BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS'

REGULAR MEETING

January 16, 2007

9:00 a.m.

Commissioners' Conference Room

APPROVED 2/7/2007

 

Commissioner Faye Stewart presided with Commissioners Bobby Green, Sr., Bill Dwyer, Bill Fleenor 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

 

Van Vactor indicated that Jason Davidson couldnít make it to the meeting from Portland due to the weather.† Sorenson suggested that Davidson be available by phone.

 

2. PUBLIC COMMENTS

 

Grace Serbu, Eugene, thanked the Board for the public safety measure.† She commented that the safety measure was the only way to correct the problem of lack of services for young women in care.† She thought they should fund the services that were proposed in Measure 21-114.† She supported the measure because the whole system is underfunded and there are no services for juvenile girls.† She indicated the measure could correct the problem as the service is already in the measure.† She said they need to pull together and finish what they started.† She expressed to the Board continued support for the measure as it is.† She commented that they know what went wrong and those mistakes could be corrected.† She urged the Board to correct the property tax breaks, to rethink the PERS issue by eliminating income for those over 65, and to make the title and explanation simple and understandable, then move it forward.

 

Liz Humphrey, stated she is the president of the Zanta Club of Eugene.† She said the objective of the club is to improve the lives of women through service and advocacy.† She said that Measure 21-114 failed because there was a lack of understanding in the community as to the needs and what it would have provided for women.† She commented that all young women are at risk.† She said they need to make sure every young woman knows there are services and places to go if something happens to them.† She stated they need a cohesive effort and the support of every organization in the community.† She reiterated that 21-114 will provide services and opportunities for young women. She asked the Board to continue to support the effort.

 

Lorrane Thomas, Eugene, stated that 41 percent of pre-teen girls are afraid of being bullied.† She said that one in four girls wants to leave home because of family violence.† She said 26 percent of teen girls who feel physically unsafe use alcohol and drugs to escape reality.† She noted that programs like Pathways will be jeopardized if something like Measure 21-114 isnít passed.† She asked the Board to give the public safety income tax another chance.† She commented that prevention and treatment are very important.† She stated if the measure doesnít pass they will lose more programs.† She added that the title and description of the measure were confusing.† She thought the Board should deal with PERS and make it a level playing field.

 

Zachary Vishinoff, Eugene, recalled that last month he gave the Board a flyer for LRAPA to issue Hyundai a permit.† He indicated that Hyundai is going to have a public hearing.† He thought the impact area was too far from the LRAPA office where the public hearing will take place.† He added the meeting room is too small to hold a public hearing.† He asked the Board if† they could help LRAPA find another place to hold the public hearing.

 

Stewart indicated he would be meeting with LRAPA and would bring that issue to their attention.

 

Julie McDonald, Dexter, spoke on behalf of the No Kill Community Coalition.† She reported that 70 percent of the cats who enter LCARA are killed every year.† She tried to adopt out more cats and helped with the LCARA Petsmart adoption partnership.† She indicated that it came about with the goal to increase cat adoptions. She indicated since the inception of the program in October, they placed 52 cats.† She commented that outside adoptions are crucial since LCARA is only open Tuesday through Saturday, and is closed on Sunday--a large adoption day.† She noted there are 13 volunteers who help with the program and they are important to the success of ďno killĒ in Lane County.† She stated the County needs to have a ďno killĒ philosophy.

 

Steve Carmichael, Creswell, recalled that when he was the Director of Youth Services they had a number of treatment programs that have since been either shut down or greatly reduced.† He said it is hard to meet Lane Countyís super goal of improving the lives of Lane County youth with the revenue they have.† He encouraged the Board to put the public safety measure back on the ballot.† He thought the Board had momentum to go forward, and the measure has a good chance of passing.† He commented that if the Secure Rural Schools Act doesnít pass, the Board should declare a state of emergency for public safety and enact a tax.† He thought the public would support it.

 

3. COMMISSIONERS' REMONSTRANCE

 

None.

 

4. EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660

 

None.

 

5. COUNTY ADMINISTRATION

 

a. Announcements

 

Van Vactor distributed an e-mail to employees explaining the two budget processes they are going through.† He said they will be having lunch with employees.† He wanted the commissioners to attend.

 

6. COMMISSIONERS' BUSINESS

 

a. DISCUSSION/Finalize Board Retreat.

