BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS'

REGULAR MEETING

March 14, 2007

1:30 p.m.

Harris Hall Main Floor

APPROVED 4/9/2008

 

Commissioner Faye Stewart presided with Commissioner 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.

 

14. PUBLIC HEARINGS

 

a. ORDER 07-3-14-11/In the Matter of Holding the Final Hearing On, and Ordering the Formation Of, the Row River Valley Water District.

 

Mike McKenzie Bahr, Economic Development, said these are the last two action steps in the formation process of the Row River Valley Water District.  He said step one is to hold a final public hearing on the matter and step two is for the Board to approve the order forming the district.  He indicated the Board of Commissioners has the authority to order a district formed if a tax rate is not being proposed by the district and they could order the formation of a district as long as not more than 15 percent of the electors in the district request an election. He noted that no one had requested an election. 

 

Commissioner Stewart opened the Public Hearing.

 

McKenzie Bahr read a letter into the record from Stewart Shore.

 

Rick Harden, Dorena, made a statement on behalf of John Kirk.  Harden thanked everyone  for their efforts.

 

There being no one else signed up to speak, Commissioner Stewart closed the Public Hearing.

 

MOTION: to approve ORDER 07-3-14-11.

 

Sorenson MOVED, Dwyer SECONDED.

 

Stewart expressed the fact that this had been an incredible process to see people work as hard as they did.  He looked forward to the water getting turned on.

 

VOTE: 5-0.

 

15. PUBLIC WORKS

 

a. WORK SESSION/Road Fund Service Priorities

 

Ollie Snowden, Public Works, recalled that they have been directed to do a Budget Number 2 that assumes no reauthorization of the Secure Rural Schools.  He said they were going through the same service priority process the general fund did.  He said they needed to review the capital program.  He indicated that half of the revenue in road fund comes from Secure Rural Schools and if they lose the legislation, they will go from $20 million to $1 million and they will be back on the old formula. 

 

Snowden indicated that they started with the Strategic Plan and road fund priorities.  He discussed Attachment A. (Copy in file).  He noted there is language that if there are any layoffs in 626, or road fund money withheld from 626 positions, the inmate road crew has to go away.  He said that negotiations took place in the late eighties when the inmate road crew was created.  He indicated under that scenario they would have a number of road maintenance layoffs.  He added that they would eliminate a grounds keeping position at Delta, a weighmaster in the Sheriff’s Office and traffic engineer investigator. He indicated if that happens, they wouldn’t be responding to citizen complaints against site distance problems or speeding.   He said if the County does no maintenance on the road system, they would still own the road system and they would need to operate the road system.  He noted the proposal under Budget 2 is that they would eliminate much of the County maintenance on County local roads that serve either the abutting properties or serve resource lands.  He indicated it is about half their system and they would stripe and sign the roads, fix culverts and come out after storm events. He stated that over time the road surface payment deteriorates and they would eventually lose the investment in the roads and would have to turn some back to gravel.

 

Snowden indicated that they still intending to maintain bridges and guardrails.  He said they will continue to provide the full range of maintenance services on arterials and collectors and continue to maintain bridges and guardrails for the entire system.  He indicated if the packet is accepted by the Board, they would want to come back to the Board to give revised procedures and standards they intend to use in maintaining the roads.

 

Snowden said if the reductions go through, they were looking at reductions of 48 positions to the road fund in Public Works.  He said that was one-eighth of the work force.

 

Sorenson asked why they don’t start dealing with the reduction in administration,

 

Snowden explained that even though they are reducing maintenance, the County still owns a road system of over 1400 miles and 400 bridges.  He said they have to maintain records and operate the system. He said because there is a fund balance, there are ways the Board could mitigate the one year effects, spreading the reductions over two years.  He discussed cuts with Option 2. (Copy in file). 

 

Green approved  the Budget 2 scenario.

 

Dwyer thought they needed to fund the commitments they made but not necessarily for next year.

