BOARD OF COMMISSIONERSí
February 2, 2011
Harris Hall Main Floor
Commissioner Faye Stewart presided with Commissioners Jay Bozievich, Rob Handy, Sid Leiken and Pete Sorenson present. County Administrator Liane Richardson, County Counsel Stephen Vorhes and Recording Secretary Melissa Zimmer were also present.
1. ADJUSTMENTS TO THE AGENDA
Stewart pulled item 5.F.1). He also added a discussion on Plastic Bags after the Legislative Report.
2. PUBLIC COMMENTS
Karen Ramus, Eugene, spoke on the Fairgrounds. She stated that her company produces three home and garden shows and she has been a client of the Fairgrounds since 1983. She discussed the issue of the Exhibit Hall. She hoped the Board will fund the roof repairs. She added it is the most marketable building on the campus and it is hard to sell to new clients when they see the massive damage of the roof and the potential hazards. She indicated they have also heard proposals for the Extension Service property. She said it is important that the client group, the neighborhood group and the public have an opportunity to comment and they look at the proposed uses and the master plan. She indicated that the number one complaint about marketability of the facility is that there is no adjacent hotel. She noted for the time the frontage will be open and it could be an opportunity to talk to the hospitality community to see if there is a partner for a hotel on the property. She urged the Board to slow down and look at options and a master plan.
Dave Weinkauf, Eugene, stated he is a member of the Lane Events Center Client Group. He said his company is in the process of producing the R.V. Show at the Fairgrounds. He is also concerned about what is happening to the buildings and the structure. He wanted to make sure that the roof gets fixed. He noted there are over 200 public events that take place at the Fairgrounds in a year. He said as it comes to the Lane Events Center, they the need to preserve jobs that have been created as a result of the Lane Events Center. He stated the Fairgrounds is an incubator for jobs and job creation. He commented that without the facility, there is nothing and they are in a sense of peril with job loss in the community. He also wanted the Board to take proper time to review any proposal that would affect the Fairgrounds use. He said they need to have a master plan.
Deb Frisch, Eugene, spoke on the Dumdi lawsuit and the appeal.
Suzanne Jackson, Eugene, stated she is one of the owners of the Piccadilly Flea Market. She said it has been at the Fairgrounds since 1970. She said they are a member of the Lane Events Center Client Group and their event does 22 shows a year at the Lane Events Center with over 5,500 sellers per year. She indicated that many shoppers come from out of the area and bring dollars in the area for food, gas and lodging. She noted that the Piccadilly Flea Market is only one of 200 events at the Lane Events Center and has a huge dollar impact on Eugene and Springfield. She asked the Board to vote soon to do the necessary repairs on the roof of the Exhibit Hall. She stated it is vital to keep the buildings repaired so they are available for future shows. She said it came to her attention that the proposal for St. Vincent de Paul is to lease the Extension building for 15 years. She said she has many questions and hopes the Board holds an open discussion before the decision is made.
Bob Richards, Willamette Family, spoke on the funding for Buckley Center in Eugene. He commented that it has already been a difficult year for Willamette Family. He said their services are critical and the funding for the services was cut three years ago. He recalled at that time Lane County and the city of Eugene arranged for a revenue swap to stabilize funding. He indicated that funding for them runs out June 30. He indicated at that time they will be faced with the problem that without funding they wonít be able to continue the service. He urged the Board to engage with the city of Eugene or any other affected jurisdictions to find a way to continue funding the critical services.
Ruth Duemler, Eugene, stated she had a letter 100 people supported regarding the Dumdi lawsuit. She didnít think Lane County or the commissioners should have to bear the burden of clarifying the law alone. She asked the Board of Commissioners to appeal the decision made last week, (finding violations by four commissioners) and to ask other governing bodies and organizations like AOC to support the appeal. She said it was important to all divisions of government. She said they need further clarification as to what is acceptable with the use of e-mails and the hazards of serial communications.
Robert Roth, Eugene, stated he retired from the Department of Justice. He discussed the Dumdi case. He said until this decision, Public Meetings Law seemed clear. He said that phone meetings count because they require attendance and participation and a quorum on the phone is a meeting. He said the defendant commissioners didnít seem to think their conduct violated the Open Meetings Law because a quorum was never meeting. He said their conduct was not willful in the technical sense because it was unforeseeable a judge would define the violation like he did. He stated that he wants effective government at all levels and good people to run for office. He thought this decision needs to be appealed. He urged the Board to support the appeal. He asked other governing bodies to support them.
