STATE OF FLORIDA
DEPARTMENT OF HIGHWAY SAFETY AND MOTOR VEHICLES
STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION
BOARD OF TRUSTEES
STATE BOARD OF ADMINISTRATION
The above agencies came to be heard before
THE FLORIDA CABINET, Honorable Governor Bush presiding,
in the Cabinet Meeting Room, LL-03, The Capitol,
Tallahassee, Florida, on Wednesday, November 13, 2002
commencing at approximately 9:48 a.m.
SANDRA L. NARGIZ
Registered Professional Reporter
Registered Merit Reporter
Certified Realtime Reporter
ACCURATE STENOTYPE REPORTERS, INC.
100 SALEM COURT
TALLAHASSEE, FL 32301 (850)878-2221
Representing the Florida Cabinet:
Secretary of State
ROBERT F. MILLIGAN
CHARLES H. BRONSON
Commissioner of Agriculture
Commissioner of Education
* * *
I N D E X
Department of Highway Safety
(Presented by Fred O. Dickinson)
ITEM ACTION PAGE
1 Approved 4
2 Approved 4
3 Approved 5
4 Deferred 7
5 Approved 7
6 Approved 8
State Board of Education
(Presented by Robin Safley)
ITEM ACTION PAGE
1 Approved 10
2 Approved 10
3 Deferred 10
4 Approved 45
(Presented by Eva Armstrong)
ITEM ACTION PAGE
1 Approved 46
2 Approved 47
Board of Trustees
(Presented by Eva Armstrong)
ITEM ACTION PAGE
1 Approved 48
2 Approved 48
3 Approved 49
4 Approved 50
5 Deferred 88
6 Approved 94
7 Approved 99
8 Approved 100
9 Approved 107
State Board Administration
(Presented by Coleman Stipanovich)
ITEM ACTION PAGE
1 Approved 108
2 Approved 108
CERTIFICATE OF REPORTER 114
P R O C E E D I N G S
(Agenda items commenced at 9:48 a.m.)
GOVERNOR BUSH: Department Highway Safety and
COMMISSIONER BRONSON: Move the minutes.
SECRETARY SMITH: Second.
GOVERNOR BUSH: Moved and seconded. Without
objection, Item 1 is passed.
MR. DICKINSON: Number 2 is approval of the
annual report for the fiscal year that ended last
TREASURER GALLAGHER: Motion on the minutes.
GOVERNOR BUSH: We already did the minutes.
TREASURER GALLAGHER: Oh, I am sorry.
MR. DICKINSON: I am sorry. Are we back on
GOVERNOR BUSH: We did the minutes.
Item 2, is there a motion?
SECRETARY SMITH: Moved.
COMMISSIONER BRONSON: Seconded.
GOVERNOR BUSH: Moved and seconded. Without
objection, the item passes.
MR. DICKINSON: Governor, among the
highlights in our last annual report, the number
1 of miles in our state has increased. The death
2 rate has been going down and we are below where
3 have been since, I think World War II is our
4 lowest since today.
5 We served over 6 million customers in our
6 driver's license offices statewide and more
7 than that, another million point two via the
8 Internet telephone and mail, and had a good
9 collection year for revenues.
10 Item 3 is the quarterly report ending
11 September of 2002.
12 COMMISSIONER BRONSON: Moved.
13 SECRETARY SMITH: Second.
14 GOVERNOR BUSH: Moved and seconded. Without
15 objection, the item passes.
16 MR. DICKINSON: I would like to point out
17 there on the patrol in particular, all of our
18 major enforcement categories are up double digits
19 over the previous quarter except for alcohol or
20 DUI arrests; that's the only thing that seems
21 be a little bit stagnate.
22 TREASURER GALLAGHER: Fred, if I could ask a
23 question. You suspended 15,400 driver's licenses
24 for people that wouldn't take a breathalyzer?
25 MR. DICKINSON: Yes, sir, that's the
1 administrative suspension law, and that's for all
2 law enforcement, all arrests made for DUIs. And
3 you have generally 60,000 a year, so that's one
4 quarter's representation. Those 15,000 came
5 through the administrative suspension process.
6 TREASURER GALLAGHER: That's all police
7 forces, not just Highway Patrol?
8 MR. DICKINSON: That's correct. I wish I
9 could say those were all Patrol, Treasurer; that
10 would be a good number.
11 COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER: I'd would rather we
12 didn't have that many people on the road, to tell
13 you the truth.
14 MR. DICKINSON: Item 4, we would like to
15 respectfully request that we defer that until
16 next meeting, Governor.
17 We've got some work to do not only in our
18 budget request, but also there is an item in
19 there with regard to our new driver's license.
20 And I think you will see us come back with a
21 recommendation that we go before the
22 legislature before we come to you for any
23 authority to make sure that the funds are
25 COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER: Motion to defer.
1 GOVERNOR BUSH: There is a motion to defer
2 and second.
3 COMMISSIONER BRONSON: Second.
4 GOVERNOR BUSH: Without objection, the item
5 is deferred until November 26.
6 MR. DICKINSON: Item 5 is submission of the
7 department's legislative package or substantive
9 COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER: Motion on 5.
10 COMMISSIONER BRONSON: Second.
11 GOVERNOR BUSH: Moved and seconded. Without
12 objection, the item passes.
13 MR. DICKINSON: Today I am proud to present a
14 Whale of a Tag.
15 This is to Protect the Florida Whales, and
16 we have some gentlemen in the audience. Let me
17 make sure I get my names correct here.
18 Steve McCulloch, Jan Petrie, Stan Smith
19 are here on behalf of Save the Whales. It's
20 your tag if they approve it.
21 MR. McCULLOCH: Thank you. Governor and
22 Cabinet, I would like to thank all of you and
23 congratulate you again.
24 On behalf of Harbor Branch Oceanographic
25 Institution, renowned Marine Life artists of
1 the Sea Wieland, and the Wieland Foundation, we
2 thank you for your leadership, your support and
3 for helping us achieve our goals here for
4 continued education and environmental support
5 of the State of Florida. Thank you very much.
6 We appreciate it.
7 GOVERNOR BUSH: You bet.
8 MR. McCULLOCH: And thank you for Fred
9 Dickinson and his support from his office, too.
10 GOVERNOR BUSH: Do we need a motion?
11 COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER: I don't think so.
12 GOVERNOR BUSH: You don't need approval?
13 Let's get approval just in case.
14 I would hate to have unauthorized Whale
15 license plates out there.
16 GENERAL DORAN: Moved.
17 COMMISSIONER BRONSON: Second.
18 GOVERNOR BUSH: Moved and seconded. Without
19 objection, the item passes.
20 It's a beautiful plate.
21 MR. McCULLOCH: Thank you, Governor.
22 GOVERNOR BUSH: How many of these do we now
23 have? Are we number 1 in the country?
24 MR. DICKINSON: We are up in the 50s. No,
25 sir, we are about fourth -- 53.
1 COMMISSIONER CRIST: And 50 more in the
3 GOVERNOR BUSH: And 50 more in the works?
4 COMMISSIONER CRIST: Yes.
5 GOVERNOR BUSH: Wow.
6 MR. DICKINSON: We've got quite a few more in
7 the works.
8 GOVERNOR BUSH: My goal is to make the
9 regular plate the specialty plate.
10 COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER: It already is.
11 GOVERNOR BUSH: Thank you, Fred.
1 GOVERNOR BUSH: State Board of Education.
2 Good morning, Robin.
3 COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER: Motion on the
5 COMMISSIONER BRONSON: Second.
6 GOVERNOR BUSH: Moved and second.
7 MS. SAFLEY: Item 2 is amended proposal --
8 GOVERNOR BUSH: Hang on a second. The item
10 MS. SAFLEY: -- Proposed Rule 6A-1.09412.
11 COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER: Moved.
12 GOVERNOR BUSH: Moved and seconded as
13 amended. The item passes.
14 MS. SAFLEY: Item 3 is the Spiral Tech
15 Elementary School versus Miami-Dade County School
17 The parties have agreed to a settlement,
18 but it needs to go before the school board on
19 November 20, so they would like to defer to the
20 December 11 meeting.
21 COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER: Motion to defer.
22 COMMISSIONER BRONSON: Second.
23 GOVERNOR BUSH: There is a motion to defer
24 until December 11 and a second. Without
25 objection, the item is deferred.
1 MS. SAFLEY: Item 4 is Cyber High School
2 versus Seminole County School Board.
3 We have the parties here and we are going
4 to give each party 10 minutes to speak. And my
5 understanding is the clock is not working, so I
6 will time it and I will just approach the
7 podium at the end of 10 minutes, if that's
9 GOVERNOR BUSH: Very good.
10 MS. SAFLEY: So I would like to introduce
11 Ms. Leona Rachman, who is the director, and
12 Ms. Joanne Friedland, who is the principal.
13 GOVERNOR BUSH: Good morning.
14 MS. RACHMAN: Good morning, Governor Bush, I
15 am Leona Rachman, director of Cyber High and
16 founder of Cyber High Charter School, and I am
17 happy to be here today, and Cabinet Members.
18 I just want to acknowledge before I start
19 my presentation that we do have several
20 teachers, students, parents and board members
21 here to support Cyber High. Just stand up
22 briefly. There are some in the restroom, but
23 they've come to support.
24 GOVERNOR BUSH: Welcome. I am happy you are
1 MS. RACHMAN: We are at an important juncture
2 in educational reform in Florida. And we all know
3 that this will not stand up.
4 The actions against this school will not
5 stand up because we will never cease to pursue
6 this until justice has been achieved.
7 Yesterday Cyber High filed a petition in
8 court that will determine the treatment and
9 immediate termination by the Seminole County
10 School Board is unlawful and unconstitutional.
11 The evidence which has been provided to
12 you shows clearly that this has been an invalid
13 exercise of interference, interrupting the
14 education and denying students their rights to
15 a chance to graduate that was promised to them.
16 It has been anticompetitive and plain
17 wrong. There has been a witch hunt.
18 Mr. Hartley (sic) comes to this and every
19 hearing with the same story: Computers are
20 missing or we are overcharged in Orange County
21 with what we have with the receipts, and he is
22 plain wrong.
23 Yes, many of the people that have been
24 affected are very angry at the entire system.
25 They have driven up here, some for the second
1 time, hoping and praying for your word. Your
2 word means a lot to us, because we have always
3 believed in you.
4 Seminole County attorneys said they didn't
5 care what the state says or does. We have come
6 back to you because we feel horribly let down,
7 but we want to prove to you that we trust in
8 you and that we will exhaust ever possibility
9 because we will never, ever accept this.
10 These young men and women who are here
11 today know the truth, and they will never ever
12 accept any less.
13 When we speak, the news calls the school
14 district. When they speak to the press, they
15 often ignore us yet. We have never wavered in
16 our support for all of you and the needed
17 educational reforms your leadership has
18 created. With every creation there is those
19 who seek to destroy us.
20 No one can possibly deny something out of
21 the ordinary has occurred in this situation.
22 It is serious consequences that will affect
23 thousands of Florida charter school students.
24 They and their schools will come under attack
25 in the threat of attack.
1 Even Cyber High's staunchest critic on the
2 Seminole County Board has said publicly: We
3 like the school, just not the people running
5 What they really are saying is: We want
6 to control the school, but we will never let
8 Yet it has been sabotaged by a school
9 district fearful of what-if. What if Cyber
10 High had been free to meet its objectives? It
11 would have challenged the district to meet the
12 needs of over half the students who will not be
13 able to graduate? It is the catalyst for
15 The school has achieved great things. On
16 the limited charter school budget, we have put
17 a laptop computer into the hands of every child
18 who would never have known how to send an
19 e-mail, make a PowerPoint presentation, and
20 more importantly, lorn using the greatest
21 resource available of our age -- Internet-based
23 The instruction was never about an on-line
24 service that was given as good cause for
25 closure of this school, but an entire approach
1 to learning. We are not aware of many other
2 charter schools who are been able to make this
3 accomplishment. Yet, they try to tear us down
4 and our students down.
5 Some of our students come to our school
6 from Seminole County unable to read, even
7 multiply. Their failure is a systematic
8 failure of our school system to teach certain
9 classes of students.
10 They want to blame Cyber High Charter
12 MS. FRIEDLAND: Good morning Cabinet, aides,
13 Governor Bush.
14 GOVERNOR BUSH: Good morning.
15 MS. FRIEDLAND: I feel privileged and honored
16 to be here on behalf of Cyber High.
17 While preventing the financial failure and
18 thus disruption to student learning of a
19 charter school is a valid goal, the Seminole
20 County Public Schools provides no evidence that
21 the school is failing to deliver all required
22 services to its students.
23 Financial strain on charter schools remain
24 a symptom of a 40 percent reduction in capital
25 outlay funding and an additional 2.5 percent
1 holdback on FEP funding.
2 Cyber High Charter School additionally was
3 going through a period of rapid growth and
4 investment into computers in very beautiful
5 newly-remodeled facilities, thereby increasing
6 its debt.