 

Fleenor concurred with Green and Dwyer to honor the IGA for the assisted housing roads, but he was reluctant to proceed on to the other three roads to try to save money for the future.

 

MOTION: to meet the obligations in the yellow column as it relates to the assisted housing for West Town, Heather Glen, Prairie View and the Bob Straub Parkway and   adding back Bolton Hill and Harvey Road.

 

Dwyer MOVED, Green SECONDED.

 

Green said the rest of the direction is to take this up during the budget session.  He said they didn’t necessarily have to make all of the reductions in one year, they could phase it in over time.

 

Sorenson agreed they should fund the housing projects in the FY 07/08 budget.  He didn’t want to commit to $6 million for the Bob Straub knowing they would be starting the fiscal year with $34 million under Budget 2.

 

Snowden noted under Budget 2, besides a service reduction, things change on the Capital Improvement Program that will not be  built.

 

Sorenson thought they should have a higher confidence level that they will have the federal money before they sign the IGA.  He said it didn’t mean he was against the project because he voted for it before.

 

VOTE: 3-2 (Fleenor, Sorenson dissenting).

 

Dwyer said the project has been drawn out and ODOT hadn’t been honest.  He wanted Snowden to come to the Board every time an ODOT permit is required for a project.  He said the City of Springfield’s willingness to accept the road as it is developed to take the responsibility away from the County is a good idea so Lane County is not stuck with the cost in the final analysis.

 

 

b. DISCUSSION AND ACTION/Bob Straub Parkway Project Status

 

Sid Leiken, Mayor of Springfield, said the City of Springfield understands the serious problems facing the County if the Secure Rural Schools Act is not reauthorized.  He commented that a way to stabilize Lane County’s revenue situation is to encourage industrial development as it generates new tax revenues.  He said completing the Bob Straub Parkway Phase 2 to Jasper Road is essential to making the Jasper Natron area available for development that would generate tax revenue.  He said Jasper Natron is the largest vacant industrial area within an urban growth boundary left in the State of Oregon.  He said the development has the ability to generate additional family wage jobs and tax revenue.  He said the city is prepared to partner with the County on the Bob Straub project by taking over jurisdiction of Jasper Road from 42nd Street to the current UGB as development occurs.

 

John Woodrow, Springfield, supports the partnership between the Board and the City of  Springfield in going forward with the Bob Straub Parkway.  He said it is in his ward and the residents have enjoyed the extension.  He added they are looking for the road to go all of the way through.  He said the relief from traffic the parkway would bring is welcomed. He supports the city’s decision to partner with the County on taking over the jurisdiction once the development occurs.

 

c. FIFTH READING AND DELIBERATION Ordinance No. PA 1238/In the Matter of Amending the Lane County Rural Comprehensive Plan to Revise the “Significant Mineral and Aggregate Resources Inventory”; Metro Plan Redesignation from “Agriculture” to “Sand and Gravel”; Rezoning from “E30/Exclusive Farm Use Zone” to “SG/Sand, Gravel & Rock Products Zone”; to Allow Mining on 72.31 Acres of Land Pursuant to Lane Code 12.225 and 16.252 and the Goal 5 Oregon Administrative Rules (OAR 660-023); and Adopting Savings and Severability Clauses (file no. PA 05-6151, Delta Property Co.) (NBA & PM 10/18/06, 11/1/06, 12/12/06 & 2/14/07).

 

Stewart indicated that the City of Eugene had done some deliberation, but they haven’t made a final decision. 

 

Sorenson didn’t think the City of Eugene concluded their deliberation and thought they should move this into the future after the City of Eugene votes.