Ann McClucas, Eugene, urged the Board not to jump to conclusions about Jim Gillette. She said the appeals for Gillette were never proven. She said he owns 500 acres of land and he allows the public to use the lands free of charge. She wants the County to cooperate by making his property a park when he dies. She recalled three years ago the commissioners agreed to grant Gillette a hearing on the facts of his case, but instead of threat of foreclosure, he paid a fine of $16,000 and another fine of $10,000, both of which he considered without a fair hearing. She urged the new commissioners to give Gillette a chance to speak for himself on the facts on the case. She said he is in a position to play a positive role in the community but he has not been treated fairly.
Jim Gillette, Eugene, urged the Board to give him a chance to respond before they make a decision. He said it took him four years to get the law changed coming to the Board about fines before people were proven guilty. He recalled they levied a fine of $12,000 on him and he wasnít given a hearing. He said he never had a hearing on the $16,000 he had to pay. He said the Executive Session is a sore point with him. He feels the County extorted $16,000 from him. He commented that too much is going on behind closed doors.
John Sundquist, Coburg, stated he will remark on the VMAC item when it is back to the Board.
3. COMMISSIONERS' RESPONSE TO PUBLIC COMMENTS AND/OR OTHER ISSUES AND REMONSTRANCE
Handy recalled since the last time the Board met, he was involved in a town hall on the plastic bag issue. He noted there is a bill before the legislature dealing with plastic bags. He stated that it is time for the state to be proactive.
Sorenson requested to have the Board take up the state legislation on a grocery store plastic bag ban. He noted the grocery industry has become an advocate for the legislation. With regard to the Fairgrounds and repairing the roof, he thought it was something the Board should focus on to get funding.
Leiken announced that the city of Springfield was interested in bringing the Metro Plan back to the urban growth boundary. He thought it was a good opportunity to add this as part of their conversation of the 2030 Plan. He said it made sense to have Lane County staff initiate this with the city of Springfield. He reported that Greg Erwin has spoken with Mike McKenzie Bahr about the upcoming trials. He indicated the track meet will be coming up soon.
Bozievich announced the Facilities Committee met and they discussed the roof at the Events Center. He noted with the Events Center being placed in an enterprise fund, they have not been contributing toward capital improvements. He thought the Board needed to have a discussion about the Fairgrounds Master Plan and a vision for the future. He commented that the Extension building is a symptom of not having a long term version. He commented that it is difficult for Rick Reno to be successful if he doesnít know what he is trying to succeed at.
4. EMERGENCY BUSINESS
5. CONSENT CALENDAR
A. Approval of Minutes
May 6, 2009, Regular Meeting, Following Board of Health
April 28, 2010, Regular Meeting, Following HACSA
April 28, 2010, Regular Meeting, 1:30 p.m.
January 12, 2011, Regular Meeting, 9:00 a.m.
January 19, 2011, Regular Meeting, 9:00 a.m.
January 19, 2011, Regular Meeting, 1:30 p.m.
B. Board of Commissioners
1) ORDER 11-2-2-1/In the Matter of Reappointing Members to the Lane County Fair Board.
2) REPORT/Public Safety Coordinating Council 2011 Criminal Justice System Report Card.
C. County Administration
1) ORDER 11-2-2-2/In the Matter of Eliminating the Justice of the Peace Position for Central Lane Justice Court and Consolidating Central Lane Justice District with Upper Willamette Justice District and Clarifying the Usage of the Florence Justice Court.
2) ORDER 11-2-2-3/In the Matter of Modifying Justice of the Peace District Boundaries.
3) ORDER 11-2-2-4/In the Matter of Proposing a Policy Resolution to the National Association of Counties for Consideration at their Annual Legislative Conference to be Held March 5-9, 2011 in Washington, DC.
4) ORDER 11-2-2-5/In the Matter of Appointing Justices Pro Tempore for the Florence Justice Court Through January 6, 2012.
D. County Counsel
1) ORDER 11-2-2-6/In the Matter of Amending Chapter 2 of the Lane Manual to Revise the Organization of the S.A.V.E. Committee and to Clarify S.A.V.E. Program Rules (LM 2.451, LM 2.455).
