BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS'

REGULAR MEETING

March 14, 2007

following HACSA

Commissioners' Conference Room

APPROVED 4/9/2008

 

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

 

1. ADJUSTMENTS TO THE AGENDA

 

Stewart added 5 b)  A thank you from St. Vincent de Paul for Project Homeless Connect.  5 c) A resolution recognizing South Lane School District’s Krista Parent and 5 d)  A letter from East Lane Soil and Water Conservation District.  He indicated they added four items to the afternoon meeting:  to state the process to repeal the income tax and to refer the income tax to the May ballot, a charter amendment to be referred to the May ballot and a 1.6 percent income tax package for the May ballot.

 

2. PUBLIC COMMENTS

 

Kimberly Wylde, Junction City, was opposed to the field burning as it makes her ill.  She said the backyard burning also bothers her because it goes on every day.  She said she can’t open her windows.  She didn’t think it was fair that she had to suffer for other people’s agendas.  She wanted to see it stopped so she can have a healthier life.

 

Diana Robertson, Eugene, represented Shelter Animal Resource Alliance, she asked about the five adoptable cats that were killed.  She sent a letter to Van Vactor on behalf of their organization.

 

Jim Hale, Eugene, is glad the board will discuss the 1.6 percent income tax alternative.

 

John Archer, Junction City, took a tour of the Humane Society of Central Oregon and they would be happy to work with LCARA to change some of the programs to increase the adoptability of animals in Lane County.  He said their kill rate is 8 percent and Lane County’s is 30 percent.

 

Marilyn Rothbard, Eugene, commented that if the Board puts the tax on the ballot they will have the highest income tax in the nation.  She said they have to have retirees’ income exempt.  She hoped the Board could see this as a fairness issue.

 

Jeff Wyman, Eugene, supported Rep. Holvey’s HB3000 to ban field burning.  He said he came from California and was shocked to see what happens with field burning.  He stated that he and his wife get headaches in the summer.

 

Holly Higgins, Harrisburg, stated that last week she submitted a guest column in The Register Guard about banning field burning.  She said they heard from over 35 people.

 

Cork Higgins, Harrisburg, said he has lived here all of his life.  He was part of a group that submitted a guest column to The Register Guard.  He said the issue is the smoke that comes into Eugene and there are alternatives.  He supported HB 3000 and asked the Board to do the same.

 

Frank Bocci, Eugene, supported Rep. Holvey’s HB 3000 bill.  He said field burning has contributed to his health problems.

 

Will Rutherford, Leaburg, spoke on the income tax measure.  He asked to put the ballot measure to the voters.  

 

Richard Herman, Metro Affordable Housing, stated that the recommendation from the Roads Advisory Committee is to add road funds for West Town and Prairie View affordable housing developments.  He asked the Board to support their recommendation that the funds be added back.  He indicated the West Town on 8th Avenue was their most critical need.

 

Stan Upton, Creswell, asked where the income tax was going to stop.  He said they don’t think they have a level of safety currently when they call the police.  He said the County needs to tell the state to take back some services.

 

John Tyler, Dexter, stated he doesn’t want to have another tax until they are limiting the commissioners’ pay level.  He said the numbers speak for themselves.  He commented that at every level the County’s pay is higher than the private sector.  He said he would benefit if the ordinance passes because he is on a military pension.

 

John Van Landingham,  Eugene, stated he was present on behalf of the Housing Policy Board.  He asked the Board that as they consider the cuts they have to make that three housing projects are far along with funding and building and it would be hard to lose the road funds:  Heather Glen in Veneta, Prairie View in Bethel and West 8th in Downtown Eugene.  He was pleased to support an income tax to address the County’s financial dilemma.

 

Chris Hegge, Eugene, asked why Lane County still has field burning when other states don’t have it.  She hoped the Board supports HB3000.

 

Cathy Lesiak, Eugene, said she lives on the edge of the UGB.  She said the Board needs to preserve and maintain the farmland on the edge of the UGB.  She said she is frustrated as the acreages are being taken away.  She noted the AGT zone allowed for a one acre farm dwelling on a small property to interpret Measure 37 to mean the parcels could be divided into one acre lots with one house for each lot.  She commented that it was a corruption of the original intent of the code.

