Legislative / Administration
Pasco County Internal Communications Videos
Town Hall-style meeting covering organizational news and information historically delivered through Quarterly Branch Supervisor’s meetings.
One-on-one interviews focusing on how we measure, report and improve our performance.
Q & A session with County Administrator Dan Biles.
Senior leaders share thoughts, ideas and experiences on how they lead in their organization.
Pasco Picture Town Hall Event on 8/11
Question 1: Can we eliminate less charges between departments? They are not applied consistently and they take away from the spirit of internal cooperation. We are all part of Pasco County so why charge each other?
Answer: Less charges are a way for the County Departments that are not considered a central service to recoup actual expenses and quantify time spent assisting other departments. Many funds have restrictions on how and what they can be budgeted for – the less charge process is how we accurately cost functions to funds that have restricted uses. For example, it is not good accounting practice to budget project manager salaries to the capital project fund so the salaries are budgeted in the municipal service fund. As the project manager performs work on a project funded by the capital project fund, the time spent on the project is applied to the capital project fund through the less charge process which results in money moving from the capital project fund to the municipal service fund to reimburse the MSF for that portion of the project manager’s salary. The less charge process also helps to identify the needs of additional funding and staffing for those departments. Consistency and efficiency is something we are all continually working on as we move forward through the Sterling journey.
Question 2: Can we also eliminate indirect costs and just fund each department as it needs to be funded to provide the necessary services, whether customers are internal or external?
Answer: Indirect costs is the method used to fund each department as it needs to be funded to provide the necessary services. Indirect costs are the means to capture costs for one department/fund to provide a service to another department/fund. The advantage of the indirect cost charge is the County does not need to stand up a large bureaucratic, paperwork exercise to capture these costs. In other words, the indirect cost method of capturing costs saves each department/fund time and money. Indirect costs also form the basis of a Federally accepted/approved overhead rate that can be applied to grants and grant funding – without the indirect cost rate, the county will lose out on money with grants.
Question 3: Can you give more information on what HR is going to be doing with the list of employees that received or did not receive the COVID vaccination?
Answer: We are using the list for contact tracing at this time. (IE If someone comes to work and they are positive, then we need to identify everyone they had contact with). If a person they contacted was already vaccinated, they do not need to be sent home or quarantined.
Question 4: Can we eliminate less charges once and for all? They are not consistently applied, are cumbersome, and take away from the idea of being one team. Instead, please consider providing the departments with the budgets necessary to serve their internal customers, rather than moving money back and forth between departments.
Answer: See answers to Questions 1 & 2.
Question 5: What do you think about an initiative where there are scheduled days (maybe quarterly) where our citizens can drop off junk and debris at our dumps at no costs; or have dumps placed in strategic locations throughout our aging communities as a cleanup initiative to have citizens dispose of their garbage? What are the obstacles in realizing such a program?
Answer: It’s a fantastic idea; however, the reality is that the solid waste program is heavily leveraged and we have bond covenants prohibiting free service (obstacle 1). There would need to be an alternative source of funding (obstacle 2). The solid waste team already exercises “common sense” when receiving garbage and counting against every citizen’s right to bring up to eight (8) bags of household garbage daily. We also hold community clean ups annually in each district – typically, in communities of limited income. The cost of solid waste service is either recovered through tipping fees or the solid waste tax assessment. If we were to allow additional trash to be dropped for free or have other locations where waste would be collected we would have to recover this cost, 1) because our bond covenants require it and 2) to ensure program revenues are at an appropriate level.
Question 6: What do you think of building additional piers for pier fishing throughout the length of our coast?
Answer: Great idea. Unfortunately no such projects are identified in our current capital plan, so yep funding, Doesn’t mean we can’t add one. However with that said we would need to control a piece of land that this could work on. Nothing coming to mind. Permitting can also be a hurdle.
Ask Me Anything 12/2/2021
Question: Can we eliminate less charges between departments? It takes away from the spirit of teamwork and providing good customer service to our internal customers.
