BUDGET COMMITTEE MEETING
May 20, 2010
5:15 p.m.
Harris Hall Main Floor
APPROVED 5-3-2011

Chair Alice Kaseberg presided with Budget Committee Members: Scott Bartlett, Bill Dwyer, Bill Fleenor, Rob  Handy, Denis Hijmans, Cindy Land, Peter Sorenson, Faye Stewart and Rose Wilde present.  County Administrator Jeff Spartz, County Counsel Liane Richardson and Recording Secretary Melissa Zimmer were also present.

I.  Public Comment

Annette Leonard, Performance Development and Diversity Coordinator for Lane County ,   said her job is not at stake for funding, she discussed programmatic aspects.  She noted there were things that were taken off the table for discussion last week by Hijmans that would impact  the spending at the County.  She stated their mission statement at the County is to provide high quality government services in a fair, open and economical manner to best meet the needs and expectations of citizens.   She added because diversity is a strategic value of the organization as well as a guided principle, the idea that they would put no funding toward it was hard for her to imagine how they would be demonstrating the value in their community.  She said $20,000 would be spent toward diversity initiatives within the County and to increase some of the recruiting efforts for the Sheriffís Office to draw a more diverse pool.  She hoped the Budget Committee will leave it in the budget.

Erin Bonner, Veneta, spoke on behalf of the Human Services Network.  She reported the current recession and unemployment have left people unable to address their basic needs.   She noted these circumstances lead Lane County to include additional funds for emergency assistance programs in its budget over the past two fiscal years and a request for the Humans Services Commission to include $130,434 in the 2010/2011 budget.  She reported the HSC agencies have seen  a 70 percent demand for services this year.  She said they have the important responsibility of keeping as many people as possible from being homeless and other financial crisis.  She said Lane Countyís support has helped the most vulnerable residents.  She indicated this funding is important as more people become unemployed and have fewer resources and are forced to choose between food and other basic necessities.  She said investments in Human Services will achieve beneficial results.

Bob Richards, Director, Buckley Center, spoke on HSC funding.  He said they are one of the few remaining agencies that provide drug and alcohol treatment that has a full continuum of care.  He added their womenís program is the only one in the County that allows children in treatment with their mothers 24/7.  He said they have had 29 babies born this past fiscal year at Willamette Family Treatment Center.  He said he has worked with the Human Services Network and they respect and work with each other.    He asked the Board to support the HSC and the funding recommendations and all other services in the budget this year.

Megan Schulz, CASA, Eugene, explained that the CASA proposal provides for an opportunity to provide a public private partnership and a potential model for future funding decisions.  She said they have pledged to match the Boardís investment dollar for dollar.  She said for CASA it means that 100 children from their waiting list will be assigned to a CASA volunteer and will move out of the system more quickly than children who do not have a CASA volunteer.  She said it ensures the 100 children will find a safe permanent home.  She indicated since she has been at CASA the past 10 years, four children have died while on their waiting list.  She recalled that last year CASA lost three staff positions and they went to a four day work week.  She added in 2010 they each took a one month furlough.  She said staff made personal sacrifices in order for the children.  She indicated that they were still able to serve 291 children and 85 of them are in safe permanent homes and their cases are closed.  She said without the Boardís investment, CASA will remain in a no growth model.  She noted the Budget Committee had several add on proposals, but she implored the Budget Committee to continue to make the hard decisions they have to make and lead by choosing children and families.

Sharri da Silva, Eugene, supported the request from the HSC and the two requests from the Department of Children and Families.  She said by passing the budget requests, they would be helping the system of services to all the children and families in Lane County .  She said due to the change in the economy the families they serve have felt it harder.  She stated that every salaried staff this year has taken a reduction in hours.  She said they have seen an increase in calls for their services of over 700 percent and they had to create a waiting list for crisis outreach services that are offered to families.  She said if these requests are funding, the Relief Nursery pledges like CASA that they will match and leverage the dollars they fund, dollar for dollar.  She said they can increase outreach service and provide for CASA support for the next fiscal year.

