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The above agencies came to be heard before
THE FLORIDA CABINET, Honorable Governor Bush
presiding, in the City Commission Chambers, City
Hall, 175 Fifth Street North, St. Petersburg,
Florida, on Tuesday, September 24, 2002, commencing
at approximately 9:37 a.m.

Reported by:


Registered Professional Reporter



ST. PETERSBURG, FL 33701 (727) 823-1878

2 Representing the Florida Cabinet:
3 Governor

5 Comptroller

Commissioner of Agriculture
8 Attorney General

11 Commissioner of Education















3 (Presented by Ben Watkins)


5 1 Approved 7

(Presented by Ben Watkins)
1 Approved 9
9 2 Approved 9

(Presented by Warren "Rocky" McPherson)
1 Approved 11
13 2 Approved 24

(Presented by Rene Lewis)
16 1 Deferred 55
1 Motion to accept report - Approved 56
17 2-5 Approved 58
6-14 Approved 58
18 15 Approved 59

(Presented by David Struhs)
21 1 Approved 60
2 Approved 75
22 3 Approved 76 and 81
4 Approved 83



1 P R O C E E D I N G S

2 (The agenda items commenced at 9:37 a.m.)

3 GOVERNOR BUSH: The next Cabinet meeting

4 will be held on October 8, 2002, in

5 Tallahassee.

6 Division of Bond Finance. Ben, can you

7 please give us a little bit of a description of

8 what your operation does?

9 MR. WATKINS: I'd be happy to.

10 Governor, if you would, I'm doing double

11 duty today. With your permission I'm

12 presenting the State Board of Administration's

13 agenda.


15 MR. WATKINS: For fiscal sufficiency as

16 well as my normal agenda for the Division of

17 Bond Finance. So if you don't mind, could we

18 take the State Board of Administration first

19 with your permission?

20 GOVERNOR BUSH: Sure. Do you want to

21 describe the State Board of Administration

22 first?

23 MR. WATKINS: Sure. Be happy to. The

24 State Board of Administration, Governor Bush,

25 Comptroller Milligan, and Treasurer Gallagher

1 serve as the governing board for the State

2 Board of Administration, and the State Board of

3 Administration's primary business function

4 within the state is to manage the assets of the

5 Florida retirement system on behalf of the

6 650,000 public employees across the state.

7 The -- the pension fund assets are

8 approximately $80 billion, and the investment

9 of those assets is managed in a very

10 sophisticated way with having various

11 components of the portfolio; domestic equities,

12 international equities, real estate, fixed

13 income. It's a fully diversified portfolio,

14 and those retirement assets provide the

15 financial security for the public employees

16 across the state.

17 The -- there's been an extraordinary

18 amount of time, effort and energy spent over

19 the last two years providing an additional

20 retirement option for state employees in the

21 form of a defined contribution plan as opposed

22 to a defined benefit plan that is a traditional

23 retirement plan for state employees.

24 It has been the world's largest pension

25 fund conversion offering public employees an

1 additional retirement option giving them more

2 flexibility with respect to managing their own

3 individual retirement accounts, a broader array

4 of options and greater portability in the sense

5 that there is a much shorter vesting period,

6 and there is mobility with respect to the

7 assets held for that particular public employee

8 within the state.

9 So there's been a tremendous amount of

10 time, effort and energy spent by the State

11 Board of Administration staff in effecting that

12 planned conversion and offering now a choice to

13 the traditional defined benefit system --

14 retirement system offered by the state.

15 GOVERNOR BUSH: Can you now translate that

16 into English for everybody? Never mind. Don't

17 even try.

18 MR. WATKINS: What we are doing here today

19 is to -- an independent review, if you will;

20 determination of fiscal sufficiency for a bond

21 issue.

22 The next agenda item will actually be the

23 authorization for the state to issue bonds, and

24 this is an independent review performed by the

25 State Board of Administration assuring that

1 there are sufficient resources to repay the

2 debt.

3 And so with that the only -- the agenda

4 item is approval of fiscal sufficiency of up to

5 $365 million in Public Education Capital Outlay

6 Refunding Bonds.

7 TREASURER GALLAGHER: May I ask, this is

8 State Board of Administration first?

9 GOVERNOR BUSH: This is -- we're doing the

10 State Board first?

11 MR. WATKINS: Correct.

12 GOVERNOR BUSH: Commission Gallagher,

13 would you like to make a motion?

14 TREASURER GALLAGHER: I'll move Item 1,

15 State Board of Administration.

16 COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN: And I will second.

17 GOVERNOR BUSH: Moved and seconded.

18 Without objection, the item passes.








1 GOVERNOR BUSH: Now we'll move to the

2 Division of Bond Finance.

3 MR. WATKINS: Division of Bond Finance is

4 what I do as my normal job rather than double

5 duty and what we -- our -- our function is to

6 borrow money on behalf of the state.

7 We have within the State of Florida a

8 centralized debt management function and what

9 that means is the full Governor and Cabinet,

10 all of the seven individuals that you see here

11 today, are the governing board of the Division

12 of Bond Finance who authorizes the issuance of

13 state bonds.

14 So whenever any state agency needs to

15 borrow money, the execution of that

16 transaction, the way we borrow money is by

17 issuing tax-free or municipal bonds.

18 So every -- we administer programs for

19 Department of Education for providing money for

20 school construction, programs for the

21 Department of Environmental Protection, and

22 Secretary Seibert's agency, DCA, which is to

23 raise money for the acquisition of the

24 environmentally sensitive lands in the form of

25 Florida Forever Bonds or Preservation 2000

1 Bonds, and also programs on behalf of the

2 Department of Transportation to provide for

3 road construction and bridge construction

4 across the state.

5 So that is the function that we perform as

6 the Division of Bond Finance.

7 GOVERNOR BUSH: Thank you, Ben.

8 MR. WATKINS: And this morning we have one

9 agenda item and that -- well, actually two.

10 The first agenda item is approval of the

11 minutes of the September 10th meeting.


13 minutes.


15 GOVERNOR BUSH: Moved and seconded.

16 Without objection, the item passes.

17 MR. WATKINS: And Item 2 is adoption of a

18 resolution authorizing the issuance and

19 competitive sale of up to $365 million in

20 Public Education Capital Outlay Refunding

21 Bonds.



24 GOVERNOR BUSH: Moved and seconded.

25 Without objection, the item passes.

1 Thank you, Ben.

2 MR. WATKINS: Thank you.
























1 GOVERNOR BUSH: Department of Veterans'

2 Affairs. That's what I thought we were doing

3 before.

4 MR. McPHERSON: Good morning again, sir.

5 GOVERNOR BUSH: Good morning, Rocky.

6 MR. McPHERSON: We have two agenda items

7 this morning. The first is the minutes of June

8 12th and June 13th Cabinet -- August 13th

9 Cabinet meetings. They're both at Attachment 1

10 and are recommended for acceptance, sir.


12 minutes.


14 GOVERNOR BUSH: Moved and seconded.

15 Without objection, the items passes.

16 MR. McPHERSON: Sir, before I move to our

17 second item, I would like to take just a

18 moment. We have here in the audience today two

19 new members of the Florida Department of

20 Veterans' Affairs management staff who have

21 just joined our department.

22 First, our new director of benefits and

23 assistance. Barbara, if you would stand,

24 please. She is the lady who leads our division

25 who assists veterans with filing claims for

1 federal benefits throughout our state.

2 She is a veteran of the Army and has

3 completed a full career with the U.S.

4 Department of Veterans' Affairs. She brings an

5 in-depth knowledge of the VA and its key

6 personnel upon whom we depend very much. She's

7 a strong, positive leader, and she is excited

8 to join our team in veterans' affairs.

9 GOVERNOR BUSH: Great, Barbara.

10 MR. McPHERSON: Barbara.

11 GOVERNOR BUSH: Barbara, are you based in

12 St. Petersburg?

13 MS. HARKER: Yes, I am.

14 GOVERNOR BUSH: Should have mentioned that

15 since that's where we are.

16 MR. McPHERSON: Sir, our other recent

17 addition to our management staff is Colonel

18 Charlie Price. Charlie, would you stand,

19 please.

20 Charlie is currently United States Army

21 retired, and he has joined our department as

22 the external affairs director. He will assist

23 with enhancing the outreach to our state's 37

24 plus organizations, and those veterans who do

25 not -- who are not members of any organization;

1 and that, sir, is the majority.

2 Colonel Price is a well-known advocate for

3 veterans' issues having lobbied hard to pass

4 many bills that assist veterans in this state,

5 and he will be a solid addition to our team.

6 Sir, our second agenda item for today is

7 the Florida Department of Affairs' Fiscal Year

8 2003 - '04 Legislative Budget Request.

9 The materials detailing our budget request

10 for '03 - '04 is at Attachment 2, and I would

11 like to provide the following comments that

12 highlights the elements of this submission.

13 One of the things that we have handed out

14 is a detailed overview of the accomplishments

15 of our department since 1999 and it's -- it's

16 provided because it reflects the service this

17 department brings to Florida to meet the needs

18 of our veterans, and I would like to highlight

19 five areas.

