Commission Meeting Minutes

Minutes of the August 16, 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

By Pastor Shawn Smith – North Lake Presbyterian Church

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; Thad Carroll, Growth Management Director; C.T. Eagle, Public Works Director; Mike Burske, Parks and Recreation Director; Pam Winegardner, Finance Director; Deputy Chief Jason Brough and Lieutenant Nelson Vargas, Lady Lake Police Department; Nancy Wilson, Deputy Town Clerk; and Nancy Slaton, Town Clerk

E. Consent

1. Minutes — August 2, 2021 — Commission Meeting

2. Consideration of Approval to Renew the Customer Service Agreement with Ring Power Corporation to Provide Town Wide Generator Repair, Testing, and Maintenance Services (C.T. Eagle) (The background summary for this item is on file in the Clerk’s Office.)

3. Acknowledgement of the Waiver Request for Casa Montessori to Display a Banner Beyond the 60 day Limitation per Calendar Year (Thad Carroll) (The background summary for this item is on file in the Clerk’s Office.)

Commissioner Hannan motioned to approve Consent Items E-1 through E-3. Commissioner Vincent seconded the motion. The motion passed by a vote of 5 to 0.

F. New Business

4. Consideration of Approval to Extend the Hours of the Lady Lake Dog Park at the Rolling Acres Sports Complex (Mike Burske)

Parks and Recreation Director Mike Burske presented the background summary for this item.

Mayor Kussard asked if there were any questions or comments from the Commissioners.

Commissioner Hannan stated he remembers that in the past, neighbors behind the park complained about the noise, and he is not in favor of this.

Mayor Kussard stated she polled the residents of Valle Verde, the neighborhood behind the park, and received only three negative replies out of 19.

Commissioner Rietz asked if there have been any complaints recently over current hours.

Mr. Burske replied that he has not received any complaints about the dog park in years.

Commissioner Vincent motioned to approve the extension of the hours of the Lady Lake Dog Park at the Rolling Acres Sports Complex on a six-month trial basis. Commissioner Holden seconded the motion. The motion passed by a vote of 4 to 1 (Hannan).

5. Consideration of Proposals to Install Fencing and an Access-Controlled Gate for the Police Department Parking Lot at Town Hall (C.T. Eagle)

Public Works Director C.T. Eagle presented the background summary for this item.

Mayor Kussard asked if there were any questions or comments from the Commissioners.

Commissioner Hannan remarked that the no trespassing signs are very small.

Mr. Eagle stated that these are temporary signs; permanent signs with the Town logo on them that are larger are on order.

Commissioner Rietz stated he is concerned for the employees, and asked how much additional funding is needed in the budget to be able to accomplish fencing. He also asked if there are enough cameras set out to watch people.

Mr. Eagle replied that there is no money in the current or next year’s budget for fencing. He stated cameras are in place in every portion of Town Hall, including the gas pumps in the back.

Commissioner Hannan confirmed with Mr. Eagle that the cameras record activity in the parking lot. He stated he feels signs and cameras are enough of a deterrent.

Mayor Kussard stated that the police have mentioned that this has become more and more of an issue recently. She asked Deputy Chief Brough to comment.

Deputy Chief Brough stated he feels the signage should be given an opportunity to see if it works since the fencing is so costly. He stated this will be monitored.

Commissioner Hannan asked if the police viewed the camera footage when people were filming and harassing employees in the parking lot, and if they found them.

Deputy Chief Brough replied he was not asked to view the camera footage and act on it. It was not reported to the police department.

Commissioner Rietz asked that parking lot be monitored, and any incidents reported to the Commission.

Commissioner Hannan agreed with Commissioner Rietz’ comment.

Commissioner Holden and Commissioner Vincent stated they were not in favor of spending money on fencing at this time.

Commissioner Hannan asked what the resolution is for the cameras.

Mr. Eagle replied that Deputy Chief Brough stated the cameras are 1080p high definition cameras.

Mayor Kussard stated she requested the fencing as she did not want employees harassed on their way in or out of the building. She stated she is disappointed that others are not in favor of this.

After further discussion, Mayor Kussard asked for a motion.

Commissioner Hannan made a motion to deny the proposals to install fencing and an access-controlled gate for the Police Department parking lot. Commissioner Vincent seconded the motion, and it passed by a vote of 4 to 1 (Kussard).

G. Town Attorney's Report

6. Ordinance 2021-11 (Second and Final Reading) — An Ordinance Providing for Amendment of the Town Charter; Amending Article X — Elections, Section 10.2 — Qualifications; Amending Article X, Section 10.03 – Form of Ballot; and Amending Article X, Section 10.5 – Elections; Providing Requisite Ballot Language for Submission to Electors; Providing for Severability; Providing for Inclusion in the Charter; Providing for Repeal of Conflicting Ordinances; and Providing for an Effective Date (Nancy Slaton)

Town Attorney Derek Schroth read the title of the ordinance.

The Town Clerk presented the background summary for this ordinance. She reported that the Lake County Supervisor of Elections office called this past Friday and asked that the qualifying dates in the ordinance be revised yet again to reflect the earlier dates set this year, rather than using dates set by the state. That will allow the local Supervisor of Elections Office ample time to prepare for an election in November. And since there are two candidates vying for the position of Commissioner for Ward 3, there will definitely be an election. The Clerk recommended that this ordinance be passed so the Charter referendum can be placed on this year’s ballot for the voters.

Mayor Kussard asked if the Commissioners or anyone from the public had any comments or questions. Hearing none, she asked for a motion.

Upon a motion by Commissioner Holden and a second by Commissioner Rietz, the Commission approved the second and final reading of Ordinance 2021-11,  by the following roll call vote:

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


H. Town Manager's Report

Town Manager Bill Lawrence asked to set the date of the Closed Executive Session to continue Police Benevolent Association (PBA) negotiations. He provided several dates that were open for the attorney. After some discussion, a date of Tuesday, August 31st at 10 a.m. was set.

Mr. Lawrence commented that he hoped the Commissioners were reading the weekly Manager’s Report. He noted that in this past report, Mr. Eagle stated he and staff wanted to thank the Commission for approving the pay rate adjustments. Staff feels this was the incentive needed to get applicants to fill vacant positions, and they feel this is accomplishing that.

I. Mayor and Commissioner's Report

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

Commissioner Hannan stated that when he attended the Parks, Recreation and Tree Advisory Committee meeting, it was hard to see the faces sitting up at the dais because of the monitors.

Commissioner Rietz asked if there is any kind of emergency ordinance to allow people to cross the U.S. Hwy 27/441 in a golf cart if the golf cart bridge is closed during a hurricane.

Mr. Eagle replied that it is a state highway, and this has been requested in the past. The Florida Department of Transportation rejected that request; they will not allow golf carts to cross the highway.

J. Public Comment

Mayor Kussard asked if there were any comments from the audience. There were no comments.

K. Adjourn

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 6:24 p.m.

s/ Nancy Slaton, Town Clerk

s/ Ruth Kussard, Mayor

Minutes transcribed by Nancy Slaton, Town Clerk