BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS'

WORK SESSION

June 6, 2001

9:00 a.m.

Commissioners' Conference Room

APPROVED JUNE 27, 2001

 

Commissioner Anna Morrison presided with Commissioners Bill Dwyer, Bobby Green, Sr. and Peter Sorenson present.  Cindy Weeldreyer was present via telephone.  County Administrator Bill Van Vactor, County Counsel Teresa Wilson and Recording Secretary Melissa Zimmer were also present.

 

1. ADJUSTMENTS TO THE AGENDA

 

None.

 

2. PUBLIC COMMENTS

 

Tom Linniger, 45881 McKenzie Highway, spoke about the competition for funding drug treatment programs and bed space at the jail.  He said it was unfortunate, as both are dependent on each other.  He explained there were alternative funding sources available for drug treatment.  He supported funding bed space at or near levels the Sheriff had requested because drug treatment has alternative sources of funding.

Mona Lindstromberg, 87140 Territorial Highway, Veneta, discussed the June 4 Work Session with the Lincoln County Planning Commission.  She asked the Board to consider having a meeting with cell tower owners and neighbors working together.

Donna Murray, 87402 Territorial Highway, said with the regard to the cell towers she thought a moratorium would be a good tool for stopping these projects from going forward.  She wanted the Board’s support in doing that.

Hilary Wylie, Willamette Family Treatment Center, 687 Cheshire Street, said they do drug treatment and they had not received any forfeiture dollars.  She said they are struggling to keep the agency afloat.  She noted that July 1, funding would no longer be coming from the state and that puts it back on the County.  She said they have looked for other funding sources to fill the deficit.  She said they need to buy detox and treatment beds, and a better system needs to be in place.

Walter Hledchuk, 2116 Grant St., Eugene, thanked the Board for giving the Veterans an increase.

 

3. HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

 

a. DISCUSSION/Review Options for Management of the Lane County Veterans Services Office.

 

Steve Manela, Human Services Commission, said the Board needed to look at the process and goals for improvement of the Veterans Services Office within the context of the budget committee’s increased recommendation for support.

 

Manela noted in the agenda memo (copy in the file) that there is a process (within the next nine months) about the management and financing of the Veterans Services Office.  He noted the Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) currently operates the Veterans Services Office and it is subsidized by state and local funding.  His recommendation was looking at leveraging additional funding in support of the Veteran Service office in order to improve the situation for Veterans services.  He said there was a need for securing new office space, staffing arrangement, modern office equipment and to transition to a more suitable management structure.  He explained it could be an issue if they look at a new system for financing Veterans services where they leverage federal Medicaid funding.

 

Manela said a time study is required in order to determine the level of Medicaid funding Lane County would receive.  He recommended doing the time study in the fall 2001 and going forward with analyzing the time study and making recommendations on the future of the office.  He offered a process by which they could meet the goals that were laid out in the memorandum.  He said the options would be to look at a transition of the management of the office either to LCOG or to the Department of Health and Human Services.

 

Manela noted there were discussions on what it would take to have a non-profit continue to operate the Veterans Services Office and the concern is around the responsibility for managing the federal funds included in the proposal.  He said they came up with these recommendations based on the discussion with LCOG and discussions with representatives of the Vietnam Veterans of America.  He said it affords them the opportunity to look at the short-term financial commitment and determine which management structure is best after they perform the Medicaid study.  He added they wanted to hold off expenses until after the study so they would have the ability to increase leveraging of the general funds.

 

Morrison asked if they did the study and found they couldn’t accomplish the goals they set out with Medicaid, what happens with the vets.

 

Manela said they were confident (based statistically with low income and disabled people) that the dollars would be there.  He said they based their estimates on Washington County that has a smaller veteran population and a smaller low-income population than Lane County.

 

Morrison noted they allocated the additional $45,000 over and above the $20,000 one-time money to move the office facility.  She asked if that made more dollars come into the vet program thereby freeing up general fund dollars.  She said they were not making a commitment indefinitely.

 

Manela recommended for the short term that they use a portion of the $20,000 for hiring a clerical staff position.  He noted the Veterans Services Office is understaffed and there is a need for clerical support.  He also recommended between now and the Medicaid cost study, that they look at the potential of negotiating an inflationary adjustment to the contract with the VVA.  He noted under the current agreement, they had no obligation to do so.  He said one of the issues that had come up is that the employees have modest pay.  He said they had hoped to get better compensation and benefits for their employees.  He said the process allows them to do Medicaid work, with more analysis of the details in the short term, coming up with the VVA.  He recommended they continue the current agreement (giving direction to staff for any adjustments to that agreement) and going forward to the Board in November 2001 with the results of the report.

 

Sorenson said the function of the office is to be an advocate, providing assistance to veterans and their families.  He said the goal of the program is to provide (to the maximum standard) the advocacy for veterans and their families.

 

Manela’s recommendation to the Board is to enhance the services by immediately spending part of the money to hire the clerical support that would increase efficiency for the current two Veterans Services officers because they won’t have to manage the office and the people coming into the office.  He said before they invest  the initial amount, to get a better fix on the other costs and what they want to do long term.

 

Dwyer asked if the Medicaid reimbursement would ever cover the complete costs.

 

Manela responded it was about a 32-˝% per dollar return. 

 

Sorenson said he wanted to see a joint recommendation on how to proceed.

 

Morrison said she wanted the assurance that there would be more results with the additional dollars that Lane County is giving.

