BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
September 13, 2005
Commissioners’ Conference Room
Lane County Board of County Commissioners Chair Anna Morrison presided, with Commissioners Bill Dwyer, Bobby Green, Sr., Peter Sorenson and Faye Stewart present. Lane County Administrator Bill Van Vactor, County Counsel Teresa Wilson and Recording Secretary C. Daniel Lindstrom were also present.
1. ADJUSTMENTS TO THE AGENDA
Chair Morrison announced that there would be an Executive Session at the conclusion of the morning session. She determined there was agreement to add consideration of a proposed letter to Governor Ted Kulongoski regarding litigation against the U.S. Forest Service’s Roadless Area Conservation Rule of 2004 as an item of Commissioners’ Business.
2. PUBLIC COMMENTS
Carol Berg Caldwell, 84474 Parkway, Pleasant Hill, expressed appreciation for the efforts of Commissioners Green and Stewart in support of the Lane County Forest Work Camp, Dexter Community Center, and funding for other public services. She distributed copies of an announcement of a community meeting at the Pleasant Hill Junior High School on September 19 and invited participation.
Noa O’Hare, 251 West Broadway, Eugene, presented a binder that he said contained over 6,000 signatures of persons who supported a petition entitled “Lane County Fairgrounds Is Not For Sale.” He said the signatures had been collected at the 2005 Fair. He described his experience and that of other volunteers in their collection. He said he believed there was unified support for keeping the Fairgrounds at its current location. He said a Town Hall meeting would be held on September 29 to discuss its operations.
Commissioner Green expressed appreciation for the efforts of Mr. O’Hare and the other volunteers. He asked for a description of the reason for gathering the signatures. Mr. O’Hare replied that he did not believe the Fairgrounds was a sellable asset.
Commissioner Green asked if those who gathered signatures for the petition had determined if those who supported the effort were willing to provide additional tax revenue to support operating the fairgrounds. Mr. O’Hare replied that the need for increased revenue was included in conversations he had held with persons signing the petition.
Commissioner Green asked if tests had been conducted to validate the signatures on the petitions. Mr. O’Hare replied that the petitions contained the signatures of approximately 100 children and that some who signed did not provide an address.
Chair Morrison asked if volunteers had engaged those who signed the petition in conversation regarding the issues faced by the fairgrounds. Mr. O’Hare replied that such conversation had been impossible with all who signed because the effort was “passive” in nature.
Chair Morrison asked if it was possible that only a portion of those who signed the petition would be willing to pay additional taxes to support the fairgrounds. Mr. O’Hare said he was unable to calculate if that was true because opinions would vary between each person.
Commissioner Sorenson expressed appreciation for the efforts of Mr. O’Hare and the other volunteers. He said he believed it was the largest number of signatures on any petition received during his eight and one-half years as a County Commissioner. He encouraged all concerned to attend the Town Hall meeting and said it would be a good opportunity for views to be expressed. He said the presentations would be videotaped for future reference.
Commissioner Stewart expressed appreciation for the efforts of Mr. O’Hare and the other volunteers. He said he had discussed the petition with him at the 2005 Fair. He said his discussions with other citizens showed that there was also a significant portion willing to consider sale of the fairgrounds.
Commissioner Dwyer said he did not believe the fairgrounds could continue to operate at its current location, or any other, without subsidy. He said he would support consideration of moving the fairgrounds to another location only if such a move eliminated the need for a subsidy.
Karen Ramus, 2584 Terrace View Drive, Eugene, stated that she was producer of the Lane County Home Show. She reported that of 73 persons attending a recent breakfast seminar regarding participation in the show, 64 had signed the petition to not sell the Fairgrounds. She said concerns expressed included that any other site would not be as centrally located, or have as adequate parking. She said other questions centered on a lack of understanding of who were the owners of the current location and a belief that it would cost more to move to a new location than to maintain the current one.
Commissioner Green asked if those at the meeting had suggested they were willing to support the Fairgrounds with increased taxes. Mr. Ramus replied that Home Show vendors understood that they would have to share the cost of remaining at the current Fairground and, in fact, had already accepted increased fees for participation.
