MINUTES OF THE
JOINT ELECTED OFFICIALS OF
THE SPRINGFIELD CITY COUNCIL,
EUGENE CITY COUNCIL,
AND LANE COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2010
APPROVED 3/17/2010

A joint elected officials meeting with the City of Springfield, City of Eugene, and Lane County was held in the Library Meeting Room, 225 Fifth Street, Springfield, Oregon, on Friday, February 26, 2010 at 12:00pm with Mayor Leiken presiding.  

ATTENDANCE

Mayor Leiken welcomed everyone to Springfield City Hall and opened the meeting of the Springfield City Council.

Mayor Piercy opened the meeting of the Eugene City Council and wished Springfield a Happy Birthday.

Commissioner Fleenor opened the meeting of the Lane County Board of Commissioners.

Present from Springfield were Mayor Sid Leiken and Councilors Wylie, Leezer, Ralston, Simmons, and Pishioneri.  Councilor Lundberg was absent. Springfield City Manager Gino Grimaldi and other Springfield staff were also present.

Present from Eugene were Mayor Kitty Piercy and Councilors Ortiz, Clark, Poling (12:43pm), Brown, Taylor, Solomon, Zelenka, and Pryor. Eugene City Manager Jon Ruiz and other Eugene staff were also present.

Present from Lane County were Commissioners Dwyer, Fleenor, Handy (12:05pm), and Stewart. Commissioner Sorenson was absent. Lane County Administrator Jeff Spartz and other Lane County staff were also present.

I.                    I. Adjustments to Agenda

Commissioner Stewart asked if Item IV b could be moved up with Item II. All agreed to the change.

II.                II. Economic Development – Follow-up to the Economic Summit .

Eugene City Manager Jon Ruiz presented this item.  Mr. Ruiz said a power point would be presented followed by discussion on this subject. The administrators were hoping the elected officials could provide some approval on a couple of things. He referred to Attachment B in the agenda packet under this item. This attachment had been presented to the elected officials at a previous meeting and included the Regional Economic Development Strategies and Tactics. He referred to strategy 4, Land and Physical Infrastructure, Tactic 2. The County had some discussion on that item and had perhaps taken action on that recently. From the perspective of the administrators, they would recommend that item be removed from this document. Mr. Ruiz said the administrators’ recommendation would be to confirm Attachment B with the removal of Tactic 2.

Mr. Ruiz referred to Attachment A in the agenda packet, a draft document that came out of the Regional Prosperity Summit. The administrators would ask the elected officials to approve this draft document so the JEO Economic Development Task Force and staff could move forward and begin implementation.

Commissioner Dwyer asked if there was something related to the item removed that was illustrated in the report in Attachment A.

Mr. Ruiz said there was one item that he would discuss later that may have some relevance. He would point that out when he came to that part of the discussion.

Mr. Ruiz said a Regional Prosperity Summit was held in Eugene last November which was well attended. A lot of input was received from that summit. He reviewed the Goal from the summit “By 2020, create 20,000 net new jobs in the chosen economic opportunity areas; reduce the local unemployment rate to, or below the state average; and increase the average wage to or above the state average”. The economic development subcommittee formed of elected officials came up with basic principles on which to base economic prosperity: Healthy Living; Smart Growth; Be Prepared; Local Independence; and Regional Identity.  He discussed those principles briefly.

Mr. Ruiz referred to the Economic Development Strategies from the power point: (1) Growing Local Opportunities; (2) Creative Economy, including partnerships with the University of Oregon and Lane Community College; (3) Talent for Tomorrow; (4) Basic Needs of Business, such as infrastructure; (5) Live the Good Life; and (6) Key Industries. He further discussed how the region could continue to support the development of sectors that had built a strong economic foundation for our community and at the same time develop our innovative culture to support the emerging opportunities within our local economy. Those were the overall strategies the elected officials had seen before. More detail was within the document.

Mr. Ruiz discussed some of the things that came out of the summit which were included in Attachment 1, pages 7 through 9. One of the themes was networking, such as creating a Birth to Three network for businesses just starting up and providing mentorships and support.  Another common theme was to create a business assistance center to provide resources for businesses wanting to locate, expand, or receive support.

