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|Board Present:||Fitzgerald A. Barnes, Dan W. Byers, Willie L. Gentry, Jr., Willie L. Harper, Richard A. Havasy, P.T. Spencer, Jr. and *Jack T. Wright|
C. Lee Lintecum, County Administrator; Ernie McLeod, Deputy County Administrator; Patrick Morgan, County Attorney; Amanda Lloyd, Office Manager; and April Jacobs, Deputy Clerk |
*Jack T. Wright left the meeting at 10:35 a.m.
CALL TO ORDER
Chairman Harper called the January 31, 2008 meeting of the Louisa County Board of Supervisors to order at 8:05 a.m. Mr. Gentry led the invocation, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.
TOPICS OF DISCUSSION
Mr. Lintecum stated the purpose of the meeting was to determine the goals of the Board of Supervisors. Mr. Lintecum said the Board needed to determine what they wanted Louisa County to look like in the future. Mr. Lintecum added that the Comprehensive Plan somewhat addressed that; however, the Comprehensive Plan was generally for land use, and in this meeting, he would like the Board to consider specific areas such as education, land use and management, what County Government provided and didnt provide and what the Board wanted as far as economic development was concerned. Mr. Lintecum said after the Board determined what they wanted the County to look like, they would start talking about the steps necessary to get where they wanted to be.
Mr. Harper said the Board might want to establish some other criteria as well. Mr. Harper indicated that many Counties had slogans, which reflected what their specific goals and objectives were. Mr. Harper said he thought the Board needed to establish a mindset of what they wanted to see happen in Louisa County, which was for the citizens to be taken care of in an adequate and timely manner with as little inconvenience as possible.
Possible construction of a Regional Vocational Center with Fluvanna County
Mr. Barnes said Louisa County High School was vastly approaching about 1,600 students and with that was a possibility of a future high school. Mr. Barnes said conservatively speaking, most high schools that were being built now cost between $80 and $90 million. Mr. Barnes stated that his suggestion would be to look at a long-range plan.
Mr. Barnes said he spoke with an architect and he stated that in a worst-case scenario, a vocational facility could be built for $10 million. Mr. Barnes said he thought the Board should look at building a vocational facility and renovating the current high school vocational classrooms into instructional rooms, which would offer a potential of savings anywhere between $45 and $50 million for Louisa County.
Mr. Barnes indicated that Mr. Havasy and himself attended a meeting and it was brought to their attention that a developer was interested in donating land at Ferncliff for a vocational school. Mr. Barnes indicated that Fluvanna County was currently in the planning stage of looking at building a new high school and they were struggling with a vocational center; therefore, he thought this was the perfect opportunity for the Board to look at building a joint vocational center.
Mr. Havasy questioned how many years a new high school would be prolonged by building a vocational center. Mr. Barnes said he thought about 10 to 15 years.
Mr. Wright said two years ago, he suggested the idea of having a vocational school in the County and the Board agreed to it. Mr. Wright indicated that the Board of Supervisors went to the School Board and said if the School Board gave Thomas Jefferson to the County for a vocational center, the County would build an additional elementary school to replace Thomas Jefferson. Mr. Wright added that the idea was to provide vocational classes to the public and to also move the high school vocational classes to Thomas Jefferson in order to provide more space in the high school for future growth. Mr. Wright noted that Thomas Jefferson would be a good vocational center because it was centrally located within the County.
Mr. Byers said if a vocational center was something that the Board wanted to look at, he thought they should do it in concert with the School Board. Mr. Byers indicated that the Board of Supervisors had discussed fostering a good working relationship with them and he wanted to make sure they were involved. Mr. Wright stated that the Schools would be involved because a section of the building would be designated for them and they could use their own instructors; however, the remainder of the building would be handled independently.
