BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS'
January 10, 2007
Commissioners' Conference Room
Commissioner Faye Stewart presided with Commissioners Bill Dwyer, Bill Fleenor and Peter Sorenson present. Bobby Green, Sr., was excused. County Administrator Bill Van Vactor, County Counsel Teresa Wilson and Recording Secretary Melissa Zimmer were also present.
1. ADJUSTMENTS TO THE AGENDA
Stewart announced that Bobby Green is in Washington, D.C. this week. He will be joining the Board at 9:30 a.m. He noted that item 7. C.1) will need to be moved from the Consent Calendar and will become 8. b. Under Commissioner’s Business, there will be item 5 b., Board Retreat, under 5 c. Schedule for next week, and under 5 d. Discussion on Measure 37 update.
2. PUBLIC COMMENTS
Diana Robertson, Eugene, represented the Steering Committee of the No Kill Community Coalition. She wanted the Board to consider and pass a no kill philosophy resolution for LCARA as it will save money and lives and elevate the reputation of the animal control facility. She thought having the Board endorse a no kill philosophy would be the best way to send the direction to LCARA that no kill is the way to go. She stated that would mean no killing of adoptable or reasonably medically or behaviorally treated animals. She added that dangerous animals and extremely sick animals would still be killed under this model. She thought by doing this that the community would want to support LCARA.
Stewart noted that the Board will be having a Work Session on February 21 to deal with the no kill policy.
Zachary Vishinoff, Eugene, was concerned about the $47 million “that government is holding out on.” He gave reasons for the government withholding the money. He commented that donations by the governor are spiraling out of control and corporations are overruling the university. He thought that trying to take the fairgrounds is bio science and the YMCA was a good cover for it.
3. EMERGENCY BUSINESS
4. COMMISSIONERS' REMONSTRANCE
Sorenson commented that over 3,000 American soldiers and sailors have given their lives in the war in Iraq. He said trillions of dollars have been spent by the Bush administration on the failed foreign policy. He said they are about to mark the third anniversary on the war on Iraq and his view is it is a failed foreign policy that is about protection of the interests of the oil industry. He added that now the Bush administration is proposing to expand the war. He urged others to speak out to urge Congress to support the troops by bringing them home now.
5. COMMISSIONERS' BUSINESS
a. DISCUSSION/ORDER 07-1-10-8 Reducing the Size of the Lane County Fair Board Appointments.
Stewart explained there are two board member’s positions that expired at the end of 2006: Tom Hunton’s position which was term limited out, and Mike Schwartz’s position. He noted Bob Zagorin’s term ends in ‘08, Angel Jones in ‘08 and Steve Ward at the end of ‘07.
Wilson was asked by Fleenor what would happen if they didn’t appoint the existing two board members and keep the positions vacant until such time as the Board of Commissioners fills the position. Her response was that if the Board does nothing, general law indicates that the outgoing Fair Board members hold over until their replacements are appointed. She said if the Board doesn’t want to appoint from the applicant pool and wants to readvertise for additional candidates, then that should be indicated and the holdover members would continue until new appointments were made. She stated if the Board wished to reduce the size of the Fair Board, it has to be done by motion and board order. She said the Board always has the choice of coming back and increasing the size of the fair board up to the statutory maximum of seven at any time. She said the Board would have to decide what process they would want for the newly created positions.
Dwyer wanted to have the make up of the Fair Board as part of the Board’s retreat.
MOTION: to adopt Option 3, not making the appointments and having the discussion at the retreat and deciding how they would deal with this.
Green suggested that they suspend any motion and order until after the retreat.
Dwyer said there are two people on the Fair Board and they had advertised for that. He thought they wanted some finality and there are precedents for this.
Green stated if the motion was for Option 3 then he would not support it. He commented that there was nothing factual that would cause them to take this action like malfeasance or incompetence. He didn’t believe they fit given the current Fair Board. He didn’t want this to happen because of a conversation between Zagorin and Dwyer. He didn’t think this was good public policy.
