October 8, 1996
BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS' WORK SESSION
Commissioners' Conference Room - following HACSA
Chair Bobby Green, Sr. presided with Steve Cornacchia, Ellie Dumdi, Jerry Rust and Cindy Weeldreyer present. Sharon Giles, Recording Secretary.
1. ADJUSTMENTS TO THE AGENDA
2. PUBLIC COMMENTS
Jim Kiely, 3111 Myrna, distributed two handouts (see material on file) and stated that he is president of the Federation of Oregon Parole and Probation Officers, a statewide labor organization. He indicated that he is here today advocating for the Option 1 formula for transition. Reviewing his first handout dealing with choice comparison, Kiely spoke against Option B-2 based on substantial training costs, a decline in service delivery and quality of service, legal suit potential and agency inefficiency. Kiely also reviewed his second handout dealing with parole and probation officer wage/benefit comparisons. He reviewed Option B, noting this it has the maximum suit potential and stressing that timeliness and system readiness are important. In closing, Kiely emphasized that a job is the most important piece to many lives in the community and that it is the basis of support of family/children. He observed that many people have invested their lives in their careers with an average 14-year tenure. Kiely asked that people be treated fairly and with the respect they deserve.
3. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS
To be held at approximately 10:40 a.m.
4. COMMISSIONERS' BUSINESS
a. ORAL REPORT AND UPDATE/Leachate Issues.
Ken Kohl stated that the important issue is the level of treatment that is pursued or is required by DEQ versus the cost of that level of treatment. He asked the Board to consider the standards necessary to provide better treatment than the regional wastewater treatment plant. Rust remarked that the standards should be that the effluent is clean enough for fish and for the DEQ. Responding to Kohl, Rust stated that he believes a citizens advisory group would be useful. Rust suggested that there might be some innovative grant programs from the EPA, indicating that he would call DeFazios office. Weeldreyer observed that Bill Van Vactor, County Administrator, is in Washington, D.C. this week and has meetings set up with the EPA while he is there. Kohl noted that experimental projects will take a lot longer. Rust remarked that the County will be able to find out through a bid process what is available. Responding to Kohl regarding cost criteria, Cornacchia indicated that he would prefer not to put constraints on this, but just determine what opportunities are available and their cost. Green reported that a press conference was held on Friday and that the newspaper reporting of that needs clarification. He stated that the report was somewhat inaccurate and inferred that he and Weeldreyer were persuaded by a group of four people which was not the case at all. Cornacchia remarked that mayoral candidate Weavers continuing attacks on the Board and county staff is sad, stating that he intends to respond in The Register-Guard.
b. ORAL REPORT/BCC External Committee Involvement.
This item was postponed to a later date.
c. ORDER 96-10-1-2/In the Matter of Amending Chapter 2 of Lane Manual to Add Weapons Policy to Personnel Policies Provisions (LC 2.383).
David Suchart, Human Resources and Management Services Director recalled the 2-2 vote on this item last week. He indicated that he can send out material with paychecks this week if desired, set a deadline for a response, have the Safety Committee review the issues and then bring the item back to the Board in a month. Cornacchia expressed appreciation for the consideration of his colleagues in their desire to gather input from employees, but suggested tempering that with the understanding that there needs to be a reasonableness in communications. He stated that he is looking towards an information process that gets the word out, with word returning to the Board through each unions representative. Cornacchia remarked that he wants to hear especially from deputy District Attorneys and effects of any change on them, as well as parole and probation officers and folks who work different hours and use the parking lots early and late and have a concealed weapons permit for personal safety. Rust noted that the policy wraps in concerns for special cases wherein if the employee can convince their supervisor of the need, then an exception will be made. Weeldreyer commented that she hopes this can be an example of how the Board is willing to work as a team and is willing to improve lines of communication. She noted that she is willing to narrow this type of employee feedback opportunity to those Board policy changes that deal directly with employees workplace conditions. Weeldreyer continued that the Lane Manual is a "game book," and that when changes are made, it is important that the whole team is aware that a change in the plan is anticipated. She stressed that employee issues such as workplace violence, diversity, etc. will result in a better end product if employees are informed of the potential for change. Cornacchia remarked that the manner in which that is accomplished is crucial. With regard to this particular issue, Rust commented that the Safety Committee reviewed this and it has union representatives. There was concern to discuss communication with employees at the Leadership Team level in an attempt to determine what is an appropriate, achievable, attainable and reasonable vehicle. Dumdi expressed concern that she is not sure that although there is employee representation on committees, the employees know they are to report back to the people they represent.
