BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS'

WORK SESSION

March 21, 2006

9:00 a.m.

Commissioners' Conference Room

APPROVED 4/19/06

 

Commissioner Bill Dwyer presided with Commissioners Bobby Green, Sr., Anna Morrison, Peter Sorenson and Faye Stewart present.County Administrator Bill Van Vactor, County Counsel Teresa Wilson and Recording Secretary Melissa Zimmer were also present.

 

1. ADJUSTMENTS TO THE AGENDA

 

None.

 

2. PUBLIC COMMENTS

 

Merle Weiner, Eugene, stated she is a law professor at the University of Oregon and teaches a seminar in Domestic Violence Law.She asked the Board not to permit any reduction to victims of domestic violence.She said the supervision of domestic violence misdemeanants is an important strategy to increase safety for domestic violence victims in the community.She noted there is evidence from the people in the department how important the service is.She commented that studies show that there are often misdemeanor convictions and domestic violence offenders on probation who are likely to reoffend compared to other violent offenders placed on probation.She added they are more likely than other violent offenders to re-victimize the same victim to help achieve their conviction.She thought there was a need for domestic violence offenders to be supervised.She said that research suggests that recidivism rates were higher if there were no supervision for domestic violence perpetrators.She said the research indicates that probation supervision helps victims by giving them the space and time they need to get their lives together to achieve increased safety over the long-term while their offenders are being supervised.

 

Michael Maslow, Eugene, stated she is the President of Lane County Federation of Parole and Probation Officers.She commented that their member officers have the highest caseload per capita in all of Oregon.She noted an average caseload in any of Oregonís counties is 75 offenders per officer.She said that Lane Countyís caseload average is 100 to 130 per officer.She stated they were behind the rest of the state in implementing modern correctional techniques.She noted they had replaced 11 seasoned officers and the agency has serious safety training and supervision concerns.She indicated there is an increase of meth and weapons seizures.She said the question they have to ask is, ďCould they safely supervise domestic violence offenders effectively?ĒShe said they couldnít.She said county management had shown little interest in a safe working environment.

 

Jim Johnson, Lane County Historical Museum, reported that the Lane County Historical Museum and the Lane County Historical Society have merged formally and all required papers were filed with the state.He said he had been involved with the museum since the mid 80ís.

 

Jim Guistina, Eugene, reported the Lane County Historical Museum and the Lane County Historical Society merged effective January 1.He said in 1996, the County and the Friends organization entered into two agreements.One was a trust agreement to manage the museum and the other was a lease for where the building was located.He noted because the Friends is the surviving entity of the merger, there is no effect of the merger on the trust agreement or the lease.He indicated that after the merger, the Friends changed their name to the Lane County Historical Society.He said the Lane County Historical Society started in 1880 and has generated good will over the years.He said it is now more efficient for the volunteers of both organizations to be coordinated and managed by Bob Hart and for Board Members and officers.He added there would be reduced expenses.He said the organization is now a single stronger organization and their plans include future campaigns for a development of a new museum and new programs.

 

Van Vactor asked if the ownership of the collection and responsibility to maintain the museum changed in any way.

 

Johnson responded that the surviving corporation is the Friends of the Lane County Historical Museum.He said the disappearing corporation is the Lane County Historical Society.

 

Van Vactor asked if there needed to be an amendment of the agreement.

 

Johnson thought it had to with the change of the name of the organization.

 

Van Vactor thought they needed something to continue the obligations.

 

Jamie Moffett, Eugene, stated he has owned property west of Junction City since the mid 60ís on Ferguson Road.He said he has 10.8 acres and he tried to build on the property to conform to the current rules of Lane County, but to no avail.He wanted to move on the property to build a home and a shop.He wanted the Board to consider his claim when it comes to them.

 

Amber Murray, Domestic Violence Council, stated she was speaking on behalf of the Domestic Violence Council.She said a proposal would be submitted on behalf of Parole and Probation.She said the majority of the 370 cases currently being supervised are people who have created violent acts against their partner.She commented that when acts of domestic violence do not result in immediate consequences, the results could be preventable homicide.She said putting people at needless risk is not a responsible option. She said they had to prioritize the available tools for accountability.She noted that without the necessary funding they would lose the link of safety.She asked the Board to explore workable options.

 

Cheryl OíNeill, Junction City, stated she is the Executive Director of Women Space.She said that women have nowhere else to turn.She noted the most risk for women who are in a domestic violence situation is after they leave.She commented that if they donít have any protective system, she would not advise going forward in those matters as it is not safe.She hoped there would be a solution that would protect survivors.

