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HomeUncategorizedJan. 29, 2019 Hernando BOCC meeting rundown

Jan. 29, 2019 Hernando BOCC meeting rundown

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Unfortunately we did not have the time to cover: 


Rundown begins with:


Appointment of David Latscha and Reappointment of Samuel Freeman to Fine Arts Council Until December 31, 2022

Corporate Hangar Lease Agreement With Pem Air, LLC, for Property Located at 16316 Flight Path Drive at Brooksville-Tampa Bay Regional Airport

Pem Air LLC (current tenant in good standing) would like to rent a third hangar to accommodate an increase in business.  It is a 2 year lease with an increase in year two. Year 1 lease is $24,660 and Year 2 lease is $25,153.00.

Discharge of Order and Satisfaction of Code Enforcement Special Master Lien for Sondra A. Branson

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Resolution Ratifying Denial of Rezoning Petition Submitted by Joshua Whitney, Power of Attorney for Gloria Williams, Trustee (H1819)

“On January 15, 2019, the Board voted 5-0 to deny the petitioner’s request. Approval of the attached Resolution is necessary to finalize the Board action to deny the petition.”

Revisions to Drug Free Workplace Policy

Satisfaction of Code Enforcement Public Nuisance Abatement Special Assessment Lien for Albasa Land and Invest Corp., Luis A. Figueroa

Satisfaction of Mosquito Control Nuisance and Pestiferous Arthropod Special Assessment Lien for Diane Bazarian, Dallas Chestine, and Holly Bazarian-Chestine

Satisfactions of Various Mortgages Through Homeownership Down Payment Assistance Program

T-Hangar Agreement With David Sheremeta for Dome No. 7 at Brooksville-Tampa Bay Regional Airport  (Annual lease of $3,337.92)

Transmittal of List of Accounts Payable Disbursements for Weeks Ended January 11, 2019, and January 18, 2019

Various Code Enforcement Public Nuisance Abatement Special Assessment Liens

Consent Agenda items approved.


Letter From Hernando County School District Superintendent John Stratton Announcing Appointment of Ex-Officio Representative to Planning and Zoning Commission

Mr. Stratton’s letter informs Assistant County Administrator Ron Pianta that the Hernando County School District appointed James Lipsy, Manager of Planning, Design and Construction as the district’s ex officio (non-voting) representative on the Hernando County Planning and Zoning Commission.

Notice of Conditional Use Permit Action Taken by Planning and Zoning Commission on January 14, 2019

P&Z approved a 2 year renewal of a conditional use permit for a second residence for a 10 acre property on Hope Hill Rd.  The second residence was requested to accommodate the health needs of a relative.

Notice of Purchasing Policy Exceptions for December 2018

Transmittal of Air Traffic Control Tower Activity Reports for October 2018 Through December 2018

Transmittal of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Trust Fund Monthly Report for December 2018


Proposal From Thompson, Sizemore, Gonzalez & Hearing for Provision of Labor and Employment Law Special Counsel Services

See article:


A motion was made by Commissioner Allocco to redefine the scope of the engagement letter which passed 5-0.


Budget Calendar for FY 2020

Mr. Zoettlein reminded board the Feb. 21 is the budget kickoff meeting.

March 26 is the deadline for creating any new (taxing) districts or MSTUs

June 1- good faith estimate from Property Appraiser

July 1- Final Certification from Property Appraiser

July 30- tentative millage rates due for TRIM notice

Sept. 11 – First Public Budget Hearing 5:01PM

Sept. 24 – Final and Second Public Budget Hearing 5:01PM

Approved 5-0


Award of Contract No. 18-R00119/BH to The Law Offices of Lucas Magazine for Legal Counsel, Opioid Epidemic Investigation, and Possible Litigation

The purpose of the opioid epidemic investigation is to “pursue all civil remedies against those in the chain of manufacture and distribution of prescription opiates responsible for the opioid epidemic which is plaguing the Hernando County (Florida).”  

Some particulars of the contract:

– There is no fee if there is no monetary recovery.

– No reimbursement of litigation expenses if there is no monetary recovery.

– CLIENT agrees to pay twenty-five percent (25%) of the total monetary recovery (gross) in favor of the CLIENT as an attorney fee whether the claim is resolved by compromise, settlement, or trial and verdict (and appeal).  

From the contract:

“This litigation is intended to address a significant problem in the community. It is anticipated that the litigation will focus on the manufacturers and wholesale distributors and their role in the diversion of millions of prescription opiates into the illicit market which has resulted in opioid addiction, abuse, morbidity and mortality. There is no easy solution. Many of the facts of the case are locked behind closed doors. The billion-dollar industry denies liability. The litigation will be very expensive and the litigation expenses will be advanced by the Attorneys with reimbursement contingent upon a successful recovery. The outcome is uncertain, as is all civil litigation, with compensation contingent upon a successful recovery. Consequently, there must be a clear understanding between the CLIENT and the Attorneys regarding the definition of a “successful recovery.” The Attorneys intend to present a damage model designed to abate the public health and safety crisis. This damage model may take the form of money damages or the reasonable monetary value of any equitable remedies or also known as an abatement fund. The purpose of the lawsuit is to seek reimbursement of the costs incurred in the past fighting the opioid epidemic and/or recover the funds necessary to abate the health and safety crisis caused by the unlawful conduct of the manufacturers and wholesale distributors.”

