ECSO Chief Public Information Officer Amber Southard has told us that the mediation is a two-phase process that the ECSO considers the mediation agreement an “agreement in principal” and “then the Interlocal agreement is definitive.”
If that’s the case, the dispute may actually be over whether the Interlocal agreement is in accordance with the mediation agreement.
Here are the changes the ECSO wants in the Interlocal agreement:
2.2 These funds shall be inclusive of benefits and raises, and associated personnel cost. Each annual payment shall be in addition to the Sheriff’s operational budget adopted by the County for the immediately preceding Fiscal Year (FY). These increases include salaries and benefits at FY 2017-18 levels, but do not include funding of the health care clinic or any future required increases to the Florida Retirement System contributions and/or workers compensation premiums. In addition, should the County increase their healthcare budget allocation per employee, the Sheriff will receive a matching healthcare budget allocation per employee which shall not be included in the amounts specified above. Any increase in budget allocation due to added Sheriff’s Office positions created after the date of this agreement shall not be included in the amounts specified above.
2.5 Such covenant to annually budget and appropriate legally available revenues is subject in all respects to the payment of obligations previously secured by a pledge of such legally available revenues and/or reserves heretofore or hereafter entered into (including the payment of debt service on bonds or other debt instruments).
However, the covenant to annually budget and appropriate for the purposes set forth in this Agreement, shall place upon the County a positive duty to appropriate and budget, by amendment, if necessary, amounts sufficient to meet its obligations hereunder, subject, however, in all respects to the payment of services and programs which are for essential public purposes affecting the health, safety and welfare of the inhabitants of the County or which are legally mandated by applicable law. The County will fully comply with both the letter, intent, and spirit of this Agreement.
2.7 The Sheriff agrees to dismiss with prejudice withdraw the pending budget appeal of the FY 2017-18 budget allocation filed with the Administration Commission (Case No. SBA-17-003). and agrees to cooperate in taking steps necessary to ensure the dismissal. The Sheriff agrees not to appeal the increased budget allocations made pursuant to Section 2.2 of this Agreement through December 31, 20210, however, the Sheriff reserves the right to appeal budget allocations as it pertains to his fiscal year’s budget.
3.2 This Agreement may only be terminated for cause a upon material breach by either party by providing thirty (30) days’ written notice pursuant to Section 11 of this Agreement. Failure by the County to appropriate the funds as provided in Section 2.2 shall constitute a material breach by the County.
4.1 The parties acknowledge that this Agreement and any related financial records, audits, reports, plans, correspondence, and other documents may be subject to disclosure to member of the public pursuant to Chapter 119, Florida Statutes, as amended. In the event a party fails to abide by the provision of Chapter 119, Florida Statutes, the other party may, without prejudice to any right or remedy and after giving that party, seven (7) days’ written notice, during which period the party fails to allow access to such documents, terminate this Agreement.
4.2 Each party is responsible for maintaining in a form acceptable to the parties, all necessary records of personnel and equipment used under this Agreement for a period of five (5) years and each parties’ records shall subject to audit after reasonable notice. and for retention of such records as required by Florida law and regulations.
Section 5. Assignment.
This Agreement, or any interest herein, shall not be assigned, transferred, or otherwise encumbered, under any circumstances, by the parties, without the prior written consent of the other party.