August 7, 1995
JOINT LEADERSHIP AND BUDGET COMMITTEE MEETING
Commissioners' Conference Room - 8:30 a.m.
PRESENT: Commissioners: Steve Cornacchia, Ellie Dumdi, Bobby Green, Sr., Jerry Rust and Cindy Weeldreyer; Budget Committee Lay Members: Peter Bartel, Marie Bell (arrived at 9:45 a.m.), Kate Jones, Del Phelps and Bud Stewart; and Department Heads: John Ball, Steve Carmichael, Jim Gangle, John Goodson, Bill Hoyt, Bob McManus, Rob Rockstroh, Teresa Wilson and Bill Van Vactor. Budget Staff: David Garnick, Rick Schulz and Tanya Heaton. Recording Secretary: Sharon Giles.
1. Presentation of Financial Plan
David Garnick, Senior Management Analyst, distributed a handout dealing with discretionary general fund projections under four scenarios related to a potential separate Sheriff's office levy (see material on file). He observed that there have been $7.3 million in reductions (including cutting 120 positions) in the last five years. Garnick asked for response to the policy question of whether the financial plan forecast should be over an 8-year period (which includes the final years of the O & C guarantee) or a 10-year period. Responding to Garnick's explanation of Scenario #1 (see material), McManus clarified that these figures do not include the existing law enforcement levy that is up in 1996, thus there is an additional $5.7 million of services that are being performed today that will also go away. With regard to Scenario #2, it was noted that the Pathways Program and the Psychiatric Hospital (included in the current Sheriff's levy) would be returned to the general fund. Scenario #3 would be the same as above, but over an 8-year model. Garnick explained that Scenario #4 considers shifting some other law enforcement services to the Sheriff's levy in the seventh year of the model (the second levy renewal).
Cornacchia noted that the model makes the assumption that the current $10 million budgeted to the Sheriff would be free for spending, remarking that he is not sure he is committed to that. Garnick stated that the department heads have done some preliminary work and have observed that if the Sheriff expands his law enforcement component, then operational needs will be increased in the District Attorney's office. He indicated they also mentioned that operational funds for the Juvenile Justice Center and the computer needs in the Assessor's office (for the changeover in the year 2000) will need funding. Bartel questioned whether population projections for the next 8 or 10 years have been taken into account.
Phelps indicated his support of an 8-year model as it is based on known figures. Responding to comments from Jones, Cornacchia observed that the model includes assumptions/variables that have not been discussed, including some restorations, and asked that these models not be used as a starting point. Van Vactor remarked that another question needing an answer is whether the potential separate Sheriff's levy is to be a long-term solution (over the 8 or 10 years).
Weeldreyer commented that she considers the Sheriff's levy as an intermediate step towards a Law Enforcement District. Green indicated that he was interested in the 8-year model, but questioned the meaning of "live within current funding level" and the impact on FTE and services. Consensus was observed regarding development of an 8-year model based on the known O & C revenues. Bartel expressed his concern with the policies of the County being based on a Sheriff's levy. Cornacchia again stressed the need for discussion with regard to the usage of the general fund balance freed up by passage of a potential Sheriff's levy. Phelps also observed the need for policy discussion regarding law enforcement (the Sheriff, the District Attorney and Youth Services, etc.) being under the auspices of Lane County or independent.
2. Presentation of the Sheriff's Two Tier, Three Year Operating Levy
McManus commented that the levy concept presented is based on Clackamas County. He noted that they have even added a third tier. McManus observed that the model could do two things: 1) allow Public Safety to be funded at necessary levels; and 2) give the County the ability to look eight years into the future. Responding to Stewart, McManus stated that if Clackamas County voters defeated a renewal levy, it would be necessary to restructure the levy for another vote or there is the potential that the jail would close and patrol would shut down, along with portions of the District Attorney. Responding to Bartel, Rockstroh commented that he doesn't see much in the way of "downside(s)", remarking that the risk is in doing nothing.
Marie Bell arrived at 9:45 a.m.
Stewart commented that one downside is that this proposal could be perceived as a "back door" way of solving all departments' problems. He stressed the need to handle how the released general fund dollars are used. Rust emphasized that he does not think the proposal needs to be a back door approach, encouraging a straightforward presentation. Jones observed that if there is appropriate accountability (a strategic plan), then the public is more likely to accept the proposal.
This meeting recessed at 9:58 a.m. to reconvene at 10:08 a.m.
Observing that this process is a planning function and acknowledging the assumption that all participants had read the proposal, McManus asked to hear specific concerns with the material presented. Responding to Bell, McManus indicated there was not prioritization of the components, as the entire plan outlines "adequate" service levels and establishes a law enforcement component for the rural areas. Responding to Jones, McManus explained that the document is a future look at the Sheriff's Office at what it will be at the end of the 3-year period. He indicated that, if planning moves forward, staff will prepare figures for a levy in staged/increasing amounts throughout the three years of the levy as phases are implemented. With regard to the construction of capital facilities, McManus noted that the proposal includes placing patrol operations in a separate, off-site location due to constraints in the Courthouse. Responding to Bell's question regarding "all or nothing," McManus indicated that the proposal is Public Safety's evaluation of needs and asked that the group not dissect portions until FTE and dollar figures are presented. Bell stressed the need to build a package based on greatest needs. McManus remarked that the proposal booklet was developed for review by this group, but that when it is time to sell the levy, it will be sold on reasonable service delivery.
