BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS'

REGULAR MEETING

October 22, 2008

9:00 a.m.

Commissionersí Conference Room

APPROVED 11/25/2008

 

1. ADJUSTMENTS TO THE AGENDA

 

There will be a discussion about dues and memberships to organizations.  He also wanted to discuss the postage issue with regard to the ballots.

 

2. PUBLIC COMMENTS

 

George Goldstein, Swiss Home, thanked the Board for his appointment to the Board of Property Tax Appeals.

 

Warren Harper, Junction City, stated his family has farmed on the land.  He requested a variance on a bridge.  He said they have permission from the state forester for a forestry bridge.  He said they put it in.  They are requesting from the Board a variance of an exempt logging use permit to allow them to use it for farming.  He indicated that it is a railroad flatcar bridge with two flatcars sitting side-by-side, located across the slough at the end of Lone Pine Drive.  He said permits for the bridge were applied for and granted from Oregon Department of Forestry, Lane County wetlands, Oregon Department of State Lands, Department of Army, federal waterways navigation branch of the Coast Guard, Lane County Public Works and they had to get an extension from the Department of State Lands.  He said their farm equipment is less than the weight of logging equipment.  He added his family also does logging.  He said the purpose of the variance request for the bridge is to grant their employees access to the farmland they have owned since 1966.  He indicated that the bridge will allow them to protect the wetlands in the area.

 

Billy Rojas, brought a resolution to the Board regarding October as swastika month.

 

Carol Berg Caldwell, Eugene, said crime measures such as drug alcohol, counseling, mental health support, and domestic violation would receive good funding support.  She said instead of giving all of the money to the Countyís Sheriff Department and other agencies in need, they need careful distribution in reserves is a good idea.  She hoped the Board would look at their own County poll asking respondents where they would prefer public safety dollars be spent.  She recalled 67 percent chose crime prevention and social service with only 17 percent preferring jail expansion and law enforcement personnel.  She stated that for every dollar spent on crime prevention, seven dollars are saved on more costly jail beds and staff..  She thought money should be kept in reserves for a rainy day issue and the best result for as many people as possible.

 

Bob Tebault, Eugene, indicated he told personally that he lived on a house on Jim Gilletteís house per Stewart.  He wasnít in opposition or in agreement with Gilletteís desire to have a recreational park.  He wanted to clear up one statement on Gilletteís behalf.

 

Stewart asked if Tobeau had discussions with Jane Burgess, Land Management.

 

Tobeau said he had conversations with someone from the BLM and with Steve Pratt from the fire department.

 

Jim Gillette, said Tobeau did spend a lot of nights with his dogs because they were sick.  He said Tobeau wanted to fix up the cabin for a place to live but it never happened.  He commented that Milo Mecham, LCOG,ís letter was against him and biased.    He wanted to forget the court case.  He indicated that he was going ahead with opening his property to the public.  He said he hadnít heard anything where it was against the law for him to let people hike and bike on this property as long as it is free and no charge.  He said he comes to the Board because they are the publicís only defense against a staff that runs rampant.  He wanted to do good for the County.

 

Ann McLucas, said the letter of Milo Mechamís letter was unprofessional with multiple false accusations and comments on Gilletteís conduct.  She thought several facts in the letter were not true.  She indicated the letter stated McLucas was out of compliance.  She watched Gillette pay thousands in fees and fines to get into compliance.

 

Mike Tayloe, Springfield, wanted the Board to work through trust building.  He said there is a lack of trust with the Board.  He wanted to see more of the board working together and being commissioners for all of Lane County.  He asked the Board what they could do to build trust.  He wanted the ability to vote for each commissioner.  He wanted the districts to be kept, but he wanted countywide elections for each commissionerís seat.  He said the Board needs to trust the voters.  He said they have to mitigate the urban/rural divide.  He thought they should put a referendum on the ballot.

 

Con Magnuson, Veneta, said he went to finish up the paperwork on the airport and he was billed $3,895 for him to do the paperwork.  He said had it been done ten years ago, he wouldnít have to pay that amount of money.  He wanted relief.  He said that Kent Howe, Land Management, pushed this under the table. 

 

Dwyer asked to find out what the fees were in 1999 and let the Board know.

 

(Sorenson arrived at 9:25 a.m).

 

Karen Cholwinski, Eugene, OSU Extension Service, said staff and faculty in Lane County thanked the Board of Commissioners for their continued support.  She said they appreciated the waiver of their lease payments to make it possible for them to continue to provide services to the residents of Lane County.  She commented that the first months with fewer support staff have been challenging.  She indicated that Lane County has the largest horticulture master gardener program and the largest youth development program in the state.  She noted they have gone to an automated phone system. She said the continuation of the summer food preservation hot line continued and supported by Oregon State Universityís family and community development program.  She added that it is staffed by volunteers but their local extension provided no administrative support for that program.  She asked the Board as they consider monies from Congress that they could help build the bridge to their future to offer funding for a secure funding model for Lane County Extension Service.

