LANE COUNTY BUDGET COMMITTEE

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

5:15 p.m. Ė 9:00 p.m.

Harris Hall and Commissionerís Conference Room

APPROVED 4/30/2008

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

 

I. APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF MAY 1, 2007

 

MOTION: to approve the minutes of May 1, 2007.

 

Dwyer MOVED, Bartlett SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 9-0

 

II. UPDATE ON SECURE RURAL SCHOOLS FUNDING

 

Tony Bieda, Intergovernmental Relations Manager, recalled the Secure Rural Schools Act was first enacted into law in late 2000 and was operative 2001 through 2006.  He said it expired on September 30, 2006 and the last payment was received in the current fiscal  year.  He added starting early this calendar year with the 110th Congress, the Oregon delegation attempted to get a one-year extension of the action.  He noted there was legislation in the 109th Congress that adjourned around the holidays that would have extended the act seven more years at the current funding level.  He indicated that neither the House nor Senate version of the bill advanced during the two years of the 109th Congress.  He reported what was left in the short term for the 110th Congress was to extend the act for one year.  He indicated the legislative vehicles that were available early in January and February were continuing resolutions not including any extensions of authorized programs.  He said they opted to include an extension in the emergency supplemental bill that Congress knew they would have to pass before Memorial Day.  He reported the first version included a one year extension for Secure Rural Schools and that was vetoed by the President.  He said Congress came back the following week and introduced a new emergency supplemental.  He said the House included a one year extension and it went to Conference Committee and was agreed to and passed by the House and Senate and signed into law by the President before the Memorial Day weekend.

 

Bieda explained that they have one more year of funding.  He indicated the payments will be in the calendar year or in the second quarter of the Countyís fiscal year.  He said whether or not they receive any additional money is questionable.  He reported that the original program has expired and has not been reauthorized.

 

Green asked what was taking place in Salem regarding the Countyís dilemma and if there is urgency.

 

Bieda said a lot of the energy at the legislative level to help counties out in the short term has dissipated.   He indicated there are still some resources that have not been spoken for through the appropriations process that would give counties an opportunity for better funding in the next biennium.   He said the pressure is to fund community corrections, public health, supplemental funding for district attorneys statewide, community mental health and the youth authority.  He thought Lane County could receive additional funding of $15 to $30 million in the next biennium to fund County shared services on a statewide basis.

 

III. COMMITTEE DECISION Ė BUDGET #1 OR #2?

 

MOTION: to move Budget 1.

 

Dwyer MOVED, Sorenson SECONDED.

 

Dwyer recalled that Budget 2 was predicated on not getting Secure Rural Schools funding and  it was the doomsday budget.  He commented that the doomsday budget has been delayed.  He said the intention was to have one budget that could be adjusted to live with and one that would create havoc if they didnít receive Secure Rural Schools funding.  He wanted to go with Budget 1 and then modify it as they move forward.

 

Sorenson didnít think they built any of the income tax into Budget 1 or Budget 2.  He said Budget 1 was premised on getting the federal funding and Budget 2 was not getting the federal money.  He didnít think they should go to Budget 2 as a starting point because they hadnít gone into detail on what Budget 2 was about.  He wanted to use Budget 1 as a starting place and be careful on how they spend things.

 

Holser agreed what had been said.  She commented that even Budget 1 would not fulfill all of Lane Countyís needs because of rising costs.  She wanted to start with Budget 1 as it lays out the groundwork.

 

McCown thought Budget 2 would offer them a place to build as opposed to cutting back.

 

Bartlett asked what would happen to the Extension Service under Budget 1.

 

Garnick explained that Budget 1 was an across-the-board cut so all programs took some reduction and the Extension Service took a 10 percent reduction.  He noted Youth Services took a larger percentage cut and Pathways in Budget 1 is still cut.

 

Sorenson asked with the addition of money into the general fund if it made the job of the Budget Committee easier and if there was money available for programs like Pathways.