Mr. Gentry stated the School Board hadnt yet decided on what Thomas Jefferson should be used for. Mr. Gentry said he knew that some School Board Members had been pushing vocation for quite a while; however, he felt that he didnt have a good handle on what the needs were. Mr. Gentry said Piedmont Virginia Community College recently created a school where they offered vocational classes and he wondered what was already out there that the County could use. Mr. Gentry said before the Board talked about spending $10 million to $15 million towards this project, he thought more details should be known of what the needs were of this County.
Mr. Spencer said in the past, the Board of Supervisors gave the School Board about $80,000 per year for three years running to get a vocational instructor and it didnt happen. Mr. Spencer added that vocational education had been something that the Board of Supervisors has looked at for years. Mr. Spencer said it would be great to be able to hold off on building a new high school for another 10 to 15 years; however, before jumping to a vocational school, he thought the Board should know what the County needed.
Mr. Barnes said the only reason he brought this issue up was because he saw the physical part of having a joint venture. Mr. Barnes said from a vocational standpoint, a joint venture made so much more sense because all of the associated costs would be shared.
Mr. Harper said he thought Mr. Gentry was exactly right, that the Board of Supervisors didnt have the data they needed to determine if this was a project worth going forward. Mr. Harper suggested that Mr. Lintecum, Dr. Pettit, Mr. Linhares and Mr. Szalankiewicz meet to put some numbers together within 30 days for the Boards review. Mr. Harper said if the Board decided to move forward, he thought an independent third party should be hired to give the Board an objective overview of whether it was viable for Louisa County to do a joint venture with Fluvanna County. Mr. Harper said he thought there were needs for vocational training; however, there needed to be an analysis made of how much, where and how students got directed to it.
Mr. Lintecum said the School Board would like to hold a joint meeting with the Board of Supervisors to discuss the budget on either Tuesday, March 18 or Wednesday, March 19. Mr. Lintecum indicated that the Board already had a budget workshop scheduled for Wednesday, March 19 in the Extension Meeting Room. Mr. Harper questioned why it took a joint meeting to make a budget presentation. Mr. Lintecum said that was what the School Board requested.
Mr. Wright questioned if that would be the first time the Board of Supervisors would see the Schools budget. Mr. Harper questioned if Mr. McLeod had seen it. Mr. McLeod said no. Mr. Byers said he attended a meeting the other night with them as an observer and he thought they had a meeting this coming week where it would be the first time they looked at it themselves. Mr. Gentry said the meeting Mr. Byers attended was actually the third meeting the School Board had; however, he went to the first one and they had a preliminary budget and appeared to be in pretty good discussion. Mr. Spencer noted that the School Board had been working hard to cut this budget.
Mr. Harper said he didnt know that the rules should be different for them than they were for anyone else. Mr. Harper said he expected to see their budget in a timely fashion so the Board could review it beforehand. Mr. Harper said also, if the Schools anticipated money coming, that needed to be included in the budget from the beginning as anticipated funds. Mr. Lintecum stated that he had asked them to address that. Mr. Barnes said at the end of each year, there would always be federal funds that would come in because of programming. Mr. Harper said he fully expected that, but he would like for it to be put upfront.
Establish Board of Supervisors Goals and Objectives for 2008
Mr. Harper said in the past, he thought the Board had set a lot of political goals rather than operational goals, but he thought operational goals fit more with philosophy.
Mr. Lintecum said one of the first things the Board may wish to talk about was their relationship with the Schools and what they wanted to see as far as what their ability was to influence and fund education. Mr. Harper questioned if Mr. Lintecum could identify what the Board of Supervisors role was in terms of education in Louisa County. Mr. Lintecum said the Boards primary role was funding.
Mr. Harper stated he thought it was a very flat objective, which was that the Board wanted to see the Schools turn out the best product they could turn out. Mr. Byers said he also thought the goal was for the Schools to spend a reasonable amount of money and to have what was considered a reasonable staffing level. Mr. Byers said it seemed to be a lot of disparity between compensation for employees in the School system and employees in the County system and he would like to see the Schools work in a framework that was more aware of what the County had to do as a whole. Mr. Barnes agreed and said School employees and County employees should be on a comparable pay scale.
