BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS'

REGULAR MEETING

June 17, 2009

1:30 p.m.

Harris Hall Main Floor

APPROVED 8/26/2009

 

BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS'

REGULAR MEETING

June 17, 2009

1:30 p.m.

Harris Hall Main Floor

 

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.

 

6. EVENTS CENTER

 

a. REPORT/Fairgrounds Wastewater.

 

Spartz explained that the County Fair has a permit for wastewater discharge that allows it to keep large animals on site only during the dry months.  He said the Board had discussed this issue before and whether or not there are any solutions.  He consulted with Peter Ruffier from the city of Eugene and he said the waste treatment facilities along the Willamette River are adequate to handle any contaminated stormwater they send into the system.  Spartz indicated that the problem lies with the interceptor pipes between the Fairgrounds and getting to the waste treatment plant.  He said if they were to add additional runoff, they would hear from citizens complaining they would be getting wastewater backing up   He noted that it is not in Eugene’s plan to replace those interceptors because they consider the area as to be fully developed and they were not planning on adding additional capacity.  He stated the alternative is to prevent the wastewater from getting into the system.  He thought they could collect wastewater on site and treat it if necessary and they could put it in the Amazon Creek  He reported that they could avoid generating the contaminated storm water in the first place.  He said it would require roofing. They had an estimate of $1.6 million to build a roof that would shield the area and would allow them to get the year round permit.  He thought they could generate $200,000 in revenue if the facility were fully utilized

 

Dwyer said it is possible but it is expensive.  He added that the$1.6 million doesn’t count the maintenance to keep it in good condition.  He said the Fairgrounds were built before there was any development.  He added that the Fairgrounds was fully functional and operational and any system they devised or constructed should have taken into account the level of use they were getting at the Fairgrounds.  He stated that citizens who have large animals have been deprived for use of the Fairgrounds as a result of the permit discharge.  He wanted to see large animals back and year round use.

 

Fleenor thought the $1.6 million quote for the covered walkways might be exaggerated.  He wanted a real quote versus one that is not necessarily based on realty.  He thought the walkway could cost less than $250,000.  He recommended that Rick Reno, Fairgrounds, and Spartz find a firm that they could rely upon to get a solid quote for the walkway. He wanted to review this with fresh eyes with a new Fair Manager who wants to see this succeed.  He wanted to move forward to bring back the large animals.

 

Sorenson asked if they could construct the roof so they could comply with the permit but still get the use out of the livestock facility.  He asked if something could be done with a revenue bond or a loan to could get additional revenue out of the buildings sufficient to pay back the roof.

 

Spartz said if they keep the costs moderate, it is probably a good investment for the Events Center to make.  He didn’t think the Board needed to take any action on this today.

 

Handy wanted updated bids from independent organizations.

 

Stewart thought they should give direction to Reno to look at options or costs.  He thought if there was a viable way of generating revenue to make it profitable, to bring back recommendations.

 

Reno commented that from a facility manager’s viewpoint, any time they figure   they are going to have return on their investment, (when they discuss full occupancy) it is a difficult goal to attain.  He said they have 365 rentable days and they have to figure out what percentage are revenue producing days. He added that business has been lost and any time they invest time and effort to bring back business, it is more time consuming than attracting new business.  He thought they were steep challenges.   

 

7. PUBLIC WORKS

 

a. DISCUSSION/Clarifying the Structure and Future of the Vegetation Management Advisory Committee (VMAC).

 

Sorenson asked who was appointed to the committee.

 

Orin Schumacher, Public Works, reported that staff is coming back with a board order.  He indicated that they have been sitting with a non-quorum since fall of 2008.  He said they currently have four active committee members and in Lane Code it is still listed as a nine member committee.  He recalled there was direction give by the Board to maintain those vacancies until Board direction provided something different.

 

Sorenson asked who the current four members were.

 

Schumacher said they have Kai Williams, John Sundquist, Ross Penhallegon and James Larue.

 

Dwyer said they discussed the structure and representation of committees that reflect the make up of the Board.  He said they each pick a representative and those five representatives would choose two at large.  He thought seven representatives were adequate and the process consistent.

 

Fleenor was supportive of the committee having seven members with each commissioner appointing their member.  He recommended the five members designate two applicants for each position so they have a choice.    He thought the committee should advance two recommendations per position.  He asked what the new goal of the VMAC would be post moratorium.

 

Schumacher said they will continue to test and look at alternative means.  He noted that they are in an indefinite moratorium on the use of herbicides for roadsides and the Last Resort Policy is on hold.  He didn’t see a lifting of the moratorium as they haven’t received any direction to do that.

