I N U T E S
City Council/Springfield City Council/
Board of County Commissioners
Public Library – Bascom Tykeson Room
West 10th Avenue, Eugene
CITY COUNCILORS PRESENT: Andrea Ortiz, George Poling, Betty Taylor, Alan Zelenka,
Mike Clark, Chris Pryor, George Brown, Jennifer Solomon.
CITY COUNCILORS PRESENT: Hillary Wylie, Joe Pishioneri, Dave Ralston, Terri
COUNTY COMMISSIONERS PRESENT: Faye Stewart, Peter Sorenson, Bill Fleenor, Rob
Handy, Bill Dwyer.
PRESENT: Mayor Kitty Piercy, City Manager Jon Ruiz, City of Eugene; City Manager
Gino Grimaldi, City of Springfield, Jeff Spartz, Lane County.
Piercy called the meeting to order at 12:01 p.m. She proceeded to review the agenda for the benefit of those
Piercy noted the absence of Springfield Mayor Sid Leiken.
Stewart provided a brief history of the Metro Subcommittee as well as an
overview of the group’s membership and goals.
He noted that the subcommittee’s first meeting had taken place on April
13, 2009 to discuss annexation policies, concerns with the Metro Plan’s
description of urban services, concerns with perceived citizen
disenfranchisement, concerns with jurisdictional autonomy, and concerns with the
dispute resolution process with respect to the area Metro Plan.
Mr. Stewart further noted that the April 13 meeting had also addressed
County concerns regarding the regional coordination of public safety and
regional economic development which had been raised during the March 3, 2009 JEO
Stewart commented that the April 13 Metro Subcommittee meeting had also weighed
the costs and benefits of proceeding with or without the current Metro Plan
guidelines. He stated that staff
had presented further information in that regard at the May 7, 2009 Metro
Subcommittee meeting where they had also presented information regarding
potential revisions to the current Metro Plan.
Stewart stated that the Metro Subcommittee had determined that proceeding
without the Metro Plan would be prohibitively expensive to Eugene, Springfield
and Lane County as it would require each agency to draft and execute separate
Stewart proceeded to brief the elected officials regarding the staff revisions
and other alternatives to the Metro Plan.
Stewart reported that after further discussions regarding the staff
recommendations the Metro Subcommittee had met on May 27, 2009 to agree on a
recommendation to bring before the JEO. He
stated that the Metro Subcommittee had unanimously agreed to recommend the staff
revisions to the Metro Plan and which called for the development of a work plan,
timeline, cost estimate and implications for specific changes to the Metro Plan
based on recommendations from each jurisdiction.
He further stated that the proposed revisions to the Metro Plan would
address those items of concerns that had been discussed at the April 13, 2009
Metro Subcommittee meeting as well other items of concern from the various
Ralston noted that there were elements of the Metro Plan that served as ideal
groundwork for development as well as other issues regarding wastewater and
transportation planning in the community. He
commented that while the City of Springfield desired a certain amount of
autonomy with respect to its urban growth boundary expansions, it made sense to
carefully revise the Metro Plan in order to determine an efficient course of
action that would benefit all of the jurisdictions involved.
Ortiz agreed with Mr. Ralston’s comments and felt that a carefully revised
Metro Plan along the lines of what had been recommended by the Metro
Subcommittee and staff would be a good way to meet the needs of the various
Clark agreed with the assessment of the Metro Subcommittee that proceeding
without a Metro Plan would be prohibitively expensive and time consuming to all
three jurisdictions and stated that he was happy with the results of the
Subcommittee meetings and the staff input.
Stewart noted that Springfield Council Christine Lundberg had indicated that she
agreed with Mr. Ralston’s assessments of the Metro Plan and felt that the
needs of the City of Springfield would be adequately addressed by a carefully
revised Metro Plan.
Handy thanked the staff and Betsy Shepherd for their efforts regarding the Metro
Plan revisions. He hoped that the
revisions would allow the issues of representation/annexation with Eugene and
rural reserves with Springfield to be adequately addressed.
Handy was concerned that the JEO had not been given the opportunity to review
the results of the analyses of the Metro Plan that had been prepared by
attorneys from the three different jurisdictions.
Handy thanked Mr. Stewart for his efforts on behalf of the Metro Subcommittee.
