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

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 recalled that there was a miscommunication with the timing for the LTD discussion. They added it to the current agenda under item 9.  He added there will be a board order appointing Denis Hijmans to the Budget Committee.

 2. PUBLIC COMMENTS

Ross Nixon, Eugene, recalled the Board helped the Veterans in Lane County allowing outdoor activities.  He noted the state of Oregon issues free permits for disabled Veterans.  He commented that disabled Veterans cannot afford to use the Park facilities in the County.  He thought it would be great for the County to offer the same free permits as what the state offers.

Nan Osbon, Florence, reported that they had a Florence City Council meeting last night and they agreed to send a letter to the Board of Commissioners requesting funding from the Lane County industrial revolving fund for $79,000.  She said the council requested a grant be awarded instead of a loan for the completion of the ice machine.

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

Dwyer stated that fishermen need the ice machine.  He noted that the discussion of a discount pass will be taken up tomorrow at Finance and Audit.

Stewart recalled three years ago he had disabled people contact him who couldnít pay for the Parks system and he told them about the opportunity to do work for the Parks Department in exchange for a year round pass.   He commented at times it is difficult for the disabled to perform the work.  He was supportive of Finance and Audit reviewing this.  He said the Economic Development Standing Committee gave the city of Florence a grant in the past to pay for everything regarding the ice machine.

4. EMERGENCY BUSINESS

Richardson reported that Alex Cuyler sent a letter to her in support of Lane Community College appropriation request to purchase equipment for the energy demonstration building.  She said this will be an emergency item.

Sorenson stated that he received a letter from Fergus McClain stating that Friday was a deadline to apply for a RAC project and he had been working with other people to get a $25,000 grant application submitted by Friday.

Fleenor wanted to see something in writing before he approved the RAC grant.

Richardson distributed a copy of the emergency letter.

MOTION: to send the letter with the chair signing on behalf of the Board.

Dwyer MOVED, Stewart SECONDED.

VOTE: 4-0 (Handy out of room).

5. COUNTY ADMINISTRATION

a. Announcements

None.

b. ORDER 10-2-17-1/In the Matter of Approving Contracts Totaling $170,185 for 2009-10 Rural Toursim Marketing Program (RTMP) Projects in the Cities of Oakridge, Lowell, Westfir, Coburg, Cottage Grove, Veneta, Creswell, Junction City, Florence, Dunes City, and Authorizing County Administrator to Sign Constracts Authorizing Distribution of Funds.  

Spartz reported that annually the County considers contracts and the policy says 70 percent of the money shall be spent on tourism.  He said ten percent could be used for special purposes the Board determines has the relationship to produce transient room tax revenues.  He indicated that ten percent could be used for tourism marketing outside of the UGB.  He noted the following proposals:  Creswell $12,683 for staffing their visitor center; Cottage Grove $24,405 for staffing a chamber of commerce visitor center; Coburg $7,853 (plus $1,346 carryover from last yearís RTMP funds) to maintain the web and publish bi-weekly newsletter; Junction City $8,600 (plus $3,253 carryover from last yearís RTMP funds) for celebration banners and famerís market promotion; Veneta $6,235 (plus $534.30 carryover from last yarís RTMP funds) for regional advertising of commmunity events and celebrations; Dunes City $11,890 for update to city parks and brochures; Florence $72,368 (plus $807 carryover from last yearís RTMP funds) for staffing for Florence Events Center and Chamber of Commerce; Lowell $6,205 (plus $7,329 carryover from last yearís RTMP funds) for maintenance on covered bridge, Dexter Lake firework display, install display signange and design Amphitheatre for Rolling Rock Park; Oakridge $12,918 for continued chamber support, community park projects and Westfir $7,208 for parks and recreation, promotion of Annual Westfir Bridge Lighting Festival, July 4th fireworks and Westfir portal interpretaive display and boat ramp advertisement

Cristina Rosado, Economic Development, reported what is different this year is that they are doing this in-house with Mike McKenzie-Bahr managing expenditures.  She said they have staff taking care of that piece and it will be a good change.

MOTION: to approve ORDER 10-2-17-1.

Stewart MOVED, Handy SECONDED.

