January 8, 2008

9:00 a.m.

Commissioners' Conference Room

APPROVED 1/23/2008


Commissioner Faye Stewart presided with Commissioners Bill Dwyer, Bill Fleenor, Bobby Green, Sr., and Peter Sorenson present.  County Administrator Jeff Spartz, County Counsel Teresa Wilson and Recording Secretary Melissa Zimmer were also present.




Stewart indicated there was a correction to the title of W.3 D1).  He noted item W. 3.D.2) will be pulled from the Consent Calendar for discussion.




Jim Gillette, Eugene, stated he was ashamed of himself for having faith in the Board.  He thought there was a bias against him.  He didnít want this to turn into a nasty war.  He asked for proof on what actually happened.  He commented that he has facts on his side.  He wanted to go along with making his property a park.




A. Approval of Minutes


B. County Counsel


1) ORDER 08-1-8-1/In the Matter of Appointing One Lay Member to the Law Library Advisory Committee to Complete an Unexpired Term.


C. Health and Human Services


1) ORDER 08-1-8-2/In the Matter of Appointing Two Members to the Lane County Animal Services Advisory Committee.


2) ORDER 08-1-8-3/In the Matter of Reappointing Two Members to the Community Action Advisory Committee of the Human Services Commission.


D. Public Works


1) ORDER 08-1-8-4/In the Matter of Entering into a Revenue Agreement with the Oregon Department of Transportation (Region 2) for Construction Surveying Services in an Amount Not-to-Exceed $150,000.


2) ORDER 08-1-8-5/In the Matter of Authorizing the Expenditure of County Road Funds on Barrett Creek Lane in Accordance with ORS 368.031.


E. Youth Services


1) ORDER 08-1-8-6/In the Matter of Appropriating $995,108 from a United States Department of Labor Grant to the Department of Youth Services for Alternative Education and Job Skill Development and Authorizing the County Administrator to Sign the Grant Documents.


MOTION: to approve the balance of the Consent Calendar with item 3. D. 2) pulled.




VOTE: 5-0.


3. D. 2)


Ollie Snowden, Public Works, recalled when the Board gave direction to move forward, it wasnít clear what funding they wanted to use to pay for it.  He said because it looked like they would be creating a local access road, they needed to get authorization from the Board as to how much money would be spent and whether it was a one time or continuing expenditure.  He indicated the board order is written to come from the road fund.  He said the estimate is about $30,000 for the first year and half would be legal costs.  He added that a quarter of the money would be for the County Surveyorís office to prepare the appropriate deeds and easements and a quarter would be from the right-of-way section who will be going out to talk with the owners of the property over which Barrett Creek Lane has been created.


MOTION: to approve ORDER 08-1-8-5 with money coming from the road funds.


Dwyer MOVED, Sorenson SECONDED.


VOTE: 5-0.








Fleenor stated that he was appreciative of ODOTís great response and efficiency to clear Highway 126 in two days.


Sorenson reported in The Register-Guard, Dan Armstrong wrote an article and said over $600 million is spent by people in Lane County on food.  He added 10 percent is spent on food that is produced in Lane County.  Sorenson thought it was a great way for the community to keep more of the money people earn in the community.  He urged the Board to read the article and in economic development work to build a local economy that is sustainable.


Dwyer said he also read the article.  He said that was one of the reasons he wanted to preserve prime agricultural lands.  He noted the better the soils the more that could be grown.  He stated the biggest consumer of agricultural soils is the cities.   He said they need to think about the sensitivity of soils when thinking about adjusting the urban growth boundaries.




a. DISCUSSION Calendar.


Stewart discussed upcoming meetings. (Copy in file).


Amber Fossen, Public Information Officer, stated that the Board expressed interest in setting some dates for community outreach regarding the fairgrounds.  She recommended having a focus group in each of the commissionersí districts.  She said it could be followed by telephone polling on information they find out from the focus groups and then they could go forward with community meetings as opposed to starting with a community meeting.  She said with Option A they could launch the communication efforts in mid-late June.  She said it would allow the Board to focus the immediate efforts on examining the budget and the organizational goals and priorities.  She added it would allow her to focus on the communication efforts on keeping the public and employees informed throughout the budget process.  She indicated another option would be to kick off with the focus group and then come back and collaborate with the results and examine whether they want to take a next step.  She recommended approving Option A.


Dwyer thought Option A was reasonable.  He said there was no rush to have the meetings. He commented that they first have to take the budget into consideration.


Sorenson wanted to hone one public meeting in winter.  He indicated they said they would have five regional meetings and not doing any meetings would not give the public an opportunity to respond to what they had seen in November.  He thought they were going to take the information out and let the public respond for the publicís involvement.  He thought they should have one central meeting to give the opportunity for the fair users and the public to give their perspective.  He liked the focus groups and public opinion polling, but thought it was shifting off of what they said they would do in the November meeting.  He said not giving the public and users any opportunity to respond is not carrying forward with the promise he made.  He wanted one of the meetings in place.  He asked where they are going with this.  He said the direction was to let the public respond and see where it would go. He wanted a discussion about a possible move of the fairgrounds and the improvement of the existing fairgrounds.


