April 30, 1998

LANE COUNTY BUDGET COMMITTEE MEETING

Commissioners' Conference Room 5:15 p.m.

PRESENT: Marie Bell, Verna Brown, Steve Cornacchia (arrived at 6:15 p.m.), Dave Crowell, Ellie Dumdi (arrived at 5:25 p.m.), Bobby Green, Sr., Mary Ann Holser, Carol Jones, Peter Sorenson and Cindy Weeldreyer (arrived at 6:15 p.m.). Zoe Gilstrap, Recording Secretary.

I. CALL TO ORDER

Marie Bell called the meeting to order.

II. APPROVAL OF LANE COUNTY BUDGET COMMITTEE MINUTES

MOTION: Approval of April 21, 1998, Minutes as amended.

Green MOVED, Brown SECONDED. Bell stated that the comment she made under the first bullet in section VI should say: "Bell said if the Committee has any other ideas for the budget process to have them ready in writing before the next meeting" rather than ideas on strategic investment. VOTE: 6-0.

III. PUBLIC COMMENT

George Beres, 1990 Dogwood, Eugene, stated that he was speaking for the Wayne Morse Youth Foundation. He explained that they are presenting a proposal regarding the Wayne Morse free speech terrace open mike. Beres remarked that up to this point, they have not sought any involvement or financial aid from Lane County. He said the free speech mike has been recognized as a stabilizing factor every Saturday during the Saturday Market and stated that this proposal requests aid to sustain and, hopefully, expand that program. Beres indicated that it has become increasingly difficult for the person who has been maintaining the mike to continue due to increasing health problems. He stated that he is asking that Lane County make a small investment to enable him to pay a weekly $25 fee to a student to help set up and maintain the open mike. Beres stated that they also need a waiver of the parking fee from the City. He said it is important to sustain the open mike as it provides stability to that vicinity on Saturdays. Beres noted the growing exchange of hard drugs among people walking through the area at that time. He remarked that use of the microphone is open to everyone, without prejudice, and said without a structured activity such as this, the drug "time bomb" could explode. Beres asked for an opportunity to discuss this issue with the Commissioners in order to advance the free speech beliefs of Senator Morse.

Bell explained that the Budget Committee has been proceeding on a status quo budget but said he could submit this request in writing to be evaluated with the other requests. She asked that it be submitted before the May 12 meeting.

IV. BUDGET REVIEW: PUBLIC SERVICES

JTPA Department

Rick Schulz, Management Analyst, reviewed this budget (see material on file). He said there is a technical adjustment for the addition of 2.5 FTE, noting that this adjustment stays within the budget amount. Schulz explained that, if approved, this would result in a budget transfer to allow an increase in Personal Services and a reduction in Materials and Services.

Sorenson stated that there are several other Job Training Partnership Act funded programs in the state of Oregon and asked how many receive funds from their governing body. Chuck Forster, Director, JTPA, stated that the only private industry council he is aware of that receives funding from a local government is the organization in the Portland metropolitan area. Sorenson expressed interest in using general fund money for JTPA and asked if it could come from property taxes. Schulz noted that Lane County is far short of the tax bases in other counties although the average taxpayer pays the same amount as in other counties. Sorenson asked for current data regarding the cost benefit of keeping a young person employed rather than being dependent on taxpayer dollars. Forster replied that the U.S. Department of Labor is looking at the issue of return of investment, stating that he will follow up with them in order to provide this data.

Forster spent time discussing their youth programs and gave statistics of ending employment rates. He stated that they train people to get a first job and then follow them for a year. Forster also discussed changes in the 55 and older programs. In response to Sorenson, Forster stated that outside of general fund money, he would like advocacy from Lane County.

MOTION: Tentative approval of the JTPA proposed budget with the technical adjustment.

Dumdi MOVED, Brown SECONDED. VOTE: 8-0.

Fair Board Budget, All Funds

Schulz gave a brief overview of this budget (see material on file). He noted that there is a change this year because all capital and maintenance have been moved into the Fair Board Fund as opposed to the Fairgrounds Construction Fund or the Fair Board Improvement and Maintenance Fund. Schulz stated that keeping these funds separate as they had in the past would provide more control from an accounting point of view and less flexibility from a cash flow point of view. Schulz stated that there is no operational reserve, noting that there is no money set aside for a bad year. Van Vactor explained that the County has a policy that calls for a 5% prudent policy fund for all funds.

