M I N U T E S

APPROVED by Board of Commissioners 9/3/2008

Joint Elected Officials

Eugene City Council/Springfield City Council/Lane Board of County Commissioners

McNutt Room—Eugene City Hall

 

February 12, 2008

6 p.m.

 

EUGENE CITY COUNCILORS PRESENT: Andrea Ortiz, Chris Pryor, Betty Taylor, Bonny Bettman, George Poling, Jennifer Solomon, Mike Clark, Alan Zelenka. 

 

SPRINGFIELD CITY COUNCILORS PRESENT: John Woodrow, Christine Lundberg, Hillary Wylie, Anne Ballew, Joe Pishioneri.  Councilor Dave Ralston was excused.

 

COMMISSIONERS PRESENT:  Faye Stewart, Bobby Green, Peter Sorenson.  Commissioners Bill Fleenor and Bill Dwyer were excused.

 

1.         JOINT ELECTED OFFICIALS MEETING:  Discussion of Inter-Jurisdictional Priorities    

 

His Honor Mayor Sid Leiken opened the meeting of the Springfield City Council.

 

Commissioner Stewart opened the meeting of the Lane Board of County Commissioners.

 

Her Honor Mayor Kitty Piercy opened the meeting of the Eugene City Council and welcomed the members of the Springfield City Council and the Lane Board of County Commissioners.

 

Commissioner Stewart thanked the City of Eugene for hosting the meeting and thanked everyone for attending. 

 

Review and Discussion of Issues List

 

Commissioner Stewart stated that each governmental body had concerns.  He referred to the three-page Joint Elected Officials Meeting:  Issues List dated February 12, 2008.  He hoped to discuss the issues list and then approaches on how to address those items on the list.  He wanted to establish some priorities and the next steps to take.  He asked Mayor Piercy to begin the discussion.

 

Mayor Piercy reviewed the list of issues that the Eugene City Council submitted, as follows:

·                    Homelessness, something the City Council believed should be “on the top of our minds” as it was a big issue for the entire community and the broader region;

·                    The Eugene-Springfield Metropolitan General Area Plan (Metro Plan) – House Bill (HB) 3337 created separate urban growth boundaries (UGBs) for Springfield and Eugene and requires Metro Plan amendments;

·                    Public safety, the jurisdictions need to work together to provide the best services possible;

·                    Enhance understanding of race issues and improve race relations;

·                    Transportation planning and funding – the Metropolitan Policy Committee (MPC) has adopted the Regional Transportation Plan that called for the TransPlan to be consistent with it;

·                    The Eugene council desired a discussion on Area Commissions on Transportation (ACTs) and the transportation funding needed for preservation and maintenance.

 

Mayor Leiken stated the following:

·                    The Springfield City Council was in agreement that the TransPlan work plan issue was important as were the Metro Plan UGB changes that had arisen from HB 3337. 

·                    Springfield wanted to bring forward the need for an update of the population projections.  Mayor Leiken averred that Eugene and Springfield needed to have separate projections.  He said Springfield prepared its final draft of the residential lands study and was initiating a study of industrial lands.  He wanted to ensure that, with that information, the projections would show where the two cities needed to go.

 

Commissioner Stewart presented three items from the Lane Board of County Commissioners:

·                    The commissioners had concerns related to the Oregon Revised Statute (ORS) 190 agreements of urban transition between the city limits and UGBs and that sometimes citizens in that area did not feel they had representation;

·                    Financial/revenue concerns – property tax revenue was substantially reduced by ballot measures 5, 47, and 50 and the County was experiencing difficulty in meeting the demands of its citizens for services.  One of the problems lay in the Metro Plan and what it required to create a special district;

·                    The commissioners also had concerns regarding how resource areas, farm ground and forest ground, could be protected as growth was allowed to occur.

 

Commissioner Stewart remarked that none of the elected officials around the table were present when some of the agreements and working documents had been established, such as the Metro Plan.  He shared the frustration other elected officials felt as to how those agreements applied and as to whether they were working in the present.  He agreed that it might be time to look into them and see if they could be improved to help serve the citizens better. 

