BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS'

REGULAR MEETING

October 29, 2008

9:00 a.m.

Commissionersí Conference Room

APPROVED 11/25/2008

 

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

 

1. ADJUSTMENTS TO THE AGENDA

 

Sorenson requested item 3. B. 3) be pulled for one week from the Consent Calendar.

 

2. PUBLIC COMMENTS

 

Benny Anderson, Florence, stated that one of the original covenants on the property in question is that the property should be kept in its natural state.  He said that was the way the public has been using it.  He said the public has been using the entire property to view sunsets for decades.  He thought it was the Countyís duty to come up with a settlement to allow public to have the same access they have enjoyed all these years instead of having a walkway between buildings.

 

Debra Anderson, Florence, said she was opposed to the County doing anything to enable the present property owners to put a house or development on their property that had been used by residents for so many years.  She said giving the Gabers an easement to build a septic field and a house on the property would increase their property values and unfairly decrease other property values because of accessibility and use.  She recalled the roadway and beach access have had public use for over 40 years and it is a continuation of Second Avenue.  She thought the Board would be targeting an individual for a huge financial gain by granting access for a drain field or to connect to a property they might give to the property owners.  She noted that Tax Lot 5300 is a beach dune. She said as neighbors they showed the Board photographs where the majority of the tax lot is underwater during high tide and that would require rocks to be placed in front of the property.

 

Bob Peters, Florence, thanked the Board for attempting to negotiate a settlement. He said the Gabers have been in communication directly in the past few days and they were told the Gabers did not intend to block access to the road or beach and he takes them at their word.  He said they were told the Gabers intend to build an 800 square foot cottage where the public has enjoyed access to the beach and ocean.  He said the property in question is without value.  He recalled when the Gabers bought the property the land had pavement over the east part that is part of Second Avenue.  He added the other part extends into the ocean.   He commented that the proposal to agree to the easements is a proposal to add value, where there is no value at the present.  He thought there was a lawful remedy that is straightforward.  He added the West Lane Planning Commission had already addressed this and has already approved the remedy. He added that Kent Howe, Land Management, indicated that it is currently available to them. 

 

Russ Noah, Florence, asked the Board as they review the options, that they donít negotiate something that the County already has.  He said they already have public access.  He hoped the Board would weigh all the options and decide the right thing to do for the public: to maintain the access and that Second Avenue goes all the way to the ocean as part of the original deed and the legalization process.

 

Carol Berg Caldwell, Eugene, discussed the October 21 meeting.  She said not one social service or crime prevention agency were there.  She asked if they were encouraged to attend.  She commented that voters recognize that effective public safety programs must include a balance of punishment and prevention.  She thought saving money in reserves also made sense.

 

Jan Sohlman, Florence, asked the Board to be mindful of the impact on what is being proposed on Second Avenue and other adjoining properties.  She noted there were about 20 other people who could be impacted by losing their beach views if Gaber were to build on his property. She said the neighbors could possibly suffer significant reduction of value of their property.  She said the proposed solution would allow Gaber the benefit of building another structure, (thereby enhancing the value of his property) while diminishing the value of other properties.  She commented that the value of beach property is in location, views and beach access.  She asked the Board to consider other alternatives in order to create a fair and equitable solution for all parties.

 

Mike Gaber, Eugene, said he owns Tax Lot 5300.  He said he was willing and motivated to support a solution that solves both road access issues and continued public access to the beach without significant cost to the County or legal proceedings.  He thought staff was dedicated to resolving the problem for the best interest of all involved.  He was asked by staff if he would consider selling his lot to the County.  He said they declined the option as their first choice.  He believed there were other viable solutions.  He believed in property rights for private citizens.  He recalled on December 5, 2007, a spokesperson for the neighborhood stated: ďPrivate parties claimed in 02 that they were going to build on that property or prevent them from going across it.Ē  He said he nor his wife ever indicated that they would deny access to their property to neighbors or to anyone else.  He said they have made it a point to continue the tradition of committing public use of their property for beach and road access.