20 First area is the State Veterans' Nursing

21 Home Program. The state homes program provides

22 domiciliary and nursing home care for four,

23 soon to be six, locations around Florida.

24 This program is a major factor in the

25 growth of our LBR, and it will bring to

1 fruition the final two nursing homes in Bay and

2 Charlotte County.

3 Our request this year is for the funding

4 for the staffing and the first-year operations

5 for both of these new homes that will be

6 completed in the spring of 2003.

7 Upon completion Florida will have six

8 facilities and 750 beds to provide long-term

9 health care services to Florida veterans.

10 Second area I would like to highlight is

11 what we call state legislative advocacy. Our

12 overview document lists many of the additional

13 state legislative advocacy efforts that the

14 department has performed to enhance the quality

15 of life for our veterans.

16 New state laws that improve small but

17 important items are numerous and important and

18 a few of them are as follows: The legislature

19 has approved and the Governor has signed into

20 law the following types of legislative

21 initiatives: Raising the disabled veterans'

22 homeowners' exemption from 500 to 5,000

23 dollars; easing procedures for obtaining

24 handicap parking passes; ensuring that

25 departed, unclaimed veterans are given proper

1 burials; protection of the privacy of military

2 discharge papers; the high school diploma

3 program; the Overseas Voter Protection Act;

4 safeguarding military veterans' discharge

5 documents; and health insurance and safety

6 guarantees for activated reservists and guard

7 personnel.

8 All of these are among the many causes

9 that FDVA advocacy has assisted to bring to

10 completion through the leadership of

11 legislative sponsors and the signing of these

12 bills into law by Governor Bush.

13 This year the continuation elements of our

14 budget will allow continued advocacy of this

15 type for more improvements to continue to

16 improve the quality of life for Florida's

17 veterans.

18 Our third item that I'd like to highlight

19 is national legislative advocacy. Advocacy

20 with Governor Bush, his Washington office, the

21 Florida Congressional Delegation all continue

22 to address the many significant issues that the

23 U.S. Department of Veterans' Affairs policies

24 that affect Florida's veterans.

25 These issues include among the following

1 things: Direct communication through a recent

2 letter from the Governor to Secretary Principi

3 offering to work with him and our congressional

4 delegation in dealing with the increasingly

5 frustrating issue of long waiting lists, over

6 35,000, for initial access to VA health care

7 services.

8 Governor Bush has offered to host a

9 federal VA congressional delegation, state VA,

10 and veterans' organizations conference to

11 explore new ideas pointed towards innovative

12 solutions for re-allocation of resources to

13 meet this critical problem; additionally, since

14 1891 being required to offset retirement pay to

15 receive disability payments has long

16 disadvantaged disabled military retirees.

17 Governor Bush has recently announced his

18 support for concurrent receipt of these

19 benefits and for the house version of the

20 ongoing conference issue that is currently

21 being considered in congress.

22 Many of Florida's military retirees who

23 are disabled may soon enjoy this long overdue

24 benefit should congress complete this action on

25 this issue this year.

1 A fourth category is national veterans'

2 cemeteries. Continuing strong advocacy has

3 resulted in national cemetery expansions and

4 additions and most recently the VA purchase of

5 313 acres in south Florida for the new national

6 cemetery in West Palm Beach. Efforts to bring

7 additional needed national cemeteries to

8 Florida continue as a high priority issue.

9 And a final item that is highlighted in

10 our budget is memorials and tributes. Under

11 Governor Bush's leadership, the FDVA has

12 completed a number of memorials including the

13 Florida Korean War Memorial and the permanent

14 Medal of Honor tribute in the state capital.

15 We've also commenced the design, planning

16 and fund-raising to create a Florida World War

17 II Veterans' Memorial.

18 The FDVA '03 - '04 Legislative Budget

19 Request identifies the requests for $200,000 in

20 matching funds to complete the purchase and

21 replacement of the monument portion of this

22 concept of a Florida World War II Veterans'

23 Memorial, and the museum portion of that

24 memorial was already in being in a wing of the

25 Florida Museum of History in Tallahassee.

1 For the superior efforts of the Department

2 of State, it was dedicated on December 7th,

3 2001, the 50th anniversary of the attack on

4 Pearl Harbor and will remain in place as a

5 terrific educational asset to teach today's

6 youth about the sacrifices earlier generations

7 made to secure the liberties of this nation.

8 The Florida Statute Directed Memorial

9 allows the department to request matching funds

10 to compliment the almost $200,000 that has been

11 raised by the department today primarily

12 through veterans and corporate contributions.

13 Our department will continue fund-raising

14 so as to enable the earliest possible

15 completion of the monument portion of the

16 Florida World War II Memorial, and the other

17 elements of the overall project will be

18 completed as funds become available.

19 Finally, sir, our budget this year

20 contains several small other elements to

21 continue to enable us to meet our statutory and

22 mandated missions and to continue and

23 reprove -- improve and refine our internal

24 operations.

25 Your Department of Veterans' Affairs needs

1 the resources that the LBR will deliver, and

2 our team will strive to continue to enhance the

3 services and advocacy that we have shown we

4 deliver to Florida's veterans.

5 I recommend acceptance of our LBR for 2003

6 and '04 and would like to entertain any

7 questions.

8 TREASURER GALLAGHER: Motion to approve

9 the budget request.


11 GOVERNOR BUSH: There's a motion and a

12 second. Any discussion?

13 General.

14 COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN: Let me just make a

15 quick comment really to thank Governor Bush for

16 his efforts in promoting veterans' support.

17 It has been long overdue, a lot of these

18 things, including cemetery which is in dire

19 need in this state and the -- the other

20 programs and particularly the compensation for

21 those that have been disabled and have not been

22 receiving their full compensation, and I thank

23 you for that.

24 GOVERNOR BUSH: Thank you, General. Yes.


1 question, and I do appreciate while I was in

2 the senate, Charlie Price came to me a number

3 of times on some of the issues, especially on

4 the cemetery where we were running out of space

5 at the current cemetery needing the other

6 locations which we helped -- helped him do

7 that.

8 My concern right now is -- is the -- is

9 the problem that we're having with the elderly

10 aspect of our World War II veterans. My dad,

11 had he lived today, would be 84 as a World War

12 II veteran, and I know that there are many

13 complications from not only battle wounds, but

14 other problems; the older one gets, builds up a

15 big problem with their physical and mental

16 stability.

17 Are we in the right position right now to

18 handle the influx of the more elderly of the

19 veterans that we can handle them in our

20 facilities between the federal and what we're

21 doing at the state level?

22 MR. McPHERSON: Sir, that's a difficult

23 question. As you know, veterans continue to

24 come to Florida and that has not ceased, and

25 consequently the burden that the federal VA has

1 from that continued influx really doesn't

2 lessen the load.

3 The key solution to this is for the

4 federal government to provide additional fiscal

5 resources to allow more services to more

6 veterans and the conference that the Governor

7 has proposed to lead towards new solution for

8 that and the continuing work that we do with

9 the federal VA to try and redistribute

10 resources from states that are losing veterans

11 are vital portions of that solution.

12 Certainly we do not have and the VA does

13 not have all the services needed yet, and it is

14 a problem that's in the front plate, sir.


16 mean, if states who are losing populations are

17 losing members of congress that represent that

18 population, then we should be working with the

19 federal government to say if we are gaining a

20 big majority of retired veterans in the State

21 of Florida, that that compensation should come

22 with them so that we can take care of them

23 properly.

24 GOVERNOR BUSH: Absolutely.


1 that's an issue we ought to be pushing heavily,

2 and I'm sure you probably are.

3 GOVERNOR BUSH: Well, and we actually -- I

4 don't remember if it was a year ago or a couple

5 years ago. We had some success in the funding

6 formula that dealt with this, but we've had --

7 you know, a lot of these formulas for veterans'

8 programs and housing and other things are based

9 on early 1990 census numbers. And so, you

10 know, if you have a 300,000 person increase in

11 the number of veterans and you already started

12 behind, it creates -- it creates a shortfall.

13 So we've gotten part of it taken care of,

14 and I want to personally thank Bill Young

15 for -- not only for this but just about for

16 everything.

17 We're so fortunate to have him as -- you

18 all are lucky in St. Petersburg to have him as

19 your congressman, but in Florida we're truly

20 blessed because he understands these issues

21 very well and helps with the appropriations on

22 all sorts of things. But this one was one

23 where both Congressman Bilirakis and Young

24 helped us, and we've still got more to do.

25 MR. McPHERSON: Yes, sir.

1 GOVERNOR BUSH: And the bigger issue is

2 the one related to the veterans; just the

3 process that the federal veterans'

4 administration has that is so cumbersome and so

5 difficult to access.

6 I mean, that's the one thing that I hear

7 from veterans across the state is just the

8 complete frustration, and our office is their

9 advocate, and I know we do a good job but

10 it's -- they need -- they need to change their

11 delivery system of just getting into the

12 system.

13 That's what this forum hopefully will be

14 about is to come up with good business

15 practices that -- and if they want to use us as

16 a pilot down in the St. Petersburg office,

17 we're more than happy to -- to do it a new way

18 for -- for our vets, so we're going to work

19 hard on it.