Answer: Less charges are a way for the county departments that are not considered a central service to recoup actual expenses and quantify time spent assisting other departments. Many funds have restrictions on how and what they can be budgeted for – the less charge process is how we accurately cost functions to funds that have restricted uses. For example, it is not good accounting practice to budget project manager salaries to the capital project fund so the salaries are budgeted in the municipal service fund. As the project manager performs work on a project funded by the capital project fund, the time spent on the project is applied to the capital project fund through the less charge process which results in money moving from the capital project fund to the municipal service fund to reimburse the MSF for that portion of the project manager’s salary. The less charge process also helps to identify the needs of additional funding and staffing for those departments. Consistency and efficiency is something we are all continually working on as we move forward through the Sterling journey. In addition, indirect costs ARE the method used to fund each department as it needs to be funded to provide the necessary services. Indirect costs are the means to capture costs for one department/fund to provide a service to another department/fund. The advantage of the indirect cost charge is the county does not need to stand up a large bureaucratic, paperwork exercise to capture these costs. In other words, the indirect cost method of capturing costs saves each department/fund time and money. Indirect costs also form the basis of a Federally accepted/approved overhead rate that can be applied to grants and grant funding – without the indirect cost rate, the county will lose out on money with grants.
Question: when a person is out of the office and the email reflects that, does that email request still get sent to the person that is out, or does it get re-routed so that the customers are helped now?
Answer: The email still goes to the recipient, it is not forwarded to another email address. It is important to use the out-of-office reply message tool and to always have a contact person listed in the message while you are away. This way, it gives the person an option to either contact that other person or wait till you respond.
Question: When the rest of Engineering Services (Project Management and Surveying and Mapping) leave the Sunset Bldg. and move up to Nottingham, what will become of the Sunset Bldg.? Who will occupy this County Owned bldg. after? I understand why Public Works is moving due to their lease, but why is Engineering Services being forced to move as well when they are currently residing in a County owned building (of course, depending on your answer to question #1 above) ?
Answer: Sunset Building - Future use and occupants of the Sunset Building are currently being evaluated as part of the FMP update. Why re-locate Engineering Services to Nottingham - The desire of the Public Infrastructure Branch has been to consolidate teams to create synergies and enhance coordination between Project Management and Public Works.
Question: More recognition should be given to other or all departments that do work for the county itself & citizens. What plans do you have to integrate them to any future acknowledgements or recognitions?
Answer: Make no mistake, every single area of this organization is integral to our success and serves our citizens. Without a more detailed question, I can only say there are many ways we give recognition here. A couple ways to recognize good work is via annual awards, Good News at BCC meetings, and if something good is happening in your area, you can always contact your branch communicators or Media Relations & Communications for possible coverage on social media.
Question: Due to inflation and an increase in the cost of living, is there any progress on the cost of living bonuses? We received a 2% minimum bonus this year but am afraid I may have to find another position to cover costs as inflation rose to 6% (according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics). How is Pasco County making an effort to diversify its public works sector? Will there be any new hiring practices implemented to ensure diversity, equity, and inclusion? For example, changing email signature policy to include personal pronouns like Fortune 500 companies.
Answer: See Recording
Question: Why was the Good Friday Holiday taken away for 2022? Why take away a Christian Holiday, as opposed to any of the other holidays? I understand that it was made into a "Floating Holiday", but this seems unnecessary/redundant now. In the past, holidays had to be taken on the day of the holiday. Now we can defer ANY of the holidays to a later date, so this seems pointless. An extra floating holiday would be nice but that should be in addition to what we already get.
Answer: See Recording
Question: What is the status of the new facilities in Nottingham? Not everyone is going to fit what is another alternative? What is going to happen with the Sunset location when the dept's leave to new location? Why does HR determine what each dept. needs in salary and/or education when it comes to their employment needs?
Answer: Nottingham Status - Currently in the conceptual design phase and working with stakeholders to determine best options for the building and site layout.
Sunset - The FMP is evaluating the options for which team would occupy Sunset after Nottingham is finished.
Question: Why are fire rescue employees being docked pto and being placed on leave with out pay when getting sick with Covid instead of being taken care of? Why are fire rescue employees who are now experiencing cardiac issues secondary to the Covid vaccine not being covered under workers comp?
Answer: Vaccinated employees are generally not required to utilize their own PTO time. Please contact the personnel chief if there is a specific question about a particular employee. Please contact HR to discuss this as cardiac cases are generally covered for firefighters under WC. If it is not covered, there must be specific health issues that need to be assessed which are not appropriate for public comment but which are looked at on a case-by-case basis.
Question: Pasco County is growing very fast. Libraries are a knowledge engine. Do you think it is possible to create and develop a business center in the libraries to advise new entrepreneurs and develop projects and research about the opportunities that Pasco brings to the community?
Answer: One of the missions of Libraries is to foster and encourage economic growth within the county. We are active participants in the Pasco Economic Development Council and partner with their Pasco Enterprise Network, participating in the PEDC’s Smart Start small business incubator. Our outreach staff networks frequently at Chamber of Commerce events throughout the county, both in person and virtually. In the library itself, our librarians are trained to assist entrepreneurs with our extensive online databases such as A-to-Z Databases, Demographics Now, and others. The libraries also have study rooms and meeting rooms that can be used as collaborative centers for small businesses, in addition to computers and printers available for use. Pasco County Libraries are committed to helping small businesses and driving economic growth!