7 The action they took is also arbitrary
8 because Seminole County Schools failed to
9 meaningfully consider the financial statement
10 relied upon to reach its conclusion was
11 preliminary. The complete audit it should rely
12 upon would not be final for a few weeks.
13 Seminole County Schools was notified the
14 accounts payable were substantially overstated
15 in this preliminary audit and Cyber High would
16 be releasing a final audit shortly showing a
17 significantly more favorable result. Waiting
18 for the audit to be complete allows Seminole
19 County Schools to be successful in
20 accomplishing legitimate goals while preventing
21 the destruction of Cyber High.
22 The Seminole County Schools has statutory
23 authority to give a 90-day notice and a public
24 hearing in order to determine the exact status
25 of all issues. Seminole County failed to
1 conduct any meaningful public hearing or
2 analysis of issues it purports to be as good
4 The school board resolution and its notice
5 is inadequate since Seminole County does not
6 state what immediate termination was required.
7 Additionally, the action hurt the students
8 because it did not ensure that necessary time
9 was given to parents to make choices for their
10 educational options.
11 The students arrived that morning to
12 discover the bad news. Merely posting a board
13 addendum a day prior to a board meeting may be
14 justified when dealing with risk to student
15 health and safety, but it is not justified with
16 regard to nonemergency, unfinished business
17 that is part of the school board recorded
19 Parents of students are entitled time to
20 figure out what to do, and mere posting of a
21 school board meeting, which may not be seen in
22 the news, is unnecessary, arbitrary and
23 violative of due process protections.
24 Seminole County Schools has materially
25 failed to follow applicable procedures and the
1 requirements for termination of charter schools
2 under Florida Statutes 228. In taking such an
3 emergency action Seminole County Schools was
4 required to assume operation of the school to
5 protect its students from losing credits,
6 grades, from teachers being thrown out of their
7 jobs, and to give parents time to choose other
8 options, and to protect students against a
10 This school system never intended to take
11 operation of the school. They announced at the
12 board meeting the school would be closed on
13 Friday; they were coming in on Thursday to
14 seize assets they believed belonged to them,
15 but they need to read the law that says after
16 all lawful liens and encumbrances, which the
17 school had many of.
18 They were not -- they never intended, as I
19 said, to assume operation and they only put
20 these kids in a crisis situation where
21 25 percent of the students that attended Cyber
22 High dropped out of school. They are now on
23 the streets doing other things because they did
24 not want to return to their school system.
25 Considering the new class size amendment
1 that's been passed and it's going to cost quite
2 a bit of money, the charter school movement is
3 extremely important and we really need to
4 consider that allowing the misuse of the
5 immediate termination procedure will create
6 devastation among Florida's 200 charter
8 It will establish such schools will be
9 under constant threat of being immediately put
10 out of business by adverse public school
11 boards. The result will be damage to
12 enrollment and the ability of schools to attain
13 loans and credits.
14 These schools will lose their
15 independence, which is an integral part of the
17 If you allow a school district to come in
18 in 24 hours and throw kids, students, teachers
19 out, throw creditors without getting their
20 money, in 24 hours, with no due process of law,
21 then the charter school movement is in deep
23 What has happened by what they've done?
24 The results have been devastating. Students
25 were called and told by Friday they had to
1 enroll in another school, students that felt
2 safe at our school and had made a lot of
3 progress. As I said, 25 percent of the
4 students dropped out. Teachers are now out of
5 jobs with their reputation damaged on what they
6 called they weren't qualified, but we've
7 provided documentation to prove, in fact, they
8 were. And that they went through every channel
9 that you were supposed to go through for
10 teacher certification.
11 All the documentation provided to your
12 aides shows clearly there was a clear
13 communication between this school and the
14 school district; e-mails every day, documented
15 board meetings, audits that the superintendent
16 and staff would not give a final copy of.
17 There is only one reason why you wouldn't
18 give a final copy of an audit, and that would
19 be because you are afraid of the results. And
20 the results were too good.
21 Governor Bush, you hold the highest office
22 of this state. The people of Florida depend on
23 you to uphold the law and to protect the rights
24 of schools like ours, of people like ours, of
25 students like ours, people that have no other
1 alternative. We look to you for this. We
2 trust in you for this.
3 And most important of all is due process
4 of law.
5 Maybe Seminole County thinks that a
6 contract -- we all know a contract can be
7 broken at any time, it can be renegotiated.
8 But there is one contract that can't be
9 renegotiated. Not by Mr. Hartley, not by
10 Superintendent Hagerty, not by myself, not by
11 anybody, and that's the constitution of the
12 United States and Amendment One, due process of
13 law. And the whole institution of the United
14 States, that can never be renegotiated.
15 Because if we do that, if we take it upon
16 ourselves to renegotiate the Constitution of
17 the United States, then we go against every
18 principle that this country was built on.
19 Everybody that's ever stood up for justice
20 and stood up for what's right, everybody who
21 fights for freedom every day, this is what we
22 will be going against.
23 This school was entitled to due process of
24 law. There was no emergency situation going
25 on. These students were learning. They will
1 come up and say F-CAT scores show they weren't,
2 that is completely false.
3 There was a newspaper article showing we
4 did better than their schools the first year.
5 They gave us these students who were on second
6 and third grade level; they came from their
7 schools. We did the best job that we could do
8 with them.
9 GOVERNOR BUSH: Can you close it down? We
10 are past the 10 minutes?
11 MS. FRIEDLAND: Yes, I am sorry.
12 GOVERNOR BUSH: That's okay.
13 MS. FRIEDLAND: All I would like to say in
14 summary is like I said before: We do depend on
15 all of you, we trust in all of you, and we hope
16 you will make the right decision in the name of
17 justice, in the name of the people, in the name
18 the students, in the name of due process of law,
19 appreciate it. Thank you.
20 GOVERNOR BUSH: Thank you.
21 MS. RACHMAN: I just wanted to let you know
22 that I am available to answer any specific
24 GOVERNOR BUSH: After the presentation, you
25 will be back up.
1 MS. SAFLEY: And on behalf of Seminole County
2 School Board is Paul Hagerty, the superintendent,
3 Jeanne Morris, the school board vice-chairman.
4 MR. HAGERTY: Good morning. I am Paul
5 Hagerty, superintendent of Seminole County, and
6 am going to review with you the process we went
7 through, coming to the conclusion to terminate
8 charter of Cyber High School. And then when I
9 review that and the major factors involved, our
10 school board chairman, vice-chairman, Jean Morris,
11 will come up and give you a play with the board's
13 In essence, this started last January when
14 we sent in a program audit team into Cyber High
15 to review all that was going on there. That
16 was the end of January, early February.
17 Major concerns surfaced. We summarized
18 those, met with the staff at Cyber through
19 March. In August -- in April, we gave a formal
20 written executive summary of the program audit
21 findings. The major concerns as listed in the
22 record that you have: Low cash balance,
23 teachers were not certificated, teaching out of
24 field, some had not completed the fingerprint
25 process for clearance. There were major
1 concerns about how they were using the National
2 Computer Systems' Nova-Net system, the
3 instructional nucleus there.
4 In a way, if I can just go off on a
5 tangent on that, if you think of instruction,
6 if you put a kid in the Library of Congress and
7 said: Go learn, there are many resources
8 there; just like on the Internet there are many
9 resources. But there is a handful of
10 publishers and vendors that have developed
11 instructional programs tied to the Sunshine
12 State Standards of Florida where students
13 actually go on line, they are presented with
14 materials to learn, they are asked questions;
15 depending on the answers to the questions, they
16 are branched into either remedial approaches or
17 correct continuation; they take tests. There
18 is individual management of what the students
19 have learned so they can come back in the next
20 day and continue where they left off.
21 That was what Cyber had chosen as their
22 instructional approach to the State Sunshine
23 State Standards. That was not in place, not
24 being used.
25 We also had major concerns about the
1 students leaving. Last year they started with
2 187 students; 111 of those 187 left throughout
3 the course of the year. They got new ones in,
4 but it was a constant turn in students.
5 May 28, the end of last year, after doing
6 all these audits and program reviews, our
7 school board was faced with a decision: What
8 should we do?
9 And if you keep in mind on May 28 we had
10 not received their audit yet, and we had not
11 received their F-CAT scores. And our school
12 board has a very strong culture of supporting
13 charter schools. I think throughout the state
14 you will not find another school board and
15 administrative staff that has spent more time
16 working with charter applicants, developing
17 their proposals, helping them implement their
18 charter school.
19 We had five operating, and this was the
20 only one who gave us any degree of concern or
22 So in May, the board was discussing what
23 shall we do? Should we terminate them or not?
24 And that was before we had the audit and the
25 evidence. And with this culture, we wanted to
1 be very supportive, and they made promises that
2 they were in good shape and they would resolve
3 all the problems.
4 And rather than give them the official
5 like 90-day notice to terminate, the board
6 instead said: We will give you 120 days, to
7 October 1st, to shape up and then we'll kind of
8 review it again and see what we need to do.
9 So they were put on notice May 28th, along
10 with a letter of concern which followed that
11 meeting immediately which really was the same
12 letter of concern updated of the April 4th
14 That all went on. And then when school
15 started in August, we received the preliminary
16 audit report by outside certified CPAs that at
17 the end of their fiscal year, they were over a
18 hundred thousand dollars in the red. And this
19 was then the second month of school.
20 July it started, students came in August
21 and they were already overdrawing their
22 checking account for the month of July, they
23 were short of funds.
24 They were advanced money for July and
25 August based on a projected 170 student
1 enrollment and yet, they only had on the books
2 about 120 students, only about 80 students on
3 the average were showing up. We sent some of
4 our staff members there every day for about 8
5 or 10 days, and the average attendance was
6 about 80. So our board in August when we
7 received the preliminary report said: We've
8 got a major problem. What do we do?
9 And then two days before our board
10 meeting, what happened was the vendor for
11 Nova-Net said they are $48,000 in arrears, and
12 they cut off all the service to Nova-Net.
13 We felt this was a major problem, combined
14 financially where they were just going under.
15 We said we needed to salvage as much of the
16 semester as we can and get these kids back in
17 quality instructional program.
18 So that led to the recommendation by the
19 superintendent on August 28 to terminate them
20 for good cause immediately.
21 Ironically, August 28 is exactly 90 days
22 from the May 28 meeting when they were put on
23 notice that they had major concerns.
24 And we said: What does immediately mean?
25 So August 28 was Tuesday. We said we'll do
1 this immediately, but we'll give the school
2 until Friday to work with the students and
3 we'll be ready and supportive to get them
5 And so the next morning on Wednesday, we
6 brought the students to Cyber, as we all had
7 been -- they contract with us for
8 transportation. Cyber had effectively been
9 shut down. They abandoned the school. Nobody
10 from the staff at Cyber was there, so we wound
11 up putting all sorts of staff members there,
12 getting these kids over to some high schools,
13 getting counselors in, working with them. We
14 sent letters home that Wednesday to the parents
15 saying: We are ready, able and willing to help
17 And with that, I would like to have our
18 school board vice-chairman Jean Morris come up
19 and give you the board's perspective.
20 MS. MORRIS: Good morning.
21 GOVERNOR BUSH: Good morning.
22 MS. MORRIS: I want to reiterate that the
23 Seminole County School Board has been enthusiastic
24 about and very supportive of charter schools.
25 On the May 28 school board agenda there
1 was an action item dealing with these audit
2 issues. The school board felt that with the
3 verbal assurances from Ms. Rachman, that the
4 apparent negative financial balance was being
5 rectified and that student performance was,
6 indeed, improving, it would be unfair to close
7 the charter school at that time.
8 We also noted that the school's F-CAT
9 scores weren't available yet.
10 Ms. Rachman was put on notice that all the
11 problems -- financial, certification, and
12 enrollment, curriculum and student
13 accountability -- had to be resolved by
14 October 1st, and this is a biggy: And that no
15 additional problems would surface for the
16 school to stay open.
17 Despite the assurances of Cyber's
18 administration to the contrary, Cyber's
19 financial situation deteriorated badly. By the
20 opening day of school, as you heard, they had
21 deficit of over a hundred thousand dollars.
22 Worse, by then we had the F-CAT scores
23 which were dismal. By everyone's analyses
24 including your staff, all of the scores but one
25 had plummeted; they were awful.
1 We also found out that the sole credible
2 source of curriculum, Nova-Net, had been
3 disconnected for lack of payment, leaving no
4 curriculum or tie to the Sunshine State
6 It's important to note that Cyber High
7 School had no textbooks.
8 All of these factors together resulted in
9 the vote by the school board to close this
10 school as soon as possible to give the students
11 the opportunity to start as quickly as possible
12 at other schools so they would not lose
14 Apparently our decision was a valid one
15 since Cyber filed for bankruptcy the next day.
16 The taxpayer-financed assets are in legal
17 limbo until this hearing is concluded.
18 The Seminole County School Board asks that
19 you validate the decision to terminate the
20 charter for good cause and deny this appeal.
21 Thank you.
22 GOVERNOR BUSH: Thank you. Robin?
23 MS. SAFLEY: We have department staff
24 available if you have any questions. And then
25 can, the parties can come up if you all have any
2 GOVERNOR BUSH: I would like to have the
3 department staff, if they could, answer the
4 question about due process.