VOTE: 5-0.

c. ORDER 10-2-17-3 Reappointing Denis Hijmans to the Lane County           

Budget Committee

Sorenson asked about the timing on this.  He said past practice was for the commissioner to nominate someone and the Board appoints that person to the Budget Committee. 

Richardson recalled Denis Hijmans term expired at the end of December and it wasnít caught until yesterday.  She said it is a three year appointment from January so it would run the same as everyoneís appointment.  

Handy said they have been trying to bring all the committees so they mirror the elected officials.  He asked if there was a statutory requirement where the terms are three years.  He asked how they can bring this into harmony with the Good Governance Board Order.

Richardson said they changed the language that the Budget Committee is to serve at the will of the commissioner.  She noted that if a specific commissioner who appointed a person is no longer serving, it would be up to the next commissioner coming in to decide if they want the person to be reappointed or not.

Handy asked if this should be an appointment through the end of this year and when the others come up that they make them consistent with the end of the elected.

Richardson stated that has not been the Boardís direction, given the Good Governance Board Order.  She added if they want to make it consistent with the board order, they would state  a specific term but have the language they would serve at the will of the commissioner.  She said they would be changing the Good Governance Board Order. She said if they change this, they would have to come up with another process.

Dwyer stated the process works.

Sorenson noted state law requires when citizens are appointed to Budget Committees, they are committed to a three year term.  He said a difference between this appointment and others, is the governing body is required to appoint an equal number of citizen members to a budget committee equal to the number of elected officials on the governing body.  He said the appointment should be for three years. 

Richardson indicated the expiration date will be December 31, 2012.

MOTION: to approve ORDER 10-2-17-3.

Stewart MOVED, Dwyer SECONDED.

VOTE: 5-0.

6. COUNTY COUNSEL

a. Announcements

None.

7. MANAGEMENT SERVICES

a. DISCUSSION/Policy Discussion Concerning Sale Back to Former Owner of Record of Tax Foreclosed Property Per Lane Manual 21.425(4).

Jeff Turk, Management Services, recalled on February 3 the matter was brought before the Board to sell the property back to the former order of record that was foreclosed upon for non-payment of property taxes.  He added that this was the second time the property was foreclosed upon and sold back to the owner.  He said the owner in 2002 foreclosed again.  He said the Board tabled the matter to get more information about the situation of the former owner and the policy of selling property back to a property that has been foreclosed upon.  He noted that ORS 275.180 provides for selling the property back to the former owner of record at any time.  He said there are no restrictions.  He indicated that they just have to sell it for the minimum for what is owed in taxes.  He noted that Lane Manual qualifies that in order for the property to be sold back to the owner of record, there have to be restrictions that exist:  either mentally or physically capacitated during the foreclosure process or the assessor made a mistake about putting the property on the list through the foreclosure process.  He said there are about two or three properties per year they foreclose on where they have sold back to the former owner of record.  He said this is the second request from a former owner who has foreclosed a second time.  He spoke with other counties and all other counties will consider a sale back to a former owner of record.  He noted they all do them on a case-by-case basis and then makes a decision.  He said none of the properties had been foreclosed twice.

Dwyer thought it was a good policy to give people a chance to buy their property back.  He said if the owner could show he had a problem, he would work with him.  He didnít want to set a precedent unless a legitimate reason could be demonstrated.

Turk attached a letter from the owner.  He explained the owner lost his job and had mental difficulties.

Handy wanted a recommendation on a second time around with a higher cost and flexibility for the Board.  He asked if there was an incentive that if they go through a second time it would cost them more money.

Spartz said they should have a policy that requests the need for documentation by the applicant before the Board considers granting it.

Stewart thought the policy was fine the way it was.  He wanted the letter to come to the Board the first time as to why someone is unable to pay their taxes.  He said this time he will give the benefit of the doubt that it is the truth.

Dwyer thought this case was the catalyst for policy. He thought the second time around they need documentation for whatever is being claimed.

Fleenor thought it had to do with holding citizens of Lane County harmless for the full cost of recovery.  He agreed there was sufficient language in place.  He commented that there is a low frequency of this occurring and he didnít want to make any policy changes.

b. ORDER 10-2-3-3/In the Matter of Authorizing the Sale of Surplus County Owned Real Property for $11,500 to Ronald S. Pfaff, Former Owner of Record (Map 18-04-13-00-01100, 4820 Blanton Road, Eugene).

