Commission Meeting Minutes
Minutes of the July 6, 2020 6 pm Commission Meeting
The regular meeting of the Lady Lake Town Commission was held in the Commission Chambers at Lady Lake Town Hall, 409 Fennell Blvd., Lady Lake, Florida with Mayor Pro Tem Ruth Kussard presiding at the request of Mayor Richards. The meeting convened at 6 p.m.
A. Call to Order
Mayor Pro Tem Ruth Kussard
By Pastor Keith Johnson of the Chapel of Christian Faith
C. Pledge of Allegiance
D. Roll Call
|Richards (Five)||YES (via Teleconference)|
Kris Kollgaard, Town Manager; Derek Schroth, Town Attorney; Thad Carroll, Growth Management Director; C.T. Eagle, Public Works Director; Mike Burske, Parks and Recreation Director; Pam Winegardner, Finance Director; Chief Rob Tempesta, Deputy Chief Jason Brough, Detective Matt Duryea, Sergeant Gehrsitz, Officer Alvarez, and Officer Michelle Bilbrey, Lady Lake Police Department; Mary Mullen and Elvira Ruiz, Police Records; Pat Hughes, Police Administration; Maureen Gochee, Human Resource Director; Dawn Woods, Accounting Clerk; Julia Harris, Administrative Assistant to Town Manager; Philomena Bodie, Utilities Customer Service; and Nancy Slaton, Deputy Town Clerk
E. Public Comment
Mayor Pro Tem Kussard asked if anyone had any comments.
Mr. Robert Nyce of 747 Agua Way thanked the Commissioners for discussing Chula Vista at the earlier meeting, although he stated he would like to see more police presence in the area of Rio Grande and Avenida Central as well.
Mayor Pro Tem Kussard asked that staff obtain an accident report for Avenida Central.
Phil Mathias of Lakes of Lady Lake stated that he read in the paper that the Town is considering taking over the Lady Lake cemetery, and he hopes that the Town does not. He stated that the Town should spend some of the reserves on the roads.
Mayor Richards stated that one reason the reserves are so high is to have funds available in case of an emergency such as a hurricane as it takes a while to be reimbursed.
Finance Director Pam Winegardner stated that FEMA just finished reimbursing the Town $2.7 million this year for costs incurred due to the tornado that hit Lady Lake back in 2007. She noted that it did not include 12.5% in costs which the Town is liable for according to FEMA.
Mayor Pro Tem Kussard and Mayor Richards both stated that the pavement management program is in place to take care of the roads.
Mr. Mathias questioned how much a law suit will cost the Town to pay off the former police chief.
Ms. Kollgaard replied that there is no lawsuit yet although it has been filed. This was not addressed by the Commissioners.
Commissioner Holden stated that the Town purchased 11 acres on Old Dixie Highway several years ago and has just been maintaining it. He stated the Town needs to spend money to make this an area for residents to enjoy.
1. Minutes — July 20, 2020 — Commission Workshop Meeting
2. Minutes — July 20, 2020 — Regular Commission Meeting
3. Approval to Purchase Notebook Computers from Contingency Funds (John Pearl) (Background Summary on file in the Clerk’s Office.)
Mayor Pro Tem Kussard asked if there were any questions or comments from the Commissioners.
Commissioner Holden stated that he was quoted incorrectly in both the workshop minutes (page 2, line 6) and the regular Commission meeting minutes (page 6, line 7).
Commissioner Holden made a motion to approve Consent Items F-1 through F-3. Commissioner Hannan seconded the motion. The motion passed by a vote of 5 to 0.
G. Old Business
No old business.
H. New Business
4. Consideration of Approval of the 2020 Fall Event Schedule (Mike Burske)
Parks and Recreation Director Mike Burske presented the background summary for this agenda item (on file in the Clerk’s Office).
Mr. Burske stated that it is difficult to plan these events during the pandemic and his biggest job is to work out the safety aspects.
Commissioner Kussard stated that she discussed this with Mr. Burske earlier and agrees that the health and safety of participants must be considered when planning events during this pandemic.
Mayor Pro Tem Kussard asked if there were any questions or comments from the Commissioners or the public. Hearing none, she asked for a motion.
Commissioner Richards made a motion to approve the 2020 Fall event schedule. Commissioner Holden seconded the motion. The motion passed by a vote of 5 to 0.
5. Consideration of Approval to Accept the Design of the New Play Structure for Pyramid Park and to Contract for the Purchase and Construction of the Design (Mike Burske)
Parks and Recreation Director Mike Burske presented the background summary for this agenda item (on file in the Clerk’s Office).
