Policy Manual

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    Policy No.: Resolution 16-112 Effective: 09/06/2016
    Revision No.: Review Date: xx/xx/xx
    Advisory Boards and Committees Guidelines

    OVERVIEW:   It shall be the policy of the Board of County Commissioners of Alachua County, Florida, that these Guidelines shall provide direction for the creation of new advisory boards and committees, the membership of advisory boards and committees, and the conduct of advisory boards and committees.  It is the intent of the Board of County Commissioners that these Guidelines completely supersede any previous policies or guidelines concerning advisory boards and committees. 
    PROVISIONS:
    Except as provided in the authorizing ordinances or resolutions of specific advisory boards and committees, these Guidelines should provide direction for advisory boards and committees.
    "Advisory boards or committees" are those bodies created by the Board of County Commissioners, whether entitled "board," "committee," "commission," "council," or the like, which are established by and have authority only to advise the Board of County Commissioners rather than to establish policies or make decisions for the Board of County Commissioners.
    I.                   Creation of Advisory Boards and Committees.
    Advisory boards and committees should be created by resolution of the Board of County Commissioners.  Resolutions creating advisory boards and committees should include, at a minimum:
    (a)               Legislative findings.
    (b)               Express creation of the advisory board or committee.
    (c)                Purpose and duties of the advisory board or committee.
    (d)              Designation as “standing” (continuing until dissolved) or “special” (continuing until a specified sunset date).
    (e)               Membership qualifications.
    (f)                Staggered terms for initial appointment (especially for standing advisory boards and committees).
    (g)               Provisions for operations of the advisory board or committee.
     
    II.                Membership on Advisory Boards and Committees.
     
    (1)               Appointments.  The Board of County Commissioners will appoint the members of advisory boards and committees.  Appointments will be made from applications of qualified potential members during a regular Board of County Commissioners meeting.
     
    (2)               Regular Members.  Advisory boards and committees should have an odd number of regular members.
     
    (3)               Alternate Members.  All advisory boards and committees should have at least one alternate member.  Attendance requirement detailed below applies to alternate members, as well as regular members.  An alternate member shall serve in place of an absent regular member, and shall have all rights and responsibilities of the absent regular member, including the right to vote.
     
    (4)               Attendance.  Advisory board and committee members should regularly attend all meetings of their respective advisory boards and committees.  Any regular or alternate member whose attendance is less than 50% of the last 6 consecutive meetings shall automatically be removed from the advisory board or committee.  Staff liaisons shall notify members by US mail, by email or through attendance reports when they are approaching removal due to lack of attendance.
     
    (5)               Quorum.  A quorum for an advisory board or committee is the number of members which constitute the majority of all regular positions which are currently filled.  Alternate members may make up a quorum.  When less than a quorum is present at a meeting, the advisory board or committee may meet in a workshop setting, during which no vote may be taken.  These workshops must be open to the public and minutes must be taken.
     
    (6)               Hold-overs.  Advisory board and committee members may continue to serve following the expirations of their terms until the Board of County Commissioners fills the position which would be vacated.
     
    (7)               Removals.  Advisory board and committee members serve at the pleasure of the Board of County Commissioners.  Any board or committee member may be removed for good cause by the Board of County Commission after consideration of the issue at a Board meeting.

     
    III.             Conduct of Advisory Boards and Committees.
    (1)               Governing Rules.  Except as may be provided by these Rules or by law, questions of order, the methods of organization and the conduct of business of the advisory boards and committees shall be governed by The Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure (formerly known as Sturgis Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure) in all cases for which they are applicable
     
    (2)               Open to the Public.
     
    a.                  Meetings Open to Public.  All meetings of advisory boards and committees shall be open to the public in accordance with the Florida Government in the Sunshine Law, Section 286.011, Florida Statutes (Fla. Stat.).  Advisory board and committee members should consult their staff liaisons with any questions regarding open meetings or to request a presentation on the Florida Sunshine Law.
    b.                  Signs, Placards, Banners.  For public safety purposes, no signs or placards mounted on sticks, posts, poles or similar structures shall be allowed in advisory board and committee meeting rooms.  Other signs, placards, banners or other similar items shall not disrupt meetings or interfere with others’ visual rights.
    c.                   Persons with Disabilities.  All persons with disabilities shall be provided with the assistance necessary to enable them to effectively participate in advisory boards and committee meetings, consistent with Section 286.26, Fla. Stat.
     
