BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS'
December 14, 2005
Commissioners' Conference Room
Commissioner Bill Dwyer presided with Commissioner Bobby Green, Sr., Peter Sorenson and Faye Stewart present. Anna Morrison was excused.† County Administrator Bill Van Vactor, County Counsel Teresa Wilson and Recording Secretary Melissa Zimmer were also present.
1. ADJUSTMENTS TO THE AGENDA
Dwyer indicated that Morrison was attending a funeral in Seattle.
Due to Morrison's absence, Van Vactor asked the Board about the Country Coach hearing.
Dwyer noted it was Morrisonís wish to roll the Public Hearing, but if people come and want to testify, he wanted a Public Hearing.† He added that Morrison could review the tapes and they could make a decision in January based on the testimony.
Stewart stated he spoke with Morrison and she wanted the Public Hearing to proceed.† If they needed to call her, she would be available.
Dwyer indicated they would move forward with the Public Hearing and delay the decision until January.
2. PUBLIC HEARINGS
a. PUBLIC HEARING AND ORDER 05-12-14-3/In the Matter of Adopting the FY2005-2006 Supplemental Budget # 1, Making, Reducing and Transferring Appropriations.
Dave Garnick, Senior Budget Analyst, reported that because they had several funds with increases of over ten percent, they have to hold a Public Hearing before they could take action.† He indicated they have to adjust the cash balances to reflect the actual carry forward of funds
Commissioner Dwyer opened the Public Hearing.† There being no one signed up to speak, he closed the Public Hearing.
MOTION:† to approve ORDER 05-12-14-3.
Stewart MOVED, Sorenson SECONDED.
VOTE: 3-0 (Green out of room).
3. PUBLIC COMMENTS
Jim Gillette, Eugene, encouraged the Board to hear his hearing.† He distributed information to the Board. (Copy in file).
4. EMERGENCY BUSINESS
5. COMMISSIONERS' REMONSTRANCE
6. COUNTY ADMINISTRATION
Van Vactor indicated they are working on the budget and it will be ready for the Leadership Team meeting on January 10, 2006.
b. ORDER 05-12-14-4/In the Matter of Creating the Classification and Salary Range for Human Resource Department Director and Providing Direction to Staff to Create the new Department, be effective July 1, 2006.
Jennifer Inman, Management Analyst, reported that on August 24, 2005, the Board considered several issues related to the organization, structure and the staffing for Management Services and the County Administrator.† She said they discussed the creation of a Department of Human Resources.† †
Inman recalled in August the Board asked staff to develop a transition plan to move Human Resources from division status to department status and create the position, classification and salary range.† She noted this was a timely issue as they needed to develop a budget by July 1, 2006.
Stewart was in favor of the order.† He thought this was prudent and not a financial burden.† He wanted to move forward.
Sorenson was concerned that by doing this, it would cost the County more money.
Inman reported the analysis doesnít have increasing staffing or changes.† She said the grade in the classification wouldnít require an increase in pay.† She noted that most of the changes are logistics and finance.† She didnít anticipate any further expenses.† She thought there would be more visibility for the HR budget that is developed because it is a department budget.
MOTION:† to approve ORDER 05-12-14-4.
Green MOVED, Stewart SECONDED.
VOTE: 3-1 (Sorenson dissenting). †
c. REPORT/Tying the County's Allowed per Diem Rates to the General Services Administration Rates for Business Travel Beginning July 1, 2006.
Dwyer recalled that this matter came to Finance and Audit and it was passed unanimously to be taken to the Board. †
Christine Moody, Management Analyst, recalled the per diem rate is reviewed during the budget process and for the past 10 years it had stayed stable at about $35 per day.† She said departments had told them that that amount has become too low in comparison with other organizations.† She said they looked at other options for the per diem rate.† She noted that the federal government sets the rate, through the General Services Administration where you choose the state to be traveled to and it lists all major cities and counties.† She said they would have employees look at that website.† She thought this was a good idea as there are some departments that travel and get reimbursed by federal rates and it makes sense for Lane Countyís rates to match.
