Meeting of the State Committee of Vendors

Tuesday, April 21, 2021 at 3 p.m.

Chairman James Warth called the meeting to order at 3pm. Janet Chernoff called the role.

The following individuals were present:
James Warth, Chairman
Terri Lindstrom, Vice Chairman

District Representatives: Kurt Ponchak, District 1; Mike Renaud, District 2; Mitzi Bowen, District 3; Randall Crosby, District 4; David Stevens, District 5; Phil Hubbard, District 6; Jose Quintanilla, District 7; Sead Bekric, District 8; Joel Rose, District 9; Lilian Pemberton, District 10.

Bureau of Business Enterprise Staff: Bill Findley, Bureau Chief; Maureen Fink, Operations Manager; Alan Risk, Compliance Officer; John Ahler, Business Analyst; Bernie Kaiserian, Region 2 Business Consultant; Jay Payne, Region 3 Business Consultant; Tony Arduengo, Region 4 Business Consultant; Rafaella Diershaw, Region 5 Business Consultant; Janet Chernoff, Administrative Services Consultant; Mary Ellen Harding, Administrative Assistant II.

Per the Sunshine Law the meeting was open to all interested parties but only the persons listed above participated in the discussion.

Kurt Ponchak made a motion to approve the agenda as written. Joel Rose seconded the motion. Approved by all members. Janet Chernoff read a synopsis of the minutes from March 12, 2021. The full minutes had been emailed to all members prior to the meeting. Kurt Ponchak made a motion to approve the minutes as written. Seconded by Mike Renaud. Passed without objection. Janet Chernoff read a synopsis of the minutes from the March 31, 2021 meeting. The full minutes had been emailed to all members. Kurt made a motion to approve the minutes as written. Seconded by Mike Renaud. Passed without objection.

Prior to meeting Bill Findley had emailed the draft methodology for FRRP funds, the RSA FRRP appropriation assurances and examples of how the compensation could be calculated. Vendors were given the opportunity to comment on the documents. Two operators took an advantage of the opportunity. One operator questioned the calculations and offered alternatives and a second commented on how income from the Type II facilities should be calculated.

Kurt Ponchak made a motion to accept the draft methodology for the FRRP funds as stated in the submitted document. Seconded by Mike Renaud.

The group first discussed vendors who had signed into a facility as their primary facility in 2020 who had not had the facility in 2019. The answers to the frequently asked questions from RSA indicated that it would be appropriate to use data from the previous operator. The next discussion was about how income from a secondary facility should be calculated. The BBE feels that income from a secondary facility is additional income and should not be compared to 2019 to determine a loss for that facility. Income from a vendor’s primary facility in 2020 will be compared to 2019 to determine a loss. If a vendor had a Type II facility in both 2019 and 2020, the income from that facility will also be included as part of a vendor’s primary facility. If the Type II ended in 2020 the income will be prorated accordingly. If a vendor had a secondary facility in 2019 but left it prior to 2020 it was not considered as the vendor could not have a loss from a facility they left the previous year. The methodology is explained in step two of the document. David Stevens suggested adding additional verbiage to the document to explain how income from a Type II that was taken in 2020 was being calculated. The group agreed that the document provided sufficient explanation as it was written.

Kurt Ponchak called for a vote but then withdrew it as the group determined that they wanted to make a decision on how compensation would be calculated. Two options would be considered and an explanation of each had been provided to the committee members prior to the meeting.

In option one the net loss would be multiplied by the percentage determined by dividing the total vendor loss by the award. The resulting figure would be added to the compensation and compared to the vendor’s total loss. If the resulting total was more that the total loss the vendor’s payment would be reduced accordingly. No vendor would receive more than their total loss. In option two the compensation would be subtracted from the total loss and the results multiplied by the percentage determined by dividing the total vendor loss by the award. The second method would result in a slightly smaller payment to any vendor who received compensation. Randall Crosby expressed the opinion that he liked the second option as it resulted in more funds for vendors who did not receive any compensation.

Bill Findley suggested voting on the document without the compensation question. Kurt amended the motion to not include the compensation question. Randall seconded the motion and it was approved without objection. It was further clarified that the examples on the document were meant to explain the methodology and would not be provided to RSA. RSA only wants a brief explanation of the methodology and the document provided to the Committee is more information than they need. RSA also requested information on how compensation will be addressed. The Committee previously decided to use attestation to address this question. RSA is also concerned about active participation by the Committee and the numerous subcommittee and committee meetings to discuss the issue are more than adequate proof of that participation.

The committee voted on the draft methodology document and it was approved by all twelve committee members. The motion was passed without objection. The question on how to account for compensation will be voted on separately.

Kurt Ponchak made a motion to accept option one on calculating compensation. Seconded by Joel Rose. Kurt and Mike felt that operators who actively looked for compensation should not be penalized. Terri Lindstrom felt that option one would only impact other vendors minimally. Mike Renaud called for the vote and Kurt seconded. All twelve committee members voted yes on using option one to calculate compensation. The motion was passed without objection.

Kurt Ponchak made a motion to approve RSA FRRP appropriation assurances. Seconded by Mitzi Tyler. Passed without objection by voice vote. Jim confirmed that the Division and the Committee of Vendors were in agreement with all the decisions made concerning the FRRP funds. All participants at the meeting agreed that this was a true statement.

The next quarterly meeting of the Committee of Vendors will be June 4-5, 2021 and will be held at the Embassy Suites in Orlando. The BBE will limit staff attendance and a virtual option will be available. Kurt Ponchak made a motion to adjourn. The meeting was adjourned at 4:45pm.

Return to top of page

DISCLAIMER: Links on the Florida Division of Blind Services (DBS) website that are directed toward websites outside the DBS, provide additional information that may be useful or interesting and are being provided consistent with the intended purpose of the DBS website. DBS cannot attest to the accuracy of information provided by non-DBS websites. Further, providing links to a non-DBS website does not constitute an endorsement by DBS, the Florida Department of Education or any of its employees, of the sponsors of the non-DBS website or of the information or products presented on the non-DBS website.