BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS'

REGULAR MEETING

July 23, 2008

9:00 a.m.

Commissioners' Conference Room

APPROVED 9/3/2008

 

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

 

1. ADJUSTMENTS TO THE AGENDA

 

None.

 

2. PUBLIC COMMENTS

 

Neil Friedman, Mayor, West Fir, discussed a train quiet zone.  He said if he can get a letter of support from the Board, they could declare a train quiet zone. 

 

Lynn Fogus, Veneta, commented that Public Worksí crews were amazing.  She stated that two weeks ago her mother in law fell and she thought the County helped.

 

Bob Cassidy, Eugene, reported that the commissioners in Los Angeles passed an ordinance banning plastic bags.

 

Jim Gillette, Eugene, thanked the Board for a hearing and for talking to Stewart.  He wanted to put his second hearing on hold.  He didnít read anywhere where it states if someone loses their case the fines would be retroactive.  He wanted to get this over with.  He didnít think the fine should have counted because weekends shouldnít count.

 

Ann McLucas, Eugene, recalled when she first met Jim Gillette there were two families living in legal trailers.  She relied on what Gillette said that they were legal and he got permits.  She added the permits were in arrears.  She commented that almost everyone in the County is in arrears on permits until they get a reminder.  She recalled Bob was renting a back room, which he is still doing.  She said the hearing was unfair, as it resulted in the $52,000 fine.  She commented that the accuser was a crazy lady and the delays were not Gilletteís fault.  She commented that the fines should not have been retroactive.  She indicated that vacations have been brought up and she was the direct cause of the timing of their vacation.  She said she only has certain times when she can take vacation.  She indicated that they will be gone for a month and hopes that would not be held against Gillette.  She commented that it didnít make sense to take the other court case before hearing the first one.

 

With regard to fines, Stewart noted that everyone gets charged for the first day.  He said there is a grace period of three days to come in.  He added that Gillette came in and applied for an indigent application because he didnít have the money and didnít believe he had the means to pay the fine.  Stewart said the process took three days, but when it was determined that Gillette did have the means to pay it, he came in and paid the first one day fine of $1,000.  Stewart indicated that was policy then but it has been changed to where people post a small amount first.  He said Gillette wasnít penalized for that in the process.  Stewart said Gillette was found in non-compliance and guilty.  He said he spoke with Gillette on the phone and Gillette stated he would not (no matter what) tear down the building that they classify as ďBobís House.Ē  Stewart added that it wasnít until after the hearing and Gillette was found guilty of being in non-compliance (because the County was moving forward with the foreclosure sale) that he determined he was going to find a way to make it happen.  Stewart said Land Management was able to permit the building as an accessory agricultural building for equestrians.  Stewart said it was only the fact Gillette took off in December for a prolonged vacation, that he worked with him for 18 months to get into compliance and Gillette said he wouldnít bring the specific structure into compliance.  Stewart stated Gillette was in non-compliance and guilty.  He wanted the citizens to know there was a whole picture.

 

Lorraine Still, Creswell, thanked Bill Dwyer for his letter to the editor in support of Bobby Green.  She and her husband have been coming to commissioners meetings for a long time.  She said some disagreements between commissioners could be heated but she said when the chips are down, the Board supports each other.  She stated that Green deserves the support.  She said Green has been a real asset to the County and he has helped bring in money to the County with his support of the Junior Olympics and the Olympic Trials.  She added that he showing courage in jeopardizing his career by backing a tax issue the public didnít like.  She said Green stood up for what he believed in and she thanked Dwyer and Green for their hard work.

 

3. CONSENT CALENDAR

 

A. Approval of Minutes:

June 18, 2008, Regular Meeting, 9:00 a.m.

June 18, 2008, Regular Meeting, 1:30 p.m.

June 25, 2008, MWSD, 9:00 a.m.

June 25, 2008, Regular Meeting, Following MWSD

 

B. Health and Human Services

 

1) ORDER 08-7-23-1/In the Matter of Ratifying the County Administratorís Decision Authorizing Submission of a Grant Proposal in the Amount of $500,000 per Year for a Maximum of Five Years for a Lane County Demonstration Project on Home Visitation Programs to Promote Healthy Children and Accept any Resulting Grant Award.

 

C. Public Works

 

1) ORDER 08-7-23-2/In the Matter of Authorizing Application for Funding from the Federal Highway Administration under the 2008 Oregon Forest Highway Program for Slide Repair, Retaining Wall Repair and Preservation Projects on Identified Roads.