Mr. Wright said he thought both Boards needed to re-establish credibility and trustworthiness with the information they gave to each other. Mr. Harper added that both Boards needed to establish whom communications would go through. Mr. Harper said obviously, two people would bring two different stories; therefore, the Board of Supervisors needed to decide, in conjunction with the School Board, as to who would make the presentations for reliable information. Mr. Gentry said he agreed that there were a lot of miscommunications between all members and he thought a Committee should be set up to break some of those barriers.
Mr. Barnes said the Board of Supervisors should be very proud because they had done a remarkable job in the past five years with new teacher salaries; however, they needed to start targeting other areas that they hadnt done so well on, such as retaining more experienced teachers and setting goals about what their expectations were with AP test scores, vocational classes, etc.
Mr. Harper said the Board had no control over re-benchmarking except to put the basic money out there. Mr. Harper said that was a State issue, as well as a County issue that needed to be managed year by year. Mr. Harper indicated that when accountability or expectations were set, they had to be of a nature that could continue from Board to Board because there were changes on Boards.
Mr. Havasy said there was no reason why Louisa County shouldnt have the best-educated students in the State. Mr. Havasy indicated that performance and pay increases went hand in hand; however, performance came first. Mr. Harper agreed and said the Board of Supervisors needed to establish what the performance measures would be. Mr. Wright said the School Board needed to do a better job of giving justification for what they asked for. Mr. Byers agreed and said he thought they were starting to move in that direction. Mr. Gentry added that he had heard the School Board starting to talk in those terms, which indicated that things were changing. Mr. Spencer encouraged the Board of Supervisors to start dealing directly with their correlating School Board member.
Mr. Barnes said he thought a staffing formula needed to be determined where the Board could start giving the Schools money per pupil. Mr. Barnes added that the Schools needed to start using site-based management to move teachers to where they were needed based on enrollment figures. Mr. Gentry agreed and said he thought that was the direction that some of the School Board members were going. Mr. Byers questioned if the Board of Supervisors expected a funding formula from the School Board. Mr. Barnes said there were localities that already had a formula in place and Louisa County needed to adapt it into their system based on their deposit index. Mr. Barnes added that the Board of Supervisors would develop the formula in conjunction with the School Board. Mr. Harper requested that Mr. Barnes obtain the formulas from other counties and give them to the Board of Supervisors for their review.
Mr. Havasy said the Board of Supervisors were the governing body in Louisa County and the Schools were part of their budget and questioned if the Supervisors were overall responsible for the quality of the product the Schools put out. Mr. Harper said the Board of Supervisors were responsible to set a benchmark to measure the performance. Mr. Harper added that from a hardware standpoint, the Board of Supervisors had given the School the resources, but what they turned out within that was within their purview.
Mr. Harper questioned if the Board thought it was worthwhile to have two Board of Supervisor members appointed to go forward with trying to develop a performance standard to use. Mr. Harper added that the School Board could participate and appoint two of their members to help establish that as well. Mr. Wright said it seemed to him that Mr. Lintecum and Dr. Pettit would be the best two people to determine the standards. Mr. Barnes said he thought Mr. Harper was headed in the right direction because there needed to be Board dialogue. Mr. Gentry said he thought a standing committee should be established between the two Boards and this issue would be one of the many subjects they would discuss. Mr. Harper questioned if each Board member would write down two names that they wanted appointed to the Committee. After the votes were tallied, Mr. Gentry and Mr. Byers had the most votes and were, therefore, appointed to the Committee. Mr. Harper requested that Mr. Lintecum determine if the School Board was interested in doing likewise.
Mr. Lintecum stated the next area the Board could discuss was Economic Development and Tourism.
