Commission Meeting Minutes

Minutes of the May 3, 2021, 6 p.m. 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 Ruth Kussard presiding. The meeting convened at 6 p.m.

A. Call to Order

Mayor Ruth Kussard

B. Invocation

Mayor Kussard called for a moment of silence in lieu of the invocation by Pastor George Prinzing of the Tri-County Baptist Church as he was not present.

C. Pledge of Allegiance

D. Roll Call

Commissioner (Ward) Present
Hannan (Four) YES
Kussard (One) YES
Holden (Two) YES
Vincent (Three) YES
Rietz (Five) YES


Derek Schroth, Town Attorney; Bill Lawrence, Town Manager; Thad Carroll, Growth Management Director; C.T. Eagle, Public Works Director; John Pearl, I.T. Director; Pam Winegardner, Finance Director; Lori Sadler, Library Director; Deputy Chief Jason Brough and Lt. Nelson Vargas, Lady Lake Police Department; and Nancy Slaton, Interim Town Clerk

E. Public Comment

Mayor Kussard asked if there were any comments from the audience.

Jim Cipollone of 2162 Madeira Dr. complained that the Town’s Planning and Zoning Board members are required to live inside town limits. He requested that the Commission consider allowing others in the same zip code to be considered for eligibility.

Mayor Kussard pointed out that Mr. Cipollone is not eligible to be on a Lady Lake board because he lives in Sumter County and pays taxes in Sumter County, not in Lady Lake or Lake County.

David Sirdar of 66 Wintergreen Dr., Fruitland Park, stated Lady Lake will never be able to make everyone happy. He spoke of items of interest to himself and issues in the legislature.

F. Consent

1. Minutes — April 19, 2021 — Special Commission Meeting

2. Minutes — April 19, 2021 — Commission Meeting

3.Consideration of the Renewal of the ESRI Small Government Enterprise License Agreement for GIS Software (John Pearl) (The background summary for this item is on file in the Clerk’s Office.)

4. Consideration of Application for the 2020 Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG C & D) (Robert Tempesta) (The background summary for this item is on file in the Clerk’s Office.)

5. Consideration of Approval to Advertise a Request for Proposals Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Software (John Pearl) (The background summary for this item is on file in the Clerk’s Office.)

Mayor Kussard asked if there were any questions or comments from the Commissioners regarding the Consent items. There were no comments.

Commissioner Hannan motioned to approve Consent Items F-1 through F-5. Commissioner Vincent seconded the motion. The motion passed by a vote of 5 to 0.

No old businesss.

6. Consideration of Approval of Water Oak Country Club Estates – Hilltop Expansion Phases 2 through 4 — MJM 09/20-001 — A Major Modification to Master Site Plan Proposing 267 Home Sites, Private Roadways, Utility Infrastructure, Stormwater Infrastructure, Open Space, and Amenities on Property Owned by Sun Water Oak Expansion LLC; being Approximately 88 Acres Referenced by Alternate Key Numbers 1238111, 1770483, 1238277, and 3838951; and Located Along Griffin Avenue Approximately One Mile East of the Intersection of Teague Trail (County Road 25) and Griffin Avenue (Thad Carroll)

Growth Management Director Thad Carroll presented the background summary for this item. He stated representatives of Water Oak/Sun Communities are also present to answer questions.

Commissioner Rietz asked if  the new site plans now conform to the new 24-foot street width and 20-foot setback.

Mr. Carroll replied that the new site plan now notes the new 24-foot road width and the 20-foot setback per the approved variances, and the ponding areas have changed. The layout and number of lots have not changed on the site plan.

Commissioner Vincent asked if this is considered the final site plan. He noted that the lots are not surveyed yet. He noted that the compromise of the 24-foot street width is greatly appreciated.

Mr. Carroll replied that this is the site plan, although the lots have not been pinned yet. He stated his department will issue permits lot by lot.

Commissioner Holden motioned to approve the Water Oak Country Club Estates – Hilltop Expansion Phases 2 through 4 — MJM 09/20-001. Commissioner Vincent seconded the motion. The motion passed by a vote of 5 to 0.

7. Consideration of the Appointment of One New Member to the Town of Lady Lake’s Planning and Zoning Board (Nancy Slaton)

Interim Town Clerk Nancy Slaton presented the background summary for this agenda item (on file in the Clerk’s Office).

Commissioner Hannan asked if any of the applicants were present and wanted to speak.

Mr. Edward Regan of 1072 Avenida Sonoma introduced himself as an applicant for this board. He stated he finds the way the Town runs is very interesting and that he has worked with Mr. Carroll and Mr. Eagle in the past regarding issues in his area. He stated he is currently the president of his Property Owners Association (POA).

Mr. James Saunders of Country Club Hills stated he has lived in Lady Lake for over five years and loves it. He stated he has an extensive background in planning, specifically, transportation planning. Mr. Saunders worked in this field for over 20 years in Greensboro and 10 years in Durham, North Carolina. He was also a university planner at University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. He stated he is anxious to get to work.

