Glades County BOCC addresses prisoner housing

These agenda notes are prepared by Donna Storter who is solely responsible for their content.

In attendance: Commissioner District 2 Donna Storter, Commissioner District 3 Paul Beck, Commissioner District 4 John Ahern, Commissioner District 5 Chairman Tim Stanley, County Manager Paul Carlisle, Clerk of Court Sandra Brown, Recording Clerk Julie Braddock, Finance Clerk Tiffany Patterson; Sheriff Stuart Whiddon, Road Sup’t Avant Brown, Public Safety Director Bob Jones, 911 Coordinator/Admin Asst Lenice Hubbard, Road Dept Office Manager Aletris Farnam, SFWMD Liaison Libby Maxwell, Local Planning Agency Member Ellen Beers. Commissioner District 1 Vice Chairman Weston Pryor attended via telephone. Note: Unanimous Board Action is required to amend agenda for official vote.

Presentations / Awards

1. Honoring the 100th Birthday Celebration of Clara Mae McPherson
Chairman Stanley read the Board’s Proclamation honoring Mrs. Clara Mae McPherson who was born Aug. 1, 1915, moved to Moore Haven as a young girl, married Willie McPherson and they produced 10 children and 200 grandchildren through six generations. Her granddaughters accepted the Board’s plaque on her behalf.

Public Hearings

2. Consider Adopting Stormwater Drainage (New Code Chapter 31) and Erosion Control (New Code Chapter 32) Ordinance

Following Public Hearing with no public input, Board adopted ordinance adding Stormwater Drainage Code Chapter 31 and Erosion Control Code Chapter 32 which specifically preclude agriculture endeavors and irrigation from the code and apply specifically to construction and demolition sites over one acre in coverage.

3. Adopt Current Year Proposed Millage Rate for Board of County Commissioners and Law Enforcement Municipal Service Taxing Unit (MSTU) and Schedule the Tentative and Final Budget

Board tentatively adopted millage and MSTU at the same rate as last year and did not increase them to the rollback rate. The next budget hearing will be Sept. 10 at 6 p.m. and the final hearing to adopt the budget will be Sept. 24 at 6 p.m.

Consent Agenda:

All Approved

4. Approve Payment of County Warrants

5. Approve Minutes of June 22, 2015 Regular Meeting

6. Approve Minutes of July 14, 2015 Regular Meeting
Business Agenda

Note: Any Public Wishing to Speak on Agenda Items Please Sign In and Complete a Comment Card.

7. Appoint Three Members to the 2015 Value Adjustment Board

Board appointed Commissioners Beck and Stanley to serve on the Value Adjustment Board that reviews and rules case by case on applications to change assessment of property values when agreement cannot be worked out between property owner and Property Appraiser.

Board directed County Manager Carlisle to solicit a citizen to also serve who owns homestead property in the county and is not a county employee or other BoCC appointee.

8. Accept County Annual Report 2015

Following discussion and comments, Board adopted the 2015 Annual Report from the County Manager and each department concerning issues, accomplishments and goals.

This report is very enlightening and all county employees are to be commended for their efforts.
The report may be viewed at click on Agenda & Minutes, then click on Current Agenda then click on Business Agenda Item 8 which will take you to a list of each department’s annual report.

9. Appoint Member to Early Learning Coalition of Southwest Florida

Commissioner Ahern was appointed to serve on the Board of Directors of Early Learning Coalition of Southwest Florida.

10. Approve Change Order Number 001 for Glades County Training Facility

Board approved change order of the contract with Wright Construction for construction of Glades County Regional Training Center to reflect direct purchases in the amount of $812,730 that saved the county $48,894 in sales tax.

County Manager

Mr. Carlisle drew the Board’s consensus for his attendance and participation at the Florida Association of Counties Policy Committee Conference in late Aug. when legislative priorities will be determined.

Commissioner Pryor will also attend representing the Board and asked each commissioner to prepare a list of their top three priorities. These lists will be considered at the Aug. 11 meeting.

Commissioners Items and Comments

Commissioner Storter stated she had heard that Okeechobee County decided to not house prisoners in the Glades County jail and inquired of the current status of the situation with ICE and GCDC (Glades Correctional Development Corporation). Commissioner Ahern who represents the Board on GCDC Board of Directors, stated that was true.

He also said Hendry County has not responded favorably to housing their county prisoners here either and that matter seems to be politically driven; he said DeSoto County has also inquired about housing prisoners but no action has been taken. Ahern said that ICE prisoner numbers are up slightly but last month GCDC net loss was $270k.

Commissioner Storter stated that she had been provided a copy of the Economic Development Council [EDC] brochure/folder (that was used for a presentation to Enterprise Florida) and stated it was not about Glades County but was about America’s Gateway and she felt it did not properly represent the County and the Board’s direction but focused on just one aspect.

Commissioner Storter stated that she and County Tax Collector Gail Jones (at a recent funeral) had discussed the unsuitability of the benches at the Ortona Cemetery Pavilion to provide comfortable adequate seating during services there, the situation existing because of the two armrests that are in the middle of each bench.

Storter said Mrs. Jones suggested perhaps one of the middle armrests could be removed and the other one placed in the center of the bench to allow more seating and more comfortable seating. Mr. Carlisle stated the armrests are designed to discourage or prevent vagrants from sleeping on the benches. Storter stated the County has an ordinance prohibiting visitors in the cemetery after dark.

Commissioner Beck stated he is well aware of the problem and has had complaints about those seats since the pavilion was completed. He also said at one time the Board discussed looking into some type of variable awnings or shutters for use during inclement weather and noted the seating area may need to be increased by adding slabs on each side of the current pavilion. He said altering the benches may compromise the stability.

Commissioner Storter stated when she started the project she proposed open ended park benches with no armrests whatsoever and they were to be grey to match the pavilion, were made of recycled plastic as the current ones are and cost about $700 each. {Clerk [former] Joe Flint was instrumental in changing the order to the current benches.} Storter stated she would bring this matter to the attention of citizens through the Community Associations.

Mr. Carlisle will look into the feasibility of altering the benches and or enlarging the pavilion and using these benches in the addition and purchase new ones for the current pavilion seating and check into the awnings.

Commissioner Ahern stated that Commissioner Storter was correct about EDC has targeted only one area but the EDC Board of Directors is aware of the BoCC concerns and former comments about the matter.

Ahern stated the Annual Report reflected that the employees do work hard and on a recent early morning trip across CR74 he found the Road Department crew already at work near the Charlotte County line.

Commissioner Beck stated that a few years back the Board held a visioning workshop and he felt this Board should be looking to the future and perhaps should host another such workshop to plan proper direction for the growth and development of the County for the next 25 years. He said we don’t want to end up like Orange County. Commissioner Storter suggested we go ahead with plans mentioned in a prior meeting to host a joint meeting with the Council of the City of Moore Haven and the Glades District School Board and work on this issue.

Chairman Stanley stated he had attended the TDC [Tourism Development Council] meeting today and they are trying to get new members so they can have clearer direction on utilizing the funding but did decide to get the website updated and have signage placed in locations that would attract visitors to the county instead of in the county itself. He mentioned fish camp operators being able to participate in a radio broadcast.

Stanley reminded the Board of participation in the back-to-school supplies drive noting the commissioners were to donate glue sticks.

Vice Chairman Pryor (via telephone) stated he appreciated the unified board and enjoyed working with the commissioners. He stated that another youth roping event had been held at Bronson Arena with 90 entries and quite a few spectators and he thanked the Board again for supporting Glades Youth Livestock that owns the rodeo arena.

The Glades County Democrat is published every Thursday.

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