Ask Me Anything 9/1/2021
Question 1: Why are we not building a new fire station in Wesley Chapel when Station 26, 38, and 16 have 15 min. response times to areas of 26 zone with 500k homes and apartment buildings going up. We are behind in putting new zone with new station in service. You're not building 4 new stations, we only have one new station with this bond and that is Station 9.
Answer: We currently have plans to build nine fire stations, with four of those creating new service delivery areas. One of the new service delivery stations (Station 2) will be built on State Road 54 at the north end of Meadow Pointe, which will provide some relief for Station 26 and area response times. Additionally, the long term plan calls for an additional station (Station 5) in the State Road 56 and Wesley Chapel Boulevard area. The department recently closed on a seven acre piece of property for this future station, which currently has no definitive timeline to be built.
Question 2: How do we manage the partially vaccinated workforce when we have a state of emergency? Our area is in the cone for a tropical storm/hurricane that is expected to be here this Sunday. Even if it doesn't hit here this time, the question is still valid. Will only vaccinated people be expected to serve in that time?
Answer: If the County were under a threat of a storm/hurricane, all employees needed to manage the incident will be required to report to their designated work location in accordance with HR or their EOC section chief. However, Emergency Management has made the following adjustments to activations due to COVID:
The EOC will function as a virtual activation status under the following conditions:
- Weather events ranging from tropical storms to a category 1 hurricane
- EM will contact section chiefs required to be in the EOC
- All team members assigned to EOC and contacted by their section chiefs will report remotely
- Section chiefs are responsible for organizing all virtual contact shifts
The EOC will function as an in-person EOC activation under the following conditions:
- Category 2 hurricane and above
- EM will contact section chiefs required to be in the EOC
- All team members assigned to an EOC unit will report in person
- Section chiefs are responsible for assigning additional team members, shifts & reporting times, and reporting method virtual or in-person
- All shelters will be supplied with PPE (masks, hand sanitizer, etc.,) which will be made available to all citizens and shelter workers
- COVID screening protocol will be in effect
- The use of masks will be highly encouraged and where possible, social distancing will be implemented
- Designated COVID locations within the shelters for individuals who start presenting symptoms once registered
- EMS & paramedics at each shelter to address any medical concerns
- Rapid testing for EMS/paramedics to use based on screening
Question 3: I heard that if you are on the 56C health insurance plan, and become a Retiree with 30 years of exclusive service with BOCC, you will no longer receive health insurance free until the age 65...is this true? They are now required to pay a monthly fee...is this true? If true, did an agenda item go to the BOCC for approval of this change?
Answer: Yes, this is true, and is the same for all active employees as well. In the past, all plans were free. Now, retirees and active employees BOTH pay an up-charge for the more/most expensive plans. This was done in order to lower the cost of family coverage, which was also important too many employees. This model is consistent with our surrounding counties and cities. To be clear, for just $50 per month, a 30-year retiree can stay on the most expensive plan with the best benefits. There are four other plan options ranging from free to $25 per month depending on what level of healthcare the retiree would like. When the retiree health coverage went to the board the first time, the board agreed to pay $441.75 per month (pursuant to the agenda item). As of now, we pay quite a bit more than that for all of the plans. Agenda item HR17-379.
Question 4: For employees of Utilities, I would like to see the convenience service fee charged for utilizing your credit card for paying your bill be removed from what is paid. I don't think any employee should have to pay this. Is it possible to have an exception rule for this put in place for all employees?
Answer: Pasco County Utilities customers are charged a convenience fee when paying their utilities bill using credit card or eCheck. This fee is charged by the 3rd party payment provider and was part of contract negotiations, through the request for bid process. This nominal fee allows the county to provide credit card services, while remaining PCI compliant. Additionally, our bond convenance does not allow us to provide any free services. To continue providing alternative payment options that surpass current security standards, Pasco County has partnered with Paymentus Corporation, a 3rd party payment processor. Online and over-the-phone payment benefits include:
• Enhanced financial security to customers
• Secure and easy online access to pay a utility bill
• Assurance associated with instant payment options and confirmation of payment
• Payments using Visa are available online or over-the-phone. Visa is not accepted for payments made in-person.
Perhaps we can see if getting the convenience fee waived when we negotiate future services is a viable option. However, if this payment is waived, the County would have to cover these costs.