 

Stewart suggested February 20 for the retreat.† He chose that date because the Management Team will be meeting the last week of January and the first week of February.† He thought the Management Team would be able to come back to give the budget direction.† He thought in the morning they should review the strategic goals and plan to have a report from the different departments as to what they are doing and any changes they see in their department.† He thought in the afternoon staff could leave, then they would bring in a facilitator and discuss topics to make sure goals they set two years ago are still appropriate.† He wanted to know what the Board wanted to focus on.† He said through the agenda team they could get those items to the Board.† He didnít think the intent was to have a work session or retreat to spend a lot of time on one item. He thought the only item they needed to discuss was the Fair Board situation.† He added there was interest to review governance models.††

 

Sorenson indicated that at the retreat he wanted to hear the County Administrator summarize what the Management Team did, so they donít take the Board Retreat and turn it into half a day.† He wanted to discuss objectives, governance, advisory committees, and revenue issues.

 

Dwyer thought the retreat needed to be about strategies.††

 

Fleenor didnít want to truncate the process to a half day.† His concern was whether they have any policy governance that works as an umbrella over the Strategic Plan and how they get the results identified in the Strategic Plan.† He thought they should see if they could provide the new Fair Board with better direction so they donít end up in the same place.

 

Green commented that he would be willing to discuss anything at the retreat.† He said they need to focus on the priorities:† financial stability and the public health building.† He was willing to pursue that.† He commented that the governance model is a leadership style.† He wanted to know what was currently broken with Lane County, given the current governance model they have, and the positive citations they have received on fiscal responsibility and efforts to be open with the public.† He said he couldnít get behind the notion of a No Kill Ordinance because it sets them up for failure.† He thought Measure 37 was a huge issue that should be discussed.† He wanted to get a sense of the working styles of the commissioners, how they consider a decision and how they keep the organization going forward.

 

Sorenson thought they needed to see how they could make the organization run more efficiently with the resources they have.

 

Van Vactor said they need to look where they have been so they know the goals and objectives.†

 

Fleenor thought the single most important thing the Board could do is put together a good governance policy.†

 

Stewart indicated that if they go to an off campus site, Frank Nearing of KLCC requested that it be where he could tape the meeting to rebroadcast it.† He suggested the Wayne Morse Ranch as a location.† He recommended getting a facilitator.

 

Van Vactor asked what level of staff participation the Board wanted.† He said he and Jennifer Inman, Budget Analyst, could provide any information needed.† He said it was important for Board to set goals.† He thought they wanted a smaller staff.† He noted another alternative would be for the Board to meet with a recording secretary.

 

Fleenor requested Van Vactor attend, along with Jennifer Inman.

 

Dwyer thought it was important Van Vactor and Inman answer their questions about the budget.

 

Stewart concurred with that direction.

 

b. ORDER 07-1-16-1/In the Matter of Lane County Deferred Compensation Plan Selection of Great-West Retirement Services as Third Party Administrator for Exclusive Plan Services

 

Jayson Davidson, Arnerich Massena & Associates, called in from Portland.† He discussed the plan services.† (Copy in file).

 

MOTION: to approve ORDER 07-1-16-1.

 

Dwyer MOVED, Green SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 5-0.

 

c. DISCUSSION/Revenue Alternatives FY 07-08.†

 

Tony Bieda, Intergovernmental Relations Manager, reported that there were two ways to approach a short term legislative vehicle in Congress that would amend a provision extending the funding for Secure Rural Schools for another year.

 

The first is a continuing resolution which, if the leadership of the house gets its way, will be a clean, continuing resolution.† He explained that means none of the earmarks or supplemental funding proposals that were attached to funding bills last Congress will get added to the continuing resolution.† He said, instead it will be funding of the federal government at the same level as last year.† He noted that expires on February 15 and the continuing resolution could be extended through the end of the federal fiscal year (September 30).† He indicated the House was stated they would abide by the wishes of the leadership of the house and keep the continuing resolution clean. He said the Senate is saying that the continuing resolution needs to have some augmentation beyond a straight extension of last yearís spending level.†

 

Bieda indicated the second way would be in play by Congress in the next 30 to 45 days, and would be an emergency appropriations bill for funding the war overseas.† He added it is a vehicle that gets additional appropriations added to it for natural resources like wildfire and drought relief.† He said House leadership is indicating that it is a more appropriate vehicle for this type of issue.† He noted the continuing resolution will have to be resolved before February 15, as it expires.† He stated those were the two windows of opportunity in stand alone vehicles to which they could attach a one year extension of the Secure Rural Schools.

