June 21, 1994
BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS' WORK SESSION
Commissioners' Conference Room - 9:00 a.m.
Chair Jerry Rust presided with Steve Cornacchia, Ellie Dumdi, Marie Frazier and Jack Roberts present. Sharon Giles, Recording Secretary.
1. ADJUSTMENTS TO THE AGENDA
2. PUBLIC COMMENTS
Vern Blumhagen, 47182 Goodpasture Road, Vida, indicated that he had previously sent a letter to the Board and was also here today to speak about the resident deputy budget issue. He stated that he was representing the 75-member group of Neighborhood Watch people in Vida. Blumhagen urged the Board to continue the resident deputy program and to let the Sheriff administrate his department and use leeway in his budget.
Bill Powell, 3955 East 17th, Glenwood, commented on the resident deputy issue. He urged the Board to let the Sheriff run his department. Powell spoke about the drug and gang problems and stated that it was necessary to let the Sheriff and the District Attorney run their own budget money.
3. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS
To be held later in the meeting.
4. EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660
5. COUNTY ADMINISTRATION
b. DISCUSSION/In the Matter of Adopting the 1994-95 Budget, Making Appropriations and Levying Taxes.
Margo Drivas, Assistant Director of Human Resources and Management Services, reviewed the agenda memorandum (see material on file), highlighting the reductions put in place by the Budget Committee, the adjustment list, additional proposals to include on the adjustment list and the Financial Plan with regard to borrowing/planning.
With regard to the Reduction List, Drivas stated that layoff and reduction in hour letters have been sent to affected employees. She observed that there has been a great deal of public input with regard to the resident deputy positions, elimination of the cattery and reduction in the level of service in Deeds and Records. Drivas summarized that the final FTE reductions totalled 27.9. With regard to the term "Eliminate Economic Development Projects," Drivas indicated that she would "wordsmith" this wording to indicate that it means limiting the opportunity or reducing the ability to do additional economic development projects. Drivas reviewed "Attachment A," which represents the changes from what the Budget Committee approved to what is proposed for the Resolution, noting that policy decisions were needed on several items. Van Vactor stated that, in general, he supports the District Attorney's proposals for funding adjustments to allow restoration of positions in his office, cautioning that the $25,000 settlement is a one-time revenue. Roberts observed that it would, however, maintain service while it is possible.
David Garnick, Management Analyst, reviewed the Financial Plan included in the packet. He noted that, for '94-'95, while 44 positions were proposed for reduction, 17 positions were saved through the addition of some A & T grant revenue and through the use of the lapse dollars. Garnick stated that the FY95-96 reduction figure is now $2.6 million. He observed that the model does not reflect any changes that may happen as a result of the PERS election, the new Ballot Measure 5 and reductions in funding by the State. Drivas also stated that the model does not include the 3.75 policy-related position changes highlighted in Attachment A. Drivas referred the Board to information in the packet regarding Tax Anticipation Notes. She commented that they would wait until after the books are closed to determine the exact amount that will need to be borrowed. Drivas pointed out that Lane County has not had to borrow money since 1987, noting that the Board can expect to see this again with the County's limited reserves. She reported that departments' budgets next year would need to be monitored more carefully because the County is now relying on lapse to meet the five percent threshold. Drivas summarized that the County has postponed a large wave of reductions in the current year, but there is a significant problem ahead.
Rust spoke with regard to the resident deputies, referring to Sheriff McManus' June 17 memo (see material on file). He remarked that the Sheriff has some indication that the federal government wants to rent jail beds from Lane County and there is a $220,000 anticipated revenue if ten beds are full continuously. Rust stated that the jail roof repair budgeted at $66,000 could come off of this year's expenditures and be rolled into the HVAC borrowing instead. Finally, Rust explained that the overtime figure could be rounded down from $688,000 to $600,000. He summarized that the savings from these three items would provide approximately $400,000 to restore the deputy positions. Responding to Cornacchia, McManus indicated that he was not absolutely sure that the new overtime figure would cover the arbiter's decision. McManus continued that his biggest concern in the above proposal is the anticipation of the federal revenue, stating it is dangerous to count on that. He explained that his recommendation is to restore five of the eight resident deputies, eliminating only Mapleton, Junction City and Marcola, and anticipate closing the intake center. Garnick clarified that $100,000 would be available from the roof project budget. McManus advocated a balanced reduction between police and corrections, noting that his proposal offers flexibility to take advantage of additional revenues.
