LANE COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

PUBLIC HEARING

October 9, 2001

1:30 p.m.

Harris Hall Main Floor

APPROVED 10/17/01

 

Commissioner Bill Dwyer presided with Commissioners Bobby Green, Sr. and Peter Sorenson present. Commissioner Cindy Weeldreyer was available via telephone. Department of Children and Families Director Patricia Rogers, Commission on Children and Families Vice President Diane Burch, Oregon Juvenile Crime Commission Coordinator Becky Ecklund, Oregon Commission on Children and Families Director Donna Middleton, and Recording Secretary Daniel Lindstrom were also present.  Dwyer reported Commissioner Anna Morrison was unable to attend because she was attending a Human Services Commission meeting.

 

Commissioner Dwyer called the meeting to order at 1:40 p.m., expressing appreciation to the large number of citizens present for changing meeting locations.

 

Dwyer stated that the purpose of the meeting was to discuss the requirements of Senate Bill 555 for coordinated planning regarding the needs, strengths, and assets of all children and their families.

 

Dwyer stated that 20 minutes had been set aside to receive public comments regarding the bill.  He determined that no one was present who wished to speak.

Dwyer introduced Oregon Juvenile Crime Commission Coordinator Becky Ecklund, Oregon Commission on Children and Families Director Donna Middleton, and thanked them for their presentations.

 

Director Middleton distributed copies of information regarding Senate Bill 555 and directives from Governor Kitzhaber requesting agencies to develop budget reduction options.  She explained the requirement for a single comprehensive juvenile plan, combining the current Juvenile Crime Plan, Commission on Children and Families Plan, Alcohol and Drug Plan, Diversion Plan, and Early Childhood Plan.

 

Middleton stated that the purpose of the coordinated planning was to develop strategies for service delivery to children 0 to 18 years of age, and was not intended to be a decision point for allocation of resources.  She said allocation decisions would be made by state agencies based on the plan.  She emphasized the importance of universal participation in development of the plan.  She said the deadline for completion of county plans was January 2002.

 

Coordinator Ecklund stated that preparation of a Juvenile Crime Prevention Plan had been  an independent activity in counties, but was now to  be combined with the others because of common risk factors.  She said funds from the Oregon Youth Authority’s Diversion Plan had already been integrated with those of the Juvenile Crime Prevention Plan.  She described the three phases of implementation of Senate Bill 555.  She emphasized the need for all government and private sector agencies to cooperate and make the most of available resources.

 

Lane County Department of Children and Families Director Patricia Rogers referred to a document entitled “Coordinated planning for Children and Families – Phase II Senate Bill 555 distributed at the beginning of the meeting.  She noted that a time line for implementation of Phase II was appended to the document.  She said the planning effort was not intended to create a new group, but to utilize representatives of those already existing.

Commissioner Peter Sorenson asked if a model for completion of Senate Bill 555 requirements was available.  Middleton replied that the results of Lane County’s Phase I work served as a model for the rest of the state and it was hoped that its Phase II effort would have a similar consequence.

 

Dwyer suggested that Senate Bill 555 planning affirmed the warning, “If you snooze, you lose.”  He said all agencies needed to participate, consider how to consolidate services, and ultimately benefit the children and families of the county.

 

Commissioner Bobby Green said he believed Lane County would lead the way with development of its Senate Bill 555 Plan because of its experience with cooperation between public and private service providers.  He said the Board of County Commissioners strongly favored collaboration in the allocation of resources and expertise.

 

Rogers said direction from those responsible on the state level needed to be given to counties about current overlaps in existing plans.  Ecklund replied that there would continue to be overlaps for some time, but that by the next planning biennium, all of the current plans would be consolidated.  She said outcomes and priorities for the consolidated plan were to be submitted to the stated in January 2002.

 

Jim Forbes stated that he was Executive Director of Look Glass Youth and Family Services.  He said he believed the Senate Bill 555 process would benefit children and families.  He suggested that copies of the Lane County Senate Bill 555 Phase I report should be made available to those working on Phase II.

 

Rogers said the Phase I report was posted on the Lane County Department of Children and Families Family Internet Website and was available from the department’s office.

 

Sorenson asked if the Commission on Children and Families would be responsible for development of the Senate Bill 555 plan.  Rogers replied that it would be the product of a community planning group to be formed.  She said there would be a Steering Committee composed of appropriate Lane County Department heads, the executive directors of private sector service providers, and representatives of the United Way and area elected officials leading the effort.  She said all meetings of the Steering Committee would be open to the public.

 

Sorenson asked if the Senate Bill 555 plan would include specific funding recommendations.  Middleton replied that the plan would only deal with what community and family support were needed and would be used by state agencies, governor, and legislators in preparing budget allocations.

 

Green asked how other counties were progressing with Senate Bill 555 planning.  Middleton replied that small counties were struggling to get needed services, others were having unique struggles, and that all were discovering the need to work together.

 

Director of Lane County Mental Health Department Rob Rockstroh discussed the difficulty of planning services without knowing available resources to fund the services.  He said if services were to be planned without consideration of funding, state-determined cuts would be difficult to anticipate.  He suggested that funds would be better distributed by counties if they were not pre-designated by  the state.  He warned that future levels of funding would be reduced.  He said he believed Senate Bill 555 was full of good intentions, but mandated an expensive process.

 

The meeting adjourned at 2:30 p.m.

 

 

Dan Lindstrom

Recording Secretary

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