MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA

 

9:00 AM

 

The Board of County Commissioners of Brevard County, Florida, met in regular session on December 7, 2010 at 9:00 AM in the Government Center Commission Room, Building C, 2725 Judge Fran Jamieson Way, Viera, Florida. 

 

Call to Order

Attendee Name

Title

Status

Arrived

Robin Fisher

Vice Chairman/ Commissioner District 1

Present

 

Chuck Nelson

Commissioner District 2

Present

 

Trudie Infantini

Commissioner District 3

Present

 

Mary Bolin

Chairman / Commissioner District 4

Present

 

Andy Anderson

Commissioner District 5

Present

 

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Statement

The invocation was given by Rabbi Fred Natkin, U.S. Navy Retired, District 5             

 

Chairman Robin Fisher led the assembly in the Pledge of Allegiance.

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EMPLOYEE LONGEVITY RECOGNITION - 25, 30, AND 35 YEAR RECIPIENTS

The Board recognized and presented Employee Longevity Recognition plaques to Patricia Moore, Human Resources; Annette Melnicove, Courts Administration; Daniel Collier, Janis Sengel, Kent Fay, Kevin Cowart, Brenda Propst, and William Wall, Fire Rescue; Joyce Ingalls, and Sonya Myrie, Housing and Human Services; Kathryn Vanepp, and Patricia Delaney, Library Services; Shirley Carlton, and William Spillman, Parks and Recreation; Ann Bernick, and Joseph Connors, Transit Services; Nicholas Williams, Mosquito Control; Scott Brown, Leon Craig, and Mark Crabtree, Public Works; Gladys Alvarado, Bury Caddle, David Greenwood, Glenn Gray, and Ricky Miller, Utility Services, for twenty-five years of service; presented Employee Longevity Recognition plaques to William Daniels, Parks and Recreation; Shelley Hardy, Transit Services; Kay Perkowski, Library Services; Gwnedolyn Helmintoller, Mosquito Control; Daniel Daniel, and Cassius Williams, Public Works; Ralph Brunskill, and David Prince, Solid Waste; James Tumblin, Jeffery McCloud, and Willliam Cowan, Utility Services; and Raymond Brake, Utility Services, for thirty years of service; and presented Employee Longevity Recognition plaques to Marsha Cantrell, Parks and Recreation; Melanie Tibbals, and Virginia Yuhr, Library Services, for thirty-five years of service with the Board County Commissioners.

RESOLUTION, RE:  COMMENDING AND CONGRATULATING SCOTT ELLIS, CLERK OF THE CIRCUIT AND COUNTY COURTS

Commissioner Infantini read aloud a resolution congratulating Scott Ellis, Clerk of the Circuit and County Courts.

 

The Board adopted Resolution No. 10-253, congratulating Scott Ellis, Clerk of the Circuit and County Courts, for his exemplary service to the community and citizens of Brevard County; and congratulated him upon his retirement.

 

 

Mr. Ellis advised he not really retiring, he is just changing jobs; regarding the Clerk's Office, he wishes he could do all of those things, but he cannot; his job was to direct traffic, everyone else did all of the work; everyone in the Clerk's Office has worked very hard through some tough times; and he appreciated all of their efforts.

 

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              Trudie Infantini, Commissioner District 3

SECONDER:              Andy Anderson, Commissioner District 5

AYES:              Fisher, Nelson, Infantini, Bolin, Anderson

.

 

RESOLUTION, RE:  CELEBRATING THE AMERICAN LEGION AUXILIARY UNIT 81’S, 80TH BIRTHDAY

Commissioner Bolin read aloud a resolution celebrating the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 81's 80th Birthday.

 

The Board adopted Resolution No. 10-254, recognizing and celebrating American Legion Auxiliary Unit 81's 80th Birthday; and commended all those who have devoted time and effort toward its success.

 

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              Mary Bolin, Chairman / Commissioner District 4

SECONDER:              Chuck Nelson, Commissioner District 2

AYES:              Fisher, Nelson, Infantini, Bolin, Anderson

.

 

RESOLUTION, RE:  RECOGNIZING THE GRYPHON GROUP SECURITY SOLUTIONS, INC.

Commissioner Bolin read aloud a resolution recognizing November 30, 2010 as Gryphon Group Security Solutions Day in Brevard County.

 

The Board adopted Resolution No. 10-255, recognizing November 30, 2010 as Gryphon Group Security Solutions Day in Brevard County; and asked all residents to thank them for their love of country, and their fellow man.

 

 

Michael Vaden, Founder and CEO of Gryphon Group, introduced Pam Landy, Liz Ritchey, Tommy Redman, and Rand Compton.  He expressed appreciation to the Board on behalf of all 45 men and women of Gryphon Group, some of which are currently out training 60 American war fighters in Brevard County and also at the Fort Bragg facility.  He stated Gryphon Group has been blessed; and the greatest blessing has been serving the men and women who are on patrol in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other places around the world. 

 

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              Mary Bolin, Chairman / Commissioner District 4

SECONDER:              Chuck Nelson, Commissioner District 2

AYES:              Fisher, Nelson, Infantini, Bolin, Anderson

.

 

RESOLUTION, RE:  RECOGNIZING AND COMMENDING TAMARA JO VAN FOSSAN, CLERK TO THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS

Commissioner Infantini read aloud a resolution recognizing and commending Tamara Jo Van Fossan, Clerk to the County Commissioners, for 30 years of Service.

 

The Board adopted Resolution No. 10-256, recognizing and commending Tamara Jo Van Fossan, Clerk to the Board of County Commissioners, for 30 years of exceptional service to the Clerk of Circuit and County Courts, the Board of County Commissioners, and the citizens of Brevard County; and extended best wishes for good health and happiness in her retirement.

 

 

Tamara Van Fossan expressed her appreciation to the Board, the County Manager, the County Attorney and staff; she stated her gratitude to her boss, Scott Ellis, for his support and patience; and stated her appreciation to her staff for their hard work.

 

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              Trudie Infantini, Commissioner District 3

SECONDER:              Andy Anderson, Commissioner District 5

AYES:              Fisher, Nelson, Infantini, Bolin, Anderson

.

 

REPORT, RE:  CANCELLATION OF WORKSHOP

County Manager Howard Tipton stated a workshop for December 16, 2010 is scheduled; there are currently no items for that workshop; and he requested the Board cancel the workshop.

 

The Board approved cancellation of the December 16, 2010 workshop.

 

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              Mary Bolin, Chairman / Commissioner District 4

SECONDER:              Andy Anderson, Commissioner District 5

AYES:              Fisher, Nelson, Infantini, Bolin, Anderson

.

 

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REPORT, RE:  WESH 2 NEWS CANNED FOOD DRIVE

County Manager, Howard Tipton stated WESH 2 News is conducting an canned food drive at the Viera Government Center on December 9, 2010 from 5:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m.; and he is asking that everyone across Brevard bring in non-perishable food donations.  He went on to say it will be set up in the fountain area on the west side of the Viera Government building.

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PRESENTATION BY FLORIDA SPORTS FISHING ASSOCIATION, RE:  ARTIFICAL REEFS

Commissioner Nelson recognized Scott Chandler, who is with the Florida Sports Fishing Association and is probably the most knowledgeable person in Brevard County, regarding artificial reefs.

 

Scott Chandler presented a check to the Board for $10,000; he has been working with the Canaveral Port Authority on several artificial reef projects over the years in an effort to provide additional marine habitat and take some pressure off of the natural out croppings out there; a lot of charter captains and tourists coming in like to fish offshore; and they have always seen a need to have additional areas out there to get people spread out a little bit and not fishing on top of each other.  He distributed charts to the Board.  He stated the red zone is Brevard County's site; it has had this site for over 30 years; the problem has become that it has never been used; it was used for a while and the permit came out of date; and it is time to re-permit it.  He added the two small red dots are other artificial reefs, which were permitted with the Port Authority in the past; and they just permitted them again, as every five years they have to be re-permitted.  He went on to say the cost is between $10,000 and $20,000 to re-permit a reef; they have used a lot of concrete material from the County; it donated 500 pieces of concrete pipe from its Utilities Department; they took all of that concrete pipe and deployed it offshore creating additional marine habitat for fishermen.  He added they are going after this to provide the County with additional disposal area for material as opposed to going to the landfills; and a closer to shore area for local fishing anglers, as well as the divers.  He stated the Tourism Development Council has come up with an additional $5,000 match to their $10,000 to permit this area; and once the area is permitted, it should take 90 days to six months.

 

Commissioner Nelson stated the Board had previously adopted a Resolution of support of delaying the snapper closure, but it had minimum impact in that process; there is a tremendous fishing industry out of the Port; and whether it is commercial or recreational, the County will be shut out of fishing for some unknown number of years.   

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REPORTS, RE:  CHRISTMAS PARADES

Commissioner Nelson stated the Merritt Island parade was held Saturday last week; the Cocoa Beach parade is this week at 1:00 p.m.; the Rockledge/Cocoa parade is at 10:00 a.m.; and for those who would like to see a parade, he or she has opportunities to do so.

 

Chairman Fisher stated Mims had their parade last week; Titusville is coming up in a week; and Port St. John is having its parade in two weeks.

 

Commissioner Infantini stated Melbourne Beach will be having its parade at 9:00 Saturday morning; Melbourne will have its at Saturday evening at 5:00 p.m.; and Palm Bay will be having its Sunday evening.

.

REPORT, RE:  RIBBON CUTTING CEREMONY FOR COMPLETION OF U.S. 1 WIDENING IN ROCKLEDGE

Commissioner Bolin stated this past Sunday was the ribbon cutting in Rockledge for the completion of the U.S. 1, widening; the City had timed it with the Bike Toy Ride and it was actually that group coming through that cut the ribbon; it was a road that was needed and got completed; and the businesses along U.S. 1 survived the construction phase. 

