BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS'

REGULAR MEETING

September 17, 2008

1:30 p.m.

Commissionersí Conference Room

APPROVED 10/22/2008

 

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.

 

  19. COMMISSIONERS' BUSINESS

 

a. REPORT/Climate Change, Local Fee, and Carbon Sequestration on Federal Lands.

 

Spartz discussed global warming.  He noted within the past 15 years more attention has been paid to this issue.  He said people have been talking about leveling off the amount of carbon people are introducing to the atmosphere on a regular basis.  He said we have to reduce the amount to get back into a stable environment.  He indicated subjects discussed include capping the amount of CO2 that could be admitted into the atmosphere, creating a system of credits that could be traded back and forth between those who could effectively reduce their carbon dioxide generation and making it available to those who could not do it economically or efficiently. He noted there are three groups of states and a Canadian province working on this.  He added in the west there are 11 states and six Canadian provinces discussing it. He noted Senators Obama and McCain were interested in a cap and trade system for carbon admission is the United States.  He indicated that a scientist said one of the best ways available in the short term solution would be to use U.S. forest lands to sequester carbon out of the atmosphere.  He noted in Lane County they have approximately 2.65 million acres of forest land and 1.95 million acres are public, heavily forested and rarely harvested.  He said if the federal government were to give a $12 per ton credit, it would generate almost $48 million per year.  He indicated the credits would be traded on exchanges.  He commented that it was a complex policy issue that needed to be worked out in Congress.

 

Dwyer commented that he personally would rather put energy in something where he could see a direct return.

 

Tom Bowerman, discussed the project he was working on with global change and peopleís opinions.  He commented that the idea of sequestration of working federal forest lands was interesting.  He thought cap and trade credits were questionable.

 

Mary Wood, discussed climate issues.

 

Sorenson indicated that Lane County was coming up on a regional transportation plan that proposes to build bigger freeway exchanges. He asked how this deals with climate issues.

 

Wood stated that transportation could be focused on.  She said that people will need alternative forms of transportation.  She commented that it is difficult to get anywhere in this town by bike or bus.  She said the bus system needs to be ramped up.  She thought they could close some lanes on the streets for biking only.  She said that people want to transport their families around by bike.

 

Dwyer said that economics could change human behavior.  He commented that rural reserves may be the way to take prime farm land out of the equation of expanding the urban growth boundary.  He added that if they could designate rural reserves as less productive lands, they could meet the goal of DLCD.  He stated that cities are required to have a 20 year supply of buildable land.  He said they need to define where the rural reserves are as they have the most productive soils.

 

Bowerman commented that carbon sequestration is a worthy concept if they could figure out values in the county boundaries derived by protecting longer rotation cycles and forest value added of carbon sequestration.  He commented that private lands rotate on 40 year cycles and they might slow down but sequestering carbon is not taking into account the soil and clear cut where carbon is being released. He indicated that it is a complicated process and it is being researched.  He commented that it comes down to a federal decision and distribution of money is key.  He added that it starts with a local discussion.

 

Stewart didnít want to see the conversation stop. He believed the Board has been proactive, doing as much as they can within their means.  He indicated with that Lane County has gone to biofuels and hybrid vehicles.  He added Waste Management at Short Mountain has a process for collecting methane and recycling items.  He is interested in encouraging people in their own homes to reduce their carbon imprint.  He thought they would need another work session and policy decisions to move forward.  With regard to the federal piece, he said they need to talk about a carbon tax.  He said they canít do things locally because of state law but they need to be prudent and think about how this could fit into the future and what they could do locally.

 

Wood indicated that most cities have the ability to have Sustainability Coordinators.  She stated that if a person is doing environmental permitting, it could transfer to a new sustainable coordinator. She indicated that there is a difference between fossil fuel, wind and solar as resources and a sustainability person is economically able to stimulate green jobs for the County.

 

Sorenson wanted Wood to come back in two months. He wanted to figure out how Clark County was able to pay for an accountant and an environmental resource person.  He also wanted to know what a carbon tax could look like.  He asked about the incremental steps to take as a local government on transportation. He also wanted to know about a zero waste management idea since transportation and waste management are big administrative functions around Lane County.  He thought Lane County could transform things and make a substantial step toward a solution.

 

Bowerman indicated their project is a series of public opinion polls.  He added there was nothing from a pure Lane County poll.  He thought they could do an Oregon poll with a Lane County over sample.  He added they have grant funding to pay for it.  He indicated that it would fit into their two year budget plan and strategy.  He said they are in the process of formulating Oregonianís views of government and the role of government in solving the broad umbrella questions they face, where they are to move policy forward on an issue.  He added they are soliciting ideas from people and then a document will be formulated.

 

20. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

Stewart reported that he wasnít able to participate in the Day of Caring, because he had a meeting with Hynix in response to the letter the Board sent.  He stated that Hynix is doing everything  they can to assist employees with the transition and trying to find a use for the facility in the future.  He hoped to here something from Hynix by mid-October.

 

Fleenor reported that he also met with Mr. Kim and Mr. Lee and they were apologetic in not contacting the Board.  He said they will make an effort to keep the Board in the loop.

 

Stewart announced that he has set up 11 scheduled community conversations.  He said he wanted to hear from his constituents on their concerns.

 

Green reported that he went to Hillsboro with AOC Board Members and members from the League of Oregon Cities for the 2009 session.  He announced that he was having a town hall at the Sheldon Community Center on Public Safety.  He recalled that he was the only commissioner present at Day of Caring and that Lane County worked with the City of Eugene.  He noted that on Sunday he filled in for the Volunteer Appreciation Reception for the Olympic Trials.  He brought back a banner for Lane County.  He indicated t here were over 1,000 volunteers.

 

Dwyer reported that he was going to Hamlin Middle School on Tuesday.

 

Fleenor announced that he was going to be at the Moose Lodge in Junction City on September 18 for a community dialogue.

 

Sorenson announced that on Monday September 29 there will be a dedication of the Congressman Jim Weaver Trail at Waldo Lake in the Willamette National Forest.

 

21. CORRESPONDENCE TO THE BOARD

 

Letter on Renahan Property

 

MOTION: to ask the County Administrator to work with Fleenor and Jim Myron on what the letter would look like and submit it to the Agenda Team.

 

Sorenson MOVED, Fleenor SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 5-0.

 

Letter from LTD

 

Stewart indicated that they received a letter from LTD for a sculpture of Rosa Parks.  He said LTD was asking for a financial contribution.

 

MOTION: to contribute $1,000 from the Commissionersí reserves for a statue of Rose Parks.

 

Dwyer MOVED, Green SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 5-0.

 

 

22. OTHER BUSINESS

 

None.

 

There being no further business, Commissioner Stewart adjourned the meeting at 3:30 p.m.

 

Melissa Zimmer

Recording Secretary