LANE COUNTY BUDGET COMMITTEE

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

5:15 p.m.

Board of Commissioners Conference Room

APPROVED 5/30/07

 

Chair David Crowell presided with Budget Committee Members Scott Bartlett, Bill Dwyer, Bill Fleenor, Bobby Green, Sr., Denis Hijmans, Mary Ann Holser, Tony McCown, and Faye Stewart present.  Peter Sorenson was absent. Budget Financial Manager David Garnick, County Administrator Bill Van Vactor and Recording Secretary Melissa Zimmer were also present.

 

I.  COMMITTEE BUSINESS

 

Anette Spickard, Assessor, reported the question that keeps getting asked is:  “Why doesn’t Lane County have more property tax dollars to pay for services, since they just had two years of a hot real estate market development in the County?  She answered that from the local government’s point of view, there are “structural handcuffs” within Oregon’s property tax system.  She indicated Measures 5 and 50 were passed, putting restrictions on how much values could grow and how much government could tax the value.  She noted that from the citizen’s perspective, it was working the way the voters intended by keeping taxing down.  But from the local government’s perspective, it has created an unstable property tax system.  She commented that the taxes don’t grow fast enough and there is not a lot of tax gap to take advantage of. 

Spickard explained that in the current fiscal year, if Lane County was not dealing with the Secure Rural Schools federal money issue and just considering the basic structural deficit (Budget 1), they are looking at $3 million to $4 million in cuts because of the gap between revenue and expenses.  She said there were two strong years in the real estate market that came onto the tax roll, but it did not mean a lot to Lane County.  She noted in the change between the 04/05 tax year and the 05/06 tax year, Lane County only saw an increase in tax revenue to the general fund of $1.2 million.  She added between 05/06 and this year, (with new development taking place) the actual amount of new tax dollars coming into the County only grew $1.3 million.  She explained that it was due to the dynamics of Measure 50, and its mechanism called the changed property ratio.  She said the legislature tried to devise a way (when new properties are developed) to establish Measure 50 assessed values for properties, keeping them in line with the benefit of the Measure 50 rollbacks in 1997, when it was implemented.  She recalled that at that point the property values were taken back to 1995, less ten percent, and rolled forward three percent per year.  She said they can’t tax a brand new house at its real market value, they have to create a Measure 50 value to maintain equality with other existing properties.

 

Spickard indicated A&T goes through a process every year where they analyze the difference of all residential properties and the aggregate between real market value and assessed value.  She noted assessed value could grow three percent per year and they adjust the real market value as it occurs. She noted in the change between 05/06 and 06/07 there was real market value growth in Lane County of almost 20 percent across the board.  She added that was more than the assessed value which could only grow three per cent.  She said the bigger the gap between real market value, the faster the market is growing.  She added the higher the rate changes on the real market value compared to the three percent, the smaller the ratio between assessed value and real market value.  She recalled in the past tax year, there was over $490 million of new residential construction and A&T could only create taxable value at 60 percent because residential properties on average assess only 60 percent of the real market, so they could only tax $294 million.  She explained that the hotter the real estate market, the less taxable value could be added to the roll.  She said they can’t capture the full benefit of all of the development  happening across the county.  She noted they added over $870 million of new construction while the assessed value was only $554 million.  She reiterated there is a dynamic within Measure 50 that restrains all taxing districts from capturing full benefit.  She said there would have to be over $3 billion in new construction added to the tax roll in one year to make up for the $4 million deficit in the general fund.  She noted construction is slowing down and there were 1,000 fewer building permits in 2006 and a 20 percent drop in transactions reported in Deeds and Records for real estate owner transfer sales.  She commented that the likelihood they would generate enough activity to create enough revenue for the county in 2007 is unrealistic.

 

II.   OVERVIEW OF GENERAL FUND SERVICE PRIORITIZATION PROCESS

 

Christine Moody, Budget Analyst, distributed a packet of information (Copy in file).

