LANE COUNTY

BUDGET COMMITTEE MEETING

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

5:15 p.m.

Harris Hall

APPROVED 12/9/2008

 

Chair David Crowell presided with Budget Committee members Scott Bartlett, Bill Dwyer, Bill Fleenor, Bobby Green, Sr., Alice Kaseberg, Tony McCown, Peter Sorenson and Faye Stewart present. Denis Hijmans was excused.County Administrator Jeff Spartz, Budget/Financial Planning Manager Dave Garnick and Recording Secretary Melissa Zimmer were also present.

 

I Committee Business

 

Crowell noted the Minutes from the April 29 meeting were distributed and he will ask for approval at Thursdayís meeting.

 

II Overview of Topic:Prevention & Social Services

 

Spartz explained that this evening they will cover Prevention and Social Service including Children and Families, the Human Services Commission, Veterans Services, Animal Service, Development Disabilities and Extension Services.He commented that it was part of a difficult budget development because they ended up with a proposed budget with considerable reductions.He indicated Community Based Services reduced their funding by $250,000, including the reduction of the Meals on Wheels Program, food bank meals and behavioral health services for homeless runaway and at risk youth.He said they reduced Veteranís Services and they are down to the bare minimum to serve the Veterans.He said people who are in need will have their needs unmet and could potentially end up being larger burdens in the community.He added that WIC would be down to 6,000 women from 7,700 women.He commented that those who are not served might end up with poor nutrition and there is a connection between good nutrition and good outcomes later in school.He reported that there is a high incidence of infant mortality, higher than any other large county in Oregon.He noted while they are cutting the budget, they are seeking a grant in Washington to get help in studying the causes of high infant mortality rate.

 

With regard to Prevention and Treatment Services, Spartz indicated that they will be terminating individuals from the methadone treatment program and there will be services in the disabled community that will be dropped.He added they will be doing less abuse investigation for adults with developmental disabilities and there will be more risk of developmentally disabled adults being left in abusive environments.He noted that they will not be providing any funding in the proposed budget for Extension Services.He added that they do have other funding sources and they will have an opportunity to continue in a limited way.He indicated he is not proposing any funding for Animal Services and at this point in time they donít know what is going to happen with it.He stated that staff tried to be as strategic as they could and follow the initial priorities set by the Board in developing the budget.

 

III Prevention & Social Services

 

Extension Services

 

Charlotte Riersgard, Extension Services, reported that OSU Lane County Extension received approximately 29 percent of its operating budget from the Countyís general fund of $570,000.She added state and federal funds, as well as contracts and grants account for the remaining operating budget.She said the cooperative funding model was put into place in 1914 by federal legislation.She said in order for Extension to receive federal and state funds, statutes require that a county or local funding partner exist.She noted that a local funding partner could be other than county government and it is an area they are exploring.She said currently County dollars fund 5.5 FTE of support and program staff and pay for building rent and operating costs.She said state dollars pay for 5.0 FTE of faculty salaries and federal funds support the nutrition education program where they have 9.0 FTE.She commented that without a County funding partner and without replacement of one third of their budget, current operating costs cannot be made and access to leveraged state and federal funds is vulnerable.She recalled that Extension went to the public in 1986, 1990 and 1993 and successfully passed serial levies for its budget.She added after Measures 5, 47 and 50, levy money was rolled into the general fund.She said in 2006 Extension studied the option of going for a County service district but they didnít get the approval from the Eugene and Springfield City Councils needed to pass an amendment to the Metro Plan to move forward to the voters.

 

Riersgard commented that in order to improve their financial situation, they have made the following changes:they have reduced FTE by 5.5 in the last two years by attrition resulting in the reduction of hours of operation.She said they increased their cost recovery.She said they expanded the use of their website for online educational and communication services.She indicated that Extension continues to leverage monetary and human resources.She said for every dollar received from the County, nearly $3 dollars comes from federal and state sources.She said that Extensionís 20.5 FTE staff worked with 830 volunteers who contributed nearly 80,000 hours last year to the community.She noted that Extension patterns with 40 community agencies and four school districts.She said impacts of the proposed County budget with Extension zeroed out might include the loss of support staff and programming and relocation of some faculty to other counties or the OSU campus. She stated they have a limited amount of fund balance they could draw down to help transition to a scaled down service.She added that they could either reduce staff and programming by 50 percent and stay open at a scaled down level for this fiscal year and use the time to find local funding partners or they could drive down the fund balance over six months and they would completely deplete their funds.She said with reduced funds there will be loss of programs.She indicated they would replace many in person services and educational courses with online information.She said it would be challenging to afford the current $6,300 per month rent for the building.She noted that higher class fees might be charged to sustain programming.She indicated that they will honor their financial and contractual obligations.She said they donít have funds to continue to operate with the same number of staff and the same amount of programming with the same operating costs.She said there is no money at OSU that would be used to keep them open.She said without local funding partners, they risk loss of leveraged state and federal Extension funding.She said they will continue to develop other possibilities.