5 MS. SAFLEY: Okay. Mike? This is Mike Kooi,
6 our assistant general counsel.
7 GOVERNOR BUSH: Hi, Mike.
8 MR. KOOI: I think under the statute there
9 are two provisions for termination of a charter
10 school. And they are subsection (c) and
11 subsection (d), it's 228.056 (11).
12 And the first one allows for the 90-days
13 notice for good cause.
14 The second provision is for immediate
15 termination, and that is for good cause or the
16 health, safety and welfare of the students.
17 And obviously they use the same term "good
18 cause" which is a discretionary standard
19 the discretion is given to the school board.
20 However, I would submit that for the
21 90-day provision to mean anything, that good
22 cause in the second provision would have to
23 meet something a little higher.
24 So that is probably -- you probably have
25 to ask yourself, number 1, under the
1 circumstances and evidence that was before the
2 school board, did it justify an immediate
3 termination in the best interest of the
4 students and the community?
5 And also, I think the intent of the
6 legislature in this case would be to avoid some
7 kind of eleventh hour situation: Did they have
8 notice of the concerns of the school board, or
9 did the school board just kind of come in out
10 of the blue --
11 GOVERNOR BUSH: What do you think?
12 MR. KOOI: -- and shut them down?
13 What do I think?
14 GOVERNOR BUSH: Yes.
15 MR. KOOI: In this case I think they did have
17 GOVERNOR BUSH: You think that they reached
18 the higher standard, higher threshold of good
19 cause that would --
20 MR. KOOI: I think they had evidence,
21 substantial, competent evidence is the threshold.
22 GOVERNOR BUSH: Okay.
23 GENERAL DORAN: Mike, in looking at the
24 causes of nonrenewal, the statute lists four.
25 first is failure to meet the requirements for
1 student performance. The second is failure to
2 meet generally accepted standards of management,
3 fiscal management. The third is violation of law;
4 and fourth is other good cause shown.
5 When I read subsection (d), which is the
6 emergency termination, it suggests immediate
7 termination based on health, safety or welfare
8 and says "or on good cause shown."
9 Do you feel that the record reflects
10 substantial, competent evidence for failure to
11 meet the requirements for student performance
12 or failure to meet generally accepted standards
13 of fiscal management?
14 MR. KOOI: Yes, I think there is substantial,
15 competent evidence before the school board that
16 they could have made that determination.
17 GENERAL DORAN: On both of those points or
18 one or --
19 MR. KOOI: I think it's maybe questionable
20 whether health, safety and welfare, but as you
21 said it's an "or."
22 GENERAL DORAN: Going back to the "or good
24 MR. KOOI: Right, it's got to be an emergency
25 that would involve physical danger, and so forth,
1 or the good cause, which is probably a higher
2 standard of good cause where you would have to
3 basically take a look at the totality of the
4 circumstances in this case.
5 Is there enough evidence that justifies a
6 termination that needs to take place right away
7 in the best interests of the community and the
8 students, and so forth?
9 GENERAL DORAN: Let me try it because I am
10 not communicating clearly.
11 Under A, it gives you four criteria. Good
12 cause is one, but there are three others. And
13 among those other three, what I was hearing
14 today in the presentation from Seminole County,
15 is that they find evidence of failure to
16 improve student performance and failure to
17 manage the school on a fiscally responsible
19 What I am asking you is from your review
20 of the record, is there substantial, competent
21 evidence to support either of those two
23 MR. KOOI: Yes, I believe there is.
24 GENERAL DORAN: Thank you.
25 GOVERNOR BUSH: Please.
1 MS. RACHMAN: She has to tell me to remind
2 you who I was.
3 I am Leona Rachman. I am sure you all
4 know me.
5 GOVERNOR BUSH: Can I ask you a question?
6 The school is open?
7 MS. RACHMAN: A private school --
8 MS. FRIEDLAND: With no funds.
9 MS. RACHMAN: We opened as a private -- what
10 happened is the day -- when they terminated, after
11 they terminated the school and the teachers
12 weren't going to come to work, so we did have
13 Johnson -- D.J. raise your hand -- he is our PGO
14 president and also in charge of our curriculum,
15 also works as a volunteer at Aviedo High School
16 and their Seminole County schools, very
17 knowledgeable; he was there at the school with
18 Allen Friedman to make sure students -- we got
19 students home and where they needed to go. So
20 they were at the school. So basically he was
21 there with him.
22 Basically I wanted to say in reference
23 to -- not to get into a lot of detail -- but we
24 do have a contract, and our contract states on
25 student performance -- first of all, our first
1 year, we did meet the state requirements; we
2 met our goals. We actually were higher than
3 the county, Dave Winger -- this is in all the
4 documentation that you have.
5 The second year our scores were lower, but
6 the kids did improve. But in our contract it
7 says: The school expects that the student
8 achievement scores on the Florida Writes and
9 F-CAT will meet or exceed those scores for a
10 comparable student population in the district
11 by the end of the contract period. End of
12 contract period will be June.
13 Year one and two performance standards
14 specified hereon are only goals to achieving an
15 overall three-year performance standard.
16 Failure to meet these goals in any given year
17 shall not necessarily mean the school will not
18 be able to reach its three-year performance
20 So I had meetings with our F-CAT
21 coordinator, Dave Winger, very knowledgeable
22 person; I respect him a great deal. We were in
23 the process of meeting to look at the first
24 year, second year and then third year. At the
25 end of the third year we were supposed to be
1 equal to or greater than.
2 So the first year we met it. The second
3 year they were lower, but we didn't get to the
4 third year because they terminated our school
5 and he cancelled our meeting before that.
6 In reference to -- that was on the F-CAT.
7 In reference to the audit, you have to remember
8 Seminole County did an internal audit.
9 Ms. Friedland was in charge of going through
10 that with their coordinator, Dr. Hortense
12 We complied with every aspect of the
13 internal audit. We had all the certified
14 teachers that they wanted. We did everything,
15 but we asked -- they wanted like weekly board
16 meetings; they wanted certain things done, so
17 we didn't want to fight with Seminole County.
18 We complied with their certification
19 requirements. We complied with working with
20 them toward getting our finances, we worked
21 with them on every aspect of that internal
23 At the end of the audit we asked them for
24 a copy of it, and they said -- actually
25 Hortense Evans said she couldn't give us a copy
1 because the superintendent wouldn't allow her
2 to. And basically, if we wanted a copy of it,
3 we would have to take them down.
4 So basically it was like: We know you did
5 a good job but I can't give you a copy.
6 In any case --
7 GOVERNOR BUSH: But you apparently know what
8 the audit said, you just repeated it?
9 MS. RACHMAN: I am sorry?
10 GOVERNOR BUSH: You knew --
11 MS. RACHMAN: Basically -- let me let
12 Ms. Friedland answer that.
13 MS. FRIEDLAND: Governor Bush, I spent three
14 months complying with this audit. I had a very
15 good relationship with the charter school
16 director, Hortense Evans, and she was very nice
17 with us. The audit -- we even have an e-mail that
18 went to our attorney about Sandra Pomerantz, their
19 attorney, stated our audit looked fine.
20 There was nothing wrong with our audit.
21 The plain truth of this is every time I asked
22 for a final audit on everything that was
23 complied with, Ms. Evans said the
24 superintendent would not allow us -- her to
25 give us the audit; not because it was bad,
1 because it was good, because I know we complied
2 with everything.
3 We had -- we went through every
4 certification process beyond the charter school
5 law that you would need to. We have teachers
6 here today that can show you, we provided you
7 the evidence of it. Superintendent Hagerty
8 says Nova-Net was our only curriculum.
9 You were invited to our first annual
10 technology show, the only one like it in the
11 state. It did not have just Nova-Net as our
12 curriculum. It had web-based on-line
13 instruction that we had designed.
14 For anyone to get up here and say that we
15 were not teaching these students; and in
16 addition to that, as Ms. Rachman stated, we are
17 held to our contract, not to what they want to
18 get up here and say.
19 They sent us these students. These
20 students improved. The first year there was an
21 article in the paper about how much they
23 And when they say turnover of kids, how
24 would there not be turnover of kids when they
25 are given false information from the newspaper?
1 The Orlando Sentinel is not known for the
2 truth; we all know that.
3 So if the Orlando Sentinel print
4 something --
5 GOVERNOR BUSH: I didn't say that.
6 MS. FRIEDLAND: That doesn't necessarily mean
7 it's true. So they printed a lot of negative
8 articles about us because they are showing us as
9 an example of a failed charter school.
10 We are not a failed charter school. We
11 are a victim of our own success, because we
12 were successful, because kids did learn at our
13 school, because we did have a laptop for every
15 GOVERNOR BUSH: Okay. Got you.
16 MS. RACHMAN: Can I say something?
17 GOVERNOR BUSH: You are really up here to
18 answer questions.
19 MS. FRIEDLAND: There was only one more about
20 the finances that are really extremely important.
21 And that is they supported all the other charter
22 schools. Devin Charter School had $197,000 worth
23 of debt, paid $1.1 million to a management
24 company. And they are going to sit here and say
25 that they took away ours in an emergency meeting
1 because we were in financial debt?
2 We gave them the updated finances and it
3 had increased, and then it had decreased. We
4 know where we stand and all these people know
5 where we stand. And we definitely did not
6 deserve to not have due process of law.
7 MS. RACHMAN: Governor Bush, I just wanted to
8 make one more comment, if I may.
9 GOVERNOR BUSH: Please.
10 MS. RACHMAN: I wanted to say that our first
11 year -- Dr. Hagerty claimed Nova-Net was our main
13 Our first year we didn't even have
14 Nova-Net; it's not in our contract and it's not
15 in our proposal. That was an added curriculum
16 that we added to what we had.
17 Our teachers wrote curriculum for two
18 years. D.J. Johnson -- I don't know if you
19 want to talk to him, he is here -- he was in
20 charge of our curriculum and getting the
21 teachers to work on that and have on-line
22 resources line to Sunshine State Standards, so
23 that was there, so that particular part --
24 Also, just the part on the preliminary
25 audit. You don't close a school on a
1 preliminary audit; you close a school on a
2 final audit.
3 They want a final audit, remand it back to
4 the district, we'll give them the final audit
5 and you will see we have $60,000 less in our
7 Thank you.
8 MS. SAFLEY: We have Tom Fisher here
9 regarding F-CAT scores. We have --
10 GOVERNOR BUSH: Does anybody have any
11 questions or comments? No more questions, no more
13 MS. SAFLEY: One gentleman approached me who
14 was I guess in charge of the parent/teacher
15 association who wanted to make one statement,
16 I didn't know what the pleasure --
17 GOVERNOR BUSH: That's fine. Come on up.
18 MR. JOHNSON: D.J. or Darwin Johnson from
19 Seminole County.
20 I just want to make one quick point.
21 Obviously, I disagree with a lot of the issues
22 that Seminole County brought up. But the only
23 point I want to make, at the Seminole County
24 school board meeting I specifically asked
25 Dr. Hagerty why didn't he respond to us in
1 terms of telling us what the final audit was?
2 At that time he told me that it was not an
3 audit, it was a preliminary review.
4 So we keep on using the term "audit."
5 they basically told us that there was not a
6 formal audit done. So everything we are
7 talking about was done supposedly on a
8 preliminary review. Okay.
9 GOVERNOR BUSH: Thank you. Superintendent,
10 tell me about this audit.
11 MR. HAGERTY: In your record, on page 56,
12 R56, you have the April 4th summary of the audit
13 that was given to them representing all the
14 findings that we had in our program review the
15 of January, February, and as one of the principals
16 just mentioned, we were in three months discussion
17 with them from the very beginning on all these
18 issues, and I can respond point-by-point to many
19 of the inaccuracies raised. But they have it,
20 have it in your record, page 56, April 4 it was
21 given to you and it's kind a summary of all the
23 The last point on page R81, when you talk
24 about F-CAT scores, last year in F-CAT, 10
25 students passed in reading and eight passed in
2 In the last two years at Cyber, they had
3 500 -- this is also on page R81 -- they had 599
4 students go through Cyber High, in and out. Of
5 those 599 students, there were only 37 students
6 that were there two years.
7 That's a symptom of something churning
8 there that's a concern and that's what raised
9 our level of anxiety.
10 GOVERNOR BUSH: As it relates to the
11 contract, the student performance was not a
12 measurement until the third year, right?
13 MR. HAGERTY: Year-by-year. No,
15 GOVERNOR BUSH: That's what the contract
16 says? What was the benchmark that they had to
18 MR. HAGERTY: I have to go check the
19 contract. Each year, and then at the end of three
20 years we would review the contract on the overall
21 three-year performance. No one year would be a
23 GOVERNOR BUSH: Okay. So --
24 MS. RACHMAN: That's the contract (handing
25 over document.)
1 GOVERNOR BUSH: All right. Anybody like to
2 make a motion?
3 Commissioner Crist, would you like to make
4 a motion?