 

John Flannery, said he represents citizens who would to see Lane County build and operate and own Americaís first biogas facility dedicated to bus transit.  He thought it should be a public works project and owned and operated by Lane County.  He suggested bringing in timber wastes and crop wastes that are carbon waste expanding methane to run the biogas facility and powers LTD buses.  He said they believe LTD is the proper focus.

 

3. CONSENT CALENDAR

 

A. Approval of Minutes:

May 8, 2007, Work Session, 9:00 a.m.

May 9, 2007, Regular Meeting, 9:00 a.m.

May 9, 2007, Regular Meeting, 9:00 a.m.

September 15, 2008, JEO, 12:00 p.m.

September 17, 2008, Regular Meeting, 9:00 a.m.

September 17, 2008, Regular Meeting, 1:30 p.m.

September 24, 2008, Regular Meeting, Following HACSA

September 24, 2008, Regular Meeting, 1:30 p.m.

October 1, 2008, Regular Meeting, 9:00 a.m.

October 1, 2008, Regular Meeting, 1:30 p.m.

 

B. Assessment and Taxation

 

1) ORDER 08-10-22-1/In the Matter of a Refund to PeaceHealth in the Amount of $70,618.38.

 

2) ORDER 08-10-22-2/In the Matter of a Refund to Sprint Nextel Corporation in the Amount of $104,705.20.

 

3) ORDER 08-10-22-3/In the Matter of a Refund to Willamette Gardens Apartments, LLC in the Amount of $23,934.59.

 

C. Health and Human Services

 

1) ORDER 08-10-22-4/In the Matter of Appointing Two Members and Re-Appointing Two Members to the Community Health Council.

 

2) ORDER 08-10-22-5/In the Matter of Awarding a Contract Amendment to Alvord Taylor in the Amount of $1,547,012 and to Dungarvin in the Amount of $1,839,064 for Services to Individuals with Developmental Disabilities for the Time Period from July 1, 2007 through June 30, 2009.

 

3) ORDER 08-10-22-6/In the Matter of Appointing a Member to the Lane County Animal Services Advisory Committee (LCASAC).

 

D. Management Services

 

1) ORDER 08-10-22-7/In the Matter of Authorizing the County Administrator to Execute a Six Month Extension of a Land Sale Contract with Theresia Tangkilisan for County Owned Real Property Identified as Map No. 19-12-02-31-04600.

 

E. Public Safety

 

1) ORDER 08-10-22-8/In the Matter of Delegating Authority to the County Administrator to Execute Intergovernmental Agreement between the United States Marshals Service and Lane County for Housing Federal Inmates.

 

F. Public Works

 

1) ORDER 08-10-22-9/In the Matter of Awarding Professional Services Contracts to Vector Engineering, Inc. and EGR & Associates for Solid Waste Engineering and Technical Services and Authorizing the County Administrator to Execute the Contracts (WM 08/09-04).

 

2) ORDER 08-10-22-10/In the Matter of Appointing a Member to the Lane County Planning Commission.

 

MOTION:  to approve the Consent Calendar.

 

Green MOVED, Fleenor SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 5-0.

 

4. EMERGENCY BUSINESS

 

None.

 

5. COMMISSIONERS' REMONSTRANCE

 

Sorenson reported that it is the 70th birthday of Civic Stadium.

 

6. COMMISSIONERS' BUSINESS

 

a. DISCUSSION/Potential Direction to County Administration and Budget Staff Regarding Secure Rural Schools.

 

Stewart reiterated that the President signed a bill that included  3 Ĺ years of Secure Rural School funds for Lane County.  He added that it is at a reduced rate than what was received in the past.  He recalled that they made a commitment that if they received the Secure Rural School funding they would reconvene the Budget Committee to discuss this.

 

Garnick said they need to know what the process should look like so they know what the best use of funding will be for this year.  He said they need to make this yearís decision before he knows what to put in the Fin Plan for next year. 

 

Spartz reported that in early January they have to start developing the FY 2009/2010 budget and what the Board decides to do with SRS money for this fiscal year will impact the development of that budget. 

 

Stewart indicated that there are several ballot measures voted on in the election that might have an impact on Lane County.  He recommended not doing anything until they know the results.

 

Garnick reported that the governor is asking the state departments to prepare budgets with a ten or twenty percent reduction.  He asked if they should want to find out what that is like.

 

Green commented that he wouldnít put a stake into the governorís budget as it is not equitable.  He wanted the Budget Committee to reconvene and thought they should invite members of the unions to get their input.

 

Dwyer wanted a summary of what they did with Title II and Title III and what is not allowed to be done.

 

Sorenson thought they needed a six year period approach.  He said they needed to take a six year rolling average.  He indicated that they donít know how much money is coming through Secure Rural Schools.  He thought they should figure in a three year payment, not a four year payment.  He noted that voters will be voting on several measures that directly affect Lane County. He said they need to get the word out that they are not posting positions now for spending money that might come in during the fiscal year. He indicated that they need to spend SRS money on Lane Countyís needs and not on the federal side.  He thought they needed a workshop with the public to show the implications about having a balanced budget out six years.