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REPORT, RE:  COATS FOR KIDS DRIVE

Commissioner Anderson stated all of the Commissioners and the School Board have been helping with the Coat for Kids project; originally, they were just going to take donations through the 17th and start distributing; Monday morning they made the call out of their office to start distributing; and they have given away 100 coats.  He went on to say they are looking for more jackets; they are also looking for volunteers to drive jackets to schools over the next week, and they can call his office at 253-6611; none of his staff are present today because they are delivering the coats throughout the County; the demand has been big; and he had a call from Mims, which his staff is going to try to get those up there today.  He stated anyone who wants to volunteer, if they live in Melbourne and can take jackets up north, it would be appreciated.  He added the School Board is helping through its district offices to deliver those jackets so they get to the children who need them.

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REPORT, RE:  DISTRICT 5 HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE

Commissioner Anderson stated his office is having its Holiday Open House this year, Friday, December 17th, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Sarno Road office; they are sponsoring the Space Coast Center for Mothers with Children, which has specific needs; and his office would like to assist for the holidays.

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REPORT, RE:  PULLED ITEM VII.E.2, ACCEPTANCE, RE:  BREVARD COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE SAVINGS FROM 2010 BUDGET

County Manager Howard Tipton stated he would like to pull item VII.E.2, Acceptance, Re:  Brevard County Sheriff's Office Savings from 2010 Budget; the Sheriff's Office came to him this morning and asked for the item to be pulled; and it will be coming back to the Board in January 2011.

 

The Board tabled consideration of Sheriff's Office savings from the 2010 Budget, to a future Board meeting.

APPROVAL, RE:  BREVARD COUNTY 2011 LEGISLATIVE PROGRAM

County Manager Howard Tipton stated this item comes to the Board annually; the objective is to be able to give the lobbyists, as well as the Chairman, direction in moving forward with lobbyists who will be giving a presentation to the Legislative Delegation next week; and before the Board is a list of County Department issues, as well as the Florida Association of Counties (FAC) legislative agenda, both for the State and federal legislative agenda. 

 

He advised since the County Manager's Office will not be having a presence in Tallahassee as it has in past years, staff will be looking more to the FAC to help with those statewide issues, and also working with the Banyan Network on the local issues the Board has asked to be focused on; and this is just information for the Board's consideration and direction.

 

Cameron Yarborough, Banyan Network, stated he is looking for what priorities can be accomplished for Brevard County, specifically on the agenda, and allowing for some of the broader topics from the FAC that touch upon each of the counties; and the Banyan Network will assist in those endeavors as needed.  He noted as the Session progresses, the funding priorities are changing every day; yesterday, the Office of Economic Development came out with a $150 million additional deficit on top of the $2.5 billion deficit that has already been projected; and reiterated the priorities are changing; but the Banyan Network will do its best to carry forward the Brevard-specific priorities and try to get as many accomplished as possible.

 

Chairman Fisher noted the top items should be support for Space and Technology, Baker Act Beds, and Beach Re-nourishment; and inquired if there is anything else the Board would like to add to the list of projects.

 

Commissioner Nelson responded he would like for the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) to look at the issue of sound walls in the Cocoa area of S.R. 520; there are sound walls south and north of there, but there are communities where he has visited homes and a person cannot talk in their front yard because of the noise from the traffic; and he does not know why there was no consideration for sound walls.  He stated he has had numerous complaints; it is an ongoing issue; and he does not know how FDOT justified having sound walls at other locations and not this one.  He stated he would like to see a study done of the area south of S.R. 520 and I-95 in conjunction with the widening and see if a study for sound walls can be done.  Mr. Yarborough stated it may be a little bit outside of the scope of the legislative session agenda; and may just be a FDOT agency specific agenda; but it certainly will be addressed.

 

Commissioner Anderson stated one of his pet peeves is Tallahassee raiding the Transportation Trust Fund; he knows FAC talks about it; and maybe some legislator will take hold and do something, but he does not think so with the deficit Tallahassee is facing.  He noted at some point it is going to have to be locked down so that some infrastructure can be repaired in Florida.  Mr. Yarborough advised the Governor-elect, has had a lot of discussion about the raiding of trust funds and the transportation trust fund, specifically; and it is something that is on their minds as the legislative proposal is crafted.

 

Commissioner Bolin inquired if Mr. Yarborough can find out the status of the Welcome Center on I-95; she thinks the money is just stuck somewhere; and it is not a legislative issue, as it has already been approved.  Mr. Yarborough stated he will research it for the Board.

 

The Board approved the 2011 Legislative Program and Identified the priorities for the legislative session of Support Space and Technology; Support Baker Act Beds; Support Beach Re-nourishment; and Oppose Unfunded Mandates.  Commissioner Nelson requested Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) to do a study on sound walls south of S.R. 520 on I-95; Commissioner Anderson expressed concern regarding raiding of the Transportation Trust Fund; and Commissioner Bolin inquired about the status of the Welcome Center on I-95.

 

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              Chuck Nelson, Commissioner District 2

SECONDER:              Andy Anderson, Commissioner District 5

AYES:              Fisher, Nelson, Infantini, Bolin, Anderson

.

 

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ITEMS PULLED FROM CONSENT AGENDA

Commissioner Bolin stated she would like to pull Item III.B.2, Board Consideration, Re:  Request for Reduction of Fine and Release of Code Enforcement Lien for Herman Meyer Estate, for discussion.

 

Commissioner Nelson stated he would like to pull Item III.C.6, Appointment/Reappointments, Re:  Citizen Advisory Boards, for discussion.

BOARD CONSIDERATION, RE:  REQUEST FOR REDUCTION OF FINE AND RELEASE OF CODE ENFORCEMENT LIEN FOR HERMAN MEYER ESTATE

Robin Sobrino, Planning and Development Director, stated this item is for a reduction of fine and release of lien; the fine has accrued to nearly $23,000; the individual who had committed the violation had been sick for a long time and recently passed away without taking any action on the situation.  She stated the heirs have become aware of the fine and lien; they immediately got in touch with the County and requested how to correct it; the property has been brought into compliance; the family appeared before the Special Magistrate seeking a reduction of the fine; the Special Magistrate is recommending it be reduced to zero dollars; and the actual cost the County has incurred is an additional $1,891. 

 

Commissioner Bolin stated it is a hardship case; she wants to forgive the $21,000; but she still thinks the County will be going in a downward spiral if it does not recover its actual costs of what it put into it.  She advised the people who inherited the estate would have a lien against the estate, not the people who actually caused the lien; and she thinks the Special Magistrate had good thoughts, but she wanted to bring it to the Board's attention.

 

Peter Meyer stated he is the brother of Herman Meyer, who is deceased; the condition and situation was not brought to his knowledge until recently; he has done his best to bring the property back to a good status; he has hired a permanent vendor to come in and maintain the property; and he is attempting to resolve his brother's estate at this time.  He advised this is a situation that he was unaware of; his sister moved shortly before his brother passed away; had he been aware of things, he would have certainly taken care of it; and he has been a property manager for 40-plus years and he would have taken care of it sooner had he known of the issues.  He is hoping the Board can understand that his brother was unemployed at the time, he had health issues, and he claimed his own life; and he would appreciate any consideration given.

 

Commissioner Fisher inquired if the property is going to be put up for sale.  Mr. Meyer responded yes, he has an attorney who is handling the probate since his brother passed without the benefit of a will; and the only two people left in the family are he and his sister.  He advised he met yesterday with the attorney; and there are no other outstanding claims.

 

Commissioner Nelson stated it is his understanding that there was some collection of fees totalling $350, which was the uniform cost.  Ms. Sobrino responded yes, the uniform fees were collected in order to go before the Special Magistrate; and to request a reduction a person must pay those uniform fees.

 

Commissioner Nelson stated he thinks Mr. Meyer has done the right thing to fix this matter; there needs to be clarification with the Special Magistrate with what the Board means when it says to get the direct costs, so that he knows the Board is looking to get a least the hard costs out of these types of cases; and he is willing in this circumstance to recognize the $350 was paid and send additional direction to the Special Magistrate to consider to do the hard costs at that time he finds it appropriate.

 

Joan Ostrander stated at the time of the problem, her brother Herman Meyer was living with her for 15 months because of his condition; and she was not able to take care of the property.

 

Commissioner Bolin stated she applauds the action taken; she understands the situation clearly now; and she concurs with Commissioner Nelson 100 percent to take it down to zero.

 

The Board adopted the Special Magistrate's recommendation to reduce the accrued fine for Case 06-333 from $22,922 to the reduced sum of $0; directed staff to prepare and execute release and satisfaction of lien upon approval; directed Special Magistrate's, in the future, to implement fines for the hard costs to the County; and directed staff to provide the Board with detailed data of the actual costs incurred by the County in these actions.

 

 

Commissioner Anderson advised these hard costs need to be documented with timesheet data; he does not just want estimates to be thrown in there; but if it comes down to the Board's decision later on he wants to see that type of data.

 

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              Mary Bolin, Chairman / Commissioner District 4

SECONDER:              Chuck Nelson, Commissioner District 2

AYES:              Fisher, Nelson, Infantini, Bolin, Anderson

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APPOINTMENTS/REAPPOINTMENTS, RE:  CITIZEN ADVISORY BOARDS

Commissioner Nelson stated if a Commissioner has an appointment to make to a Citizen Advisory Board, another Commissioner may not agree with who was appointed; 'approval' means who was agreed upon; he would like to see the wording changed to 'acknowledged', as opposed to 'approved'; and if there are circumstances where the Board is required by law to actually make an appointment, it can be discussed at that time.

 

Chairman Fisher inquired if there is anything in the Charter that states there needs to be Board approval or a vote  Scott Knox, County Attorney, replied each advisory board has its own separate authority for appointing; there are some that require ratification by the Board, some actually require approval by the Board, some require the Commissioner to make an appointment; and there are some instances where a Commissioner has the right to appoint someone that certainly can take the position when acknowledged.

 

Commissioner Nelson inquired what ratify means; with Attorney Knox responding it is a vote to say the appointment is made.  Commissioner Nelson inquired if the word 'acknowledged' would cover it; with Attorney Knox responding affirmatively.

 

Chairman Fisher stated there are some appointments that need joint approval.  Commissioner Nelson advised moving forward, it would be appropriate for the County Manager to separate those out so there is a clearer delineation.  Commissioner Anderson stated he would like to see some kind of matrix chart.

