BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS'
REGULAR MEETING
February 16, 2010
9:00 a.m.
Harris Hall Main Floor
APPROVED 3/17/2010

Commissioner Bill Fleenor presided with Commissioners Bill Dwyer, Bill Fleenor, 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

Item 5 b. will be a legislative update by Alex Cuyler

 2. PUBLIC COMMENTS

Jim Gillette, Eugene, recalled the last time he came to the County he thought he was going to have a meeting with County Counsel.  He recalled in September his lawyer sent a letter to the legal department saying it was okay for him to negotiate any decisions as it was up to Gillette anyway. Gillette received a call from Richardson indicating that Gillette’s attorney still represents him because he filed an appeal.  He said he has an attorney filing legal documents but all of the decisions are his.  He said this is a free country and he wants to defend himself and he has the right to do that.  He added that he can still have his attorney present to cover legal matters.  He said he is trying to make a park.  He was told he has the best trail system in the United States and the best ideas.  He wanted someone to make this their pet project.  He wanted to give away 500 acres as a park, free for people to use forever.  He said he has a paintball area and laser tag area.  He wanted someone to come and look at his property.  He wanted to work with the Board instead of against them.

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

Fleenor asked if Richardson could comment on Gillette’s comments.  He thought there were legal restrictions with Gillette having an attorney.

Richardson commented that as lawyers they are required to follow the ethical rules of the Oregon State Bar.  She said they are precluded from talking to anyone who is represented by an attorney on the subject matter.  She indicated that Gillette has an attorney who has filed an appeal on this specific issue that Gillette is asking Legal Counsel to talk to him about.  She said they told him several times that in the State Bar and their opinion they can’t talk to him even if he is saying it is okay or the attorney is saying it is fine because he has an attorney who is actively pursuing an appeal on this matter.  She said she wouldn’t put any of her attorneys in an ethical bind to talk to him.  She stated that no one  from her office can speak to him.  She added they are moving forward on the appeal to get it resolved.  She said it was not their intention to waive the fines or to agree to dismiss this case.

 4. EMERGENCY BUSINESS

None.

5. COMMISSIONERS’ BUSINESS

a. REPORT/Travel Lane County Semi-Annual Report.

Kari Westlund, Travel Lane County , explained this is her Semi-Annual Report.  She said they felt the recessionary impacts.  She said for the past six months there was more of a downward indicator.  She indicated they had more room nights booked during the past six months for the same period last year.  She added toward the end of the last six months she had a sense that things were starting to level out.  She was hopeful that the industry will level out and then reach growth during the second half of the calendar year.  She said they have been working on three projects:  their website, a new drive guide and their new adventure center.  She reported that the adventure center is open seven days per week at the Gateway Interchange.  She indicated the grand opening is set for March 4.  She said that they have already seen increased volumes at the location.  She noted investments in the region:  the   Driftwood Shores Aquatic Center and the Riverhouse Inn did a renovation of their property.  She reported that Florence was up with room taxes.  She noted the Inn at Diamond Woods at Diamond Woods Golf Course accommodates the wedding market.  She stated that Sweet Cheeks Winery has a farmhouse that is open.  She noted that a Hilton Garden Inn is going up near Gateway with 155 rooms to be ready in November. 

b. Legislative Update

SB 1055-A

Alex Cuyler, Intergovernmental Relations Manager, recalled the Board took actions on both bills on January 27.  He recalled  for SB 1055 relating to wineries in Exclusive Farm Use Zones, the Board took a position of monitor.  He indicated the bill has moved from the Senate and will be scheduled for a floor vote and staff is recommending taking a support position.

Dwyer said the bill doesn’t do what the Board wanted it to do.  He said they got this bill because of King Estates Winery.  He added this bill still wouldn’t allow them to have a restaurant.

Cuyler explained the bill as amended will put King Estates Winery into a special use application process.  He said it is so big that it falls completely outside the statute.  He said the short amendment fixes the smaller wineries with limited use restaurants and gift sales and the holding of special events.  He recommended the Board change their position from monitor to the requested position of support.

Stewart was supportive of the bill and what it is trying to do.  He said they are trying to transition from one industry to another and tourism is the number two industry.  He wanted to support these people in their operations as long as it doesn’t negatively impact the neighbors.  He would be willing to support a motion.

Fleenor said in order to preserve agricultural land they need to ensure the success of agriculture and with the changes to the grass burning and with the declining economy; he thought they should take advantage of whatever is available to them.  He didn’t see the practice of growing grapes to be deleterious to lands.  He thought this was a move in the right direction and he supported SB 1055A moving forward, but he was concerned about language inserted at the house level.

