MEETING: BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS, REGULAR/WORKSHOP
1. CALL TO ORDER: October 26, 1999, at 9:37 a.m., in the Palm Beach County Governmental Center, West Palm Beach, Florida.
1.A. ROLL CALL
MEMBERS AND OFFICERS PRESENT:
Chair Maude Ford Lee
Vice-Chair Warren H. Newell
Commissioner Burt Aaronson - Absent
Commissioner Mary McCarty
Commissioner Karen T. Marcus
Commissioner Tony Masilotti
Commissioner Carol A. Roberts
County Administrator Robert Weisman
Chief Assistant County Attorney Maureen E. sensitive
Assistant County Attorney Robert P. Banks
Chief Deputy Clerk John W. Dame
Deputy Clerk Donna S. Atwood
2. AGENDA APPROVAL
2.A. ADDITIONS, DELETIONS, SUBSTITUTIONS - None
MOTION to adopt the Agenda. Motion by Commissioner Marcus, seconded by Commissioner Masilotti, and carried 6-0. Commissioner Aaronson absent.
3. REGULAR AGENDA
WARRANT LIST DATED OCTOBER 25, 1999. APPROVED 10-26-99
COMPUTER CHECKS $7,438,939.01
WIRE TRANSFERS 1,243,918.88
MANUAL CHECKS 2,227.50
MOTION to approve the warrant list. Motion by Commissioner Roberts, seconded by Commissioner Masilotti, and carried 6-0. Commissioner Aaronson absent.
CLAIMS SETTLEMENT ON THE SETTLEMENT LIST EXECUTED BY THE RISK MANAGEMENT DIRECTOR:
WORKER'S COMPENSATION CLAIM SETTLEMENT FOR $275,000 TO STEVE SCHLIEDERMAN FOR PERMANENT AND TOTAL DISABILITY RESULTING FROM ACCIDENTS OCCURRING ON JUNE 2, 1993; APRIL 1, 1996; FEBRUARY 21, 1997; FEBRUARY 1, 1998; AND APRIL 22, 1998. APPROVED 10-26-99
MOTION to approve the settlement. Motion by Commissioner Masilotti, seconded by Commissioner Roberts, and carried 6-0. Commissioner Aaronson absent.
4. 9:30 A.M. - COMMERCIAL NEEDS ASSESSMENT STUDY--A REPORT TO DETERMINE THE NEED FOR ADDITIONAL COMMERCIAL SPACE BY THE YEAR 2015 TO BE USED IN THE EVALUATION OF COMMERCIAL LAND USE REQUESTS AND OTHER PLANNING EFFORTS, STAFF RECOMMENDATIONS, AND A REQUEST FOR BOARD DIRECTION ON THE STUDY'S RECOMMENDATIONS. APPROVED A., B., D., AND H. AS AMENDED 10-26-99
Chair of the Commercial Needs Assessment Steering Committee Bill Hall reported that the study found that, on a Countywide basis, there were sufficient commercial and industrial lands to accommodate the year 2015 projected demand for retail, office, and industrial space; there were sub-areas of the County, however, that did not have sufficient commercial and industrial lands to accommodate local 2015 retail, office, and industrial demands.
The report included the following staff recommendations:
Explore the development of a mitigation program that allows the transfer of retail, office, or industrial space as a method for shifting retail, office, or industrial space.
Explore the development of a program to allow the conversion of retail, office, or industrial space to a different non-residential use to allow balancing of one use type and shortage of another.
Adopt the methodologies employed in the study in the County's Comprehensive Plan and update on an ongoing basis.
Reevaluate commercial and industrial needs across the County by monitoring the supply and demand of retail, office, and industrial space on an annual basis.
Explore a conversion of existing non-residential space in North County, encouraging use of an equivalency formula so that impact to the infrastructure and neighborhoods does not exceed the existing approvals.
Respond to the supply and demand findings of this study when addressing the needs of North and Central County through the sector plan.
Provide additional retail, office, and industrial space in South County to meet the demand for areas within the Agricultural Reserve.
Comply with the direction of the West Boynton Area Community Plan which identifies additional retail, office, and industrial space when addressing the potential demands of the area in Sectors 52 and 42.
