviewed the combined fund balances as of September 30, 2008 ($47 million). She noted that 42% is restricted for capital projects and 12% is TDC funding restricted for the beaches. The General Fund Reserves balance is 10%. The GFOA recommended General Fund Reserves be no less than 5% to 15%. She advised that ad valorem tax revenues decrease in 2008. Total governmental revenue was $137.3 million with 44% of that sum coming from property taxes. Total expenditures were provided by function. Total expenditures were $128.9 million. 39% of that figure was Public Safety and 27% was general governmental. Total county assets for 2008 were $553.8 million as compared to $523.7 million in 2007. She quickly detailed the different types of audits: financial, forensic, internal. Mr. Campbell stated this was the best audit presentation he has seen in the five years he has been a commissioner. Mr. Jannazo asked Ms. Balent to go into greater details on the differences in the types of audits. She complied by giving further explanation. Upon further inquiry, Ms. Balent advised the firm of Saltmarsh, Cleaveland, & Gund conducted the audit for the Property Appraiser and O’Sullivan Creel performed the audit for the Supervisor of Elections Office and the Clerk of Courts Office. Mr. Jannazo asked if the Tax Collector and the Sheriff’s Offices were the only ones with significant findings. Ms. Balent replied that a comment to the Board was made regarding Water & Sewer inventory control. May 19, 2009 -10- Minute Book 61, Page Okaloosa County Board of County Commissioners Mr. Harris asked why the auditors did not find fraud or the kickbacks. Ms. Balent responded that much of the public has a misconception about what an audit is. A financial audit does not find fraud. She said an external audit finds fraud in only about 5% of the instances. In most instances, fraud is found when it is reported by an employee. Ms. Balent explained that auditors provide opinions of the financial statements and it is management’s responsibility to define the internal control and determine compliance relating to them. She advised it would be impossible to find kickbacks unless they were told about them. Upon further inquiry by Mr. Harris, Ms. Balent said if some questionable expenditures had been found in the Sheriff’s Office, it would have been reported to the Sheriff and the administrator who were in collusion. Mr. Jannazo commented that internal control is based on the integrity of the public officials. Mr. Dave Parisot, Shalimar, expressed concern that the Tax Collector and suspended Sheriff have not made full disclosure on the extra compensation that was paid out. He asked why something was not found in their previous audits. Mr. Parisot said everyone always looks at the “findings” in the audit report but he feels it is equally as important for everyone to read the “notes.” Mr. Cabe Woods, Fort Walton Beach, said he feels the internal audit functions are hugely important. He stated we need to find out how to implement this because that is how fraudulent activities are uncovered. Mr. Woods was hopeful all the Constitutional Officers would buy into this. Mr. Mike Clugh, Fort Walton Beach resident and President of Okaloosa Citizens Alliance, asked why the budgets of the Constitutional Officers cannot come under Mr. Stanford’s budget. Mr. Dowd replied it must be voluntary. Mr. David Sherry, Okaloosa Island, said if the Constitutionals don’t agree, maybe it could be put on the ballot. Mr. Dowd responded that would only be a straw ballot and not binding. Mr. Jannazo explained that can only happen under a charter county form of government. He noted the charter form of government can be very effective but it also has its problems. Ms. Balent stated she will speak on behalf of other members of the audit consortium. With regard to the Sheriff’s Office, she May 19, 2009 -11- Minute Book 61, Page Okaloosa County Board of County Commissioners advised the audit firm (Nicholson, Reeder & Demski) didn’t know there was not a written policy. She said it is much easier to look back and see these things now. Ms. Balent again pointed out that testing is done on a sample basis and none of the samples revealed anything. She reiterated that if something had been found, it would have been reported to the Director of Administration and Sheriff. With regard to the Tax Collector’s Office, the audit firm (Saltmarsh, Cleaveland, and Gund) was aware of the office’s policy but did not know there was a conflict between the Tax Collector and his attorney and the Department of Revenue and the Board of County Commissioners. Ms. Balent stated she would like to thank Gary Stanford and Jodi Gates for their production of the CAFR. Upon inquiry by Mr. Jannazo, Ms. Balent stated regardless of the issues with the Sheriff’s Office and Tax Collector’s Office, the financial status of the county is very solid and very conservative. She commented that it has just been an unusual year, both difficult and challenging. RECESS - The meeting was recessed