 

Zachary Vishinoff, Eugene, suggested the Board ask the congressmen and senators to come to town hall meetings to get people’s concerns.

 

Carole Grappo, Santa Clara, commented that the Board will get a strong reaction to raise the Lane County tax to 1.6 percent and it will be seen as retaliation.  She said they have to look at what is best for the community.  She stated that this is an unfair tax as it is written.  She believed DeFazio and other representatives need to make the federal funding last.

 

Fran Sondag Eugene, said she has allergies and asthma.  She asked the Board to support HB3000.

 

Carla Hervert, Eugene, said she is a nurse and the field burning affects healthy and sick people.  She said she sees firsthand what the burning does to people.  She stated she has developed bronchitis from the burning fields.  She hoped the Board could make a change.

 

Terry McDonald, St. Vincent de Paul, asked for the Board to support the road fund for  affordable housing.

 

Mike Farthing, Eugene, was in support of the afternoon item on the Bob Straub Parkway  funding. He represented Gordon Webb who is one of the owners who has agreed to dedicate  the right of way.  He noted that Jasper Road has a safety issue.  He encouraged the Board to  support the staff recommendation as part of the infilling of the Metro Plan.  He said it will open  up housing and it is a needed project.

 

 

3. EMERGENCY BUSINESS

 

None.

 

4. COMMISSIONERS' REMONSTRANCE  

 

Sorenson received  a letter from Marne Benedict.  He read her letter about the U. S. Olympic Track and Fields Events.

 

Fleenor said he received over 100 letters in support of HB3000.

 

5. COMMISSIONERS' BUSINESS

 

a. ORDER 07-3-14-1/In the Matter of Urging a Field Burning Ban in Oregon.  

(PULLED)

 

Stewart indicated that this had been sent to the Legislative Committee for recommendation.

 

Sorenson indicated they would put this on the agenda next week.

 

b.  Thank You from St. Vincent de Paul

 

Stewart read a thank you letter from St. Vincent de Paul.

 

c. ORDER 07-3-14-12 Commending Krista Parent, National Superintendent of the Year.

 

MOTION: to approve ORDER 07-3-14-12.

 

Dwyer MOVED, Fleenor SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 4-0.

 

d. Letter of Correspondence from East Lane Soil

 

Stewart said at agenda setting the Agenda Team recommended that the Board give direction to Van Vactor to respond with a letter.  He said they are asking to be put on the agenda to make a presentation before the Board.  He said they received a bill from Elections for $53,414.89,  the cost for the matter to be placed  on the ballot.  He said they asked Lane County to pay 50 percent of the cost.

 

Sorenson recommended Van Vactor write a letter stating that the Board does not want to establish a precedent  for the County to pay for election costs. Sorenson requested that they put it on the Consent Calendar next week so it is a Board decision to authorize writing a letter.

 

Dwyer stated that any costs East Lane Soil accrued needs to be borne by them.  He said they need to have a letter on the Consent Calendar about this and they don’t have the money.  He said it is the responsibility of the organizing entity.

 

 

6. COUNTY ADMINISTRATION

 

a. Announcements

 

None.

 

7. PUBLIC WORKS

 

a. ORDER 07-3-14-2/In the Matter of Adopting the Five-Year Parks and Recreation SDC Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) Priorities List for Fiscal Years 07/08 Through 11/12 and Directing Appropriation of $200,000 in SDCs for FY 2007/08.

 

Todd Winter, Parks, recalled that annually Parks prepares a five year draft CIP priority list by the Parks Advisory Committee.  He said the Parks Advisory Committee recommended approval by the Board.  He indicated the number one priority this year is the Armitage Campground.  He noted that part of the recommendation is to direct the appropriation of $200,000 in SDC’s for FY 2007/2008 to use the monies to offset grants for the construction of phase 1 of the 36 site Armitage Campground.

