BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS'
September 12, 2001
Commissioners' Conference Room
Commissioner Anna Morrison presided with Commissioners Bill Dwyer, Bobby Green, Sr. and Peter Sorenson present. Cindy Weeldreyer was present via telephone. Acting County Administrator David Suchart, Assistant County Counsel Stephen Vorhes and Recording Secretary Melissa Zimmer were also present.
Morrison led a moment of silence for the tragic events of September 11, 2001.
1. ADJUSTMENTS TO THE AGENDA
David Suchart was Acting County Administrator and Stephen Vorhes was ActingAssistant County Counsel.
2. PUBLIC COMMENTS
Scott Bartlett, 1445 E. 21st, Eugene, stated he was serving on the Reapportionment Task Force. He said committee members were supposed to do homework and find an honest way to bring information to the group. He was concerned about the process. He noted there may have been (by requirement or by traditional political give and take) a rearrangement of geographic and political boundaries. He said the North Eugene commissioner district goes so far south that it is farther than Hendricks Park and parallel with Morse Ranch. He noted that Greg Evans, Vice Chair and Steve Moe, Chair, proposed moving west and then south, to see how many people they need to pick up because Sorenson’s district was 8,000 voters less. He said Evans wasn’t able to attend the last meeting. He explained that in the middle of the meeting, a member of the group said to just graft the people who are in the North Eugene High attendance area and pack them into Commissioner Sorenson’s district. He didn’t think that passed public scrutiny and was in the spirit of process. He said for fairness, they should look at corridors, communities of interest and high school attendance areas. He said during the process, when he was making a heated argument that gerrymanders should be avoided, Annette Newingham said, “Wait a minute Mr. Chair, shouldn’t you call for the question?” He didn’t think it was fair or appropriate for staff to interfere in a process.
Green asked if the other committee members were aware he would be coming to the Board and expressing his views.
Bartlett stated he mentioned it to Steve Moe, and Greg Evans and they were aware of his position. He said they should avoid gerrymander that the Board had inherited. He stated Jerry Rust was part of a gerrymander ten years ago. He said he talked to Evans who said it could go either way, as there were mitigating factors with city council wards and other areas. He said politics should back away a little bit and let them configure the districts with fair boundaries. He wanted a plan that looks like Lane County and is fair.
Green asked if anyone else on the committee shared his point of view.
Bartlett believed so but he didn’t want to give names. He thought Evans agreed with him.
Sorenson noted the committee made an initial decision to allocate the population of the five districts within a five percent margin of error. He said that would mean that two of the five districts would have to be changed. He said the comment made to him by Bartlett was that he had been criticized for asking questions of staff and that staff had said all questions had to be funneled through the chair. He didn’t believe that was in the Board’s directive to the committee. He passed out a school map that showed the Churchill area.
Morrison stated she had conversations with several of the task force committee members. She was uncomfortable, because she hadn’t had any comments from them about the concerns that Bartlett raised. She added there was a process the group was going through, and hoped Bartlett would continue his participation.
Dwyer shared his concerns about the five percent they were working with, and staff dominating the process. He said the committee should determine what the percentage of variance should be. He added reapportionment was a process where they make adjustments in the population to get each of the commissioner districts as equal as possible, with the ultimate goal being no variation.
Green said what troubled him was one person who came to express a point of view. He refused to believe that what Bartlett said was the gospel of the committee. He guaranteed he could get six other perspectives on the process. He didn’t appreciate the term "staff dominated" process.
Dwyer said it was his personal comment on his interaction with the staff.
Green stated it was not a fair comment.
Morrison stated the task force that was appointed will come forward with a recommendation and they can deal with it at that time. She said their task was to make the divisions as equal as possible.
Weeldreyer reaffirmed her desire to make sure the reapportionment process was led by the decisions of the citizen members of that committee. She said if, as Bartlett represented today, a staff person stepped in and asked the chair to call for the question), it was an inappropriate decision on Newingham’s part.
Vorhes stated he was at the meeting for Terry Wilson. He didn’t perceive staff involvement as much as the committee trying to work through and figure out what scenarios they wanted to see. He said they viewed a number of scenarios they developed as questions from the previous meeting that were provided to them. He added many were within the zero variance. He said they also came up with additional scenarios for staff to develop.He added they hadn't resolved anything yet. He said there was an interest on the part of staff of giving clear direction from the committee on what efforts LCOG was to do to develop the numbers, as that was a contractual arrangement that has dollars attached to it. He explained the Board may have to readdress the contract with LCOG to allow for expenditure of additional funds, depending upon how may requests are made for figures.
Dwyer asked for a copy of the Reapportionment Meeting. He said the tape would speak for itself.