 

Handy said that he wanted to see the committee continue.  He thought the overlay of the Good Governance board order for the make up of the committee made sense.  He didn’t understand Fleenor’s proposal.  He said when he makes his appointee; he will have a range of choices from which to choose.

 

Stewart believed the committee was valuable.  He supported the effort to bring in seven members to conform to the rest of the committees.  He wanted John Sundquist as his representative.  He said he sees value in recommending polices dealing with people who are doing illegal spraying in the right-of-way.  He thought they also needed policies around building fences or planting flowers because they are difficult situations.  He indicated that a concern came up with brush clearing that came close to a river.  He wanted to make sure the activities they are doing are appropriate for those areas.

 

Sorenson said Sundquist would be the East Lane member.  Sorenson chose Ms. Nelson to be his appointee to the list.  He said Fleenor could choose Mr. Larue.  He added that they could have two at large members:  Kai Williams and Ross Penhallegon and it would allow Handy and Dwyer to appoint one member.  He explained that the committee could function immediately and the commissioners would be able to appoint their district representatives. He asked what the term would be of the members.

 

Richardson recalled that the Good Governance board order states they serve at the will of the commissioner who appointed them but for no longer than four years.  She said it follows the commissioner’s term.

 

Fleenor approved of having Larue for his appointee.

 

Dwyer said he will choose his member at another time.

 

MOTION:  for the committee to have seven members.  The members will be Kai Williams and Ross Penhallegon at large, John Sundquist for East Lane County, Larue for West Lane County, Jan Nelson for South Eugene, with two vacancies to be appointed by Handy and Dwyer. Williams will be appointed for one year, with Penhallegon appointed for a three year term

 

Sorenson MOVED, Fleenor SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 5-0.

 

Sorenson asked Schumacher to bring back a board order and a Lane Manual change on the appointments.

 

 

b. SECOND READING AND POSSIBLE ACTION /Ordinance No. PA 1255: In The Matter Of Amending The Lane County Rural Comprehensive Plan (RCP) By Adopting A Coordinated Population Forecast For Lane County and Each Urban Area Within The County; And Adopting Savings And Severability Clauses. (File No. PA 08-5873) (NBA & PM 6/3/09).

 

Fleenor asked Vorhes if there are any comments that needed to be stated to the Board.

 

Vorhes responded that he didn’t have any comments.  He said the Board needs to deliberate and determine what they want to adopt, for an ordinance for a coordinated countywide population forecast.  He recalled on June 3, the motion was to read the ordinance with the alternate Exhibit A that reflected the chart of population figures that were gleaned from the PSU report prepared at the direction of the Board.  He indicated that is the current exhibit that is part of the ordinance.  He said this is the second reading and the Board is ready to adopt it.

 

MOTION: to move to include consideration of the city of Coburg’s consultant Johnson and Reed’s information and analysis as previously provided into the record of evidence for Ordinance No. PA 1255 on June 3, 2009, taking into account the supplemental information and analysis of additional factors not included in the Portland State University’s coordinated population report that might influence Coburg’s population growth rate and to substitute for the PSU proposed forecast numbers for the city of Coburg, included in the above-cited ordinance as Exhibit A, those population forecast numbers suggested by the Johnson and Reed analysis and city representatives.

 

Stewart MOVED, Fleenor SECONDED.

 

Stewart said when they discuss influences that might not have been considered in Coburg’s population, he noted the moratorium on the building the city has in place, not allowing any new construction based on the ability to provide sanitation.  He also noted the employment center opportunities, as this is a huge influx and the inability of people that work in the city of Coburg to actually live there.  He thought these factors justified the Johnson and Reed study.  He reiterated that this has been a long process but he is glad the Board continued forward.  He commented that not everyone is getting what they wanted.  He believed that in the future if any community is experiencing something different than what the Board has adopted, he hoped they would bring it to their attention and they could take action to reflect numbers that are actually being represented in the communities.

 

Vorhes said they are deliberating on an ordinance.  He said the motion is to modify the Exhibit A, PSU chart that the Board made part of the ordinance last reading to include the numbers that were recommended to the Board and presented at the public hearing by a Coburg representative.  He said it would set the Board up for consideration of the ordinance itself with the revised Exhibit A.  He said the Board needed to discuss how significant the changes are to the countywide population forecast that would be part of the ordinance.

 

VOTE: 5-0

 

MOTION: to adopt Ordinance No. PA 1255.

 

Fleenor MOVED, Dwyer SECONDED.