at 10:15 a.m. and reconvened at 10:30 a.m. WORKSHOP WITH ALL CONSTITUTIONAL OFFICERS Mr. Jannazo said in the Budget Policy Workshop there was talk of getting together in the near future with the Constitutional Officers for a county-level budget workshop. He said this would provide an opportunity to discuss internal audit functions and combining/consolidating some functions. Mr. Jannazo recommended staff be directed to immediately contact all Constitutional Officers about a workshop to discuss these concerns. Mr. Amunds suggested the public be allowed to ask questions of the elected officials. Mr. Jannazo said some thought should be given to the agenda for such a workshop and made motion, seconded by Mr. Harris, to proceed. Mr. Curry asked for clarification with regard to the topics which are to be addressed. Mr. Jannazo said the workshop is to provide a level of visibility, to discuss consolidation of services, and internal audit functions. Mr. Amunds recommended an afternoon timeframe for the workshop. 5 yeas. Mr. Jannazo asked how to approach the recommendation for implementation of a whistle blower program. Mr. Harris asked if that discussion could be included as a workshop topic with the Constitutional Officers. Mr. Amunds agreed, saying he is May 19, 2009 -12- Minute Book 61, Page Okaloosa County Board of County Commissioners hopeful to get a “buy in” with all the other officials. Mr. Campbell said he believes the citizens are asking for everything to be the same across the board. Mr. Jannazo asked why the DOR is not excited about these findings. Mr. Harris responded he is not sure they are not because they are really looking into it--“We are just not going to hear about it.” Mr. Roberts pointed out Ms. Balent had several conversations with DOR and it appears DOR is changing some of its processes. He felt there may even be legislators looking into it. Mr. Amunds suggested inviting DOR to the workshop to which Mr. Jannazo replied “that would be great.” FINANCE OFFICER - PRESENTATION OF ANNUAL INVESTMENT REPORT Mr. Stanford stated the Clerk of Courts as custodian of the county funds must also provide an investment report annually in conjunction with the presentation of the CAFR. He explained the Okaloosa County Investment Summary supported by the following slides: • Total portfolio composition at September 30, 2008 (graph) • Total portfolio composition at September 30, 2004 through • Comparable portfolio composition at September 30, 2007 and • Total portfolio long and short-term composition at • Cash and investment balances and interest earnings--1978 to • Cumulative earnings since Pooled Cash inception--1978 to • Performance comparison--Average Return on Investment, 1978 HUMAN RESOURCES - HEALTH CRISIS MANAGEMENT POLICY Mrs. Kay Godwin, Human Resources Director, stated the Human Resources staff has been working with Public Safety and the Health Department to prepare a plan to outline operations during times of pandemics. She asked Dr. Karen Chapman, County Health Department Director, to come forward to address the Board. Dr. Chapman stated on April 22 she received notification from the CDC of a new novel virus. She shared that information with her staff and all the doctors in the county. Dr. Chapman pointed out that she previously addressed the Board about the May 19, 2009 -13- Minute Book 61, Page Okaloosa County Board of County Commissioners Bird Flu and what to expect in the event of a pandemic. Fortunately, that did not occur. She advised that we are also fortunate with regard to the new virus, dubbed the Swine Flu. Dr. Chapman said we were able to understand within two weeks that it was not as dangerous as once feared. She cautioned that the influenza virus can evolve and become more significant. For this reason, it will be constantly monitored. Dr. Chapman stated it is wise to have a plan in place if we ever do have a pandemic. Upon inquiry by Mr. Harris, Dr. Chapman said Tamiflu and Relenza have been successful in the treatment of this strain of flu. She stressed that healthy people should not take these anti-viral medications. Dr. Chapman also wanted to point out that 32,000 people die each year as a result of seasonal influenza. Mr. Jannazo made motion, seconded by Mr. Amunds, to approve the department head’s request to re-title Chapter XXIV from AIDS: Crisis Management Policy to Health Crises Management Policy and to add a section entitled Pandemic Disease/Virus. 