BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS’
August 25, 2010
Harris Hall Main Floor
Commissioner Bill Fleenor presided with Commissioners Bill Dwyer, Rob Handy, Pete Sorenson and Faye Stewart present. County Administrator Jeff Spartz, County Counsel Liane Richardson and Recording Secretary Melissa Zimmer were also present.
1. ADJUSTMENTS TO THE AGENDA
Fleenor indicated they have been requested to sign a letter for Children and Families with the Commission Chair Judy Hampton regarding a self-assessment. He wanted this done as Emergency Business.
2. PUBLIC COMMENTS
David Hoffman, Eugene, spoke on the demolition of the Extension Building. He commented that location is everything and the current Extension Office is centrally located and has adequate parking. He said there is adequate office space and storage. He commented that the Extension Service is there so people can have a direct face to face. He stated the reason the Extension levy failed was because too many people were under the influence of people in opposition. He added that they used misinformation and that person is on the Budget Committee. He indicated that people are opposed to new taxes but they would be willing to donate money toward the building. He stated that people are furious the Extension is going away as it is a main food resource and they want it to remain on the Fairgrounds. He noted that Extension is not listed on the County’s website. He doesn’t believe the failure of the Extension levy was the will of the people.
Peter Thurston, Eugene, talked about the Extension building. His concern is that it is scheduled to be torn down some time later this year. He indicated the programs located there are going to be vacated and the building will be vulnerable and likely to be torn down. He asked if that was the best use of the public resources owned by the County. He said they do not have a current assessment of the structure. He noted the last one was done in the mid-90’s. He recommended the Board request and arrange for some kind of formal assessment of the building structure itself. He said the building is in the range of $1 million if it is to be replaced and that is a significant amount of funds and is unlikely in the budget. He said improvement of the structure would be much less than $1 million. He thought the building could be put toward good use. He knows the old HVAC system is problematic and there is other deferred maintenance. He didn’t think that was worth tearing the building down. He added the building has provided a great deal of education and public support over the years and it would be good if they could find a public private venture so people in the community could continue the use of the structure. He wanted the assessment to include how some of the community organizations might be partnered to take care of the structure.
Anand Hotlham-Kealthley, Eugene, read his letter into the record about the Extension building. (Copy in file).
Jerry Rust, Florence, thanked Sorenson for bringing the Extension building to light. He said they have a group called SLEP, Save Lane Extension Programs and Handy and Sorenson are active on it. He said there is interest in keeping the Extension programs alive and bringing them back to life. He said on May 18 when they voted on the Extension levy, there was a presumption that the Extension building was good for at least five more years to house the Extension programs. He said even if there was another plan, it is not a good process. He wants a process that allows for a variety of input and sincere evaluation of the alternatives. He wanted a stay put on the execution of the facility to give them a chance to work with the Board.
3. COMMISSIONERS' RESPONSE TO PUBLIC COMMENTS AND/OR OTHER ISSUES AND REMONSTRANCE
Fleenor believed the OSU Extension Service is in the process of de-occupying the building by October. He added the sex offender program has been out of the building and it is vacant. He said the challenge for them is that they have a $10 million budget shortfall and for Extension to occupy the building, either the levy would have passed and they could have paid the rent or the Board of Commissioners through the Budget Committee could have given rent forgiveness of another $70,000 which they do not have. He said since the levy failed and there was no additional money provided by the Board of Commissioners in the form of rent forgiveness, Extension has decided not to occupy the building. He stated by October 1 the building will be vacant. He added to invest money in the HVAC system or the electrical system, they would need someone to come in and invest in a long term lease that would cover the capital improvements necessary. He said staff came to the conclusion that the cost of repair and rent they would receive were not compatible.
Spartz said the last evaluation of the physical condition of the building was done in 2007.
Fleenor commented if they don’t demolish the building, it will sit unoccupied and it will cost more money in the long run to rehabilitate.