 

Tina Morgan, Director, Child Advocacy Center, stated when they talk about domestic violence when children are involved, it is a felony.She said that last year they had 137 cases that came in as felonies.She thought the most expedient way to resolve those cases and hold someone accountable where the Court had the opportunity to mandate treatment is to offer a plea reduction.She added it is more than a public safety or womenís issue; it is a child welfare issue.She stated they were putting children at risk every day when they are within those homes and there is not adequate supervision or community support to allow for the level of safety that is required in those cases.She commented the cases are worse than felony level person crimes.

 

Kate Marvel-Lewis, Child Advocacy Center, commented that Parole and Probation plays a critical role in the community-coordinated response along with law enforcement, child welfare and prosecution.She said without the supervision piece, it puts women and children at risk.She commented that without them it would be a huge loss.

 

James D, Kiley, Eugene, said he is a representative of the Federation of Parole and Probation Officers.He said he was vice president of the local chapter.He said they couldnít do their jobs without enough funding.

 

3. COMMISSIONERS' REMONSTRANCE

 

Sorenson said he asked people around the office when the public would get a public hearing on the possibility of going out to the voters to ask for increased taxes to fund public safety.He stated the information wasnít readily available.He asked that the public be informed about that.He wanted to know when there would be additional public hearings and when the Board would vote on it.

 

Van Vactor responded that the current plan is to return to the Board with continued public hearings in May.He said they are waiting because they need to have another work session on what level to start the income tax.He stated that Dave Garnick, Budget and Finance Planning Manager, has been working on charts on the impact as it affects the rate.He added that he and Terry Wilson met with accountants from Multnomah County.They said that once tax season was over, they would meet with them again in advance of the final language in the ordinance.He said he would talk to the agenda team tomorrow to see if they wanted to set a date that they could make public.

 

4. EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660

 

None.

 

5. COUNTY ADMINISTRATION

 

a. Announcements

 

None.

 

6. PUBLIC WORKS

 

a. WORK SESSION/Review Process Requirements for Measure 37 Claims (LC 2.700 Ė 2.770).

 

Kent Howe, Land Management, explained he prepared a packet for the Board that laid out a number of issues. He indicated the main issue was value reduction.He did a survey of the Willamette Valley counties and the counties that surround Lane County.Of the 13 counties surveyed, four required an appraisal.He added the others leave it as optional.He said finding a reduction in value is important to establish that a claim is valid. He said the other evidence that counties use was listed in the report. (Copy in file).He commented that this was an area of land use law that was developing.

 

Howe noted the most common type of claim under Measure 37 is not based on an enactment of a new regulation, or an enforcement of an existing regulation in a way that was unexpected by developers.He said the typical claim involves regulations whose impacts have been known in the real estate market for ten to thirty years.He said enforcing the limitations of farming and zoning against the proposal to develop the land will not reduce the landís value because that value is based upon the uses where the zoning is implemented.He said in a Measure 37 case, a long time owner of farm or forestland must show that the original enactment of the land use regulation reduced the propertyís fair market value years ago.He noted the claim before the Supreme Court made an analogy that the valuation under Measure 37 was such that if a state confiscated $1,000 from a personís savings account for the purpose of providing a public benefit, and later decided that it was unfair, the repayment should include an amount to offset the lost interest as well as the principle.He noted that was all that was required under Measure 37.

 

Howe explained that compensation for loss under Measure 37 should be based on the actual loss at the time it occurred.He said a claimant under Measure 37 would provide evidence of the value of the claimantís property before enactment of the regulation and evidence of the value following enactment of the regulation.He said that hadnít been taking place in Measure 37 cases.He said most long-time property owners are submitting claims based upon what they would be able to sell their property for if they received a waiver, not what they have lost from the enactment of the regulation.He noted this was an estimate of the value to the property owner of an exemption from zoning. He said it measures the option that the property owner realizes from the monopoly caused by the continued application of land use regulations to all or most of the ownersí neighbors.He said it was an increase in value that is created by the land use laws.

 

Howe said with the enactment of farm and forest zoning, the opportunity to subdivide and build on two-acre parcels ended for all property owners in the farm zone, not just those making Measure 37 claims.He noted that all property owners experience whatever change in value occurred at that time.A claimant eligible under Measure 37 has the right to be compensated for the present value of the loss that he or she experienced back then.He said a claimant could calculate that two-acre home sites are selling for $75,000 and the property could be divided into 25 two-acre lots.He said that would be a claim of $1.8 million.He said they would subtract the current fair market value of the property for 50 acres at $8,000 per acre and there would be a reduction in the fair market value of $1.4 million.He commented that most governments are paying little attention to the computations. He said it didnít matter how much the land was worth if the state or County had no resources available to pay the claims.He said if they are not going to compensate, then it didnít matter how much the value reduction is.