5 yeas. FACILITIES MAINTENANCE - FDEP WARNING LETTER TO ELDER SERVICES REGARDING RENOVATIONS AT AUTUMN HOUSE Mr. Don Turner, Facilities Maintenance Director, stated Elder Services of Okaloosa County was notified by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) on September 4, 2007 through Warning Letter NWAP 091-1727 the department believed (based on inspection) work done at the Autumn House located at 297 Hospital Drive in Fort Walton Beach had been done in violation of Florida Statutes and rules associated with asbestos. The FDEP inspection listed 8 violations: 1. No asbestos study/survey was conducted prior to renovations which included the removal of mastic and vinyl asbestos A notice of asbestos renovation or demolition was not filed A trained asbestos supervisor was not on site during the VAT flooring with mastic was scraped up and the flooring broken into pieces without proper wetting VAT flooring with mastic was dropped from the second floor VAT flooring with mastic was not bagged or sealed 7. VAT flooring with mastic was not placed in a load out disposal container with proper asbestos signage May 19, 2009 -14- Minute Book 61, Page Okaloosa County Board of County Commissioners VAT flooring with mastic was not deposited properly at a Civil penalties for these violations total $19,080. Mr. Turner stated correspondence and discussions have occurred regarding alternatives to paying the civil fines. An alternative is to implement an in-kind penalty environmental enhancement, restoration or capital/facility improvement project. The value of this in-kind project must equal 1½ times the total penalties or $28,620. The Public Works Department has offered a project, if acceptable to FDEP, to satisfy this alternative. The Mar-Walt Project a/k/a Gibson Retention Pond Project would supply a significant community benefit. Elder Services as a non-profit entity with limited resources is requesting the Board’s assistance in liquidating the penalties and administrative costs imposed by FDEP. Mr. Turner said to show its appreciation, Elder Services will agree to amend its lease and return 25,500 square feet on the first and second floors of the old Fort Walton Beach hospital to the county. Mr. Jannazo made motion, seconded by Mr. Amunds, to approve Option #3 as listed on the department head’s agenda request: Option #3: Pay the $1,000 administrative cost and propose an in-kind project with a cost of at least $28,620. That project may be the Mar-Walt Project (Gibson Retention Pond) or some other project acceptable to FDEP. 5 yeas. FACILITIES MAINTENANCE - FDEP WARNING LETTER & CONSENT ORDER REGARDING RENOVATION OF MEDICAL EXAMINER’S OFFICE IN FWB Mr. Turner said on a related note, Okaloosa County was notified by FDEP on August 15, 2008 through Warning Letter NWAP 091-1787 they believed (based on inspection) renovation of the Medical Examiner’s Office at 297 Hospital Drive in Fort Walton Beach was done in violation of Florida Statutes and rules regarding asbestos. The alleged violations include: 1. No asbestos study/survey was conducted prior to renovations A notice of asbestos renovation of demolition was not filed A trained asbestos supervisor was not on site during the Adequate wetting of regulated asbestos-containing materials May 19, 2009 -15- Minute Book 61, Page Okaloosa County Board of County Commissioners Asbestos-containing materials may not have been handled, packaged, stored, transported and disposed of properly Mr. Turner advised no asbestos was found. Civil penalties total $1,875. As in the previous agenda item, the alternative is to provide a significant community benefit project at 1½ the value of the penalties. He said the county could piggy-back on the Mar-Walt Project. Mr. Jannazo made motion, seconded by Mr. Harris, to approve Option #2 as listed on the department head’s agenda request: Option #2: Pay a $300 administrative cost and propose an in- kind project with a cost of at least $1,875 which could be the Mar-Walt Project or some other project acceptable to FDEP. 5 yeas. COMMISSIONER JANNAZO - ELDER SERVICES, LETTER OF SUPPORT IN SEEKING DCA ADMINISTRATIVE HEARING (POCKET ITEM) Mr. Jannazo reported an Elder Services employee was terminated for cause and damages are under review by the Department of Community Affairs (DCA). He said Elder Services has attempted to get an administrative hearing with DCA in order to remove this black mark but they have been unsuccessful in this regard. Mr. Jannazo suggested a letter supporting Elder Services in this endeavor be drafted. Mr. Amunds commented this has been an ongoing situation. He added that he does not like getting this at the last minute in the middle of a meeting. Mr. Amunds requested that in the future a pocket item be provided before the meeting. Mr. Jannazo responded that he would be happy to delay this item until the end of the meeting. Mr. Amunds said he has no problem with supporting the letter. Mr. Jannazo made motion, seconded by Mr. Amunds, to approve the letter. 5 yeas. (NOTE: A copy of this letter was not provided to the Clerk’s Office for the record.) GROWTH MANAGEMENT - STAFF DIRECTION REQUESTED REGARDING DEVELOPMENT OF RECREATIONAL VEHICLE PARK ON OKALOOSA ISLAND Mr. Elliot Kampert, Growth Management Director, stated a request has been received to develop a recreational vehicle park in the May 19, 2009 -16- Minute Book 61, Page Okaloosa County Board of County Commissioners B-3 (light commercial and concession area) district which is
governed by Part E of the Okaloosa Island Covenants and
. He advised the proposed location is the former
water park.