Responding to Rust, McManus stated that the concept has been presented to all of the city managers, police chiefs and some mayors in Lane County. With regard to Eugene and Springfield, he reported that they have expressed interest in seeing the developed plan. On the police side, McManus noted that there was agreement that the cities and the County would have a discussion regarding the urban growth boundaries and would make decisions based on what makes the most sense. Responding to Jones, McManus indicated that his staff is committed to putting the levy together by the first week in September. In response to Phelps, McManus reported that a cost analysis has been done on privatizing the food service at the jail with findings showing that it is less expensive to have civilian cooks come in and use inmate labor to prepare. With regard to subpoena service, McManus indicated that it could be looked at. Van Vactor stated that presently the private sector is already doing specialties, with the Sheriff's Office getting the tougher cases. With regard to Rust's comments regarding sworn personnel at the community corrections centers, work camp and jail, McManus reported that this issue has been looked at the Community Corrections Center, and noted that this concept will still offer flexibility to do business in a different way if it becomes advisable in the future.
Responding to Green, McManus expressed support for a uniformed police presence at the Juvenile Justice Center, noting that the officer would perform the functions of security at the juvenile facility for juvenile inmates in custody and offer some security to the Juvenile Justice Center. He observed that Steve Carmichael and Judge Leonard have both stressed the ongoing risk at the facilities. With regard to community policing, McManus stated that they are looking at the same concept as the City of Eugene, expanding it to the rural areas. Responding to Phelps, McManus indicated that they are looking at costs of building a building in Eugene; while in Cottage Grove and Florence, they are looking at how they can fit into/utilize the existing police space there. He stressed the concern related to meeting earthquake level four standards. Phelps commented that he does not find anything unreasonable in the concept presentation. In response to Green, McManus noted that currently the costs of search and rescue are not assessed, but he noted that there is new legislation wherein charges may be assessed when people have shown total disregard for public safety.
Responding to Van Vactor's question regarding 24-hour operations, Captain Eric Langford indicated that switching from five 8-hour shifts to four 10-hour shifts is not cost neutral because service is being increased. He noted that they are trying to provide continuous patrol coverage instead of sporadic/overlap coverage. McManus observed that reliance on overtime would be reduced under this scenario. Noting that some services overlap, McManus indicated that his staff has attempted to make the two tiers easily understood, with Tier 1 being operations that benefit everyone in the County and Tier 2 being law enforcement (uniformed patrol and detectives). Responding to Bell, McManus indicated that the rationale for an effective crime prevention program being in Tier 2 is that these will be set up for areas other than the cities. McManus replied to Weeldreyer that currently there are no taxpayer (property tax) dollars going toward the Traffic Safety Team, as it is solely funded by citations, including two deputy district attorneys, the justice court staffs, etc. He stressed that the Traffic Team's goal is to focus on traffic-related issues that cause injury and/or death. Langford clarified that members of the Traffic Safety Team are not at risk of losing their jobs as they are senior members and would only be subject to reassignment, thus none of them have the need to write citations in order to get a paycheck. McManus stated that he is recommending that the Traffic Team continue to be funded in the way that it is today.
Weeldreyer suggested that the terminology "enhancement" be changed to "improvement," since enhancement is commonly thought of as a "want" not a "need." He agreed, but indicated that the word "enhancement" is only used in discussion, not in the policies in the book. Green stated that he does not have a lot of disagreement with the general concepts of the plan, noting the need to study the bottom line numbers. McManus asked for conceptual approval of the proposal and to return September 11 with more specific information.
MOTION: Accept the Policy Development Worksheet as a planning document for the purpose of building a levy, and to move forward to the next phase of planning. Green MOVED, Rust SECONDED. While Bartel expressed general support, he emphasized that it is expensive to provide adequate law enforcement and it will be necessary to coordinate with the rest of the justice system to provide it as economically as possible. He expressed concern that that might not be happening. McManus noted that a committee has been formed as a result of SB1145 and one of their charges is to coordinate policies between criminal justice agencies in the counties. Cornacchia indicated that he would like to see Garnick involved with the numbers in the proposal, asking that Garnick provide information involving "compression" and the impact on the property tax system. He remarked that it will also be necessary for the Sheriff to provide, in addition to FTE numbers, figures related to vehicles, computers, construction of additional bed space, etc.--all items necessary to create Tier 1 and Tier 2. He observed his interest in determining impacts on liaisons such as the District Attorney, etc. VOTE: Unanimous Ayes. Captain John Clague indicated that the department will need help from budget staff and the Assessment and Taxation staff. Van Vactor summarized that the Sheriff's presentation would be held at a follow-up meeting on September 11 at 8:30 a.m.
Responding to Van Vactor, Cornacchia indicated that discussions will have to be held later regarding costs for the operation of the Juvenile Justice Center, Pathways and the Psychiatric Hospital. It was agreed that a second meeting would be held on September 25 at 8:30 a.m. where discussion of departmental allocation of the freed-up $10.9 million from the general fund, including a presentation of how the Sheriff's package would affect other departments, would be held. Responding to Bell, Dumdi indicated there would be no final decisions until after the September 25 meeting.
Cornacchia asked for a clarified explanation of the financial plan at the September 11 meeting, presenting a budget without the Sheriff included and with existing resources. He continued that $10.9 million of resource is being freed up and $10.9 million of expense is going away, thus $21 seems to be available. Garnick indicated that he would work with Cornacchia to develop a format that would meet his needs.
McManus asked that the group stay focused on the Tentative Budget Preparation Schedule (on page 3 of the agenda document).
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 11:30 a.m.
Sharon Giles, Board Secretary