LANE COUNTY BUDGET
April 30, 2009
Harris Hall Main Floor
Vice Chair Alice Kaseberg opened the meeting with Budget Committee members present: Scott Bartlett, Bill Dwyer, Bill Fleenor, Rob Handy, Denis Hijmans, Cindy Land, Peter Sorenson, Faye Stewart and Rose Wilde present. County Administrator Jeff Spartz, County Counsel Liane Richardson and Recording Secretary Melissa Zimmer were also present.
thanked David Crowell for his excellent service as a Budget Committee member. She introduced Cindy Land as Crowell’s replacement.
of Chair and Vice Chair
MOTION: to nominate Alice Kaseberg for Chair of the Budget Committee.
MOVED, Hijmans SECONDED.
MOTION: to cast a unanimous ballot for election of the Chair.
MOVED, Hijmans SECONDED.
MOTION: to nominate Scott Bartlett for Vice Chair of the Budget Committee.
MOVED, Stewart SECONDED.
MOTION: to cast a unanimous ballot for Scott Bartlett for Vice Chair of the
MOVED, Hijmans SECONDED.
of April 14, 2009
MOTION: to approve the minutes of April 14, 2009.
MOVED, Stewart SECONDED.
discussed the proposed schedule. She
asked if there were any amendments to the schedule.
noted on May 14 the Sheriff has 25 minutes.
He asked if they could do a minor adjustment on May 7 to counterbalance
so Health and Human Services would be given 25 minutes and they would take ten
minutes out of the two hour discussion. Bartlett
spoke with Rob Rockstroh, Health and Human Services, and Rockstroh thought that
given the enormity of his scope, 25 minutes would be more effectively used than
15 minutes for the presentation.
MOTION: to add 10 minutes to Health and Human Services on May 7.
MOVED, Sorenson SECONDED.
mentioned to Kaseberg that her concern with how short the presentations are for
the various departments, is that in times of cutting funds, they will be cutting
services and it means making difficult choices about what is going to be funded
and what is not and how it impacts the citizens.
She said in order to have defenses in those decisions, the committee
needs to hear the ramifications. She
said by adding another question about what they are asking the departments, (and
giving them more time to address the question about what they see as impacts),
they could defend the committee’s decisions.
thought what Bartlett suggested was a good change.
He thought it was important that in this difficult time the departments
make presentations in the timelines they have set out in the main schedule. He said they need to hear from departments specifically on
issues related to the concerns. He
said there are situations where the amount of
money they have available from federal, state and local funds is not
enough to perform the duties. He
added that they want the departments in their presentations to highlight that
fact so when the Budget Committee is forced to make the tradeoffs, they have the
commented that there shouldn’t be an assumption that they are going to be
cutting the budget. He thought they
still had discretionary immunity during the presentation and when they discuss
major budget cuts, they could bring back a department head to ask about
ramifications that would give them discretionary immunity.
said they need to talk about the specifics of the ramifications of a decision in
order to use the defense. She said
because of the amount of funds they have, there is an assumption there will be
budgets cut at some point. She
said if the committee wanted to wait until that stage and bring back the
departments they are looking to make the cuts, it would be another way to have
that discussion. She wanted to make
sure they had enough time to do that in the schedule.
said there are needs in the community and in the departments.
He said they need time as a Budget Committee to not only assess all of
the ramifications and the challenges before them, but in the middle of the
process they will get the news from the state about the May forecast.
He said the format is giving them time to have important discussions.
didn’t want to add ten minutes to each department.
MOTION: to add ten minutes to the Sheriff’s Office for the appropriate
balance for May 14.
MOVED, Sorenson SECONDED
said he voted for the other motion because he wanted to create a balance.
explained that the first motion was not clearly articulated.
He didn’t hear Bartlett’s comments about trying to balance.
He commented that the District Attorney’s Office and Sheriff are
separate entities paid by different funds.
He thought the Sheriff’s Office should be given the benefit of an equal
VOTE: to agree with the entire schedule as presented with the changes.
MOVED, Sorenson SECONDED.
commented that this was a departure from past budgets.
He hoped this would not be a template for the future.
He wanted to see how this works out for one year.
said they need to address the consequences on department programs, potential
cuts and their affects on the community and the departments.