 

Mike Farthing, Eugene, said he represents the Gabers.  He indicated that they own the intersection of Second Avenue and Ocean Avenue, Tax Lot 5300.  He sent a letter to the Board outlining their position.  He said they have a willing property owner wanting to reach a resolution that will maintain beach access and recognize the road as it presently exists as a dedicated road.  He said in exchange, Gaber would like ground that would join up his two lots.  He indicated the amount could be negotiated.  He indicated that there are details that need to be worked out.  He thought it was a win-win for everyone.  He indicated that access to the beach will be maintained and it will be relocated on Gaberís lot.  He stated the Gabers want to retain the development rights they believe they have.  He wanted to come back with a solution.  He indicated the County property is a public right-of-way so there would be a vacation.

 

Jim Gillette, Eugene, recalled last week Bob testified that he actually lived in his house, but he stayed down the property with the dogs.  Gillette thought he brought up persuasive arguments on how he has been mistreated by staff.  He recalled that Stewart personally heard from the tenants that Bob lived on the property.  Gillette said that was said by mistake.  Gillette said Bob never spoke to anyone in the County, he spoke to a fire marshal and the fire marshal called someone at the County.  Gillette said he is in compliance.  He announced that tomorrow night in Harris Hall there will be a property owner and trail users meeting at 6:30.  He said these other landowners have problems with the County.

 

Zachary Vishinoff, Eugene, thanked Sorenson for the Civic Stadium ceremony for landmark status.  He stated another student has challenged the City of Eugene and the University of Oregon on the arena alley vacation.  He announced the LUBA appeal is set for November 13.  He said the student asserted this is not in the public interest for the city.

 

Charles Cassey, stated that he has lived in the area for five years and bought his property because it had access to the beach and no other place within reasonable distance has access to the beach. He understood that there has been beach access for 40 years.  He said there is something in the terms of real estate that says they have access when enough people use it.  He indicated that there were enough people who use it.  He wanted to get together a number of people who were interested in this.

 

Gary Garrison, Florence, said he was amazed at the proposal.  He stated this area has been public beach access for many years and the roadway has also been there.  He said for the County to aid Gaber by running a sewer line across and building on the lot would be a major problem and a hardship to a number of people in the community.  He hoped the Board takes this into consideration.

 

Dina Pavlis, Eugene, wanted to be sure the Board is listening to other people in the community instead of just the people who live in the neighborhood.  She commented the beach access point is a Florence community access point and there are hundreds of people who use it that donít live in the neighborhood and are unaware of what is happening.  She wanted to make sure the people who would be affected are going to have a chance to hear about what is happening and weigh in on the decision being made.

 

 

3. CONSENT CALENDAR

 

A. Approval of Minutes:  None.

 

B. County Administration

 

1) ORDER 08-10-29-1/In the Matter of Proclaiming that Lane County is Committed to Ensuring a Full and Accurate Census County in 2010.

 

2) ORDER 08-10-29-2/In the Matter of Transferring $500 from the General Fund Operational Contingency to Materials and Services Within General Expense to Support the 2009 Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration.

 

3) ORDER 08-10-29-3/In the Matter of Transferring $22,050 from the Service Stabilization Reserve into Materials & Services for a Contract With Smith Dawson and Andrews to Continue Federal Lobbying Efforts.

(PULLED)

 

C. Public Safety

 

1) ORDER 08-10-29-4/In the Matter of Appropriating Grant Funds of 489,435 in Revenues and Expenditures for 2008-2009 in Fund 124 and Adding a 1.0 FTE Mental Health Specialist in the Lane County Sheriff's Office, Corrections Division.

 

MOTION: to approve the balance of the Consent Calendar

 

Dwyer MOVED, Fleenor SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 5-0.

 

4. HUMAN RESOURCES

 

a. DISCUSSION AND ORDER 08-10-29-8 Adjusting the Compensation of Elected Officials.

 

Greta Utecht, Human Resources, reported that Secure Rural Schools funding has come through that alleviates some of the financial considerations.  She said that budget staff updated the cost analysis for the full recommendation and  for just a COLA only. She recalled that the Elected Officials Compensation Board recommended there be a change in the Sheriffís base as well as the commissionersí base salary.  She stated that if the Board were to approve the full recommendation for FY 08/09, the cost would be $52,000.  She added that if the Board were to approve the COLA for compensation only, the full cost would be $21,000.  She said Sorenson asked what the Social Security index increase is and it has been provided.  She added that they provided the July 2008 increase figure of 5.8 percent.  She noted that the Social Security index is higher than the CPI. 

