BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS'
REGULAR MEETING
April 7, 2010
9:00 a.m.
Harris Hall Main Floor
APPROVED 11-2-2010

Commissioner Bill Fleenor presided with Commissioners Bill Dwyer, Rob Handy, Pete Sorenson and Faye Stewart present.  County Counsel Liane Richardson, County Administrator Jeff Spartz and Recording Secretary Melissa Zimmer were also present.

1. ADJUSTMENTS TO THE AGENDA

Item 7 has a corrected title.

2. PUBLIC HEARINGS

a. PUBLIC HEARING/Adopting the FY 2009-2010 Supplemental Budget 2, and Making, Reducing and Transferring Appropriations.

Commissioner Fleenor opened the Public Hearing.  There being no one signed up to speak, he closed the Public Hearing.

3. PUBLIC COMMENTS

Ann McLucas, Eugene, said this was in response to Fleenorís speech last week where he eluded to being bound by the legal process from Executive Session in Jim Gilletteís matter.  She read from a transcript from October 2004.   She stated that Gillette never had a hearing on the facts of the case.  She said the packet of information has never been subject to scrutiny for accuracy.  She indicated that things were said in Executive Session that Gillette and his lawyer were not privy to.  She said information in private is not a fair way to proceed.  She stated that the Board changed the rule and they could change it so Gillette can have a hearing.

Jim Gillette, Eugene, doesnít believe there should be an Executive Session about him.  He said when talking about his case, it should be in the public. 

Alice Doyle, Cottage Grove , talked about the Village Green.

Garry Williams, Cottage Grove , spoke on the Village Green regarding the overnight loan fund.  He believes that the Village Green is an institution in Cottage Grove .  He noted in July they will celebrate their 50th anniversary.  He said the Village Green is important to the community.  He said the funds the Board could provide could be leveraged with other entities to create an opportunity to rehabilitate 50 rooms at the Village Green to $500,000 in immediate economic development. He said after the contractors are through, there would be creation of 35 to 50 new full and part time jobs for the service workers to maintain the rooms.  He said it is a great opportunity for job creation in Cottage Grove .  He stated that it is a win-win situation.  He asked for the Boardís support.

Thomas Monroe, Cottage Grove , spoke about the Village Green project and how the loan fund could be used.  He commented that the Village Green project is a safe investment that will enhance the city county revenue room tax.  He thought in 10 years the room tax will be generated to exceed the amount of the loan.  He said currently the owner owns $2.1 million on the facility and the bank appraisal is $3.5 million.  He said the reason the owner canít secure a bank loan is funding restrictions and portfolio requirements.  He said banks are not making commercial loans at this time.  He indicated the citizens of Cottage Grove are pulling together in securing private investments that would provide nearly half of the loan amount for the project.  He indicated that after the renovations the appraised value will be near $4 million because of funding going to direct improvements of revenue generating capital facilities.  He added the improvement to the Village Green thus far is responsible for the room tax dollars.  He noted the Village Green occupancy has gone from 8.5 percent to over 30 percent and will continue to grow if the rooms are renovated. He urged the Board to support the creation of the Overnight Stay Development Loan Fund for the Village Green project.

Randy Dreiling, City Councilor, Oakridge, thought the Overnight Stay Development Loan Fund is an important fund.  He grew up in Cottage Grove and the Village Green was part of his life.  He doesnít want it bulldozed.  He stated that it is part of the community in Cottage Grove and he hopes the Board will help save it.

Richard Meyers, City Manager, Cottage Grove, reported that a lot of work has been taking place in Cottage Grove regarding the Village Green.  He said the development of the fund will be helpful to the rural communities and tourism money they get.  He said this is a big project that will have a big significance to the community.  He indicated that Travel Lane County identified some conferences that didnít come to the Village Green because of the rooms.  He added that was an impact of over $449,000 lost in spending in Cottage Grove as a result of those conferences not being there.  He recalled in July 2009 the Village Green identified conferences that didnít come because of the rooms that were not renovated yet and that resulted in about a $48,000 of conference and room stays in just July or $4,000 in room tax because the rooms werenít renovated.  He commented that for economic development, this is a big deal to a small community like Cottage Grove and that money could benefit the businesses.  He indicated the current owner has done a lot of work. He said they need the rooms for the community.  He said this is a great opportunity.  He noted there are 25 rooms renovated and 10 or 20 rooms are gutted and others need to be slightly renovated.  He urged the Board to support this as this will be a model for other organizations in economic development and room stay development for the communities.

Tom Johns, Cottage Grove, said he has been part of a group looking at a public private partnership for the Village Green.  He spent time going over the finances and he believes the Village Green is well run.  He commented with the economy, tourism has been down but even during these times the Village Green is doing quite well.  He said they need more revenue with the rooms and he thinks it will be a good investment for public and private people to help Village Green stay in Cottage Grove.