    (3)               Public Comment.  Members of the public shall be given a reasonable opportunity to be heard on a proposition before advisory boards and committees.  The opportunity to be heard need not occur at the same meeting at which an advisory board or committee takes official action on the proposition if the opportunity occurs at a meeting that is during the decision making process and is within reasonable proximity in time before the meeting at which the advisory board or committee takes the official action.[1]
     
    (4)               Voting Conflicts. 
     
    No member of an advisory board or committee shall vote on a matter when the member has a voting conflict of interest as specified in Section 112.3143 or Section 286.012, Fla. Stat.  Prior to participating in a discussion, members abstaining from voting due to a voting conflict shall publically announce the conflict, shall disclose the nature of their conflict, and file a written memorandum (Ethic’s Commission Form 8A or 8B) to the staff liaison. 
     
    If a member recognizes that a voting conflict exists during the course of a discussion, the member shall immediately publically announce the conflict, disclose the nature of the conflict and abstain from voting.  Within 15 calendar days following that advisory board or committee meeting, the member shall file a written memorandum (Ethic’s Commission Form 8A and 8B) with the staff liaison. 
     
    The written memorandum shall be incorporated into the meeting minutes as an exhibit.  Advisory board and committee members who believe that they may have a voting conflict should consult their board or committee’s staff liaison before the meeting at which members will be asked to vote on an item upon which they may have a conflict.
     
    (5)               Work Plans and Reports of Accomplishments.  Advisory boards and committees shall prepare and update work plans and reports of accomplishments annually.  Work plans and reports of accomplishments should be on-file with staff liaisons by October 1 of each year.  Staff liaisons shall submit advisory board and committee work plans and reports of accomplishments to the Board of County Commissioners.  Advisory board and committee chairpersons are encouraged to present the work plans and reports of accomplishments to the Board of County Commissioners at a Board meeting.  The Board of County Commissioners encourages and welcomes issues of the advisory board and committees’ own initiative to be brought to the attention of the Board of County Commissioners.
     
    (6)               Public Records.  The public has the right to access public records.  Public records are:
     
    “all documents, papers, letters, maps, books, tapes, photographs, films, sound recordings, data processing software, or other material, regardless of the physical form, characteristics, or means of transmission, made or received pursuant to law or ordinance or in connection with the transaction of official business by any agency.” Sec. 119.011(12), Fla. Stat.
     
    Most records created by or provided to advisory boards and committees, or their members in their capacity as members, are public records which must be made available to a person requesting them.  There are many exceptions for records or for certain information contained in those records.  Advisory board and committee members should consult their staff liaisons with any questions regarding public records or to request a presentation on the Florida Public Records Law.
     
    (7)               Coordination with Other Governments.  Advisory boards and committees should, when appropriate, coordinate with other local governments and boards or committees created by other local governments.  To protect the public’s right to participate in open meetings, this coordination shall be effected through the respective staff liaison or the advisory board or committee chairperson (or designee).
     
    (8)               Prohibited Remote Voting by a Member.  A member may participate in a discussion but no member shall cast a vote via telephone or video/audio appearance. 
     