 

Kent Howe, Land Management, recalled that this is for a proposed expansion of an existing sand and gravel operation of about 72 acres into an area currently in the exclusive farm use zone, outside of the urban growth boundary but it is located within the Eugene Springfield Metro Plan. He said the post acknowledgement plan amendment is a process and because it is in the Metro Plan, it requires multi-jurisdictional review.  He said the City of Eugene and the Board of Commissioners have to adopt identical ordinances if the change will occur.  He said Lane County and the Eugene City Planning Commissions held their public hearing, have deliberated and made their recommendations.  He said the Board of County Commissioners in a joint hearing with the City of Eugene have held their public hearing and are in the process of doing their deliberations.  He recalled that two weeks ago they were in front of the Eugene City Council and they started their deliberations.  He said they have a similar proposal for the Board today where they have a process that will walk the Board through taking actions in this multi step deliberation process.  He noted the City of Eugene got through the first two steps. He indicated in the deliberation, they made it clear to staff what their position is on their further deliberations on this issue.  He said County staff met with Eugene staff  and the County and the City are dealing with the plan designation and if it is going to change.  He added if the plan is going to change, then the County only will be changing the implementing zoning and identifying any conditions that would be implemented through the operation plan that will govern how the extraction occurs at the site.  He said the conditions are important for the City of Eugene to know whether or not various impacts have been minimized.  He said Eugene thinks they are not able to continue down through the impact analysis that begins at Step 3 until the County has gone through the steps and made the determination that the impacts are minimized or if the impacts aren’t minimized then through an ESEE analysis for those that aren’t.  He asked if it is determined that the resources should be protected, then what are the conditions that are going to be placed on the operation plan in that event.  He said Eugene wasn’t interested in receiving this back from the County until the County has done its full deliberations on the proposal.

 

Howe explained  for Step 1, the determination of whether the application was complete, it took awhile for the City of Eugene to determine that fact.  He said they got into a long discussion about the traffic impact analysis and there was misunderstanding of the completeness step; whether the applicant has completed everything that was in the application, not whether it is an answer that gets the application to an approval, but whether everything has been addressed. He indicated the way the applicant had addressed the traffic impact is that the County has said that an impact analysis isn’t necessary because there isn’t going to be a change in the operation, it is an expansion of the additional resource.  He said a majority of the city counsel was able to say that this is an adequate application and they proceeded from Step 1 to Step 2.  He added that under Step 2, under significance, they had a tie and the mayor broke the tie with a vote of 5-4 that it was not a significant application.  He noted that it was a straw poll, not a final vote. He thought there was confusion with the City on how the determination of significance is made.  He said if the Board of Commissioners comes to the conclusion that it is not a significant site, then this process could stop.

 

Stewart thought they should proceed further working on the application. He recommended the Agenda Team schedule an afternoon or evening meeting to work through the questions.  He said the owner deserves to see the process worked through.

 

Green thought this should be brought back to the City of Eugene to be worked on.

 

Fleenor wanted the City of Eugene to come to a vote on significance.

 

Stewart indicated a majority of the Board wanted this to go back to the City of Eugene for them to finish the process.

 

Fleenor asked if there was a possibility of breaking the deadlock by proposing that a second analysis be done.  He said that both the applicant and a community leader could choose an engineering firm that could do a scientific analysis that both could commit to. He wanted to make sure there was a finding of significance that everyone could support..

 

Sorenson asked if they did another analysis if it meant opening the record to allow a presentation of evidence.

 

Vorhes said if the Board and the council decided it was a path to take, it would entail reopening the record for the information and an opportunity for people to comment on the information as it develops. He said there are procedural ways to accommodate it.

 

Howe explained that the sampling that had occurred had been done by a licensed certified Oregon geologist and the sampling was reviewed by ODOT and ODOT took separate samples than what EGR (the hired geologist) took and they reviewed them.  He said both of the samplings were reviewed by DOGAMI and DOGAMI came to the conclusion that they met the ASHTOS standards.  He said OAR for Goal 5 directs how to take the samples and it has been peer reviewed by ODOT and DOGAMI. 

 

Fleenor wanted staff to negotiate this.

 

Vorhes thought the Board could start negotiating with the councilors.  He said it is up to the elected officials where they see the evidence.  He said the City was interested in staff coming back to the Board and highlighting where they have an issue of significance, if this Board could convince the council.  He added to have an independent review would take council’s concurrence too.

