July 25, 1995
BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS' WORK SESSION
Commissioners' Conference Room - 9:00 a.m.
Vice-Chair Cindy Weeldreyer convened the meeting at 9:02 a.m. with Commissioners Steve Cornacchia, Bobby Green Sr., and Jerry Rust present. Excused: Ellie Dumdi. Leslie Barrett, Recording Secretary.1. ADJUSTMENTS TO THE AGENDA
Bill Van Vactor announced there was one emergency business item with regard to Lane Countys interest in being considered as a site for the regional Oregon Youth Facility Training that could be reviewed today or tomorrow at the Boards convenience. It was the consensus that it would be considered today.
2. PUBLIC COMMENTS
3. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS (10:40 a.m.)
To be held later.
4. EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660
To be held time certain at 10:45 a.m. Terry Wilson (County Counsel) had requested that the Board consider the Workers Compensation item today, and that she would like to be present at the discussion of the other items on tomorrows agenda, if the Board was not inconvenienced. It was the consensus to hear the one item today, with the others being heard on June 26.
5. COUNTY ADMINISTRATION
Van Vactor pointed out the lengthy number of significant items scheduled for August 7-9. He referred to the list at the back of the agenda and suggested that the Board keep open as much time as possible during that week. Cornacchia announced that he had jury duty during that time.
Rust asked the Chair to recognize Senator Dwyer who was visiting. Senator Dwyer commented briefly on the upcoming special session. Van Vactor thanked the Senator for his help on Senate Bills 35 and 36.
6. PUBLIC WORKS
a. DISCUSSION/Highway 58 (Goshen-Immigrant Road) Improvement Project.
Van Vactor indicated that the ODOT representatives are coming from Roseburg, and may arrive a few minutes late.
Tom Stinchfield, Transportation Planning Engineer, indicated there were three things he wanted to address regarding the process in the August 8th hearing, the County connector projects associated with the side road areas along Highway 58 (referring to aerial photos), and Terry Harbor from the Roseburg ODOT office would be in attendance to discuss the decisions ODOT had made concerning its preferred alternative for the main highway project. Stinchfield indicated that Harvey Hoaglund was present to answer questions. Stinchfield reported on the public notification process that had occurred. The same notification was done prior to the December 7, 1994 hearing on the environmental assessment. Stinchfield stated that ODOT recently published their hearings study report which forms the basis for them to select a preferred alternative under the environmental process (NEPA--National Environmental Policy Act).
Stinchfield reminded the Board that they had previously decided to hold a joint hearing with the Planning Commission and the Roads Advisory to hear from the public before the formal plan amendment hearings begin. Stinchfield stated there were several things to be presented that they wanted to provide the opportunity for comment on. The August 8 Hearing Agenda was distributed. Stinchfield outlined Board options after the 8/8/95 hearing on whether they wanted to take positions on the highway projects, the County projects, or other issues, or wished to defer a formal position until plan amendments were underway. Stinchfield mentioned a side issue of how they would ask the Roads Advisory Committee and Planning Commission, who will be in attendance at the meeting, to comment to the Board, i.e., that night or at a subsequent meeting.
Stinchfield said that when ODOT and the Board began discussing the whole process, they agreed that before ODOT finalized their environmental assessment the County and ODOT would have to agree on the preferred alternative. Stinchfield said there would be an opportunity at the 8/8/95 hearing to comment, to agree or disagree on their preferred alternative, or defer action until later. Stinchfield asked if there were questions on the process that he had outlined.
Green inquired about the process based on the expectation from the citizens that at the end of this the Board would have a recommendation, or whether this was another stage of information gathering and deliberation in the future. Weeldreyer indicated that she had worked with the Highway 58 Safety Committee and had met with members who had participated with ODOT, and they are eager to see the process move forward, as it has been a long time in the planning. Weeldreyer indicated there was some disagreement on the ODOT preferred alternative that they feel will divide their community. The second group might not want to see this move as quickly, if their particular preference is not selected. Weeldreyer indicated that there is a group that does not want a barrier-type of median strip, but a five-lane for making turns.
Cornacchia said that it has been his experience that 10:00 or 11:00 p.m. is not the best time to be deliberating on an item, especially if it is somewhat volatile. He also indicated that there would be some people present anticipating that the Commissioners would be deliberating and taking action in their presence. Rust indicated that there would be an opportunity for a brief discussion, reacting to testimony that had been heard that night, maybe taking three to five minutes for each commissioner to summarize their points and then to come back at a later date for formal deliberations and action. Cornacchia indicated that he felt this issue was important to all of Lane County, and that this should not be "rushed" by trying to get everything done that night. Cornacchia said he was in support of Rusts recommendation.
Cornacchia said his question on process concerned the 2:00 to 5:00 session, and then again at 6:30. He asked if 6:30 was a resumption, inquiring how long staff presentations would be. Stinchfield said his remarks would be brief, in the five to ten minute area. Terry Harbor, ODOT representative, said that he expected not more than ten minutes for staff presentation, indicating it would be a brief overview of why they are doing the project and what they have heard before, during and after their hearing, and the actual solution to the issues. Discussion followed on the anticipated turnout. Green inquired if the public speaking at the afternoon session would be asked to speak again at the evening session. It was the consensus that the public would be encouraged to offer unduplicated testimony. Green indicated he wanted to ensure a good, clean process, not stifling anyone, but not having testimony dominated by one side or the other.
Stinchfield indicated that there was some sentiment expressed at the Planning Commission work session last week that the public is finding the process confusing. He said that from that perspective, it would be good to have either he or the Board Chair explain what the session was for and what it was not for, and that the plan amendments come later. A discussion followed on the connectors in terms of the States preferred options with Stinchfield responding to the Boards questions.
Terry Harbor responded to the question of whether connectors were more important with Alternative 1 vs. Alternative 2. He indicated that Alternative 2 was the safer design, describing the raised vegetation median and breaks for emergency turnarounds. Alternative 1 needed off-highway (connector) improvements more than Alternative 2. Harbor indicated that the connectors were still needed with Alternative 2, but not as much as with Alternative 1.
Weeldreyer indicated to Harbor that she had received much public concern from individuals who were concerned that the raised median would divide the Pleasant Hill community and were wondering why their community could not be treated the same as Oakridge had been, with five lane alternatives that have numerous access points to the highway from local businesses.
Harbor indicated that the five-lane is not as safe, with all the access points being like an intersection. The occupants in a vehicle behind a slowing vehicle put themselves in jeopardy at each of those access points. He continued, stating that the turnarounds in a raised median, give teardrop shaped turnarounds and protected left turn lanes. Harbor responded to a question from Cornacchia that the speed would be 55 mph, with the exception of 45 mph in the business district. Cornacchia commented that the Oakridge area is 35 mph and that the dynamics of a 35 mph zone are significantly different from a 55 mph.
Harbor stated it was important not to impede traffic, because it would be easy for someone to feel they could move through faster, on a wide boulevard, than for which it was safely designed. Harbor stated that there was a calming feeling with the raised median citing studies and videos taken at the area outside Lincoln City at Fogarty Creek.