 

Garnick recalled when the Leadership Team gave direction December 4, it was not only to cut the $3 million shown in the Financial Forecast, but also to cut an additional 10 percent.  He said there is an additional $301,000 they cut over and above what they needed to balance Budget 1.  He indicated there is $301,000 for the committee to restore any programs.  He added Lane Countyís growth for benefits was less than what they had originally built into the budget.  He said they have to adjust it in Budget 1.  He added that  because of the changing of the FTEís they had to recalculate the PERS bond.  He said as a result, they would have $589,000 before they discuss the car rental tax that would be available.  He said the alternative is to put that money into reserve so they could continue some programs longer.

 

VOTE: 8-1 (Hijmans dissenting).

 

IV. CLARIFICATION OF COMMITTEE DECISION

 

Garnick explained the Budget Committee has about $3 million in reductions in the general fund.  He indicated everyone took an across-the-board cut in Budget 1 but the cuts were not as severe as they thought.  He noted that Pathways was one of the only programs that was going away entirely.  He added the Kennel Tech position in Animal Regulation was restored. 

 

V. IMPLICATIONS OF ONLY ONE YEAR OF SECURE RURAL SCHOOLS FUNDING ON BUDGET #1

 

Van Vactor commented that with the Secure Rural Schools Act funding only reauthorizing a one year extension, it is difficult to do multi year planning and getting efficiencies.  He thought they were entering an era that was the end of the federal funding.  He said the difficulty of getting Secure Rural Schools funding renewed reinforces the fact that they have to examine what Lane County government is going to look like without the federal money.  He recalled they went to the voters in May and received a firm no.  He said the question is should they approach Budget 1, knowing that Secure Rural Schools in future years is uncertain. He said internally they have asked the departments to review the vacant positions in Budget 1 that are funded under the assumption the Budget Committee and the Board of Commissioners adopt most of Budget 1 as a starting point to review the vacant positions to see if they need to fill them. 

 

Van Vactor asked if they should be doing more knowing the Secure Rural Schools money is only for one year.  He asked if they should be doing more in terms of reductions with regard to Budget 1.  He thought there could be a Budget 1.5, between Budget 1 and 2.  He asked if they should come up with strategies to step the organization down.  He asked what the next steps were in trying to get an extension to Secure Rural Schools and when they would know.  He asked if the County should develop a strategy that if action hasnít been taken by mid September that it goes into an exercise that starts to step the organization down so they preserve some of the resources that have been identified.  He asked if they should be looking at mid-year adjustments assuming there is not a full renewal of Secure Rural Schools by the end of September.

 

Dwyer commented that it was prudent to pray for the best and prepare for the worst.  He wasnít opposed to a mid year correction or bringing the Budget Committee back.   He said they will know how many unfilled positions they have and what the trend is.  He thought it was a good strategy for a version 1.2.  He thought the Budget Committee should be involved in the process, but not later than Labor Day.

 

Green supported the approach about a 1.a. budget scenario.  He thought that Lane County as a county government will look different into the future and they will deliver services different.  He commented that they might not even deliver some services given the fact the public has told them no to any tax measures.  He said they have to live within the property tax because new revenues are not forthcoming.  He thought they had to bring the public along with whatever they do because there is a sense of disconnect.  He said they need more deliberative discussions and to right size the organization, given the fact they need to live within the property tax limitation.  He was in favor of putting something into a reserve so when they have increasing demand there is a source of funding they could use. 

 

Holser thought it would be valuable and more credible to the public if they do a review mid-year.

 

Sorenson thought if they do things next year they would be on the right course.  He thought Bieda should be bringing in updates from Washington, D.C. and then convening the Budget Committee on a quarterly basis.  He concurred with Dwyer about a possible Budget 1.2 and the Budget Committee prepped and ready to go when they see a change in the congressional cycle.  He thought they needed to be up front with people that they were not going out for a measure until they go through the budget to monitor the federal situation and to balance the budget with what they have been given.

 

Stewart wanted to put money into a reserve and hold back from spending it.  He also wanted to reconvene the Budget Committee toward the beginning of September to see if they need to make a mid-term correction to work on getting balanced for next July.

 

Crowell didnít think the money would come for next year.  He noted citizens had been telling them they need to live within their needs.  He didnít think they should ramp up spending and then end up with no funding.

