August 5, 2008
Commissioners' Conference Room
Commissioner Faye Stewart presided with Commissioners Bill Dwyer, Bill Fleenor, Bobby Green, Sr., and Peter Sorenson present. County Administrator Jeff Spartz, Assistant County Counsel Stephen Vorhes and Recording Secretary Melissa Zimmer were also present.
1. ADJUSTMENTS TO THE AGENDA
Stewart indicated that 6 b needs to be taken first because it will have an impact on 6a.
2. PUBLIC COMMENTS
Lauri Segel, indicated that she was working on a deadline. She indicated she went to Land Management but staff wasnít there and she wasnít able to access materials. She asked if there could be a discussion about allowing additional time for deadlines.
Stewart asked if they could extend the deadline because of the power situation.
Stephen Vorhes, Assistant County Counsel, said whether staff is to accept an appeal depends on circumstances. He commented that being able to get information is different than submitting comments or filing an appeal. He said depending on the proceeding that is on the application, they could be flexible around comments.
Stewart asked to report back tomorrow on whether they could extend it and if it is legal.
Vorhes indicated that he could look into specific cases and what can be done. He thinks there is some flexibility.
Fleenor wanted to extend public comment for constituent service.
Segel didnít think the request from Springfield was legal. She said the statutory direction for safe harbor is when a county doesnít have a population forecast adopted within the last ten years or isnít intending on preparing one. She said if the County isnít doing anything about population forecast coordinating countywide and if they donít already have a population forecast adopted within the last ten years, then the city has an alternate route called the safe harbor. She thought Portland State University could do two PAPAís, one for the metro area and one for the small cities. She didnít know why the cities are using a medium growth scenario. She asked the Board to embark on a coordinated population forecast because they need an open process where the assumptions are on the table.
3. COMMISSIONERS' REMONSTRANCE
Sorenson announced the U.S. Surface Transportation Board will be holding a hearing on Thursday August 21 in Room 2200 of Wayne Morse Courthouse in Eugene. He said the purpose of the hearing is to go over the possibility of abandonment and discontinuing of service over the railroad line known as the Coos Bay Subdivision. He said the owner of the subdivision is proposing to abandon the railroad line. He said they need a hearing and approval to look into the railroad line and the discontinuance of service over the portion of the railroad of the subdivision line they lease. He thought staff should be involved in the hearing. He said it affects their economy.
Fleenor thought two commissioners should attend or send a letter.
Stewart wanted to discuss this at the end of the agenda. He wanted to represent the Board at the meeting.
4. EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660
5. COUNTY ADMINISTRATION
David Suchart, Management Services, explained why the power went out. He said it was determined the problem was a ground fault circuit interrupter but he wonít know for sure. He stated the equipment is no longer made and it will have to be rebuilt. He indicated that it will have to come from Los Angeles and they hope to receive it by tomorrow.
6. PUBLIC WORKS
a. WORK SESSION/In the Matter of Directing Land Management Division to Begin an Updated Coordinated Population Forecast Project.
Matt Laird, Land Management, recalled at the June 25 Board meeting he presented the Board with five options for conducting population forecasting in Lane County. At that meeting the Board requested additional information on the top down method or Option 3. He said that might include contracting with Portland State University Population Resource Center. He said this work session today is to present the cost estimate produced by PSU. He said the estimate would include a coordinated population forecasting for Lane County and each of its urban areas. He wanted direction from the Board to begin the population forecast. He said the project involves hiring experts to perform population forecast. He added that it could be funded by three sources. He recalled at the last meeting $200,000 was placed into a contingency account set up by the Board. He added they also have a DLCD technical assistance grant pending and they have Land Management Long Range Planning Fund available. With regard to private sources, he contacted some of the cities and they were interested in population forecasting. He also spoke with EWEB and Northwest Natural. He stated at this time all have either commented or respectfully declined to participate with this project at this time.