Cornacchia inquired about an opportunity for the state at the prompting of this Board to consider consistency between federal and state considerations of speed, citing the example of the freeway system (e.g. 65 mph through rural areas, and 55 mph through the city areas). Cornacchia stated this project was inconsistent because it was 55 mph coming down the mountain, 55 mph coming off the freeway, but staying at 55 mph in this congested area. Rust asked Cornacchia if he was thinking of a slower speed from the bridge, and Cornacchia responded he was thinking of 45 mph. Harbor indicated the state was actually trying to raise the speed in this area. Cornacchia said that there was an underlying foundation for the slower speed in the metro areas, that when you enter into a congested area, the traffic slows down. Harbor said the State looks at this as a rural area, not a congested area.
Cornacchia stated that therein lies the problem with Access Oregon and makes him a "hard sell" on the state's preferred alternative. Cornacchia said that local officials have the opportunity and responsibility to weigh the needs of the tourists and trucking industry with the local communities and trucking. Cornacchia indicated that while Access Oregon says "speed them up and get em through," the layman says this is not just a rural area, but a congested area, relative to the rest of Highway 58. Cornacchia said that on the Agenda, Access Oregon is the first thing that is talked about, not safety and people dying on the road, but a program that was designed about ten years ago to speed traffic through these small communities. Cornacchia indicated that from his perspective, he is more interested in what is listed as the secondary consideration of safety of the traveling public and the citizens who live in the area.
Harbor stated that Cornacchias comments were well taken. He indicated that he should have informed the County staff exactly what he would be speaking about. Stinchfield indicated that County staff placed Access Oregon on the agenda, not Mr. Harbor. Harbor said that the State and County were partners. The Access Oregon items were of minor consequence. The overall issues were safety, and the condition of the highway second. The projected traffic volume and congestion, and Highway 58 as a mainstream followed those. These issues have been expressed by citizens and the trucking industry. The public also expressed a real need for off-highway circulation through the community. They believe that the unity of this community, by placing something physical down the community, will divide the community and make it less livable. Ease of access to the shopping center was also expressed by the citizens and businesses who live there. Another issue was safe crossings for bicycles and pedestrians, both children and adults. Harbor indicated all of these things were taken into consideration of the highway design. The Parkway road interchange was a very large issue as ODOT came close to the preferred alternative. Reduction of the speed through the community was also reviewed. ODOT is sensitive to the communitys needs.
Rust asked someone to spend three minutes to give the overall safety statistics concerning what the accident record was, the trends, and the overview or cost to Lane County. Stinchfield said there were six County road projects, with the best references being at the back of the "EA." The most expensive ones are the Matthews Road/Cloverdale Bridge which were listed in the County CIP for $500,000, based on the assumption that the steel truss on the ODOT highway could be moved upstream. ODOTs structural engineers have concluded that cannot be done to modern standards, and they estimate the cost could be several million dollars.
Stinchfield said the Matthews Road/Cloverdale Bridge was a controversial project at the December hearings, with more comment received on it than on anything else. Before that hearing there was misinformation out in the community that the County was proposing to connect Matthews Road with the bridge, but simultaneously disconnect Cloverdale (Springfield/Creswell highway) from Highway 58, and the rumor was that it was proposed to route Cloverdale traffic onto Matthews. That misinformation generated a lot of concern. It is not, nor has been, the proposal. Cloverdale will be connected to Highway 58 with turnlanes and will be a major intersection.
Stinchfield said that of the other connectors, the one from Plaza Loop to Enterprise is the most expensive. It is a little over one mile and would total about $420,000. Stinchfield said the other three connectors are relatively inexpensive, two at $80,000 and one at $40,000. Those three total $200,000, because they are short and will be built as local roads, matching what is there (considered light duty pavement). Stinchfield reported that all six connectors total just over $1 million and are all listed in the CIP.
Harbor said that the statistics show that it is lower at the average rate of all accidents throughout Oregon on state systems, but in reality that it is actually a little higher. Since the time the statistics were compiled, there have been an increase in number of accidents throughout that section, with a fatality or two since the time the statistics were calculated. Harbor said the level of service is at D today, but coming up to level F, based on build out in the area, and level of traffic.
Harvey Hoaglund said that the build out, based on current boundaries and zoning is small, maybe a couple of dozen. Harbor indicated that it was based not just on this community, but towards Lowell, where 40% of traffic is freight. The intersection of 97 and 58 defines the freight at that point for a total percentage of traffic at 40%. Harbor said that Highway 58 is the market road, where the industry here in Lane County is shipping its goods to market, and to the California market. Rust indicated that it sounded like that was a bigger consideration than the building and planning issue. Rust said that in weighing options, where a road was designed to have people slow down was important. Harbor said that traffic flow has increased at Parkway, and said that a stoplight would slow the traffic down, but would increase the accident rate, and an overpass has been designed at Parkway.
Rust asked if Harbor thought 45 mph was feasible from Parkway to the Coast Fork. Harbor indicated that 45 mph was proposed to the stretch through Ridgeway and the loop beyond. Stinchfield said the document showed the existing speed zone was from Ridgeway to Immigrant Road, so it does cover the area past Parkway now, and it is proposed to be retained at 45 mph. Cornacchia asked if the EA. was built upon the assumption that the 45 mph would be retained. Stinchfield responded affirmatively.
Green asked about the level of service on Highway 58, inquiring if it was D or E. Harbor said it depends where you are on the link -- in the business area, its probably level E, but the other parts are probably at level D. Harbor indicated that D was the less restricting. Green asked about a traffic count or a statistical analysis that shows there are more frequent accidents when traffic is slower. Harbor said that when larger trucks are mixed in with cars with less distance between vehicles and less reaction time, there are more accidents as reaction time decreases. Green asked if that type of analysis had been done on this particular road. Harbor responded that it had. Stinchfield said that in regard to speed and slowing down, the concern about using a signal to slow traffic is that you tend to get an increase in rear-end accidents. Stinchfield cited a recent accident where a truck ran into someone who was turning left, and the truck did not see them, as an example of this type of accident. Stinchfield said this is the basic reason that the State is proposing an interchange at Parkway and is reluctant to introduce a signal at Ridgeway.
Stinchfield said it was necessary to look at the surrounding development along the road to see what speed zone is appropriate, and how drivers will read it. Stinchfield said the one question that comes up is whether the speed zone should be extended from Ridgeway down to the river. He said you need to look at what is along the road and whether it makes sense to a driver to slow down in that area, and whether it was practical, enforceable and logical to be going 45 mph there. Stinchfield says there is a Texaco station there, but he wasnt sure if it made sense or not, and said it was the kind of thing the speed board would look at.
