To provide exceptional service; enhance and protect the quality of life for all Lake County citizens; facilitate a vibrant economy with an abundance of workforce opportunities; and exercise fiscal responsibility, while using innovative approaches and making well-planned decisions.
GOAL 1: Provide exceptional public safety and emergency response services to achieve a safe and secure community.
- Provide exceptional critical response services to Lake County residents through Lake County Fire Rescue and Lake Emergency Medical Services; with an emphasis on efficiency and coordination between first responder agencies, including municipal agencies and adjoining counties; to assure the protection of life and property of Lake County residents and businesses.
- Support the Lake County Sheriff’s Department as the chief law enforcement agency in Lake County in its mission to provide residents with effective crime prevention and law enforcement; recognizing and supporting its role as the operator of the Lake County Animal Shelter and Lake County Jail; and as the provider of animal services, which promotes the welfare of animals.
- Assure coordination between federal, state, county and municipal public safety providers in the event of an emergency or disaster; provide exceptional emergency response and disaster mitigation through planning, training, citizen outreach and operation of Lake County’s Emergency Operations and Communications Center.
- Maximize coordination of emergency response services by utilizing technology and innovation to promote efficiency across all public safety agencies, and lower emergency response times.
- Facilitate and support re-entry programs and services directed at reducing recidivism, and that focus on mental health, addiction, housing, education, employment opportunities, and life skills.
- Adopt effective and reasonable regulations which protect citizens’ quality of life, property values and investment in Lake County, and utilize code enforcement to maintain a clean and safe environment for all citizens.
GOAL 2: Facilitate a strong and diversified economy.
- Simplify the permitting process for construction activities and new business creation, and assure
that a “business-friendly” environment is maintained in all county departments.
- Adopt policies and support programs which target manufacturing and high-wage job
creation opportunities for Lake County residents (e.g., technical fields, healthcare, medical research, business support, research and development); and encourage new commercial and light industrial growth to facilitate a more diversified tax base.
- Support collaborative efforts between Lake County government, the business community and education providers (e.g., Lake-Sumter State College, Lake Technical College, Lake County Public Schools, Lake County Libraries, UF/IFAS and private schools and colleges); recognizing that a well-prepared workforce can only be achieved when workforce needs are understood and addressed.
- Work closely with municipal and regional partners, to promote cooperation and coordination between all entities seeking to energize and grow Lake County’s economy (i.e. business retention, success and expansion).
- Promote and adopt policies and programs that assist start-up and developing businesses and entrepreneurship, acknowledging the key role that small businesses play in Lake County’s local economy.
- Promote ecotourism (including natural resource protection), sports and recreational opportunities, which benefit existing residents and attract new residents seeking an active lifestyle; recognizing that high-wage companies and new businesses often relocate or expand in areas where employees have access to active recreation and abundant natural resources.
GOAL 3: Plan, develop and maintain a high-quality, safe and reliable transportation network.
- Coordinate with municipal and regional partners (e.g. The Lake-Sumter Metropolitan Planning Organization, adjoining counties, Central Florida Expressway Authority, Florida Department of Transportation) to assure a broad-based, comprehensive approach to the county’s transportation network.
- Implement transportation improvements in the most cost-efficient manner possible (e.g. building in phases, long-range planning, partnering with the private sector, innovative financing).
- Provide a variety of transportation options for residents (i.e. multi-modal system) and assure that Lake County’s transportation network is well-planned for vehicles, cyclists, pedestrians, water-vessels, buses and rail.
- Utilize innovative funding, partner with municipalities and seek all available funding sources (e.g. state, regional and federal) to implement Lake County’s master trail plan, and support regional trail systems.
- Prioritize maintenance projects of county-maintained roads and sidewalks, and manage funding to prevent deterioration of this critical infrastructure and to protect citizens from unsafe conditions; coordinate with the Lake County School District and municipalities on needed sidewalk projects to promote safe access to schools.
- Promote and facilitate the “Complete Streets” concept; which emphasizes shared utilization of roads between vehicles and pedestrians, including engineering enhancements which promote safe and attractive roadways (e.g. marked crosswalks, signage, speed limits, traffic calming, sidewalks).
- Support efforts to achieve well-maintained, safe, clean and attractive roadways, right-of-ways and shorelines.
GOAL 4: Deliver exceptional customer service in a friendly and professional manner, and assure fiscal responsibility throughout the organization.
- Provide professional, cost-effective and innovative service delivery, by continually evaluating the county’s programs and services, soliciting feedback, reinforcing positive examples of customer service and work ethic, implementing technology enhancements and providing job-enhancing training for employees.