Mr. Ruiz said one of the things that was talked a lot about was insuring we had a talented work force. To do this, it was important to improve the basic and applied skills of young people in the region as they prepared to enter the workforce. This effort must begin with school readiness for kindergarten, ensure high school graduation, include vocational/technical training, and internships and mentorships, and provide paths to higher education.

Another focus was to create a regional economic identity, capitalizing on assets that would identify our region as a significant economic center.

New investment coming to the region would be an important complement to the growth of local business in providing for the region’s future economic health. That could include developing and sustaining a business expansion, attraction and retention program with emphasis on traded-sector companies.

The Cities of Eugene and Springfield should continue and enhance their efforts to promote downtown vitality through development and redevelopment. The third item under this section, to inventory and assess adequacy of industrial land availability in support of expansion, attraction and retention in conjunction with comprehensive land assessment processes, was tied to the current land assessment occurring in both cities. This item could be affected by the removal of tactic 2 of Attachment B.

The last focus was creating a Regional Prosperity Council to act as the guiding coalition for the implementation of the regional strategy.  This council would be a decision making body, but not a jurisdictional body, made up of elected officials, appointed officials, and business members.

Mayor Piercy said she considered this as an important moment for the joint elected officials. A lot of these things had been discussed before, and now was the time to take action to move forward. She noted that Commissioner Fleenor told her that the goal of creating 20,000 jobs would now be 35,000, since 15,000 jobs had already been lost. This was an opportunity to replace those jobs with jobs that paid more and set the community up for a better future. She was concerned that Birth to Three would object to the use of that name for a business support, so suggested changing the name. She assumed that the business assistance center would be an incubator type place.

Mr. Ruiz said that could show up in a couple of different places in the document. There were places in Attachment B that talked about entrepreneurial infrastructure, partnerships, and opportunities. Part of that network could be the incubator space.

Mayor Piercy asked if the schools had been brought into this discussion.

Mr. Ruiz said not formally.

Mayor Piercy said her only concern was how this could take the region beyond what we already had, such as the Metro Partnership who went out to bring businesses into our community. She would want to know what would be done differently with this and what would be the added value.

Councilor Zelenka said he liked some of the information, but felt like he was reading a rehash of what was already being done. There was a disconnect between discussions in Eugene about the next economy and getting positioned for the green economy. There was nothing about the Eugene Mayor’s sustainability efforts. This was not as much of a vision document as it was an economic development tool document. He was disappointed that it didn’t go far enough.

Commissioner Fleenor said there should be a commencement date regarding creation of new jobs by 2020. He was happy with the process and with the outcomes, and now it was time to get to work. They needed to implement this. Although it was not a perfect document, it was a living document that could be improved. He suggested the name Inception to Success instead of Birth to Three. He was pleased and now it was time to roll up their sleeves and get to the business of creating jobs.

Councilor Ortiz said the part she felt didn’t connect was the education piece. This was an opportunity for Eugene to say what was important for them. The community already had a regional identity, but it would be a question of how to encourage people to want to bring jobs here. She was curious about how to address the basic skills of young people when the budgets for the schools were in trouble.

Councilor Pryor said there were still things that could be worked on, but this was a great document. The Regional Prosperity Council could continue that work. It was important that the team be made up of all the elected officials. The educational component was important. The last time they had gone through this, one of the areas that was critically involved was a network with the community colleges. That system was still in place and could easily be reinvigorated. They could learn from what had been done before¸ but they needed to be careful of the steps taken during these tough economic times. Things were going to be different when the economy improved.

Councilor Wylie said it was painful to see businesses in our downtowns closing and suffering. She would like a segment in the plan to bring in a team with resources to resuscitate a business that was starting to fail. It would be difficult to create new jobs when the existing jobs were failing. If they had a system, they could send in a team to analyze the situation.

Councilor Clark said this may not be a perfect plan for all, but was a very good plan. It was not just a Eugene plan, but a regional plan and respected the jurisdictional differences. He appreciated the chance to serve on the subcommittee and the hard work of everyone at the summit. This gave them a roadmap to begin and could be adjusted as they went. He was anxious to get moving and to act.

Councilor Taylor said she was concerned when they talked about attracting new business because she wanted to sustain the homegrown businesses. What we had was good and we should focus on that and assist local businesses that were in trouble.  She was skeptical about creating 20,000 new jobs. They needed to have jobs for the people here, but it wouldn’t be a good life anymore if they attracted too many people. Before creating a Prosperity Council, she wanted to be clear what that group would do that no one else was currently doing. Once they created a group, it was difficult to remove.