    IV.             Staff Liaisons.  A staff liaison is a county staff member whose duty is to help to administer the meetings of the advisory boards or committees and to serve as a link between the advisory board, the County Manager, the County Attorney and the Board of County Commissioners.  The staff liaison’s tasks are:
    (1)               Publicly noticing the advisory board or committee meeting and reserving the meeting room.
    (2)               Reminding members of an up-coming meeting.
    (3)               Ensuring that all persons with disabilities are provided with the assistance necessary to enable them to effectively participate in the meetings.
    (4)               Preparing the agenda and agenda backup materials, and providing copies of the materials to members.
    (5)               Introducing new members to the board or committee and informing new members of the rules and process which governs the board or committee.
    (6)               Ensuring that minutes of the meetings are kept.
    (7)               Keeping attendance records of the meetings.
    (8)               Maintaining public records of the board or committee.
    (9)               Providing the work plans and reports of accomplishments to the Board of County Commissioners annually.
    Staff liaisons may perform a task not listed above if requested by an advisory board or committee if the task takes the staff liaison 30 minutes or less to perform.  If the task takes more than 30 minutes, the staff liaison may perform the task if the staff liaison’s department director preauthorizes the work.
    V.                Construction of These Guidelines.
    These Guidelines provide direction only.  No action taken inconsistent with these Guidelines shall be invalid solely because it was taken inconsistent with these Guidelines.


    [1] Consistent with Section 286.0114, Fla. Stat. (2015).
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Vehicle Use Policy

Policy No.: 6-7 Effective: 02/8/2011
Revision No.: 3 Review Date: 02/8/2012

OVERVIEW: This policy provides guidelines and assigns responsibility for the safe operation and use of all vehicles operated by authorized individuals of the Board of County Commissioners of Alachua County and all other vehicles covered by the Self-Insurance Fund. It is the intent of this policy to ensure that County vehicles are safe, and that operators adhere to all local, state and federal laws.

SCOPE: This policy applies to all regular full, part-time, and temporary employees of the Board of County Commissioners and all owned, non-owned, rented or leased vehicles.

PROVISIONS:

It is the policy of Alachua County that all County employees shall follow these procedures for the assignment and utilization of County vehicles.
Procedure:

  1. Definitions
a. Authorized employees shall mean the designated County employee-operator of the County vehicle conducting County business.

b. County-Owned Vehicle shall mean any vehicle owned or leased by Alachua County. All County-owned vehicles shall display a yellow County tag and be clearly marked on the doors and rear of the vehicle with the County, seal, assigned department, and a vehicle number. Exceptions for some vehicles assigned to sensitive jobs to not be marked will require written approval from the County Manager or Constitutional Officer.

c. County Business shall mean any authorized work or activity performed by a County employee conducting County business for Alachua County.

d. “De minimus” personal use shall mean infrequent and limited travel between work stops during the work day. Limited means travel of such a short distance that accounting for it is unreasonable. Examples: Stopping between two business stops for a meal, stopping at a convenience store or to use the restroom while en-route on County business.

e.Assigned Vehicle- A County-owned automobile or truck designated for the use of an individual employee in the normal performance of his/her duties but not authorized for take-home use.

f. Take-Home Vehicle -A County –owned automobile or truck designated for the use of an individual employee in the normal performance of his/her duties including the commute from home to work. (Refer to Take Home Policy concerning the use of a Take Home Vehicle).

2. Use of Vehicles

Only authorized employees working within the scope and purpose of County business will use County vehicles. County-owned Vehicles are not assigned for, nor shall they be used for, the convenience of the employee with regard to personal transportation needs or other non County-related business.

a. Only authorized employees of Alachua County will be permitted to operate County vehicles.

b. Passengers in County vehicles must be engaged in County business. Individuals, including employees' family members,who are not County employees shall not be passengers unless authorization is requested by the department in advance and approved by the Constitutional Officer, County Manager or County Attorney.

c. Only “de minimus” personal use is permitted.

d. No out of Alachua County travel, unless a Travel Authorization or a Take Home Vehicle Authorization has been approved by the Department Director.

e. If there is any doubt as to the requirements and responsibilities of this Vehicle Use Policy the employee must consult with his/her Department Director before using the vehicle in the doubtful situation.

f. County owned vehicle usage shall comply with the Fuel Conservation Policy.

