BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS'

REGULAR MEETING

August 5, 2009

1:30 p.m.

Harris Hall Main Floor

APPROVED 9/16/2009

 

Commissioner Pete Sorenson presided with Commissioners 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.

 

12. PUBLIC HEARINGS

 

a. SECOND READING AND PUBLIC HEARING/Ordinance No. PA 1258/In the Matter of Adopting the Coburg/Interstate-5 Interchange Area Management Plan as a Refinement to the Lane County Transportation System Plan and Co-Adopting the Plan as a Refinement to the City of Coburg Transportation System Plan; and Adopting a Severability Clause (File No. PA 09-5027, City of Coburg) (NBA & PM 7/22/09).

 

Celia Barry, Public Works, explained that this involves the I-5 interchange at Coburg. She indicated that the project seeks to address existing and projected traffic congestion around the interchange.  She noted that Coburg Industrial Way runs west and north of the interchange and there are R.V. manufacturing companies located there. She added that when they are in full operation, they attract labor from outside of Coburg and that has resulted in congestion including the interchange.  She indicated that the city contracted with Eco Northwest for a growth study that provided population projection numbers based on a variety of growth scenarios.

 

Barry recalled in the 1990’s the city worked with Lane County and ODOT to develop a refinement plan that envisioned replacement of the bridge over I-5. She noted the refinement plan was adopted with the last Coburg Transportation System Plan adoption.  She said it was thought at that time that a new bridge that would be wider would addresss the congestion issues.  She added the bridge is substandard in height.  She recalled that after adoption of the refinement plan at that time, the city with the County’s help succeeded in obtaining a federal earmark to construct the new bridge. She said the amount was based upon an estimate for the project at that time and the County contributed a required federal match of $1 million plus an additional $2 million.  She indicated that ODOT began working on environmental compliance.  She added as the years went by, the project started to become more complex. 

 

Barry noted in 2004 that ODOT began updating the traffic modeling and began developing a new refinement plan.  She added there was a period of extreme inflation and the earmark was not close to covering the anticipated costs of $40 million.  She noted the earmark was about $9 million..  She said because of the new estimates the project was phased in.  She added that ODOT took a fresh look at how to solve the congestion issues.  She said it was determined that adding a dedicated right turn lane to handle morning traffic north onto Coburg Industrial Way and extending the two left turn lanes coming out of Coburg Industrial Way for the afternoon traffic would help with the existing short term congestion issues. 

 

Barry explained the Phase 1 short term improvements are expected to cost $15.4 million and the County’s contribution is at $1 million in the CIP.  She recalled since the last refinement plan was adopted, ODOT adopted new rules for interchange area management plans that are required for any reconstruction projects for interchanges.  She stated the IAMP provides a mechanism for ODOT to control access around the interchange and to protect the capacity of the interchange.  She added that ODOT wants to see local commitment to support for the project before they begin constructing the improvements.  She noted Section 10 will have the most impact on private developers in that it requires them to get ODOT approval and to comply with ODOT rules of redevelpment, resulting in an increase in traffic.  She indicted that once the document is adopted, they will come back to the Board with additional plan amendments.  She said they have to come back with code language.  She added there is a road contemplated on the east side of the interchange on agriculture land that will require a statewide goal exception before it is built.

 

Barry stated they wanted to see the document adopted as it will allow them to move forward with the westside improvements, addressing the short term congestion issues.

 

Barry noted the Board received a supplement dated July 30 dealing with a DLCD letter commenting on land use policy in the IAMP. She indicated that ODOT and County staff believe those concerns are already adequately addressed in the IAMP document.  She said the second issue concerns access control east of the interchange.  She noted that one of the property owners was concerned about the extent of access control going to Hereford Road.  She added that ODOT agreed to shorten the distance.  She said the words “Hereford Road” would be replaced by the words a point 2,000 feet east of the north bound terminal.  She noted they haven’t had any other public comments.

