BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS'

REGULAR MEETING

August 5, 2009

9:00 a.m.

Harris Hall Main Floor

APPROVED 8/18/2009

 

Commissioner Pete Sorenson presided with Commissioner Bill Dwyer, Bill Fleenor, Rob Handy and Faye Stewart present.  County Administrator Jeff Spartz, County Counsel Liane Richardson and Recording Secretary Melissa Zimmer were also present.

 

1. ADJUSTMENTS TO THE AGENDA

 

None.

 

2. PUBLIC COMMENTS

 

Carol Berg Caldwell, talked about risk assessment.  She urged the Board for greater transparency. She stated that it was important to know who was incarcerated and the extent of jail stays. She said the Board should feel proud of the jail staffers as they are working hard.  She explained the PACT will focus on community fundraising, engaging the community and police law enforcement in work projects toward improving understanding, building relationships and restoring trust.

 

Deb Frisch, Eugene, stated that she observed the process the Board was going through regarding replacing Vicki Walker for State Senator.  She asked the Board to nominate Chris Edwards

 

Sally Storm, Vida, stated that she is the Superintendent of the McKenzie School District.  She recalled that two years ago there had been a tragic accident that happened due to underage drinking.  She said they have a culture of drinking in their area and they started working hard to address the issue.  She has worked closely with the Sheriffís Department and the Prosecutorís Office on this issue.  She added that they have been responsive to her requests to have more of a presence, but it wasnít enough. She contacted Commissioner Stewart and he met with them about a social hosting ordinance.  Stewart thought it had merit.  She stated that they will make sure the parents and the students in their area understand as much as they can about the issue.  She asked the Board to add another layer to what they are trying to do. She believed that if the Board passes the ordinance, they will be saving lives. She urged the Board to pass the social hosting ordinance.

 

Darren Harvick, Blue River, stated that he is also on the McKenzie School Board.  He reported that his son was involved in an accident last year. He recalled that his son was at a party where parents were involved.  He added that they took keys from kids but it didnít work well.  He said his son got into an accident.  He urged the Board to pass the social hosting ordinance to give more teeth to the law and to make the parents responsible for what they are doing.

 

Shauna Smith, Blue River, said that she lost her son two years ago.  She commented that her son would still be here today if it wasnít for the parents giving out alcohol.  She said that last year she did a story for CNN and at that time there were one or two social hosting laws.  She added that it has been recognized and there are now 36 states with social hosting ordinances.  She believed that it was time for the parents to start to take responsibility of their kids. She didnít think a parent should give another child permission to be drinking.  She thought there should be a law against it.

 

3. COMMISSIONERS' RESPONSE TO PUBLIC COMMENTS AND/OR OTHER ISSUES AND REMONSTRANCE

 

Dwyer stated that they need to be mindful that the right to speech in assembly is the first right in the Constitution and it is there so people can assemble and say what they have to say. He said that people who would not have serious debate donít respect the constitution.  He said a crowd respects those that are speaking and a mob is there to disrupt those that are speaking.  He said people should speak to facts and have serious and honest debates and not resolve to mob tactics.

 

Fleenor reported that they had a successfully joint Board of Commissioners/Labor Council Meeting last night.  He said it was the first ever joint meeting with the Labor Council.  He thought this meeting would give them better labor relations in the future.

 

Handy thanked Carol Berg Caldwell and Dwyer for their comments.

 

Sorenson announced that the Board of Commissioners has launched an aggressive program of outreach.  He commented that it hasnít been noticed by the news media.  He recalled they met with United Way and Centro Latino.  He reported that there will be a meeting with the President of the University of Oregon in October and there will be meetings with the small cities and other business organizations.

 

4. COMMISSIONERS' BUSINESS

 

a. Senate District 7 Vacancy/Discussion and Deliberation.

 

Fleenor asked if there was any sequence to follow to maintain legality of the process.

 

Richardson responded that they just needed to write down their choices.

 

b. Vote.

 

Sorenson read the following choices from the Lane County Board of  Commissioners for Senator for Senate District 7:

 

Handy chose Chris Edwards

 

Fleenor chose Chris Edwards

 

Stewart chose Chris Edwards

 

Dwyer chose Chris Edwards

 

Sorenson chose Chris Edwards

 

ORDER 09-8-5-4/In the Matter of Filling the Vacancy in the Legislative Assembly, State Senate, District 7

 

MOTION: to approve ORDER 09-8-5-4.

 

Stewart MOVED, Dwyer SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 5-0.

 

5. EMERGENCY BUSINESS

 

None.