E. Health and Human Services
1) ORDER 11-2-2-7/In the Matter of Adding Two Full Time (2.0 FTE) Mental Health Specialist 1 Positions Effective February 1, 2011 and Appropriating an Additional $65,268 in Revenues and Expenditures for 2010-2011 in Fund 286 Department of Health & Human Services.
F. Public Works
1) ORDER 11-2-2-8/In the Matter of Approving the Lane County Integrated Vegetation Management Program Annual Report 2010-2011. (PULLED)
2) ORDER 11-2-2-9/In the Matter of Setting a Public Hearing for the Proposed Dedication and Establishment of a Public Road Within Howard Buford Recreation Area (HBRA) as a County Road, Located in Section 7, Township 18 South, Range 2 West and Section 12, Township 18 South, Range 3 West of the Willamette Meridian.
3) ORDER 11-2-2-10/In the Matter of Authorizing the County Administrator to Sign Two Intergovernmental Agreements Between the Oregon Department of Transportation, the City of Coburg, and the County Regarding Access Management and Construction on Pearl Street and Coburg Industrial Way.
MOTION: to approve the balance of the Consent Calendar.
Handy MOVED, Leiken SECONDED.
6. COUNTY ADMINISTRATION
Richardson recalled that the Board remanded the appeal of Centro Latino back to the Human Services Commission. She said they were supposed to report back next week but they canít do that. She indicated that they will get it on the agenda as soon as they can. She noted a letter came in from NACo asking if the County would support the NACo Conference this year, scheduled in Portland. She added that they are asking for sponsorships in any amount. She reported that the city of Oakridge had declared an emergency on January 20 because the water levels had become high enough eroding the dam at Salmon Creek. She said they were afraid because at that time they had received a lot of rain. She indicated since that time the rains have stopped and they havenít had a significant problem. She said they had a request from a petitioner who is trying to do some work on Goodpasture Road. She said the County had transferred most of their property rights to the city of Eugene.
Stewart stated that he spoke with Gordon Zimmerman, city of Oakridge. He reported that since then they werenít able to secure the funds from FEMA, they are moving forward with getting help to make repairs from the Forest Service. He thanked staff for accommodating their request.
b. ORDER 11-2-2-12/ Adopting Positions on Legislative Issues During the 76th Legislative Session
Alex Cuyler, Intergovernmental Relations Manager, gave a report on adopting positions for legislative issues. (Copy in file).
MOTION: to approve ORDER 11-2-2-12.
Handy MOVED, Sorenson SECONDED.
Discussion on Plastic Bags
Stewart asked if there was support to schedule an item on Plastic Bags. He asked what the expectations were for a resolution of support. He indicated that he has received over 200 e-mails. He thought a majority of the e-mails were to ban plastic bags.
Cuyler stated that a piece of the bill states there is a local pre-emption. He explained that the Board does not have the ability to have a local action.
Handy indicated that the Grocery Association wanted a 5 cent fee for paper bags as a revenue source to go to the government. He noted the city of Eugene was also considering this. He recommended they monitor this because it would have impacts on Lane County and the city of Eugene.
Leiken stated the fact about pre-emption was very important. He was okay with monitoring what is going to happen. He was not interested in Lane County taking this matter up given their budgetary issues. He didnít want the Board taking this up an in an individual standpoint. He added that even if the state doesnít pursue this he was not in favor of Lane County going forward on this matter.
Sorenson thought they should take the time to delve into this. He said they should decide whether the Board wants to get involved. He sees it as a win-win situation, supporting business and environmental protection. He stated this is not a tax.
MOTION: for the Board of Commissioners to hold a Public Hearing on the state legislation and whether they should take any action on their own.
Sorenson MOVED, Handy SECONDED.
Leiken disagreed. He was concerned that if they as a Board are interested in moving forward and the cities were not interested, he wasnít sure it would be beneficial. He commented that given the fact they have budgetary issues and it will require much of their focus, he was not sure at this point in time if it was good to be moving forward with this. He was interested asking the Legislative Committee to keep monitoring the issue in Salem instead of asking the County to look at it from an individual County process. He was opposed to the motion.