 

Commissioner Stewart encouraged the elected officials who were present to make comments that were constructive and positive.

 

Discussion – Preferred Approach(es) to Address Issues and Establishment of Priorities

 

Commissioner Stewart asked to go around the table in order to garner input on preferred approaches to addressing the issues.  He noted that the Joint Elected Officials would likely have to meet again since it would not be possible to tackle all of the issues in one sitting.

 

Mayor Piercy suggested forming cross-jurisdictional groups to meet given the magnitude of the issues.

 

Eugene Councilor Bettman believed the issues were shared but the strategies of the jurisdictions were different.  She pointed out that all of the jurisdictions wanted to improve public safety but she believed the County wished to establish a special district to do so.  She recalled that the Eugene City Council had not supported the establishment of such a district in the past.  She acknowledged that the Metro Plan amendments would have to be dealt with given the passage of HB 3337.  She thought the cities of Eugene and Springfield could come up with separate drafts for the amendments and then reconcile the two.

 

Commissioner Sorenson supported working collaboratively on mutual issues.  He declared that to say that Lane County was in a difficult position was an understatement.  He stated that the community at large would be significantly affected if the budget currently under consideration came to pass as of July 1, 2008.  He listed some of the cuts, which include a reduction in the number of Lane County Jail beds to 12, elimination of the Lane County Public Health Department, and virtually eliminating the Department of Youth Services.  He underscored that this was not a budget that one commissioner championed, but rather was a joint decision of the whole Board, made under dire circumstances.  He reiterated that to say the community was facing a significant impact of the proposed budget was a “complete understatement.”  He felt that the elected officials would look back on the current meeting and ask themselves what they did in anticipation of July 1, 2008.  He wanted to get the conversation on to the “harsh reality.”  He said the County needed the help of the city jurisdictions to ameliorate the impacts of the coming budget on their respective constituents.

 

Springfield Councilor Lundberg agreed there were some issues that overlapped more than others, and cited the need for Metro Plan amendments as one of them.  She thought it would need immediate attention because it would take a while. 

 

Councilor Lundberg agreed with Commissioner Sorenson that the County was faced with the most challenging scenario of the three jurisdictions.  She said special districts could be a remedy.  She was uncertain what they would be or how they would look at this point.  She indicated she would prioritize special districts and TransPlan and Metro Plan changes as they were things that could be worked on jointly.

 

Eugene Councilor Ortiz said her challenge lay in that she did not want to discuss special districts without going to the voters.  She underscored that this was not because she did not believe it to be a good idea.  She expressed appreciation for the joint meeting and agreed that the jurisdictions should meet more often. 

 

Councilor Ortiz agreed that the Metro Plan issues needed to be addressed and that there were issues of public safety that should be discussed. 

 

Councilor Ortiz also wanted the communities to work on being more inclusive.  She said the jurisdictions should encourage communities of color to be more involved.

 

Commissioner Green said when the urban transition agreement was developed 20-plus years ago it had been a useful tool to help guide cooperation and partnerships throughout the region.  He thought it merited revisiting but he did not believe this could happen without revising the Metro Plan agreements, especially in regard to the provision of services.  He pointed out that the County was the designated provider of services to residents who live outside the city limits.  He stated that the question was how to fund the services, adding that if the services were not provided through a special district then what should be the medium for service provision? 

 

Commissioner Green felt there was a need for a body that was dedicated to coming up with resolutions.  He opined that there were “enough bodies coming up with conflicts.”  He asked how they could “get to yes.”  He noted that the MPC had once been seen as the body.  He wanted to create an independent body consisting of citizens and elected officials that would work toward agreements.

 

Eugene City Councilor Poling likened narrowing the list of priorities to trying to choose which child was the “favorite child.”  He said public safety was important to him.  He believed the whole public safety system was on the verge of “absolute failure.” 

 

Councilor Poling thanked the commissioners for bringing up the ORS 190 issues.  He believed that some of the Metro Plan amendments were “housekeeping” and could be easily addressed, and then the more complex issues should be tackled.  He added that he had no objections to making the Joint Elected Officials a regular meeting.