Dwyer didn’t remember voting to tear the building down. He said they need to evaluate the building. He was not opposed to having an evaluation of the building that might be available to other governments. He wanted to hear from the public on what they want. He said they need to be careful, deliberate and have the community involved.
Sorenson said there was no indication that there was a discussion of the building having to be destroyed weeks after it is being vacated in September. He said if an asset is under $50,000 then the Board of Commissioners is not involved. He thought Spartz was working with David Suchart, Management Services, and it was not something the Board needed to be involved with. Sorenson stated this is a public asset and there needs to be a discussion. He commented that the Board needs to assert itself and claim this issue and it is not an issue at the decision of Suchart or Spartz.
Stewart concurred with the comments made that it should be before the Board for discussion and possible action. He asked if this item went in front of the Facilities Committee. He asked Sorenson and Handy in their town halls if this building had been mentioned by the public as a concern. He said there have been discussions about the Fairgrounds and its future. He thought it was premature to tear the building down in October. He agreed the decisions they make should be visible. He was concerned when he saw this discussion through e-mail. He was also concerned because they gave direction at the last meeting on the Justice Courts, getting together with Karen McCulley to discuss the clerk system being operated by County Administration. He was taken by surprise that they instantly appointed someone into the supervisor position. He didn’t think they went through the normal hiring process or posting. He said in respect to all the participants and different matters, they should take more time in choosing someone for a position. He said they worked a long time on the good governance board order and he would like to honor the document and use it as a guide as they make decisions.
Handy stated there are two issues regarding the Fairgrounds. He and Sorenson are working to find funding and a new home for the Extension Service. He commented that it is a critical service to the County. He was concerned about the future of the Fairgrounds and the footprint. He said with the Extension building, it is part of a comprehensive part of the Fairgrounds footprint. He said they may or may not have to tear the building down. He doesn’t want to assume that if this building is torn down that it will be used for more parking.
Fleenor said with the original e-mail that came out discussing the potential of demolishing the Extension building, he was the first to chime in that Spartz might be exceeding his authority. He is not trying to hurry this along. He thought they needed a board order that would have necessitated discussion. He noted at this point in time the County does not have the money for capital improvements. He indicated that any money going to this building is being diverted from the roof repair that is critical. He noted they have other obligations for the survivability of the Lane Events Center. With regard to the Justice Courts e-mail, he believed Richardson sent a response outlining the decision process that was made.
Stewart said the e-mail just discussed what had taken place. He heard concerns from people involved at the Justice Center. He thought the Board gave direction to have meetings and those discussions haven’t taken place. He heard the position at first was permanent and now it is temporary. He wanted a briefing. He indicated the questions came to him and he didn’t know how to answer. He added that he never received an e-mail that the person was appointed to that position.
Spartz stated that there was direction about having a meeting and he lost track of it and went ahead and made the decision. He indicated there was no new position created and there was no competition for it. He added that they took an individual who works in County Administration and reassigned their duties. He said the new duty is to provide supervision for the Central Court in Oakridge immediately and this might be a temporary assignment. He indicated after six months they will evaluate whether they achieved the results they wanted and if this individual who is there is interested in continuing in the position. He noted at that point there might be a new position created. He said they are trying to hold down expenses. He recalled two years ago they eliminated a supervisor position in an effort to control expenses. It was decided it would be best to use staff they could spare briefly out of County Administration instead of asking the Board to fund a new position. He apologized for losing track that the Board wanted more discussion on this. He stated it was not permanent.
Fleenor asked if there was any dissention by existing staff or other interest in the position. He indicated according to the e-mail he read there seemed to be consensus that this was the right direction to go.
Spartz said there are mixed signals on this. He noted the individual who was doing the extra work at Justice Court during the transition had been indicating that she was tired of the hours and didn’t want to be a Judge Pro Tem anymore and had not expressed directly an interest in a new job in supervision. He stated after the decision was made, she indicated she would be interested. He said in the future when they create a position, she will have the opportunity to compete for it.
