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March 17, 1998
WORK SESSION BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
Harris Hall Main Floor - 9:00 a.m.

Chair Steve Cornacchia presided with Ellie Dumdi, Bobby Green, Sr., Peter Sorenson, and Cindy Weeldreyer present. County Administrator Bill Van Vactor, County Counsel Terry Wilson, Assistant County Counsel Stephen Vorhes, Sheriff Jan Clements, Lieutenant Tom Brett, Human Services Manager David Suchart, Information Services Manager Gary Ingram, Nancy Miller (Coopers & Lybrand), and Recording Secretary Kimberly Young were also present.

1. ADJUSTMENTS TO THE AGENDA

Commissioner Cornacchia adjusted the schedule by reversing the order of items 3. (Commissioners’ Announcements) and 4. (Commissioners’ Business.)

2. PUBLIC COMMENTS

Darrell Stucky, 87096 Cedar Flats Road, Springfield, said that Sheriff Jan Clement’s proposal for a law enforcement district in the McKenzie/Mohawk was "putting the cart before the horse." He asked what would happen to those arrested given the lack of jail capacity. Mr. Stucky asked if agricultural and forest lands were included in the district, saying if forest lands were included it would cost him $400 more each year in taxes. He noted that his taxes and assessed value had risen and he had been unable to find out why from the County. Mr. Stucky did not think that the district would help people who lived off Highway 126, and said that the only law enforcement personnel he saw in the area were citing people for speeding.

Commissioner Dumdi pointed out that the district would give residents in the rural area more of a police presence. She suggested it would have a deterrent effect on crime. Mr. Stucky said that the court system was unsatisfactory if people were being released prematurely.

Commissioner Cornacchia said that the Board of County Commissioners was merely offering residents the opportunity to vote on the question of whether they wanted to have a district.

Mr. Stucky maintained that the meetings held by the sheriff to discuss the proposal were poorly publicized. He asked who would select the members of the budget committee. Commissioner Cornacchia indicated that the board would under the statute governing the district.

3. COMMISSIONERS’ BUSINESS

a.  DISCUSSION/SLED Budget Committee Selection Process (NBA & PM 2/225/98 & 3/1/98)

Sheriff Jan Clements acknowledged that his department’s attempts to publicize meetings in the area of the proposed district were not perfect, and he had attended meetings with as few as two participants and as many as fifty. He said that he also shared Mr. Stucky’s concerns regarding jail capacity. He said that the Public Safety Coordinating Council was attempting to address that issue at the current time.

Captain Tom Brett of the Sheriff’s Department reviewed a memorandum to the board March 17, 1998, entitled "SLED Budget Committee." The memorandum described options for the selection of the committee’s lay members.

Mr. Cornacchia asked how the neighborhood watch member would be selected. Mr. Brett said that the member would have to be active in a neighborhood watch organization in the proposed district, and the commissioners could ask that the member be appointed by a neighborhood watch organization or the County could contact the organization and solicit a representative. He recommended the latter course. He noted there were five neighborhood watch organizations in the affected area.

Mr. Green asked if the committee could also include a neighborhood watch member as the at-large member. Mr. Brett said that he believed so, but suggested that watch members were already so busy it might not be practical.

Mr. Cornacchia observed that there might value in adding an additional criterion for membership to ensure that the Mohawk, McKenzie, and Camp Creek areas were represented on a 2:2:1 basis. Mr. Brett concurred.

Responding to a question from Ms. Weeldreyer, Ms. Wilson said that State statutes limit membership on the committee to five lay members.

Mr. Brett reviewed the criteria for committee membership. Ms. Weeldreyer asked if criteria were necessary, recalling no other instances of criteria for committee membership. Ms. Wilson said that the board could choose not to establish criteria. She said that the formation of the committee represented a new opportunity for the board. Mr. Green endorsed the concept of having membership criteria, saying it was acceptable to have basic expectations for committee members. In response to a concern voiced by Ms. Weeldreyer regarding the criteria, Mr. Cornacchia believed that the board would keep the criteria in mind as commissioners made up their minds about committee members, and indicated his preference that the criteria be referred to as "suggested" criteria.

Mr. Cornacchia asked who would staff the committee. Mr. Clements said that an analyst from his office, the support services captain, and other relevant employees would staff the committee.

Mr. Sorenson said he liked the membership categories even if there were only guidelines for appointment. He observed that all Lane County residents have an interest in law enforcement in the rural areas, particularly as the tourist economy grows. He asked if interests related to tourism could be addressed by the representation on the committee of the McKenzie Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Sorenson also asked how the board could encourage diversity on the committee.

In response to Mr. Sorenson’s questions, Mr. Clements said that the chamber dealt with issues related to tourism as a large part of its mission. Regarding diversity on the committee, Mr. Clements said that the commissioners could select from a pool of candidates, the Sheriff’s Office could recommend five candidates to the board, or individual board members could each appoint a representative. He recommended that the board select from a pool larger than five people.

Mr. Brett described the public participation process associated with the committee selection.