Mr. Kampert read from Part G, Section 7 (Temporary Structures)
of the Island Covenants: “tents, trailers, houseboats, or
temporary structures of any kind will not be permitted on the
Island or the waters adjacent thereto except that trailers may
be authorized for construction purposes by Okaloosa County.”
However, he advised that Part E (10) allows “other facilities as
may be deemed necessary and proper by Okaloosa County, from time
to time, to serve the recreational needs of the tourists and
vacationers.” Mr. Kampert pointed out the authority was given
to the Board of County Commissioners when the Okaloosa Island
Authority was dissolved. Continuing, he said the question is
whether or not the Board feels an RV Park is appropriate. Mr.
Kampert stated this issue was reviewed by the Okaloosa Island
Leaseholders Association (OILA) and the Okaloosa Island
Leaseholders Association Architectural Review Committee. Both
do not support the proposed use and recommend denial of the
Mr. Tripp Tolbert, property owners, stated this parcel once had
a “distasteful water park” on it. He noted that he owns the
Ramada which is located across the street from the subject
property. Mr. Tolbert said because of the economic climate he
is not moving forward with major development on this site. He
stated that he often receives inquiries from people coming in
with RVs who are looking for some place to park them and they
must be referred to neighboring counties.
Mr. Tolbert said he believes the covenants which were written in
1955 need to be addressed, saying we are living in different
times. He stressed that he is not interested in putting a
trailer park on Okaloosa Island. Ironically, Mr. Tolbert
advised traveling a short distance from this property, he
counted three fifth-wheel RVs in residential driveways. He also
pointed out that RVs have been allowed to park at the Elks Club
for years. Mr. Tolbert said he doesn’t know why the Island
residents object to putting a RV park on Okaloosa Island. He
asked for consideration in allowing a short-term RV park at this
Mr. Jim Bedouin, Tarpon Drive, said he recommends denial of this
request, saying the reason is because the Board has not enforced
violations of the covenants. He objected to changing the
May 19, 2009 -17- Minute Book 61, Page Okaloosa County Board of County Commissioners covenants to accommodate one of the largest landowners on Okaloosa Island. Mr. Bedouin felt the covenants have worked for the last 50 plus years and he does not believe they should be changed. He suggested putting the RV park at the commercial site on Highway 98 where RVs were once sold. Mr. Tolbert acknowledged the residents concerns but said he has a $16 million piece of property that he can do nothing with. He said that he does everything in good taste and he is not looking to attract trailers. Mr. Harris stated there is no comparison between trailers and motor coaches. He said, “It is not a degradation of the area. They are sometimes worth more than houses are.” Mr. Harris said 1955 and 2009 are light years apart. Mr. Campbell commented that recently a girls tournament was held and he counted 14 nice motor homes in the parking lot. He said the Board is talking about development of county-owned property next door. Mr. Campbell stated an option would be sports facilities and he thinks an RV park would go well with that. He asked Mr. Tolbert if he could be specific about the types of RVs which would be permitted in the proposed park and details of the development. Mr. Tolbert replied that he did not want to spend thousands of dollars on plans before getting direction from this Board. Mr. Harris said the Board may be limited on what decisions it can make in this regard. Mr. Dowd responded that he does not think the provision applies and he believes the Board has the authority to make the determination. Mr. Amunds questioned whether or not notice has been sent out to all nearby property owners on this issue and he is not comfortable with making a decision until all surrounding property owners receive notice. Mr. Kampert stated the property owner is not asking for a variance which requires notification to property owners in the block seeking their concurrence. He reiterated Mr. Tolbert is not asking for a variance or a change in the covenants. Mr. Kampert said the provision allows the Board to interpret on a case-by-case basis. Mr. Amunds said before he asks Mr. Tolbert to spend money on the drawings he thinks the Board should get input from the surrounding