June 15, 2011
Harris Hall Main Floor
Commissioner Faye Stewart presided with Commissioners Jay Bozievich, Rob Handy, Sid Leiken and Pete Sorenson present. Acting County Administrator Alicia Hays, County Counsel Steve Vorhes and Recording Secretary Melissa Zimmer were also present.
1. ADJUSTMENTS TO THE AGENDA
Handy pulled item 6B2 and 6C1 from the Consent Calendar.
2. PUBLIC HEARING
a. PUBLIC HEARING/ORDER 11-6-15-1/In the Matter of Adopting the FY 2010-2011 Supplemental Budget 3, and Making, Reducing and Transferring Appropriations.
Jenn Inman, Senior Management Analyst, reported that this is the third and final Supplemental Budget for FY 2010/2011. She indicated that it increases the County’s total resources by approximately $7.4 million and 2 FTE. She noted $5.3 million of the increase is a result of a refinancing of a bond for the Fair. She added that Finance and Audit and the Board both discussed the issue and it was an advantage to the County to get a better rate. She said the budget increase is about $2.1 million. She indicated the general fund reserve remains the same percentage at 13 percent. She added that none of the changes in the supplemental budget impact the approved budget the Board is considering adopting for 11/12.
Commissioner Stewart opened the Public Hearing.
Dan Dubach, said he had concerns about Youth Services. He said he intends to watch the program closely. He indicated that he has nothing to do with their budget. He has concerns on how the money is going to be used. He said he has helped Sorenson in various levels of friendship and working on his campaign and interviewing employees. He said commissioners are also trying to help the employees of Lane County. He said whether the commissioners have aides is not a concerns of his. He said it is unfortunate the Board doesn’t have anyone to help them read through everything. He said he doesn’t show up unless he can back up what he is saying. He said some Youth Service employees are wonderful. He added the Oregon Youth Authority make the programs work. He also thanked the court clerks. He appreciated Bill Van Vactor and David Suchart’s direction in the past as they helped him get through some misunderstandings. He thanked Sorenson for showing him how government works. He appreciated Sorenson letting young people get involved in his campaign to learn. He loaned the commissioners books for an indefinite amount of time based on their personalities.
There being no one else signed up to speak, Commissioner Stewart closed the Public Hearing.
MOTION: to approve ORDER 11-6-15-1.
Leiken MOVED, Sorenson SECONDED.
3. PUBLIC COMMENTS
4. COMMISSIONERS' RESPONSE TO PUBLIC COMMENTS AND/OR OTHER ISSUES AND REMONSTRANCE
Bozievich thanked the people from the BLM, U.S. Forest Services, Oregon Department of Forestry and some of the private owners in the area for an exceptional tour yesterday. He stated that he learned about forest practices and endangered species in having the biologist present. He thought it was extremely educational. He appreciated the agencies taking them on the tour. He commented that resentment can cause one to let another have power over your life and change the quality of life. He recalled that last week there were things that happened in the Board meeting that caused resentment. He is willing to use the power of forgiveness to move forward on the Board’s business and not dwell on the past. He hopes the Board can move forward, as they have serious issues to address in Lane County from the economy to the budget. He will forgive and forget comments that were made last week.
Leiken commented that he learned a lot on the Forest Tour. He appreciated all the help that went into the tour. He realized the Northwest Forest Plan needs to be a living document because of the information the agencies bring. He thanked everyone involved in the Forest Tour, as he learned a tremendous amount.
5. EMERGENCY BUSINESS
6. CONSENT CALENDAR
A. Approval of Minutes
B. Board of Commissioners
1) ORDER 11-6-15-2/In the Matter of Adopting the Memorandum of Understanding to Extend the Southern Oregon Clean Energy Alliance (SOCEA).
2) ORDER 11-6-15-3In the Matter of Proposing a Policy Resolution to the National Association of Counties for Consideration at their Regularly Scheduled Summer Conference to be Held July 15-19, 2011 in Portland, Oregon. (Commissioner Stewart)
C. Human Resources
1) ORDER 11-6-15-4/In the Matter of Appointing and Establishing the Salary and Benefits of the County Administrator.