She commented that the Budget Committee should be prepared to discuss
recommended that the new members visit the department directors so they don’t
have to take committee time to ask questions.
He thought they would be well received.
gave his Budget Message for the 2009/2010 Budget. (Copy in file).
asked if Spartz included the proposed cuts from the state in the budget.
said they can’t yet figure in the cuts. He
added that severe state cuts will shorten both the proposed and alternate budget
thought that cuts will be significant as they look at the years of
Garnick, Budget Financial Manager, gave a presentation on the FY 09-10 Lane
County Operating Budget Overview. (Copy in file).
He indicated the total budget for the current year is $534.6 million.
He said next year it will be about $513.4 million.
He said the overall budget will go down about $21.2 million or 4 percent.
He added the number of positions will be going up because the reductions
are taking place in one fund and the adds are taking place in another fund.
reported that the state budget cuts are proposed to be about a $4.4 billion.
He indicated that the legislature is waiting for the May 15 Economic
Forecast before they make any final decisions.
He indicated that the legislature expects to apply some of the federal
stimulus money to cover between $1 billion and $2 billion and they will be able
to offset some of their deficit. He
said counties are expected to take a large share of the reductions. He noted
that the state was discussing reducing video lottery funding and the County
would have less money to try to create other job opportunities in the community.
regard to the general fund, Garnick reported the current year has about $100.4
million and next year it will be about $103 million.
He added the FTE will increase about 34.9 percent.
He said the increase is due to the proposed add packages that are in the
proposed budget. He indicated that
they are continuing to spend down the reserves and as they go forward and the
timber money declines, they are spending more cash and when the money is spent
out, they will get back to the structural deficit.
explained that the Discretionary General Fund Budget has the only unrestricted
revenues the Budget Committee has to spend.
He indicated that there are no strings attached by the state or federal
government or any grantors. He said
that funding is going from $70.9 million to $74.8 million.
He indicated that the biggest increase is with cash because they are
carrying forward a large amount of revenue from this current year. He noted that out of the whole proposed budget of $513
million, 14.5 percent is the only portion the Budget Committee has to work with
because the other money is either restricted or used for a specific purpose.
He added that the general fund is about 20 percent of the budget or 5.5
percent are grants, contracts and program fees.
discussed that one time revenue is difficult to use for ongoing programs. He
added that it is not renewable. He
said public safety is receiving 55 percent and is down about 1.6 percent from
the current year. He added that
they are receiving the largest share of the discretionary money. He indicated
that they have the ten percent prudent person reserve and an additional service
stabilization reserve that they will be using to try to maintain services for
the next few years. He noted there
is a spending limit with the Discretionary General Fund that was built into the
Lane County Charter and approved in 1985. It says that the Discretionary General
Fund can only be adjusted annually by the change in inflation and the change in
the population. He reported that if
the revenues were coming in, they would have a way of guiding the budget.
He said the reality is they have not been able to spend up to what the
voters would have allowed them to spend since 1992.
He reported there will be a funding gap for FY 09/10 proposed of $11.6
noted the general fund service adds in the proposed budget include $3.3 million
to re-open 84 beds at the jail in the Sheriff’s Office.
He added there is $446,438 added for continued prosecution of non-violent
felonies in the District Attorney’s office of five positions.
He noted in Health and Human Services there is about $310,000 for various
services including communicable disease and at risk children.
With regard to Youth Services, he said they previously had a contract and
they were using state courthouse security money to pay for a security station at
the Juvenile Justice Center building at the Serbu campus.
He said that funding is declining and they are losing the person manning
the station. He indicated that they
are requesting $50,000 for building security and it is included in the budget.
He noted for Children and Families there is another $33,465 for a
resource development position. He added they have a half-time position and this would bring
it up to full-time. He indicated
that other departments will be bringing other requests that are not included.
reported that there is more uncertain than stability
because the proposed budget will provide approximately three years of
stability through 2011/2012 without factoring in the state budget cuts or what
the impacts will be on County services. He
added that they might not know until June at the earliest.
asked what a structural deficit of about three to four percent is in actual
responded that the general fund analysis section shows about $1.2 million every
year, which is what they have been cutting for many years.
