MEETING: BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS, BUDGET WORKSHOP
CALL TO ORDER: May 26, 1999, at 9:35 a.m., in the Palm Beach County Governmental Center, West Palm Beach, Florida.
MEMBERS AND OFFICERS PRESENT:
Chair Maude Ford Lee
Vice-Chair Warren H. Newell
Commissioner Burt Aaronson
Commissioner Mary McCarty
Commissioner Karen T. Marcus
Commissioner Tony Masilotti
Commissioner Carol A. Roberts
County Administrator Robert Weisman
County Attorney Denise Dytrych
Deputy Clerk Allison L. Moree
I. OVERVIEW OF FY 1999-2000
A. MAJOR BUDGET ASSUMPTIONS AND FACTORS. DISCUSSED 5-26-99
B. ROLL-BACK CALCULATION. DISCUSSED 5-26-99
C. INCREASES/DECREASES IN REVENUES AND APPROPRIATIONS. DISCUSSED 5-26-99
County Administrator Weisman responded to an article in the May 26, 1999, edition of the Palm Beach Post which noted incorrect information regarding a tax increase; Commissioners' 10 percent salary increase; and an additional $12 million needed for new projects and the discretionary fund. Commissioner Aaronson urged Mr. Weisman to write a letter to the newspaper requesting a retraction.
Mr. Weisman said that staff has maintained the 4.6 percent millage rate and that the only concern relating to the continuance of the County's five-year budget plan was the Sheriff's budget and the effect the elimination of revenue from the state's intangible personal property tax would have in the coming years. The following was highlighted for review and discussion:
A. SOURCES OF FUNDS BY CATEGORY. DISCUSSED WITH DIRECTION 5-26-99
B. MAJOR COUNTYWIDE TAX EQUIVALENT REVENUE TRENDS. DISCUSSED 5-26-99
Commissioner Roberts asked why the Sheriff's revenues decreased. Mr. Weisman responded that the Sheriff's Office no longer operates Trauma Hawk and as a result no longer receives the revenue associated with that service.
After a lengthy discussion the Board expressed great concern with the Article 5 (mandated criminal justice costs) and Revision 7 (unfunded state mandates) increased costs. Commissioner Marcus suggested a later discussion to decide the Board's position and how to educate the public regarding these costs. Mr. Weisman said that Chief Judge Walter N. Colbath, Jr. and Court Administrator Susan D. Ferrante had indicated that they were accumulating these costs to make a case requesting reimbursement, from the state, for these expenses.
STAFF WAS DIRECTED TO:
Commissioner Marcus suggested inviting the Legislative Delegation to the next budget workshop to discuss the number of unfunded state mandates and, according to recent state legislation, how the County no longer should be responsible for this funding.
III. OPERATING BUDGET
A. OPERATING BUDGET COMPARISONS. DISCUSSED WITH DIRECTION 5-26-99
B. SUPPLEMENTAL BUDGET REQUESTS/REDUCTIONS. DISCUSSED WITH DIRECTION 5-26-99
C. CONSTITUTIONAL OFFICERS OVERVIEW. DISCUSSED 5-26-99
Commissioner McCarty noted that the School District recently discussed asking the Board to fund the mandatory upgrading of the School District's facilities to emergency shelters. Ms. McCarty suggested staff assist the School District to investigate the availability of emergency shelter grants to financially assist the School District.
III. - CONTINUED
The Board expressed concern that additional attorneys were still being funded for the Public Defender's Office when the original agreement was for one year.
Concern was also expressed with the elimination of the state's intangible personal property tax. The Board agreed the public should be informed of the recent elimination of state revenue funds and increased unfunded mandates. Commissioner McCarty said the Legislative Delegation was not supporting the County's position in state legislation and suggested asking each member how they voted on recent legislative items. This information would determine if the Board would support each member when running for reelection. Commissioner Newell said the Criminal Justice Commission (CJC) recently asked for the voting ballots on state legislative CJC issues and intended to request the Legislative Delegation members to meet with CJC to discuss their position on each issue.
Commissioners Marcus and Roberts suggested including a message on the 1999 tax bills explaining the increased costs and additional unfunded mandates to the County residents along with the Legislative Delegation members' names as a contact for an explanation.
STAFF WAS DIRECTED TO:
County Administrator Weisman explained the Sheriff's Office is requesting to fund technical improvements from money saved from the Florida Retirement System (FRS). The Board agreed but stressed that future budgets must be met by all departments including the Sheriff's Office.
IV. CAPITAL BUDGET
A. FY 1999-2000 PROJECT FUNDING RECOMMENDATIONS. DISCUSSED WITH DIRECTION 5-26-99
STAFF WAS DIRECTED TO:
Commissioner McCarty expressed concern with providing additional funding to these agencies until after the United Way has reviewed the method the County uses to fund these agencies.
V. RESERVES DISCUSSED 5-26-99
Commissioner Newell suggested imposing a policy that a set percent of the District Parks Discretionary Budget be applied to programs and a set percent be applied to parks. After a discussion, the Board agreed that each district had different needs and was opposed to a new policy. Commissioner Newell expressed concern with agencies returning year after year for program funding and suggested staff include language in future interlocal agreements that program funding is considered one-time funding.
VI. OTHER BUDGET ISSUES
A. SHERIFF - COMMENTS BY SHERIFF NEUMANN AT 11:15 A.M. DISCUSSED 5-26-99
B. COMMUNITY CARE FOR THE ELDERLY. DISCUSSED 5-26-99
C. CITIZENS' ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES. DISCUSSED 5-26-99
D. RECOMMENDATION ON FUNDING FOR FINANCIALLY ASSISTED AGENCIES. DISCUSSED 5-26-99
Sheriff Robert W. Neumann thanked the Board for their support. The Board discussed the state's elimination of the intangible personal property tax, and additional unfunded mandates, and explained how the budget may be negatively affected next year. The Board asked for the Sheriff's support in Tallahassee lobbying the loss the County would experience not only financially but in lost services to the community as well. Sheriff Neumann agreed to work with the Board opposing the increased Article 5 costs and Revision 7 mandates. Commissioner Marcus expressed a need for a law enforcement comprehensive plan and requested cost estimates.
Commissioner Roberts questioned the Civil Information System's (CIVIS) and Criminal Justice Information System's (CJIS) budgets and requested a breakdown of the budgets and any charge backs that may have occurred.
Commissioner Masilotti questioned the $5 million allocated to the Mounts Botanical Garden. County Administrator Weisman said he would investigate the reason for the funding and report back to the Board.
VII. BOARD COMMENTS AND DIRECTION - None
The Chair declared the meeting adjourned at 12:05 p.m.