City Commission Meeting Minutes 03/19/2020

Meeting date: 
Thursday, March 19, 2020
LAKE MARY CITY COMMISSION
100 N. Country Club Road, Lake Mary, Florida
 
Regular Meeting
MINUTES
THURSDAY, MARCH 19, 2020, 7:00 P.M.

 

NO VIDEO RECORDING WAS MADE FOR THIS MEETING.

 

1. Call to Order

 

The meeting was called to order by Mayor David Mealor at 7:00 P.M.

 

2. Moment of Silence

 

3. Pledge of Allegiance

 

4. Roll Call
 
David Mealor, Mayor                                               
Jordan Smith, Commissioner                               
George F. Duryea, Commissioner                        
Sidney Miller, Deputy Mayor                               
Justin York, Commissioner   
Kevin Smith, City Manager
Frank Cornier, Fire Chief
Wendy Niles, Division Chief
Mike Biles, Police Chief
Brent Mason, Finance Director
Michelle McCurdy, City Clerk
Katie Reischmann, City Attorney
 
5. Approval of Minutes

 

A. Draft Commission Minutes – March 05, 2020

 

A motion was made by Commissioner York to approve the Draft City Commission Minutes for March 05, 2020. Deputy Mayor Miller seconded the motion and motion carried unanimously.
 
6. Special Presentations

 

A. FY 2019 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report – McDirmit Davis, LLC (Tammy Campbell)

 

Brent Mason, Finance Director, came forward. He introduced Mrs. Tammy Campbell with McDirmit Davis, LLC. Mr. Mason wanted to add that the City did receive a clean audit this year. He hopes to continue that moving forward.

 

Tammy Campbell with McDirmit Davis, LLC, came forward. She stated the City had submitted the 2018 report for the certificate of achievement and received that. The 2019 report is also being submitted and we believe the City will once again receive that high award. As Mr. Mason mentioned, there was a clean audit report. There were no audit findings in the audit—internal controls are operating effectively, no matters for improvement were noted.

 

The City’s assets have increased to 100.4 million. General fund balances at 21 million with most of that being unassigned—that means that the City can use most of the funds in the General Fund however it sees fit; there are no external limitations on how those funds can be spent.

 

Looking at the fund financial statements the General Fund balance increased by 2.5 million as a result of revenues exceeding budgeted projections. Once again, the positive results were due to some greater than anticipated revenue sources as well as continued conservative spending to keep that General Fund in a healthy financial position.

 

The net position of the Water and Sewer fund increased $700,000 and the Stormwater $114,000. Both of those funds are also in stable financial condition.

 

Overall, the City has a good healthy financial picture.

 

Mrs. Campbell concluded her presentation.

 

Mayor Mealor thanked Mrs. Campbell for the work she has done and mentioned that the City has received the highest recognition for 27 years. He also thanked Mr. Mason and staff for a job well done.

 

7. Citizen Participation

 

This is an opportunity for anyone to come forward and address the Commission on any matter relating to the City or of concern to our citizens. This also includes 1) any item discussed at a previous work session; 2) any item not specifically listed on a previous agenda but discussed at a previous Commission meeting or 3) any item on tonight's agenda not labeled as a public hearing. Items requiring a public hearing are generally so noted on the agenda, and public input will be taken when the item is considered.

 

Benjamin Vogt, 609 Canyon Stone Circle, came forward. He stated he is aware that there are cases of Coronavirus in Seminole County. He asked Commission if they knew of any cases within Lake Mary.

 

He also said certain utility companies have been waiving disconnects—given that there is going to be an increasing number of people that become unemployed. Duke Energy recently stopped its service disconnects for any customers who are behind on their payments. He asked Commission if the City is looking at or is willing to consider doing something similar with its services.

 

Mayor Mealor replied by saying he does not believe there are any cases of the virus reported in Lake Mary. He asked Kevin Smith, City Manager, to elaborate on that.

 

Mr. Smith replied the CDC is tracking that type of information.

 

He continued by adding that the City of Lake Mary is adhering to the same policies that Duke Energy and many others are following as far as disconnects. We will not be doing any disconnects for the time being in light of COVID-19.

 

Lisa York, 811 Lake Como Drive, came forward. She wanted to make a couple of statements to the City in regards to its current state of affairs. She said when she was driving here tonight she was thinking about how frightening it has become to even go outside not just for herself but for others in our community. She said change is hard for us all but remembering that the future greater goals is the important thing right now, remembering that our acts of selflessness and kindness by staying home is the right thing to do.