20 MR. McPHERSON: Thank you, sir.

21 GOVERNOR BUSH: Any questions on the

22 budget?

23 There's a motion and a second. I'm

24 abstaining from voting on this item as I always

25 do with these Cabinet meetings to make my own

1 budget recommendations, but my own

2 recommendations will be pretty darn close to

3 yours, Rocky.

4 MR. McPHERSON: Thank you, sir.

5 GOVERNOR BUSH: Without objection, the

6 item passes, except for the one abstention.

7 MR. McPHERSON: Thank you, sir.

8 GOVERNOR BUSH: Thank you. Thank you for

9 the great presentation.

10 I want to recognize the State Veterans'

11 Planning Group that is here, and y'all are

12 having a meeting, I guess, at ten o'clock to

13 twelve o'clock.

14 Can y'all please stand. These are the

15 veterans' organizations that represent the 1.8

16 million veterans of our state.

17 See you downstairs after we finish.









1 GOVERNOR BUSH: State Board of Education.

2 MS. LEWIS: Governor, Members of the

3 Cabinet, Item No. 1 is the Volusia County

4 Charter District Year 2 Progress Report, and

5 here with us today for the presentation is

6 Superintendent Bill Hall, Deputy Superintendent

7 Tim Huth, and Assistant Superintendent Chris

8 Colwell.


10 MR. HUTH: Thank you very much. Mr. Hall,

11 our superintendent, will be taking over.


13 worthwhile, Governor, to have someone explain

14 what we're doing here with Volusia County

15 because this is an unusual situation, and maybe

16 y'all might give a little background on why

17 you're here and how it all got started so that

18 our audience has an idea really what we're

19 doing.

20 MR. HUTH: Thank you, Tom.

21 GOVERNOR BUSH: Can I tell you how it got

22 started?

23 TREASURER GALLAGHER: Well, yeah. Sure.

24 GOVERNOR BUSH: I was with Earl Leonard

25 walking through a school, and we started

1 talking about how there were too many rules

2 imposed by the Department of Education and from

3 that came a conversation -- well, because what

4 we found is that a lot of these rules you can

5 do -- you can eliminate with waivers and things

6 but to provide total flexibility, the idea was

7 to create a charter school district, and I

8 guess now we have three.

9 This is the second county, and this is

10 their annual review of what they've done

11 because in return for the freedom, there are

12 some set performance standards that are totally

13 embedded by the community.

14 What we liked about the Volusia plan -- at

15 least what I liked about it was the fact that

16 it was a bottom-up plan; that there was

17 significant input from classroom teachers and

18 parents, school-based, and that worked its way

19 up to -- to the superintendent and they came

20 and negotiated with us.

21 So this is just an annual review of what

22 they've done.

23 MR. HALL: Thank you, Governor Bush,

24 distinguished Members of the Cabinet. I am

25 Bill Hall, superintendent of schools of Volusia

1 County school system. Excuse me. I have a

2 cold today.

3 It is our honor and privilege to present

4 to you year two of the charter district status

5 for Volusia County. This is an assessment

6 performed by the Southern Association of

7 Colleges and Schools, and we will be sharing

8 some data with you.

9 But before we do that, I want to share

10 with you and with the audience just a few facts

11 about Volusia County. First, we're the ninth

12 largest school district in the State of

13 Florida.

14 GOVERNOR BUSH: We'll see if we can get

15 someone to answer that cell phone.

16 MR. HALL: That's not mine.

17 GOVERNOR BUSH: Or is it an alarm? Okay.

18 Good. Thank you.

19 MR. HALL: Let me start again. We're the

20 ninth largest district in the State of Florida;

21 the 48th largest out of 16,000 school districts

22 in the country. We currently have 63,000

23 students, 8,000 employees.

24 Last Thursday evening our school board

25 adopted a general operating budget of $350

1 million, an overall budget including capital

2 improvement of $715 million.

3 We have 68 schools K through 12, three

4 charter schools, and on October 10th of 2001,

5 our citizens passed a one-half cent sales tax

6 for a ten-year ability program to the tune of

7 $500 million which will add nine new schools,

8 renovate 35 schools that are 35 years of age or

9 older; and we were told that we could not do

10 it, particularly after 9-11, but that vote

11 passed with a 57 percent margin of victory, and

12 we are well on our way to catching up to our

13 building needs.

14 And, Governor, with your plan that you

15 brought out at the Chamber of Commerce

16 breakfast in Daytona Beach last week, whatever

17 additional help that we can receive, we are

18 more than happy to receive it.

19 GOVERNOR BUSH: Surprise.

20 MR. HALL: Four years ago, two years after

21 my first two years as superintendent, we

22 decided that we needed to raise the bar, and we

23 began to concentrate on four areas of focus.

24 One was increasing and accelerating

25 student achievement. The second was improving

1 student discipline. The third was increasing

2 our business partnerships and our community

3 partnerships. And the fourth was to bring all

4 stakeholders to the table.

5 I think that when you read through this

6 report and listen to the staff give the

7 reports, you will see that we have accomplished

8 many of our goals.

9 And, Governor, we have used one of your

10 comments from last year at the end of our first

11 year of evaluation, the comment that you wished

12 that many districts in the State of Florida

13 would be like Volusia County. We've used that

14 in some of our literature. Thank you.

15 At this time I would like to introduce the

16 staff that's with me. On the far side is

17 Mr. Rich Skisma, our staff attorney. He is

18 here to keep us all straight. He's also our

19 chief negotiator and our chief policy writer.

20 Presenting most of the presentation today

21 will be Tim Huth, our deputy superintendent,

22 our chief legislative liaison, my right arm and

23 my left arm, and the man who does anything I

24 ask him to do almost; and Chris Colwell,

25 Dr. Chris Colwell, assistant superintendent for

1 curriculum school improvement, who is, in my

2 opinion, the best curriculum person in the

3 United States of America.

4 And now I'm going to turn it over to Tim.

5 MR. HUTH: Thank you very much. I know

6 that each of the Cabinet Members have the

7 booklet, and we'll be referring to various

8 pages as we go through the presentation but not

9 every single page.

10 As the superintendent has recalled, we

11 entered into a contract with this board and the

12 Volusia County School Board on July the 11th of

13 2000, and it was effective to expire on June

14 the 30th of 2003 as a pilot program, but the

15 contract is also subject to annual review, may

16 be modified, terminated or renewed by mutual

17 consent.

18 And then, likewise, we are here today

19 because in our contract it talks about an

20 annual report, and today we are giving this

21 annual report to the State Board of Education

22 on year two.

23 Important for everyone to recognize is

24 that embedded within this contract was the

25 realization of performance goals and that was

1 very important. Student achievement is

2 measured by the Florida Comprehensive

3 Achievement Test, FCAT, and school

4 accountability as determined by school grades

5 assigned pursuant to Section 229.57 of the

6 Florida Statute serve as the primary evaluation

7 of the effectiveness of this contract.

8 FCAT scores, grading of schools are the

9 primary performance goals on this three-year

10 pilot program and with that we'd like to cover

11 some of our effort in year two, and Dr. Colwell

12 will get into those points at this time.

13 DR. COLWELL: Thank you, Mr. Huth.

14 Governor, Members of the Cabinet, good morning.

15 If you look in the notebook under the

16 internal review tab -- and, again, we'll just

17 hit a couple of pages -- but as the contract

18 calls for and we are in full support of, the

19 primary evaluative tool should be the

20 performance of schools and students as measured

21 by the A Plus Accountability Plan.

22 On Page 1 you see the four-year history

23 for all schools in Volusia County for that

24 plan. Our goal -- and it is a goal we remain

25 committed to -- is 100 percent of all of the

1 schools in Volusia County will receive a grade

2 of A or B under an accountability plan that is

3 in place and we are working hard to implement.

4 We're pleased to report that we are 70

5 percent of the way there and in particular that

6 we have moved from 25 percent of our schools at

7 A or B status in the first year of the program

8 to a full 70 percent this year.

9 And I think it's a good example of what

10 I've heard the Governor say on many occasions

11 and that is when you raise the bar and raise

12 expectations, that has to precede increased

13 achievement and performance because over this

14 four-year trend, the expectations of the plan

15 have gone up as well and the results are not a

16 decrease in student performance but an increase

17 in student performance.

18 We also have reduced from 18 percent, as

19 you can see on that report on Page 1, to three

20 percent those schools receiving a grade of D

21 and F; and, of course, that needs to go to

22 zero.

23 Last week at the staff meeting the staff

24 asked us to submit a four-year history for

25 Title 1 schools. As you know, Title 1 schools

1 are those schools that have a high poverty

2 rate.

3 On Page 3 of your plan, in addition, I

4 know staff did provide you earlier this week

5 the four-year history for Title 1 schools, and

6 I was very pleased that you asked for that

7 because as can you see, I think this is another

8 very, very positive indicator of what can

9 happen when you put high expectations from the

10 state along with a real cooperative atmosphere

11 with the Department of Education; high

12 accountability standards with local control.