 

Alex Gardner, District Attorney, (member of the Management Team) recalled that the Board of Commissioners asked the Management Team to participate in a prioritization exercise.  He said they met for a retreat for two days and it was clear to everyone there was going to be little money to solve larger needs.  He noted the program managers were supportive and disciplined in following the instructions given by the Board.  He said they prioritized services using the Strategic Plan as a measuring stick and prioritized every service with a number.  He declared that every program service on the list was essential.  He said they found almost complete agreement on the top services.  He added that 12 out of 13 department directors ranked other services above their own because they realized how essential those services are.

 

Gardner explained that the supervised population census is what drives funding from the state in the following biennium; if they have fewer people in the supervised population, they get a smaller piece of the state pie.  He noted that after several years of cuts (when they were unable to prosecute cases), people weren’t converted to supervised status and because of that, in this biennium there is a reduction in funding for corrections dollars--an unexpected consequence.  As a result of the previous cuts, Gardner thought  every dollar that was cut from the District Attorney’s office will cost $4 in two years due to reduced funding from the state. 

 

Gardner noted that in Assessment and Taxation because of the existing structure and  chronic underfunding and staffing, if cuts were made the County would be in breach of the agreement made with the state, which could deprive Lane County of the funding.  He said they could save $200,000, but it would cost $1 million.

 

With regard to Family Law, Gardner said they could wipe the program out, thus saving $184,000, but the state would take over the program and charge $250,000 for doing the same thing. 

 

Gardner declared there is a small amount of money, and this is not adequate to do the job.  He indicated the Strategic Plan set the rules and the Board of Commissioners set the standards and they have to apply the rule.  He said the rule was life, health and safety are the priorities.  He indicated they were not successful in arriving at minimum staffing.

 

Fleenor said he had been told that some counties have jail costs of $64 per day, but Lane County’s is $124 per day.  He asked if they could reduce the cost by expanding the Forest Work Camp.

 

Gardner explained there are certain costs per bed/day that go up as the number of beds decline, because some essential services are required.  He said if they had a normal system with a normal jail size, the cost would be below $100.  He added the costs could end up closer to $300 per day, depending on the amount of beds.

 

Bartlett noted they were eliminating an animal abuse investigator.  He understood there was a correlation between animal abuse, child abuse, and serial killing.  He asked why that cut was logical.

 

Gardner commented that Bartlett didn’t accurately represent the data.  He said the study of animal abuse and its correlation to psychotic behavior is well documented, and not every animal abuser will be a homicidal maniac.  He said the issue is not if they wish to fund the position, but which program above the line do they propose to defund.  He added the question is a choice between investigating murder, rape and robbery outside the incorporated limits or having expanded animal care.  He added they couldn’t find the funding necessary for minimum capacity at the jail to hold the worst that they have. 

 

III. DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE

 

Doug Harcleroad, District Attorney, gave a video presentation. He reported that Family Law and Victim Services will not be taking cuts.  He said in 2006, 1,606 felony crimes were charged.  He added there were 3,930 non violent felony property crime charges.  He noted there were 470 felony drug manufacturing sales.  He added there were 1,506 felony drug possessions with meth as the most significant drug.  He reported there were 1,914 violent misdemeanor crimes.  He said there were 1,277 calls of driving under the influence

 

Harcleroad said they currently don’t do non-violent misdemeanors not attached to felonies.  He said they try 2.4 percent of jury and judge trials.  He added they don’t go to Florence or Oakridge to prosecute in the justice courts.  He added they don’t investigate and follow up on many cases. 

 

Harcleroad reported they also won’t do felony drug possessions.  He said they think it is the least important cases they are dealing with.  He indicated the drug court will close.  He commented that if they stop 600 drug cases in Lane County in the next year, they will lose $1.75 million in community correction dollars in the 2009/2011 biennium.  He noted they will lose two lawyer positions with the Budget 1 across-the-Board cuts, as well as extra help, overtime and three clerical positions.  He said the cost is $410,000. 