Mayor Kitty Piercy officially convened the Eugene City Council meeting at 12:20
Pete Sorenson officially convened the meeting of the Lane County Board of
Commissioners at 12:20 p.m.
City Councilor Dave Ralston officially convened the meeting of the Springfield
City Council at 12:20 p.m.
Stewart, seconded by Mr. Clark, moved to approve the Subcommittee’s
recommendation and begin the process to revise the Metro Plan by developing a
work plan, timeline, cost estimate, and implications for the specific changes to
the Metro Plan based on the recommendations from each jurisdiction.
Stewart, responding to a question from Ms. Taylor, noted that the revision
process described by his previously stated motion would be carried out by staff
members from all three jurisdictions who would then return to the JEO with
further information and a draft work plan.
Stewart, responding to concerns from Mr. Ralston that his motion did not
sufficiently reflect the recommendations of the Metro Subcommittee, withdrew his
previously stated motion with the consent of the second.
Steward, seconded by Mr. Clark, moved to direct staff from Lane County and the
cities of Eugene and Springfield, to develop a work plan that included the
timeline process, cost estimate and implications for specific changes to the
Metro Plan that included but were not limited to the following: a) Overarching policies that identify and address regional
issues; b) Policies that allowed for individual retirement plans for Eugene and
Springfield to address jurisdictional specific issues; c) Adjustments to the
Metro Plan boundary and text to address jurisdictional issues arising in the
urbanizable area and the area outside the urban growth boundary; and d) a
dispute resolution process that reflects the changes described in a - c.
Ruiz, responding to a question from Ms. Ortiz, noted that the Eugene city staff
concurred with the recommendations of the Metro Subcommittee.
Stewart, responding to a question from Mr. Fleenor, commented that the staffs of
the three jurisdictions would be taking separate action with respect to any
annexation issues involving Santa Clara.
Handy noted that the language of the Metro Subcommittee recommendations had been
revised to better address the concerns of Lane County with respect to issues
such as rural reserves and annexation.
Clark commented that there had been several robust discussions within the Metro
Subcommittee regarding the concerns of Lane County and other related
municipalities. He felt that the
discussions and the resultant recommendations would allow each of the
jurisdictions to propose productive solutions.
Ms. Piercy called for a vote on Mr. Stewart's previously stated motion.
The motion passed unanimously, 21:0.
DEVELOPMENT SUBCOMMITTEE REPORT
Ruiz gave a PowerPoint presentation concerning Regional Economic Development
entitled "Our Next Economy" for the benefit of the JEO and noted that
at their March meeting the JEO had directed the EDS examine regional economic
development efforts with respect to: 1)
the efficient and productive utilization of federal ARRA stimulus funding within
the community; 2) the programs, plans and policies of local government
jurisdictions; and 3) an exploration into the principal factors of the
Ruiz noted that the basic framework of the Next Economy as described in his
presentation would allow the EDS to continue its examinations within a technical
advisory group which was comprised of community stakeholders and which would
also help the JEO to determine the best course of action with respect to
regional economic development. He
further noted that the EDS would conduct a summit in September or October of
2009 to further determine the support structures that would be needed to support
elements of regional economic development opportunities.
Ruiz, referring to his presentation, noted that the EDS had stated goals of the
creation of twenty thousand new jobs in and around Lane County by 2020, a
reduction of local unemployment to or below state average, and an increase in
average annual wages to or above state averages.
Ruiz proceeded to describe the principles of the Next Economy as reflected in
his presentation and the agenda item summary materials.
Ruiz noted that the EDS was seeking the agreement and consent of the JEO on the
next steps of the subcommittee's work regarding the goals, principles and
metrics of the Next Economy. He
hoped that the next steps of the EDS would involve input from the broadest
sectors of stakeholder groups within the community.
Fleenor supported the work of the EDS recognized the benefit of the
subcommittee's examination of the Next Economy but hoped that any strategies
regarding regional economic development would come with measurable results and a
resultant re-focusing of economic development efforts.
Clark appreciated that conversation surrounding regional economic development
efforts that had been initiated by the EDS and staff and hoped that those
conversations might result in actionable economic development strategies as soon
Pishoneri and Mr. Sorenson concurred with Mr. Clark's comment.
Brown noted he was pleased to see a unification of efforts among the three
jurisdictions participating in the EDS.
