BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS'

GOAL SETTING

September 29, 2009

9:00 a.m.

Laurelwood Golf Club, 2700 Columbia Street, Eugene

APPROVED 10/28/2009

 

Present: Bill Dwyer, Bill Fleenor, Rob Handy, Peter Sorenson, Faye Stewart, Jeff Spartz, Liane Richardson, Stuart Bollinger, Christine Moody, Joe Hertzberg, Facilitator, Melissa Zimmer, Recording Secretary

 

Hertzberg explained that he heard different opinions from the board on the same issues.  He indicated the number one issue is long term financial stability into the future.  The questions he asked are how actively should the County pursue an extension of  federal funding for secure rural schools, given the realities of their being constrained in the future.  How can they create a survival plan for the future including the realistic sense of long term revenues what effective service levels, the appropriate organizational structures and what to do with other jurisdictions and how they fit into the bigger picture.  He asked the Board what is the rule for the County in the future and what are the best strategies.

 

Hertzberg stated the biggest question mark is the future of federal funding.  He asked if the County should be pursuing its extension.

 

Sorenson stated that Ron Wydenís office wanted to do a briefing with him. Sorenson indicated that there are no plans currently for any extension.  He indicated that Senator Jeff Merkleyís bill is a study bill with no co-sponsors or house equivalent.  He added that the senate is not considering any hearings except for harvest sequestration.  He said they didnít envision any planned extension.  He commented that as leaders they have to either craft a strategy to change, accept the bad news or do what they need to do.  He asked the Board if they wanted to put out the effort for reauthorizing Secure Rural Schools funding.  He noted that Merkley and Peter DeFazio were working hard but others are saying there isnít much interest.  He thought they could put their energies behind Merkeley and DeFazio.

 

Hertzberg asked how aggressively the County should be moving.

 

Dwyer thought they needed to have another bill. He indicated that the coalitions across the country will be affected.  He said they need to develop a strategy with the coalitions.  He thought they needed to start now.

 

Hertzberg asked if they should be developing a long term survival plan and being specific on how to reinstate the funds.

 

Fleenor thought they should plan for the worse but expect the legislators to do the work.  He added if monies run out then they need to be prepared.

 

Dwyer said they need to have someone working with the coalition to see how everyone who will be affected and come up with ideas on how they formulate their attack.

 

Fleenor asked if the O & C vehicle could be the one to help.

 

Dwyer said they need to get all coalitions involved and do an inquiry as to what it is they need to formulate.  He added that they need someone to work on what has the best chance of passing according to their legislators.

 

Spartz thought Secure Rural Schools was an important issue for the future of the County.  He thought even if they have a few percent chance of getting the money, that they need to pursue it.  He commented that not getting any recognition is a disaster for the future of the County. He thought they had to be prepared to work with people in the long term.  He thought the Association of O & C Counties is who they should be working with.

 

Stewart also thought they should do everything possible to get the reauthorization.  He was active in the previous reauthorization.  He added that it was his number one goal to go back to Washington D.C.  He noted that AOC, NACo, Association of O & C counties and National Forest Trust Counties and Schools are all on the same page and pushing the same issue.

 

Sorenson recalled that Wyden and DeFazio had misgivings about the study bill by Merkley, as it slows them down.  Sorenson didnít think AOC favored the study bill.  He stated in ten months they have had no real movement on the issue.

 

Stewart didnít believe AOC crafted a bill.  He thought they should stay involved with the coalition and pay O & C dues.  He added that it gets them into the organization and continues their affiliations.  He thought they should take the endowment from O & C and dedicate the money to reauthorization, setting aside the money for ten years protecting the O & C Act.

 

Handy thought they needed to focus on this now and eliminate distractions.  He said that Merkley needed to be refocused. He also thought there was a danger in looking at $4 million annually from timber as part of moving in the future.

 

Fleenor commented that he didnít see any association dealing with law and order lobbying for Secure Rural Schools.  He asked why the Sheriff, Judges and District Attorneys are absent when they are getting the lionís share of the money.

 

Dwyer said they have to find reasons to join forces, not to be critical even though there are differences that exist.  He encouraged the Board to get heavily involved in the process, to learn as much as they can and to visit as many coalitions and form a strategy so they know how things are lined up.  He thought the best thing they could do for the citizens of Lane County is taking the endowment of $225,000 to start with to give to those who are traveling to the coalitions.  He said they need to set aside a pot of money to have someone setting up meetings.  He noted that they have a couple of years to put this together.

 

Fleenor asked if the Board should have a calendar that takes advantage of all association and coalitions and then they could appoint people.

 

Dwyer thought it would be good to touch base with the people who were heavily involved in the past.  He added that Alex Culyer, Intergovernmental Relations Manager, would be involved and Smith Dawson in Washington D.C. could also help out.

 

Hertzberg said he heard the Board say they should plan for the worst and work for better outcomes.  He heard the Board say they should work with any coalition or partners they could find.  He said the commissioners should be actively involved and the funds in the endowment should be considered.  He asked who should be part of the team.

 

Dwyer responded that Handy, Stewart, Tony Bieda, Spartz and Mike McKenzie-Bahr should be the ones involved.