 

Dwyer stated that things cost more for people to live.  He didnít want to adjust the base salary, he wanted to look at a small cost of living allowance.  He commented that frugality has to start at the top.  He said they set examples by how they treat themselves. He thought the cost of living raise would help in the upcoming labor negotiations.

 

Utecht explained that Option 2 would provide the preferred compensation adjustment and a two percent COLA for all elected officials.  She noted the raises for the Assessor, the justices, the District Attorney and the Sheriff would be effective July 1, 2008 and for the commissioners, it would be effective January 1, 2009. She recommended that the Board also be granted the same total compensation or benefit adjustment as the non-representative employees for FY 09/10, not to exceed the value of the CPI.  She explained that they get behind because of the way the charter is written.  She said that way they donít have to worry about the timing around the election.  She added if they only approve it for this year, it would be another two years before they could adjust it.

 

Dwyer didnít want to get far behind again.  He thought it would strengthen the position with the bargaining unit.

 

Fleenor concurred with Dwyer that leadership starts at the top.  He thought now was not a good time to consider this.  He said they should probably have a COLA.  He was concerned about public perception.  He thought they should take the sacrifice, let things level out for two years and then come back to review this.  He said they have to show the public they are willing to make the sacrifice.  He was not in favor of doing anything.

 

Stewart asked if that addressed the issue of the Sheriff.

 

Utecht said if the Board wants to grant a COLA, they want to grant Options 2, 3 and 4, to return with changes to the Lane Manual addressing the issue of pay differential in the Sheriffís Office.  She said if the Board approves the COLA but not the base, she has to come back and if the Board does nothing, she has to come back because they have to make changes in the Lane Manual.

 

MOTION: to move the most diminimus recommendation offered by Utecht including Option 2, 3 and 4.

 

Dwyer MOVED, Fleenor SECONDED.

 

Fleenor agreed with Dwyer but he said the timing was unfortunate.  He said they donít have a six year rolling plan they could incorporate this into.  He said there are a lot of programs that they canít fund.  He respected the fact that common people should be allowed to represent the people.  He said when he ran for the position he knew what his salary was going to be and he had not anticipated that it would be more. He said as they move forward, he hopes they address this systematically in their six year rolling plan.

 

Stewart was against large pay increases and was opposed to the recommendation of the Elected Officials Compensation Board of an eight percent raise.  He believed the commissioners were at least ten percent underpaid compared to their colleagues in other counties.  He believed that they needed to be fair to the justice courts and the other elected officials.  He thought this was modest and much less than what was recommended to other employees.  He thought it was appropriate.

 

Utecht indicated that if the Board passes this motion she will come back with a new board order.

 

VOTE: 3-2 (Fleenor, Sorenson dissenting).

 

 

5. EMERGENCY BUSINESS

 

None.

 

6. COMMISSIONERS' REMONSTRANCE

 

Sorenson explained that one of the most important tax credits existing in Oregon tax law is the earned income tax credit.  He said Oregonians for Working Families seeks to increase the state earned income tax credit and is seeking support for expanding the earned income tax credit in the state of Oregon.  He recalled in the last tax season Oregon required minimum wage workers who are employed full-time on a year round basis and supported one child to pay $321 in state income taxes.  He noted that was equivalent to a month of food.  He said with the states having earned income tax credits, Oregon has one of the nationís smallest. He said there is an effort underway to expand the earned income tax credit in the state of Oregon.  He thought Lane County should pass a resolution.

 

Fleenor recalled on October 21 the Board had a public safety work session.  He said he was out of the room securing information about the nature of the meeting.  He stated that he had no intent to offer any disrespect to the public safety officials in the room or any professional.  He said it was a matter of information and he regretted he delayed the meeting by six minutes but he believed they ran over by 30 minutes and everyone was able to speak.

 

Dwyer said he had notified the chair that he had been booked into a school assembly. He came to the meeting as soon as the assembly was over.  It was his belief there was not going to be a vote, it was to be informational.  He thought if he missed anything critical, he could watch the webcast.  He was sorry if he caused any inconvenience.