Carol Thompson read a letter signed by four members of the Commercial Needs Assessment Steering Committee dissenting with the application of two different commercial and retail demand methodologies within the County.
MOTION to receive and file the letter from Ms. Thompson. Motion by Commissioner Masilotti, seconded by Commissioner McCarty, and carried 6-0. Commissioner Aaronson absent.
(CLERK'S NOTE: A copy of the letter was not provided to the clerk.)
Director of the Palms West Chamber of Commerce Vivian Palmer read into the record a letter urging the Board to wait for the 2000 census statistics in order to have a more accurate profile of the western communities.
MOTION to receive and file the letter by Ms. Palmer. Motion by Commissioner Roberts, seconded by Commissioner Masilotti, and carried 6-0. Commissioner Aaronson absent.
(CLERK'S NOTE: A copy of the letter was not provided to the clerk.)
Greg Boyer, Chief Executive Officer of the Wellington Regional Medical Center, James Callery of Callery-Judge Grove, Chief Executive Officer of Palms West Hospital Alex Marceline, Palms West Chamber of Commerce board member Sid Poe, Mayor of the Village of Wellington Carmine Priore, H. Burton Smith of the Palms West Chamber of Commerce, and Vice-Mayor of the Village of Royal Palm Beach Carmela Starace all spoke in opposition to staff's recommendations. The speakers cited a number of reasons for their opposition, which included the following:
The report discounts all the excess commercial space in the coastal communities against the needs of the western communities.
Forcing residents in the west to use commercial services in the east will continue to clog the east-west corridors.
The method of using statistics from the 1990 census data to determine commercial and retail needs in the western communities shortchanges the population growth and leaves 100,000 residents unaccounted for.
The report gives Royal Palm Beach and Wellington a rural designation and would make it more difficult to approve commercial zoning within their borders.
Utilization of the household income method in determining commercial need undercounts the tourism and seasonal revenue brought in by the western communities.
Members of the Commercial Needs Assessment Steering Committee Dagmar Brahs, president of the Coalition of Boynton West Residential Associations (COBWRA), Nancy Cardone, Neil Merlin, and Rita Miller spoke in favor of staff's recommendations. Their points follow:
By calculating demand based on population statistics and what has already been approved by zoning, the study allows a full view of the impact on the entire County.
The study supports neighborhood plans and chosen lifestyles of residents in western communities.
Two methodologies are appropriate when two different lifestyles are under consideration.
Commissioner Masilotti expressed concern that the western communities were not included in the study and that the mitigation program would artificially regulate property values. Mr. Masilotti also expressed alarm at the idea of zoning being for sale in the County and contended that that would happen under this plan. Commissioner Roberts said more information was needed from staff regarding the legality and practicality of the new concepts. Commissioner Newell questioned the methodology used to determine spending in the western communities compared to the eastern communities. Commissioner McCarty addressed the necessity to discuss commercial needs along with the demand for more roads. Commissioner Lee objected to identifying areas in the County wherein commercial space was needed before the Agricultural Reserve and sector plan studies were completed.
Following a lengthy discussion, the following motion was offered.
MOTION to adopt Recommendations A., B., D., and H., adding the words "other accepted neighborhood plans" to H. Motion by Commissioner Roberts and seconded by Commissioner McCarty.
Commissioner Marcus declared that Recommendation C. was the backbone of the report, and she declined to support the motion excluding it.
STAFF WAS DIRECTED TO:
Reevaluate the report using the 2000 census when it becomes available.
Provide information about the legal and practical applications regarding the suggested mitigation program and the conversion program.
Explain the rationale behind the differing opinions among members of the staff and between the staff and the committee on whether the Florida Turnpike or the Urban Service Area boundary should be used as the delineation point.
Investigate methods for ensuring that if the Board decides to choose the Urban Service Area boundary that the boundary would remain permanent.
UPON CALL FOR A VOTE, the motion carried 5-1. Commissioner Marcus opposed. Commissioner Aaronson absent.
At 11:50 a.m., the Chair declared a recess.
At 2:13 p.m., the Board reconvened with Commissioners Lee, McCarty, Newell, and Roberts present.