 

The Board reached consensus to modify the language included in the Citizen Advisory Board letters from 'approved' to 'acknowledged' the appointment/reappointment.  The Board also acknowledged the appointment/reappointment of Clara Mutter, to the Animal Enforcement Dangerous Dog Hearing Council, with term expiring December 31, 2011; Bobbie McMillan and Josiah Snodgrass-Neal to Art in Public Places, with terms expiring December 31, 2011; R.J. Durham and Michael H. Williams to Building and Construction Advisory Committee, with terms expiring December 31, 2011; Ed Newell and Pat Shearer to Central Brevad Library & Reference Center, with terms expiring December 31, 2011; Pete Cario, John W. DeBickes, R.J. Durham, Pamela Grove, and Luke Miorelli to the Contractor's Licensing Board, with terms expiring December 31, 2011; Sara Ann Conkling to Country Acres Advisory Board, with term expiring December 31, 2011; Matthew Nye to the Economic Development Commission of the Space Coast, with term expiring December 31, 2011; Beverly Morgan and Mark Nathan to EEL Program Recreation and Education Advisory Committee, with terms expiring December 31, 2011; Marcia Newell to Employee Benefits Advisory Committee, with term expiring December 31, 2011; Thomas Patrick O'Neill to the Emergency Medical Services Review Committee, with term expiring December 31, 2011; Ralph McCoig, Pat Pasley, and Mark Shantzis to the EEL Procedures Committee, with terms expiring December 31, 2011; Billy Kempfer and Tom Schuler to the Extension Advisory Council, with terms expiring December 31, 2011; Alan Brech, Ann Downing, Joe Morgan, and William J. Sidoran to the Historical Commission, with terms expiring December 31, 2011; Eugene Terkoski to the Housing Finance Authority, with term expiring December 31, 2011; James Marshal to the Investment Committee, with term expiring December 31, 2011; Jerry Butz, Gary Hanlin, and William Powell to the Marine Advisory Council, with terms expiring December 31, 2011; John Stone to the Onsite Sewage Disposal Variance Board, with term expiring December 31, 2011; John N. Kendrick and Damian Wilson to the Parks and Recreation South Service Sector Advisory Board, with terms expiring December 31, 2011; Paul Brooks and Bonnie Venable to the Personnel Council, with terms expiring December 31, 2011; Jerry Jagrowski, Robert Ludwiczak, John Stone, and Clyde Thodey to the Planning and Zoning Board, with terms expiring December 31, 2011; Gene Cate and Clarence Mills to the Public Golf Advisory Board, with terms expiring December 31, 2011; Clarence Mills to the Transportation Planning Organization Citizens Advisory Committee, with term expiring December 31, 201; and George Bovell, James Rosasco, and Sharon Savastio to the Zoning Board of Adjustment, with terms expiring December 31, 2011.

ADDITIONAL ITEM PULLED FROM CONSENT

Chairman Fisher stated he made an error while discussing items pulled from consent; and three citizens have asked to pull Item, III.C.1,  Request for Reimbursement of Legal Fees, Re:  Valkaria Airport Manager.

 

Commission Nelson stated he thinks there needs to be a motion to consider Item III.C.1, Request for Reimbursement of Legal Fees, Re:  Valkaria Airport Manager. 

 

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              Chuck Nelson, Commissioner District 2

SECONDER:              Mary Bolin, Chairman / Commissioner District 4

AYES:              Fisher, Nelson, Infantini, Bolin, Anderson

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REQUEST FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF LEGAL FEES, RE:  VALKARIA AIRPORT MANAGER

Morris Richardson, Assistant County Attorney, explained a year and a half ago, an ethics complaint was made against Steve Borowski, the Valkaria Airport Manager; there were many charges and allegations against Mr. Borowski; due to the severe nature of some of the allegations, Mr. Borowski was required to retain counsel to represent him; and noted the County Attorney's Office could not represent Mr. Borowski because of a potential conflict in an Ethics Proceeding.  He advised ultimately, the Commission on Ethics (COE) found that Mr. Borowski had not abused his office, his position, or conducted any official misconduct or intentional wrong-doing, as he was accused.  He noted the COE did say, at one point, that an old hangar lease Mr. Borowski held, where he had signed in two places, could have been a technical violation, but the Commission said there was no intentional wrong-doing associated with it if that had been superseded by a new lease that was signed by different personnel, so it was a moot point; and the Commission on Ethics did not discipline Mr. Borowski, and vindicated him of any wrong-doing.  He stated Florida law says that in cases like that, the employee is absolutely entitled to legal representation and reimbursement of his or her legal costs and expenses; and if the Board finds that Mr. Borowski was acting in his official office, which is the opinion of staff and the County Attorney's Office, the Board has to reimburse those legal expenses. 

 

Janis Walters stated the Agenda Report contains a misleading statement of fact in the claim that the Florida Commission on Ethics found no probable cause to believe that the Valkaria Airport Manager committed official misconduct; the proposed resolution even goes so far as to state that Mr. Borowski was vindicated; both documents state that the Manager has some entitlement to reimbursement; however, the Order states there is probable cause to believe the respondent violated Section 112.313(7), Florida Statues; and the basis for this finding is the fact that the Manager leased himself a County hangar in Building B, and executed the lease by and for himself, signing as both lessor and lessee, which is also violation of County Policy BCC-3, Conflict of Interest.  She stated the COE decided to take no further action because three or four months after the ethics complaint was filed, the Airport Manager moved to a different hangar in the new Building C; and his new lease was properly executed more with an Assistant County Manager signing as the lessor; thereby, curing the offense in the eyes of the COE.  She advised escaping further action on the basis of having cured the offense after getting caught hardly qualifies as a successful offense when an offense had been committed in the first place; and as to entitlement to reimbursement, Florida Attorney General Opinion 90.74 sites case law which holds that Florida Statue 111.07 contemplates a judicial proceeding in a court of law before a judicial officer; and since the Commissioner on Ethics is part of the legislative branch the statute does not apply.  She strongly urged the Board to not reimburse the Airport Manager for his legal expenses in this matter; she reminded the Board that for years several people have been telling the County Commission and senior staff that the Airport Manager was not following proper procedures; some chose not to listen; some covered for him; some even chose to attack the messengers; and the offenses continued until one citizen found a way to take the problem higher up the governmental food chain.  She stated she hopes the Board is listening now; she hopes it stops covering up; and she hopes it will make the Airport Manager take responsibility for his own actions and inattention to proper procedures, County policies, and State laws.  She advised County money should not be used to reimburse employees who flout State laws, County Policies, and get caught at it; the COE did find probable cause that the Airport Manager committed an offense; and he did not avail himself of the opportunity for a public hearing for a final determination, perhaps fearing the outcome.  She strongly believes Mr. Borowski should bare his own legal expense; and she urged the Board to deny the proposed resolution; and given the misrepresentations in both the Agenda Report and the proposed resolution, she hopes an eyebrow will be raised at whomever wrote them.

 

Curt Lorenc stated what this Agenda Item is about today is a complaint that was made to the COE regarding Valkaria Airport Manger, Stephen Borowski; Mr. Borowski wrote himself a lease, signed both sides of the lease, as the person getting the lease and giving the approval for the County; that would require him to collect money from himself; and collecting money for oneself causes a conflict of interest.  He stated there was a complaint for this violation, which was sent to the Ethics Commission, which violates Section 112.313(7) and Brevard County Policy BCC-3; the Ethics Commission found probable cause for a violation; Mr. Borowski was indicted; and today, the Board is being asked to reimburse Mr. Borowski for his legal fees for wrong-doing.  He stated he is of the opinion that using government funds to reimburse someone for wrong-doing is government-funded corruption, and he thinks it is wrong.  He stated many Commissioners will run for a higher office or re-election; and if the Board votes to give Mr. Borowski the money today, he will do what the political system allows him to do and inform any Commissioners' opponents of how the vote was made today.  He stated it is important to look at the history of Mr. Borowski's employment with Brevard County; when Mr. Borowski applied for the job, he was not truthful; he lied about his education on his application; he lied about his work experience; he lied about his military service; and stated the application requires disclosure of any criminal court case an applicant is involved with.  He advised Mr. Borowski was involved with a Federal criminal court case of fraud and forgery of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) documents, he received 18 months probation; the records can be retrieved from the Federal courthouse in Tampa; and there is another case that can be retrieved, as well, for Mr. Borowski being sued for $2 million in damages that alleged racketeering, unfair competition, fraud, misappropriation of trade secret, and a breach of contract.   He noted Mr. Borowski also appears on the ACLU Melbourne website for possible suppression of free speech, which was in conjunction with his job at the County.

 

Commissioner Anderson stated the Item before the Board is in regards to the COE; none of the other things mentioned are applicable to the Item today; there is a big difference between probable cause, and findings by the Commission on Ethics and their actual investigation; almost every complaint get probable cause findings; and that would mean that two-thrids of the elected officials could have someone who does not like them, personally file  a complaint with the COE, and the Commission would find probable cause to investigate further; and then the Commission on Ethics would either drop the case or make other recommendations.  Mr. Richardson advised that is what happened in the case of Mr. Borowski; it is not accurate to say that Mr. Borowski was indicted at all, but even if that was an accurate term, the Commission on Ethics said in the finding of probable cause that even if it is technically wrong, it is a moot point because Mr. Borowski did not do any intentional wrong-doing; the Commission on Ethics did not go any further; and it dropped the case.  Mr. Richardson stated the line that was left out when the speaker read from the Order, after the Commission on Ethics found probable cause, is that there is no evidence the respondent abused his position to his own benefit; and it further states, "No further action will be taken on the alleged violation".  He noted as far as the past charges that were heard by a prior Commission, were largely debunked, and there was no action taken by the Commission.