 

Children and Families

 

Alicia Hays, Children and Families, reported that they receive $70,000 for funding strategic development staff time.She recalled the $70,000 the Board invested resulted this year in over $250,000 for funding prevention efforts for children, youth and families coming into Lane County.She said without the position, the funding would not have been received.She said over the last two fiscal years combined, the investment of over $140,000 has generated over $1 million for funding for community based prevention activities.She said without the investment of $70,000, they would not have had $125,000 to replicate their rural areas support services for runaway and homeless youth in Cottage Grove, Creswell and Oakridge. She said they would have not been able to provide behavior help access for more than 64 runaway homeless youth over the past fiscal year and leverage in return $21,000 in Medicaid funding for the County.She said they would not have been able to submit a substantial four year proposal for $250,000 per year to bring prevention to middle school youth to help them build healthy relationships or to add an Americacorp position leveraging over $50,000 in staff time that contributed to raising resources for Project Homeless Connect and the Summary Food Program. She added that they would not have been able to leverage over $15,000 of in-kind resources to start child care in the courthouse. She noted that they provide specific and successful fundraising to community providers.She said they convene and facilitate collaborative meetings between their service providers and partners ensuring service efficiencies through the elimination of duplication of services and addressing gaps in services.

 

Developmental Disabilities

 

Rob Rockstroh, Health and Human Services, reported that there is a reduction of $155,000 for Developmental Disabilities. He said they are required by state mandate to perform case management services.He indicated that the state provides $23.8 million to Developmental Disability Services for 1,600 clients.He added that next year in their budget there will be a drop, as $19 million will go directly to the state, bypassing the County.He said it has to do with how the state is processing the money. He said they will have about $4.7 million within Developmental Disability Services.He said Lane County Developmental Disabilities is the local authority for investigating reported allegations for physical abuse including willful neglect, infliction of pain, neglect and sexual harassment.He said they also work with the state in funding childrenís foster homes in crisis situations and they do work with child welfare.He noted in 2007 Lane County received about 120 reports of abuse against adults with developmental disabilities.He recalled 55 cases resulted in a full investigation and 27 were substantiated.He said with the budget cuts the caseloads will be increased.He said the case loads will be 123, twice the average state standard.He indicated that they will only be able to see people three times a year as opposed to once per month.He added it will take longer for eligibility determination and they will lose the high school transition program.He noted they also work at licensing foster homes and it will be slowed down.He added that they will have decreased ability to partner with other agencies.He said this allows them to keep the services, but there will be a decrease in quality.

 

Green asked who would perform the services if the County couldnít.

 

Rockstroh said Developmental Disabilities is under Mental Health.He said a lot of the direct services are done by services that are already contracted out.He indicated that there is still $4.7 million remaining.He said an issue they have to work out is an equity formula.He said they are the hub of the system but it could be contracted out, but it is not something that could be easily picked up.

 

Karuna Neustadt, Developmental Disabilities, stated they are mandated to provide the services.She said they will provide services whether or not they have the 2 FTE.She commented that they will do less of a job because the case loads are higher.

 

Animal Services

 

Rockstroh reported the cuts donít allow Animal Services to function.He believed without any County general fund they canít keep the service open.He said it would take $571,000 to maintain what they previously had.He said the Board asked him to save adoptable animals.He said the current budget of $571,000 does not let him get to save adoptable animals.He said it would take another $200,000 to run a save adoptable animal clinic.He indicated that even with the revenue contracts with Eugene, Springfield and other local cities, there is not enough money to sustain the core services in Lane County.He indicated that they have volunteer support but it takes money to run the services.He said there were also capital plans to expand.