 

MOTION: to approve the Consent Calendar.

 

Fleenor MOVED, Dwyer SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 4-0.

 

4. EMERGENCY BUSINESS

 

None.

 

5. COMMISSIONERS' REMONSTRANCE

 

Sorenson commented that the current crisis Oregon counties are going through are couched in the terms of the failure of the federal government to provide funding for counties.  He said the depths of local government finance that are currently affecting Oregon counties is beyond just the topic of whether the federal government will provide funding to those counties that have a lot of federal forest land within their boundaries.  He said the stress of numerous requirements from the federal and state governments to do things coupled with a stranglehold on the ability of those governments to provide for the money to run their governments, puts all local governments at risk.

 

Dwyer stated that there is no tax base in Curry County.  He said it is a tragedy

 

Fleenor said the attorney general has ruled that there is no constitutional provision for a county in Oregon to go bankrupt. He said the request is to fold it back into the county from which it came.  He said it is called the domino effect.  He commented that Lane County canít afford the other counties that are having financial problems.

 

6. COMMISSIONERS' BUSINESS

 

a. DISCUSSION/Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza.  

 

Stewart asked this to come before the Board because Victor Stathakis asked the Board to find a way to increase the number of days per month that they can use the Free Speech Plaza.  He said there was a letter given to the Board about a plan to implement in April 2009. He asked if Stathakis wanted to work on a plan with staff.  He was prepared to offer a longer time frame for them to use.  He didnít think they could gurantee any more Saturdays.  It was his understanding that if no one reserves it, then it would be open for them to use.  Stewart stated that it wasnít advisable to gurantee it to Stathakis every Saturday of the month.

 

Victor Stathakis, Wayne Morse Free Speech, reported the original intention was when the electricty was cut off and the new regulations came up, they were allowed to use the Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza twice a month for a maximum of three hours.  Stathakis said it curtailed their program. He said that was the reason for revisiting the decision.  He wanted to schedule this again in August.  He recalled that Dwyer said they didnít have to have electricity at the free speech plaza.  He wanted to have an ongoing discussion this winter.  He wanted a program that could take free speech to another level.  He wanted to put this on the agenda next month and see this Board take it from free speech to civil discourse.

 

Fleenor asked why they couldnít provide free access to electricity at all times. He asked why the County was prohibiting people from plugging into electricity.

 

Dwyer said the County has to pay for electricity.

 

Fleenor thought the cost was so low that it wouldnít bankrupt the County at $15 or $20 per month.

 

Stewart said they werenít discussing electricity.  He said when they schedule the free speech area, the power is put on. He thought Stathakis wanted more time and Stewart said in taking with staff, that more time was fine.  He added they have difficulty stating specifically that every Saturday would be taken for this program.  Stewart said they could have two Saturdays per month and it could be extended.  He added if they call ahead of time for the other Saturdays and it is not being used, they have the ability to use it.

 

Stathakis said it is not just electricity, he hoped the Board would make it a project that everyone could be proud of.  He said it needs management and they will step up to do it.  He wants it to be part of an ongoing discussion so it could be the Boardís project.  He said they could raise the money, but they need to hire a person to do this.

 

Dwyer commented that amplified speech is different than free speech and he didnít want there to be a control issue.

 

Stewart reiterated that this would come back as an agenda item in August.

 

b. ORDER 08-7-23-3/In the Matter of Acknowledging Peace Health's Grand Opening of Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend.

 

Stewart created this document to honor Sacred Heartís 72 years of being in the community, employing over 6,000 people in Lane County and their move to their new hospital.

 

Dwyer wanted to delete the last whereas.

 

Stewart read the order into the record.

 

MOTION: to approve ORDER 08-7-23-3.

 

Dwyer MOVED, Fleenor SECONDED.

 

Fleenor suggested at the fifth whereas that they insert the citizens of Lane County generously donated, so it takes the emphasis off of Lane County and puts it on the citizens.

 

VOTE: 4-0.  

 

7. COUNTY ADMINISTRATION

 

a. Announcements

 

Spartz noted with the retirement of Warren Wong, they are advertising the need to hire a new director. 

 

Spartz discussed sending a letter about the abandonment of the rail line in Coos Bay by the Central Oregon Pacific Railroad Corporation.  He said they want to sell the right-of-way off and once the right-of-way is sold off to private people, they could never reconstruct the railroad.  He said he would like to see the railroad stay open if possible.  He thought the goal would be to keep the right-of-way in the public domaine so service could be restored at some point.  He thought Alex Cuyler, Intergovernmental Relations Manager, should check with Congressman DeFazioís office to set up a meeting for a public hearing.