D. Management Services
1) ORDER 11-6-15-5/In the Matter of Authorizing the County Administrator to Execute a Two-Year Lease with Two, One-Year Renewal Options, for an Expense of $138,240, with the City of Springfield for Space for the Central Lane Justice Court Located at 220 Fifth Street, Springfield.
E. Public Works
1) ORDER 11-6-15-6/In the Matter of Ratifying Applications Submitted by Public Works for Grant Funding Under the National Historic Covered Bridge Preservation Program (NHCBP) for Belknap, Office, Unity, and Pengra Covered Bridges, and Delegating Authority to the County Administrator to Execute All Related Agreements, Amendments, and Construction Contracts in the Event of Successful Application(s).
MOTION: to approve the balance of the Consent Calendar.
Leiken MOVED, Bozievich SECONDED.
MOTION: to approve ORDER 11-6-15-2.
Leiken MOVED, Bozievich SECONDED.
Sorenson requested they set this over a week with the idea that it would be placed on the website. His understanding is that it was not placed on the website. He asked why it wasn’t placed on the website.
Stewart inquired about it on Monday and he was assured they were on the website.
Alex Cuyler, Intergovernmental Relations Manager, reported they were on the website yesterday on the Consent Calendar.
Sorenson didn’t think they were put up soon.
Cuyler recalled as a result of last week’s meeting where Sorenson requested they be put on the website; the documents existed at that point on the website. Cuyler added the issue was that it hadn’t been up for 24 hours last week. He said the documents stayed up and have been up for the duration of the week.
Stewart asked specifically in Agenda Setting and Zoe Gilstrap told him they were on the website on the Consent Calendar. He believed when he asked someone, they were telling the truth.
Sorenson said the resolution is implementing what Stewart has been working on with the use of the Federal Stafford Act that allows the federal government to undertake emergency actions. His concern is that Cuyler provided the information that the Stafford Act allows for a waiver of the National Environmental Policy Act. He said the Northwest Forest Plan is an action undertaken by the Federal Government under the National Environmental Policy Act. He was concerned about the policy they are enacting with the resolution. He said they are going to NACo and the rest of NACo’s leadership to say they want to use the Stafford Act that is an emergency. He didn’t want to have an environmental impact statement when they are trying to solve a crisis. He said the Stafford Act allows the federal government to take emergency actions and they can waive the process of the National Environmental Policy Act. He said the resolution does say it is an international emergency in Japan and a national emergency in the United States and they have to use emergency procedures. He said it is opening the door to say they don’t need a Northwest Forest Plan or environmental impact statements on federal actions involving the forest. He didn’t think it was the best thing for them to be doing. He thought it was a good idea to help people out who need housing but he didn’t think they need to get into such a controversial area.
Stewart explained that the effort is not to do away with the NEPA process. He had been promoting all along the implementation and the use of the current Northwest Forest Plan. He said they learned yesterday on the tour that some of the frustration that comes out is that the Forest Service goes through the complete process of laying out the sale and doing everything required under the plan and under the federal law. He added then they move forward with a record of decision to implement the sale and then after it is sold and after it has been released, it goes to court and people are being sued, after the fact. He stated the key piece is if they could bypass the litigation portion. He said as they are looking for revenue to operate the government. He noted they operate under the old formula, but it would be nice to see them generate revenue to pay for services at the County and help people who are in need. He didn’t see the same concerns as Sorenson because he was involved with this a little more.
Cuyler noted there is a section in the law in the Stafford Act that allows for waiver of the finding under NEPA of a major federal action. He said it is a way to get around NEPA. He added the sections of the law it points to is for purpose of reconstructing facilities. He said the part the resolution is most focused on is the idea of how timber can be brought to market in an expedited manner. He said the NEPA process is not avoided whatsoever in that particular part of the law. He said the resolution before the Board is not an attempt to streamline NEPA. He said they are putting something out to NACo with intense procedures around the adoption of resolutions. He said as they present it, there is no specific attempt to amend that particular part of the law the deals with NEPA.
