June 15, 1994
BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS' REGULAR MEETING
Harris Hall Main Floor - 1:30 p.m.
Jerry Rust presided with Marie Frazier, Steve Cornacchia, Ellie Dumdi & Jack Roberts present. Beth McAllister, Recording Secretary.
15. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS
Rust opened the meeting at 1:40 with an apology for beginning the meeting late. He stated that the first item of business would be the Public Hearing, Ordinance No. PA 1056. He invited Bob Keefer to the podium.
Keefer stated that this master plan has been a long-term public planning process with first a development of a management plan and now a master plan. He remarked that the master plan keeps the integrity of the site the way it is today with development only encouraged around the periphery of the park. He noted that the planning commission has reviewed this document and recommends approval of it to the Board. Keefer also stated that the other partners in the metro plan have reviewed this document and find it consistent with the metro plan.
Frazier asked Keefer if the horse groups issues had been addressed in this plan. Keefer responded affirmatively.
16. PUBLIC HEARINGS
a) SECOND READING AND PUBLIC HEARING/Ordinance No. PA 1056/ In the Matter of Adopting the Howard Buford Recreation Area Master Plan as a Refinement to the Eugene-Springfield Metropolitan Area General Plan, and Adopting a Severability Clause.
Rust opened the Public Hearing.
Theodore Palmer, 259 W. 23rd Ave., stated that he is supportive of the master plan, has been involved with the arboretum since the beginning and has been working closely with the County. He remarked that the arboretum also has a master plan, but the development will be slow due to lack of funds.
Chris Orsinger, 3100 Willamette St., stated he represents the Friends of Buford Park and Mount Pisgah and that this group shares a sense of accomplishment with the Parks Department in seeing this master plan brought to the Board of Commissioners. Orsinger noted that he would like to applaud Bob Keefer, the Parks Department and the Parks Advisory Committee for all the effort they put into this document. He indicated that his group is very supportive of the adoption of this plan.
Rich Aaring, 365 E. 49th St., representing the Parks Advisory Committee, urged the Commissioners to vote in favor of this master plan.
Rust thanked the Parks Advisory Committee for all their volunteer efforts.
Roberts stated that he had a concern regarding the language on user fees and tax revenues in the plan.
Keefer responded that mentioning fees in the plan was due to the realization that general tax dollars will not be able to support any type of maintenance or improvements to the park, so one way would be to implement user fees to pay for this cost. Keefer explained that they do not want to use tax dollars for these improvements and plan to use volunteer efforts as much as they can, but it may make sense that with the cost of doing business the user will need to be charged a fee.
Roberts agreed with this response, but he stated that the language in the plan should read that the goal in maintaining the area is to minimize costs and also the need for user fees and scarce tax revenues. Keefer stated that he will put this language into the plan in an amendment form.
MOTION: To adopt PA 1056. Frazier MOVED, Dumdi SECONDED. The secretary polled the Board. VOTE: Roberts, Dumdi, Cornacchia, Frazier & Rust, aye.
13. HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES
a. FIRST READING AND SETTING A PUBLIC HEARING/Ordinance 5-94/In the Matter of Amending Chapter 5 of the Lane Code to Delete the Animal Regulation Fees for Inclusion in the Lane Manual.
This item was brought back to the afternoon meeting.
Cornacchia commented that his first reaction to fee increases was negative, but after he did a comparison with other jurisdictions he came to the conclusion that he could support most of the proposal. He stated that the one comparison that was missing was one on kennel fees. Cornacchia remarked that in 6 jurisdictions no distinction or break is made for senior citizens on license fees. He stated that he noticed that in this proposal seniors do have a lower rate, but that their was an increase in their licensing fees. Cornacchia made three assumptions regarding senior citizens: that their pets are more than pets in many instances, that they are more likely to comply with regulations, and that many of them are on a set or limited income and due to this he would recommend not adding to their burden by raising their fees. Roberts stated that Cornacchia's assumptions are valid with the exception of the third one. Roberts remarked that the wealthiest individuals in our society are between the age of 55-65 and the second wealthiest are from the age of 65 and up. Roberts stated that he agrees with the increase for the seniors because he feels that there are really only a few that are on fixed incomes. Roberts stated that he is more concerned about the young family because they are the poorest group in the United States. He stated that the ratio listed in the proposal is appropriate and if everyone else is going to have an increase, then the rates for seniors should also be increased.