 

Eugene Councilor Solomon appreciated the effort made to bring the three jurisdictions together.  She believed it was a legitimate use of time.  She liked the “problem-solving tenor” that had been established.

 

Eugene Councilor Zelenka said the jurisdictions needed to focus on transportation planning, the Metro Plan, and public safety.  He remarked that the big issue related to public safety was how to pay for it and where the resources should come from.  He added that the jurisdictions should also address triage and how they could cooperate.

 

Springfield Councilor Ballew noted that the jurisdictions were against the clock with regard to the changes required by HB 3337.  She said they also needed to be in agreement on the TransPlan and the Regional Transportation Plan.  Additionally, she agreed that the three jurisdictions needed to address the County’s financial situation.  It seemed to her that public safety or public health would be a “good place to start.”

 

Eugene Councilor Taylor averred that they needed fewer organizations and not more.  She felt that the things the jurisdictions needed to discuss together were the things they could not solve themselves, such as homelessness.  She said they needed to think about what the three jurisdictions could lobby together for.  She felt that if there were a lot of services for homeless people in one place, the homeless people would go there. 

 

Regarding transportation funding, Councilor Taylor averred that the “day-to-day stuff” people really cared about were potholes.  She felt that there were things the City could not do by itself but could be done on a county level.  She supported holding a discussion on whether to form an ACT. 

 

Springfield Councilor Pishioneri wanted the group to create a strategy for addressing the issues.  He said they needed to prioritize the issues and if it came to potholes versus public safety, the latter seemed more important.  He wanted to look at all of the issues raised by the jurisdictions and to determine what they had to do and what was not required to be done.

 

Eugene Councilor Clark agreed with Commissioner Green and Councilor Ortiz that the Joint Elected Officials should have quarterly discussions.  He believed that all of the issues affected more than one jurisdiction.  His priorities included public safety and updates to the Metro Plan.  He thought the Metro Plan was outdated and needed to be revised.  He saw the serious financial shortfalls the County was facing as a challenge to all three jurisdictions.  He supported approaching priority setting from a regional perspective.

 

Councilor Clark stated, as the representative for the Santa Clara area, that he was concerned that the jurisdictions did not have a group of citizens who were county residents and were not provided services because of the changes at the state level brought about by Senate Bill (SB) 417.  He wanted to ensure that before such a law was enacted there were agreements between the City and the County that provided citizens with recourse should provision of services become an issue. 

 

Springfield Councilor Wylie noted that the Metro Plan had been mentioned on all three of the lists of issues and, as such, she thought it was a good place to start.  She was interested in working on the TransPlan and transportation issues.

 

Councilor Wylie stated that the public safety and public health issues would affect everyone.  She averred that they needed to be thinking clearly about how those issues would affect each jurisdiction.  She noted that she served on the Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Committee on Financing Homelessness and Housing Programs and that she intended to keep working on social issues. 

 

Springfield Councilor Woodrow thanked everyone for meeting together.  He agreed with Commissioner Green that there should be an inter-jurisdictional committee or commission that “gets to yes.”  He averred that by working together the jurisdictions could resolve some of the issues they faced.  He suggested that staff from Eugene and Springfield could work together on the housekeeping portions of the Metro Plan amendments and prepare a recommendation. 

 

Councilor Woodrow said public safety and ORS 190 were most important to the jurisdictions.  He felt an inter-jurisdictional committee could work on those issues.  He added that he would be happy to collaborate on such a committee.

 

Eugene Councilor Pryor felt there were common issues that could be perceived as the “low hanging fruit.”  In reviewing the lists he noted that the Metro Plan amendments, public safety, transportation issues, and the provision of urban services had risen to the top.  He also agreed that the three jurisdictions should meet more often, perhaps quarterly.  He suggested that by meeting more frequently they could handle the issues in steps.  He agreed that it could be prudent to create subcommittees or task forces to work inter-jurisdictionally on the individual issues and then have the subgroups report back to the larger group. 

 

Mayor Leiken called the meeting a good start.  He saw common themes in the discussion.  He called the Metro Plan the “800 pound gorilla in the room.”  He believed that if they dealt with the Metro Plan issues they could address the ORS 190 agreements because they were in conjunction.  He said even the public safety issues fell under the Metro Plan.  He also supported addressing the issue of homelessness.  He felt the Project Homeless Connect should be more than a one-day event.