Stewart stated just in the Willamette Forest alone, there is approximately 240 million board feet of timber in sales that have been approved by the supervisor that is under waiver conditions for an extension for time. He added under the Stafford Act, they all went through the process but they potentially are not clear from being protested or taking to a court to challenge on whether or not they should actually take place. He stated that processes are in place and people have done all of their commenting to get that out and make it viable and that is the attempt.
Sorenson said the future for the Northwest Forest is in the capability of the forests to help rejuvenate and replenish things they need like oxygen, clean water and carbon sequestration. He said the forest has a tremendous capability to do those things. He said the resolution as he perceives it is about telling the rest of the NACo and the rest of the country that these forests actually should be cut at a greater rate than they are currently being cut and the focus of the resolution is to get more timber out. He wanted it to be in compliance with the Northwest Forest Plan instead of looking for a way to get the sales out that are still under some level of NEPA review. He didn’t think this was the best way for Lane County to go. He thought they should look to see where the real trend in public policy is and how they can get the best economic advantage for their community and he doesn’t think this is moving in that direction.
Leiken commented that when the Northwest Forest Plan was adopted the amount that was harvested was about 80 percent reduction of what was being harvested in the mid to late eighties of the historical harvest that was happening prior to that. He noted that currently it allows for 1 billion board feet. He added that historically was 4.5 to 5 billion board feet. He said the reality is between 200 and 300 million board feet are being harvested now. He said they are not even where the Northwest Forest Plan allows for harvest that is currently happening. He added if the harvest is just increased to where the Northwest Forest Plan is allowable, he thinks it is more of a win win. He noted the only person who can grant the waiver to the law itself is the Secretary of Agriculture.
Bozievich said what they had seen demonstrated yesterday was some of the newer harvest techniques from aerial cable to other methods having low footprint in the forest and how they are taking roads back out and methods to prevent sentiment runoff and maintaining clean water. He said a forest in regeneration sequesters far more carbon than a forest that is at maturity. He commented that with some of the current forests that are plantation forests, if they are left without harvest, they are a fire hazard or bug kill hazard and they are looking at releasing carbon. He said if there are concerns about clean water, carbon and oxygen, regenerative harvest is actually beneficial. He said nothing sequesters carbon better than making a board out of something and putting it into a house. He was not concerned that this would create wily Nelly harvest that will go beyond the Northwest Forest Plan. He hopes they see levels come close to the Northwest Forest Plan. He hopes this will help the people of Japan and Joplin and help citizens of Lane County gain employment. He commented that they could use a greater employment base that will be helpful to their budget. He supported the motion.
VOTE: 3-2 (Handy, Sorenson dissenting).
MOTION: to approve ORDER 11-6-15-4.
Bozievich MOVED, Leiken SECONDED.
VOTE: 3-2 (Handy, Sorenson dissenting).
7. COUNTY ADMINISTRATION
b. DISCUSSION/2011-2012 Lane County Budget, Making Appropriations and Levying Taxes. (Liane Richardson, County Administrator; Christine Moody, Budget and Planning Manager)
Christine Moody, Budget and Planning Manager, explained that this is a work session on the Budget for FY 2011/2012, that begins July 1. She recalled the Budget was approved by the Budget Committee in mid-May. She assembled a packet of changes the Budget Committee made to the proposed budget. She added that departments have come forward with changes they are requesting or technical adjustments that need to be made.
Stewart wanted to know about the Community Corrections allocation.
Moody indicated that she didn’t hear anything from the Sheriff’s Office telling her anything different.
