BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS'
January 24, 2007
Commissioners' Conference Room
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
Stewart announced that 7. a. has a title change.† He wanted to add an item to Commissionerís Business, move item c. to b., and add a letter from ODOT.
Fleenor requested item 9. C. 1) be pulled off the Consent Calendar.
2. PUBLIC COMMENTS
Sylvia Calderwood, Eugene, said she is a member of the No Kill Community Coalition and the Eugene Kennel Club. She commented that the community is in support of Nathan Winogradís no kill solution. She said they are trying to improve the conditions of animals in Lane County by avoiding the common trend, limiting laws, and cat licenses and other notions that cause animals to be killed instead of neutered.
Rene Douglas, Springfield, No Kill Community Coalition and a volunteer at LCARA, gave a progress report of their work at LCARA.† She commented that volunteers and foster homes could benefit from behavior modification training that would make animals more adoptable.
Dwyer commented that changes need to be made.† He stated by not being open on weekends, people arenít given the opportunity to get to LCARA.† He added that they needed better reporting.† He hoped at the Board Retreat on February 20 they would be able to set guidelines and have more accountability.
Tom Reid, Springfield, stated he sent a letter to the Board about public safety funding.† He commented that while a local income tax is a bad idea, it seemed that a prepared food tax is a viable alternative.† He thinks there is support for the tax.† He thought this tax could bring in $30 million.† He reported that a 6 percent tax on prepared foods is usually part of a general sales tax and it is the most common way to raise this type of revenue.††† He wanted to work with staff on this issue.† He said they need alternatives.
Sorenson asked if they could have an income tax and prepared food sales tax simultaneously so the voters could have a choice of how to raise the revenue if they made a referral to the voters.† The ones that got the most votes would be enacted.
Wilson responded that she hadnít looked at that idea.† She thought it wasnít allowed under Oregon law.
Dwyer commented that this tax was a non-starter.
Green indicated that he talked to members of the Oregon Restaurant Association and they would have opposition to that type of a sales tax.† He added that the voters in Lane County have rejected it.† He agreed they needed an alternative revenue source but they would be on the defense.† He wanted to continue on the path they were going. He commented that a food tax is not broad based and would have impact on low-income voters.† He also thought there could be a serious impact on seniors and their quality of life.
3. EMERGENCY BUSINESS
4. COMMISSIONERS' REMONSTRANCE †
Dwyer stated that he watched the State of the Union. He said the President came up with an idea to give people a tax credit if they are not insured.† He said it helps the people who have money.† He said the President wants to make the employer pay a portion of the insurance.† He commented that the people who are getting insurance as a benefit will have to pay taxes and the rich will be able to deduct their insurance and the poor are still squeezed. ††
Sorenson reported that last night they held the Energy Roundup in Harris Hall and there were hundreds of people who attended.† He added that there would be a second meeting on February 27 at the First United Methodist Church.
5. COMMISSIONERS' BUSINESS
a. REPORT/Planning Commission Interviews.
Green reported that Jim Carmichael, Chair of the Planning Commission, presented a letter from the Planning Commission asking the Board to consider their recommendation.† He added that the chair of the Planning Commission would like to be involved in the interview process.
Stewart indicated they have two people who are eligible for reappointment.† One position is a coastal position.† He noted they had two applicants who qualified for that position.
Dwyer didnít have any problem reappointing them.
Sorenson commented that the difficulty the Board has with some of the boards, commissions and vacancies is an ongoing process of keeping up with the vacancies.† He discussed the history of the committees with Van Vactor.† He said when Lane County had a bigger budget, the appointments were more centralized and they had staff work on the openings.† He wanted for both the Planning Commission and the Fair Board (and others where there are specific openings that the Board would have to appoint) to be a group of people who the Board thinks will do a good job.† For people who apply for position, they could come in an advisory fashion with the answer of who should be appointed.† He thought instead of the Board spending their time interviewing the people, they could have people they trust to take a birdís eye view of this.† He didnít envision this costing money.
Dwyer thought for a five-member committee, the Board should do what they do for the Roads Advisory, where they each appoint a person.
Fleenor said they could appoint people based on the recommendations by volunteers who are willing to serve.† He said in a broader sense, with regard to governance, they should figure out what and why they are doing this.† He thought for the Fair Board they should wait until after the Board retreat when they come back with a process that they all agree is consistent, uniform and logical.† He didnít want a precedent for one process, but a standardized process.† He thought that was where a committee could come in.† He said they would be given orders, they would oversee the committee, but they would not be involved in every appointment that takes place throughout Lane County.† He wanted to defer this until after February 20.