 

Vorhes indicated that the Board received a revised Exhibit A that reflects in the chart, the legislative and a final format, showing how the Rural Comprehensive Plan would be amended if they enact the ordinance.  He added that the chart on page 5 has shown in the Coburg row of figures the numbers reflected by the study and the testimony they received on behalf of Coburg at the Public Hearing two weeks ago.  He added there is an asterisk that references the basis for the projections and it would become part of the Rural Comp Plan coordinated countywide population forecast if the Board enacts the ordinance.  He added the Board has been given a revised Exhibit B to the ordinance that has some revisions to the findings that would support this action if they were to enact the ordinance.   He noted that specifically there are additional findings that address Finding 25, the inclusion of the city of Coburg figures as the Board has directed by the motion.  He indicated the findings were prepared by staff as part of the Board direction to prepare an ordinance with an alternate Exhibit with the PSU study and it reflects the staff work on what findings should address the adoption.  He said if the Board was comfortable with the row of figures for Coburg that are also reflected in the Lane County total,  they would have an opportunity to act on this motion now.  He indicated there is a slight risk under the charter.  He added that if they make a substantial change to an ordinance without two readings with 13 days between the readings, the ordinance is not effective, but in the scope of this study and the difference between the PSU population projections and the Coburg proposed population projections there is room to make a finding about the changes being substantial.  He added there is a finding in Exhibit B that reaches the conclusion and it would make the assertion that these are not substantial changes to the ordinance.  He said they could act today or they could avoid any challenge and delay the vote.

 

Dwyer said he would support the ordinance and allow the city to move on.

 

Handy asked if there was any input from DLCD.

 

Vorhes responded that he heard nothing from DLCD on the proposal as they provided it to them.  He said the findings are to include the PSU study in the mix of alternatives for the Board.  He noted the findings staff drafted, utilized the information out of the Portland State study to address the requirement of the statute and administrative rule, their own code and Rural Comp Plan policies and statewide planning goals.  He didn’t guaranty they could stand any challenge, but it was the best they could do under the circumstances.

 

Handy stated that the due diligence has been done on this matter.

 

Stewart didn’t think anything was substantially changed.  He thought it was justified to move forward with the small changes.  He added that they were added into the record at the last public hearing.  He wanted to move forward.

 

ROLL CALL VOTE: 5-0.

 

8. COUNTY ADMINISTRATION

 

a. Announcements

 

Spartz stated that he was pleased that after a most difficult budget process the Board came to a unanimous agreement.  He added that it sends a strong message that they developed a budget that addresses a number of needs.

 

b. REPORT BACK/Status of SAV-IT Committee Volunteer Applications.

 

Spartz noted since the Board adopted the order, they have identified Christine McCoy, the county staff support.  He said that Amber Fossen, Public Information Officer, put out an initial advertisement requesting applications on April 28, 2009.  He indicated that two individuals responded to the initial advertisement.  He noted that Fossen placed an additional advertisement on June 8 seeking more applications.  He indicated that Fleenor has made his appointee.

 

Sorenson commented that this is important to him and they have reached significant progress in the County by having this committee.  He thought they could achieve the same kind of improvements they got from their previous SAVE Committee.  He indicated that it means there is more work.  He asked if they could get in contact with McCoy and ask the committee to make their recommendation.  He asked Spartz to report back next week on the names from the SAV-IT Committee members and Fleenor’s member.

 

c. REPORT BACK/Board Order Review – Implementation and Compliance.

 

Spartz discussed this with Stewart Bolinger, Performance Auditor, and they will put together steps that they will take.  He thought the focus needed to be on Board initiated orders.  He added when the Board passes an order, they will set up a tracking file and provide quarterly monitoring and periodically Bolinger will sample one or more board orders and do an independent follow up.

 

Handy wanted to know how they could prevent holes in the system.

 

Spartz stated that once the Board adopts an order it will be communicated at the bi-weekly Management Team meeting to department heads.

 

Bolinger thought this could be a positive verification process.  He added that it doesn’t have to be a police action.  He said it is easy for people to have misunderstandings and once in a while it is good to do a verification.

 

Dwyer was more interested in getting a report on what hasn’t been done instead of what has.  He said when they pass an order, they expect to have action.  He thought it would be a simpler process.

 

Fleenor thought they should publish it on the website under the status of BCC adopted board orders.  He thought it would be good transparency.