 

With regard to the policy implications, Rockstroh said the current policy is to save adoptable and treatment animals. He said they could not meet that level of the standard of care.He added they would lose the cattery services.He said the $571,000 is the base and the saving adoptable animals is expensive.He said no general fund is coming and they no longer can operate the facility.He said they gave direction to staff that starting today they will take no more animals at the shelter.He stated that if this is not going forward, they have to get animals out of the shelter.He said their partners know it is their intent.He said they are looking into options but they are telling people they donít want to take in any more animals.He stated they would still take animals in eminent danger.He said they would cite in the field whenever possible and not bring animals back.He doesnít want to have to euthanize animals.He said they would direct the volunteer coordinator to get other resources to get the animals out of the shelter.He added that they have to discuss mothballing the facility if no one takes it over.He indicated the prime user of the facility is the City of Eugene with 60 percent of the caseload.He said it would mean they would not have enforcement in the rural areas.He said they want to reunite animals with families. He recalled in 2007 they impounded 2,219 dogs and 1,616 cats.He indicated animal welfare officers responded to almost 6,000 calls for service from public and law enforcement and investigated 584 cases of abuse and neglect.He added that they responded to more than 200 dog bite cases.He said they sold 13,000 dog licenses out of a total of 21,000 active dog licenses.He stated that Greenhill and other regional shelters are short on staff, space and funding and the reality is the community hasnít given sufficient funding to do large amounts of spay and neutering that would reduce the population.He said they are brainstorming with the cities of Eugene, Springfield and Veneta.†† He thought Eugene would be the natural partner to take over the services.

 

Kaseberg asked why they only have 25 percent of dogs licensed.

 

Rockstroh indicated that it couldnít be enforced.He said if they increased licensing 100 percent, they would still be short.He asked who would do the canvassing and the enforcement.He said they currently have a mandate of 25 percent.He didnít think this was an area of compliance and he didnít think getting more licenses would work.

 

Dwyer commented that doing nothing was not acceptable. He wanted to make an effort to do something.He didnít think they had to operate for the whole fiscal year.He thought they could scale Animal Services down to give citizens time to act.

 

Rockstroh said there is an upfront cost for massive enforcement and it didnít work because they donít have the money.He said even if they generated $300,000 extra, it costs $571,000 just to get to the current base with the additional $150,000 to have the save adoptable animals concept.He stated that he wanted to run the save adoptable animals program but he cannot do it with the current budget.He stated that right now he has zero dollars to operate.

 

Bartlett asked about Option 4 of Mike Wellingtonís scenario.

 

Mike Wellington, Animal Services, explained that they sectioned a complete enhancement program for saving adoptable animals.He said they wanted to set aside what it would cost to put up a good foundation in the saving adoptable animals aspect.He said they came up with $370,000 and that would entail four full time employees specifically directed in the save adoptable animals program.He said those four would also have the support division of the rest of the agency and they would still have guidance and officers available if they were needed. He said it included a vehicle and fuel.He said in order to meet the wishes of the Board; setting up a good concrete foundation would cost $370,000.He said that includes $130,000 of LCASí carryover from the prior year.

 

Rockstroh indicated that doesnít buy behavioral or medical support.He stated that was an extra $200,000.He stated they are not meeting the save adoptable animals service level currently. He indicated the continuing service level is $571,000.

 

Kaseberg thought Lane Countyís problem should be making people aware to get their dogs licensed.

 

Bartlett thought an IGA could work with other communities.

 

Rockstroh didnít want people to think that Health and Human Services would absorb the cost of an experiment.He said there has to be some enforcement around cities since they have 60 percent of the services and they would have to do some kenneling.He didnít know if the County could tie into the cityís contract.He said they could look collectively to see if an IGA could work and see if the community wants to put their money into animals.

 

Veteranís Services

 

Steve Manela, Human Services Commission, discussed the Countyís Veteranís Service office.He indicated that it has taken several years to build back the office.He said staff provides assistance to veterans, widows and survivors.He indicated the number of veterans they are seeing is growing.He said staff does a tremendous job of being compassionate.He said they need to be proud of the people who have served but it is a situation where a little bit of money can go a long way.He recalled this past year they have been able to receive $7.7 million into the community.He commented that it is not only a benefit for the people who serve, it is a benefit to the local economy and the Veteranís Service office is able to capture money and bring it back into the community.He noted the loss to the Veteranís Service office is a half-time temporary assistant. He said additional impacts have been mitigated because they have $25,000 of state revenue to keep. He indicated that earlier when the Board had looked at the budget, they were going to eliminate a full-time Veteranís Service officer.He said they currently have four people in the office:three officers, one clerical assistant and a staff of VA work study students.