Dwyer stated they were not removing anyone from the Fair Board. He said the people who they discussed had their terms expire. He commented that the fairgrounds belong to all citizens throughout Lane County. He said they paid for it through their taxes. He said he had problems with the Fair Board because they are unresponsive to the people they work for and the Board that appoints them. He recalled that they made an exception when they allowed Zagorin to serve on the Fair Board because he has a contract with the Fair Board. He said normally they wouldn’t allow him to serve because he does advertising.
Fleenor thought this should be regarded as good governance.
Dwyer indicated there are 36 counties in Oregon and only five have five member boards and 31 function with a three member board. He noted there is no statutory requirement that they have a Fair Board. He stated the benefits of having a Fair Board is that Lane County gets about $42,000 per year from the state.
Fleenor commented that this was an interim temporary situation and they weren’t deliberating the long term aspects.
Green thought they were talking about the wrong issue. He said they were talking about the composition and size of the Fair Board. He said they should be looking at the fiscal situation, the financial stability and the future. He commented that the Board of Commissioners had not given clear direction for the priorities of the Fair Board. He said the Fair Board follows the Board of Commissioners’ direction. He stated they are citizen members and if the Board of Commissioners doesn’t like the Fair Board’s recommendations, they should tell them. He added the Board of Commissioners would have the obligation to give further direction. He stated this was not in the public’s interest and he wouldn’t support the motion. He commented that this item was predetermined prior to Fleenor coming to the Board and Green knew this is what would happen. He said it does a disservice to the Board members who want to continue to serve. He said this sends the wrong message to the public.
Fleenor stated he didn’t share Dwyer’s perspective with respect to the rationale behind this. His rationale was based on good governance. He said it wasn’t predetermined, it was something that happened subsequent. He said this shouldn’t be looked at as a slap in the face to the Fair Board. He believed that governance comes first.
Stewart thought Dwyer’s motion was not to appoint new members to new terms. He heard it was option 3 and that this action was not in any way determined that the size would only be limited to three. He said option three would eliminate the vacancies and the reason for holding over the current positions.
Stewart couldn’t support this motion. He said if they are going to have a discussion about the make up of the Board that would be the time to discuss this. He recalled when he came on the Board two years ago. He had concerns as to how the Fair Board was operating and the financial status and the overall condition. He said he has discussed with Warren Wong, Fair Board that the Fair Board Manager had done a tremendous job in the past few years running the fair and paying off debt. He didn’t want this action to reflect in any way that they are not doing a good job because he believes they are doing a good job.
Wilson explained if they do not reduce the size of the Fair Board, whether or not they are “term limited” it is still a holdover situation that would continue until they replace the positions.
VOTE: 3-2 (Green, Stewart dissenting).
b. Board Retreat
Stewart reported that the agenda team is trying to set up a Board Retreat and they will be contacting the Board for dates. He recommended January 30 or 31 as the date.
Sorenson wanted the retreat to be on February 7 and wanted to do it in the board room so the public could watch. He thought it should take more than one day.
(Green was present at 9:20 a.m.)
Dwyer wanted to know the objections so they could work toward a conclusion. He wanted the agenda team to put it together.
Sorenson didn’t want meetings scheduled during the down weeks.
Fleenor echoed Sorenson’s statement regarding down weeks. He said he had prescheduled his entire year. He thought the agenda for the retreat should be established in advanced. He hoped the Board would allocate time and resources to put together a good governance package. He also wanted a facilitator.
Van Vactor announced that the Management Team will be meeting on January 30 and February 5 outlining how the budget would look.
c. Next Week’s Schedule
Stewart reported that next week the Board will meet on Tuesday with a meeting following on Wednesday evening with the Commission on Children and Families.
d. Measure 37
Stewart reported he spoke with Kent Howe in Land Management. He asked him how much support material should be in each individual packet for Measure 37 claims when they are going to be looking at 30 or more claims on a Tuesday. He said it was recommended that they have a complete set of support materials that would be located in Amber Fossen’s old work station. He indicated that will be for the Board’s review and there will be a second set provided in the Law Library.
