BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS'

REGULAR MEETING

July 19, 2006

9:00 a.m.

Commissioners' Conference Room

APPROVED 8/15/06

 

Commissioner Bill Dwyer presided with Commissioners 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

 

The Fair Board meeting is at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday.

 

2. PUBLIC COMMENTS

 

Iana Matthews Harris, Eugene, thought their name as a youth program had been set back.She said the County shut off the electricity and they had no involvement in that.She was frustrated that David Suchart, Management Services, was in control of the plaza.She stated that he lied to the Board about them.She noted that the administrative procedures restricted their program with the space and podium.She stated they now have a time limit and have to pay a deposit.She commented that it is not free speech.She stated that things are wrong and the Board needs to communicate with them.

 

Ishi Woods, Eugene, stated they tried to work with the Board on this in keeping communication open, but the Board hadnít and they felt disrespected.He said they talked to Suchart about issues of free speech, the terrace and electricity.He said Suchart never called or e-mailed them when this was supposed to come back to the Board.He stated there were lies about what was said.He thought the County gave too much power to Suchart.

 

Victor Strathakis, Eugene, addressed the administrative manual change.He said the young people are now being more restricted.He said now they could only do their program twice a month, three hours at a time.He commented there were objectionable parts of the manual change and the young people were never involved.He said they are going to go to the circuit court.He said they only asked for an officer friendly presence.He thought they could have worked this out.

 

Sorenson asked Strathakis to e-mail changes he might have.

 

Dwyer thought they should go to the courts if they had a problem with this.He added that prevailing in court was another thing.Dwyer said he made sure the Policies and Procedures Committee would have a meeting.He also said he made sure that everyone was noticed.He offered Strathakis a generator so they wouldnít be without sound.The Board voted unanimously to put the sound back, not at the taxpayerís cost.He said that free speech doesnít mean that electricity needs to be provided.He commented that it worries him that the Lane County Board of Commissioners is the reason their group exists.He added that they are being used for publicity.

 

Stewart indicated that in reading through the proposed changes, they enlarged the area to be used for free speech, they didnít reduce it.

 

Strathakis stated that there had never been parameters for the free speech plaza.

 

Green said that people use the whole plaza.He said the Board is concerned about the whole facility and the Wayne Morse group was worried about their program.He said the Board had to think about access for the whole program.He recalled that part of the dimensions of the plaza were made to protect the glass.

 

Stewart recalled when the group came to the Board before, they said they used the plaza two weekends a month. He said when they passed it through, he didnít know about the hours, but they never passed anything that conflicted with the way they use the plaza today.He added that because it was such an important issue, it immediately came out of the Policies and Procedures Committee and to the agenda team.They put it on the following meeting to move forward.He noted that Matt Cooper was in the meeting the day they discussed this and he called them immediately after the meeting to notify them.He said it wasnít intentional to leave anyone out.

 

Dave Woods, Eugene, stated he was disappointed with the way the situation was remedied.††† He stated that Suchart had been given the unilateral power to shut down and stop anything that happens, including their free speech, whenever he sees fit without any recourse.He said Suchart was the czar of free speech and that was totally against the spirit of Wayne Morse.He said there is now a policy for people to sell liquor at the plaza.He said they were requesting that the alcohol piece be rescinded and that smoking is also prohibited.He thought the Board made a mean spirited decision.He commented that the policy restricts free speech instead of enhancing it.

 

3. EMERGENCY BUSINESS

 

None.

 

4. COMMISSIONERS' REMONSTRANCE

 

Sorenson discussed a new book by Lester Brown, Plan B, about global warming and the toll it is taking on earth.

 

5. COMMISSIONERS' BUSINESS

 

a. DISCUSSION/Oregon Sustainability Board "Sustainable Practices Toolbox."

 

Stewart asked if the Board wanted to fill out this survey as a group or individually.

 

Green thought they should do it individually.

 

Dwyer thought this needed to be assigned to one person to complete.He suggested Mike McKenzie-Bahr, Economic Development.

 

Sorenson agreed to designate this to McKenzie Barr.He wanted it brought back to the Board for their review.

 

Van Vactor recommended that he and McKenzie Barr work together and come back to the Board with their results.