Ratification of Sole Source Purchase From Econolite Systems, Inc., for Five-Year Centracs Software Maintenance Agreement
(Total Cost: $52,250.00)

Covers the existing traffic control software equipment currently being utilized by the Hernando County Traffic Management Center (Department of Public Works) throughout Hernando County.  The one year contract is $11,000 and staff chose to go with five years for the $2750 cost savings.

Utilization of Contracts and Agreements With Sourcewell Previously Known as National Joint Powers Alliance

(Brought to the board due to name change)

Items were approved 5-0.


Capacity Expenditures Increase to Contract No. 18-T00155/CH With Crushing, Inc., for Asphalt Crushing Services

This item was tabled for clarification in regards to bid amounts

Reconsider Recommendation for Aircraft Self Fueling Facility Project at Brooksville-Tampa Bay Regional Airport

See article:


Discussion Regarding Unsolicited Proposal for New County Government Center

Article here:




Contract for Sale and Purchase of Real Estate With Gulf Marine Investment Corp., for Property Located on Shoal Line Boulevard for Additional Boat Trailer Parking at Hernando Beach Boat Ramp to Accommodate Population Growth and Associated Budget Amendment

Prior the discussion of this item, Chairman Holcomb recused himself due to statements published by “the newspaper” (not The Hernando Sun).

Mr. Holcomb stated, “I’d like to make something very clear since the newspaper [not The Hernando Sun] likes to make things very unclear… ”

Addressing Mr. Gary Schraut Century 21 realtor/broker representing the property owner Gulf Marine Investment Corp., “You’re a broker at Century 21?”

GS: Yes Sir

Holcomb: “And I am a Real Estate Associate holding a license that is hung at Century 21 correct?”

GS: Yes Sir

Holcomb: “How much am I going to get paid if you go through any of these land deals with the county?”

GS: “Absolutely nothing.”

Mr. Holcomb gave the gavel to Vice Chairman Mitten and exited the county commission chambers for the duration of the two real estate related agenda items.  Mr. Schraut represents both property owners.

Regarding the Hernando Beach property, there was some discussion about utilizing it for road improvements rather than boat trailer parking.  Scott Herring remarked that it should be brought back to the board if they change how they want to use the property and identify a different funding source.  

Action should be taken based on the results of the feasibility study.  

Herring said that they could probably work the funding into the road program for next fiscal year if the property is used for roadway improvements.   

Commissioner Champion stated that he envisions the property being used and developed for boat parking and then they would come back with roadway improvements related to Petit Lane.

“I don’t see a reason why we can’t do both if everything works out.”

The engineering firm is working on plans for the parking lot and is considering intersection improvements as well.

Commissioner Dukes remarked that they weren’t able to start the project six years ago because at the time they couldn’t use impact fees to fund it.  Additionally anticipated funds from the RESTORE act were not received.

Mitten asked why they are able to use the impact fees now- what changed?

Referring to Mr. Sossamon, County Attorney Coller stated, “A smart administrator came to the conclusion that we were missing one part of the analysis- which was the analysis of boat traffic growth.  He went out and did the research, provided that to our office who said- this fits the dual rational nexus test.”

After consideration of lowering their offer to $400,000 from $440,000, Commissioner Champion made a motion to approve the sale contract as is at $440,000.  This motion died for lack of a second.

Mr. Allocco made a motion to proceed with a counteroffer at $400,000.  Mr. Champion said, “I will second it because I want to get it done.”

The motion was approved 3-1.  

Contract for Sale and Purchase of Real Estate With S.R. 50 Medical Park, L.C., for Acquisition of Property for Mariner West Frontage Road and Associated Budget Amendment

Information from Agenda Packet:

 “Hernando County is in receipt of an unsolicited oral offer submitted by Realtor Gary Schraut on behalf of his client, S.R. 50 Medical Park, L.C., to have the County purchase a tract of land located south of Cortez Blvd. and north of Mariner Blvd.  The asking price is $103,000.00. The land would serve as a frontage road for numerous businesses as well as a connector roadway between Cortez Blvd. and Mariner Blvd.

“Pursuant to Hernando County Code § 2-173, Treatment of Unsolicited Offers, “The Board of County Commissioners is under no obligation to consider unsolicited bids to purchase or lease county-owned property.”

 “The amount of the offer price ($103,000) plus ancillary closing cost are available in the Impact Fee District 4-Roads Fund with approval of the attached budget amendment… ”

 Contract allows for 120 day feasibility study.

 The property in question is located behind the SR50 medical complex (adjacent to Cortez Commons/ Hobby Lobby plaza).  The idea is that this property would be one part of a larger extension for access to the shopping plaza (reverse frontage road).    

