06-12-2012 Budget Workshop


The School Board of Brevard County, Florida met for a workshop session on Tuesday, June 12, 2012, at the Educational Services Facility, 2700 Judge Fran Jamieson Way, Viera, Florida. Notice of the meeting was advertised in The Eagle newspaper on Thursday, June 7, 2012. The affidavit of publication with a copy of the ad attached is filed in the Affidavit File in the Board Office.

Opening Exercises
1. Opening Exercises

Minutes: Chairman Dr. Barbara Murray called the June 12, 2012 School Board workshop to order at 12:05 p.m.

Roll Call
2. Roll Call

Minutes: Members Present: Dr. Michael Krupp, Dr. Barbara Murray, Amy Kneessy, Karen Henderson, Andy Ziegler

Pledge of Allegiance
3. Pledge of Allegiance

Minutes: Pledge of Allegiance was done at the School Board meeting prior to the Budget Workshop.

Order of Business
4. Overview
Attachment: Board Workshop - June 12, 2012.pdf

Dr. Binggeli turned the Budget Workshop over to Judy Preston, Associate Superintendent of Financial Services.

Ms. Preston stated that this was a follow up workshop to the May 15, 2012 Budget Workshop. There were questions that ensued from the Board about Capital and where we might be headed in terms of a referendum.

Ms. Preston gave an overview presentation as it relates to our future capital needs.  She covered the following areas:

  • Tax Levy Revenue vs. Debt Payments
  • Capital Funds vs. Debt
  • Recurring Cuts to Budget
  • Property Tax Roll Percentage Change Scenarios
  • Capital Funding Plan - Scenario #4
  • Brevard tax Roll Decline
  • Five Options for Voter Referendum
  • Recommendation for Referendum

Ms. Preston turned the workshop over to Dennis Bonny, Director of Plant Operations & Maintenance, who is filling in for Dane Theodore, Assistant Superintendent of Facility Services.

5. Facility Needs


Mr. Bonny gave a presentation on Facility Needs. He covered the following areas in his presentation:

  • Facility Assessment Definitions
  • Facility Assessment Statements
  • Alabama Commission on Higher Education Method
  • Facility Renewal Cycle
  • Brevard Public Schools Facilities Overview
  • Systems Failure Rate
  • Facility Renewal Life cycle
  • Weighted Average Cost of Renovation (Renewal)

Ms. Kneessy said that some of the schools that are listed were on the Seven/Ten Facility Plan. She asked if some of the work did not get completed. Mr. Bonny stated that most of it did get completed but what is aging is the pipe that are in the walls and underground which is aging and will eventually wear out.

Dr. Murray asked if there was any estimate on the cost materials and labor between 2010 and 2012. Mr. Bonny said that he did not know but could get that figure.

Ms. Henderson reviewed the minimum essential needs. She mentioned that when she was elected to the Board that one of the high schools didn't need anything done to it which iswhy the district put in a baseball field and chillers. Now it is sitting here three and a half years later needing 3.1 million dollars worth of work. Ms. Henderson said that she feels as though they were sold a bill of goods.

Mr. Bonny stated that as noted by Mr. Theodore, there are some inconsistencies within the document. Ms. Henderson stated that she is aware that different personnel was in charge of facilities at the time.

Ms. Kneessy stated her frustration in finding that former administration did not give the Board the whole truth.

Ms. Preston discussed the letter that was sent to the Board by Mr. Theodore. She mentioned that some of the things that were removed from the list were going to have to be added back. That they really were not wants, they were needs. Mr. Theodore also knows that the three percent escalation clause since 2005 would not be sufficient so he estimated that the total price tag could potentially go up 30-35 percent. Mr. Theodore also stated in the letter that we might not necessarily be talking about 180 million dollars, we could potentially be talking about 240 million dollars. Ms. Preston said that their charge over the next few months is to go over the list again with a fine tooth comb to be able to give the Board the specificity that is required.

Dr. Murray stated on behalf of the Board, with our potential ballot topic, the Board needs that information as soon as we can get it. It cannot take months. She also mentioned that Ms. Kneessy and Ms. Henderson were correct on information not getting to the Board under prior leadership. Dr. Murray commended Dr. Binggeli for taking the high road over the last several years and having to deal with things that should not have landed on his desk. She stated that not only has the Board been caught off guard, but the current Superintendent was caught off guard as well.

Ms. Kneessy questioned whether any of the items identified were in the original seven year facilities plan. Mr. Bonny stated that there is a paper trail that began in 2002 and has been modified several times to the present. He stated that he is not sure how accurate each of the reassessments are, which is part of the problem.

Dr. Murray stated that it is important that we recognize that some of the information is flawed but not to dwell in the past because things have changed.

Mr. Bonny turned the meeting over to Gino Butto, Assistant Superintendent of Educational Information Technology.

