The Brevard Soil and Water Conservation District met in regular public session on Wednesday, October 14, 2020, at 4:00 p.m., in the UF/IFAS auditorium, UF/IFAS Extension Brevard County, 3695 Lake Drive, Cocoa, FL.
The meeting was called to order by the Chairman, Bud Crisafulli , at 4:00 p.m. COVID-19 personal and environmental protection procedures for public meetings in Brevard County buildings and areas were in effect at the Board of Supervisors meeting.
Board members present were: Bud Crisafulli, Chairman, Supervisor Group 5
Henry Minneboo, Deputy Chairman, Supervisor Group 1
James Sloan, Supervisor Group 2
Adam Lane Perez, Supervisor Group 3
Jonathan Schuman, Supervisor Group 4
Staff members present: Joe Walter, UF /IFAS Agriculture Extension Agent
Chelsea Partridge, Supervisor-Elect Group 3, Group 3
Visitors and Presenters: Elizabeth Shephard, UF/IFAS, Family & Consumer Sciences Agent II
Passed by Motion & Vote –
* Treasurer’s Report for the Period of August 12, 2020 to September 8, 2020.
* Treasurer’s Report for the Period of September 9, 2020 to October 13, 2020.
* Minutes for the August 12, 2020 Board of Supervisors meeting.
* Minutes for the September 9, 2020 Board of Supervisors meeting.
Reported for Public Records –
Invoice No. 82024, dated 10/01/2020. Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), Special District Accountability Program fee.
Elizabeth Shephard presented the board and staff with the annual FYI briefing on the UF/IFAS Brevard County Extension activities and issues we may face with changes to the Brevard County government’s budgetary support. Issues presented included:
* She outlined the differences in how Brevard County and University of Florida guidelines on COVID-19 differ and the impact on extension agent activities. They had to find a balance that covers the Extension Center education and administration activities within the building offices and educational classrooms/auditoriums. The extension’s educational mission was successfully switched from classroom/auditorium meetings to heavy use of remote virtual education classes.
* UF extension services will have a 6 or 7% decrease in their budget. That effects funding for county agent support and extension student support. There are 27 employees in the Brevard extension offices with 9 county agents and no vacancies.
* Brevard County Extension support budget from general funds is expected to be cut and that could affect budget support for several years. She was asked what would happen if the Brevard S&WC District line item for administrative support and one soil technician salary within the Brevard County Extension budget was exceeded by expanded support requirements from our District? Such budget shortfalls will have to be presented to our District board while in-session; then supervisors will determine if adequate compensation funds can be transferred to the UF/IFAS extension to cover the line item funding shortfall.
* CARES dollars from Brevard County government was distributed to Brevard extension as part of the food support allocation. The extension used the individual food support dollars to signup food short people and then issue tokens to be used when making food purchases at Brevard County farmers’ markets. That program has grown from 30 applications during the first week and after 2 weeks applications increased by 100 applicants each and every week until last week when there were:
o 820 applicants for Wickham Park markets.
o 700 applicants for the Titusville market.
o 300 applicants for the south Brevard established Saturday markets.
* The Extension service said it is serving over 200 households with tokens. When used in payment at farmers’ markets those vendors can recover funds from a token accounting at the end of the day. The receipt total will be paid from County CARES funds to the farmers’ market vendors. While the CARES program ends December 19th, the Brevard County Extension support and acceptance of applications will end during October unless additional CARES funds are allocated by the County Commissioners.
Review and Approval of Minutes for prior Board of Supervisors meeting.
A motion, with amendment, by Henry Minneboo, seconded by Jonathan Schuman to consolidate and approve both meeting minutes for August 12, 2020 and the September 9, 2020 Board of Supervisors meeting. The motion was passed by unanimous vote of the supervisors.
A motion, with amendment, by Henry Minneboo, seconded by Jonathan Schuman to consolidate and approve both Treasurer’s Reports for the Period of August 12, 2020 to September 8, 2020 and the Period of September 9, 2020 to October 13, 2020. The motion was passed by unanimous vote of the supervisors.
A motion to pay the annual fee of $175. 00 for the Special District Accountability Program of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) was made by Henry Minneboo and seconded by Adam Perez. The motion was passed by unanimous vote of the supervisors. Treasurer Perez prepared a check at the business meeting for Secretary Sloan to mail along with updates to our special district’s name, registered agent’s name, and registered office phone number, mailing address, website address and email address. The annual fee was mailed to the DEO Bureau of Budget Management on October 15, 2020.
Adam Perez had stated that, as per the January 8, 2020 meeting minutes, his term as Board Secretary and Board Treasurer was to expire at the July 8th board meeting. Jonathan Schuman volunteered to accept the Board Treasurer position for the remainder of this calendar year, AD 2020. Due to the logistics of getting a new account holder authorized onto the District’s bank account, the Board then proposed and agreed to retain Adam as the account holder until his term in office expires on January 12, 2021. That agreement and Jonathan Schuman, as Board Treasurer, was taken up again with Adam Perez in attendance during the October 14th board meeting. The board members decided to retain Adam as both the account holder and treasuer until his term in office expires on January 12, 2021. At the first board meeting of 2021, upon seating of new board members, the position of treasurer and bank account holder will be a new business agenda item.
A discussion was carried over from a previous District Board meeting about whether joint field surveys by two or more supervisors working on the same study, survey or project plan were violations of the Florida Sunshine and Public Records Laws. One supported position was that if the data gathered, the actual survey report or field activity was reported for public record at a subsequent meeting of the District Board of Supervisors; then the law would be satisfied. It was stated that joint field work by supervisors was necessary; since the supervisors have no assigned, salaried administrative staff (except for one soil & water technician) to carry out field surveys, studies, and project plan development as defined in the FL Statute Title XXXV Chapter 582. A supervisor and staff member stated that any such joint activity outside of public meeting places violates the Florida Sunshine Law – Public Meetings, Section 286.011(1) which provides:
“All meetings of any board or commission of any state agency or authority or of any agency or authority of any county, municipal corporation, or political subdivision, except as otherwise provided in the Constitution, including meetings with or attended by any person elected to such board or commission, but who has not yet taken office, at which official acts are to be taken are declared to be public meetings open to the public at all times, and no resolution, rule, or formal action shall be considered binding except as taken or made at such meeting. The board or commission must provide reasonable notice of all such meetings.”
The discussion will again be carried over to a District Board meeting as Old Business; after consultation with other State agency officials, such as Jack Gaskins of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO),
Special District Accountability Program Office. This discussion will also include the applicability of Brevard SW&C District Rule 2020-1.
The discussion of hiring an outside entity to maintain and/or consult on the improvement of our Brevard District website, within the guidelines established by the AFCD hosting agency, was differed until January 2021 after the seating of supervisor-elect officers and organization of a new board structure.
Chairman Crisafulli had been exploring the purchase of hand-out momentos for client recognition of our District Board officers. He asked if a long sleeve shirt with button down collar might and embroidered district organization name and logo might be a more effective method of identifying supervisors attending meetings and at business destinations. He offered his own professional shirt as an example with his company name and ID on the shirt. More to come on availability and cost to the district at an upcoming board meeting.
Upon consensus of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 5:00 p.m.
Prepared for board review and approval by ,
Secretary, Board of Supervisors
James E. Sloan