 

Bartlett thought they needed to figure out how to be entrepreneurial and bridge the gap of the publicís lack of information.

 

VI. PUBLIC COMMENT

 

Charlotte Riersgard, OSU Extension Service, said she was speaking on behalf of staff and 900 volunteers.  She noted that the Extension Service has been a partner with Lane County for nearly 100 years delivering research based education that helps strengthen the community.  She indicated they collaborated with community agencies, leveraged funds and brought researched based education to County citizens, helping strengthen the community and its resources.  She appreciated the Boardís continued support as partners to help meet the challenges of providing a safe and thriving community.

 

Marshall Peter, Eugene, stated he is Executive Director of Direction Services that supports individuals with disabilities and their families.  He indicated they are a member of the Human Services Network and provide a vital safety net.  He noted that investment money leverages additional funding.  He commented the problems the Human Services Network deal with donít go away.  He encouraged the Board in the future to create a dedicated revenue stream for critical and social services.  He stated that the Human Services Network deserves to be a high priority.

 

William Wise, Eugene, said he is the Emergency Services Director for St. Vincent de Paul.  He said they work to prevent future public safety problems as well as treating social problems with a bare bones level of funding.  He commented if the Lane County Human Services Network were to disappear tomorrow they would all be impacted.  He said there are 51 critical services that are found through the Lane County Human Services Commission and they canít afford to lose any of them.

 

Craig Opperman, Eugene, stated he is Executive Director of Looking Glass Youth and Family Services.  He asked the Board to provide funding for Looking Glass Pathways Alcohol and Drug Treatment Program.  He stated that Looking Glass has been an integral partner with Lane County DYS and the development of the Serbu campus between treatment and detention.  He said with the closure of the transition shelter and assessment center (the Looking Glass Bridges program) on July 31 and the planned closure on June 30, the partnership between Looking Glass and DYS would be gone.  He said to operate services in the future; they might not be able to count on the County at all.  He asked for one year of funding to help them develop other resources to continue the Pathways Program more sustainable into the future.  He said they are committed to solutions that are not just County funded but they need at least nine months to come up with the solutions.  He said for the health and safety of the community, he urged the Board to restore funding to the Pathways program.

 

Steve Marks-Fife, Eugene, stated he is the Program Manager for Pathways and the Bridges programs.  He indicated both are being cut this summer and are going away.  His concern is they have been cut back to half.  He said they were cut to eight beds and they have run nine and ten boys in the seven to eight beds that were funded because they have the staffing and licensing to do so.  He stated he had been present since the first client came to Pathways, almost 16 years ago.

 

Tammy Roberts, Eugene, Development Director, Looking Glass, asked the Board to follow the Countyís Strategic Plan priority.  She stated that Pathways is an immediate critical life and health safety need for teenagers in the community who face drug and alcohol addiction.  She asked the Board to consider funding Pathways.

 

Rachel Hutchinson, Springfield, stated she is a high school student and a board member for Looking Glass.  She commented that Pathways was necessary for Lane County.  She indicated that every day people her age are making decisions that are going to affect the rest of their lives.  She said that Pathways has an 80 percent rate of success.  She asked to keep the program on the list.

 

Chris Monnette, Eugene, stated he is the Director of Operations for Royal Caribbean.  He said he gets the most reward for serving on the Board of Looking Glass.  He noted that Pathways operates at 30 percent less than if the County were to deliver the same services.  He said every dollar spent in Youth Services saves more than five dollars in later adult services.  He asked the Board to give them a year to get themselves to be self-sufficient.

 

Jerry Lidz, Eugene, stated he was the Past President of the Looking Glass Board.   He commented that it was an exceptional program that is evidenced based, nationally certified and has an 80% success rate.  He commented that it was a cost effective prime prevention program.  He stated they canít rely on County funding forever and they asked for one year of funding so they could transition this program into other sources of funding.  He added if this program closes as it is scheduled to do at the end of June, they canít bring it back.  He wanted the chance to find another source of funding.

 

Carolyn Fowler, Eugene, said she is a Board of Directors member for Looking Glass.  She stated that she put her daughter into this program and her daughter is now in the military and doing great.  She asked the Board not to give up on their kids.