 

Stewart asked if in the future there were questions about why an item was before the Board to let him know.  He thought the memo was clear that this was only for discussion and for informational purposes.  He recalled at the PSCC meeting people who provide additional services for treatment and prevention were there and they stated it was important that the issues need to be resolved.  He indicated that was what was presented on October 21.

 

Sorenson had reservations about what happened last week.  He said it was because it was labeled as a discussion item.  He said there are discussion items with action and there are discussion items without action.  He said last week after they had an opportunity to hear from the public safety officials and an opportunity for the board to ask questions.  He said item 4. a) was a discussion about the Elected Officialsí Compensation Board and they just took a vote.

 

Dwyer said the Elected Officialsí Compensation Board recommendation had to be acted on prior to the election.  He stated that Sorenson knew it.  Dwyer said this was the last meeting prior to the election.  He commented that no one was prohibited from making a motion at any time.  He said Sorenson has made motions when things were for discussion.  

 

7. COMMISSIONERS' BUSINESS

 

a. DISCUSSION/Internal Auditor Evaluation.

 

Stewart announced that Stewart Bolinger, Internal Auditor, will retire on July 1, 2009.

 

Bolinger said his plan was to achieve the audit plan when he leaves the County so there would be a risk assessment in place.  With regard to audits, he commented that performance auditing contrasts with financial auditing from a lack of control.  He attached a memo on the allocation plan for Information Services (Copy in file).  He said it was an example of what they could confront from a small audit function in a complex organization.  He commented that it takes a while to get to know the system they have. He said he was contacted by a senior staff person about an accounting problem and that discussion showed him there was a misperception that they were not able to allocate certain IS charges to one of their contracts.  He noted his clear understanding of the rules from prior audits was that they could.  He gave citations on three different standards that contradict the idea that the costs were not recoverable.  He added that they were compliance requirements.  He commented that the Board hired him to come up with solid, defensible commentaries on whatever the problems might be.  He noted that every operational audit department in the country makes a compromise and they prepare management recommendations instead of audits because of the burden.  He added that he chose to do it that way this time.  He encouraged the board to point out to the next auditor, to deliver more of the second audit that would raise the number of deliveries to the Board.  He added the other process is valid but it is more time consuming.  He said  it is harder with a one person shop, as the clerical and major tasks will be done by one person.  He noted the risk of errors and omission rises when they start doing memos.

 

Dwyer thought Bolingerís experience allowed him to look for things.  He said Bolinger used the memorandum approach to allow to recover that which didnít require an audit. 

 

Bolinger indicated that this memo was the first significant opportunity he saw to eliminate his wage as a burden on the County.  He thought there could be more audits that would show that if they had larger budgets the efficiencies would rise, but he didnít find any waste.  He commented that the caliber of people and the general level of compliance are extraordinary.

 

Fleenor thought there was an overlap with other departments with schedule 1, 2. 3 and 4 drugs.  He thought this served LCAS and the entire County.

 

Bolinger said it is a standard he needs to observe to meet legal objections as well as simple prudence. 

 

Stewart stated that he was pleased with Bolingerís work. 

 

Fleenor wanted to have a work session on Bolingerís work with LCAS.

 

Green enjoyed Bolingerís style of auditing.  He commented that they found successes around public safety, fleet and in Public Works.

 

Sorenson enjoyed Bolingerís work.

 

b. REPORT/Lomakatsi Restoration Project.

 

Marko Bay, Lomakatsi Restoration Project, gave a presentation on the reforestation project from Southern Oregon. (Copy in file).

 

8. COUNTY ADMINISTRATION

 

a. Announcements

 

None.

 

b. ORDER 08-10-29-5/In the Matter of Awarding a Contract for a Video Lottery Strategic Investment Project to Monaco Coach for $150,000 and Authorizing the County Administrator to Sign Project Contracts.

 

Mike McKenzie-Bahr, Economic Development, stated this is a recommendation from the Economic Development Standing Committee to award a contract from the video lottery strategic investment fund of $150,000 to Monaco Coach for training of employees. 

 

MOTION: to approve ORDER 08-10-29-5.

 

Dwyer MOVED, Green SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 5-0.

 

c. RESOLUTION AND ORDER 08-10-29-6/In the Matter of Making the FY 2008 Elections for O&C Land Related Safety-Net Payments.