7. COMMISSIONERS' BUSINESS
a. RECOGNITION/Recognizing Mike Cowles for Receiving the Outstanding Proval User of Year Award.
Jim Gangle, Assessment and Taxation, recognized Mike Cowles for outstanding work.
b. DISCUSSION/Evaluation of County Administrator.
Green explained this was the annual evaluation of County Administrator Bill Van Vactor.†† He commented it gives the Board a chance to evaluate themselves in how clear they have been with him with their direction and how well he has followed those directions.† He commented that it had been a tough year for the organization with the issues they have had.† He added that outside of Lane County Van Vactor does an excellent job representing Lane County.† He commented that Van Vactor thinks outside of the box around bargaining negotiations.†† He stated that Van Vactor has a good sense of humor and he appreciated his work.† He gave him a ďnineĒ rating.
Stewart thanked Van Vactor for his leadership and support.† He said that made his first year a good one.† He thought Van Vactor assembled a good team of managers.† He gave him the highest rating possible.
Sorenson thought Van Vactor accomplished a great achievement with the convening of senior County staff with the people representing the bargaining units.
Green thought they should start strategically using Van Vactorís expertise while he is still working at Lane County to transfer those duties to someone else.
Dwyer commented that Van Vactor was easy to work with and is always available.† He appreciated Van Vactorís involvement with public safety and organized labor.† He thought Van Vactor ran an efficient organization and thanked him for his role.
Van Vactor commented that he worked with the Budget Committee and the Leadership Team and they were able to present a current level budget.† He appreciated the Boardís recommendations.† He didnít think he was successful with communication and sharing problems with the citizens.† He viewed 2006 as a time that Lane County needs to focus on the needs of the citizens.
c. DISCUSSION/Evaluation of County Counsel.
Green stated that Terry Wilson has integrity.† He said that Wilson protects the public from the Board with her knowledge.† He commented that Wilson had met all the goals the Board set for her.† He appreciated all the time her department put into Measure 37 claims.
Stewart commented that it had been a good first year in working with Terry Wilson.† He was impressed the way she was able to operate her department even though she was understaffed.
Sorenson appreciated Wilsonís accessibility and willingness to answer questions
Dwyer thought Lane County was lucky to have Terry Wilson.† He said she keeps a good staff and knows when to farm out legal options.
Wilson thanked the Board for their comments.† She commented that this had been a challenging year for staff with Measure 37 claims, public safety issues and high cost litigation.† She added that work involving contract issues with intergovernmental relations and the state had taken a lot of time.† She said a concern expressed to her from other departments is the lack of legal time that departments have access to and how much their projects get delayed.† She commented that they donít provide the proactive legal preventative legal advice the departments are seeking to do their jobs well.† She thanked her staff for all of their help.
d. ORDER 05-12-14-5/In the Matter of Reappointing One Member to the Lane County Budget Committee.
MOTION:† to approve ORDER 05-12-14-5 to reappoint Scott Bartlett.
Sorenson MOVED, Stewart SECONDED.
8. PUBLIC WORKS
a. REPORT BACK/Parks Division Fee Collection and Enforcement Overview 2002-Present.
Todd Winter, Parks, reported that this item came to Finance and Audit on November 8.† He recalled in Spring 2005, Lane County Parks Division automated the self-pay parking collection system in five of its Class A parks.† He said they used to have a self-pay envelope system that was problematic.† He noted in 2004 they went to fee collectors inside of the booths.† He recalled that in 2003 the collection window was extended by two months, from May 1 to September 30.† He said that they had to hire double the staffing and it was not cost effective.† †
Winter stated the decision was made to obtain automated fee machines.† He indicated that it is a system that could not be manipulated.† He said they over signed a lot of the areas and had an education piece for the public to describe the new system that included the cooperation of the Justice Court who lowered some of the fines.† He said if people came into the Park office, they dismissed the fines as voluntary compliance was their goal.
