MINUTES MONDAY, December 10, 2007 - 800 a.m. PALM BEACH COUNTY
M I N U T E S MONDAY, December 10, 2007 - 8:00 a.m. PALM BEACH COUNTY CRIMINAL JUSTICE COMMISSION MEETING McEaddy Conference Room 12th Floor, 301 N. Olive Avenue West Palm Beach, Florida 33401 Members Present: Members Absent: Commissioner Burt Aaronson Dave Aronberg Rosalyn Baker Moses Baker James Barr Stephen Barborini Steven Burdelski Sharon Bock Barbara Cheives Ric Bradshaw Douglas Duncan Delsa Bush George Elmore Mike Driscoll Rolando Garcia Randolph K. Johnson, Sr. Carey Haughwout Kathleen Kroll Feirmon Johnson Luis Perez Harry A. Johnston, II Debra Robinson William Kramer Barry Krischer Martin Millar Jay Pickens Gerald Richman Richard Staudinger Carmen Veneziano Max Davis (Ex officio Exec. Committee) Art Johnson (Ex officio Exec. Committee) Guests Attending: Edith Bush, CJSC West Palm Beach Carlton Cartwright, The Children’s Coalition Inc. (TCCI) Jack H. Cook, Court Administration Mike Edmondson, State Attorneys Office (SAO) Un Cha Kim, Clerk & Comptroller Michael McAuliffe, McAuliffe Law Group Daniel R. Reed, West Palm Beach Youth Empowerment Center Craig Spatara, West Palm Beach Weed & Seed Stephen Stepp, Palm Beach Gardens Police Dept. Louis Tomeo, Clerk & Comptroller Adly Trabal, Agency for Health Care Administration William E. Wilkins, City of Riviera Beach Staff Present: Michael L. Rodriguez, Executive Director Journey Beard, Crime Prevention Project Specialist Minutes – Criminal Justice Commission Page 2 December 10, 2007 Arlene Burton, Administrative Secretary Candee Carigma, Criminal Justice Analyst Wayne English, Sr. Criminal Justice Analyst Jenise Gibson, Sr. Criminal Justice Analyst Katherine Hatos, Criminal Justice Analyst Damir Kukec, Research & Planning Manager Rosalind Murray, Program Development Specialist Glenna Nowalk, Clerical Specialist Brenda Oakes, Youth Violence Prevention Planning Coordinator Mike Szakacs, Financial Analyst II Becky Walker, Criminal Justice Programs Manager I. Chairman Johnston called the meeting to order at 8:07 a.m. II. Roll call was taken and a quorum was present. III. Chairman Johnston welcomed members and guests were asked to introduce themselves. IV. The agenda was unanimously approved after amended to move Item #XIV to #X, under New Business – Updates on Youth Empowerment Centers. V. The minutes of the November 13, 2007 Full Commission meeting was unanimously approved after motion by Mr. Staudinger and second by Mr. Elmore. VI. Under Chairman’s Comments, Chair Johnston noted that this would be his last meeting as chairman and reflected how the first four months were spent trying to identify a successor to Diana. He commented that he thought the procedure was excellent and that we had an excellent committee that never missed a meeting even when some meetings lasted eight hours. The committee was a great asset and he thanked them all for their contribution. He advised that every meeting and vote was transcribed and available as public record. He provided a background of how the meetings were conducted. Another major issue at that time, Chair said, was the coming together of an agreement with the County Commissioners and the County Administrator as to CJC’s autonomy, noting that other than the Auditor and the County Attorney, the CJC was the only group with direct access to the Board of County Commissioners. He said that there were nine drafts before the tenth, authored and written verbatim by Barry Krischer, proved successful. He noted that Vince Bonvento was very cooperative throughout the process. Chair Johnston also stated that the Youth Empowerment Centers have been very successful. He noted however, that the area he did not succeed in, is that of getting more people in Palm Beach County to know about the criminal justice commission, commenting that in the twenty years of existence, he did not think a press release has never been issued. He remarked about his discussion with Mr. Krischer in which Mr. Krischer pointed out that while speaking with the West Palm Beach Chamber of Commerce practically no one knew about the CJC. Chair reiterated that we have to market ourselves and that he think the county would be in real trouble were it not for the CJC. He again spoke of the CJC’s uniqueness and it been the only one in the state of Florida, and that he was proud to have chaired the commission this year. VII. Under Executive Director’s Comments, Mr. Rodriguez indicated that feedback received from persons who attended the Citizen’s Criminal Justice Academy as well as from the Minutes – Criminal Justice Commission Page 3 December 10, 2007 Sheriff pointed to the idea of a Citizen’s Criminal Justice Academy for youth. As a result, CJC staff are in the process of putting together an agenda and a program for four nights to introduce youth to the criminal justice system and how it all works. Details are to be determined but it is expected to start in late January 2008. Mr. Rodriguez stated that he would proceed with the presentation of awards in a different manner, which would have staff with responsibility for the different committees presenting awards to their respective chair. VIII. Business Consent items There were no business consent items. IX. Old Business Mr. Krischer reminded members that two meetings ago he suggested that CJC look at the funding for the youth empowerment centers, and expressed some concerns that given the tax debate, some of that funding might dry up. After much discussion regarding this issue, it was suggested that an independent taxing district be explored, and Mr. Krischer asked that he be given an opportunity to