BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS'
November 8, 1994
Commissioners' Conference Room
Chair Jerry Rust presided with Steve Cornacchia, Ellie Dumdi, Marie Frazier and Jack Roberts present. Sharon Giles, Recording Secretary.
6. COUNTY ADMINISTRATION
Bill Van Vactor, County Administrator, expressed appreciation to employees throughout the organization who volunteered to help out in the Elections Division and Assessment and Taxation during their peak periods.
b. ORDER 94-11-8-1/In the Matter of Approving Video Lottery Funds for Microloan Demonstration Program Match.
Peter Thurston, Community and Economic Development Coordinator, briefly reviewed the agenda memorandum. Responding to Cornacchia, Thurston indicated that this is a demonstration project, that a certain number of counties were selected and that Cascades West then divided up the proportional costs, which every county has paid except Lane County. Cornacchia remarked that in the Initiative there is, through RDA, a re-lending program with substantial funds available. He continued that other COG's have received dollars to establish re-lending and noted that he has asked Hal Reed to process a re-lending funds request through LEC. Dumdi interjected that this item refers to continuation of an earlier program. She agreed to discuss the re-lending situation at the LEC meeting on November 14. Thurston explained that this is a one-time match for a three-year program. MOTION: Approval of the Order. Dumdi MOVED, Roberts SECONDED. VOTE: 5-0.
c. ORDER 94-11-8-2/In the Matter of Deciding the Appeal of Wilderness Wood Products for Rural Special Project Video Lottery Grant Funds.
Marvin Quick, 31261 Fox Hollow Road, spoke in support of the Authentic 1936 Lookout as a functioning museum. He indicated that the money would go through the Lowell Ranger District.
Frazier clarified that with regard to appeals, she was representing RCIC and Schulz was representing the staff analysis.
Stephanie Schulz, RCIC Program Coordinator, briefly reviewed this appeal, noting that the appeal is based on points 2 and 4 of the appeal criteria. She summarized that after review of the appeal, the minutes of the meetings and the actual application, she felt the RCIC individual ratings of this project were not consistent with their vote to deny funding, indicating her belief that Mr. Adkins should have been given an opportunity to clarify his proposal at the August RCIC meeting. Schulz offered her support for funding this project.
Bob Adkins, 47772 Western Road, Westfir, spoke as the appellant for this appeal. He stressed that the appeal is important to Oakridge. Adkins noted that he is a strong supporter of the RCIC, but feels there was strong bias in this situation. He indicated that the project was slandered with hearsay and that Trenery's visit and his representations were unfair. Adkins stated that he has listened to the tapes of the RCIC meetings, noting that Case had been quoted as saying "Isn't this the guy who has been to the government trough on three separate occasions?" He observed that Case's voting on the project reflected zeros on most of the point criteria. Adkins stated his belief that Case's motivation for low scores was hearsay comments.
Responding to Roberts, Adkins stated he had no knowledge of any other reason for Case's bias. Adkins replied to Roberts that after Trenery strongly implied that he would like to have a business relationship, he abruptly left after Adkins told him he thought it was an inappropriate visit. He continued that Trenery gave misinformation at a July RCIC meeting which may have stigmatized the project for others. Dumdi noted that Case was low on scoring on many projects. Adkins questioned why, when his company is already on-line, Trenery would vote zero on "ready to go" and Case would only give it a 10 out of 50. Frazier mentioned that Case is very opinionated with regard to the allocation of public funds. Wes Hare indicated that he had listened to the tapes of the meetings and felt that some of the decision-making was based on misinformation.
Using the methodology of throwing out the two bottom scores and averaging what is left, Cornacchia observed that the average came out to 321, indicating that something seems "amiss" with the voting of Trenery and Case. Cornacchia stated that this project is nationally famous and is the Clinton Administration's "poster child" for the Initiative. He noted that many businesses need to construct stock/create inventory before they can sell/market. Cornacchia offered a finding of "Criteria applied differently by different people". Frazier remarked that most of what occurred happened at the July meeting, after which everyone got a copy of the RFP evaluation criteria. She apologized on behalf of the RCIC for any inappropriate behavior that occurred at the July meeting, noting that ethics rules have been obtained for all members and steps are being taken to improve the process. Adkins stressed that the RCIC voted in July to deny his application before any criteria information was disbursed, although it did not show up on the minutes.