13 In the four years that this program has

14 been in place, you can see in year one 6

15 percent of our high-poverty schools received an

16 A or B. This year that is up to 63 percent.

17 Our goal for those schools: 100 percent.

18 In year one 32 percent of the Title 1

19 schools in Volusia County had a grade of D or

20 F. That was obviously not acceptable to

21 anyone. We're pleased to report that this year

22 that is down to three percent.

23 So, again, a very positive trend, not only

24 for all schools, but for high-poverty schools

25 as well. It can and is being done in Volusia

1 County as well as so many other places in the

2 State of Florida.

3 GOVERNOR BUSH: Have you -- have you given

4 out this data to national groups that are

5 looking at high-poverty schools to show --

6 DR. COLWELL: We're -- we are -- we had

7 looked at the data as part of the report which

8 is on Page 3 of your notebook. We're just

9 looking at this year's report and at the

10 request of the Department of Education staff,

11 we went back and obviously disaggregated and

12 looked at the four-year. Did that on Friday

13 and sent that to Mrs. Lewis and her staff.

14 And the answer to your question is yes,

15 we're beginning to do that right now beginning

16 with the report tonight to our school board to

17 let them share in what we think is a very

18 positive indicator that not only does charter

19 district work, but the expectations of this

20 state are very reasonable and can be reached.

21 I would also -- at this time I'm going to

22 turn over to Page 5 in the notebook and just

23 mention that during the two years that we have

24 had charter district status, we have had 97

25 local school waivers approved.

1 And as the Governor mentioned, one of the

2 things we've committed to was a ground-up

3 approach in which school parents, school

4 teachers, school communities look at the rules,

5 not only that might be at the state level, but

6 also at the local district level so that that

7 flexibility can be done. And you can see that

8 we have had a total of 97 waivers.

9 I want to commend the Department of

10 Education. Their staff has been incredibly

11 cooperative with us. Communication has been

12 timely and very professional so we appreciate

13 that. And we have since passed 100 waivers

14 with another batch of waivers headed to school

15 board review this evening.

16 At this time I'm going to ask Mr. Huth to

17 review beginning on Page 9.

18 MR. HUTH: A good question that people ask

19 are what are some of the content area that the

20 waivers have fallen under? And on Page 9 we

21 identify several of these things.

22 And without going through each one, a

23 couple of key ones for both the school and the

24 district is the use of categorical funds and

25 the ability that we have to waive the use of

1 categorical funds and spend them on things that

2 the schools would like to spend and, likewise,

3 too, what the district would like to spend and

4 that gives us flexibility which is very

5 important. A little bit later I'll cover the

6 fiscal page and show you a little bit about how

7 we utilize the waivers.

8 Also we have individual schools who their

9 teachers may identify something that they

10 believe in that's going to work for their

11 children and their community.

12 We had a particular school say we want to

13 try a different math series than the district

14 is utilizing. And that's the one in the very

15 middle of the page called the use of the Saxton

16 Math Series. And this came from ground-up at a

17 particular school, and they wanted to select

18 their own series.

19 Now, we are always cautious at the

20 district because we select it as a district so

21 that we can identify and collect data on a

22 district-wide series and make sure that the

23 benefits of the data are equal across the

24 entire district. And they went out on their

25 own and we allowed them.

1 We're always cautious of creating 68

2 individual school districts within Volusia

3 County, but we wanted to give this team of

4 teachers the flexibility to try something, and

5 their math scores have continued to increase.

6 They're a school-wide Title 1 program, and they

7 have been an A school, I believe, the last --


9 MR. HUTH: -- three years and so they

10 believe in something and we gave them that

11 flexibility.

12 Also important are the last four bullets.

13 And on that page in this content area what's

14 worthy of note is that each of these items

15 required a waiver of the teacher contract.

16 We have now in our teachers' contract

17 language -- and it's actual language identified

18 on Page 11, the next page. This is lifted from

19 their teacher contract -- that an individual

20 school can come forward and say we want to do

21 something different beyond what we are

22 restrained from our teachers' contract.

23 One of the schools on an accelerated day

24 agreed to teach beyond the 300 minutes of

25 instruction within the teachers' contract.

1 They waived that language and they're teaching

2 more than 300 minutes. They waived the

3 contract by 97 percent to three percent to

4 exclude themselves from that requirement of the

5 contract.

6 And we felt that that was very positive

7 because it was something, once again, that they

8 saw in the -- what they called closing the gap

9 effort; their initiative locally that they felt

10 would meet the needs of their high school

11 students -- this was a high school -- to help

12 their particular teachers and students.

13 Another one was a performance pay

14 component. That is brand new for one of our

15 middle schools, and we think this is going to

16 expand. In fact, it will expand. And on Page

17 14 it gives the -- the synopsis of how this

18 will work.

19 At a particular middle school a teacher

20 can earn up to $75 per student for the

21 individual that had scored at last year's level

22 one in reading and they make a learning gain to

23 level two or higher.

24 For each one of those students that they

25 work with between now and the end of the

1 testing period and they see that gain model

2 that's -- that we now have in place and they

3 move from level one to a higher level, they'll

4 receive $75 per student.

5 And we know that this is something that

6 other schools have seen. In fact, we have a

7 second waiver that's come in that is going to

8 be of similar nature with a performance pay

9 opportunity for a school.

10 GOVERNOR BUSH: Don't you also pay $25 an

11 hour for after-school -- I mean --

12 MR. HUTH: Tutorial?

13 GOVERNOR BUSH: Yeah. The performance

14 orientation requires the work that the teachers

15 are getting paid for in addition to the 75.

16 MR. HUTH: Correct. That's exactly right.

17 GOVERNOR BUSH: Each teacher is getting

18 paid $25 per hour?

19 MR. HUTH: $25 per hour for tutorial

20 afterschool effort.

21 GOVERNOR BUSH: And what is Terrier?

22 What's the Terrier part? Is that the name of

23 the school?

24 MR. HUTH: Terrier. That's their mascot.

25 GOVERNOR BUSH: Okay. I thought so.

1 MR. HUTH: Yes. Once again, unique to

2 that school. They are the Deland Middle

3 Terriers, and so they have their Terrier

4 program.

5 And they're excited. They've allocated

6 $40,500 aside for this program and at the end

7 of this year, once again, we'll report those

8 results; and we expect some real positive,

9 continued improvement at this particular

10 school.

11 TREASURER GALLAGHER: Title 1 school?

12 MR. HUTH: Title 1.

13 DR. COLWELL: On Page 17, again, still in

14 the internal review section, I know the

15 Governor will recall in our initial application

16 two and a half years ago some discussion about

17 29 goals and whether there -- we should be

18 reconsidering looking at an area of focus

19 there. And the year one Southern Association

20 report agreed with the Governor's

21 recommendation that we come in with an area of

22 focus on goals, and I'll speak to that for just

23 a moment.

24 At the same time we felt the commitment to

25 continue to track more than 200 indicators of

1 success over the life of the history of this

2 opportunity to be a charter district status.

3 One of the things I would report to you is

4 that we believe in high expectations, and we

5 have deliberately set our goals to very high

6 levels. We knew that it was more important --

7 more important for children and that we would

8 have better opportunities for the boys and

9 girls of Volusia County to set very high

10 standards, perhaps not reach them, than to set

11 standards we knew we might reach anyway.

12 In addition, we have set each standard to

13 benchmark. In other words, whatever our score

14 is this year, it needs to be higher the

15 following year; continuous improvement.

16 I would point out to you that it is very

17 common as we have so many standards that are

18 being measured by the Department of Education

19 and staff that at any given time we will have

20 data elements that are not in yet that are

21 coming in.

22 As a matter of fact, a year ago when we

23 were before the Cabinet, the 2001 status had

24 some -- some N/A's that you can see have now

25 been filled in as we move in October and

1 November and get graduation data, dropout data,

2 and other sorts of data.

3 We're pleased to see that as we continue

4 to raise the bar under our current number of

5 data elements that are in, we're in the 77

6 percent success rate with a very high standard.

7 Our expectation is 100 percent success rate,

8 but I will tell you that we will not do that at

9 the expense of lowering the standard.

10 If you will turn to the strategic plan tab

11 and go to Page 4. I'm not going to spend any

12 time on this but wanted to show on Page 4 a

13 matrix in which we have worked and taken the

14 recommendation of the Governor's office as well

15 as the Southern Association of Colleges and

16 Schools and have completed a yearlong strategic

17 planning process that has been endorsed by the

18 Southern Association, Florida School Board

19 Association, we believe very much aligns with

20 Secretary Horne's strategic comparatives and

21 have taken all of those goals and in effect we

22 have put them, Governor, into 12 specific areas

23 of focus. And you see those 12, what we refer

24 to as best practices.

25 In addition to this area, we have a fifth

1 area of focus which is safe and orderly. We

2 have been working with the state to completely

3 accredit all of our schools in a safe and

4 orderly process.

5 The only reason you don't see it in this

6 notebook is this was a response to a Southern

7 Association recommendation to take the charter

8 district goals and condense them down into a

9 more focused area.

10 We have academic excellence, access and

11 equity, high-performing staff and involve

12 family with 12, what we refer to as best

13 practices. Really they are goals and there's a

14 very good and strong alignment for that.

