BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS'
REGULAR MEETING
February 23, 2010
1:30 p.m.
Harris Hall Main Floor
APPROVED 5/11/2010

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

11.       COMMISSIONERSí BUSINESS

a. DISCUSSION/Selecting Newspapers to Publish Monthly Notice of Expenditures, Personal Property Tax Warrants, and Notices of Real Property Tax Foreclosure. (PULLED)

b. REPORT BACK/Citizens Advocating for Public Safety (CAPS).

Dave Frohnmayer, and Jean Tate, Citizens Advocating for Public Safety, gave a power point presentation on Public Safety. (Copy in file). 

Dwyer recalled the Sheriffís Department used to be on a levy but that went away with Measures 50 and 47.  He said the County doesnít have enough money to operate the department.  He was worried about the years 2012 and 2013.  He doesnít think he can fix the problem.  He commented that it was a good time for him to make an exit.  He thought they needed to have a performance based levy.  He added that if they are going to pass a levy for the Sheriff, they have to hold harmless other services and they have to be in front with a system that wonít sacrifice one service for another.  He stated that not doing nothing is not an option.  He hoped the CAPS committee will move forward with a recommendation.

Stewart recalled that they experienced what the potential could be in 2013 two years ago when they balanced the budget without Secure Rural Schools and they didnít add anything back until this budget cycle.  He commented that if they canít get more revenue, he doesnít know how the County will function.  He said they are going to have to put every ounce of effort into the federal Secure Rural Schools reauthorization.  He believes the County Administrator presented a budget that keeps the same services for two years.  Stewart was supportive of keeping the budget and not allowing future cuts.  He indicated that if they start downsizing to glide into a smaller cut in 2012/2013, they will be back like last year to deal with the issues.  He thought this buys time to go out and work hard with the federal and state government.  He said they need to look at what they can do at home to provide services. 

Tate said they intend to come back before the Board.  She said she spoke with Spartz to get a poll together.

Handy wanted polling done in March and possibly placing something on the ballot in November.  He stated that they need to live within their means. He said they have to look to local partners to be involved around the basic level of services and how they are going to fund it.  He asked how they get beyond a crisis response.  He said they need to reform the system.  He asked what they could do now to relate to the crisis and to get to the root of the problem.

Dwyer was not optimistic about a fix for this in one or two elements of the budget.  He noted there are other programs more important than SRS.  He said they need to have Congress reimburse everyone in lieu of taxes.  He commented that the public thinks the County is always crying wolf.  He wasnít sure if people will respond if there is no damage to the County. 

Sorenson recalled the last time the Board put out a measure was in 2007 and the Board has been reluctant to put a measure on the ballot.  He noted that juvenile arrests in Oregon ten years ago were higher in Lane County.  He thought by applying research they can get more bang for their buck. 

Dwyer stated that it takes a unanimous Board to pass a tax measure.  He recalled some Board members didnít vote for the tax last time and it lost by a small percentage.  He commented that it would have passed if the Board had been united.  He said it takes one commissioner to kill something if they wonít support it and campaign against it.

Tate said she wanted the support of all the commissioners.  She indicated that they are not sure about recommending a levy.  She said they need to discuss it more before they suggest something that goes to the voters.  She indicated that the poll will be going out next week.

Frohnmayer commented that past elections were sources of data.  He said the view is to look forward.  He noted the data is alarming and the public and private citizens are stretched to a breaking point.  He stated that they need a united front from everyone.

Gretchen Pierce, CAPS, explained that the most important piece of work in the last decade is to produce a data set to measure where they are and what is taking place.  She noted the public perception is that people still feel safe.  She added crime and property trends are coming down.  She indicated that they have fewer resources and less police officers.  She stated that Lane County has already been innovative in their approach to solving a lot of problems. She said the premise is that the solution can continue to come from an innovative approach.  She stated they have talented people in the County who could advise about best practices.  She said they shouldnít rush to a levy or go for old answers.  She thought they should think this through without new money and preserve what they have a get a continuing result.  She stated that it is hard to bring everyone up to speed when they are talking about new and innovative answers.  She said they are starting to come together on solutions and it is different than what they had expected.  She is if they donít all agree, they wonít get anywhere on trying to solve the problems.

Handy commented that they have to find a way to communicate simply and effectively.  He said it points toward making a recommendation in a timely way that works with their fiscal challenges.

12. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS

Stewart announced an O & C Meeting in Salem on Friday at 8:30 a.m. at the Phoenix Inn.

Handy announced a JEO meeting in Springfield.  He said they will be discussing economic development, animal control and other updates.

13. EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660

Per ORS 192.660(2)(h) for the purpose of discussing potential litigation.

14. OTHER BUSINESS

Golden Temple Letter

Sorenson said after he heard in Public Comment about a letter to the attorney general regarding Sikh Dharma last Wednesday, he called Attorney General Kroger and left a voice mail saying the County came to an agreement on a letter and to be aware of a hearing on Friday in Multnomah Circuit Court.  Sorenson received an answer back stating that Kroger didnít know about the hearing.

Dwyer thought something was missing.  He asked why the judge didnít enjoin a sale.  He said they have problems.

Sorenson indicated there is a narrow issue on whether the Attorney General is going to intervene or not.  He doesnít know what they can do.  He said if they had an unlimited budget the County could intervene in the lawsuit.  He said it represents economic activity for the area and he doesnít know what the outcome will be of the litigation.

Vorhes didnít know whether the County had standing in the case to intervene.  He stated that it was a resource issue.

Dwyer didnít know what the parties of interest were doing. He didnít want to waste time and be redundant.

Sorenson thought legal staff should review this and report back tomorrow.

There being no further business, Commissioner Handy recessed the meeting into Executive Session at 3:35 p.m.

Melissa Zimmer
Recording Secretary