 

Stewart commented that trying to stabilize the budget out six years might be a stretch in light of the fact of the current economy.  He added that their recording fees are down $500,000 and that has a direct effect on the budget.  He said the bond market is not doing well and they have to sell bonds to pay off the debt for the public health building they purchased.  He wanted to see what a three or four year stabilization would look like.  He was concerned about the increased demands from Food for Lane County and help for utilities.  He added they have had a lot of job layoffs.  He thought they should put together some sort of reserve to step in for basic needs for people.  He was also concerned about where public safety is headed because of previous cuts.  He knows they canít physically restore everything that has been cut.  He wanted to know what it would cost to open another 48 beds in the jail.  He wanted to convene the Budget Committee in December to work on the budget for the next fiscal year.

 

Green thought it should be prudent to budget at the lowest level they know about and consider cost avoidance that they may incur.  He wanted to put some money in reserves.  He stated that he would under promise than over deliver with public services.  He thought the governorís budget will have an impact on Health and Human Services. He thought it would be prudent to engage in a broad discussion with the community about strategic investment and utilizing economic development funds to create a sustainable system that they could be a partner in.  He thought they should assist in creating and expanding jobs.  He said they shouldnít overlook the other local governments because they are going through the same tough times and they should try to have more conversations with their partners.  He commented that they still havenít discussed the Public Works budget and how the gas tax reductions.  He commented that they have already managed some of the cuts they have had with positions that are still vacant.  He didnít want to provide any type of home that they will get back to high levels for non profits.  He indicated this money brings back minimal level of services.

 

Garnick reported that in two years the current forecast looks at a $6 million hole in the system.  He stated that part of this money is to fill the holes so they could maintain what they have without adding more.

 

Green asked what about of funding would be commensurate to the level of having a stable reserve from all unforeseen issues.

 

Garnick indicated that they normally have ten percent but this year they have cut deeper and have a second economic stabilization reserve.  He recommended possibly a 15 percent reserve,

 

Fleenor preferred a ten year budget but would compromise at a six year budget.  He said that bond service doesnít come due until 2050.  He thought they should put together a rolling budget and combine the current budget, the timber payments and the 08/09 fiscal year budget into a new model.  He wanted a meeting on December 4 with Joe Hertzberg providing a facilitated workshop on developing a rolling budget and invite experts outside of the organization from the University of Oregon School of Business or economics to discuss the Countyís bonded debt and how  they could pay down the debt with the timber payments and still have some reserve left.  He wanted the optimization of buy down debt reserves and buy back programs.  He wanted a series of facilities workshops on December 4, December 11 and December 18 with the Leadership Team, the Budget Committee and invited guests.

 

Dwyer thought they would be safe if they would only commit 50 percent of the lesser known amount starting now so they would be building a reserve to give stability.  He asked what the potential impacts of the passed measure might have on Lane County when they know they pass.  He said that needed to be included.  He said when the economy is bad and the governments resources are lessened, the demand on government services increase.  He commented that the fees they will reserve for the road fund will be down.  He added that the lottery revenue will go up because people will spend money.  He indicated they were limited with economic development in how they spend the money.  He didnít want to mix general fund money with economic development money to jump start the economy.  He thought businesses should do their own thing.

 

Spartz said if they took the approach Dwyer recommended about cautious spending over a four year period, they would end up with an additional $20 million to deal with the Boardís priorities.

 

Garnick indicated that he would do a 10 year forecast.

 

Jennifer Inman, Budget Analyst, recalled that one of the goals for the Board was to do long range strategic planning.  She said they will come back in the next few weeks with next step recommendations for that process.  She said if they overlay that piece on top of this, they will have an opportunity to have a structured and in-depth and community engaged process, not just about the budget, but service delivery to the longer term thinking about allocating resources.  She said there will be more opportunities to process the allocating of funds for FY 08/09 and preparing for FY 09/2010.

 

Garnick thought it would be more convenient to have the meetings at night.

 

 

7. COUNTY ADMINISTRATION

 

a. Announcements

 

Spartz reported that Department Directors and Management Team will be having a retreat on Tuesday October 28 at Lane Community College.  He indicated they would be meeting with the International City County Management Executive Robert OíNeal.

 

b. REPORT/Revenue Strategy Proposal - Community Interview Project.

 

Steve Schriver recalled the Board commissioned an interview project on June 11, when the odds of getting the Secure Rural School funds were near zero.  He indicated that the project was to gain a better understanding of what needs to change for voters to support Lane County government in general and public safety in particular.  He indicated that he interviewed the City of Eugene neighborhood association chairs and co-chairs.  He noted that the project achieved a 100 percent response rate.  He commented that the interviewees were genuinely honored that the County wanted to know what they had to say. 

 

Schiver indicated the interviewees mentioned the lack of involvement opportunities between government and voters, inequities between urban and rural areas, a prevailing anti-tax mood in the County and concern the County was overstating the consequences of measure failures as in crying wolf.  He said interviewees mentioned meaningful communication between the public and the politicians and between the public and the County Commissioners.

 

With regard to crime, Schriver said the interviewees thought of Eugene has a low to medium crime area and that Lane County was lower.  He indicated that ran counter to local government pronouncements by both the city and the County.  He said that interviewees felt safe in their Eugene neighborhoods and in their homes.