Peggy Whalen, Executive Director, Womenspace, said she receives HSC funding.  She urged the committee to continue to fund Human Services and HSC basic services in Lane County .  She said they use all of the services on a daily basis.  She said as they see cuts, they have seen fewer options for the women and children they serve.  She indicated that Womanspace provides life saving services but they canít help connect survivors with the basic needs in order for them to get safe.  She said many of their women are having to return to their abusers.

Mary Salinas, Eugene, said she is a spokesperson for the homeless.  She asked the committee to provide help for an emergency shelter.

Laurie Trieger, LCHAY, Eugene , distributed a letter.  (Copy in file)  She said they are a private non-profit advocacy group to prevent childhood obesity and related diseases in Lane County .  She asked the committee to support a FTE for a person to prevent obesity.  She commented that a modest investment in chronic health prevention now will lead to returns and will help local families succeed and thrive.

Jerry Rust, Mapleton, stated there is a severe need to manage the next budget.  He urged the Budget Committee to adopt a $10 million cut strategy in the general fund.  He wanted to propose it in the least painful way to the organization.  He said he went through the 80ís with this and the ideas have worked.   He said there needs to be position control.  He believed when a position comes open, that every department rejustifies the need for filing the position in the course of the next fiscal year.  He said there needs to be salary reductions; with a five percent cut across the board wherever legally possible for all salaries above the median level. He thought there should be a vigorous plan for easing senior staff into early retirement. He noted the postal service did this in 2008 where anyone with over 20 years of experience and over the age of 50 was eligible for the program and it eliminated positions.  He said all of this is necessary and he thinks the public will appreciate that Lane County government is striving to live within its means.


I.  Budget Committee Discussion/Deliberation

Minutes of May 6, 2010

Kaseberg indicated that she e-mailed the changes with regard to the Minutes of May 6, 2010.

MOTION: to approve the minutes as corrected.

Dwyer MOVED, Land SECONDED.

VOTE: Unanimous.

Shari Higgins, Budget Analyst, distributed the balance of the questions asked of staff except for one question with the Relief Nursery and CASA.  She also distributed a Budget Committee Deliberation Information Sheet. (Copy in file).

Hijmans noted that Annette Leonard called him out and he wanted to note the cuts he proposed no way reflected the nature of the services or the importance to the community.  He asked Spartz if he was aware of the $10 million deficit for next year when Spartz created the budget.

Spartz responded that he did not know of the deficit when they created the budget.  He added that it would have been a different looking budget.

Handy asked about the Extension Service and the impact the levy not passing has on the budget.

Christine Moody, Budget and Finance Manager, noted that under the technical adjustments there was a placeholder for the Extension Service.  She said it was in its own fund, Fund 242.  She said they will remove the revenue and expense.  She added they continue to grant rent forgiveness.

Spartz indicated the amount is $70,000 per year for rent forgiveness.

With regard to request number 20, Kaseberg asked if they had four votes to move it for further consideration.  This does not have four votes to move forward.

With regard to request number 21, to remove number 42, level 3 the Strategic Plan, there were not four votes and it doesnít move forward.

With regard to number 22, to remove county governance,  SOS 44, level 2, constituent service aids, there were not four votes

With regard to number 23, to remove public information,  SOS 47, level 5, close captioned Working for You videos, there were not for votes to move forward.

With regard to number 24, to remove public information,  SOS 46, Working for You videos, there were four votes to remove

With regard to number 25, public information, level 3, annual report, there were four votes to remove.

With regard to number 26, to receive consideration SOS 47, level 2, Your Lane Newsletter, there were four votes to remove.

With regard to number 27, Moody explained there would be less general fund transfer.

Hijmans wanted to know the cost of the Oakridge Justice Court .  He thought it was excessive.  He wanted staff to review it.

Moody indicated the lease with the Oakridge Justice Court expires June 30.

Fleenor recalled the Board of Commissioners discussed the Oakridge Justice Court and they decided to appoint a work group to report back to the Board of Commissioners on June 8 with options to move forward.  He wanted to come up with options.

There were not four votes to move the Justice Court discussion forward.

Kaseberg noted to remove SOS 41, level one, number 28, is $34,550.  She noted the first item is the level one threshold and second is level 2, and together the amount is  $63,000, She added that line 19 refers to level 20 and 28 refers to level one.
There were four votes to move this forward and they will be considered together.