Responding to Roberts, McManus observed that the impact of losing 35 beds would mean closing one wing and doing things differently. He stated the effect would be putting some people into alternative programs possibly sooner than the 72-hour evaluation window. Dan Heuvel, Lieutenant, added that there may be an increase in matrix releases. He noted that pretrial supervision/structured sanction programs are now in place. With regard to overtime funding, McManus anticipated difficulty in meeting training hours without briefing periods. He indicated that acquiring 10 more hours of training may reduce service delivery, but that can be done better in police than in corrections. Responding to Roberts, McManus stated that his rationale for keeping some of the resident deputies in lieu of other patrol officers is because Lane County is the only 24-hour law enforcement agency for Lane County unincorporated areas which means that, if resident deputies are cut, the entire rural area of Lane County would be responded to from the main office. Eric Langford indicated that most of the current nine resident deputies are already brought into the Eugene office one or two days per week to help out with leave and training staffing. Also responding to Roberts, McManus stated that it may be possible to keep the entire jail open if federal bed revenue comes in higher than anticipated. McManus noted that support services took an eight percent cut last year and reiterated that, after going through the entire budget, he believes the jail and the resident deputies are the only places to make cuts.
Responding to Harcleroad, Teresa Wilson, County Counsel, indicated that the Attorney General has stated that video lottery dollars cannot be used on the operation of jails. Roberts expressed concern about shutting down over 20% of the jail and questioned whether there were better ways to manage the reduction than eliminating resident deputies. Responding to Roberts, Drivas stated that, generally, more money has been spent on overtime than was budgeted, due to vacant positions' coverage.
Rust presented a proposal using $50,000 of video lottery money to pay for part of the roof, cutting the overtime fund to around $75,000 and giving notice that the 35 jail beds would close in January unless the federal bed money comes through. He indicated that this would buy time and allow the five rural deputies to be budgeted. Dumdi remarked that she was trying to preserve the integrity of economic development funding, so was proposing that some additional potential video lottery money be added to the project fund (to be discussed in the next agenda item). Responding to Dumdi, Wilson remarked that she was even nervous about using video lottery dollars for the roof restoration and would need an opportunity to research this issue further, noting that there needs to be a tie to economic development. Harcleroad indicated that he has most of that research and will provide a memo. He recalled that if there is a theft component in the Sheriff's Office, preventing burglaries is economic development related because a higher crime rate causes problems with tourism, etc. Wilson observed that the more the meaning of economic development is stretched, the more likely it is that the Legislature will look into that.
Roberts stated that he could not, in good conscience, vote for a budget that shuts down part of the jail since voters, at the time of the election, were told that the jail was not at risk. Cornacchia observed that the Sheriff and the District Attorney were elected to deal with law enforcement and have that expertise. He remarked that the Sheriff has provided sufficient reasoning for choices he proposes, based on history, experience and knowledge, and his recommendation covers the entire system across the entire county. Dumdi concurred, noting that the Sheriff has done the best he can do and it is his responsibility to run his department in the most efficient way possible with the monies that are available.
Rust reviewed the options available: a) to reduce the three rural deputies, and close 35 beds (Sheriff's recommendation); b) Cut overtime to $75,000, takes $50,000 in video lottery and/or with debt financing, then close the jail in January unless federal bed money comes through (Rust proposal); and c) eight resident deputies are reduced and the jail stays open (presently in the budget). Roberts advocated an option that would save the jail and all of the deputies, looking at the full $100,000 on the roof through debt financing, leaving a needed balance of $170,000 which could come from video lottery, overtime dollars or other identified sources.
Cornacchia stated that he had no objection to looking at freeing up some Sheriff's budget dollars by looking at financing the roofing and also by looking at video lottery dollars. Cornacchia expressed concern about taking any more money away from overtime dollars due to the arbiter's decision. Rust stressed that he believes the Board needs to identify revenues and identify expenditures and that it is up to the Board to make the final call. Dumdi suggested having the video lottery dollars discussion prior to any further deliberation on this matter.