He said it has been about three percent for the general fund portion
across all departments.
Property Tax Revenue Overview
Spickard, Assessor, clarified a comment in the Budget Message.
She said there was a reference there was a bill pending in the
legislature to eliminate all of the state aid that currently supports the
Assessment and Taxation function. She
explained that there is a fund in the state budget that contributes to each
County to support their operations. She
noted the portion being proposed for elimination is $5 million per biennium, a
contribution from the state’s general fund.
She said the balance of the A & T funding grant (called CAFFA) comes
from recording fees and delinquent interest.
She said it was not the entire grant going away, they were proposing an
elimination of a small piece. She
gave a power point presentation. (Copy
reported that as of January 1, 2008, the county was worth $44.3 billion in terms
of real market value. She said
under the property tax limitation under Measure 50, only $24.5 billion is
taxable. She explained the Lane County levy of $1.27 per thousand is
applied to the $24.5 billion. She
said they have over 170,000 accounts in Lane County, with residential properties
paying the bulk of the taxes. She
indicated they collect taxes for 82 districts
explained with Measure 50 most properties in the County will only see a three
percent in maximum assessed value. She
said they could add that value if there is no construction or change in use.
She noted in 2007, 68 percent of the properties were taxed only with the
three percent change and now that is 75.6 percent, meaning larger portions of
the property are not having any changes, allowing them to add taxable value.
She commented that a projection of three percent of tax revenue to the
County would be a best case scenario. She
noted that they are currently working on January 1, 2009 values based on
everything that happened in calendar year 2008.
She added that anything that has happened since January 1, 2009 will not
be reflected in this year. She reported that they are seeing residential values
in some places dropping ten percent in 2008, but Lane County has not
had the dramatic fluctuations like Bend and Medford. She expected that they will have more property tax appeals.
She indicated that whenever voters approve a new levy or a bond levy,
they add it to the tax statement as a new tax and it causes taxes to go up.
reported that they are seeing all factors of the manufacturing industry
suffering. She said there have been closures and bankruptcies in a broad
variety of sectors. She said in
talking with the Department of Revenue, they are responsible for appraising the
properties and Lane County takes care of the land value but the state does the
actual improvements. She said they
are looking at reductions to values in the 20 percent to 40 percent range.
stated that up until February, their collection rates where holding steady.
She said they are off one-half a percent from this time last year.
She indicated that they have already collected about $347 million of the
$379 million that is owed. She said
their bankruptcy filings are up about double from last year and they received
the bankruptcy paperwork from Monaco and they owe almost $600,000 in taxes.
She said Lane County will receive 9 percent, but once they go into
bankruptcy, she is not allowed to actively try to collect the money.
She indicated that they disqualified Hynix from the West Eugene
Enterprise Zone and the amount of the tax penalty they currently owe is $5.4
million, due in November along with their regular property tax for 2009.
She commented that the economy is continuing to be slow and they have
historically lagged the country in recovery.
She added the high unemployment rate will affect the ability of people to
buy houses and the residential market will be hurting.
She said after they have their last deadline in May to collect the
balance of tax that is due for the current year, they will have a better view on
delinquencies and potential foreclosure problems.
asked if a multi-year serial levy was passed when there was no compression, what
happens to the serial levy that might be in compression now.
responded that they are now called local option levies.
She said the local option levy has second position in terms of
compression. She said any local
option levy that is on an account, (if the account is in compression) she has to
reduce the tax in order to get it under the $15 maximum.
She added that the first levy she eliminates is the local option levy.
She added if there is anything left over to reduce, it is pro rata to
hoped Spickard will keep putting dog license information in the tax bills.
asked if they were missing any opportunities at the County or state level to
have an equitable distribution of timber lands.
explained that the state legislature set the formulas for how industrial or
private timberlands are taxed and each year they go through a process to set the
per acre values that are under the special assessment for timber lands.
She stated they were open for public comment and take comment on whether
that should be adjusted. She said
by June 1 they have to send it to all the counties so they can assign the
acreage values. She indicated they
are assessing property tax against the land only, not the timber.
She added the state has a separate program for the timber tax on the
Inman, Budget Analyst, recalled that when the County last adopted a Strategic
Plan in 2000, one of the core strategies was to implement a countywide
performance measurement practice. She
indicated that all departments of the County use program data in some form.