Stewart recalled that they needed to reappoint the positions back in September.† He said they have two people who could be reappointed to positions they are in.† He thought they could do this without waiting until February.
Green commented that it sounded like they were forming another committee to do the work the Board should be doing.† He wanted to review the coastal person.† He said waiting to do something different has unintended consequences.† He said they need to be cognizant when they talk about delaying things.† He said they have a process in place. He wanted to accept Chair Carmichaelís recommendation from the Planning Commission.
MOTION: to accept Chair Carmichaelís recommendation from the Planning Commission.
Green MOVED, Dwyer SECONDED.
Sorenson said if they didnít want to make any changes in how Lane County government runs they donít have to. He said there is no requirement to make changes. He said this has to do with the Board making a change in the way it does business.† He said it is important they fill the positions.† He said his job is to vote on the appointment, not to interview everyone for every position.† He wanted to see the Planning Commission and Fair Board as high priority and have the commitment that they will do the best thing that is available that moment.† He was voting on the motion.
Dwyer said he would vote against the motion.† He said he would help institute a process.† He commented that the Board has a final say.† †
Fleenor said this has to do with the policy and the governance. He didnít see that timing was an issue.† He wanted to take the time to start the process and do it correctly to make sure they have uniformity that might have been lacking in the past that had cost the breakdown of several committees.† He said having a County Commissioner Appointments Committee would serve as a process so they could rise above the time-consuming processes and focus on some of the larger policy issues.† †
Green said they as a Board do not interview every committee.† He said they only interview for the Planning Commission and the Fair Board and they donít interview for any other committee.† †
Sorenson said they would inform the County Administrator of who they would like to be their recommended appointee to an appointments task force.† He said the task force would have the duty of recommending appointments to the Fair Board and to the Planning Commission.† He said this group would do it right away.† He said they would review appointments for all other committees.† He said their recommendations would be recommendations to the Board and they would be bringing a board order they would discuss and decide
Stewart recalled that at the last meeting he said they needed to appoint people to the Planning Commission.† He noted the previous Board stated in December they wanted to interview the candidates. He said they distributed packets and asked for recommendations for interviews and today they want to drag it out further and come up with a new process.† He asked what happens if they go to a Board retreat and they donít have an agreement on a process to appoint committees.† He was frustrated. He said it was hard to get direction from the Board and come back a week later and find a totally different direction.
Fleenor wanted to be internally consistent.† He commented his decision with the Fair Board had to do with governance.† He said it wasnít a matter of delaying the appointments, but coming up with a process that satisfies his need for governance, consistent with the precedent he had already set. †He hoped to have better governance through the Board retreat.
VOTE: 2-3 (Dwyer, Fleenor and Sorenson dissenting).† MOTION FAILED.
Stewart indicated that this would be a topic at the Board retreat.† He hoped that at the end of the retreat there would be some clear guidance to restructure committees.
Sorenson asked if the people who are appointed to the Planning Commission by the Board and whose terms have expired continue in office.
Wilson responded that general common law states that they are held over until their replacement is appointed and qualified. †
Green hoped there would be a level of communication conveyed to the chair of the Planning Commission that the recommendation was not accepted.† He said there are three vacancies on the Planning Commission.
Fleenor said with the Carmichael letter, he didnít think it was appropriate for them to state they rejected his recommendations.† He said they were deferring them.
Green indicated that Carmichaelís letter was voted down.
Fleenor said it was a vote to defer this recommendation.† With regard to common general law, he wanted more specificity in citing statutory procedures.
b. REPORT BACK/Board Retreat.
Stewart secured the Wayne Morse Ranch and the retreat will take place on February 20, 2007 at 9:00 a.m.† He said lunch would be provided.† He chose Joe Hertzberg as the facilitator.† He said Hertzberg would try to meet with each commissioner so he has an idea of where everyone stands.† He said the topics are committees, the Fair Board, revenue and budget cut topics and governance.
c. Letter from ODOT
Stewart reported that Jeff Scheik, ODOT, wanted a letter of support similar to the one that the Metropolitan Policy Committee wrote in support of $3.5 million that would be applied to the I-5 Beltline Phase 2 project.† He said the money is residue money from the West Eugene Parkway.
MOTION: to send a letter.
Dwyer MOVED, Sorenson SECONDED.
d. REPORT/Revenue Alternatives.