Mr. Wright said right now, the Board seemed to want to concentrate all of their efforts on Zion Crossroads; however, there were other places in Louisa County that the Board needed to look at and begin setting infrastructure. Mr. Wright indicated that Mr. Gibson stated that if Gum Spring could get water, that area could outstrip Zion Crossroads in development because of its proximity to Richmond. Mr. Havasy said he spoke with Mr. Notte from Dewberry and he stated that he could get a Water Withdrawal Permit for Gum Spring from the South Anna River in 18 months. Mr. Havasy said he requested that Mr. Notte get the Board the information.
Mr. Harper said he didnt think the Board could say what type of industry they wanted and questioned Mr. Lintecum what he was looking for. Mr. Lintecum said if nothing else, the Board could say what they didnt want as far as economic development; for example, he didnt think the Board wanted minimum wage jobs in Louisa County.
Mr. Wright stated the County had a limited water supply; therefore, they couldnt recruit industries that required a high usage of water. Mr. Spencer said along the same lines, the County didnt have to put massive residential growth inside of the growth areas where the County provided water.
Mr. Harper said over the last few years, he thought the Board had been proactive with regards to transportation. Mr. Harper said Mr. Wright mentioned a good point that development was occurring in Zion Crossroads, but the rest of the County couldnt be forgotten. Mr. Harper said ironically, even though there was a downturn right now, there were at least two sites in Louisa County that were proposing commercial development. Mr. Harper said they already had the zoning and, therefore, didnt need anything else from the Board; however, the problem was that VDOT had apparently been moved from the General Assembly to the Governor and they had established a moving target as to what the requirements were for ingress and egress for the developments. Mr. Harper said in one case, all of the engineering was supposedly completed, according to the original requirements of VDOT, but later on, the individual received a letter from VDOT that stated the “new rules.” Mr. Harper said developer had put out a lot of money for the engineering and now may not be able to move forward with the development because VDOT was now requiring that he take lanes beyond his property.
Mr. Gentry said what has happened in the last ten years was VDOT had been pushing to send more down to the local level and work more with the local government; however, that had turned around to be exactly the opposite. Mr. Gentry said he thought it was important that the Board get the legislators involved with this to let them know that the locals were being damaged. Mr. Gentry added that until the Board got the legislators more involved, the lobbyists were going to continue to win.
Mr. Barnes said for political affiliation, he would like for the Board to reconsider appointing two members to serve on the Economic Development Committee.
Mr. Wright said having a downturn in the economy was the best time for economic representatives to contact types of firms that the County wanted in the future.
Mr. Byers questioned if Mr. Gibson determined strategies for being able to work with the legislators to promote a more positive view by the highway department and others involved in the economic development process. Mr. Lintecum said yes, he did do that. Mr. Lintecum indicated that Mr. Gibson had a lot of contacts and was known by a lot of people in the State, which was a plus for Louisa County.
Mr. Havasy said he thought one of the biggest problems was that Louisa County had lost contact with Mr. Janis and Mr. Houck. Mr. Havasy said he thought the Board should request that they periodically attend Board meetings to give updates and allow the Board to ask them questions that directly affected Louisa County.
Mr. Harper questioned what the Board felt was the best approach for this. Mr. Byers said it seemed to him that it would be an ideal part of Mr. Gibsons job because he was familiar with the contacts and he had been in the business long enough to know the relationships between a project and what had to take place to bring it to fruition; however, he thought there needed to be a watchdog within their group. Mr. Gentry agreed and said he thought there needed to be Board representation. Mr. Havasy said he thought it was imperative that Board members were involved.
Mr. Harper said a suggestion was put on the table that Mr. Lintecum and the specific Supervisor from whose district the project was in would serve on what would be considered a flowing committee. Mr. Wright said it wouldnt hurt to have a permanent Supervisor on the Committee as well. After discussion, it was consensus of the Board for Mr. Lintecum, Mr. Barnes and the specific Supervisor from whose district the project would effect serve on the Economic Development Committee.
Mr. Gentry said he thought a general goal of the Board should be to support tourism. The Board agreed.
Mr. Lintecum said the next area the Board could discuss was the Countys organizational operations. Mr. Harper questioned if the Board wished to establish what theyd like to see with regards to how County Government executed in Louisa County.