 

Commissioner Stewart opened the table for another round of comments.

 

Councilor Bettman said, in terms of creating a new body that would take on conflict resolution, this had been the charge of the MPC.  She asked if the bodies would want to discuss reforming the MPC so that it was more representative and had a democratic voting process.  She preferred meeting regularly as the Joint Elected Officials. 

 

Councilor Bettman stated that the Metro Plan changes she spoke of were strictly with regard to HB 3337.  She was not talking about changing who would be the provider of urban services or special districts or other ways the Metro Plan could be amended in order to facilitate some of the other issues.  Regarding urban transition, she wondered why the County would want to take on the corresponding planning and permitting for it. 

 

Councilor Bettman commented, in terms of an ACT, that if they started with a “functioning process” for prioritizing transportation projects that had been vetted through the elected bodies and the communities and had multiple stakeholders working through a democratic process, the other transportation issues would “resolve themselves.” 

 

Councilor Clark requested that any subcommittees or work groups formed provide their results to the Joint Elected Officials and not just individual jurisdictions.

 

Commissioner Sorenson remarked that he would prefer that the group give some direction and say that the MPC process should be reformed.  He reiterated that the number of jail beds would be reduced to 12 under the proposed budget and pointed out that currently the Lane County Jail housed eight people suspected of murder.  He questioned why a process would be set up to meet quarterly if they were not meeting about “front burner issues.” 

 

Councilor Zelenka did not want to create more bureaucracy.  He averred that they should fix what they had instead of creating something new. 

 

Councilor Zelenka thought the largest problem with the TransPlan issue was that it needed a functional prioritization scheme for the community about what the transportation needs were and where the funding should go.  He hoped they would end up creating some committees made up of equal representation from the three different bodies on transportation, on planning, on public safety, and potentially on homelessness issues.  He thought the committees could create work products for the review of the whole body.  He echoed Councilor Taylor in that these were the issues that the individual jurisdictions could not do alone.

 

Councilor Ortiz acknowledged that there was a looming crisis.  She did not want to walk away from the meeting without having a mechanism in place to address some of the issues.  She said while fixing the roads and amending the Metro Plan were important, if they were not keeping the community safe and were not addressing issues with Emergency Medical Services and the youth issues then they were not tackling real needs. 

 

Mayor Piercy said she would like to know how the City should look at the situation the other jurisdictions were in and to identify the challenges and determine how to get together to work on them.  She also thought they needed to find ways to address these issues legislatively.

 

Councilor Woodrow remarked that part of the problem with understanding Lane County’s situation was that the cities did not have the same information that the County had.  He envisioned the process that Commissioner Green suggested as providing the public complete access to this information.

 

Councilor Woodrow said the people who work on the MPC did not work on public safety.  He agreed that the Joint Elected Officials should meet quarterly and also supported statements made that suggested that any subcommittees of this meeting should report to the quarterly meeting and not individual jurisdictions.

 

Councilor Pryor did not want to create something that duplicated what already existed.  He felt that if the MPC was working it should be kept as it was.  He also supported quarterly meetings of the Joint Elected Officials. 

 

Regarding the formation of subcommittees, Councilor Pryor said the groups should have defined purposes and mandates and when the work was completed, the groups should be disbanded.

 

Councilor Bettman did not think “spawning” subcommittees would answer the questions. 

 

Commissioner Green related an example of a jurisdictional partnership that had been formed to collaboratively address a service provision issue.  He stated that the City of Charlotte, North Carolina and Mecklenburg County had gotten together over 20 years ago because the county had arrived at the conclusion that it could no longer afford to provide the full services of the county.  He said the county approached the City of Charlotte and the city had decided to do the patrolling and to handle the jail, as the city population was larger than that of the county.  He doubted if this type of collaboration would work in this area but he set it forth as an example of people getting together to achieve a solution.  He said if this was a challenge that some people were not willing to step up to, then the problems would still be here. 