 

She wanted to thank the City workers that are working right now during this pandemic to keep our City safe.

 

She also thanked her son Justin York. She said 32 years ago today, her son was born. It was the happiest day of her life. It was hard raising him but her sole purpose from the time he was born was to love, support, help him, and prepare for everything he would need. She said raising him and being his mother was still the greatest joy of her life.

 

Mayor Mealor thanked Mrs. York for her comments.

 

No one else came forward and citizen participation was closed.

 

8. Unfinished Business

 

None.

 

9. New Business

 

A. Resolution No. 1026 – Pay and Classification Plan (Kevin Smith, City Manager)

 

Katie Reischmann, City Attorney, read Resolution No. 1026 by title only.

 

Mr. Smith stated he wrote this agenda item about two weeks ago. He realizes that this item is important now more than ever.

 

The approach we took to the study was similar to what we have done in the past—no different. We surveyed the other six cities in Seminole County along with the County Sheriff (for police purposes) and the County Fire Department (for fire purposes). The results of that study are included in the report.

 

Beginning with public safety, you may recall that we made some adjustments to both police and fire this past fiscal year but due to the timing of other agencies and their adjustments to their pay and classification plans, we find ourselves, as of right now, in the bottom half of the neighboring surveyed cities and county in both police and fire. Retention of our valuable public safety officers as well as our entire workforce is of paramount importance. Our employees are one of the most valuable resources and we are blessed with the best in the business.

 

To remain competitive without our recruitment of new Police Officers, he recommended a 4.72% increase to the starting base salary of a Police Officer, bringing said salary to $44,000. Similarly, to be competitive in the retention of our current excellent and dedicated workforce, he recommended the same 4.72% increase to all current sworn Police Officers as well as their respective paygrades.

 

Likewise, for our Firefighters, he recommended the same 4.72% increase which would bring the starting base salary for an entry-level Firefighter/EMT to $40,768 and also recommended a 4.72% increase for our combat fire personnel and their respective paygrades.

 

For our remaining positions under the classification of general employees, we find ourselves with quite a few market trailing pay classifications. He stated he found himself in a situation where he needed to prioritize. He said he is looking at four categories of positions for adjustments.

 

Our maintenance specialists, as you know, I-4 continues to be under construction and what we find is that everyone is competing for “general labor” maintenance type work positions because they are paying significantly higher wages on the I-4 project. So, accordingly, to be able to recruit that important classification, he wants to make slight adjustments on the following: Public Works Maintenance Specialists, Parks Maintenance Specialists, and our Events Center Maintenance Specialists.

 

The second classification is the Water Plant Operators. Certainly, as mentioned earlier, Mr. Smith believes our public service is increasingly important these days. Our Water Plant Operators sometimes go unnoticed. He stated this is a highly competitive situation, it has been that way since he started in this industry many years ago and remains that way today. He is recommending slight adjustments to those classifications as well.

 

Similarly, our Lead Recreation Assistants who are our eyes and ears on the weekends and one of our important areas that serve our moms and dads out there trying to find recreational activities for their kids. We have one of the best recreational programs and we want to make sure that we continue that.

 

Reference our Building Inspectors, although we are seeing a nearing of maybe completion of construction in Lake Mary, we still have the Lake Mary Technology and Wellness, the new hospital (an expansion there), there is still a lot of activity in Lake Mary and the recruitment of building inspectors is a highly competitive area that is important and we want to stay ahead of it.

 

Mr. Smith stated he is recommending a 1% pay increase to the salaries and grades of our remaining employees.

 

The total annualized costs of all of these adjustments that he aforementioned is $374,146, 82% of this total cost are contributable to public safety. This recommendation is to be implemented in the middle of the year, April 4th. The actual cost for FY 2020 would be $187,073 of which $225,000 was appropriated this year for that purpose.

 

Mr. Smith respectfully recommended the Commission approve the aforementioned recommendations and adopt Resolution No. 1026 effective April 4, 2020.

 

Deputy Mayor Miller asked how we compare once we make these changes.

 

Mr. Smith replied, from a public safety standpoint—police department, that puts us in the upper half of the neighboring entities. From a fire standpoint, it puts us much more competitive although the County Fire Department made some significant adjustments just this last year with incremental adjustments for the coming year and the following year. We will have to take a look at that again next year to make sure that we are still competitive. From our general employee's standpoint, there are quite a few positions that we find ourselves not as competitive as the surveyed entities but again, he had to prioritize.