With regard to number 30, to remove public access television at level 1, Kaseberg indicated that this will not move forward, it remains in the budget.

Kaseberg indicated that number 31, is to reduce employee relations SOS 59 by $37,848.

Numbers, 3, 33 and 34 are related to ICLEI Dues and will be discussed as Number 3.  There were four votes to move this forward.

With regard to number 35, funding for Food for Lane County , the Big Daddy Greenhouse, there were four votes to move this forward.

MOTION: to delete what is scheduled  and fund what is available for funding for a gross increase of $520,000.

Bartlett MOVED, Dwyer SECONDED.

Stewart asked if it deleted the reductions in the budget.  He said it would change the cost of the programs.

Moody said they would remove the adds, reverse the one thing that was deleted and add all of the things that came as adds.

Sorenson asked if the Traffic Team was included in the budget.

Moody said it was a reduction in the proposed budget and this would add it back.

Sorenson asked what the bottom line was.

Moody noted the amount was $520,000.

Stewart said Bartlett ís motion is to remove all the negatives out of the proposal.

Kaseberg recommended doing this one line at a time.

Bartlett withdrew his motion. Dwyer withdrew his second.

MOTION: to add the Water Master .

Dwyer MOVED, Bartlett SECONDED.

Dwyer wanted the Water Master to stay.

Handy recalled the water master would take $660.

Sorenson was a no vote because this is a state funded program and they will have a difficult time.  He recalled the Water Master has made a request in the past but they have not funded it.  He preferred they deal with things that are the Countyís responsibility.

Dwyer said they did fund this in the past.

MOTION: to end debate.

VOTE:  Unanimous

MOTION: to approve funding of $2,000 for the Water Master.

VOTE: 4-6 (MOTION FAILS)

MOTION: to approve funding the Water Master at $660.

Dwyer MOVED, Bartlett SECONDED.

VOTE; 4-6 (MOTION FAILS)

MOTION: to approve $100,000 funding for the CASA/Relief Nursery.

Sorenson MOVED, Stewart SECONDED.

Sorenson thought this should be an appropriation to the Department of Children and Families and they could make the appropriate arrangements with the recipients of the funding. 

Dwyer thought this was good use of money and it was important that this function be continued.

Handy shared his principles in how he made his decisions.  He indicated that he is putting an emphasis on leadership and reorganization in place now to deal with the possible post Secure Rural Schools cliff ahead.  He said is looking at adds that have reasonable price tags with strong rates of return for Public Health, youth and families, sustainability, risk management and veterans.

MOTION: to close debate.

VOTE: 6-4.

VOTE: 10-0.

MOTION: to approve the ICLEI dues.

Stewart MOVED, Handy SECONDED.

Stewart indicated that he wanted the funding to come from the O & C Reserve Fund.

MOTION: to close debate.

VOTE: 6-4.

VOTE: 9-1 (Land dissenting).

MOTION:  to remove the prevention specialist in SOS number 8, $45,000 change that was proposed in the budget. 

Hijmans MOVED, Land SECONDED.

Land commented that suicide prevention is very important but there are multiple agencies already addressing it in the city the county and the state.   She stated that the County canít afford to duplicate services.

Sorenson asked who provides the revenue for this.

Rob Rockstroh, Health and Human Services,  explained that Lane Care is on the mental health side.  He didnít agree it was duplicated.

Sorenson stated that he would oppose the motion.  He said they are getting additional money from Lane Care and the need is huge.

Dwyer didnít support removing it out of the budget.

Wilde thought it was more effective if agencies worked together.  She was voting against the motion.

VOTE: 4-6 (MOTION FAILS)

MOTION: to add back the Traffic Team funding.

Hijmans MOVED, Stewart SECONDED.

Stewart recalled that yesterday at the Board meeting they had a discussion about the Justice Courts.  He is supportive of this as it is critical.  He added that if they donít find a way to work out the problems with the Justice Courts and supplying the Traffic Team to operate the Justice Courts, that next year they will have no choice but to remove those items.  He said it gives them a year to improve collection.  He indicated the Sheriff stated that he would do his best to treat them more like Resident Traffic Team Deputies so an officer could be stationed up and down Highway 58.  He said it would help support the Oakridge Justice Court .. 