 

Commissioner Sorenson opened the Public Hearing.

 

Judy Volta, Mayor of Coburg, stated that the Mayor and city council want the project to move forward.  She said they see the improvements to the interchange as a vital part of upgrading their access and transportation needs.  She indicated at they last council meeting of July 21, they heard strong testimony from several affected property owners asking for more time.  She indicated that they were working with some of the new requirements and issues recently raised by the DEQ regarding bioswales.  She said based on the feedback, the council voted 3-2 to pin the decision to accept the resolution and to wait until August 11 while the parties work on their specific issues with the DEQ.  She indicated that much of the resolution has been resolved.  She didn’t think it was the intention of the council to delay further action on the project.  She added that it is not their intention to become an advocate of any specific business owner.  She said they see their role as seeing the project move forward as a city.  She indicated that they don’t have the means of financing to use city resources.  She asked the Board if they would move the project forward.  She commented that they know it won’t be 100 percent satisfactory to all parties but she thought they could come to a well-accepted decision by most of the people at the table.

 

John Anderson, Coburg, said they are one of the property owners.  He confirmed that they have met with ODOT and have come to an agreement with the issues regarding access.  He stated that he was in favor of the process moving forward. He indicated that when they realligned Roberts Road into South Industrial Way, their gas station was in the way and will be condemned and will have to be replaced.  He said it was unclear to them whether they will have to do a traffic study to replace the gas station.  He asked the Board to eliminate that requirement as they would like to replace the gas station.  He didn’t see any reason for a traffic study to replace something that is already there. 

 

There being no one else signed up to speak, Commissioner Sorenson closed the Public Hearing.

 

Dwyer asked what happens if the Board doesn’t pass this.

 

Barry responded that the improvements won’t go forward.  She would recommend that the Board wouldn’t adopt the design concept either.

 

Dwyer commented that they weren’t talking about an interchange anymore, they were talking about a scheme by ODOT to access management.  He said these things were not in the original plan for access management.  He said he wouldn’t put up any money.

 

Fleenor asked if there were incremental phases they could approve today that keeps the project moving forward.

 

Barry said that unless the Board adopts the IAMP, none of the improvements would likely move forward.  She said they would take the money out of the CIP for this project so it would be available for other projects.  She added that they would lose an earmark that was obtained for this project.

 

Handy thought DLCD raised an important concern that had not been addressed adequately to his concern about the land uses inside the plan area.  He said the interchange is needed and it is important they enhance Coburg’s future vitality.  He said they want to protect the capacity of the interchange.  He said they need to be strategic with economic development to make sure prevailing wage jobs are attached and it provides stability to the city of  Coburg. He thought the policies in Section 6 needed to be more specific to address the land uses.  He thought this was  the time for them to adopt a plan that focuses on economic development for Coburg.

 

Stewart said the earmark was secured and they are able to move forward with  immediate enhancements that need to take place.  He commented that the turn lanes are crucial for the businesses to get employees to and from work and to reduce the congestion.  He said it was critical to move forward to get the improvements done.  He believed the issues have been addressed.  He didn’t want to jeopardize the earmark in being able to get the access enhancements that need to take place for the businesses to continue to operate.

 

Dwyer said he wasn’t prepared to support this today as there were issues that needed to be worked out.

 

Fleenor asked if they were to roll this for a third hearing if it would have a detrimental impact on ODOT moving forward.

 

Barry thought they could defer adoption. She said the federal fiscal year ends September 30.  She commented that  provided the adoption takes place soon, it will not jeopardize the earmark provided.

 

MOTION:  to approve a Second Reading and setting a Third Reading and Public Hearing for September 23, 2009 for Ordinance No. PA  1258.

 

Fleenor MOVED.

 

Motion dies for lack of a second.