 

Howe said after determining the amount of the reduction, nothing in Measure 37 requires the County or state to grant a waiver in lieu of compensation for an actual loss.He added that under Measure 37, it is the government, not the claimant that has the power to determine what land use would be allowed through the waiver of a land use regulation. Howe said the measure requires the local government to do something if it has been demonstrated that there has been a reduction in value, but it doesnít say how that is to be determined.

 

Assistant County Counsel Stephen Vorhes said the definition of just compensation is in Section 2 attached to the measure.He said that just compensation shall be equal to the reduction in the fair market value of the affected property interest resulting from enactment or enforcement of the land use regulation as of the date the owner makes written demand for compensation under this act.

 

Howe indicated that everything that everyone is doing would be ultimately determined by the Court as to whether they are doing it right.He said there are no guidelines.He said the latest twist in the way they calculate the reduction in value, is that it places some limitation on the Section 2 that the just compensation is equal to the reduction of the fair market value.He indicated that Section 8 states if they were to waive in lieu of just compensation, there is a reading that says they shouldnít be waiving more than what they had identified as the reduction in value.He said when someone is making a claim they could place 25 homes on a 50 acre property and the claim is $1.4 million and counties are waiving land use regulations, it might be waiving more than the actual reduction in value as a result of the land use regulation.He said there is a process in looking at the way they determine the reduction of value, it is more of a past exercise of what the value was when the property was acquired and what the value reduction occurred when the land was zoned.He said it wasnít a comparison of what the reduction is today.

 

Green asked how they determine equal value.

 

Howe responded the papers propose the methodology that was done by the OSU economist as a way to start to figure it out.

 

Stewart said it was hard to go back 30 years when there was no zoning.He asked if the person today would have paid that amount 30 years ago if they would know the regulations that were in place.He asked how they could go back 30 years.He thought it was almost impossible to try to determine that.He wanted to know if they needed to have a certified appraisal.He agreed they would need an appraisal if they were going to pay dollar figure compensation.He asked how they could determine compensation without going through the process.He commented they were bound by time and that the courts might fine-tune their process.He commented that they were not waiving health and human safety regulations. He added there is no guarantee that a development on a piece of property would even get approved.He wanted to put out information on what people are required to get when they file a claim.

 

Morrison commented that if the state is not requiring an appraisal, she didnít think Lane County should require one either.†† She thought people who bought property in the 70ís thought they would have a financial gain.She said to base that on something that took place 40 years ago would be hard to determine.She had concerns about changing too much of what they have, knowing that in the next two weeks to 30 days they have court cases that will be coming down with specific decisions that they are going to have to implement.With regard to the appraisals, she said she would waive them until they find out something else.

 

Van Vactor asked if they wanted some evidence that there is a decrease in value to the land use regulation.

 

Morrison thought that could be done without someone spending a lot of money.She noted that other counties were having a market analysis done.

 

Sorenson asked what causes the diminution of value.He asked if they were to modify, remove or not apply a restriction, if they were compensating them for more than what their value is worth.†† He thought the claimant should get what they believe they are entitled to and they are not throwing out all the work that had already been done. He noted that Measure 37 is specific to the landowner and not the land. And that conflicts with the law of real property.He thought there should be an amendment to Measure 37 to include the transferability requirements to clarify what the attorney general had said in looking at the intent of the measure.He said the proposal was rejected by the state senate.He asked if they could not grant rights other than to the specific claimant.

 

Dwyer responded that the issue was before the courts in Crook and Jackson County.He said they would have a ruling.

 

Vorhes indicated they had no ruling yet, but the issue is Crook County took the position that it is transferable, and the litigation is whether the local government does have authority in that way.

 

Dwyer said there was a way to ascertain the value of the property, but some people see it as a windfall.He said it is not the reasonable expectation they have to deal with, it is the unreasonable expectation.He said people want to get what they expected to do with the property they paid for.He asked how they ascertain the value of what it is they want to do.He commented that government needs to be reasonable and people need to get what they expected.He didnít think the government and the people who bought places had expectations.He wondered what the developer who developed the piece of property paid for the property at the time he bought it, compared with the value of the piece of property that could be developed.

 

Green didnít want to see the applicant going through a costly appraisal if their whole intent is not to compensate.He wanted a way to require an option that would state the restriction costs the property owner a certain amount of money, either in an assessed value or an appraisal.