 Approved unanimously 4-0 (Chairman Holcomb still recused).


Submittal of Grant Application for Access Improvements at Peck Sink Preserve Through Department of Environmental Protection Recreational Trails Program

See article:


Commissioners approved the submission of the grant application 5-0.


Amendment No. 1 to Locally Funded Agreement With Department of Transportation for County Line Road Improvements From Suncoast Parkway to US 41 at Ayers Road Project and Associated Resolution

Amendment to add traffic light at the Trillium entrance and County Line Road/ Ayers Rd extension.  Funding is available in gas tax funds, $646,722.00.

Approved 5-0.

Budget Resolution Replacing Resolution No. 2018-187 Recognizing Reduction Associated With Osowaw Boulevard Resurfacing Local Agency Program Project Grant Funding

Approved 5-0.

Contract for Sale and Purchase of Real Estate With Isidoro Sosa and Mary Ellen Sosa for Acquisition of Property for Grant Street Drainage Improvement Project and Associated Budget Amendment

Would like to acquire property to alleviate flooding problems along the northern end of Grant Street located within the Potterfield Garden Acres Subdivision.  The Sosa’s accepted the offer of $6,057.00 and signed the contract to sell the lot to the County.

Purchase agreement and budget amendment funding the acquisition of the property as well as $47,000 for storm water improvements were approved 5-0.


Three Party Escrow Agreement With Department of Transportation, Utility Work by Highway Contractor Agreements and Resolution Utility Agreements for Utility Work Along SR 50 From Windmere Road/Bronson Boulevard to US 98/McKethan Road and SR 50 From US 98/McKethan Road to US 301 Projects

From agenda packet:

“The Hernando County Utilities Department (HCUD) currently has utilities within the existing SR50 right-of-way in eastern Hernando County that need to be relocated due to the subject FDOT projects.  The UWHCA with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) allows HCUD to use the contractor selected by FDOT through the competitive bidding process to relocate the existing utilities from US98/McKethan Road to US 301 and from Windmere Rd./Bronson Blvd. to US98/McKethan Rd.  The engineer’s estimate for the US98/McKethan Rd. to US301 project is $1,964,179.13. The engineer’s estimate for the Windmere Rd./Bronson Blvd. to US98/McKethan Rd. is $4,697,664.93.

“Approval of these agreements and the wire transfer of funds, allows for the timely execution of the work required to relocate the existing utilities as needed.”

Funding comes from the Utilities Department. Approved 5-0.


Purchase of Vehicle for Hernando County Fire Rescue District Through Fleet Replacement Program

From agenda packet:

“The Fleet Management Department requests the ability to substitute the replacement of one (1) HCFR tanker truck instead of two (2) brush trucks on the FY 2019 Vehicle and Equipment replacement list. Tanker unit 9274 already qualifies under the current vehicle replacement policy. This change was deemed to be a higher priority by HCFR in fulfilling its mission to protect the County. The list was approved by the board on 12/18/2018. The new tanker truck will replace unit 9274 which will be turned in for surplus. The cost of the new tanker is $324,374.41 per Sourcewell (Formerly NJPA) Contract. Funds are available in the Fleet Replacement capital account.”

Approved 5-0.


2019 Board Liaison Member Committee Assignments

Discussion and Review of County Administrator’s Employment Agreement

Mr. Sossamon was terminated with a vote of 3 – 2 with Champion and Dukes voting against termination.

See article:



Commissioner John Allocco

No Comments

Commissioner Steve Champion
No Comments

Commissioner John Mitten
No Comments

Commissioner Wayne Dukes

“It’s embarrassing to sit with you guys today. I’ll tell you that.”

County Administrator Leonard Sossamon

‘One question for point of clarification. For the finance department, for the legal department and HR- Is the termination effective as of your vote a few minutes ago?’

County Attorney Coller replied, “The termination will go pursuant to the contract. Mr. Jouben is there a time period associated with the contractual language?… (Reply not audible) Then it’s a matter of the board.”

Severance is 4 months pay plus benefits and PTO.

Commissioner Champion stated that he thinks the termination should be effective immediately.

“I don’t think there is any other choice.”

There was consensus for the termination to be effective immediately.

Deputy County Administrator Jeffrey Rogers

I’m going to advise you that you need to appoint an interim county administrator… That can’t wait until another meeting. That discussion needs to happen- my suggestion is now.

Commissioner Champion made a motion to appoint Jeff Rogers as interim county administrator.

County Attorney Garth Coller added, “Before you vote on that- just a point of clarification- we are voting on something that is not an advertised agenda item.   The Deputy Administrator automatically takes over for the Administrator as a matter of law. You may still vote on this because it will add clarity and guidance.”  

The vote was postponed until the next meeting so it could be properly advertised and placed on the agenda.

County Attorney Garth Coller

“It has been difficult for all of us both as voted members of the board and also staff – a difficult period. I have been here through many administrators.  I consider Mr. Sossamon one of the best we’ve had and I thank him for his service.”


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