 

Maureen Rupe stated she has not studied the matter fully, nor has she looked in the State Statutes; but she is troubled about the information she has read.  She noted on the request for reimbursement, it says public officials are entitled to attorney's fees under the common law for the successful defense of misconduct charges before the Commission on Ethics; and she thought there was at least some probably cause.  She stated on the Agenda Report, Mr. Tipton covered most of what was in the COE report, but not all of it; the COE stated in the second paragraph that the Valkaria Airport Manager was found guilty of violating a Section of Florida Statutes, by leasing a hangar space from the Valkaria Airport while serving as Airport Manager; and the only reason he was not fined was the fact that the lease had been superseded by another lease overseen by the Assistant County Manager.  She noted the violation met State requirements that the Valkaria Airport Manager was performing his duty while serving a public purpose, since the violation was making a lease benefiting himself, which is not a public benefit; she read a letter from Mr. Borowski to Assistant County Manager Mel Scott, which states, "Should you so desire, I could apply this to an expense report and pay it out of the Airport budget, or more appropriately, reimburse it out of the General Fund.  What is the proper procedure?"  She inquired if that means that Mr. Borowski went ahead and hired a high profile expensive attorney before even bringing the issue to the County; and inquired if ethics complaints on the County Commissioners are defended by County Attorney Scott Knox.  Attorney Knox replied, no.

 

Ms. Rupe inquired how many County Commissioners or County employees have asked for reimbursement after hiring attorneys to defend them.  Attorney Knox responded he cannot recall.  Ms. Rupe stated if the Board is going to reimburse Mr. Borowski, it should not be the full amount, because there was a violation.  She advised there is one incident that she feels is very important, which was when Mr. Borowski reported a group of environmentalists and a former County Commissioner to the FBI and the Terrorist Task Force for innocent people entering Airport property even though they had permission. 

 

Attorney Knox pointed out that the violation that was referred to as being found guilty of, is not correct; there was probable cause to find that Mr. Borowski violated the Section that prevented him from leasing the hangar to himself; however, that became a moot point once the second lease was entered into, correcting the situation, which is why the COE did not move further. 

 

Mr. Richardson noted that was only half the reason; the first reason that was pointed out by the COE was that because there was no evidence that Mr. Borowski abused his position to his own benefit, and because it was superseded by a new lease; and it is not just because there was a new lease; but there was no wrong-doing.  He stated prior to Mr. Borowski ever entering into the first lease, he consulted with the County Manager's Office and the County Attorney's Office; he was told by Mr. Scott that there would not be a problem with him entering into a hangar lease, as it did not violate any County Policies; and he himself told Mr. Borowski there was not a problem as long as he followed all of the rules, regulations, and procedures that would apply to anyone else.  He noted the one thing that was not discussed was who should sign the form; but the form was the standard lease form; the evidence was that Mr. Borowski always paid his rent and complied with all of the obligations of any other hangar tenant; and as far as if it was part of Mr. Borowski's public duties or not, the hangar lease issue is a red herring because it was only one minor charge in a laundry list of serious alleged wrong-doings. 

 

Attorney Knox stated because the second issue is moot, the only issue Mr. Borowski really had to defend himself on was the first issue, and that was successfully defended; therefore, under Common Law in Florida, Mr. Borowski is entitled to get his compensation for attorneys fees. 

 

Mr. Scott noted there was a statement made by Ms. Rupe that he would like to clarify because it tends to besmirch all County employees, which is that this is not a common event, it is very rare; and to think that it is commonplace for the Commission on Ethics to be investigating County conduct is not correct.

 

Commissioner Infantini inquired if anyone else has been reimbursed; she knows there was one County Commissioner several years ago that was brought up on charges; and it was requested that the legal fees be reimbursed, which totaled $160,000.  She further stated if anyone is concerned about how the Commissioners vote, the information is posted on her website.  She motioned to approve the Agenda Item; and stated if it is not approved it would encourage people to make frivolous lawsuits against any County employee.  Commissioner Anderson stated he will second the motion when appropriate, but he has questions.

 

Commissioner Nelson advised the first section of the first paragraph on the Agenda Report indicates a list of violations; inquired if that is a list of the original issues; and inquired if there were more issues listed in Section 112.313(7).  Mr. Richardson replied the original complaint had a long list of issues; some of them were described with references to Statutes; prior to going to the COE, their advocate looked at it and distilled it by saying that all of the myriad of charges of abuse of position, or official misconduct, basically boiled down to violations of the Statute; the one technical error about who actually signed the lease boils down to the statutory reference; and that is why it was addressed as two charge, but they there were a number of different charges that boiled down to just two Statutes being an issue.

 

Commissioner Nelson inquired if there are procedures and policies necessary to address this issue.  Mr. Scott replied Jim Shimkus was the previous Airport Manager, and Mr. Borowski inherited a process that was not automated or completely entered into a computer database; in many instances it entailed post-it notes and handwritten comments on the margins; and he is pleased to inform the Board that there is a process that is in a spreadsheet and database, and is monitored.  He noted the process for receiving the information as it relates to getting on the waiting list for a hangar, or being removed from the waiting list, requires those persons to physically appear at the airport to do so. 

 

Commissioner Nelson inquired if the funding source for the fiscal impact is going to be the airport revenues; with Mr. Tipton responding affirmatively. 

 

Chairman Fisher stated people can sue for a lot of different reasons, but it does not mean that someone has done something wrong just because they have been sued; but there needs to be a County Policy on how the Board is going to handle these issues; and stated Mr. Tipton and Attorney Knox can look at the issue of having a policy for these types of situations.

 

Commissioner Anderson commented on the FDLE actively investigating official misconduct under Governor Crist's administration; stated there had never been an investigation of the Airport Manager; and it leads him to believe there are a lot of things that are not true, otherwise, FDLE would have picked up on those quickly.

 

Mr. Richardson stated there are a lot of things in this case, and other cases, that are being misstated, or only half of the information is being provided.  Commissioner Anderson inquired who is the complainant on the Commission on Ethics.  Mr. Richardson responded the complainant was a neighbor of the airport who complains frequently about airport activity. 

 

The Board adopted Resolution No. 10-258, reimbursing legal fees incurred by the Valkaria Airport Manager in defending ethics proceedings arising from the performance of his public duties.

 

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              Trudie Infantini, Commissioner District 3

SECONDER:              Andy Anderson, Commissioner District 5

AYES:              Fisher, Nelson, Infantini, Bolin, Anderson

.

 

APPROVAL OF ST. JOHNS-CRANE CREEK OUTFALL (LAMPLIGHTER) GRANT AGREEMENT-MODIFICATION TO CONTRACT #08HM-3G-06-15-01-031

The Board authorized the Chairman to execute a Modification of Contract 08HM-3G-06-15-01-031 between Brevard County (grantee) and the State of Florida, Division of Emergency management, for a no cost time extension; and authorized necessary budget change requests.

 

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              Andy Anderson, Commissioner District 5

SECONDER:              Mary Bolin, Chairman / Commissioner District 4

AYES:              Fisher, Nelson, Infantini, Bolin, Anderson

.

 

APPROVAL OF SUPPLEMENTAL AMENDMENT OF LOCALLY FUNDED AGREEMENT WITH FDOT FOR SR 520/COX ROAD/A-LANE REALIGNMENT PROJECT

The Board authorized the Chairman to execute a Supplemental Amendment to the Locally Funded Agreement with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) for the S.R. 520/Cox Road/A-Lane Intersection Realignment Project, upon approval of the Agreement terms by the Natural Resources Management Office, Public Works, the County Attorney's Office, and Risk Management; and authorized budget change requests as necessary.

 

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              Andy Anderson, Commissioner District 5

SECONDER:              Mary Bolin, Chairman / Commissioner District 4

AYES:              Fisher, Nelson, Infantini, Bolin, Anderson

.

 

FINAL ENGINEERING AND PRELIMINARY PLAT APPROVAL FOR PINE RIDGE SUBDIVISION - SD0704001

The Board granted final engineering and preliminary plat approvals for Pine Ridge Subdivision, subject to minor engineering changes as applicable, and the developer is responsible for obtaining all other necessary jurisdictional permits.

 

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              Andy Anderson, Commissioner District 5

SECONDER:              Mary Bolin, Chairman / Commissioner District 4

AYES:              Fisher, Nelson, Infantini, Bolin, Anderson

.

 

RESOLUTION, INTERLOCAL AGREEMENT, AND COUNTY DEED FOR TRANSFER OF PROPERTY BETWEEN BREVARD COUNTY AND THE CITY OF WEST MELBOURNE, RE:  SYLVAN DRIVE, MANGO GROVE AVENUE, AND LAKEVIEW DRIVE

The Board approved and authorized the Chairman to execute the Interlocal Agreement, Resolution No. 10-257, and County Deed for the transfer of property to the City of West Melbourne, which is a right-of-way lying in Section 36, Township 27 South, Range 36 East, that was annexed into the City of West Melbourne.

 

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              Andy Anderson, Commissioner District 5

SECONDER:              Mary Bolin, Chairman / Commissioner District 4

AYES:              Fisher, Nelson, Infantini, Bolin, Anderson

.

 

APPROVE AND ACCEPT PREVIOUSLY RECORDED LIFT STATION DEED AND A FORCE MAIN EASEMENT AND ACCEPTANCE OF A PERMANENT ACCESS EASEMENT, RE:  LIFE STATION FROM SEASONS IN THE SUN LLC

The Board approved accepting the previously recorded Deed conveying a Lift Station and improvements, Force Main Easement, and perpetual Life Station Access Easement from Seasons in the Sun, LLC.

 

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              Andy Anderson, Commissioner District 5

SECONDER:              Mary Bolin, Chairman / Commissioner District 4

AYES:              Fisher, Nelson, Infantini, Bolin, Anderson

.

 

APPROVAL, RE:  BUDGET CHANGE REQUESTS

The Board approved the Budget Change Requests, as submitted.

 

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              Andy Anderson, Commissioner District 5

SECONDER:              Mary Bolin, Chairman / Commissioner District 4

AYES:              Fisher, Nelson, Infantini, Bolin, Anderson

.

 

APPROVAL, RE:  COOPERATIVE AGREEMENTS WITH THE OFFICE ON VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN, AND THE SALVATION ARMY

The Board executed Cooperative Agreement with the Office on Violence Against Women; executed Grant Agreement with The Salvation Army, a Georgia Corporation, for the Safe Havens Supervised Visitation and Monitored Exchange Grant Program; and authorized the Chairman to execute future agreements, modification, and amendments upon review and approval of the County Attorney and Risk Management.