15 And with that I'd like for Deputy

16 Superintendent Huth to discuss briefly the

17 external review by the Southern Association.

18 MR. HUTH: Very important to our

19 credibility was to have an external team to

20 come in not associated with Volusia County to

21 come forward that has a history of reviewing

22 programs, particularly education programs.

23 And so we had contracted two years ago

24 with the Southern Association of Colleges and

25 Schools out of Decatur, Georgia, and with that

1 on Page 2 you'll see the names of the external

2 review committee everywhere from Pensacola;

3 Green Cove Springs; Tampa, Florida; and

4 Decatur, Georgia.

5 So we've got a variety of individuals that

6 came in to have different sets of eyes on top

7 of our efforts that have taken place and look

8 over year one accomplishments and then also

9 evaluate year two.

10 What this group of members did was they

11 brought in parents, teachers, school

12 principals, our school board members, had

13 individual conferences with focus groups so

14 that they can glean from them the information

15 that they have included in their findings.

16 On Page 4 the bulletin items that you see

17 on the bottom left are those items from the

18 first year's annual report that we've

19 accomplished. And this is something that they

20 went back, took a look at, reviewed those items

21 and felt that we have gone on our way to

22 meeting these first-year recommendations; and

23 then, likewise, for this year we have new

24 commendations and recommendations and they

25 begin on Page 7.

1 Under the commendations, one of the items

2 through their surveys and discussions with

3 parents, teachers and administrators at the

4 school-base level, the very first one talks

5 about empowering the stakeholder system-wide.

6 Through the comments that they received,

7 they felt that this was very noticeable and the

8 very first item that they wanted to reflect

9 upon on a commendation because of this ground

10 roots effort to come up, that it's still being

11 maintained, the effort is still being -- moving

12 forward.

13 The second one is an official -- efficient

14 waiver process. A concern that we had in year

15 one was here's a process you start in August

16 with an identified waiver and it becomes the

17 life in maybe May. Well, that's no good.

18 We have a process place -- a waiver

19 process in place that will start in August, and

20 it can be completed in four to six weeks if

21 they want to go ahead and move through this

22 effort with the comments from district staff

23 working with the individual schools. And the

24 schools appreciated this efficient feedback and

25 the ability to have a waiver come to light in a

1 timely fashion.

2 The third item is the strategic planning

3 framework that has been identified by

4 Dr. Colwell on that previous matrix that you

5 have seen, and they know that this is going to

6 be beneficial for us in the future.

7 The fourth item on Page 8 is that the

8 management skills that they have seen at the

9 school base and district have been enhanced

10 through the flexibility of these waivers, and

11 we'll cover some of these items in a moment.

12 And then number five is the use of our

13 online services and communication devices

14 throughout the entire district to help us in

15 disseminating waiver information.

16 Everything we have is on our web site.

17 Any parent, stakeholder, teacher, administrator

18 can go to the web site, pull up existing

19 waivers and get a status and analysis of those

20 particular waivers.

21 Now, the recommendations for year two --

22 and we take these very seriously as we did in

23 year one, and we're going to continue to work

24 on these for year two. The first

25 recommendation is that the district agreement

1 should be extended for five years. We've seen

2 great progress take place, and we know that

3 this initiated with a pilot three years in the

4 contract the state has. As I said earlier, it

5 also states that it can be modified and

6 extended.

7 One of the things that we have seen with

8 100 waivers is the potential that if coming

9 next year it's not renewed, then we got to

10 start gearing down this March, April and May on

11 things that might be contractual in nature or

12 that there's going to be a system or process

13 change that we have to prepare for the

14 following year to get us back to where we were

15 three years ago.

16 Number two, train all stakeholders on the

17 new strategic plan effort. This next year 23

18 out of our 68 schools and three charter schools

19 will be using a strategic plan model. The

20 following year all of our schools will move to

21 that.

22 We wanted it to be an option year this

23 year because, once again, we're looking for

24 buy-in. We're looking for them to commit the

25 time and energy to change, and this first group

1 of 23 will do that. The following year we'll

2 have the rest of the schools come on board.

3 And then, number three, to integrate those

4 best practices that we've been working on and

5 identified in our strategic plan and then

6 working on professional staff development

7 activities, especially centered around

8 disaggregated subgroups and low performing

9 schools.

10 Get the data on those that are common and

11 then we have developed and hit our strategies

12 and goals to improve those particular areas;

13 and then, of course, to evaluate the strategies

14 of the decisions that we made in the programs

15 for all of our schools.

16 Number four is the technological

17 infrastructure to support the development and

18 maintenance of these new strategic plans. And

19 as you know, technology's always developing;

20 yet we in Volusia County, we believe is the

21 number one county as far as technology use for

22 educational enhancement and support at the

23 school base and district.

24 You may recall that out of our 4,500

25 teachers, every one of them has their computer

1 workstation. We're all networked. We're all

2 wired. We're all retrofitted. All of our

3 schools have multiple labs in them. Multimedia

4 activities can take place.

5 We're the, I believe, only district that

6 has the entire district on the voice override

7 P-technology. That's the internet protocol

8 that has voice, video and data all over our

9 technology system, our wide area network and

10 that has been a real boom for us on

11 communication between all of our schools

12 because actually in Volusia County, we have

13 three different area codes because of the way

14 we were carved up.

15 And to communicate, if you're at New

16 Smyrna High, you may have to use one area code.

17 You go over to Deltona High, you're in Orlando

18 area and go to a different lattice; and Daytona

19 Beach, you're in a different area code. And so

20 just by being in our own system, we've been

21 able to efficiently and effectively improve our

22 communication.

23 And then, of course, the last

24 recommendation is to network with the other

25 charter districts; Orange County, Hillsborough

1 County. We have done that. We are presenting

2 in October at a conference called Three

3 Districts Together, and we have ongoing

4 meetings that will be taking place to support

5 us.

6 Under the fiscal tab, fiscal flexibility,

7 under year two at the bottom of that page, this

8 is where we had the categorical flexibility

9 from the district that we were able to move

10 these amount of dollars to classroom, teacher,

11 media supplements at the individual schools and

12 to supply the individual teachers with needed

13 materials. We've move 280,000 from the

14 instructional materials media budget.

15 Now, that's after every student has the

16 required state-adopted textbook. So all of our

17 students have the textbooks. When we had money

18 left over, we now moved it into other classroom

19 supplies expenses.

20 We had dollars left over from the Teacher

21 Recruitment and Retention Fund, once again, in

22 using it for classroom supplies for the

23 teachers, we move that 225,000 over.

24 The educational technology dollars,

25 categorical, the 650,000 -- it says MIS staff

1 but I want to clarify that.

2 What we have done is we listen to the 68

3 schools, and they said with all this technology

4 out there and all of our labs, we need to have

5 tech people to help us because there's

6 troubleshooting that needs to take place or

7 they need certain things identified, fixed, new

8 software loaded. They don't need to spend the

9 time.

10 So we moved that 650,000 to hire tech

11 support groups at the school. So they're not

12 at the district office. They're actually

13 housed at the schools. And then the teacher

14 training dollars that we had left over, once

15 again, focus back into the classrooms for their

16 supplies, equipment, materials that they may

17 need.

18 And that gives you an example of year two

19 our 1.4 million that we moved from the district

20 level. And then schools have additional

21 flexibility at the school level with their

22 school improvement dollars, their school

23 recognition funds, etc., and they're utilizing

24 those at this time.

25 Dr. Colwell.

1 DR. COLWELL: Finally, before the

2 superintendent brings closing comments, the tab

3 detailed accountability report is -- should be

4 a complete alignment of all of the schools in

5 the district. They're alphabetical by level;

6 elementary, then middle, and high. So those

7 are your 68 school grades.

8 That is a complete match from the report

9 card issued by the Department of Education.

10 Then we know that it is important that our

11 information completely match and follow the

12 information reported by the state.

13 And using the template that we've received

14 from the Department of Education, we've

15 completed this report and sharing it with all

16 of our stakeholders. So it lets schools see

17 very particular where their areas of strength

18 are and their areas of weakness.

19 With that, Superintendent Hall.

20 MR. HALL: Thank you, Tim. Governor Bush,

21 Members of the Cabinet, State Board of

22 Education on behalf of the school board of

23 Volusia County, we would like to request that

24 the State Board of Education consistent with

25 the recommendations of the Southern Association

1 of Colleges and Schools agree to renew the

2 existing charter district agreement between the

3 State Board of Education and the school board

4 of Volusia County for an additional five-year

5 period.

6 We would further request that this be

7 agendaed for your October 8th state board

8 meeting, and we're open to any questions and

9 answers.

10 GOVERNOR BUSH: Any questions?

11 TREASURER GALLAGHER: Well, I'd just like

12 to congratulate you all on what you've done. I

13 was very involved when you first got it started

14 and you weren't where the idea was to have a

15 charter school, but you got on it real quick,

16 took advantage of it better than any other

17 district has done in my personal opinion and

18 you've ran with it, and you've really done a

19 great job for the students.

20 And the great thing is your teachers have

21 bought into it. Your parents have bought into

22 it. Your whole community's bought into it and,

23 you know, the proof's here. I mean, this is

24 some great statistics.