Mr. Spencer stated the public paid their taxes to be represented and served. Mr. Spencer said he saw absolutely no excuse for a citizen to have to complete a questionnaire in writing in the Community Development Department to receive an answer to their question when a response could be made right then by one of the four planners in that department. Mr. Spencer proposed that the County Government require at least one planner to be available during the day to answer the publics questions.
Mr. Gentry said a general goal could be to constantly reemphasize customer service. The Board agreed.
Mr. Havasy said he thought the Board had a hard time understanding that dynamics changed when going from a county of 18,000 people to 32,000 people. Mr. Havasy added that the Board didnt realize how time-consuming some jobs were and that the responsibility of all County Departments had drastically increased over the last ten years.
Mr. Barnes said he understood Mr. Havasys prospective that calendars couldnt always be cleared; however, he also supported Mr. Spencers concern. Mr. Barnes said maybe a time period could be set where personnel could be available to answer questions because he thought it was important that the public have an opportunity to receive a response.
Mr. Byers indicated that the County had a higher staffing level with more educated employees than they had ever had; however, it took the public longer to get a response.
Mr. Byers noted that people really looked at the quality of work that the County put out. Mr. Byers indicated that it was the middle of January before the County website was updated with the new supervisors and he thought those types of things couldnt exist. Mr. Byers stated he noticed a couple of employees that arrived late in the mornings and he thought someone had to be managing staff. Mr. Byers added that if departments were overworked, they needed to look at those non-value added things and get rid of them. Mr. Byers added that standards and expectations had to be set by each department. Mr. Harper said staff should be expected to represent the County in a positive light. Mr. Spencer said when employees didnt represent the County in a proper manner, it was the Boards problem and they needed to take care of it because voters would be voting against the Supervisors, not the staff.
Mr. Byers said there were peaks and valleys with the Commissioner of the Revenues Office, the Treasurers Office and County functions and questioned why County Government couldnt coordinate staff. Mr. Harper said he thought it should be put on the table for discussion to meet with Constitutional Officers to establish rules.
Mr. Harper said he thought, going forward, the Board could simply say that they wanted improved efforts to serve the public on a timely basis. The Board agreed.
Mr. Byers said he thought the Board needed to look at a pool of people and better utilization of resources. Mr. Harper questioned how Mr. Byers would suggest going about working with the Constitutional Officers of bringing that about. Mr. Byers said at some point, he thought the Board should conduct a meeting with them to discuss what their expectations were. Mr. Harper said going forward, hopefully, there would be a joint effort to give citizens the best value for their tax dollar.
Mr. Spencer said he was on the Board when the EMSAL contract was made and the contract stated that when emergency personnel werent on call, they should be at the squad building taking care of the vehicles. Mr. Spencer added that he had heard comments that ambulances were sitting in front of rescue buildings running the entire time and that was an issue that had to be taken care of. Mr. Harper said the County was currently looking at re-mapping things in terms of Emergency Services and going forward, answers could be addressed at that time.
Mr. Harper said public safety was an area that some Supervisors had concerns about. Mr. Harper indicated that the Fire Chief coming on board had a daunting task of merging together paid emergency personnel and volunteers. Mr. Byers said at some point in time, he would like for someone to explain to him the difference between Mike Schlemmers job and the new Fire Chief position.
Mr. Harper said another topic that was important for the Board to look at was the Countys growth areas. Mr. Harper said they had been pretty well established; however, until the County had more definitive efforts in regards to infrastructure, it would be hard for the growth areas to go any further than what they have already gone. Mr. Barnes said one of the reasons that the Board determined growth areas was to protect the rural concept of the County. Mr. Barnes added that growth areas were strategic if the County wanted to plan growth.
