BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS'
September 22, 2009
Harris Hall Main Floor
Commissioner Pete Sorenson presided with Commissioners Bill Fleenor, Rob Handy and Faye Stewart present. Bill Dwyer was excused. County Administrator Jeff Spartz. County Counsel Liane Richardson and Recording Secretary Melissa Zimmer were also present.
2. COMMISSIONERS' BUSINESS
a. DISCUSSION/The Future of the Lane County Events Center: One Option. (Eric Myers, co-founder Lane County Fairgrounds Repair Project, owner Cascadia Longboards; Dan Armstrong, co-founder Lane County Fairgrounds Repair Project, editor Mud City Press; Karl Morgenstern, Eugene Water and Electric Board, Drinking Water Source Protection Coordinator; Bob Parker, Director Community Planning Workshop; Lynne Fessenden, Executive Director of the Willamette Farm and Food Coalition)
Eric Myers, Lane County Fairgrounds Repair Project and the above speakers gave a presentation on their vision for the Lane County Fairgrounds property. He asked the Board to consider entering into a partnership with the city and the University of Oregon, contributing funds and staff support to a feasibility study and implementation plan for two integral pieces of the food system infrastructure that could potentially be built at the Fairgrounds site.
Stewart asked if there was a dollar figure needed to do the feasibility study. He asked what the Board needs to do to further commit to this venture.
Bob Parker responded that they could do the work in phases. He indicated that they looked at similar studies. He noted of one study in Louisville, Kentucky for a Farmers Market for about $150,000. He said it is not a cheap endeavor. He thought they could work with smaller sums of money and they could get multiple partners involved. He thought maybe $10,000 or $20,000 from each partner could be sufficient to get the project off the ground.
Sorenson said they will be getting Rick Reno, Fairgrounds, and the Management team on this. He asked what the next steps would be with the local food economy and the needs with storage and a year round Farmers Market. He said the commissioners were interested in local food production and sustainability. He added they are interested in the Lane Events Center. He thought there might be differences of opinions about how much it should be focused on the Fairgrounds and on local food issues.
Dan Armstrong said the Board needed to talk with the city as they should be integral partners. He indicated that they have a proposal for the entire site.
Fleenor was interested in moving forward but he wanted to put in the caveat that his intention is to use the Lane Events Center as the jumping off point. He said they have the facilities and the opportunity. He stated they have to discuss how they can utilize the entire Lane Events Center. He wanted someone to look over the overall operations of the Lane Events Center to achieve the maximum efficiency and revenue.
Handy recalled that it was a concern of Mayor Piercy that they not tilt an outcome before its time. He noted with the city of Eugene public participation is important and when they do the process right, they will come out with a better product.
Mike McKenzie-Bahr, Economic Development, asked that the Board assign him more than 15 minutes to work on this project. He wanted to work with Parker to identify the different funds that they could match with.
Sorenson asked if they had a budget for the study.
Parker said they haven’t prepared a formal budget at this point. He said he would be willing to work with McKenzie-Bahr on this project.
Sorenson thought they should authorize McKenzie-Bahr and Rick Reno to meet with this group.
Handy wanted to waive the 15 minute rule.
Spartz indicated that it would come down to one thing in the final analysis, the assumption that these are feasible from a business strategy. He asked who will bank the deal. He said there needs to be funds to put this all together and to make it viable. He added that there isn’t an overwhelming rate of return on this.
MOTION: to allow Mike McKenzie-Bahr and his staff to use three to four hours per week for a period of no greater than two months and report back to the Board on November 24, 2009 and have Parker, Armstrong, Reno and McKenzie-Bahr provide the report that will provide them with a scoping, a budget and then they can then provide direction.
Fleenor MOVED, Handy SECONDED.
b. DISCUSSION/Dialogue with Authorized Bargaining Union Representatives (Christopher J. Parosa,, President and Sarah Sabri, Vice President, Lane County Prosecuting Attorneys’ Association; Linda Hamilton, President, Federation of Oregon Parole and Probation Officers, Parole & Probation Unit (FOPPO); Lori Green, President, and Paula Medaglia, First Vice President/Chief Steward, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), local 2831)
The representatives of the union each gave a presentation.
Fleenor explained that they are looking at having a leadership team pre-budget kick off session in December where it will be more educational and they will be focusing on the economic forecast and about the zero based budgeting process in detail and using the Muni Cast Tool at the department level. He said each department will be able to project out their revenue and expenditures over a five or six year period. He stated that all union representatives are invited to the Leadership Team. He thought that was the most important part of the process. He said they all need to be equally educated on the same page, using the same information as they move forward. He said this is public and there should be no secrets.
Stewart stated that communication is the key and they shouldn’t always assume that the Board would know what is going on. He said that he has been having brown bags lunches in the past and he would like to reach out again to talk to people to find out their concerns.
Handy commented that he was very supportive of the unions.
Green commented that the bargaining process could be improved. She said they all need to come together to decide the key players who are empowered to make those decisions to expedite the process. She indicated that AFSCME has a reputation of being a problem at the County. She said they represent the greatest number of employees and statistically they will have the greatest number of issues. She said they do a good job in representing their contract and enforcing their members’ rights and working conditions. She wants to work together to improve their relationship. She wants the union, the Board and management to work collaboratively in some of these issues in the future.
Sorenson supported the idea of involving the leaders of the bargaining units in the budget briefings.
c. Commissioner Photos. (Amber Fossen, Public Information Officer)
3. COUNTY ADMINISTRATION
4. COUNTY COUNSEL
5. PERFORMANCE AUDITOR
6. COMMISSIONERS’ ANNOUNCEMENTS
Dwyer announced that he will not be at the JEO meeting this evening.
Stewart received an e-mail from a constitutent concerned about the 4H Fair. He wanted an update.
Fleenor reported they offered the 4H and FFA people to have a stand alone fair on the Lane Events Center property for $62,000. He added that the Fair Board promoted they would have the 4H and FFA as part of the Lane County Fair at no charge. He indicated the 4H and FFA leadership group voted to not take up the offer of the Fair Board and to move the 4H and FFA Fair to Benton County who will be charging them $5,000. He said he is working on a future meeting.
Handy announced that on September 30 he will be having a town hall meeting on the H1N1 virus at the United Methodist Church.
Sorenson is also doing a public event on September 30 at the Hillyard Community Center.
Fleenor reported that he is having two community dialogues on Thursday.
7. EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660
8. OTHER BUSINESS
There being no further business, Commissioner Sorenson recessed the meeting at 4:30 p.m.