She indicated that the goals were about improving accountability,
efficiency, credibility and trust among the departments with the service
providers, elected officials and with the community and the outcomes.
She said they measure the outcomes of the programs and services.
She added they use indicator measures that give them an idea and
actionable data that help them do program management.
She indicated that the Board had not returned to strategic planning, or
identified enterprise-wide measures. She
said they have over 900 measures and metrics that are used at a program and
operational level. She stated that
they look at program outcomes, efficiencies, key outputs from the program, other
key information and indicators that help them plan for service delivery and
resource allocation. She indicated
that they also measure financial and efficiency measures.
reported that they keep track of a lot of data that they don’t have control
over. She said unless they keep
track on what is going on, they can’t plan for and allocate resources wisely.
She said they have to see how the trends are over times. She indicated that they purchased a tool called Performance
Views to bring together performance measures and improve their ability to use
the results of the measures and analyze them over time, to create consistency
Kaseberg opened the Public Hearing.
Dodrill, Director, OSU
Extension Service, Eugene, asked the Budget Committee to consider renewing their
rent forgiveness for another year and to make a one-time bridge investment of
$244,000 to help the OSU Extension Service achieve financial self-sufficiency in
the coming year. He recalled that
over the past year the OSU Extension Service in Lane County has been working to
build a diversified portfolio of local funding sources including fees, grants
and anything else they can find to try to keep programs like 4H Youth Program,
the Master Gardeners and Master Food Preservers alive. He commented that the recession has undercut them this year
and the OSU Extension Service will look different.
He said they are preparing that they might have to go with some of their
programs to a virtual extension office. He
explained that Lane County residents would have to access their programs via the
Internet. He added that they might
have campus or regional faculty who would occasionally come into the County to
supplemental the on-line learning. He said except for the nutrition program that
is federally funded, almost all programs might have to go virtual.
He said their goal is to maintain a local Extension office. He commented
that they think the strength of their educational programs is having faculty,
staff and volunteers in Lane County. He
believed with the $244,000 investment they could secure the diversified
portfolio of funding sources they need to become self-sufficient financially in
Lane County. He added that they
would not have to be part of the general fund and they could start making rent
payments during budget year 2010/2011.
Makinson, Eugene, stated she
was in her sixth year of the 4H Club. She
commented that the Extension Service has been around for 95 years and they are
in trouble. She said she was gong
to do everything she could to keep the Extension Service.
She didn’t know how such a part of Lane County’s history could be in
jeopardy. She said the Extension Service needs everyone’s support.
She wanted to make the best better for everyone.
Reed, Eugene, stated he was in support of public safety.
He believed the first priority of government is to provide for public
safety, to keep citizens properly protected.
He said to do otherwise was irresponsible.
He said they don’t have enough tax base to properly fund everything
that needs to be funded. He thought
the Board should make the priority for the budget public safety.
He added that all the other services that might need to be provided
should be put out to the voters to see if the public wants to pay for it.
He stated that public safety should be the Budget Committee’s first
responsibility. He asked the
committee to think outside the box. He
asked to give a group of people time enough to come up with other proposals and
put them on the ballot to see if people want to pay for them.
McBrien, Eugene, said she was
the past president of Lane County Master Gardeners.
She was happy to see that the Board was planning on giving rent
forgiveness to the Extension Service. She
urged the Board to provide $240,000 in bridge funding being requested by the
Berg Caldwell, Eugene, said
she asked at a previous Budget Committee meeting if there was data about the
duration of inmate stays at the jail and crime stats.
She understood the data had not yet been provided. She asked the
committee to request it. She said
the media is stating there are dangerous felons being released early.
She thought the Budget Committee wanted the whole picture.
She indicated that homeless people return to the jail, admitting they
commit crime to secure a warm bed and food.
She said if groundless arrests weren’t occurring, the jail would be
less crowded. She supports jail sanctions.
She wished the jail could get the financial support to do the work they
do. She hoped the community would
get behind a voluntary donor fund drive, given people the option to pick and
choose which public safety crime prevention program to contribute to.