  1. Responsibilities
    1. Department Directors shall ensure:
i. Vehicle operators maintain a current Florida Driver’s License for the class of vehicle they are assigned to operate.

ii. All vehicle use is in accordance with this policy.

iii. Vehicles are maintained in accordance with the Alachua County Fleet Management Operating Procedures.

b. Authorized Employees shall ensure:

i. They possess and maintain the proper Florida Driver’s License.

ii. They notify their supervisor and Department Director of any changes in their driver’s license (e.g. revocation, suspension). They shall also notify their supervisor and Department Director of any traffic citations, etc. received while operating a County-owned vehicle or personal vehicle.

iii. They comply with all federal, state, and local laws relative to the operation of a County vehicle.

iv. They do not engage in distracted driving such as: using hand held electronic or communication devices while operating the vehicle. The use of vehicle mounted radios and hands free devices is allowed, but not encouraged. There will be no use of a keyboard associated with a telephone or computer by the driver while the vehicle is in motion. They cannot engage in any other activity which would take their attention from the safe operation of the vehicle while they are operating the vehicle. Employees operating emergency response vehicles who are required to communicate with other emergency vehicles and dispatch while responding to, or dealing with, an emergency call are exempted from the restriction.

v. They report all accidents or incidents in accordance with the Alachua County Safety Policy. Failing to report accidents shall result in appropriate disciplinary actions as described in the appropriate personnel policies.

vi. They do not drive while under the influence of alcohol, prescription medicines that warn against operating a vehicle, sleepiness, or illegal drugs. Alcoholic beverages or any illegal drugs are not permitted in County vehicles at any time.

vii. They report and assume responsibility for all citations or moving violations while operating the County vehicle. They do not use or allow the use of tobacco products in a County vehicle.

  1. Compliance: Failure to comply with this policy and procedure shall result in a disciplinary action as allowed by the personnel regulations.
ALACHUA COUNTY TAKE-HOME VEHICLE POLICY

Purpose:
The purpose of this policy is to provide direction for the use of county owned vehicles when a vehicle is to be taken home by authorized employees and to provide a means to determine if employees need a take home vehicle to perform their jobs effectively. Under some circumstances, it serves a public purpose to allow employees to take home county owned vehicles. Some examples are: 1) To provide an emergency vehicle with specialized equipment, needed to protect life and property; 2) To serve a public purpose by providing an economic benefit to Alachua County, by allowing employees, by reasons of their job, to take home a non-emergency type vehicle when they use a county-owned vehicle to perform their job responsibilities and neither report to a set office/work site at the beginning of a day nor return to a set office/work site at the end of a work day and that the benefit of the use of a take-home vehicle serves a public purpose through the more efficient delivery of county services.

Policy:
It is the policy of Alachua County that all county employees shall follow these procedures for the assignment and utilization of take home vehicles. Take home vehicle authorizations will be based on demonstrable and beneficial needs for the delivery of services for Alachua County, and shall comply with Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidelines for employer provided vehicles.

1. Definitions

a. Authorized employees shall mean the designated operator of the county vehicle.

b. County Vehicle shall mean any vehicle owned or leased by Alachua County. All county-owned vehicles shall display a yellow county tag. All county-owned vehicles shall be clearly marked on the door and rear of the vehicle with the county, seal, assigned department, and a vehicle number. Exceptions for some vehicles assigned to sensitive jobs to not be marked will require written approval from the County Manager.

c. County Business shall mean any authorized work or activity performed by a county employee conducting county business for Alachua County.

d. “De minimus” personal use shall mean infrequent and limited travel outside of the direct commuting route from the employee’s residence to his or her place of work each day or outside of direct travel between work stops during the work day. Limited means travel of such a short distance that accounting for it is unreasonable. Examples: Stopping between two business stops for a meal, stopping at a convenience store or to use the restroom on the direct route while commuting to home or work, or while enoute on county business.

e. Persons not involved in County business will not be permitted to ride in County vehicles. Transporting family members or private citizens is not permitted. Exceptions may be granted by the BOCC for the county manager or County Attorney and for other employees by the county manager and County Attorney in special situations (ex: out of town conferences, business activity or visiting dignitaries, constitutional elected officials and their spouses to an official groundbreaking, attending funerals of County employees or community leaders, transport of visiting dignitaries, etc.). Permission must be approved in advance for County employees.