 

In response to concerns expressed about the creation of another layer of bureaucracy, Commissioner Green pointed out that an ACT was just such a layer and was not required by the State.  He noted that Lane County was not the only jurisdiction that did not have an ACT.  He averred that they needed to determine what worked best for the area.  He suggested that someone demonstrate the benefits of forming an ACT.  He had talked to several other commissions on transportation around the state and believed there were plusses and minuses to such an endeavor. 

 

Councilor Lundberg cited Team Springfield, which was a joint venture by public agencies to fund bicycle patrols, as another example of cooperation for a common goal.  She said as those who made all of the ordinances, the elected officials had the responsibility to come up with solutions to local issues.  Aside from the transportation issues that needed to be dealt with right away, she was looking at public safety as it was a “huge issue and a huge budget issue.”  She averred that the Human Services Commission (HSC) and the Housing Policy Board (HPB) could potentially focus on a set of tasks with regard to homelessness.  She observed that the Public Safety Coordinating Council (PSCC) was a huge group that was sometimes cumbersome.  She suggested they pull out the elected officials from that group to focus on public safety.  She thought the same approach could be taken to the MPC and a focus subgroup could be formed.  She added her willingness to meet quarterly.

 

Councilor Clark recalled that he had brought the County’s “cut list” to the Eugene Budget Committee the previous year.  He felt there was not a crisis of will; it was a crisis of certainty.  He declared that the jurisdictions of Eugene and Springfield, and Lane County, had “some of the finest staff in the country.”  He had no doubt they would come up with potential solutions if the jurisdictions would commit to working together.  He thought the subcommittees should determine what service levels were expected and then ask staff to explore what it would take to get to those levels.

 

Commissioner Sorenson reiterated the direness of the county budget situation.  He suggested having the two mayors meet with Commissioner Stewart and return before the Joint Elected Officials with what they should be considering.  He questioned the necessity of starting another whole process when the HSC, HPB, PSCC and other groups already existed to work on these problems.

 

Councilor Ballew stressed that they did not have limitless time nor did they have limitless staff.  She underscored the need to work on what they could do, e.g. the work resulting from the passage of HB 3337.  She acknowledged that the County’s financial crisis would affect everyone.  She suggested that they ask staff to return with the impacts of the crisis on their jurisdictions.  

 

Councilor Wylie thought they could work on some of the issues.  She commented that if there was another school shooting, or someone shot on the street in Eugene, or rabid dogs attacking children, citizens would come to their elected officials asking what they had done to plan for this day.  She said the County’s crisis was coming.

 

Mayor Piercy surmised that they needed an emergency plan in order to get through a potentially difficult time. 

 

Commissioner Stewart stated that despite what would happen with the County’s financial problems, there would still be some services taking place.  He said they had a plan and were trying to deal with the coming situation.  He related that the County Commissioners had tried to create a funding solution to solve the problem but the citizens had not supported its actions.  He thought the County could still see some relief before July 1 but it did not mean they would not plan for it.  He believed that they could do multiple things including land use planning in spite of the potential shortfall.

 

Commissioner Stewart summarized what had been said thus far:

·                    There was support for looking at the Metro Plan, with general support for looking at the immediate problems facing the Metro Plan and the people who were affected, as a result of HB 3337.

·                    There was interest in reviewing the Metro Plan to look at the general housekeeping issues and the urban transitional agreements and special districts.

·                    There was a strong interest in public safety and concerns expressed about financing fire and police services and how to keep funding for them going.

·                    There was strong interest in the TransPlan, potential interest in an ACT, and how to fund road repairs.

·                    Some interest was expressed in forming a resolution body between the three jurisdictions.

·                    Some interest was also expressed in pursuing solutions to homelessness.

 

Commissioner Stewart observed that there was strong interest in meeting on a quarterly basis.

 

Councilor Bettman wanted to take the topics that had been raised back to the individual bodies in order to make the decisions there.  She explained that the Eugene City Council could review the Metro Plan and determine where it should be fixed.  She felt that using the “opportunity” of HB 3337 to address a “whole Christmas wish list” of other items was not efficient.  She averred that those were policy decisions that must be made by the elected body.

 

Mayor Piercy noted that the majority of the Eugene City Council had voted to do only the “minimum planning.” 