Winter recalled that during fiscal year 2003/2004, the division spent $123,000 in personnel costs to collect $162,000 in parking fees that represented a net of $42,000.†† He noted that for May, June and July of 2005 they were just under $40,000.† He stated in 2001 visitors who failed to pay the parking fees were issued a citation under Lane Code 6.530, vehicle operation and parking.† He said they were also having visitors to the campgrounds that were failing to pay the camping fee.† He noted that Lane Code was amended on 10/11/01 that added Lane Code 6.580, non-payment of fees that constitutes a Class C violation.† He indicated at the time they added to Lane Code, the minimum fee fine amount set by the legislature was $109, which the courts could lower to $35.† He added in 2003 legislation was passed that raised the minimum of all classes to $141. †
Winter reported that from May 1 to September 30, 2005, 43,170 vehicles paid the parking fee during that collection window.† He said there were 823 citations for non-payment of fees.† He estimated that about 10% of the visitors failed to pay the fee.† He said their compliance efforts were a single one-hour check per day at the five locations.† He noted that 120 people were dismissed.† He added that anyone who contacted them about a citation had it dismissed.† He noted the number of violators who went to court and pled guilty was 467.† He added that 182 violators failed to appear.† He indicated that 28 people pled not guilty.
Winter reported that on November 8 staff discussed this issue with the Finance and Audit Committee and they were directed to bring the following options forward:† to maintain the current fine schedule for not paying fees a Class C violation with a minimum fine of $141.† He indicated the second option is to amend Chapter 6 of Lane Code to add illegal parking, a Class D violation with a minimum fine amount of $94.† He added that was consistent with other Chapter 6 violations with illegal parking in Lane County and Oregon State Parks.† He noted that could be lowered to $35 by the Courts.† He indicated they spoke with the Parks Advisory Committee about this issue and they recommended Alternative 2. amending Chapter 6 of Lane Code to add illegal parking and lowering to a Class D violation and staff concurred.
Stewart was in favor of Alternative 2.† He wanted to see the fines reduced.
MOTION:† to move Alternative 2.
Sorenson MOVED, Stewart SECONDED.
b. REPORT BACK/Review Appraisal of the 80-Acre Parcel in Glenada, Oregon, Overview of State Parks Interest in Purchase of the Property and Sale Options.
Winter reported that staff was directed to report back on a review of the appraisal, an overview of State Parkís interest in purchase of the property, sale options and an overview of purchase interests by private parties.
With regard to the review appraisal, Winter indicated that they looked at the comparable executive summary.† He said that it appeared to be high on the natural resource side and comparables on the RR2 portion of the parcel were in Veneta, Oregon, outside of the Florence market.† He said the appraisal was low on the RR 2 portion.
Winter reported that he met with State Parks on December 9, 2005 and he took the review appraisal and a full copy of the appraisal.† He said State Parks outlined their interest of a purchase of the entire 80 acres.† He noted that State Parks didnít have the funds available in this biennium to purchase the entire property, but they would have an interest in purchasing the 62.33 acres zoned natural resources with an option to buy another portion of RR2 in June 2007.† He explained that State Parksí interest in the property occurred when the value of the property was estimated at $300,000.† He said that State Parks indicated that the County wanted to place a conservation easement on the property and that the sales price agreement for real estate transactions between government natural agencies was below market value, but State Parks did not indicate they werenít willing to pay the appraised price for the property. He noted that State Parks also communicated that if the formulated conditions were outlined (if that was the direction by the Board) by the first week of January 2006, they could present the proposal to the State Parks Commission on January 18, 2006.† He said they mentioned that Mr. Warwick (the ex property owner who lives in a 600 square foot A-frame) could remain on the property.† He said Parks indicated that long-term plans for the property would be recreational in nature.† He noted there is currently a lease agreement in Camp Florence, that they didnít believe would continue and that Camp Florence would relocate.† He said if that happens, their long-term goals would be to develop a day use area at that location.† †
Winter noted interest in purchasing the 80-acre parcel by private individuals was unsolicited.† He indicated that he had never negotiated or advertised.† He said the print media took care of the advertising.† He said if they called the office, he told people his direction had only been to receive an appraisal of the property but he would keep them advised.† He called the six interested and offered additional information. †
Winter said there was a gentleman who was interested in the purchase of another lot in order to accommodate a drain field.† He noted the gentleman currently has an easement to access his one-acre parcel and wanted a drain field.
