October 24, 2007

1:30 p.m.

Commissioners' Conference Room

APPROVED 9/20/2009

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


15.            HUMAN RESOURCES


a.            ORDER 07-10-24-8/In the Matter of Amending Chapter 3 of the Lane Manual to Create the Lane County Commission for the Advancement of Human Rights (LCCAHR) and Eliminating the Lane County Human Rights Advisory Committee and Updating the Lane Manual.


Van Vactor was asked to review the status of the Human Rights Advisory Committee.  He said there had been trouble with quorums and members staying on the committee.  He said the solution was to appoint a County Administrator Task Force.  He indicated they met seven times with a facilitator and went through a series of issues.  He noted that the County Administrator Task Force was not making every recommendation that was requested.


Greta Utecht, Human Resources, reported that the task force recommended that the name of the Countyís group be changed from Human Rights Advisory Committee to the Lane County Commission for the Advancement of Human Rights.  She indicated the appointments and structure were in line with what the Board has already discussed.  She noted that each commissioner would appoint one member to the new commission to represent their district.  She added the task force recommended that there be six at large appointees.  She said it would make it an 11 member commission as opposed to a five member commission and there would never be more than two County employees on the commission.  She stated that they recommended criteria for members and the potential screening process.  She indicated that staffing was a major discussion.  She reported that currently there is .5 FTE of an office assistant position devoted to supporting this program area.  She thought an office assistant level position was not appropriate for this kind of staffing commitment.  She said it is more of an analyst level.  She added that they recommended the staff person be able to support and oversee grant writing and monitoring efforts to get resources for this work.


Van Vactor said they also have to look at County Administration as a whole department.  He indicated there is a vacant administrative assistant position with one third time devoted for the Public Safety Coordinating Counsel. He said they are merging the Department of Management Services into County Administration and that position carries with it an Executive Session.  He added they also have a .5 FTE position in HR that would be moved.  He said if the Board agrees with the substance of the level of the position, that they want direction to staff to come forward with a specific recommendation.  He said they donít know yet what happens with the next County Administrator.  He thought there were enough resources allocated for a position.


Utecht recalled an ongoing frustration of members on the advisory committee is a budget of only $5,000 for ongoing activities. She indicated the recommendation from the task force is the Board of Commissioners be responsible as opposed to the volunteer commission members and commission chairs taking on responsibility.  With regard to complaints, she said the recommendation is that there is a qualified staff person assigned to take community complaints and to support commission members with those complaints.  With regard to advocacy, she said the task forceís recommendation is that a new commission be given the power.  She added the role of the commission would be to advise the Board of human rights issues, respond to the needs of the community, assist individuals with human rights concerns and encourage buy in from communities through outreach and education.  She stated that rural and metro outreach was an important role for the commission to take.  She indicated they have volunteers from the task force who said they would be willing to be on a subcommittee to set up criteria for seeking new members.  She stated the recommendation is that the current Lane County Human Rights Advisory Committee members be released from their positions and be invited to apply to the new commission.  She added that if the Board determines that this package should move forward, they would pull together the subcommittee and hope to have applicants screened by February and have a new group convened in March.


Van Vactor stated the one recommendation they didnít forward from the task force was recommendation 5, with regard to removal of members. 


MOTION: to approve ORDER 07-10-24-8.


Sorenson MOVED, Green SECONDED.


Sorenson asked if at any time the Board may remove members from the Human Rights Commission.  He wanted it stated that the Board of Commissioners may remove any member with regard to this commission.


Fleenor thought when they send out applications that they state in bold the members serve at the will of the Board.  He indicated that he had problems with part 2 a) 1 and 2 and part 2 e).  He wanted to state that the County provides video conferencing whenever possible.


Dwyer said he didnít want to see this as a commission.  He wanted a clear disclaimer that states what this commission does.  He thought calling it a commission would be confusing.  He commented that human rights are important but this commission was overreaching.


Green supported the advocacy and staffing.  He thought this being placed in the County Administration was better than in Human Resources.  He thought they should appoint someone within their district for the commission,  and they should also be the Boardís liaison.  He  noted the city of Eugene was a referral body but he sees this as a way to work things out.  He thought this was a good document and the members of the task force put a lot of their time into it because it was important.


Dwyer said he wanted a disclaimer that commission members were free to take  positions but they do not necessarily reflect the positions of the Lane County Board of Commissioners.


Stewart agreed with the advocacy piece.  He thought the rural outreach piece was important.  He also liked the name change to Lane County Commission for the Advancement of Human Rights.


Dwyer didnít want video conferencing to become an excuse for people not to show up for a meeting.


VOTE: 5-0.



Fleenor announced that he would be at Eat at Joeís in Blachly and at Robbieís Window Box in Veneta for coffee and conversation.  He attended the Walton Town Hall meeting regarding slowing traffic through the Walton community.


Green said there was an e-mail regarding the Active Bethel Citizens group having an online poll that ran for more than 60 days.  He indicated the question was:  Would you like to see the Lane County Fairgrounds be relocated to the Bethel area?  He reported that 63 percent said yes, 20 percent said no and 17 percent said maybe or not sure.  He reported that there was a tour of Golden Gardens and they ran a poll after the tour.


Sorenson reported that last night there was a discussion on the proposed  ballot measures that would provide taxes on cigarettes and tobacco products.  He added that the money would be used to fund the Healthy Kids Program.  He noted the Friendly Area Neighbors are meeting tomorrow night and he will talk about the Lane County Fairgrounds.


Stewart announced the lunch appreciation for the volunteers.


17.            OTHER BUSINESS




There being no further business, Commissioner Stewart recessed the Board into Executive Session at  2:30 p.m.



Melissa Zimmer

Recording Secretary