Tony Bieda, Intergovernmental Relations Manager, reported that there was a request from Peter DeFazio for a more specific creation of the potential impact of the lapse of county payments and Secure Rural Schools on Lane County.† He said that each department that currently receives general fund support develops a scenario on the basis of not having the general fund support at that magnitude.† He said from the U.S. Forest Service component of the act,† Public Works developed a likewise scenario based on the assumption that funding would lapse.† He provided a list of potential scenarios that describe the magnitude and the kinds of full programs and services that their individual departments would have to forego if they were to absorb the full impact of the lapse of the money. He discussed the list. (Copy in file).
Dwyer wanted a list of all the discretionary programs in the general fund that would go away.† He wanted those as related to the Secure Rural Schools aspect.
Van Vactor indicated they would have that list after the January 30 Management Team meeting.
Sorenson wanted to make sure that they included the Title II, Title III and the school money as part of the report to Congress.
Dwyer suggested that along with a letter that outlines what their direct losses are, that they send a copy of the video that shows how stringent Lane County is in meeting the true intent of the law for Title II and Title III funds.
Sorenson asked if they were sending this letter to the rest of the congressional delegation.
Bieda explained the request came from Representative De Fazio and Congressman. Walden.† He indicated they were going to try to remonstrate from the floor of the House this week.† He will send the additional information in a letter that will be copied to DeFazio, Smith and Wydenís office.
Sorenson asked about the update on the resolutions.
Bieda reported the continuation resolution was still being worked on and they donít anticipate it will be completed until the second week of February.† He added that it expires on February 15. He said the House of Representatives think the continuing resolution should be clean and not have additional earmarks or funding mechanisms placed on it.† He thought the House was leaning more toward adding a one-year extension to this program on the emergency appropriations supplemental appropriations bill that would come after Congress has resolved the issues on the continuing resolution.† He said the Senate wanted the earmarks to be included in the continuing resolution and keep the appropriations bill clean.† He said they will know if the continuing resolution would be a vehicle for a one-year extension by the second week in February.† He didnít think they would know about the emergency appropriations until early March.
Sorenson commented that getting the money authorized prior to any drop dead date in Lane Countyís budget is the most important thing the Board could do.† He said he would be going to Washington, D.C. to do what he could do to get the money reauthorized. He stated they need a long-term strategy.
Fleenor asked about the requirement to find offsets to any of the options.
Bieda said the requirement to attach a viable offset to any reauthorization or extension was still a requirement of the budget resolution by the last Congress and that one is still in play.† He said they assume they would need to identify a new revenue source or an enhanced review source and set aside a portion of that to fund the program. He thought it would be a continuing resolution,† an emergency supplemental or stand alone bill.† He said that would require going through the committee process.
Wilson stated she consulted with a number of people to pull an ordinance together.† She said the framework is based on the income tax that was presented to the voters in November.† She indicated that the decisions that were made earlier were the basis for the changes.
With regard to the mix of services, Wilson assumed the Board intended to replace the non-road fund component of Secure Rural Schools that funds County general services with the income tax.† She recalled the November tax measure assumed $21.1 million in the general and special fund that supports public safety and general government.† She asked if the Board wanted that level of funding replaced by the income tax.† She asked if the Board wanted to include new programs.† (Attachment A, copy in file).
Van Vactor commented it was called new programs, but most are restoration of prior service levels.
With regard to Option 3, Wilson recalled the Board asked that the prevention program community meet with Alicia Hays for some possible changes to what had been the focused program budget.† She did that and they came back with recommendations within the budget figure under the goal to reduce family violence and prevention programs with the understanding that prevention is actually interwoven through a large portion of Attachment A.† She added when they discuss prevention, it relates to public safety.
Wilson explained that Option 4 discusses treatment programs. She recalled the Board wanted to have the Sheriff, Health and Human Services and the Department of Youth Services review treatment additions.† She said they met and came back with a list of $974,000 worth of treatment program additions that would be additions to the focused budget.
Wilson indicated Option 5 is funding for Animal Regulation Authority.† She said they looked at replacing the current general fund transfer to animal control with income tax revenue.† She said there is an option to increase the hours open to the public.† She added there was a capital cost for adding additional kennels and a staffing cost for them.† †
Wilson explained that Issue 2 relates to the retirement reduction.† She indicated state law prohibits taxing PERS distribution, and federal law prohibits discrimination against federal retirees.† She added that Option 6 shows what would happen if they expanded the deduction for those who receive federally recognized retirement pensions.† She indicated if the federal government has a tax exempt status for money going into pension plans, it is tax exempt when the money comes in and it is taxed when it comes out..† She said it is reported on the federal form 1040 at line 16 b) and is taxed by the state.† She commented that this option is the most similar to the exemption for the PERS and FIRS retirees.† She said it would reduce the yield by approximately $2.14 million.† She added the combination of the retirement exemption, combined with PERS and FIRS would mean an income yield reduction of about $4.8 million. She said an alternative is Option 7.† She said Option 7 deducts $27,515 for all people over age 59.† She said that age was chosen as it was the average age for PERS retirees. †
Dwyer stated that he wanted fairness.† He said they need to treat everyone alike.† He said they could tax the PERS retireesí income from investments, but with retirement income, they need to accept the federal definition of pension and treat everybody alike, or they will be accused of what they did before.