Winter indicated that Windermere Real Estate in Florence had several clients interested in the 22.14-acre parcel.† He added with the exception of the tribes, there is little interest in the NR portion.† They believed the 22-acre parcel zoned RR2 is worth more than the appraised value.† He noted that Jim Murray, Portland, Oregon was interested in a private sale purchase of the property. Taimore Farhang of Visalia, California was interested in the purchase of the 22-acre parcel and is prepared to make an offer.† He added that Bob Garcia, Coos Indians in Florence was interested in the preservation of the 62.33 acres zoned natural resource and would be willing to be the host agency to protect its preservation, but funding would be difficult.† He noted that Ross Investments of Eugene was interested in the purchase of the 22 acre parcel zoned RR 2.† He indicated that Ross Investments made an unsolicited informal offer to pay the appraised price of $443,000 for the RR 2 side.
Winter explained that for the sale options, it might be alienated, sold or conveyed in part or in whole by the public body upon finding that it is in the best interest of the public.† He stated that (per Oregon Revised Statutes), the county governing body shall hold a hearing in the county at which objections to the proposed agreements, alienation, sale or conveyance may be heard.† He said that notice of the public hearing should be given by publication weekly for two consecutive weeks.† He added that the statute allows a private sale with the exclusion of others, sale by public auction, sale of the property in whole or in part.
Dwyer wanted to take the 62 acres and take the option on the 22 acres and pay them now and exercise the option on the other 22 acres later on with the intent of preserving the integrity of the whole site for public use.† He thought they should try to maximize their investment and get the most money by keeping the property in tact and not alienating everyone.† He thought they should be able to maintain it in public ownership.† He thought that was a win-win situation.† He wanted to work with Parks and do the appropriate letters necessary to present to the State Parks Department at their March meeting.† †
Green asked what the relationship was with the state in negotiating this matter and if they could count on what was said.
Winter responded that they had done land swaps in the past and had little dealings with the state.† He indicated that they didnít have enough money this biennium that they wanted in order to buy one side, with the option to buy the other.† He said if the conditions of that were outlined legally, he thought a deal could move forward.† He added that he had not negotiated with State Parks.
Dwyer thought it was worth sending a letter to State Parks to determine if the offer was valid.
Sorenson suggested moving ahead with the public hearing on the issue of what to do.† He thought they could negotiate directly with the Forest Service, pursue the State Parks and hold it by the County as a County Park.† He wanted to see all of the property kept in public ownership and retain a life estate for the gentleman who lives on the property.† He added that the funding would go to Lane County if and when a sale was acceptable to both sides.† Sorenson asked at what point were they required to have a hearing.
Wilson responded that given the property has been classified as a park, the Board is required to hold a hearing.† She thought there could be a method to directly transfer the property to the state without a public hearing.
Stewart commented that they didnít have an official document from State Parks.† He was hesitant to make a commitment to one organization without having it formally in writing.† He wanted to get it in writing by January 18.† He believed they should have a public hearing after they receive something formal from State Parks.† He wanted to know the potential value Lane County was giving up.
Sorenson supported the State Park option to have them buy the whole property.† He wanted a public hearing.
Winter stated that they need a two-week public notice that they would be conducting a public hearing.† He added there was a petition that had been signed indicating they wanted to hold a public hearing in the Florence area.† He said he would contact the State Parks.
Green wanted Winter to pursue all options. He thought there might be other groups interested in creating a conservation area. †
Dwyer wanted to keep it in a solid public ownership.† He thought that was a win-win situation. †
Green read a statement from Morrison into the record.
Winter reiterated that staff directed him to formulate conditions with the state and to get it in writing.† He added that he was not directed to negotiate a sales price with the state.
Van Vactor suggested having the state summarizing in writing their interest to staff that could be presented at the Public Hearing.† He added that staff would set a Public Hearing by the third week in January in Florence.