 

Handy wanted a higher level of specificity. He said they need land use work in conjunction with transportation work and it won’t happen in a few weeks.  He commented that this is a highly needed project.  He said they are looking to integrate land use and transportation and it hasn’t been done in this project.  He indicated the policies in Section 6 don’t have the specificity he is looking for to approve this.  He wanted to set the land uses now as it is important for Coburg’s future economic vitality. 

 

Anderson recalled that the Roads Advisory Committee for Lane County voted unanimously to move this forward for Board  approval.  He abstained because he was a property owner.    He said his family has been involved with Coburg since 1969.  He indicated that he has worked since the late 80’s on this project.  He said they have drawn every configuration to make the roads work for the overpass.  He doesn’t want it to go through his property, but he doesn’t have a choice because it is the only workable solution that services the business community on the freeway and what the residents want.

 

Stewart stated this project has been in the work for years and they have come to a point that had addressed everyone’s concerns.  He said they could meet immediate needs.  He didn’t know if they could get to land use and transportation together.  He was concerned about delaying this further.

 

Barry said in the IMAP document, Section 1.4, it states that as to the function of the document, while it serves multiple purposes, it is not the function of the interchange to serve additional or expanded commercial land uses beyond the existing zoned potential or regional commercial development.  She said it is a primary purpose of ODOT to control the ability of land use to be compatible with the function of the interchange.  She said that was the primary reason they wanted them to adopt the document.  She noted that most of the policies deal with the  issue.

 

Terry Cole, ODOT, said they are looking at the IAMP as it is a document they tried to put together to help balance the land use and the transportation system.  He noted in this case, they have a community on the verge of doing a major Comprehensive Plan update and without delaying the IAMP, they tried putting in  interim measures that will help them control the interchange while the city and county go through discussions about what the appropriate land uses are for the future.  He said they have adopted the function statement that does not support additional commercial development beyond that zone. He said ODOT wants to purchase the access control so they have a say about land use changes if legislative land use or quasi judicial land use changes are proposed through private property development.  He said while Coburg is considering what its land use future is, they are using the mobility standards at the interchange ramps to try to help the city control what is appropriate for the interchange area.  He said with the current configuration, until the city updates their Comprehensive Plan and assuming the interchange is not fully rebuilt to provide the additional capacity, they will use their existing mobility standards that are already being met.  He added there is not additional capacity for development at the interchange based upon their current standards.  He said if they can provide capacity at the interchange prior to the city doing the Comprehensive Plan update, there is a provision in the IAMP that says they will lower their mobililty standards and they will become more restrictive in accordance with the existing development potential within the community.  He said the reason DLCD’s letter was written was because they were writing it in support of the work they had done.  He said they want to reserve the capacity in the interchange in the event they actually build the capacity before the city makes its decision and not for a private development proposal that might be consistent with what the County and the city want to do.

 

Dwyer asked where the money is coming from.

 

Barry responded the short term improvements are estimated at $15.4 million.  She indicated the earmark is $9.4 million and the County is contributing a match of $1.03 million.  She added the remainder is coming out of the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program of $5.4 million.  She noted the rest of the phase is unfunded.  She indicated they would build the short term improvements to address the existing congestion issues when the industrial area is fully up and running.

 

Dwyer asked if they needed the access management for the short version.

 

Sonny Chickering, ODOT, stated their internal policy states they must have an Interchange Area Management Plan (IAMP) that defines what will happen to the entire area around the interchange and each individual project that is constructed will have to comply with the IAMP.  He noted the project the Board is considering is the first phase of future projects at the interchange.  He added the future phases will have to compete against other priorities in the Eugene Springfield metro area because ODOT will be asking the local agencies to prioritize modernization projects in the metro area that includes Coburg.

 

MOTION: to approve a Second Reading and setting a Third Reading and Public Hearing on Ordinanace PA 1258 on September 23 at 1:30 p.m. and to direct staff to come back and provide a work session on land use issues surrounding this project and invite the city of Coburg.

 

Fleenor MOVED, Handy SECONDED.