Bozievich opposed the motion. He stated that Lane County government doesnít monitor grocery bags and it is not a function of their government. He was more interested in having hearings on how they are going to deal with making $8.8 million in cuts, than supporting a measure before the state that may or may not be adopted or get to a hearing. He recalled the hearing last fall was expensive with the water protection ordinance and they had to have the Sheriffís presence. He stated that it was costly for the citizens who drove to the meeting. He didnít think it was worth going through that exercise when it doesnít deal with County government. He said they were talking about banning something versus educating the consumer on what is the better choice of doing things. He stated to educate first and to legislate last. He wanted to monitor the legislation due to the local pre-emption in the bill.
Stewart shared the concerns about taking time to have a public hearing. He recalled that they dealt with this issue a couple of years ago. He agreed to make this an educational opportunity. He thought allowing the state to take this matter up was the place it should be. He agreed to monitor this and not spending any more staff time or money on a public hearing.
VOTE: 2-3 (Bozievich, Leiken, Stewart dissenting). MOTION FAILS.
Cuyler said the Legislative Committee will come back on a future agenda for monitoring. He said they will work on language on what it means to monitor an issue.
Sorenson wanted to know the affects of plastic bags on County projects and the Short Mountain Landfill.
c. REPORT BACK/Potential Current Year Cost Savings Cuts.
Richardson recalled this was to revisit last weekís presentation for her recommendations for the current year fiscal savings. (Copy in file).
Stewart stated he came up with the figure of $1.1 million and that would mean they would have to cut less in the next budget cycle. He was supportive of moving forward with Richardsonís recommendation.
Leiken stated that it gets the ball rolling. He was comfortable with moving forward.
Richardson said if the Board believes these savings are good and they want to move forward, to direct her to move forward to report back on how the departments are meeting the cuts so they can start to see some savings.
MOTION: to move the Board to direct the Acting County Administrator to make the FY10/11 budget cuts with the dollar amounts identified on the handouts with the discretion on how the cuts get made by the department directors and for the Acting County Administrator to report back to the Board on the nature of the cuts.
Bozievich MOVED, Leiken SECONDED.
MOTION: to direct the Acting County Administrator to cut the constituent service positions in the FY 10/11 budget for the remainder of the year.
Bozievich MOVED, Leiken SECONDED.
Handy amended the motion and he wanted to include the other assistants in other departments, the range Richardson mentioned of .5 to 15 percent and for those part-time FTEís to be cut. He said they know the work needs to be done but if they are going to make those cuts, to move beyond the symbolic and get significant savings.
VOTE: on the amended motion: 2-3 (Bozievich, Leiken, Stewart dissenting). MOTION FAILS.
Leiken said he is hearing that Sorenson and Handy are finding value in using their assistants. He said that is their decision. He wanted to cut the constituent service allocated to his office out of the budget. He wanted to look at this as a line item.
Bozievich stated that it is insufficient to be using a bunch of .5 FTEís because it doubles their benefit cost. He doesnít want to see 2.5 FTE crafted in the base budget for next year. He recalled the assistant positions were cut back in the 90ís at a cost savings for the County. He added there is a controversy about bringing them back while they are making cuts in other departments. He stated that he doesnít have to have someone dealing with his constituents. He thought they should eliminate the 2.5 FTEís and to utilize the staff they already have. He said they have other higher priorities in the general fund. He wants to support moving forward with this to make sure they donít have the 2.5 FTE built into next yearís base budget and getting the cost savings in this yearís budget.
Sorenson commented that this is not the best decision they could make today outside of the proposed budget.
Handy stated that he has been open and transparent for this position. He helped craft this proposal to create flexibility so it would roll back into the general fund and it would be crafted as options for the constituents.
Leiken commented that if Sorenson and Handy are finding value with their assistants, he didnít want to take that away, but if he is not going to use an assistant, he sees no reason for the position to be in the budget at this point in time. He stated that they have a professional staff in County Administration that does good work.
Stewart said they are going to be looking at an $8.8 million cut and he does not want this to be in the base budget. He said they should review this as they balance the budget. He thought it should be separated out and if it is a cost savings, it should be considered.
Bozievich stated that they have to present a balanced budget and whether or not an individual commissioner can have an FTE. He didnít want the 2.5FTE built into the base. He wanted to amend his motion.
MOTION: to move that the County Administrator not include the 2.5 FTE in building the base budget and not make immediate changes this year for constituent service assistants, but to have the discussion when building the budget. He wanted to have a discussion about balancing commissionersí assistants against jail beds, Youth Services and the Human Rights Commission.
Leiken the second agreed.