 

Fleenor stated that he did not want to spend any funds from the Parks system on the Wildish property.

 

Sorenson asked how much they had from SDC’s.

 

Winter replied they have $301,000 and they estimated by late 2008, they would have $380,000.

 

Sorenson commented that he didn’t think any general funds should be used for the Wildish property but he agreed to use the SDC money.

 

MOTION: to approve ORDER 07-3-14-2.

 

Sorenson MOVED, Dwyer SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 4-0.

 

b. ORAL WORK SESSION/Jim Gillette’s Issue (NBA & PM 2/13/07).

 

1) Staff Presentation

 

Jeff Towery, Land Management, gave a slide show presentation on Jim Gillette’s property.  He noted they were a series of compliance actions that were related to illegal occupancy on the property in 1995, 1996 and 1998.  He said in 2003 there were paintball games on the property. 

 

Dave Williams, Assistant County Counsel, recalled in 1996 liens were imposed due to illegal occupancy of mobile homes and multiple living arrangements.  He indicated that led to enforcement and a fine of $12,000, which was imposed in July 1996.  He said there were no internal appeals within the County’s administrative appeal section, or any appeal to Circuit Court.  He said the lien and fine sat and in 2003 there was a subsequent compliance issue with paintball that led to another $6,720.  He said there was no appeal to the Circuit Court.  He noted in December 2003 they initiated proceedings in Circuit Court to foreclose upon the liens.  He said the case was tried in fall 2004 and there was a judgment in the County’s favor that was appealed by Gillette at the Court of Appeals in summer 2006.  He noted the Court of Appeals affirmed the Trial Court decision.  He said they subsequently started a process to execute on the judgment in order to collect the fines.  He said the amount was $12,000 plus interest, and $6,720 plus interest.  He indicated that combined to this point, the amount is about $32,000 with additional $500 awarded in court costs.  He said the total amount due as of today is $32,500.  He indicated that there were no further pending judicial proceedings to deal with other than for the sale of the property.

 

Marc Kardell, Assistant County Counsel, said the third item involved continued occupancies that staff learned about on the Gillette property and it was addressed when Gillette was last to the Board.  He said Gillette had a person living on the property that became disenchanted with him and talked to some of the neighbors who brought this to their attention.  Kardell indicated that there was an administrative hearing that took 12 hours in front of a hearings official.  He said that resulted in a decision of upholding the County’s fine to $1,000 per day for 52 days.  He added the lien would allow an additional accrual of $1,000 per day for up to 60 days if no compliance is achieved, the total lien is to be recorded after 60 days.  He noted after that, Gillette (through counsel) filed a Writ of Revenue, for an administrative action that could be challenged at Circuit Court.  Kardell said the evidence that had been presented was re-examined by the Court to determine if there is compliance with legal procedures and substantial evidence to support the hearings official for a second time.  He said that was set for a briefing by the parties by Gillette and Kardell would do the follow up.

 

Kardell indicated in following meetings between staff, the commissioner of the district and Gillette, it appeared there was some opportunity to get compliance achieved.  Kardell indicated that hearing schedule was postponed.  He noted there is now an order by the Court that on March 19 if Gillette doesn’t file his brief in support of his Writ of Revenue by that date, the Court intends to dismiss that case and the County would have a final judgment that would be reviewable by the Court of Appeals.  He said the County has a $52,000 lien as of February 2, 2006 and up to $60,000 to be added based on continued non-compliance.  He said there has been activity on the property moving toward compliance but there have been matters that have not been completed.