Wilson said Option 8 asks if it should apply to all income earned in a year beginning in a tax filerís year on or after January 1, 2007.† She said it would be easy to administer as it would apply in the same tax year for federal and state.† She added that it would provide the greatest amount of revenue.† She said the downside is that people donít like retroactivity.† She said because there would have not been withholding from January until the tax is enacted, the withholding might not be sufficient to support the programs, and the amount might need to be increased and then dropped.† She commented that it could have potential for negative reaction
With regard to Option 9, Wilson said they would apply it to all income earned in any tax year that begins on or after July 1. She said it would avoid any retroactivity question but the downside is that most personal income tax payers donít start their tax year on July 1, they start in January.† She commented that most people wouldnít pay this tax until the tax year beginning January 1, 2008.† She said it would have a negative effect on the revenue stream She added if they want to continue the programs that are presently funded, it would cause the tax rate to be higher.
Wilson said Option 10 would apply to all income earned on or after July 1, 2007.† She said it would avoid retroactivity, but it would drive taxpayers to calculate their entire income tax a second time.† She thought it would increase the revenue stream, but it would be a burden on the taxpayer.† She added it could run the risk of tax manipulation.
Wilson explained that Option 11 would apply the tax to income earned in a tax year that begins on or after January 1, 2007, but for those whose tax year is a calendar basis, it would be at half the tax rate.† She said it would be easy to calculate and administer, and withholding would be the same.† She didnít know if the withholdings that begin July 1 would be sufficient to support the existing programs.† She said the effect would be a reduction in income tax owed in April.
With regard to the property tax and the renter relief, Wilson said that Option 12 is to confirm the removal of the property tax credit.† She asked if the Board wanted the same treatment for Option 13, for renter relief credit.† She added Issue 5 was stabilized funding for public safety. She said it would be for a dedicated percentage of property tax revenue for public safety.† She noted the November measure was premised on the Public Safety Department being in a dedicated fund and that dedicated fund would receive a combination of the Secure Rural Schools funding, income tax, and property tax revenue equal to the income tax credit.† She indicated the revenue streams in the dedicated fund would provide stability for sustained public safety. She added it had a side benefit that the remaining general fund programs would be on the remaining property tax and they would end up being stabilized. She asked if they wanted to move the departments into a dedicated fund concept so they have the income and property tax revenues as their stabilization.† She asked if so, if they still the goal of stabilizing the remaining programs on the general fund had.† She recalled that Secure Rural Schools funding permeates the organization, not just public safety.† She said Option 15 asks the question about the dedicated funds.† She said it was a reserve of ten percent of the annual tax revenues.† She said the speed with which they build the reserve and the amount they set affects the income tax rate. She said that Issue 6 was a revisiting of the question if they make the decision, if the Board was comfortable with staff coming back and informing them on what the tax rate would be.† She recommended doing it to a tenth of a percent.
Fleenor commented that his participation today was not an approval of putting this on the ballot.† He noted it was just information gathering.
Sorenson distributed information about replacing the federal funds. (Copy in file).
Dwyer did not agree with the information Sorenson distributed.† He commented that they had already made the tax progressive as they exempt pension and low income.† He wanted to keep all retirees alike and exempt low-income people and everyone else pay their fair share based on their income.†† He didnít want to have the rate go beyond two percent.
With regard to the addition of LCARA, page 2 option 5, David Suchart, Management Services, said he and Mike Wellington, LCARA made some assumptions.† He presented a series of options. (Copy in file).† He said the number based without drawings is $275,000. He said if they add the additional kennels but donít extend the hours and keep them the same, the ongoing cost would be between $64,000 and $3,500.† He said they made no decisions about which policy direction the Board wants to go.
Van Vactor asked if they could finalize an annualized income stream to support the capital to bond it.
Suchart indicated that was subject to change based on having an architect come in.† He said they would be adding the kennel and HVAC.† He said there was some contingency money.
Fleenor commented that the current LCARA facility is over 30 years old and it is in poor shape.† He asked by adding 30 kennels to a 30 year old facility if they were throwing good money out with the bad.