Commissioner Dwyer said he was also skeptical, and was a proven skeptic. A well run business had assistance from other sources such as the bank. Smart people could produce things competitively and would succeed. We were now competing in an international market with low or no environmental, labor, or wage standards and national companies were rewarded for working with them. Policies were totally wrong. When things were tight, costs needed to be cut back. It was good to do something. We had a great future and he was optimistic. He discussed technology advances. He thanked staff for their effort.

Commissioner Fleenor said from listening to the others comments, there was some interest in moving forward even though the document was not perfect. Entrepreneurs didn’t quit after their first failure. He would like to see this move forward. He asked Mayor Leiken what the process was to move forward, such as a motion.

Mayor Leiken said there were still several folks waiting to speak. There were three suggested motions in the packet for the elected officials to consider.

Councilor Pryor said he agreed they should move forward. For this body of policy makers, part of what had slowed down their progress in the past was coming to a consensus of policy. As they moved down the road to economic recovery, they needed to determine whether or not there was a way to reach a collaborative agreement on the policies for economic strategies, such as whether the economy needed an influx of dollars in and out, or if it could be self-sustaining by moving the same dollars around within the area. That issue had not been agreed upon in the past. The policy makers needed to make those decisions.

Councilor Poling arrived. (12:43pm)

Mayor Piercy reminded the group that one thing the joint elected officials could do was to leverage their mutual abilities to move their communities forward. They had come to the conclusion that they could continue to do things their own way or try to do better during these hard times by working together. They had done well in that effort. Some home grown businesses would grow so big they would go out of town and others would come in. How they tried to leverage those things to our advantage was part of the discussion. Travel Lane County had done a lot of work in determining what made our community attractive so she felt that could be removed from this work plan. Travel Lane County, Lane Community College belonged to all of us and they were poised to become the green job center and a place to move our economy forward. As the body of joint elected officials, they needed to look at what the region had and leverage it to our advantage. Those things were already there in terms of what could be done together. She reiterated that her only concern was that the group would be another way of rewriting what was already being done. It needed to be scaled up in a way that moved us forward.

Commissioner Handy said he was happy to support the two cities moving forward with their plans. He referred to the Metro Plan Work Plan which was in the agenda packet as Item IV a and IV b. It included Lane County’s proposal for economic development for small cities. He acknowledged Mr. McKenzie Barr for his work on this issue. The Commissioners were looking for ways to move forward. There were fourteen or fifteen economic development entities in Lane County. He questioned creating another entity when they could perhaps merge with an existing entity. He asked if they would be looking for new funding for the entity.

Mr. Ruiz said they had not come up with a solution until they knew if the elected officials wanted to move forward. If the joint elected officials supported moving forward, the administrators would put it into action. They needed to define what that meant.

Commissioner Handy urged the elected officials to look at ways to do that. He agreed with Councilor Ortiz about the education component. This document didn’t address educational issues. The community needed healthy young people turning into taxpayers and contributing to our communities. The County was interested in the priority of how to protect farmlands and resource lands. A couple of decades ago, the region was producing 50-60% of its own food and now was only producing about 3%. The figure should be somewhere closer to 30%. He noted the amount of money that was being spent that went out of our region for food that could be spent locally. He didn’t see anything binding in this document, but a lot of aspirational things. He would be supporting this with a couple of amendments.

Mayor Leiken said he agreed with Mayor Piercy about Travel Lane County. When he had the opportunity to sit as interim director of Lane Metro Partnership, a siting consultant had told them every city claimed to have ‘quality of life’. Having an identity would be key. It was fine for each of the cities to have an identity, but the region needed to have an identity that would attract others. Travel Lane County was instrumental in that aspect. He referred to the prosperity council and noted that other communities had ambassadors, which could assist when companies wanted to expand or locate in our region. Many companies were concerned about the confidentiality when businesses wanted to come in to our region. He referred to an example where a business chose not to site in a City that didn’t use confidentiality.

Councilor Clark said he agreed with Commissioner Handy about this being aspirational. He was willing to make a motion to move this forward.