 

Dwyer commented that the railway is a lifeline to the coast and south and they need to do everything they can to keep it open.  He added that converting this to a private asset would eliminate that possibility.  He thought the wage of the future is with rail due to the cost of fuel.

 

Sorenson wanted a briefing with the Port of Coos Bay, the Board of Lane County Commissioners and inviting the Douglas and Coos County Commissioners with the people who are protecting rail service and the other ports. He wanted a briefing on the options are for intervening with the Surface Transportation Board to find out when they are holding their hearings in Washington, D.C. and Oregon. He thought the public interest was not allowing the railroad to abandon the line, but to have Lane County or the Port of Coos Bay use their powers of eminent domain to try to take the line over for the public benefit.

 

Fleenor commented that this has economic and social impacts for communities on the coast.  He agreed to assemble all of the stakeholders so they could have a higher level of cooperation.  He said they have to do their due diligence at all levels.

 

Dwyer thought all the players were important. He said that Congressman DeFazio has to be involved with the process.  He thought DeFazio was going to have subcommittee hearings.  He said they need to find out what DeFazioís intentions are.  He thought Spartz and Cuyler should work together to put on the meeting.

 

Fleenor stated that he had been contacted by constituents who have railroad crossings that are owned by the railroad and they are charged a crossing fee.  He noted the fees have been increased from $25 to $50 per year to $500 per year in the past six months.  He added that commercial businesses are getting increases from $500 per year to thousands of dollar per year.  He thought they are trying to establish that they have a greater amount of value as a result of the crossing fees.

 

8. PUBLIC WORKS

 

a. ORDER 08-7-23-4/In the Matter of Approving the Design Recommendation for Replacement of the West Fork Coyote Creek Bridge on Biggs Road (a Local Access Road).

 

Bill Morgan, Public Works, reported this was a team effort on the project.  He recalled the last time they came before the Board was February 20, when they were directed to investigate a proposed concept for the local access road bridge on Biggs Road.  He stated at that point they were directed to obtain the signed irrevocable petitions that set in motion the partnering effort between Lane County and the residents.  He added they proceeded with the environmental land use applications.  He said they were asked to return to the Board when the design cost estimates were known. He indicated they would be coming back with a board order for the assessment portion.

 

Morgan reported that they met on July 2 with the property owners and Fleenor to go through the bridge plans.  He said the elements they are recommending are to use used pre-stress slabs purchased in the local community that are a result of the OTIA III bridges.  He added that these used slabs are new and structurally sound.  He said they are incorporating staff resources and partnering with the bridge crew.  He indicated they have access to a flatcar they can use temporarily to provide emergency medical access for the citizens during construction. He added that all Public Works has to do is pay for staff and fuel cost from Douglas County.

 

Morgan said they were investigating the use of consulting with a private contractor to do the pile driving and continue to use the County staff to do the bridge and road improvements.  He commented by being in control of the project, they are taking all the risks and unknowns. He said they are doing value engineering to get the price at or below $150,000.  He said the board order talks about a limit of $180,000, but they are confident the cost would be closer to $150,000.  He added the biggest unknown of the project is the depth of the steel piling. 

 

Morgan said they are asking the Board to approve the design recommendations and the costs as outlined and to direct the County engineer to proceed with the assessment of 50 percent of the final cost as outlined in Attachment 3 and report back to the Board on July 30.

 

Dwyer commented that this was a showcase on how government could work with the citizens if it wants to.

 

Fleenor thought it was a job well done.  He thanked the community and thought it was a great example of the community and the County getting together to make something happen.

 

VOTE: 4-0.

 

b. FIRST READING AND SETTING SECOND READING AND PUBLIC HEARING/Ordinance No. PA 1248/In the Matter of Co-Adopting the 2007 Cottage Grove Transportation System Plan (TSP) for Application in the Urbanizable Area Outside Cottage Grove City Limits and Within the Cottage Grove Urban Growth Boundary (UGB), and Adopting Savings and Severability Clauses. (File No. PA 08-5142, Applicant: City of Cottage Grove). (Second Reading and Public Hearing: August 6, 2008, 1:30 p.m.)

 

MOTION: to approve a First Reading and Setting a Second Hearing and Public Hearing for Ordinane No.PA 1248 on August 6, 2008 at 1:30 p.m.

 

Sorenson MOVED, Dwyer SECONDED.