 

d. ORDER 09-6-17-3 Delegating Authority to the County Administrator to Execute a Purchase Order to Professional Collection Services in an Amount Not to Exceed $400,000

 

Kay Blackburn, Finance, recalled yesterday there were questions regarding this matter.  She said they were in need for professional collection services and the name of the successful company is Professional Credit Services.  She was asked if it was a local company.  She indicated it is a local company with the corporate headquarters in Springfield.  She added that they have been in business in Lane County for over 75 years.  With regard to writing off outstanding fines that were older than seven years, she said there is a legal issue as to whether they can do that.  With regard to the impact on the financial statements, she noted the information from last year’s audit shows that including interest, the amount of outstanding receivables over seven years old is about 50 percent.  She stated that would mean they would be writing off 50 percent but what they have booked on the balance sheet was only 20 percent.  She added that there would be no impact on the balance sheet.

 

MOTION: to approve ORDER 09-6-17-3.

 

Dwyer MOVED, Fleenor SECONDED.

 

Fleenor said the additional information provided him with a high level of comfort.  He said they did their due diligence and had the discussion.  He will support the motion.

 

VOTE: 5-0

 

e. Hodson Lane County

 

Spartz recalled in 2006 the city gave notice to all of the potential affected agencies that they were proposing to do this annexation and no one objected. He stated that was why they did it without a Public Hearing.

 

Marc Kardell, Assistant County Counsel, stated that he received from the Boundary Commission a copy of the notice they sent May 22, 2006 and included the Board and Land Management Division and Lane County Environmental Health and other districts.  He noted under 199.466, they are supposed to give notice to affected agencies and to the owners of real property.  He said it mentioned the name was Sherbina/Hodson Lane.  He indicated that Public Works responded and thought this was a private road and they took no further action.  He said the city went forward without giving notice to the affected owners based on their conclusion that this was a public road.  He said part was based on their looking at the Assessment and Taxation records that had a different connotation.  He said they referred to it as a public road because they weren’t taxing anyone and the road was open to the public.  He indicated the city went forward and did what they were supposed to do by noticing the agencies and the owners of record for the property.  He said that  Public Works concluded that this looked like a private road.  He said from the County’s perspective, they did not participate in the proceedings when they were notified.  He added that the city has a right to annex private property.  He didn’t see it as a County issue.

 

Fleenor indicated there are unhappy people about this.  He asked if they could do this over. He asked if they could work with the city and the affected stakeholders to come to a mutual agreement.

 

Kardell said they had a right to receive notification but they didn’t respond within the time.  He said whether or not the owners have legal rights based on a claim that it was a private road and they should have received notice of annexation of their private property might be a separate matter that could be addressed with the city.

 

Fleenor requested that Spartz be given direction to work with the city of Eugene to see if they can work out an agreement that would be mutually favorable to all parties and report back so they could exercise any other political options that might be available.  He thought they were obligated to help the citizens in any capacity they can within reason.

 

Handy wanted to look at a Board policy around private roads.  He said they have angry citizens who do not feel they are represented in the Santa Clara River Road area.

 

Richardson said it would be up to the city in this case on whether or not they will go back on this road.  She indicated that Public Works is dealing with annexation and her office is working on developing proposed policies for the Board to review.

 

Spartz said due to his discussion with the city manager, he didn’t think they could get the city to go back on this.

 

f. City Jail Contract

 

Sorenson thought a two year contract was better than a one year contract.  His  

concern about the contract is the impact of the Springfield Jail.  He said since Eugene is paying a premium under the contract, (given Lane County’s overall financial situation) it would be good for them to enter into a two year contract.  He asked if this could be put on the agenda for next week.  He said having this approved prior to the beginning of the fiscal year would be better.

 

Spartz stated that based on his discussions with Captain Doug Hooley; there is a confusion that develops in the media over who is released from which jail.  He and Hooley discussed improving their commentary on the website so if someone looks on the website, it is clear they were either released from the Eugene Municipal facility or the County Jail.

 

Fleenor discussed this with Sheriff Burger and he was assured that a majority of the inmates brought in on municipal charges also have other charges and are put through the risk management tool.  He noted that there are few misdemeanants that do not have other charges to allow them to do the risk assessment.

 

Handy wanted Hooley to provide information about who is getting released.

 

Fleenor asked if they could incorporate any relationship with the results of LCPOA and the contract over a two year period.

 

Spartz said he could make the request.  He thought it would take the city of Eugene a while to process it and they would need to get a short term extension. He said he would raise the issue with the city manager.

 

 

9. COMMISSIONERS’ BUSINESS – GOOD GOVERNANCE RESPONSE

 

a. DISCUSSION/Cost of Elections.

 

Kate Brown, Secretary of State, discussed her first few months being Secretary of State and her thoughts on the cost of future elections.

 

10. HUMAN RESOURCES

 

a. ORDER 09-6-17-1/In the Matter of Approving the Tentative Agreement Between Lane County and the Prosecuting Attorneys Association.