 

With funding strategies, Schriver indicated that interviewees thought any County money measure must start with its citizens at the grass roots levels if it were to stand a change of succeeding.  He added when he interviewed the Board, all five said the same thing.

 

Schriver indicated the interviewees were presented with three public safety system options to rank:  the split rate, a metro consolidated model where Springfield, the City of Eugene and Lane County Sheriff would be combined into a single entity and a traditional or bare bones.  He said the consolidated version was ranked number one.  Split rate was second and traditional was a distant number three.  He added that option was unlikely to happen because of concerns among the jurisdictions.

 

Schriver identified two areas for recommendations:  a grassroots driven community process that would produce a tangible public safety funding option and increased public trust of County government as a by-product of the process.  He said the second area was the selection of public safety related money measure development and trust building recommendations.  He noted the full finding section that takes up the balance of the report offers a selection of opinions, ideas and insights for all of the 20 questions posed to the neighborhood associations.  He said for himself, the full findings were the most important piece.

 

Fleenor commented that when he asks his constituents about feeling safe, they know what it is not to feel safe, but constituents donít know what it mean to be safe.  He said people say a solid community working together makes people feel safe and knowing their neighbors.

 

Schriver said on feeling safe the number one response knew the people in the neighborhood and the geography of the neighborhood made them feel the safest.  He noted close behind was knowing should they need police protection, it would be available.

 

Fleenor asked why the interviewees didnít trust County government.

 

Schriver said there were a number of reasons.  He said there is mistrust that things are not always above board, decisions are made behind closed doors,  a concern about getting ďjacked aroundĒ on ballot measures, things being overstated.  The Board says they donít have the money and then the money becomes available.  He said this wasnít something that just surfaced, it had been around since the early 1990ís.  He said they mentioned the County Commissioners donít go out into the community enough to talk to the people.   He noted about six people mentioned that issue.

 

Green said in the last effort the Board held several public hearings for the public to weigh in and a dismal attendance.  He added not related to the measure, when there is an effort to provide public information about County government, it is received that they are promoting information.  With regard to feeling safe, he thought it had to do if someone was a victim of crime.  He added if someone has not been a victim of crime then that was a safe feeling.  He commented that feeling was not universal.

 

Schvier indicated that many of the people had been burglarized and they felt strongly about it if it had been recent.  He noted for many of them it wasnít recent and for some it wasnít in Eugene.

 

Sorenson asked how they re-establish the trust and avoid being at odds with the public.  He wanted to pursue this in the future.

 

Dwyer asked what his recommendation was to utilize the results of the report and what steps he would take.  He asked if Schriver would be interested in doing it.

 

Fleenor asked if they should buy back jail beds.  He said that is the questions coming to them and they have no methodology for ascertaining whether they should.  He wanted more information on what it is to be safe, and what did the citizens of Lane County except Lane County to provide to make them feel safe within the resources they have.  He wanted to do a broad-base rural outreach.  He commented that the rural people are the ones complaining the most.

 

Schriver said city populations are increasing and rural populations are dropping.  He thought the next step would be to ask rural people what they think.

 

Fleenor doesnít see the focus groups on public safety.  He said they should find out what the citizens of Lane County urban and rural expect out of the public safety system.  He noted it is the experts within public safety that identify the goals, they donít ask the citizens.  He asked if the Board should ask the question or if the Sheriff and District Attorney ask the questions.

 

Green indicated they will be having a goal setting session and they can incorporate this around citizen and public involvement.  He thought it was important to talk to the citizens because they could clear up misperceptions. He agreed to get the perspective of rural residents.  He thought this report was a tool.

 

Fleenor wanted a series of focus groups that would drill down the issue of public safety and what it means to be safe and what should Lane County do to provide the safety.  He wanted to identify a goal or outcome and identify the resources available and how they would account for whether they are meeting the goal.  He indicated that the funding element comes later, once they identify what they want do.  He said if they donít have sufficient resources, then they have other focus groups.  He asked how they should get the revenue. He asked how they sell a bond to a citizen if they donít trust the County.

 

Sorenson didnít think they could solve a problem until they find out what the problem is and perceived by the public.  He was in favor of doing more.

 

Fleenor thought Lane County should have ongoing citizen outreach through focus groups and employees to determine what they are doing right and to improve.  He indicated that was part of the strategic plan overlayed with a more comprehensive focus group attempt to drill down into the issues of public safety, roads and public health issues.  He wanted to know what they could do for public safety.  He wanted to see a proposal that would show it could be done.

 

Schriver recommended the next steps would be to go to the rural areas with questions.