 

Grace Serbu, Eugene, she stated seven years ago when the campus started, there was a private and public mission to keep kids safe.  She noted the Serbu grant funding funds about $150,000 straight to the County and half goes to Pathways.  She said if Pathways closes, the money is lost.  She indicated they could leverage about $200,000 by keeping Pathways open and running.  She didnít think the amount the County had to put in was that significant.  She urged the Board not to close this program.

 

Linda Kelly, Eugene, said she works with Food for Lane County.  She recognized the importance of the service net to support people and how all pieces of the net are crucial.  She thought it they cut positions it would be more difficult to rehire.  She thought there should be some way to get information on the local news that is not partisan that explains to people what the funding is and thinks it could help in the future.

 

Andy Benson, Eugene, stated he was an ex client at Pathways.  He said it got him a good job and helped him with schooling and to get on his feet.  He said the aftercare lasts for a year and it helped keep him sober.  He stated that he was a proven success.

 

Holly Benson, Eugene, said she is a mother of a graduate from Pathways.  She said before Pathways her son was dangerous and committed crimes.  She stated that without Pathways she wouldnít have her child back.  She asked the Board to think about saving Pathways and what they would do in the future.

 

Lisa Buttram, Oakridge, said she is a mother of a Pathways graduate.  She commented that everyone there is important.  She asked the Board to look elsewhere if they have to make budget cuts.

 

Maria Thomas, Department of Youth Services, said she was concerned about the budget cutbacks and how it will affect the communities of color.  She commented that if Budget 2 would have been allocated, it would have cut out the minority advocacy program and would have terminated six positions.  She said it would have created a stage for the staff of color to have to justify their position and needs of the community. She stated they need to look at best practices in making budget cutbacks.  She noted the DYS case load and the school districts mirror each other statistically.  She urged the committee to revisit the commitment they had with the implementation of the Diversity Plan and the goals they had to obtain in making budget cutbacks.  She wanted to preserve the hard work they had done and to represent the people that are in the greatest need in the community.

 

Bee Bee Head, a counselor at DYS, said they need people who could communicate with Spanish speaking children.  She wanted them to work to honor diversity.

 

Alice Knighter, Cottage Grove, said her son died from alcohol.  She asked the Board not to close Pathways.

 

Leslie Gustafson, Lowell, recommended taxing federal forest lands.  He said there are three national forests and Bureau of Land Management land and he thought the County should sell the land because they need the money.

 

Guadalupe Quinn, Eugene, was concerned about the work force that Lane County has.  She noted in Lane Countyís Diversity Plan it talks about itís the commitment Lane County has.  She asked how the goals were being assessed by the County.  She was most concerned about Lane County as an employer.  She asked what the criteria Lane County was using to ensure the goals in all areas are being met.

 

Carmen Urbina, Eugene, supported Pathways.  She had concerns around how Lane County supports diversity and multiculture within the County.  She recalled in 1990 the increase in communities of color was 9.2 and from 1990 to 2000 it increased 52 percent.   She said communities of color want to build what is in the now and what is the future for the County and the changing demographics.  She said they have to think about sustainability.  She stated they have to see their community as an asset, not a deficit.

 

Juan Carlos Vayea, Eugene, stated the community aspiration is to provide a solid, well rounded education for children and young adults.  He said part of the education is a crucial segment called multicultural education.  He said when young adults leave school; the hope is they will have tools they need to be successful.  He said the important tool is their ability to interact with other individuals of different backgrounds.  He said demographics are changing and they need to adjust to them.  He said that funding for a diversity position is crucial.

 

Francisca Leyva Johnson, Veneta, asked the Board to consider the damage they are doing when they build capacity within the departments regarding diversity and they begin to look at cuts.  She commented that it would take forever to rebuild the capacity.  She stated that it is hard when employees of color are the first to go.  She asked to look at what they are spending on recruitment and what they are losing after they invest in the individuals they hire. She stated that diversity was the correct thing for the Board to look at.  She asked the committee what happens when they donít follow through with the commitment to diversity.  She encouraged the Board to support a summit to look at keeping people of color.