She supports a portion of the timber revenue going to the Sheriff’s
Department, not the lion’s share again. She
added there are other critical needs largely due to mounting joblessness and
Moss, Eugene, commented that
there was no foresight in growth. He
sees a lack of growth in the County with the inability to grow. He noted there are natural resources but that the
Board didn’t want to use them. He
stated he was in favor of public safety and wanted to see an increase in public
safety, as it is the Board’s main responsibility according to the Constitution
and the laws of the country. He
wants to see meaningful services they deserve and want.
He also supported the District Attorney.
Hoffman, Eugene, stated that
food comes first. He commented that
if people weren’t starving and not desperate for food that there wouldn’t be
crimes. He asked the Board to save
the food supply and the Extension Service.
Trujillo, Eugene, stated that
she was looking forward to taking Master Gardener classes.
She said there is an opportunity to raise food and it could lower fossil
fuel miles. She said that people
need pride and the Extension Service could help.
Jerry Boggs, Eugene, stated
he is a practicing Veterinarian and is active with the LCAS Advisory Committee. He encouraged the Board’s support for funding for LCAS.
He reported that he had seen improvement with LCAS’ image the past 18
months due to the decreased number of euthanasias.
He added that there has been an increase in the number of volunteers
because of the increased image LCAS has. He
sees LCAS and the community at a critical time associated with funding. He
thought they were at a position that is critical with the energy to make all of
it work. He commented that funding becomes an issue to try to continue
to make the positive efforts they have done so far. He encouraged the Board to support funding for medical and
behavior issues that LCAS still has to deal with. He commented that LCAS still has far to go to become the
premier society that it can become if given the efforts. He indicated that there is excellent leadership and thought
with proper funding, that it could continue to happen.
Cholewinwski, Eugene, said
the OSU Extension Services engages the people with research based knowledge and
education on strengthening communities and promoting healthy families and
individuals. She said keeping the
OSU Extension Service open and available to every County resident is the best
investment the committee could make in Lane County.
She stated the OSU Extension Service has been delivering relevant
researched based knowledge through education programs for over 95 years. She
asked the committee for one more year of rent forgiveness.
She hoped the Extension Service can be around for the next 95 years.
Hamlin, Eugene, supported public safety funding. He recalled he moved to Eugene in 1954 and public safety was
the number one issue at that point in time. He said at that time 70 percent of
the discretionary general fund went to public safety. He heard that it is now down to 55 percent.
He said the quality of life in Lane County is going in the opposite
direction. He said he had witnessed
the frustration the citizens of Lane County are exhibiting.
He said they need to stop the revolving door in the jail and put the
quality of life back into Lane County. He
hoped the committee will fund public safety to the maximum and give
consideration for opening 84 beds.
being no one else signed up to speak, Chair Kaseberg closed the Public Hearing.
indicated the discussion topics she received include OSU Extension request:
is there more information about how this money will bridge to new funding
in 2010/2011. She thought that
could be answered by e-mail. Another
question was how much has LCAS collected in revenue in 08 compared to 07 and
projected in 09. How many people in
Lane County are officially hungry and how many people get federal food stamps
and what the County’s role is in helping people without food.
A question was what is the unemployment number for Lane County for March
09 and when was the last month and year the Lane County unemployment rate was
this high. For the proposed 84 beds
to be added, what is the cost of the 84 beds per year.
Kaseberg noted it was $3.2 million.
asked if the Budget Committee wanted stability, what amount of dollars would
have to be cut this year and what is the percent reduction in the general fund
that is required. Another question was does the County maintain data on
volunteers such as the number of volunteers by program area, the number of
volunteer hours and the staff time expended to recruit, train and manage
said she would get the answers in writing for next week.
asked to what date they should plan stable provision of service as a general
round robin to give input. She
asked how they deal with the factors that they might never know about.
said they are struggling with risk analysis and risk management and uncertainty
as they move forward. He said they have an unusual situation in the country,
state and County that is unfolding, that they have never seen before. He said as
they move forward as a Budget Committee, they need to discuss uncertainty and
how are they going to deal with this in the bigger picture. He asked to look at
risk management by having reserves or by looking at risk management by adding
back programs that will reduce the exposure to crime and other public safety
issues. He said they have to be balanced.
Kaseberg adjourned the meeting at 9:05 p.m.