BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS' WORK SESSION

May 15, 2001

9:00 a.m.

Commissioners' Conference Room

APPROVED 12/12/01

 

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

None.

 

3. EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660

None.

 

4. COUNTY ADMINISTRATION

 

a. Announcements

 

Van Vactor announced the ground breaking ceremony for the Mental Health building.

 

5. PUBLIC WORKS

 

a. PUBLIC HEARING AND ORDER 01-5-15-1/In the Matter of Endorsing the Bus Rapid Transit BRT) Project, Phase 1.

 

Tom Stinchfield, Public Works, explained the Board had a discussion with Pat Hocken and Ken Hamm about processing BRT through the Board.He said it was decided to refer the project to the Roads Advisory Committee and the Planning Commission. He noted they had met jointly on December 5, 2000 and February 20, 2001 and both groups endorsed the project.He said their recommendation was to endorse the fast lane proposal in Glenwood, and not express an opinion on the other city sections of the project.He added the City Councils of Springfield and Eugene discussed this project, and after modifications to the Eugene resolution (regarding BRT) the city council approved moving ahead with the project.He said there would be an IGA developed between LTD and the Eugene City Council to formalize a process for management team review. He noted a similar process would take place in Springfield.He stated the Board Order mirrored the Planning Commission and Roads Advisory Committee recommendation that endorsed the fast lane proposal in Glenwood and the processes the two cities had set up for implementation of Phase 1 BRT.He stated staff recommended approval.

 

Commissioner Morrison opened the Public Hearing.

 

Rob Handy, 455 Ĺ River Road, Eugene, wanted this project to succeed.He said there needed to be more connectivity with the land use package around nodle development and mass transit connecting the nodes. He said his concern about the current BRT project was that it didnít go far enough for TransPlan to succeed and keep the livability of the community intact in the coming generation.He suggested that LTD apply for an extension to the federal funding deadline so the community could discuss making BRT successful.

Ken Hamm, General Manager, LTD, 15th and Glenwood, discussed the process of the partnerships that had been an integral part of BRT.He noted that LTD had solicited public testimony.He said that BRT would grow and become more of a system.He stated they were asking the Board to approve moving forward.

There being no one else signed up to speak, Commissioner Morrison closed the Public Hearing

 

Dwyer stated this was the wrong place to start because there is no traffic problem on Franklin Boulevard.He was concerned about the increase in fares that would diminish ridership.He wanted the BRT to take place where the bulk of the population lived.

 

Hillary Wylie, LTD Board Member, said they are trying to meet the mass transit needs of all of Lane County.She explained the first phase of BRT would join the new Springfield and Eugene stations.She noted they were looking for different solutions.She hoped to get Board approval.

 

Dave Kleiger, LTD Board Member, stated they have a problem with keeping the buses on time as a result of combined traffic and ridership demands.He explained it was costing more money to put extra buses on the line to maintain ten minute frequencies.He said there is a fundamental incompatibility of moving patterns between cars and transit buses in getting in each otherís way.He wanted a transition for people to get used to the new operating system.

 

Morrison was not in favor of losing money.She said there needed to be flexibility with the system to deal with the different issues.She supported the project, as there is potential to tie the community together in a cohesive way.

 

Weeldreyer echoed the concerns.She looked forward to the planning process and supported moving ahead so they donít lose federal funding.

 

MOTION: to approve ORDER 01-5-15-1.

 

Sorenson MOVED, Green SECONDED.

 

Dwyer noted the LTD Board was not elected and he would have more confidence with the people making this decision. He would not support this motion.

 

VOTE: 4-1 (Dwyer dissenting).

 

6. COMMISSIONERS' BUSINESS

 

a. INTERNAL AUDIT REPORT/Public Works Department Land Management Division Follow-Up Review of Prior Audit of April 2001.

 

John Cole, Land Management, reported under Follow Up Recommendation, Dean Stephens suggested that Land Management could benefit from further policy guidance on development in rural Lane County, enforcement of non-compliant issues and the level of assistance to citizens applying for permits.He said these issues would always be a concern to the Board.

 

Morrison said it was important to address the enforcement of non-compliance issues and the level of assistance given to citizens applying for permits from 1993 to the present. She noted in the Strategic Plan customer service was identified asone of the most important items to study.In order to do that, there needed to be ground rules on what the expectations are.

 

Sorenson stated he agreed with most of the recommendations from the auditor.

 

Morrison asked in reviewing this audit (and David Suchartís old audit) if everyone in the Land Management Department had the opportunity to review the report and give comment.