 

Handy also wanted the Lane County planners and DLCD at the work session.

 

Fleenor wanted the work session to take place before the Third Reading and Public Hearing by two weeks.

 

Barry said if they were looking for additional land use information, she couldn’t provide it. 

 

Handy wanted to find a way to move forward. He said they want good economic development for Coburg.  He wanted to make sure they designate the land uses correct as an outcome.

 

Stewart said he was relunctantly going to support the motion so they don’t kill the project.  He was disappointed in his collegues.  He said they have had this information for a month and now they bring up concerns.  He wished the other board members could get their questions answered before the day of the meeting.

 

Fleenor amended his motion to keep the record open until September 23.

 

Handy seconded the amendment

 

VOTE: 4-1 (Dwyer dissenting).

 

 

b. PUBLIC HEARING AND ORDER 09-8-5-3/In the Matter of Approving a Project Design Concept for Pearl Street and Coburg Industrial Way as Part of an Oregon Department of Transportation Planned Coburg Interstate-5 Interchange Area Improvement Project.

 

Barry explained that for this item, they are asking the Board to look at the design concept only for County roads on the west side that are involved in the short term improvements described in the IAMP.  She said for this item, they are only looking at Coburg Industrial Way and Pearl Street improvements.  She indicated there would be a dedicated right turn lane north on Coburg Industrial Way for morning traffic and left turn lanes off Coburg Industrial Way will be extended down the ramp.  She said it will help ease congestion in the afternoon.  She noted in Lane Manual they are required to have a public hearing on any construction of this nature and for the Board to approve the design concept on any County road.  She added there are other improvements involved but they don’t involved County roads. She stated there is an exception to their standards involved in the design concept.  She indicated there are bioswales proposed to comply with the new Clean Water Act requirements and they have concern about maintenance of those bioswales but they will try to resolve that as  part of another process with ODOT as part of an IGA.  She added on Coburg Industrial Way, the improvements around the intersection  involving a turning lane would not include any sidewalks because Coburg is planning a multi-use path further to the west that in the longer term would be put into pedestrian and bicycle travel.

 

MOTION: to approve a Second Reading and setting a Third Reading and Public Hearing on ORDER 09-8-5-3 on September 23 at 1:30 p.m. and to direct staff to come back and provide a work session on land use issues surrounding this project and inviting the city of Coburg to attend.

 

Fleenor MOVED, Handy SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 4-1 (Dwyer dissenting).

 

 

13. COUNTY COUNSEL

 

a. DISCUSSION/Drunk Driving Auto Forfeiture; Social Host Ordinance; Enforcement Fine Collections.

 

Assistant County Counsel Marc Kardell gave a presentation from the Lincoln County Webpage on their forfeiture program.

 

Richardson reported District Attorney Rob Bovett said they are still doing the DUII forfeitures in Lincoln County but not for financial gain.  She said they sold 66 vehicles in four years and made $67,000.  She said they were doing it due to recidivism reasons.  She added there were studies that showed it reduced recidivism up to 50% percent.  She noted the biggest problem is with junk vehicles.  She recalled they used to have a used car lot to get rid of the vehicles, but they now do car auctions.  She said the new laws that went into effect could be used for more than DUII.  She added it could be used with any drug forfeitures.  She noted that 63.5 percent of whatever the proceeds are that are left go back to the law enforcement agencies.

 

Patty Perlow, District Attorney, recalled that they did civil forfeiture until 2000 and they did criminal forfeiture after that time, but they are no longer doing forfeitures.  She said if they seize a car on a DUII program and someone other than the driver has an interest in it, they have to protect the car at the condition it was when it was seized and pay storage. She said they don’t have a facility for that.  She recalled a number of years ago Lane County ended up paying for more than the value of the car to restore it to its original condition.  She said there are costs associated and they have to make sure they only seize vehicles where the driver has the sole interest.