 

b. DISCUSSION/Appointments to Explanatory Statement Committee.

 

Wilson recalled that Van Vactor sent an e-mail to the Board reminding them that they need to appoint an Explanatory Statement Committee.She wanted the names to be put on an order for next weekís agenda.She indicated they needed a committee of between three to five people and they donít have to be pro or con on the measure.She said there had been a recommendation that Jim Johnson be the facilitator.

 

Green recommended Ken Tollenar; Dwyer recommended Jim Hale; Sorenson recommended David Kelly and Faye Stewart recommended Denis Hijmans.

 

c. DISCUSSION/Human Rights Advisory Committee.

 

Green reported that the committee has had six resignations and one unfilled position.He indicated that they need 10 members to hold a meeting and currently they only have eight voting members.He thought there was a structural problem.He wanted the County Administrator to do an analysis on what model would best serve Lane County.He commented that the City of Eugene has its own way of delivering human rights but Lane County has to be more concerned about the unincorporated and the rural areas.He said currently people on the committee have different levels of passion about how they want to proceed and it was in conflict with their model.He asked the County Administrator to review other models and not recruit and fill the positions at time.He could come back and report on what he believes would work best.He wanted to place the committee on hiatus.

 

Wilson thought they could have a declaration by the Board of the lack of ability for the committee to take action.She commented that seven vacancies out of 14 render them incapable of taking action.She requested a declaration that the Board recognizes that until the County Administrator comes back with recommendations to the Board.

 

Sorenson suggested writing that in a Board Order and bringing it back on the Consent Calendar.

 

Van Vactor explained that some people on the committee donít understand that the advisory committee is advisory to the Board.He said if an advisory committee wants to take a position about a bill in the legislature, they need to channel that through the Board.He stated committee members think the group is like a commission and should have independent authority.He said they could examine models from the other parts of the country.

 

Wilson said they would prepare a board order directing the County Administrator with a recommendation after studying the issue.

 

6. COUNTY ADMINISTRATION

 

a. Announcements

 

Van Vactor reported that he and Green attended an AOC meeting on court issues.

 

b. ORDER 06-7-19-1/In the Matter of Approving a Contract with Cottage Grove in the Amount of $15,000 to Perform an Economic Feasibility Study on Water Service Alternatives for the Row River Area, Approving the Process for Performing the Study and Increasing Appropriations in Revenues and Expenses in the Amount of $15,000 in the Department of County Administration (Special Revenue Fund 267).

 

McKenzie-Bahr reported that they are moving forward with a project that brings water (within two years) for the people who are on the Cottage Grove system who will no longer be on the system when the upgrades are done.He said there is the opportunity for a technical assistant grant that the County could not apply for but Cottage Grove could.He noted that Cottage Grove applied and got the grant.He stated the request is for Lane County to manage the money and get the work done.He said they have to bring it into the budget on the revenue and expenditure side.

 

MOTION: to approve ORDER 06-7-19-1.

 

Stewart MOVED, Green SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 4-0.

 

Stewart reported the people in Cottage Grove had been working hard on the matter.He noted that they had received 80 percent of people signing the petition to form a district.He thought it was going well.

 

7. PUBLIC WORKS

 

a. FIRST READING AND SETTING SECOND READING AND PUBLIC HEARING/Ordinance No. PA 1236/In the Matter of Adopting a Conformity Determination Amendment Pursuant to RCP General Plan Policies Ė Goal Two, Policy 27. a. vii. and Goal Four, Policy 15, Adopting the Plan Designation of Forest (F) and the Zoning Designation of Impacted Forest Land (F2) for 37.5 Acres Located in Section 32, Township 20, Range 2 West, Willamette Meridian, and identified as Tax Lot 1700 of Lane County Assessor Map 21-02-06, and Adopting Savings and Severability Clauses.(File: PA 06-5476 Symbiotic LLC, USACE) (Second Reading & Public Hearing: August 2, 2006, 1:30 p.m.).

 

MOTION: to approve a First Reading and Setting a Second Reading and Public Hearing on Ordinance No. PA 1236 for August 2, 2006 at 1:30 p.m.

 

Green MOVED, Stewart SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 4-0.