 

Manela said the funding for Veteranís Services has come from the cities of Eugene and Springfield funding and from the state of Oregon.He recalled the state in 2004, came forward with new legislation that provided additional state funding.He said the pact the legislators had with the county service offices was if they were going to take the enhanced revenue, they must continue to maintain their effort at the current level.He said in the recommended budget there is a baseline of state funding that allows them to bring in over $120,000 of state revenue.He noted the impact from the loss of the part-time position would be 250 veterans.He said in the current year they are able to serve about 1,900 veterans and their families.He said it will mean longer waits for appointments and delays in getting an appointment can impact the amount of the award the veteran receives.He commented the delay in accessing Veteranís Services could delay getting other resources including Medicaid benefits and SSI.He noted that the federal government requires a veteran first apply for veteranís benefits in order to be eligible for other benefit programs.

 

Human Services Commission

 

Manela explained that the Human Services Commission has been a partnership between the cities of Eugene, Springfield and Lane County for the past 36 years.He said the purpose of it was to provide for basic living needs for health, housing and human services under an IGA.He said it has had overwhelming support by the three jurisdictions and the elected officials.He said they have a partnership with the three jurisdictions and with public and private non-profit community based organizations.He commented that it becomes a safety net for citizens who otherwise would be without any care.He indicated that the budget they are looking at for the first time in history has no general fund from Lane County.He said the missing link is $323,384 in support for non-profit agencies and it will disappear.He noted that only Eugene and Springfieldís general fund contributions will remain.He said without replacement revenue, the work that the organizations do and the people who they serve will be impacted.He noted the number of people in poverty has increased by about two percent from 14.5 percent to 16.5 percent since 2000.He said they have a community where people are working hard but still need some help sometimes.He noted there were more families in need.He said there are also more needs for seniors and immigrants into the community.He recalled in 2007 the 26 agencies helped over 54,000 Lane County residents.He said the benefit they get working with the non-profit agency is that for every dollar they put into a service, they leverage four dollars of additional funds from the community.

 

Manela said with the current budget, the Human Services Commission is an IGA.He said Commissioner Green and Stewartare on the commission and they get to make the decisions around prioritization.He noted the current budget eliminates the Countyís participation in matching $2.1 million HUD homeless continuum of care grant.He said the County is the applicant and is responsible for the grant.He said they would be using dollars from other jurisdictions and the state of Oregon to match the HUD grant instead of using local dollars from the County to match the grant in the proposed budget.He said impact on staff is minimal.He said they are looking at eliminating a half-time program service coordinator.He said that position helps in assembling the HUD grant and helps with housing assistance.He said the HSC will recommend specific reductions.

 

Manela explained that along with the general fund money received, they have been a supporter through the general fund contribution for the Community Health Center.He said they assisted in subsidizing some care for patients and have helped match the federal grant for the Community Health Center, which is not a separate division.

 

McCown asked if they withdrew the funding from the HSC if they would retain their voice at the table and representation.

 

Manela stated the charter states that they have membership with a one percent contribution.He said a one percent contribution would be about $23,000.He didnít think there was a problem with continuing the partnership.He said the discussion at the Human Services Commission has been that they want to try to maintain what they built.He said they have a contribution from the City of Eugene of $120,000 that they gave last year when they thought Lane County would be threatened by the federal timber funding.He indicated they banked the money and it could be available.

 

IV. Public Comment

 

Dean Hanson, Eugene, stated that he works at Pacific Continental Bank.He discussed the Human Services Network and the Human Services Commission.He said the agencies of the Human Services Network are represented at the meeting by citizens affected by potential funding cuts.He said the agencies funded by the Human Services Commission provide a wide range of services to vulnerable populations in the community.He said the services are interrelated and usually one person will access the services of multiple agencies in the network.He said a community is judged by how it cares for its most vulnerable citizens.He wanted Eugene to be known as a city that cares for the vulnerable citizens.He said the Human Services Network is referred to as a model for the rest of the nation.He said the agencies have taken cuts or had stagnant funding for the past ten years.He commented that these agencies help make Lane County a community that cares for its citizens. He asked the committee to provide the funds for the HSC so the agencies can continue their valuable work.