 

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              Andy Anderson, Commissioner District 5

SECONDER:              Mary Bolin, Chairman / Commissioner District 4

AYES:              Fisher, Nelson, Infantini, Bolin, Anderson

.

 

REQUEST TO PURSUE LEGAL ACTION, RE:  REMOVE CARETAKER FROM GIBSON COMPLEX

The Board authorized the County Attorney's Office to pursue legal action, including eviction, ejection and/or other such action as may be necessary to remove the former Caretakers, George E. Johnson and Cheryl D. Johnson, from the Gibson Complex.

 

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              Andy Anderson, Commissioner District 5

SECONDER:              Mary Bolin, Chairman / Commissioner District 4

AYES:              Fisher, Nelson, Infantini, Bolin, Anderson

.

 

PERMISSION TO PURCHASE OFF STATE CONTRACT, RE:  PURCHASING EIGHT (8) DIESEL FUELED TRANSIT COACHES

The Board granted Space Coast Area Transit permission to purchase eight (8) Diesel Fueled Transit Coaches off the Florida Transit Association Finance Corporation's (FTAFC) Florida State Consortium Contract in the amount no greater than $2,832,000; authorized payment of $4,000 to the FTAFC for the transaction fee; and authorized staff travel to the Gillig plant for preproduction and inspection meetings.

 

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              Andy Anderson, Commissioner District 5

SECONDER:              Mary Bolin, Chairman / Commissioner District 4

AYES:              Fisher, Nelson, Infantini, Bolin, Anderson

.

 

APPROVAL, RE:  GRANT APPLICATION AND AUTHORIZING RESOLUTION FOR JOB ACCESS REVERSE COMMUTE FUNDING FOR FISCAL YEARS 2011-2012 AND 2012-2013

The Board authorized the Chairman to execute the grant application; and adopted Authorizing Resolution No. 10-258 for submittal of a Job Access Reverse Commute Funding Grant for Fiscal Years 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 with the Florid Department of Transportation for evening and weekend bus service in Brevard County.

 

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              Andy Anderson, Commissioner District 5

SECONDER:              Mary Bolin, Chairman / Commissioner District 4

AYES:              Fisher, Nelson, Infantini, Bolin, Anderson

.

 

APPROVAL, RE:  FISCAL YEAR 2011 CERTIFICATIONS AND ASSURANCES FOR FEDERAL TRANSIT ADMINISTRATION GRANTS

The Board approved and authorized the Chairman to execute the Fiscal Year 2011 Certifications and Assurances for Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Grants.

 

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              Andy Anderson, Commissioner District 5

SECONDER:              Mary Bolin, Chairman / Commissioner District 4

AYES:              Fisher, Nelson, Infantini, Bolin, Anderson

.

 

APPROVAL OF AGREEMENT WITH VPSI, INC., FOR VANPOOL FLEET MANAGEMENT AND SERVICES FOR SPACE COAST AREA TRANSIT

The Board approved and authorized the Chairman to execute a one-year contract extension with VSPI, Inc. for Vanpool Fleet Management and Services for Space Coast Area Transit.

 

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              Andy Anderson, Commissioner District 5

SECONDER:              Mary Bolin, Chairman / Commissioner District 4

AYES:              Fisher, Nelson, Infantini, Bolin, Anderson

.

 

CONFIRMATION, RE:  APPOINTMENT OF PARKS AND RECREATION DEPARTMENT DIRECTOR

The Board confirmed the appointment of Jack Masson as the Parks and Recreation Director.

 

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              Andy Anderson, Commissioner District 5

SECONDER:              Mary Bolin, Chairman / Commissioner District 4

AYES:              Fisher, Nelson, Infantini, Bolin, Anderson

.

 

AWARD OF CONTRACT FOR EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (EAP), RE:  HORIZON BEHAVIORAL SERVICS UNDER RFP #1-10-20

The Board awarded the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Contract to Horizon Behavioral Services, under RFP #1-10-20.

 

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              Andy Anderson, Commissioner District 5

SECONDER:              Mary Bolin, Chairman / Commissioner District 4

AYES:              Fisher, Nelson, Infantini, Bolin, Anderson

.

 

AUTHORIZATION, RE:  FLORIDA CONTRABAND FORFEITURE FUNDS DISTRIBUTED TO CITIES

The Board authorized the distribution of $7,986.00, $2,320.72, and $1,528.15 in Florida Contraband Forfeiture Funds to the Cities of Cape Canaveral, Cocoa Beach, and West Melbourne respectively, in accordance with Florida Statutes 932.7055(5); and authorized any necessary budget amendments.

 

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              Andy Anderson, Commissioner District 5

SECONDER:              Mary Bolin, Chairman / Commissioner District 4

AYES:              Fisher, Nelson, Infantini, Bolin, Anderson

.

 

AUTHORIZATION RE:  FLORIDA CONTRABAND FORFEITURE FUNDS DISTRIBUTED TO FLORIDA HIGHWAY PATROL - TROOP D

The Board authorized the purchase of equipment and/or training for the Florida Highway Patrol (Troop D) in the amount of $16,461.61 using Florida Contraband funds in accordance with Florida Statutes 932.7055(5); and authorized any necessary budget amendments.

 

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              Andy Anderson, Commissioner District 5

SECONDER:              Mary Bolin, Chairman / Commissioner District 4

AYES:              Fisher, Nelson, Infantini, Bolin, Anderson

.

 

APPROVAL, RE:  BILLS

The Board approved the Billfolder, as submitted.             

 

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              Andy Anderson, Commissioner District 5

SECONDER:              Mary Bolin, Chairman / Commissioner District 4

AYES:              Fisher, Nelson, Infantini, Bolin, Anderson

.

 

APPROVAL, RE:  EXTENSION OF CONTRACT WITH PLATT FAMILY - JOHNS HERITAGE PARKWAY

Tuck Ferrell stated he believes the County should extend the Platt contract; it has been stalled through the Department of Community Affiars (DCA), which is screening the contract carefully; and the Board should let the DCA finish the final review process.

 

Scott Knox, County Attorney, stated the item is a request for an extension of the contract, which was set to expire December 15th; and pointed out the Platt family would like to close the contract in the near future, probably before the DCA would rule on the proceeding in Tallahassee.

 

Commissioner Nelson stated he supports the Parkway, but does not support the contract because he believes there is a better deal to be had.

 

The Board executed Extension Agreement, moving the deadline to March 15, 2011, to allow the Platts and the County to seek resolution of the pending DCA non-compliance determination on the Board-adopted land use amendments for the Platt Ranch.

 

RESULT:              ADOPTED [4 TO 1]

MOVER:              Andy Anderson, Commissioner District 5

SECONDER:              Mary Bolin, Chairman / Commissioner District 4

AYES:              Robin Fisher, Trudie Infantini, Mary Bolin, Andy Anderson

NAYS:              Chuck Nelson

.

 

AWARD OF CONTRACT, RE:  PRETRIAL SERVICES AND MISDEMEANOR PROBATION SERVICES

Howard Tipton, County Manager, stated in March 2010, the Board asked staff to develop a Request for Proposals (RFP) to go out for services for Pre-Trial and Misdemeanor Probation Services.  He advised, staff took information from several other counties to prepare the RFP; seven proposals were received; Judicial Correction Services (JCS) was awarded the contract; and the County began negotiations.  He explained the purpose of outsourcing these particular services was a recognition that there were other private sector companies providing the service.  He stated the savings that were projected initially have been reduced, but they are still savings nontheless; the savings for the current fiscal year range from $211,000 to $250,000; the range depends on how quickly the contract can be implemented; and the full-year savings will be approximately $400,000 per year.  He stated staff is looking at its ability, internally, to make technology investments that would make the reporting and information better; currently, staff does not have the opportunity, nor the resources, to make those kinds of investments; but several of the companies that were reviewed did have that technology in place.  He mentioned there was a concern voiced by the Administrative Judge for the County Court, who wanted to make sure that the processes for providing the judges information was going to be worked out; and Eisa Kennedy, Jail Population Management Coordinator, is present to answer any questions on that regard. 

 

Commissioner Bolin noted the last time the item was before the Board, she was concerned about the Judges, but now she has the answers she was looking for; and she motioned to approve the item. 

 

Commissioner Nelson advised he still has concerns that the Board has negotiated with one company; the Board heard from one contractor that said it would be able to hire all the employees and give a 10 percent raise while still saving the Board money; the impact to the employees should have been part of the package that was reviewed by the Board; but the current system does not allow the Board to negotiate in a fashion that gives the public the best bang for the buck; and the Board should be able to talk to more than one vendor.  He stated he has talked to the County Attorney about the ability to have that kind of process; and inquired if Attorney Knox could provide some input as to how the Board will get to that point.   Scott Knox, County Attorney, advised the RFP allows the Board to go to post-proposal discussions with various vendors to get the best and final offers. 

 

Commissioner Anderson stated he gets uncomfortable going back after a bidding process that has been through a committee; the difference between first and second place was wide; it was not as though it was a close issue on the requirements the Board had set forth in the bidding process; and as far as employee morale and welfare, it is not a good thing to continue to drag out the process.  He noted one issue with any change in any organization is that it is done timely and promptly; there will be over $1 million in savings to the taxpayers; and to keep the uncertainty over the employees' heads is doing a disservice to them at this time.  He suggested the Board move forward; it is only a three-year contract; the second place vendor can sharpen their pencils in the meantime; and when the RFP goes back out, maybe they will be able to incorporate some of the concerns of Commissioner Nelson. 

 

Commissioner Infantini concurred with Commissioner Anderson.  She remarked that current employment is not a guarantee of future employment; when re-hiring for a new position, the best and most capable should be hired in any situation; JCS is bringing in technology that the County has never implemented; the opportunity to increase the technology base and delivery of information to the Judges is going to streamline the process; and it might require a special skill set that existing employees may not have.   She stated while she hopes every opportunity is given to interview all of the current employees, if someone does not have a skill set necessary, then she hopes they go out and hire that particular person. 

