BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS'

REGULAR MEETING

August 1, 2007

9:00 a.m.

Commissioners’ Conference Room

APPROVED 5/13/2009

 

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

 

1. ADJUSTMENTS TO THE AGENDA

 

The date on item 7. a) should be March 21, 2007

 

2. PUBLIC COMMENTS

 

Jill Adler, Springfield, said she is an employee with Developmental Disabilities and discussed the Lane County Bus Pass Program.  She said for the past several months they have spent their own personal time gaining support from over 140 employees within Lane County (both represented and management personnel) who also support them.  She indicated that they are aware of the budgetary constraints facing the County, but she believed that County support of alternative transportation for its employees is a wise investment for the future.  She said currently LCOG, the city of Eugene and the city of Springfield are all using LTD transportation benefits.  She noted that together over 44,000 employees in Lane County are using the LTD bus pass program.  She said by entering into an annual contract with LTD, Lane County could purchase monthly bus passes for its employees at a discount of over 85 percent.  She indicated that LTD will help the County design a program that fits its needs and can tailor a program to a specific site.  She stated that some of the benefits for Lane County include reduced wear and tear from automobiles, parking spaces at a discounted rate will be free up for others and could be sold to the public at full rate, and healthier employees with less financial stress will result in greater productivity. She said making the workplace more accessible will increase the diversity of the work place.  She added that Lane County will have credibility and respect by supporting its partner agency LTD.

 

Sue Barnhart, Eugene, stated that joining a group bus pass program will benefit the entire community by reducing pollution, reducing congestion, making the roads safer, and less cars equals less accidents.  She said it will reduce their dependency on non-renewable fuels and support Eugene Downtown sustainability.  She said they could reduce their part to reduce global warming.  She stated that Lane County employees will save money on gas, vehicle repairs and parking fees.  She added that the pass could be used at anytime, including for the University of Oregon Football games.  She knows it will cost money, but it might not be that much depending on if they can get a grant.  She indicated that they will keep coming back to the Board to push for this until it happens. She wanted to see all Lane County residents having a free bus pass and in order for that to happen, Lane County needs to do its part to set an example as an employer and a large governmental agency.  She presented a petition with 146 signatures.

 

Joachim Schulz, Cottage Grove, Director, Northwest Youth Corps, spoke in favor of the Board’s allocation of Title III Secure Rural Schools funding.  He asked the Board to approve the funding.

 

Ron Vincent, represented Lane County Sheriff’s Amateur Radio Operators, Inc, a group of FCC licensed radio operators that support the Sheriff in emergencies.  He said they are a non-profit group requesting Title III project funding to upgrade their radios in the 2007/2008 budget for public benefit and use during emergencies and training. 

 

Jim Gillette, Eugene, wanted to resolve this on a good note.  He said after last week he had many calls in support, stating the County was wrong in taking money from him with no proof or hearing.  He said a person should be innocent until proven guilty.  He said he has never been proven guilty.

 

Lauri Segel, Eugene, spoke on the Coos Bay shipping container operation.  She was opposed to the process.  She said the staff report concludes with the recommendation that the Board support the project.  She thought the information presented is unbalanced.  She commented the size of the build out is about 20,000 containers per year, less than the Oakland, California port. 

 

Peter Thurston, Eugene, said he has been working with the Extension Service on the Master Gardener Program.  He thought Spring Creek drainage needed some attention.    He said under Title III, he thought the Board could engage the community in enhancing the environment and retaining the water quality aspect by providing information about the broader forest issues people have to deal with in the rural areas.

 

Lorraine Still, Creswell, said their dog show is coming up in Eugene in September.  She recalled that last year two commissioners presented a trophy for best in show.  She presented pictures to Faye Stewart and Bobby Green.

 

Bob Still, Creswell, thanked Green and Stewart for their help with the dog show and for all they do.

 

Deb Frisch, Eugene, discussed drinking at Autzen Stadium.  She was opposed to all drinking.

 

Andrew Frost, Eugene, said he had a common shared sewer line with their neighbor.  He said he can’t find any records or anyone’s responsibility.  He said the seller didn’t declare to them that there was a strange sewer line.

 

3. CONSENT CALENDAR

 

A. Approval of Minutes

 

B. County Administration

 

1) ORDER 07-8-1-1/In the Matter of Amending Resolution and Order 07-6-27-3 Adopting the 2007-2008 Lane County Budget, Making Appropriations and Levying Taxes.