Stewart received correspondence about people concerned about Sponsors. He said traditionally Sponsors has received over $500,000 from the allocation to balance the recommendation from the SAT. He added they will have the PSCC conversation next Monday. He said it was to substantially cut Sponsors’ budget . He said they were using numbers from the state allocation that could increase that would allow the possibility to send additional money to Sponsors and free up money in the general fund. He added that would free up money for the Jail that would allocate funds to the District Attorney’s office. He indicated that will be his proposal next week if the allocation is increased.
Moody reported the reserves in the general fund will be close to the ten percent reserve by the end of the next fiscal year. She added it is only about $300,000 over the required ten percent. She noted Health and Human Services is still getting information. She said just because they have a budget higher than what they are going to get, doesn’t mean they will spend the budget, it means they will adjust the spending. She said that the Workforce Partnership is experiencing a large decrease of 9 FTE of federal funding.
Sorenson asked about the status of the road fund transfers. He said there was a recommendation Public Works made but the Budget Committee went beyond the budget recommendation of the department and there was a discussion at the Budget Committee. He said there was concern the amount proposed for the transfer in the proposed budget was defensible, but the amount of transfer the Budget Committee approved was not.
Moody said the proposed budget has $2.75 million going to the Sheriff’s Office. She said the approved budget (unless the Board tells them to remove it) is increased by $250,000.
Sorenson asked which direction they were going in this budget.
Moody responded that budgetary there is a figure of expenditures that could be expended in the general fund. She stated it was balanced using some assumptions in health insurance and other places. She said if the savings are found somewhere else, (as long as the total expenditure with the budget matched) she doesn’t know what the Board will do with negotiations to figure out how they will meet the number. She added if the Board adopts the number as it is now, something else will have to be done. She stated that if costs don’t change and they keep staff as currently proposed, they would run out of money. She said they would have to come to the Board with a supplemental budget to make a policy decision to make expenses match.
Bozievich wanted to hear about the road fund transfer. He thought there was confusion last minute at the Budget Committee. He didn’t know if the $250,000 could be justified and documented. He also had concerns about the projected savings for the contracting out of food and health services at the Jail. He asked if it isn’t achieved, how they were going to close the gap.
Tom Turner, Sheriff, reported that there are a number of issues they are working on all at once that could have unintended consequences. He said the use of the road fund of $2.7 million was based on how much the Sheriff’s Office could get reimbursed for patrol services for patrolling County roads. He recalled when the Budget Committee came up with the idea of enhancing that amount and increasing it another $250,000, for that day it was fine. He added that it is now changing constantly. He noted today if they combine the proposed budget of $1.7 million they are suppose to save the Sheriff’s Office ($1.2 million for the RFP for food and medical services) with the projected savings they have to incur with furloughs or whatever mechanism, it is an additional $1.5 million. He said adding those two together is difficult for them to deal with. He understands what they are obligated to as an organization. He said the difficulty comes when they make cuts to the Sheriff’s Office, as it is the same people being drawn out of the road fund for patrolling. He added if they cut patrol, they start cutting the ability to get the money back. He was hesitant to enhance the money. He said if he is losing deputies, he can’t draw the money back and suddenly the Sheriff’s Department becomes the loser with the money, as it goes back into the discretionary general fund and it could be used for other funds.
Turner explained that the $1.2 million was originally based on a conservative estimate as to what could be saved, including medical services. He added as they get closer to the time of implementation, they see there are complications. He indicated that there are complications in getting it done. He said they might not be able to recover $1.2 million. He wanted to get ahead of things and make the cuts now. He said if they doesn’t make the cuts now, then he owes a huge bill in September or October and he would have to pay with more dramatic cuts than he would today. He said if they take the initial cuts on July 1, they could rebuild as the contract builds. He added that the contract once in place will have the ability to get better. He indicated that it is the upstart that is causing the issue. He commented that the unintended consequences might cause the closure of Jail beds and closures they had not intended. He indicated that under the $1.7 million it was not an issue. He added that under the additional cuts they have to face they may wind up suffering other cuts. He stated that they have difficulty with their labor unions to implement it. He noted they have 24/7 groups and they can only implement the furlough with cuts. He reported that furloughs in Parole and Probation will cause the reduction of misdemeanor supervision. He indicated it is a numerical issue. He indicated it ends up being 3 FTE off for the whole time with 15 furlough days implemented. He added it will cause poor supervision quality to the misdemeanor cases.