Chair Morrison asked how many vendors at the Home Show participated in similar events in other areas. Ms. Ramos replied that perhaps as many as ten vendors traveled to other shows, but that most were local tradespersons.
Commissioner Dwyer reported that constraints had been placed on the use of transient room taxes by the Oregon Legislative Assembly. He said a new source of revenue was needed to support event venues such as the fairgrounds. He said he had been advocating development of an amusement tax as such a revenue source.
Zachare Vishanoff, Patterson Street, Eugene, said whether to invite the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials to be held in the local area should be a public decision. He said he believed the current attempt to do so was a commercialization effort of a large athletic equipment manufacturing corporation located in Oregon. He said holding the event in Eugene would negatively affect infill development, the availability of affordable housing, and was evidence of the growing privatization of the University of Oregon.
3. COMMISSIONERS’ REMONSTRANCE
Commissioner Sorenson commented on the widespread effects of Hurricane Katrina. He listed the involvements of Lane County organizations: public and private schools committing to accept evacuee students, United Way convening a nonprofit agency emergency planning session, YMCA offering free memberships to evacuees, and St. Vincent de Paul providing locally manufactured bedding and supplies.
Commissioner Green expressed appreciation for the many expressions of concern for his family living in the area struck by Hurricane Katrina, including the Bobby Green Family Relief Fund established by Lane County employees at the Umpqua Bank.
Commissioner Dwyer commented on the basic needs of residents in areas affected by Hurricane Katrina and expressed appreciation for local individuals and agencies involved in providing assistance.
a. ORDER 05-09-13-1/In the Matter of Proclaiming September 2005 as National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month.
Chair Morrison read Order 05-09-13-1 by title.
Health and Human Services Department Director Rob Rockstroh introduced Circuit Court Judge Darrell Larson.
Judge Larson reviewed development of the Lane County Adult Drug Court. He said there were currently 2,000 such felony and misdemeanor diversion programs throughout the world. He distributed copies of a document entitled “What Do We Do With the Meth Addicts: Possible Solutions – Problem-Solving Courts – Drug Treatment Courts.” He said it provided summaries of recent legal and addiction treatment research.
Judge Larson reviewed funding resources available to drug courts as a result of the 2005 Oregon legislative session. He said approximately $3 million in new funds would be available through the Bern Public Safety Grant program.
David and Krista Hitt, 85612 Jasper Park Road, Springfield, described the experiences of their family with methamphetamine addiction, drug court, and a happy new life.
Chair Morrison read proposed Order 05-9-13-1 declaring September 2005 to be National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month and encouraging support for the criminal justice system and the women, men, and youth in drug and alcohol addiction treatment and recovery.
MOTION: to adopt Order 05-09-13-1.
Dwyer MOVED, Green SECONDED.
Commissioner Dwyer said most families had some personal, tragic experience with drug and alcohol addiction. He asked what the cost of the Lane County Drug Court was and who paid it.
Judge Larson replied that no general fund resources were used, but did include $100,000 from Lane County Corrections and approximately $35,000 contributed annually by the Serbu Trust, plus participants were charged for services and health insurance payments were collected when available.
Tallie McKay, Drug Court Administrator, said that approximately one out of four participants in the Lane County program had health insurance and that participants were charged $10/week. She said the intensive outpatient care provided in the program cost approximately $260 per person per month.
Commissioner Sorenson expressed appreciation for the report, especially the sharing provided by the Hitt family. He said he believed the program provided a “big bang for the buck” and was supported by the entire criminal justice system.
Commissioner Stewart expressed appreciation to Judge Larson for his participation in a recent meeting of the Public Safety Task Force. He asked what effect reductions for the proposed resources from the Public Safety Taxing District would have on the Drug Court. Judge Larson replied that the cuts would reduce the number of offenders Drug Court could include and increase the number of offenders requiring police and jail services.
Commissioner Green expressed appreciation to the Hitt family for sharing their story. He said the Board of Commissioners needed to work hard to convince the public of the value of the drug court. Judge Larson added that the drug court was a prevention program, but it would not be able to be successful without the availability of sanctions and treatment.
