September 18, 1996
BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS' REGULAR MEETING
Harris Hall Main Floor - 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

It was noted that Item 6.b. is being pulled from the agenda and that there are two items of Emergency Business (which were eventually heard during the afternoon agenda).

2. PUBLIC COMMENTS

Maria Vogelpohl, 77910 Quaglia Road, Cottage Grove, spoke regarding speeding on Quaglia Road. She stated that 100% of road residents signed a petition asking that the speed on this road be reduced from 55 mph to 25 mph. Weeldreyer indicated that the State of Oregon would need to be involved in this type of action. She offered her support for "Children at Play" signage and stated that Ed Chastain has informed Vogelpohl of the process to go through involving petitioning the Speed Control Board. Weeldreyer remarked that while 25 mph may not be realistic, a lower speed may be reasonable. Cornacchia commented that perhaps a request to the Sheriff’s Office to visit this area periodically would be helpful. He remarked that changing the speed limit for the whole community may be excessive and it may be more helpful to target the problem individuals. Rust indicated that he would like to move forward on both fronts. Weeldreyer also commented on logging truck traffic from a commercial timber company at the end of the road, noting that their speed has also caused problems. Weeldreyer indicated that she would request the Sheriff to visit the area while moving forward with a petition to the Speed Control Board.

3. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS

Held during the afternoon session.

4. RESOLUTIONS

a. RESOLUTION 96-9-18-1/In the Matter of Supporting the Governor in Declaring October as Public Safety Month.

Captain John Clague, Sheriff’s Office, read this Resolution into the record.

MOTION: Approval of the Resolution. Dumdi MOVED, Rust SECONDED.

VOTE: 5-0.

b. RESOLUTION 96-9-18-2/In the Matter of Recognizing the Mid-Coast Watersheds Council.

Green read portions of this Resolution into the record.

MOTION: Approval of the Resolution. Weeldreyer MOVED, Dumdi SECONDED.

VOTE: 5-0.

5. EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660

Held yesterday.

6. COUNTY ADMINISTRATION

a. Announcements

Bill Van Vactor, County Administrator, spoke about the need for a Charitable Contribution Campaign Coordinator for Lane County.

Van Vactor thanked the Elections staff who had to verify signatures yesterday with the former method, due to an equipment failure.

b. ORDER 96-9-18-3/In the Matter of Appointing the 1996/97 Compensation Board.

This item was pulled from today’s agenda.

c. PUBLIC HEARING AND ORDER 96-9-18-4/In the Matter of Adopting the 1996-97 Supplemental Budget #1, Making and Transferring Appropriations.

David Garnick, Senior Management Analyst, reviewed the agenda memorandum for the Board (see material on file). He noted that the methadone item (included in Fund 86) is contingent upon approval of Item 10.b. Rust remarked on the statements dealing with self-sufficiency of the methadone program upon reaching 100 clients. Garnick indicated that the budget assumptions were realistic. Cornacchia expressed concern about mid-budget course spending of unexpended cash balances, prior year lapse, unanticipated cash carry forward, etc. He indicated his understanding that all such unanticipated resources were captured and held in the General Fund to be used as carryover for the next year’s budget, not being subject to ad hoc decision-making. It was noted that Finance and Audit will be reviewing the process surrounding additional expenditures/lapse spending. Green spoke in favor of developing a policy regarding incentive-based budgeting for departments. Cornacchia discussed five specific items of concern for him: 1) Fund 24/17; 2) Fund 18; 3) Fund 52; 4) Fund 85; and 5) Fund 86. It was determined that Fund 52 and Fund 85 were non-General Fund items. After discussion of various items, Cornacchia requested that Fund 24/17, Fund 18 and Fund 86 be pulled off for separate action.

Green opened the Public Hearing. There being no one present who wished to testify, Green closed the Public Hearing.

MOTION: Approval of the Supplemental Budget excluding Fund 24/17, Fund 18 and Fund 86, which are to be voted on separately below. Rust MOVED, Cornacchia SECONDED.

VOTE: 5-0.

MOTION: Approval of Fund 24, Item 17. Rust MOVED, Dumdi SECONDED. Rust commented that this seems to be the most common sense way to handle this item which was an error in the budgeting process. Cornacchia suggested that this item be used as an example for Finance and Audit of his ad hoc spending concerns and the need to discuss how cash balances are dealt with.

VOTE: 5-0.

MOTION: With regard to Fund 18, to put this money ($6,000) into non-expended status and defer this to Finance and Audit for the larger policy discussion. Rust MOVED, Dumdi SECONDED. It was noted that these were fees generated by the Psychiatric Hospital. There were questions as to whether this is the highest and best use for these funds.

VOTE: 5-0.

MOTION: Approval of Fund 86. Rust MOVED, Dumdi SECONDED. Rust commented that there is a reason why state budget law allows a ten percent leeway for unanticipated items during the budget year. With regard to the methadone program, Rust noted that the department has developed an innovative way to expand service and potentially put the program in a position where it may not be a drain on the General Fund. Weeldreyer concurred.

VOTE: 4-1, Cornacchia dissenting.

With regard to incentive-based budgeting, Weeldreyer noted that she is a strong supporter of allowing departments more flexibility to best manage their needs through this type of budgeting. There was consensus to assign discussion of the process to Finance and Audit, with an eventual report back to the Board.

d. ORDER 96-9-18-5/In the Matter of Adopting the Overall Economic Development Program for 1996-97 for Submission to the Federal Economic Development Administration.

(This item was heard after item 7.a.)

Stephanie Schulz, Rural Development Coordinator, briefly reviewed this item for the Board (see material on file).