 

Fleenor noted the Federal Lands Advocacy Committee has three more meetings.  He thought instead of having an advisory committee, they could have a focus group that would consist of citizens at large.

 

Stewart recalled that when he was at the district meeting for AOC, it was clear that they need to push the delegation to make a plan.  He said they canít let a single entity have a plan.  He thought all groups needed to be working together.  He asked if there was a way to bring everyone together.

 

Spartz commented that Merkley was showing influence of a freshman senator by throwing in a study bill.  He thought they needed to convince Wyden that he needs to take the lead.  He added that they should always be on the lookout for a carbon credit deal for the federal government to fund without increasing the deficit.

 

Handy also thought carbon sequestration was important.  He wanted to get Wyden to help them and eliminate any distractions.

 

Fleenor indicated that they needed to reframe the issue so it is not just the county commissioners.  He said the Sheriff and District Attorney will equally benefit or suffer and they need to get their cooperation and support as they move forward.  He thought they needed to hand off some of the liability onto their plates as they are equally elected by the people.

 

Dwyer stated that most of the public safety money goes through the Board.  He said they need to be careful how they will spend the resources.  He agreed that the Sheriff and District Attorney need to be part of the plan.

 

Hertzberg heard that the Board should designate a team to work together and the $225,000 endowment has a potentially dedicated resource.  He asked about other sources of revenue to consider.

 

Dwyer advocated for an amusement tax that they could develop.  He thought for any event over $5.00, there could be a dollar tax.  He said if it is in the city, the city would get half and the County would get half.  He added if it was exclusively in the county, the County would take it all.  He noted for University of Oregon games the County would get half and the university would get the other half.  He had a meeting with Dave Frohnmayer about this topic and Frohnmayer didnít think the County had the power to levy a tax at football games.  Dwyer thought the advantage with the University of Oregon was that they could use the money for revenue bonds to retire debt and they wouldnít have to share it with the PAC 10.  He added that it would give the university money it currently doesnít have.  He also said it would help the Fair and it wouldnít tax mom and pop or afternoon matinees.

 

Fleenor had interest in reform for Measures 5, 47, and 50.  He recalled when Measure 50 was passed; Lane County was given a permanent tax rate of $1.27.  He thought there needed to be lobbying at the state to come up with a process where O & C counties with low permanent tax rates could go to the taxpayers to increase the offset of the reduced revenues in timber payments. 

 

Dwyer thought what Fleenor was discussing was a constitutional amendment.  He added that they will need to focus in January (if the ballot measures fail) on what  they could do and the fixes the legislature puts forth. He said they have SDCís for roads and they could raise the SDCís for parks.  He commented that these are constitutional fixes in the long haul but he wanted to know what they could do as a government so the state doesnít bleed to death for what happens in January.

 

Sorenson noted for the federal issue they could have county payments.  He indicated that they could have a moving vehicle in Congress with regard to carbon payments.  He added that they could start piloting an energy bill as a source of funding.  He commented that the state and the counties in Oregon are the ones strapped by Measure 50.  He said they need to be thinking about that in the special session of the Oregon Legislature that will occur in January and what legislation could be affected by federal lands and then they could make a pitch to the state.

He also thought there were areas they hadnít tapped with regard to fees. He added that they could be maximizing revenues from those fees.

 

Dwyer commented that most fees Lane County has are comparable to other counties.

 

Hertzberg asked what happens next.

 

Spartz asked if the County has done an estimate on what the fees would raise.

 

Moody handed out a memo (copy in file) originally from John Arnold, Management Analyst II, to the Service Stabilization Task Force in 2004.  It showed data that came from the Lane County Revenue Task Force in 1992 and it gives different scenarios for very taxes.  She also recalled that the County used an economic firm to go through fees before the income tax measure went on the ballot a couple of years ago and she thought staff could update the information again for review.

 

Sorenson indicated that they were not using the ability to contract and provide services to other jurisdictions.  He noted that ODOT wants their roads to be striped and Lane County has its own striping machine.  He thought there were other capital investments to provide contracts with to give Lane County some value.  He added that adding on a little bit more of capacity is an example of using a capital investment.

 

Dwyer stated they contract the Countyís engineering services for other cities.  He said they have labor agreements that talk about subcontracts.   He commented that it is not the governmentís role to compete against the private sector.  He added that they would get unions upset at them and get the private sector mad.

 

Hertzberg reiterated the next steps could be updating the fee schedule countywide and the County going to the 2010 legislative session.

 

Dwyer also wanted to have the fee schedules updated, what fees could be eligible and what is available.

 

Sorenson asked how other counties do things. He asked if Lane County could take ideas from other counties that would help raise local revenue.

 

Hertzberg explained the County could do a comparable analysis for fee schedules and use plagiarism opportunities.

 

Dwyer commented that the Board wouldnít initiate anything but they wouldnít be averse to putting something out if there was demonstrated support and advocacy by those that would want them to do it.

 

Bolinger recalled that there was movement in the last legislative session to allow them to charge utilities for tearing up rights-of-way.  He thought it could be worth a few million dollars.