Mayor Pro Tem Kussard asked if there were any questions or comments from the Commissioners. Hearing none, she asked for a motion
Commissioner Holden made a motion to approve and accept the design of the new play structure for Pyramid Park and to contract for the purchase and construction of the design. Commissioner Hannan seconded the motion. The motion passed by a vote of 5 to 0.
6. Consideration of approval of the New Major Site Plan for Serenity Cottages of Lady Lake MJSP 06/20-001 ― Proposing to Develop a Memory Care Facility Complex Consisting of a 6,556-Square-Foot Administrative Building and Seven 13,815-Square-Foot Memory Care Buildings Hosting a Total of 144 Beds; with 89 Parking Spaces; to be Constructed on Lot 2 of the Lumen Park Commercial Plat, Addressed as 1165 Highway 466, Referenced by Alternate Key Number 3900680 (Thad Carroll)
Growth Management Director Thad Carroll presented the background summary for this agenda item (on file in the Clerk’s Office). Mr. Carroll stated that the engineer is present if there are any questions.
Mayor Pro Tem Kussard asked if there were any questions or comments from the Commissioners. She asked if there is a target date for the completion of the boring under County Road 466 to get the infrastructure in place for the project.
Mr. Carroll replied that the boring started about a week and a half ago and will serve both Lot 1 and Lot 2. If Lot 2 construction begins before Lot 1, the infrastructure will be in place prior to construction beginning on Lot 2.
Commissioner Holden made a motion to approve the New Major Site Plan for Serenity Cottages of Lady Lake MJSP 06/20-001 with waiver as presented. Commissioner Hannan seconded the motion. The motion passed by a vote of 5 to 0.
Mayor Pro Tem Kussard stated that the Town Attorney’s report will be heard next before the compensation study item.
7. Presentation of the Compensation Study Findings by Evergreen Solutions (Maureen Gochee/Brad Brackins)
Human Resource Director Maureen Gochee introduced Brad Brackins of Evergreen Solutions LLC to present the study findings.
Mr. Brackins reviewed a presentation regarding the study and asked if there were any questions.
Commissioner Holden asked if the private sector was surveyed and how it compares to the private sector.
Mr. Brackins replied that the public sector was surveyed and included local municipalities as well as the county and did not include any private sector organizations. He stated many of the positions in Town are comparable to the private sector and should strive to be competitive, but there are also many Town positions that are unique to a municipality.
Commissioner Holden asked the Town Manager how many employees have quit their job in the last five years because of low pay.
Ms. Kollgaard replied that she would have to check with Human Resources and get back to the Commission with that information, although she believes it is low. She asked the Human Resource Director if she had an idea.
Ms. Gochee replied that she did not have an exact number although she agreed with the Town Manager that it is low.
Commissioner Holden stated he believed the private sector should have been included in the survey for comparison. He requested that this be tabled until a new Town Manager was in position.
Ms. Kollgaard stated for the record that the Commissioners were asked for input on who was surveyed and included in this study. She stated that changes were requested by some Commissioners, including Mayor Richards.
Mayor Pro Tem Kussard stated that she felt the study should include the other municipalities.
Commissioner Hannan commented that benefits should be looked at as well as wages. He stated that the Town’s benefits are equal or better than the private sector.
Commissioner Vincent stated that the report showed the Town paid $24,000 an employee for benefits. He asked what criteria or data was used for this study. He stated that Wildwood was the only local municipality that he felt was comparable to the Town.
Mr. Brackins stated they determined the list of 17 peers that represent the local market comparable by population and services offered such as police, fire, etc. He confirmed that Wildwood was included in the survey.
Mayor Richards stated that it appears that the study finds that employees should be paid in the middle of the pay range if they have been in the position a certain amount of time and rise seven percent a year versus tenure and merit raises.
Mr. Bracken addressed this comment by stating there are varying philosophies among municipalities about this such as that someone who has been in the position longer will be more proficient.
Commissioner Holden disagreed with that statement.
Mayor Richards agreed with Commissioner Holden and suggested that this be tabled so the study could be reviewed more thoroughly. He stated that it seems like the study is making a political statement rather than just a compensation statement.
Commissioner Holden stated he would like to have a workshop on this . He stated he did not want employees working for less than $15 an hour and if pay raises were given, give it to the lower tier. He stated there is too much discrepancy in the pay.