 

6. COMMITTEE REPORTS

 

a. REPORT/Legislative Wrap-Up.

 

Alex Cuyler, Intergovernmental Relations Manager, distributed a legislative wrap up. (Copy in file).  He reported the governor has still not signed all bills into law.  He explained that the purpose of the document is to visit staff from the affected departments to make sure they are aware of the bills that will have an impact on them.

 

Cuyler reported that there were 4,000 bills introduced during the legislation session and 900 were forwarded to the governor for signature.  Cuyler noted the governor has signed about 600 bills and there are about 300 left to be signed.  Cuyler noted August 7 is the deadline for bills to be signed or it automatically becomes law.  Cuyler stated they assigned 831 bills to staff and of those, staff commented on 597 bills.  He added that the Legislative Community reviewed 140 bills and took a position on 132 of the bills.  He said the Board took a position on 124 bills.

 

Cuyler noted some of the most highly profiled bills the governor is still considering are:  HB 2472, a business energy tax credit program and HB 2940, related to a renewable energy portfolio. He said the governor filed a notice of intent to veto SB 897, a PERS retirement board bill.  Cuyler indicated that PERS was supposed to verify the benefit information for members prior to retirement and lock that in and PERS stated it was impossible for them to do.

 

Sorenson asked what impact HB 2212 has on Lane Countyís Public Worksí road program.  He wanted Oren Schumacher, Public Works, to send back information on whether the bill has any impact.

 

Stewart asked if the state should come to the Board to discuss SB 77.  He said it has to deal with declaring a state of emergency in the public safety system.  He recalled the bill was not supported by the Board.  He indicated that this bill was to put together a process for a county to declare a state of emergency and have a team come into assess the county.  He added the governor could also declare a public safety emergency in a county, even though the county does not request it.  He wanted to know more information. Cuyler reviewed the bill.  He thought County Counsel should review it.  He said it gives the Board authority to request assistance and it gives authority to the governor to impose assistance.  He added what is done with that assistance remains at the Board level.

 

Fleenor wanted to find out how effective the lobbying effort has been.   He wanted to know how many bills they supported  passed and how many they opposed failed.  He also wanted to know how many they supported failed and how many they opposed passed.

 

Sorenson asked if they could have another opportunity for discussion in two weeks when the Board meets again.  He thought Cuyler might have more information.  Sorenson said that Cuyler could assess some of the questions being asked.  He wanted this to be updated in nine days, to be put in their boxes and then brought  to the Board meeting when they next meet.  He asked what happened to the bills that were not signed into law and what happened to the bills Lane County supported that got close. He thought they should have the entire legislative delegation meet with the Board.

 

Handy said when they have things that come before the Board of Commissioners, there needed to be a  way to get a memo into the packets of the Lane County legislators so when they go into vote on a bill,  they could see what the Board of Commissioners wanted.

 

Stewart thought each bill should have a single page.

 

Sorenson stated this was a draft list and they will continue working with it.  He wanted to have a focus on the upcoming session instead of the 2011 session.  He wanted Cuyler to come back in two weeks with additional information.

 

 

7. COMMISSIONERS' BUSINESS

 

None.

 

8. COUNTY ADMINISTRATION

 

a. Announcements

 

Spartz reported that they received a letter from FEMA.  He indicated that for people who need national flood insurance, (because of the efforts at the local and state level) the premiums will be reduced between 5 percent and 15 percent.  He thought it was good news that flood insurance will cost less.

 

Fleenor thought a press release should be sent out.

 

Handy thought this information should also be sent to employees.

 

9. COUNTY COUNSEL

 

a. Announcements

 

None.

 

10. MANAGEMENT SERVICES

 

a. DISCUSSION/In the Matter of Authorizing Projects to be Financed Through Full Faith and Credit Obligations.

 

Kay Blackburn, Finance, explained that there is a balloon payment due on the Charnelton building due November 1.  She recalled that last year they  had  originally anticipated issuing bonds to finance the project along with the AIRS project.  She indicated because the bond market was unstable at that time, they brought to the Board interfund loan proposals to get them through to when they needed to issue the bonds.  She added that both interfund loans are due November 1.  She stated that they have to put together the official statement. She noted that they have Bond Council and underwriters involved and there are legal steps that need to take place.  She said in order to close the bond sale and have the proceeds on hand by November 1, the order needs to be approved.

 

David Suchart, Management Services, reported that this represents the items they brought to the Board in the past.  He said they are construction projects the Board had previously approved moving forward.  He indicated they have done interfund loans on the Charnelton Place Project..  He added that they are in the middle of the Charnelton Place project and then the other projects will start soon.