speak to County Administrator, Bob Weisman and others that would have direct concern with the CJC going down this path again. Mr. Krischer reported that he had four different meetings with different individuals and based on their comments, he would recommend that the CJC reconstitute the permanent funding solutions committee with an eye towards a recommendation for a permanent independent taxing district. This would pay for, most especially, the juvenile programming and other efforts through the youth empowerment centers. Chair Johnston requested more specificity on how we proceed with this matter. Mr. Krischer said he is willing to chair that committee again and hoped that the people who previously served would be willing to do so as well to minimize the learning curve and move the process forward. Chair Johnston asked his successor, James Barr if he would appoint Barry Krischer as chair of the funding solutions committee, to which Mr. Barr consented. Mr. Johnston noted that this was a serious issue and indicated that we already have several taxing districts and pointed to how the taxing bill is broken out in different areas. Mr. Staudinger inquired if there were any discussion or direction to the funding solutions committee. Mr. Krischer replied that there was no discussion or direction other than to say that the last time around, they investigated everything that was out there and that for Palm Beach County’s purposes, that was the recommendation. X. New Business A. Request by Commissioner Aaronson for letter of support from CJC for the implementation of cameras at intersections. Chair Johnston remarked that he has heard Commissioner Aaronson’s pitch on this subject several times and that he was impressed with his tenacity. He asked to whom he needed the letter of support addressed. Minutes – Criminal Justice Commission Page 4 December 10, 2007 Commissioner Aaronson stated that the support letter should be addressed to the State House and to the State Senate. He said that the Commissioners have been asking the State to allow them to install, if not statewide, on a local level, traffic surveillance cameras which according to statistics can cut traffic fatalities by as much as 41%, in addition to possibly saving the millions of dollars that it cost each time fire rescue and the sheriff goes out. He noted that it is all about saving lives and that they are looking for ways to overcome the objection of the state. He also said that this is one of their top priorities on the legislative package that will be sent to Tallahassee. Mr. Rodriguez added that Todd Bonlarron of the Legislative Affairs of Palm Beach County advised him that it got stalled in the Senate last year but that the Senator of that Committee intends to push and allow it to get through this year. He said it was brought before the LEPC and that they too would send a letter of support for the concept of cameras at red lights. He said the actual Bill was not yet filed and he is therefore not aware of what the specific language will be, but that the CJC may want to look at it again once it is filed, but send the letter of support in the interim. Commissioner Aaronson said that the fear in Tallahassee is that the County will be using the video as evidence in divorce cases and will use it as a money maker for the County. He said the intention is to image the rear license plate only. The monies will be used to pay for the cameras and the extra dollars used to help juveniles in many ways for criminal justice, and not for the County to make a profit. Chair Johnston inquired if the Bill was statewide or local. Commissioner Aaronson said that it was initially meant to be statewide but that they have asked for local options if they are not willing to pass it statewide. Mr. Staudinger inquired about the estimated total cost. This was not available. Mr. Rodriguez noted that if the Bill was introduced as it was last year it could not be a money maker for the County, as it states that there would be a $125 fine and none of that money except for administrative fee comes back to the County and the remainder goes to the State. Mr. Richman inquired if there was any restriction in the Bill in terms of the use of data except for the intended purpose, for example its use in civil litigation where it could become a burden on government to produce those records. He further suggested that some kind of language be included that urges the use of data for law enforcement purposes only. Commissioner Aaronson again said he was not sure how the Bill read but that it could possibly help homeland security as well. While he did not believe there are restrictions, he could not say for sure, and promised to furnish Mr. Richman with a copy for his review. Mr. Rodriguez said that as soon as the Bill is filed, he will include it as an agenda packet for the next CJC meeting. Motion moved by Commissioner Aaronson and second by Mr. Richman for a letter of support from the CJC for the implementation of cameras at intersections to be Minutes – Criminal Justice Commission Page 5 December 10, 2007 sent to the State Legislatures. Chair Johnston said that a draft of the support letter will be submitted to Commissioner Aaronson for review before submission to the Legislatures. B. Following a request by Chief Judge Kroll, Mr. Gerald Richman was appointed to serve as the CJC representative on the Criminal Justice Information System (JIS) Board, replacing former CJC member Roxanna Trinka. Appreciation was extended to Mr. Richman for accepting the appointment. C. Recommendation by the Law Enforcement Planning Council (LEPC) for approval of $35,000 from the Youth Violence Prevention Project fund for overtime for the Violent Crimes Task Force. Mr. Rodriguez announced that the $100,000 from the $2 million that the County appropriated for the CJC this year was set aside for law enforcement purposes, hence the LEPC’s request for $35,000 be used for this purpose. Ms. Haughwout expressed concern that this money is going toward the youth violence aspect of violent crime rather than just supplementing law enforcement needs for violent crimes. Mr. Krischer added that he recently attended the Violent Crimes Task Force Board meeting and that they support the efforts of the Crime Task Force. He noted that the majority of overtime occurs between 1:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m. in the morning when the gang activity is active. He also said that there has been a run of robberies involving juveniles that is began to get out of hand, and that this next round of overtime was earmarked to try to stop that epidemic before it gets out of hand. He remarked that we should be thinking that youth and combat gangs are not all under the age of 18 but that we are talking about the gang activity in the County. LEPC’s recommendation for approval of $35,000 on a one time basis for overtime for the Violent Crimes Task Force from the Youth Violence Prevention Project funding was unanimously approved after motion by Mr. Davis and second by Mr. Elmore. D. Mr. Rodriguez stated that Commissioner Aaronson had previously approached the CJC regarding the necessity of clergy representation on the CJC. He mentioned the different options of having this done; a) requesting that the Economic Council appoints someone in the private sector capacity who is a member of the clergy, or b) change the bylaws to add clergy to the membership. Commissioner Aaronson said he would like to see the bylaws changed to add the clergy as he is not looking to see one clergy but rather to see many clergy men involved in the CJC. Mr. Staudinger said he is in agreement with the clergy being involved with the youth but wondered about the correct approach in determining the religion of choice in this regard, noting that one person for the County would not be sufficient. Commissioner Aaronson remarked that any clergy is not interested in just one religion, but rather in the people and that it should not matter but whoever wants to Minutes – Criminal Justice Commission Page 6 December 10, 2007 serve should be allowed to. Chair Johnston noted that the Ordinance states that the Economic Council has to approve all appointments which then goes to the BCC for final approval. He suggested that the bylaws could be changed to reflect that one of the eleven private sector be a clergy. Mr. Cartwright, an attending guest suggested that the Circuit 15 Juvenile Justice Board has a Community network which involves a number of clergy members. They meet on a monthly basis, and the CJC could approach that group to identify clergy representation for the CJC. Mr. Rodriguez questioned whether we would actually need to change the Ordinance. He said he would investigate this and present findings at the JCJ Executive meeting in January. Chair Johnston remarked that as an outgoing Chair, he would recommend that we do not change the Ordinance. E. Mr. Davis in providing an update on the youth empowerment centers, reminded the meeting that Dr. Blomberg of Florida State University College of Criminology stated that a violent crime or murder cost the County (the tax payers) $1,000,000. He advised that CJC had a workshop with the County Commissioners which did not go well. Mr. Rodriguez pointed out that the youth empowerment centers were on the consent agenda for December 18th, and that in their last discussion, Commissioner Greene made a commitment to approve them. He said she also presented a list of concerns which are being addressed. Mr. William Wilkins, City Manager of Riviera Beach, spoke of the importance of the youth empowerment center to the city and that they have had some outstanding results. Their youth council attended the National League of Cities conference in New Orleans where they met with other youth. Although they have been meeting at Hurst Chapel due to the lack of their own facility, they have just purchased a building and are in the process of renovating and hoping to move in soon. They currently have about 40 kids on a daily basis as well as police officers on site. He said that with the exception of the lack of their own facility, the program is reaching the kids that need to be reached. He gave credit to Channel 20 and Jim Kelly of the School District for trailing a gang member who is involved in the program but has a compelling story and he is now in the process of exiting rehab. Ms. Walker added that the youth empowerment centers currently serve over 600 youths in regular programs and over 1500 during special events. Mr. Reed Daniels from the Northwood Youth Empowerment Center pointed out that all of our teens are susceptible to being involved in the wrong things, whether they come from a great family or they come from a poor family. He said that they have the best mentors in this County and that they are teaching the youths things beyond the Center’s program structure and one has to be involved with them to make the commitment work. Their teen council was recently taught the purpose of service to others, and they actually distributed Thanks Giving dinner donated by the Breaker’s Minutes – Criminal Justice Commission Page 7 December 10, 2007 Hotel throughout the neighborhood to the sick and shut-ins. He invited persons to visit the Center