MOTION: Accept the appeal of Wilderness Wood Products, Inc. Dumdi MOVED, Cornacchia SECONDED. With regard to the allegation of bias by Trenery, Frazier responded to Roberts that she had no additional information. Rust asked that staff take the matter of Trenery's bias back to the RCIC and ask him to respond. Roberts remarked that if the allegations are substantiated, it may be appropriate to ask Trenery to leave the committee. Frazier stated that Trenery has stated, subsequent to scoring, that he had talked to Wes Hare and had a better understanding of the situation. VOTE: 4-1, Frazier dissented (representing RCIC).
d. ORDER 94-11-8-3/In the Matter of Deciding the Appeal of McKenzie Bridge Arts and Crafts Guild for Rural Special Project Video Lottery Grant Funds.
Schulz briefly reviewed the appeal, noting that it is based on points 1 and 2. She indicated her support of denying the appeal since it was a single-page appeal that was not specific enough.
Craig Patterson, 91949 Taylor Road, McKenzie Bridge, remarked that the appeal was brief because he has been working in Seattle. He stated that he was looking at taking a county building and turning it into an arts and crafts guild so that various artists in that area could have an outlet for their wares. Patterson maintained that this project would enhance many jobs. Responding to Rust, Patterson stressed that he does not feel that the criteria has been followed with regard to job creation.
On behalf of RCIC, Frazier indicated that the concern remains over readiness to go as the entity is not yet established. She commented that there were no strong letters of commitment with regard to the match requirement. Dumdi indicated her support of the RCIC position. MOTION: To deny the appeal. Roberts MOVED, Cornacchia SECONDED. VOTE: 5-0.
e. ORDER 94-11-8-4/In the Matter of Deciding the Appeal of McKenzie Riverboat (Theatre) Productions for Rural Special Project Video Lottery Grant Funds.
Schulz indicated that this appeal was based on all 4 points. She noted that Engelman was provided an opportunity to provide more information at the August meeting, but only submitted written information. Schulz indicated her support for denial of the appeal.
Ken Engelman, 59056 Old McKenzie Highway, distributed copies of a transcript of the July RCIC meeting (see material on file), noting that it is only necessary to prove on point. He stressed that formal votes were taken at the July meeting and they were done in a subjective versus objective manner, with his proposal being denied. Engelman stated that when he met with Van Vactor and Schulz, Schulz indicated Engelman would be receiving a letter of denial within a week. He emphasized that there was no mention at that time of a letter requesting additional information. Responding to Rust, Teresa Wilson, County Counsel, remarked that finding in favor of the project on one point would allow for a remand of the project back to RCIC for recalculation. Engelman stressed his belief that the July vote biased subsequent actions.
Frazier noted that most of the appeal is based on what happened at the July meeting. Indicating that she did not have her material at the July meeting, Frazier stated that she reviewed the RFP later, determining that any decisions are not final until the Board takes action, thus the process was considered again at which time the criteria was applied correctly. Referring to Si Ellingson and the fact that he was on the committee that developed the criteria, Frazier commented that Ellingson felt the proposal was not one he could support. Wilson suggested that a good course of action would be to take the total cumulative score and average it over 7 scores instead of 8. Roberts calculated the figures, eliminating Ellingson's scoring, and the average came to 227 which is still below the 250 point threshold. MOTION: To deny the appeal. Roberts MOVED, Dumdi SECONDED. Dumdi noted that she had seen this project as better for tourism special projects. Cornacchia suggested that Engelman's tourism focus be on the people it will draw into the area. VOTE: 5-0. Frazier indicated that the RCIC will be talking about ways to improve the next process.
f. ORDER 94-11-8-5/In the Matter of Awarding Rural Special Project Video Lottery Grants for 1994 and Addressing Three Appeals to the RFP.
MOTION: Approval of the Awards based on the appeal determinations. Roberts MOVED, Cornacchia SECONDED. VOTE: 5-0.
Frazier requested, on behalf of the City of Lowell, that property described as 19-01-14-2-2, Tax Lots 5700, 5900 and 6,000 be pulled from the inventory of foreclosed property for one year. She explained that the Lowell Economic Development Committee is proposing to bring forward a site plan for a mini-mall, covered bridge museum, etc. MOTION: Approval of Frazier's request. Frazier MOVED, Roberts SECONDED. VOTE: 5-0.
Dumdi announced that Cornacchia had been honored by the LCOG Friday night as Lane County's outstanding elected official.
7. EMERGENCY BUSINESS
There being no further business, this meeting adjourned at 3:24 p.m.