2. Authorization of the Take Home Vehicles

The approval for a take home vehicle shall be for the purpose of conducting county business, based on public purpose and demonstrable and beneficial needs, in accordance with IRS guidelines.

a. A county employee may be authorized a take home vehicle only when a take home vehicle request has been submitted to and approved by the Department Director, reviewed and approved annually by representatives from Finance and Accounting, Risk Management, Fleet Management, and by the County Manager for final approval. The employee’s Department Director will retain a copy of all approved requests and forward the original to Fleet Management. Fleet Management will forward copies to Risk Management, and Finance and Accounting.

b. A Take Home Vehicle Use Authorization Form must be completed and approved by the employee’s Department Director on or before October 1st of each year. Authorization shall be for a limited time not to exceed one year.

c. If any changes to the basis for the authorization occur during the year, a new authorization form must be resubmitted and re approved.

i. Department Directors shall only approve non-emergency take home vehicles when there is clear and convincing factual evidence, via a cost analysis, that the benefit of the use of a take-home vehicle serves a public purpose through the efficient delivery of county services. A copy of all documents used as a basis for authorization of a take-home vehicle shall be forwarded to the clerk. The clerk shall review the information to ensure the proposed use of the vehicle in this manner comports with the laws requiring all expenditures to be for a public purpose. If the clerk is not in agreement with the Department Director, the clerk shall notify the Department Director and the County Manager. The County Manager shall review the authorization form and, if he disagrees with the Clerk, request Board approval. However, the use of the vehicle shall not be approved for take-home use unless the Board of County Commissioners declares such use a public purpose.

ii. In declared emergency events, vehicle usage may be temporarily changed, by the Department Director to support County operations.

  1. Take Home Vehicle Use Classifications
    1. Emergency Response. This is a qualified commuting use, which is not IRS taxable. Vehicles assigned to this classification are used by authorized employees who are subject to frequent after hours emergencies, which require specialized equipment to make an immediate response to protect life and property. Qualified commuting use vehicles are specially equipped vehicles such as:
i. Clearly marked Fire and Rescue, and Law Enforcement vehicles.

ii. Clearly marked specialized repair trucks other than (vans and pickups) with equipment and tools.

iii. Clearly marked vans with repair parts, tools, and permanently affixed shelving.

iv. Clearly marked pickups with specialized equipment, signage, tools, and light bars.

* Note: Communication radios in a vehicle are not considered specialized equipment.

    1. Economic Benefit. This type use is a limited commuting use, which is an IRS taxable benefit. This classification is appropriate when an authorized employee is frequently required to travel on county business during his/her regular non-working hours and it is an economic benefit to Alachua County to provide a take-home county vehicle rather than reimburse an employee for use of a personal vehicle.
The break-even point is 12,820 annual miles. If an employee drives more than 12,820 miles for county business, excluding commuting use, it is more cost effective for the County to provide that employee a vehicle than it is to reimburse for use of a personal vehicle. Conversely, if the employee drives less than 12,820 miles annually for County business, then it is more cost effective for the County to reimburse the employee for personal use of their own vehicle (rather than provide a County vehicle). (See Take Home Vehicle Use Authorization Form). This analysis does not apply to vehicles that fall into the emergency classification.
  1. Use of Take Home Vehicles
Only authorized employees working within the scope and purpose of county business will use county vehicles.