Weeldreyer had a question about a signal at Ridgeway, stating it is a real concern, in peak traffic times. She asked about a raised pedestrian crosswalk or some kind of safe way to get traffic safely back and forth. Weeldreyer indicated it was not adequately addressed in ODOTs preferred alternative, and that it was a concern for her as the elected official for that district. Harbor said that there were larger gaps between vehicles on a four-lane, which gives a larger window to enter the stream instead of having cars immediately following, which narrows the opportunity to cross, and increases the chances for an accident. Four lanes of traffic will help at Ridgeway.
Cornacchia asked for the current traffic count at Ridgeway. Harbor indicated that he did not have numbers with him. Discussion followed on traffic patterns. Harbor indicated that pedestrians do not normally use overpasses. There was a wide median area designed to address a safe way for pedestrians to cross the road, and that pedestrians could safely stand on the median as a refuge between the sides of the road. Harbor again commented on the raised median as a way to calm traffic and explained "shy distance." Cornacchia inquired how this median was to be landscaped. Harbor responded that shrubs would be planted in the raised median, and that irrigation would not be provided.
Weeldreyer inquired about an isolated bike lane that was considered by ODOT and rejected. Harbor indicated that the six to eight foot wide paved shoulder is adequate for bikes, although he would not want any small children on a highway, citing why it is important that there is a parallel circulation route (connectors) throughout the community that would keep children away from a highway.
Green again asked whether citizens used the pedestrian walkway. Harbor said that ODOT was not proposing a raised walkway, and that safety features had been designed into the five-lane, raised median plan.
Stinchfield commented on the signal, referring the Board to a draft of an access plan at the back of the EA document, showing a long-term and short-term strategy for the area. The document said that ODOT would do a standard analysis of signal warrant criteria to measure the difficulty of traffic entering the highway. Stinchfield pointed out the agreement with ODOT which says they will manage the intersection and look at those criteria, should help measure the relative safety of it. Weeldreyer asked for an explanation of a grade separation, which Stinchfield provided. Harbor indicated that a grade separation was done at Parkway. Weeldreyer inquired if a grade separation was an option at Ridgeway on the preferred alternative. Harbor replied not at this time.
Cornacchia asked for accident numbers broken down by the section of road, stating he was mostly interested in the Plaza Loop area, asking if there was a possibility of merging the two alternatives, and removing the median at certain places so that crossing can occur, such as at Plaza Loop. Stinchfield said he thought it was possible to get the numbers off the report submitted by the shopping area, but they were not available today. Discussion followed. Weeldreyer asked Harbor who makes the ultimate decision, stating if the Board does not buyoff on the preferred alternative, but as a possibility of blending the two alternatives to address local needs, is that something the State will implement, something the State would consider, or how would that be addressed.
Harbor says there are two real decisions: 1) the on-highway decision for the preferred alternative; and 2) the off-highway decision (the connector roads). Harbor says that as partners the overall decision will be made together, but the real decision for Highway 58, the State is still responsible for making the best decision with the best available information. If new data is received, and new facts are shown that the State needs to change their solution, then they ought to do that. If there is a significant need for redesign, those facts should be reviewed. If it is simply preference, that it is not a fact. The safety and efficiency issues need to be part of the solution.
Rust asked if there was not a joint concurrence, not just a nice thing to do, but a legal and binding situation that both parties have to finish on the same note, to have a project outside the rights-of-way that the State already controls. Harbor indicated that was true and that from a design standpoint, on-highway has been ODOT and off-highway has been Lane County. Harbor said that with the partnership, it comes to a consensus, but ODOT is still responsible and cannot be relieved of that responsibility. Rust asked on a "worst case" scenario, if the County did not participate, if ODOT could still go forward. Harbor indicated that ODOT could still go ahead with the project, but there are still connector issues. Stinchfield said that ODOT has indicated in the past that they would not go ahead until they have an approved plan amendment, and that ODOT and the County could agree on that.
Harbor said he interpreted the question, as what happens if the County says they are no longer interested, just do what you want to do. Rust said, or if the Commissioners do not like this and want you to do something different, and you disagreed, with that plan amendment, you would still need the County to process and sign an amendment. Harbor said they will still need a conditional use permit, and there is County involvement until that point and it is recognized.
Weeldreyer asked if the reason the speeds were slower in Oakridge was because it was an incorporated community and the speed is ten miles faster in Pleasant Hill because it is not incorporated and considered rural. Harbor said that in Oakridge there is a lot more land use activity and a higher intensity and density along that corridor.
Cornacchia said it was his understanding that the need for plan amendments, for decisions on connector roads, and ODOT is Oregon Access safety issues, that when the County entered into this, there was to be a blending of the state's interest with the local interest. Cornacchia said the same thing happens with the County staff. They design the best possible road system for the traveling public and the Commissioners then do a "political overlay" on top of that, saying that there might be an impact to an intolerable level so they want the project changed to encompass that blending. The Commissioners may not disagree with the State, or could possibly disagree with the State; but that in advocating and representing local interests, modification may be necessary so that there is a balance between the roadway user and the state's interest in moving them in a certain fashion and the impact on that local community from those policies. Cornacchia said that he hoped there was still the opportunity to blend the two, that this is not just going to be Oregon Access and safety drives the project and that you won't consider the other aspects. Cornacchia said that the County presentation of community interest would be considered as new fact, and processed into the consensus building of the project.
Green inquired of Harbor, which of the two designs best fits the State policies around the design issue. Green said he was trying to remember the citizen input of the Beltline/Barger. Harbor said that the preferred alternative fits the engineering standards, requirements of federal highway and some of those requirements are very strict. Harbor said they do have to take into consideration the engineering requirements and the community which lives in and amongst the project, citing examples. He indicated that the preferred alternative does meet the State standards for engineering and federal and state standards for the environmental (i.e., cultural, social, the economic and the financial). Harbor said that this is the balance that they have tried to strike.
Green asked what sort of new data would cause the State to rethink the direction with the preferred alternative. Harbor said it would have to really be a stretch because the state has tested ideas and facts. Rust offered the example of a major archaeological site found 10' off the shoulder. Harbor said if they found that their historical counts were really wrong, that would be considered a new fact, and adjustments would need to be made. More discussion followed about what could be considered new data. Harbor said that on this project they found a historic site, and the Bristol House was not on the inventory when they started work on this project.
Cornacchia asked if the state was bound by NEPA, inquiring about an EA. Harbor pointed out what was an EA and what was the hearings study report, summing up the testimony from the hearing. Cornacchia said it was his understanding that the process of NEPA requires a choice of two actions by federal agencies (stating that a state agency is dealing with situations they stand in the stead of a federal agency), you either have to do an environmental assessment or an EIS. Cornacchia said you were not required to do an EIS upon a determination by the agency that you can come up with a finding of no significant impact. Cornacchia said that the EA says that the state has come up with the finding that there is no significant impact on the environment by this project and alternative. Cornacchia says that runs somewhat counter to what some of the community and Commissioners are saying, that there is a significant environmental impact (under NEPA) because the community is suggesting that a separation of North and South divides the community, and creates social impact.