6. COUNTY ADMINISTRATION
b. ORDER 07-1-10-1/In the Matter of Authorizing an Economic Development Grant from the Video Lottery Strategic Operating Reserve Fund in the Amount of $100,000 for Tyree Oil Company and Authorizing the County Administrator to Sign Contracts Related to the Project.
Mike McKenzie Bahr, Economic Development, explained that this is a request from the Economic Development Steering Committee to allocate $100,000 of video lottery strategic operating reserve fund to Tyree Oil Company for construction costs to build a new fuel distribution facility in Lane County. He indicated that this was one of two projects they are moving forward. He noted the second letter of intent was withdrawn. He said this would create a distribution network for alternative fuel in Southern Oregon. He indicated the project would create six new jobs.
MOTION: to approve ORDER 07-1-10-1.
Dwyer MOVED, Fleenor SECONDED.
7. CONSENT CALENDAR
BEGINNING OF CONSENT CALENDAR * * * *
A. Approval of Minutes:
April 19, 2006, Regular Meeting, 9:00 a.m.
October 18, 2006, Regular Meeting, 1:30 p.m.
November 1, 2006, Regular Meeting, 9:00 a.m.
November 21, 2006, Joint BCC/Planning Commission Meeting, 5:30 p.m.
B. Information Systems
1) ORDER 07-1-10-2/In the Matter of Award of Contract for RFP No. IS2005-5-01 for Regional Information System (RIS) Regional Data Backup Solution; Authorize County Administrator to Execute Contract Documents with Dell Marketing L.P. in the Amount Not to Exceed $600,000.
C. Public Works
2) ORDER 07-1-10-4/In the Matter of Awarding the Richardson Park Caretaker Contract to Sharon and Gary Gooch and Authorizing the County Administrator to Sign the Contracts.
D. County Administration
1) ORDER 07-1-10-5/In the Matter of Transferring $250 from the General Fund Operational Contingency to Materials and Services Within General Expense to Support the 2007 Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration in Springfield.
END OF CONSENT CALENDAR * * * *
MOTION: to approve the balance of the Consent Calendar with C 1 removed.
Dwyer MOVED, Sorenson SECONDED.
8. PUBLIC SAFETY
a. ORDER 07-1-10-6/In the Matter of Ratifying Execution of Purchase Order 227178 for the Purchase of Communication Equipment for APCO P25 Master Site from Motorola in the Amount of $3,298,623.
Judy Simpson, Sheriff’s Office, explained this is for the purpose of communication equipment for a master site located in Lane County. She noted the cost is above the authority for the county administrator to sign. She indicated that they received a Motorola proposal dated October 18 and they had not yet had a chance to review it. She said they had offered a discount at that time that was good to November 22. She stated they didn’t have the Department of Transportation Intergovernmental agreement in place at the time. She said the Board authorized execution of that agreement on December 13. She indicated that this was for all seven counties in Congressman DeFazio’s district.
MOTION: to approve ORDER 07-1-10-6.
Dwyer MOVED, Fleenor SECONDED.
b. ORDER 07-1-10-3/In the Matter of Electing Whether or Not to Hear Arguments on an Appeal of a Hearings Official’s Reconsidered decision, Affirming the Planning Director’s Decision, and Denying a Legal Lot Determination (file PA 0658431/Hogrefe).
Jerry Kendall, Land Management, explained this is a legal lot issue as to whether the subject property was lawfully created. He said the location of the lot is east of Springfield on McKenzie Highway. He stated that Tax Lot 400 is under 4,000 square feet and the lot is composed of two wedges. This appeal is only to the northern edge that is under 4,000 square feet. He said the application was originally denied by the Planning Director, appealed by the owner to the hearings official, and the hearings official approved the lawfulness of the legal lot. He indicated the Planning Director then appealed, the hearings official held a reconsideration hearing and reversed his decision and denied the lawfulness of the lot.
