BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS'
REGULAR MEETING
February 23, 2010
9:00 a.m.
Harris Hall Main Floor
APPROVED 5/11/2010

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

1. ADJUSTMENTS TO THE AGENDA

Item 11 a. was moved to March 27.  The Golden Temple matter will move to 11 a.

2. PUBLIC COMMENTS

David Force, Eugene, stated that he represents Jim Gillette in an appeal pending before the Oregon Court of Appeals in which the County is an adverse party.  He stated that as a citizen he expressed his disappointment that the Oregon Court of Appeals is going into the Appellate Settlement Conference to resolve this without going through the legal process and the County has communicated its rejection of that opinion.  He said it is the Countyís position that Gillette had to agree to give up his position to have a negotiation.  Force said his experience in dealing with the settlement conference is that it is an excellent program.  He stated that unfortunately the County didnít take the opportunity.

Ann McLucas, Eugene, stated four years ago she spoke on behalf of Gilletteís case and she couldnít understand why the County was standing in the way of someone doing a good thing.  She didnít know the complexities but after four years she doesnít know why the County wonít negotiate.  She said it is costing the County and Gillette money.

Carol Berg Caldwell, Eugene, stated she was looking forward to the afternoon session.  She attended a public work session yesterday and the task force talked about safety.  She said they need adequate programs for substance abuse, the mentally ill, child care and jail beds.  She added that police must be in place.  She said Sheriff Burger requested a more extensive plan that addressed social services.  She hoped they will hear that a balanced Public Safety plan is key.  She reported that for every $1 dollar for prevention saves $ 7 dollars  in jail beds.  She commended the community on the Downtown Public Safety Task Force.

Krishna Khalsa, Eugene, thanked the Board for his letter to the Attorney General.  He said everything so far is true and was confirmed in the hearings last Friday in Portland.  He indicted that seven management executives did sell the non-profit assets to themselves as a management group in 2007. He added that they further understand that a sale is pending and is now in escrow and scheduled to close on Monday March 1.  He said they need a quick response from the Attorney General.  He indicated the defendants are attempting to intimidate the plaintiff by stating there is a $5 million penalty if there is a delay on the closure of the sale and they would seek recourse against the plaintiffs if their option is delayed going through on Monday.  He reported the Attorney General was going to be at the University of Oregon on Friday and he thought it would be a good opportunity for the Board to set up a meeting with him.

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

Dwyer stated that the Board canít take a position in the lawsuit.

Handy announced that yesterday in Harris Hall he witnessed Susan Chanti being sworn in as the newest Circuit Court Judge.

4. EMERGENCY BUSINESS

None.

5. COUNTY ADMINISTRATION

a. Announcements

Spartz reported that the Lane Workforce Partnership was awarded a $50,000 grant for the private sector that sells goods or services outside of Oregon and or health care organizations.

6. COUNTY COUNSEL

a. Announcements

None.

7. PERFORMANCE AUDITOR

a. Announcements

None.

8. COMMISSIONERSí BUSINESS

a. REPORT and POSSIBLE ACTION/Southern Oregon Counties Oregon Solutions Project, Southern Oregon Clean Energy Alliance (SOCEA) and Consideration of Lane County Signing a Memorandum of Understanding with Douglas, Coos, Josephine, and Curry Counties and join SOCEA.

Stewart recalled that two years ago when the County was struggling to get reauthorization of Secure Rural Schools, the Oregon Solutions Agency wanted to see if they could put together a solutions project on how the counties who are hit the hardest with the loss of federal funding could find a way to replace the revenue.  He indicated through conversations an effort was made on looking at renewable energy.  He noted that several counties in eastern Oregon and the Columbia Gorge took advantage of renewable energy opportunity toward wind and they have been able to supplement the reduction in SRS payments.  He added that it gave them excess money in their general fund.  He noted that he received a report from seven counties in Northern California that makes up one group.  He said they showed them they could combine and have a cooperative effort among more than one county.  He said they looked at energy independence  

Stewart said this MOU is to form a cooperative working group together. He said the group is Coos, Curry, Douglas and Josephine counties.  He thought Lane County wanted to be a member to combine efforts.  He added they would use AOC staff for this.  He noted the North Coast Water Management Plan has contributed $10,000 to this effort to pay for administrative costs for the first year.  He stated there are no financial requirements.  He added there is an opt out clause in case they donít want to participate any longer.  He said they could get out with a 30 day notice.  He said he wanted to continue the effort. He said the goals are to create quality economic development opportunities for the communities, industries and households and to generate an economic base and revenue stream to the communities and counties in order to provide and maintain quality of services.  He said they would do that through the objectives.  He read the projects. (Copy in file).  He thought instead of having a 12 county effort with Northern California, they recommended they get the first agreement going and possibly combining the Northern California counties at a later date.  He indicated for the first year they would work on biomass.  He noted there is funding available to inventory to replace oil fire boilers with newer technology.  He indicated that would be one of the areas they would target. He noted the other project is looking at gap funding for renewable energy projects with residents including installing water heaters and solar panels.  He said they wanted to apply for grant funds and pool resources in pursuing the projects if there are multiple counties that wanted to do bonding.  He thought a multi-county effort  brings resources together including staff time.   He reported March 18 is their next meeting. He added that at this time Lane County is the only county that has not taken action.  He hoped to establish a relationship with AOC to start the process of boiler replacement inventory and gap funding for energy projects with solar hot water.

Sorenson asked what the next steps would be.  He was supportive of the effort.