Mr. Spencer indicated that Mr. Barnes made it abundantly plain to the Board about the growth in the Schools. Mr. Spencer said the Board had no right pointing fingers at the School Board for requesting more money to accommodate the growth in enrollment because the Board of Supervisors were the ones who approved new developments, which accumulated growth within the Schools. Mr. Spencer said he thought it was imperative that the County kept up with the number of residential operations in the Towns of Louisa and Mineral.
Mr. Barnes said one thing the County needed to do was to recalculate the formula for the number of children per house because the number was too high.
Mr. Byers stated he thought a tracking system should be developed to define the number of residential lots that have been approved for development and lots that were currently under construction throughout the entire County with the end objective being the dissolution of any lot that had been undeveloped with its five year time period back to open land.
Mr. Harper said affordable housing was another area that should be discussed. Mr. Harper said whenever affordable housing came up, there was always dissension within the Board as to what affordable housing was. Mr. Harper said instead of using the median income, some Board members would rather have a dollar figure determined.
Mr. Gentry said about a year and a half ago he attended a seminar about affordable housing and an Urban Development Professor for UVA spoke up and said rent was the only way to handle affordable housing. Mr. Gentry said instead of talking about affordable housing, he personally thought the Board needed to talk about low-income housing. Mr. Barnes agreed and stated the Board needed to find a way to get duplex housing in the County. Mr. Barnes added that there wasnt anything wrong with mobile home subdivisions.
Mr. Wright indicated that he had yet to see a definition of the distinction between affordable housing and workforce housing. Mr. Wright said if Louisa County were the only market around pushing affordable homes, they would become a bedroom community for surrounding localities. Mr. Wright said allowing townhouses and condos provided affordable housing; therefore, rent wasnt the only solution. Mr. Wright said the Board had to determine a way to provide affordable housing, whether it was providing smaller lots by clustering or building duplexes and having more homes on less land, but still meeting the safety requirements determined by the Health Department.
Mr. Wright left the meeting at 10:35 a.m.
Mr. Byers said recently, he had seen a number of entrepreneurs going throughout the County purchasing mobile homes and then renting them, typically to low income people and probably disadvantaged students, which might explain why the numbers have increased more proportionally in Louisa County. Mr. Byers added that it created an additional burden on the taxpayer and questioned if the County had a mechanism of being able to get the landowner to pay their proper share of the tax for the person who rented their property.
Mr. Spencer said he thought the term “affordable housing” in Louisa County was a bad joke because developers argued that $229,000 was affordable housing. Mr. Spencer said affordable housing was something that the County didnt need to be involved in because it was a social engineering project. Mr. Spencer agreed with Mr. Barnes that duplex housing was needed within the County.
Mr. Havasy said he was in favor of low-income housing because there was a need in the County. Mr. Havasy indicated that poverty wasnt permanent; however, there were a lot of people that needed an initial hand up.
Mr. Harper requested that Ms. Lloyd make a list of the 2008 Goals made by the Board and email it to all members to give everyone the opportunity to rank the goals. Mr. Harper said after Board members ranked the goals, they could send them back to Ms. Lloyd so she could put them in order in as to how they were ranked and present them to the Board at the second meeting in February.
Mr. Harper questioned if anyone had any additional goals they would like added.
Mr. Barnes said he would like the Board to continue to support the tax relief for the elderly and disabled program. Mr. Gentry added that supporting service organizations, such as JABA, JAUNT, etc., for the elderly and disadvantaged should continue to be one of the Boards goals as well.
Mr. Gentry said an ongoing goal should be to emphasize the importance of fiscal responsibility and budget management.
Mr. Byers said the County should solicit the services of an efficiency consultant to look at workflows, tasks, activities, etc. to determine if the County was properly staffed. Mr. Harper indicated that about two years ago Robinson, Farmer and Cox generated a report of that nature. Mr. Gentry said he thought it would be helpful if Mr. Byers received that report. Mr. Barnes agreed.
Mr. Havasy said surely, there had to be a chart that showed population and the needs of County staffing and he would like to see that to determine the trends. Mr. Havasy said it wouldnt be long before the County would have a population of 50,000 people and the Board should have an idea about what the staffing needs would be with that growth. Mr. Byers said with new technology, there should be less dependency on people.