 

Jorge Navarro, Eugene, said he is the Executive Director of Centro Latino Americano.  He believes that dialogue is essential on how they look at County services.  He said they have to recognize the presence of the Hispanic community and the gift they have to offer.  He encouraged the Board to engage the community in dialogue.

 

Jim Hale, Eugene, said they need to ask the voters to address the deficit in spring next year. He commented that cuts by attrition are not good.  He thought they needed a countywide police measure that gives money to cities and unincorporated Lane County and charges everyone the same for the police they need.  He said they need a plan that says they are going to do things better, not worse.

 

VII. BREAK Ė move to Board Conference Room

 

 

VIII.    OPEN DISCUSSION AND FINAL BUDGET Q&A

 

(Bill Fleenor present via speakerphone)

 

Garnick distributed budget materials. (Copy in file.)  He said for Pathways the amount for restoring the program for 12 months is $349,407 and for nine months is $262,055.  He indicated it is for eight treatment beds for boys. With regard to the DA cuts, he said there would be an add package that would restore some of the funding.  He noted the amount should be $298,184 instead of $288,834.  He noted when they did the  10 percent across-the-board cuts, they were able to restore some cuts.  He indicated there was $301,620 to restore, making $589,223 to take care of services that are still being scheduled for reduction. He added what was not included was what the Board did this afternoon: to approve car rental tax and the transient room tax swap.  He said instead of 24 percent, 76 percent went into general fund and it provides another $622,000.  He said they are facing cuts next year and the message is to be prudent.  He added that if they do a mid course correction, they need to decide if they would spend all the money.

 

Snowden indicated he made a presentation to the Board this afternoon.  He said they looked at Budget 1 in Parks and they thought if they took a long term view of what they believe is full Secure Rural Schools in the future, they were better off making adjustments to Parks this year.  He said the proposal for the car rental tax formula switched.  He noted that Parks receives $287,000 in CRT and the general fund gets $623,000.  He added as part of the package, the TRT switch would take place where Parks receives $400,000 for reimbursement to keep campgrounds open this year.  He said it would result in a net reduction to Parks of $223,000 in Budget 1.  He added they would have a new staffing structure, moving from 17 FTE to 14 FTE in such a way that there could be more flexibility in the summer months.  He said they are looking for partnerships with community organizations and user groups for volunteer maintenance and fee increases or user access fees to the boat ramps on the McKenzie.  He added it would give them more flexibility to maintain and operate parks and to reopen the parks that were slated for closure under Budget 2 and longer term stability.

 

Wilson stated there would be a reflection in the budget with the revenue stream from the CRT and any expenditures.  She said it should be a component of a technical adjustment.

 

Sorenson asked if they had $1.2 million, what the amount of cash carry forward or reserve would be.  He asked if they were spending the money on restoring some of the cuts.

 

Garnick thought Pathways and DA were good programs but they needed to keep a reserve.

 

With regard to the $1.2 million, Dwyer thought Pathways should be funded for another year.  He also thought funding the DA Felony Drug program was critical.  He also thought they needed to put in $3,000 for the Water Master and take the $600,000 left that is not in the prudent person reserve to leverage during the budget year when they meet in August.  He thought if they could get five dollars back for every dollar invested, they should invest it.  He was committed to doing that.

 

Fleenor asked if what the Marshalís Office was paying was full or discount.

 

Kevin Williams, Corrections, said they are paying what is legally permissible under law.

 

Russ Burger, Sheriff, explained the daily bed rate is $123.40.  He indicated that it takes in all indirects, administration, food service, maintenance and laundry.  He said when they subtract the revenue, it drops to $82.98.  He added the contract with the feds is for $89.00 per day per inmate.  He stated they were not losing money.

 

Schulz said from '06 to '07 they budgeted for 253 local beds in Lane County and during the year made adjustment to sell 50 more beds so they only have 203 local beds.  He indicated that under Budget 1, they will have 120 local beds on July 1. He said they were going from 203 beds to 120 beds. He stated they had to cut $3 million in Budget 1.  He said it didnít include any growth in the budget.  He said they sold 50 more beds to the U.S. Marshal and had to close the 35 bed jail intake, 36 beds in the Community Corrections Center and 48 beds in the third floor dorms. 