Suchart indicated that he would make a proposal to the Leadership Team on October 28 which would include bringing back a list of committees and what they do, along with a recommendation on how to deal with communication in employee advisory committee representation. Weeldreyer suggested using the weapons policy as an example of what happened and how to improve upon the process. Suchart stated that he would draft a letter to employees with a copy of the proposed policy to enclose with paychecks this week and then take those responses to the Safety Committee, returning to the Board in the first or second week in November.
5. EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660
To be held later today.
6. COUNTY ADMINISTRATION
It was noted that Van Vactor is at the ICMA in Washington, D.C.
Suchart spoke regarding the potential for prison siting, noting the he and Van Vactor met with Eugene city staff, Springfield staff, Lane Transit District representatives, etc. and that the group would be meeting again today at 3:30 to go over the compilation of information regarding possible impacts on county and city government. Suchart indicated that the group would be developing a two-prong strategy: 1) Does the area want the prison here or not? and 2) If it is inevitable, what considerations do we want the state to take into account? Responding to Cornacchia, Suchart stated that the compilation will be available for a Thursday meeting of the MPC to be attended by Green and Cornacchia. Cornacchia observed the states "supersiting" authority and Lane Countys vote on the ballot measure that created the need for the prisons, stating that the area would be in a much better situation if it works with the state in accomplishing the areas needs as opposed to taking an adversarial position. He noted that there is a significant difference in impacts of female and male penal institutions and that perhaps a positive approach can be developed from that angle. Dumdi expressed concern about the impact on the Junction City tax base. Green indicated his willingness to carry the message regarding that issue, the Boards concerns as policy makers and the need to provide criteria to be addressed.
b. DISCUSSION/Transfer of Parole and Probation Services From the Oregon Department of Corrections to Lane County.
Doug Harcleroad, District Attorney, remarked that he has chaired the committee trying to resolve these issues, reporting that concerns have been narrowed from thirty to six, which are outlined on the last two pages of the agenda packet (see material on file). He indicated that the opportunity to pursue Option 1 exist until December 31, 1996; and, on January 1, 1997, that option goes away and then the issue is under the parameters of SB 1145. Harcleroad stressed that forty employees also need to receive some notice of what is going to happen to them.
1) PERS Employer contribution - Harcleroad stated that currently officers have state- paid PERS as a benefit. Responding to Cornacchia, Harcleroad indicated that employees are willing to accept the mandate to pay in the six percent
2) Probationary Period - Harcleroad indicated that the group has negotiated a 90-day provision to be used under Option 1, which gives Health and Human Services some flexibility, and would be part of a negotiated agreement. He stated that he anticipates an individual agreement for each employee would be signed under Option 1. Dave Williams, Assistant County Counsel, remarked that since FAPO is not a bargaining unit with the County, it is critical to have individual agreements. Responding to Cornacchia, Kiely indicated that the vote was not unanimous among existing employees, but that he anticipates that 100% of those who want this job opportunity will sign the agreement. Williams recommended that before the agreement goes into effect, Lane County should have a signed agreement with each employee regarding their agreement to work for the County. Responding to Cornacchia, Teresa Wilson, County Counsel, stated that the intergovernmental agreement can be conditioned upon receiving from each employee a document stating that they choose to go to work for Lane County under conditions as outlined, or that they choose to stay with the state, recognizing that if they stay with the state, then on January 1 they are no longer guaranteed a job. Kiely clarified that the way the law is written, if the County has over 200,000 in population, there is no option under the law. Wilson indicated that she and Kiely disagree regarding the 200,000 element. She noted that in terms of setting a precondition that everyone signs a document before transfer occurs, it puts an employee in the position of feeling pressure that may subject that agreement to the potential risk that a court could question its validity or the bargaining power of the employee. Mary Dutton, AFSCME representative, stated that as far as binding AFSCME to individual agreements, the union was not prepared at this time to deal with that. Harcleroad remarked that Lane County should not set itself up to get sued extensively over conditions.