 

Bieda added that Representative DeFazio and† Representative Walden introduced House Resolution 17, the same legislation as the Secure Rural Schools Act passed by the last Congress.† He said it would be full funding for Secure Rural Schools for another seven years, to 2013.† He added there was no companion bill in the Senate yet.† He commented that in all three cases, the window of opportunity to get something done in Congress that extends for one year or more is within the next six or seven months.† He said once they get into the fall season and the presidential election cycle, it will erode and be difficult to pass.

 

Green reported the strategy from NACo and AOC is that members are being asked to contact commissioners in other states who would have access to senators and representatives to sign on to HR 17.

 

Bieda reiterated that the availability of the continuing resolution as a vehicle for a one year extension will come and go by February 15.† He added Congress must act before then or the government shuts down.† He said they will know if they get a one year extension on the continuing resolution by the first week of February.† He said then emergency appropriations would take place in March.† He thought a stand alone bill would take until summer to move.† He warned this was going to be a monumental uphill battle.††

 

Van Vactor indicated that Bieda did research on effective lobbying firms in Washington, D.C.† He said there might be a recommendation to add more people.

 

Green stated he visited the lobbying firm and questioned the value they were getting for the money.† He commented that the Oregon delegation is on board with this.

 

Dave Garnick, Budget and Finance Manager, said management is trying to get more information about the retirement issues.† He noted Lane County received a lot of retirement income.† He indicated it was greater than he had anticipated.† He said they have more than PERS and the federal retirements, there are IRAís and other taxable Social Security.† He noted those three things together are 12.5 percent of the overall gross income for the County.† He said they will have to factor that in.

 

Dwyer asked what the value of the property tax relief was.

 

Garnick stated it was about $20 million.

 

Garnick distributed the Executive Summary of the election. (Copy in file).† He said there were areas mentioned as problems.† They were recommending looking at including property tax credit, the changing of the mix of services and not funding enough prevention.† He asked if the Board still wanted to do a charter amendment.† He said the ballot titles were mentioned numerous times and people didnít clearly understand what they meant.

 

Dwyer thought they could make changes so people would vote for this.† He commented that they need to be fair.† He said they need to define retirement income so it could be distinguished.† He wanted to treat all retirees the same.† He thought the age of retirement should correspond with the age of Social Security.† He suggested increasing prevention, including more for girls. He thought there should be a cap for it.† He commented that doing nothing is not an option and they are responsible for showing leadership.† He added if it doesnít pass then they would have met their responsibility and then the people would complain and the onus would be on the public.

 

Green stated he wanted to go out again to the public.† He thought the Board did have some responsibility around the ballot title.† He said the new money for the measure was in prevention but he didnít think they explained it well enough.††† He commented there really wasnít enough prevention that they would be able to provide.

 

Sorenson stated it was a mistake to have a charter amendment as it confused the people.† He thought they should ask people if they want to impose an income tax.† He added the property tax reduction components were confusing.† He said they could ask the public to levy a smaller income tax if they deleted the property tax component.† He said they should have a sunset with the ordinance.† He asked why they were rushing to put this on the ballot by May.† He commented that the magnitude of the reductions wonít be known until the beginning of the fiscal year.† He wanted to invite the public in to ask what their reactions would be.

 

Fleenor agreed about waiting to put this on the ballot in November since they wouldnít realize any increase in public revenue.† He commented that the proposed measure would not fund the Public Works component.† He said that needed to be articulated as it moves forward.† He wanted a logical analysis for a cap. With regard to a percentage, he wanted it budget-driven versus a percentage with a CPI/population growth factor built in.† He said they would actually look at a budget figure that the Sheriff could provide for public safety in todayís dollars and it is adjusted every year based on the CPI population growth.† He also wanted a ten percent prudent person reserve to weather any downturn in the economy.† He wanted LCARA to become part of the Sheriffís Department and have it fully funded as part of this measure, independently, so there is an adequate animal control system in place.† He thought adding LCARA might attract more voters.

 

Dwyer wanted to make sure a low income exemption is mentioned, as it is critical.

 

Van Vactor reported that when they met with Rick Lindholm, Lindholm Research, they asked about timing and the advantage of going in May.† Lindholm thought the people who voted would remember the public information campaign.† Van Vactor said if there is a successful vote in May, they could issue tax anticipation notes even though they hadnít collected the money.† He commented that even if they did get Secure Rural Schools passed, they might not have all the money to do all of the enhancements.† He stated that by having the measure in May, they would not interrupt the current service level.