 

With Budget 2, he said they would lose one lawyer position and one clerical position, materials and services.  He said the cut will be $140,000 and it would make it difficult to try drug cases. He commented that his lawyers now have the highest case load in Oregon.  He indicated the reason they accomplish what they do with less attorneys is because of their experience. 

 

Harcleroad reported Lane County has seen a resurgence of gang activity.  He commented that things were so serious that Judge Leonard called a meeting to discuss gang activities.  He noted they had a problem with this 15 years ago, but now their resources are much less. 

 

Harcleroad encouraged the Board to set priorities and not do across-the-board cuts.

 

McCown asked how many cases were dropped because of the lack of lawyers and their ability to investigate cases.

 

Harcleroad responded they stopped prosecuting 1,500 non violent misdemeanors.  He explained when the police bring them a case, they review it and each lawyer chooses whether or not to file it.  He said sometimes they send it back to the police and it dies there because the police don’t have the resources to do the investigation.  He commented that of 5,000 cases per year, if they are going to try 120 cases, then they are almost at zero for prosecution in their department.

 

IV.  DEPARTMENT OF YOUTH SERVICES

 

Lisa Smith, Department of Youth Services, distributed information on the Phoenix Program.  She said with adequate resources the Department of Youth Services does an excellent job and has outstanding outcomes for the youth of the community.  She commented that it was easy for their small numbers to get lost in the other numbers.  She stated that the Lane County Department of Youth Services is the sole juvenile justice provider for all of Lane County.  She commented that cuts have been made for the past five years with no end in sight.  She added they are barely holding on to their detention facility.  She noted that any other reductions of any significance will result in partial or complete closure of the program.

 

With regard to Budget 1, Smith said they made reductions in line items.  She commented that it will be difficult to meet their two percent budget reserve as they have costs beyond their control.  She noted the biggest cut with Budget 1 is the closure of Pathways Drug and Alcohol Treatment Program.  She noted that Pathways is the only residential drug and alcohol treatment program for male juvenile offenders.  She said it means that over the year, 32 high risk delinquent boys will not receive drug and alcohol treatment in a residential setting and could be unsuitable to be in the community for other reasons. She said Pathways had been proven to be highly effective in reducing recidivism.  She commented that without the programs, the men will remain in the community without treatment.  She noted that Pathways provides 24/7 supervision.  She added it will bring parity to girls’ services because both boys and girls will receive nothing.

 

With regard to Budget 2, Smith said it takes all of the cuts in Budget 1 and adds additional reductions of 6.9 FTE employees.  She recalled for the past five years Youth Services had tried to save the positions despite having to make cuts every year.  She said they have no other options.  She noted they will be losing the Juvenile Forest Crew. She added the community would be losing eight hours of supervision for the youth seven days a week and they don’t have the capacity to absorb them in their other day treatment programs.  She said they have waiting lists for all of the other programs.  She added they will also lose their minority youth advocate.  She noted that person works with schools and social service agencies to make sure that youth of color and their families receive the services they need.  She added the loss of the position will incur at a time when the Latino population is on the rise in Lane County.  She said they will lose one-quarter of their executive assistant position and they will also lose an office assistant.  She reported that would leave Youth Services with a total of four office assistants to do all of the necessary paper work for their department.  She added that includes their federal reimbursements, Oregon Health Plan applications and grant processing for over 2,500 referrals per year.  She said they will also be cutting l.65 juvenile counselor positions.  She recalled when she started they had 40 juvenile counselor positions, and now are down to a 25 or 38 percent reduction.  She commented that the community can no longer afford to lose any more juvenile counselors.  She added the juvenile counselor provides the most important functions of the juvenile department.  She said they develop a youth plan and intervene with the juvenile and families and make sure the judge’s orders are carried out and treatment is coordinated for that youth.  She commented that this is at a time where violent crime and weapon usage among youth in Lane County is on the rise.  She said the positions they cut were throughout the department except for detention.  She added detention is so short staffed that to make any cuts they would have to close beds.  She said they purposely held detention harmless.

