BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
July 6, 2005
Commissioners’ Conference Room
Commissioner Anna Morrison presided with Commissioners Bobby Green, Sr., Peter Sorenson and Faye Stewart present. Bill Dwyer was excused. Acting County Administrator Dave Garnick, County Counsel Teresa Wilson and Recording Secretary Melissa Zimmer were also present.
1. ADJUSTMENTS TO THE AGENDA
Item 6. b. is pulled.
2. PUBLIC COMMENTS
3. EMERGENCY BUSINESS
4. COMMISSIONERS' REMONSTRANCE
Sorenson explained that in light of the discussion about having a ground lease at the Lane County Fairgrounds, they would be reminded of the charter provision that provides that notice be given if three commissioners were going to have a meeting of the Board. He said it was important they met the spirit and the letter of the open meetings law.
5. COMMITTEE REPORTS
a. Legislative Committee.
Tony Bieda, Intergovernmental Relations Manager, reported there had been no deal on the budget. He said both the house and senate versions of the public safety funding include $190 million for Community Corrections. He added that was the continuing service level for the SB 1145 program.
Bieda thought they were about two weeks from the end of the session. He noted that the governor signed the jail inspection bill. He said there wouldn’t have to be annual inspections of non-county facilities. He stated that HB 3301 clarifies the Boundary Commission’s authority for a public safety district and it was on the governor’s desk awaiting his signature. With regard to HB 3303, he said it specifies the language that must be contained in intergovernmental agreements between the states and the counties. He noted that it went to the floor and passed by a 59-0-1 vote and it is now in the senate.
6. COUNTY ADMINISTRATION
b. DISCUSSION/County Slogan. (PULLED)
7. HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
a. ORDER 05-7-6-1/In the Matter of Establishing One Full Time (1.0 FTE) Clinical Services Supervisor Position for Mental Health Services Effective July 1, 2005 and Appropriating an Additional $96,265 in Revenue and Expenditures for FY 2005-2006 in Fund 286 Department of Health & Human Services.
MOTION: to approve ORDER 05-7-6-1.
Green MOVED, Stewart SECONDED.
8. CONSENT CALENDAR
A. Approval of Minutes:
June 14, 2005, Work Session, 9:00 a.m.
B. County Counsel
1) ORDER 05-7-6-2/In the Matter of Amending Chapter 2 of the Lane Manual to Explicitly State Limits on Uninsured Motorist Coverage and to Delete Outdated References to Insurance (LM 2.550 and LM 2.626).
C. Health and Human Services
1) ORDER 05-7-6-3/In the Matter of Accepting Revenues in the Amount of $1,700,544 from the Cities of Eugene and Springfield; and to Approve the Intergovernmental Agreement Between Lane County and the Cities of Eugene and Springfield.
2) ORDER 05-7-6-4/In the Matter of Appointing 11 Members to Fill Vacancies on the Community Action Advisory Committee (Human Services Commission Budget Planning Committee).
MOTION: to approve the Consent Calendar.
Green MOVED, Stewart SECONDED.
9. COMMISSIONERS' BUSINESS
a. REPORT/LRAPA Update.
Stewart indicated there had been discussions with LRAPA and he wanted the Board to get an update.
Jim Johnson, LRAPA, passed out a summary about the importance of LRAPA. (Copy in file). He said they are an organization created 37 years ago for permitting and enforcement, monitoring and data management, grants, special projects and public outreach planning. He noted their general fund budget is about $1.3 million, on a total budget of about $6 million. He indicated that this year they will receive about $44,000 from the State of Oregon. He added there are about 19.5 authorized positions that began work the beginning of the fiscal year. He explained that the DEQ does many of the same services that LRAPA provides except for grants and special projects. He indicated if LRAPA is dissolved they would lose local control.