Laird reported the cost estimate produced by Portland State University includes a fee of $41,400 for the final report and $1,485 for an additional two hour meeting in Eugene. He said the original estimate was $50,000. He said staff time involved with Option 3 would be .5 FTE, around $50,000. He said the process will take approximately 12 months to complete. He said the total cost estimate for Option 3 is $92,885. He said if the Board directs Land Management to do Option 3, Portland State anticipates they would present their final report in March 2009. He added that staff would then process the population forecast as a Post Acknowledgement Plan Amendment. He said if it goes through 90 days, the project would go to adoption in June 2009.
Dwyer thought it was the logical way to go.
Fleenor asked if PSU would object to come down to provide a work session in advance of any work so the Board of Commissioners, the Planning Commissioners and the public understand the process and they are comfortable with the methodology they are proposing. He indicated that the population forecast is not a land use issue
Vorhes explained the way the law is now structured for the County to get to an adoption of a coordinated population forecast, it will involve a land use decision and a land use process. He said they arenít compelled by law to have a full public process. He said they could make that choice. He said for this Board to embark on a coordinated population forecast project, it will entail a land use process that involves citizens and part of the debate is how much citizen involvement is necessary.
Fleenor thought public comment would have a role or assumptions for PSU researchers to calculate. He wanted to err on the Goal 1 side.
Green asked how it was determined that PSU would be the one to receive the work. He asked if there was an RFP or if they are a sole source provider of the work.
Laird said they contacted PSU and they didnít put out an RFP. He said they were limited as to who was available and who hadnít already participated in this record and PSU was one of them. He indicated that they would be looking at an IGA with them.
Green asked if they were required to do an RFP.
Vorhes said they were looking at PSU, as that was direction of the Board. He added because it is a government agency the Board can enter into an IGA without using competitive selection.
Fleenor wanted this done in a transparent and public manner. He said if they choose Option 3, that at every juncture they make this as transparent as possible, inviting the small cities and the other stakeholders to be involved. He asked if they could consolidate the time frame.
Laird responded that he heard he had to get information out to PSU and that is what he did. He asked PSU if they could expedite this if they paid an extra fee and the answer he received was no because they have a limited amount of staff. He said their March 2009 date for a final was true to when they would finish. He thought he set up an ambitious schedule with only putting in 90 days for the land use process involved with a complex PAPA. He also scheduled the Planning Commission meeting before the final report came out. He said he will try to do it as quickly as possible.
Green stated that they need to give staff direction to do the work. He thought it would be fair to acknowledge what the cities are asking. He said if not, it goes back to the whole premise as to why HB3337 now exists.
MOTION: to move Option 3 without the Springfield language and with the addition of a work session that would be available as was described and to give direction to staff to do it in an expedited manner as possible. He wanted a check in once per month on the status. He said if they encounter a barrier that might affect the timeline, to check with the Board chair to explain the barrier.
Dwyer MOVED, Fleenor SECONDED.
Fleenor commented that the expedited factor is critical because small cities have infrastructure projects that they are waiting on.
Stewart was in support of PSU coming down to give a presentation. He thought they wanted to go with PSU because they felt LOCG just asked people what they wanted. He thought it was important to explain to the citizens why they have to go through the process, not to ask for input. He didnít know the advantages of taking this over item 2 recommended by staff previously. He commented that no one would determine whether PSU projections will be any more than the others and they might not be more defensible than the process that has already taken place. He was hopeful that if they go this route they can get the grant and it wonít be too costly. He hoped this didnít jeopardize some of the small cities projects.
Fleenor commented that experts are good but they are they leaders who make the decisions. With regard to Option 2, he thought it was faster and cheaper if they didnít factor in that there would be an appeal from the opposition that might keep the process from moving forward from months or years. His intent is to try to put together a process that is as defensible as possible so they can move this forward with minimum likelihood of an appeal.
Laird said they can add another work session. He commented that it will well exceed what is required for citizen involvement. He said for them to undertake this project, the Board would need to place a high priority in the next exercise of prioritizing long range work programs. He said it would have to come out as one of the top three for them to do it.