 

Dave Garnick, Budget Manager, reported that both of the orders are nearly identical.  He noted one is with National Forest dollars and the other is for O & C dollars for the general fund.  He said the first election is to decide whether or not to opt into the program.  His recommendation is to do it because it would mean more money to the County than if they stayed with the old 50/50 share with the BLM.  He noted the amount for 08/09 is about $46.7 million.  He said the act requires they take 15 to 20 percent off the top and put that aside for projects.  He indicated that the way the orders are written, they will take only 15 percent for projects, thereby maximizing the dollars to the general fund and the road fund.  He added that amounts to about $7 million for next year, leaving $39.7 million as actual funding for the County.   He recalled that national forest dollars come to the state and the state decides how to split it.  He noted that currently 75 percent goes to the road fund and 25 percent to the school fund.  He added out of the 15 percent for projects, they have to decide how to split the funding between Title II and Title II funds.  He noted what was different this year is that the act limits them to a maximum of seven percent of the total for Title III dollars or 46.7 percent of the project dollars.  He indicated that choosing seven percent for Title III dollars is the maximum the County can receive. He added that it leaves the remaining eight percent for Title II funding.  He said in addition to the 85 percent, they would receive 3.269 percent as the Title III portion for the allowable uses.  He noted there is no inflationary adjustment as the act is stepping down.  He explained that at this point since the Forest Work Camp is no longer an allowable use and he didnít know how they could spend the Title III money they will have.  He said once they do the allocation for Title II funds, the money goes between all the various ACTS.  He noted that 100 percent is allocated to the Eugene BLM District.  He said by opting into the new ACT, it covers the County through the first three years and the fourth year has a new formula.  His recommendation is to do this as presented.  He noted another new change to Title III funding is that if they donít spend all the money at the end of the four year program, they have to send it back if it is not obligated as an allowable use.  He recalled under the previous act they were allowed to keep it.

 

MOTION: to approve RESOLUTION AND ORDER 08-10-29-6.

 

Dwyer MOVED, Green SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 5-0.

 

d. RESOLUTION AND ORDER 08-10-29-7/In the Matter of Making the FY 2008 Elections for National Forest Related Safety-Net Payments.

 

MOTION: to approve RESOLUTION AND ORDER 08-10-29-7.

 

Dwyer MOVED, Green SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 5-0.

 

9. PUBLIC WORKS

 

a. REPORT BACK Discussion with Owner About Land Management Division 10/29/08 Second Avenue and Ocean Avenue Purchase, Back to Board with Number and Options (NBA & PM 10/3/08).

 

MOTION: to direct staff to prepare a resolution that asserts the rights to the County by deed and prescription related to Tax Lot 5300.

 

Fleenor MOVED, Dwyer SECONDED.

 

Mike Jackson, Land Management, asked for a map attached showing the exact lot they discussed.

 

Stewart stated the Board already believes the County has legal right for access on the road by passing this resolution.  He is hopeful this will resolve the conflict the neighbors have with the question of legal access and with this they are asserting that they do have legal access.

 

VOTE: 5-0.

 

b. RECOGNITION/The Julian Prize.

 

Marsha Miller, Public Works, recalled that last week at the chapter of the American Public Works Association Conference, the chapter awarded the Julian Prize for sustainability to Lane County, the City of Eugene and the City of Springfield, in their efforts for the Eugene 08 Olympic Trials.

 

11. CORRESPONDENCE TO THE BOARD

 

None.

 

12. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

Sorenson reported that he was having a listening session at the Hilyard Community  

Center.

 

Green reported that he went to Salem as AOC past president and presented to an interim committee on court facilities.  He indicated that Vicki Walter, Nancy Nathanson and Floyd Prosanski were there to talk about a task force he co-chaired with Gerry Gaydos about court facilities to be maintained.  He noted some courthouses need to be replaced.  He indicated that they are starting a process to address needs for the Lane County courthouse.  He added further work will be done with counties where the state could partner and better improve services around courthouses.

 

13. EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660

 

Per ORS 192.660 (2)(e) for the purpose of deliberating with property negotiators.

 

14. OTHER BUSINESS

 

None.

 

There being no further business, Commissioner Stewart adjourned the meeting at 12:10 p.m.

 

 

Melissa Zimmer

Recording Secretary