Harbor said he would then ask the definition of that significant impact. Cornacchia said that is determined in the way the agency lists the environment. Cornacchia said that they may be bringing a statement of impact, and the State has already determined that there is no significant impact. Cornacchia stated that he wants to research this further. Stinchfield said there is a section called "Business, Community, Neighborhood and Residential Impact." Cornacchia requested a copy of the EA to research on his own.
Weeldreyer reminded the Board that there were two time certain items coming up, an Executive Session at 10:45 a.m. and an appeal at 11:00 a.m.
Hoaglund reported on the notification process for the meeting. About 2,500 notices were sent to the last meeting in December, and attracted in excess of 300 people. He indicated that there could be a sizable turnout. If each person was given three minutes, about 100 people could be heard from. Additional contingency options have been considered, including approval from the school board to reopen the hearing a few days later.
Commissioner Cornacchia left the meeting at 10:37 a.m.
Hoaglund asked the Board to review the agenda and return it later in the day. The revised agenda would be sent for printing the following day. Rust asked if a timeline could be added to the agenda, including 15 minutes total for welcome and staff presentation. Green inquired about language regarding unduplicated testimony, and said that it might be mentioned by Chair Dumdi at the beginning of the meeting. Rust also stated that a phrase limiting testimony to three minutes per person would allow participants to structure their comments to that timeframe. Green added that written testimony would be accepted as well.
Weeldreyer thanked Harbor for attending and providing information. She announced a five minute break, and said that the Board would resume in Executive Session under ORS 192.660. The meeting recessed at 10:42 a.m.
4. EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660
The Board met in Executive Session as per ORS 192.660 from 10:52 a.m. to 11:02 a.m.
The regular meeting resumed at 11:03 a.m. with the following Commissioners present: Vice-Chair Cindy Weeldreyer, Steve Cornacchia, Bobby Green, Sr., and Jerry Rust. Ellie Dumdi was excused.
7. HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
a. ORDER 95-7-25-1/In the Matter of Appeals of the Focus Institute, Cottage Grove Counseling, and Laurel Hill Center of the Funding Recommendations of the Adult Mental Health Services Request for Proposals (RFP) Selection Committee and the Award of Adult Mental Health Contracts for the 1995-97 Period.
Rob Rockstroh introduced the item, stating there were three different appeals. In terms of process, Rockstroh he said he had ten minutes to make a presentation, the appellant had ten minutes for a presentation and then a group of other competing contractors have a total of ten minutes for comments.
Commissioner Green left the meeting at 11:05 a.m.
Cornacchia asked if Rockstroh needed ten minutes for each of the three, or if he could do them all at once. Rockstroh said that they were all different, with different basis for appeal, and that two should be relatively quick. Rockstroh reminded the Board that it is pretty clear what items can be appealed, and that not everyone appealed on specified appeal grounds.
Weeldreyer asked for Board preference. It was the consensus that they be considered in the order presented in the packet. Rockstroh said the first one is from the Focus Institute, and said that the Board had an attachment, which had been sent in with their document (Exhibit A). Their appeal criteria are: 1) arguing that differing criteria were used; 2) that the evaluation committee unfairly applied evaluation criteria; and 3) that members of the evaluation committee demonstrated bias towards their proposal. Rockstroh said that the process requires that they prove their case. Rockstroh referred the Board to their attachment, and said that the appellant asked the Board to look at RFP responses 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 10. Cornacchia suggested that Rockstroh review the set grounds of appeal and address those on all three appeals.
Commissioner Green returned at 11:10 a.m.
Rockstroh stated that Focus Institute used "differing criteria," "evaluation committee unfairly applied evaluation criteria" and "members of evaluation committee demonstrated bias." He continued that viewing this as a package, they could not prove that differing criteria were used. Rockstroh said different evaluators score differently, and that a pattern of scoring is relatively constant for each evaluator. Rockstroh said that "unfairly applied evaluation criteria" is difficult to prove. The reviewers give scores based on their best judgment. Two staff members from Mental Health, a member of a Mental Health Advisory Committee, a former member of that committee and a consumer comprised the panel scoring the RFP's. Rockstroh suggested allowing Focus Institute to present their case, and then allow a few moments for rebuttal. Rockstroh said that the department tries to have an arm's length process and limit bias by having a mix of staff members and disinterested parties evaluate the RFP's, although certain things are subjective, citing a shorter mission statement which might be considered better. Rockstroh explained what he considered judgment and what might be considered bias.
Focus Institute representative Carol Newman distributed a packet of information that corresponded to information posted in the room. Newman stated that she wanted to address two issues affecting their appeal process for the Jobs program. Newman said the first item related to government's responsibility for maintaining an open and competitive bidding process and the second area would be the criteria used in relationship to their proposal.
Focus Institute applied after other respondents had applied indicating that the RFP was not published in the newspaper until after the other respondents had replied. Newman stated that they requested to submit an RFP and were given an extension to do so. In terms of being competitive in providing Medicaid services, the Focus Institute bid under by 10%. Newman tied her comments to a recent speech by President Clinton speaking about open, competitive process in relation to Affirmative Action, saying it is government's responsibility to provide quality services and to allow for open competitive bidding.
Newman cited two other occasions where Lane County had advertised RFP processes, including the Bratton RFP and the RFP for Children's Parenting. Newman said the Focus Institute was told on both occasions that those programs were already decided, even though advertised, with funds earmarked for SCAR/Jasper Mountain, Looking Glass and Birth to Three. Newman claimed the "good old person" system operates within Lane County and will continue to have people advertising at the normal rate because no new providers will be able to get in and provide services.
Newman said the other criteria were listed, referring to the same values as other participants plus sixteen more listed, and stating they had both a short and long mission statement. Newman defined "bias" as preference or inclination that inhibits impartial judgment. She stated that they provided as much information as other responders, if not more, and were scored lower. Focus Institute had offered to provide services in Florence, Cottage Grove and the metro area. Newman said the AFS manager in Florence would like Focus Institute in Florence.
In response #4, Newman said the Focus Institute provided more detailed information and have more or equal experience and that can serve more clients, stating this was directly related as they bid 10% less, which allowed for 10% clients being served.
Newman commented on response #5, regarding outcome measures. She stated that their response follows guidelines, was the only one listed that was accurate and responded to the question, yet they were rated lower which shows bias, prejudice and discrimination.
Newman stated #8 was a tremendous example of bias, showing that their response was the same as others, plus more, and were rated lower. (Newman cited Huffman as scoring them lower in several instances.)
Rust questioned Newman as she focused on Huffman's scores, and pointed out that there was a comparable pattern of low scoring with Huffman's scores just by the numbers, citing some "close calls" by other scorers as compared to Huffman's. Cornacchia said that if there was a bias, it would seem like that would be consistent through each and every box, and that Huffman had scored Focus equal or higher (on number 6) than other scorers.
Rust said he looked at each score and that a review of the scores show that they were in the "ballpark." Discussion followed on "quantity" being a determining factor, then "quality" comes into play. Cornacchia said that he was not willing to say that more responses to a question automatically gives you more points, not knowing the quality of the additional items.