 

Handy said they hadnít put anything in a board order about supporting grassroots initiatives.  He stated that Measure 5, 47 and 50 reform is critical even if it doesnít result in an outcome.  He noted that 21 percent of the County is in corporate timberland and it is questionable whether they are getting a revenue stream on the state level.  He said they need to discuss a state timber tax reform.  He was also interested in an amusement tax.  He also wanted to see a comparable analysis of fees to see what other jurisdictions have done.  He also wanted to look at public utilities.  He thought they should look at would it would take to budget for a jail bed levy tax with minimal cost.  With regard to ballot measures, he thought they should do their housekeeping with the charter.  He also wanted commissionersí salaries going to the voters tied to the CPI to keep commissionersí salaries at bay so commissioners donítí have to look at their salaries the way they do currently.

 

Stewart chaired a committee that made recommendations to the President of AOC.  He said that they had to pick 3 of the 53 items on the federal task force to look at state options that could help with the loss to federal funds.  He noted an A & T tax would help generate revenue, recording fee changes would allow more money for counties and for utility easements.  He said they will push to find out what the governor will do as it is his last legislative year.  Stewart wasnít opposed to looking at local taxes and fees within reason.  He asked if there were services that could be combined to gain efficiencies.

 

Dwyer wasnít sure they have the authority to tax utilities.  He added that anything they do with incorporated cities they have to do in conjunction with them.  He indicated that not one city collects SDCís for parks.  He stated that the County always goes to bat for the cities. He said for the cities it is what can Lane County do for them, not what the cities could do for Lane County.  He said they need to define what limitations are in taxing powers in incorporated areas.

 

Hertzberg memorialized that the County could look to the federal government for carbon offsets; produce a comparable analysis of the fee schedule countywide, analysis of taxes countywide and plagiarism opportunities.

 

Fleenor noted they have a sustainable resource extraction that has provided a rich environment and a livelihood for over 100 years.  He thought they should look into it.

 

Dwyer noted that the County doesnít get the money.  He said the County has 22,000 acres of land in Lane County and another 1,700 acres the state manages.  He noted the schools get the biggest part.  He added that if they increase the timber harvest, they might put people to work and not get much money.  He asked how they could increase funds where they get the greatest net benefit.

 

Fleenor stated it was not just timber, but minerals, gas, oil and geothermal.

 

Hertzberg asked what specific actions the Board wanted to take for the next 15 months.

 

Sorenson wanted the ability to work with other jurisdictions on an IGA basis.  He thought they should look to other jurisdictions to see what is working instead of them thinking up new ideas.  He said they should ask the county administrator to set up an internal group with the specific objective of looking for examples of winning combinations.  He noted that several counties are going out with several open space measures.  He said looking at how other top rated communities are doing things could help Lane County.

 

Hertzberg asked if the Board was interested in federal offsets and reauthorization for federal funding for the 2010 legislative session.

 

Stewart stated that they need complete tax reform. He said they have the tax mechanisms for natural resources and they are not using them.  He thought they needed a different tax system to collect taxes.

 

Sorenson thought they should bring in the legislators, having an internal plan and working with them.  He said there should be a request the state not cut funding disproportionately and asking for funding due to the decline in Secure Rural Schools.

 

Fleenor said if things go bad they need to have a process to have an orderly dissolution of the County, which they currently do not have.  He stated that they need to have a constitutional process.  He asked how they could get out from under all their obligations.

 

Hertzberg stated that on the state level, it sounded like the Board had a short term agenda with the legislature through referrals.  He asked about Measures 5, 47 and 50 reform, the timber tax and provisions for counties in crisis.

 

Stewart indicated the committees at the state level were looking at those issues.  He doesnít know if the County should look at it as a priority.

 

Handy thought the role for government would be with energy savings and a revenue stream through energy. 

 

Dwyer didnít know the resource opportunities.  He thought they should write the Department of Energy or Department of Geology and Minerals to see if they could quantify a resource base for exploration and development.

 

Handy thought there could be wind potential as a resource.

 

Hertzberg asked within the Countyís future revenue constraints and planning for the future, what is the right service and organizational configuration and right relations with other jurisdictions with a focus on having a plan in place at the end of 15 months.

 

Fleenor wanted to use the MuniCast tool to the maximum level they can find effective for the long term planning horizon.  He thought planning minimally three years out and changing the organization to accommodate the planning tool, to live within their means during the worst case scenario and have best case scenarios to add to the MuniCast tool and reflect the current changing conditions.

 

Dwyer said they need to keep the discretionary fund in focus and no political aspects that might be affected.

 

Hertzberg asked what the process would be that will lead them for the next 15 months.

 

Moody distributed a handout produced by the Government Finance Officers Associations on long term financial planning. (Copy in file.)  She discussed the things that Lane County has already done towards long term financial planning such as using Municast to do projections, adopting policies, and doing debt analysis.  She pointed out a flow chart that shows the relationship between budget and financial planning and noted that having a strategic plan is important as those are the guiding principles the other items look  back to.

 

Fleenor asked how much money was in the budget for the strategic plan.

 

Hertzberg noted that several people said this was the wrong year for the strategic plan and this was not the right Board of Commissioners.