 

Cole responded he distributed a copy of Stephenís report to the program managers, but it had not been distributed organization wide.

 

Green thought if issues came up, management should support staff when they receive criticism.

 

Morrison thought a work session was needed so the Board could establish specific criteria for Land Management.She noted that was in Suchartís original report.

 

Sorenson supported Morrisonís suggestion about additional follow-up.He didnít agree with moving Land Management to Delta and wanted to keep it where it is located.He suggested taking Land Management off the fee based structure .He also agreed to consider alternatives in counseling a person through every step of the process, versus giving an organizational information packet to customers.He said there should be a work session with some of these suggestions.

 

Weeldreyer commented that Land Management was not as customer-service oriented as they could be, and that could be restructured.She thought customers would be better served if Land Management were located at Delta.She supported having additional follow-up with Land Management on specific issues.She added there was need for Board direction and standards that could be developed around customer service.

 

Morrison agreed with Weeldreyer to move Land Management to Delta, as there is a disconnect between Public Works at Delta and Road Facilities and Permits.Regarding the compliance issue, they hadnít accomplished much in the past two years.She said there needed to be tightening up on guidance for land use compliance timelines, and how people need to respond.

 

Green recommended accepting Recommendation 1.1.He said a work session needed to be set up.He said they have to establish what the Board wanted Land Management to accomplish.He said they had to establish priorities and criteria and a timeline for completion.He said as a Board they needed to follow-up on what they ask Cole to do and then the Board should follow through.He asked about what was not working in Land Management and what could be done differently with non-compliance.He suggested they move slow on relocation.He supported having work done on the Internet and a consultant helping customers move the process along without doing the work for them.

 

Cole noted that one of Stephensí recommendations was that Land Managementkeep a shared data base that would be accessible to the Board and staff that would track what was happening to constituent complaints that came to their office through the Board of Commissioners.He thought it could be a good tracking mechanism.

 

Morrison said they have to set policy for how long it takes to complete a permit and Land Management needs to be consistent.

 

Dwyer said the goal was for efficient processing of citizen applications and complaints and fair and efficient enforcement of law.He said there should be a written record of complaints and written responses with time frames.He said they have to develop an aggressive approach to help people who are abiding by the law and penalize the ones who are causing problems.He concurred with Green that Land Management should stay downtown.He suggested working with the City of Eugene to consolidate some of the planning.

 

Morrison asked about the Sierra tracking system, because there are errors not being corrected in the system.She said they have to utilize the tools they have to address customer service.She noted there was no tracking mechanism but hoped with the Sierra system that they could start to track things.

 

Van Vactor suggested that Land Management work on one recommendation every other week.

 

Green suggested Policies and Procedures craft a policy the Board would want for non-compliance.He supported taking the recommendations, and Land Management submitting an action plan.

 

Dwyer said they needed to take an item at a time with ramifications including increased fines and penalties for doing something illegally.

 

Cole stated the Sierra system held additional promise for Land Management.He invited Morrison to see what it was capable of doing.He noted the Board had directed Stephens to go back as the first part of the performance audit and examine what had been proposed by Suchart in 1993.He stated that progress had been made since that audit.He noted they had installed an automatic permit tracking system.He added there were needed improvements and he was willing to work with the Board.

 

Weeldreyer stated they knew it would be cyclical through a building boom and Land Management would generate more fees.She said there was a recommendation to move those fees into an enterprise fund, but because of the budget, it was decided against that.She said there had been attempts in the past to be more creative in how Land Management uses the fees that they generate to provide more efficiency in the department.

 

Sorenson stated that Stephení report was helpful.He wanted to see follow-up on some of the issues the Board members cited.

 

Green recommended that at least two people know the permit process, for when an employee is on vacation.He said that cross-training was another way of dealing with the situation.He suggested accepting the report, but giving further direction to take the recommendations at work sessions.

 

Morrison concurred with Green.She stated she would work with Cole to identify which ones could be moved forward.She recommended the first report back in July.

 

MOTION: to move that the Board accept the Internal Audit Report on the Land Management Division and direct the agenda team to bring back grouped recommendations for further Board discussions, decisions and scheduling.

Sorenson MOVED, Green SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 5-0.

7. REVIEW ASSIGNMENTS

 

Report back from Land Management in late June.

 

8. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS

Morrison announced the groundbreaking for Mental Health.

 

9. EMERGENCY BUSINESS

None.

 

There being no further business, Commissioner Morrison adjourned the meeting at 11:30 a.m.

 

Melissa Zimmer

Recording Secretary

 

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