Commissioner Green asked what additional resources would enable the drug court to accomplish. Judge Larson replied that additional resources would likely increase its effectiveness, especially since it appeared that concomitant increases in sanctioning capacity were becoming available. Ms. McKay added that the current capacity of drug court was 90 individuals, down from 300 three years ago.
Commissioner Dwyer commented on the difficulty of eliciting public support for public safety programs.
5. COMMISSIONERS’ BUSINESS
a. ORDER 05-09-13-2/In the Matter of Appointing Two Commissioners to a joint City/County Committee to Develop Permanent Standards for the West Eugene Enterprise Zone.
Chair Morrison read the order and reviewed background information regarding establishment of a Joint City/County Committee on the West Eugene Enterprise Zone. She reported that, because of the need to fully advertise the openings, the Board of Commissioners' agenda setting committee had authorized publication of notices of the availability of applications for citizen appointment to the committee. She said it had been agreed that the Board Chair and Commissioners appointed to the joint committee would interview applicants and make recommendations to the Board.
Commissioners Green and Stewart volunteered to serve on the joint committee.
MOTION: to adopt ORDER 05-09-13-2, appointing Commissioner Bobby Green and Commissioner Faye Stewart to the Joint City/County Committee on the West Eugene Enterprise Zone.
Dwyer MOVED, Green SECONDED.
b. DISCUSSION/Possible Work Session on Local Access Roads.
Chair Morrison commented on anticipated issues to be faced regarding requests to provide maintenance for local access roads.
County Counsel Teresa Wilson stated that she would work with the Public Works department to develop a Board work session on the topic.
County Engineer Ollie Snowden stated that Public Works assumed that it had a duty to create warnings about hazards on local access roads, but that in doing so funds were spent in the face of a prohibition on any such expenditures. He said the County best acted regarding such issues from well-informed policy.
Commissioner Dwyer said he believed property owners with local access roads should continue to have responsibility for their maintenance.
Commissioner Sorenson requested that Public Works provide a report on local access roads that focused on legal liabilities to the County resulting from current policies.
Commissioner Dwyer requested that such a report include a summary of legal actions threatened and carried out against the County related to local access roads.
Commissioner Stewart asked if local access roads were included on property deeds. Mr. Snowden replied that certain property deeds included easements for “public use.” He said maintenance agreements were seldom addressed in deed recordings, but that the matter was being questioned in relation to newer subdivisions, and in relation to Collard Lake Road.
Chair Morrison requested that discussion of issues related to Osprey Lane in Jasper be included in the report to be prepared regarding local access roads.
c. DISCUSSION/Proposed Letter to Governor Kulongoski.
Chair Morrison referred to her draft letter to Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski requesting withdrawal of his lawsuit against the U.S. Forest Service Roadless Area Conservation Rule of 2004. She said the letter was based on an Association of Oregon Counties (AOC) Resolution supporting the proposed Roadless Conservation Rule and an Oregon Legislative Assembly Memorial to the U.S. Congress to extend the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act of 2000 through federal year 2013. She noted that copies of the resolution and memorial were attached to her draft letter.
Intergovernmental Relations Manager Tony Bieda reviewed development of the Roadless Conservation Rule through two federal administrations. He said the lawsuit of Governor Kulongoski challenged Oregon being forced to participate in the development of new criteria for the rule. He said the draft letter opposed the Governor’s intention.
Commissioner Dwyer said he also believed Oregon should participate in development of criteria, but that the draft letter would not be effective in convincing the Governor to withdraw his lawsuit. He said he also did not believe the letter would encourage the federal administration to support the efforts of Lane County to reauthorize the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act of 2000.
Chair Morrison said she did not believe Governor Kulongoski was fully informed about the negative impact of his lawsuit on the reauthorization effort.
Commissioner Stewart said he believed, for the benefit of the public, it was important to distinguish between the Northwest Forest Plan and the Roadless Conservation Rule.
Commissioner Sorenson said he believed the biggest challenge faced by Lane County was the potential that federal forest payment legislation would not be reauthorized. He said he continued to be hesitant to believe the effort would be successful. He said it was most important that unified support for reauthorization be maintained and that the draft letter was “off topic” by emphasizing that Lane County disagreed about the Governor’s lawsuit.