Suchart said if he could he would build a new facility because the problem is not just the kennels, it is the animals coming through one entry.† †
Green† thought a new facility could be discussed at the Board retreat.† He said they have choices and it depends upon the priorities they will set.† He didnít know if adding this would get more support.† He wanted to make sure what they did was carefully crafted, makes sense, and could be explained in 25 words or less.
With regard to Issue 1, Option 1, mix of services, Green was in agreement.† He was also in agreement with Option 15.
Fleenor asked if they went with Option 1 and the Secure Rural Schools Act is funded to $21 million, if there would be an automatic decrease in the income tax revenue articulated in the option.
Dwyer wanted to include all the options to make the tax no more than two percent to maximize it and make what they would levy contingent upon what happens at the congressional level. †
Wilson said she could write that in but there is a timeframe component that affects the withholding and how the taxpayers calculate their tax.
Sorenson suggested deleting income tax on Option 1 so they are looking for local revenue that would bring in $21 million to the general and special reserve fund.† †
Wilson indicated the memo is premised on the income tax, and what was consistent with the November measure was the revenue off the income tax being dedicated.
Sorenson asked if they would be seeking the $7 million the rural schools would lose if Congress failed to renew the Secure Rural Schools.† He asked why they wouldnít include the $7 million.
Van Vactor said they would need to do research because the state has equalization and a formula.† He said that any new money would get processed through the state formula.† He said the goal would be to get the money to Lane Countyís schools.
Dwyer said he is worried about the services they have to provide.† He was willing to put something out to fix the services but to be all-inclusive is beyond what he wanted to do.† He said if the money doesnít come from the formula, the only way they could benefit the children would be to not give it to schools.† He said if they give it to schools, the state reduces their amount.† He thought it would be reaching to include $7 million for schools.
With regard to Option 1, Stewart asked if a majority of the Board thought they needed to replace the money they were losing from Secure Rural Schools.† He noted the only option they have at present is an income tax.
Fleenor indicated he would only do it as a proposal, not a vote to approve.† He said for him to make a decision, he has to see the whole package, not just one item at a time.
Sorenson said if the purpose is to replace Secure Rural Schools funding, then they are not replacing the funding if they leave out schools or youth.† He didnít agree the $21 million would cover it.
Sorenson said with Option 1 they could replace the non-road fund part with a tax.† He said that Option 2 introduces a new topic with new programs.† He wanted to expand it but not just in the public safety arena.
Dwyer favored a cap of two percent that would levy what they would need.† He said it would depend if Congress renews the Secure Rural Schools Act.† He said even with Secure Rural Schools they are anemic.
Green commented Issue 1 is reaffirmations of what they had done before.† He wanted clarity around the programs.† He thought the only new issues would be Option 4 and 5, treatment for girls.† He thought there was still money for prevention.
Sorenson asked what number of additional beds would be purchased under Attachment A.
Russ Burger, Sheriff,† responded that $1.5 million was to buy additional capacity.† He said there werenít a set number of violators or offenders that would be held in custody.† He said based upon the population of Lane County, they should have between two and two and a half beds per thousand to hold people accountable for the crimes they commit and to have the opportunity to sanction people who violate the terms of their parole.† He stated they need about 830 beds and they currently have 500.†† †
Fleenor commented that the citizens are not ready, as they said no.† He thought the voters would expect that they would keep the County whole with regard to the Secure Rural Schools but he didnít think the new programs would be embraced.† With regard to Options 1 to 5, he indicated that under Option 2 under resident deputies that they have two permanent resident deputies assigned to Florence.† He wanted it in writing and adjusted for population growth.† He said that under Attachment A, he recommended a new goal created for a permanent performance auditor with access to all agencies.† He said it would provide accountability and credibility as they move forward.† †
With regard to Attachment A, Lisa Smith, Department of Youth Services,† said they have maximized use of existing juvenile detention capacity. She said it wasnít a good description because what was planned for those beds was secure treatment.† She said if they move it to treatment programs, it changes the total and more accurately reflects where the† County had been low in treatment. †
Wilson thought it could cause an employment law problem by saying they need a particular position. She indicated a better approach is to write into the ordinance language that one of the pieces of administration would be including regular performance audits.† †
Dwyer said micromanaging the Sheriffís Department is not part of the Boardís function.† He commented the only recommendation they have is budgetary.† With regard to dealing with the function, he thought the performance auditor was essential.† He wanted to treat all pensions alike and exempt the first $20,000.† He didnít want any progressive tax.† He wanted to maximize the tax at two percent.† He also wanted to make the adjustments levy just what they need.