Rockstroh said that there were about 500 pages of original document and that it would be a lengthy process to go through all of the documents. Rockstroh handed one additional original to Rust to review, stating that Rust now had the Focus Institute original and one from the second highest scorer.
Cornacchia asked if other successful bidders wanted to respond at this point in the process. No one present wished to comment on the Focus Institute appeal. It was the consensus of the Board to resolve this appeal before hearing the next appeal. MOTION: That the Focus Institute appeal be rejected. Rust MOVED, Cornacchia SECONDED. Rust stated he had reviewed the two original documents. He indicated to Newman that she had not been able to demonstrate that the process was fundamentally flawed. He continued by looking at the "numbers," that they do not reveal the pattern of bias which it would take to prove a case like this. It was noted that this was only the third appeal by this group in eight years. After further discussion, the appeal was rejected. VOTE: 4-0.
Rockstroh introduced the second appeal by Cottage Grove Counseling. The appeal argues bias that another agency had a score of less than 70%, but was given technical assistance because the County needed them as a provider in the Florence area. Rockstroh explained the rules on the process allowing technical assistance to a respondent to help improve their scores if competitive bids are not received. In the area of Cottage Grove Counseling, there was a competitive bidder against them, and the County would not work against one of the bidders. Cornacchia asked if in the Cottage Grove arena, the County had worked with another competitor. Rockstroh said that there was another competitor in that location, and the County had not assisted.
Rick Ries, Program Services Coordinator in H & H S, clarified that the competitor that the County worked with was in Florence. The Florence respondent was the only bidder, and it was in the County's best interest to provide technical assistance, as outlined in the RFP process, to help them achieve a score of 70%.
Ries informed the Board that he had discovered an omission on their Attachment A, clarifying that South Lane Mental Health in Cottage Grove was awarded JOBS, distributing a replacement page. Ries indicated that the page should read Options, Family Resources, Eugene Center for Family Development, and South Lane Mental Health. Cornacchia inquired if JOBS was "one fits all, and serves the entire County." Ries responded negatively. He indicated that since 1991 when the JOBS Program started the County had two providers: Family Resources and Options. Ries clarified that AFS JOBS Medicaid money is AFS money transferred to the State by Oregon AFS, and in a sense is their money being passed through the County, because the County is the Mental Health Authority. Ries reported that Bob Proctor, the manager of the local AFS JOBS Program, was asked to review all six JOBS proposals as a non-voting consultant.
Cornacchia queried if the State has $120,000 in JOBS, does that go to one provider to serve the entire County. Ries said it is for the County to pick providers, and could pick a single provider, but in this case picked four. Ries said the County added four to better serve the community, rather than utilizing one provider since it was a "small pot of money." Ries indicated that the other two applicants did not pass the 70% cutoff score. There was further discussion centering on how the County is giving authority for providers to bill Medicaid, and the County (as the Mental Health Authority) ensuring that the providers are "bonafide" agencies that the County supervise. Rockstroh indicated that the County tries to utilize a "geographic overlay," but that is not always successful due to the size of the County. Ries said that H & H S frequently tries to state in RFP's that providers are needed in certain geographical areas and encouraged to respond.
Weeldreyer inquired if consideration was given for supporting a local business within a rural community in awarding bids. Rockstroh indi-cated that this is not currently being done, as they have not thought of themselves as an economic development group. Discussion continued on "niche" providers.
Gary Reese, Executive Director of Cottage Grove Counseling Clinic (CGCC), presented his appeal, stating his concern was not how people score, but how awards are given. Reese indicated awards were a "fairly haphazard subjective process."
Reese stated he had founded the CGCC fifteen years ago, and his was the first agency in Cottage Grove. Over the years, the practice had grown to cover the areas of South Lane, Oakridge, Blue River, Creswell and Lorane. Reese indicated that statistically these areas have the highest rate of child abuse and deaths from child abuse in the state.
Reese indicated that this was the third rejection that CGCC had recently received. With the last rejection, funding for CGCC was pulled from $525,000 to zero. Reese stated that he knew the Lane County Mental Health RFP was important, as it was competitive, and that he had brought in the best grant writers he could find with high success rates. Reese said he felt that the money is awarded very subjectively. On a previous grant award process for a Children's RFP, he was told by two members of the committee that CGCC was considered "superfluous" to the rural areas. Reese spoke about the calls his agency had received regarding the loss of services from health care professionals. Reese said it is nearly impossible to prove bias, asking how it could be determined that the services of CGCC were not needed when no one asked the rural people that they served about needs and impact.
Reese continued that he had been told that there would be a smooth transition, that other agencies would hire the CGCC employees, but stated that did not occur. He indicated that 1.75 positions were hired out of fourteen staff members. Reese stated that the rural areas were being disregarded, that CGCC was being disregarded, and that he did not know why that was the case, but he did not think it was his job to determine.
Reese reported his recent experience with an HMO interviewer from Salem. The selection committee comes from Lane County, but the Board that hears the selection committee has to be statewide. Reese stated this was indicative of steps taken by the state to prevent bias, but this does not happen in Lane County. Reese continued discussing standards, and what was bias and what was not. Reese called for decisions being made out of the county, with clear criteria on how the scoring is applied. Reese said that in previous years, they may have scored low when he wrote the grant applications, but that CGCC had been renewed every year, and asked what changed this year. Reese indicated that a study of the rural area of who might be the best provider would be an indication of objective criteria.
Reese stated that he had worked closely and well with South Lane Mental Health, that they have shared employees over the years, and that they were a good agency. Reese said he felt CGCC was better at what the RFP called for. South Lane does case management for chronically mentally ill, CGCC does brief therapy. CGCC does jobs related issues and has carried the employee assistance program for South Lane School District. He indicated that many of the adults seen at CGCC come in for work related issues. CGCC has worked closely with Weyerhaeuser and other employee assistance programs. Reese requested a higher standard, stating that no one asked CGCC what they could provide, or asked the community.
Reese reiterated he would like to see criteria based on objectivity. Reese indicated that bias is easy to create, but nearly impossible to prove. Reese stated that he was not saying there was bias, but that there was a "pattern." He indicated that one way to prevent bias is to take scoring outside the area.
Cornacchia inquired of Reese if he felt that the scoring portion of the RFP was subjective, as CGCC had not reached 70%. Reese said to try to prove that was an impossibility and cited the example of the previous appellant. Reese said that after the scoring process, the decision of who grant monies are awarded to is what he considers objective.
Rust stated that both CGCC and Siuslaw came under 70%, but County staff said they needed the services on the coast and worked with Siuslaw. Rust inquired of Rockstroh if something had been overlooked in the process towards CGCC. Rockstroh said they want to give services to a community, and that there was another successful bidder from Cottage Grove. There was no competition in the Florence area.
Tom Wheeler, Director of South Lane Mental Health (SLMH), gave rebuttal. Wheeler stated that SLMH was a local provider in Cottage Grove. Wheeler said that SLMH serves adults with chronic mental illnesses, but also serve many people at free or low cost to the general community. Wheeler indicated that he thought the SLMH proposal was scored at over 70 because they provide high quality services and had written a good proposal.