5 COMMISSIONER CRIST: I would move we accept
6 the school board decision concerning Cyber High
8 COMMISSIONER BRONSON: Second.
9 GOVERNOR BUSH: Any discussion? There is a
10 motion; the motion again? I am sorry, Charlie.
11 COMMISSIONER CRIST: Accept the school
12 board's decision to terminate Cyber High's
14 GOVERNOR BUSH: There is a motion to accept
15 the school board's termination of Seminole Cyber
16 High School and a second. All in favor say aye.
17 THE CABINET: Aye.
18 GOVERNOR BUSH: All opposed? No.
19 Thank you all very much. Thanks for
1 MS. ARMSTRONG: Good morning, Governor,
2 Members of the Cabinet. Eva Armstrong,
3 representing the Department of Environmental
4 Protection this morning.
5 COMMISSIONER CRIST: Governor, before we do
6 that, I wanted to, if I may, I wanted to thank
7 Korman; this is her last meeting working for our
8 Cabinet department, I just wanted to thank her
9 all her help and all her service to the people
10 Florida. Thank you.
11 GOVERNOR BUSH: Joining the dark side of the
13 MS. ARMSTRONG: With that, item 1 --
14 COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER: Motion on minutes.
15 COMMISSIONER BRONSON: Second.
16 GOVERNOR BUSH: Moved and seconded. Without
17 objection, the item is approved.
18 MS. ARMSTRONG: Substitute item 2 is approval
19 of a proposed recommended order finding the site
20 for the Florida Power & Light Company Manatee
21 Three site to be in compliance with the local
22 use plans and zoning ordinances.
23 COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER: Motion on 2.
24 COMMISSIONER BRONSON: Second.
25 GOVERNOR BUSH: Moved and seconded. Without
1 objection, the item is approved.
2 MS. ARMSTRONG: That's it for that one.
3 GOVERNOR BUSH: Thank you.
1 GOVERNOR BUSH: Board of Trustees.
2 MS. ARMSTRONG: Substitute on 1.
3 COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER: Motion on the
4 minutes for August 27, September 10, September
5 COMMISSIONER BRONSON: Second.
6 GOVERNOR BUSH: Item 1, there is a motion and
7 a second. The item is approved.
8 MS. ARMSTRONG: Item number 2 is a proposed
9 settlement agreement in the case of Donald K.
10 Gagnon versus the Board of Trustees.
11 This is a lawsuit over Butler Act issues
12 and I have Christine Guard here if you have any
14 We recommend approval.
15 COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER: Motion on 2.
16 GOVERNOR BUSH: Is there a second?
17 COMMISSIONER BRONSON: Second.
18 GOVERNOR BUSH: Any questions?
19 Moved and seconded. Without objection,
20 the item is approved.
21 MS. ARMSTRONG: Substitute item 3 is an
22 option agreement to acquire 2,118.88 acres within
23 the Pal-Mar Florida Forever Project in Palm Beach
25 COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER: Motion on substitute
2 GENERAL DORAN: Second.
3 GOVERNOR BUSH: Moved and seconded. Without
4 objection, the item is approved.
5 MS. ARMSTRONG: Substitute item 4 is an
6 option agreement to acquire 48.54 acres within
7 Pineland Site Complex Florida Forever Project from
8 the University of Florida Foundation.
9 We have had some conversations with
10 various Cabinet members. I want to clarify one
12 There was a question about whether or not
13 there was melaleuca on the site that we are
14 buying and there is not.
15 We also have the agent for the owner here
16 if you would like more details. As I
17 understand it, the concern is that there is a
18 mitigation bank on Little Pine Island that was
19 melaleuca, but they scarified that island back
20 before the melaleuca came in. This site we are
21 buying has not been scarified. There are not
22 invasive species that we are aware of.
23 COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER: Motion on 4.
24 COMMISSIONER BRONSON: Second.
25 GOVERNOR BUSH: Moved seconded. Without
1 objection, the item is approved.
2 MS. ARMSTRONG: Item number 5 is an option
3 agreement to acquire 60 acres within the Estero
4 Bay Florida Forever Project.
5 We have a number of speakers here this
6 morning on this issue. I thought we would
7 start with the local government
8 representatives. Ms. Terry Caine, who is the
9 vice mayor of Fort Myers Beach; followed by
10 Roger Clark who is with Lee County Recreation
11 and Parks; and I should add Mr. DeSalvo, the
12 owner, is also here. And we have some enviros
13 that I will introduce later.
14 MS. CAIN: Good morning, Governor Bush and
15 Cabinet. My name is Terry Cain, I am the
16 vice-mayor of the beautiful island of Fort Myers
17 Beach and also the president of the Estero Bay
19 The Estero Bay Buddies is a
20 citizen-support organization for the Estero Bay
21 Aquatic and State Buffer Preserve.
22 I am here today in support of the
23 acquisition of the DeSalvo property.
24 As you know, in southwest Florida we have
25 a rapid growing rate. We are being developed
1 at a very rapid pace. There is an urgency and
2 high public support for any natural lands that
3 we can acquire.
4 The DeSalvo property is in the Estero Bay
5 Florida Forever Boundary, with a willing seller
6 and below appraised value.
7 The DeSalvo property is very important to
8 us, it's very close to other property you have
9 acquired for us and is heavily used by the
10 population down there.
11 As I look around the room, I see that
12 someone here has a very strong ability to view
13 the wildlife while you are sitting in here, and
14 that's what we are trying to protect.
15 So today, I really appreciate your
16 consideration in this matter. And please help
17 us to protect what we have left of the natural
18 parts of Florida.
19 Thank you very much.
20 GOVERNOR BUSH: Thank you.
21 MR. CLARK: Good morning, Governor Bush,
22 Members of the Cabinet. I am Roger Clark, Plans
23 Stewardship Manager for Lee County Parks and
24 Recreation and representing Lee County.
25 First I would like to read a letter that
1 was sent to you-all, should be all in your
2 packets from our Commission Chairman and our
3 County Commission.
4 Dear Governor Bush and Honorable Cabinet
5 Members. And this is re: the Estero Bay
6 Florida Forever Project.
7 We, County Board of County Commissioners,
8 unanimously support the acquisition of the
9 60-acre DeSalvo project within the Estero Bay
10 Project by the Florida Forever Program. This
11 parcel of land is of particular value as it is
12 contiguous to one of the region's most valuable
14 We are aware that there are many worthy
15 properties that qualify for Florida Forever
16 funding. We would ask for your support in
17 purchasing this integral parcel.
18 We thank you for your continued support
19 and commend the many accomplishments of the
20 Florida Forever Program.
21 And if there are any questions, please do
22 not hesitate to contact us. Thank you, and
23 that's signed by County Commissioner Robert
24 James, chairman.
25 GOVERNOR BUSH: I have a question. This
1 property was zoned for -- in 1998 when the owner
2 purchased it, it was not zoned for what it now
3 is -- now it's zoned for 120 units of residential?
4 MR. CLARK: My understanding, Governor Bush,
5 is that it's going through the rezoning process.
6 The original process started in 1998 which
7 was almost two years before the project was
8 added to the Florida Forever Boundary. The
9 rezoning reflects a rapid development of
10 surrounding properties. And again, I am a
11 biologist, I am in parks preservation.
12 GOVERNOR BUSH: This is hitting the area that
13 gives me concern.
14 MR. CLARK: Yes, sir, it's certainly a valid
15 concern. My only understanding --
16 GOVERNOR BUSH: When counties upgrade, grant
17 development rights, which they have the power
18 do, and then come to us, or buyers or sellers
19 to us and we buy property at an appraised value
20 that is higher than -- and caused by the county,
21 I've got a problem with it.
22 This is an important piece of property and
23 it's part of our strategy to preserve. This is
24 an important ecosystem, but I am telling you
25 right now, unless there is some explanation for
1 this, I am going to vote no, just as I did in
2 Pinellas County and several other counties
3 where counties make decisions, then come to us
4 hat-in-hand, asking us to buy property at a
5 higher value.
6 I've got a problem with that. You may not
7 be the right guy. Is there a lawyer or
8 somebody here representing Lee County?
9 MR. CLARK: No, sir, I am not a lawyer.
10 GOVERNOR BUSH: You showed up at the wrong
12 MR. CLARK: I appreciate your concern, and
13 it's one that we have as well, Governor Bush,
14 we acquire property. I think this is just a
15 matter of the timing, was already on --
16 GOVERNOR BUSH: You guys granted -- maybe --
17 I am sorry. I am going to let you up for air
18 here, and there will be someone else that will
19 speak that may be able to answer this; the
20 property owner perhaps.
21 MR. CLARK: The trustee for the property is
22 here, if you would like to ask him that question,
23 Mr. DeSalvo. Maybe he can come up in just a
24 minute. Let me quickly go over the other issues.
25 But I agree you have a valid concern.
1 I think it's a matter of the county
2 commission bringing this property into the same
3 land use as some of the surrounding rapidly
4 developing land, Governor Bush, and it's a
5 matter of the timing relative to that process
6 and to you-all's approving it.
7 That's really all I can offer you, but
8 Mr. DeSalvo may be able to add to that. But
9 just quickly to stress some of the resource
10 values to step aside from that rezoning issue,
11 which I understand your concern --
12 GOVERNOR BUSH: In turn and move on, that's a
13 good strategy.
14 MR. CLARK: It protects the Mullock Creek
15 Slough, so it protects not only the 60 acres
16 itself, but it protects a natural system that
17 flows from the already-owned property owned by
18 Board of Trustees.
19 It's a key location for protection of a
20 whole area and provides for better management
21 process due to access problems that this
22 property provides into the rest of Estero Bay
23 CAMA property.
24 There is currently off-road vehicle and
25 dumping occurring due to access through this
1 property. It provides for increased diversity
2 of habitats. And I think this is a great
3 investment in protecting the future of
4 southwest Florida.
5 And along the lines of investment, I would
6 just like to give you all a perspective from
7 what the county commission has done hopefully
8 that you will look at as a positive action.
9 Either within or adjacent to the Estero
10 Bay Buffer Project, the county commission has
11 acquired over a thousand acres at a cost of
12 $10 million through our County Land Acquisition
14 So we are certainly supportive of this
15 property. And I will ask Mr. DeSalvo if he can
16 come up and give you a little scenario of the
17 land use and his issues. And he is the trustee
18 for the property. Thank you very much.
19 GOVERNOR BUSH: Thank you.
20 MR. DeSALVO: Governor, my name is Andrew
21 DeSalvo. I am trustee for the property; I am not
22 an attorney and I do not work for the county.
23 would be happy to answer any questions you have.
24 GOVERNOR BUSH: Explain to me the process
25 that you have gone through. When you purchased
1 the property, what were the development rights?
2 And what just give me the blow-by-blow so I get
3 better understanding. I want to be helpful, but
4 I --
5 MR. DeSALVO: I want to be helpful as well,
6 so I will try to give you all the information that
7 I know.
8 The property was purchased 1998. There is
9 a misnomer that's been stated. It's not a
10 zoning case. The current land use on the
11 property is rural. The current zoning is
12 agricultural, which allows one unit an acre as
13 it is.
14 GOVERNOR BUSH: One unit?
15 MR. DeSALVO: One unit per acre as it stands.
16 In 1998, on behalf of the beneficiaries of the
17 trust, I submitted a land use change to the
18 comprehensive plan for Lee County, which would
19 change the land use from rural to outlying
20 suburban with a maximum of two units an acre.
21 That was after long discussions with the staff.
22 At that time in the spring of '99, the
23 Governor and Cabinet were -- there was the
24 issue of the Sadhev property which is
25 immediately adjacent to this. At the request
1 of the Lee County planning department, they
2 asked us to table our comprehensive plan
3 amendment until there was a decision, a final
4 decision made on the Sadhev piece as to whether
5 or not it would be developed according to the
6 development order that they had received from
7 the county, or whether it would be condemned or
8 subsequently purchased by the State of Florida.
9 As you know, you purchased that piece, I
10 think it was in the spring of '99.
11 We then resubmitted into the next planning
12 cycle, which was, if I have my dates correctly,
13 the 2000-2001 cycle. We went through that land
14 use process. The local planning agency
15 recommended approval of the request of land use
16 change because it was appropriate in their
18 The board of county commissioners voted
19 unanimously to transmit it to it DCA for their
21 We received the objection, recommendation
22 and comment, the ORC report to the county
23 afterwards, and we attended the board of county
24 commissioners' adoption hearing here last
25 January 2002, I believe.
1 We have been in the process for four
2 years, so some of my dates -- I think I am on
3 track so far.
4 GOVERNOR BUSH: So far you haven't gotten
5 your development rights that you were upping the
7 MR. DeSALVO: No, the county commission at
8 the adoption hearing in January 2002, part of the
9 ORC report we responded to and we agreed to put
10 a central sewer system to the property and do
11 clustered residential planned development.
12 The county commission asked us at that
13 hearing would we please resubmit in the next
14 cycle so that the county staff and the state
15 staff would have an adequate opportunity to
16 review those two concessions that we made on
17 the development. We told them we would.