 

Spartz commented that given the problems they have, they need a skeleton strategic plan to get the ground work in place.

 

Dwyer said they need service prioritization, putting in elements of leveraging.

 

With regard to organizational structure long term, Hertzberg asked what the right structure for the organization is.

 

Stewart wanted to bring in an outside firm to analyze the County structure and find out what recommendations they could make and plan for the worst case scenario.

 

Dwyer asked if they needed 15 departments.

 

Hertzberg said this flows from the big picture to implementation.

 

Sorenson said they need a long term financial plan.  He asked what level of intensity they should have over the next 15 months.  He said to think about taking whatever existing plan they have, have it reviewed internally by the key appointed staff and have a recommendation to the Board during the transition period by October 31, 2010, so there is a review in the closing months for the Board to pick up in 2011.   He thought it should be done for the outgoing and incoming Board.  He commented that they would be missing the experience level of the people if they dump it on a new board.

 

Hertzberg noted the staff recommendation to the Board is in mid 2010 for a long term financial organization.  He noted it would be presented to the current board in mid 2010, to digest it on 10/31/2010 and bring it to the new Board on 1/1/11.

 

Fleenor commented that it was hard for staff to look at the organizational structure.  He said it needs to be done through a third party organizational review that sees whether they need 14 or 15 departments and if there could be savings.  He stated that it was difficult for staff to give an objective analysis.

 

Moody asked what happens if people leave.

 

Dwyer was opposed to changing things.

 

Fleenor said if there is no reorganization plan, they are leaving it up to chance for the need of an organizational study.

 

Stewart said if they donít find other revenue sources in 2011/2012 they would be making major changes.

 

Richardson indicated the charter states they need certain departments.  She added if they are taking about the charter clean up, they would need to put it in front of the voters.

 

Dwyer commented that they need a leveraging aspect.  He doesnít want to get rid of departments that bring in money.

 

With regard to the organizational study, Hertzberg said the Board needs a study working in coordination with staff.  He said it would need to be sequenced with other things they discussed for mid 2010.

 

Fleenor said they need to have a strategic plan that is an overlay.  He added that they canít do a restructuring without a strategic plan.

 

Dwyer said they need to think about money and how they are leveraging it.

 

Fleenor thought they could put an organizational study within a strategic plan where they ask for the skeleton plan and allow for the future board in 2011 to flesh it out.

 

Spartz commented that they canít make progress on a study until they know what the strategic plan is.

 

Dwyer stated they need a strategic plan on finite resources and not infinite resources.  He asked for the finite base, how they could merge some of the more finite resources to get more bang for their buck and have the charter come into play at the same time.

 

Fleenor commented that he committed to a strategic plan until last yearís budget. He believes the strategic plan is a necessity to move forward.  He said now that the politics are behind them; they need to bring back the strategic plan.

 

Dwyer indicated that they looked at the strategic plan and programs and budgets and noticed how the budget was tied into the strategic plan.  He added that the strategic plan should be resource based.  He asked if it is finite and can be identified, how they maintain and maximize a resource base and get the best bang for the buck for the delivery of services.

 

Handy liked the skeleton strategic plan.  He said they need pieces of the charter that are essential or housekeeping to go to the voters.  He said if they need proposed changes, he wanted Richardson to help them.  He asked what other counties were doing when they look at fees or programs.  He thought those pieces were good initial information to have as they look into this into the future.  He stated that benchmarks and measurables would be helpful in leveraging dollars.  He commented that research and development might not bring leveraged dollars, but when they are talking about an action plan with the lobbyists, they need to have staffing for commissioners.  He added there is not a succession plan for Spartz.  He said they should look at how they can help the five commissioners with individual items that are most important to them.  He wanted to know how to help the commissioners be successful.

 

Dwyer commented that without measurables, they are throwing money out. 

 

Fleenor wanted to direct staff to come back with a cost estimate of a skeleton strategic plan with an organization study in the next six weeks for a supplemental.

 

Moody indicated that they could have someone look at what they have previously done.

 

Fleenor wanted to take the existing strategic plan and identify what was no longer valid.

 

Hertzberg noted staff will be doing the revenue analysis and leveraging.

 

Fleenor commented that it is part of a zero based budget that they are going into.

 

Hertzberg noted that the Board has a 15 month plan for revenue analysis.  He added two pieces to the organizational study is for a skeleton strategic plan and for revenue analysis.

 

Fleenor indicated with a survivor plan they need to look where they can take off major programs.  He wanted to see where they could cut to save the greatest good with the least damage.

 

Hertzberg indicated that if there is a best case scenario that they would need to know how to thrive instead of just survive.

 

Budget Process

 

Moody reminded the Board of the process that started two years ago to implement Budgeting for Outcomes.  It has always been the intent that Lane County will continue to revise the process and implement it over several years.  The Board originally did a prioritization exercise two years ago in which they used specific service objectives to rank services.  She explained that because that exercise creates a linear list of services, it actually causes further confusion because the funding is then spread out over the list and occasionally things further down on the list are funded above things higher up on the list. 

 

Budget staff recommends against doing the prioritization exercise again until after the strategic plan is finalized and new criteria are determined. 