Wilson indicated notice would go into The Register Guard and The Siuslaw News for the Public Hearing.
c. ORDER 05-12-14-6/In the Matter of Electing Whether or Not to Hear Arguments on an Appeal of a Hearings Officialís Decision Affirming a Planning Director Denial of a Request to Develop a Private Park (Private Trails and Nature Park) Within the Impacted Forest Lands (F-2) Zone as Provided by Lane Code 16.211(3)(c) (file PA 04-6260/Gillette).
Thom Lanfear, Land Management, reported the item is an election by the Board of whether to hear the appeal.† He said the proposal by Gillette is to develop a private park on his property off of Needham Road.† Lanfear indicated that it would follow Lane Code Section 14.600(3), on deciding whether to hear the appeal or not.† He said the Planning Director denied the application and the matter was appealed to the Hearingís Official and the Hearingís Official affirmed the denial by the Planning Director.
Sorenson asked about the reason for the recommendation.
Lanfear explained that the criteria to decide whether to hear it or not is if the issue is of countywide significance.† He said it is a site-specific decision and involves one property.† He noted the issue in the denial was the increased fire hazard.† He said other criteria are whether it would reoccur with frequency and if there is a need for policy guidance.† He said there wasnít policy guidance that was needed in applying the standard criteria in the forest zone for reviewing increased fire hazard.† He added another criteria is whether it involves a unique environmental resource and no unique environmental resource had been identified in the plan on the property.† He said the last criteria was whether the Planning Director or Hearingís Official recommends review, and neither one recommended that the Board hear it.
MOTION:† to approve Option 3 of ORDER 05-12-14-6.
Green MOVED, Sorenson SECONDED.
Dwyer asked what avenues would be left to the applicant if this motion passes.
Lanfear replied that if the Board decides not to hear the appeal, then the next appeal venue would be the Land Use Board of Appeals.
VOTE: 3-1 (Dwyer dissenting).
Dwyer commented the questions of countywide significance and a fire hazard were subjective.† He thought a large park could be deemed by a prudent person to be of countywide significance.
d. ORDER 05-12-14-7/In the Matter of Authorizing a Temporary Reduction of Land Use Application Fees for Existing Private Docks on the Siuslaw River.
Steve Hopkins, Land Management, explained that the order will reduce the planning fees for certain existing docks on the Siuslaw River and the fee reduction will reflect the fees that existed at the time the dock was built.† He added this will expire at the end of next year and it will only apply to docks that are listed as of January 1.
MOTION:† to approve ORDER 05-12-14-7.
Green MOVED, Stewart SECONDED.
9. CONSENT CALENDAR
A. Approval of Minutes:
May 10, 2005, Work Session, 9:00 a.m.
June 2, 2005, Regular Meeting, 9:00 a.m.
B. County Administration
1) ORDER 05-12-14-8/In the Matter of Approving Contracts Totaling $168,000 for 2005-06 Rural Tourism Marketing Program (RRMP) Projects in the Cities of Oakridge, Lowell, Westfir, Coburg, Cottage Grove, Veneta, Creswell, Junction City, Florence, Dunes City, and Services in the McKenzie River Valley to be Completed by McKenzie River Chamber of Commerce.
C. County Counsel
1) ORDER 05-12-14-9/In the Matter of Amending Lane Manual Chapters 20 and 21 to Reflect Changes in Law and Clarify and Improve County Procedures.
D. Public Works
1) ORDER 05-12-14-10/In the Matter of Authorizing Submittal of a Local Bridge Application for 2010-2011 Funding Through the Federal Highway Bridge Replacement and Rehabilitation (HBRR) Program.
2) ORDER 05-12-14-11/In the Matter of Amending Chapter 18 of the Lane Manual to Modify the Lane County Parks Reservation Fees (LM 18.110). (Todd Winter)
3) ORDER 05-12-14-12/In the Matter of Approving Partnership Between Lane County, Department of Public Works, and the Northwest Weed Management Partnership, Upper Willamette Cooperative Weed Management Area; Authorizing Staff to Sign a Memorandum of Understanding and Designate a Representative.