property owners. Mr. Kampert repeated the request is for the Board to determine, based on the language referenced above which gives the Board the May 19, 2009 -18- Minute Book 61, Page Okaloosa County Board of County Commissioners authority to decide what facilities can be deemed necessary or proper for tourists and vacationers, if a RV park can be permitted in this B3 District. Mr. Dave Parisot, Shalimar, stated that he is an RV owner and for five years traveled doing RV retail work. He noted that he has a “low end” motor home compared to some that are on the road and doubts he could afford the fee Mr. Tolbert would charge. Mr. Parisot felt the proposal would help the conference center, saying many exhibitors are full-time RVers. He pointed out the definition of a “trailer” in 1955 is different than it is today. Mr. Jannazo commented they are still temporary structures. Mrs. Rebecca Sherry, Okaloosa Island, asked if the property owner has consent of all the organizations on the Island. She contended there are 3,000 people who object. Mr. Harris asked about Mr. Tolbert’s property rights. Mrs. Meryl Bednar, Sailfish Drive, said a major concern is the infrastructure. She stated there are many properties with a B-3 zoning and said this could set a precedent. Mrs. Bednar stated she would appreciate consideration of the people who have lived on the Island for 30 or 40 years. Mr. Dave Sherry, Okaloosa Island, stated that he is a strong supporter of private property rights. He said the restrictions were known when the property was purchased. Mr. Sherry stated when others bought their properties on Okaloosa Island they believed in the protection of the covenants. Ms. Gloria Turner, Vice President of the Okaloosa Island Leaseholders Association (OILA), stated she believes one of the duties of the OILA is to uphold the covenants as written. She said they did receive a video about what a wonderful project it could be. Ms. Turner advised the Okaloosa Island Leaseholders Association Architectural Review Committee determined the proposal was not in compliance with the covenants and at a general meeting of the OILA, the membership’s opinion was to uphold the covenants as written. Ms. Cathy Foster, Tarpon Drive, referenced an email she had sent to the commissioners. She questioned amending the covenants to allow someone to increase the size of his wallet. Ms. Foster pointed out Mr. Tolbert purchased the property on June 15, 2004 and agreed to those covenants. May 19, 2009 -19- Minute Book 61, Page Okaloosa County Board of County Commissioners Mr. Dowd asked if it would be appropriate for staff to come back with a definition of recreational vehicles and provide some limitations on what would be acceptable. Mr. Amunds made motion, seconded by Mr. Campbell, to better define recreational vehicles and to notify any surrounding property owners when this issue will again be discussed. Mr. Kampert said his department can place a bright orange sign on the property for notification. Mr. Jannazo said he believes the covenants are well written. 4 yeas, 1 nay. (Mr. Jannazo voted no.) RECESS - The meeting was recessed at 11:40 a.m. and reconvened at 11:50 a.m. PUBLIC SAFETY - MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING WITH WALTON COUNTY, 9-1-1 SYSTEM REDUNDANCY Mr. Dino Villani, Public Safety Director, requested approval of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Walton County which will support redundancy of the 9-1-1 system. He advised the State of Florida’s E9-1-1 Board has made a non-matching grant available and will allow Okaloosa County to participate in a Regional Next General 9-1-1 project to provide the ability to transfer calls to neighboring counties, share mapping, ANI/ALI data, provide for redundant ANI/ALI network services and regional selective routing. Mr. Amunds made motion, seconded by Mr. Jannazo to approve the MOU with Walton County. 5 yeas. PUBLIC SAFETY - AMENDMENT TO LEASE WITH PIER ASSOCIATES, LIFEGUARD TOWER Mr. Villani requested approval of a lease with Pier Associates to allow placement of a lifeguard tower on the Okaloosa Island Pier. Mr. Campbell made motion, seconded by Mr. Amunds, to approve the lease amendment. 5 yeas. PUBLIC WORKS - APPROVAL OF AGENDA ITEMS Mr. Campbell made motion, seconded by Mr. Harris, to approve Public Works agenda Items 1 through 5 and 7. 5 yeas. 1. FDEP Cooperative Arrangement Grant agreement with Santa Rosa County (NOTE: This document has not been supplied to
the Clerk’s Office as of this date.)