 

Linda Wagner, Department of Youth Services, stated they have implemented best practices of juvenile delinquency reduction services in a cost efficient way.  She noted that 30 percent of the kids in detention are meth users.  She said best practices had helped to reduce crime in the community by 800 or more.  That translated into a cost avoidance of about $5 million.  She stated they were asked to make this presentation in all other juvenile departments in Oregon.  She commented that the constant erosion of their resources will have an impact on what they will be able to produce in terms of victimization. She noted that for the first time since 1995 juvenile crime has gone up.  She added they hadn’t seen the problem since the mid-90’s in Lane County.

 

Holser asked if there was any penalty for not doing the mandates by law.  She also asked who was accountable.

 

Smith responded that there are some statutory requirements on what they need to have.  She said the only true mandate is the agreement they have with the state around juvenile crime prevention dollars and the diversion dollars.  She said they reduced their cap by 62 percent and reduced the money.  She said as they lose treatment beds and other resources, they might be committing more kids to the Oregon Youth Authority.  Going over the cap and the penalty would mean the state would take the money away, which would mean more reductions.  She said they based some of their budget assumptions on the governor’s recommended budget.  She said if that does not come through, they might be making additional cuts.

 

Stewart asked what the 30 percent cuts could do to their department.

 

Smith said it would completely close detention.  She said they would have to buy beds from neighboring counties for the few highest risk kids.  She commented that they would be the largest county in Oregon without their own detention facility.  She added they would be paying more per bed than what it is costing them currently because other places are charging more and they would have to pay for someone to transport the youth and assume all the medical costs.  She noted they have 32 beds to meet the needs of all of Lane County.  She reported they are prematurely releasing approximately two kids every day from detention.  She said they have the need for every bed and renting out beds would become a public safety issue within Lane County.

 

Green asked about minorities in Youth Services and what level of services they were providing.

 

Smith responded that they are providing a minimal level of primary prevention.  She said it is a base level because the dollars have been reduced from $1.4 million per biennium to $400,000 per biennium.  She didn’t know how prevention dollars would fare during the state budget process.

 

V. JUSTICE COURTS

 

Garnick reported the Justice Courts are in the special revenue fund and don’t receive general fund support.  He said they have two budgets, with a total of $3.4 million in Budget 1 and about $3.35 million in Budget 2.  He said because the reductions are so severe in Budget 2, they will be scrambling to address all the calls they can.  He noted the Traffic Team will be doing less traffic enforcement.  He said they were looking at reducing a position in the Justice Court system.  He explained if Budget 2 is implemented, they will still have a half-time judge and a full time clerk in Oakridge.  He added the judge in Florence will be reduced from three-quarters to half-time and she will have a .7 FTE clerk.  He said the change is the Florence Justice of the Peace will be reduced to half time and a full time will be eliminated at the Central Lane Justice Court.  He said when they reduce the court costs; it frees up that resource to transfer to help support the Traffic Team.  He indicated that it reduces their discretionary general fund.

 

VI. SHERRIF’S OFFICE

 

Russ Burger, Sheriff, commented that safeguarding lives and property is becoming difficult in Lane County.  He said the level of cuts they are facing is significant.  He said they currently have 387.5 employees.  He noted under Budget 2, they lose 167.3, if nothing else changes from the prioritization list.  He added under Budget 1, they would lose only 31.5 positions.  He stated when they created the information for the Budget Committee, it was based on the information they had at the time.  He said at that time it was possible that the governor’s recommended budget would come through and they included about $1 million in their proposed budget because they were facing cuts.  He said the Ways and Means Committee from the Legislature is recommending $1.3 million less that what they had originally anticipated.  He said they lose general fund dollars and the leverage money for programs also goes away.