MOTION: to approve ORDER 10-2-3-3.

Stewart MOVED, Dwyer SECONDED.

VOTE: 5-0.

8. PUBLIC WORKS

a. REPORT/Status Report on Work Group for Lane Code/Manual/Comp Plan Revisions Per Adopted Land Management Division Program.

Matt Laird, Land Management, distributed a revised timeline. (Copy in file).

Fleenor wanted to establish a procedure to emulate the Chapters 13 and 14 process with the items that have been submitted by Mr. Just on behalf of Goal One.   He said there are six items.  He indicated there was interest by the Board to take these suggestions.  He said they also have housekeeping and legislative changes.  He stated there was interest by the Board to move the housekeeping/legislative changes through staff and once that is taken care of, they can take it to the stakeholder group for vetting and then back to the Board.  He commented that they are trying to improve the land use decision making process through modernizing and simplifying the code through a combination of staff direction but interfaced with a stakeholder group that comes back to the Board.   He asked what the critical mass was to initiate a post acknowledgement plan amendment.

Laird said with the PAPA, they can file a 45 notice with DLCD as soon as they have language they are ready with.  He noted it has to be 45 days before the first public hearing.  He indicated that they can have stakeholder group meetings but the first public hearing is when they are going to the Planning Commission. 

Fleenor wanted Laird to come back next week to provide a list from items 60 to 78 and have it as a separate spreadsheet with a ranking.  He wanted to know the level of contention and the resource requirement.

Handy distributed a motion.  He wanted to activate stakeholders now to keep moving things along.  He said if they see at a certain point critical mass to a PAPA, then to move those to the Planning Commission.  He said it gives the opportunity that if anything comes up, it will be part of the weekly Board session.  He wanted to do the same as Chapters 13 and 14, to incorporate those outlines.

Dwyer asked who the stakeholder group is, who appoints them and how they become involved.

Fleenor stated that he sent out a general alert inviting anyone who had an interest.  He thought there will be in excess of 250 people or as few as 10 or 15.  He wanted to make sure that no one was excluded, as the purpose is to be inclusive.

Handy said this needs to be a focused and cost efficient approach and use the experience of the stakeholders. 

MOTION: that the Board has determined that the Goal One Proposals on the following topics have merit and should be reviewed by the stakeholder group:  Developed and Committed exceptions; Non-Resource designations; F1 to F2 zone changes; compliance enhancements; home occupations and F2 template dwellings.  The Board will review the remaining Goal One proposals regarding New Zone/Plan Designation and Energy/Global at the February 23 or February 24 meeting.  The stakeholders group will review these six Goal One proposals as its first priority, beginning no later than February 25 and will report back to the Board no later than March 18.  Meetings will be either every week or every other week, as determined by the group after consideration of the March 18 deadline. Land Management will provide staff to participate in the stakeholder group discussion and facilitate the meetings.  All stakeholder meetings will be recorded.  Land Management will ensure that the stakeholders get meeting materials in a timely manner in advance of the meetings.  The stakeholdersí duties will be to review the referred code and plan amendments and determine whether or not to recommend changes to the proposed txt.  Changes agreed to by consensus will be labeled as such in the stakeholdersí report to the Board.  Changes desired by only some of the stakeholders will be reported separately to the Board, along with the reasons for the disagreement, and any counterproposals.  The Board will resolve all matters on which the stakeholders were not able to reach consensus.

Handy MOVED, Dwyer SECONDED.

Sorenson thought it was a good motion.  With regard to the stakeholders, he said the group must be broadly constituted, so it is a process of volunteer stakeholders.

Handy recalled what worked with Chapters 13 and 14 was to bring the issues to the Board to work on and consider.  He said they have to establish the merit and pass them onto the stakeholders group. 

Stewart commented that he had serious reservations about the quarter of the first page and what could be done with the timeline.  He said it will be interesting to see if the timeline is flexible.  He wanted criteria the Board believes which need to be addressed.  He had serious concerns with the list, the small tweaks being made and the ramifications of Measure 37 and 49 claims.  He wanted to know what the ramifications to the County will be.  He didnít mind reviewing some issues like home occupations, but he asked if people who had small businesses were going to have to pay thousands of dollars to operate a home business.  He had concerns about F1 and F2 and the impacts to the County long term.  He commented that they will be spending a lot of staff time and energy and it will cost the County a lot of money.  He said he hadnít seen anything that is supposed to go before the stakeholders.