Turner indicated that they don’t know what the CCA state funding is. He said they are waiting for the answer. He hoped the fees will be enhanced. He stated that he doesn’t know what to support. He commented that it is going to be difficult to function in this environment. He stated that jail beds are the only guaranteed respite for an offender. He said after that, any one thing they take for prevention or treatment works for some but not for all people because it is unpredictable. He commented that any decision they make will be bad.
Sorenson asked why they would make the transfer if the funds can’t be expended.
Turner said $2.7 million was something they could do. He said the issue is the definition. He said it depends on how it is viewed. He explained that it is patrolling County roads. He said if the definition and reimbursement is broad, it makes it easier. He added if they take a conservative view to get a definition, it makes it more difficult in reimbursement. He noted the more people they have participating the easier it will be to make the number. He indicated they are trying to make it applicable to what they are doing within the definition. He said the narrower they make it, the more difficult to recover the money.
Sorenson said in the approved budget there is an expectation that there will be a reduction in the costs associated with those functions. He understood the reason the administrator proposed this because they will save money.
Turner said the original estimates they got from the vendors were a savings of $800,000 to $2.4 million. He added that $1.2 million was a conservative estimate. He said everyone was on board with the estimate. He said as they get closer the realization is that the vendor and the labor unions have to work things out. He indicated that they are still going to save money, but it won’t be as much as $1.2 million. He anticipates a problem and he doesn’t want to have to come back to the Board to say that he is $1 million short. He said they will make the $1.2 million if the Budget is adopted. He said they might have to make other cuts that they did not intend to use to make it work.
Stewart noted that Coos County has received substantial savings in doing something different with their medical provider in their Jail. He said other counties have seen substantial savings.
Leiken recalled that during the Budget process he was concerned about the transfer of road funds to the department. He said as their road funds are dwindling, his concern is protecting the assets in their transportation system. He also stated that this year he could support the transfer. He thinks this is an opportunity to have a discussion with their partners to talk about taking some of the stress off of the Sheriff’s Department. He didn’t think they should look at it as a turf war, but as a constituency. He said they are there to represent the citizens and the more they can partner and work together, the better off they will be. He hoped they could expand the forest policy to see new revenues coming in the near future. He said this is an economics issue, not about department against department. He said the all represent Lane County and it is about enhancing the revenue streams they have. He asked if Turner has had conversations with their partners and if they are receptive to look at expanding their capabilities to take the heat off of Lane County on the patrol side.
Turner responded that the agencies are meeting regularly over different issues to make sure they don’t have duplicative services or vendor opportunities. He said the difficulty is that all agencies want money for their service. He stated that no one has problems with emergency calls or the multiple emergency calls. He said for long term, there is not interest with other agencies unless there is some financial gain through something like property tax redistricting. He indicated the Oregon State Police will do what they can do. He added that it has to do with the jurisdictional boundaries and the cities they represent. He said they are all looking for potential savings to make it work. He said to remain intact they have to be careful not to vendor out too much of the service because they can’t retool to provide that business again. He said these are cyclical things that happen and he wants to maintain all the integrity of the Sheriff’s Office to be able to do it and not make the wrong choice for the wrong reason to survive for one year.
Stewart said to downsize what Turner is recommending for the proposed budget would mean layoffs and cutting services. He asked if that was possible by July 1 or if it is something Turner is working on and might come to the Board in August.
Turner said he could implement any of the changes by July 1. He wanted to do it together with the Board. He wants to f ix the issue in conjunction on what would work best with the Board of Commissioners and for Lane County. He said the issue is they have a tough budget and there will be tough changes for them.