Execution of FDOT Traffic Signal Maintenance Authorization #14 for S.R. 85 at Duke Field Road/7th Special Forces Way Execution of Okaloosa Island Submerged Land Lease for the Okaloosa Island Pier and payment of Invoice #43983 for May 19, 2009 -20- Minute Book 61, Page Okaloosa County Board of County Commissioners $3,500.39 to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection 4. Execution of contract with Gulf Power Company for additional street light at 706 Revere Avenue, FWB, in Colony Estates MSBU and authorization to lower the collection rate for the MSBU to $2.57 per month Approval of new five-year lease with Nature Conservancy for Task Order with HDR Engineering for intersection analysis of Matthew Boulevard and Commons Drive in Destin; not-to- exceed cost is $5,000 (NOTE: This document was signed by
the Purchasing Director instead of the Chairman.)
PUBLIC WORKS - INFRASTRUCTURE CONDITION OF COUNTRYWOOD ESTATES S/D (BLACKBERRY CIRCLE) CURRENTLY IN TEMPORARY MAINTENANCE Mr. Roberts stated he believes this item will generate discussion on policy. He noted this is located in North County and recommended it be tabled until the next Crestview meeting. Mr. Jannazo made motion, seconded by Mr. Amunds, to table this item until the June 2, 2009 meeting. 5 yeas. OLD BUSINESS - DISCUSSION, TAX COLLECTOR/PROPERTY APPRAISER BUILDING LEASE WITH 99 EGLIN LTD Mr. Curry stated additional discussion has been requested on the lease with 99 Eglin LTD (Jay Odom) for office space for the Tax Collector and Property Appraiser. He advised the Purchasing Department assisted in preparing a packet of information on the history of this item which was included in the agenda notebooks. Mr. Curry further advised that Mr. Odom offered to be present for the discussion today. Mr. Amunds referenced a letter from NBI Properties, Inc. Mr. Campbell also acknowledged receipt of the letter. Mr. Jananzo commented that it was addressed to all members of the Board. Mr. Harris reported that he did not receive the letter. Mr. Dowd asked the Board if they wanted to read the letter. Mr. Jannazo made motion to make the letter part of the record. Mr. Dowd clarified the letter is about fraudulent misrepresentation as a basis for voiding the contract. He did not believe the proposed action was necessary, saying a copy of the letter can be made available to anyone who requests it. No action was taken on the motion. Mr. Curry commented this is a discussion issue for the members of the Board. May 19, 2009 -21- Minute Book 61, Page Okaloosa County Board of County Commissioners Mr. Jannazo asked Mr. Odom if the county can get out of the lease to which he responded, “No.” Mr. Jannzo stated the climate has clearly changed, noting six weeks ago the Board decided to forego proceeding with the Annex project. Upon inquiry by Mr. Jannazo about what it would take to get out of the lease agreement, a law suit? Mr. Odom replied payment of the five-year lease fee. Mr. Odom said he has been the landlord for the Tax Collector and Property Appraiser in Fort Walton Beach since 1993 and during that period of time he has continued to hear of the county’s plans for space allocation but they have not materialized. Mr. Odom said as a businessman, he has been flexible. He stated as a reasonable person he asked himself what he would do with the office space these officials are currently leasing if they moved. Mr. Odom pointed out that he was unable to provide additional space in the building they are in. He said his job is not to accommodate the county every time things change. Mr. Odom advised he had other demands for this building, saying an Office Depot was ready to go in. He acknowledged that he was asked specifically what he would do with that building; “I said tear it down. I knew you were not staying in the building no matter what.” Mr. Odom stated that he competed fairly and his proposal was selected by the Board. A lease was signed and he has spent millions of dollar to carry out the proposal. Mr. Odom said, “I don’t think I have misled the Board on any part of this process.” He felt the newspaper articles told only one side of the story. Mr. Odom told the commissioners if they want to ask him a question, do not go through a third party or put it in the newspaper. He said he is present today for that reason and he does not need to operate outside the view of the public or cameras. Mr. Jannazo reported that his decision was based on information supplied during the hearings. “You clearly said it was going to be torn down.” Because the new office space would not be available by January 1, the current lease was extended. Mr. Jannazo stated that he cannot justify in his mind denial of a new judicial facility which is badly needed and authorize the most palatial offices in the county for the Tax Collector and Property Appraiser. He acknowledged the good things Mr. Odom does in the community and the good construction he does but as a commissioner he believes the Board should take a different direction. May 19, 2009 -22- Minute Book 61, Page Okaloosa County Board of County Commissioners Mr. Odom questioned coming back one year after the lease was signed and