Randy Covey remarked that the proposal went through the Finance & Audit Committee and that they recommend approval. He responded to Cornacchia's questions saying that, due to the short time frame, they have not had a chance to do a comparison for the kennel licensing fees; however, they have gathered information from the past regarding the differences in Lane County. He stated that Lane County's approach to kennel licensing has been substantially different from most of the state, that other agencies regulate kennel licensing more strictly in their code language and this is the way they avoid "puppy mills," which is a concern of Cornacchia's. Covey indicated that Lane County's approach in the past has been to raise the fees, so that people that are serious about responsible breeding will pay the higher fee and those that are not will not be willing to do that. Cornacchia questioned why the increase for those with 3-10 dogs was raised by 100% and those with 11 or more was only raised by 50%. Cornacchia remarked that if this fee increase was being used for this kind of mechanism, but the proposal shows that one type of kennel is being treated different from another kind of kennel, then why not have the same increase for both? Covey responded that the thinking behind this was that they did not want to price themselves totally out of the market. He stated that generally the more dogs people have, the more responsible they are and the more serious they are about breeding.
Covey stated that if the Commissioners are concerned about the rate for seniors, Animal Regulation would propose a flat $10.00 fee for three years for a license, and that this would prevent time consuming and expensive changes to the current license reminder system. Cornacchia responded that after Roberts' comments he was more concerned about income levels than groups of people, especially the income of the young families. Cornacchia suggested the idea of having waivers for lower income people. Rust disagreed with the idea of waivers on licenses. He emphasized the fact that the license is the least cost for owning a dog and if a person cannot afford that, then they really should not have the animal.
Dumdi commented that the private sector is considering doing away with senior discounts, due to seniors not having as big of a financial need that many people have historically thought. Dumdi also remarked that the license renewal system at Animal Regulation is not being done efficiently or effectively and a better tracking system needs to be implemented. She stated that she has spoken to a number of people that have not received renewal notices for their licenses. Dumdi also mentioned that with all the controversy over closing the cattery that maybe the County should seriously consider licensing cats possibly through pet stores, veterinarians, etc.
Rust commented that a number of people are concerned by the closing of the cattery and suggested that Animal Regulation form a task force on how to deal with these cats. Cornacchia and Roberts both commented that they would like to get away from using Animal Regulation for this task force and suggested looking at this as an entire community issue with the possibility of getting the other jurisdictions involved. Cornacchia suggested that this topic should be brought up at the next MPC meeting. Rust and Cornacchia will plan on having this on the agenda at the next MPC meeting. Dumdi remarked that she will bring this up at the next RCIC meeting to get some ideas on how to deal with this issue in the rural areas.
MOTION: To set the Second Reading and Public Hearing for June 29, 1994 at 1:30 p.m. Rust MOVED, Roberts SECONDED. VOTE: 5-0.
7. COMMITTEE REPORTS
Finance & Audit Standing Committee
a. DISCUSSION/Fiscal Options.
This item taken from the morning meeting.
Roberts stated that there were three options that the committee discussed for this fiscal year:
1. Not to do anything this year and live within the existing budget and plan for next year when the County will face another 2.5 million deficit.
2. Go out for a very modest law enforcement levy that would take the cuts in the Sheriff's department and in the District Attorney's office and roll those into a one-year levy.
3. To do a broader two-year levy, approximately 1.5 million a year, that would solve the problem for the sheriff and the D.A. for this year, but next year would also be enough that the County would avoid having to go out for another vote.
Roberts stated that the committee's recommendation is to do the first option, due to the dissatisfaction of the other two options and the committees feeling that the County needs to let the voters know that their message has been heard. He commented that this year the County should think about long-term plans for the next year and spend the time educating the public on what is happening at the County and the nature of the County's problems. He stated that it is important to deal with this today because a Public Hearing is scheduled for next Tuesday to let the other taxing districts know, which the County is required by law, if the County is planning on doing a property tax. He noted that if the consensus is to not do anything this fiscal year, the Public Hearing could be canceled. Roberts asked for feedback from the rest of the members of the Board on the three options that are listed above.
Frazier stated that this is more than an issue of just revenue. She commented that the issues of efficiency and effectiveness need to be addressed. She stated that the County needs to put together a revenue/ service package rather than just a revenue package. She remarked that a positive partnership should be created with the community. Cornacchia questioned if the concept of differential rate (who receives is who pays) will be addressed and if so, who will be responsible in doing that. Roberts and Frazier both responded that it would be included and that they have plans to establish a committee to handle that. Cornacchia remarked that this should be presented sooner rather than later. Dumdi remarked that she thought that the education process will take a long time and is not sure if by next spring gives the County enough time to educate the public. Roberts stated that if the Board plans to put anything on the ballot in May of next year, that they need to be done by March. He stated that beginning in the fall through the end of the year is the time that the County will really need to make the effort on educating the public. He stated that the County needs to be real clear when educating the public that with the amount of revenue that the County will have this next year, the service levels will not be as high as in the past.
Rust remarked that he agrees with the conclusions made by the Finance and Audit Committee. Frazier and Roberts will come back to the Board with a proposal on creating a committee for service delivery.
17. OTHER BUSINESS
There being no further business this meeting adjourned at 2:45 p.m. Executive Session scheduled for 3:00 p.m. in the Board of Commissioner's Conference Room.
Beth McAllister, Recording Secretary
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