4.  COMMISSIONERS' RESPONSE TO PUBLIC COMMENTS AND/OR OTHER ISSUES AND REMONSTRANCE 

With regard to Jim Gillette, Dwyer said they have to have Executive Sessions for legal reasons.  He asked how guaranteed the loan was for the Village Green project.  He thought they should help businesses but he worries about where governmentís responsibility ends and the private sector responsibility begins.  He said if they can demonstrate a need, they might be able to do it in this case.

Sorenson commented that the Village Green has a connection to the community.  He indicated that the government has a significant involvement in business.  He stated that it has to be fair to the taxpayer and to other businesses getting assistance.

Stewart explained that this item creating a loan fund for the transient room improvements was something that came up in previous meetings.  He said instead of solving an immediate problem, he believed the proposal will offer opportunities in the future for other communities.  He commented that to be able to help investments in communities is an important role today.  He stated this is an opportunity where they can invest in the community and to use the funds to be used by other communities.  He noted that Cottage Grove has an immediate need and Oakridge will have a future need for things to be worked on. With regard to the guaranty of the loan, he said they have a general commitment of people investing on the private side matching the funds being put in.  He said they have done their due diligence and they believe it is a good investment.

Handy was cautiously optimistic about the Village Green matter.  He announced that April is Autism Awareness Month.

Fleenor echoed the commissionersí comments.  He understood that credit is not available for Village Green and they need to make concessions.

5. COUNTY ADMINISTRATION

a. ORDER 10-4-7-1/Adopting the FY 2009-2010 Supplemental Budget 3, Making, Reducing and Transferring Appropriations.

Christine Moody, Budget and Financial Manager, indicated there is an addition to Fund 619 for Public Works.  She indicated they are moving some money from reserves to capital so they can buy equipment.  She said it was a net zero change.  She said they are transferring some reserves to pay for COLAís that were approved by the Board earlier this year.  She indicated the interfund loan last week is in for the Public Works Customer Service Center.  She noted there are some payment adjustments for the bond sale.  She said there are smaller grants and additional CCA dollars going to the Sheriffís Office.  She indicated there is one related to the budget software update.

MOTION: to approve ORDER 10-4-7-1.

Dwyer MOVED, Sorenson SECONDED.

Fleenor asked if they would be required to have a Public Hearing for any of the adjustments mentioned.

Moody responded the requirement is that if there is a fund changing by more than ten percent then they are required to have a Public Hearing.  She indicated that is taking place in the special obligation bond retirement fund due to the bond sale.

Sorenson wanted to get an approval of their previous December 9 board order.  He said that order has been challenged as being adopted without proper process.  He wanted to amend today their order 09-12-9-1 regarding the budget.  He said they could make it clear that not only are they amending the budget today, but they want to have the previous decision approved in a public meeting without any question that they approved it in a public meeting.  He said his amendment is to approve 09-12-9-1.

Dwyer didnít accept it as a friendly amendment.  He wanted to take this on its own merits.  He didnít agree with the people who were challenging this.  He said they adopted the order in a legal fashion.

Spartz said if they want to revisit the Supplemental Budget item from December 9, the motion should be a reaffirmation instead of approval. 

Dwyer said he would accept the friendly amendment to reaffirm their decision on the December 9 motion.

Fleenor asked if they had proper notification for this Supplemental Budget 4 with the reaffirmation of Supplemental Budget 3.

Richardson said the budget required a Public Hearing originally and they had the Public Hearing.  She said they are not reopening it.  She wouldnít recommend just reaffirming the vote, because they were just affirming their vote, not making any changes.  She doesnít think they would have a problem.  She said they had a Public Hearing and deliberation on December 9 and voted in the public and that was what they lawfully needed to do to supplement that budget.

Sorenson indicated it showed how they legally and properly approved Supplemental Budget 2.  He asked if they needed a reaffirmation of Supplemental Budget 2.

Richardson believed the vote, deliberation and Public Hearing in December was valid to pass the budget.  She said if the Board wants to add weight to reaffirm it one more time, then she would recommend they do it next week.

Fleenor commented what they did in December was lawful and properly notified to the public.  He said they had to put a stop to the nonsense.  He said the lawsuit was a witch hunt and political based.  He said they need to do it correctly as they have in the past and let the case be resolved through the legal system.  He didnít see anything wrong.  He didnít want to do a reaffirmation.

Sorenson was satisfied hearing what two other commissioners and Richardson stated that what they did with the past budget was lawful.    He didnít want anyone assuming they did anything wrong.

Stewart was comfortable with the process they have used for the past 5 Ĺ years since he has been on the board. He stated they had Public Hearings.  He wanted to address this supplemental budget and move on.

Handy said he is committed to transparency and openness.  He looks forward to more of that.  He said the accusations were false.  He wasnít interested in any reaffirmation because they were following a transparent process.

Moody never saw anything in budget law talking about a reaffirmation.  She said if something was wrong or being changed in a supplemental budget that was being published then they would have to publish it again.  She added that the Department of Revenue is in charge of interpreting budget law for them.  She stated that everything was done according to budget law. 