Mr. Barnes said an important goal would be for the Board to define the need for career rescue personnel and firefighters and the requirements of the volunteer system to better serve the Citizens of Louisa County. Mr. Gentry agreed. Mr. Harper said the hope was that the new Fire Chief would give the Board a totally new perspective on where it fits and he thought the Board should give that person the opportunity to address some of those issues.
Discussion of budget philosophy
Mr. McLeod indicated that he had been asked about overruns for FY 07; therefore, he provided the Board with a list of all the departments and agencies that exceeded their budgets.
Mr. McLeod indicated that the County Attorneys Office went over their budget because of outside legal fees for the Green Springs case. Mr. Spencer questioned if fees could be recovered for frivolous suits. Mr. Morgan said unfortunately, if there was enough of a problem where they went to trial on a merit, the judge would not look at it as a frivolous lawsuit.
Mr. McLeod stated that the second largest overrun was the CSA/At Risk Youth Department. Mr. McLeod said CSA was court mandated; therefore, he didnt know if the County had any choices about the program, but there should be discussion with the judges about alternate locations for the children that didnt cost as much.
Mr. McLeod noted that the third largest overrun was for overtime from the Sheriffs Department. Mr. McLeod indicated that he received a large increase from the Sheriffs Department this year where they actually budgeted to cover the costs for overtime.
Mr. Byers said the overruns listed on the analysis sheet were from three percent to 13 percent. Mr. Byers said the Departments should rearrange some of their priorities because they couldnt keep violating the level of funding that had been given to them. Mr. Byers said there wasnt a need for a budget if it was going to be overspent.
Mr. Gentry said he recognized that there were three categories with cost overruns that fell in the Sheriffs Department. Mr. Gentry said it seemed to him that if the Sheriffs Department was paying that much overtime, they needed more employees. Mr. Byers said when going into a downturn, people had to determine what resources they had and how they could best use them.
Mr. Barnes stated that the deputies patrolled a lot of County functions and it might be time for the individual organizations to start budgeting for security instead of the Sheriffs Department.
Mr. Harper questioned how the budget got this much overspent without the Board having a clue. Mr. McLeod stated he looked collectively at the FY 07 budget and determined that the County brought in more revenue than budgeted and spent less money than what had been projected.
Mr. Havasy said he thought there should always be enough money for the security of the citizens in Louisa County. Mr. Spencer agreed and said the deputies had the responsibility of protecting the citizens even if they had to work overtime. Mr. Spencer added that no one waited for a convenient time to have an emergency.
Mr. Spencer questioned if the Board wanted him to ask the Sheriff about how he felt about billing the Schools and other County organizations for functions that the deputies patrolled. Mr. Barnes said Mr. Spencer could ask if the Sheriff could track the overtime to those areas and see how much overtime was being used on other county functions.
Mr. Harper said he understood that these things happened; however, his biggest concern was that it happened without him knowing and hed like to know when departments went that far beyond. Mr. Gentry said at this time, the Board shouldnt make any assumptions, but instead let Mr. Spencer, as the liaison, obtain more details.
Mr. Harper stated he would like to know when a line started going over the budget by about five or ten percent. Mr. Havasy said as long as it was allowed, departments would continue to overrun their budget because it was easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission.
Mr. Harper questioned, by State law, how much a department could overrun their budget without having to account to someone. Mr. Barnes said he didnt think that existed for localities. Mr. Harper questioned if the Board wanted to institute a local requirement. Mr. Spencer said yes. Mr. Barnes said some localities required that each department reserved a certain percentage of their budget and if the remaining funds were available, they were given permission to release them towards the last quarter of the fiscal year. Mr. Barnes added that might be something Louisa should look at doing.
