LAKEWOOD RANCH — Lakewood Ranch Town Hall officials again are working to improve the district’s processes and efficiencies.
Supervisors on the Inter-District Authority Board on March 15 agreed to move forward with the hiring of a full-time clerk to oversee record-keeping activities for Lakewood Ranch’s resident-controlled Community Development Districts.
Once hired, the new clerk will replace the need for services currently provided by Severn Trent at a cost of about $64,000 annually. Bringing the role in house is expected to save the districts about $10,000 total and also to streamline the record-keeping process.
“I think it is the next logical evolution of the organization,” Town Hall Executive Director Eva Rey said. “This agency, this community — we’re still in our infancy. It’s one of those things we have to do to mature.”
Rey said the new clerk will take minutes for all meetings of CDDs 1, 2, 4 and 5 and the Inter-District Authority Board. One supervisor from each board has been taking minutes for agenda review workshops, but that function also will be delegated to the new clerk.
Overall, the change will improve consistency between board minutes and agendas, allow for last-minute changes to agendas, allow the production of minutes as meetings are taking place and improve the accuracy of minutes and agendas, Rey said.
The clerk also eventually will be responsible for converting the districts’ public records to an electronic document storage format so staff and the public can access documents more immediately, rather than having documents stored off site.
“It’ll be a more responsive process,” Rey said. “(Anything) records related will be funneled through the clerk.”
IDA Chairman Tom Green agreed.
“Some of the things we feel are shortcomings (with our current record keeper) are timing,” Green said. “It means it’s more difficult to put in any last-minute changes. Second, they really don’t know the district well. It’ll be much more efficient to have an onsite person doing the transcripts.”
Additionally, IDA supervisors approved the re-classification of its information technology specialist position from part-time to full-time.
Rey said the district’s IT specialist Art Sugerman, who was hired in December, has been working to identify improvements to Town Hall’s systems, among other issues.
“We’re really in a technology catch-up time right now,” Rey said. “He has a list of things we’re prioritizing and improving.”
Contact Pam Eubanks at firstname.lastname@example.org.
IN OTHER BUSINESS
• Engineer Mike Kennedy said Manatee County will resurface portions of University Parkway in Lakewood Ranch starting March 26.
• Supervisors formalized an existing public records policy regarding e-mails.
• Supervisors voted to renew their contract with Diamond Investigations & Security for roaming security patrols in Summerfield and Riverwalk. The new contract will be effective through March 31, 2014. The current scope of work and hourly rate will remain the same.
• Operations Director Ryan Heise said Lakewood Ranch’s irrigation utility, Braden River Utilities, has notified the district it will install a new well and pump in the Summerfield Lake area. “BRU says they are filling a donut hole that exists in District 1,” Heise said.
CDDs 2 and 5
• In CDD 2, Heise notified supervisors the community’s annuals will be replaced over the next several weeks.
• CDD 2 and 5 supervisors will discuss increasing age restrictions for driving golf carts within the community at an upcoming joint agenda review meeting.
• In CDD 5, Supervisor Tom Bishop reported the Country Club/Edgewater Village Association’s landscape committee is asking for the placement of dog waste bag containers along sidewalks. The district will consider the request during its budgeting process.
• At the request of Dog Park members, supervisors agreed to replace a dead oak tree at the Dog Park and to dedicate the new tree to Lakewood Ranch resident and Dog Park member Ina Gross, who was found murdered in her home Jan. 9.
• Supervisors Lakewood Ranch developer Schroeder-Manatee Ranch has completed the road design for 59th Avenue East, and Town Hall officials expect to have a preliminary site plan for the new maintenance facility in hand this week.