IT WAS MOVED BY COUNCILOR CLARK TO APPROVE THE REGIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PLAN AS WRITTEN AND RE-CONFIRM THE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIES FROM THE SEPTEMBER 2009 JEO MEETING; AND DIRECT THE JOINT ELECTED OFFICIALS’ ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT TASK FORCE AND STAFF TO IMPLEMENT THE REGIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PLAN.

Commissioner Dwyer added a friendly amendment to remove Item 4, Tactic 2 from the Regional Economic Development Strategies. 

COMMISSIONER FLEENOR MADE A FRIENDLY AMENDMENT TO CHANGE BIRTH TO THREE TO INCEPTION TO SUCCESS.

COUNCILOR CLARK ACCEPTED THE FRIENDLY AMENDMENTS.

THE MOTION WAS SECONDED BY COMMISSIONER FLEENOR.

Councilor Zelenka asked what was new in this document compared to what had already been done.

Mr. Ruiz named a few. He said he had heard that it was important to add value as they moved forward. Staff would then return to the elected officials to sort it out.

Mr. Zelenka said the tools were good, but he didn’t feel it went forward with the vision directed by the elected officials.

IT WAS MOVED BY COUNCILOR ZELENKA TO MODIFY THE DOCUMENTS TO INCORPORATE ALL THAT WAS IN THE SUSTAINABLE INITIATIVES AND INCORPORATING THE FRIENDLY AMENDMENTS.

COUNCILOR TAYLOR SECONDED COUNCILOR ZELENKA’S MOTION.

Councilor Wylie said she still had an issue with business assistance and would like that addressed. There were a lot of things the cities could do to assist. There should be a coordination of resources and programs to get businesses started and keep them running.

COUNCILOR ZELENKA SAID HE WOULD ACCEPT THAT AS A FRIENDLY AMENDMENT.

Commissioner Fleenor noted the motions and amendments on the table. He said this was a living document and could be brought back to amend later. He would prefer to go back with the first motion (Option 1) and make any modifications at the next meeting. Option 2 could also work, but there was a lot of back and forth on this right now.

Councilor Pishioneri reiterated that organizations like Travel Lane County had supported many of the businesses in this area. Creating jobs had been discussed, but the cities and County couldn’t create jobs; that was up to the private sector. Government could support the development of jobs, and the elected officials could act as ambassadors to help them. He thought this was a good plan and very thoughtful. He supported the plan.

Commissioner Fleenor asked for a restatement of the substituted motion.

Councilor Clark said this was larger scope document and was not meant to be that descriptive. If Councilor Zelenka would like to throw out his motion and receive further information regarding the sustainable business initiative, he would take that as a friendly amendment.

Mayor Piercy said if it was handled that way, it would all be in the first motion.

Councilor Clark said he would take all of Councilor Zelenka’s suggestions as friendly amendments.

COUNCILOR ZELENKA WITHDREW HIS MOTION.

THE WITHDRAWAL WAS SECONDED.

Councilor Pryor agreed with the suggestion to go back to the first motion with the amendments.

RESTATEMENT OF THE MOTION: TO APPROVE THE REGIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PLAN AS WRITTEN AND RE-CONFIRM THE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIES FROM THE SEPTEMBER 2009 JEO MEETING; AND DIRECT THE JOINT ELECTED OFFICIALS’ ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT TASK FORCE AND STAFF TO IMPLEMENT THE REGIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PLAN;

AND to remove Item 4, Tactic 2 from the Regional Economic Development Strategies (FRIENDLY AMENDMENT);

AND TO CHANGE BIRTH TO THREE TO INCEPTION TO SUCCESS (FRIENDLY AMENDMENT);

AND TO INCORPORATE ALL THAT WAS IN THE SUSTAINABLE INITIATIVES (FRIENDLY AMENDMENT);

AND PROVIDE A coordination of resources and programs to get businesses started and keep them running (FRIENDLY AMENDMENT).

Councilor Taylor asked if the Eugene City Council could vote on this if they were not in Eugene.

Mr. Ruiz said it was not a binding vote, but provided guidance to staff. It was an advisory vote.

THE MOTION PASSED WITH A VOTE OF 16 IN FAVOR AND 1 OPPOSED.

IV b     Lane County’s Proposal for Economic Development with Small Cities.

Mayor Leiken said this item had been moved to this part of the meeting per Commissioner Stewart’s request.