Johnson said they have 51 sets of monitoring equipment at 11 sites in Lane County. He added that they also do supplemental monitoring to provide information on specific air quality problems. He noted that for their permit system they have about 205 Lane County businesses that currently have permits issued by LRAPA. He indicated since January 2004 they had issued 116 notices of non-compliance of which 52 received notices of violations with a civil penalty. He added that about $56,000 in civil penalties were assessed since January 2004 and by law those dollars go to Lane County, not to LRAPA. He noted that they do a lot of public information outreach. He reported they instituted a call program in Oakridge that is an automated telephone call to citizens informing them when woodstove burning is not advised.
Andy Ginsburg, DEQ, explained that they operate the air quality program throughout the rest of the state. He added that the DEQ handles more than air quality issues, they also deal with water and land quality, hazardous waste, solid waste tanks and other issues. He noted that they have three regional divisions and the air quality offices are currently in Salem, Medford and Coos Bay. He said the Eugene office does not have any air quality staff, but it is where their western region is headquartered. He explained they don’t handle air quality in their office because of LRAPA.
Ginsburg indicated DEQ’s air quality budget is $45 million, derived from fees and the vehicle inspection program. He noted other fees come from LRAPA operating Title 5, and permitting programs that account for about 25 percent of their revenue and other smaller fees. He added their general fund from the state legislature is about seven percent of their budget along with federal funds of 14 percent from EPA. He noted that they have a total of 248 positions for the next two years in their proposed budget and they have 1,100 air contaminate discharge permits and 125 Title 5 permits.
Ginsburg commented that the monitoring network in Lane County is more intensive than the rest of the state. He indicated they use the same operating procedures and work closely with LRAPA. He said the also do quality assurance and analysis of samples that LRAPA collects. He noted they are partners in monitoring. He stated they have worked well with LRAPA and try to coordinate policy developments. He added that LRAPA is a member of their operations team and they meet regularly with their regional manager to discuss the implementation of the permitting program and policy and rural development. He said they try to be as consistent as they can statewide. He indicated that LRAPA had been successful in getting grants, which provide money that might not have come to Oregon because their process for accepting grants is cumbersome. He said their role is to oversee LRAPA’s operation because state statute requires their program to be at least as stringent as the state’s.
Green asked how other counties operated without local control.
Ginsburg responded that in the rest of the state their regional offices are directly responsible for implementation of the program. He noted in Lane County if someone needs an air quality permit they go to LRAPA, but it is essentially the same function.
Johnson explained that if LRAPA were dissolved, the best situation for the County would be to have local enforcement in the Eugene DEQ office so the permits and enforcement occurs from Eugene.
Ginsburg stated if the DEQ ran the air program in Lane County there would be staff in the Eugene office.
Green asked what other problems DEQ had faced with the other counties.
Ginsburg indicated that they made an effort to be more responsive at the local level. He said it is different than LRAPA having a local board that can be more responsive to the community than they could.
Green asked if DEQ, as a state agency, was having problems with LRAPA as a local agency.
Ginsburg indicated they don’t have problems because they work together well.
Sorenson didn’t think that Lane County was getting a fair deal with the money. He said their efforts as leaders in the community would make sure that the proportionate amount of money be given to the people and businesses of Lane County so they are being treated fairly. Sorenson asked if there was a local rule that was stronger than the state where the public is getting additional benefits.
Johnson responded that everything in their local rules and regulations is the same as DEQ’s.
Merlin Huff, LRAPA, reported that since he had been with LRAPA, there is more of a field presence because of the inspectors from LRAPA, and more awareness of what is happening at the facility. He added the open burning regulations of LRAPA represent the partnerships around the rural fire protection district boundary, instead of the general requirement of Oregon Administrative Rules.
Morrison asked if LRAPA’s rules could be identified and compared to the state. If so, she wanted to see the comparison.
Green indicated there is not a problem with LRAPA in the state. He commented that local control was important. He asked if there was local control by the current board.