Carolyn Barrowcliff, 27147 Parsons Creek Road, Springfield, reminded the Board about the gas pumps in Marcola. She said it was very important to the people in Marcola. She hoped the County could shorten the sidewalk for their gas pumps.
a. RESOLUTION 01-9-12-1/In the Matter of Recognizing the 50th Anniversary of the Lane County Historical Museum.
MOTION: to approve RESOLUTION 01-9-12-1.
Dwyer MOVED, Sorenson SECONDED.
Morrison read the resolution into the record.
4. EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660
To take place after the meeting.
5. COMMISSIONERS' BUSINESS
a. REPORT/Annual Report FY 2000-2001 of the Convention and Visitors Association of Lane County, Oregon.
Kari Westlund, CVALCO, stated that over the past year their program areas all performed well in FY 01. She discussed the Executive Summary in the packet on page 3. (Copy in file). She said they met or exceeded goals in almost all areas and in convention sales they went far beyond. She said they also had a strong year with tourism. She said they had picked up strong national media coverage. She said the visitor’s van exceeded last year’s number. She said the website continues to grow, but they have to try to measure if the visitors on the site are actually visitors to their destination. She noted the website was under total reconstruction and she was hoping for online booking capabilities. She said they had a goal of 48 new members to CVALCO but achieved 66 members.
b. ORDER 01-9-12-2/In the Matter of Approval of Oregon Business Development Fund Project Proposal by Oregon Precision Industries, Inc.
Daniel Betschart, LCOG, reported that Oregon Precision Industries is a plastic injection molding company that was formed in 1985. He said their primary product is a plastic handle that holds two-liter bottles. He said they need expansion and wished to purchase their existing building for that. He said as a result of the expansion, they would be creating 34 new jobs and by the end of three years, there would be 42 jobs created. He noted the Oregon Business Development Fund will be $500,000 with the industrial revenue bond of $2.3 million. He added the state was facilitating the bonds and they require governing jurisdiction approval.
MOTION: to approve ORDER 01-9-12-2.
Dwyer MOVED, Sorenson SECONDED.
c. ORDER 01-9-12-3/In the Matter of Approval of the Issuance of Industrial Development Revenue Bonds by the State of Oregon to Oregon Precision Industries, Inc.
MOTION: to approve ORDER 01-9-12-3.
Dwyer MOVED, Sorenson SECONDED
d. PRESENTATION/Lease to Own Housing.
Green noted this was in response to Dwyer’s question regarding more people being able to have home ownership.
John Van Landingham, Richie Weinman, and David Davis from St. Vincent de Paul gave a presentation on leasing to own housing.
Van Landingham recalled that the Housing Policy Board is a joint effort between Lane County, the Cities of Eugene and Springfield and the Housing Authority. He stated they work with non-profits like St. Vincent de Paul for rental and home ownership housing.
Weinman said that Lane County could take a leadership role in organizing a consortium of local lenders to pool funds that would help to acquire inexpensive properties that could be rehabilitated and sold to low income buyers.
Van Landingham said a problem with homeownership in the community is that home prices are too high for a low income family. He added the homes that are not too high require too much rehab. He said a solution would be to put cash into the front end, buying the land, or building the units. That is what the Housing Policy Board had done.
Dwyer said he created a Springfield Eugene Low Income Families Home Ownership Lease program. He said one element of the program was that the counties and the cities participating in the program collect property taxes and put that amount in an escrow account for the benefit of the residents and not for the developer or the bank. He said when they convert the lease to the purchase, it would go toward qualifying with enough equity to make the conversion. He said it would go on the tax roles. He said they could do it by ordinance. He noted on a $100,000 loan, $1,200 could go into the fund and after three years there would be $3,600 in addition to other monies. He said it makes a success more likely.
Green asked Van Landingham to articulate Dwyer’s suggestions and have the Housing Policy Board review them, discuss the pros and cons and then make a recommendation.
Dwyer noted there should be a review of current housing inventory as there may be some land Lane County owns that could be suitable for these programs. He said if they consider the foreclosures and see what might be appropriate for review, they may be able to design a program that helps around the current land base. He stated the renters were being gouged by exorbitant requests for credit reports. He said a system needed to be developed whereby they get a bona fide credit report that is good for 30 days. This could be used as a passport to apply for housing so it doesn’t become more lucrative for a landlord to keep a property on the market.,
Sorenson said the Housing Policy Board should examine ways of getting people to take an intermediate step from renting to buying. He said it would be helpful to get a best practices concept from communities that are working on the problem of affordable housing. He asked what other communities were doing that Lane County could learn from. He asked for suggestions on an ordinance. He asked what could be done to encourage the creation of jobs at the family of three living wage level. He asked how they could expand sweat equity in an economic downturn in purchasing property. He asked if they could rent a number of units, guarantying a landlord a stable price but lowering the price because it is a group purchase.