 

 

c. ORDER 08-10-22-11 Authorizing the County Administrator to Confer with the US Postal Service to Ensure All Ballots for the November 2008 Election are Delivered to County Elections

 

Annette Newingham, Elections, reported that several days have gone by and ballots have been returning.  She reassured the Board and citizens that there have been any phone calls of voters getting their ballots returned for insufficient postage.  She commented that a small percentage of the ballots didnít have correct postage but they were delivered to Lane County Elections.  She estimated what percentage of ballots comes through the mail versus those that go to the drop sites.  She thought it was about 33 percent.  She said if the County pays the difference in the postage, it would be $5,000.  She added that $2,000 is the City of Eugeneís portion.  She said citizens were fearful the ballots would be returned to them and their ballots wouldnít be counted.  She asked the Board to give notice to the Post Office not to return any ballots and Lane County would pay the difference but still encourage the public to put 59 cents on their ballots.

 

Green thought as a Board they should protect the fundamental rights of the citizens.  He added that the state and cities should recognize they also have a stake in this.

 

MOTION:  to direct the County Administrator to work with Annette Newingham to inform the Post Office that Lane County will cover the cost so voters ballots will be covered.

 

Green MOVED, Dwyer SECONDED.

 

Green said he received calls from city councilors this morning and they will make the same request of their city councils.

 

Dwyer said they have to prevent this from happening again and to plan for it the next time they have an election.  He said the County charges its counter parts for the election and he recommended increasing those costs.

 

Richardson stated if an individual mails their ballot in, they are responsible for paying the postage themselves.  She indicated that it limits what they can do.

 

Dwyer indicated voters donít have to pay postage, there are drop boxes everywhere.

 

Newingham thought there should be legislative attention that in the primary and the general election the cities and state donít pay their apportion cost of the election, the County general fund takes care of their apportioned cost.  She commented that because of the fiscal issues it is a time to review this and get support to get the cities to pay their apportioned costs.  She thought the state should lobby the federal government to have them pay for federal election postage on any election related material. 

 

Sorenson thought it was an error in the election process not to disclose the amount of postage required to properly send back the ballots.  He stated that it is the government that is conducting the election, not the individual.  He said it is part of the fairness of the election to tell the voter all they need to know.  He didnít think it was done in this case and relates to confusion in the voting process.  He didnít agree this has been handled.   He wanted a report back on whether or not there were any votersí whose right to vote was affected by this confusion and whether they could draft a County ordinance to require the amount of  postage be stated on the envelope so the voter is informed of what it takes to cast a valid vote.

 

Newingham stated the postage was on the ballot and on the insert.  She said had they put the postage on the envelope, they should have just taken care of the difference in the postage because costs would have been increased.  She suggested that instead of worrying about the envelope to take an effort that if it is beyond a one ounce postage cost, that either the counties cover the costs or apportioned costs are dealt with. She indicated that when they have to order special envelopes with that information on it, when they donít know how long the ballot will be until the filing deadline.  She said she could have reordered all of the envelopes but there would have been an associated cost.  She said they have to weigh what is the best most fiscal prudent way to deal with the issue.  She commented that if the city and state were paying their fair share of the cost of the election, everything wouldnít be pushed to the general election to save on their costs. 

 

Sorenson wanted a work session after the election about the range of issues that had arisen as a result of this.  He suggested that as a draft the last piece of information is that there should be something on the right hand side of the ballot for them to bring it to a drop off box.

 

Fleenor asked if other counties were experiencing similar problems.

Newingham explained that every county has different types of optical scan ballot counters and the paper is heavier in Lane County.  She commented that there is no perfect system.  She indicated another county offered to pay for additional costs of the ballot but it wasnít county wide.  She said this was the first time Lane County had this cost.

 

VOTE: 5-0.

 

(The following took place in the afternoon)

 

MOTION: to approve ORDER 08-10-22-11.

 

Dwyer MOVED, Green SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 5-0.

 

d. Discussion on Association Fees

 

Stewart wanted to have a discussion during one of the meetings of November to give guidance to staff on different organizations as they work to prepare the next budget.  He said there were associations they didnít fund in this cycle.  He wanted to get clear expectations from the Board.

 

Fleenor thought this should be part of the Strategic Plan and the rolling budget.  He didnít think they should be adding back any programs of any type until they have an understanding of the budget.

 

Stewart said they need to know if they are going to fund LRAPA, as they need to know as soon as possible.  He asked if they are not going to fund LRAPA, if they are going to maintain their membership and they need to make the decision by the end of the year. He added that O & C Counties have been preparing resolutions for Title II and Title III money and how the allocations go.  He said if they are not going to continue with membership, they need to know and they could find other ways to prepare that work in the future.

 

Sorenson thought the Board of Commissioners should be a policy board and they should work on the most serious and biggest problems that face the community.  He said allowing changes in the current budget without a bigger conversation undermines the overall effort toward the bigger goal.

 

8. PUBLIC WORKS

 

a. DISCUSSION/Urban Transition Agreements and the Eugene-Springfield Metro Plan: Termination Work Program and Alternative Approaches.

 

Kent Howe, Land Management, recalled that over 20 years ago the County agreed to delegate its administrative authority for planning and building services to each of the two cities in the Eugene and Springfield metropolitan area.  He noted the transfer of services was done through a series of intergovernmental agreements referred to as the Urban Transition Agreement.  He recalled that in the last several years the Board has had discussions concerning how contemporary the Metro Plan is.  He said that three years ago the Board developed a list of metro issues in need of examination. (Attachment A in file).  He stated that last year the Board sent a letter to the Eugene and Springfield mayors listing four issues in need of immediate consideration.  (Attachment B in file).  He said that letter started the quarterly meetings with the joint elected officials. 