Hijmans supported this to be placed back into the budget.  He said Lane County has one of the highest traffic fatalities in the state.  He added there are a number of factors where the public in general benefit from the presence of law enforcement.

Handy asked how they keep the Traffic Team just doing that type of work.

Russ Burger, Sheriff,  reported that over the last six years their control capacity went from 23 in the main office to 16.  He said when they added the Traffic Team last year; they ended up having to go to a lot of calls for service.  He said they discovered there are enough tickets and citations being issued that even if they collected half of the revenue it would be able to fund the entire Justice Court system.  He noted that collections are way down as it is driven by the economy.  He said there is potential for the revenue side to improve significantly.

Land commented that it is critical for rural communities to have a quick response when they call for law enforcement.  She added that the Traffic Team could prevent something from happening.

Burger stated that their mission with the Traffic Safety Team is transportation safety.  He  said they are not in the business of generating revenue, they are in the business of keeping the public safe.

Handy said it is good they have deputies on the road.  He asked if there was a mechanism in place to measure this over the next three months to see how they are doing with the fine collection.

Burger responded there will be a mechanism but it takes awhile to hire police officers.  He said if they collect 50 percent of the citations that were written, it would cover the Justice Courts.  He said it is the deputyís responsibility to keep the road safe.

Kaseberg said she will vote against this as it is a big budget buster.

VOTE: 8-1 (Kaseberg dissenting, Dwyer out of room).

MOTION: to remove the Youth Advocacy Coordinator.

Land MOVED, Hijmans SECONDED.

Land commented that at this time she thought they couldnít narrow down the scope in Youth Services.  She said they need to not apply for niche departments.  She thought they needed to keep things as broad as possible to serve as many people as possible.

Spartz said this position is being proposed to deal with issues they uncovered in the Department of Youth Services. He said the data shows there is a disparity of difference between the treatment that youth of color get and the majority population.  He said their goal is trying to come to grips with the issues.

Fleenor said he looked at the risk benefit and they cannot afford to take a risk during this difficult time.  He will be against removing the position.

Hijmans said if the position is needed it can be found with reprioritization so they donít have to create a deficit for next year.

Lisa Smith, Department of Youth Services, said the position requested is an additional, position the Budget Committee made 12 years ago.  She noted that as youth of color increased, they have remained at one position specifically trained to help the community and partner agencies. She reported that 300 referrals out of 1,500 referrals over the past year have been with youth of color.  She believed the additional position was needed.

Sorenson believed they should vote no on taking out the youth advocacy position.  He didnít think they had enough discussion on issues of racial disparate treatment.  He stated the department is trying hard to address the issues.  He said the expenditure of the money is for this year and it is an important expenditure as it will reduce the risk the County is exposed to. 

VOTE: 10-0 not to remove the position.

MOTION: to remove Intergovernmental Relations extra help.

Hijmans MOVED, Land SECONDED.

Land didnít think they could afford to do it this year.

Wilde thought they should give Alex Cuyler every tool they could to secure the most funds he can.  She commented that he has been affective.

Spartz said that Cuyler does an excellent job in Salem and Washington , D.C. and there are hundreds of millions of dollars that could come to the County and it could help him with his duties.

Dwyer thought this position was needed.

VOTE: 1-9 (MOTION FAILS)

MOTION: to add a resource development position in the budget for Children and Families.

Stewart MOVED, Dwyer SECONDED

VOTE: 10-0.

MOTION: to add position for chronic disease, $80,912.

Handy MOVED, Wilde SECONDED.

Sorenson believed the return for investment is strong and the issues of chronic disease are huge.  He supported adding the position.

Fleenor supported prevention and treatment but he didnít feel that Lane County had extra cash to have this position.  He said that other programs focus on this.  He did not support the position.

Wilde said it is moving an agenda and different approach and she was in favor of it.

Land noted that childrenís obesity is a problem. She thought if kids  played more outside they would be better off.  She was fearful of a lot of adults talking about body image to children and creating more of a problem than they realize.

VOTE: 5-5 MOTION FAILS.

