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Lake County Commission Chairman Jimmy Conner addressed the Summit Greens Social Breakfast this week. Conner was there to update the audience on issues facing the county.

Facing the county in the near future is the vote on the one penny sales tax renewal and the sand mine proposal for Wellness Way.

Conner explained that the county is providing more services with less revenue. Many of those services offered are made possible by the additional penny tax.

Currently revenues for the county are $15 million less per year than they were in 2008. "This is the best year we have had in seven years and we are still far below previous revenues," Conner told the audience.

Budgets forecasts put the revenues equalling 2008 many years away. Meanwhile, Conner noted that departments like Gary Borders Sheriff's Office have given no raises to deputies in five years with most making less than officers in the cities.

""People want decent fire and ambulance service," Conner said. "When my Dad needed an ambulance, I wasn't thinking about the taxes. I was thinking about how fast they could respond."

The penny sales tax will continue to be used for fire and ambulance equipment, roads, libraries and a large park for South Lake County. Click/tap here to see more on the penny tax.

Conner also made an appeal to voters to study candidates for county commission seats carefully. The Cemex sandmen request for the Sector Plan at Wellness Way was stopped with a 3-2 vote of the commission.

"It will only take one vote to change that," he warned. The sand mine will cover two square miles and will put a lot of heavy traffic on the roads hauling the sand from the area.

Conner said the mine company has appealed to the state to override the county. He warned residents that under new political action committee laws (PAC), proponents of the mine can start campaigning to support the project.

"This is a call to arms," Conner declared.

The "Breakfast" was started in 2008 by Summit Greens resident Judy Proli to help keep people in her community informed about local government. The first breakfasts began with a couple of dozen people and has grown to 150 attendees from other communities as well.

"I'm on the planning commission," Proli explained, " so I know a lot about what's going on. But the public doesn't. We wanted to give them a chance to know more about what government is doing."

The meeting was held at the Summit Greens Country Club Restaurant which has recently acquired new management and a new chef to raves from the attendees. Rex Bernales is the new chef. He said he enjoys doing breakfasts and personally served on the buffet line serving guests.

Kandice Clatterbaugh is the new manager. The two are hoping to establish the restaurant as a dining destination for the entire area, not just Summit Greens. For more information about the restaurant call 352-243-0411 or go to

Commission Chairman Jimmy Conner warns South Lake about the pressures to approve the sand mine
Summit Greens Social Breakfast
Former Clermont City Councilman Rick VanWagner, Clermont City Councilman Ray Goodgame and County Commission Chairman Jimmy Conner are shown with the Social Breakfast founder, Judy Proli. Goodgame also addressed the audience at the last breakfast. (Photo by Mike Corradino)
summit greens social breakfast
summit greens social breakfast
The audience at the Social Breakfast has grown from the original 48 to over 150 since 2008. The breakfast is held at the Sanctuary Ridge Golf Club Restaurant, managed by Kandice Clatterbaugh and Chef Rex Bernales. (Photos by Mike Corradino)
summit greens social breakfast
Lake County Commission Chairman Jimmy Conner warned local residents of pressures to open a sand mine inside of Wellness Way. Conner voted against the mine earlier this year, but the company, Cemex, has appealed to the state to override local authorities. (Photo by Mike Corradino)


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