5. 10:30 A.M. - REVIEW OF PROCUREMENT RESPONSIBILITIES AND PROCESS INCLUDING THE ASSIGNMENT OF PROCUREMENT RESPONSIBILITIES TO THE VARIOUS COUNTY DEPARTMENTS, THE CONSISTENCY OF LANGUAGE IN BID AND CONTRACT DOCUMENTS, AND THE EXTENT OF THE BOARD'S FLEXIBILITY IN AWARDING CONTRACTS. DISCUSSED WITH DIRECTION 10-26-99
County Administrator Weisman reported to the Board on purchasing responsibilities, how those responsibilities relate to the various County departments, and applicable purchasing rules. He called attention to the following:
Procurements for less than $1,000 may be done by the individual department under the decentralized purchasing program.
Procurements from $1,000 to $25,000 must be sent to the Purchasing Department and may be done by an informal competitive process.
Procurements for over $25,000 must be done by a formal competitive process.
Revenue-generating contracts are subject to the same thresholds, approvals, and processes as any other formal procurement contract.
The Director of Purchasing has the authority to approve and execute contracts and procurements below $100,000.
Contracts for $100,000 or more must be approved by the Board.
Commissioner Roberts asked whether the Finance Department had the ability to make certain that purchase orders made use of available discounts. Mr. Weisman explained that he planned to meet with the auditor to discuss the issue and to determine what could be done to ensure compliance. Ms. Roberts expressed concern about the requirements for choosing the lowest bidder. Assistant County Attorney James C. Mize, Jr., explained that legally the lowest responsive and responsible bidder must be shown preference. He added, however, that the law allows the Board broad discretion in exercising its award of contracts, especially within the area of responsibility, and he declared that with legitimate reason the Board is allowed to reject a bid.
STAFF WAS DIRECTED TO:
Remove from the bid process in advance of coming before the Board any bidder that staff has reason to believe would not do a good job.
Provide the Board with a list of all vendors suspended for failure to meet County code.
6. 2:00 P.M. - REVIEW THE FEASIBILITY OF ADOPTING A LOCAL PREFERENCE ORDINANCE REGARDING THE COUNTY'S CONSTRUCTION AND PROCUREMENT BIDS. DISCUSSED WITH DIRECTION 10-26-99
County Administrator Weisman provided the Board with background material on local preference. He pointed out that Broward and Miami-Dade counties both had local preference ordinances and that they had both given reciprocity to each other and to Palm Beach County. He described an anti-preference ordinance as one that would award the bid to a Palm Beach County firm if it were the low bidder, but if the local firm was not the low bidder, then the county from which the low bidder was from would be considered. If that county had a local preference ordinance and would have given their firm a preference there, the same preference would be given to the Palm Beach County firm here.
Commissioner Newell commented that monies had gone out of the area for some of the County's largest jobs. He said he was in favor of local preference and that he would like to have that incorporated into the bid process. It was important to bring money back into the local economy, he said.
Commissioner McCarty cautioned the Board that specialized projects needed well-qualified and experienced contractors. She said she was in favor of local preference, but only if the local firm had equal qualifications.
Commissioner Masilotti replied that staff was clearly making recommendations based on qualifications and not on local preference because only 23 percent of the larger projects were going to Palm Beach County firms. He advocated awarding percentage points to firms using contractors from Palm Beach County. That method would allow staff to recommend outside firms when necessary and still allow them to give points based on the percentage of local contractors the firms use.
County Administrator Weisman asked for direction on preparing the necessary ordinance and, in particular, guidance regarding Broward County. Commissioner Masilotti responded that he favored treating Broward County the same way as they treated Palm Beach County. Commissioner Newell agreed. Mr. Weisman then explained that if the Board chose the retaliatory ordinance, Broward and Miami-Dade counties would be dealt with in that manner. Other counties, such as Martin, would not be affected because it would apply only when companies seeking contracts came from counties with such a policy. Commissioner Roberts agreed and said it would be reasonable and just.
After further discussion, it was informally agreed that the Board preferred the retaliatory local preference ordinance. County Administrator Weisman said that staff would bring the ordinance back for approval within 60 days.
The Chair declared the meeting adjourned at 3:17 p.m.