 

Dwyer thought they should have a budget with different colors and have a cheat sheet on what budget staff means to help let the board understand.

 

Moody showed the Board an example of a score card used by another jurisdiction which helps rank services in a way that is a little more objective.  It gives scores based on mandates, demand, and leverage.  It then also gives scores based on goals.  This could be something we use in the future .

 

Fleenor thought if they adopted the budget with a team, (instead of department heads choosing services,) there is more objectivity.

 

Hertzberg recalled two years ago when they worked with all department directors, they discussed and mixed and matched services.

 

Fleenor asked if they could incorporate into a zero based budget other objective criteria imposed on levels one to six so they have an objective to build a budget from. Moody said they could have mandates, leverage and demand for services.  She then clarified that the term Ďzero base budgetingí is just a step in the process we use for Budget for Outcomes.  For Lane County, Ďzero base budgetingí refers to how departments are entering the information into the budget software and it means they start from scratch each year, rather than having any accounting lines roll forward. 

 

Stewart thought they needed a baseline with property tax levels and then go from there.  He indicated that they would have a percentage of things that would be cut.

 

Moody said it is recommended that governments look at long term sustainable revenues for operations  and short term revenues are kept separate.

 

Dwyer stated they have finite resources with infinite demands.  He added that they need a balanced budget by cutting services or raising revenues and the best approach is elements of both.

 

Moody said on the prioritization process for this year for the BCC service priority, the services could be grouped by category, such as Public Health, Public Safety, etc., as a way of grouping and being able to report on where the funding goes.

 

Fleenor noted there is a need to correlate the process of zero based budgeting with the MuniCast tool.  He also thought they could talk about the County goals in the budgeting process in the skeleton of the strategic plan.

 

Moody indicated that they will come back with a skeleton strategic plan.  She asked what they should do for FY 10-11 while waiting for a strategic plan. 

 

Bolinger recalled with the list of priorities they showed, certain allocations were used for various priorities.  He worked with other priorities and found all managers went for the least specific so they could put as much down without having to account for the money.

 

Moody responded that this is one of the problems with the current priority listing  Too many services fall into more than one of the current categories, making it impossible to report on how much funding goes to each priority.   She further explained some of the confusion around the definitions of some of the current categories Ė using Risk to the County as an example.  This was originally meant to mean there is a risk to the County government.  However, when departments used the criteria, they defined it as a risk to the County community.  Moody handed out a budget process memorandum that shows the criteria, the categories, and a proposed budget calendar. 

Fleenor wanted a work group with the budget analysts, Richardson and Bolinger to go over prioritization criteria and come back with five concepts with renewed generation and cost risk avoidance.  He said it goes back to the Carver principle that if they canít measure it, then why do it.

 

Sorenson asked what they could do in a 15 month period.  He commented that creating a study group that would go into the next period is not what he would go for.  He recommended breaking services down into enhanced services and determined technology to revenue generating services.  He said they could do it for use in the next budget.

 

Dwyer commented that getting more staff conflicts with necessity.  He added that it might not be economic to do it.

 

Hertzberg said he heard they were talking about a budget process this year in absence of a bigger direction.  He added that next year the process would be bigger.

 

Stewart recalled in the last budget process they tried to adopt a budget that could be duplicated for the next two years.  He asked if they stayed the course, (recognizing outside influences) how much energy they wanted to put into the effort.  He said they have done this every year.   He wanted to maintain what they have and then get the other effort done so they are not spending time on it.

 

Fleenor said the process was similar to 2007 where they stated with a zero based budget and they budgeted for outcomes.  He thought they should start over again.  He was fearful of moving forward based on the results of the first time.

 

Dwyer noted that it has to do with benchmarks and external things.  He wanted to know what the minimum is they are required to do.  He asked the Board if they felt safe with only four Sheriff Deputies.  He asked how to compare county by county on what is an acceptable level.  He thought it comes back to risk.

 

Hertzberg asked how extensive a process the Board wanted this year in light of the fact that they will have more information next year and they have done this several times before.

 

Moody didnít think the process will change.  She added that Budget for Outcomes  is what other organizations are doing.  She noted that criteria on the forms might be refined.  She asked if the Board were going to prioritize all services again or look at how they can report where the money went and deciding what level of service.  She indicated that they wonít have the dollar figures until February.  She added that they  really arenít  prioritizing services until they get down to the funding prioritization and the process Budget is proposing leaves that decision making in tact..

 

Sorenson said they should take the current BCC priorities and break them down to provide additional information in the budgeting process and go with the services alphabetically.  He recommended minor changes be made between now and the recommended budget for the Budget Committee so the ranking is done and the Budget Committee gets the basic and the political process of the existing money.  He wanted it broken down so the departments can justify achieving the minimal level of state and federal mandates.  He didnít think they should make a major change until the strategic plan.

 

Fleenor recalled they started the experiment in 2008 and it morphed into 2009 and now they are trying to do a combination of the 2008/2009 experiment.  He said he would rather go back to the base line and start the experiment over and do it systemically so they have a basis of comparison.  He commented that best practices are scientifically based.  He asked if they could compare this coming budget with the past two budgets.