18 Subsequent to that issue -- and our cycle
19 is annual, so we had to wait until
20 September 30. I am sorry.
21 Subsequent to that, the county
22 commissioner for that district, Ray Juda,
23 called me -- I have known him for several
24 years -- asked me if I would talk to with
25 Heather Stafford to see if the state had an
1 interest in the property. I told him that I
2 would do that, if the state was interested, if
3 they appraised the property and would purchase
4 the property prior to the September 30
5 deadline, because my beneficiaries wanted me to
6 submit the next cycle.
7 So that's why we are in this situation.
8 I would like to not speak on behalf of
9 county commissioners, but several of them are
10 very sensitive to the fact to not rezone
11 property and to not improve the value of
12 property when either the state is purchasing in
13 the Internal Improvement Trust Fund or when
14 they are purchasing for Conservation 2020.
15 This is a case, however, that we have been
16 in the process since '98. I asked the Estero
17 Bay manager, Heather Stafford who is here as
18 well, prior to our resubmitting, or submitting
19 the application, if the state was interested in
20 the property, if they had funds. And, of
21 course, it was just after the Sadhev piece and
22 the answer was: It's on the B list, don't know
23 when, if ever, funds would be available.
24 Because of that we have no interest at this
1 And I said: Fine, my beneficiaries wanted
2 me to check with you before we go through this
3 lengthy land use comprehensive plan amendment
4 process, and that's the story.
5 GOVERNOR BUSH: So it is correct to say that
6 while -- you don't even have the development
7 rights yet, but you are a willing seller at a
8 price that assumes that you have doubled the
10 MR. DeSALVO: I am a willing seller. The
11 appraisals that were done I think on behalf of
12 state used a term that -- I am in the real estate
13 business as well -- I think they used "reasonable
14 probable" or "probable reasonable,"
15 property would change its land use to outlying
16 suburban with a maximum of two units. And I
17 believe they appraised it from what I have seen
18 the highest and best use which is at the two
20 The county commission has not approved
21 this. It's back in the hopper. They have not
22 approved this land use before you. But it is
23 extremely likely and probable due to the -- we
24 have land use on the corner of our property,
25 Governor, that is urban community. And we are
1 surrounded by urban community which allows six
2 units an acre.
3 And the entire project to the west and to
4 the south, there is a mobile home park directly
5 sort of southwest -- east of us, excuse me, at
6 a density of about 10 units an acre.
7 There is a residential community that runs
8 about four units an acre immediately adjacent
9 to us to the west. And so, it's very clear
10 that there is development there.
11 And in our request, quite frankly, we
12 asked for the minimal land use change that
13 would move us from rural, which the property is
14 not adequately -- it's not appropriately typed
15 at this time. Our comp plan went in in '84; it
16 was rural at that time, it's no longer rural.
17 And so I think what everyone is telling
18 you that the board has not approved it. As
19 this board and other boards, they will not tell
20 you they will approve it before it comes back
21 in front of them, but there is a very high
22 probability, because of the land use around it
23 and the case that's been made, that it will be
24 approved, the land use change will take place.
25 And based on that, I think is why your
1 appraisers appraised it at the highest and best
2 use, which was only two units an acre.
3 I hope that helps you. I am a taxpayer,
4 too, and I now it sound facetious for me to
5 stand up here in front of you --
6 GOVERNOR BUSH: It doesn't. I am a former
7 real estate guy; you said it very clearly. I
8 understand exactly what you have done, and I've
9 still got a problem.
10 MR. DeSALVO: I understand that, sir.
11 COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER: I have a question.
12 What's the present value, in your opinion, if
13 was only one unit per acre?
14 MR. DeSALVO: I believe that the acre price
15 of $35,000 an acre would stand firm,
16 Mr. Gallagher. I think the discrepancy, quite
17 frankly, I think in the appraisers was the per
18 unit price, and they appraised it two ways. They
19 have gave you a per acre price of $35,000 an acre;
20 and then they gave you per unit price.
21 I think what happens if you look at 60
22 units, the per unit price is strange; it's a
23 very high number. But land -- I have been a
24 broker in that community for almost 25 years
25 now. Not only are the land values increasing
1 rapidly, almost daily, but it's generally based
2 on a per acre value. And it's very difficult
3 in that part, Estero or Bonita Springs, to buy
4 land less than 30,000 an acre.
5 GOVERNOR BUSH: How did you guys buy it 9,000
6 an acre just four years ago?
7 MR. DeSALVO: Governor, I have been doing
8 this for 25 years, and I don't mean to say this
9 silly, but the person we bought the property from,
10 I had represented and we were trying to sell the
12 GOVERNOR BUSH: 8,500, I am sorry.
13 MR. DeSALVO: Yes, sir. We bought it -- we
14 bought it at that price four years ago. Our plan
15 was to do two things with it -- I am not a
16 developer; I am not a builder -- was to sell it
17 the Sadhev people. It was my opinion that they
18 needed more land for golf course because they
19 didn't have enough golf courses.
20 After the state purchased the Sadhev
21 piece, then our plan was to change the land use
22 to the least intensive use that made sense, and
23 I think the public and certainly the LPA, local
24 planning agency, agreed with us, that the two
25 units an acre made sense.
1 Since that time, quite frankly, in the
2 last four years, land values have skyrocketed,
3 not four times, but in many cases they have,
4 especially in the high-growth area.
5 GOVERNOR BUSH: Secretary?
6 SECRETARY SMITH: What troubles me is they
7 got 900,170 acres to go in this overall plan, and
8 this kind of action sets a pretty bad precedent.
9 And there is no question it's a good project;
10 there is lots of good projects.
11 It seems to me the state is smarter to
12 take its resources and buy many good projects
13 at really fair prices. At this rate, we may
14 end up trying to buy 9,000 acres to the
15 detriment of everything else in the state.
16 I would say to the department: Why bring
17 us things like this? It sends the wrong
18 signal, I think, to folks out there: Buy
19 cheap, jack up the price and these suckers will
20 buy it. As a business proposition, I have done
21 a lot of real estate; you never do something
22 like this.
23 GOVERNOR BUSH: Mr. Smith, you want to be on
24 your side of this deal.
25 SECRETARY SMITH: I am not critical of you at
1 all. I respect the fact that you asked the
2 department --
3 GOVERNOR BUSH: That's a good question about
4 why wasn't -- Eva, can you explain why this would
5 be -- we have been buying property in this area;
6 this is an important ecosystem we are trying to
7 protect. It's not on the B List from the
8 perspective of the overall area. Why would it be
9 in the B List?
10 MS. ARMSTRONG: At the time that it dropped
11 was early -- in fact, I think it was the first
12 list of Florida Forever. And in allocating
13 resources, the Acquisition/Restoration Council
14 them on B. They since moved it back up to A.
15 GOVERNOR BUSH: Do you get on A when you have
16 the threat of rezoning, is that --
17 MS. ARMSTRONG: No, sir. No, sir.
18 GOVERNOR BUSH: That sends the wrong signal.
19 That's the point Jim is making.
20 MS. ARMSTRONG: Right. When we set up this
21 new system under Florida Forever, instead of doing
22 a 1 to 99, we set up an A and B. And within A,
23 allot four times the annual amount of money we
24 would get to spend in the project -- in the
25 program; the theory being we are creating --
1 everybody knows this is how much we get in a year;
2 all the landowners in there are put on notice:
3 you want to sell to the state, you are competing
4 with each other. The contracts we get in, they
5 are -- the first one in the door gets expedited
7 So we were focussed on creating more
8 competition. And as we went through the first
9 two years of Florida Forever, we bought land in
10 the A's. We had one project drop completely
12 So as they go through the analysis each
13 six months to look again at the list and decide
14 should we move one of the B's up, should we
15 eliminate several of the A's, Estero Bay was
16 considered very, very important and they moved
17 it up.
18 That was why it went up.
19 If I could also respond to why this one is
20 on here, because, you know, this is a tough
21 one. And in state lands, we are charged with
22 going and negotiating the best deal we can get
23 on these projects.
24 And as Mr. DeSalvo explained, there are
25 things going on at the local level that
1 sometimes we are not even aware of as we are
2 putting a project together and moving forward.
3 The land manager in this case considers it very
4 viable because of the hydrology with that
5 creek, and so we felt it important to bring it
6 to you and say: Hey, this is what it is --
7 GOVERNOR BUSH: Don't you see the conflict of
8 what you just said in what the Lee County
9 Commission is considering doing, which is to allow
10 for -- the picture of this makes it hard for me
11 envision any kind of housing; it doesn't look
12 there is a whole lot of uplands. But anyway,
13 there may be, it's hard to tell just from the
15 We are in direct conflict with a local
16 decision that requires us to pay perhaps double
17 the price.
18 GENERAL MILLIGAN: Governor, I am just kind
19 of curious, do we have to do an all-or-nothing
20 this thing?
21 The real concern with this piece of
22 property appears to be kind of the southern
23 half of it which has the slough and a good deal
24 of the important aspects of the drainage, and
25 so forth.
1 I would like to know what the clustering
2 approach means in terms of two homes per acre;
3 really the clustering is driving you to a
4 higher density, I presume, on certain pieces of
5 that property, probably the northern portion of
7 And I guess my question is: Could we ask
8 Mr. DeSalvo if it's possible to not purchase
9 all of it but part of it and purchase it on the
10 basis of the piece that's important to us in
11 terms of environmental issues versus the piece
12 that you find I think probably useful for
13 developmental purposes, and reach a better
14 agreement on the price, that recognizes what we
15 are really after environmentally?
16 And I just throw that out.
17 GOVERNOR BUSH: That's an interesting
18 concept. It does look like just on this aerial
19 picture that the property, the slough consumes
20 about half the property. Your land use plan would
21 not include housing in that area, I assume.
22 MR. DeSALVO: Governor, the picture you have
23 is probably inaccurate.
24 There is 60 acres if I can show you on
25 the -- there is like 7 acres of wetlands and
1 53 acres of uplands. And it's a ridge
2 actually, that it's the highest part in Estero.
3 And the land elevation is about 15 or 16 feet.
4 GOVERNOR BUSH: Put on it on the -- where is
5 your property?
6 MR. DeSALVO: It's this box right here.
7 GOVERNOR BUSH: Can you point to where the
8 property is?
9 MR. DeSALVO: The property, the southern
10 boundary is here, the west boundary is here, the
11 northern boundary. And then we -- no, I am sorry,
12 I went the wrong way.
13 This is the east boundary. This is the
14 south boundary, the east boundary, the north
15 boundary and the east boundary.
16 COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER: You got the south
17 and east and west backwards.
18 MR. DeSALVO: This is north --
19 GOVERNOR BUSH: It's all becoming clearer.
20 MR. DeSALVO: North is now up, Gentlemen.
21 This is the south boundary of the property, the
22 west boundary of the property, the north boundary.
23 And then we come back along here is the east
25 The slough actually is in this part right
1 here, Governor. And then it runs north, which
2 is then not on my property.
3 This is all Palmetto Pine flatland, runs
4 about a 15, 16-foot elevation. There is an
5 actual ridge that comes up to here a hundred
6 foot FP&L easement. This is the Sadhev piece
7 right adjacent to it; and just south of it is
8 what the state already owns. The state owns on
9 two sides, both south and east of this
11 The ridge continues, the FP&L easement
12 runs about 15, 16 feet, and then it starts
13 going down, down, till you hit the sawgrass and
14 Estero Bay.
15 So there is actually high elevation and
16 Palmetto Pines is really is good for
17 development. And you can see also that on the
18 southeastern edge, there is an exiting mobile
19 home park of 10 units an acre, a residential
20 community is just adjacent to it, about six
21 units an acre.
22 So I guess what I am trying to share with
23 you, I understand the position, when you are
24 spending taxpayer dollars. Whatever you decide
25 today is okay with me. I was here actually to
1 watch so I could come back to my beneficiaries
2 and tell them you all accepted it or you
3 didn't, so we could go on one way or the other.
4 But it is extremely reasonable to expect
5 that that's a logical land use to outlying
6 suburban in the Lee County comprehensive plan.
7 That land use allows three units an acre. And
8 in talking with the staff, we limited it to
9 just two units an acre. So we have been
10 working with the county and the staff for a
11 long time.
12 GOVERNOR BUSH: Can you answer General
13 Milligan's, or just comment on his question?
14 GENERAL MILLIGAN: The question really was on
15 the cluster aspect and where you would be driven
16 to build. And clearly I presume you wouldn't be
17 building in the slough area.
18 MR. DeSALVO: That's correct.
19 GENERAL MILLIGAN: Based on that and driven
20 to a cluster approach, would you all consider
21 partial sale of that?
22 MR. DeSALVO: We had not contemplated that,
23 sir. I don't have an answer for you today. It
24 never had come up.
25 GENERAL MILLIGAN: Key to this, acquiring the
1 slough is acquiring the Smith property which is
2 not -- I think it's Smith property, whoever it
3 It's another piece of property that we are going
4 to go after, and to really make this slough a
5 viable aspect of the environmental aspect of
7 So I still think there is some logic to
8 trying to split this piece of property and
9 acquire what the state really would find most
10 useful and at the same time not undermine the
11 development as appropriate in that area.