 

Dwyer noted that some of the projects will continue to be on their United Front effort.  He said they tried to get a United Front grant for their Federally Qualified Health Center and they will continue to do that.  He asked why they have capital construction bonds for the Richardson Park Marina when they have a revenue stream.  He asked why they were mixing in Parks.

 

Blackburn responded that in the past Parks had a bond they retired that was not completely covered by the revenue stream.  She added at the time they put this packet together, the only project that would qualify for a revenue bond is the Richardson Park Arena.  She indicated for the amount of $1 million they would incur significantly higher bond issuance costs as a separate bond.  She said to issue a separate bond, they would have to pay the same issuance cost they would be saving by rolling it into one.  She said they still have certain funds that cover the debt services on certain bonds.

 

Fleenor asked what options they had without going to bond with the interfund loan repayment.

 

Blackburn explained that the interfund loan payment was authorized by the Board.  She added that they could bring back a board order and the Board could extend the interfund loan.  She said they were purposely set to be due to coincide with the planned bond issue.

 

Fleenor asked about the balloon payment and the timing issue.  He asked if there were any options other than going to bond.

 

Suchart stated that they will lose the building if they donít pay the balloon payment.

 

Blackburn indicated that one of the savings that will result will be the fixed portion of the bond issuance cost.  She said the bond issuance cost involves bond council fees, a financial advisor, Moodyís to do a rating on the bond and they have to pay agent and state fees.  She said those costs are fixed no matter what the amount of the bond is.  She added there is also staff time putting together the official bond statement.  She said they have to put together information for the Moodyís rating agency.  She said the fixed costs will be a savings to the taxpayer.  She added they also get better prices on bonds in the market when it is a larger issue.  She noted there are not a lot of brokerage houses or underwriters who are willing to purchase a $1 million bond.

 

Sorenson said since so many costs are fixed, he thought by increasing the amount of the bond, they are increasing the marketability of the bond.  He asked if they doubled the amount of the bond from $33 million to $66 million and they use the remaining $33 million for other projects they were interested in (like energy production and the conservation gap concept) what the implications would  be to seek a higher amount and to place the $33 million in full faith and credit bonds for the use of energy production and conservation programs.

 

Blackburn responded that there are legal requirements surrounding bonds and the energy bonds would not qualify as full faith and credit bonds. She noted they are currently issuing bonds for a public purpose:  capital projects that qualify as full faith and credit and they qualify as tax exempt municipal bonds.  She said the energy bonds would be considered revenue bonds.  She added that because the proceeds would eventually go to private citizens, they would be private activity bonds.  She didnít know if they could qualify as tax exempt..  She said she would have to check with the Bond Council.  She added that project is a different type of project that would not qualify as tax exempt municipal financing.  She thought they could bring back a proposal to do that, but it would have to be a separate bond issue.

 

Handy was disappointed in the timing being brought to them with a deadline.  He asked if it was appropriate to insert Richardson Park.  He also asked about the LCAS facility.

 

Suchart responded that they could add anything.  With regard to the timing, Suchart said for all the projects listed, they have been discussing them for over a year with the scope of the project and the numbers he presented are close in knowing what it would cost to do those projects.  He said they had a rough estimate done several months ago on LCAS.  He thought they could use the numbers, but the projects in the order are ones that have already been approved or are in the process of being approved.  He said if the LCAS project was in that status, they could move it in.

 

Handy asked what the next steps would be for LCAS

 

Suchart indicated that they donít have a revenue stream for LCAS at this point.  He said they could talk to the Bond Council, but he wanted to know what number the Board wanted to use and if the Board was comfortable in locking the number in.  He said it just gives them authority to issue the bond.

 

Spartz said he would be concerned how bond floaters might view a project that was not well defined.  He said the better defined their projects are going into sales, the more confidence bond holders have and when bond holders show a lack of confidence, interest rates go up.

 

Stewart asked if they received a $4 million for the FQHC if they could pay down the bonds with that money .

 

Blackburn said there are requirements for what you can use the bond proceeds for.  She noted at this time they were asking for authority to  issue the bonds, but when it is time to actually issue the bonds, they will take a look at the status of that grant to see if there was other interim financing they could use if they think the grant is likely to be approved.

 

Stewart thought it would be great if they received money for the projects and then they could reduce their debt.   He said if they go out for bonds he hoped they have the ability to pay down debt.  He recalled that all these projects have been on the list for a long time.  He said time is of the essence for most of these.  He was concerned about additional bonds for the energy gap.  He said they havenít quantified the need.  He indicated the state has just set up a program to do what they are discussing doing.  He asked if there was a program where they could reach out to Springfield.  With regard to LCAS, he said if they bond to build LCAS, there is no revenue stream to pay for it and it would come from the general fund.  He wasnít prepared to move forward with LCAS.