Wheeler spoke about some things that he felt were "special" in the proposal, stating that SLMH is the only provider who has a nurse practitioner (someone who can prescribe medication). Wheeler indicated that there was only one person in the Cottage Grove/Creswell area who can do that, and she works for SLMH.
Wheeler stated that Rick Ries had previously commented that Bob Proctor, the AFS Director in Eugene was dissatisfied with the way referrals in Cottage Grove went. Neither CGCC nor SLMH had previously provided JOBS services before. Wheeler said it had previously been done by a Eugene program, and it was felt by AFS, AFS Workers, clients involved, and people of the JOBS program in Cottage Grove that it was very "scattered" -- that it was hard for the different agencies to communicate. Wheeler said SLMH offered to streamline the process and that they wanted to be the only provider in Cottage Grove. Wheeler said that SLMH wanted to have regular meetings with AFS and the JOBS program staff, and that SLMH would do the assessment, treatment, prescribing and do it all well. Wheeler indicated that AFS responded positively to that, seeing that SLMH was offering an opportunity to remove a problem for them in the South Lane area.
Wheeler indicated those were his main points, that he felt SLMH did a good job, that they were a local provider, that the staff lived in Cottage Grove, and that SLMH met the needs as requested in the proposal.
Cornacchia inquired of Wheeler, as a successful bidder, if he was comfortable with the process that he had entered into. Wheeler said that he was "scared to death" every time they bid. Cornacchia asked why. Wheeler indicated that you do not know how you will come out on the scoring process, and that he gets some technical assistance before he writes a proposal.
Cornacchia queried Wheeler about whether he had confidence in the system and selection process that the County used and asked if he felt it needed improvement. Wheeler stated that he felt it was fair. Wheeler said that now that he has heard who the reviewers were, that he knew all the people who had reviewed, and knew that in the case of other programs that they might not judge him as highly as others, but think they took a fair look at the proposals. Wheeler said it was his guess that they rated SLMH on their merit.
Wheeler also responded that throughout the entire Mental Health systems process, when he looks back as a provider to which agencies got the awards, which ones got the highest scores and which ones got the lowest scores, they seem to fit with his "reality" and his estimation of who the best providers were. Wheeler stated that gives him some confidence in the process.
Green inquired of Wheeler if there were other years that he had not gotten an award. Wheeler responded that the agencies he had worked for had always scored highly and had always gotten contracts. Wheeler indicated that he had previously worked for Laurel Hill Center, which was actually appealing another item. Wheeler said this was the first time that South Lane Mental Health had applied for these services.
Weeldreyer said she had a question for Rockstroh that would echo what Gary Reese had previously asked, "What would it hurt to add another provider in the South Lane area for this service?" Rockstroh said he was not convinced that it would add anything, stating these were not large grants, and stated what he deemed a personal bias that he did not want to administer a "zillion" grants, because it is an administrative issue. Rockstroh said it costs money to administer grants, and that he would rather work with consortiums of providers. Rockstroh stated that as the County moves towards managed care the issue of how many providers are needed will have to be readdressed. Rockstroh said that administratively or programmatically there would be a benefit of having a second provider in Cottage Grove. Rockstroh said he did not think the people of Cottage Grove were going to be served any less with SLMH, even though some individuals might have a favorite agency. Rockstroh indicated that the reality was that this rural area would have just as many services, but with a different provider.
Weeldreyer again called for a look at the standards and criteria for how the County does the RFP process in a spirit of continuous quality improvement. Weeldreyer stated she would like to explore the option of including economic impact, in terms of supporting a rural business in a rural area, and that the community be taken into account in that whole process. Weeldreyer stated that she felt it could be detrimental to a person in crisis to be sent to a different provider, that it could be disruptive to the person in treatment.
Rockstroh stated that they had agreed to have a work session on contracts and RFP processes. He indicated that whatever the Board adopted, he would do, that he was enforcing current policy. Rockstroh stated he would be happy to address those issues.
Green indicated that he was interested in looking at standards and criteria, but he was not convinced that having someone from the outside come in (as scorers) would prevent bias.
Cornacchia indicated that quality of effective, efficient service was a paramount consideration for him. He stated that in a division of communities, rural and urban, that he would follow the same basis -- that if the urban center can provide the service better, that he would not choose a local business, just because it was local. Cornacchia stated he is willing to have a discussion on the RFP process.
MOTION: Dismissal of the appeal. Rust MOVED, Cornacchia SECONDED. Board members indicated to Gary Reese that he had made some good comments, and that he had helped to raise the level of consciousness of the Board, and that some additional discussion would occur in the future. VOTE: 4-0.
Rockstroh indicated that regarding the Laurel Hill Center he did not see any basis for appeal, although it was an opportunity for a policy discussion. Cornacchia asked for help in understanding that three people currently served in the urban center will not be served, that those services will have to come from somewhere else because three others are being added in another community. Cornacchia inquired how the judgment is made on "who wins and who loses" from that standpoint. Cornacchia said that Laurel Hill looks at the issue of having seventeen slots, while Cornacchia said his approach is that of seventeen clients being affected. Cornacchia asked about the expectation of service for the seventeen clients, when three will be told that they are no longer being served, so that three others can be served in South Lane.
Ries stated that was a very fair question and had been dealt with by the committee. Ries said this was the only program left that is "slot based." Ries indicated that there are seventeen slots and people filling those slots. Ries indicated that it a surprise that there were two responses, as this program was started at Laurel Hill. Ries stated that the committee liked the proposal from South Lane Mental Health (SLMH) and decided that because the rural community is lacking in this area, they would take three slots and apply them to SLMH. Ries indicated that this was no indication of dissatisfaction with Laurel Hill's services.
Ries said that since there are people in those three slots, they would not "yank" people from those slots and place them in Cottage Grove. Ries said it was the County's intent to ascertain if any of those three slots at Laurel Hill are planning to be vacated soon. If a slot became vacant within the next few months, that slot would then be moved to Cottage Grove for a new client. Ries stated that in working with Laurel Hill and County Mental Health Case Managers it looked like there was no one that could be vacated in the foreseeable future, then there would be three individuals, among the seventeen, that were not so fragile that they could not be receiving excellent services through another agency.
Cornacchia indicated that he had no problem with waiting for three vacant slots to be moved to Cottage Grove; but in the event that there are not three openings if three would be identified within Laurel Hill and travel to Cottage Grove. Ries responded that the committee had discussed this at length, and that the idea was that three people would be found who were far enough along in treatment that they could terminate. Based on the professional expertise of the case managers at Lane County, one of the supervisors who was on the committee and the knowledge of supported employment, it was felt positively that sometime in the next six months, or so, three slots would become vacant, and that the County could work with Laurel Hill to ensure that three become vacant. Ries reported that Wheeler at SLMH understood that these slots would not be transferred until they became vacant. Ries reiterated that three people would not be asked to switch treatment and drive to Cottage Grove.