 

Sister Barbara Haase, Eugene, commented that people want a hand up, they donít want a hand out.She said they want help and empowerment when they are down.She stated she serves on the Board of Catholic Community Services where some of the most vulnerable citizens are served.She said she works with Public Health and she is concerned about the services they canít provide for pregnant women and young families.She asked the Board to do everything they can.She thought the counties could take back timberlands.

 

Stephanie Talbett, spoke on behalf of the Human Services Network.She said it is a network of agencies that does a lot of good in the communities.She said they shelter the homeless, bring meals to the elderly, support families in crisis, counsel the mentally ill, offer recovery to addicts and give hope to survivors of violence. She commented that the most economic way to fund these services is through non-profit agencies.She noted for every dollar they get of County funds, their agencies are able to leverage four dollars.She said of the funds they receive, hundreds of thousands of dollars go to landlords and property owners in housing and utility assistance. She explained that the Countyís investment of under $400,000 could bring millions of dollars of services into households and into the economy.

 

Chuck Boyer, Eugene, said he is a member of the Commission on Children and Families.He spoke on behalf of everyone who will be impacted by the proposed cuts in services to Lane County.He said they are developmental disabled, financially and medically challenged, pregnant mothers, and a number of growing families with stresses in their lives.He said employees will lose their jobs and they are the ones who provide the services.He said by not providing adequate support and services to children and families early on, they are paving the way to higher crime rates and more broken lives in the future.

 

Jerry Rapier, Cottage Grove, said he and his wife are concerned about the potential loss of Lane County Animal Services.†† He said they have volunteered there for years.He gathered signatures, turning in 584 signatures to the Board of Commissioner yesterday and tonight he turned in 98 additional signatures.He said the large number of calls Animal Services responds to represents animals that need to be picked up off the streets.He commented that there is also a major public safety angle.He said dogs can form packs and become more dangerous.He stated these services are needed.

 

Lesa Fisher, Eugene, stated she has been volunteering at LCAS for the past 17 months.She said if they are going to keep LCAS running, they have to ask the management to follow humane and community friendly efforts. She offered to take animals to different shelters.She said they pushed to get a medical volunteer team to help save the County money and to keep the animals healthier and to be more humane.She said they have to make sure there is proper use of the County funds.She wants to see the management be responsible to allow every volunteer to be used to the fullest extent.

 

Diana Robertson, Eugene, wanted Rob Rockstroh to do what he can with LCAS.

 

Starly Pupke, Eugene, said her suggestion is to close LCAS.She wanted to fund more public spay and neuter clinics in an effort to lower cat and dog overpopulation problems. She commented that many people want to do the right thing but they find the process too difficult.She wanted to see a small division of animal field officers funded that respond to animal abuse and people and animal conflicts.She thought they needed a small non-public kennel facility for holding the dangerous and abused animals pending criminal cases. She wanted to see the development of a new non-profit animal shelter with progressive operating methods.She thought a new non-profit facility could contract with different public entities.She stated that Corvallisí Humane Society functions that way.She wanted something like that in Lane County for rescue and future adoption.

 

John Archer, Junction City,thought instead of running a catch and kill facility on a small budget, they need to take all options into consideration.He wanted to have a facility that they would be proud of that would work on the welfare for the animals as well as safety of the people and the animals within the Lane County area.

 

Bob Still, Creswell, discussed the 4H Fair and the Extension Service.

 

Kylie Belachaikovsky, Eugene, said she is an employee of LCAS.She said she worked as an enforcement officer in the county and the city.She stated she is now a volunteer coordinator developing programs to save adoptable animals.She commented that other programs are also important.She said you can really judge a community by how it treats it most vulnerable members.She added when programs are severely cut, all quality of life is affected negatively.She thought this was the time to continue to invest money in sheltering animals. She said they need cruelty and dog codes enforcements.She wanted to pull apart the issues of code enforcement and animal welfare in the shelter system.She said if they are spending money and it is not producing results, they need to spend it in a new way within the shelter system.She wanted to see programs used that are proven to be effective and efficient and programs that spend dollars as wisely as possible.She thought it was time to switch to more effective methods.

 

Bernie Perkins, Eugene, said he works for LCAS.He said there were 6,000 calls that LCAS responded to last year.He said a lot were neglect and abuse calls that dealt with minimum care standards.He commented that to shut the agency down as planned at the end of the month would make them regress back to where it is open warfare on animals.He said they need to move forward and ensure there is some sort of shelter and enforcement in place.He said dealing with 6,000 calls equates to dealing with 35,000 to 40,000 animals through the shelter in one way or another.