 

Doug Harcelroad, District Attorney, believed the campaign made the difference between being close and getting creamed.† He said substantive changes in the measure were suggested.† He thought the changes needed to be analyzed before it goes to the voters.† He didnít know if adding LCARA was positive or negative.† He also didnít know how more prevention would affect the measure.† He commented that last time there was no organized opposition, but he didnít know if there would be in May or November.† He stated that declaring an emergency should be an option as they need some level of service if Secure Rural Schools is not renewed.

 

Burger noted the undervote for the measure was 13,000.† He thought if they cleared up the language it would benefit the County.† He thought there would be momentum moving forward from the past campaign and if they wait until November they would lose that.† He stated that they need all the commissioners behind this if they are to have a chance.† He didnít think waiting until the outcome of renewing Secure Rural Schools was a good idea as they were still an anemic county. He said it wasnít good for the citizens of Lane County to not try something now.

 

Dwyer said they are not trying to address a perspective problem, but one that is existent.† He said there is a real chance Lane County would look different.† He didnít think there was a good chance of getting Secure Rural Schools renewed.† He said if they donít do something, it would not be in the best interest of the citizens of Lane County.

 

Sorenson asked why they couldnít wait to go with another tax.

 

Lisa Smith, Department of Youth Services, stated she has to make a $400,000 cut from this yearís budget.† She said she has cuts taking place prior to May 1.† She said if Secure Rural Schools doesnít pass, she will close down by the end of April.††

 

Burger stated they are still releasing about 11 inmates per day.† He said his cuts this year are at about $1.5 million--and next year there will be more.† He noted that on or about February 15 they will have a better idea of how things will be.† He indicated that on February 16 if Secure Rural Schools is not reauthorized, they would be in the same position as if they had a ballot measure in May.† He said they have to get out to the community to make sure people understand the problems they face.† He thought they would be doing a disservice to the public if they waited until July 1.† He added if they do get funding, it is hard to hire deputies back, since it takes six months to train a police officer.

 

Fleenor said if they properly thought through the public safety measure and craft it carefully, they would have the support of citizens and do the right thing.† He said they need to inform citizens of what Lane County needs.† He didnít think they needed to mount a campaign if the measure was good public policy.† He said they have to come up with a good public policy that addresses the issues.† He thought the campaign was secondary.† He said they have to show people there is value added with this.

 

Dwyer commented that waiting was not an option--their needs are current.

 

Green asked if there was an outside shot that Congress could take no action on this legislation.

 

Bieda said the act that provided the money through the current fiscal year had expired on September 30, 2006 and there is no obligation for Congress to do anything to extend this.

 

Green commented that Congress could take no action and if they wait until November they wouldnít have the money.† He said they canít let the organization suffer.† He said he wants to take the action they need to take

 

With regard to the timeline for the election, Wilson said if they stay with what they did on the last measure, (enacting an ordinance and putting a charter amendment on the ballot), then in the election information they could discuss more details.† She said if the Board wants to do an ordinance, a charter amendment and a voterís pamphlet, and stay with the present down week schedule, they would need to have the first reading of the ordinance on February 7.† Then they would enact it on February 21 or put the charter amendment on the ballot.† She said if the Board wanted to meet during a down week, they would have about a week more. †She said they could put a charter amendment on the ballot and if they donít do a voterís pamphlet, the first reading of the ordinance could be February 21.

 

Wilson noted there is no state voterís pamphlet for the May ballot.† She noted the County has done a voterís pamphlet, but it only had a County measure in it.† She said a voterís pamphlet in May would occur at a time when all the special districts are having elections, and any candidate would be entitled to have their measure placed in the pamphlet.† She added they do not have a budget for the County voterís pamphlet and election staff doesnít have any experience in putting one together.

 

Green wanted to keep it simple.† He wanted it to go to the May ballot.† He wanted more information on the rate, including anything else in the measure, not just Animal Regulation.† He suggested leaving out the property tax exemption.† He wanted a ballot title that could be explained in ten words or less to the general public.

 

Fleenor said if they are going out in May they should not do a half way job.† He thought the rate should be retroactively calculated, based on the actual budget to fund the public safety measure.† He wanted to calculate it with the CPI and population adjustment.† He thought that would be easier to calculate than a rate and more workable.