12 MR. DeSALVO: Governor, in response to
13 Mr. Gallagher's question a little earlier, it's
14 opinion -- and I know you are going think this
15 a prejudiced opinion coming from me today -- but
16 it's my opinion that when we go through the
17 process, and we will, I think it's an extremely
18 high probability that the land use changes to
19 units an acre. At that time I think the value
20 the land will be around $40,000 an acre,
21 conservatively, in about less than the next year.
22 I have -- and I am not saying this
23 facetiously. There are builders -- it's a very
24 hot market; I think the Governor knows that.
25 There are large builders, national builders,
1 small builders, that are looking for 50 or
2 60-acre parcels that they can build a hundred
3 houses on; it's just that type of market right
5 So the price very legitimately, if I were
6 to sell it on the open market today, probably
7 about two million-four.
8 But I understand the quandary you are in.
9 The other thing about the county commission,
10 they are very sensitive to approving property
11 so that it raises the prices, Governor Bush, I
12 understand that.
13 I can't speak for them, but I want you to
14 appreciate how sensitive they are. They have
15 not taken an action -- this was really
16 something that -- I know you all believe
17 strongly in private property rights. So we
18 have been in the process.
19 We didn't bring this to the state. It was
20 asked to come through the process. We are
21 willing sellers. The two appraisals were made.
22 We have agreed to sell it at slightly below the
23 appraised value. And that's really where we
24 are today, Governor.
25 GOVERNOR BUSH: Commissioner Bronson.
1 COMMISSIONER BRONSON: Did I hear,
2 Mr. DeSalvo, this land right now is agriculturally
3 zoned, I would assume because of the pines, and
4 forth, that are on the property as a potential
5 agricultural commodity base; is that correct?
6 MR. DeSALVO: That is not, sir.
7 In 1962, June 1962, Lee County started
8 their first zoning regulations. When they
9 started their zoning regulations, all land that
10 wasn't rezoned was agricultural.
11 So agricultural was sort of a holdover
12 just as the rural land use is a holdover for
13 the '84 comp plan.
14 The fact is there is testimony,
15 Mr. Bronson, both at the local planning agency
16 level and the county commission that it is not
17 appropriate for rural or agricultural use; it's
18 too small for any bonified agricultural use.
19 And that's why I am sharing with you,
20 gentlemen, the reality that the land use is
21 going to change, is eminent because -- it's not
22 political, it's eminent because all those
23 factors are appropriately in place.
24 COMMISSIONER BRONSON: Governor, I want to
25 bring up a point here, and I am going to disagree
1 with you; it's not too small for an agricultural
3 I can put a 3-acre nursery on this place
4 and still use it for agriculture without making
5 major changes to it.
6 However, the point I am going to make to
7 you is a point I have been trying to make to
8 groups, to this Cabinet, to papers all over
9 this state, is when somebody is in an
10 agricultural piece of property -- now let's
11 take, for instance, there was a small nursery
12 on here; this being surrounded by businesses
13 and homes and pressures not to use chemicals
14 and other things because of the area, these
15 people are finally going to say: I can't make
16 a living, and they are going to sell to someone
17 who has another idea for use of this property.
18 Now there are those in the state who would
19 advocate that we ought to tell DCA -- and I had
20 this told to me by one group -- that we ought
21 to tell agriculture people they can't sell
22 their property, that we are not going to allow
23 them to do that, and they've got to hang on it
24 whether they can make a living on it or not.
25 And I suggest to you that's a socialist's
1 approach to private property rights in the
2 state but --
3 GOVERNOR BUSH: He is going to agree with
5 MR. DeSALVO: Yes, sir, I have been a realtor
6 for 25 years.
7 COMMISSIONER BRONSON: But here is my point.
8 This is just one parcel. This is happening all
9 over the State of Florida where people are being
10 surrounded; they've got to find a way to use this
11 property or it's of no value to them directly
12 unless they sell it for environmental protection
13 or some other use that it can be used on.
14 This piece of property, by the way, for
15 the same reason that Mr. DeSalvo would like to
16 put homes on that ridge, is a water recharge
17 area. That is -- people get the wrong idea
18 that wetlands are water recharge.
19 Wetlands basically are not water recharge
20 other than surface water. The water recharge
21 to the aquifer system is through these high
22 pieces of ground, the very pieces of ground we
23 put homes on.
24 So I want to make a point here. He is in
25 a predicament right now, whether this Cabinet
1 is going to accept this based on its face
2 value, based on the value that he could go and
3 get two homes per acre instead of one possibly;
4 maybe it's only going to be one, but I believe
5 in what he told us, and that is whether it's
6 one home or two homes, it's still going to be
7 worth 35,000 an acre based on today's market
8 more than likely.
9 So we are in a position of trying to vote
10 to either protect the Estero Bay and Mullock
11 River Estuary Program, or whether we let this
12 play itself out and find out whether it's going
13 to be golf courses and a few homes on here.
14 But this is happening all over the State
15 of Florida, and it's mostly ag-related lands
16 that are being involved in this.
17 So this is kind of the firing shot of
18 what's going to happen even more the next four
19 years. I think we need to take a look at it.
20 We have got to make some decisions here on what
21 we are going to do.
22 GOVERNOR BUSH: Jim?
23 SECRETARY SMITH: Based on the comment of
24 General Milligan, how contingent or important
25 the Smith tract, or whatever it is, in relation
1 this piece of property?
2 In other words, if we can't get the Smith
3 property, is this as important and should we be
4 looking at some of these things in more kind of
5 a total concept?
6 MS. ARMSTRONG: I am going to ask Heather
7 Stafford who is the manager of the Estero Bay
8 Preserve to respond to that.
9 MS. STAFFORD: The Smith property is
10 important. We need to get -- that has the bulk
11 the slough in it.
12 GOVERNOR BUSH: Point out where that is. Is
13 it on that map?
14 MS. STAFFORD: Yes.
15 MR. DeSALVO: It's basically the southeast
16 corner of the property.
17 GOVERNOR BUSH: It's your property that abuts
18 you to the south?
19 MR. DeSALVO: Yes, sir.
20 SECRETARY SMITH: Are we in negotiations on
22 MR. DeSALVO: It's a 10-acre piece.
23 MS. STAFFORD: I think we've had it appraised
24 and we are talking to the landowner, State Lands
25 is talking to the landowner.
1 SECRETARY SMITH: Is it like this one; has it
2 been rezoned or anything?
3 MS. STAFFORD: No. I just want to also
4 clarify a little bit about the questionable --
5 you are talking about buying a portion of DeSalvo
6 or approving a portion of it.
7 The slough actually does run on the very
8 northeast corner of DeSalvo, too. So it kind
9 of comes along that northeast corner and comes
10 out from the property and comes back in in the
11 southeast corner and into the Buffer Preserve
12 where we are already restoring the slough on
13 the Buffer Preserve. All the exotics are being
14 removed and we are restoring --
15 COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER: Well, nobody is
16 going to be able to build houses on the slough?
17 MS. STAFFORD: Right, they will be building
18 it on the bulk of the property, which there is
19 only 5 acres of wetlands. The rest of the
20 property is high and dry.
21 GENERAL DORAN: Are there other, within this
22 larger boundary of this project, are there other
23 List parcels?
24 MS. STAFFORD: The project is an A project.
25 GENERAL DORAN: Are any of these parcels
1 other than this one b list parcels?
2 MS. STAFFORD: No, all the parcels within the
3 project are -- the Florida Forever Project is on
4 the A List. The parcels are not A or B.
5 GENERAL DORAN: It doesn't break out?
6 MS. STAFFORD: No, but this is an essential
7 parcel within the project boundary.
8 GENERAL DORAN: Why?
9 MS. STAFFORD: Because of how critical it
10 was, especially with the -- adjacent to the Sadhev
11 parcel and the slough.
12 SECRETARY SMITH: Just kind of
13 philosophically on this, I understand very well
14 what Commissioner Bronson is talking about, and
15 not -- just looking at this whole land buying
17 To me, the people of this state are better
18 served if the amount of money we have, we spend
19 it buying as much environmentally-sensitive
20 land as we can buy at a good price rather than
21 in -- some of these areas that obviously we are
22 rubbing up against urbanization and having to
23 pay a very, very high price.
24 I think a hundred years from now people
25 will look back and say: We ought to do a lot
1 better job, going out and buying land four or
2 five or 6,000 bucks an acre than you were
3 buying pieces at 50 and $60,000 an acre.
4 And we can't buy everything. And the
5 record will reflect my years on this Cabinet, I
6 voted against a lot of land purchases because
7 we don't buy land smart; we never have. In the
8 marketplace, you never buy a piece of land
9 based on the appraised value; you get an
10 appraisal to go get financing.
11 Yet we are cash buyers, and we constantly
12 pay the appraised value of the land. This has
13 always frustrated the heck out of me. We can't
14 buy everything. That's the other side of the
16 COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER: I can tell you this;
17 that the last 10 or 12 years it's gotten much
18 worse than it was way back, Jim. It's just --
19 prices keep climbing and we keep paying full deal;
20 doesn't seem like we negotiate anything down or
21 anything else.
22 SECRETARY SMITH: Really on this one, is the
23 staff -- I just would tell the folks: I can't
24 take this to my board, this land somebody bought
25 four years ago for half a million bucks and now
1 asking them to pay whatever it is, two and a half
2 million; I can't take that to them. If you were
3 business person and you would say that, the board
4 of directors they would fire you.
5 GOVERNOR BUSH: The challenges, I think the
6 issue --
7 COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER: If you are going to
8 put two houses an acre on it, you can sell it for
9 $60,000 a lot, you would buy it in a second. You
10 got to look at what you are going to do. Your
11 board would say, Hey, great, grab that as fast
12 you can.
13 GOVERNOR BUSH: Can we get a quick review of
14 the environmental benefits of this property?
15 MS. STAFFORD: Yes.
16 GOVERNOR BUSH: Talk to us about the
17 importance of this property from an environmental
18 perspective, which does have value. We are
19 putting aside my concerns.
20 MS. STAFFORD: I hope the wetlands aren't the
21 only important thing here. Pine Flatwoods are
22 being lost at a higher rate than wetlands now,
23 so Pine Flatwoods is where everybody builds. So
24 that's important.
25 We have listed plants and animals, we
1 have --
2 GOVERNOR BUSH: What kind of critters are on
4 MS. STAFFORD: We have Gopher Tortoises, they
5 are state-threatened.
6 GOVERNOR BUSH: Gopher Tortoises are still
8 MS. STAFFORD: Yes, they are.
9 GOVERNOR BUSH: Are they really?
10 MS. STAFFORD: Yes, they are.
11 GOVERNOR BUSH: Man.
12 MS. STAFFORD: This is also, this slough,
13 Mullock Creek Slough runs off of Mullock Creek.
14 Mullock Creek runs right to Estero Bay Aquatic
15 Preserve, and Mullock Creek is where there is
16 great concentration of manatees.
17 GOVERNOR BUSH: That's what Colleen wanted
18 you to say.
19 MS. STAFFORD: 10-mile Canal, 10-mile Canal
20 comes right into Mullock Creek and then the creek
21 is where there is a major controversial issue
22 right now about the manatee protection there.
23 They congregate there.
24 GOVERNOR BUSH: So that's not on this
1 MS. STAFFORD: No, it's not on the property.
2 The slough actually runs to Mullock Creek, and
3 Mullock Creek runs to the bay.
4 GOVERNOR BUSH: Any other questions? That's
5 beautiful property.
6 MS. ARMSTRONG: If I might, Governor, just in
7 response to the Secretary's concerns.
8 We don't take bringing this kind of item
9 to you lightly. This is the first aquatic
10 preserve the state ever created, and this body
11 voted eminent domain on the Sadhev piece
12 because it was so important.
13 And we struggled with bringing this
14 forward. We knew there were going to be
15 concerns. But we felt because of the strength
16 of the desire by the managing agency, which is
17 out there every day, that at least you ought to
18 have the opportunity to look at it.
19 It's absolutely within your purview to
20 say: Hey, it is too expensive.
21 And I would not feel that I was doing my
22 job if I didn't do everything I could to try to
23 secure those lands within this project. So
24 that's why we brought it forward.
25 COMMISSIONER CRIST: Governor, I think the
1 question is would the seller take less?
2 MS. ARMSTRONG: I heard that and perhaps we
3 ought to have a discussion about that after this
4 meeting. We could do that.
5 COMMISSIONER CRIST: That would be a great
7 GOVERNOR BUSH: Well, if there is the
8 possibility of having -- either pursuing -- this
9 is not the proper forum probably for a trustee
10 a piece of property to negotiate; more than happy
11 to, it puts you in a little bit of a disadvantage
12 perhaps. So you can remain quiet as you are right
14 But the other option is to look at -- and
15 maybe the environmental issues would not allow
16 for what General Milligan suggested, which is
17 to take a portion of the property that does
18 have higher value for us and perhaps a lower
19 value for the seller and find a way to reach
20 some consensus; that may be -- may not be
21 appropriate, but if we vote no -- if we vote
22 yes, life is good for some. If we vote, no,
23 does that mean there can't be further
25 MS. ARMSTRONG: No, sir. It just means no to
1 this contract, as long as he is willing to
2 continue to talk. And there is -- we would
3 certainly pursue that.