 

Councilor Pishioneri said he preferred having the hired experts look at the problems and offer up multiple options for the elected officials to consider based on “their educated points of view.”  He underscored that they were paid to be a resource and should serve as such.

 

Commissioner Green said he had observed each body’s process.  He asked how the Joint Elected Officials would “get to yes” after the individual elected bodies had met and considered the issues.  He asked what mechanism would drive the three jurisdictions to move forward; what voting procedure would it use?  He averred that it would be helpful at some point in time if the three groups could have a discussion on developing a mechanism that they could agree upon to “get to yes.”  He stressed that the three jurisdictions still had to figure out how to agree regardless of which issues they decided to take on.

 

Councilor Pishioneri concurred.  He supported working with their counterparts to reach the same options to move forward with.  He thought they could make progress on some issues in this way.

 

Councilor Ortiz asked for input from the two respective city managers and the county administrator.

 

Eugene City Manager pro tem Angel Jones commented that the jurisdictions were all “part of the same puzzle.”  She said part of the joint meeting was intended to determine how to move forward while recognizing that the three jurisdictions did not always agree.  She felt the starting point should be where there was agreement and then to move into strategizing on how to find agreement on the points on which they did not agree.  She remarked that from a staff perspective, those issues were discussed all of the time and it seemed the jurisdictions were not that far apart when looking at the “big picture.”  She agreed that staff should take a look at the top priorities and then come up with some options because it was their job to do so.  She underscored that they needed to do it collectively because they did not have unlimited resources, they were speaking of the same pool in terms of the community at large, and they were dealing with the same issues and having the same impacts. 

 

Lane County Administrator Jeff Spartz noted that he had served in this capacity for six weeks.  He averred that from what he had seen in the interactions of the Joint Elected Officials, they should “grab hold of a couple of the issues” and work with them.  Regarding public safety, he remarked that it was “amazing” how common the threads were from one jurisdiction to another in the country.  He believed that what would solve the problems would be to identify the larger ones and then worry about the nuances later.  He suggested that if one method did not work they should move on to another method.

 

Springfield City Manager Gino Grimaldi felt that the TransPlan was a common issue.  He suggested that they should first take a look at the scope and start working through a work plan.  He saw the MPC as the perfect vehicle to do so.  He observed that the County had “a lot of energy around” the ORS 190 agreements.  He thought the best place to start there was to get a proposal from the County and this discussion could take place at the MPC or a subcommittee of that body.  Regarding HB 3337, he recounted that the suggestion had been made to look at the conforming language and see what issues arose from that.  He suggested that one or both jurisdictions come up with the conforming language and then see where the differences lay and work from there. 

 

Regarding Commissioner Green’s suggestion to form a separate body to “get to yes,” Mr. Grimaldi thought they could either look at a separate body or look at modifying the functions of the MPC.  He observed that special districts were an issue between the jurisdictions.  He suggested that they work on resolution, but if no resolution could be achieved, then the jurisdictions needed to acknowledge this and move on.

 

Councilor Zelenka concurred.  He thought there should be four committees for the different areas of concern, with the MPC potentially serving as the entity to focus on transportation issues.  He supported having staff scope out the issues and narrow and define them in order to find the areas of agreement.  He suggested having the information that resulted from these activities brought back to the Joint Elected Officials as he felt it was the group that should “get to yes.” 

 

Mayor Leiken called the meeting a good start.  He reminded everyone that the public was watching.  He believed the jurisdictions needed “a couple of successes” or they would lose their credibility.  Regarding the public safety bond, he recalled that the three jurisdictions had worked together and the bond had nearly passed.  He averred that if all of the jurisdictions focused on one big issue a lot of good work would come of it. 

 

Councilor Bettman agreed that they should focus on “small, doable, and mandated activities” first.  She did not agree that the decisions should be made by the larger body unless they had been vetted through the individual jurisdictions.  She opined that it could be “to their advantage” to have a “metro police force.”  She averred that this was a policy issue that needed to be vetted in each jurisdiction.  She felt it would not be possible because the three public safety agencies were run in different ways.