 

Tom Turner, Sheriff’s Office, discussed different scenarios with personnel between Budget 1 and Budget 2. (Copy in file)  He reported they are trying to keep the costs for Fleet at a minimum.  He indicated the Fleet Coordinator works on getting deals for the Sheriff cars.  He said what was unpredictable was the cost of gas.  He added the cost this year so far has been over $300,000 just in gas. He added with Budget 2 they would lose the Fleet Coordinator position and over half of their staff.  He reported in his department, with Budget 1, they lose one to two people.

 

Denis Ewing, Sheriff’s Office, commented that it would take an additional 60 deputies in their patrol alone to equate to the Eugene staffing levels.  He reported that the criminal investigative services go away under Budget 2 and the Weighmasters are reduced by 50 percent in both Budgets 1 and 2.  He noted that 19 deputies provide 24/7, 365 day coverage, inclusive of vacations, court time, days off, training, illness and injury.  He said there had been a ten percent reduction in priority 1 and 2 calls due to the lack of deputies.

 

Ewing reported there has been a 31 percent increase in person crimes.  He noted that meth use was related to most of the property crimes.  He added that Lane County has more auto thefts per capita then 93 percent of similar metro counties nationwide.  He noted that meth was second to alcohol as the most prevalent substance of abuse among the overall treatment population in Oregon.  He noted for the drug detective, under Budget 1 he remains intact, but under Budget 2, the entire detective section is gone.  He said the responses to these crimes will have to be integrated into the office patrol triage. He said with fewer detectives there will be an increase in drugs.

 

Ewing explained that under Budget 1 and 2 the Weighmasters will lose 50 percent of their staff.  He said that would have a negative impact on truck safety as well as compounding the road maintenance dilemma and the decline of heavy vehicle enforcement.  He noted that ODOT is not available to pick up any of the slack as they only work state roads at fixed locations. He said under Budget 2, Search and Rescue is terminated.  He added the Dunes program is reduced 46 percent.

 

With regard to support services, Ewing reported that under Budget 2 they will suffer a 15 percent staff reduction.  He said there is an increased demand on an already overstaffed program.  He said the records section is also responsible for handgun licensing and the cuts from Budget 2 will affect it.  With regard to the Communications Officers with Budget 2, they will lose 20 percent of their staff and it will negatively impact the 24/7 operation and coverage and the general inquiry assistance and response time to non critical issues.

 

With regard to adult corrections, Ewing reported the Budget 2 scenario will negatively impact the police services division, emergency forest team, civil section, search and rescue.  Also, the communications supervisor, two records officers and three communications officers are eliminated.  He commented that even though the programs go away, the mandates remain and must be absorbed by remaining staff and programs.  He said because of the cuts in program and staff, the Sheriff may respond to burglary, auto theft, drunk drivers and misdemeanors in progress.  He indicated they will not respond to other calls unless unusual circumstances warrant it, including lost and found calls, civil disputes, animal problems and other victimless crimes.

 

Kevin Williams, Corrections, reported they are running a lawful jail where litigation is almost non-existent.  He said they subscribe to evidenced based practices for managing the inmate population.  He said if Secure Rural Schools is not renewed, inmates in other counties are stating that as soon as their sentence is done, they are moving to Lane County because they know Lane County will not be able to keep people in custody.  He said they have increased their jail capacity, adding three beds to the Community Correction Center.  He said they added 32 beds to the jail. 

 

Williams noted under Budget 1, they have 18 records officers processing in excess of 15,000 book-ins and releasing and arranging for transportation of inmates.  He added under Budget 2, they will drop to 12 records officers and will be able to process about 12,000 a year, or a 30 percent decrease.  He explained under Budget 2, they are not just losing records officers; they are going to be losing a Deputy Sheriff and other support staff.  He added with vacations and illness, they end up with two people on each shift to manage 1,000 book-ins and releases a month.  