wanting to void the document because things have changed. Mr. Jannazo remarked that he deals with government contracts all the time which contain language for termination for the convenience of government. He added, “If it must be adversarial, so be it. It is not in the best interest of the county.” Mr. Harris asked if it would have made a difference, if Mr. Odom had not said he was going to tear down the building. Mr. Odom said the county was going to leave his building no matter what. Mr. Roberts said his understanding was the building was going to be torn down. Another option was the Burton Golf property which had a problem with the City of Fort Walton Beach and would need to go through a Comprehensive Plan amendment for proper zoning. He advised this was his disappointment in the process. Mr. Roberts said he does not see any ground the county can stand on just because the situation has changed involving the decision not to go forward with the construction of the Annex Extension. He stated if we get three votes, then this issue can get adversarial in court. Mr. Roberts asked where these two officials will go when their lease is up. Upon inquiry by Mr. Harris, Mr. Odom stated the per square foot lease fee for the new building is less than the market which is $20+ per square foot. He said the lease for the new office space is $13.50 per square foot. Mr. Harris stated questions about the county moving out should have been addressed in the lease. He felt this could cost double or triple the lease amount in court and he is not prepared to spend that money. Mr. Amunds referred to an earlier action in which Elder Services made space available to the county at the old Fort Walton Beach hospital. He advised this may be a location for the Tax Collector and Property Appraiser at the end of five years. Mr. Campbell commented that it was his understanding it would take five years to have other facilities available to move the Constitutional Officers into and that is why language regarding a five-year term was put into this lease. He said the issue of the judicial center is not necessarily off the table and could be addressed at some time in the future. Mr. Campbell pointed out the vote to select this proposal was unanimous. Mr. Jannazo replied that it was unanimous because extenuating factors took others off the table. He said the Tax Collector and Property May 19, 2009 -23- Minute Book 61, Page Okaloosa County Board of County Commissioners Appraiser entered into discussions with Mr. Odom and the Board came into it late. Upon inquiry by Mr. Jannazo, Mr. Dowd answered that he believes he is adequately qualified to make a recommendation to the Board. He pointed out there must be proof of some material misrepresentation and he has no evidence of any potential misrepresentation of fact. Mr. Harris stated it is one year later and “you cannot change the contract on a whim. How do you walk away from a contract?” Mr. Jannazo responded he feels there is enough information for the Board to look at this issue again. He said opinion should be sought from experts in real estate contract law. Mr. Jannazo reiterated that it is his recommendation to hire a qualified real estate firm to review this. Mr. Roberts advised that many things have changed since the lease was signed in 2008. The Board decided not to build the Annex Extension. It was the Board’s goal to move everyone back into a renovated Annex. However, Mr. Roberts said Mr. Odom has already pointed out that concept has been considered for the last 15 years. “We have changed it. Every election year we change our mind.” Mr. Roberts stated we must have office space for the Tax Collector and the Property Appraiser and we have a contract to provide that. Mr. Dave Parisot, Shalimar, stated that he attended three BCC meetings and one workshop on this subject and would like to ask a couple of questions. He said if it had been brought to the Board’s attention at the January 22 meeting that Bridgeway had extended its lease in the subject building until December 2010, would the discussion have gone differently. Mr. Parisot commented the Tax Collector and Property Appraiser needed to be moved because they needed more space. He feels they have been providing a good service in the office space they are currently in. Mr. Parisot said Mr. Odom was holding the reins on the expiration of the lease. He added that Mr. Odom had a proposal put together before the RFP was issued and felt he had an unfair advantage. With regard to extending the lease for the Tax Collector and Property Appraiser until 2010 in the current building, Mr. Campbell said the only one who can answer that question is Mr. Odom. Mr. Odom responded by saying it took him three years to complete negotiations and bring Ross to Uptown Station. He said the lease was extended with Bridgeway but he must get all May 19, 2009 -24- Minute Book 61, Page Okaloosa County Board of County Commissioners tenants out before he can tear the building down. Mr. Jannazo asked if the same thing would be done for the county. Mr. Odom replied, “That is what I did.” Upon inquiry by Mr. Roberts, Mr. Dowd stated that he can discuss this with Greg