 

Tanya Heaton, Public Works, explained that Public Works was proposing what they had earlier with Parks, a Budget 1b with the changes on the white sheet. (Copy in file).  She said there are reductions with administration in grounds keeping, a clerical position, reductions in engineering and road maintenance and reductions in the CIP.   

 

Snowden said they would have a net reduction in the road fund of 20 FTE from July 1 to January 1.  He stated they didnít have enough money to keep the historic levels in the CIP. He explained that the Sheriff had reductions tied to the road fund with the Inmate Road Crew.  He said it required negotiations with 626.  He noted if there are layoffs or attrition due to funding, the Inmate Road Crew ceases to exist and they are eliminating several road fund positions.

 

Harcleroad asked how many road crews were being reduced.

 

Snowden responded that there were no reductions.  He said they were eliminating an OA position and 2.5 FTE of road maintenance workers.  He indicated they wouldnít lose road crews if they get full Secure Rural Schools funding.  He added they will talk with the Board in September to see if there is anything new with revenue from the state or  Congress and if there isnít anything new, they would look at making reductions.

 

Harcleroad commented that the loss of 7 FTE Deputy Sheriffs is a big problem for judges.

 

Sorenson asked about the comparison between the number of FTE of County  employees in the 06/07 budget and the 07/08 budget.

 

Van Vactor responded there are about 1450 employees and the cut list for positions in Budget 1 is 18 FTE  plus a large number of vacancies.

 

Holser was concerned about the reduction of treatment dollars to alcohol and drug contracts including detox.  She commented that any reductions in programs are going to end up in limited jail beds.  She wanted to see alcohol and drug contracts funded.

 

Rockstroh stated they were hoping the state may add back money with an increase from beer and wine money.

 

Fleenor asked what they could do to provide the highest level of public safety for the lowest possible cost.  He asked what they could do differently to bring the cost down.

 

Burger responded that they are faced with the way the physical structure is designed and the number of deputies and support staff needed.  He said it is hard to compare Lane County with other counties because of varying facts  He said they have to pay for medication for inmates and that drives the cost up about $13 per inmate for per day.  He indicated they were in the process of going through an analysis for what space is available and the true cost of transportation.  He said he would report back to the Board.  He added if they could move inmates and save money for Lane County they would consider doing it.

 

With regard to LCARA Volunteer Coordinator, Green asked why they couldnít contract out for the position.

 

Utecht said they couldnít have a volunteer do what regular employees are doing.  She said they could contract out by notifying the unions and giving them the opportunity to discuss the position.  She said they canít arbitrarily supplant union positions with volunteers or contract employees.

 

Holser recommended investigating contracting out for dog licensing.  She wanted to keep the credibility and quality of the staff they have.  She wanted to see more about LCARA and public relations.

 

Bartlett stated that LCARA needs more veterinarian services on site.  He asked if there was a delineation between positions already set in bargaining and services for consulting for the creation of a volunteer network that would be separate from the bargaining unit.

 

Utecht indicated that the position already exists as a bargaining position but they could contract through consulting.

 

Dwyer commented that a volunteer coordinator is important if trained appropriately and not dealing in politics but in production and putting people where they belong.   He said they could save animals at LCARA by utilizing the community that could work with all groups.

 

IX. COMMITTEE DELIBERATIONS

1. Issues for Deliberation

a. Takes 4 votes to bring an issue to the table for discussion, including moving funds between or within departments, proposing add packages or proposing a community funding request.

b. Takes 6 votes to approve any of these items.

2. Deliberation on overall Lane County Budget

 

MOTION: to add $298,134 for the District Attorney, $3,629 for the Watermaster, $72,578 for a LCARA Volunteer Coordinator, $349,407 for Pathways and the balance to an opportunity fund with a mid point check in September along with a program percent of year left and budget used so they know where they are, to make technical adjustments if they have to.

 

Dwyer MOVED, Bartlett SECONDED.

 

Dwyer stated it included the car rental tax that makes the reserve.