VOTE: 5-0.

Dwyer asked to touch base with the Department of Revenue to have them review the December meeting and give an independent evaluation as to whether they met all facets of the law.

6. EMERGENCY BUSINESS

None. 

7. CONSENT CALENDAR

A. Approval of Minutes

B. Assessment and Taxation

1) ORDER 10-4-7-2/Refund to Northwest Natural Gas Co. in the Amount of $31,131.34.

2) ORDER 10-4-7-3/Refund to Langenburg Research Inc. in the Amount of $79,229.21.

3) ORDER 10-4-7-4/Refund to C&K Market Inc. in the Amount of $25,478.13.

C. County Administration

1) ORDER 10-4-7-5/Approving $250,000 to Create an Overnight Stay Development Fund with Reserves from the Rural Tourism Marketing Program and Video Lottery Fund and Identify the City of Cottage Grove as the First Loan Recipient.

D. Public Works

1) ORDER 10-4-7-6/Accepting Dedications of Land to be Used as a Public Road Easement for County Road Number 1250 (Deerhorn Road) (17-15-09, 10 & 16).

MOTION:  to approve the Consent Calendar.

Dwyer MOVED, Stewart SECONDED.

VOTE: 5-0.

8. ONE PAGER

a. DISCUSSION/Pesticides in Residential Areas.

Lisa Arkin, gave a presentation to the Board on pesticides in residential areas.  (Copy in file).

Sorenson wanted Arkin to work on a home occupations County ordinance for properties outside of the cities and look at it in the fiscal year budget so they can move something forward.

Stewart thought a public information campaign would be effective about pesticides and hazardous chemicals.  He thought they should partner with Public Works.  He had a concern for what Sorenson proposed.

Handy said he was willing to look at what they can at the County to address this.

Dwyer stated that they have to quantify a problem.  He asked who was going to be the chemical police.  He doesnít want to spend energy where there is no benefit to the results.

9. COUNTY COUNSEL

a. Announcements

None.

10. PERFORMANCE AUDITOR

a. Announcements

Bolinger recalled at the last meeting Sorenson was talking about the internal auditor working in a preventative role.  He said the IRS have publicized that they are intensifying their audits for use of contractors as contractors versus employees.  He added that if the rules are violated, they have to pay back all the benefits the person would have been entitled to as an employee as opposed to a contractor.  He said County Counsel has the challenge of granting contractors for the purchase of software.  He said he worked with IS, County Counsel and Spartz and they came up with a strategy.  He said IS will prepare a check sheet for the departments so when they are looking at software, they can make sure they are going through critical steps from a compatibility and efficiency standpoint.  He  indicated they had improvement for internal controls.

11. HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

a. ORDER 10-4-7-7/Proclaiming the Month of April as National Autism Awareness Month in Lane County .

Handy read the resolution into the record.

Dwyer MOVED, Sorenson SECONDED.

VOTE: 5-0.

11. HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

a. DISCUSSION/Animal Services Facility Options.

Karen Gaffney, Health and Human Services, gave a presentation on Animal Services facility options.

Dwyer stated that they need to adopt an ordinance that reflects the communitiesí values across the Board.  He indicated that operations is one issue and capital projects are another.  He said they need a new facility but whatever it looks like, they will need people to operate it.  He indicated that it needs to be a separate aspect of what they do.  He stated he was committed to finding a resource.  He was not prepared to make a decision today.  He thought they need to continue to work on the construction of an adequate facility.

Fleenor wanted to consider page, 4, a proration based on human population, as a possible model moving forward and Option A, with capital private funding.

Handy indicated they need a new facility for the best needs for the animals.  He said they need to look to operating agreements and working together.  He said they need a central location and he thinks that should be on Martin Luther King Boulevard.

Fleenor indicated that they need a fair process.

Sorenson was in favor of Option A,  He was in favor of pro rating costs for the 13 jurisdictions.

Dwyer preferred Option A.  He stated that doing nothing is not an option but it might be something they are forced to take.  He wants the city to give them the portion of the building they own.  He indicated that they still donít own the building.  He wanted something to go before the city council to relinquish ownership.  He asked if they cities are willing to get on the same page of the ordinances so they have a uniform ordinance that applies in the incorporated cities.

Fleenor said they already have citizen input.  He wanted to see what was already drafted by the community to transition into city ordinances with minor changes.  He wants a pro rata cost per city for human population for a fundraising campaign.  He liked Option A.

Rob Rockstroh, Health and Human Services, said the fairness and equity makes sense theoretically.  He wants  to make sure that the partnership they have can go forward.  He wanted to view them as partners who want to join.  He wasnít sure they can mandate the small cities to come into their ordinance.

Fleenor thought they should model it like a membership in a club and an incentive for a small city to join.

There being no further business, Commissioner Fleenor recessed the meeting at 11:55 a.m.  

Melissa Zimmer
Recording Secretary