25 MR. HALL: Yes, it is. Thank you.

1 TREASURER GALLAGHER: And your goals are

2 still high and continue to stay up there.

3 And no school below a B, that's a pretty

4 strong set of goals. And the neat thing is

5 that you're moving toward it real quick, and I

6 just want to congratulate you on it.

7 And I'm supportive of you being able to

8 continue it, and we probably have to do it at

9 another date, but I appreciate your report.

10 MR. HALL: Well, thank you very much. You

11 see the three of us wearing Team Volusia pins.

12 This represents all of the Volusia County

13 employees and the Volusia County community.

14 Without all of us working together, we would

15 not be here today before you.

16 TREASURER GALLAGHER: Well, it's exciting

17 what you've done, and I really look forward to

18 other districts looking at what you've set as

19 goals and the way that you, you know,

20 accomplish those goals and, you know, it's

21 something -- you know, may have come from a

22 discussion that was had in a different county

23 but you sure have taken advantage of that

24 discussion, and I do want to congratulate you

25 on that.

1 MR. HALL: Thank you.

2 GOVERNOR BUSH: Any questions or comments?



5 COMMISSIONER CRIST: Thank you, Governor.

6 I would move to -- excuse me -- defer action on

7 the renewal of Volusia County's charter school

8 district contract until October 8th meeting,

9 but we support you and it's just for the

10 audience benefit.

11 Just a notice thing. We just have to have

12 enough time for everybody to see it, look at

13 it, examine it, and by October 8th that will be

14 the case.

15 Thank you, Governor.


17 GOVERNOR BUSH: There's a motion to defer

18 until October 8th and a second. Without

19 objection, the item is deferred.

20 And we look forward to seeing you. May

21 not have to bring the whole team up, but I

22 think we're in pretty good shape here.

23 MR. HALL: I think I will come up, but we

24 would like to stay for the rest of your

25 meeting, but we do have a school board meeting

1 at four p.m. back in Daytona Beach so we're

2 going to head out.

3 GOVERNOR BUSH: Watch out for the

4 construction on I-4. We're trying to widen it

5 as fast as we can.

6 MR. HALL: Thank you very much.

7 GOVERNOR BUSH: Thank you very much and

8 congratulations on all the progress.

9 TREASURER GALLAGHER: Let me do this: We

10 should accept the report that they've given us,

11 and I'd like to move to do that.



14 GOVERNOR BUSH: Moved and seconded.

15 Without objection, the report is accepted.

16 COMMISSIONER BRONSON: Governor, since

17 we're still on education, I'd like to announce

18 something that's going to take place actually

19 right here in Pinellas County tomorrow. It's

20 also going to -- it's taking place in

21 Hillsborough, in Broward, and Palm Beach

22 Counties.

23 In conjunction with USDA, the Department

24 of Agriculture here in the State of Florida is

25 opening up salad bars in four counties, four

1 school districts, to push the Five-A-Day

2 Program for nutrition.

3 Since our children are listed as becoming

4 obese because of lack of activity, we're trying

5 to make sure they understand that eating five

6 fruits and vegetables a day is much healthier

7 than eating pizzas all the time or hamburgers

8 all the time or some of the other foods that

9 they tend to like to eat all the time.

10 And we're going to give nutritional

11 information. We're going to find out if our

12 school children are willing to try the fruits

13 and vegetables in those four counties in the

14 school system, and we're hoping that this will

15 be something that we can do in a broader scope

16 next year.

17 TREASURER GALLAGHER: You're not speaking

18 out against beef, are you?


20 No, no. I -- I am --

21 TREASURER GALLAGHER: I didn't want to

22 read that headline: Agriculture Commissioner

23 against beef.

24 COMMISSIONER BRONSON: But while they're

25 eating their beef, they need to have fruits and

1 vegetables to go with it.

2 COMMISSIONER CRIST: And lots of oranges.


4 MS. LEWIS: Items 2 through 5 are

5 reappointments and appointments to the

6 Education Practices Commission.

7 TREASURER GALLAGHER: Move 2 through 5.



10 GOVERNOR BUSH: Moved and seconded.

11 Without objection, the item passes.

12 MS. LEWIS: Items 6 through 14 are

13 appointments and reappointments to various

14 community college District Board of Trustees.

15 TREASURER GALLAGHER: Motion on 6 through

16 14.


18 GOVERNOR BUSH: There's a motion on 6

19 through 14. Without objection -- there's a

20 second. Without objection, the item passes.

21 MS. LEWIS: Item 15 is the adoption of

22 resolutions authorizing the issuance and

23 competitive sale of not exceeding $365 million

24 PECO Refunding Bonds.



2 GOVERNOR BUSH: Moved and seconded.

3 Without objection, the item passes.

4 Thank you.

5 MS. LEWIS: Thank you.





















1 GOVERNOR BUSH: Board of Trustees.


3 minutes.


5 GOVERNOR BUSH: Let's find somebody here

6 first to speak on behalf of the Board of

7 Trustees.

8 Colleen, where are you? There he is.

9 There's a motion and a second on the

10 minutes. The item passes without objection.

11 Item 2.

12 MR. STRUHS: Good morning, Your Honor.

13 GOVERNOR BUSH: Good morning.

14 MR. STRUHS: I was enjoying a good meeting

15 this morning with Mayor Baker; working a lot in

16 environmental issues.

17 GOVERNOR BUSH: Great. Glad you could

18 make it.

19 MR. STRUHS: Would you like to go right

20 into Item 2?

21 GOVERNOR BUSH: Yes. I think that'd be a

22 good idea.

23 MR. STRUHS: Item 2 is a proposal for an

24 option agreement from McClure Properties,

25 Limited. This is a Florida Forever Project.

1 It's 2,255 acres. Helps preserve the

2 Twelvemile Slough.

3 GOVERNOR BUSH: That's Item 3.

4 TREASURER GALLAGHER: We're on Acquisition

5 Item 2.

6 MR. STRUHS: I'm sorry.

7 TREASURER GALLAGHER: By the way, David,

8 you might want to explain what this -- the name

9 of the group that we're --

10 GOVERNOR BUSH: Exactly. Why don't we

11 start --

12 TREASURER GALLAGHER: We sit as different

13 things, and right now we're sitting as the

14 Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement

15 Trust Fund.

16 You want to explain to everybody what that

17 is?

18 MR. STRUHS: Yes. We at the Department of

19 Environmental Protection have a lot of

20 different responsibilities. One of them is

21 serving as staff to the Board of Trustees; the

22 Board of Trustees obviously being the Governor

23 of the Cabinet who are the trustees for all the

24 publicly-owned lands in the State of Florida.

25 The responsibilities include coming up

1 with strategies to acquire lands for a variety

2 of purposes, including water resource

3 development and conservation for recreation and

4 wildlife habitat and the like. It also on

5 occasion requires decisions surplusing land.

6 The Board of Trustees in June of '99

7 recognized that one of the things that we were

8 not doing a particularly good job of in the

9 state was operating like a business and being

10 efficient in terms of these transactions.

11 The fact is we were taking 445 days on

12 average to acquire a parcel of land for the

13 State of Florida, and obviously time is money.

14 We were operating more like a government and

15 less like a business, but we were working in a

16 market environment.

17 And the Governor and the Cabinet directed

18 the department, among other things, to examine

19 means of becoming more efficient. And this is

20 probably a good segue in the next agenda item.

21 We have successfully and pleased to report

22 today --

23 GOVERNOR BUSH: You want to -- you want to

24 just briefly describe what the Board of

25 Trustees' responsibilities are? Just, I mean,

1 why it's a unique, one-of-a-kind.

2 There's no state in the country that has

3 where we have seven statewide elected

4 officials -- we won't have that either soon --

5 but seven statewide officials to be four

6 officials that preside over the public lands,

7 and in our Cabinet Meeting every two weeks we

8 have -- we have an agenda that is full of

9 purchases of that land and other issues related

10 to the public lands and that's -- that's how

11 we're gathered here today.

12 Commissioner Gallagher, would you like to

13 add --

14 TREASURER GALLAGHER: Yeah. Well, I had a

15 couple things and that is that it does take

16 five members of this board to approve the

17 purchase or sale of public lands, and that was

18 done way back in order to protect the state

19 from one individual making the decisions on

20 what was bought or what was sold.

21 Initially I think that individual was

22 probably appointed by the federal government at

23 the time who was our governor and the other

24 elected cabinet members didn't like him handing

25 out land to his friends I guess, but anyway

1 that's past history.

2 But today it requires five members of the

3 Cabinet to agree on a -- on a purchase or sale

4 of state land so that it does require that

5 extraordinary vote, and it's one of the only

6 things that does require that vote. And there

7 are times when there's only four votes and when

8 that happens, there isn't an acquisition or a

9 sale.

10 GOVERNOR BUSH: We go back to the drawing

11 board.

12 TREASURER GALLAGHER: We've got to come up

13 with a new plan.

14 GOVERNOR BUSH: Okay, David. Item 2.

15 MR. STRUHS: And Item 2, again, it just

16 picks right up from there because the

17 instructions that Governor Bush and the Cabinet

18 gave to the department back in June of 1999,

19 early in the Governor's tenure, was to say how

20 can we be more efficient in making these

21 transactions occur?