Sorenson asked how many resident deputies would be created by the $1,077,000.
Wilson thought there would be about seven positions.
Sorenson didnít see how they could put two resident deputies with the budget they have in one-fourth of the population of the Florence area and not have a disproportionate impact on the other rural districts.
Doug Harcleroad, District Attorney, reported the number of resident deputies was a debated item by all of the cities, the county commissioners, the sheriff and him.† He believed that Commissioner Stewart was thinking about the initial package.† He said there were some people concerned about funding patrol in rural Lane County with the measure.† He said they settled on resident deputies.† †
Stewart recalled there was no support among the task force or the cities to support any type of patrols and enhanced patrols for the measure for rural Lane County.† He said the only way to get it through was to settle on the resident deputies and the agreement among the group was the Sheriff would determine where it made most sense population and crime-wise, and he would locate those resident deputies with his expertise.
Fleenor stated that things have changed in Florence and they have a new police chief who wants resident deputies.† He hoped they would get one in the western district and one on the eastern district of West Lane County.
Van Vactor said the Board might want a work session on Exhibit A.† He indicated this is an ordinance and the Board has the ability to change it.
Sorenson indicated the amount on Attachment A is $15 million without adding any more resident deputies. He thought if they overdo this there would be additional pushback from him and constituents.† He said if they change one aspect it would affect the total package.
Green commented that this figure is not a true cost but to get them back to where they were a few years ago.† He said it costs to have staff supervise offenders in the jail.
Stewart reiterated that they want Option 1, including Secure Rural Schools.† He said they want Option 2, but there might be some fine-tuning.† He said Option 3 was revised prevention programs and it is being recommended.† He said Option 4 was the enhancement for prevention adding girls.† He said Option 5 would be about $950,000.
Wilson said if they want a focus programmed budget to achieve goals to 2012, they could do a revision on a similar document as an attachment to the ordinance.† †
With regard to Option 5 and LCARA, Fleenor was concerned about the lack of a goal driven process. He said they are looking to assign a dollar amount to a process that many feel is broken. He said they need to get to an all adopted philosophy.† He didnít know if more law enforcement or LCARA officers would help to get to a zero kill.† He said this needs to be goal driven.† He wanted to have their work session on February 21 and then put their budget to it.† He said they needed a guaranteed consistent funding source and this should be part of the ordinance.† He wanted to leave the amount in of $1 million for LCARA for Goal 5.
With regard to Issue 2, retirement reduction Option 6 and Option 7, Dwyer wanted to have a low-income exemption.
Wilson explained that the measure that was prepared for November contained two exemptions, one was a $7,500 deduction for filing single and $15,000 filing per couple.† She said there is a $10,000 and $20,000 low-income exemption.
Dwyer suggested exempting all retirement income that qualifies under the federal programs that exclude investments.† He said they have to take it in classes and categories if they are going to treat everyoneís income alike. †
Van Vactor explained that Wilsonís memo was clear in that the federal income tax form has to meet a specific definition to qualify.
Sorenson asked for an estimate of money they would be excluding from the measure if they used the narrower definition of qualified pension income. †
Dave Garnick, Management Analyst, said, assuming they are already excluding PERS and FIRS, then if they exclude the other qualified pension income; it would be another $2.14 million for a total of $4.8 million.
Dwyer wanted to make the tax start no sooner than July 1, 2007.† He said whatever happens, the chance of people passing a tax that is retroactive is not good.
Van Vactor asked if they wanted the option of taxing for the whole year but at the half rate.† He thought that would be the easiest to administer.
Wilson thought Option 11 was the way to mitigate that.
Dwyer didnít want the tax to become effective until July 1, the first year.
Wilson said if they waited to start on January 1, 2008, they would need to implement the cuts.† She said they have six months of expense from July to December and they would have to have significant layoffs and the public safety services would be degraded during that time period.† She commented that after employees are laid off, the odds of being able to return to that type of work force experience diminishes rapidly.† She said they would be starting over in January.
Van Vactor stated if they receive the Secure Rural Schools funding then they could delay the tax.† He added they should have contingency language.
Wilson thought they could put into the ordinance that if Congress restores funding of some or all of Secure Rural Schools that the Board is required to hold an additional public hearing and revisit the rate and to hear from the public. †
Stewart indicated the Board was interested in Option 11.† He added there was interest in Issue 4, removing the property tax.† With regard to Issue 5, stabilizing funding for public safety, he noted Option 14 is to dedicate the property tax for public safety.† He noted the OSU Extension service in the past had operating levies.† He asked if the Board would consider dedicating a portion of about two percent of the property tax to the Extension Service so they could have dedicated funding.