 

Commissioner Green complimented Mr. Spartz.  He agreed that they should “grab a couple of issues” and work on them.  He clarified for Councilor Bettman that he had not brought up an idea of metro policing as an avenue for the three jurisdictions to pursue; rather, he had brought it up as an example of inter-jurisdictional collaboration. 

 

Commissioner Green did not think the MPC was the appropriate body to resolve issues because of its voting structure.  He recalled his service as a Eugene City Councilor.  He pointed out that at the time he and past Springfield Councilor Lyle Hatfield could have a conflict arise between jurisdictions and then work to reach a resolution. 

 

Councilor Wylie noted that Commissioner Stewart had assured everyone that the County was looking at fiscal options but she pointed out that there were only four months until July 1.  She felt the cities were not as “on top of it” as the County was and asked for an analysis of when to put some emergency services into place. 

 

Commissioner Stewart offered to make presentations on the current options for the County budget based on the different fiscal scenarios. 

 

Mayor Piercy indicated her interest in better understanding how it would affect the communities.  She added that for her it was important for the three jurisdictions to have “really good discussions.”  She thought that what happened when they arrived at a decision point was a “whole other thing.”  She averred that there were different philosophies and ways that the different communities decided to move and operate.  She felt there were things that they shared and agreed upon and things they did not share and agree upon.  She wanted to look for places where they could agree. 

 

Commissioner Sorenson related that the commission had been in a multi-meeting process to provide direction to the staff on the budget process.  He stated that the target date for release of the budget was April 21 and that the hearings and public comment period needed to be completed by the end of May.

 

Commissioner Sorenson commented that there were a number of multi-jurisdictional bodies in Lane County.  He did not perceive the MPC as being non-functional given that there had only been one veto in ten years.  He felt that if a body such as the HSC was not functioning, the governing bodies should bring members before them and ask why it was not working.   

 

Councilor Lundberg surmised that there was general agreement that staff could move forward with the Metro Plan issues.  She supported meeting quarterly.  She pointed out that the three jurisdictions had agreed on many plans in the past.

 

Councilor Woodrow expressed some concern that waiting 90 days to meet again was too long given the potential emergency situation the County was facing.  He added that the veto power that could be exercised at the MPC sometimes precluded having a conversation about an issue.  He supported coming up with a method to reach a solution. 

 

Work Assignments – Next Steps

 

Commissioner Stewart summarized the conversation and proposed the following as next steps:

·                    Regarding the public safety issue, he suggested that he try to get on the next available city council agendas in order to provide a status report on the budget process;

·                    The HSC, PSCC, and other relevant bodies will discuss the issues related to their respective missions;

·                    He asked the Mayors if it would be possible to meet with the City Managers and the County Administrator together as one to discuss the Metro Plan and transportation issues;

·                    Another meeting of the Joint Elected Officials should be scheduled for April.

 

Councilor Ballew said she would like to see the bodies be more “vigorous” and to be more prepared to take action.  She declared that the time to talk was running short.

 

Councilor Taylor commented that if the problem with public safety was related to money she did not see what the bodies could do about it.  She asked what good it was to talk about it. 

 

Councilor Taylor recalled an inter-jurisdictional group that had met to discuss transportation problems some years earlier.  She felt that no one had acted on the suggestions that had been made.

 

Commissioner Green supported the list as Commissioner Stewart presented it.  He stressed the importance of “starting somewhere.”  Regarding the public safety issue, he underscored that the County was a subdivision of the State; the question that the jurisdictions should leave with was what backup plan they would have in the event that the County had the ‘no new revenue’ scenario.  He said, as an example, they should consider what their plan would be when local prisoners could not be taken to the county jail. 

 

Commissioner Stewart thanked everyone for meeting.  He felt it had been a good meeting and he looked forward to the next one. 

 

Mayor Piercy adjourned the meeting of the Eugene City Council at 7:56 p.m.

 

Mayor Leiken adjourned the meeting of the Springfield City Council at 7:56 p.m.

 

Commissioner Stewart adjourned the meeting of the Lane Board of County Commissioners at 7:56 p.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

Angel Jones

City Manager Pro Tem

 

(Recorded by Ruth Atcherson)