 

Morrison noted they have four bullet parts to give direction on.She indicated the third one allows an applicant to provide a statement of reduced value as evidence to demonstrate a reduction in fair market value resulting from the restricted land use regulation effect. She said they could reserve the right to require an appraisal if necessary.†† She commented that a statement of reduced value would be like a market analysis.She thought they could also have a copy of the Assessment and Taxation information.She asked if they should make changes before they have any court decisions.

 

Dwyer didnít want to do anything that would be precipitated by a Court decision, as it is not requiring them to do anything.

 

Green asked what a statement of reduced value would be from a broker.

 

Howe responded from an economist standpoint, it argues that the reduction in a claimantís property value resulting from a land use regulation could be calculated by inflating the original purchase price to current dollars.He said they would subtract from that the present fair market value of the property with the regulations applied.He said from an economist standpoint, it was an easy thing to do.

 

Stewart was comfortable having a statement of reduced value.He said there were people who do appraisals for the state who donít have to do certified appraisals.He thought a good market analysis would show what was possible when they purchased the property as compared to today.He commented if in the past they could have five two acre lots and today only have one ten acre lot, there was a reduction in value.He said when someone bought property 35 years ago when there were no restrictions, they could do whatever they wanted.

 

Dwyer said if that is where they want to go, they could show that there is a difference in value from someone who buys farmland and someone who buys a development.

 

Stewart noted that people have two years to file a claim if a regulation was enacted.He wanted to have consistency with the appraisals.

 

Van Vactor thought the center of the Board was that if they get applications that include a market analysis that relates to loss of value to the land use regulations, they would waive an appraisal at that point in time.He said the market analysis has to be from some one in the real estate industry and has to involve sales of real market transactions, not purely assessed valuations.†† He said then he would recommend a waiver and they will bring the application to the Board.He commented that there was not a portionality requirement in the measure.

 

Green supported Van Vactorís recommendations about supporting actual sales, versus what it could sell for.

 

Howe asked the Board how they were on the role of the County and future legislative efforts.

 

Dwyer wanted to see things as the cases develop through the courts.With regard to advocacy, he said they need to be proactive in finding a way to be fair and mitigate the impacts of Measure 37 on the people affected by it and the people who had expectations of certain values when they bought their property.

 

Van Vactor commented they had a significant member of claims.He said they have expertise to the state and they should authorize Howe to participate in AOC working groups.He added on a substantive policy when it gets defined, it should be brought to the legislative committee to process through the Board.

 

Morrison said that an applicant should prove beyond a shadow of a doubt whether a land sales contract had taken place.On transferability and the affect on a neighborís property, Morrison said that the court would deal with that.

 

Stewart wanted to wait before they go further with processing fees for covering costs.

 

7. HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

 

a. DISCUSSION/Policy Choices for Parole & Probation Supervision.

 

Rob Rockstroh, Health and Human Services, commented that the issue about policy choices relates to the budget.He said in the planning they did, the choice to do domestic violence sex offender supervisors was low.He thought the listing they did was in error in comparison to critical life and health safety with issues relating to victims.He noted that Frank Ratti, Medical Examiner, did a study the past year on homicide and suicide cases in Lane County in the past seven years and tied domestic violence and homicide suicide cases.He said they are strapped for cash and donít have the same tax base as some of the neighboring counties.He recalled that when they got Parole and Probation from the state in 1996 they were mandated to take the department and they also accepted the current policies and procedures.He added one of the policies was domestic violence supervision.

 

Dwyer asked what percentage of the domestic violence offenders who are misdemeanants had been plea-bargained from a felony to a misdemeanor.

 

Doug Harcleroad, District Attorney, guessed if they had 137 cases last year at the child advocacy center, that about 20 percent of the cases were bargained.

 

Dwyer wanted to develop a program where they would have continuous supervision of any offender that was plea-bargained from a felony to a misdemeanor.He said it would cut the caseload by 80%.

 

Rockstroh still believed that sex offenders are high risk to the community.He noted there was no designated funding from the state to the Lane County general fund.He commented the work they were doing with domestic violence is at the expense of felony supervision.He said they have one of the highest caseloads in the state for the probation officer.He said their concern is felonies and they are trying to work with the court on a different process.He said they arenít getting numbers where they could drive down the caseloads significantly.He noted the Sherman Center was one of the options they have.He thought the community needed to come together around risk and the Sherman Center would be a good place to have a reassessment of risk and how that works out.He had concerns about liability and risk.He noted there is risk to the victims if they donít supervise the misdemeanants.He added there is risk to the population and they have to accept responsibilities that go with that.†† He said that part of the November ballot would include enough supervision to pay for this.He said they need to mitigate the problems now and that is what the compensation is for.He said they need to find a way to alleviate the high liability exposure with offenders.