3) Seniority/Longevity - Harcleroad indicated that the big issue in the proposed agreement is whether state service counts for Lane County seniority/time management accrual transfer.
4) Retiree medical - Ruth Larson stated that an actuarial has estimated a cost of $2.3 million over the life expectancy of the 43 employees that fall into this category. Rockstroh remarked that this will change the rate of his entire department. Rust offered a support for a policy that treats employees the same. Cornacchia indicated that when he looks at the totality of the exercise and what these employees are giving up to come over here, and if the County is able to individually contract with employees on these terms prior to the selection of Option 1, he is willing to accept this issue. Harcleroad warned that there may be three people retiring very soon. Kiely remarked that those three may retire prior to January 1, 1997. Cornacchia stated that he knows several parole and probation members and believes they are representative of the group in commitment to the job and their work ethic. He said that he wants them to be Lane Countys parole officers and does not want rookies, new folks, and large training times/expenses. Weeldreyer concurred with Cornacchia
5) Flex time - Kiely stated his opinion that this is a procedural policy issue that deals with management, not with the union. Rob Rockstroh, Director of Health and Human Services, remarked on his assumption that this would follow the current AFSCME contract language. Harcleroad indicated that the language will be fixed.
6) Salary - Harcleroad remarked that these employees would come across at the closest step that fits the Countys schedule, noting that most probation officers will take a pay cut as they are at the top end of their range now. He commented, however, that clerical staff will move up.
7) Comp Time - Harcleroad indicated that this is not an issue.
8) Vacation time - Harcleroad stated that the State will payoff accumulated time before employees move across.
9) Sick leave - Harcleroad noted that employees may retain up to 80 hours.
10) Health benefits - Harcleroad reported that employees will be granted exception of pre-existing conditions due to an agreement worked out by Ruth Larson.
With regard to the budget, Harcleroad indicated that the $330,000 gap will be filled by leaving some positions unfilled. Cornacchia remarked on his comfort with the treatment of the budget in the memorandum.
Harcleroad summarized that Rockstroh will be the department manager and that he will coordinate paperwork with him and legal staff. He indicated that he will report back to the Board in November. Responding to Green, Dave Cook said he was hopeful of getting more money in the baseline budget. Rockstroh reminded the Board that this budget will probably work unless Measure 47 is passed.
This meeting recessed at 10:55 to reconvene at 11:00 a.m.
c. ORDER 96-10-8-1/In the Matter of Approving the January 1 - June 30, 1997 Community Corrections Plan and Delegating the Authority to the County Administrator to Execute the Plan and Extend Community Corrections Contracts.
Harcleroad briefly reviewed this item (see material on file), noting that this is a status quo plan and does not make any big changes. He indicated that there is some contingency money.
MOTION: Approval of the Order. Cornacchia MOVED, Dumdi SECONDED.
d. ORDER 96-10-8-2/In the Matter of Appointing One Member to the Public Safety Coordinating Council.
MOTION: Approval of the Order appointing Patricia Rogers to the Public Safety Coordinating Council. Weeldreyer MOVED, Dumdi SECONDED.
Cornacchia was excused from the meeting at 11:10 a.m.
7. CONSENT CALENDAR
A. Approval of Minutes:
August 14, 1996, Regular Meeting, 9:00 a.m.
August 21, 1996, Regular Meeting, following HACSA
August 21, 1996, Regular Meeting, 1:30 p.m.
September 3, 1996, Work Session, 9:00 a.m.
B. County Counsel
1) ORDER 96-10-8-3/In the Matter of Amending Chapter 4 of Lane Manual to Add a New Policy to Lane Countys Financial Management Policies (LM 4.010(2)).
C. Health and Human Services
1) RESOLUTION AND ORDER 96-10-8-4/In the Matter of Appropriating an Additional $72,880 in Revenues and Expenditures in Fund 86 for Individuals With Developmental Disabilities (PAAF 39 to the 1995-97 Intergovernmental Agreement 20-001).