There was consensus to do that.
Sorenson asked if they were to make the maximum levy under the state statute for Veteranís Service and it would raise money, if they could put the money in the measure so they are acting on the intent of the law that allows local communities to raise local funds to support the Veteranís Service office.† He wanted to know how much money would come in if they levied the property tax. †
Wilson said they could come up with a calculation and factor it in with the rate.† She asked if they were dedicating the income tax revenue for public safety or not.
Sorenson said they were broadening the income tax measure and they are trying to be a comprehensive local government.
Dwyer said it dedicates a portion of the property tax to public safety to the Extension Service and the Veteranís Service.† He said they are using the income tax money for public safety but they were also taking money from the property tax to quantify the stream of money for it.
Van Vactor said if the amount they are spending exceeds what the calculation is, it would be okay.
Green commented when they start moving things around, it increases the risk of losing.† He suggested keeping the measure straight, dedicating it to public safety.
With regard to Option 14, Dwyer said they wanted a reserve of ten percent.
Wilson said because they are going with an ordinance, what they set as a rate is the cap.† She explained that the reserve† is to be expressed as ten percent of the annual tax revenues beginning not later than two years after the tax is implemented that the reserve be at that level.
Dwyer wanted to increase the time period to three or four years.
With regard to Option 6, Stewart asked the Board if they were comfortable with staff defining the financial implications to determine the tax rate.
Garnick said they would have to bring offers to the Board.
Van Vactor asked the Board if they wanted to put this in the voterís pamphlet.† He said it would be a significant cost that they would have to incur.
Wilson said they were aiming to have a First Reading of the ordinance on February 7 and they could adopt something on February 21.† She added that would also be the day they would appoint an explanatory statement committee.
Van Vactor indicated the voterís pamphlet would cost over $30,000 and it was not budgeted.
Wilson noted the absolute date to send something to Elections is March 15.
Dwyer commented that doing nothing was not an option and they had to do something.
6. COUNTY ADMINISTRATION
7. PUBLIC WORKS
a. FIRST READING AND SETTING A SECOND READING AND PUBLIC HEARING/Ordinance No. 1-07/In the Matter of Amending Chapters 10 and 16 of Lane Code to Revise Definitions and Provisions for Flood Hazard Reduction in the Floodplain Combining Zones (LC 10.271-15, 10.271-25, 10.271-27, 10.271-30, 10.271-35, 16.244) †
MOTION: to approve a First Reading and Setting a Second Reading and Public Hearing for Ordinance No. 1-07 for February 7, 2007 at 1:30 p.m.
Dwyer MOVED, Green SECONDED.
Fleenor thought there was language that could have significant impacts on the application for flood insurance. He said the change was to ďa general and contemporary conditionĒ that makes it more difficult to qualify.† He said they were giving up a five percent reduction in premium.† He said it makes it more onerous.
8. PUBLIC SAFETY
a. ORDER 07-1-24-1/In the Matter of Applying for a Federal U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Corrections Cooperative Agreement (Award) in the Amount Not to Exceed $425,000 for Eighteen Months to Further Implement the Lane County Defendant and Offender Management Program; and Delegating Authority to the County Administrator to Sign Cooperative Agreement Documents (Department of Public Safety).
Jackie Mikalonis, Sheriffís Office, explained that this is an order to approve Lane County applying for a grant from the National Institute of Corrections.† She said this recognizes the transition programs for inmates from jails to communities are a big issue.† She said they want to award this with some assistance up to $425,000 for a planning grant that would allow building a model to transition inmates from the jail to the community.
MOTION: to approve ORDER 07-1-14-1.
Dwyer MOVED, Green SECONDED.
9. CONSENT CALENDAR
A. Approval of Minutes:
June 7, 2006, Regular Meeting, 9:00 a.m.
June 7, 2006, Regular Meeting, 1:30 p.m.
January 3, 2007, Regular Meeting, 9:00 a.m.
B. Public Works
1) ORDER 07-1-24-2/In the Matter of Amending Order No. 06-9-20-5 to Clarify a Ballot Measure 37 Claim Decision to Not Apply Restrictive Land Use Regulations in Lieu of Providing Just Compensation (Pattison/PA 06-6028).
C. Workforce Partnership
1) ORDER 07-1-24-2/In the Matter of Appointing a Lane County Education Representative to the Lane Workforce Partnership Board of Directors.