Mr. Havasy requested Mr. Lintecums opinion. Mr. Lintecum said he thought the Board wanted a full warning and he didnt think they wanted a budget line item to be spent before knowing about it. Mr. Lintecum stated he would request that Mr. McLeod address the issue when about 50 percent of the line item was spent instead of 100 percent. Mr. Lintecum said he would then let the Board know about the problem through the County Administrators Report. Mr. Byers said it seemed to him that one of the other elements would be that the department head responsible for the budget be proactive as well. Mr. Gentry agreed. Mr. Byers added that it should be communicated to everyone that submitted a budget.
Mr. Spencer said one thing that was getting ready to hurt the County was the CSA budget. Mr. Spencer indicated that the Governor said they were going to wipe localities out if they didnt start using home-based counseling and community service counseling. Mr. Spencer said the CSA budget could increase anywhere from 500 to 600 percent because the courts were lowering their standards for At Risk Youth. Mr. Spencer said Social Services werent providing any home-based counseling, they were just simply sending the children to group homes, which cost between $10,000 and $30,000. Mr. Harper requested a report from Social Services by the second meeting in February that showed how many children were put in that system by the courts and how many were put there by Social Services.
Mr. McLeod provided the Board with a comparison of the requested top 10 operational increases to the real estate increase for the FY 09 budget. Mr. McLeod said the revenue projection for real estate was $1.7 million, which equaled 2.73 pennies. Mr. McLeod noted that public services had increased some to produce a total revenue projection at 62 cents of 3.16 pennies.
Mr. McLeod explained the following top 10 requested operational changes.
1. Debt Services - Debt payments for the new elementary school and two wastewater treatment plants.
2. School Transfer - Projected at a three percent increase, but was unknown at this time
3. Sheriff (Policies) - Three additional deputies and additional funds for overtime and part-time
4. Fire Chief and Staff - New program
5. Louisa Arts Center - Complete their capital campaign and will have operational request for FY 10
6. Reserves - Workers Compensation, contingency and salary increases
7. CSA - Increased funds for the At Risk program
8. Landfill - New cell development, closure costs and some operational costs
9. Facilities Management - Recycling initiative, HVAC issues at the Library and heating and cooling operational costs
10. Sheriff (Courts) - Overtime
Mr. McLeod indicated that the entire requested top 10 operational increases equaled almost $4 million or 6.4 pennies, which was 196 percent increase over the projected revenue. Mr. McLeod noted that each penny was worth $620,000.
Mr. Byers questioned for the landfill, why the County couldnt look at recycling more or look at the option of an open burning pit. Mr. Lintecum said there was a transfer station just across the County line at Zion Crossroads he would like the County to look at using.
Mr. Spencer questioned how much money the County had already given Louisa Arts Center. Mr. McLeod said $105,000 for two or three years. Mr. Spencer said clarified that the County had given the Arts Center over $300,000 and questioned what the Boards justification was for the taxpayers of Louisa County. Mr. McLeod said the Arts Center was a countywide attraction for tourism. Mr. Spencer questioned how much money the Board gave the Mineral DMV. Mr. McLeod said $50,000.
Mr. Gentry indicated that the Schools were working towards only a three percent increase and he would like to see the percentage increases for all of the other departments as well. Mr. McLeod said he had that information, but hadnt presented it to the Board yet.
Mr. Byers questioned for percentage increases, what was told to the Departments from the beginning. Mr. McLeod said in October, the general consensus of the Board was that each agency or department should submit an increase under three percent and identify a potential ten percent cut. Mr. Byers said he didnt understand how three percent could be projected with a downturn in the economy. Mr. Byers said he thought department heads should be challenged to determine exactly what services were absolutely needed, and if not, transfer monies to other areas where they were needed.
On motion of Mr. Barnes, seconded by Mr. Spencer, which carried by a vote of 6-0, the Board voted to adjourn the January 31, 2008 meeting at 12:03 p.m.
BY ORDER OF
WILLIE L. HARPER, CHAIRMAN
LOUISA COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
LOUISA COUNTY, LOUISA, VIRGINIA