 

Juan Carlos Valle, Eugene, said he is a member of the Police Commission and social service agencies.He said social services are important and it is a real issue when there are no social services available.

 

Denise Christine, Eugene, completed her Master Gardner training through Extension.She noted that gas is going up and as the economy starts to respond to the increasing price of fuel. She added people will be seeking means of growing more of their own food.She said the Master Gardner hotline and Master Food Preserverís hotline help people to not only grow their own food more efficiently, but to preserve it in ways that are safe.She encouraged the Board to support Extension in any way they could.

 

Janetta Overholser, Cottage Grove, said they are all concerned for the animals.She reported that there have been incidents inside and outside of the city limits where there have been severe issues of animal hording or abuse.She said there are letters to the editor about dogs off leash and aggressive behavior.She said animal cruelty officers are trained to deal with dangerous animals, to read body language and to seize animals when necessary.She volunteers with the Humane Society of Cottage Grove.She asked if LCAS closes who the public calls when they have animal concerns.She said it is required by state laws to turn over stray cats to LCAS and she wondered where they would go when the shelter closes its doors.She thought dogs would be dumped, some will be found and adopted and some will die of starvation or disease.

 

Grace Wong, Eugene, said the decision to shut down LCAS is a mistake.She said it is a law enforcement and public safety issue.She said people donít want to spend money to vaccinate their animals.She commented if the people of Lane County were left to fend on their own against vicious dogs, there would be lawsuits among the population.She said without LCAS there is a guaranty that people will abandon their animals and they would have no threat of legal penalties and lawful intervention.She hoped closing LCAS wasnít a means to an end and hoped Lane County would not be a slow kill zone.

 

Ingrid Kessler, DVM, Eugene, stated she is an owner of the Emergency Vet Hospital.She noted it is the only 24 hour facility in the community and they do emergency medicine.She said they serve everyone all the time.She recalled for the past 12 years she has been proud to work with LCAS.She said they are a group of talented, dedicated, skilled and selfless people who do an outstanding job on a shoestring budget.She said they care about the animals and the people who are trying to serve animals. She thought it would be difficult to disband that team entirely and to rebuild it at some unknown date in the future would be difficult.

 

Betty Wong, Eugene, she said she knows people who didnít come to the hearing because the closing of LCAS was a means to coerce Lane County residents to vote for a local sales or income tax.She said LCAS provided essential and valuable services to Lane County residents.She stated that closing it down would jeopardize public health and safety for people and animals.She indicated that LCAS helps provide lost pets and provides vaccinations and a low cost spay and neuter clinic to the community.She said the services help control the population of dogs and cats and the control of rabies in the County. She commented that Lane County does not want a Michael Vik case in their community.She said without LCAS there would be more dogs and cats running wild on the street.She added that more neighbors would fight with one another and take laws into their own hands.She asked the Budget Committee to do whatever they could do to keep LCAS open.

 

Tony Satej, Eugene, supported LCAS.He said he is a teacher at North Eugene High School and he teaches at risk teens.He said they always hear how agencies need volunteers and he brought his students.He said LCAS embraced his students.He indicated bringing his students to LCAS gives them self-esteem.He stated that LCAS does all the best it can with very little.

 

Patty Mayfield, Eugene, stated she is the President of the Lane County Veterinarian Association.She urged the Budget Committee to keep the services open and running.She said the services are necessary to help decrease animal abuse and suffering and to help promote public education. She said the problems they will see will be abandonment issues, pet overpopulation issues, and the fact that animals already come in injured to their hospital.She thought they were taking a step back if they are neglecting the animals by shutting down the services.She thought the number of overpopulation euthanasia will be increased. She urged the Budget Committee to reconsider keeping the services, as they are necessary.

 

TomHoward, Springfield, said he is Supervisor of Operations for LCAS.He said he has been given the direction to close down the shelter.He said beginning tomorrow he will no longer take stray or unwanted animals.He doesnít want to order his people to not take animals that canít speak for themselves.He asked for direction on where they are going to go to save the lives of the innocent animals.He wanted the Budget Committee to make a decision.