22 Obviously the benefits of being more

23 efficient is we save time. We save money. We

24 are more effective in getting the properties

25 that we want.

1 We can be more selective, more strategic;

2 and by saving money, it also leaves more money

3 in our account to, in fact, buy more

4 conservation land. Smart money management in

5 this context equals good environmental

6 management.

7 We took that direction to heart and here

8 we are a couple of years later and with a

9 concerted effort have cut the average time to

10 acquire a piece of property in the State of

11 Florida by half.

12 We were operating previously at about 440

13 days on average. We're happy to report that it

14 now takes us about 240 days on average to

15 acquire a piece of property.

16 We have done some calculations in terms of

17 how much money that has saved the State of

18 Florida. Over the last three years with this

19 new direction, we have saved $1,150,000. That

20 is an extra million dollars that now remains in

21 our accounts to go out and by more conservation

22 land.

23 So, again, I think it was excellent

24 instructions from the Governor and Cabinet to

25 suggest that better money management would also

1 equal better environmental management.

2 TREASURER GALLAGHER: Now, David, we're

3 not happy with 244 days yet, are we?

4 MR. STRUHS: Well, no, sir, because --


6 MR. STRUHS: -- we're always looking for

7 continuous improvement. We believe that we may

8 have some additional ideas that could continue

9 this trend.

10 We want to make sure, though, that as we

11 go forward that, number one, if we are going

12 to, for example, bring in private assistance to

13 help with these transactions that, number one,

14 it meets a cost benefit. That's -- and we can

15 clearly demonstrate that to you and to the

16 public; and, secondly, we want to make sure

17 that we've maintained the integrity of the

18 process.

19 Getting back to your comments,

20 Commissioner Gallagher, the reason you have the

21 Board of Trustees here is because we want the

22 highest level of integrity in all these land

23 purchases, and we would only propose something

24 if, in fact, it met that test.

25 And that's why before we would proceed

1 with any additional work we would want to come

2 back to the Cabinet and make sure that you all

3 agree that, number one, it was cost

4 effective -- we could make that case with a

5 spreadsheet -- and, secondly, that we would

6 maintain the integrity of the underlying

7 system.

8 But we will pursue those ideas, and we'll

9 come back to you. But today we really wanted

10 to celebrate the fact that we've got an extra

11 million dollars of land conservation thanks to

12 the instructions you gave us at the beginning

13 of your terms. So we're real pleased with

14 that, and with that we just request your

15 acknowledgment or receipt of this report.

16 We did -- if you would care to learn more

17 either now or later, we did prepare a chart.

18 I'm not sure we can project that, but we could

19 certainly hand it out.

20 It shows specifically where the savings

21 were made in terms of these improved

22 deficiencies; the appraisal process, we've

23 saved time in negotiation process, the closing

24 process.

25 So in doing all three steps in land

1 acquisition we've been able to save time and

2 that's how we got the cumulative fact of

3 cutting it in half, almost in half, from 440 to

4 244.

5 TREASURER GALLAGHER: Well, I think you

6 ought to give some of the numbers. You have

7 the appraisals took a 135 days; they're down

8 71.

9 MR. STRUHS: Yes, sir.

10 TREASURER GALLAGHER: Negotiations have

11 cut 10 days or 15 from 105 to 90, and the

12 closings which used to take 200 days are now at

13 83. So I can tell you from an efficiency

14 standpoint, the buyer and the seller appreciate

15 it.

16 MR. STRUHS: Yes, sir.

17 TREASURER GALLAGHER: Especially the

18 seller. If you have a voluntary seller who's

19 willing to sell us their land at an agreed

20 price and it takes them 440 days to do it, they

21 probably wish they hadn't agreed. At least

22 I've talked with some that wish they hadn't

23 agreed.

24 MR. STRUHS: And you and I have both, sir.

25 We used to get a number of phone calls from

1 sellers who really thought they were on the one

2 end obviously being fairly treated but --

3 because they got -- they got a fair price but

4 then felt like they wished they had sold it to

5 somebody else because by the end of the process

6 they felt that we were ineffective,

7 inefficient, slow moving, bureaucratic to the

8 point where the frustration became well-known

9 in the marketplace.

10 TREASURER GALLAGHER: Well, they end

11 up paying -- they pay property taxes on it

12 another year and -- and a half.

13 MR. STRUHS: Right.

14 TREASURER GALLAGHER: Which, you know, we

15 don't do. And if they have any mortgages, they

16 got to continue paying those and if they don't,

17 they have certainly loss of revenue that they

18 think they're going to get before 440 days.

19 MR. STRUHS: That's correct. And the good

20 news is this is anecdotal. I mean, these are

21 real statistics here. Anecdotally I can tell

22 you it has been quite a while since we've

23 received any complaints from sellers that we've

24 taken too long. That used to be the norm, and

25 we don't get that anymore.

1 TREASURER GALLAGHER: With an average of

2 244, how about giving me an example of what

3 we -- what's the quickest that we've been able

4 to handle the total process.

5 MR. STRUHS: You know, it's silly for me

6 to stand here and take all the credit for this

7 because --

8 GOVERNOR BUSH: Very silly.

9 MR. STRUHS: -- Rob Lovern here who works

10 in our Division of State Lands really deserves

11 an enormous amount of credit and thanks for

12 getting us to this point, and I'd like to share

13 the limelight with Rob and let him give you

14 some examples.

15 MR. LOVERN: Good morning.

16 GOVERNOR BUSH: Good morning.

17 MR. LOVERN: I'm Rob Lovern, assistant

18 director of state lands. I think the shortest

19 example is probably three days we had --

20 GOVERNOR BUSH: That's pretty short.

21 MR. LOVERN: -- most recently with a

22 Mr. Andy Mishatta. It was a joint acquisition

23 with the water management district, and we

24 actually did all of the due diligence and leg

25 work up front.

1 I take that back. It was probably five

2 days because after they asked for your

3 approval, we asked for a warrant and we were

4 able to close it five days later. So that's

5 the best example for a short period.

6 What we're doing is putting a lot of our

7 due diligence up front, anticipating your

8 approval where we already have high levels of

9 products to begin with so we're not taking a

10 lot of risk but just enough to sometimes cut

11 the process in half.

12 TREASURER GALLAGHER: Oh, I was looking

13 for willing seller, we're an interested buyer,

14 from that point to -- to a closing.

15 MR. LOVERN: The -- I think probably 180

16 days. That's our target at this point.

17 The Governor did ask the Cabinet

18 collectively for a target of no more than six

19 months in the process and we've met that.

20 Probably 120 days I would think, Mr. Gallagher.

21 The -- it's not the routine, but we're

22 learning from those where we do that how to put

23 those processes in place and also do it more

24 often and bring the numbers down, but we are at

25 the target of 180 days.

1 TREASURER GALLAGHER: That's great. And

2 four months is certainly better than six.

3 MR. LOVERN: Yes, sir.


5 hoping that while we're saving this money on

6 acquisition to be used later that we can also

7 somehow find a way to put some money into this

8 for the management of all these properties that

9 we're getting. That is one of the most

10 critical things we need to be doing.

11 So anyplace and anywhere we can find money

12 to actually manage the properties is one of the

13 issues that I'm still going to harp on until

14 the day I leave state government that we --

15 TREASURER GALLAGHER: Who manages most of

16 that property?

17 COMMISSIONER BRONSON: Well, there's a

18 number of people who manage; depend on who owns

19 the land, of course, whether it's water

20 management district, Department of Agriculture

21 and so forth.

22 Our Forestry Division does an excellent

23 job, but they're limited on the monies that

24 they have for management but --

25 TREASURER GALLAGHER: They manage most of

1 it, do they?


3 have very little management monies other than

4 those that the water management districts put

5 their management money in which is not adequate

6 either right now.

7 So to do the proper job we need to find

8 management money. So there's my little harp

9 for the day.

10 GOVERNOR BUSH: You want to engage the

11 Agriculture Commissioner on the subject?

12 MR. STRUHS: When Commissioner Bronson was

13 a senator and was working hard, Governor, to

14 pass your Florida Forever Bill which allows us

15 to do all this, he made the point -- he made

16 the point then and he continues to make it, and

17 it's a good point, that you can't own land --

18 the public can't own land if we're not going to

19 manage it well.

20 And thanks to the senator's -- former

21 senator's good work on your bill, Governor, we

22 have more money dedicated for land management

23 in Florida Forever than we ever did in the old

24 program, Preservation 2000, and we're starting

25 to see some good results too in terms of soda

1 apples and Brazilian pepper removal, Melaleuca.

2 So it's a hard task, but I think we're

3 starting to make some real progress. At a

4 future meeting we could come back and maybe

5 give you a report on how those dollars are

6 being spent, what we're buying for -- for them.

7 GOVERNOR BUSH: Very good.

8 MR. STRUHS: And if I could, just one more

9 point, particularly since we're in a close city

10 here outside of Tallahassee is recognize that

11 while the discussion here is focused on smart

12 money management, good government, good policy,

13 making things more efficient, we don't want to

14 lose sight of the lasting benefits of this

15 program.