 

Williams reported that 166 offenders participate in an education program and all would have been released before due to overcrowding, but they now go to class.  He said they now require them to go to the Offender Management Center and they work out a plan for the inmate, but the capacity to do that is going away under the budget scenarios.  He noted under Budget 2, the day reporting education program will be eliminated.  He added the pre-trial deputies will be eliminated and sentenced offenders will be released due to overcrowding. 

 

Williams commented that there will be a litter problem because in Budget 2, they have one deputy who will supervise approximately 60 Eugene Municipal Court sentenced inmates.  He added they will have a 90 percent reduction in road crew inmate capacity.  He noted they would have a decreased ability to manage inmates and 1,530 inmates will be released to the street under Budget Scenario 2, without serving their sentence.  He said with the Community Corrections Center and Forest Work Camp closing, community service programs being cut and the bulk of the jail being cut for offenders, he will not have the ability to manage over 1,500 inmates.  He said with Budget 1 there is over 1,000 community service participants, who the Courts have directed to provide community service, with almost 29,000 hours of community service in one year. He added 125 community organizations are benefiting. He noted under Budget 2, their average daily capacity will decrease by 450 inmates they won’t be able to manage.

 

With regard to the Forest Work Camp, Williams explained that under Budget 1 they have a 125 bed facility, but are only housing 100 inmates because they don’t have sufficient funds to keep the Forest Work Camp open.  Today they are not at full capacity.  He noted the inmates at the Forest Work Camp are from the Lane County Circuit Court, Muni Court, Parole and Probation and other County agencies.  He said there are 23 deputies who supervised 687 inmates who successfully completed the program.  He said the average length of stay at the Forest Work Camp was 47.3 days.  He explained that the Forest Work Camp provides labor for the BLM and the Siuslaw, Umpqua and the Willamette National Forests and community contract work.  He noted in Budget 1 they are providing educational opportunities for inmates.  With regard to Budget 2, they will lose the entire 125 bed facility.  He added they would lose the revenue generated by the Forest Work program.  He indicated they would lose the ability to fight the wildland fire hazard because the inmates fight forest fires.

 

For the Community Corrections Center, Williams noted the average length is 61 days and almost all residents are employed in the community or attending educational courses.  He said they pay fines and costs related to their incarceration.  He indicated that they generate $662,000 in revenue at a cost of about $300,000 in County general fund money.  He reported under Budget 1 on July 1, they are going to lose the capacity for 36 beds at the Community Corrections Center, along with the revenue associated with it.  He said because the jail has been at capacity every day, there will be no place to put the displaced inmates--they will go onto the streets.  He said that fewer inmates will have the opportunity to financially support their families while in custody.  He added they won’t have tools to make life changes.  He reported under Budget 2 there will be the total loss of the Community Corrections Center, losing all $622,000 in revenue and there will be 119 more offenders that will not be able to put in the jail. He added they have a Bureau of Prisons contracts that generates more revenue because they have federal inmates in the Community Corrections Center.  He said if they close the Community Corrections Center, they will lose the inmates and that money.  He added if they do reopen it, they will no longer be under the grandfather clause and will have to renegotiate the contract, plus there would be no revenue from the feds for about 13 months.  He added under Budget 2, they would lose the contract with federal pretrial services and more people will be released and untreated.  He said Lane County buys  medical coverage for the inmates they move back into the jail.

 

With regard to the electronic surveillance program, Williams reported they have two deputies that monitor about 43 inmates per day and they will bump that up to 50.  He added it is a revenue generating program.  He noted that last year they had 156 inmates who successfully completed the program.  He noted under Budget 1 there would be no changes, but under Budget 2, the program will be cut half and they would lose 25 slots and the revenue associated with it.  He said that would force another 25 inmates onto the street without supervision.

 

With regard to medical staff, Williams explained that under Budget 1, they would have a reduction in medical nurses and office assistants. He added in Budget 2 the Health Services Manager goes away.  He said they would have additional reduction in medical staff.  He said they currently have 21 medical staff to provide the services to inmates and under Budget 2 it will go down to 11.  He said that would be a 50 percent drop in their ability to provide medical services but the demands will go up because the population will go up.