 

Howe recalled at the Boardís Work Session on July 9, they directed staff to develop a work program and related costs for what would be required to reassume the administration of the planning and building permit services within the urban growth boundaries if the urban transition agreements were to be terminated.  He said the packet provides the background, discussion and the necessary actions and their impacts both workload and fiscal.  He added the packet provides with alternatives to terminating the urban transition agreement.  He said they heard the Board articulate five issues:  they have constituents upset over annexation policies because significant development triggers annexation.  He stated the citizens feel disenfranchised because their elected officials had delegated the administrative authority to the cities.  He said that jurisdictional autonomy goes back to the Public Safety District and Delta Sand and Gravel applications.  He said the Board questioned the fundamental policies of the Metro Plan that the cities are the logical provider of urban services.  He said dispute resolution doesnít work with the current way MPC operates. 

 

Howe stated that staff offered the following considerations:  he said there are unintended consequences of terminating the urban transition agreement.  He said the same policies will be in effect, citizens will remain frustrated because they will come to the County with their development proposals and they will end up having to send them to the city to get their annexation information.  He said that terminating the urban transition agreements doesnít address the issue of jurisdictional autonomy, or the fundamental policies of the Metro Plan or dispute resolutions.  He added there are first year costs on $500,000 to $750,000 with ongoing annual costs of about $300,000.  He commented that they realize the Board is frustrated with the lack of city action to address these issues.  He noted they are a partner in the Metro Plan and there are opportunities coming to the Board in the near future.  He said they are opportunities to refine the vision as a Board of the Metro Plan.  He indicated that the cities will be coming to the Board for co-adoption of amendments that will be necessary to implement HB3337 and with co-adoption of amendments for the TSP and RTP.  He said the Board has opportunities at these junctures to guide the Metro Plan with the Countyís vision of urban and rural reserves so important agricultural land could be protected from urbanization and adjusted plan boundary to provide jurisdictional autonomy for properties outside the urban growth boundary.  He said they would have an opportunity to develop dispute resolution process that does not allow one jurisdiction to hold veto power over the other partners. 

 

Howe commented that instead of spending $500,000 to $750,000 on a work program to reassume the administration of planning and building services that will not have addressed the constituents frustration, they could use staff resources to help the Board identify and develop Metro Plan revisions.  He said the junctures will be an opportunity to move the Boardís agenda forward on annexation policies.  He added on protecting important farm and forestlands from urbanization and in developing an effective dispute resolution process.  He indicated the Board could send a termination letter or help develop a plan to make the Metro Plan more contemporary to serve the citizens of the 21st Century.

 

Green thought Chapter 4 regarding dispute resolution needed a complete overhaul.  He indicated there was no way to get to a resolution with MPC because that is what the Metro Plan calls for.  He said it is not functioning as a conflict resolution body.  He wanted to look at that section and eliminate it and work with their partners to develop different partners where there is no one vote veto.  He said the Board could initiate amendments.  He said they needed to find another mechanism that would get them to yes or the autonomy so they could continue to go forward.

 

Stephen Vorhes, Assistant County Counsel, said they could craft language that would address it by deleting it.  He said the Board could start a process asking the jurisdictions to join in deleting that.  He said if they have focused language proposing things for staff to staff and for the Board to talk with the other elected officials to fix something that would work for everyone.  He said giving staff direction to work on that could be the first step.  He thought there could be some things in Chapter 4 that donít need to go away.

 

Green commented that if not for the process at MPC, he recommended a process when they convene the Public Safety Task Force with a super majority.  He thought that was another way of getting the jurisdictions to approve.  He stated that the current methodology was not working.  He wanted staff to direction that.

 

Fleenor agreed looking at amending Chapter 4 to provide a better process for dispute resolution.  He was more interested in the governance that takes place within the urban transition areas within the urban growth boundaries.  He understood the Metro Plan was the underpinning that no matter what they with the urban transition agreements, the Metro Plan is the guide.  He said if they could modify the Metro Plan to provide some sort of representation of government, he would be happy.  He suggested having an appeal process within the urban transition agreements that once they have been denied a building permit to come to the County.

 

Sorenson noted the IGA says the cities are the best providers of urban services but he looked down the list of services provided and he thought the County was better situated to provide the services including Animal Services, Public Health Services, transportation services, medical and hospital services and correction services.  He indicated the County already is performing the services and the idea the County is a rural agency that serves only rural non-urban functions is an erroneous assumption that cities are the unique providers of the services.  He thought the agreement has been used against them in that the cities could say it is a city service and they canít do it.  He said they need to have a vision that the County benefits all the people in the community and are not subordinate to cities and they resent this is still in the agreement.  He commented that the Metropolitan Policy Committee is a committee of the Lane Council of Governments.  He indicated that it is part of an existing government.  He asked if the decisions made were recommendations to the Board of Directors to LCOG.