Stewart, contract attorney. Mr. Campbell asked where the Tax Collector and Property Appraiser will go if the lease is terminated. Mr. Jannazo answered there is property out there. It may not be palatial but they could do their jobs. Mr. Parisot again expressed his concerns about the extension of the Bridgeway Center lease, the RFP process, and the amount budgeted for the new lease. Purchasing Director Richard Brannon advised the Finance Director was supplied a cost figure of $15.72 per square foot for the lease ($13.91 base plus $1.80 per square foot for maintenance of the common areas.). He advised there was a $24,000 fee for wiring the facility for a generator hookup rather than paying the cost for a generator being included in the lease agreement. Mr. Jannazo made motion to hire a fully-qualified real estate firm or attorney to see if the county has an option to void the lease. Motion dies for lack of a second. Mr. Amunds stated Mr. Stewart is under contract and his review should not cost any more. Mr. Dowd confirmed that Mr. Stewart is under contract but there will be an associated cost for his work. Mr. Don Gates came forward and asked who is protecting the citizens of this county in this lease. He said if a decision is made to construct a new courthouse (Annex Extension) in two years, will this lease be canceled or will it require a lawsuit. Mr. Roberts explained the reason the five-year term was put into the lease is that is how long it would take to have the plans for the Annex Extension drafted, for construction of the facility, and for renovation of the current Annex before being able to move people back in. Mr. Gates stated that on July 17, 2008 he forwarded an email to the commissioners regarding comments from Tax Collector Chris Hughes about the contract. Mr. Curry acknowledged receipt of the email and said the comments made by Mr. Hughes pertained to what he needed for his operation. Mr. Bill Winston, Shalimar, said it seems very unusual to him for Mr. Odom to be asked to live up to his end of the agreement May 19, 2009 -25- Minute Book 61, Page Okaloosa County Board of County Commissioners until the Board makes a decision. He stated you are asking him to take all the risks. Mr. Winston pointed out the Board entered into this agreement and it still looks like the best option to him. Mr. Jannazo said you never go into something and not have options. Mr. Dowd stated a termination for convenience clause may be fine in some government contracts but you are expecting someone to build you a building and house you. He commented the termination for convenience clause is normally for 30 days. Mr. Amunds made motion, seconded by Mr. Harris, to authorize Mr. Dowd to contact Greg Stewart for a legal opinion on this issue. Mr. Mike Clugh said he has reviewed this document and had several commercial professionals review it too. He stated that unless you can prove collusion there is probably no out. Upon inquiry by Mr. Clugh, Mr. Roberts said it may have changed the RFPs, if the lease had been extended to 2010. However, he said he does not know where that would have taken the Board. Mr. Amunds said you make the decision based on the facts you have at that time. He was opposed to playing “what if.” Mr. Clugh stated many citizens have come to him and asked if Mr. Amunds is on the Board of Directors for Bridgeway. Mr. Amunds’ reply was “This year.” Mr. Clugh asked Mr. Amunds if he brought up the information to other commissioners that the Bridgeway lease was extended. Mr. Amunds answered that he believes he brought that up in a meeting. The vote was taken on the motion--4 yeas, 1 nay. (Mr. Jannazo voted no.) NOTICE OF CONFLICT MEETING WITH VALPARAISO Mr. Dowd stated the City of Valparaiso has forwarded a letter, resolution and notice to attempt to initiate conflict resolution with regard to the county’s lawsuit. The request was to schedule a meeting next Wednesday. Mr. Dowd pointed out the attorneys representing the county pro bono initiated the lawsuit against the city based on the determination of an immediate danger to the welfare of the public, or that significant legal rights would be compromised if a court proceeding did not take place before the provision of Chapter 164, Florida Statutes, could be complied with. Mr. Dowd advised the only way this may now be brought to the table is through a court order. He recommended the Board respond with a letter that the Board of May 19, 2009 -26- Minute Book 61, Page Okaloosa County Board of County Commissioners County Commissioners do not intend to sit down to discuss this issue unless so ordered by the courts. Mr. Jannazo made motion, seconded by Mr. Campbell, to approve the County Attorney’s recommendation and to authorize the Chairman to execute said letter. 5 yeas. ADJOURNMENT There being no further business to come before the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 12:42 p.m. ___________________________ _________________________________ DON W. HOWARD (These minutes were transcribed by Teresa Ward.) May 19, 2009 -27- Minute Book 61, Page Okaloosa County Board of County Commissioners


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