Johnson commented there are a lot of assumptions and perceptions by the existing eight board members about the future direction of the organization. He said there is the perception and assumption by the City of Springfield that Eugene might have more appointment authority over board members, and it might head toward more stringent regulations. He added that there had been assumptions made by the Eugene City Council that the organization is benefiting industry and they need to get more stringent with rules and adopt more of a public health-type philosophy. He said there are no facts that indicate either direction is accurate. He commented that the LRAPA Board needs a new director and a goal setting session. He stated they have the authority to be more stringent. He said they are a rule-making organization and the simplest rule change with public input would take 90 days to accomplish.
Glen Fortune, Oakridge City Council, stated he is a new board member. He said it is important to get a director if they continue LRAPA. His concern was the recent challenge of who are the representatives on the board and how they are weighted throughout the county.
Johnson indicated that the board directed him to prepare legislation to approach the legislators two years from now to change the board membership back to seven. He said the legal opinion is the law says “shall” and they are expanding to nine. He said they are going to have a discussion about what is the fairest representation throughout the county for the seven board members and if they should they change it or not.
Green thought there was $270,000 coming from local government. He asked if the public was getting value from LRAPA. He thought LRAPA was successful with the state and with other activities. He didn’t want to pull the funding and advocate for dissolving this because adults were not able to cooperate. He asked if there were principles of agreement with the board members that reflect the center of the board.
Johnson stated he was not aware of any information coming from governing bodies to board members saying they have to vote the way they think the majority of the council would vote. He said board members understand they are serving their jurisdiction but they are to reflect their region of the county and the countywide interest in clean air. He thought the Board of Commissioners should give clear direction to Stewart to participate fully in the affairs of LRAPA and to report back if there appears to be rules being suggested that in Stewart’s opinion are inconsistent with the majority opinion of the Board of Commissioners or inconsistent with the goals of the organization. He said they need to look at their rules to decide what needs to be amended and changed.
Morrison thought that LRAPA needed to set up goals and criteria before they hire a new director. She wanted to see the overall total budget over the past five years and what the state piece had been. She also wanted to know what the Title 5 income revenue has been to see whether or not the agency is continuing to grow revenue and where it is coming from.
Johnson stated they have been successful with their entrepreneurial activity. He said they have $1 million in sales. He said if they expand that, their non-general fund will increase and they would be better off.
Stewart was impressed with Huff coming to the organization. He said he had been discouraged with the leadership they had He was concerned about the local ability to govern. He asked what avenues would be available for public comment if the DEQ were located in Eugene.
Ginsburg indicated that when they do rule making, they have a five-member commission appointed by the governor and confirmed by the senate. He said they have representatives from around the state. He added that all of the rule making goes through public notice process. He noted that permitting is done in their regional offices and there is always a hearing when a permit is going to have a significant change and opportunity for people to request a hearing.
Stewart asked how LRAPA works with public works and road construction.
Howard Schussler, Public Works said they get permits for monitoring roads and permits in Waste Management. He said they play a role with the MPO and they did consulting on biodiesels and ultra low sulphur diesel that they monitor, also, using particulate filters for some of their off road diesel equipment.
Green asked what would happen if LRAPA were not in existence.
Schussler said they would lose the convenience of working with the local agency and those relationships. He added that DEQ doesn’t offer the same entrepreneurial or consulting services around fuel products.
Green accepted the recommendation from Johnson that they, as a Board, continue to work with Stewart to send a resolution to the LRAPA Board and state what Lane County’s desires are in working on strategic planning, hiring a new director (as soon as possible) and moving forward.
Morrison said they need to resolve this and put things back into perspective and know what the role is and who will be performing that role.
Green recalled that as a Board they only approved six-month budgeting. He commented that in order to get the other six months, they need some resolution.
10. CORRESPONDENCE TO THE BOARD
Letter from Helen Burg
Morrison noted in agenda setting that it was decided to direct the letter to the Fair Board.
11. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS
12. EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660
13. OTHER BUSINESS
There being no further business, Commissioner Morrison adjourned the meeting at 11:10 a.m.