Piercy maintained that although there was a strong desire for immediate action
among the JEO that regional economic development efforts were not completely
static at present and that the recommendations of the EDS represented a more
focused, three-pronged approach to economic development.
Ruiz, responding to a question from Mr. Poling, noted that the technical
advisory groups that would be advising the EDS and the JEO would most likely be
comprised of representatives from the Lane Work Force Partnership, the
University of Oregon, and the local Chambers of Commerce.
He noted that the technical advisory group would also eventually be
expanded to include input from community members, business leaders and a broader
cross-section of stakeholder representatives.
Dwyer suggested the Lane Metro Partnership would be an effective resource for
the EDS' technical advisory group and felt they could provide invaluable input
on ways that regional economic development might be enlarged and expanded.
Poling expressed he was happy to see that the EDS was not overly focused on any
one particular industry with respect to regional economic development planning.
Pryor hoped that regional economic development strategies would be carefully
planned and thoughtfully maintained in order to protect the economic viability
of the region.
Taylor asked to see a list of those representatives and stakeholder groups that
would be participating in the EDS' technical advisory group.
Taylor suggested several local industries that might benefit from regional
economic development efforts. She
further noted that she opposed the enterprise zone and any strategies that would
provide tax breaks to businesses in the area.
Solomon hoped that the EDS's technical advisory group would include a
significant number of private sector business representatives that could focus
on the creation of jobs within the private sector.
Ortiz hoped that the strategies recommended by the EDS and their technical
advisory group would focus on the creation of new jobs throughout the region.
Handy felt the EDS' examination into the elements of the Next Economy struck at
the core of the need for significant changes in current regional economic
development strategies and methodologies.
Stewart noted from his experience as a recent member of economic development
committees that it would possible to implement strategies recommended by the EDS
relatively quickly. He agreed with
Mr. Dwyer that the Lane Metro Partnership might serve as an effective resource
for the EDS.
Dwyer excused himself from the JEO meeting at 12:59 p.m.
Brown hoped that whatever industries were encouraged under any development
strategies suggested by the EDS would be relatively stable and non-volatile.
Wylie felt it was important for the three jurisdictions, both collectively and
individually, to remain vigilant and alert with respect to regional economic
Piercy noted that she had recently spoken to Jack Roberts and members of the
Lane Metro Partnership and further noted that they had not perceived any
conflicts with proceeding as the EDS had described.
She noted that while an organization such as the Lane Metro Partnership
might serve as an effective economic development tool, it was important to
remember that the JEO served primarily as policy makers and not implementers of
any adopted economic development strategies.
Taylor elaborated upon her earlier comments and hoped that any new jobs created
as a result of the EDS recommendations would pay a living wage and would not
negatively affect the environment.
Clark commented that the EDS' role was primarily to explore how effective
collaboration between the three jurisdictions might lead to more productive
partnerships with private industries in the region. He added that the EDS also endeavored to identify any
existing or potential barriers to positive economic development.
Mr. Fleenor, seconded by Mr. Pishoneri, moved to 1) approve the framework,
goals, principles and metrics presented in the agenda item summary and 2) direct
the Joint Elected Officials Economic Development Task Force and staff to bring a
recommendation for economic opportunity areas to the September JEO meeting and
hold and Economic Summit in October of 2009.
Ruiz, responding to a question from Ms. Solomon, confirmed that a discussion
regarding economic barriers and the technical advisory group's investigations
regarding the same would be included as part of both the September JEO meeting
and the October economic summit.
Handy suggested that Lane Microbusiness representative Shawn Winkler Rios and
local entrepreneur Caroline Cummings be involved with the EDS' technical
advisory group in some capacity.
Piercy, responding to a question from Ms. Taylor, confirmed that the motion
under discussion only provided for approval of the EDS plans and concurrent
staff direction and did not represent any adoptions or revisions of specific
Ms. Piercy called for a vote on Mr. Fleenor's previously stated motion.
The motion passed unanimously, 20:0.
TRANSPORT SYSTEM TASK FORCE UPDATE
Piercy excused herself from the meeting at 1:07 p.m.
Fire/EMS Chief Randy Groves noted that there existed a structural funding
problem for the ambulance transport system of the three jurisdictions that had
been brought on by recent reductions in Medicare/Medicaid reimbursements as well
as by certain personnel issues. He
noted that the three jurisdictions of Eugene, Springfield and Lane Rural Fire
/Rescue District were seeking a collaborative solution to the problem since the
ambulances of one jurisdiction frequently crossed into the ambulance service
districts of the other two.