 

Vorhes indicated they are decision and how they are phrased in terms of what the action is would depend on the matter in front of them.  He said the LCOG Board members are a separate organization.  With regard to the Metro Plan provisions that discusses amendments to the metro plan proposed by one or several jurisdictions cannot be agreed on, the identical amendments are not adopted by the governing bodies.  He indicated when those go to MPC, all they do in their decision is to provide a recommendation to the decision makers in the land use matter. 

 

Sorenson said by giving the notice, it allows an opportunity to raise the fundamental aspects of the agreement:  the cities are the logical providers of services when there have been changes in technology.  He didnít think the agreement gave them credit and by giving notice it will be more meaningful at their quarterly meetings of looking at issues at a high level.  He indicated that there was no serious response to their letters or meetings.  He thought they could give notice and have a structured series of meetings about writing a new agreement and they could insert the portions that are more relevant to the current environment.

 

Dwyer said they have to be careful in defining w hat they do.  He recalled the way it was designed originally was to force annexation in the City of Eugene in River Road.  With the sewer area, he indicated the city was the logical provider of services.  He thought notice was good because it gets the discussion going.  He thought it was archaic.  He asked how they become more relevant and how the people in the fringe areas are represented at some level.  He asked how they protect the rural character and agricultural base in the community.  He commented that urban reserves are stronger than rural reserves.  He though Alex Cuyler, Intergovernmental Relations Manager, thought he needed to push for rural reserves to become statewide.  He said they have areas on the Countyís map that are aggregate under Goal 5.  He said gravel is located under the best farmland.  He indicated they have farmland in the Jasper area and it some of the best farmland in the world.  He added at the riverís ridge is aggregate deposit and the aggregate deposit and farmland is owned by the same person.  He said they know they have a demand for gravel and they know they will have conflicts.  He wanted to minimize conflicts by creating rural reserves between aggregate resources and urban reserves so they wonít have people moving next to a gravel pit.  He wanted a map of areas between the conflicts with Class 1 through 3 soils and think about creating rural reserves.

 

Fleenor concurred and thought that was the logical process that needed to be implemented as soon as possible.  He said they are lacking the adaptability that the changing economic is having on the partners.  He thought it was time to look at dissolving the Metro Plan and having each city develop their own Comprehensive Plan working in conjunction with the County and they develop their urban transition agreements within the Comprehensive Plan so they could oversee each one so they could have individual agreements with the cities.  He thought that was the solution with the Lane County coordinated population study so they can clean things up.  He thought each city deserves to have its own Comprehensive Plan as co-adopted by the County.

 

Howe recommending discussing this at the Boardís next joint elected officialís meeting they could move forward as a proposal to see if they approve, otherwise it might need legislation to separate the plan.

 

Vorhes heard mention from the City of Springfield in terms of implementing HB3337,  one of the approaches they considered is adopting a separate refinement to the Metro Plan that consists of a comprehensive plan that articulates what will happen on the east side of I-5 for the City of Springfield in their city limits and in their urban growth boundary.  He said they have other refinement plans and didnít know if they could prevent it from happening.

 

Fleenor asked would terminating the IGAís provide them with any positive leverage to the City of Eugene to think through this and help resolve this.

 

Howe commented that the Metro Plan is still in play and all the policies are still in effect.  He noted for the Eugene side, it is the Eugene Code to implemental the Metro Plan and for Springfield it is the Springfield Code to implement the Metro Plan outside those city limits that have been adopted by the County.  He said excising out the urban transition agreements mean the County assumes the responsibilities for all of the permitting administration for building and planning and those are non-paying customers and no fees to support the staff resources providing the information service because significant development will ultimately require annexation into the city and that is when they pay their fees.

 

Vorhes explained that the Metro Plan policy would remain in place  and for significant development annexation is the expectation and will happen.  He said the termination of the IGA would leave that policy in place and leave the code provisions currently in place that articulates the specifics of under what circumstances does annexation have to occur or not and it has the building code provisions.  He said those will remain in place unless the Board makes changes and the land use changes come up against the Metro Plan.

 

Fleenor wanted to bring this up at the next joint elected officials meeting to see if there is interest.

 

Sorenson asked if they could get a new 190 agreement constructed that would allow the cities to administer the land use activities within the urbanizable area so in the event the Board did give notice to terminate the agreement they could continue it and any other highlighted thing the Board would want to propose simultaneously with the termination of the agreement so it was clear that some things are working.  He said the cities have told me they are fine with doing it but if Lane County wants to take it over at their expense they were fine with that.  He didnít think they were making much progress on the big item of what is the role of County government in the ensuing 25 years as opposed to what their role was from the past 25 years.  He said they are excluded from providing for the services to 70 percent of the residents of Lane County who live in cities.  He said they need to forcefully confront that.  He said they donít see a big need for double checking on each otherís work. He wanted to have a meeting on what they are going to do now that the County has terminated agreement.

 

Howe said staff could come back to analyze the  plan to determine what specific policies are at  odds with some of the issues the Board brought up.  He said they brought up dispute resolution, definition of urban services and rural reserves.  He said they could come back with some proposals around those areas.  He said they could propose in an IGA update that would retain the provision of administering the building and planning services with the two cities to incorporate the discussion of these items.  He said the agreement is for planning and building services.  He said they are talking more about the policy level instead of planning and building services.