The Interim Town Clerk asked that the Commissioners select their choice on the voting sheet and pass it on to her. The votes were then read into the record. The initial vote ended in a tie with two votes for Mr. Saunders (Hannan/Rietz), two votes for Mr. Mathias (Holden/Vincent), and one vote for Mr. Regan (Kussard). Ms. Slaton asked if anyone wished to change their vote to end the tie. After consideration, Commissioner Holden changed his vote to Mr. Regan, which resulted in another tie vote.

Commissioner Hannan pointed out that he voted for Mr. Saunders because of his extensive background in planning.

Commissioner Rietz stated that he voted for Mr. Saunders for the same reason.

Mayor Kussard then changed her vote to Mr. Saunders, ending the tie.

By a majority vote of 3 (Hannan, Rietz, Kussard) to 2 (Holden/Vincent) , J. Tim Saunders was appointed as the new member of the Planning and Zoning Board with a term expiration of February, 2022.

I. Town Attorney's Report

8. Resolution 2021-103 (First and Final Reading) — A Resolution Permitting the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Program within the Corporate Limits of the Town for Specific Property Referenced by Alternate Keys 3793911, 3374916, 1282594, 1282608, and 3922235; Approving an Agreement with the Florida Resiliency and Energy District (Thad Carroll)

Town Attorney Derek Schroth read the title of the resolution.

Growth Management Director Thad Carroll presented the background summary for this resolution. He noted that this development does have a component for condominiums and once it becomes a residential use due to a purchase transaction, the PACE Program cannot be applied to it and the assessment on the tax rolls will adjusted accordingly. He stated Ryan Bartkus is present if there are any questions.

Mayor Kussard asked if the Commissioners or anyone from the public had any comments or questions. She asked that Mr. Bartkus speak regarding the repayment of the PACE Program.

Mr. Ryan Bartkus of Florida Development Finance Corporation for the PACE Program confirmed that the financing assessment on the tax bill will be removed once a property is sold as residential and will not impact the buyer. He stated they will work with the tax collector to have the assessment removed from the tax bill.

Upon a motion by Commissioner Hannan and a second by Commissioner Holden, the Commission approved the first and final reading of Resolution 2021-103 by the following roll call vote:

Commissioner Vote
Hannan YES
Kussard YES
Holden YES
Vincent YES
Rietz YES


J. Town Manager's Report

Town Manager Bill Lawrence noted the team effort made by Mike Burske and John Pearl in regard to the installation of Town Hall’s new LED sign and scheduling training for Clerk’s Office staff on the software for the sign.

Mr. Lawrence reported that the Town’s Code Enforcement Officer, Lori Crain, has been very busy and has been training on new community development software, noting that change is difficult. He stated Lori was given special praise by the consultants for her efforts during the new software implementation for code enforcement. He also thanked John Pearl and Thad Carroll and staff for their efforts in this regard.

Mr. Lawrence also reported that the Information Technology Department will be moving into the available space at the Library in the near future, making room available in the Town Clerk’s office.

K. Mayor and Commissioner's Report

Mayor Kussard asked if any of the Commissioners had anything to report.

Commissioner Hannan commented he was concerned about the auditor’s report regarding the Town’s utility revenues not keeping up with the cost of service. He stated the Commissioners need to discuss this.

Commissioner Holden proposed a workshop for open discussion be scheduled prior to the budget workshop.

Commissioner Rietz was in favor of holding a workshop.

Commissioner Vincent asked the status of the proposed Earth Fare grocery store to be located in the Lady Lake Commons plaza.

Mr. Carroll stated the latest word from the developer is that Earth Fare is hoping to open in late July.

Mayor Kussard reported that Arbor Day was celebrated at Heritage Park on Thursday,  April 29th, and that it was a beautiful day. She complimented the Parks and Recreation Department and the Lady Lake Garden Club for the wonderful job they did on this successful event.

L. Public Comments

Mayor Kussard asked if there were any comments from the audience.

David Sirdar of Fruitland Park spoke again on various issues.

Mr. Jim Cipollone asked Mr. Carroll what kind of amenities Water Oak will provide, and also asked about the road width variance. He asked if there will be entertainment, and how much distance is between homes.

Mr. Carroll replied they will provide a walking path, a pool and some other amenities. He addressed the road width of 24-feet; stating it is typically wider because of the swales. Water Oak will have an inverted crown on the roads to capture and divert the water into a stormwater system.

Commissioner Vincent also stated there will be an activity pool, a dog park, no entertainment, and homes will be ten feet apart.

Mr. Edward Regan thanked the Commissioners for their consideration of his application for the Planning and Zoning Board. He asked what will be happening to the Rialto Theater.

Mayor Kussard thanked Mr. Regan for his application. She stated that the theater is part of The Villages and the Town has no plans regarding it.

M. Adjourn

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 6:44 p.m.

s/ Nancy Slaton, Interim Town Clerk

s/ Ruth Kussard, Mayor

Minutes transcribed by Nancy Slaton, Interim Town Clerk