 

With regard to the current conditions, Towery reported there is a dwelling in the farm zone with no permits.  He said there is a temporary hardship mobile home that was removed for Gillette’s son to live in.  He said there was an addition to the mobile home that was not permitted and the permit application was submitted yesterday and they expect a quick turnaround time to issue that permit.  He said there is a farm help mobile home that received land use approval and the placement permit was issued and three of the eight inspections have been conducted on Gillette’s primary residence and there as an unpermitted  addition.  He added  as with the temporary hardship mobile home, there was an application submitted yesterday for the unpermitted addition.  He indicated Gillette had a number of options to pursue.  He said for a period of time he was treating this structure as a residential accessory.  He asked recently if it could be converted into an agricultural structure. He indicated that Land Management has declined to approve an agricultural placement on the property.  He indicated there are issues to be addressed:  final payment for fees on the dwelling in the EFU zone and final payment of permit fees as with all structural permits.  He indicated that there had been a deposit made along with the application.  He noted that once they approve the plans, there will be fees due.

Fleenor asked what the basis was for the $1,000 per day fine.

 

Towery responded that there were 12 factors they used to calculate fines..  He said there were high daily fines because there was a history of violations and compliance actions on the particular property.  He said it was part of the hearings official’s decision.

 

Stewart said he has tried to help Gillette with the process.  He said it is his intent to have all of Gillette’s compliance issues taken care of.  He hasn’t been successful in getting Gillette into complete compliance.

 

2) Jim Gillette

 

Jim Gillette, said he will prove legal counsel and the compliance department have treated him unfair.  He said if he can’t prove it, then he would gladly pay the fine.  He said if they can prove any of the violations existed when the fine started, he said he would pay the fine.  He said his first fine was for RV’s. and they were all gone on the date in question.  He said the County let him have homeless people living there and they knew about it.  He indicated he had 15 families living there for years.  He noted the County was in favor until in 1996 when he applied for a park and that was when the neighbors complained.  He said the neighbors left the property and no one came up for 20 days.  He said they stopped the fine then and he appealed it.  He said in order to appeal, he had to pay the $12,000 up front for an appeal fee. He couldn’t appeal the fee because he couldn’t’ afford it.  He indicated the County forgot about it for years and nothing came up until he started talking about a park.  He indicated for paintball, he leased the land to someone else.  He thought the tournaments were legal. He indicated when the County sent him a compliance letter on paintball, he stopped it right away.  He said he was fined for tournaments that never took place.  He said the fine was $6,720 and he didn’t have the money to pay the appeal.   He said he is going to be using the agricultural building for animal husbandry and it meets all the requirements for an agricultural building..

 

3) Concerned Citizens

 

Jim Harang, Eugene,  said he is a neighbor of Gillette’s and has lived on his property since 1965.  He said they have been struggling for years with the County  to prevail upon Gillette to comply with the County ordinances and the rules,  regulations and the zoning requirements.  He said Gillette doesn’t think those rules and regulations apply to him.  He said Gillette was assessed a civil penalty of $12,000 on October 11, 1996 and it is still uncollected.  He said on September 12, 2003, Gillette was assessed another civil penalty of $6,720 and that is still unpaid and uncollected.  He said the County on December 4, 2003 filed a complaint for a lien foreclosure and mentioned the earlier penalties and sought to reduce those to a judgment.  He said Gillette filed a response on January 13, 2005 and a general judgment was issued and Lane County prevailed in that matter.  He said Gillette will never finish arguing about this.  He thought the Board should collect the judgment.  He noted the sale was set for March 15 and is now put over to March 22. He hoped the Board would move forward with the foreclosure sale, unless Gillette was willing to pay.

 

Brian Lesley, said he is a neighbor of Jim Gillette and has always gotten along with him.  He said there should be aggressive action toward Gillette.  He believed the reason County Counsel took an aggressive approach toward Jim Gillette is because the Board directed County Counsel to do that after a number of the neighbors appeared before the Board three years ago and explained Gillette’s long history of non-compliance with the rules and regulations and the troubles he caused the neighborhood.  He said there was a unanimous direction given to County Counsel to relieve the neighbors of the problems.  He said they are visiting some of the same issues they talked to the Board about.  He said Gillette says things Lesly disagrees with about the condition of his property and compliance with the directions given by County Counsel.  He said twice in recent years he had accompanied site planners to Gillette’s property as part of Gillette’s park permit application.  He noted on those visits he had observed that Gillette had not taken out the trailers.  He noted on July 11, 2003, the recently burned out mobile home that was not permitted. He  also saw a camper trailer adjacent to the paintball area.  He saw recent bottles of household cleaner and magazines.  He said there was occupancy long after 1996.  He recalled on July 11, 2003  there were thousands of used paintballs.  He disagreed with Gillette’s facts.