MOTION: to approve Human Services, $130,000

Handy MOVED, Wilde SECONDED.

VOTE: 8-1(Hijmans dissented) ( Bartlett abstained).

MOTION:  to approve Animal Services Welfare Officer, #19.

Dwyer MOVED, Bartlett SECONDED.

Dwyer stated these were critical services.

Bartlett asked how this will save animals and the lives of humans.

Karen Gaffney, Health and Human Services, explained that this position restores an officer that was reduced from the budget two years ago.  She said the officers are critical with people who are dealing with dangerous dogs.

Fleenor asked with Eugene ís proposed $200,000 cut, what would happen to these two positions if they are funded.

Gaffney recalled that last night the city of Eugene Budget Committee voted to reduce their allocation by $100,000.  She indicated that hasnít been passed by the city council.  She added if it is not, they hadnít negotiated a contract yet.  She didnít think those positions would be the first to be cut; it would depend on what the contract with the city would reduce.  She added they have had a vacant officer position that she hasnít filled.

Fleenor said as much as he has been a proponent for animal welfare, it was difficult for him not to support this.  He commented that difficult decisions will be made next year and they have to incrementally scale back.  He said they have to do something.

Spartz said if Eugene ís budget is finalized with a $100,000 reduction, their goal would be to negotiate a contract with the city of Eugene to reflect that reduction and support for services within the city limits.  He commented that they would get into a situation if they try to backfill for them while the County is in fiscal distress.

Kaseberg asked if there was a significant increase in dealing with dangerous animals because this position was not funded.

Richardson responded that there were no tort claims filed due to the loss of the position.

Wilde was in favor of funding this position.

Bartlett asked if this related to a rural position.

Gaffney responded it is for the unincorporated area. 

VOTE: 5-5 MOTION FAILS.

MOTION: to add a behavior training specialist.

Wilde MOVED, Bartlett SECONDED.

Hijmans said they canít afford a position like this for children so he couldnít support this position for animals.

Fleenor wanted to fund this for one more year.  He thought it was the minimum they could do for the animals.

Wilde said this would be important for animals.  She said they owe it to the animals to be good stewards.

Gaffney commented that this is where they want to be to save adoptable animals.  She noted this position is to have a full fledged program with behavior aspects and to be of service to the community to have volunteer dog trainers.

Kaseberg stated that without knowing about the $10 million shortfall next year, with adding back traffic deputies and adding something where they would have to dip into the reserves, she will be a no due to the Countyís financial situation.

VOTE: 6-4 (Hijmans, Stewart, Land, Kaseberg dissenting).

MOTION: for a youth offender program services coordinator for $108,956.

Handy MOVED, Wilde SECONDED.

Wilde thought this was an important position.

Fleenor commented that the amount for the FTE was high.

Lisa Smith, Department of Youth Services, said this is looking at volunteer coordination and emphazing over next year as they prepare, that they are in a good position to utilize volunteers to work with high risk youth.  She added that 30 percent of DYS is through contracts.

Fleenor wanted to see this come back in a supplemental budget.  He was not comfortable  paying for that position.

VOTE: 5-5.  MOTION FAILS.

Kaseberg noted that she had concerns about funds for awards and recognition.  She said she went internally and externally through the budget and $3,075 in Assessment & Taxation must be added back because that amount has already been submitted for CAFFA funds and it canít be removed so $59,000 has to be adjusted

MOTION: to take out money for awards.

Fleenor MOVED, Hijmans SECONDED.

Sorenson thought it was something that should be done as it motivates people.

Dwyer thought it was about morale and recognition.

Kaseberg thought the people who deserved the greatest awards are children and Youth Services and both had zero in their awards and recognition.  She asked how much paper $50,000 could buy to create certificates or how much it would cost to present just a certificate to someone who has retired.  She thought it was something they needed to review.

Moody stated that only $27,000 is in the general fund for awards.  She noted the vast majority of the money is for volunteers with the Search and Rescue Program, County College and victim services volunteer and safety awards.

VOTE: 3-7 MOTION FAILS.

MOTION: to remove number 19, community outreach, SOS 41, level 2 and level 1.

Land MOVED, Hijmans SECONDED.