 

Moody said that last year they didnít go back to the original priorities.  She added that they used the same form.  She indicated that they donít have to revisit them; they could continue using the same SOS forms.  She said they want the departments in October to look at the service descriptions and mandates and include more performance measures as they move toward benchmarks.  She added that they should look at leveraging and what they have done lately.  She noted that this was the current way of doing business and asked if the Board see any ways of being innovative that could be combined across departments.  She noted that  for FY 10-11 we may need to include a process for request of General Fund for backfilling of state reductions.  She indicated that there wonít be dollar figures, but they can look at the service options and see what the Board thinks.  She reported that the Leadership Team meeting is already on the calendar for December 8.  She said that budget committee and union leaders will be attending to see the MuniCast and revenue priorities.

 

Fleenor wanted to see how each department looks over the planning horizon.  He asked for another Leadership Team meeting the following week for a two or three hour meeting.

 

Sorenson commented that most of the rest of the yearís agenda is already spoken for.  He thought they could work on putting this on the future agenda.

 

Handy wanted to see possible improvements for service priorities.  With regard to the SOS forms, he wanted to it broken down by cost per unit of service.  He wanted more consistency across the organization.  He wanted the Budget Committee meetings to be held as late as possible in the budget season cycle.  He wanted the dog and pony show minimized

 

Moody explained that they are at the end of when they can hold the budget committee meetings and still meet the legal requirements around publishing the budget.  She noted that once the budget is concluded, they have to give notification by state budget law.  The proposed calendar notes the budget must be approved by May 20, 2010.

 

Hertzberg thought there were two conversations that needed to take place:  define public health and safety and economic development and job creation.  He asked the Board what their priorities are between now and December 31, 2010.

 

Dwyer thought they should have a park of several thousand acres that is already in the works. He said the Nature Conservancy is looking for resources for the Wildish property.  He thought that was something that was doable.  He thought animal regulation was doable but with a different model.  He added the traditional model is not what will work.  He said they have constraints because they donít own the property outright on where the facility is located.  He noted that the cities of Springfield and Eugene each own one-third of the building.  He said a model that will work is a private non-profit public partnership venture.

 

Sorenson said he is available to his own constituents for them to respond to their questions.  He said he is hands on and wants to continue constituent service and do the business of the Board.  He said he is reserving and planning to attend all meetings and put energy around the Board meetings and what the board is doing and contribute to that and the leadership for next year.  He commented that the January election is important to defeat the measures.  He said they have to sustain the tax and make a decision about Extension or public safety measures involving leadership.

 

Stewart believed to serve his citizens, it will be critical to come up with a survival plan for the organization over the next 13 months.  He said they have to put it as priority one and to make sure they are not overworking the staff and then they donít get to their goal.  He commented that they have been doing a lot as a Board.  He said they need something guaranteed and he doesnít see them getting there.  He said he will continue to see the effort in Land Management to shore up their finances and bring security to the process and plan in the next 15 months for constituent services.

 

Fleenor wanted to restore citizen trust.  He said the biggest single obstacle is the Land Management Division.  He wants to see Land Management moved out to Delta with a new customer center and a new attitude.  He commented that 80 percent of mistrust is Land Management being dysfunctional.  He wanted to establish a new contract with EPUD and a new energy park as part of his legacy.  He said they need to push the contract.  He said the Board needs to give direction to Spartz to be willing to bite the bullet and take a $2 million hit and not negotiate a contract.  He said they canít move forward with a new energy park with the old contract.  He said they need to make a decision unanimously to break the contract.  He said they need to pay the fee and move forward instead of a defective contract into a 30 year bad relationship.

 

Handy said he plans on returning every contact, e-mail and phone call.  He commented that Delta and Beltline has been a mess and he want to find a solution and not spend $100,000 to do something. He noted that River Road and Santa Clara have annexation issues. He wanted a special overlay zone for Santa Clara, River Road and countywide.  He commented that land use and transportation are part of his filter.  He wanted farmland and open space protection and a riparian ordinance to make sure Lane County remains a great place to live into the future.  He added that he was convinced that climate change is upon them and green house gases are important.

 

Bollinger thought the Boardís goals were doable.  He was concerned in the next two months that they get a clear report on the contracts they have and ones that are up for renegotiation.  He wanted them thought out and analyzed so they are not getting locked into the contracts.  He was nervous about the cost of legal non-compliance, as it might do major harm. He noted there are concepts that needed to be adhered to that are important in the Mental Health audit. He said the only control is to continue to push on every major federal grant to force them for compliance as early as possible and if they donít do it, to document it and make them do their due diligence as a matter of record for defense purposes.  He added that they need to add a contract administrator position and then monitor compliance with the eye on contracts that could forestall a compliance issue.  His concern was the quality of the person they have.  He thought they needed to hire someone temporarily.

 

Richardson wanted to get departments to use Legal Counsel on an avoidance of risk.  She said she is working hard to push them so it becomes natural.  She stated they are staying flexible so someone could always take on a new task.