Stewart responded that Coos, Curry, Douglas and Josephine counties have already passed this MOU with their boards.  He said they are the last county.  He asked if Lane County wanted to join in the effort and if they do, they would appoint a person to be the representative.  He volunteered to serve on the committee.  He indicated they will work on the agreement with AOC and they will start the process of inventorying the opportunities to change out boilers in schools and applying for grants and working toward an energy gap funding program.

Dwyer thought it was a good idea and it fits their framework.

MOTION: to move to authorize the MOU.

Dwyer MOVED, Stewart SECONDED.

Handy indicated some of the language concerns him.  He didnít agree with the subject of biomass as clean energy.  He knew that some people would make money.  He thought improvements could take place.  He wanted to look at a revision. 

Stewart explained that when they talk about biomass, it is an effort to deal with waste.  He commented that it is the same as Short Mountain, to reduce capacity and use in the waste stream that is beneficial and has less impact on the environment.

Handy stated that there is a disconnect with clean energy references and biomass that havenít been connected.  He thought this needed a re-write.  He stated that he wonít support this today.

Sorenson agreed that they shouldnít take action.  He thought they should keep working on this.  He favored Lane County pursuing gap funding to help business owners.  He thought if several counties got together that they could have economies of scale.  He thought when they get this back for further consideration to think about other technologies that look promising for the communities in the region.

Dwyer said they could nit pick this to death.  He thought there were good parts.  He thought Stewart has been forthright representing the interests of the Board and if there is direction from the Board that he will relay that message.  He said they need to make it work.

Dwyer withdrew his motion.

Sorenson thought Mike McKenzie-Bahr, Economic Development, should be involved.  Sorenson thought McKenzie-Bahr could take the suggestions from the Board, put together an order approving it and send it through the budget process and legal staff for review of the agreement.

Stewart recommended Alex Cuyler, Intergovernmental Relations Manager, also being involved because he had attended all the meetings and he could have a valuable presence in crafting the board order.

Stewart withdrew his second.

9. HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

A RESOLUTION 10-2-23-1/Proclaiming March 7-13, 2010 as Problem Gambling Awareness Week in Lane County

MOTION: to approve RESOLUTION 10-2-23-1.

Sorenson MOVED, Dwyer SECONDED

Handy read the resolution into the record.

VOTE: 4-0.

10. COMMISSIONERSí BUSINESS

a. DISCUSSION and POSSIBLE ACTION/Last Resort Oregon Department of Transportation and Lane County Pilot Project Partnership for Highway 36.

Marsha Miller, Public Works, recalled on February 5, 2010 she sent a memo providing information on ODOTís interest in a Last Resort Policy for Highway 36.  She reported ODOT is interested in a last resort pilot project and Lane County has had a Last Resort Policy since 2005.  She indicated that it is not currently being implemented because they have a moratorium on any herbicide spraying and that has been in effect since 2008.  She noted in 2008 ODOT contacted County staff because they were pursuing a Last Resort Policy for all of the state highways in Lane County and Lane County worked with them to provide expertise.  She said that ODOT requested funding in the 2009 legislative session but didnít receive funding approval.  She recalled the Board expressed support of this project in a resolution n 2008 and in a letter of support in 2009.  She stated that Lane County staff supported moving forward with this project if it gets funding.  She indicated that ODOT is pursuing funding and until that comes through, they are limited.

MOTION: to direct the County Administrator to work with Marsha Miller and have a letter prepared incorporating the December 2009 letter to ODOT regarding flexible funds and bring it back for Board deliberation.

Sorenson MOVED, Dwyer SECONDED.  

VOTE: 4-0.

b. DISCUSSION/Approving Scope of Work for Economic Development Specialist Contract Position.

Mike McKenzie-Bahr, Economic Development, explained that this is for Fridayís Joint Elected Officialsí meeting in which they will be given a draft to adopt a 20 year economic development plan that is attached as Attachment B.  He said each agency will select which elements they want to move forward.  He noted Attachment A is the Economic Development Work Program and what they have chosen for Lane County to move forward with. 

Dwyer didnít agree with tactic 2.  He said they are in charged with development outside of the city limits.  He stated that zoning comes first.

MOTION: to remove Attachment B, Strategy 4, land use infrastructure and striking tactic 2 for Fridayís meeting.

Dwyer MOVED, Sorenson SECONDED.

McKenzie-Bahr indicated that this exact language has been with them since August and they are ready to move on with the elements.  He said they havenít brought forth the adopted scope of work until they get direction from the JEO that they will have a 20 year plan that will be adopted by all parties.  He said they will take parts of that and adopt their own work plan.  He added that they put out a part-time contract to assist with the work.  

VOTE: 4-0

With regard for the contract position, McKenzie-Bahr indicated that the funds were already in the budget..  He said he was confused at the agenda setting meeting about this item.  He said the request was their full work plan, not just this item.  He said he doesnít need Board action on the specialist contract position.  He wanted to come back after the JEO meeting to talk about economic development and what they were doing in relationship with the whole program.

Stewart thought there should be more outreach to individual cities.  He received an e-mail noting that this use to be a position in the past and now they are preparing a contractual agreement.  He asked if there was any conflict between the past and future position.

McKenzie-Bahr responded that there are no other positions in his department.  He said it is their intention to bring in this budget cycle additional positions.  He said they will bring in a request for a full time position and a way to fund that position.

Spartz explained that this is a temporary assignment and will not be a permanent employee.  He said a concern was raised by an employee that the Board eliminated the position.  He said if they were to go back to a permanent employee position, there would be an issue.

c. PRESENTATION/City of Eugene Sustainability Commission.

Matt McCrae, City of Eugene , gave a presentation  the Eugene Sustainability Commission.

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

Melissa Zimmer
Recording Secretary