 

C. Management Services

 

1) ORDER 07-8-1-2/In the Matter of Authorizing the Sale of Surplus County Owned Real Property to the Splawn Family Trust for $1,500 (Map No. 15-04-16-00-00300 Located North of Hwy. 99 Near Harrisburg Bridge).

 

MOTION: to approve the Consent Calendar.

 

Green MOVED, Fleenor SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 5—0.

 

4. EMERGENCY BUSINESS

 

None.

 

5. COMMISSIONERS' REMONSTRANCE

 

Sorenson recalled there was Public Comment at the Eugene City Council about the waiting list to grow food in the Community Gardens.  He said that Governor Kulongoski is going around the state to promote Farmers Markets. Sorenson indicated that the Governor will be in Eugene on August 7.

 

Fleenor thanked the citizens of Florence for a successful showing during the Listening Tour.  He announced that tonight is the third Listening Tour.

 

6. COMMISSIONERS' BUSINESS

 

Green asked for Board direction regarding Northwest Event Management, the non-profit who is part of the local organizing committee for the Olympic Trials in 2008.  He indicated that he is on the Olympic Steering Committee and he received a request regarding the use of surplus office furniture that they have in their warehouse.  He said the purpose would be to expand the office space to help add staff to continue to do the work to get the Olympic Trials by getting the details worked out.  He spoke with Van Vactor, David Suchart, Management Services, and asked the Board for approval.

 

Dwyer was in favor.

 

Sorenson asked if this could be extended to other non-profit groups.

 

Wilson responded that there is a process that once they declare property as surplus, there are opportunities for non-profits to be involved.

 

There was consensus of the Board to move forward with this.

 

7. PUBLIC WORKS

 

a. ORDER 07-8-1-3/In the Matter of Amending Chapter 18 of the Lane Manual to Conform it with the March 21, 2007  Board Decision Regarding Fees in Parks and Exempt Designated Roadside Safety Rest Area Parking Spaces (LM 18.115).

 

Todd Winter, Parks, recalled on July 25 they designated 14 parks as roadside rest areas.  He said inside those parks they have parking spaces that exempt people from the parking fee for 30 minutes while they use the rest area.  He said this amends Chapter 18 so they can make the Lane Manual changes necessary to allow those citizens to stay in those spots without paying the $3.00 fee.

 

MOTION: to approve ORDER 07-8-1-3.

 

Dwyer MOVED, Green SECONDED.

 

Fleenor moved to make an amendment to change to volunteering from:  “By the Friends of Buford Park” to  “Furnished to the Parks Division to qualify.”

 

Dwyer SECONDED.

 

Sorenson asked if Winter could come back to report if the 30 minutes wasn’t working to change it in the future.

 

Winter said they are currently implementing the changes.  He thought he should come back in September 2008 to talk about how it was working.

 

VOTE FOR AMENDMENT: 5-0.

 

VOTE FOR ORDER: 5-0.

 

8. COUNTY ADMINISTRATION

 

a. Announcements

 

None.

 

b. DISCUSSION/Opportunity for the Expansion of the Port of Coos Bay and Connecting Intermodal Transportation Systems.

 

Mike McKenzie-Bahr, Economic Development, stated there is an opportunity at the Oregon International Port of Coos Bay for a large expansion .  He invited Jeff Bishop, Executive Director of the Port of Coos Bay to give a presentation.  He said this is to inform the Board what the opportunities are and where the Board wanted to focus staff with assistance.

 

Jeff Bishop, Port of Coos Bay, gave a presentation on connecting intermodal transportation systems. (Copy in file).

 

Fleenor was in favor of Option 2.  He stated he was cautiously supportive.  He was concerned about safety and the transportation of hazardous materials and the environmental impacts any derailment might have.  He wanted to know about the credit rating of the railroad and if they can come up with $150 million and when.  He thought the rail line would be the limiting factor.

 

Dwyer asked how they envisioned keeping the Port secure with containers.  He asked how they would secure the communities along the way from any mishaps that might occur.  He said he wasn’t committed to this one way or the other as so much needs to be done.

 

Bishop indicated there was a source of capital and they have opportunities for loan programs. He said there are aspects of this that are relative to scale for an economic impact.  He said there will be a lot of analysis that will have to take place.

 

Green asked if Bishop was asking the County for money.

 

Bishop said he wasn’t  He said they have asked the state to match $60 million.