 

Stewart recommended that the Board direct a letter to staff to take over to the City of Eugene to see if they would be willing to accept this process with some certainty to move forward with processing this application.

 

Vorhes said if the Board concludes they think it is significant as it currently exists, they wouldn’t have to go down the path of an independent analysis and have a conversation with the council on why they think it is significant and why their straw vote might want to be reconsidered.

 

Dwyer said this is evidence based and they need to decide each issue based on their judgment as it relates to the evidence in the record.  He said the City of Eugene changed the rules by not acting.

 

Fleenor said his proposal was contingent upon all four parties agreeing on an engineering firm and then abiding by the results. He said if everyone agrees on the engineering firm then it is a done deal.

 

Stewart said he would work out a plan and get back to the Board.

 

MOTION: to approve a Fifth Reading and Setting a Sixth Reading and Deliberation for April 18, 2007  for Ordinance No. PA 1238.

 

Sorenson MOVED, Fleenor SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 5-0.

 

 

 

16. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

Fleenor announced he was having Coffee and Conversation in Junction City at the Viking Inn.  He said he has a town hall meeting at the Junction City Hall.  He announced the Daffodil Festival at the Long Tom Range in Junction City.

 

Green discussed the NACo newsletter.

 

Stewart received an e-mail from Paul Biondi.  Stewart announced on March 18 from 1pm to 4 p.m. there will be a benefit featuring young musicians at Cosmic Pizza.

 

17. CORRESPONDENCE TO THE BOARD

 

None.

 

18. OTHER BUSINESS

 

Ordinance 3-07/In the matter of Repealing Ordinance 2-07 Regarding the Lane County Public Safety Income Tax

 

Wilson explained that Ordinance 3-07 repeals Ordinance 2-07.  She said if the Board completes the process, Ordinance 2-07 is dead and there would be nothing on the election.  She noted the board order was the matter of placing the referendum of the Lane County Public Income Tax on the May 2007 ballot.  She said as of noon today, elections had completed an amount of the statistical sampling they were required to do on the referendum petition.  She said the success rate on the sampling was a 97 percent success rate.  She said it is statistically significant at the level of which they could be confident that the petitioners have submitted sufficient signatures to have it placed on the ballot.  She said this order exercises the right to place the matter on the ballot and to place a referendum on a ballot sooner than the next primary or general election.  She said the order places the referendum on the May ballot with the referendum ballot title.

 

Sorenson asked what the authority was of the Board to place a referendum on the ballot prior to the determination that the number of signatures has been achieved.

 

Wilson said that referendum versus referral was difficult.  She said the Board has the authority to place any measure on the May ballot until tomorrow.  She added that the Board has the authority to place a referendum with significant signatures on any ballot other than the default ballot as long as they meet the appropriate timelines.  She noted the Board has working knowledge that sufficient signatures have been submitted.

 

Sorenson said until Wilson had the certification with the number of signatures, they don’t have the power to trigger an election.

 

Wilson indicated the courts are inclined to be respectful of not interfering with people’s right to vote.  She thought a court would be supportive as long as they try to enable a vote.

 

Dwyer didn’t think it was wrong with repealing an ordinance that they adopted and referring the same ordinance to the people for an election that has been petitioned for.

 

Wilson said Ordinance 4-07 is in the packet and it is drafted contingent on the outcome of an election.  She said it is at 1.6 percent. 

 

Dwyer was in favor of referring the Lane County Income Tax on the May ballot for a vote.  He supported referring the Charter Amendment as a separate amendment to cap their ability to raise the tax.  He supported referring another measure to the May ballot that would not be the stop gap measure, but would resemble the measure the voters rejected, Ordinance 4-07.

 

Green said they had engaged citizens and elected officials around the county to help stabilize the organization.  He said they met for over a year and looked at a variety of options including sales and property taxes and they were rejected.  He said they looked at funding the whole problem versus what they were losing and that was rejected.  He said the income tax came out of all the meetings.  He said the federal government is not helping the County out.  He wanted to give the people another chance to vote.  He commented that enacting the income tax was the right thing to do.  He believed in local control and government.  He favored a May election and putting the income tax to the voters on public safety.  He supported a cap on the income tax by charter amendment. He didn’t want to wait until September.  He didn’t want to go for the extra, he only wants to replace what is lost.

