Commission Meeting Minutes

Minutes of the July 6, 2020 5:15 p.m.
Commission Workshop

The workshop meeting of the Lady Lake Town Commission was held in the Commission Chambers at Lady Lake Town Hall, 409 Fennell Blvd., Lady Lake, Florida. The meeting convened at 5:15 p.m.

A. Call to Order

Mayor Pro Tem Ruth Kussard

B. Roll Call

Commissioner (Ward) Present
Hannan (Four) YES
Kussard (One) YES
Holden (Two) YES
Vincent (Three) YES
Richards (Five) YES (via Teleconference)

Staff Present

Kris Kollgaard, Town Manager; Derek Schroth, Town Attorney; and Nancy Slaton, Deputy Town Clerk

C. New Business

1. Discussion Regarding Qualifications, Salary and Benefits, and Advertising Timeline for the Town Manager Position

Mayor Pro Tem Kussard began by stating that she would like Ms. Kollgaard to stay on as Town Manager at least through the budget meetings and the passing of the budget, which would be through September.

Commissioner Hannan agreed, although he stated that he believes the Town should go ahead and start advertising now. The other Commissioners were in agreement with advertising now.

Mayor Pro Tem Kussard asked if there is a current employee who may be interested in the position temporarily to see if it fits and if an internal applicant should be considered.

Town Manager Kris Kollgaard stated she would recommend Growth Management Director Thad Carroll for the position if the Commission wanted to consider an internal applicant. She stated it would be an easy transition since he is familiar with the Town’s policies and procedures and the employees, and he is very fair.

Commissioner Holden stated he is in favor of bringing in an outsider to take a fresh look at everything; not an internal applicant.

Mayor Richards commented that he believes it will take at least a month to get the advertisements out nationally. He stated that since the Town Manager is over the Police Department, he feels it would be important to consider an applicant who has that type of background as they would be supervising the Police Chief.

After discussion, the Commissioners were in agreement that the Range Riders should be contacted now, and advertising should be done right away.

Mayor Pro Tem Kussard confirmed that the Commissioners received the list of questions pertaining to the Town Manager position. One of the questions concerned whether there should be a contract, and if so, the length of the contract.

Commissioner Vincent and Commissioner Holden initially stated they did not want the Town Manager position to be a contract position.

Mayor Pro Tem Kussard disagreed. She stated all but one of the municipal managers in the area has a contract.

Commissioner Hannan stated he personally believes Ms. Kollgaard’s contract is excellent and he feels it should be used as a template for the next hire in this position. This was discussed.

Mayor Richards stated there should be a boiler plate contract as the applicant will be in a bargaining position and will be interviewing the Town as well.

Commissioner Holden suggested that there be a set salary rather than a salary range.

Mayor Pro Tem Kussard confirmed that the Commissioners received the survey showing the surrounding Town Managers’ salaries.

Commissioner Vincent stated that Florida League of Cities could provide data regarding managers’ salaries in cities with comparable populations within Florida.

Commissioner Hannan stated his opinion that salary should not be discussed at this point; rather, the advertising should be started.

Mayor Richards stated that there should be a base salary offered with perhaps a range of $115,000 to $120,000, negotiable. He agreed that the Florida League of Cities could perhaps provide a suggested range. He pointed out that some job positions are worth a higher salary and the Town has the second lowest tax rate in all of Lake County.

Ms. Kollgaard offered that Bill Vance’s starting salary in 2004 was $70,000. He negotiated a new contract a year and a half later at a salary of $101,000 with a $5,000 bonus. When he left in 2008, Mr. Vance’s salary was $120,000.

After further discussion, the Commissioners agreed that they would offer a salary range of $100,000 to $130,000, negotiable. They noted that the Town also offers excellent benefits.

Mayor Pro Tem Kussard asked if a vehicle should be included as a benefit, and it was decided to leave this open.

Ms. Kollgaard stated that a vehicle could be a negotiable item. She asked if the Commissioners will require a new manager to live within town limits.

Commissioner Holden suggested this be left open.

Commissioner Hannan suggested that the new manager live within a certain radius of miles from the Town.

Mayor Richards stated that it was a requirement that he live within 15 miles of Town Hall when he was Public Works Director so there could be a quick response time if needed.

The Commissioners were in agreement that they would request that the Range Riders begin the Town Manager search.

Ms. Kollgaard stated staff will put together an advertisement for the Commissioners’ approval.

Ms. Kollgaard asked if the Commissioners would consider virtual interviews due to the Covid-19 event.

Commissioner Vincent, Commissioner Holden, and Commissioner Hannan were in favor of face to face interviews, with the Town to pay for economical travel.

Ms. Kollgaard suggested that perhaps they could invite the top two or three candidates for in-person interviews, and this was agreed upon.

D. Adjourn

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 5:40 p.m.

s/ Kristen Kollgaard, Town Clerk

s/ Ruth Kussard, Mayor Pro Tem

Minutes transcribed by Nancy Slaton, Deputy Town Clerk