 

Commissioner Nelson stated his argument would be that morale is already pretty low; some of the employees are staring at a net loss because of additional costs for insurance; and he believes it is incumbent upon the Board not to rush into something that it could have done better.  He noted both vendors have technology; but the issue is savings and the impact on the employees that have served the Board for many years; and he does not think it is unfair for the Board to be concerned with that.  He added, if both vendors can provide the service, the question then becomes how much money does the County save, and how can it benefit the employees to the greatest extent, as the transition is made.

 

Chairman Fisher stated there are 12 vacancies in the Criminal Justice Department; inquired if those vacancies have not been filled because of the pending contract with JCS, or is the organization operating efficiently now with 12 less people.  Mr. Tipton advised positions have not been filled in anticipation of this change; the way coverage is being met is with overtime and making adjustments to schedules, which not an ideal situation, as it is adding to the distress of the Department; and in the long-term some of those vacancies would have to be filled, but it is not sustainable at its current level.  Chairman Fisher stated he could not understand why the service could not be done in-house; through research, he found out that the County has $1.5 million in salaries, with $677,000 in benefits, which equals a $2.2 million package for employees and benefits; and it makes him wonder how another organization is able to do this.  He realizes the County is charging the maximum allowed by the State; he thought about raising fees in order to keep the service in-house, but then he realized the County is already at the rate allowed by the State; and inquired if the Board can lower the staff to a point in the current organization to keep the service in-house.  He stated what he is hearing is that the Department is already at a low level; it does not have some of the same technology; the only thing that can be done to make the numbers get closer is to lay more people off to try to get to the $400,000 savings level; and that would be another 10 people in an organization that has already lost 12 people.  He expressed concern over the Department not having enough time to let the employees know exactly what the deal was going to be; he does not think that part has been fair, as far as who will be hired or not, and what the new benefit package would be; and he wishes that could have been determined; but it is his understanding that it is all still undecided.  Mr. Tipton stated he does not believe the vendor has been meeting with the employees in terms of starting the hiring process, because there was not a contract to move forward with; there has been information shared about what the packages look like, and what the hiring process will be; but the actual discussions between the new employer and the employees have not moved forward.  Chairman Fisher inquired if the second vendor had a conversation with the employees, even thought they did not win the contract.  Stockton Whitten, Assistant County Manager, replied both vendors had some preliminary meetings with the employees, but in terms of bringing in the employees and having the interviews to determine who would be hired, that has not taken place.

 

The Board accepted a negotiated Agreement for Services with Judicial Correction Services, Inc., to provide pre-trial services and misdemeanor probation services for the County; and authorized the Chairman to execute the Agreement.

 

RESULT:              ADOPTED [4 TO 1]

MOVER:              Mary Bolin, Chairman / Commissioner District 4

SECONDER:              Andy Anderson, Commissioner District 5

AYES:              Robin Fisher, Trudie Infantini, Mary Bolin, Andy Anderson

NAYS:              Chuck Nelson

.

 

APPROVAL, RE:  ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION OF FLORIDA’S SPACE COAST’S REQUEST FOR A LOCAL CASH MATCH FOR A QUALIFIED TARGETED INDUSTRY (QTI) TAX REFUND IN SUPPORT OF PROJECT ROCKET

Howard Tipton, County Manager, stated the item is expansion of Lockheed Martin Rocket Division coming to the Kennedy Space Center, which will create 28 jobs.

 

Greg Winer, Lockheed Martin, stated Project Rocket is an expansion of Lockheed Martin's footprint in the County, but it is a new endeavor that has to do with heavy lift technology; initially 28 employees will be needed; Lockheed Martin is looking at locations behind the security gates, and in Cape Canaveral.  He stated the County is competing with two other locations around the country, which is typical of Lockheed Martin, because it always seems to have some space somewhere. 

 

Mr. Tipton explained the Board is being asked to approve a resolution in support of Project Rocket; this particular company qualifies for the Qualified Targeted Industry Tax Refund; the local match to that is $98,000 per year over a four-year period; and the Board is looking at $39,000 over a four-year period.  He added, Project Rocket would create 28, at an average salary of approximately $140,000 each.  Chairman Fisher inquired how the Board would fund the project.  Mr. Tipton stated the Board does not have a dedicated income source for EDC projects; this one is a much smaller than Embraer, which is $1.8 million; or the SEMATECH, which is $2.5 million; and in this case the funds will come from general government operations.

 

The Board adopted Resolution No. 10-260, for a local cash match for a Qualified Targeted Industry (QTI) Tax Refund in support of Project Rocket, in the amount of $9,800 annually for four years, totaling $39,200; providing 28 new jobs at an annual salary of $140,000; and with an overall economic impact of $6.5 million.

 

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              Mary Bolin, Chairman / Commissioner District 4

SECONDER:              Chuck Nelson, Commissioner District 2

AYES:              Fisher, Nelson, Infantini, Bolin, Anderson

.

 

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CITIZEN REQUEST, RE:  VIERA SOCCER CLUB INC.

Udo Schenatzky, President of Viera Soccer Club, stated he is requesting access to the Viera Regional Park for his organization; and he is before the Board on behalf of the Viera Soccer Club, its 200 members, and Brevard County taxpayers.  He advised the Viera Soccer Club was founded in January 2009, and registered as a non-profit organization; and the purpose to establish the club, was to create an inexpensive, fun, family-oriented soccer club, that presents events for the whole family.  He explained the Viera Soccer Club Board was formed by four board members, and it did not expect such a big success after two seasons; the first spring season in 2009, 93 kids signed-up; 121 kids in the fall 2009 season; 231 kids in the spring season 2010; and almost 200 kids in the 2010 fall season.  He stated the club has cultivated goodwill in the neighborhood; at this time it is only able to use Spyglass Park because of the generosity of the Suntree Homeowners Association; this park and field is not prepared for 200 children and more; and the field in Suntree does not have enough parking for all the cars, which is a daily problem for the members and the neighborhood.  He went on to say he has applied for access to the Viera Regional Park fields that were built for citizens in the neighborhood; and the Viera Regional Park was not built for one soccer club, but so far he has been denied access.  He understands he has to go through the correct channels to gain access and have done so to no avail; this entailed applying to the Parks and Recreation Department; he presented the application in November 2009; and during the hearing for the application he was met with opposition from representatives of Space Coast Soccer Club, who protested the petition for access, claiming there was no room for another club. He pointed out he had proof that there were open fields available for the practice times he requested; and he also tried, in the past 12 months, to get access to other parks.  He stated Space Coast Soccer Club lost 13 competitive teams and more then 200 recreational players since last year; he has evidence and proof that Viera Regional Park has room for both soccer clubs to practice; the times he has requested are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.; and basically the park was empty at those times.  He added, Space Coast Soccer Club pretended to use fields by setting up training equipment, but the fields are never used.  He explained Viera Soccer Club is growing and becoming more competitive; more families are impressed by the program, which is very different from the other soccer clubs; the families want their children to be a part of the organization; and surely there is room for other clubs to use the field now.  He stated the competitive U12 coed team has barely a place to practice right now, because it has no lighted fields; all of the coaches are volunteers and have to work until 5 p.m.; and the spring season begins in February 2011, with games commencing in March; and he would like to resolve this issue and start the spring season using at least one County field.  He requested one field at the Viera Regional Park; he believes it should not be a problem because the space is there; his organization feels discriminated against; and it should have the same right as any other organization in Brevard County.  He concluded, Viera Soccer Club is before the Board asking for one field, with lights, at Viera Regional Park.

    

Jack Masson, Parks and Recreation Director, stated on November 23, 2009, the Viera Soccer Club submitted paperwork to apply for Recreation Partner status with Brevard County Parks and Recreation; the Recreation Partner Agreement is an important tool utilized by Brevard County to provide the opportunity to significantly expand recreation programs and leagues by non-profit organizations, primarily youth sport organizations; the document permits the non-exclusive use of County fields and buildings; and it is a document used by various little leagues, football programs, basketball programs, and soccer programs.  He advised, Mr. Schenatzky was informed there was already an established recreation partner for youth soccer, Space Coast United Soccer Club, utilizing the soccer complex at Viera Regional Park; and the application indicated the Viera Soccer Club had a membership of 130 participants.  He stated on February 13, 2010, Shannon Walter, representing the Viera Soccer Club, appeared before the Parks and Recreation South Area Advisory Board and requested approval of a Recreation Partner Agreement for the club; the requested location to play was the Viera Regional Park; and indicated it had 230 participants.  He explained after the discussion the Advisory Board tabled the request and suggested the Viera Soccer Club contact local schools or churches, to determine if alternate areas for play could be located; and mentioned the Parks and Recreation Department assisted with attempting to find a location.  He went on to say on April 19, 2010, Mr. Schenatzky appeared before the Parks and Recreation South Area Advisory Board and indicated his club had searched for other areas, and for various reasons had not found the areas acceptable, such as, size, parking, and conditions of the turf; and discussions continued at the meeting with representatives of Space Coast United Soccer Club, Mr. Schenatzky, Park staff, and Advisory Board members.  He stated an Advisory Board member made a motion to support the Viera Soccer Club in their efforts to play at Viera Regional Park; however, the motion died, as no second was made; and the decision was made at that meeting.  He added, in addition to the Space Coast United Soccer Club, other recreation partners currently utilize these specific fields at Viera Regional Park on a scheduled basis; Viera Suntree Youth Football and Cheerleading, which is an organization of over 500 participants; Viera High School Soccer; Brevard Lacrosse; and Brevard Community College Women's Soccer.

 

William Buren advised he is a professional soccer coach; he has been serving for 16 years in the United States Soccer Federation, and also with Florida State Soccer Association; he has worked since 1988 in Brevard County; and stands for only one thing, which is cooperation between clubs.  He added, he finds a lot of frustration with clubs who feel they think there is an ownership of property; and it is very difficult to get a hold of any fields if one is not in that particular club; and this should not be the case.  He explained ten years ago it had some of the finest teams in the County that could not get permission to use any of the fields; they were State Champions forced to use the parking lot at Greyhound Park, because it simply got refused from every club.  He stated he is not an affiliate of any club in Brevard County; he works with all the clubs in Brevard County as a competitive coach and as a recreational coach; and he is embarrassed that one has to come before the Board.  He stated it is a simple request; he believes in the Space Coast Organization; it has fine people in their organization; and pointed out Udo Schenatzky is a fine coach.  He concluded by asking the Board to help a new club form, because it is very difficult; not all clubs are the same, as they charge different amounts of money, and have different agendas; but there is room for them all. 