 

Charles Warren, said he has paintball fliers from the Paint Ball Palace downtown showing paintball tournaments for 300 people plus guests, barbeques, and concessions stands.  He added it was in July when everything was dry.  He also has a handbill from an ATV Dealer in Eugene which pays Gillette $30 per person on his training course in order to qualify for an ATV.  He indicated it has been 11 years since his violation and he had been given all the benefits of due process and Gillette had been allowed to pursue every appeal under the law.  He said Gillette states he is poor and makes everyone feel sorry, but he owns 500 acres of prime rural land within one mile of the city limits.  He said it is worth $3 million to $4 million dollars.  He said Gillette stated that he owns other land in the Eugene area.  Warren said it was hard to understand why Gillette couldn’t raise the money by selling land.  He commented that Jim Gillette is a scofflaw of the first order and he doesn’t think the law applies to him and he does everything he can to get out from complying with the law.  He said as neighbors, they think it is time the Board says enough is enough.

 

Jerry Strand, Eugene, said he has lived on his property all his life.  He said they have tried to deal with Gillette since 1981.  He said they had meetings in the neighborhood to deal with the roads. He said the neighbors have put money on the road.  He said Gillette did not give any money toward it. He said the dust was so bad it looked like the field was on fire.  He said when they found out the Board was giving him a reprieve it enraged the neighbors. He said Gillette had never done anything to the neighborhood.

 

Gillette said he had parks status approved through the state.  He said the state gave him  a $50,000 grant for his property as a park..  He said when the neighbors found out about it they called the state and stopped the grant because they didn’t want a park there.  He said he never had an appeal or hearing where there were RV’s or paintballs on his property.  He didn’t think the fines against him were justified and that was why he fought them.  He said if he has to pay the fines he will.

 

Dwyer asked if someone is fined if they have to pay the fine up front before they can appeal.

 

Williams stated the County code provides the first step in an attempt to get into voluntary compliance.  He said if there is not voluntary compliance within a certain time, the County goes through a process.  He said if a fine is levied, they must post as an appeal fee of the accrued fine at the time they file an appeal.

 

Dwyer wanted to have a discussion on not having to post the fine to appeal.

 

Kardell indicated that there is an affidavit of indigency that people could file.  He said Gillette did file that with the last of the liens that he couldn’t pay.    He indicated that they let Gillette’s attorney know about this and he could pay the smallest amount possible.  He said they tried working with him.  He said there were two hearing dates and Gillette said that he hadn’t understood the process. 

 

Towery indicated that the property is not yet in compliance and the penalty that was granted by the hearings official is not based on the days it takes to proceed, it was based on the number of days the property is in violation. 

 

Wilson indicated for the first two cases, the Writ of Execution Sale is scheduled for next week. 

 

With regard to the Circuit Court decision, Kardell said they have an order requiring them to file their brief or to show cause why it should be dismissed by March 19.

 

Wilson indicated if the Board does nothing, the sale will take place and the appeal will proceed in the course of process.

 

Sorenson wanted the Board to consider when they adjudicate property tax issues, they don’t have a hearings official, and they have a panel appointed from the community.  He asked if they could have a faster system as opposed to the hearings official.

 

Wilson noted that Gillette could halt the Writ of Execution Sale by making payment before next week, even if the property is sold at the execution.  She added there is a period of time after the sale for redemption.

 

Stewart said he spent a year and half and had seen all the documents and read the minutes.  He said they need to move the court process forward.  With regard to compliance,  he wants to see Gillette get into compliance.  He hoped that Gillette would have gotten into compliance before they got to the Sheriff Sale.   He commented that sometime they have to draw the line.  He said they need to set boundaries.  He stated by the Board taking no action, the Sheriff’s Sale proceeds forward.