Community and Economic Development Manager Mike McKenzie-Bahr said this memo addressed how the County would be taking a piece of the economic development plan and immediately implementing it by hiring a contract person to move forward. The contract person would be starting on April 5. He noted Councilor Zelenka’s reference to renewable energy, which would be included in the County’s plan as well. He thanked the joint elected officials for their action on the economic development plan.

Councilor Taylor left 1:05pm.

Councilor Fleenor confirmed that no further action was required on this by the County.

III.               Animal Control.

Lane County Administrator Jeff Spartz presented this item.  The current facility that housed Lane County Animal Services (LCAS) and the Eugene Spay/Neuter Clinic was built in the late 1970s, and was at the end of its useful life. Commissioner Dwyer had helped to shepherd the original facility from its inception to development and could answer additional questions. The County had identified that it would cost about $8M to replace the facility. They thought it would be appropriate for the joint elected officials and others in the community to look at this in a broader perspective for the total needs for animal services in the community, and the alternatives to meet those needs. Those alternatives could include private sector partnerships with the public sector.

Lane County Health and Human Services Assistant Director Karen Gaffney presented a power point and provided additional information on this topic. She said Animal Services had been moved to the Health and Human Services Department.

Ms. Gaffney said there was a long history of this facility with the three jurisdictions working together to make a big difference for the animals of our community. Animals resonated with the public and they cared deeply for animals, and for the safety of our citizens from dangerous animals. The community standards had evolved significantly since the partnership began thirty years ago regarding euthanasia, spaying and neutering animals, and saving adoptable animals. Those standards created a need for a different type of facility.

Ms. Gaffney said the different jurisdictions participated in the animal facility in different ways. Lane County Animal Services did the licensing for Lane County and the City of Eugene. Springfield did their own licensing and code enforcement. Animal care and sheltering for all three jurisdictions was done by Lane County, as were adoptions of the animals. Those services had provided an important adjunct to the humane society, Greenhill. The way those services differed was that Greenhill was focused on people who needed to relinquish their animals. Lane County did not do those types of services.

Ms. Gaffney referred to information in the power point regarding licensing sales from 2004 to the current date. She noted the increase in 2004 and 2005 which was largely due to the implementation of the rabies reporting on licensing. There was a renewed push over the last year and a half which pushed those numbers up again. The figures were for Eugene and unincorporated Lane County.

Councilor Ralston asked when the dog limit was increased from two to three in Eugene.

Ms. Gaffney said it was last August.

Councilor Ralston noted an increase in 2009 and thought it might be from that change.

Ms. Gaffney said they had done a canvas to promote licensing in 2009, so that may have attributed more to the increase. She referred to a chart in the power point showing the number of dogs entering the shelter from all three jurisdictions. Those numbers were going down, which was intentional. The focus was that if the sale of licenses increased, the dogs went home without going into the shelter. They also charged the officers in the field to work with people to find out what type of resources they needed to care for their animal. Last fiscal year, about half of the animals at the shelter were from Eugene, about a quarter from the County, and about 19% from Springfield. She referred to information regarding the field calls, citations and number of abuse and neglect cases in FY09.

Councilor Poling asked if they had the breakdown of how many were in Eugene and how many in the County.

Ms. Gaffney said she had those figures at her office, but not in the power point. She said she could get that information for him. She referred to the chart on Live Release Rate, a tool used at shelters to get a euthanasia rate. Lane County had an overall rate of over 94%, which was very good for an open door shelter such as Lane County. Greenhill was a closed door shelter that could turn away dogs that had significant health or behavioral problems.

Ms. Gaffney discussed the issues with the current facility: aging and too small; inadequate segregation in lobby and animal areas; not supportive of animal evaluations or adoption processes; and inefficient for maintenance and workflow. She displayed photos of the facility and noted some improvements that had been made to the facility and the signage.

Ms. Gaffney described the kenneling at the current facility that had been designed thirty years ago, and how designs for kennels had changed since that time. She said the policy questions for today were how the costs of a new facility might be shared publicly and privately, how best to leverage the LCAS and Greenhill sites, and if there were opportunities to better serve the public through code changes, licensing, etc. The County Administrator had convened a small group made up of representatives from all three jurisdictions to focus on what it would take to finance and operate a new shelter. A report would be issued from that group on some of the options regarding financing.

Mayor Leiken asked if every County in Oregon provided animal services.

Ms. Gaffney said she had not contacted all counties, but she believed that most provided dog control.