Stewart wanted to know if next week the CCA funds come in $500,000 or more than what was projected, if there could be a way of paying for services, reducing general fund allocation and move to reserve some additional money to set aside in case of emergency.
Bozievich asked if they can’t realize savings with the food service and other things don’t happen, what the smallest increment of jail beds could be cut. He also wanted to know the dollar value of those beds and what it means to the matrix.
Turner said the smallest increment is 65 beds, or 5.8 FTE. He said the amount is $740,000. He noted the next increment of 10 beds is a few more FTE’s, but almost as much money because of the way the facility is built. He explained that intake is more expensive to run than general housing. He said if they cut the first 35 intake beds, it makes it more difficult to run the Jail and that is why the 69 beds is the first choice. He indicated these are not the 84 jail beds they had the other budget year, this is a different set up. He added the 69 beds wouldn’t affect Measure 11 cases. He stated the problem is they are getting into other violent offenders who normally would be held. He added they are different risk levels than Measure 11, but they are also a threat to the community. He commented that it affects the quality of life issues.
Bozievich stated they need to prioritize among all the department budgets. He wanted to know what a first step cut at LCAS would look like instead of an all or nothing cut. He also wanted to know about their flexibility with Community Corrections money and their ability to allocate it to different programs versus what their legal requirements are. He also wanted information on the Health and Human Services general fund expenditures. He was concerned about where they are with the Sheriff’s Office and counting on the savings. He wanted to have a range of options with the increase in the Community Corrections funding possibility from the legislature on choosing how they are allocated. He thought their reaching beyond the original proposal from the County Administrator on the road fund is a risky proposition and he thought they may need to reconsider that with the proposed budget.
Moody indicated that she will come back with answers next week. She heard about Health and Human Service use of general fund possibly going up. She said she will bring back the history. She noted they have always used the same amount of general fund.
Bozievich wanted to pull the$250,000 transfer from the budget. He also wanted to look at the extra $30,000 they were taking out of reserves.
Stewart was also interested in looking at the transfer change.
Moody stated there were items determined as adds or reductions. She noted the first was in the Department of Management Services, changing a Stores Clerk. She said that will be taken out. She said there will be a net zero change. She noted the rest of the add and reduction packages are occurring in other funds so they are a net zero change and it doesn’t impact the general fund.
8. COUNTY COUNSEL
9. EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660
Per OS 192.660 (2)(h) for the purpose of pending litigation.
10. OTHER BUSINESS
Willamette Health Care Solutions
Stewart reconvened the Board of Commissioners after Executive Session.
Stewart explained that this is to determine whether or not the Board will enter into a potential appeal of a Circuit Court decision regarding a 12 bed hospice facility.
Leiken stated after consulting with Legal Counsel, he didn’t know if he had a conflict, but he didn’t want to raise any sort of appearance that they may be. He recused himself from making a decision at this time.
MOTION: to direct Legal Staff to file a notice of appeal and engage in the mediation process available through the notice and the filing of the notice and to report back to the Board on the progress of the mediation.
Bozievich MOVED, Handy SECONDED.
VOTE: 4-0 (Leiken recused himself).
Stewart was concerned about the fact that they had a 150 day violation because they were not able to act within 150 days. He wanted to request in the near future to ask how this happened and the process downstairs. He was told it will take longer than 15 minutes. He wanted to request a waiver of the 15 minute rule in the future to get a full understanding of the process and see if there are any recommendations or needs for staffing to eliminate this in the future. He hoped this doesn’t happen again.
11. COMMISSIONERS’ ANNOUNCEMENTS
Bozievich announced that Saturday June 18 is Function for Junction in Junction City, supporting the schools in Junction City.
Stewart announced on Monday is a Joint Elected Officials Meeting in Springfield at 7 p.m. and a Strategic Planning Mission and Goal Setting on June 21 at Lane Community College. He added that Wednesday has a full agenda.
There being no further business, Commissioner Stewart adjourned the meeting at 11:40 a.m.