6. Technology Needs
Attachment: BPS Internet Connectivity.pdf

Gino Butto, Assistant Superintendent of Information Technology Division, updated the Board of the technology needs of the school district. Topics that Mr. Butto covered are as followed:

Five Year Budget Needs
Changing the Computer operating system from XP vs. Win7
Refreshment of Aging Computers
Updating the Server Operating System
Updating the Aging Servers
Adequate Internet and WAN Bandwidth
Aging, Undersized, and Failing Routers and Switches
Adequate Wireless Coverage & Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT) Support
Help Desk and Support for 9,000 Employees

Mr. Ziegler brought up the phone systems which were listed in the facilities section but is really a technology issue. He also stated that the cost of phones will be reduced with VOIP.  Mr. Butto stated that prior to Mr. Theodore departing for his vacation, they discussed the telephone systems and the antiquated numbers and making sure that the cost was not duplicated.  Mr. Butto stated that we did not have a detailed plan as to when the district would deploy VOIP to better understand when we would avoid phone expenses, but that is in the works.

Ms. Henderson clarified that it takes money to save money with the implementation of VOIP. Mr. Butto answered in the affirmative. She asked Mr. Butto to single out what the up front money would be for VOIP.

Ms. Henderson requested information on the requirements on the new legislation for all the students having to take the new tests online. What will the cost be to the district for getting our infrastructure in place. Last she heard was about 4 million dollars. Mr. Butto stated that the numbers became blended due to the different initiatives. 

Dr. Murray reiterated a point that was made that you have to spend money to save money. She stated that it holds true from our facilities as well. If we fall short on maintenance over time, maintenance compounds itself. Dr. Murray stated that is a point that we must drive home to our constituents, that there comes a time when it cost more then if we would have maintained it all along.

Dr. Krupp stated that he would support a full tax referendum since we are only pinching the penny enough to get by. He stated that in his opinion that we have been penny wise for too long and the district needs a little bit of a cushion to aim toward the five year structure.

Mr. Butto turned the workshop back over to Ms. Preston.


7. Wrap-Up - Questions and Answers


Ms. Preston covered the following areas in her wrap up presentation.

  • Recommendation for Referendum
  • Sales Tax Information
  • 12 County Tax Roll Comparison
  • Central Florida Public School Boards Coalition (Sales Tax Comparison)
  • Most Recent Brevard County Taxable Sales
  • Tax on Residential Home Scenario #1
  • Impact on Average Homeowner
  • Brevard Household Income - 2010
  • Key Dates for Referendum
  • Five Options for Voter Referendum

Dr. Murray brought to the attention of the Board that 35-40 percent of our community is technically living in poverty, and we need to be cognizant of that fact. She stated when you take into account that fact and the land utilization and the number of homes per square mile, Brevard has a lot of disadvantages in comparison to the other counties.

Ms. Kneessy asked about the millage that Tallahassee sets. She asked if Ms. Preston knows whether the millage will go up or down.  Ms. Preston stated that her guess is that it will go up a slight amount and explained why it is difficult to project at this time.  She said that we should get the second calculation on the 17th or 18th of July, 2012.  Ms. Kneessy stated that she is very concerned on the timing.  Ms. Preston stated that it will be a challenge no matter what we do. She noted that a special election would cost 760 thousand dollars.

Discussion ensued about the history of referendums for Brevard Schools, continuation of the unfunded class size reduction, loss of millage by Tallahassee, and speculation of using half cent sales tax in both capital and operating if agreed upon by Tallahassee.

Dr. Binggeli stated that in the end, we owe it to the community; transparency, honesty, and note the issues facing the school district and why the half cent sales tax is needed and allow them to decide.

Ms. Preston stated that we could bring some language for Information at the Special Meeting of June 28, 2012 and for Consent after Information at the Regular Meeting of July 10, 2012. She mentioned to the Board, after doing a quick calculation, that the district would still be 8 million short even if the half cent sales tax passed.

Dr. Krupp stated that his vote is for getting a referendum on the ballot. Mr. Ziegler and Dr. Murray concurred. Ms. Kneessy stated that she is for placing the referendum on the agenda but is not saying whether she is for it or against it at this time.  Ms. Henderson spoke about getting Florida School Board Association on board with getting changes made in Tallahassee.

Dr. Murray stated the district needs to start immediately educating our community and initiating a media campaign that is effective and transparent.

Dr. Binggeli questioned whether we wish to add verbiage in the referendum to ha ve specific language about the sales tax being eliminated if the-district reaches the 2008-09 level. Discussion ensued about the tax roll reaching the 2008-09 level.

Closing Remarks
8. Closing Remarks


Chairman Dr. Murray thanked Dr. Binggeli, Ms. Preston, Mr. Bonny, and Mr. Butto for the presentation.

9. Adjournment

Minutes: The School Board Workshop was adjourned at 1:59 p.m.