The board discussed the public participation process, suggesting that the Sheriff’s Office take advantage of the schools in the area and publicize the process through school newsletters, the rural fire districts, neighborhood watches, and other constituents groups. Mr. Cornacchia encouraged Mr. Clements to deliver application packets to areas within the district rather than require interested applicants to come to Eugene.

At the suggestion of Mr. Cornacchia, Mr. Clements agreed to work with Ms. Weeldreyer and the Public Information Officer to identify relevant constituent groups that should receive application packets.

Mr. Brett indicated staff would redraft the memorandum to reflect the board’s feedback.

Mr. Brett reviewed the selection process proposed in the staff memorandum.

Mr. Cornacchia proposed that Ms. Weeldreyer meet with the resident deputy for the proposed district or another member of the Sheriff’s Office and the Public Information Officer to screen the membership applications for the committee and to recommend a pool of applicants to the board or a subcommittee of the board for further winnowing. Other board members concurred.

Responding to a question from Mr. Cornacchia, Ms. Wilson said that the board will be required to make the committee appointments immediately following the May 19 election given the tight time line established by the State statute governing the district formation; the district must submit a tax levy to the assessor by July 1, 1998. Mr. Cornacchia expressed concern that the board not be placed in the position of appearing to advocate for the district by soliciting applications for the committee prior to the election. He asked that any materials accompanying the applications be reviewed carefully by legal counsel to ensure that there was no appearance of board advocacy. Mr. Cornacchia also asked that the staff prepare a memorandum outlining what the board might expect between now the committee selection date.

b. UPDATE/Lane County Financial System

Mr. Suchart distributed a project time line for Phase I and Phase II of the financial system project. He introduced Nancy Miller of Coopers Lybrand, the project manager. Mr. Suchart reviewed the project time line. He commended County Finance staff and Information Services staff for their hard work on the project and commended Ms. Miller for her professional management of the project.

Ms. Miller shared some thoughts on the project, noting its complexity and the visibility of the first phase related to Payroll to employees. She said that the system would not "go live" until the project team was comfortable there were no mistakes.

Responding to a question from Ms. Weeldreyer, Ms. Miller said that the project’s complexity was not uncommon for local and state government systems.

Mr. Van Vactor noted that the project represented a significant investment for the County and would impact the organization into 1999. He anticipated that the project would result in improved services.

Responding to a question from Ms. Dumdi, Mr. Van Vactor said that the County was addressing the Year 2000 problem on its internal programs. Mr. Sorenson noted that the Association of Oregon Counties (AOC) had formed a Year 2000 committee because of a concern that Oregon counties will be unable to cope with the problem. He asked if that effort had any relevance to the project in question. Mr. Ingram was unsure that the effort had a relationship to the County’s Year 2000 efforts, but agreed that the County should stay informed about the AOC effort.

4. COMMISSIONERS ANNOUNCEMENTS

Mr. Green announced that a press conference on the Safe and Sound program would occur later that day.

Mr. Green asked for more information about the letter sent to the board from Fairgrounds Manager Mike Gleason. Mr. Cornacchia said that Mr. Gleason wanted to seek board action on redirecting Transient Room Tax moneys to the fairgrounds. He had asked Mr. Gleason to prepare two lists prior to that action, one identifying the capital needs at the fairgrounds that would be funded by room tax funds, and one prioritizing the list of capital projects. Mr. Van Vactor indicated that the item would be scheduled on a future board agenda.

Responding to a question from Mr. Green regarding the possibility that staff could secure materials from the National Teleconference on Benchmarks as he would not be in Eugene when it occurred, Mr. Van Vactor said that he would ask Metrovision staff to videotape the conference.

Ms. Weeldreyer said that the AOC Public Outreach and Education Subgroup had met the previous week. The subgroup had funding to contract for a publicity plan for the association, and she had suggested that the subgroup take advantage of the various counties’ public information officers. She said that Lane County’s Mike Moskovitz had played a lead role in developing proposals for the plan, which would be submitted to the executive committee of the AOC. The plan might result in the addition of staff to the AOC. Ms. Weeldreyer believed that term limits meant that the AOC must be continually involved in educating legislators regarding county needs and issues.

Mr. Green and Mr. Cornacchia suggested that an analysis of current staffing levels at AOC was appropriate before further staff was added.

Mr. Sorenson reported that the AOC Finance and Administrative Committee would meet on March 20 in Salem.

Mr. Sorenson reported that the League of Women Voters was holding an open house at 1:30 p.m. that day at 81 East 14th Avenue.

The board took a brief recess at 10:50 a.m. and reconvened at 11:00 a.m.

Mr. Cornacchia adjourned the meeting to an Executive Session at 11:00 a.m.

5. EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660

Held later in the day.

6. EMERGENCY BUSINESS

a. Order 98-3-17-1/In the Matter of Delegating to the County Administrator Authority to Execute an Amendment to Lane County’s Contract with the Oregon Youth Authority for Juvenile Diversion Services.

MOTION: To approve Board Order 98-3-17-1.

Commissioner Dumdi MOVED, Commissioner Green SECONDED.

VOTE: 5-0.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 11:15 a.m.

Kimberly Young, Recording Secretary

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