BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
September 21, 2005
Commissioners’ Conference Room
Lane County Board of County Commissioners Chairperson Anna Morrison presided, with Commissioners Bill Dwyer, Peter Sorenson and Faye Stewart present. Commissioner Bobby Green, Sr. was absent and excused. Lane County Administrator Bill Van Vactor, County Counsel Teresa Wilson and Recording Secretary C. Daniel Lindstrom were also present.
1. ADJUSTMENTS TO THE AGENDA
2. PUBLIC COMMENTS
Zachary Vishanoff, Patterson Street, Eugene, said he was concerned about the lack of public involvement in the development of a new basketball arena for the University of Oregon. He said he believed it would be appropriate for a Public Forum to be held, to ensure that the site chosen would provide a suitable entryway into the City of Eugene. He said articles in a recent issue of The Statesman Journal had indicated that the University was contemplating expansion of Autzen football stadium and creation of an indoor track facility. He said he was circulating a petition among those living in the neighborhood of the proposed basketball arena to raise awareness of the issues involved.
Chair Morrison requested that copies of newspaper articles referred to by Mr. Vishanoff be provided for Commissioners.
3. EMERGENCY BUSINESS
4. COMMISSIONERS’ REMONSTRANCE
Commissioner Dwyer said he was saddened by the loss of a hunting-friend in a boating accident on the sand bar at the mouth of the Umpqua River. He said his friend had not been wearing a life jacket. He suggested that Commissioners write to the U.S. Coast Guard encouraging a change in boat operating rules to require adults to wear life jackets while crossing such bars.
Commissioner Sorenson announced that he would co-host a Public Meeting with Eugene City Councilor Bonnie Bettman regarding the future of the Lane County Fairground at 7:00 on September 27. He said all public testimony would be videotaped and made available for future consideration.
a. RESOLUTION 05-9-21-1/In the Matter of Proclaiming the Fourth Monday in September as Family Day – a Day to Eat Dinner With Your Children.
Chair Morrison read Resolution 05-9-21-1 by title.
Commissioner Sorenson reported that the Resolution had originated from surveys of the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse that showed that the more often children and teenagers ate dinner with their families the less likely they were to smoke, drink, and use illegal drugs. He said the Center had invited proclamations such as was proposed.
MOTION: to adopt Resolution 05-9-21-1.
Sorenson MOVED, Dwyer SECONDED.
Commissioner Dwyer said those committed to the wellbeing of their families ate together as often as possible.
Chair Morrison read the Resolution.
6. COMMISSIONERS’ BUSINESS
Conventions & Visitor’s Association of Lane County Oregon (CVALCO) President and Chief Executive Officer Kari Westlund expressed appreciation for the opportunity to present a report of the work of her association. She referred to a document entitled “FY05 Annual Report” and noted that it showed $55,068,381 in visitor spending had been generated by the Lane County investment of $1,109,619 in Transient Room Tax.
Ms. Westlund reviewed and supplemented information in the Report, regarding:
- Travel and Tourism
- Convention Sales and Marketing
- Tourism Marketing and Sales
- Visitor Services
- Membership Development and Marketing
- Community Relations
Ms. Westlund distributed and circulated copies of various Lane County promotional materials recently published or under development.
Commissioner Dwyer asked the opinion of CVALCO regarding investment of Transient Room Tax in a study to determine the future of the Lane County Fairgrounds. Ms. Westlund replied that she believed the action of the Commission to conduct a study, rather than make a decision immediately regarding its future was wise. She said data about return on the investment in the Fairgrounds was difficult to acquire and that additional time was needed.
Commissioner Sorenson asked if CVALCO members had opinions regarding increased investment in the Fairgrounds. Ms. Westlund replied that opinions were varied.
Commissioner Sorenson asked if it would be possible to identify “the market” for the Fairgrounds. Ms. Westlund replied that such an analysis might be possible, but could be costly to produce. She said sponsors of events were often not sure themselves of the room use they generated.
Commissioner Sorenson said he was convinced that a considerable number of out-of-town visitors were attracted by Fairground events and that investment in the facility was warranted. He said he supported the opinion that additional information was needed.