Mr. Brackins stated the study is in no way political and is based on an objective analysis of the survey of market peers. He stated compensation is not based purely on salary but includes benefits as well. He agreed the Town has a very competitive benefits package as a strength. He continued to review the study findings.
Commissioner Holden made a motion to table the consideration to accept findings and recommendations of the Compensation Study as presented. Mayor/Commissioner Richards seconded the motion. The motion passed by a vote of 3 to 2 (Kussard/Hannan).
Commissioner Vincent stated he in favor of raising some of the pay. He suggested that the employees be offered a pension plan.
Commissioner Holden agreed with Commissioner Vincent in regard to offering a Florida pension plan for all employees.
Mayor Pro Tem Kussard thanked Mr. Brackins for his presentation tonight and was disappointed that the Commissioners did not follow through with addressing the recommendations tonight.
I. Town Attorney's Report
8. Ordinance 2020-04 (Second and Final Reading) — An Ordinance Amending the Permitted Uses for Certain Property Being Approximately 40.44 Acres Owned by Elijah Bailey, Jr., Zoned Planned Unit Development (PUD), Alternate Key Numbers 1282594, 1282608, 3793911 and 3374916, Located North of Lake Ella Road and West of Highway 27/441 within the Town Limits of Lady Lake in Lake County, FL (Thad Carroll)
Town Attorney Derek Schroth read the ordinance by title only.
Growth Management Director Thad Carroll presented the background summary for this agenda item (on file in the Clerk’s Office). He stated there have been no changes since the first reading and that Mr. Springstead is present if there are any questions.
Mayor Pro Tem Kussard asked if there were any questions or comments from the Commissioners or the public, and hearing none, asked for a motion.
Upon a motion by Commissioner Hannan and a second by Commissioner Holden, the Commission approved the second and final reading of Ordinance 2020-04 by the following roll call vote:
J. Town Manager's Report
Town Manager Kris Kollgaard asked the Commissioners for direction regarding the Lady Lake Cemetery’s request for the Town to take over the Lady Lake Cemetery.
Commissioner Hannan stated he is not in favor of it. He asked what will happen if the Town does not take over the cemetery.
Mr. Schroth stated there is a statute that says local government may assume control and maintenance but there is no obligation for the Town to take over the cemetery. He stated there are abandoned cemeteries all over the state and it may fall into disrepair if Lady Lake Cemetery does not have a trust fund for perpetual maintenance.
Commissioner Hannan stated that if it fell into disrepair, it would then be a code violation for grass and weeds. He stated he does not feel the residents of Lady Lake should not pay for it.
Ms. Kollgaard stated the largest part of the cemetery was never annexed in and is located within Lake County; only approximately two acres are within the town limits.
Commissioner Holden suggested taking the $10,000 yearly donation the Town currently gives the Chamber of Commerce and instead give it to the Lady Lake Cemetery Association.
Commissioner Kussard and Commissioner Hannan were not in favor of that suggestion.
Commissioner Vincent asked who regulates cemeteries.
Mr. Schroth replied that the state has regulations that need to be met.
Commissioner Hannan suggested that the First Baptist Church of Lady Lake could be approached to take over the cemetery as they are adjacent.
Ms. Kollgaard stated she believed the Cemetery Association has already approached several churches in the area without success.
Mayor Richards stated he would like to find out what the citizens of Lady Lake would like to do. He stated there are over 100 veterans buried in the cemetery.
Commissioner Hannan suggested that perhaps the American Legion could be approached.
Mayor Pro Tem Kussard suggested that a survey could be sent out to get citizens input.
After further discussion, it was the consensus of the Commissioners that they did not want to consider taking over the Lady Lake Cemetery by a vote of 4 to 1 (Richards).
K. Mayor and Commissioner's Report
Mayor Pro Tem Kussard asked if any of the Commissioners had anything to report.
Commissioner Hannan noted that Chula Vista is not the only road in Lady Lake that has issues with speeding and high traffic volume. He stated it is that way in the historic part of The Villages as well.
L. Public Comments
Mayor Pro Tem Kussard asked if there were any comments from the audience.
Phil Mathias suggested that the Town build a park on the property the Town purchased on Old Dixie Highway several years ago. He stated it is currently used as a parking lot.
Commissioner Holden stated that this is the property he was referring to earlier.
Mayor Pro Tem Kussard stated this property was purchased as a future investment and until it is developed, additional parking is needed in that area.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 7:17 p.m.
s/ Kristen Kollgaard, Town Clerk
s/ Ruth Kussard, Mayor Pro Tem
Minutes transcribed by Nancy Slaton, Deputy Town Clerk