 

Spartz wanted to be able to provide additional training opportunities for employees.  With regard to the energy park, Spartz spoke with Frank Lamb of EPUD and there was no progress made.  He commented that if they donít get a deal, they can give them their money.  With regard to the Wildish property, Spartz thought Dwyer was right with what he had to say.

 

Wildish Property

 

Spartz reported that they need to be flexible and the number one priority is a reasonable period for time to provide the public the land that will pass into public domain.

 

Hertzberg asked if by the end of 15 months the assurances will be in place.

 

Stewart stated that he has been on a team working on this.  He added that the appraisal has been done and presented.  He noted that the Wildish family had suggestions to raise the value.  He said he thinks there will be money to make this happen. He added that there is a gap between the original asking price and the appraisal.  He noted that the process will get wrapped up no later than the middle of next year and he thinks there will be an agreement.  He thought the Board should work toward getting the cities to collect parks SDCís in the city.  He thought there might be the need for personal fundraising.

 

Dwyer stated that the Wildish Property has been his goal for the past 12 years.  He was confident the project is moving forward. 

 

Stewart indicated that they analyzed the appraisal and there were some areas that were re-reviewed for more money.  With regard to his conversations with Steve and Mike Wildish, they were optimistic that this will happen and they indicated to him they will work to make it happen.

 

Spartz suggested that if they end up with a gap they canít close, the Board could let Wildish extract aggregate and it would be in the public domain.

 

Animal Shelter

 

Dwyer explained that given the constraints with the cities of Eugene and Springfield, it will take a different mode for a new animal shelter.  He thought it could be achieved.  He indicated that they have all the drawings.  He said what it will take will be a joint effort with government and non-profits with raising money and benefactors.  He thought someone could donate a piece of property for the purpose of building a shelter.  He thought the non-profit could contract with the private industry so the County wouldnít be on the hook for PERS and benefits.  He indicated they need a 501(c)(3) with set goals and time plans.  He said if that happens then people will come forward to help.

 

Hertzberg asked where the Board would want to be with the animal shelter by the end of 2010.

 

Dwyer thought they could put together a group to identify a site and some of the operating partners and get a commitment from them.

 

Fleenor noted that Greenhill was going to build a new shelter at the same time as the County.  He thought they should partner with Greenhill as a non-profit.

 

Richardson noted that if they were getting rid of LCAS, they would be required to hire those employees if they contracted with Greenhill. 

 

Stewart thought it would be difficult for the organization to build a new shelter.  He said they would lose the public trust.  He said they should look at the possibility of a non-profit and a piece of property that could be donated.  He thought they could put a campaign on a guaranteed success road if they have a vision in place and they could form an operating agreement.  He said they would need a project manager and resource development to come up with a plan that could be done by next year.

 

Fleenor asked if they could do LCAS as a new non-profit and what would carry over with the union contracts

 

Richardson responded that if they were providing other services, they would have to hire Lane Countyís employees for two years.  She said it is the cost they would have to review.

 

Sorenson commented that there are opportunities to do something good but the entities are far apart.  He noted the idea to contract out County jobs raises a spectrum of issues.  He was not sure what could be in place over a 15 month period.

 

Dwyer stated that it is cost prohibitive for the County to build an animal shelter.  He said it was cheaper to give it to someone to build and then they could give it back to the County.  He noted there were cross-purposes between the County and Greenhill.

 

Hertzberg asked if there was a 15 month goal.

 

Dwyer indicated that they need to send the message that they are open to that type of suggestion and see what happens.

 

Handy commented that they need to send a signal to a non-profit.

 

Fleenor said the County could contribute a site and the operating procedures.  He didnít think they would have to do it from scratch.  He asked how to make it actionable to get the word out.

 

Dwyer thought they should talk to Suzanne Arlie.

 

Fleenor asked if the Board could pass a resolution to this effect that the board is resolved to work with a non-profit and they will provide the site and plans.

 

Stewart thought they could supply the resources.

 

Fleenor wanted Spartz and County Counsel to put together a resolution.

 

Spartz said there first needed to be public discussion.

 

Dwyer thought they needed to have the advisory committee weigh in.

 

Stewart wanted the advisory committee to make a recommendation with options.

 

Hertzberg asked if building public trust from last year continues to be a goal.

 

Fleenor recalled that last year they said they needed to get out into the community and listen and learn what the constituents wanted.  They thought the Board should go out to organized groups. He said they did that and he believed it was successful.  He added that they need to be careful with whom they choose to spend the Boardís time.  He commented that it is important not to burn themselves out and they need to be more strategic to who they listen to.  He asked who they wanted to listen and interact with.  He thought they should go back to community leaders for the greatest impact.

 

Sorenson stated the outreach was strong and aggressive and they burned people out.  He thought they should continue it but be more strategic.  He said they should think about doing it once a month instead of every week.  He said they need to do it with more publicity so when they take the effort the public at large knows what they are doing.  He wanted more bang for the buck on the leadership without burning out the commissioners.  He commented that leadership of the board is important but department heads need to be involved with their specific County outreach.  He added that individual commissioners could participate without burning out the board. 