 

A motion was made by Commissioner Smith to approve Resolution No. 1026-Pay and Classification Plan. Deputy Mayor Miller seconded the motion and motion carried unanimously.

 

Mayor Mealor stated during citizen participation the residents noted the incredible work that our team does. He thanked Mr. Smith for bringing this item forward.
 
B. 2020­ZTA­01, Ordinance No. 1620 ­ A request regarding an update to Section 154.67 of the City of Lake Mary Code of Ordinances, Permitted Uses and General Standards (Legislative- Public Hearing) (First Reading)

 

This item was postponed.
 
C. 2019­RZ­03, Ordinance 1621 ­ A request to amend the Third Amendment to Fourth Amended and Restated Developer’s Agreement of the Colonial Center Heathrow Planned Unit Development, to allow for the permitted use of solar canopies in the parking lot of Tract L, 899 Heathrow Park Lane (Quasi-Judicial-Public Hearing) (First Reading)

 

This item was postponed.

 

10. Other Items for Commission Action

 

11. City Manager’s Report

 

A. Items for Approval

 

a. Surplus of miscellaneous chairs- Police Department

 

Mr. Smith stated we have several aged chairs that we have replaced throughout the Police Department facility, those chairs are listed in the agenda item. He accordingly requested Commission declare those chairs surplus and authorize him to dispose of the same.

 

A motion was made by Deputy Mayor Miller to declare the miscellaneous Police Department chairs surplus and authorize the City Manager to dispose of the same. Commissioner Smith seconded the motion and motion carried unanimously.

 

B. Items for Information

 

a. Finance Monthly Report

 

C. Announcements

 

Mr. Smith brought forward Resolution No. 1027 for purposes of declaring a State of Emergency here in Lake Mary. He stated this is consistent with what the State of Florida and Seminole County have done. This helps us with certain actions to best serve our citizens and also helps us on the reimbursement end should funds be available from FEMA, accordingly going forward.

 

Mrs. Reischmann read Resolution No. 1027 by title only.

 

Commissioner Duryea asked if we shut down recreational activities and facilities.

 

Mr. Smith replied, yes. We have looked at this on a case-by-case basis. Little League as an organization throughout the country, made a proactive decision to shut down their activities so we honored that and followed suit. In light of what is going on, we took a proactive careful approach and suspended the majority of our recreational activities which is consistent with what other cities have done and the recommendations therein.

 

The item was opened for a public hearing.

 

Lisa York, 811 Lake Como Drive, came forward. Mrs. York stated when you said that she got red flags about the recreation centers and the children because it was recently noted that at first, they thought the disease was only affecting the elderly but now its children as well. For most of you who are parents, you understand the love that you feel for your children. The thought of losing them would just be a life-shattering horrible event so she believes we all need to keep ourselves healthy but also protect our children and the most vulnerable citizens. She sated the children could also be carriers. It is going to be inconvenient but we all need to do the right thing and close all these things down. This is temporary until this passes and we all will have our lives back.

 

Mayor Mealor thanked Mrs. York for her comments. He stated that is the reason for this resolution, in the abundance of caution and to protect all residents.

 

No one else came forward and the public hearing section was closed.

 

Deputy Mayor Miller asked if these activities could be resumed without a motion from the Commission.

 

Mr. Smith replied we can do that administratively at the appropriate time.

 

A motion was made by Commissioner York to approve Resolution No. 1027. Commissioner Smith seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

 

Frank Cornier, Fire Chief, came forward.

 

Wendy Niles, Division Chief, came forward.

 

Mr. Smith stated that our staff is doing an excellent job of keeping our citizens informed through our social media and also our city webpage. We have an ongoing list of information on that page and he encouraged anyone that needs information to go there.

 

Chief Cornier said as you all know the Fire Department is tasked with this secondary role as Emergency Management. With that, we work very closely with Department Heads and our City Manager to make tough decisions. We wanted to take a proactive approach so we got with the City Manager quickly and we started strategizing about how to go about this. Chief Niles is overseeing this right now, as far as working hand-in-hand with all of us and putting these plans together. He asked Chief Niles to come forward and brief Commission on what we have done so far.