Sorenson asked if there was a conflict of the Budget Law with the motion
Richardson said there is not a violation of the Budget Law by the Board giving her this direction. She recalled in the past the administrator has asked for direction by the Board, has presented that to the Budget Committee and then goes back to the Board for a decision. She said given the discussion, she will come up with a proposed budget.
Sorenson said if they have to make serious cuts, then he wanted to know what else they are doing that provides value to the public they canít afford. He didnít think they could afford the person who is coming in to help the commissioners. He said if they are giving up someone to help constituents, the last thing they should do is hire someone to help the commissioners when the other positions were to help the public. He was a proponent of the Performance Auditor position. He didnít want to take the money out of the current budget until they have a discussion about having an independent Performance Auditor. He wanted to independently monitor the expenditure of funds, whether or not the CAO budget should include someone to help the commissioners as opposed to part-time positions to help the constituents.
Richardson said they havenít eliminated the Performance Auditor position. She indicated that some of that savings will be to meet the lapse. She added that some of that money went to the Performance Auditor when he retired as an independent contractor. She stated the person coming back to County Administration will be used as outreach to the citizens in Lane County, it wonít be an executive assistant to the Board.
Handy thought the amended motion was a good step in the right direction to find middle ground. He wonítí support the motion today because he wants more information from Richardson. He is supportive of the amended motion conceptually but wanted to learn more details at budget season. He wanted a work session around the Performance Auditorís position.
VOTE: 3-2 (Handy, Sorenson dissenting).
d. PRESENTATION/The Impact of Federal Forest Payments.
Robert Lewis, Metro Television, presented a video.
7. MANAGEMENT SERVICES
a. DISCUSSION/Authorizing Capital Improvements to the Riverstone Community Health Clinic, Richardson Park Marina, Public Works Customer Service Center, Lane Events Center Convention Center, and Upgrading the HVAC System at the Public Service Building/County Courthouse for Debt Financing.
Mike Barnhart, Finance, asked the Board if they are comfortable going out for a bond on these projects. He noted the second item is the order to authorize them to issue bonds to finance those projects.
Barnhart noted there are five projects on the list: the Riverstone Community Health Clinic, the Richardson Park Marina, the Public Works Customer Service Center, the Lane Events Convention Center roof and the steam system in the Public Service Building.
Stewart was concerned how they were going to pay for the Fairgrounds roof, but he stated that it has to happen. He added that he was also concerned about the HVAC system for the Public Service Building but that they have to provide heat for the building and there is not another option but to roll it into the Capital Improvement Bond. He was supportive of this item moving forward.
Leiken concurred with Stewart. He stated these items are important to move forward.
Sorenson asked the cost for the roof at the Events Center.
Barnhart responded that the cost is about $1.5 million.
Sorenson asked if this was different than how they are handling the Lane Events Center CIP that it is not being handled as an enterprise fund, but a facility the County has responsibility for outside of the enterprise fund concept.
Barnhart said an older bond they have for the Fairgrounds is coming out the two percent from the Transient Room Tax. He stated the TRT has dropped. He indicated there is no revenue for this type of project.
David Suchart, Management Services, explained that by doing this, he is asking the Board to change the way they have been doing things up to now. He said the rest of the County is going to have to support the Fairgrounds. He said they could stop the process if the Board wants. He said this is a recommendation and a change from prior policy. With regard to the ice rink, he reported they are leasing the facility to the Ice Consortium. He said that Rick Reno, Fairgrounds, is adhering to what Board direction was that no general fund or County money goes into the ice rink. He said the reason he is asking the Board to go forward with the bond is that if they donít repair the Fairgroundsí roof, they are in danger of losing the asset and handcuffing the operation. He stated that they have to change the way they are doing business if they want to save the asset. He added the Fairgrounds cannot do it on their own. He hoped as the economy recovers the TRT will go up, but he canít wait another year for the Board to make a decision about the future of the Fairgrounds.
Sorenson was in favor of doing this.
b. ORDER 11-2-2-11/In the Matter of Authorizing Financing of Projects in a Principal Amount Not to Exceed $10,735,000 and Authorizing Reimbursement of Expenditures from Proceeds.
MOTION: to approve ORDER 11-2-2-11.
Sorenson MOVED, Leiken SECONDED.
8. COUNTY COUNSEL
9. EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660
There being no further business, Commissioner Stewart recessed the meeting at 12:00 p.m.