 

Commissioner Bolin asked about the difference between two clubs; is there a philosophy difference; and can there be just one club.  Mr. Buren stated he has argued for one club for a long time; it is very difficult; the original soccer history is that they all morphed individually; there was not a single entity; and that is what it would be in Europe or South America.  He explained a professional team would have run all the youth organizations; America did not do that because it does not have a professional organization; and it was really the moms and dads who put together the clubs, found a piece of property, and then attached the club to the piece of property.  He stated the mission statement of the clubs say the same thing; it is what they do with them; some clubs are more professional than others; some have very large budgets for their coaches; and other coaches are volunteer workers.  He went on to say there is a large gamut in the size of the individual clubs; he would like to see less of them and more cooperation between them; he believes the major difference is the amount of money they are paying to play in the particular places; and some people are forced to go somewhere else and play because they can not afford the fees. 

 

Commissioner Infantini stated when she was coaching at Melbourne Beach Soccer Club, everyone was volunteer-based; and inquired if the organizations pay enumeration to the organization Board of Directors.  Mr. Buren responded none that he knows about in Brevard County, as the board members are volunteer members.  Commissioner Infantini clarified that  everyone is volunteer-based.  Mr. Buren explained there are various levels between clubs; one would have a Director of Coaching (DOC) that may be hired by the board to run the professional outfit; then there are paid trainers, which are either paid by the club, or paid by the individual team; and that amount of money changes radically from club to club.   Chairman Fisher asked for a clarification on the question; and inquired if Commissioner Infantini is trying to figure out if board members or coaches are being paid.  Commissioner Infantini stated the head people organizing; because if that is going to be a factor in how much the kids pay.  She advised she can only address Melbourne Beach Soccer Club; and explained all of the costs were to purchase soccer balls, uniforms, and pay for referees; that was the only time it expended money; and all of the revenue came from concession stand sales.  She questioned the difference in pricing to join the various club; because certain people are compensated.  She mentioned the leading person in Brevard County for many non-profits is paid quiet well; and wanted to make sure this was not factoring into the cost deferential for people being able to play; and she just wants the kids to be able to play.  Mr. Buren stated the major increases in what people are paying to play soccer, he has fought against this his entire life, because soccer around the world is a working man's game; it should be the cheapest game to play; but it is now the second most expensive game in the United States; it is only second to hockey; it is because most of what a team pay is its coaches; and a lot of it is tournaments, which the cost is rising alarmingly high.  He noted what Mr. Schenatzky is trying to do is reduce the cost for his group; there are some people who will pay the extra amount because they feel they are getting more out of it; and everyone needs a place to play.

 

Udo Schenatzky stated the fees at Viera Soccer Club are $59 for the Explorer Program, which is a very unique program for all the kids who have never played soccer and puts them in a team environment; for $59 the kids get a jersey and insurance; he gives multiple family discounts; parents have told him, if his club had not been around, their three or four kids would have no place to play soccer; and with multiple family discounts it is $165 per season, and the other club charges $350.  He stated that is one of the reasons for the success; all the money goes back into organizing end-of the season parties, which buys trophies for the kids; businesses are involved with donating free food; and at the last party there were over 600 people participating.  He concluded the philosophy is to bring the community together.

 

Commissioner Anderson asked what the Viera Soccer Club charges per child.  Shannon Walter, secretary of the Viera Soccer Club explained as a mother of six-year old son, she was looking for a sport for him to play; she researched soccer clubs in the County and came upon Space Coast United Soccer Club and Viera Soccer Club; and after trying to get Space Coast United Soccer Club on the phone; writing a letter to them; and trying to find a physical place to go and talk with someone, she gave up.  She stated the Viera Soccer Club has an 800 number on its very basic website; Mr. Schenatzky answered right away; she explained she was a widowed mother of a six-year old son who very much wanted to play soccer; and after talking with Mr. Schenatzky, she realized this was the right club.  She added, she registered her son, and the first day of practice he was provided a jersey; the cost was only $59 for insurance and the jersey; and she was made to feel so welcome.  She went on to say after several practices she was invited to come to a board meeting, and because this was a newly formed club, it was very informal; after attending the board meeting there was a board member who moved on to another position outside the club; and she was invited to become a board member as the registrar for the soccer club.  She stated she wants the Viera Soccer Club to be afforded the opportunity to play at Viera Regional Park; she would like her son to have the opportunity to have a field that has lighting; and that can provide growth of this family soccer club.  She further went on to say the Schenatzky's are an amazing family; they are from Germany and their dream has been to come to the United States and open a soccer club; not to be in competition, or take over Viera; not to be anything but a soccer club for kids; and to enjoy the game of soccer.  She concluded in asking for the Viera Regional Park to allow Viera Soccer Club to have one field from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and Saturday for the older children that are learning the competitive side of the sport.   

 

Anne Roeper stated she feels fortunate to have options between soccer clubs; they are very different.  She explained she had a son who played football with coaches who were very competitive; and she too has a son who is not as competitive, and the Viera Soccer Club is just fun; and she likes that about this particular club and she is fortunate to have the option.   She asked the Board to please consider that the clubs share some space, and share some soccer fields for the kids so that they have a place to play; and obviously something good is going on, because the club continues to see growth. 

 

Mike Roeper stated he has two children who are very much involved in the Viera Soccer Club; and the family has been involved with Coach Udo since the beginning of the soccer league.    He added, the club is looking for a little space; it is a public park; there appears to be plenty of space, and enough room for everyone to share; schedules can be reworked; and it is willing to work with the other club.  He explained it is not the intention of the Viera Soccer Club, or the Viera Regional Park system, to have an exclusive soccer club.

 

Lanette Ouellette stated it is an outstanding person who would head up the Viera Soccer Club; and hopes the Board can do something so this particular team, which is so successful, can find a field that it could share with other teams.  She added, the club has been working on it; only the Viera Soccer Club kids are out where there with no parking, and no lights; it has gone to every area to try and find a place; and there just is no place at churchs, or schools.  She concluded the County is lucky to have Udo Schenatzky here; she sponsored him with her Rotary Club; and asked if the Board could come up with one soccer field with parking and lights.   

 

Heather McDonough stated she is a representative for the Space Coast United Soccer Club; her son started playing with the club in 1999; she has served as a parent, team volunteer, board member, and a coach for the club; and there are no paid board of directors within the club.  She added, she certainly understands how the Viera Soccer Club feels; when she first started with the organization, it operated out of Wickham Park, which as one knows is very small, and it went out and found other locations to play on, such as Windover Farms, Fellowship Church, Sherwood Elementary, and the overflow Brevard Community College parking lot; and there are a number of spaces out there and available.  She advised as Space Coast Soccer Club grew it worked with Parks and Recreation to be involved in the planning of Viera Regional Park; in addition to help support their activities at Wickham Park, it took out a loan of $95,000 to purchase lights at the park; and now it has been turned over to the County.  She explained the club had the same problems as it was growing; it went through a lot of different means to try and make accommodations; currently, their membership has grown annually to over 1,400 players; and at any one time, including in the fall season, it had over 1,100 that are now playing out of Wickham Park and Viera Regional Park.  She advised the club does not start their games until 5:30 p.m. to accommodate the working parents that are within the club; so if one was to go out and take a picture of Viera Regional Park at 5:00 p.m. it will be virtually empty; football has not started yet, and generally, soccer programs have not started yet either; the exception is the high school kids will start at 4:00 p.m because they are able to drive; and it is running three different shifts of teams on the fields to try to accommodate everyone.  She stated it shares their fields with several other different organizations; the football program used two out of the four lighted fields every night of the week until 8 p.m.; and it has actually teams on the field until 9:30 p.m.

 

Commissioner Anderson questioned what Space Coast United Soccer charges to play.  Mr. McDonough stated the basic program is $50.00 per player; it has the youth development program, which runs $90.00 per player; and older recreation teams will be $120.00 per player.  Commissioner Anderson inquired what age does the older recreation start.  Mr. McDonough responded the under 9 and 10 and up; some of the difference the Board will see with pricing; and it is currently paying for lights and referees.  He explained the State Association it is affiliated with, Florida Youth Soccer Association, implemented a rule whereby any new club applying, if they are within fifteen miles of an existing club, are not going to be allowed as a club, within the organization; Mr. Schenatzky took his club to a different affiliation to not have to be subjected to those rules; having more clubs in the mix causes less efficiency in running a program; and the fields are quite full.  Commissioner Anderson stated as a parent he would like to have a choice between two clubs.  Commissioner Infantini inquired up to what age does the $50.00 fee accommodate currently.  Ms. McDonough stated it is primarily for children who have never played soccer before; they only come out on Saturday's to work with a trainer; it is just an introduction, and generally it is four and five year olds. Commissioner Infantini inquired if the board of directors is being compensated; most board of directors are not compensated; but what about the President and CEO.  Ms. McDonough stated there is no CEO, and the President is not compensated.

 

Bill Heiselman, President of Space Coast United Soccer Club, stated he cares mostly about the children having enough space to ensure they have the proper facilities to play.  He added, it has 1,400 members in the club; when the park was built the club was the only occupants of Viera Regional Park; and over the years it has added football, which has taken two of the four lighted fields; and has greatly taken their capacity to do what they wanted to do with their program.  He went on to say they also are growing; it added approximately 12 teams with approximately 65 players; this is an environment where most of the clubs are counter clubs; there are about 15 clubs within Brevard Youth Soccer League; and they are all struggling to get numbers with their clubs, because of the environment it is in today.  He explained the $59 for Viera Soccer Club was for the youngest age group that compares to Space Coast United Soccer Club $50; the older age groups in Viera Soccer Club also escalates the fees as well for the opportunities given to the older kids; in addition, when the County opened the fields it was the only residents out there; and it ended up investing tens of thousands of dollars into the fields.  He stated the club has offered to pay $2,000 for seeding of the grass, so that it will be nice and ready for the next season; the Suntree Spyglass homeowners fields are used by their club only three days a week; and Space Coast United Soccer Club is using the fields of Viera Regional Park seven days a week to accommodate all the games and practices it has.  He asked how does the County solve an overcrowded, over-used field by adding more teams and more clubs into the same park; he just does not see how it can be done; Space Coast United Soccer Club has flexed for football, lacrosse, BCC women, and Viera High School, and it is all out of flex; and it is a difficult situation.  He went on to say there is no parking for the people it has out there today; it is unfortunate because on a Saturday when there are a lot of teams playing, there will be people mis-parked all over the park; and it is a hazard to bring more people in.  He concluded, he was hoping the County would have enough money in the football organization for their own separate field. 