Commissioner Sorenson suggested that elected officials accompany CVALCO representatives and others at the time the University of Oregon offered to host the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials. He said that if the Trials were not to be held in Eugene, efforts should be made to schedule local pre-trial meets.
Commissioner Stewart expressed appreciation for the CVALCO report. He said he also appreciated the support of the association for the decision to request additional studies of how the Fairgrounds can better serve the community.
Chair Morrison said she was positively impressed with Willamette Valley Wine Country promotional efforts. She encouraged CVALCO to also work with other agricultural interests in Lane County.
Chair Morrison said she would support having Commissioner Green participate in a presentation seeking to bring the Olympic Track and Field Trials to Eugene. She asked if airline bankruptcy issues could impact area air service in a way as to be a negative factor in a decision about locating the Trials locally. Ms. Westlund replied that the air service to Eugene was not likely to be affected by current industry financial difficulties, since it was mostly provided by midsized airlines which continued to be profitable.
7. COUNTY ADMINISTRATION
County Administrator Bill Van Vactor reported that Board of Commissioners Office Receptionist Ethel Mashaw continued to suffer from the head injury she had received in a recent fall when leaving work. He said she had been re-admitted to the hospital for unknown reasons and expressed concern.
8. PUBLIC WORKS
a. ORDER 05-9-21-2/In the Matter of Vacating a Portion of B Street, a Public Road Within the Plat of Coles’ First Addition to Marcola, as Platted and Recorded in Book 3, Page 4, Lane County, Oregon Plan Records, Without a Public Hearing and Adopting Findings of Fact (16-01-18-33).
Chair Read Order 05-9-21-2 by title.
Public Works Staff Tom Dreschsler explained that the proposed vacation involved a right-of-way not maintained or intended to be used by Lane County. He said the public benefit would be to encourage development in the Marcola area and remove a liability exposure of the County.
In response to questions from Commissioners Dwyer and Sorenson, Mr. Dreschsler said public agencies with nearby easements and neighboring property owners had been notified by mail of the proposed vacation and that no objections had been raised. He said holding a public hearing regarding it would have required the applicant to pay the additional expense of the publication of legal notices. He said the application fee for a vacation without a hearing was $650 and $1,500 for a vacation with a public hearing.
Commissioner Stewart said he supported the vacation because the right-of-way in question was at the dead-end that could not be further extended.
MOTION: to approve Order 05-9-21-2.
Stewart MOVED, Morrison SECONDED.
Commissioner Dwyer said he was philosophically opposed to approving vacations without public hearings. He said the proposed vacation took away public access that had existed for 99 years and gave the applicant property without cost.
Mr. Dressler said the proposed vacation was only an easement, the applicant already owned the property involved.
Commissioner Stewart said he did not believe there was public benefit to keeping the easement. Mr. Dwyer replied that he was more comfortable approving the vacation with a public hearing.
Chair Morrison said she supported approving the application without a public hearing because of the added costs involved to the public. She said eliminating the possibility of approving a vacation without a public hearing had been rejected earlier and it was unfair to not allow it.
Commissioner Dwyer stated that, out of consideration to the previously expressed opinion of absent Commissioner Green, if the vote to approve the vacation failed, he would change his vote from no to yes and serve notice of his desire to reconsider the motion. He said he wanted to be “principled, but not contrary.”
Commissioner Sorenson said the vacation appeared to be typical in nature. He said the responsibility of the Board was to determine if the application was in the public interest. He said it was in the interest of the land owner to convince the Board that it was not. He said Public Works had testified that the right-of-way was of no transportation importance, but he believed other public interest might exist. He said he agreed that requiring the applicant to pay a second fee for a vacation with a public hearing was unfair.
VOTE: 2:2, with Commissioners Morrison and Stewart voting in favor, Commissioners Dwyer and Sorenson voting opposed.
Commissioner Dwyer said he wished to change his vote to yes, making the motion pass. He said he asked to have the motion reconsidered at the October 12 Regular Meeting.