Green agreed to have one meeting at the fairgrounds about the prospects of the future.


Dwyer asked where they were with the fairground plans.


Warren Wong, Fairgrounds, reported that as of the end of the November work session, they stopped with any plans.  He said the architect they met from Bend that helped design the Deschutes County Fairgrounds said he could provide what he did for their fairgrounds.  Wong said there is a task team in charge of the due diligence on potential sites and will begin to meet tomorrow.  He indicated that until they have an idea of what the site looks like, it is difficult to do a design short of just architectural markings.


Dwyer said they canít have a meeting until they are ready.


Fleenor said they need to be adaptive with the issue.  He commented that there is nothing fixed in stone and they have a lot of time.  He asked what the purpose was for having a single event.  He said they need to let the committee determine what options they have first.  He liked the idea of a focus group.  He thought they should slow the process down until they get the information they need to conduct the outreach meetings with an outcome.  He recommended Option A.


Sorenson said they shouldnít do the whole thing, but have a meeting and give the public an update on what is going in with the fairgrounds.


Stewart said they took public testimony at the fairgrounds meeting.   He said people have had the chance to speak.  He asked if they are providing the services the citizens want.  He said with the current constraints they have in managing the fairgrounds and the way it is today with the projections, it is questionable as to what will exist ten years from now and if they could even operate at the current site.  He thought they should ask the focus groups if they are providing the proper services or venue at the current site and what their suggestions would be if they look out at a ten year window.  He asked how they would keep it a viable site.  He said they should gather the information, do the telephone polling and have the community meeting based on the information they have received.


MOTION: to move Option B.


Dwyer, MOVED, Fleenor SECONDED.


Fleenor suggested having the vendors have their own focus group.


Sorenson asked what the budget would be for five focus groups.


Fossen responded that the estimate is about $15,000. She added it is not budgeted.


Sorenson wanted one meeting and one focus group.  He wasnít in favor of delaying this until June.  He said he has heard from constituents that they need a Lane County charter amendment to prohibit the Board of Commissioners from moving the fairgrounds.  He said there are people in the community who are concerned about the fairgrounds getting sold.  He thought they should get a report back from Warren Wong.  He also wanted to get a focus group on where the future of Lane County government is going.


Spartz explained that a single focus group would not be statistically valid.  He said they need a random sampling of at least 30 citizens.


Wong indicated that he is being asked by the vendors where the Lane County Commissioners are on the issue of the fairgrounds.  He asked the Board if they want a fairgrounds 20 or 30 years into the future.  He said they are talking about a planning horizon of about 50 years.  He asked if that was still an appropriate business for the County to be in.  He asked if it was going to be a fairgrounds or convention center.  He said those are policy issues the Board needs to discuss, come to a stance and then go to the public to get their reaction.  He said part of the reason for slowing the process is they talk about the fair and the budget and the public is asking why they are doing this.  He said the budget is the number one priority for the County and that is what he is hearing.  He said the County needs to fix its budget and then work on the fair.


Green said they are giving mixed messages to the public. He said people think Lane County has a funding problem and has to work the budget.  He said citizens didnítí know why they are concerned about the fairgrounds.  He commented if they want to do anything with the fairgrounds it will require some investment in the infrastructure.  He thought they would need some kind of bonding or revenue measure.  He is concerned the message they are portraying is that they are still following the fairgrounds without them working on the budget.  He thought they could have a combination of Option A and Option B.  He said they could have one meeting and have a mixture of the focus groups.  He commented that there is nothing preventing them from having a direction discussion with the vendors.


Fleenor commented that focus groups are not just about statistical analysis, it is about community involvement.  He said to have six focus groups for $18,000 was cost effective.  He said it is important information to get back from the community so they can decide what they are going to be doing with the community outreach.  He thought Option B was the best option with a sixth focus group that would represent the vendors.  He amended the motion that they would add one focus group for the vendors and add back steps 2 and 3to be completed as quickly as possible.


Dwyer accepted the amendment.  Fleenor accepted the second.


Fleenor commented they are facing a bigger issue with the budget than the fairgrounds.  He didnít want to delay but to get as much information as to how the public feels and come back after they go through the major budgeting and then have the community outreach.


Green said they need to get information and to determine policy direction they are trying to enact with staff.  He said they havenít talked about the fairgrounds and whether they want to invest in the  fairgrounds.  He said there was not a sense of urgency.


Spartz recommended getting the focus groups done and then disseminate the information to the community a couple of weeks in advance before the meeting they would have at the fairgrounds.