Commissioner Dwyer said he agreed that Lane County should focus on the reauthorization of the federal forest payment legislation. He suggested that although he was concerned about the effect of the governor’s lawsuit, an effort should be made to understand his position and to inform him of the potential negative impact of his litigation on Lane County.
Commissioner Green suggested that the draft letter be revised to include reference to the AOC Resolution and to inform the Governor of the potential negative impact of his lawsuit.
Chair Morrison determined there was agreement to request the draft letter be revised and to consider approval of it at the regular meeting of the Board in the afternoon of September 14.
6. COUNTY ADMINISTRATION
County Administrator Bill Van Vactor announced that Board of Commissioners’ Office receptionist, Ethel Mashaw, had fallen on stairs leaving work on September 12. He said she was recuperating at home from injuries that required the stitching of a head wound.
Mr. Van Vactor announced that the Lane County Employee Charitable Contributions Campaign would begin with a special kickoff event at the Department of Youth Services on September 14.
b. ORDER 05-9-13-3/In the Matter of Increasing Funding for Juvenile Community Service Work Crew Under Title III of the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act of 2000, P/L/ 106-393 for FY 05-06.
Chair Morrison read the order and referred to background material included in agenda support material.
Budget and Finance Management Analyst Christine Moody explained that the increase in funding would allow the program to operate seven days a week and increase the number of youth able to participate by 250.
MOTION: to adopt Order 05-9-13-3.
Dwyer MOVED, Green SECONDED.
7. CONSENT CALENDAR
A. Approval of Minutes:
May 4, 2005, Regular Meeting, 9:00 a.m.
June 15, 2005, Regular Meeting, 1:30 p.m.
B. County Administration
1) ORDER 05-9-13-4/In the Matter of Appointing and Reappointing Justices Pro Tempore for the Oakridge Justice Court for One (1) Year.
2) ORDER 05-9-13-5/In the Matter of Reappointing Justices Pro Tempore for the Central Lane Justice Court for One (1) Year.
3) ORDER 05-9-13-6/In the Matter of Appointing and Reappointing Justices Pro Tempore for the Florence Justice Court for One (1) Year.
C. Public Works
1) ORDER 05-9-13-7/In the Matter of Reappointing Richard ‘Pete’ Maury to the Roads Advisory Committee.
MOTION: to adopt the Consent Calendar.
Dwyer MOVED, Green SECONDED.
8. HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
a. ORDER 05-9-13-8/In the Matter of Establishing One Full Time (1.0 FTE) Public Health Nursing Supervisor Position for the Community Health Centers Effective September 13, 2005, and Appropriating and Additional $64,156 in Revenue and Expenditures for FY 2005-2006 in Fund 285 Department of Health and Human Services.
Mr. Rockstroh said the new position would provide direct supervision of the nurse and medical assistants at the Riverstone Clinic. He said federal grant funds, patient fees and reimbursements would cover the cost of the new position.
Commissioner Green said he would support adoption of the Order, but was concerned that grant funds would be used to fund the position. He said it would be important to inform the person hired for the position that it could be eliminated if the supporting grant funds were not re-secured.
MOTION: to adopt Order 05-9-13-8.
Green MOVED, Dwyer SECONDED.
b. ORDER 05-9-13-9/In the Matter of Establishing One Full-Time (1.0 FTE) Nurse Practitioner Position for the Community Health Centers Effective September 13, 2005, and Appropriating an Additional $70,243 in Revenue and Expenditures for FY 2005-2006 in Fund 285 Department of Health and Human Services.
Mr. Rockstroh said establishing the position for a Nurse Practitioner was less expensive than creating the same position for a physician.
MOTION: to adopt Order 05-9-13-9.
Dwyer MOVED, Green SECONDED.
c. ORDER 05-9-13-10/In the Matter of Adding a Temporary 0.5 FTE Office Assistant 1 – Bilingual Position to the Department of Public Health.
MOTION: to adopt ORDER 05-9-13-10.
Dwyer MOVED, Green SECONDED.
d. ORDER 05-9-13-11/In the Matter of Appointing Members to Fill Four Vacancies on the Mental Health Advisory Committee/Local Alcohol and Drug Planning Committee and Approving a Waiver from Lane Manual 3.524.