Stewart hopes if people have concerns that they can bring them to Spartz’ attention and he will deal with them. He doesn’t think they needed to spend more time on this. He hoped that as they do things in the future, the Board is kept informed or for the County Administrator to follow direction better and they wouldn’t have this problem.
4. EMERGENCY BUSINESS
Children and Families Self Assessment Letter
MOTION: to approve sending the letter.
Dwyer MOVED, Stewart SECONDED.
5. CONSENT CALENDAR
BEGINNING OF CONSENT CALENDAR * * * * (estimated 2 minutes)
a. Approval of Minutes
b. ORDER 10-8-25-1/In the Matter of Creating New Classifications and Establishing Their Respective Compensation Ranges for AFSCME-Represented Staff at the Lane Events Center.
c. EVENTS CENTER\Allocation and Conversion to AFSCME\Classification Specifications. (PULLED)
d. ORDER 10-8-25-2/In the Matter of Authorizing the Acceptance of a Relinquishment Deed from the State of Oregon in Connection with Jurisdictional Transfer Agreement No. 786 Concerning Jasper Road (County Road No. 2273) formerly known as Oregon Highway 222.
END OF CONSENT CALENDAR * * * *
MOTION: to approve the Consent Calendar as corrected.
Dwyer MOVED, Handy SECONDED.
6. COMMISSIONERS’ BUSINESS
a. PRESENTATION/SAVIT Committee.
Denis Hijmans, Budget Committee, Sascha Cosio, County Administration, gave a presentation on the SAVIT Committee.
7. ONE PAGER
a. PRESENTATION/Naming the New Willamette River Interstate 5 bridge the “Whilamut Passage Bridge.”
MOTION to ask staff to prepare a resolution in support of the Whilamut Passage Bridge naming.
Stewart MOVED, Handy SECONDED.
8. PUBLIC WORKS
a. DISCUSSION/Additional Lane Code/Manual/Comp Plan Revisions and Update on Timelines.
Matt Laird, Land Management, distributed a new timeline. (Copy in file.) He said they are looking at a joint Planning Commission/ Board of Commissioner meeting on September 21.
Dwyer indicated that he will not be present on October 5.
Sorenson indicated that with the remaining items, he met separately with Steve Cornacchia and Emmons and his colleagues. He indicated that both Emmons and Cornacchia said they thought they were close with home occupation issues. He thought instead of reactivating the task force, to have an appropriate person convene a meeting of Cornacchia and Emmons.
Laird indicated that he can have the meeting.
Fleenor noted that the home occupation will require a Measure 56 notice and the cost will be approximately $10,000 for Land Management. He said before they charge Land Management with another task, to consider how they are going to fund Measure 56 notifications if there is an agreement. With regard to adding another PAPA, he was concerned about giving Land Management an additional work product without knowing how they are going to fund the project.
Marsha Miller, Public Works, wanted to come back with a scope of work and what it would take to identify funding for mailing and the resources to take it to the next step.
MOTION: to direct Land Management to bring back the scoping on moving the home occupation draft for a PAPA
Sorenson MOVED, Handy SECONDED.
Stewart wanted them to state where the resources would come from to accomplish this.
Sorenson amended to put that into the motion. Handy SECONDED.
Stewart understood his appointment to the Planning Commission is being term limited out. He wanted the position posted for people who want to apply.
Richardson said with the Planning Commission, there are two positions open now and they are posted and there will be two positions coming vacant on September 30.
b. STATUS REPORT/”No Net Increase” Stormwater Policy Work Session.
Dan Hurley, Public Works, gave a presentation on No Net Increase for stormwater. (Copy in file).
Fleenor asked the agenda team to schedule a longer discussion.
Stewart asked if they could form a service district that could provide fire service. He thought they might want to broaden this for other services.
Dwyer wanted to get a legal opinion with police powers over funding or events that give them the authority for stormwater.
Fleenor indicated this item will come back.
9. EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660
Per ORS 192.660 (2)(d) for deliberations to carry out labor negotiations.
There being no further business, Commissioner Fleenor recessed the meeting into Executive Session at 11:40 a.m.