MOTION: Approval of the Order. Rust MOVED, Dumdi SECONDED. Green expressed concern that tourism is not listed as a key industry. Dumdi indicated she would express Lane County’s support of tourism at the next Regional Strategies meeting.

VOTE: 4-0. (Rust was excused from the meeting just prior to this 12:07 p.m. vote.)

7. COMMISSIONERS’ BUSINESS

a. DISCUSSION/The Role of the Lane Regional Air Pollution Authority as a Local Regulatory Agency.

Cornacchia offered his belief that the best thing that can be done for LRAPA is to identify what Lane County desires of a local regulatory agency. He referred to his July 15 letter to LRAPA and their July 29 response. Cornacchia stressed that one of the major concerns is that LRAPA’s imposition of additional requirements on some Lane County businesses is not getting a cleaner airshed, but is costing local businesses substantial monies while similar businesses elsewhere do not have that expense. He expressed his belief that there is a way for LRAPA to continue as a useful regulatory body by regulating the same way DEQ does. Cornacchia stated that users want to know that businesses are getting the same treatment across the state. He suggested that perhaps an independent group be established to compare LRAPA and DEQ for discrepancies/differences. Cornacchia summarized that regulated businesses are asking that LRAPA regulations conform with DEQ requirements.

Rust commented that he projects that in the future citizens will worry most about water and air quality. He observed that Lane County is in a peculiar valley and that there is a different airshed here. Rust remarked that if LRAPA is going to regulate exactly as DEQ regulates, then why not let DEQ do it. He stressed that a strong case can be made, however, for our community to have its own methodology and more stringent requirements. Rust noted that having higher standards compels companies to use the best technology. He indicated that he was interested in a response from someone regarding the issue of best technology.

Cornacchia stated that LRAPA’s rules put local businesses at a competitive disadvantage. He emphasized that the way to achieve cleaner air is by limiting what goes into it, not by the way the permits are administered, commenting that the issue is the interpretation of DEQ’s rules. Dumdi suggested going back to the way LRAPA did business a few years ago when the LRAPA Board had more input into major violations. She expressed concern that the DEQ ought to tighten up on Portland’s emissions as they flow down into this valley. Cornacchia commented again that he is looking for equity/conformance for businesses throughout the state. Rust asked three questions: 1) Does LRAPA seek the best technology/controls through their procedures and is that why procedures are more stringent?; 2) Does Arkell feel that the air quality is improved through these procedures?; and 3) What percentage of Lane County’s airshed problems is generated from Lane County and what percentage from other areas (the north)?

Don Arkell, LRAPA Director, stated that his understanding is that Cornacchia’s concern is directed at the part of the new source review rule that requires "new major emitters" to go through an additional process which involves analysis of air quality in additional areas to provide prevention of significant deterioration. He stated that if, after review, new technology is required and installed, it does have positive impact on air quality. Arkell also reported that ozone is a regional pollutant and concentrations do come in from up north; but otherwise, Lane County generates most of its own pollutants.

Weeldreyer commented that she hears the validity of Cornacchia’s concerns regarding equity; but she emphasized the importance of local control. She stated that if the local Board votes for a higher standard for air quality for this area, then that is the essence of local control. Weeldreyer remarked that that then becomes a cost of doing business in this county for the added benefit of having better air quality. She observed that if LRAPA standards are to be same as those statewide, then she doesn’t see the benefit of local control, other than better service.

Cornacchia asked whether it was timely for LRAPA to be looking for a new director and a new building in light of the potential for legislative changes. He indicated that people are telling him that if LRAPA conforms to uniform state guidelines, they will not push for its demise; however, if they continue additional requirements, all deals are off. Responding to Rust, Cornacchia stated that the major problem is that LRAPA does not allow "modeling," noting that all issues were laid out in his July 15 letter.

Green agreed that if LRAPA is a simple duplication of state efforts, then he questions having a local agency. He noted, however, for example, that some local building codes exceed state requirements.

Pat Patterson, Chair, LRAPA Board of Directors, stated that he has problems with mandates when an agency outside of this area tells locals what to do. He assured the Board that he wants LRAPA to serve business and the community. Patterson remarked that it would be necessary to take a close look at the state’s rules before any change and see if they would take care of what occurs in Lane County. Dumdi recommended that LRAPA go back to a partnership role with businesses, with advance warnings rather than fines without prior notification. Weeldreyer echoed Dumdi’s comments. She agreed that complaints she has received have had to do with a change in LRAPA’s approach to pursuing offenders; noting however that she doesn’t feel strong enough to come down on either side, although she generally prefers local governance.

Rust indicated that he would vote against doing exactly as DEQ does, suggesting that Cornacchia take this discussion to the LRAPA Board and process the issues through them. Cornacchia stated that he cannot be a strong advocate for different regulations in our area, remarking that if that is the preference, then the Board should place a different commissioner on the LRAPA Board as he could not be a strong advocate for that position. He indicated that he would like the Board of Commissioners to say there is concern about differences. Dumdi reiterated her recommendation that LRAPA look at the way it does business and attempt to do it in a more cooperative/collaborative manner with business. She also suggested that LRAPA might want to work with the DEQ in determining whether regulations (or the lack of) up north are having a negative impact farther down the valley. Cornacchia remarked that he would like to see the Board take a position that it continues to be supportive of local control, but would like a cost/benefit analysis on LRAPA’s differences with DEQ rules. Rust again stated that he dissents from the idea that LRAPA should have the same regulations as DEQ. There was consensus to further pursue these issues at the LRAPA Board level.

All other items on the morning agenda were carried over to the afternoon agenda and this meeting was adjourned at 12:10 p.m.

 

Sharon Giles, Recording Secretary

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