Vorhes indicated that he will try to craft an order that reflects this tomorrow. He said they will need to talk to PSU about what they are going to do and be part of the contract negotiations.
b. DISCUSSION/ACTION Board Direction Concerning the Land Management Division - Land Long-Range Planning Section Work Program and Revenues During the Fiscal Year 2008-2009.
Kent Howe, Land Management, recalled that on April 30 they provided the Board with 20 long range planning projects. He said the Board was to prioritize the matrix and schedule a future work session. He said on May 14 they assigned a couple more projects: the appeals process and fees and the permitting for solar and other alternative energy sources. He sent out another matrix and received responses from three commissioners. He added on July 9 they added the scope of work detailing the tasks required to terminate the Metro Plan Urban Transition Agreement and make associated policy amendments to the Metro Plan. He noted there are a large number of complex planning projects that have become highly politicized. He indicated that if they would do all of the projects, it would take approximately 6 FTE to carry out all of the work involved and they only have 2.4 FTE. He provided different scenarios. (Copy in file).
Stewart asked if they could commit that the coordinated population forecast as the number one project.
Fleenor wanted to reserve the right to add an additional component with FTE to the coordinated population projects. He thought .5 FTE would be the minimum. He thought they should add a .25 FTE or .50 FTE to expedite the process.
Green thought this got to a resource issue. He noted they only have two people to do the work.
MOTION: to give direction to staff to pursue Q , W and X for 1. FTE
Fleenor MOVED, Dwyer SECONDED.
Fleenor said out of these programs, he thought the three they have just isolated are important to the citizens they serve. He stated that this will have a direct and immediate impact on the citizens. He commented that the other items are vague as to how they will impact the citizens.
VOTE: 4-1 (Stewart dissenting).
8. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS
Green announced that last night ODOT held its first open house public information regarding the Beltline/River Road corridor.
Fleenor reported that he will be in Missouri for a family reunion. He stated that Mike Clark and Dianne Burch will have a community dialogue at Daniís Coffee Shop.
9. CORRESPONDENCE TO THE BOARD
10. COMMISSIONERS' BUSINESS
Testimony at Rail Abandonment Hearing. on August 21
Stewart indicated that it was recommended they speak as one voice to come up with comments.
Fleenor commented that West Lane County is going to have the greatest impact as far as rail transportation across that portion of the County. He said there are many structures that are in dire need of maintenance or reconstruction. He said for someone to want to purchase the broken down railroad is ludicrous. He thought they should discuss whether that is an appropriate subsidy considering the economic issues at play. He said they need to make it clear to their representatives that if they are going to subsidize anything, they should be helping the citizens of Lane County, not the railroad. He wanted to send a clear message that if a subsidy is involved then they have to discuss where the money is going and the most effective and efficient way to use the money.
Spartz said there is no reason why they should be pushing to get a subsidy for a rail company that has adequate resources to do what they need to do. He thought they should look at forming an IGA with the other affected jurisdictions. He thought if subsidizes came in that the public should own the line for the purpose of serving the community.
Dwyer wants someone to frame the letter that makes the public policy arguments based on the common good. He thought Spartz should draft a resolution along the lines to present to the commission on what their position is as a Board.
Stewart didnít think they should abandonment. He said they want to abandon portions of it. He thinks it has to remain whole from Eugene to Coos Bay at this time. He wanted to make it clear that abandoning it is not an option. He said whatever they have to do it has to remain that way and if there are large subsidizes that it doesnít go to a private company but the publicís interests.
Green agreed with what had been said. He thought Alex Cuyler, Intergovernmental Relations Manager, should be involved and that he and Stewart should attend the meeting.
Stewart reiterated that Spartz would work on this and Stewart would present the resolution.
11. EMERGENCY BUSINESS
There being no further business, Commissioner Stewart adjourned the meeting at 11:20 a.m.
Melissa ZimmerRecording Secretary