 

Chairman Fisher asked if Viera Soccer Club could practice at 12 p.m., would he be opposed to it; the main concern is when football and soccer start there is no time slot available.  Mr. Heiselman responded no, his club is scheduling up to three shifts now; middle-aged kids are going home right now at 9:30 p.m.; inquired if the Board wants to exasperate that for the members; a large percentage of the members are Viera-Suntree residents; and he has the same concerned citizens.  Commissioner Infantini inquired if the Space Coast United Soccer Club practices on a whole field. Mr. Heiselman stated yes, there are sometimes four or five teams added to one field; he has done everything he can to try to accommodate all the requests for the field space; and he is out of ideas.  Chairman Fisher inquired how long is the soccer season.  Mr. Heiselman advised 10 months out of the year they are using the field; there is a slow period after try outs in the spring, and about a month before the fall; and in the spring, it has just shut down the field, but it will start back up in January.  Commissioner Infantini stated she thinks there is some way it can work out some type of cooperative sharing; she is leaning toward trying to find an opportunity; the County has built all these mammoth parks for everybody to enjoy, and Viera Regional Park is getting a huge response; she would hate to block out one team; and advised she is concerned about having exclusive rights for one team. 

 

Commissioner Bolin asked if there is downtime on the field for maintenance.  Mr. Masson stated that is correct; the fields are closed today until the first of January; it gives Parks and Recreation a window of opportunity for maintenance instead of a 12 month basis; and so it is closed for five or six weeks at the most.  Commissioner Nelson stated his concern is talking about non-profit organizations that deal with kids, and that is why it is called recreational partners; but if it creates a scenario where the partners cannot trust the County, in terms of the relationship, they are putting money into the facilities, and money to support the kids, and then it is not going to get any partners.  He commented, there have been circumstances where the leagues have built the fields, and then the County was giving them to someone else who had no commitment, and had never put money into the fields.  He stated he does not think Space Coast United Soccer Club is exclusive in that one cannot join their organization; the club has been very receptive to adjusting their schedules to have other organizations on the field; and the County just does not have enough space.  He added, it is not about who has the best program; it is about can the County adequately address the needs of both programs in a single location; and he thinks it is maximized out at Viera Regional Park; and the solution is the construction of the additional fields.  He asked if the Board has defeased the bonds so it cannot build the additional fields.  Mr. Masson responded yes.  Commissioner Anderson inquired how Space Coast United Soccer Club handles the disadvantaged youth.  Mr. Heiselman responded it has a formal scholarship program that has funded over $8,000 last year, and even more this year out of the fundraising events. 

 

Tom Szuba, former president of Space Coast United Soccer Club, stated this is an awkward situation; the Board has heard all the history of the club being in the County for over 20 years; it has developed a lot of good players; it runs a wonderful recreation program, including a TOPS program, which is for challenged and handicapped kids; and the club has always underwritten the cost out of the general membership fees.  He added, prior to Viera Regional Park was being built, they stuffed a bunch of envelops to prompt the voters to vote in favor of the referendum for the multi-purpose field; at the time, it had the largest soccer club in the County; and all of the sudden football shows up and wants some time on the field too.  He stated they all worked things out where the football players got the fields on the south end with the lights; in the meantime, to maintain their ability to train kids at night time it rented lights; and he is just bringing that up in terms of the things the club has done to pay their dues to get where they are today.  He went on to say it is not like everything was handed to them; it also pays for all of the painting of the fields; that is included in their fees; it has tried to do everything that was right; and it applied as a recreation partner, and was accepted.  He stated Space Coast United Soccer Club was named the recreation partner and it worked within the system; he is suggesting that other people need to work within the system and accept it; and now is the Board going to make an exception.  He added, in addition to buying and installing the lights at Wickham Park, it built the concession stand; and it was all given over to the County.  He concluded, Space Coast United Soccer Club has worked within the system; and he does not think the Board should make an exception, but let everybody work through the system.

 

Chairman Fisher stated there is an organization with a good infrastructure behind them; and asked, as a parent, why would one not want their child to be part of that organization.  Mike Roeper responded the reason he chose Viera Soccer Club over Space Coast United Soccer Club is he called one day after Space Coast United Soccer Clubs closing day of registration and spoke with the registration director, and was told registration was closed and they make no exceptions; and he contacted Viera Soccer Club and he was open for registration.  He added, he has seen Mr. Schenatzky take children on two weeks into the season; and that makes a big difference to him.

 

Commissioner Nelson stated the Board has not defeased the bonds yet; this was identified as a problem early in the referendum process, that is why it was not part of the original Viera Complex, but was added almost immediately because of the growth in the area, and the cost to build would be about $1.2-$1.5 million for the football portion; and that would free up some facilities.  He added, the south referendum is in better shape than the rest of them; it was defeasing bonds that did not have a purpose; and he is not sure why Viera football was not part of the final construction.  Chairman Fisher inquired if John Rodes is going to have fields when it is complete.  Commissioner Nelson stated it is going to have a huge number of fields.  Chairman Fisher asked if Viera Soccer Club could practice out of John Rodes; and is there a recreational partner agreement with someone in Melbourne.  Larry Wojciechowski, Parks and Recreation Department, stated yes, there is a total of six soccer fields and two football fields the at new Rodes Park.  Chairman Fisher reiterated if there is a recreational partner agreement in place.  Mr. Wojciechowski stated yes, the major club at the new Rodes Park is Greater West Melbourne Athletic Association (GWMAA).  Chairman Fisher asked if it has the same amount of kids, like Viera.  Mr. Wojciechowski responded they have a huge following. Chairman Fisher inquired if there was room for Viera Soccer Club.  Mr. Wojciechowski stated that would be a discussion he would have with GWMAA.  Commissioner Nelson commented it is just too far for the parents to drive their kids; the point is, in the north part of the south referendum this is 'the' facility; much of that was geared toward the growth area in Palm Bay; and trying to split it up is not going to work.  He stated as a County agency, they cannot get into scheduling; he thinks the solution needs to be the consideration of the cost of building in the final piece of Viera; and the savings would be less than $1.5 million per year, in terms of the debt payment side.  He concluded at some point the County is going to have to build them it could do it when it is more expensive; and that is something the Board needs to look at. 

 

Commissioner Bolin stated there is a process that was an Advisory Group, and it made their decision, as far as the partners.  She added, the fact is the park is a successful park and one can only get so much out of it; she says multi-purpose because it is multi-type of sport; that is true the football people were not involved at the beginning and staff rectified that; and everyone is using it; but she is looking at it with one club per sport, and that is all she can do at this time.  She recommended Viera Soccer Club continue using Spyglass; the Board heard the testimony of the Space Coast United Soccer Club; when it was in the infant stages they went out and rented lights; and that is an option.  She asked staff if there were times offered to Viera Soccer Club for use of Viera Regional Park; with Mr. Wojciechowski responding yes, there were.  Commissioner Bolin inquired if it decided they were not acceptable, even though the offer was made.  Mr. Wojciechowski stated yes, that is correct.  Commissioner Bolin stated that is the process;  the Viera Soccer Club is welcome every time to reapply to become a partner; and the Advisory Group will look at it.

 

Commissioner Infantini questioned if the Viera Soccer Club was offered a time to play, why did they not accept it; and if one is offered to play from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., when all the coaches were working, perhaps that is the reason it did not accept the times, or the kids were in school.  She stated the problem with the shortness of soccer fields was identified in 1991; and in 1991 she served on the Brevard County South Service Sector Advisory Board as the chairman; and all they did was listen to all the parents complain that it did not have enough fields for the kids to play on; and the County has known about this problem for a long time.  She pointed out that an Advisory Board is just that; and if the Board is going to start taking an Advisory Board's word for everything, then please do not put it on the agenda for the Board to decide on; just say that it is going to accept an Advisory Board opinion, as such, and it does not need County Commissioners, because it has Advisory Board that call tell one what to do. 

 

Commissioner Bolin asked what times were offered to Viera Soccer Club.  Mr. Wojciechowski stated he does not remember the exact times, but mainly it was also the time that the majority of the activities were going on, between the 5:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. range.

 

Commissioner Nelson stated he would like some analysis of the cost of holding back that portion of the defeasing of the bonds so the Board would have idea what the numbers are; and either that, or it could take $1.5 million from Rodes Park.  Commission Anderson stated he is in favor of defeasing the bonds, but he will never vote for a park project in this economy; also, there is an ongoing maintenance cost for the fields.  Commissioner Nelson pointed out and the original Rodes Parks was about a $5 million project that is going to end up costing about $25 million; and the reason was the Board of County Commissioners looked at the project and said there is a better way to do it; and that is how Rodes Park ending up moving and being bigger and better.  Commissioner Anderson reiterated he is firm on not voting for any park facilities at this time.

 

Commissioner Nelson asked staff to give the Board an analysis of the cost of both operational and construction for a new park.

 

The Board acknowledged citizen request of Udo Schenatzky requesting use of the fields in Viera Regional Park for soccer practice for children in the Viera Soccer Club, Inc., but took no official action.

 

Upon consensus by the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 12:27 p.m.

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ATTEST:                                                                      __________________________________

                                                                                    ROBIN L. FISHER, CHAIRMAN

                                                                                    BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS

                                                                                    BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA

___________________

SCOTT ELLIS, CLERK