 

 

b. ORDER 09-8-5-2/In the Matter of Authorizing Financings of Projects in a Principal Amount of Not to Exceed $33,000,000 and Refunding of the County's Full Faith and Credit Obligations, Series 2000, and Authorizing Reimbursement of Expenditures from Proceeds.

 

MOTION: to approve ORDER 09-8-5-2.

 

Dwyer MOVED, Stewart SECONDED.

 

Dwyer said they havenít had a serious discussion about adding other revenue or energy bonds. With regard to LCAS, he said they havenít had a discussion.  He said they donít own the property LCAS sits on and he wouldnít  pass a revenue bond to build something that Eugene owns one-third of.   He said he was trying to get Springfield and Eugene to relinquish the ownership in the land so they could move ahead with a program. He noted some projects on the list he had been dealing with for many years.  He said they donít have to spend the money, it authorizes the bond.  He commented that all of these projects will benefit the citizens to the greatest maximum benefit and he fully supports them.

 

Fleenor said he would support the motion.  He believed by bundling the capital improvements they will improve the efficiency and will reduce the overall costs of the issuance.

 

Sorenson supported the motion  With regard to the other projects, he wanted to put his energy on having Blackburn confer with Bond Council regarding the issuing of taxable bonds issued by counties, specifically in Oregon, under current Oregon law and their ability to do what other communities are doing, for the purpose of generating energy and getting jobs from the creation of energy efficiency or energy created from within their communities.  He said he had seen programs that were countywide where the government is borrowing money only for the difference on what the other subsidizes and benefits are to either conserve or produce energy and that creates jobs and energy independence.  He wanted Blackburn to come back after she speaks with Bond Council to find out what their current rights are to issuance a bond.  He thought there were full faith and credit or revenue bond potentials for the creation of energy in county buildings.  He wanted a report back on what they could do in their role as public owners of property where they have a jail, the Delta facility, Public Safety and the Fairgrounds and energy.

 

Suchart said they would be bringing that information back.

 

VOTE: 5-0.

 

11. PUBLIC WORKS

 

a. THIRD READING AND WORK SESSION/Ordinance No. PA 1260/In the Matter of Amending the Eugene-Springfield Metropolitan Area General Plan (Metro Plan) Consistent With Policy G.3 In Chapter III, Section G, Public Facilities and Services Element; Amending Table 6, Table 18, Table 19, Map 3 and Map 8 of the Public Facilities and Services Plan (PFSP); and Adopting Savings and Severability Clauses (Metro Plan Amendment) (Applicant; Springfield) (NBA & PM 7/8/09;7/22/09).

 

Stephanie Schulz, Land Management, recalled at the July 22, 2009 Joint Elected Officials Meeting, the Board requested city staff to get further analysis and information on SDCís methodology and the facility to be funded from stormwater at the edge of the city limits.  She added that the city of Springfield requested additional time to work on the issues raised by the Board.  She noted that staff kept the record open for new information and there will be a Fourth Reading and Work Session on August 26, 2009 and the Board could decide whether to keep the record open.

 

MOTION: to approve a Third Reading and setting a Fourth Reading and Work Session for August 26, 2009 for Ordinance No. PA 1260.

 

Dwyer MOVED, Fleenor SECONDED.

 

Dwyer wondered if they could give incentives to people to prevent water from leaving their properties.  He wanted to see a description of the system.

 

Handy wanted his concerns addressed.  He commented that there needs to be a system and currently no parts are integrated into a system.

 

Sorenson asked how the costs would be paid and if it is an element in the plan.  He asked where the line is in the Metro Plan where the various jurisdictions adopt the plan. He wanted to know the limits on financing.  He agreed with questions regarding the water from properties in the city flowing in an adverse fashion outside of the city.

 

Dwyer wanted to see apportionality.  He wanted to see a system where SDCís are in proportion to what leaves their property.  He asked how they capture the water and what they would do with it.  He didnít think this plan was thought out.

 

Ken Vogeney, City of Springfield, requested a 45 minute work session  that would be an overview presentation of Springfieldís storm water and how the public facility amendments fit into the plan.

 

VOTE: 5-0.

 

There being no further business, Commissioner Sorenson recessed the meeting at 11:45 p.m.

 

 

Melissa Zimmer

Recording Secretary