 

b. NINTH READING AND DELIBERATION/Ordinance PA 1190/In the Matter of Adopting Amendments to the Junction City Comprehensive Plan to Expand the Urban Growth Boundary to Include the Subject Property (a Portion of Tax Lot 1300 and a Portion of the Juniper Connector) and Redesignate the Portion of the Tax Lot From "Agricultural" Land To "Commercial", and Adopting Savings and Severability Clauses (File PA 02-5778; Safeway) (NBA & PM 8/27/03, 9/10/03, 1/14/04, 7/14/04, 1/12/05, 7/13/05, 9/13/05 & 1/18/06).

 

MOTION: to approve a Ninth Reading and Setting a Tenth Reading and Deliberation on Ordinance PA 1190 for October 25, 2006.

 

Green MOVED, Stewart SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 4-0.

 

8. CONSENT CALENDAR

 

A. Approval of Minutes

 

B. County Administration

 

1) ORDER 06-7-19-2/In the Matter of Awarding a Contract to HBH Consulting Engineers for Professional Services Related to the Installation of a New Treatment System for the Mapleton Water District Using CDBG Funds in the Amount Not to Exceed $103,000 and Authorizing the County Administrator to Sign the Contract.

 

C. County Counsel

 

1) ORDER 06-7-19-3/In the Matter of Amending Lane Manual 2.300(3) to Specify that Reimbursement for Premiums Paid to the Social Security Administration is Limited to Reimbursement for Premiums Paid for Part B Medicare Coverage (LM 2.300(3)) [Effective January 1, 2006].

 

D. Health and Human Services

 

1) ORDER 06-7-19-4/In the Matter of Accepting Revenues in the Amount of $1,983,000 From the Cities of Eugene and Springfield; and to Approve the Intergovernmental Agreement Between Lane County and the Cities of Eugene and Springfield.

 

E. Public Safety

 

1) ORDER 06-7-19-5/In the Matter of Delegating Authority to the County Administrator to Execute Intergovernmental Agreement Between Oregon Emergency Management and Lane County for State Homeland Security Grant Funds in the Amount of $155,000.

 

F. Public Works

 

1) ORDER 06-7-19-6/In the Matter of Reappointing Jody Ogle to the Roads Advisory Committee.

 

With regard to item 8.d.1., Green commented that there was great work among the local governments to provide human services.He stated this was where the partnership worked.

 

MOTION: to approve the Consent Calendar.

 

Green MOVED, Stewart SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 4-0.

 

 

9. MANAGEMENT SERVICES

 

a. DISCUSSION/In the Matter of Considering Creation of a Formal Trust for Retiree Health Benefits.

 

Kay Blackburn, Finance, reported that this item went to Finance and Audit. She recalled the County had promised retiree health benefits to certain employees depending upon date of hire.She noted in the past this obligation had been met by paying the premiums on a pay as you go basis.She added in the past, the amount had been small enough that it was manageable.She said that three years ago they had an actuary review their cost valuation of the liability.She said the project showed that by 2010 the premium obligations would be as high as ten percent of payroll.She indicated the annual premiums would go from $1.2 million to $8 million.She said in order to level out the payments and manage the cash flow, the County began charging a five percent of payroll assessment to fund the obligation.She recalled in 2003, the Board formed a dedicated fund to accumulate those resources and hold the five percent of payroll and pay the obligation.She commented that even though it is called a retireeís trust fund and is a dedicated fund, it is not set up as a formal trust agreement.She said that Moss Adams recommended consider formalizing a separate trust.She added that would be a separate entity from the County.She explained that currently the money is pooled and co-mingled with other County funds for investment purposes even though it is in a dedicated trust.

 

Blackburn noted the primary benefit to the trust is that there would be additional protection for the assets in the trust and they would be protected from County creditors and dedicated for those purpose of paying those benefits only.She added that they couldnít be appropriated by a board order.She added the other benefit is the ability to invest the assets at a higher rate of return and to see greater returns at a higher level than what the County could get.She noted the County was restricted to certain types of investments by statute.