Commissioner Dwyer said Ms. Gaffney had done an excellent job. What made the program work was the dedication of the people to the mission at hand. He said there were a lot of politics involved in building the current facility. He did what he had to do to make it happen, and that was what it would take to make this work today. He felt a different model was needed other than the Tri-Agency model. There were places and land available for a new facility which the County already owned. There were tremendous opportunities with the private sector that needed to be explored. Ms. Gaffney was asking the elected officials to explore the different models and the financing options. He noted that he and Commissioner Stewart used their own funds several years ago to have an architect from Denver come out to Lane County. He felt the City of Eugene needed their own entrance for the spay/neuter clinic. There were other things they could do in the near future to alleviate some of the issues. The Board was committed to fixing animal regulation. He thanked Commissioner Fleenor for his assistance with this even before he was on the Board. Commissioner Fleenor had a background in veterinary medicine and had been a tremendous help. He would like the joint elected officials to work together for the common good. There wasn’t anything they couldn’t do collectively if they were committed.

Commissioner Fleenor thanked Commissioner Dwyer for his comments. Pets were very important to their owners and when the subject of animals was discussed, citizens came out to speak in large numbers. He said he spoke with Mayor Piercy and Mr. Ruiz a few weeks ago and asked that this topic be added to today’s agenda. He felt this meeting could be the forum in which they launched a subcommittee to work together with the County to try to develop this community vision, rather than the County packaging something they presented to the cities. The purpose of this on the agenda was to see if there was interest.

Commissioner Handy said Lane County received many phone calls regarding animals. There was a lot of passion from the community on this subject. The three jurisdictions had some challenging areas to face in the next twenty to thirty years, but he felt this was one area for a common vision. There were some revenue generating opportunities worth looking into. Cost was a driver, but in the interest of the public, it was important for the jurisdictions to find the funding. Ms. Gaffney could attend the City Council meetings for Eugene and Springfield to discuss this further. It came down to accountability to the public sector involved in these support services. This was a great area to come together. 

Councilor Ralston asked what Greenhill did differently than the County, and how the County could partner with them.

Ms. Gaffney said they did partner together in some ways now, and there could be other opportunities to explore. Greenhill did some spay and neutering services, as did the County, but their focus was adopting animals out to families. Greenhill didn’t do any of the animal control function. The County worked with Greenhill on feral cats now, and could partner with them on community education. The animals that came into the County’s care were stray and homeless and the County did adopt those out to the public. Some of them were transferred to Greenhill.

Councilor Ralston said that could be a way to continue to partner. He pointed out that the Springfield City Council sent a letter to State representatives asking that the State of Oregon create a license plate in which the proceeds would benefit animal welfare. That would be an opportunity for animal lovers to buy a license plate, generating funds that could funnel back to the local level.

Councilor Poling said he would like to further investigate the non-profit/public partnership, giving both organizations the opportunity to save some money. He didn’t want to get too bogged down in a community vision process. This was something that needed to be addressed soon. He and his wife had been doing volunteer work for an animal rescue support group for the past few years, and had visited many animal shelters in Oregon and Washington that were fine facilities. He suggested looking at those facilities when considering a new facility in Lane County. There were a lot of people in the community that would likely step forward to support this effort. He would like to hear more during a work session. He wasn’t aware that the City of Springfield had suggested the license plate, and he thought it was a good idea. He would like to continue the discussion on this subject.

Councilor Simmons said he met with Ms. Gaffney in September and he noted that Springfield had a need that was a cost issue so we needed to proceed carefully. There was a perception difference. Springfield had an attitude of containment and movement to the shelter, and Eugene had a more open process of getting the animal taken care of and adopted. He noted his past experience as an animal control officer and some of the dangerous animals he encountered. He was supportive of this, but it would be important to balance the differences between the jurisdictions. His predecessor, Council John Woodrow, would have been very supportive of this effort. He wanted to be sure this was looked at seriously. 

Commissioner Fleenor said LCAS was not a no-kill facility. They recognized that some animals did have to be euthanized. One of the things they were looking for was standardization of codes within the jurisdictions. They would also ask for permission to work with the cities to canvas the jurisdictions to get more licensing. License fees could possibly help in putting forth a levy. Building a new facility could take longer than taking some of these other steps.