Dwyer said they were all good ideas. He said they need to utilize a central purchasing to buy supplies. He noted the biggest cost was the land and they needed to increase the housing supply.
Davis echoed sentiments that the huge barrier is the cost and supply of land.
Van Landingham said they would take these suggestions to a future Housing Policy Board meeting and will invite the Board to that meeting to discuss the items.
6. COUNTY ADMINISTRATION
David Suchart, acting County Administrator, reported that the Emergency Response Team met yesterday with the City of Eugene, members of the FBI and other cities in preparation for what the County response team would do in conjunction with other emergency teams.
Dwyer asked about overtime in the Sheriff’s Office.
Suchart responded that Rick Schultz had set up a code and would be responsible for accumulating that information.
7. CONSENT CALENDAR
A. Approval of Minutes: None.
B. Children and Family Services
1) RESOLUTION AND ORDER 01-9-12-4/In the Matter of Delegating Authority to the County Administrative Officer to Execute a Contract Amendment with South Lane Family Relief Nursery in the Amount of $130,100 for Crisis Nursery Services and a Contract with Birth to Three in the Amount of $126,000 for Together for Children Services.
C. Health and Human Services
1) ORDER 01-9-12-5/In the Matter of Awarding an Intergovernmental Agreement to Lane Community College in the Amount of $178,200 for Family Planning Expansion Project Services, and Appropriating an Additional $6,600 in Revenues and Expenses in the Department of Health and Human Services (34).
2) ORDER 01-9-12-6/In the Matter of Awarding an Intergovernmental Agreement Amendment to Lane Education Service District in the Amount of $124,230 for School-Based Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Services.
D. Public Works
1) FINAL ORDER 01-9-12-7/In the Matter of the Alteration of a Portion of Coburg Road (Market Road No. 41, County Road Numbers 403 526 and 24, Also Known as Willamette Street and Van Duyn Street), Through the City of Coburg, Including the Intersection with Coburg Bottom Loop and North Coburg Road, Being Located Within Sections 32 and 33, Township 16 South, Range 3 West of the Willamette Meridian.
2) FINAL ORDER 01-9-12-8/In the Matter of the Alteration of South 2nd Street (County Road Number 896) Including the Intersection with Harbor Drive (County Road Number 1852), from the Springfield City Limits, Southerly Approximately 3050 Feet, to the Dorris Ranch and Being Located Within Section 35, Township 17 South, Range 3 West, and Section 2, Township 18 South, Range 3 West of the Willamette Meridian.
3) FINAL ORDER 01-9-12-9/In the Matter of the Alteration of a Portion of Canary Road (County Road Number 1071 and 1061) from Honeyman Park Easterly Approximately 1,254.6 Meters (4116 Feet) Including the Intersection with Clear Lake Road (County Road Number 1174) Being Located Within Section 11 and 12, Township 19 South, Range 12 West of the Willamette Meridian.
E. Regional Information System
1) ORDER 01-9-12-10/In the Matter of Awarding a Contract to Pacific Northwest Networks in the Amount of $328,810.70 for the Purchase of Tape Libraries According to Lane County Bid #RIS 01-02/03 Specifications.
MOTION: to approve the Consent Calendar.
Dwyer MOVED, Green SECONDED.
8. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS
Green apologized for not being able to participate in the Day of Caring.
Sorenson thanked the City of Eugene and the Twin Rivers Interfaith Ministry for the program at the Cuthbert Theater.
Weeldreyer announced that she has a presentation to give at the Florence Chamber of Commerce on the status of fiber optic telecommunications projects. She apologized for not being on the Road Tour.
Dwyer thanked everyone for the Day of Caring.
Morrison acknowledged Public Works in helping put together the float for the Eugene Celebration. She noted that Rich Fay, Parks, distributed a packet of information on the situation at Heilman Park.
Morrison and Dwyer agreed with Fay.
9. OTHER BUSINESS
RESOLUTION 01-9-12-11/In the Matter of Condeming Terrorism and Terrorist Actions Against Our Nation and Supporting Relief Efforts of the United States of America.
Morrison read a letter from NACo asking the Board for their support.
MOTION: to approve RESOLUTION 01-9-12-11.
Dwyer MOVED, Weeldreyer SECONDED.
Morrison read the Resolution into the record.
There being no further business, Commissioner Morrison recessed the meeting at 12:00 p.m.
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