June 8, 2010
Harris Hall Main Floor
Commissioner Bill Fleenor presided with Commissioners Bill Dwyer, Rob Handy and Pete Sorenson present. Faye Stewart was excused. County Administrator Jeff Spartz, County Counsel Liane Richardson and Recording Secretary Melissa Zimmer were also present.
TO THE AGENDA
Item 5 c. is pulled to be rescheduled at a later time.
Gary Jensen, Junction City, said his issue is on a piece of property that had been previously discussed. He distributed updated information. (Copy in file). He said that Public Works had sent him a final notice. He said it is over a situation where Public Works came in and dug a 60 foot ditch through the center of his property without consent. He spoke with Arno Nelson, Public Works, and Nelson agreed a ditch had been dug for the replacement of a pipe. Jensen said he owns both sides of the road. Jensen said he didn’t have money for a driveway permit. He said he received a letter about a facilities permit. He said he has tried to talk with County Counsel and can’t get through. He wanted to find out without acting as his own legal representative how to get through to the legal department to get some information.
3. COMMISSIONERS' RESPONSE TO PUBLIC COMMENTS AND/OR OTHER ISSUES AND REMONSTRANCE
Richardson recalled when Jensen’s call came in she referred it to Marc Kardell in her office to handle. She sat in on the call. She said Kardell spent about an hour talking to Jensen about his issues. She added they sent him down to Land Management and they have spent several hours talking to him. She reported that he then submitted a written document to them. She reviewed it. She added that what Jensen wants is legal advice and they told him they can’t provide legal advice. She indicated that he wanted the County to do a survey for him and he was told the County doesn’t do private surveys for individuals. She indicated that at this point Jensen needs to get his own attorney for legal advice or he needs a surveyor. She added that they have provided all of the documents that he had requested and there are no more documents to give to him. She told him he was provided with everything and they cannot talk to him anymore.
Sorenson indicated that the Board received a letter about a NACo prescription discount card program. He wanted to know if this topic could be reviewed.
Fleenor thought they should investigate this item. He thought they should have a work session to discuss the pros and cons.
Spartz recalled that the issue was discussed before. He noted there appears to be certain issues. He said the state of Oregon wants competitive bidding and this is card is different.
Richardson said besides the fact this was not done through competitive selection, they currently have contracts with other companies to provide pharmacy services and they would be violating those contracts by entering into the NACo contract. She added that those people could sue the County because they already have a contract with the County. She said they submitted a proposal to get to the same spot by running a competitive program or a process first. She said Trina Laidlaw, Assistant County Counsel, can discuss this further as she has prepared several memos on the subject.
Handy reported that he went to an education event on the McKenzie River about water quality issues.
Fleenor stated that they need an order for a proxy for the NACo meeting.
MOTION: to allow who will be going to the NACo conference to be the proxy.
Sorenson recommended dividing votes equally among commissioners.
Dwyer MOVED, Handy SECONDED.
This will be a board order on the Consent Calendar tomorrow.
5. COUNTY ADMINISTRATION
b. REPORT BACK/Justice Courts.
Spartz reported that
Cary Carl, Justice,
Oakridge, reported that he reviewed the recommendations and he endorses
Alternative 2b. He said in going back over his records, the issue is reviewed by
regularity. He recalled in 1993 a task force was appointed and Jim Johnson did a
report in 2006. He said they are addressing the issues of managing the Court in
2010. He commented that alternative 3 is unworkable. He said the County is so
large and to have one Judge circuit riding would be difficult. He added that it
would be hard to hire someone who
would be willing to do it. He thought by making the requirement that the Judge
be a member of any bar and by compensating accordingly, they would attract a
good level of a potential judge.
Dwyer commented that
it costs more to hire a layer than a layman and they have a different view. He
didn’t see a problem with having lay people serve as Justices of the Peace. He
liked the current model.
Spartz stated that
they had a meeting toward the end of May. He thinks there will
be better organization and work flow if Oakridge and
Sorenson asked if
the Board could enact a requirement on an elected position.