Stewart reiterated the motion is Option B, including a vendor focus group and to add back Steps 2 and 3 to be conducted as soon as possible.


Green recommended moving forward with one meeting.


Stewart proposed having one large meeting in February or March and asking the public what they want to see in a fair 25 years from now and if it is the right site.  He said they will do the focus group and follow the motion.  He asked to amend the motion to include a community meeting on March 12.


Dwyer amended his motion.  Fleenor amended his second.


Dwyer stated the meeting was predicated upon their receiving information from the task force.


VOTE: 5-0.


b. DISCUSSION Committee Appointments.


Fleenor asked to be taken off of Policies and Procedures and he wanted to be put on Finance and Audit.


Stewart asked to be added onto Policies and Procedures.


Sorenson asked where the Agenda Team fits on the list.


Wilson stated it had not been listed.


Sorenson stated it has been constantly referred to in the process.


Wilson indicated there was nothing in the manual or code regarding the Agenda Team. She said the responsibilities of setting the agenda is in Lane Manual.  


Sorenson wanted to see if there needed to be a Lane Manual change for the committee to be added.


Wilson said if they list the agenda team as a standing committee, then it would be a public meeting and would need to be noticed with minutes taken.  She said up until now, the Agenda Team has been advising the County Administrator in producing the agendas.   


Dwyer was happy the way it is.


Wilson said she would bring back information on the Lane Manual change.


Fleenor wanted to step down from the Lane Economic Committee.  Stewart asked to be place on that committee.


Sorenson asked about the Human Rights Advisory Committee.  He said a commission was formed and he didnít know if there were any commissioners assigned to be a member.


Wilson said she would come back next week with that information.


Green asked for an alternate on the Housing Policy Board.  Stewart said he would be the alternate.


Faye said the order will come back next week on the agenda with the noted changes.




a. Announcements






a. REPORT/Status of Audit.


Rob Rockstroh, Health and Human Services, explained in the State of Oregon, the commissioners are the Mental Health directors.  He indicated in 2006 the state Health and Human Services did an audit from 04 to 05.  He said with the recent audit, Health and Human Services is looking at rehab options.  He said there is a discrepancy on how people conceptualize rehab services not being medically necessary.  He said the audit started in April 05 and it came back to them in October.  He said they would not have done the stateís work and not get reimbursed for it. He said across the state there have been significantly large findings that have been reduced.  He said this audit is not as bad as what the government is saying.  He said they are relying on what the state is telling them.  He said the government audit was not to professional auditing standards, as the approaches were different.  He noted there is a meeting to negotiate this claim on January 22.


Spartz thought it would come down to a trivial amount of money.


Green said the way the government audits is different than professional audits.  He thought there should be a unified approach on this with the auditors across the state.


Al Levine, Mental Health, stated they are providing an excellent level of service to individuals when it is the stateís responsibility.  He said the state shifted them into the county with the express intent of putting this on the back of Medicaid funding and it wasnít designed for residential services.  He said they always ask the state how they document something when it doesnít fit into the categories Medicaid has.  He said they have been given specific instructions by the State Mental Health Division that they have followed and the auditors have taken exception to them following the instruction given by State Mental Health.  He indicated that the largest majority of the findings are in two categories.  He commented what was frustrating was the massive amount of time, energy, effort and cost associated with having to fight this.  He said this should not have been called the Final Auditing Report.  He indicated they are just now entering into the negotiation phase. He said because it was labeled final, it became a public document.  He thought it should have been the preliminary audit report and then negotiated.


Sorenson asked Levine after the audit meeting that he prepare a draft letter for the Board to consider that would help the legislators understand their frustration.


Stewart Bolinger, Auditor, stated he spoke with other auditors in California and they are having the same problem with the audit.  He said in California they are proposing to the legislature that the state audit agencies will be compelled to follow the professional audit standards.



b. ORDER 08-1-8-7/In the Matter of Adding One Full Time (1.0 FTE) Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner; One Full Time (1.0 FTE) Mental Health Specialist; One Full Time (1.0 FTE) Mental Health Associate; One Part Time Temporary (.50 FTE) Mental Health Associate Effective February 1, 2008 and Appropriating an Additional $107,735 in Revenues and Expenses in Fund 286 Department of Health and Human Services.


MOTION: to approve ORDER 08-1-8-7.




VOTE: 5-0.








Fleenor announced  his weekly commissioner dialogue.


Green announced a Housing Policy Board vacancy for an at large position


Dwyer stated that the Human Services Commission received a grant of $2.2 million to be distributed among area shelter agencies.  He added it is the largest grant that HUD had ever extended to Lane County.


Sorenson announced a meeting for local government officials to learn about voter owned elections.


11 EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660


Per. ORS 192.660 (2((h) for the purpose of consulting with counsel on litigation.






There being no further business, Commissioner Stewart adjourned the meeting at 11:20 a.m.



Melissa Zimmer

Recording Secretary