 

Weeldreyer  recalled their larger proposal was to move them to larger quarters in Springfield, in the LCOG building, giving them a lease expense they don’t have now and would co-locate them with Senior and Disabled Services so there would be more collaboration for the Medicaid dollars.  She thought more could be done to get additional contributions from Springfield and Eugene to cover some of the additional costs.  She added they needed to get out of the annex building and she wanted to see them with the allocation Lane County gave them, move them to Springfield and have the remodeling work done.

 

Morrison noted that Manela would do the study, with the partial increase in staff starting  in July.  She added that there was agreement on the goals.

 

Van Vactor asked that Manela work on an amendment to a contract with the VVA and  then return to the Board.

           

4. COUNTY ADMINISTRATION

 

a. DISCUSSION/Budget Work Session.

 

Tanya Heaton, Budget Analyst, prepared a memo with five attachments, explaining the legal requirements for reviewing and approving the budget (copy in file).

 

Morrison noted on page 3 under Road Funds, that her concern was adding one FTE clerical office worker to Delta where she didn’t see any revenue.

 

Heaton responded they were using road fund reserves and are decreasing the reserve.  She added it was a developmentally disabled position that previously was in the District Attorney’s Office.

 

On the first page of contracts, Morrison noted there was one for $2,349 for the University of Oregon Pace Program.  She said the money had been cut considerably this year, that they cannot complete the program with those dollars, so PACE would not be accepting the money.  She asked what happened to that money.

 

Heaton responded they were giving the approval to do the contract, but it was not mandatory that the contract gets done.

 

With regard to page 4, Morrison wanted some contracts pulled so they don’t go forward and be brought back to the Board.   She wanted  Inact, Inc. for $375,000 pulled (as they were  going out for an RFP on Drug Court),  the LCOG contract on community corrections staff support, PSCC evaluation services, PSCC staff report pulled and when those contracts are completed, that they are also brought back before the Board.  She said on page 6, under general expenses, there is one for LCOG, $110,000.  She asked what the contract was for.

 

Heaton responded it was the work with Dan Mulholland and the phone system.

 

Sorenson  requested all contracts over $500,000 be pulled.

 

Heaton noted that Video Lottery had come in higher than what was budgeted and she noted there was an extra $45,000  that could  be used to support veterans.

 

Green said he was not in support of the Board Office Specialist position for the commissioners.  He said it didn’t send the right message.  He wanted to fund the Human Services Commission, Forest Work Camp and Juvenile Justice Center.

 

Heaton stated this $56,390 add package would put one-fifth into each of the commissioners’ personal budget to spend for an assistant.  She added the Board had the discretion to spend it however they wanted.  She commented that Dwyer said they would use several months of the auditor’s lapse to reduce the expense this year and put the remaining amount into the indirect.  She said the department would have to absorb $7,000.  Heaton recalled that 100% of this is to be put into the indirect and each department would have an increase in their indirect they are to absorb in their budget.

 

MOTION: to move that the Board Office Specialist be part of the indirect.

Dwyer Moved, Sorenson SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 3-2 (Green, Morrison dissenting).

Morrison was not opposed to $75,000 going to the Human Services Commission, but was opposed to the way it was delivered. She added she couldn’t support trying to find an additional $75,000. 

 

Weeldreyer noted that part of the Strategic Plan stated the number one priority was dealing with public safety and crisis intervention and that is what the money for the Human Services Commission would be dealing with.  She supported this request.

 

Dwyer stated he would be willing to support the request for the Human Services Commission.

 

Heaton stated several departments asked for additions and received a portion.  She said it was possible to give the Human Services Commission $50,000.

 

Van Vactor said they could take $25,000 more out of reserves to cover the Human Services Commission add.

 

Dwyer stated he would be in favor of that.

 

Heaton stated for the Human Services Commission they would take $44,985, allotted with the balance to come out of reserves.

 

MOTION: to use the total unallocated revenue and direct staff to make up the difference from the reserves for funding the add package for the Human Services Commission.

Green MOVED, Dwyer SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 4-1 (Morrison dissenting).

                       

5. EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660

 

To take place after the meeting.

 

6. REVIEW ASSIGNMENTS

 

A work session on the budget will take place next Tuesday.

 

7. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

Green announced that the Eugene/Springfield chapter of the NAACP would be  holding a basketball tournament on Saturday, June 9.

 

Weeldreyer stated she sent an e-mail to the commissioners asking them if they could participate in parades in East Lane County.  She thanked Metro Television for all of their help.

 

8. OTHER BUSINESS

Morrison discussed sending a letter regarding public and mental health to the legislators.

 

MOTION: to approve the letter.

Dwyer MOVED, Green SECONDED.

 

Green stated this letter was consistent with the AOC Human Services and Public Safety Committee that he chairs.  He added it was a priority for the Board as well as AOC.

           

VOTE: 5-0.

Morrison explained a letter had been put in the boxes of the Board from a Mr. Carmichael.  She requested directing county counsel to review this.  She said this needed to be acted on as quickly as possible.

 

MOTION: to direct County Counsel to analyze the response of the assessor and the further response of Mr. Carmichael so Lane County does not get into an adversarial position.

Dwyer MOVED, Green SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 5-0.

Morrison asked if it were possible to bring the Community Corrections Committee dollars back into County Administration but leave the work program piece. 

 

Van Vactor said that County Administration should manage the budget portion of the CCC so it is coordinated with the Lane County budget process.

 

There being no further business, Commissioner Morrison adjourned the meeting at

12:00 p.m.

 

 

Melissa Zimmer

Recording Secretary

 

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