a. Only authorized employees of Alachua County will be permitted to operate county vehicles.

b. Passengers in county vehicles must be engaged in county business. Family members who are not county employees shall not be a passenger unless prior supervisor authorization is requested and received as allowed in item e.

c. Authorized employees that are provided a take home vehicle are required to comply with this policy to ensure IRS rules are followed.

d. Only “de minimus” personal use is permitted.

e. Personal emergencies. If no personal vehicle is available and the Department Director is notified and approval is granted, the authorized employee may use the county vehicle to respond to personal immediate family emergencies within Alachua County.

f. No out of Alachua County travel, unless a travel authorization, and use of county vehicle has been approved by the Department Director.

g. If there is any doubt as to the requirements and responsibilities of this Take Home Policy the employee must consult with his/her Department Director before using the vehicle in the doubtful situation.

h. County owned take home vehicle usage shall comply with the Fuel Conservation Policy.

  1. Responsibilities
    1. Department Directors shall ensure:
i. Approval of a take-home vehicle is based on needs for after hours Emergency response, or to provide a public purpose by providing an economic benefit to Alachua County.

ii. Vehicle operators maintain a current Florida Driver’s License for the class of vehicle they are assigned to operate.

iii. All vehicle use is in accordance with this policy.

iv. Vehicles are maintained in accordance with the Alachua County Fleet Management Operating Procedures.

b. Authorized Employees shall:

i. Possess and maintain the proper Florida Driver’s License.

ii. Notify their supervisor and Department Director of any changes in their driver’s license (e.g. revocation, suspension). They shall also notify their supervisor and Department Director of any traffic citations, etc. received while operating a county-owned vehicle.

iii. Comply with all federal, state, and local laws relative to the operation of a county vehicle.

iv. They do not engage in distracted driving such as: using hand held electronic or communication devices while operating the vehicle. The use of vehicle mounted radios and hands free devices is allowed, but not encouraged. There will be no use of a keyboard associated with a telephone or computer by the driver while the vehicle is in motion. They cannot engage in any other activity which would take their attention from the safe operation of the vehicle while they are operating the vehicle. Employees operating emergency response vehicles who are required to communicate with other emergency vehicles and dispatch while responding to, or dealing with, an emergency call are exempted from the restriction.

v. Report all accidents or incidents in accordance with the Alachua County Safety Policy.

vi. Do not drive while under the influence of alcohol, prescription medicines that warn against operating a vehicle, sleepiness, or illegal drugs.

vii. Maintain the vehicle authorization form with up-to-date information, if any changes occur during the term of the vehicle authorization.

viii. Report and assume responsibility for all citations or moving violations while operating the county vehicle during work hours, and after work hours.

ix Do not use or allow the use of tobacco products in a county vehicle.

  1. Required Information For Take Home Vehicle Authorization Request
a. Home/Off Hours Physical Address – Where the vehicle will be parked. Address must include a city and a county.

b. Total daily commute miles – Round trip mileage from where the vehicle is parked during off hours to work place and from work place back to off hours parking address.

c. Number of miles past county line – if vehicle is to be driven out of Alachua County, the number of miles past Alachua County line to where vehicle is parked during off hours.

d. Rotation on call basis – if this is a rotational on-call basis describe the plan your department has for the rotation (attach to the Take Home Vehicle Authorization Request).

i. Type of authorization requested:

a. Emergency Response – documentation detailing the number and nature of call outs for one calendar year.

b. Economic Benefit – Is an assertion via an analysis of the cost vs. benefit to Alachua County using the current IRS mileage rate and detailed explanation of the reason as to why a personal vehicle cannot be driven to the regular work place and a county owned vehicle utilized only as needed for county business. The Economic Benefit Form shall be developed by the Clerk of the Circuit Court’s, Finance and Accounting Department, to ensure the information required by this policy is obtained and that the analysis of the economic benefit comports with the requirements that all expenditures serve a public purpose.