December 11, 1995
BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS' PUBLIC HEARING
Harris Hall Main Floor - 7:00 p.m.
Chair Ellie Dumdi presided with Steve Cornacchia (arrived at 7:22 p. m.), Bobby Green, Sr. and Cindy Weeldreyer present. Jerry Rust excused. Sharon Giles, Recording Secretary.
PUBLIC HEARING/Sheriff's Levy/Impacts on Other Units of Local Government.
Teresa Wilson, County Counsel, reviewed her December 7 memorandum dealing with the purpose for today's public hearing(s), noting that it is primarily to hear from citizens and other units of local government about the effect of the proposed increase on other local governments. However, she noted that testimony will be accepted on general topics related to the levy.
Sheriff Bob McManus referred to the handouts available in the back of the room, explaining how to read them and giving some details about the two tier approach to the levy and financial impacts. He observed that it saves current programs, provides restorations and addresses some critical enhancements. With regard to corrections, McManus stated that the levy will provide 48 additional beds, double bunking at the annex, reopening of the forest work camp, etc. With regard to rural law enforcement (Tier 2), McManus remarked that staffing will eventually increase to eight deputies per shift and increase response time from 45 minutes down to 15 minutes. He explained the ongoing revenue shortfall.
Responding to Weeldreyer's question, Wilson explained the laws relevant to voting on the two tiers of the levy. Responding to Dumdi, McManus reviewed the Assessor's sheet and explained the increases in the County's portion of the overall Lane County tax statement. Van Vactor reviewed the potential proposed uses for the Sheriff's current General Fund support dollars, highlighting the shift of some current levy costs and funding for areas impacted by the Sheriff's new levy.
Dumdi opened the Public Hearing.
James Farmer, 92863 Alvadore Road, Junction City, indicated that he had signed up to speak against the levy, but has mixed feelings about the issue. He observed that his home has been burglarized five times since October, 1994. Farmer questioned where the assurances of increased levels of service are if he votes for this levy. Weeldreyer responded that this levy will be voted on every three years and that citizens will also have an opportunity to vote for the sheriff, observing that this will give voters the "hammer."
Jerry Strand, 86501 Lorane Highway, expressed concern about the unequal taxing structure of this proposal. He referred to the Lane County bookmobile levy and how it failed because of city voters. Strand also noted that the Olive Street widening project was voted on by city residents, but funded by County funds. He stated that he feels rural residents are held hostage to people of the city of Eugene.
Bill Manning, 1710 Northview Boulevard, described how he had been the victim of a crime five months ago and had not received timely police response. He remarked that whatever the Sheriff needs is not enough and urged the Board and the public to give him all he wants.
Glenda Poling, 3177 Queens East, indicated her support of the Sheriff's levy, noting that 500 offenders per month are too many to be matrixed out of the jail monthly and she wants to see the work camp reopened. She stressed that she wants backup for her husband who is a sheriff's deputy.
Yolanda Hagues, 1377 Martindale Street, indicated that her husband is a deputy sheriff and that she supports the Sheriff's levy.
Lynn Hagues, 1377 Martindale Street, remarked that he wants to live in the country, but won't unless the levy passes and he has police protection for his family. He observed that defendants aren't showing up because they know nothing can be done to them. Hagues indicated that the only thing that bothers criminals is Measure 11.
Mark Quartararo, 82285 Rattlesnake Road, spoke in favor of the levy. He commented that he has been on a "ridealong" and has seen the inadequacies of the system. Quartararo indicated that the best interests of the citizens would be served by passage of the levy and that this is a step in the right direction. He stressed that deputies are putting themselves on the line to provide a bare minimum of service.
Marvin Revoal, 138 West 17th Avenue, spoke in favor of the levy. He indicated that he is a Eugene police officer and has provided backup coverage for Lane County deputies, noting that that then limits service for Eugene residents during that time. Revoal stressed that the Sheriff's office needs a long-term funding source and this is a start.
John Freshwater, 91919 Taylor Road, McKenzie Bridge, stated that he feels rural patrol is fundamental for their personal safety. He indicated that he has reviewed the levy proposal in detail and doesn't see many frills. Freshwater stated that he likes the fact that it's not a quick-fix, but allows to build for the long term.
Jim Essman, 36742 Stacey Gateway, Pleasant Hill, commented that the root of the problem is the jail without enough room and that he doesn't think additional beds will cover all of matrixing. He remarked that he thinks something should be done about additional beds and that more resources need to be put into housing offenders.
Tom Wareham, 2770 Viewmount, Springfield, commented that he rarely sees a County policeman and asked what percentage of crime occurs in incorporated/unincorporated areas.
McManus empathized with comments regarding the city making decisions for the county, noting that he is committed to working on an "unincorporated Lane County" designation in the future so rural folks can vote on the level of police service that they want to buy. He observed that that process may take three to five years.
Wilson explained special district capabilities and the need for amendments to general comprehensive plans, going to the boundary commission for approval, crafting the boundary and all of the work that goes into demonstrating why and how the district is separate and unique for its need. She agreed that the process takes three to five years, assuming no appeals. Dumdi observed her desire to work on that.
Dumdi closed the Public Hearing.
Responding to Weeldreyer, McManus explained the acquisition of the County's green Camaros. He explained that the deputies chose to go back to traditional green cars and that the green was no additional cost over white. McManus observed that resale value is better for the green cars.
Jean Havercroft, Cascade Drive, spoke in favor of the Sheriff's levy, noting that other states are going to Camaros as they are cheaper.
Weeldreyer spoke about the need for stabilization through the period of the federal timber guarantee.
There being no further business, this meeting adjourned at 8:30 p.m.
Sharon Giles, Board Secretary
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