and see first hand what goes on. Dr. Johnson reminded the meeting that the Alternative to Suspension (ATS) programs would start during the second semester with some of the most high suspension secondary schools and that they would be using the youth empowerment centers during the day since they do the bulk of their work is in the afternoon. He said this represents 11,000 unduplicated individuals at secondary schools and 65,000 days of suspension, noting that many of those students probably have never seen the inside of the youth empowerment centers. He thinks that once they get there with the ATS it’s very likely that they may say it’s “pretty cool” and no doubt return in the afternoon. Mr. Richman inquired if this was done in other counties, and suggested that in keeping with the Chairman’s statement about press releases, it would be a great thing to focus on to say that Palm Beach County is unique with the Criminal Justice Commission. Mr. Krischer remarked that it was unfortunate that the Commissioner had to leave and not hear the comments, given that they are the source of the funding. He suggested that the comments, not just from the CJC members but from all those who spoke be typed and sent to the Commissioners. He said this is the reason for a Commissioner on the CJC to bring back information, notiing that this has never happened in the past, and this information is why the $2m is a good investment and the Commissioners need to hear this. Chair Johnston pointed out that after the workshop there were some criticisms particularly of the Riviera Beach and that there were some misinformation by the press particularly about computers not working. Mr. Rodriguez said that the press interviewed him but did not print everything. He is however in contact with the reporter and they are discussing how to proceed with another editorial. Ms. Cheives in agreeing with Mr. Krischer, said that the community also needs to hear these comments. She said that if we are looking to hopefully make this a taxing district, in order to make people feel better about it on their tax bill, they need to see results like this. We need to feed the press with information that they may not otherwise know. She referred to what Channel 20 is doing, but remarked that she would like to see this into more mainstream media since everybody doesn’t watch Channel 20. Mr. Davis proposed that we have a Speakers Bureau to speak with a Chamber, a Kiwanis, a Rotary or whatever, and hopes he has the support of all CJC members. Mr. Rodriguez reminded the meeting that if everything goes well at the BCC’s meeting on the 18th, we would have our official one-year evaluation by Florida State University, possibly in February, 2008. XI. Recognition of 2007 Chairman, Harry Johnston, II Incoming Chair, James Barr, presented the Chairman’s gift to outgoing Chairman Harry Johnston and in doing so, thanked and congratulated him for his outstanding leadership Minutes – Criminal Justice Commission Page 8 December 10, 2007 which guided the CJC through the transition of a new Executive Director, the agreement with the BCC regarding the CJC’s structure and the significant progress with the youth empowerment centers, among other things. Mr. Rodriguez presented a Commemorative Scrapbook on behalf of staff to Mr. Johnston and thanked him for seeing the CJC through this year. XII. Annual Recognition Presentations A. Recognition of 2007 Officers Presentation was made to James Barr, Vice Chairman; Feirmon Johnson, Secretary and Barbara Cheives, Treasurer. Executive Director, Michael Rodriguez recognized the 2007 officers for their commitment and support throughout the year. B. Recognition of Task Force and Committee Chairs and Liaisons to Affiliated Boards Presentation was made by staff members to their respective Committee chairs. The following Chairs were present: Stephen Stepp, Law Enforcement Planning Council - Wayne English Max Davis, Youth Violence Prevention Initiative – Becky Walker & Brenda Oakes Douglas Duncan, Corrections Task Force, Jenise Gibson Edith Bush, Community Justice Service Center – West Palm Beach – Becky Walker Harry Johnston, II, Community Justice Service Center Community Advisory Board The following Chairs were absent: Paul Damico, Probation Advisory Board Jeff Koons, Mental Health and Substance Abuse Planning Committee Andrew Lourie, Weed and Seed Steering Committee Jack Goldberger, Court System Task Force John Quigley, Community Justice Service Center – Westgate Young Song, Education Commission of Palm Beach County C. Presentation to Outgoing Criminal Justice Commission Members Mr. Jay Pickens, Chiefs of Police Association was recognized for his contribution to the CJC and congratulated as LEPC 2008 Chair. The following outgoing members were absent Dave Aronberg, County Legislative Delegation Wendy Sartory-Link, Ackerman, Link & Sartory P.A. Carl McKoy, City of Boynton Beach Young Song, Song & Associates, Inc. Roxanna Trinka, Baseline Engineering & Land Surveying, Inc. Mr. Rodriguez pointed out that Mr. Carmen Veneziano, Crime Prevention Officer’s Association was re-elected in his position and therefore remains as a CJC for 2008. Minutes – Criminal Justice Commission Page 9 December 10, 2007 XIII. Swearing in of 2008 Officers The Honorable Jack H. Cook, Judge of the 15th Judicial Circuit administered oaths of office to James Barr, Chairman; Barbara Cheives, Vice Chairman; Richard Staudinger, Treasurer and Douglas Duncan, Secretary. XIV. Member Comments There were no member comments. There being no further business before the Commission, the meeting was adjourned at approximately 9:11a.m.