Chair Morrison said the request was valid and reconsideration of the motion would be scheduled.
Chair Morrison said the experience made her believe that a public hearing should be required for all vacation applications.
9. CONSENT CALENDAR
A. Assessment and Taxation
1) ORDER 05-9-21-3/In the Matter of A Refund to Visionary Investments, Inc. in the Amount of $18,039.43.
B. Children and Families
1) ORDER 05-9-21-4/In the Matter of Delegating Authority to the County Administrator to Execute the Oregon Commission on Children and Families 2005-07 Intergovernmental Agreement and Amendments, not to Exceed $4,200,000, and Approving Submission of the Partnership Agreement.
C. Health and Human Services
1) ORDER 05-9-21-5/In the Matter of Appointing Designees of the Community Mental Health Director to Direct a Peace Officer to Take a Mentally Ill Individual Into Custody According to ORS 426.233.
MOTION: to approve the Consent Calendar.
Dwyer MOVED, Stewart SECONDED.
10. HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
a. ORDER 05-9-21-6/In the Matter of Establishing Two Full-Time (2.0 FTE) Mental Health Specialists Positions Effective July 1, 2005 and Appropriating an Additional $159,024 in Revenue and Expenditures for FY 2005-2006 in Fund 286 Department of Health and Human Services.
Chair Morrison read Order 05-9-21-5 by title.
Department of Health and Human Services Director Rob Rockstroh stated that the Order was the first step in appropriating additional funds available from the Oregon Office of Mental Health and Addiction Services since adoption of the Lane County Budget.
Chair Morrison asked if since the positions had not yet been filled, there was a concern that the next Legislative Session would eliminate the funding. Mr. Rockstroh said it was unlikely because the allocation was a key element of the new Children’s Systems Change Initiative that had been driven by the initiative of families, not the Legislature.
b. ORDER 05-9-21-7/In the Matter of Appointing Four New Members to the Lane County Health Advisory Committee.
Chair Morrison read Order 05-9-21-7 by title.
Mr. Rockstroh said the Order included typical appointments. In response to a question from Commissioner Dwyer, he discussed the difficulty of finding applicants to fill positions designated for professional persons.
MOTION: to adopt Order 05-9-21-7.
Sorenson MOVED, Dwyer SECONDED.
11. CORRESPONDENCE TO THE BOARD
Commissioner Stewart announced that he would hold two Town Hall forums and invited residents in the South Lane District to participate.
Commissioner Dwyer announced that the Glenwood/Springfield Economic Development Committee would meet on September 26.
Chair Morrison announced that the annual Florence Chowder, Blues and Brews event would be held September 24-25.
Chair Morrison announced that she would be leaving on September 24 to participate in a week of lobbying for the renewal of the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act of 2000 in Washington DC. She expressed concern about its passage.
Chair Morrison announced that the Association of Oregon Counties had formed new committees, including a Policy Commission on the Oregon Legislature.
Chair Morrison expressed appreciation for the participation of members of the Board in the United Way “Day of Caring.”
13. REVIEW ASSIGNMENTS
Responsibilities for assignments made during the meeting were reviewed:
- Copies of The Statesman Journal articles referred to by Mr. Vishanoff will be provided to Commissioners.
- A letter to the Coast Guard encouraging a change in boat operating rules to require adults to wear life jackets while crossing the Umpqua River Bar. It was agreed that the assistance of House of Representative Member Peter DeFazio should be requested in routing the request and to investigate the feasibility of converting the request into a Lane County Ordinance. It was suggested that consideration of the issues be scheduled for a Commission Work Session with a representative of the Coast Guard participating. Chair Morrison requested that developments regarding the issue be reported to the Agenda Team.
Chair Morrison announced that the Public Hearing regarding the Oregon Department of Transportation Region 2 Large Project Priority List would be held in Harris Hall at 1:30 p.m.
14. EXECUTIVE SESSION
Chair Morrison announced that the Board would hold an Executive Session, in accordance with ORS 192.660.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 11:10 a.m.
C. Daniel Lindstrom