 

Sorenson said having an election without a voters pamphlet doesn’t help highlight the issues.  He thought they were skirting the issue. He said the Board of Commissioner enacted an income tax in February 2007 and that followed an election in November 2006 where the voters of Lane County rejected a County income tax.  He said at the time they enacted the income tax, he didn’t think the Board was prepared for the firestorm of public opposition to what the procedure was.  He said they have to try to build trust by repealing the ordinance. 

 

MOTION: to direct staff to set up the procedures to Ordinance 2-07.

 

Sorenson MOVED, Fleenor SECONDED.

 

Fleenor indicated there is mistrust in the community and they have to be careful.  He stated they don’t have an emergency now.  He said they should repeal the enacted income tax and they need to put together citizen driven focus groups that discuss what citizens of Lane County want to become.

 

Dwyer said to gain trust by dismantling critical social services, laying off 300 employees, stop providing for Veteran’s Services, Animal Regulation and the Extension Service is impossible.

 

Fleenor stated that not one person had been laid off to date.  He said they have over 100 days before they have to adopt a budget and hopefully Secure Rural School will be funded by then.

Green commented that if they have to rely on others from the federal government, and the state, they would never get to be self–sufficient.  He said there is an emergency.  He said they have a demand for service and are obligated to provide the service.

 

Stewart recalled on February 21 he voted to enact a tax and he believed it was the correct decision at that time with the knowledge they had.  He said they still don’t have certainty.  He said the vote he took in February was to save the organization and the services they provide the citizens.  He said with the referral of the income tax and the signatures being placed, his decision is moot.   He wanted to refer the tax to the ballot.

 

Green didn’t support the motion as the problem still exists.  He commented that if human services continue to be depleted, that is what is going to be at risk.  He wanted to build trust with the citizens.

 

VOTE: 2-3 (Green, Stewart, Dwyer dissenting) MOTION FAILS.

 

ORDER 07-3-14-13 Placing the Referendum of the Lane County Public Safety Income Tax on the May, 2007 Ballot.

 

MOTION: approve ORDER 07-3-14-13.

 

Dwyer MOVED Green SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 3-2 (Sorenson, Fleenor dissenting)

 

 

ORDER 07-3-14-14 Referring to Election a Charter Amendment to Cap Lane County Income Tax

 

MOTION: to approve ORDER 07-3-14-14.

 

Stewart wanted the cap lowered to 1.5 percent instead of 2 percent.

 

Dwyer MOVED, Fleenor SECONDED.

 

Sorenson said doing this on the last day before the deadline without any public involvement is not the way that they are doing things properly.  He said if they are going to have a charter amendment that they need a public hearing.  He added they also need a voter’s pamphlet.

 

Wilson indicated the charter amendment applies to whatever the income tax is.  She said it would relate if Ordinance 2-07 gets enacted and if it doesn’t get enacted it applies to any future income tax.

 

VOTE: 4-1 (Sorenson dissenting).

 

Jim Gillette Matter

 

Van Vactor said the Board had a work session and discussed whether they wanted to stop the process wherein Thursday next week there would be a Writ of Execution and it would end the legal proceedings on two of the three items.  He recalled the Board was split on that and they asked Green whether he wanted to do anything to stop the process.

 

Green wanted to review the whole meeting.

 

Stewart said he spoke with Gillette after the meeting and the advice Wilson mentioned was the process to get into compliance by next Wednesday.  Stewart said Gillette he could make an offer to the Board to try to settle the fines and liens on the property.  He said it might come back to the Board next Wednesday.

 

There being no further business, Commissioner Stewart adjourned the meeting at 5:05 p.m.

 

 

Melissa Zimmer

Recording Secretary