Sorenson asked what
the concerns were from a fiscal impact in adopting 2b.
Budget and Finance Manager, responded the main savings would be the Justice of
the Peace salary. She indicated that they
would only be paying for one judge.
Handy asked if
Spartz had anyone in mind with regard to the next steps.
Spartz reported that
Stewart Bolinger, Performance Auditor, is planning on retiring on August 1.
Spartz indicated that Bolinger has prior experience in collections, which
is a major issue for the
Moody noted in the
Budget for 2010/2011 they have reduced the vacant position. She said there are
no additional costs, the items were already budgeted.
Handy thought 2b
could be an interim step. He wasn’t giving up on moving toward option 3 at
some point. He thought they could do that when they have another judge retire.
President AFSCME, recalled on May 26 she was part of a discussion that reached
the recommendations. She indicated their interest is staffing levels and work
flows. She indicated there are options to increase efficiencies and use video
conferencing to cuts costs of justices commuting if they are looking at 2a and
2b. She said their staff is interested in participating in the process. With
regard to whether the justice should be an attorney, she thought the liability
to the County would be reduced if there is a member of the bar sitting on the
bench and she thinks it should become a factor.
Jim Steiner, Counsel
Staff Rep, AFSCME, said they looked at this. He supports option 2b. He said they
like the idea for the next couple of years for an attorney as a Justice of the
Peace because of the past history they have had. He said they could hold
attorneys liable and it would be easier with employee issues if the person was
that 18 months ago they found there were $18 million of receivables that were
not collected over 20 years and it was a wake up call that something needed to
be done to improve the efficiency of collections. He indicated there were other
circumstances that have led them to a recent retirement and it is allowing them
to review their situation. He thought this was a first step. He said they
don’t have the necessary details to make an informed decision today. He
thought they should look at a spreadsheet that looks at the three alternatives
or more. He wanted a flow chart on how they would like to structure the Justice
of the Peace program and put that to the test to last year’s collections and
cost of operations to have a quantifiable process. He said they can’t quantify
if the justices should be members of the bar. He thinks they should be citizens
or attorneys, but the citizens should have the right to be a Justice of the
Spartz is proposing
to acquire the data and evaluation of the work flow in August. He said that
Fleenor wanted to
know the limitations of the Justice Pro Tem. He asked who determines the number
of pro tems and what their qualifications are. He thought they could skew the
Dwyer thought that
rent of $50,000 per year in Oakridge is excessive. He thought video conferencing
is important for people living in outlying areas. He said if they are going to
keep an office in Oakridge, they need to find a suitable place they can afford.
He wanted to see what it would cost to hire an attorney. He thought it
was important to have the citizens have the opportunity and know all the costs.
He wasn’t prepared to make a decision now. He thinks they need to send a
letter to the governor in light of the economy and resignation to reorganize the
system and ask him to wait for 90 days.
to send a letter to the governor.
Spartz thought it might take longer than 90 days. He thought they should ask the governor to give them 120 days.
Sorenson asked how the current Justices of the Peace would agree with this.
Carl said he was happy with the arrangement.
Fleenor asked if the citizens were adequately being served under the circumstances.
Moody indicated they can change the budget at any time. She noted after July 1 Justice Sinclair will be retired and they will save money. She was concerned about appointing the pro tems and not having anyone to do the work.
Dwyer amended his motion to have the letter include 120 days.
Sorenson amended his seconded.
Dwyer wanted it stated in the letter that they have a resignation and an economic situation. He thought they could turn the challenge into an opportunity while they do an analysis and ask that the governor withholds the appointment for 120 days. He recommended checking with AOC for pay structures throughout the state and for those who are attorneys.
Fleenor wanted in a check in every 30 days for a report back on the status. He wanted Spartz to bring spreadsheets as to who will be in charge of what aspects of the program.
c. PRESENTATION/Working for You Video,
7. PERFORMANCE AUDITOR
EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660
There being no further business, Commissioner Fleenor recessed the meeting at 10:40 a.m.