Mr. Rockstroh explained that the waiver would allow a current committee member to complete her second term, even though she had accepted employment by a mental health agency which is a subcontractor of Lane County. He said the member had accepted a position as a family support specialist and did not “actively participate in the management of the organization,” as stipulated by Lane Manual.
MOTION: to adopt ORDER 05-9-13-11.
Dwyer MOVED, Sorenson SECONDED.
Chair Morrison said she was concerned that every effort be maintained to avoid the appearance of any conflict of interest on advisory committees.
Commissioner Green asked who interviewed the applicants for appointment. Mr. Rockstroh replied that interviews were conducted by the committee chair and various current members.
Commissioner Green said he was personally affronted by the fact that one applicant had used the self-deprecating term of “geezer.” Mr. Rockstroh replied that all persons appointed to Advisory Committees were provided sensitivity training.
9. PUBLIC SAFETY
a. ORDER 05-9-13-12/In the Matter of Adopting a Revised Emergency Operations Plan for Lane County and the National Incident Management System.
Sheriff’s Office Emergency Manager Linda Cook presented the Lane County 2005 Revised Emergency Operations Plan (EOP). She explained that the roles and responsibilities of the Board of County Commissioners remained the same as in previous versions, but that there were significant other changes. She said it contained input from all county departments and included language in compliance with Homeland Security Presidential Directives #5, adopting the National Incident Management System for responding to emergencies and disasters.
Commissioner Dwyer said he believed it was important to constantly update emergency response plans. He asked if the EOP included incident specific plans for potential disasters. Ms. Cook replied that, with the exception of plans for hazardous material emergencies and terrorism emergencies, no other emergencies were provided specific plans.
Commissioner Dwyer said he believed incident specific plans should be developed for disasters that were most probable in Lane County.
Chair Morrison asked if evacuation routes and emergency warning plan details were provided in the EOP. Ms. Cook replied that publication of evacuation plans was judged unwise because unsafe routes could be created by specific emergencies. She said each type of emergency had its own notification and evacuation requirements. She said planning for shelter and mass population displacements was coordinated with area representatives of the American Red Cross.
Commissioner Green said he did not believe the EOP clearly assigned responsibility for the development of incident-specific emergency plans. He said the need for an effective communications plan had been emphasized by experiences reported by those responding to the Hurricane Katrina disaster.
Chair Morrison said she believed the fractured nature of responses to the recent tsunami warning to Oregon coastal communities showed the importance of increased specific incident emergency planning.
Commissioner Sorenson said he appreciated the work of the Emergency Management Division. He said Lane County would likely face a major emergency in the future. He suggested that the EOP be approved and that an opportunity for a community meeting be provided that would include representatives from all agencies involved in disaster response.
MOTION: to adopt ORDER 05-9-13-12.
Stewart MOVED, Dwyer SECONDED.
10. REVIEW ASSIGNMENTS
Requests and assignments were noted, as follows:
- Adoption of ORDER 05-09-13-2 included direction for Commissioners Green and Stewart to interview applicants for the two Lane County citizen positions on the Joint City/County West Eugene Enterprise Zone Committee.
- County Counsel is to coordinate development of materials for a Board Work Session on Local Access Roads.
- Commissioner Sorenson requested a report on the legal liabilities to the County created by Local Access Roads.
- Commissioner Dwyer requested a summary of legal actions threatened and carried out against the County related to Local Access Roads.
- Chair Morrison requested that issues related to Osprey Lane in Jasper be included in the report to be prepared about Local Access Roads.
- Commissioner Green requested that the letter to Governor Kulongoski about the U.S. Forest Service’s Roadless Area Conservation Rule of 2004 refer to an AOC Resolution supporting the proposed rule and inform him of the potential negative impact of his lawsuit regarding it.
- Commissioner Sorenson requested that a Community Meeting be held regarding the Emergency Operations Plan that would include representatives from all agencies involved in disaster response.
11. EXECUTIVE SESSION
Chair Morrison announced that the Board of Commissioners would hold an Executive Session in conformance with Oregon Revised Statutes 1.92.660.
The meeting adjourned at 12:00 Noon.
C. Daniel Lindstrom