 

Sorenson stated that this is a co-adoption of a transportation system plan that they would do routinely once a city has requested it. He thought this would introduce the problem with the population forecast and the use of numbers when they try to figure out how to provide for the public infrastructure.  He said unless the County adopts a coordinated population forecast, the only future population they can use for planning purposes is the future population forecast for each of the urban areas as contained in their adopted acknowledged comprehensive plans.  He said there was a difference between 12,500 and 14,141 or a 13 percent increase.  He thought the population forecast within the urban growth boundary might be different.

 

Dwyer said the symantics is what is important.  He stated that they have to be consistent throughout if they use the households to determine the population average. 

 

Spartz thought they should ask their transportation staff whether or not population is a better indicater of transportation needs or households.

 

Sorenson thought they were overplanning for more infrastructure than the current population data would indicate.  He thought they are building more than they need to build.

 

Spartz suggested checking with LCOG about citizens per household.

 

Sorenson said the trend is there are smaller houses with fewer people in them because people are living longer in smaller groups, not larger groups.  He thought they should use population numbers so they have a current adopted comprehensive plan that shows the number of people that are in each urbanized area in Lane County.  He wanted a current and ongoing process to provide an updated population forecast the County could approve.  He added that there should be exceptions to the plans that show the population.  He noted in 2011 they will receive the 2010 census.

 

VOTE: 4-0.

 

9. HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

 

a. ORDER 08-7-23-5/In the Matter of Adopting the Lane County Animal Services Bylaws and Approving the Lane County Animal Services 2008 Workplan.

 

Karen Gaffney, Health and Human Services, reported that the Board is required to receive bylaws from all of the advisory committees.  She indicated they were submitting bylaws for the Boardís review and approval and the annual work plan for the advisory committee.

 

MOTION: to approve ORDER 08-7-23-5.

 

Dwyer MOVED, Fleenor SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 4-0.

 

 

10. HUMAN RESOURCES

 

a. ORAL REPORT BACK County Counsel Recruitment.

 

Greta Utech, Human Resources, reported they received six applications for the position of County Counsel.  She noted of the six, they have four strong candidates.  She noted that all candidates are from Oregon.  She asked what the Board wanted to do for the next steps.

 

Dwyer preferred to consolidate the interview with the questions.  He thought it could save them a step.  He wanted to have the interviews scheduled as soon as possible.

 

Utecht asked if the Board wanted feedback from other groups and County Counsel staff.

 

Dwyer said they know the critical areas are of importance.  He indicated that half of the job is dealing with boundaries and election law and running other departments.  He didnít want to be influenced by the rest of the staff with regard to the in-house candidates.  He commented that the Board has to make the decision.  He wanted to highlight the areas that are important to them.  He suggested asking Annette Newingham or others who deal with the law about their evaluation so they could be more objective, but not the rest of legal staff.

 

Fleenor suggested extending the opportunity to the other Lane County elected officials and to the presiding Judge, the County Administrator and the Election Director.

 

Sorenson asked if they would consider the involvmeent of the Lane County Bar Association.

 

Utecht asked the Board to think about the content of the inteview questions.  She said she would put together questions the Board could choose from.  She added that she would put together criteria, a copy of the questions and the applications to the Board so they could start ranking them.

 

With regard to the Fair Board Manager recruitment, Utecht was hopeful they could have a person to fill.

 

Spartz said if the Board could pick a Fair Board by September 1, he would be involved with the Fairgrounds management.

 

Stewart hoped the person could be a Fair Board manager, as well as manager of the events center.

 

11. CORRESPONDENCE TO THE BOARD

 

Sorenson asked if the Board received a letter from the IRS.

 

Dwyer stated that he asked Amber Fossen, Public Information, to do a press release on the IRS, relating to the 7,100 people who are qualified to apply for the rebate.  Dwyer said Fossen contacted the Veteranís Services and they didnít want to do it because they were afraid to tell people they could be hit with a tax liability if they didnít pay taxes in previous years.  He had Fossen issued the release as people were entitled to know the money was available.

 

12. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

Fleenor announced his community dialogue will be taking place at the Walton Mountain Country Kitchen.

 

Stewart reported they had successful events in Cottage Grove and Coburg.  

 

13. EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660

 

Per ORS 192.660(2)(d) for the purpose of deliberations with labor negotiators and per ORS 192.660(2)(h) for the purpose of consulting with counsel on litigation.

 

14. OTHER BUSINESS

 

None.

 

There being no further business Commissioner Stewart recessed the meeting into Executive Session at 11:20 a.m.

 

 

Melissa Zimmer

Recording Secretary