Cuyler said changing the position from monitor to support doesn’t mean he stops paying attention to the bill once he has communicated that Lane County was in support of the bill as written.  He said if there are other efforts made on the house side to either expand the use on Exclusive Farm Use, or limiting what could be done with a special event, he would come back to the Board for an update of the status of the bill.  He recognized  there is support for seeing business flourish and he had a sense of the Board’s perspective.  He indicated that if things get outside of the concerns, then he will be back.

MOTION: to change the bill from monitor to support.

Stewart MOVED,

Fleenor asked if they could state that Cuyler would be back if there are any major deviations.

Stewart  said that would be willing to add that.

Sorenson SECONDED.

Dwyer was disappointed that they don’t have a good understanding of what they are doing.  He commented that it is a pivotal point in time for the whole state of Oregon.

Fleenor was supportive of anything they could do for economic enhancement at a minimal to not impact upon the existing land.

Sorenson supported this because the sponsors of the original Oregon Land Use Law had the idea that the future of Oregon farm and forest economy would be aided by protection of farm and forests lands.  He said it is hard to have the protection of the wine industry without some amenities connected to it.

Handy commented that they are straying into an area where they are trying to help the industry but they are sending a message to the state that they are willing to forego some planning responsibilities.

VOTE: 3-2 (Dwyer, Handy dissenting).

SB 1059-A

Cuyler explained that this relates to greenhouse gas emissions.  He noted the bill has been changed because the first version had technical problems.  He stated that it impacts local governments.  He added that it speaks to assist local governments to reduce gas emissions and suggests that local government shall consider whether any immediate action could be taken for greenhouse gas emissions from cars 10,000 pounds are less.  He said it suggests that local governments within the boundary of the Metropolitan Planning Organization shall consider whether there is any reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and whether a regional transportation plan could be altered to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  He said given the responsibilities this puts on DLCD, ODOT and DEQ, there was a large fiscal impact to those state agencies.  He added there were also fiscal impacts from AOC and League of Oregon Cities.  He said the League of Oregon Cities thought the fiscal impacts could be as high as $1 million and AOC thought the impact could be from $300,000 to $500,000.  He indicated this is the bill that passed out of committee with a recommendation that it be assigned to Ways and Means.  He recommended that the previously taken position of monitor be changed  to oppose the bill due to the fiscal impact for local government.

Handy said there has been a task force working at the state level about working on greenhouse gas reduction.  He said some of the work and recommendations of that task force didn’t make it into this bill including the Central Lane MPO’s interest in having a pilot project that would have had state funds to pursue this necessary goal of gutting greenhouse gas emissions.  He thought the unfunded mandate was overstated.  He agreed to support this bill, with removing the emergency clause.  He thought not supporting this bill would send the wrong message.

MOTION: to support SB 1059-A with the emergency clause removed.

Handy MOVED, Dwyer SECONDED.  

Cuyler recommended removing Section 7 because he has seen what had happened with other bills that required local governments changing regional plans.  His concern is that if they take the bill as it is with the exception of the emergency clause, what the impact would be to staff for the requirements under Section 7.

Fleenor asked if they could support this as currently written, but if something changes with the unfunded mandate, that he would come back and then they could oppose it.  

Richardson said this falls to ODOT and DLCD to develop the rules.  She said unless the law specifically states what considers means, they will be writing the OAR with what the counties and other entities are supposed to do when it says consider.  She echoed Cuyler’s concerns, given how opened ended it is.

Fleenor wanted to amend the motion to add a caveat within Section 7 to consider, but not obligate for the language and it is specific to the rule makers.

There was no agreement to amend the motion.

Fleenor was in favor of minimizing greenhouse gases but he didn’t want to turn over their interests to other agencies.  He was supportive of the concept. He wanted to make sure that when this is transferred to ODOT and DLCD that Lane County is not obligated to spend money they don’t have.

Stewart stated that he was opposed to this.  He was mindful of the potential economic cost it could bring to staff.  He said that everyone is aware of Public Works’ budget and the difficulty they are facing.  He noted in the past 30 years greenhouse emissions from auto traffic has been declining and continues to decline.  He said LRAPA is showing reduction in emissions and he didn’t know if it was appropriate at this time considering the budget issues they are facing to impose additional requirements.