 

Williams reported the jail facility today has the capacity for 507 beds.  He said because they don’t have enough deputy sheriffs, there are several parts of the jail that are closed and they only have access to 405 beds.  He said the amount of money he is provided to run the jail gives him enough for 12 inmates.  He indicated it is his responsibility to come up with different ways to generate revenue, leverage the money and increase jail capacity.  He explained that they have 100 beds at the Forest Work Camp that are occupied and 119 beds at the Community Corrections Center.  He noted the east annex is closed as they don’t have enough deputy sheriffs to open it and they lose the capacity of 72 beds.  He added a federal consent decree limits their ability to reach the maximum capacity at the jail of 93 percent.  He noted on a daily basis he has 30 beds he doesn’t have access to because of the consent decree.  He reported with all the beds available to provide service, there are 624 beds for the entire county of 335,000 in 4,600 square miles.

 

Williams indicated with Budget 1 they are going to have a decrease in the main jail with 327 beds available but the contracted beds don’t change, as those are fixed costs.  He said they would remain at 100 beds for the Forest Work Camp, but the Community Corrections Center would be lowered in capacity.  He said they would have 155 beds and intake closed and half of the third floor would be closed as of July 1.  He indicated 25 beds will be limited to the federal decree.

 

With regard to Budget 2, Williams reported they would be down to 238 beds.  He noted his contracts haven’t changed. He said there are 27 beds that would be available for pre trial and Measure 11 offenders.  He said there would no longer be a Forest Work Camp or a Community Corrections Center.  He explained that on average they have 72 Measure 11 offenders.  He noted that under Budget 1 that would not change, but under Budget 2, there will only be 27 beds available.  He said 45 would have to be released on Budget 2.  He said he would be uncomfortable releasing these offenders along with the 1500 others they are not going to manage.  He noted there would be 48 people total to keep working in the jail.

 

Williams reported that 41 percent of the current inmates have a current or prior violent offense.  He said it would be worse under Budget 2 as they will have people who are problematic.

 

Williams indicated there was a study last year that stated there needed to be 2.5 jail beds per thousand, based on an Oregon study.  He added that researchers claimed there were factors they didn’t take into account.  He said when that research was done, it was determined that Lane County needed 4.8 beds per thousand.  He said the reason there is a higher need in Lane County versus other counties in the state is because they are not prosecuting people that need to be prosecuted. He said they currently need 1,609 beds but they have 507 in the jail.  He indicated the ability is to manage about 1,551 inmates and they use alternative funding.  He said the current funding is at 1,424.  He added under Budget 1 it will drop down to 1,000 inmates and with Budget 2 it is 287.  He commented that with Budget 2 things will go from not adequate to disastrous.

 

Holser asked if Burger included the estimates of the governor’s budgets.

 

Burger explained when they put together the budget scenarios, it was based on the information they had at that time.  He noted the governor recommended the budget for Community Corrections of $5 million higher than for the last biennium.  He calculated that to a $1 million increase to Community Corrections. He indicated in the interim, they learned that the governor’s recommended budget had revenue that had not been realized.  He thought the prudent thing to do was go with the Ways and Means recommended budget.  He indicated it is $1.3 million less than what they anticipated.

 

Green asked if under the best case scenario how things would look if the income tax passes.

 

Burger said the income tax would replace the loss from Secure Rural School and it would take care of the structural deficit.  He said the way the Sheriff’s Office looks today is how it will look tomorrow.  He added if Secure Rural Schools is lost, the road fund takes about a $20 million hit and there would be reductions in using the road crew and the Weighmasters.

 

VII. ADJOURN

 

Chair Crowell adjourned the meeting at 9:25 p.m.

 

 

Melissa Zimmer

Recording Secretary