 

Monica Kerslake, Eugene, said she is a law student at the University of Oregon and is the Chair of the Student Animal Legal Defense Fund.She said by eliminating LCAS, they increase the risk of dog bites, stray animals, pets and people being attacked.She said there will be increased dog fighting.She indicated there is a link between dog fighting and animal neglect being linked to human neglect.She couldnít believe in good conscious that they would completely eliminate LCAS. She urged the Budget Committee to pursue the alternatives and keep the ethical and health and safety issues in mind.

 

Sandra Arracha, Eugene, said she works with a pit bull rescue.She didnít want to see LCAS just a catch and kill facility.She wanted to see LCAS get funding if money is well spent in conjunction with volunteers.She thought people would be willing to license their pets if they would be allowed more than two pets.She added they also have to emphasize spay and neutering.

 

Sara Leiman, Monroe, discussed Lane County Extension.She supported the Extension Service because it is vital to the County to keep the forestlands from going under pavement.She said it takes a long commitment to keep lands in family ownership.She noted that Extension is one of the few entities that have county, state and federal funding.She commented that Extension is a way for working adults to access the university.

 

Keith Diem, OSU Extension Service, stated that Lane County has been a partner with the federal government and OSU since the early 1900ís.He indicated the funding for Extension is by statute contingent upon the local funding partner, which has been Lane County.He noted without local funding, OSU is not permitted to extend the state and federal dollars to Lane County.He said for every dollar cut by the County, they risk the loss of $3 of state and federal funds.He stated that it jeopardizes the ability for Extension to support the hundreds of local volunteers that provide tens of thousands of hours of service that multiplies the use of tax dollars and expands the reach of a limited staff.He asked to continue some level of funding that would enable Lane County Extension to receive some level of state and federal dollars until they can come up with a better solution in the future for other funding sources.He said local staff serves 4H, agricultural master gardeners, forestry and family and community development and nutrition education.He added that Extension already collaborates with numerous agencies and organizations but it is critical to maintain the type of funding partner that enables extension to pay for local operations.He commented that OSU wants to remain a key part with Lane County for decades to come.

 

Donni Butterfield, Elmira, said she is an employee of LCAS.She thought they could come up with an animal fund.She thought they could also have spay and neuter license plates.She hoped the Budget Committee would keep LCAS open.

 

Lucky Alves, Springfield, asked how they could afford not to keep the agency open.

 

Joe Alves, Springfield, wanted to keep the animal shelter going.He said they set up their own private animal fund to set up spaying and neutering stray cats around the area.He said reinfection of other animals could spread.

 

Laurie Notaro, Eugene, supported LCAS.She said she got her dog from LCAS.She thought eliminating Lane County Animal Services due to the lack of funding is unconscionable, but irresponsible and reckless. She asked who will rescue the animals who suffer at the hands of abusers.She commented the animal that is at LCAS is by a consequence of some measure of human failure of a Lane County resident.She said if the animal shelter is closed, there will be no place for the animals to go.

 

Cory Curry, supported Womenspace.She said she is a paralegal and she does their domestic relations work.She said they take cases on a pro bono basis.She noted in the year 2008 there are still hundreds of women that are raped and abused by their husbands.She thought if any money was taken away from Womenspace that the County would be doing a disservice to many women.

 

Steve Kujawa, Elmira, adopted a stray from Greenhill.†† He commented that there will be dogs running lose that will be killed.He thought they could deal with more potholes and less curbs on the street and take care of animals and people.

 

Peggy Bond, Springfield,thought the funding to keep LCAS going was a big issue.She thought they should challenge the community.She said most people she talks to think LCAS is already gone and there isnít an alternative.She said if they put out a big campaign the community will step up and they will know the licensing money will be going to the animals.She asked to keep emergency funding for a couple of months to see what could be done.

 

Marty Johnson, Veneta, said he has six animals he has adopted through Greenhill.He thought money should be put into services where people canít take care of themselves.He said the cost of not putting money into the Human Services Network is greater to the community and to society.

 

Rose Wilde, Eugene, asked what the Budget Committee could do in the future to help them get out of the problem.She asked how they could make government accessible and accountable.She said there is a connection between animal and human abuse.

 

Anevay Simonsen, Eugene, said she works at a vet clinic and she is an animal lover and supporter.She said that LCAS is the only resource they have in the County and if they get rid of it, there is no place for anyone to consider taking their animals.She said Eugene is the second largest city in Oregon and she canít believe they are considering closing the only resource they have.She asked to keep the doors open because it is important to everyone in the city.