 

Dwyer indicated that there are unintended consequences in dealing with civil forfeiture.  He said voters repealed the statute that allowed the police to take property.  He said they should put more teeth in the laws relating to repeat offenders than to try to take someone’s vehicle as a last resort that creates more problems than it fixes.  He asked if the people who are impounding the vehicle benefit from the impound.

 

Fleenor supported this in concept.   He didn’t know how they were going to implement this and oversee it to make sure there is no abuse and that the County is not losing money.  He thought if they could save one teenager’s life as a result of this, it is worth the cost associated and the risk.  He wanted to move forward with this.  He thought a sign along Highway 101 stating they could impound cars might act as a deterrent.

 

Sorenson asked how they could have a program that would allow them to take the vehicles where there have been multiple convictions.

 

Perlow responded that they would need more enforcement on the streets.  She commented that statistics show the person who is caught for drunk driving had been caught before. She added that once they have increased enforcement, they have to give people a consequence for their conduct. She noted that someone who is an alcoholic and is making the choice to drink will not care about getting their car taken away; they would find another means to a vehicle. 

 

Sorenson wanted to find a program for drivers who are driving and committing offenses like speed racing, reckless and drunk driving.

 

Perlow thought increased law enforcement should take place.  She added they are going to have to have adequate storage facilities and indoor facilities and they are going to need maintenance of a facility and vehicles and an attorney handling the forfeiture process and publication under forfeiture laws.

 

Kardell said there are issues in dealing with taking personal property. He indicated they could have an ordinance but he didn’t know if it could be cost neutral.  He said the statute says they have to file a complaint in circuit court to do a forfeiture if either they are dealing with real property or if the person they are giving notice to files a claim that they want a hearing or if there is a person (not the one who committed the act) that has an interest in the property. 

 

Stewart commented that it is a program that he cannot financially consider implementing.  He said they would have to put more of a burden on the circuit court and the attorneys.  He said they have to come up with money for storage and it will take time for the process to take place.  He thought they should take the proceeds for what this would cost and put it toward a proven drug and alcoholic treatment program and see better results.

 

Dwyer said criminal laws are the appropriate place to deal with this.  He said they are talking about a systematic approach.  He recommended making the system work from the ground up, putting more police officers on the road in the rural areas to catch the drunken driers under the criminal laws.  He commented that the cost for this is too prohibitive and the results are not cost effective.  He said until they can provide the resources necessary to alter this behavior, they will have those people with them all the time.

 

Sorenson wanted to have a work session with Bovett.  He also wanted to know what other counties have this program.  He thought they should continue researching this.

 

Handy supported having Bovett come talk to the Board. 

 

Sorenson was interested in getting more information.  He wanted to know what the city of Portland and Lincoln County was doing with their ordinances.

 

Social Hosting Ordinance

 

Richardson recalled this came up before the board.  She wanted to bring back an ordinance and asked the Board what it should look like.  She said a social host ordinance would hold adults responsible for underage drinking events that occur on property that they own but it could be property that is leased or otherwise control.  She said there are statutes in existence in Oregon that touch on this.  She said there is nothing that specifically fits what they wanted.  She added that social hosting ordinances focus on the fact that there is an adult allowing underage people to drink on their property and it doesn’t matter who provided the alcohol.  She said it is providing a place for the underage people to be drinking.  She added that some of the ordinances allow recovering the cost of law enforcement.  She said if the Board chooses to move forward, there is a cost for the Sheriff’s Department.  She said the issue of going criminally with this is the cost of enforcement and prosecution.  She indicated that if they go civil, there is still the response and enforcement required and they still have to go to court if the person decides to fight the case.  She asked if the Board wanted to go criminal or civil and if they decide to do an ordinance who it would apply to.  She asked when recovery would be triggered and how it would be collected.  She said this would only be enforceable outside the urban growth boundary of any incorporated city unless the city agreed to it.