4) ORDER 05-12-14-13/In the Matter of Awarding a Contract to Northwest Volvo Trucks, Inc., for the Purchase of One (1), new Diesel-Powered Truck with Hydraulic Roll-Off Container System, with Two (2) Trade-Ins, Contract FY05/06 FS-06.
E. Management Services
1) ORDER 05-12-14-14/In the Matter of Acknowledging Receipt of the Lane County, Oregon, Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 2005, and Setting Forth the Corrective Measures for Deficiencies Contained Therein.
MOTION:† to approve the Consent Calendar.
Green MOVED, Stewart SECONDED.
10. HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
a. ORDER 05-12-14-15/In the Matter of Amending Chapter 60 of Lane Manual to Revise Certain Health and Human Services Fees (LM 60.840) Effective January 1, 2006.
Steve Manela, Human Services Commission, reported they have been successful financially and this is part of their effort to stabilize the financial operation of the Community Health Center.† He said they are changing from a sliding fee scale based upon a percentage of poverty and going to a graduated flat fee system.† He said the original sliding fee scale was adopted in February 2004 with a $20 minimum fee.† He said they are not recommending any change in the minimum fee.† He said the sliding scale would still be in effect for patients between 100% and 200% of poverty.† He said the new flat fee would be that people between 100% and 200% of poverty pay a flat amount that starts at $20 and goes to $60.† He said the benefits to the change are that it makes it easier for staff and the patients to understand. He said they also want to collect more money up front.† He said they budgeted $160,000 for patient revenues.† He indicated they are now generating about $20,000 per month from their patients.† He thought that in a yearís time they should collect $240,000.
Trina Laidlaw, Assistant County Counsel, explained the purpose of her file note was to advise about the risk in adopting the changes to the fee scale.† She said the risk relates to some language.† She indicated that this past June and July, the department provided an annual fee revision to be reviewed and it included a revision to different language.† She said it added a type of service that could be paid for through the sliding fee scale, but the only issue is whether they want to add that type of service.† She indicated the Board had not reviewed the sliding fee scale since 2004, although the rule said it is to be an annual review.† She noted that this agenda item itself was a request for the Board to do their annual review.
Dwyer stated that the motion would include this as their annual revenue.† He added that it would require subsequent review on an annual basis.
Manela indicated the Board is considering the annual review of the sliding fee scale.† He added they will bring to the Board in July changes to actual charges.
MOTION:† to approve ORDER 05-12-14-15, with this being accepted as part of their annual review.
Green MOVED, Stewart SECONDED.
11. CORRESPONDENCE TO THE BOARD
12. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS
Stewart stated he attended the McKenzie River Watershed Council meeting.† He said a report was given on property tax credits for rehabilitation of streams and riparian zones in the State of Oregon.† He said there is tax credit that is mandatory for farm and forest ground if someone applies for it.† He also attended an Enterprise Zone meeting.
Green reported they performed the jail inspection for the Lane County jail.† He noted that it might be the last year to inspect the jails.† He noted improvement in the booking area where they have constructed a barrier between the booking area and the offenders who come in.† He indicated that they needed to send a letter to the jail and the Department of Youth Services about their inspection.
Van Vactor said he would draft a form letter for the Department of Youth Services about the statutory changes that make it elective instead of mandatory for the Board to inspect the jail.
Russ Burger, Sheriff, reported that last February they went to Washington DC for the United Front for their inoperable communication radio systems.† He said they were awarded an authorization transportation bill for $9 million.† He said it will be distributed by ODOT over the course of the next five years. He said they are going to try to get it moved up to connect Benton, Linn, Lane, Douglas, Curry, Josephine and Coos County to connect all seven counties with microwave.† He noted that Congressman De Fazio was in support of this.
13. EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660
Per ORS 192.660 (2)(h) for the purpose of consulting with counsel on litigation.
14. OTHER BUSINESS
There being no further business, Commissioner Morrison recessed the meeting into Executive Session at 11:30 a.m.