4 GOVERNOR BUSH: Deferring sounds a little bit
5 more of a collegial conciliatory approach to this
6 because I don't think anybody wants to --
7 COMMISSIONER CRIST: Governor, I would then,
8 if it's appropriate, move to defer and see if we
9 can work it out.
10 MR. DeSALVO: Governor, I don't want to
11 mislead though, that we have submitted the
12 application --
13 GOVERNOR BUSH: I understand.
14 MR. DeSALVO: -- for land use. And we
15 felt -- and I understand your dilemma, and I can't
16 promise you that if you were to defer it, that
17 anything is going to change.
18 What we will do, if it's all right with
19 you, is continue our process through the comp
20 plan change. And then should the state want to
21 make some other suggestions, I can tell you
22 that we would be open to it.
23 GOVERNOR BUSH: What's that Lee County 2020
24 thing? Maybe they are a source of funding if they
25 are going to give you the zoning that increases
1 the value. And we'll buy our property, continue
2 to buy property in this overall parcel.
3 There are many options in it. This is
4 not -- we are struggling with this because it
5 is clearly an important environmental, from an
6 environmental perspective, important property.
7 COMMISSIONER BRONSON: Clarification. Defer
8 to which meeting?
9 MS. ARMSTRONG: We would rather not have a
10 date. That would give us the leeway to see if
11 can work it out. And if not, we won't be back.
12 COMMISSIONER CRIST: The motion would be to
13 defer until you are able to negotiate, and the
14 interest that we want to protect is what's
15 environmentally sensitive but at the same time
16 want to be good stewards for the taxpayers.
17 GOVERNOR BUSH: There is a motion to defer.
18 Is there a second?
19 COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER: Second.
20 GOVERNOR BUSH: All in favor? Anymore
21 discussion? All in favor say aye.
22 THE CABINET: Aye.
23 GOVERNOR BUSH: All opposed?
24 MS. ARMSTRONG: We did have two more
1 GOVERNOR BUSH: I am sorry.
2 MS. ARMSTRONG: But in the interest of time,
3 I suggest -- we are good, we can go on, sir.
4 GOVERNOR BUSH: Thank you all very much.
5 MS. ARMSTRONG: Item number 6 is an option
6 agreement to acquire 47.7 acres in the South
7 Walton County Ecosystem Florida Forever Project
8 Walton County.
9 We have Celeste Cobina here today, she is
10 with the Beach-to-Bay Association. She wants
11 to help you see the vision for this entire
12 project and thus understand how the smaller
13 piece fits in.
14 MS. COBINA: Good morning, I am Celeste
15 Cobina with Beach-to-Bay Connection. We are a
16 nonprofit organization that was formed in 1993,
17 and our mission is to preserve and enhance the
18 public lands and waters in South Walton.
19 And our vision since 1993 has been to
20 create a Greenway Network in Walton County
21 connecting up our parks and forests in Walton
22 County. The map illustrates our vision that we
23 have been working on for nearly 10 years now.
24 And in 1996, the State of Florida promised
25 to help us continue fulfilling this vision.
1 And it really hasn't -- we haven't seen a lot
2 of action in moving forward in our vision and
3 this is an opportunity with the Saddlebrook
4 Downs property to acquire some property on
5 Choctawhatchee Bay and get a very important
6 beach-to-bay connector.
7 South Walton is a very unique place. We
8 are sort of a little barrier island there
9 connecting the Gulf of Mexico. We have the --
10 this will also link the Point Washington State
11 Forest with Topsill Hill Preserve.
12 GOVERNOR BUSH: Can you point out where the
13 property is?
14 MS. COBINA: (Indicating )
15 GOVERNOR BUSH: Thank you.
16 MS. COBINA: South Walton is one of the
17 fastest growing areas in the State of Florida.
18 And I know there has been a lot of discussion
19 about the price of property, but you cannot touch
20 a quarter acre lot in South Walton on a dirt road
21 for $31,000.
22 And you know, the opportunities, if we
23 don't take the opportunities in South Walton
24 now, they are going to be lost forever. And I
25 think we are going to look a hundred years down
1 the road, look back and say: What
2 opportunities did we miss?
3 And we are a tourist-based economy over
4 there. The tourists come here to enjoy our
5 beautiful, natural area. We are one of the few
6 places left in the Panhandle where you can
7 enjoy nature as it was along the coast like it
8 was several hundred years ago.
9 And we want to continue this vision and
10 fulfill this vision. The citizens have been
11 working; we have created over 30 miles of
12 trails through our parks and forests, and we
13 want the State of Florida to continue acquiring
14 property and fulfilling the promise that they
15 made to us.
16 GOVERNOR BUSH: Can you tell me what the
17 property is -- back to the question of the last
18 agenda item. Is this -- what is this? Are there
19 development rights on this tract of land we are
21 MS. COBINA: I am not very familiar with the
22 development rights. I just know it's an important
23 piece of property on the bay.
24 GOVERNOR BUSH: Maybe Eva can answer that
25 question. Any other --
1 MS. ARMSTRONG: No, sir, that was the only
3 GOVERNOR BUSH: We appreciate you coming.
4 MS. ARMSTRONG: Tom Porter here is one of our
5 senior appraisers, and he can answer your density
7 MR. PORTER: Good morning, Governor and
9 The property is currently zoned for
10 density of one dwelling unit per two and a half
11 acres of uplands for a portion of the property.
12 The remainder of the property is zoned at two
13 dwelling units per acre.
14 GOVERNOR BUSH: I am sorry?
15 MR. PORTER: The remainder of the property is
16 zoned at two units per acre.
17 GOVERNOR BUSH: How many units --
18 MR. PORTER: Total units that would be
19 developed be between 28 and 29 dealing units on
20 the site.
21 GOVERNOR BUSH: So your appraisal is based on
22 that possible density?
23 MR. PORTER: I am sorry?
24 GOVERNOR BUSH: Your appraisal is based on
25 that density?
1 MR. PORTER: Yes, it is.
2 GOVERNOR BUSH: Okay.
3 MS. ARMSTRONG: Give him the range of the
4 comparable sales.
5 MR. PORTER: We've got two appraisals that
6 was done on the property, sale ranges of up to
7 over 55,000 per upland acre, and there is 28.3
8 upland acres on the property. One appraiser had
9 five sales and an upland acre basis they range
10 from $44,400 up to 160,000 per upland acre.
11 GOVERNOR BUSH: Any questions? Thank you.
12 Is there a motion? General?
13 GENERAL MILLIGAN: As you would suspect, I
14 have looked at this pretty close and don't be
15 deceived, first of all, by the 20 here. This
16 piece of property is about a quarter of the right
17 quarter of that piece that borders on the bay.
18 But it is a piece of property that gives them
19 access to the bay, which they don't have
21 And so because of that, it really has some
22 merit, I think, and certainly, although the
23 waterfront itself, by the way, is marsh land,
24 basically 200 feet back is all swamp area. But
25 nevertheless, it does give access to the bay,
1 which I think is important to what they are
2 trying to do.
3 So I move the item.
4 GOVERNOR BUSH: Is there a second?
5 COMMISSIONER BRONSON: Second.
6 GOVERNOR BUSH: Any discussion? Moved and
7 seconded. Without objection, the item passes.
8 MS. ARMSTRONG: Thank you.
9 Item 7 is an option agreement to acquire
10 27.43 acres within the Werner-Boyce Salt
11 Springs State Park Project. Wendy Spencer, the
12 director of Florida's Recreational Parks, is
13 here for a minute.
14 MS. SPENCER: Thank you very much. Good
15 morning, Governor.
16 GOVERNOR BUSH: Show a little enthusiasm,
18 MS. SPENCER: All right, I am going to.
19 But I have to say before we talk about
20 Werner-Boyce, on behalf of 17.7 million state
21 park visitors this year, 6,000 dedicated
22 volunteers, and about 1500 full and part-time
23 dedicated state park service employees, yes;
24 and all the critters and wildlife on the
25 600,000 acres, we thank you for your aggressive
1 acquisitions for state park property.
2 Werner-Boyce Salt Springs is a wonderful
3 4,000 acres in Newport Richey. We are looking
4 at 27 very important acres today. This is one
5 of four last small parcels that we desperately
6 need to acquire to complete the optimum
7 boundaries of the state park.
8 It gives us some fantastic uplands.
9 The 4,000 acres, we call it sort of our
10 undisturbed central park of Newport Richey. If
11 you fly over it, it is quite beautiful to see
12 next to massive, massive commercial property
13 and it has been embraced by New Port Richey
14 like none other. Many newspaper articles have
15 been written about this property. And they are
16 very appreciative of your acquisition of it.
17 But there is a lot of wetlands here. It's
18 a wonderful kayak and canoe place, but we need,
19 desperately need more uplands. This parcel is
20 very important to us. And it also provides us
21 access to a future parcel that we would like to
22 buy that has a beautiful spring on it.
23 Albert Gregory, finest planner in state
24 government, has a picture of it. Albert, if
25 you will.
1 GOVERNOR BUSH: Wendy, how is the Parks
2 System doing with its United Way contributions?
3 MS. SPENCER: Excellent. Thank you very
4 much. I am glad you asked.
5 GOVERNOR BUSH: Just checking.
6 MS. SPENCER: By the way, park revenue this
7 past year, numbers just in, up $2 million over
8 last year, so we are excited about the State Park
9 System in Florida.
10 This is the beautiful spring that is not
11 on this property, but this is very important to
12 the acquisition. If we don't buy this
13 property, we can't try to buy the spring.
14 GOVERNOR BUSH: Why not?
15 MS. SPENCER: Well, we can, but we just can't
16 get to it. We could look at it and observe it
17 from above, but we couldn't get to it.
18 So the 27 acres here provides us great
19 uplands we need. We've got a 74-year-old-man
20 cutting, beautiful hand cutting trails through
21 some of our uplands and he can't hardly wait to
22 get to this property we are looking at today.
23 But we have got some great trail systems
24 in here that the citizens are really enjoying;
25 a lot of senior citizens are enjoying this
2 GOVERNOR BUSH: Would this be the main park
4 MS. SPENCER: No, the main park entrance
5 is -- can you point it out on the map? This will
6 be another big parcel.
7 GOVERNOR BUSH: What we bought before was the
8 main park entrance?
9 MS. SPENCER: Yes, that's under development
11 GOVERNOR BUSH: Are we finished with this
12 park after the spring?
13 MS. SPENCER: Well, not -- we are in the
14 design phase on everything; kayak and new trails.
15 GOVERNOR BUSH: In terms of the size, this
16 will complete it?
17 MR. GREGORY: There are three or four
18 additional parcels we would like to purchase.
19 is up in the northeast corner, that big
20 undeveloped area there, a smaller triangular piece
21 right there, the area inside that actual angle
22 there and the very last parcel we intend to buy,
23 are trying to pursue, in that box is 10 to 15
24 single family residences, kind of like a little
25 fish camp; great public access, great access.
1 That's definitely a long shot because of the
2 number of individual ownerships.
3 GOVERNOR BUSH: This property is zoned for --
4 has development rights for what?
5 MR. GREGORY: It's zoned --
6 GOVERNOR BUSH: Kind of the theme of the day.
7 MR. GREGORY: The appraisal, I believe it's
8 zoned for 247 single-family residential units.
9 GOVERNOR BUSH: It has those development
10 rights right now?
11 MR. GREGORY: Yes, sir.
12 MS. SPENCER: The acquisition of this is, the
13 price of this is less than what they paid four
14 years ago. We are not in the same situation that
15 you have been in in a couple other situations
17 It's great property, we need it
18 desperately. Thank you.
19 GOVERNOR BUSH: Well, I am surprised you even
20 came here. Are there any other comments.
22 GENERAL MILLIGAN: Another one you wrestled
24 GOVERNOR BUSH: I remember, I was the grumpy
25 one the last time on this property and you
1 convinced me to go forward.
2 GENERAL MILLIGAN: Well, I won't pressure you
3 that hard this time.
4 I really think the real value in the piece
5 of property is dependent upon the acquisition
6 of that spring, which I think is important to
7 what we are trying to do in the state.
8 And frankly, for that reason and that
9 reason alone, I am willing to go along with it
10 because it is critical, it's kind of a lynch
11 pin for the acquisition of that spring. And
12 that's the only reason why I am willing to go
13 with it.
14 GOVERNOR BUSH: The department building that
15 would be built in lieu of it would have a nice
16 view of the spring, wouldn't it?
17 GENERAL MILLIGAN: Certainly would.
18 MS. SPENCER: And the runoff would devastate
19 the spring.
20 GOVERNOR BUSH: Is there a motion?
21 COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER: I move.
22 COMMISSIONER BRONSON: Second.
23 GOVERNOR BUSH: Any other discussion?
24 Moved and seconded. Without objection,
25 the item passes.