 

Garnick said the assumption is as the population grows, there will be an increase in revenue at whatever rate they choose.† He said the CPI and population adjustment calculation is how their spending limit is set up.† He said some PERS and health insurance costs have grown faster than the CPI.

 

Wilson indicated from a taxpayerís perspective that it is complicated to do a budget driven income tax rate.† She said it adds a complication, since all other income taxes are pure rate based.† She said the question should be shall the Lane County income tax be enacted.

 

Smith explained that an important point for the business community getting behind this was that the money was dedicated to public safety.

 

Stewart commented that he wasnít opposed to raising money for the LCARA, but was concerned about giving LCARA to the Sheriffís Office.

 

Green thought the money should be used for dedicated public safety and the other issues needed to be explained.† He commented the programs they are administering and adopting are evidenced-based and not popular.† He said they need to do a better job of articulating that.

 

Wilson summarized that she would work on an income tax ordinance, not a charter amendment, with the expectation of a vote about an income tax ordinance related to public safety on the May ballot.† She said it would not have the property tax exemption; it would include animal control and the definition of public safety.† She would take the definition of public safety that they had in the charter amendment and put it into the income tax ordinance in a definition section.† She asked about the retirement income exemption.

 

Van Vactor indicated that the package would have the same description of services that the Public Safety Tax Force developed.† He thought the unresolved issue of $1.5 million for additional jail capacity going to Springfield could be shifted to prevention or treatment.† And they could identify additional treatment options.

 

Dwyer thought it should be left alone.

 

Stewart reaffirmed that the Board was moving towards May for an election.††

 

Van Vactor indicated they would design a decision tree to get through this.† He added they may need to have an additional meeting on a down week.

 

Sorenson thought the mix was a way to get people who hadnít supported it to support it now.†

 

Stewart said in trying to get out the information, they should get this done in February as soon as possible.

 

d. DISCUSSION AND ORDER 07-1-16-2/In the Matter of Appointing Representatives to Various Committees and Agencies.

 

MOTION: to approve ORDER 07-1-16-2.

 

Green MOVED, Fleenor SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 5-0.

 

e. DISCUSSION AND ORDER 07-1-16-3/In the Matter of Appointing Liaisons to Various Committees and Agencies.

 

MOTION: to approve ORDER 07-1-16-3.

 

Dwyer MOVED, Fleenor SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 5-0.

 

7. CONSENT CALENDAR

 

BEGINNING OF CONSENT CALENDAR * * * *

 

A. Approval of Minutes:

May 17, 2006, Regular Meeting, Following Board of Health

November 8, 2006, Regular Meeting, 1:30 p.m.

December 12, 2006, Jointed Elected Officials, 5:30 p.m.

 

B. Management Services

 

1) ORDER 07-1-16-4/In the Matter of Authorizing the Sale of Surplus County Owned Real Property for $16,000 Pursuant to a Land Sale Contract to Velma A. Wagner, Former Owner of Record, and Authorizing the County Administrator to Execute Said Contract (Map No. 17-04-27-11-09000, 236 Alva Park Drive, Eugene).

 

C. Public Works

 

1) ORDER 07-1-16-5/In the Matter of Accepting a Deed of Land to be Used as a Public Road Easement for Shoestring Road (County Road No. 1074) (22-04-35 & 36).

 

END OF CONSENT CALENDAR * * * *

 

MOTION: to approve the Consent Calendar.

 

Sorenson MOVED, Dwyer SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 5-0.

 

8. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

Fleenor announced he was having a meeting with constituents in Junction City.

 

Green reported he was leaving tomorrow for Nevada for a NACo steering committee meeting.

 

Stewart reported the South Lane Superintendent was interviewed for the National School Superintendent of the year.† He recalled that last November there were three positions on the Planning Commission open.† He said they elected as a Board to interview all of the people.† He noted there are 15 applicants.† He was going to make copies of the applications and narrow the pool to the top five.† He added that one position is a coast position and there was one person for that position.

 

9. CORRESPONDENCE TO THE BOARD

 

None.

 

10. COMMISSIONERS' BUSINESS

 

None.

 

11. EMERGENCY BUSINESS

 

None.

 

There being no further business, Commissioner Stewart adjourned the meeting at 2:50 p.m.

 

 

Melissa Zimmer

Recording Secretary