 

Stewart asked if the volunteer coordinator could be half time and split with neighborhood watch programs.

 

Rockstroh indicated it was hard to split the position between departments.

 

Stewart questioned if there was actually enough work for a full-time coordinator.

 

Hinjmans wanted funding for the DA and the Watermaster.  He wanted to fund Pathways for nine months, indicating that there would become a Pathways reserve and if they come to the Board at the end of six months and they show that they would be self-funded and  could continue, then they could have the money for the rest of the year.  He added if they are not self-funded, another $87,000 in reserves for the program would go away. He was in agreement with building as much in reserves as possible.  With regard to LCARA, his philosophy is that they need to take care of people first but because of what is going on in the jail with reductions in the criminal justice service in general, they need to boost the volunteer effort at the Sheriffís Office.  He said if they are going to have a volunteer coordinator added to Lane County, he thought it would need to be with the criminal justice services or prevention services instead of the animals.

 

Holser was in support of the elements of Dwyerís proposal.  With regard to the volunteer coordinator, she commented that it would get people more in touch with what they are really doing.  She asked by voting for this if it precluded them from examining any other item.  She asked if the proposal took all the available money.

 

Crowell indicated Hijmans suggested changing Pathways to a nine month contract.

 

There was not enough votes to move that suggestion forward.

 

Sorenson suggested funding Pathways, three volunteer coordinator with the balance going to reserves.

 

There were not enough votes to move the suggestion forward.

 

Holser wanted to add $232,000 for detox subcontracts.  She wanted to take this from the reserve.

 

There were not enough votes to move the suggestion forward.

 

Rockstroh explained that there was still a possibility that the state would come through with some of the money.  He said the $232,000 would mean beds in the detox facility at the Sobering Station.  He said if he received more than $232,000, he could backfill the reserves.

 

With regard to Dwyerís proposal, Sorenson asked what the FTE impact would be.

 

Garnick explained the impact to the District Attorney is 3 FTE, for LCARA is 1 FTE, and Pathways is 0.  He thought the overall reductions would be between 30 and 40 FTE with the technical adjustments.

 

Holser commented that the addition of the detox is not adding FTE, it just included the subcontract.

 

Dwyer thought it was a worthy program and they could add it after they see what they get from the state.  He said they need to reserve as much as they can. With regard to the District Attorneyís money, he said it is money they saved down the line because of the way the state reimburses. He added they would also lose their felony prosecution and there is a ratio that the state reimburses them based on their caseload.  He said it was in their interest to do that.

 

McCown commented that there is still the possibility of a $47 million loss next year.  He thought trying to spend the $1.2 million and not looking beyond this budget will return them to how they are now with cutting services.  He didnít think it was prudent to spend all of the money.  He wanted a discussion on what they are going to do with all the lost programs next year.

 

Bartlett thought going into an election year that the Secure Rural Schools Funding would be reauthorized next year at some level.  He thought they could review the budget as circumstances change and to meet more frequently as a Budget Committee to monitor it and adjust accordingly.

 

MOTION: to amend Dwyerís motion to authorize $232,000 to support sobering the detox station with the caveat that it would not be used if the state or other funding came through with the money coming out of the reserves.

 

Holser MOVED, Sorenson SECONDED.

 

Holser wanted it stated  in the minutes that there will be a review of this proposal, and the thought that it might happen didnít satisfy her.

 

VOTE: 5-5, MOTION FAILS.

 

The main motion is on the table.

 

McCown was in support of everything and wanted to be in a situation where they could put the entire budget through with the safety of having all the funding next year. He wasnít comfortable recommending the budget at this point without taking a closer look at preparing for the worst while hoping for the best. He commented that as of today they still donít have the funding for next year.  He stated he would vote against pushing this forward.  He wanted to look at drawing this down instead of going off the cliff next year.  He wanted to start with Budget 2 and then add back things.

 

Green supported Dwyerís proposal because the general public who had been paying attention to the County had been through a lot.  He thought they should make the decision to continue their efforts with the state.  He thought the substance abuse that Holser discussed could be brought up to the state. 