Cornacchia inquired about the criteria and process of treatment and transfer at Laurel Hill. Ries stated he was not aware of the specific criteria for transfer. Ries said he relied on the advice of those who work with this at Lane County Mental Health, indicating that there is a three to four page case management process stating that it is the County case managers who have the final say of who gets services and when they get services. Ries stated the idea was that three people would be identified, because the committee felt that these slots should not be held only for people in the metro area. Cornacchia asked if the three people would be moved because they no longer need service, or whether they would be moved because the committee wanted to move the slots.
Rockstroh said that when cuts or any changes to the system are made, the reality is that a way will be figured to triage it, comparing it to a phase-in with natural turnover. Rockstroh stated it was not the intent to harm any clients. Rockstroh indicated that there is a very elaborate process, working with case management, and that it did not mean that any individuals would be pushed out of treatment.
Greg Stillman, President of Board of Directors at Laurel Hill Center, introduced himself, Mary Alice Brown, Executive Director, and David Basel, Vocational Director. Stillman indicated that these are actually people, individuals with severe and persistent mental illness, and not slots that are being discussed. His concern was the significant effect of terminating someone's support. Stillman indicated that these individuals are in the job market currently, because of counseling and support. Stillman stated that these people need help to maintain themselves in the job market and to maintain their independence. He said that Laurel Hill's goal was to keep people as independent as possible, and to keep them out of hospitalization. When services are terminated, the risk arises for other kinds of treatments, such as hospitalization.
Stillman said that the assumption that someone could graduate from the program was correct, but indicated that there were twenty-one people currently on Laurel Hill's waiting list to be placed in one of the seventeen slots. He indicated that Laurel Hill in the past has provided services to more rural areas, and is capable of doing that in the future. Stillman stated that technically on the grounds of the appeal criteria he had selected, that the committee had unfairly applied evaluation criteria, and that the criteria used did not pertain to the services or products requested.
Stillman said that Laurel Hill consistently has been the top performer in this area, had started the program and was performing well. He indicated that South Lane has never done it, nor has anyone else in the County, which has made Laurel Hill the number one candidate for this fund. Stillman addressed the other issue on geography, stating it is arbitrary. He said the issue was who was severely and persistently mentally ill and how can they be helped with support at work, rather than where they live. Stillman asked how criteria can be applied to determine which person will be cut from this program.
Cornacchia said that County staff indicates that this treatment is not life-long, but that there would be a time when services could be ended and another person could then be served. Cornacchia asked how this happens. Mary Alice Brown responded that there are a couple of clients that have been with the program since its inception eight years ago. These two clients are already working, and they are utilizing the ongoing support treatment. Brown indicated that this is a unique program, a state/federal partnership, with only 150 slots statewide. Brown indicated that services are not time limited, but assistance provided until the participant no longer needs follow-up support in order to keep a job.
Brown stated that last year there were three individuals who moved on, no longer receiving support from Laurel Hill Center. She said that it becomes difficult to predict what the future will bring. Cornacchia inquired for what reasons the individuals left treatment. Brown said that the individuals either moved out of Lane County, or graduated from the program and no longer needed ongoing assistance. Cornacchia asked what criteria were met to allow the individuals to graduate from the program.
Brown said that the participant is involved in making this decision. She said that they look at the kind of problem-solving support and assistance that was provided over the last few months, and the person's ability to cope with those demands that are being made on them. Cornacchia asked if the result was based on a subjective analysis. Brown responded that they review how the client has dealt with problems that have arisen.
Stillman indicated that there were graduates of the program present who had suffered a relapse and have been waiting for eighteen months to get back into the program because of stress and how to cope with a job.
Tom Wheeler, from South Lane Mental Health (SLMH), stated the first issue for him "was the size of the pie." He indicated that there were a lot more than seventeen people with severe and chronic mental illnesses in Lane County that are able to work. He indicated that Laurel Hill had a waiting list of twenty-one people. Wheeler stated that SLMH had two people they were serving for free that are currently working, one for a period of eighteen months. Wheeler indicated that at some point, the stress would become too great for his agency to continue serving that individual for free.
SLMH serves 70 people a month at low cost or no cost. Wheeler indicated his budget is about $400,000 annually. Wheeler said he used to work at Laurel Hill and has great feelings about the place, but indicated their budget is $4.3 million this year. He reported that the size of the three slots was $18,000. Wheeler indicated that it was his feeling that they can continue to serve a person when the funding is stopped, and reiterated that SLMH currently does that.
Wheeler indicated that the staff at SLMH are very qualified and said that three had worked a combined twenty years at Laurel Hill Center. He stated that everyone would agree that one of them was the top vocational trainer Laurel Hill had for ten years. Wheeler said in his estimation, this appeal was not about the $18,000, but rather the three staff at Laurel Hill who left that agency and work for South Lane Mental Health. Wheeler also indicated that he did not think the appeal was about the three clients, either, but that they were trying to build a vocational service in a rural area, and have not "been forgiven for leaving." Wheeler said they would make the most of providing vocational services to people with severe mental illnesses in Cottage Grove. Wheeler indicated it was not easy for Laurel Hill to serve Cottage Grove, as there is no bus service from Cottage Grove to Eugene.
Rust asked if Wheeler was comfortable in filling the slots only when they become vacant. Wheeler indicated that he had said that when he was first asked about it, but stated that he now thought there should be some time limit attached to the transfer of slots. Wheeler said there was $380 a slot for a month, and that he was fine with some transition period (mentioning a month to four months), but it has been his experience that people will stay in those slots for a very long time. Wheeler said that this was only a two year contract which began July 1, 1995. Wheeler said that this amount of money does make a large difference to SLMH, and that Laurel Hill probably felt the same way. He again remarked that this was a small fraction of the Laurel Hill total budget.
Cornacchia stated to staff that it must be implicit in their presentation that the state was in accord with the transition of the slots. Ries said he had spoken with the assistant director, and the comment was that the County had every freedom to move the slots, it was an open and competitive process, and that a discussion was held that the County would work with case management at Laurel Hill until three slots could be identified for safe transfer. Ries responded to a Cornacchia question, that he thought this could be accomplished within six months.
Rockstroh commented that supported employment is a very narrow function, that there are lots of other services for a person with persistent serious mental illness besides supported employment.
Weeldreyer queried Wheeler about the service of SLMH, asking if it extended beyond the city limits of Cottage Grove. Wheeler indicated that was true, stating they serve people from Creswell, Pleasant Hill, and the area south of Cottage Grove.
Discussion followed, focusing on a dismissal of the appeal and providing a directive for a six month or, whichever comes first, of a cessation of service by December 31st. It was anticipated that Lane County Mental Health and Laurel Hill would work together to determine what three slots would become available and how the three individuals would fit within the mental health system thereafter.
Green indicated that it would help him support the idea, if he could better understand how the individuals would be moved toward graduation, again asking about criteria that could be used to have someone exit the program.