 

Blackburn indicated the drawback of the trust is that there is no guarantee they would recognize additional returns as the funds would be invested in riskier assets.She added there would be additional administrative costs to run the trust.She said there would be trust fees, third party administrative fees, investment adviser fees, and the trust would be required to have its own financial audit annually.

 

Blackburn said that based on their projections of the cash balance in the trust over the next five to ten years, the trust would have to realize another 1.5 percent in interest to cover administrative costs.She asked if the Board wanted to formalize a separate trust or hold the funds in the current fund in the way it is established.

 

Blackburn didnít think at this point that a formation of a separate trust was warranted.She stated that the funds were already dedicated to the purpose according to Lane Code, they canít be used for any other purpose.†† She noted the Management Letter asked them to consider forming a trust.She said when she took this to Finance and Audit last month, she reviewed the letter with Moss Adams and they didnít have any problem with that.They thought it was a policy decision with the County about if they thought they could obtain the additional investment returns that would not only cover the administrative expenses, but would contribute more to the trust, and whether or not they want to provide an additional level of protection for the benefits.She thought the fund they have now offers protection.She said the funding going into the trust is not employee money.She said they are not collecting fees from employees.

 

Blackburn reported there are about 900 current employees who could qualify for this benefit and 300 former employees plus others collecting Medicare.She said there were about 1,500 employees who could benefit from this.

 

Wilson stated that one risk is the County having a large judgment against it and the creditor getting to those funds; which needs to be balanced with the risk that, if they do create a trust fund, the money is invested in something that loses money.She indicated that the County would have an increased liability to meet its obligation with respect to the employees.

 

Stewart asked if Blackburn researched other trusts and foundations to find out their operating costs.

 

Blackburn said they made a quick estimate.She spoke with Moss Adams and they thought investment advisory expenses would be half a percent.She got a ballpark figure on audit fees and she put in legal fees the first year only for creating the trust.†† She said she hadnít researched other trusts and foundations.

 

Stewart stated he is on three different foundations.He reported they had been successful with investments and took a conservative approach.He noted they had been averaging over ten percent.He wanted more research done on foundations and trusts to see what the returns and operating costs are.He suggested the Oregon Community Foundation could be a resource to set up an account.

 

Blackburn indicated there was no timeline and they could operate under the current fund for a number of years.

 

Dwyer requested that Blackburn report back to the Board in October.

 

10. PUBLIC SAFETY

 

a. FIFTH READING AND DELIBERATION Ordinance No. 7-05/In the Matter of Amending Chapter 3 of Lane Code Regarding Regulation of and Reporting by Used Merchandise Dealers and Eliminating the Secondhand Business License Requirement (LC 3.600-3.00) (NBA & PM 1/04/06, 1/18/06, 2/15/06 & 5/3/06).

 

MOTION: to approve a Fifth Reading and Setting a Sixth Reading and Deliberation for Ordinance No. 7-05 on July 26, 2006.

 

Stewart MOVED, Green SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 4-0.

 

11. CORRESPONDENCE TO THE BOARD

 

None.

 

12. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

Green discussed the legislation that would require counties (by the year 2010) to start collecting taxes on behalf of the IRS for counties who do more than $1 million in goods and services.He reported that yesterday he and Van Vactor went to Salem to be a part of the state task force developing a matrix for the courts.

 

Stewart talked with one of the presenters on the commercial and industrial lands presentation.He asked him if the transportation plan in the West Eugene Parkway area still accommodated viable use.Stewart said it was the presenterís interpretation that it didnít.He was concerned about Lane County having an obligation to update the comp plans and if they needed to do research at the County level to change the transportation.

 

Green said they had discussions about what the County could do in taking the lead on regional transportation planning as it relates to commercial and industrial land use.He said the City of Eugene needs to see how they are going to meet those issues.He said it is currently out of compliance because businesses were established because of the parkway. He didnít know if there would be a moratorium around building.He thought they might have to change the direction about regional planning.He noted that ODOT would issue a no build based upon the lack of support from the City of Eugene.

 

Stewart was concerned that they would have plans that would need to be redone.

 

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

 

None.

 

There being no further business, Commissioner Dwyer recessed the meeting into Executive Session at 10:30 a.m.

 

 

Melissa Zimmer

Recording Secretary