 

Chief Niles stated as Chief Cornier said we have been monitoring this for quite some time and we did eventually had to move from monitoring to the planning and response stage which we did a little while ago. We have assembled our emergency management team which is comprised of all Department Heads and City Manager and a few others. We continue to have telecommunication meetings since we are not allowed to meet in the same room anymore. We communicate by email so we can move forward with getting our plan put together.

 

We have asked each department to put together an operational plan. That is to ensure we are meeting the needs of the City and also following the CDC and other federal guidelines while we go through this.

 

We have taken some important actions to help reduce the exposure and flatten that curve. As mentioned earlier, some services were canceled. While that is unfortunate, it is necessary so we can do our part to help reduce exposure.

 

We have increased our cleaning processes in all of our buildings and placed sanitizing wipes on each counter space. We have place signage and stanchions at some of the doors to keep our visitors six feet away from our employees at all times—so that we are keeping that barrier. We have kept our website and social media outlets updated including a devoted section on the website for COVID-19 describing the actions for each department.

 

We have also provided additional protective equipment for our police and fire personnel. Not only did we cancel events and all the public gatherings, but other non-essential type activities that could put us at exposure and non-essential services have been suspended.

 

We created operational plans for each department. We also created a pandemic policy and we are also working to finalize what our overall plan would look like as we move forward into the next phase. We have been looking at that and what that would look like for the City.

 

Mayor Mealor thanked Chief Niles and appreciates her leadership in coordinating the emergency management team.

 

Commissioner Duryea asked what we are doing to protect the first responders.

 

Chief Niles replied for 9-1-1 calls when someone is sick, Seminole County has gone to an elevated dispatch process where they are asking more in-depth questions to try to figure out if this is a potential COVID-19 case and if so, it is being dispatched as so--and we can wear extra protective equipment. The Sheriff’s Office has also implemented procedures.

 

Chief Cornier added that the Fire Department/EMS workers have been preparing for years and have taken protective measures. They deal with contagious diseases regularly. We have instructed personnel to be more cautious and have started our protective measures for the Fire Department. We come in the morning and ask the employees if they are feeling well, we take their temperature and document it. If someone starts feeling sick throughout the day, we ask questions and follow procedures.

 

Mike Biles, Police Chief, came forward. He added that the Sheriff’s Office has implemented some procedures. If an arrest needs to be made, the Sheriff’s Office will also respond to that if it’s a designated COVID-19 patient or address. Our officers can see that as they are responding to a call when that address pops up, it will be a flagged address, so they will know before they get there if they are dealing with someone who potentially has the virus.

 

Chief Biles added that we have also suspended fingerprinting services, meetings, and community policing.

 

Commissioner Smith asked if we have a list of the elderly who do not have family in town and may not be getting essential needs.

 

Commissioner Smith also asked about school closures and he said he is concerned about the families who benefit from free or reduced lunch and asked if they are getting essential needs.

 

Chief Niles replied the schools have already put out what their plan is for those who need meals. If they are eligible for the free lunch, they have already put out that information on how they can get the lunches and meals provided to them.

 

As far as our senior community, we do not have a list of those who don’t have anyone. We do have a special needs list through the county.

 

Commissioner Smith asked if we have contacted those with special needs.

 

Chief Niles stated the county normally does that, they have not reached out to us yet to contact those with special needs. They normally do that during a hurricane; they have not done that this time. We will inquire as to whether or not they have taken care of that, because we know they have a lot of interns who are helping them or if that is something that we need to do.

 

Mayor Mealor addressed Chief Niles and said we appreciate it. It is a very difficult time and it does put her and the team in the frontline. He believes what they saw the City Manager bring forward tonight is a recognition by him and this Commission of the value of what they do. He said we respect what you do and we respect the way that you are taking care of our community.

 

Mayor Mealor advised all to take advantage of the resources available on the School Board’s website, Florida League of Cities, Seminole County, and others. There are several websites out there that are being updated frequently.

 

He also thanked the staff and said he appreciates everything they are doing for us. 

 

Mr. Smith added that all those websites that Mayor Mealor mentioned are linked to our website as well. He then concluded his report.

 

Mayor Mealor directed Mr. Smith to communicate to staff the Commission’s deep appreciation for what they are doing during this difficult time.

 

12. Mayor and Commissioners Report

 

No report.

 

13. City Attorney’s Report

 

14. Adjournment

 

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 7:33 P.M.