2) RESOLUTION AND ORDER 96-10-8-5/In the Matter of Delegating Authority to the County Administrator to Sign a Contract, and a Contract Amendment for a Total of $65,000 With the Managed Care Performance Project in the Department of Health and Human Services.
D. Human Resources and Management Services
1) ORDER 96-10-8-6/In the Matter of Authorizing the Sale of Surplus County-Owned Property, Together With an Access Easement Across County-Owned Real Property to Rick and Julia Herson (Map #18-03-25-00-00203, Adjacent to the Short Mountain Landfill).
E. Public Works
1) ORDER 96-10-8-7/In the Matter of Accepting a Deed of Land to be Used as a Public Road Easement for County Road No. 1080 (Hunsaker Road) (17-04-12).
2) ORDER 96-10-8-8/In the Matter of Accepting an Offer and Selling Excess County-Owned Real Property, Tax Lot 16-55-14-40 (56398 Hwy. 126, McKenzie Bridge).
MOTION: Approval of the Consent Calendar. Dumdi MOVED, Weeldreyer SECONDED.
VOTE: 4-0 (Cornacchia was not present for this vote).
8. INFORMATION SYSTEMS
a. ORAL REPORT/DISCUSSION/"Team Concept" for Information Services Department.
Ben Wilson, Information Services Director, distributed a handout dealing with four options for the organizational structure of his department (see material on file). He noted that decisions will have ramifications for job descriptions.
Option 1- Wilson indicated that this structure is how the department is currently budgeted.
Option 2- Wilson noted that he has two managers on board now.
Option 3- Wilson remarked that this would be a radical departure from current process.
Option 4 - Wilson observed that this is a combination of the above.
He reviewed traditional supervisory responsibilities on page two of his handout.
Wilson indicated that he is looking to the Board for some direction. Green remarked that his preference would to be to keep a management level. Rust stated that he is leaning the other way, expressing hope that Wilson has strong ideas but can maintain a committed emphasis on teamwork (see Option 3). Wilson offered some arguments against Option 3, including the need for team leaders and the responsibility to evaluate the teams/members. Rust noted that if the emphasis is truly on team spirit, then it could work and be up to the director to keep touch with the teams and sign evaluations, intervene for discipline, etc. Responding to Rust, Wilson stated that current staff seems split on the issue. Weeldreyer remarked that with the creation of Information Services bringing about a new way of managing information, this also sends the signal for an opportunity to look at where the County would like to be in the area of management. She expressed hope that Option 3 is the eventual destination. Weeldreyer observed, however, that under the existing culture, she is not sure the County can get there in one jump and that contractual obligations may make Option 3 less desirable. She emphasized that she would like to see work on a strategy to get to Option 3. Wilson indicated that his strategy to get to Option 3 could be to try to negotiate a memorandum of understanding to be accepted by both labor and management. Responding to Green, Wilson stated that Option 3 would require a "team leader." Responding to Weeldreyer, Wilson remarked that the two current managers could become a team leader under Option 3 and take on more technical responsibilities. Green cautioned that Wilson takes on major responsibility in the Option 3 concept. He noted that teams need to have ownership in planning/ implementation/assumption of risk. Rust complimented Wilson for his willingness to assume risk. Teresa Wilson, County Counsel, stressed that the first challenge will be to negotiate the team process within the current bargaining structure to avoid barriers to implementing a team approach.
Ben Wilson indicated that he would report back to the Board regarding a strategy for working toward Option 3.
9. REVIEW ASSIGNMENTS
Not done at this time.
10. EMERGENCY BUSINESS
3. COMMISSIONERS ANNOUNCEMENTS
Weeldreyer commented that the Department of Corrections is erroneously operating under the impression that she is pressing for corrections facilities in Creswell and Oakridge. She stressed that she has not advocated/lobbied in any way for that agenda and will support what those communities choose.
The Board expressed condolences to the family of Jean Sinclair-Edwards, Mayor of Cottage Grove, who passed away recently.
There being no further business, this meeting adjourned at 11:35 a.m.
Sharon Giles, Recording Secretary
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