This meeting recessed at 10:53 to reconvene at 11:05 a.m.
c. DISCUSSION/Video Lottery Dollars to Set Aside ED/RCIC Projects.
For purposes of flexibility, Roberts stated he would like to go back to the original allocation of $250,000 for economic development projects, instead of the $300,000 suggested by Dumdi. MOTION: Approval of a corrected Order committing $250,000 to economic development projects for FY94-95. Roberts MOVED, Frazier SECONDED. Responding to Frazier, Drivas explained that the base budget before the reductions in County Administration presumed 1.25 FTE already going over to economic development, with the reduction transferring an additional .25 FTE to economic development for a total of 1.50 FTE. With regard to the Northwest Economic Adjustment Initiative, Van Vactor made reference to an upcoming intergovernmental agreement with L-COG which will add additional revenue to the economic development budget. Rust added that, in order to justify usage of economic development monies, the Sheriff would need to create a memo identifying the mission and purpose which would link public safety to economic development. VOTE: 5-0.
6. HUMAN RESOURCES AND MANAGEMENT SERVICES
a. REPORT BACK/HVAC Project/Inventory of Needs.
George Russell, Director of Human Resources and Management Services, reviewed the agenda memorandum (see material on file). He observed that there are many pressing needs. Russell recommended funding at the $3 million level. Cornacchia noted that, assuming the first payment would be due in FY95-96, the deficit would increase from $2.6 to $3 million, which would require an additional 9 layoffs on top of the projected 43. Van Vactor suggested the exercise of determining whether or not to go out for a capital bond levy, instead of taking it out of operations. Responding to Cornacchia, Russell remarked that Lane County thinks the contractor should pay for the temporary dispatch relocation if it has to happen, but the contract is unclear. McManus stressed the necessity, as the air quality/temperature has caused employees to go home sick. Responding to Rust, Drivas noted that the projects chosen will determine if this package will "bundle" with the Fairgrounds project needs.
Van Vactor recommended funding for the HVAC completion, the Chillers, the Dispatch Relocation, Repainting of 3rd and 4th Floors, Recarpeting 8,800 square feet and the Fire Alarm System. He recommended that the Courtrooms should go out on a capital bond levy. There was a brief discussion of potential timing and payments on the debt service. Roberts spoke in favor of the minimalist approach, suggesting the addition of $100,000 for the jail roof. Cornacchia observed the need to add the ADA-required automatic doors to the list. Judge Mattison made a plea for additional courthouse remodeling, noting that business continues to grow.
MOTION: Tentative approval of a project list to include: HVAC $560,000, Chillers $350,000, Dispatch Relocation $100,000, Repainting 3rd and 4th Floors $41,000, Recarpeting 8,800 square feet $42,000, Fire Alarm $180,000, Automatic Doors $5,000, plus contingencies and administrative costs to be added when Van Vactor returns to the Board. Cornacchia MOVED, Dumdi SECONDED. Roberts received approval for a friendly amendment to add the Jail Roof at $100,000 to the tentative list. VOTE: 5-0.
Rust announced at this time that the balance of the discussion with regard to the Public Safety budget would be held at the afternoon meeting.
5. COUNTY ADMINISTRATION
(Continued discussion from earlier in the meeting.)
b. DISCUSSION/In the Matter of Adopting the 1994-95 Budget, Making Appropriations and Levying Taxes.
Drivas received approval for a housekeeping measure which provides budget authority for funding for the $60,000 feasibility study of the convention facilities. She observed that all the of the items on the list on Attachment A are reflected in the Resolution in the packet. Drivas noted, then, that the only item unsettled was final disposition on the Public Safety budget.
Responding to Roberts with regard to acceptance of the helicopters, Teresa Wilson, County Counsel, stated that the Commissioners have ultimate authority, but typically with normal personal property, any department head can receive it on behalf of the County. McManus noted that he was not asking for any additional tax dollars to operate the helicopters. Roberts remarked that he would like to receive analysis that it won't cost more, expressing concern that there will now be two helicopters instead of one and that they are bigger and more expensive. It was observed that there is an item coming up in mid-July with regard to the helicopters.
There being no further business, this meeting adjourned at 11:45 a.m.
Sharon Giles, Recording Secretary
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