Groves provided a brief overview of the ATSTF membership for the benefit of the
JEO and noted that they had been meeting biweekly since April 6 with the goal of
finalizing a series of solutions to be considered in addressing the ambulance
funding problems no later than June 8, 2009.
He noted that the task force's next steps would be to conduct a certain
number of community input forums in coordination with local medial outreach
efforts. He further noted that the
task force was expected to return to the JEO with further information sometime
Fire & Life Safety Chief Dennis Murphy reported that the funding solution
options currently under consideration by the task force included ambulance rate
fee increases, redirections of general fund support, membership investment
initiative programs such as FireMed, outsourcing non-emergency calls, and
lengthening ambulance response times. Chief
Murphy noted that the outsourcing of emergency calls and the lengthening of
response times had been considered non-viable options by the task force.
Murphy commented that the task force hoped to receive direction and input from
the Springfield and Eugene City Councils, the Lane Rural Fire/Rescue Board as
well as the Lane County Board of Commissioners before each of their recesses.
Rural Fire/Rescue Chief Dale Borland thanked the members of the task force and
support staff and hoped that they would be able to return to the JEO and their
respective member agencies with viable solutions in the near future.
Taylor noted that the City of Eugene had been historically opposed to any
special taxing districts that might be used to increase taxes in the area to
address the ambulance funding problem.
Murphy, responding to a question from Ms. Taylor, commented that the task force
had been exploring the use of mobile health service resources in order to
reconfigure some levels of non-emergency ambulance and non emergency first
response services in order to provide for better and more affordable care.
He further commented that mobile health services might take some of the
stress off the 911 call systems.
Groves, responding to earlier comments made by Ms. Taylor regarding the use of
special taxing districts, noted that while the use of such districts had not
been unanimously supported by the task force there had been enough interest in
that strategy to warrant further investigation.
Clark stated that he would not be in favor of creating special taxing district
to deal with the ambulance funding problem but felt that more detailed
information regarding such a strategy would be warranted.
Solomon stated that the Eugene City Council had discussed the use of special
taxing districts before regarding different issues and that while such
strategies had been generally unsupported it would be advisable to continue the
discussion regarding them.
Handy responded to Ms. Taylor's earlier comments and noted that the list of
potential solutions brought forth by Chief Groves was by no means indicative of
the degree of support for any of those solutions.
Groves, responding to a question from Mr. Zelenka, noted that the public safety
consulting firm Emergency Services Consulting International (ESCI) had been
consulted by the cities of Eugene and Springfield to evaluate opportunities for
delivering services cooperatively up to and including a full merger of the two
Government Services Director Byron Vanderpool, responding to a request from Mr.
Zelenka for clarification regarding the process by which special taxing
districts were created, noted that the creation of such districts were the
purview of elected and not appointed officials.
Mr. Vanderpool proceeded to give a brief overview of the mechanisms
typically used to create special taxing districts for the benefit of the JEO.
Mr. Clark, seconded by Mr. Fleenor, moved to extend the JEO meeting by an
additional ten minutes. The motion
passed unanimously, 20:0.
Ralston maintained that raising taxes would provide only a temporary solution to
the ambulance funding problem and that more comprehensive revenue-generating
solutions would need to be explored.
Handy excused himself from the meeting at 1:33 p.m.
Mr. Fleenor subsequently recognized that there was no longer a quorum
from the Lane County Board of Commissioners.
Wylie felt it would be important for the jurisdictions to keep their options
open in order to fully address the long-term ambulance funding problem.
Pryor appreciated the work that had been done by the task force and felt that
other options would need to be explored in greater detail in addition to further
exploration regarding the use of special taxing districts.
Ortiz thanked Chief Groves, Chief Murphy and Chief Borland for their work on the
task force and felt that the ambulance funding difficulties were likely to
worsen in the future. She
encouraged the task force and the JEO to thoughtfully consider all of the
options being presented.
Stewart thanked the task force representatives for their presentation and looked
forward to further information regarding the ambulance funding issues.
Zelenka and Mr. Ralston adjourned the JEO meeting and their respective council
meeting sessions at 1:37 p.m.
by Wade Hicks)