 

Sorenson wanted the names and addresses of everyone so they could provide follow up. He agreed with all the questions asked.  He wanted an e-mail identifying when they would be able to learn the identity of the partners.  He asked what the relationship was between the container proposal to the liquid national gas issue and the possible use of the International Port of Coos Bay.  He asked if Lane County would have to redirect any federal or state transportation dollars to this project. 

 

Green asked what would happen if a majority of the Lane County Board of Commissioners didn’t support this.

 

Bishop didn’t know the answer, but he thought it would make the process more difficult.  He didn’t know if it would derail the project.

 

c. REPORT/Two Decades of Public Safety Levy Voting Results.

 

Terry Smith, city of Eugene, gave a presentation on two decades of voting results.

(Copy in file).  He said the Eugene City Police had just released a staffing plan that states in order to deliver an average level of police service in Eugene, it would have to be twice its current size.  He added that number applies to every unit of the criminal justice system in Lane County. 

 

Smith recalled that there were 14 elections and the County had won six and lost eight.  He said they were elections for operating purposes only.  He didn’t consider any of the capital measures regarding criminal justice.

 

Dwyer commented that levies have had a different track record than long term fixes. 

 

Smith explained that one of the advantages of a levy is it is a known product and the voters understand it well and there is less confusion.  He commented that the price tag is the factor in how voters vote.

 

Dwyer indicated the levies are paid through property taxes that are paid by a select few compared to general taxes like an income tax. 

 

Smith said the consistency of the results say it has to do with economics. 

 

Fleenor didn’t think it had to do with economics, he thought it had to do with lack of trust in Lane County government.  He commented that the citizens didn’t think the Board could spend the money efficiently and effectively. 

 

Green asked what message they could extract from the data.

 

Smith said they have the lowest funding for teachers and policemen.  He commented that there are different issues in Lane County that are different from Washington County and Springfield.  He said in Lane County there is one of the largest levels of political diversity of anywhere in the country.  He indicated that Washington County and Springfield can reach consensus in ways that are not available to all of Lane County. He said the County needs employee compensation.  He stated there has not been a fact based comprehensive response.  He added the cost of housing and hospitalization is expensive in Oregon.  He added that they are divided about the best approach to criminal justice and the division shows up on how they behave at the polls.  He said they need a budget exercise with a public process where the public tries to make it work.  He said the public will find out they can’t change anything.  He stated there needs to be more information and a more broadly based process for engaging the public for disseminating the information in the long term.  He said it means taking baby steps, permanent revenue, multi-revenue sources, and multi-year election strategy in order to have a healthy criminal justice system in Lane County.  He said they shouldn’t go for short term revenue.

 

d. ORDER 07-8-1-4/In the Matter of Approving Projects Under Title III of the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act of 2000, P.L. 106-393 for FY 07-08.

 

Christine Moody, Budget Analyst, reported that this is the approval of the Title III projects for the 07/08 Budget.  She recalled that legislation was signed late this year.  She said they are trying to get the process sooner so they can fund some of the projects that happened during the summer.  She indicated that since she prepared the agenda item, there was additional information where some of the projects will end up for 06/07. (Copy in file).  She noted there was an error in the projected Title III revenues.

 

Fleenor asked how this would impact their ability to go back into the budget negotiations in October making adjustments.

 

Moody said they have changed projects.  She added it is the Board who decides what the projects are.  She indicated that the projects they have this year are the Community Wildfire Protection Plan, Northwest Youth Corp, Mt. Pisgah, Lane Metro and Lane County Amateur Radio Operations and the Spring Creek Neighbors National Gardens. 

 

MOTION: to approve ORDER 07-8-1-4.

 

Dwyer MOVED, Green SECONDED.

 

Fleenor asked if the Board chose to fund the Amateur Radio Operator’s request, where the money would come from.

 

Moody said there was $25,000 left over from what was recommended.  She indicated there wasn’t enough to fund the request, unless the Board takes money out of the reserves they are keeping for unemployment costs.

 

VOTE: 5-0.

 

9. CORRESPONDENCE TO THE BOARD

 

None.

 

10. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

None.

 

11. EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660

 

Per ORS 192.660 (2)(h) for the purpose of consulting with counsel on litigation.

 

12. OTHER BUSINESS

 

None.

 

There being no further business, Commissioner Stewart recessed the meeting at 12:05 p.m.

 

Melissa Zimmer

Recording Secretary