 

Marion Malcom, Eugene, said she likes animals but she indicated that there are not enough resources for people now and to have those resources not available any more seems to be terrible. She said they have to pull together as a community and there has to be creative solutions.

 

Mike Wellington, said he was coming before the Budget Committee as a citizen.He said they have been creative in the past eight years.†† He noted as an average they have only increased the general fund draw by $38,000 while they have increased their budget from $1.2 million in 2000 to $1.8 million currently.He said it has been a caring agency.He said they do outreach to the community.He thought they could be creative.He said they have to become self-sufficient.He commented that they have tried the soft touch and enforcement.He added that education has worked in a slower method but it has not kept up with the cost of living.He thought there were options to eventually get LCAS off the general fund so they donít have to go through budget cutting every year.He said they need to find out exactly what the community wants and what the Board wants so they donít have to deal with this every year.He stated that it is stressful on the entire staff and the animals.He asked to give the employees a chance.

 

Marshall Peter, Eugene, commented that those who work in human services are daily confronted by suffering and need.He said they are seeing a shrinking of capacity and an enormous increase in demand.He asked the committee to support the Human Services Network and urged everyone to speak loud to the community about the fundamental unacceptability of the position that Lane County is in and the urgency for developing new resources that make it possible for all of the critical needs to be addressed.

 

VI. Next Meeting

 

Jennifer Inman, Budget Analyst, distributed a list of impacts of all reductions proposed and the impacts with the urban and rural community and how all counties are dealing with the loss of the Secure Rural Schools.She also distributed an updated agenda for next week.

 

Stewart asked that as they prepare for budget deliberations that they ask Spartz what is scheduled for the current license fees.He asked if they close LCAS down if they would not collect license fees.

 

Spartz said he didnít know what the plan was but they would know on Thursday.

 

Stewart recalled that at the Eugene Budget Committee there is interest from the Eugene City Council to consider some sort of help in excess of what they are doing today in several different areas.He doesnít want to make any commitments until they get to their budget deliberation.He asked what they could do with license fees and the money they receive to keep LCAS.He agreed there are things they canít fix overnight. He said the Board could look at other options as they head into the next fiscal year.He asked if they could waive the rental fee for OSU Extension for one year and assist in that direction.He said as they move forward, he knows Steve Manela is working hard to work with the Human Services Commission.†† He wanted to find a permanent funding source for the non-profits that receive money and provide critical services.He added they received an e-mail from Congressman DeFazio and it was not encouraging.DeFazio said it doesnít look like the money would be included in the supplemental war funding and he would make a last ditch effort in a stand alone bill that didnít have the support in March to move forward. Stewart commented that as they get closer to July 1, things do not look good.

 

Dwyer wasnít happy about the directive to change the status quo at the shelter starting tomorrow when the Budget Committee hadnít had a chance to deliberate.He didnít think it was necessary that after tomorrow they do not accept animals.He said it wasnít acceptable to him.

 

Bartlett asked if they could fine tune Mike Wellingtonís scenarios to see if they are accurate and then come back to the Budget Committee.

 

Rockstroh said they have come up with 15 different scenarios.He said they would cease to exist if there were no rural schools funding.He said they have the $571,000 as a continuous service level plus $200,000 to continue it.He said if they increased Eugene and Lane Countyís licensing rate 100 percent next year,they would still be short $350,000.He indicated they havenít talked with the City of Eugene to partner with LCAS.He doesnít want to run a bad shelter or to continue to euthanize animals.He said a 100% percent increase would be hard to do and it costs money to do work on the licensing.

 

Stewart recalled that the County Administrator sent out the direction he was taking and asked each commissioner to comment and whether or not to continue forward.Stewart said Spartz received comment to continue forward.Stewart thought they should go through their budget process and see what they can come up with for making good decisions.

 

MOTION: to not implement the policy effective tomorrow at LCAS.

 

Dwyer MOVED, Fleenor SECONDED.

 

Crowell indicated that this was not a Board meeting but a Budget Committee meeting.He didnít think the committee had the authority to make that decision.

 

Spartz said it should be more properly directed from the Board tomorrow at the meeting if they want to continue the services at LCAS.

 

Dwyer didnít want the direction to be given before they have had a chance to discuss it.

 

Rockstroh was fine with waiting until after the meeting to give his staff direction.

 

Dwyer withdrew his motion, Fleenor withdrew his second.

 

Adjourned at 9:10 p.m.

 

 

 

Melissa Zimmer

Recording Secretary.