Dwyer thought changes that impact the peopleís ability to do something in the future need to be prospective instead of retrospective.  He said he wonít impact anyoneís ability to do something that they were entitled to do when they bought the property that was reflected in the zoning and the purchase price.

Sorenson thought they should make a Board decision to respond to the Goal One proposals.  He wanted to make sure all perspectives are represented in the stakeholder process. His concern was that they were biting off too much. 

Fleenor thought at the February 25 stakeholder meeting the stakeholders could discuss the issues.  He thought they could also discuss the housekeeping issues and any other issues that surface from other stakeholders.

Handy said they want stakeholder meetings on February 25, March 4 and March 18.  He said with the weekly meetings they can have an exchange about what else gets sent to the stakeholders..

VOTE: 4-1 (Stewart dissenting).

Fleenor said staff will come back next week.  He asked Laird to bring back a revised timeline including the items in the motion.

Laird responded that he will do what he can to put together a couple of packages.  He said he will identify whether these are more restrictive than state law and would potentially be a Measure 49 issue.  He added that some of these items are more restrictive and would kick in a Measure 49 opportunity for some people.

Handy said they donít want to spend staff time.  He indicated the stakeholders will vet the issues.

Fleenor indicated that they have to be careful of a judgment call with Measures 37 and 49 and let the stakeholders work it out unless they see an obvious reason for Measure 37 and 49 claims.

Laird indicated for the first stakeholder meeting on February 25 he wants to hear from all parties and they want to spend time with the first six issues by Goal One.  He still wanted to leave time to hear from other interested parties and begin to develop a list.

Fleenor thought that would bog the process down.  He said if there are good ideas out there, they should be submitted to the Board in a draft.  He said they donít want to waste the stakeholderís time.

Marsha Miller, Public Works, reiterated that she heard for Land Management to return with a further refinement of the clarification system. She said they need the code needs work and streamlining.  She recalled that working with Chapters 13 and 14 did not save staff time or resources.  She added that this wouldnít save staff time or resources either.

COMMISSIONERSí BUSINESS

b. DISCUSSION/Lane Transit District Services Update.

Andy Vabora, LTD, reported that they are in a tough situation.  He said they have great ridership and have come out of a five year growth spurt.  He said the ridership took a dip during the recession because people werenít going to work.   He explained that there is a challenge because the recession had a big impact on payroll taxes. He noted that in a short time they went from 18 percent to 8 percent growth rate to a negative 12 percent.  He added that it is a $6.5 million budget gap they are trying to fill.  He indicated that they have a union contract that expires in June and they will be working to make headway on the personnel services cost side. 

Vabora noted that any future projects in terms of legislation wonít help them but they are working with legislators to find a way to help with the elderly and disabled.  He thanked the Board for their funding.   He noted that 83 percent of operating dollars is to put buses on the road.  He said they have to cut 20 percent of the bus service.  He distributed a system map overview.  (Copy in file).

Dwyer thought the organization needed total restructuring.  He said they canít live in a downward economy on a business tax with large employers.  He said the LTD needs an elected Board.  He thought they needed parameters so they donít tax emerging businesses.  He thought there should be a broader tax that taxes the population.

Sorenson said the LTD is crucial for the community.  He wanted recommendations on the use of flexible dollars the County might have.  He was open to local funding opportunities to assess themselves to help secure funding.  He thought the Board should think about sustainable future activities they could undertake.  He asked what a funding base could be for the LTD that would be assisting with their agenda.

Vabora wanted to continue public participation.  He commented that it is challenging to keep services strong.

Mark Pangborn, LTD, commented that job losses have flattened out.  He said they are anticipating for next year that it will stay flat and they wonít have a quick recovery but they wonít go down.  He commented that this only solves half of their problem with the 20 percent cut.  He added that they have a $6.5 million problem and it would solve about $3 million with the cuts.  He thought in a couple of years out they will have other problems.   

There being no further business, Commissioner Fleenor recessed the meeting at 12:05 p.m.

Melissa Zimmer
Recording Secretary