1 MS. SPENCER: Thank you very much.
2 MS. ARMSTRONG: Item number 8 is an option
3 agreement to acquire 86 acres within the South
4 Savannas, Division of Recreation and State Parks
5 Project. I am not aware any outstanding issues
6 this one.
7 Would you like somebody to walk you
9 GOVERNOR BUSH: Is there a motion or
11 GENERAL MILLIGAN: I will move the item.
12 SECRETARY SMITH: Second.
13 GOVERNOR BUSH: Moved and seconded. Without
14 objection, the item passes.
15 MS. ARMSTRONG: Then Item 9, which is the
16 last one today, is an additional option agreement
17 to acquire 3,866.49 acres within the St. Joe
18 Timberland known as the Wakulla Springs Buffer
20 This is in line with the Governor's
21 Springs Initiative, and we do have a series of
23 The first one is Sandi Cook who is the
24 manager of the park.
25 GOVERNOR BUSH: Good morning.
1 MS. COOK: Good morning.
2 I am the fortunate person to be the
3 manager/caretaker of World Famous Wakulla
4 Springs. As I told you a couple of years ago,
5 I am still enjoying my job and loving it, and
6 appreciate the past support we had from the
7 Governor and Cabinet in land acquisition.
8 We have acquired a few other parcels, and
9 this piece of property that we are considering
10 today in the protection zone is important for
11 the obvious reasons of protecting the
12 groundwater resources. What we do on the
13 surface continues to impact our underwater
14 reservoir of water that's our drinking water.
15 Wakulla Springs is one of the world's
16 largest springs and is known worldwide for its
17 significant natural resources and, in fact, is
18 a National Natural Landmark.
19 But also significant is its cultural
20 resources. Wakulla Springs is also on the
21 National Register of Historic Places, which
22 makes it really unique in having significant
23 cultural and natural resources.
24 Humans have been inhabiting the areas
25 surrounding Wakulla Springs for thousands of
1 years. When humans first arrived in Florida,
2 the environment was much different than today.
3 In this climate, freshwater was much less
4 abundant, and life centered around these
5 springs and sinkholes.
6 The property being considered for today
7 contains a number of significant sinkholes.
8 These windows into the aquifer served as the
9 life blood for Florida's early inhabitants as
10 they do today.
11 Wakulla Springs is among the largest and
12 most archaeological significant spring sites in
13 the state. The area in and around the spring
14 and along the banks of the river contain a
15 record of some of the earliest evidence of
16 human occupation in Florida.
17 Beginning more than 10,000 years ago, the
18 earliest known culture, the Paleo Indians,
19 inhabited the area. Use of the area continued
20 by other native American groups and later by
21 Spanish and American settlers.
22 Prehistoric camp sites, burial mounds,
23 shell beds, Spanish sites and turpentine camps
24 serve as testimony to the cultural significance
25 of the property around Wakulla Springs.
1 There are a total of 59 archaeological
2 sites present on the current park property that
3 represent every regional culture for the past
4 10,000 years. Other significant sites are
5 likely to be discovered on these new
7 Acquisition and protection of these
8 properties include sinks such as Turner,
9 Emerald and Split and Cheryl Sink will allow us
10 to do a better job of not only protecting and
11 observing the natural resources, but also our
12 cultural resources.
13 We appreciate your support. Thank you.
14 GOVERNOR BUSH: We have other speakers?
15 MS. ARMSTRONG: Two more, please. Eric
16 Draper and Paul Johnson with Apalachee Ecological
18 MR. DRAPER: Governor and Members of the
19 Cabinet, we appreciate your efforts to carefully
20 spend the state's resources. We think this
21 project is a very, very good deal and strongly
22 encourage you to purchase the land around Wakulla
23 Springs State Park, this is environmentally
24 sensitive. And Wakulla, of course, is a
25 fast-growing area. And this land is bound to get
1 much more expensive as we move forward.
2 So we appreciate your favorable
3 consideration of this item.
4 GOVERNOR BUSH: Thank you.
5 MR. JOHNSON: Governor and Cabinet, Paul
6 Johnson. I appreciate the opportunity to speak
7 you today in support of your purchase of this
9 I represent a group called the Apalachee
10 Ecological Conservancy, also am very active
11 locally with the citizen support group Friends
12 of Wakulla Springs, which does a great job of
13 supporting this treasure for the state.
14 Wakulla Springs was probably the crown
15 jewel of Ed Ball's land acquisitions. He spent
16 a lot of time in Wakulla Springs and it
17 probably was the hallmark because of its
18 natural resources and a lot of things regarding
19 the unique nature of the springs that St. Joe
20 is very pleased to have that area, and so is
21 everybody in the state.
22 The acquisition of this land is necessary
23 to further protect the water quality and
24 ecological integrity of the subterranean
25 connections to Wakulla Springs and our
1 underground drinking water source in Wakulla
3 We support the acquisition of the
4 3,866 acres, and would encourage the state and
5 St. Joe to work together in further
6 acquisitions. These additional sales of lands
7 for conservation will greatly enhance the
8 balance and future development plans in Wakulla
9 County and in the Panhandle.
10 COMMISSIONER BRONSON: Move number 9.
11 COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER: Second.
12 GOVERNOR BUSH: There is a motion and a
14 The appraisals here, just on my report,
15 says there is an appraisal for 6.7 million and
16 7.9 million. And 7.9 million is what we are
17 buying it for. What was -- is that common?
18 Seemed like a pretty big margin.
19 MS. ARMSTRONG: I will have Mr. Porter
20 respond to the difference between the two values.
21 It did not reach the 120 percent divergence
22 calculation used under the statute. They are
23 closer than that. But I will have him address
25 I will also tell you this was an
1 aggressively-negotiated deal on behalf of St.
2 Joe. They feel they have given the state a
3 bargain at this price, just to let you know.
4 Would you address the divergence?
5 GOVERNOR BUSH: I feel good about that.
6 Represented by Mr. DeSalvo?
7 MR. PORTER: The appraisers, each of the
8 individual six parcels, the values that you see,
9 6.7 million and the 7.9 million, are discounted
10 value; in other words, the retail values that
11 appraisers came to were in the range from about
12 9,100,000 to 9,145,000.
13 The reason for the divergence between
14 those two values was in their decision on how
15 much discounting was needed. One appraiser --
16 GOVERNOR BUSH: You answered my question.
17 MR. PORTER: -- discounted 15 percent for
18 bulk value for purchase of all this property by
19 single purchaser, whereas the other appraiser
20 a lesser discount amount than that and that
21 accounted for that range.
22 GOVERNOR BUSH: Secretary Smith.
23 SECRETARY SMITH: To me, this is -- I guess
24 we can quibble about the difference in appraisals,
25 but I think this is an example of the kind of
1 thing I think we need to be doing when we are
2 buying stuff in the 2- to 3,000-dollar-acre range;
3 and the way Wakulla County is growing, 10 years
4 from now we would be looking at 10 to $12,000 an
6 I would like to see this board really try
7 to concentrate on big chunks of land at a
8 lesser price and protect us all better down the
9 road, I think.
10 GOVERNOR BUSH: Commissioner Gallagher.
11 COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER: I think 2000 an
12 acre, if you look what you can buy for 2000 an
13 acre in this state, not a bad buy.
14 GOVERNOR BUSH: Any other discussion? There
15 is a motion, isn't there? A second. Without
16 objection, the item passes.
17 MS. ARMSTRONG: Thank you, sir.
18 GOVERNOR BUSH: Thank you.
1 GOVERNOR BUSH: State Board of
3 COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER: Motion on the
5 SECRETARY SMITH: Second.
6 GOVERNOR BUSH: Moved and seconded. Without
7 objection, the minutes have been approved.
8 Item 2.
9 COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER: I move that we hire
10 Curtis A. Wolf at $105,000 a year.
11 GENERAL MILLIGAN: How much?
12 TREASURER GALLAGHER: 105.
13 GENERAL MILLIGAN: I will second that.
14 GOVERNOR BUSH: Moved and seconded. Without
15 objection, the item passes.
16 Coleman, good seeing you.
17 GENERAL MILLIGAN: One quick comment.
18 We haven't really solved the audit
19 committee situation, and it does need to be
20 addressed in terms of really who does this
21 internal auditor respond to and the policing
22 function that we expect this audit committee to
24 So I think we need to come to grips with
1 TREASURER GALLAGHER: I will throw out what I
2 personally think on it.
3 I believe that that person should report
4 to the trustees; and if the trustees be
5 comfortable, in my instance it would be through
6 my inspector general, but it could be I
7 think -- in my opinion, it should be reports to
8 us through whoever we want to designate.
9 GENERAL MILLIGAN: I have no problem with
10 that, Tom, except I am not so sure one should
11 the IG is the right person.
12 COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER: That would be up --
13 GOVERNOR BUSH: Designee, how about that?
14 GENERAL MILLIGAN: I think that would be
15 useful and --
16 COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER: I was just saying
17 who mine would be most likely, but it could be
18 anybody you want.
19 GENERAL MILLIGAN: I think this could be --
20 the committee is really going to be a policing
21 function, I mean to put it in really the kind
22 the direct approach, they are going to police
24 And so you have to make sure you got the
25 right kind of people on there to police the
1 operation. And that's the only comment I will
3 COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER: Do you feel we
4 should have more than one person each on it?
5 That's -- I don't, but I am not against it.
6 GENERAL MILLIGAN: I am not --
7 COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER: I think there are
8 too many people trying to suggest --
9 GENERAL MILLIGAN: I would suggest, rather,
10 it's important to have the right mix of people
11 not the number, and whatever you come up with,
12 because it won't be my call down the pike here.
13 But I am concerned that the audit
14 committee really serves as a policing agent as
15 it should be for the trustees and be consisted
16 of the right people.
17 COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER: Some people might
18 want to put their chief of staff; somebody might
19 want to put an outsider; I think it could be any
20 of the ones. But it really should be us --
21 GENERAL MILLIGAN: I think you have to kind
22 of talk about that to make sure you have the right
23 mix between the new Attorney General and yourself
24 and the Governor.
25 COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER: Well, I'd make a
1 motion that we each appoint one person, so we can
2 at least set the precedent that there be a
3 three --
4 GENERAL MILLIGAN: Let's get on with it then,
5 and I think I would at this point ask the Attorney
6 General to appoint somebody effective 7 of January
7 and at least have in place early on here who the
8 people are going to be and they can start
9 gathering themselves up.
10 COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER: And those people
11 serve at the pleasure of the trustees.
12 GENERAL MILLIGAN: Yes.
13 GOVERNOR BUSH: They should report to the
15 GENERAL MILLIGAN: Yes.
16 COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER: What I am wondering,
17 do you think that we should nominate them and
18 the other two agree with your nomination, or just
19 nominate them?
20 GENERAL MILLIGAN: Again, I think it's
21 important to have the right mix of people that
22 really can serve the trustees in a broad sense
24 Your IG may have some great skills in
25 dealing with internal audits, in dealing with
1 policy, in terms of investment policy, and so
2 forth, but not all necessarily will.
3 It may be that the Attorney General maybe
4 would appropriately have a lawyer on there that
5 really understands investments and securities
6 law, for example, as opposed to his IG. So my
7 thought is only that we look carefully at the
8 mix of people that you all finally put on
10 GOVERNOR BUSH: I think we can figure this
12 GENERAL MILLIGAN: I think you can.
13 COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER: I guess the other
14 thing is, we have got an offer out hiring
15 hopefully -- if the offer is still available,
16 of these processes take a long time -- how soon
17 we have these people appointed? Should that be
18 done today or should it be done --
19 GOVERNOR BUSH: If we did it today --
20 GENERAL MILLIGAN: If we did it today, I
21 think you'd have an appointment and the Governor
22 would have an appointment. My thought would be
23 that we'll bring on board the internal auditor
24 soon as practical, assuming he accepts the job,
25 and has time to move his family and do those
1 things. So we are talking about probably even
2 after the holidays. Most people don't like to
3 pick up and move on the 24th of December.
4 COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER: Right, because we
5 don't know when he can start.
6 GENERAL MILLIGAN: My suggestion would be we
7 go ahead and move toward establishing the audit
8 committee effective 7 January. And in the
9 meantime, the trustees serve as the audit
10 committee as required.
11 COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER: Okay.
12 GOVERNOR BUSH: Sounds like a plan. Thank
13 you all.
14 (The proceedings concluded at 11:45 a.m.)
2 CERTIFICATE OF REPORTER
6 STATE OF FLORIDA )
7 COUNTY OF LEON )
9 I, SANDRA L. NARGIZ, RMR, CRR, certify that I
10 was authorized to and did stenographically report
11 proceedings herein, and that the transcript is
12 and complete record of my stenographic notes.
13 I further certify that I am not a relative,
14 employee, attorney or counsel of any of the parties,
15 nor am I a relative or employee of any of the
16 attorney or counsel connected with the action,
nor am I
17 financially interested in the action.
18 WITNESS my hand and official seal this 18th
19 day of November, 2002.
23 SANDRA L. NARGIZ, RMR, CRR
100 SALEM COURT
24 TALLAHASSEE, FL 32301