Cuyler said the legislature wants complete control over counties and is insensitive to the cliff they face with regard to federal forest payments.    He said they will tell counties how to behave.  He said they have to hammer home the message that the legislature shall not provide additional costs and duties on counties in this economic environment.  He stated that there was nothing in the recommendation that staff has brought forward that there is a fundamental disagreement with the concerns about greenhouse gas emissions.  He believed that at one point in time the legislature will deal with this.  He said they should do something, but not create something where the counties will be providing another service to the state with no funding attached to it and that was his concern about Section 7.

Fleenor was afraid that they would end up with an unfunded mandate.  He said they are talking about local control and he wants to preserve as much local control with the process.

Handy said he would amend his motion to keep the language as is, to remove the emergency clause and to make note they are not supportive of the unfunded mandate.

Sorenson wanted to add to Section 7, (4) that costs incurred by a local government shall be reimbursed by DLCD.

Dwyer stated that it is difficult to make the commitment to tie transportation and land use together to lessen the impact on the future of greenhouse gases and vehicle miles traveled.

Fleenor restated the motion is to support SB 1059(a) with the following modifications:  Section 11 will be removed and a new Section 7(4) inserted to read any cost associated with complying with any provision is this section shall be reimbursed by the state.

VOTE: 3-2 (Dwyer, Stewart dissenting).

6. CONSENT CALENDAR

A. Approval of Minutes

B. Management Services

1) ORDER 10-2-16-1/In the Matter of Authorizing the Sale of Surplus County Owned Real Property to G&R Building Concept, Inc. for $500 (Map  17-04-15-41-00800, Located at the Terminus of Allea Dr., Eugene).

C. Public Safety

1) ORDER 10-2-16-2/In the Matter of Applying for and Acceptance of a U.S. Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women Arrest Grant for $400,000 and Delegating Authority to the County Administrator  to Execute Grant Documents.

D. Public Works

1) ORDER 10-2-16-3/In the Matter of Appointing Five Members to the Tourism Council to Evaluate and Recommend Awards for the Lane County Tourism Special Projects Grants for 2010.

E. County Administration

1) ORDER 10-2-16-4/ In the Matter of Transferring $500 from the General Fund Operational Contingency to Materials and Services within General Expense to Support the Eugene 2010 Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration.

MOTION: to approve the Consent Calendar.

Dwyer MOVED, Handy SECONDED.  

VOTE: 5-0.

7. COUNTY ADMINISTRATION

a. Announcements

None.

b. REPORT BACK/Lane County Rail Network Proposed Letter.

Spartz stated that he drafted a letter that was in front of the Board.

MOTION: to approve sending the letter.

Handy MOVED, Sorenson SECONDED.

Stewart thought at the beginning of the letter they should focus on the opportunity to bring rail back to Eugene and what the positives will be to lift that to the top.

Handy agreed to amend the letter. Sorenson SECONDED.

VOTE: 5-0.

8. COUNTY COUNSEL

a. Announcements

None.

9. PERFORMANCE AUDITOR

a. Announcements

None.

b. REPORT BACK/Update on Public Contracting for Major Projects.

Stewart Bolinger, Performance Auditor, said he went through the change order of the contract for the Charnelton  building and had a problem because the key attorney had not been in and David Suchart, Management Services, was ill.  He hadn’t been able to consult with people but he will have a timely answer for future improvements.

Courthouse Security

Richardson reported that LCPOA has objected to the use of retirees for this position.  She said they believe they would be supplanting the position.  She said they have been working with LCPOA not to object to filling the position.

Fleenor stated that the volunteers are at risk.  He wasn’t sure what should be done, but he thought there could be a temporary contract.

Richardson said she has not been involved in negotiations with LCPOA.  She said the issue is if they have positions similar as what was funded through the Sheriff, they can’t now fund it by using contract employees.  She recalled they used to have Deputy Sheriffs who were courthouse security.  She said she hadn’t been asked to research the issue.

Fleenor asked if in lieu of no security if they could have an alarm or two way radio.

Richardson noted the volunteers have phone numbers to call.  She said they could explore a two-way radio, but not at a company that uses security because it would be supplanting the issue.

Handy wanted to put this on as a report bank.  He asked if there could be a one-time expenditure for a radio to identify a person who would get the call from the volunteers and could then route the call.

Richardson recommended having someone report back from the Sheriff’s Department.

10. COMMISSIONERS’ BUSINESS         

a. DISCUSSION/Lane Transit District Services Update

Moved to February 17, 2010.

There being no further business, Commissioner Fleenor recessed the meeting at 12:00 p.m.

Melissa Zimmer
Recording Secretary