16 And, again, thanks to the Florida Forever

17 Bill that the Governor introduced and the

18 senator helped pass and this Cabinet has helped

19 realize in the last couple of years, we've been

20 able to open over the last four years seven new

21 state parks; seven new state parks, almost

22 2,500 acres of new green space and trails for

23 urban users, 88,000 acres for wildlife

24 management, and over 90,000 acres for new state

25 forests.

1 So those are really the lasting legacy

2 items that this Governor and this Cabinet will

3 deserve the credit for.


5 that we accept the report, Item 2.


7 GOVERNOR BUSH: There is a motion to

8 accept the report and a second. Any other

9 discussion? Without objection, the item is

10 accepted.

11 I'm not quite sure what we do with it once

12 we accept it but --

13 TREASURER GALLAGHER: We officially accept

14 it.

15 GOVERNOR BUSH: Item -- Substitute Item 3.

16 MR. STRUHS: Yes. Item 3 I sort of

17 prematurely set up for you earlier. The item

18 is before you as presented. We recommend

19 approval of it. This is the McClure Property.


21 GOVERNOR BUSH: Is there a second?


23 GOVERNOR BUSH: Moved and seconded.

24 Without objection --


1 GOVERNOR BUSH: -- the item passes.



4 COMMISSIONER CRIST: This relates to

5 helping the panthers?

6 MR. STRUHS: Yes, it does. Thank you.

7 COMMISSIONER CRIST: You're welcome.

8 MR. STRUHS: It's important.

9 COMMISSIONER CRIST: Well, there's an

10 article in the paper today that talks about

11 proliferation thereof and so this I think will

12 augment that.

13 MR. STRUHS: I tell you one of -- I'm so

14 glad you asked.

15 COMMISSIONER CRIST: You're welcome.

16 MR. STRUHS: Completely unrehearsed,

17 really.

18 COMMISSIONER CRIST: It's good stuff.

19 MR. STRUHS: I tell you, if you look just

20 in the last couple of years, we have probably

21 done more to preserve panther habitat than in

22 any other point in Florida's history.

23 And, again, this Cabinet deserves the

24 credit because we can't move without their

25 approval. I mean, they've been very supportive

1 of our efforts.

2 I actually have a map here -- I hope I can

3 find it. Here it is right here -- that shows

4 the strategy that we're using. There we go.

5 COMMISSIONER CRIST: This is near Fort

6 Myers?

7 MR. STRUHS: Yes, sir. The whole strategy

8 for panther habitat is recognizing that this

9 animal has to have large areas; large areas to

10 roam, large areas to hunt, and if we were to

11 simply go out and buy a parcel here and a

12 parcel there and they didn't connect one with

13 the other, we'd be spending a lot of money but

14 we wouldn't be doing much probably for habitat

15 and preservation

16 GOVERNOR BUSH: Why don't you describe

17 what we're looking at.

18 MR. STRUHS: And what we're looking at is

19 the red in the sort of lower right is the

20 property known as Panther Glades/Dinner Island

21 Property. The -- going to the northwest is

22 the -- I always have a hard time with this one.

23 The Oka --

24 TREASURER GALLAGHER: Okaloacoochee.

25 MR. STRUHS: Okaloacoochee Slough. You

1 look to the left of that in the yellow and that

2 is the Twelvemile Slough. The hatched area of

3 the --

4 GOVERNOR BUSH: What part of the state is

5 this, David, for the people that are looking at

6 this?


8 MR. STRUHS: This is -- this particular

9 property is in Hendry County.

10 GOVERNOR BUSH: Hendry County or Lee?

11 MR. STRUHS: Hendry. This is Hendry

12 County.

13 The item that is before you now is the

14 crosshatched top band of the yellow segment and

15 as you can see, that creates a critical linkage

16 that puts this whole ecosystem together.

17 And that's one of the reasons why we're so

18 excited about it because that's what the

19 panthers need. They need those large

20 landscapes in order to -- to remain viable.

21 What this does is this yellow connector

22 piece ties together Panther Glades,

23 Okaloacoochee, Twelvemile Slough and up to the

24 Caloosahatchee which is the green to the north.

25 So we're very pleased with our progress

1 thus far. I think what it demonstrates is,

2 again, not just wanting to claim credit for

3 spending money, but for spending it wisely and

4 strategically so that we have this lasting

5 benefit. So thanks very much.

6 COMMISSIONER BRONSON: Governor, I'd also

7 like to thank all of the private landowners in

8 conjunction that work with the state because

9 many of these private landowners are right next

10 to these state properties that also help to

11 protect the panther habitat as well as the

12 black bear habitat which has increased

13 tremendously in the State of Florida over the

14 past 12 years.

15 And without the cooperation of both

16 private and the state, we couldn't accomplish

17 what we're doing here right now because the

18 panther in general will -- will roam a

19 200-square-mile area and when the -- when the

20 boy panthers are trying to find the girl

21 panthers, that goes about triple so -- like

22 other species.

23 So I'm -- I just want to make sure

24 everybody understands that the private

25 landowners also play a big role in working with

1 the state in panther and other animal habitat

2 where we're losing some of those habitats.

3 MR. STRUHS: Yeah. I -- that's exactly

4 right, Commissioner. And just to that point,

5 if we could dim the lights just one more moment

6 on this particular slide, the lower segment,

7 the Panther Glades/Dinner Island area which is

8 the red, the furthest south, you'll notice

9 there's a gap between those two red blocks.

10 That is privately-owned land that is

11 currently very productive citrus groves and yet

12 because it is in agriculture and because it's a

13 good citrus grove, that provides no barrier to

14 the panther; that the panthers regularly

15 migrate across that grove between those two

16 publicly-owned elements.

17 TREASURER GALLAGHER: Stopping for a

18 little orange juice on the way through I guess.

19 MR. STRUHS: Yes, sir. But it's an

20 example of where you can work with private

21 landowners, put their property to good economic

22 use, keep it on the tax rolls and yet still

23 achieve our objectives.

24 TREASURER GALLAGHER: I think it's good

25 for the audience to know that in this agreement

1 to purchase this land, it has been used for

2 tomato farming, and the owner will get another

3 season in its 2004 tomato farm; and then we'll

4 remove the different improvements that are

5 there so it will end up coming to the state and

6 no more farming.

7 I'll move Item 3.


9 MR. STRUHS: Thank you.

10 GOVERNOR BUSH: Moved and seconded.

11 Without objection, the item passes.

12 Item 4.

13 MR. STRUHS: Item 4 is a request for a

14 non-exclusive easement.

15 Again, maybe more for the benefit of the

16 guests here today, these are fairly small

17 housekeeping items, but they're nonetheless

18 interesting because if you do have private

19 property and the only way to access that is to

20 cross public property, in this case for utility

21 lines, that requires this item to come before

22 the Board of Trustees and make sure that they

23 will grant that permission and that's what

24 we're doing here.

25 This is an easement that is approximately

1 1,600 feet long. Easements for utilities are

2 typically 20 feet wide. It's non-exclusive

3 which means it could be used for other

4 purposes.

5 One of the things that we do before we

6 bring these items to the board is we consult

7 with the experts on the natural resources

8 there, and in this case the Florida Fish and

9 Wildlife Conservation Commission has agreed

10 that this particular alignment is the best

11 alignment for this easement to protect the

12 natural resources.

13 One of the things we also require that the

14 board requires is that in addition to paying a

15 fee to the state for getting the easement, that

16 there be an additional public benefit; and in

17 this case that additional public benefit that

18 the applicant will make available as a $1,000

19 commitment for some firefighting equipment in

20 that particular forested area.

21 The way we had determined what the value

22 of the easement is, in this case we used a

23 local real estate broker. And there again, by

24 relying on somebody who's familiar with the

25 land, knows the market there, working very

1 quickly and efficiently and accurately, get a

2 sense of what the easement is actually worth

3 and then we bring that opinion with our

4 recommendation to the Board of Trustees.

5 So we would recommend approval of this

6 easement for a fee of $2,583 to be deposited

7 into the Internal Improvement Trust Fund with

8 the additional $1,000 provision for

9 firefighting equipment in that area.


11 might also mention that this particular

12 easement follows the road. So we're not

13 cutting trees. We're not doing anything. It's

14 just going to go right along the road. It will

15 allow access for fire control.

16 MR. STRUHS: Yes, sir.



19 GOVERNOR BUSH: Moved and seconded.

20 Without objection, the item passes.

21 Thank you all very much.

22 MR. STRUHS: Thank you.

23 GOVERNOR BUSH: Meeting has ended. Thank

24 you.

25 (The proceedings concluded at 10:55 a.m.)






6 I, BOBBIE JO WILLEY, Registered Professional

7 Reporter, certify that I was authorized to and did

8 stenographically report the proceedings herein, and

9 that the transcript is a true and complete record of

10 my stenographic notes.

11 I further certify that I am not a relative,

12 employee, attorney, or counsel of any of the

13 parties, nor am I a relative or employee of any of

14 the parties' attorney or counsel connected with the

15 action, nor am I financially interested in the

16 action.


18 DATED this 1st day of October, 2002.



21 ______________________________