Councilor Pryor said he agreed to finding ways to partner for a solution. Operationally, some things could be done now, but the challenging issue was regarding the building. He agreed that the facility was at the end of its useful life, but he noted that Eugene’s city hall and street lights were also at the end of their useful life. Eugene had deferred maintenance on an entire infrastructure, so this was not a unique problem. The jurisdictions needed to find ways to get out of all of the challenges. This building was something that was used regularly by the public and needed to be addressed soon.

Councilor Zelenka said he liked the idea of a partnership and he also like the license plate idea. A couple of years ago Eugene talked about what would happen if animal services were not provided, and those outcomes were much worse. He asked how they paid for the original building.

Ms. Gaffney said she was not sure. She has documentation of how the three jurisdictions divided the land, but not on the construction cost.

Councilor Zelenka asked if this would be right for stimulus funding.

Ms. Gaffney said she hadn’t seen an opportunity for this type of project through stimulus funding. They had looked at other possible grants, which were challenging for the public sector to receive. They didn’t qualify for some grants because their euthanasia rates were low. In doing research of shelters, they found that there was a lot of participation from private organizations and individuals.

Councilor Clark asked about the revenue sharing formula with the City of Eugene for licensing.

Ms. Gaffney said the contract with the City of Eugene had a base of general funds that came to LCAS. LCAS kept 100% of the licensing revenue up to a cap that was recently raised by $100,000 (total of about $260,000). Any licensing revenue above that amount went back to the City of Eugene.

Councilor Clark asked if changing that formula would affect how many dogs were licensed.

Ms. Gaffney said increasing it by $100,000 was critical because it gave LCAS the opportunity to let the public know that 100% of the license fee went towards animal services. Until last year, LCAS had never come close to that cap, but last year they did get closer to that cap. Being able to sell more licenses and use that revenue to support animal services had made a big difference to the services they could provide.

Councilor Clark asked if raising the cap increased revenue.

Ms. Gaffney said it did. It provided an incentive to the County.

Councilor Wylie said there were gas taxes for roads and alcohol and drug taxes for treatment. She asked about a nickel a bag tax on dry dog food. It could be a state initiative. Pet owners wouldn’t mind spending the extra nickel for additional services.

Ms. Gaffney said that idea had been raised in the past.

Commissioner Fleenor said that had been tried, but met with resistance. It was a good idea. An LCARA task force looked at that as a possible revenue source and heard from lobbyists all the way from Washington DC in opposition.

Mayor Piercy said she was willing to look at short term solutions, and was amendable to looking more broadly at all animal services. She felt this had to be in the context of everything else that needed attention and prioritized. She appreciated today’s conversation because it was a good illustration of the jurisdictions working together, but these conversations were two way streets. The larger conversation was about purviews and responsibilities on all fronts. Because of the shortfalls in funding, the jurisdictions had to look at things differently and carefully. There were areas in which the County was no longer able to provide services, and cities had to step up to cover those services. She thought the license plate was a great idea. She agreed with private/public partnership. They needed to look together at cross-jurisdictional goals and the order of these projects.

Councilor Poling said if they had a work session on this subject, he would like to see the breakdown of the enforcement ordinances in Eugene, Springfield, and Lane County.

Commissioner Fleenor asked if this could go to each City Council for a work session first, then report back to the full JEO.

Councilor Ortiz said it would be good to have a broader conversation about this before getting down to the specifics. She said the Parks Foundation and Library Foundation used public private partnerships and she liked that idea, similar to the Birth to Three concept from the economic development discussion. She would like that to be part of the conversation.

Mr. Spartz left the meeting - 1:54pm.

Mayor Leiken said Springfield would discuss whether or not to have a work session on this topic during their next Agenda Review meeting.

Commissioner Fleenor discussed the Secure Rural Schools funding to the County.

Mayor Piercy said there were many issues on the table that had a need.

IV a.    Update on Metro Plan Work Plan.

Mayor Leiken asked if there was time to discuss Item IV a.

Mr. Grimaldi said it was there for the elected officials’ information. There was no need for further discussion.

ADJOURNMENT – 1:55 p.m.

Mayor Leiken adjourned the Springfield City Council.

Mayor Piercy adjourned the Eugene City Council.

Commissioner Fleenor adjourned the Lane County Commissioners.

 

Minutes Recorder
Amy Sowa
City Recorder