D. Youth Services
1) ORDER 07-1-24-3/In the Matter of Appropriating an Additional .5 Juvenile Cook Position to Youth Services.
MOTION: to approve the Consent Calendar with the exception of 9 c.
Dwyer MOVED, Green SECONDED.
C. 1) ††Fleenor didnít know who the person was.† He asked what their qualifications were and who recommended him.† He wanted more control of the process.
Van Vactor reported that due to the audit requirements they changed the contractual relationship with the Work Force Partnership.
Wilson said the compensation of the Work Force Partnership Board is dictated by the Workforce Investment Act (federal law) and by the Bylaws.† She said the Workforce Partnership is a private non-profit and the Board of Commissioners has a role in designating certain people.† She said they affirm the appointments. She noted many of the slots are designated.† †
MOTION: to approve item 9. C. 1).
Dwyer MOVED, Green SECONDED.
10. INFORMATION SYSTEMS
a. ORDER 07-1-24-5/In the Matter Approving Completion of the Public Safety and Justice Systems Area Information Records System (AIRS) Conversion By: (1) Renewing an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) with the Cities of Eugene and Springfield; (2) Providing Funding for the Balance of the Countyís Share in this Regional Project; and (3) Approving a Contract from RFPS No. IS2006-5-01 for AIRS Consulting Services with Wintellect, L.l.c., Not to Exceed $2,827,638.
Dara Boush, AIRS, reported that AIRS was formed 40 years ago to meet the shared computing and data needs of local justice and public safety agencies throughout Lane County.† She noted they started by developing a multi-agency police records system.† She said the public safety and justice agencies that have been involved have been working together to provide the support and share the data in police records, application for police officers, local courts and case management, the 911 system, jail and correction records, District Attorney case management system and the fire and emergency medical records.
Tony Black, IS, reported that Lane County, City of Eugene and the City of Springfield are the major contributors to the system.† He said within Lane County the system is used by the Sheriffís Office, Youth Services, Animal Regulation, Oakridge, Florence and Central Lane Justice courts, Parole and Probation and within some cities the municipal courts, the police, city prosecutors.† They also provide service to the Cities of Florence, Coburg, Cottage Grove, the FBI the DEA, state and district courts, U of O campus security, HACSA and other agencies outside of the members of the consortium.† He said the security requirements around the system is mandated at the federal level by the Criminal Justice Information System
Burger explained that the AIRS conversion project began in 2000 because AIRS was on an old mainframe application and the ability to support it is going way.† He said it became time to switch over and they originally contracted with Motorola to put together applications that apply to all the public safety agencies so when they enter data it would populate the system and everyone could benefit through the efficiencies.†† He noted that Motorola could only do two parts.† He said they had to amend the contract with Motorola and the decision by the consortium was that their own AIRS staff in conjunction with consultants could develop the applications for everyone to use.† He noted the AIRS system processes over 300,000 computer dispatch incidents a year besides thousands of bookings plus 200,000 police cases and 23,000 fire incidents last year.† He said their officers and deputies have to know information when they are coming up to a stolen car and AIRS provides that for them.† He supports the AIRS conversion program and wants to see it continue.
MOTION:† to approve ORDER 07-1-24-5.
Dwyer MOVED, Sorenson SECONDED.
Green commented that this was essential and they couldnít live without it.† He asked if they were still doing business with Motorola.
Van Vactor indicated there were two phases to the contract and they were deleted from Phase Two.† He added they were still maintaining the existing equipment.
Burger explained the reason that AIRS staff is developing this is because they hadnít been able to find a comprehensive system that will do what they want.
VOTE: 5-0. †
11. CORRESPONDENCE TO THE BOARD
Sorenson indicated he received an e-mail from the Twin Rivers Interfaith Ministry--a resolution about Seasons of Peace and the commemoration of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi.†† He said they wanted to pass a resolution and he will be working on it.
12. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS
Fleenor reported that he will be attending Commissioner College in Corvallis.
Dwyer announced that there is an Economic Development Standing Committee meeting tomorrow and a Eugene Chamber of Commerce meeting. †
Stewart announced that the Art from the Heart will take place on February 13 in front of Cafť Today. †
13. EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660
Per ORS. 192.660 (2)(h) for the purpose of consulting with counsel on litigation.
14. OTHER BUSINESS
ORDER 07-1-24-6 Settlement of a County Lien Against Property at Assessor's Map and Tax Lot #19-02-03-0800 (Torkel Rose)
MOTION: to approve ORDER 07-1-24-6.
Dwyer MOVED, Green SECONDED.
There being no further business, Commissioner Stewart adjourned the meeting at 4:30 p.m.