Kendall explained that the appeal is limited to whether or not the Board should elect to hear the appeal. He said the focus is on Lane Code 14.600(3) and there are four standards. He noted one issue is if it is of countywide significance. He said they think it isn’t because it is a case specific set of facts that had not been found to occur previously in approved partitions. He said if a similar fact pattern should emerge, then if the Board concurs with how the hearing official has interpreted the laws and Lane Code, they could use the same interpretation if the case arises in the future. He said another question is if this will occur with frequency and this is a site specific set of facts and they aren’t anticipating it would occur. He added the property does not involve a unique environmental resource nor does the planning director or hearing official recommend that the Board review the appeal. He said staff is recommending Option 2 to not hear arguments on the appeal, affirm the hearings official reconsidered decision and to expressly agree with his interpretation of the Lane Code.
MOTION: to approve ORDER 07-1-10-3 to accept staff’s recommendation not to hear the appeal.
Dwyer MOVED, Sorenson SECONDED.
Sorenson asked what the rationale was to approve this.
Vorhes said (process-wise), Option 3 was to not hear arguments but remain silent on the hearing’s official’s decision and interpretation. He said with the recommendation they are affirming the hearing officials’ decision and adopting the interpretation as the Board. He said that provides some basis for deference by LUBA when it interprets the Lane Code provisions. He said in this case it might not have that much weight because even though they are dealing with a Lane Code provision, there is also state law overlay. He said in this case there are interpretations of old Lane Code provisions that articulate the basis for the hearing official’s conclusion that they are not legal lots.
Stewart commented that through the Lane County’s process it was proven that it was not a legal lot and he supported the motion.
9. CORRESPONDENCE TO THE BOARD
10. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS
Fleenor announced that he was holding a meeting tomorrow in Veneta.
Sorenson announced that NACo was holding its legislative conference in Washington, D.C. in March and he will be attending. He noted there was a Lane County Energy Round Up on January 23 and a Climate Crisis Workshop on February 27.
Stewart congratulated Alicia Hays on her appointment to the 4J School Board. He announced that next Monday is Martin Luther King Day and the office will be closed. He noted that Heather Edwards sent the Board an e-mail regarding federal biofuel policy and asked for the Board to respond.
Stewart indicated that Fleenor asked to have video conferencing capability as soon as possible in Florence. Stewart said there is a question about cost and how it would be paid for.
Van Vactor noted that the cost for video conferencing is minimal. He said they would need to set up a television to provide public comment.
Sorenson thought if it was low cost they should provide an opportunity to provide public comment at other locations. He thought the public could record a three minute audio tape and play it at a meeting. He commented that technology was a way to stay in touch for the public.
Fleenor thought instead of audio taping they [the public] could submit something through the internet via e-mail He also asked to authorize a branch office in Florence. He said he would pay for the rental, furnishings and the liability insurance. He wanted it designated as a western district branch office for his use in Florence.
Dwyer agreed with the video conferencing for the people in Florence. He said the Board has 20 minutes for public comment and they don’t carry over public comment for one day to the next. He didn’t want to do any audio tape testimony. He thought that democracy requires effort. He asked if Fleenor had an office if he wouldn’t be present at meetings.
Fleenor said he was putting an official title to the office.
Dwyer said he had no problem with that.
Stewart thought Fleenor might have wanted to stay in Florence at all times and participate through video conferencing. He had a clear understanding and he was willing to try it out.
Dwyer thought they should also look into the Oakridge Justice Center as it might have the same set up as Florence.
Wilson explained that once they have the address for the Florence office she could put it in a board order and put it on the Consent Calendar. She said the office would become a place where they could receive service of notice and it would be an obligation of staff to immediately send it over to County Counsel.
Fleenor stated he has a full time constituent liaison hired that will run the office. They will have a group of volunteer citizens working out of the office under her supervision. He thought it would provide Florence with much needed representation.
11. EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660
(Commissioners' Conference Room)
Per ORS 192.660 (2)(h) for the purpose of consulting with counsel on litigation.
13. OTHER BUSINESS
ORDER 07-1-10-7 Settling the Claims with John Allcott.
Dwyer MOVED, Fleenor SECONDED.
There being no further business, Commissioner Stewart recessed the Board into Executive Session at 10:55 a.m.