 

Rockstroh indicated there was a list of options.He said they could do the status quo.He said it would be a problem and there would not be any relief for some time.He said that would put the County and the Probation Officers in a bad position. He said if they discontinue supervision and do not accept new cases, they could have problems.

 

Dave Williams, Assistant County Counsel, said they could have discretionary immunity for certain types of decisions.He said that was a tort defense.He said they could have the ability legally to say they were going to quit supervising misdemeanants.He said if a victim was injured as a result and came back to sue the County, they might not be able to defend successfully by saying they chose not to supervise.He added there could be some statutory obligation to supply some level of supervision for misdemeanant offenders sentenced to probation by the Court.

 

Rockstroh said there is a question of whether they have to provide supervision if the Court orders them to supervise a misdemeanant.He said if they prosecuted Class A cases, there would be some relief.††† He indicated that Option 3 would give a balance.He said they need a discussion on how they fund a lower level of misdemeanor supervision than Parole and Probation.He wanted to continue doing things with the Sherman Center.He thought they could have problem-solving courts, using a Probation Officer.He noted that a Domestic Violence Court takes place in other parts of the country.He commented that if there was more general fund or community corrections than the Sheriff or Parole and Probation projected, that some of that money could be applied.He noted there was about $232,000 set aside in unallocated community corrections money.He added there was some expectation of cost of living adjustments that might take some of that money.

 

Morrison asked under the Community Corrections Committee how they decide the money would be spent.She noted the cash that is still left was an offset for any reductions that they might get in any SB 1145 money that was coming forward.She wondered where the dollars are and how they are best utilized.

 

Linda Eaton, Parole and Probation, recalled in the last biennium there were significant cuts in community corrections.She said that was what allowed Douglas and Linn County to opt out and return to the state.She stated that the E-Board restored the money at two different times and the PSCC, the SAT and the Board agreed to not allocate all of it at once.She said they didnít have enough time in the last biennium to spend it by the time the April E- Board distributed the final allocation.She said they elected to roll over what the state allows into the current biennium.She said they have $914,000 over the current biennium that is additional money from the previous biennium.She added of that, $251,000 is still unallocated.She noted that is one-time money and that is going away.She said they could not consider that to be part of their base of community corrections fundings.She said it was important to spend the money in this biennium.

 

Morrison asked if they could use the one-time money to buy time with the domestic violence misdemeanant and the supervision.She added it would be with the understanding that once the money is gone, then the supervision is gone.

 

Eaton said it was a choice that the Board could make.She noted in next yearís budget there would be a shift in the general fund allocation between supervision and treatment services.†† She said there would be $130,000 in the general fund for Parole and Probation.She said until they know what the amount is, next yearís budget is not fully funded.

 

Dwyer thought they could have meetings about this issue with a combination of options that would be carried over to the budget.He didnít see them reaching a conclusion today.

 

Rockstroh said they have set up a Supervisory Authority Team.He said if they could solve the problem with budget recommendations, he advised using that group as a place to start.

 

Morrison was not opposed to the SAT group reviewing this and coming back with recommendations.She wanted this group to decide how they would reduce workloads.

 

Dwyer wanted Stewart to be part of that group, to review the budget, one time money and see what they could do to carry it forward.

 

Green wanted Rockstroh and Eaton to work with the SAT team, come back in a month and report back to the Board.

 

Eaton requested that they be able to give the Court notice that in two weeks they would stop taking new misdemeanor cases.She stated that Parole and Probation needed immediate relief.

 

Van Vactor thought that in two weeks they give the Court notice that in two weeks after that date they will cease taking new cases.

 

Eaton indicated it would be up to the Board as it is a County program run by Lane County.

 

Van Vactor suggested giving a monthís notice.

 

Dwyer wanted the language in terms of their liability in the Community Corrections Plan.

 

Morrison noted in public comment there was a mention about a grant, who administered it and the acquisitions that were made. She wanted that information.

 

Stewart indicated he would attend as many meetings as he could.

 

8. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

Stewart Reported on the Public Information Initiative.He thanked everyone involved for their hard work.

 

9.. CORRESPONDENCE TO THE BOARD

 

Wayne Morse Free Speech Letter.

 

Green requested a work session with David Suchart on the plaza.

 

Van Vactor indicated that Suchart had a series of questions and wanted to go to Policy and Procedures first.

 

10. COMMISSIONERS' BUSINESS

 

None.

 

11. EMERGENCY BUSINESS

 

None.

 

There being no further business, Commissioner Dwyer adjourned the meeting at 11:40 a.m.

 

 

Melissa Zimmer

Recording Secretary