 

Greta Utecht, Human Resources, reported that over the last several years the number of DA’s in the District Attorney’s office has gone down due to cuts.  She added that the workload volume has changed.  She reported that the seriousness of the caseload per attorney has gone up because the District Attorney’s office is doing few misdemeanor cases.  She indicated that they did a compensation survey and they didn’t look at private sector attorney salaries because they couldn’t compare with the private sector market.  She said they also don’t look at the federal attorney salaries as they are a different type of caseload.   She commented that when they lose a high level Deputy District Attorney, it is to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.  She reported that when they did their comparison, they looked at the counties that are used to set the salary of the District Attorney around the state.  She said the jobs they were able to compare were entry level Deputy District Attorney and Senior Level Prosecutor.  She noted that in both cases they were significantly below.  She said their recommendation was to work toward a different classification plan that would have only four levels of attorneys in the District Attorney’s office.  She thought that would allow more flexibility because of the reduction of the number of positions.  She said in light of the information that had come forth from other counties, she recommended that they increase the base salary for the Deputy District Attorneys by  5 percent, a market adjustment and place them on the same type of compensation plan that Admin Pro and Non-Represented employees are on.  She added that when the Board approves the plan that the attorneys move onto the plan at their current salary and only move up when they reach their annual merit date.  She indicated that it is a two year agreement with the Prosecuting Attorneys.  She added that they are on the standard plan and have been on the plan for the past two years.

 

MOTION: to approve ORDER 09-6-17-1.

 

Dwyer MOVED, Fleenor SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 5-0.

 

 

11. PERFORMANCE AUDITOR

 

a. Announcements

 

Bolinger recalled last night that some of the members of the public had observed that the euthanasia rate at Animal Services had declined.  He sent a one page follow-up audit report to Animal Services for their final comment.  He said all of the recommendations they had agreed upon have been implemented and they now have automated records of euthanasia.  He said he will be reviewing the clinic and the controlled substances.  He indicated that earlier this week Public Works had a kick off session for implementation of their automated cost accounting system.  He indicated that he had been monitoring the project from its inception.  He stated they are on the threshold of having an active system so they are able to get real time cost data.

 

Handy asked Bolinger if he knew of Cindy Land’s analysis of the County.  He wanted Bolinger to review the work Land did to see how it might apply to the County  to see if there was some savings.

 

12. COUNTY COUNSEL

 

a. Announcements

 

With regard to the passes to the City Club, Richardson indicated they would qualify as gifts under the statute.  She wanted to confirm that fact and she will report back to the Board.

 

13. CORRESPONDENCE TO THE BOARD

 

Letter Responding to Congressman DeFazio

 

Fleenor thought the draft letter stated the point but he noted some grammatical errors and words he wanted to insert.  He said he could work with Spartz on the draft.

 

Sorenson thought they needed another paragraph on the topic of the budget so DeFazio recognizes the crunch point approach they made on the budget unanimously.  He also wanted to use the opportunity to thank for visiting and to invite him again.

 

Sorenson asked for a board order approving the letter and Fleenor and Spartz will work on the text.

 

Fleenor though the letter should be released as a press release in response to DeFazio’s visit.

 

14. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

Sorenson announced that the Board was invited to attend the ACTSO fundraiser.  He indicated that the Department of Youth Services was working with them to raise money for the ACTSO program as an annual competition.  He asked Zoe Gilstrap to put the ACTSO fundraiser on the future agenda.  He wanted a check to be given to ACTSO from the Board at the fundraiser.

 

Stewart was supportive of making the same contribution as last year.

 

MOTION: to contribute an amount equal for ACTSO that was contributed last year, with a board order to be brought back next week.

 

Dwyer MOVED, Stewart SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 5-0.

 

Handy thanked everyone who participated in the budget process.  He apologized to his constituents who have not heard back from him on issues.  He said he would now have the time because the budget has been completed.  He announced that he will be at County College next week.  He announced that Wednesday there is a lunch time social and a photographic exhibit featuring diversity of people in the County

 

Stewart indicated that there is an O & C meeting in Salem tomorrow. He said he would see how they respond to having a meeting with the Board.

 

Sorenson reported that tomorrow he would be meeting with the chairs from Clackamas and Multnomah counties on the issue of county jails being underfunded, jail cells being vacant and the potential of the State Department of Corrections approaching counties to slow the rate of building state prisons as a way of housing the prisoners in county facilities for the state to save money and cost effectiveness.

 

15. EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660

 

None.

 

16. OTHER BUSINESS

 

None.

 

There being no further business, Commissioner Sorenson adjourned the meeting at 5:00 p.m.

 

 

Melissa Zimmer

Recording Secretary