 

C.A. Baskerville, Health and Human Services, said with regard to prevention strategies, they work hard to use science and research based programs because they want to be careful with their public dollar.  She added that environmental strategies and prevention are some of the most effective policies and a social host ordinance would be an environmental policy.  She said it is something their program would support.  She indicated that they are working with the McKenzie community and other communities around the County to look at policy and laws that would be appropriate.  She commented that it is considered a best practice in prevention.

 

Bill Thompson, Sheriff’s Office, said they would support an additional tool to have at their disposal to help impact this problem.  He commented that underage drinking is a significant problem.  He indicated that it is the Sheriff’s Office position that the Board pursues a civil ordinance.  He said they would try to recoup costs and there is an educational and deterrent piece by having the ordinance.

 

Sorenson supported having a civil social host legislation ordinance.  He wanted to be mindful of best practices as identified by Health and Human Services.  He said it was not just alcohol, but drugs and noises that were issues.  He wanted them to look over the models and come back with one for a discussion.  He thought they should take this issue on as a public health issue with the Board of Health.

 

Stewart said he personally has been working on this over the past couple of years.  He wanted to get support to do something. He thought it should be a civil ordinance targeted at the chronic hosts.  He added there should be a first time warning.  He said there are certain places where this is a practice that is acceptable and it continues.  He wanted to see the draft ordinance language for the Board to support.  He wanted to provide tools for the Sheriff’s Department so they can get reimbursed.  He added that he was contacted by the Corps of Engineers.  He said they want to have a meeting because they are facing alcohol use in their parks and they are looking at implementing new regulations.  He thought that could be part of their conversation.

 

Fleenor agreed they should do this as a civil matter and expand the definition of the social host liability ordinance to include alcohol, illegal drugs and disruptive behavior.  He thought full cost recovery as part of the fine system should be included.

 

Enforcement Fines and Collections

 

Kardell said they looked at booting cars.  He indicated that the city of Eugene has a provision that does that and deals with parking fines.  He added that Chicago and Washington, D.C. use boots when they use their photographic radar of speeding or running red lights.  He thought they would need a statutory change if they were to do that in Oregon.  He noted that parking is not where most of their fine collection is coming from.  He said most of it is from other types of traffic offenses.  He didn’t think it was a great use to collect on County parking offenses.

 

Thompson commented that they are seeing a low collection rate for fines and it could be tied to the economy.  He added that he was concerned about the liability to boot vehicles and their being responsible for damage.

 

Sorenson didn’t think this would be productive for the County.  He wanted to know what other communities were doing with collection of fines.

 

Richardson said when she reports back on the social host ordinance she could talk about best practices for impound lots.

 

Weights of Trucks and Underreporting.

 

Thompson said they have a system in place for fines involved with heavy weight trucks.  He wasn’t sure if fine enhancement or additional board action for a new or revised ordinance would accomplish anything more than what they are currently doing.  He said the big issue is underreporting and evasion.  He stated they are operating the system now with one weighmaster and one assistant weighmaster.

 

Sorenson wanted an e-mail on the statistics of the number of citations or if they are required to submit a report to ODOT.

 

Stewart recalled they had six weighmasters until four years ago.  He said because their salaries were being paid by road fund, it had been reduced.  He believed that they didn’t write enough tickets to even pay for their salaries.  He commented that if they are looking for unmet needs, they won’t find more money.

 

Handy asked if they could have weighmasters on the roads where detoured traffic is going as a way to enforce this.

 

Sorenson asked Thompson to send them information.  He also wanted anything that related to the economics of the weighmaster enforcement.  He wanted break even civil programs that would help protect public safety without adding to their overall financial problem.

 

Other

 

Sorenson asked if there were other categories of civil liability where other jurisdictions are faced with their similar problems with taxes not keeping up with criminal statutes, where they have used civil liability to try to address the problem.