 

Stewart was in support of the motion.  He said they need to give other programs the opportunity to work as long as they can.  He commented that they do not have a fix-all solution.  He thought this gave everyone an opportunity to work the next nine months to find revenue sources to offset the potential loss.  He thought they owe it to everyone to try to find funding for their departments.

 

Holser didnít want to hold Pathways hostage. She thought a quality program for high-risk juvenile offenders should be part of their public program for youth and not have to be funded somewhere else.  She wanted to see a quality program for high-risk youth and supported the proposal.

 

Fleenor asked if Budget 1 addressed the structural deficit.

 

Garnick indicated they addressed it by making the $3 million reduction.  He added to the extent they have vacancies, it would have helped them with the structural deficit the following year, but because the federal funding would probably go away, they canít address the structural deficit.

 

Fleenor thought they should be making progress toward a sustainable economic future for Lane County and whatever budget they choose should be looking toward that economic stability.  He said they need to be cautious because of the resources they have.  He said they need to look at the structural deficit.

 

Garnick explained that without additional revenue and the loss of Secure Rural Schools, the only thing they can do is reduce the organization. He said if they donít have a multi-year solution by the end of August, then they would reconvene the Budget Committee to have a midyear correction.

 

Fleenor thought they should think of compensation of employees.  He thought a lot of the structural deficit is as a result of the compensation and it needed to be reconciled.

 

With regard to the structural deficit, Green indicated there was more than just the cost of benefits.  He said they are working with a $1.28 tax rate and until they get statewide reform allowing counties more money, they canít do anything.  He commented that they have been working on the structural deficit for the past 15 years.

 

McCown said the budget doesnít prepare them for the future.  He said the message it sends to the citizens is that they as a Budget Committee is against having to make the decisions of what they are going to cut.   He thought they might be able to save some jobs and programs beyond next year.  He commented that if they donít make any decisions, it might happen for them.  He said the public tells them they have to live within their means but they are not sufficient.  He said they donít know what would happen in the future.  He suggested trying to save programs for as long as possible.

 

Stewart said with this motion they adopted a 1.b budget for Public Works.  He said the County Administrator indicated the direction to his Management Team is if they have positions they have open and strategically they could be left open, they would do it.  He said they will meet again in August and thought what they were doing was prudent.  He disagreed with McCown.

 

Bartlett commented that there are constituencies for every program and every program to him is a priority.  He said they should see what happens with the future.

 

Sorenson agreed that by spending all of the money it would make it more difficult in the ensuing years.  He said they had an opportunity with this budget to involve the public.  He thought funding Pathways was a good choice and the commitment to have the Budget Committee actively engaged through the entire fiscal year was prudent. He said he would be voting against the budget.

 

Fleenor said if they pass Budget 1 and the Secure Rural Schools Act is funded next year, they still have a structural deficit.  He asked when they would be addressing the structural deficit.

 

VOTE: 7-3 (Fleenor, Sorenson, McGown dissenting).

 

MOTIONS TO APPROVE THE FY 2007-2008 BUDGET

 

MOTION 1:

 

Move approval of the entire FY 2007-2008 budget with all technical adjustments, additions and/or reductions agreed to.  He said they would also approve the swap of the car rental tax.  He said they want to reverse 76 percent for 25 percent. within general fund and Parks.

 

Green MOVED, Bartlett SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 8-2 (Sorenson, Fleenor dissenting).

 

MOTION 2:

Move approval of the FY 2007-2008 Permanent Tax Rate of 1.2793 per $1,000 of Assessed Value, and the Juvenile Justice Center General Obligation Bond Tax Levy in the amount of $2,877,912.

 

Green MOVED, Bartlett SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 9-1 (Sorenson dissenting).

 

MOTION 3:

Move approval to allow the Fair Board and the City of Florence to utilize excess transient room tax for their operations in the amount of $600,000 and $25,518 respectively, adding the additional $400,000 of Transient Room Tax for Parks operation.

 

Green MOVED, Bartlett SECONDED.

 

VOTE:  9-1 (Sorenson dissenting).

 

XI. ADJOURN

 

There being no further business, Chair Crowell adjourned the meeting at 10:05 p.m.

 

Melissa Zimmer

Board Secretary