Schulz stated that he is proposing that capital activity be in one fund and operations in another because he can track and understand it better if it is in two funds, noting that Gleason wants it in one fund.

Gleason said the issue of separate funds will not clarify how the budget was compiled. Gleason stated that there seemed to be confusion regarding the format of this budget and said this issue will be resolved by next year. He said they have been working hard to be financially solvent on the operating side outside the general fund. Gleason stated that they always want to be in full disclosure. He referred to material handed out regarding capital and expenditures for this year, noting their audit and said reconciliation will be clear and, if not, he will come to the committee next year with two funds.

Holser voiced concern that fees for the fair have grown so high that small non-profit organizations are unable to be there. She stated that it is a public facility and said it is not a bad idea to put some general fund in the fairgrounds rather than raise fees too high for the public to participate. Gleason responded that when they became aware of this program, they reduced the fees and are working to attract local vendors.

Regarding the 5% prudent person reserve, Gleason agreed that they need a prudent reserve. He said the only thing that makes money is the fair. Gleason stated that they hope to build reserves over the next three years. He noted that they currently are using a $200,000 line of credit, recognizing that it is risky to operate a business without a reserve but stated that they just cannot do it right now. Brown asked to see a policy that shows that they are going to be working toward a prudent reserve. Gleason said he would send them his adopted business plan which includes a plan for the reserve.

MOTION: Tentative approval of the Fair Board proposed budget in one fund and with the understanding that strategy for a prudent reserve is included in their business plan.

Cornacchia MOVED, Brown SECONDED. VOTE: 10-0.
Department of Children and Families

Tanya Heaton, Management Analyst, reviewed this budget (see material on file), noting that this budget was built on sustained growth. She discussed the two addition requests, stating that they have been included in the proposed budget and that there is no general fund support.

MOTION: Tentative approval of Children and Families proposed budget as presented.

Green MOVED, Dumdi SECONDED.

Green voiced concern that Children and Families does not have a grant writer, noting that part of their budget goes to pay for the grant writer in the Department of Youth Services. He said they need this grant writer to leverage dollars. Van Vactor noted that the Budget Committee could recommend that the department add a grant writer and combine that task with that of an administrative analyst. Pat Rogers, Director, Department of Children and Families, stated that this person needs to focus on accountability and outcomes and being able to track dollars. Heaton noted that a grant writing position would be an additional add and will create a need for a reduction somewhere else in the department. Responding to Sorenson, Rogers said there is no projection of levy dollars in this budget.

C.A. Hutchins, Program Services Coordinator, gave a video presentation (see material on file).

Rogers stated that this budget has been approved by the Commission on Children and Families and the State Commission. She distributed a copy of their list of contractors.

VOTE: 10-0.

Department of Assessment and Taxation

Schulz reviewed this budget (see material on file). He noted that there is an add request for training which does exceed the 3% annual growth. Schulz referenced a typo in the packet material and provided corrected copies.

Jim Gangle, Tax Assessor, reviewed his addition requests. He explained that due to new construction activity, two appraisers have been added. He noted that they are self-funding and sustainable.

Gangle distributed and reviewed material regarding the need for the education and training add, stating that this would be a one-time expenditure (see material on file). Responding to Weeldreyer, Gangle noted the value of creating a base map for GIS, stating that A&T has been working for years with LCOG on electronic mapping. Gangle stated that A&T is on track for year 2000. He said the new system was projected to be completed in July 1999 and noted that they are about six months ahead of time. In response to Holser, Gangle stated that in order to expand front desk customer service hours, he would need additional staff. He said he hopes to be able to provide more information to the public via computer terminals.

MOTION: Tentative approval of the Assessment and Taxation proposed budget.

Cornacchia MOVED, Green SECONDED. VOTE: 10-0.

V. HAND OUT MATERIAL FOR NEXT MEETING

Garnick distributed packet material for next Tuesday's meeting.

VI. ADJOURN

There being no further business, this meeting adjourned at 8:20 p.m.

Zoe Gilstrap, Recording Secretary

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