 

Dwyer wanted a proposal of what would the plans not have that are currently problematic, to identify the problematic areas.  He said to give notice is not to sever the relationship but to morph the relationship into something that is more workable for everyone.  He thought each city would have their own comprehensive plan that would be co-adopted by the County and the County will identify those critical areas to reserve for aggregate under Goal 5, farmland under Goal 3 and Goal 1.

 

Fleenor recommended using the Florence Comprehensive Plan as a template because it is contemporary and it addressed all 19 goals with no forced annexation issues.

 

Stewartís concern was that the citizens who were not in the city being forced to go to the city to be represented.  He wanted to put this on for the joint elected officials meeting in December and have meaningful outcome to move forward, but it has been a year and they have not moved forward.  He was afraid they would send the termination letter and they would get the work back.

 

b. REPORT BACK Review of Road Fund.

 

Marsha Miller, Public Works, said they have looked at the Secure Rural Schools funding that would be coming to the County and the phasing down of the funding over four years.  She indicated what the road fund is still looking at is anywhere from a $20 to a $22 million reduction over a five year period.  She added costs are continuing to rise and they are seeing decreasing revenues.  She said their strategy for the road fund is to continue to find ways to reduce costs, looking at every vacancy and every cost saving opportunity, focusing on repair and preservation of the infrasctures and roads and only looking at capital projects if they can get an infusion of other money.  She said it is basically preserving and preparing what they have.  She added they are also looking for opportunities for funding and revenues in the future.

 

Tanya Heaton, Public Works, distributed information. (Copy in file).  She noted they have a decreasing CIP including Harvey Road in 09/10 and after that they will be limited to preservation.  She indicated the project is about $2 million.  She added they have $500,000 in revenue coming in to offset that money from the cities for non-road fund eligible work.

 

Sorenson thought the Fin Plan on the road fund and general fund should reflect what they currently know today with Secure Rural Schools and further out.  He wanted to look at the current law, assuming there is no change.

 

Heaton reported that the fees and charges are coming down because they are doing less work for other cities.  She said it could change next year if the engineering group gets a contract with someone else.  She said in 08/09 she is projecting $52 million, dropping in 09/10 to $37 million because of the SB 994 money that was for one time.  She stated they were not asking at this time for authorization to spend any of the Secure Rural Schools money, but they are showing they expect to receive it, they are not expect it to spend it.  With regard to the expenditures, she stated there were changes to FTE.  She recalled in 05/06 they had 234 budgeted FTE, in 08/09 they had 205 FTE and they have five positions to have opened through out the year.  She said they are projecting they will  have 200 FTE throughout the year.

 

Fleenor asked if there would be a reduction in FTE if no one drives on the roads.  He asked if there was a relationship between average miles traveled and the number of FTE to maintain the highways.

 

Heaton said they had done an analysis based on vehicles mile traveled and they are not expecting in the near future to see any gains because of fewer vehicles.  She stated they believe the trucking industry will instantly offset any savings from light vehicles traveled.  She added I-5 is not a County road but the smaller roads in the community are still be used by heavy trucks and they arenít anticipating a change in the next five years.  She said their concern is the backlog of roads that need repairs.  She commented that even if they see some improvement on some of the roads, they are far behind on others and they donít anticipate a staff change in the short term.  She commented that the first thing that will drive service levels for the road will be their budget and at that time they will be forced to look at the services they provide and how many lane miles they upkeep and to what standards. 

 

Dwyer asked how many road fund employees are pre-1986,  Tier 1, Tier 2 and IAP.

 

With regard to making reductions, Heaton said they discussed taking the $20 million they think they will need to reduce and go over the five years for a total of $4 million each.  She stated if they wanted to go with a $4 million reduction, it would be 26.5 FTE each year for five years.

 

Fleenor wanted a six year rolling budget plan.

 

Heaton stated she would bring that back as an option.

 

9. CORRESPONDENCE TO THE BOARD

 

Stewart received a letter thanking the Board for naming a day to each dinner with children on September 22.  He also received a thank you from the Lane County College Foundation for the contribution to the Rosa Parks statue.  He also had a request from the MLK Celebration for a $500 donation as they have done in the past to support the celebration.

 

MOTION: to take the $500 from the commissionersí reserve and bring it back on the Consent Calendar.

 

Dwyer MOVED, Green SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 5-0.

 

10. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

Green announced that on Monday he will go to Salem to be part of a presentation regarding court facilities.

 

Dwyer announced a Finance and Audit Committee meeting tomorrow at 1:30 p.m.

 

Stewart said they received the applicants for the Fair Board.

 

Dwyer recommended that each commissioner choose their own representative.  

 

 

11. EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660

 

Per ORS 192.660(2)(e) for the purpose of deliberations with labor negotiators.

 

12. OTHER BUSINESS

 

None.

 

There being no further business, Commissioner Stewart recessed the Board into Executive Session at 3:05 p.m.

None.