 

Kardell said the new statute they discussed also allows for forfeiture of all real property including any right, title or interest in any lot or tract of land.  He said it is written broadly.  He recalled they have worked with the Sheriff’s office on at least one forfeiture of real property.

 

Richardson thought the changes in the law for civil applies to any drug charges, under section ORS 475.005.  She added that someone related to the asset has to be convicted of something even if they are doing a civil forfeiture.  She indicated criminal forfeiture is broader.  She said she will talk to the District Attorney’s office and report back.

 

Kardell said they need to talk to the Sheriff’s Office and the District Attorney because there are certain notice provisions under the statute that need to happen.  He added the statutes states they have 30 days after they seize a property before they have to decide whether or not to file a complaint.

 

Richardson said she will contact Mr. Bovett to see who his contacts are in other areas of the state with people who have had a program or still have one to get them in contact with Zoe Gilstrap so they can have a future meeting. With regard to the social host ordinance, she will be meeting with Captain Thompson and C.A. Baskerville on August 20.  She added that Ms. Baskerville is sending additional ordinances.  She will report back in two weeks but it will be longer than that before they can get a proposed ordinance to the Board.  She sent out an e-mail to County Counsel list serve about what they are doing to collect outstanding fines and she will contact the justice court to find out how other justice courts and municipal courts are collecting fines and how many fines are outstanding.  She said she will meet with the District Attorney and Patty Perlow to discuss civil and criminal forfeiture and report back.

 

 

 

14. COMMISSIONERS’ BUSINESS

 

a. DISCUSSION/Analysis on Jail Population and Capacity Based Releases on November 20, 2008.

 

Sorenson said they had requested a day in the life of the capacity release system for May 4, 2009.  He said the Board held an Executive Session and a number of the documents in the Executive Session could be released but they haven’t discussed having a work session.  He asked how much could be released and if they could have the agenda team schedule with Captain Hooley a public session on the CBR process.

 

MOTION: to direct the County Administrator to perform an audit of the Lane County Corrections facility inmate population on November 20, 2008, similar to the audit performed on May 4, 2009 and to bring the information back to the Board on August 19 for a full public review and discussion.   Included in the discussion shall be any information legally available regarding the process by which risk assessment scores are derived and evaluated.  He wanted County Counsel to look into the allegations that this risk assessment tool is propriety in nature and if so what does it mean and who has access to the information.  He wants to determine whether or not this particular assessment tool has been certified by any national certification agency and whether it has been peer reviewed with the information to be made public on August 19.

 

Fleenor MOVED, Handy SECONDED.

 

Stewart asked what outcome they were trying to get to with this motion.

 

Fleenor responded that in order to have an objective basis, they need a basis of comparison.  He said May 4 is a data point and he wanted to have a data point of November 20 to compare and talk about the relative process by which they determine risk and how they measures this.  He wanted a discussion about the tool itself.  He wanted to know if public funds were used to create the tool and why the public was being denied access to the tool.  

 

Stewart said he wouldn’t support the motion.  He said he has taken tours at the jail and he is comfortable with the capacity based release system. He said if they want to take Board time and Board money to do this, it is a big cost and he thought the agenda team should add another day of work because they rolled all of the items today to another day in the future.

 

Richardson said documents prepared pursuant to this request would be available for public record if someone did a public records request.  She said with November 20 in question, it would not yet be protected   She stated there is the potential of a lawsuit coming out of that date.  She said they might be producing documents that would be available for a public records request.

 

Fleenor believed during Executive Session that most of the information that was produced was already public and the risk assessment scores were not because it was proprietary.  He asked what the rules were governing proprietary information and how much could be released to the public.  He didn’t think their work load should be a factor in providing the highest level of public safety to their constituents.  He said it is critical to examine whether the risk assessment process or tool is rising to the standard that is providing the judicial bench with the level of confidence the Sheriff and District Attorney have with the tool.