Stewart wanted to reduce the outreach in half.  He said they need community outreach.  He thought it was prudent to offset some of the adds.

MOTION:  to remove  Number 19, level 2

Land MOVED, Hijmans SECONDED.

Handy thought it was premature to make arbitrary cuts.  He thought they were in a non-panic situation.  He said to have this was prudent.

Land said it was something they shouldnít spend at this time and they should pull it.

VOTE:  4-6 MOTION FAILED.

MOTION:  to remove 28, continuing community outreach from $29,000 to $34,500

Hijmans MOVED. MOTION DIED FOR LACK OF SECOND.

MOTION to remove number 24, Working for You Video, $40,500.

Hijmans MOVED, Land SECONDED.

Fleenor believed they have reached the line for the Working for You videos.  He said they have done a sufficient number.  He said they need to see how effective they are before they spend more money.  He wanted to take a one year reprieve to see how often they are viewed on the website and then come back and discuss it.

MOTION: to extend the time to 9:00 p.m.

Wilde MOVED, Fleenor SECONDED.

VOTE: Unanimous.

Land also thought they needed to look to see if the people are actually viewing these videos.

Sorenson said they are trying to tell people what services the County offers.  He said they have been asking people to support Lane County but they donít know what Lane County services are.  He said they will come to a point where they have to come to grips with the budget. 

MOTION: to combine number 24, 25 and 26.

Hijmans MOVED, Land SECONDED.

VOTE: Unanimous

MOTION to remove number 24, 25 and 26.

Hijmans MOVED, Land SECONDED.

VOTE: 4-6 MOTION FAILS.

MOTION:  to remove the internal auditor.

Hijmans MOVED, MOTION DIES FOR  LACK OF SECOND.

MOTION: to remove one constituent service aid with the East Lane County Commissioner.

Stewart MOVED, Hijmans SECONDED.

Hijmans said that if the rest of the commissioners gave up their constituents it would total $135,184 toward next yearís deficit.

Stewart was trying to justify the adds. 

Sorenson wanted information about Executive Assistants and the number in the County budget for this year. 

Fleenor said he spent $100,000 of his own money for his assistant.  He thought this was disrespectful to Stewartís constituents.

Bartlett wanted to make commissionersí assistants full-time.  He said they shouldnít minimize the importance of this position.

Kaseberg was voting against this as it sets a bad precedent.  She said that Stewart could simply not fill the position.

Dwyer said he doesnít need an assistant.

Hijmans supports this, as it is meant to set a leadership position for next year.

Stewart did this because he was trying to figure out how to bring adds back into the program without having to affect cuts that will need to be made next year.  He didnít make a motion for the internal auditor because four commissioners who serve on the Board support the position.    He thought it was a way they could reduce the budget and offset some cuts.  He was sorry this discussion took place, the way it was perceived but that was not his intent.

VOTE: 3-7 MOTION FAILS.

MOTION: to approve $1,000 for the Community Gardens

Dwyer MOVED, Land SECONDED.

VOTE: 10-0.
With regard to technical adjustments, Moody recalled the Justice Courts have line items that need to be put back into the budget $266,650;  NACo and Council Forestland dues should have been in the budget as they are in the current year of $9,478.  She showed the reserves being adjusted.  She added for the Extension Service she will remove the revenue and expenses.

MOTION: to move approval of the entire FY 2010/2011 Budget with all adjustments approved by the Budget Committee.

Dwyer MOVED, Land SECONDED

VOTE: 10-0.

MOTION: to move approval of the FY 2010/2011 Permanent Tax Rate of 1.2793 per $1,000 of Assessed Value, and the Juvenile Justice Center General Obligation Bond Tax Levy in the amount of $2,903,998.

Fleenor MOVED, Hijmans SECONDED.

VOTE: 10-0.

MOTION: to move approval to allow the use of excess transient room tax dollars for operational purposes consistent with Lane Code 4.175(5) & (6) and ORS 320.350 as follows:  Lane Events Center $650,000; Lane County Parks Division $348,000; City of Florence, Florence Events Center $35,528.

Fleenor MOVED, Land SECONDED.

VOTE: 10-0.

Adjourned at 9:10 p.m.


Melissa Zimmer
Recording Secretary