 

Dwyer said he would take $20,000 and a greater move toward compliance and he would stop the sale.

 

Fleenor concurred.

 

Sorenson didn’t think it was good precedent for the Board to settle cases when there is an ongoing failure to comply.  He said he would be interested to hear about a settlement after they hear from Land Management that all current matters are in compliance.

 

Wilson said the Board would have an additional meeting that would occur before the actual sale, should full compliance and achievement be received.  She said if full compliance has been achieved and a settlement offer is received, the Board would have the ability to stop the sale.  She said they could have the sale.   She added with the execution sale, there is an exemption period that Gillette would have the ability to exercise.

 

Stewart indicated the sale would go ahead.

 

 

8. CONSENT CALENDAR

 

A. Approval of Minutes:

May 30, 2006, Work Session, 10:00 a.m.

June 14, 2006, Regular Meeting, 1:30 p.m.

October 18, 2006, Regular Meeting, 9:00 a.m.

January 24, 2007, Regular Meeting, 9:00 a.m.

February 21, 2007, Work Session, 8:00 p.m.

 

B. County Administration

 

1) DISCUSSION/Approving a Letter of Support for Community Development Block Grant Submissions by Junction City and Cottage Grove.

 

C. Health and Human Services

 

1) ORDER 07-3-14-3/In the Matter of Appointing Designees of the Community Mental Health Director to Direct a Peace Officer to Take a Mentally Ill Individual Into Custody According to ORS 426.233.

 

D. Management Services

 

1) ORDER 07-3-14-4/In the Matter of Authorizing the Sale of Surplus County Owned Real Property for $100 to the City of Springfield (Map No. 17-02-34-12-00443, Adjacent to 1075 65th St., Springfield).

 

2) ORDER 07-3-14-5/In the Matter of Acquisition of Property for Initial Use by Health & Human Services at 151 West 7th Avenue, Eugene.

 

3) ORDER 07-3-14-6/In the Matter of Authorizing the Reimbursement of Expenditures with Reimbursement Obligation Proceeds.

 

E. Public Works

 

1) ORDER 07-3-14-7/In the Matter of Awarding a Contract to Wildish Building Materials Co., dba Wildish Sand & Gravel Co., in the Amount of $222,540.10 for Pre-coated Oil Rock Production, Various Stockpile Sites, Contract No. 06/07-05.

 

2) ORDER 07-3-14-8/In the Matter of Awarding a Contract to Eugene Sand & Gravel, Inc., in the Amount of $158,241.00 for Uncoated Oil Rock & Sanding Rock Production, Various Stockpile Sites, Contract No. 06/07-06.

 

3) ORDER 07-3-14-9/In the Matter of Relinquishment of County-Owned Road Fund Property to the City of Eugene Under ORS 271.330 in Connection With the Airport Road Realignment Project.

 

4) ORDER 07-3-14-10/In the Matter of Authorizing the Temporary Closure of a Portion of South 6th Street in Association with the ODOT I-5/South 6th Street Bridge Replacement Project.

 

MOTION: to approve the balance of the Consent Calendar with item 8. B. 1) pulled.

 

Dwyer MOVED, Sorenson SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 3-0 (Fleenor out of room).

 

8.B 1)

 

Mike McKenzie Bahr, Economic Development, explained that over the past two days there were changes in the applications.  He indicated that the Junction City application will not be moving forward in the first round.  He added with the Cottage Grove application, there was an issue with them making the submittal. He indicated that the City of Veneta will make the submittal.  He noted the letter will be prepared to show the City of Veneta instead of the City of Cottage Grove for the exact same application.

 

MOTION: to approve the letter showing City of Veneta.

 

Dwyer MOVED, Green SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 5-0.

 

9. CORRESPONDENCE TO THE BOARD

 

None.

 

10. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

None.

 

 

11. EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660

 

None.

 

12. OTHER BUSINESS

 

None.

 

There being no further business, Commissioner Stewart recessed the meeting at 12:00 p.m.

 

 

Melissa Zimmer

Recording Secretary