 

Russ Burger, Sheriff, recalled the last time they came before the Board about the capacity based release situation in Lane County, staff spent more than 140 hours compiling information to make it available for the discussion.  He said there are some documents available for public release. He noted there is a great deal of information that goes into the analysis of each offender that is not public information, including information from criminal justice data bases and systems.  He added it includes information related to ADA that can’t be released.  He said they will spend staff time again to provide a similar report they did last time and certain information will not be able to be released.  He indicated the risk assessment tool works and it was developed by taking risk assessment tools from across the country, taking the best parts in conjunction with national experts to develop the tool.  He stated that it does what it is designed to do, it calculates whether or not someone is dangerous and should not be released.  He said the issue is not whether it works, it is whether or not they have enough capacity to follow the recommendation of the tool.  He said they could bring in national experts to discuss some of the factors involved in developing this risk assessment tool.  He added that the risk assessment tools need to be re-evaluated as it relates to crime, criminal justice, capacity, demographics, and social impacts to determine if the risk assessment tool needs to be updated and if it needs to be done periodically.

 

Sorenson asked if Burger and Fleenor could work together to bring the information that was requested.

 

Burger asked Fleenor to come to the pre-trial service area for an overview of what they are doing with the risk assessment tool and how it works.

 

Fleenor said if the risk assessment tool is working, there is no reason why the public should not understand how it works to the best of their ability legally.  He said they need to show people what is going on and at this point in time there is some question as how they developed the tool and how it is being used.  He also asked if it was certified.  He said they need to air this in the public. 

 

Sorenson said they want a presentation about the capacity based released system that could be made public without reference to a particular day, but how the system works.  He said that was different from the motion.  He realizes there are security concerns, public records concerns and commissioners who want the public to learn more on how it works.  He asked Fleenor if he would withdraw the motion if they would have a public presentation about the capacity based releases.

 

Fleenor said his motion was to direct the County Administrator to perform an audit of the Lane County Corrections Facility Inmate Population on November 20, 2008, similar to the audit performed on May 4, 2009.  He wanted the information brought back to the August 19 meeting for public review and included in the discussion shall be any information legally available regarding the process by which risk assessment scores are determined and evaluated.  He added if they wanted to substitute risk assessment to capacity based released, he would agree.

 

Burger said they could come before the Board to explain how the risk assessment tool was developed and how decisions are made as it relates to each of the offenders.  He added that getting into the specific information related to each offender and why they achieved that score is difficult to discuss.  He said they could accomplish what Fleenor requested, they have to know where the line is.

 

Fleenor responded that it was not about an individual, it is a system approach.

 

Richardson reiterated that it took staff over 100 hours and $4,000 to do this and the money has to be appropriated if they are to pull up all the records from November 20.  She had concerns about creating documents from that day before they have to.  She preferred to deal with that when they have discovery in a civil case instead of allowing it to be pulled as a public record request. 

 

Sorenson said if the focus is on how the capacity based released system works and an explanation, they already have the May 4 data.

 

Fleenor commented that if this was about money, he will personally pay for this out of his personal expense account or out of his own pocket.  He believes that money should not be an object.  He wanted to get this done so they could have two data points they could compare.

 

Handy wanted to invite Brooke Marshall, as she was disappointed in not being included in their discussion on this topic and he thought they would benefit by having her present.

 

Fleenor recommended that anything they could release from the May 4 data would be used to determine what could be released from the November 20 data.

 

Richardson said it might require going through each individual file as there might be ADA information or other information that cannot be released.  She thought they could get 80 percent of the information.

 

Fleenor said that was okay.

 

VOTE:  3-0 (Dwyer, Stewart out of room).

 

15. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

None.

 

16. CORRESPONDENCE TO THE BOARD

 

None.

 

17. EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660

 

None.

 

18. OTHER BUSINESS

 

None.

 

There being no further business, Commissioner Sorenson adjourned the meeting at 5:30 p.m.

 

 

Melissa Zimmer

Recording Secretary