- Encourage and facilitate internal communications and coordination between departments, in order to strengthen the organization and provide opportunities for efficiencies and collaboration.
- Achieve effective external communication with customers by engaging in positive outreach; facilitating community awareness and involvement; publicizing the availability of county services; and providing timely notice of changes in services which may affect customers.
- Manage capital assets and facilities in a manner that assures longevity; maximizes cost-feasible energy efficiency and natural resource protection.
- Explore innovative financial strategies to fund programs and services offered to customers that leverage county tax dollars with non-local funding sources.
- Engage in long-range planning to assure that capital funding needs are met; maintain prudent financial reserves to provide operational continuity in the event of an emergency or natural disaster.
- Ensure that the state-mandated capital needs are provided for constitutional offices (e.g. Sheriff’s Office, Clerk of Courts, Supervisor of Elections, Property Appraiser, Tax Collector, Fifth Judicial Circuit and Florida Health Department in Lake County).
GOAL 5: Enhance the quality of life of Lake County residents by providing active and passive recreational opportunities, library services and promoting conservation, preservation and protection of natural resources.
- Preserve major systems, such as lakes, rivers and wetlands; and support efforts to improve water quality, including the remediation and restoration of degraded ecosystems (e.g. Lake Apopka, Harris Chain of Lakes).
- Support programs that engage the community to preserve and enhance the county’s natural resources, prevent litter and pollution, and conserve water (e.g. outreach regarding irrigation, use of fertilizer, “right plant, right place”).
- Provide cost-feasible, resource-based recreation (i.e. passive trails on public lands, bird watching opportunities, wildflower corridors) that enhances the ecotourism opportunities for residents and visitors, and stimulates the local economy.
- Provide cost-feasible active recreation opportunities which serve all citizens of Lake County; incorporate sporting venues that support large-scale events that promote the local economy.
- Utilize Lake County’s “Keep Lake Beautiful” program (as an affiliate of Keep America Beautiful) as a vehicle to engage the community to reduce litter and pollution along roadways, lakes, rivers and wetlands in all areas, including cities and distinctive communities, and to improve the appearance of Lake County.
- Promote life-long learning under a cooperative countywide library system; engage the community by offering physical and digital content, programs and services critical to education, research and workforce training.
GOAL 6: Assure that new residential and commercial development is well-planned, attractive and high-quality.
- Adopt regulations and design standards which promote quality development that is attractive and timeless, including conservation-based landscaping and well-designed water retention areas that are “natural” in appearance.
- Utilize reasonable regulations and incentives to promote natural resource protection and water conservation in commercial and residential development.
- Assure that Lake County regulations are well-balanced and mindful of protecting private property rights.
- Require minimum design criteria for commercial development including the use of architectural features to achieve quality design that enhances the appearance of Lake County’s commercial corridors and districts.
- Utilize open space, passive recreation, clustering, and appropriate residential densities to achieve compatible and complimentary land uses.
- Promote the preservation and enhancement of distinctive small towns and rural communities (e.g. facilitate vibrant downtown districts by using tourism revenues to promote local festivals and events; utilize compact Community Redevelopment Areas to improve aesthetic features and infrastructure; adopt land use regulations which promote infill development).
- Coordinate utility services in unincorporated areas through interlocal service boundary agreements, joint planning agreements and partnerships with municipal and private providers; explore the feasibility of Lake County providing utility services in unincorporated areas that are environmentally sensitive or where central utilities would promote compact, orderly growth patterns in desirable locations.
GOAL 7: Facilitate and coordinate the delivery of services to those in need.
- Foster innovative approaches to helping those in need find long-term and sustainable solutions for daily living; recognizing the community’s desire to address immediate needs of shelter, food and clothing for the homeless population, while finding solutions that move individuals to self-sufficiency.
- Support agencies whose mission is to address mental health needs in the community, including, but not limited to, substance abuse and addiction treatment and the treatment of mental health illnesses.
- Assist Lake County veterans and their qualified dependents in obtaining benefits and services through local, state and federal programs.
- Support social services’ needs in the community (e.g. transportation, affordable housing, training for those with disabilities, youth who have “aged out” of foster care, re-entry programs designed to prevent recidivism, and programs to help abused children, at-risk youth and the elderly), by awarding grants that leverage local funding to increase and expand the level of service provided by existing private and non-profit community-based organizations; monitor programs and assure that ongoing financial support by Lake County is results-driven.