 

Stewart said that everything they did was a step in the right direction.  He thought the outreach on Tuesdays was good.  He was glad to hear the Board wanted to cutback on how many times they meet.  He thought there could be newsletters to citizens and the enhancement of the website.  He said there were other potential electric avenues they could follow.  He believed the ďWorking for YouĒ videos were valuable and he hoped they can find a way to continue them as tools for educational pieces.

 

Handy concurred with what he had heard.  He said with the Tuesday meetings they should work with the public information officer and make sure something is not just noticed but it is noticed directly to the media.   He wanted to make sure the information is on television beforehand so people are aware of their appearances.  He thought that some of the elected officials they want to meet with should come to Harris Hall in the evening. 

 

With regard to the outreach and the one pager, Spartz indicated that there needs to be a requirement to meet a County goal and objective.

 

Fleenor said they need to have a press release that they are out doing things.  He was not sure a one pager could be limited to County goals and objectives.  He thought they should be broad based.  He commented that participation brings buy in.  He said it was up to the agenda team to accept the one pager.  He wanted legal staff to design a one pager contingent upon the agenda teamís preference.  He thought they could clarify a better from.

 

Richardson said they should expect no more than 20 minutes for the board and 20 minutes for questions for a one pager.

 

With regard to public safety, Hertzberg asked if they were all on the same page regarding allocations of resources or philosophical approaches.

 

Fleenor asked who was driving the bus.  He commented that when dealing with all revenue, if not the commissioners, then who would it be.

 

Stewart explained that public safety is complicated.  He tried to move having a group in PSCC map out the whole public safety system.  He said if they had the complete picture and knew what capacity and revenue and knew the number of people and demand needed, they would be able to analyze that information.  He added that if they had a complete picture it would be easier to make decisions.  He said they have to just document what exists today and need to decide if they have to take further steps.  He said they could educate the public on what exists today.

 

Sorenson indicated there is no real community consensus on additional local resources into public safety.  He wasnít optimistic about it but he said he would be supportive.  He asked with the current system is, how it works and if they could do it better making a transition from a rural and small town to a more urban suburban community. He said he was looking for efficiencies in corrections and law enforcement might be good.  He asked how to improve on what they are spending now that makes most sense.

 

Hertzberg asked what the whole system was.

 

Dwyer commented that a revolving door is not acceptable.  He noted the way the system is designed and funded, they are not in control, they are just in control of the budget at a point in time.  He thought it was good to have leadership by the people who are in charge.  He said they are not in charge and they are trying to fund public safety to the best of their ability.  He indicated that they have not taken a leadership role.  He said they should be getting in front and taking a leadership role.  He said they have to have a plan and it has to be performance based with annual check in points provided by the leadership of the District Attorney and the Sheriff. 

 

Handy asked what they could do working through the performance auditor.

 

Bolinger responded that specific performances could be tracked.  He noted the cost accounting in Public Works would flow into this.  He said his interest is in cost accounting and getting it into the Sheriffís Department.  He thought implementation meetings were good opportunities to cut the nonsense out.  He commented that the SOS sheets are an excellent profile of public safety. 

 

Stewart said that would be for Lane Countyís portion.  He added that if they would include the complete system with Eugene and Springfield, the residents have to understand they have to make sure there is a successful system.  He said they donít have people who understand.

 

For an outcome measure for 2010, Handy wanted the performance auditor to have a countywide cost accounting system program implemented.

 

Dwyer stated they canít force the Sheriff to implement anything.

 

Fleenor said they need to get collection on data for the rate of recidivism.  He said they need performance accounting.  He asked if they were helping or hindering the crime within Lane County.  He asked if they were doing something beneficial.

 

Hertzberg asked if there were any other specific goals within public safety for the next 15 months.

 

Fleenor said they have to get the Sheriff and District Attorney in as early as they can with the Board.  He said they need to invite the other three elected officials to understand and develop policies that will allow them to have a better criminal justice system.

 

Handy said his goal under public health and welfare and public safety is thought of as a big umbrella.

 

Dwyer said they have to separate arrest and prosecution from treatment.  He said the strategic plan gave greater weight to public safety.  He said if is not directly related to prosecution and probation and incarceration to law enforcement than it is not public health, welfare and prevention.  He said they need to keep them separate, not under as an umbrella as there are separate pots of money for them.

 

Moody offered that she has seen other jurisdictions use the term  ďCommunity Health and SafetyĒ and then Public Health and Public Safety both sit below and feed into that category.  This could be reviewed when the Board sets Goals. 

 

Hertzberg asked the Board with their strategic thinking, should they think holistically and integrate the whole system under Community Health and Safety and setting priorities and making clear distinctions

 

Sorenson said this was a valuable session.  He thought it was good to have another session in June after the conclusion of the budget and the election.

 

Fleenor said they need to start controlling the framework they are communicating to the citizens.  He said they donít have to buy into the existing paradigm.  He said they should rethink how they want to approach things differently.  He commented that people are not buying into what they are doing.  He said they need to remarket and reframe it to be more contemporary and understanding and have a trust promoting conversation.

 

Stewart said it was a good session and it needed to be kept on the forefront.

 

Adjourned at 2:00 p.m.

 

 

Melissa Zimmer

Recording Secretary