Mary Alice Brown said that supported employment is only a small part of the employment program, which is a major focus of Laurel Hill (employment), and that services vary over time. Brown says Laurel Hill wants people to transition and do well in employment, but it is hard to put a time limit on it.
Wheeler said one thing that is hard is that the beginning steps of vocational programs are often very time limited. Wheeler indicated that supported work is the last step, and people do need support in their jobs for a long time. Wheeler stated these are people and not slots. He indicated that he would always go back to the size of the pie.
MOTION: Reject the appeal, and provide direction to Lane County Health and Human Services Department that these slots are not to be transferred until graduation or six months, or December 31, 1995, whichever comes first. Cornacchia MOVED, Green SECONDED. VOTE: 4-0.
Weeldreyer thanked the individuals who took the time to attend the Board meeting. Cornacchia responded to Ries that a new order would be needed to show the revision, that two orders would be needed: one a denial of the first two and the second a denial with the Board direction.
Weeldreyer indicated there were additional items, and that there had been a request to begin at 2:00 p.m., rather than 1:30 p.m.
The meeting was recessed at 12:57 p.m. The meeting resumed at 2:03 p.m. with Vice-Chair Cindy Weeldreyer presiding. Also present were Commissioners Bobby Green Sr., and Jerry Rust. Commissioner Steve Cornacchia arrived at 2:10 p.m. Commissioner Ellie Dumdi was excused. Recording Secretary: Leslie Barrett.
b. ORDER 95-7-25-2/In the Matter of Approving the Submittal of a Federal Grant Application for a Three-Year Substance Abuse and Mental Health Grant.
Rockstroh said he was assuming that the Board did not wish to read the 231 page abstract. Rockstroh responded to three questions asked by the analysts:
1) Would the service delivery system be provided by contract to outside agencies or Lane County employees? The intent would be outside contracts.
2) Will indirect be included in the budget portion of the grant application? No, it is not allowed. (Rockstroh referred to a note on page 28 of the grant application form.)
3) If there will be additional Lane County staff, where will the staff be located? There are no additional Lane County staff.
Rockstroh summarized some pertinent information from the abstract, stating it would expand some alcohol and drug substance abuse services to the Children's Mental Health Grant. Rockstroh indicated that approval would authorize the County to submit an application to supplement the existing New Opportunities Grant.
MOTION: Approval of the Order. Green MOVED, Rust SECONDED. VOTE: 3-0. Van Vactor indicated that the record should show that the staff guessed correctly, that the Board action ratified the approval, since the application had to be sent the previous week.
Weeldreyer indicated that she had neglected to state earlier that Commissioner Dumdi was attending the NACO Convention and that Commissioner Cornacchia would be a few minutes late due to a previous meeting commitment.
8. HUMAN RESOURCES AND MANAGEMENT SERVICES
a. ORAL REPORT/Operational Policy and Recommendation in Regard to the Dog License Canvassing Program. (Randy Covey and Roxann Marshall)
Randy Covey, Animal Regulation Supervisor, and Roxann Marshall, Clerical Supervisor at LCARA, were present to answer previous Board questions at looking at changes to the Code reflecting the canvassing program. Covey stated that it had been determined that changes not be made to the Code to try to place additional penalties on people who have been contacted by canvassers, if there is some future contact regarding license purchases. Covey stated that current Code language was clear and direct, and that it was not recommended to make a change that would make the Code more complex.
Covey said that canvassing was continuing as an educational program, an opportunity to purchase a license for dogs. He stated this has been beneficial in educating the public on license requirements. Green questioned compliance ratio based on those contacts. Covey indicated that initial compliance was about 45%, and that (although no hard figures are available), it is his sense that the number has dropped significantly since that time.
Marshall indicated that there was one individual keeping track of written warnings that are coming through the office. Marshall stated that compliance is declining.
Weeldreyer asked if it would be more of an administrative cost to track those giving information and keep that in some kind of database for future contacts to refer back to, and that was why the recommendation to not change the code was made. Covey replied affirmatively. Weeldreyer thanked Covey and Marshall for their response.
Covey stated that the canvassing program was scheduled to expire at the end of August. Limited Florence area canvassing has been scheduled prior to the end of the program.
Green asked if canvassers had a set script that they followed in ascertaining information when making public contact. Covey said there was not a script, but guidelines and expectations have been explained. They are canvassers and not Animal Welfare Officers, and are not to answer questions about dog bites, or dogs at large, or other specific Code requirements in the City or County. Each canvasser has developed their own presentation style. Green asked how they responded to questions that were not in their arena. Covey said it was suggested that they respond by saying the individual should call LCARA and ask to speak to an officer or the dispatcher.
9. EMERGENCY BUSINESS
Weeldreyer indicated that the emergency item was a motion/resolution: In the Matter of Submitting a Letter of Interest to Be Considered as a site for an Oregon Youth Authority Regional Corrections Facility.
Van Vactor had attended a morning meeting regarding a regional corrections facility, and summarized action that would be required to submit a letter of interest by July 28, 1995. The four reasons identified to support the training school were that local services promote more effective services to respond to juvenile crime; it is cost effective and should have a positive economic impact; that the community will benefit; and that it was a concept presented during the bond issue campaign. Concerns were also significant: a likelihood that there would be an increased workload on the local criminal justice/special service and educational system; there would be some environmental impacts on the site and community; there could be a social impact with the potential of increased crime and political considerations to address.
Van Vactor stated that sending a letter of intent was not binding, if the Board considered not following through at a later date. Green had attended the morning meeting about the Regional Corrections Facility, and reiterated that sending the letter did not commit the Board. Rust inquired about some of the potential negatives that had been mentioned, and asked why this would be a good deal for the County. Green responded that it put the County in a position to address the problem locally. Van Vactor said at the time the individuals are scheduled to be released from the facility, that there is a local social services network they can enter into, rather than dealing long-distance from Salem.
Weeldreyer said that five regions were identified, and asked what geographic region Lane County encompassed. Van Vactor replied that Douglas, Lane, Linn and Benton Counties comprised the region.
Cornacchia expressed agreement with the suggested methodology; but had grave doubts, stating he was not supportive until he got a clear education on what the training school is, who would be in it, and how they would be housed and secured. Cornacchia requested a presentation by the State Department of Youth Authority regarding what a training facility is, so the community knows what it will get, and a profile of the clients housed before the next step is required.
After further discussion, MOTION: Approval of submission of a letter of interest to the state to be considered as a site for the Oregon Youth Authority. Green MOVED, Rust SECONDED. Rust stated that his second was contingent on the understanding that Van Vactor would process the questions and invite appropriate authorities for a full scale report session with the Board. Weeldreyer indicated that completion of a formal application was due by mid-August, allowing a small window. After continued extensive discussion, VOTE: 4-0.
Green reported he had represented the County last week in accepting a $1.4 million HUD Grant. Green said he wanted to give Steve Manela and Health & Human Services staff public kudos on this award.
Green said he had also participated with Mayor Bascom of Eugene and St. Vincent de Paul representatives in a ground-breaking ceremony for the units salvaged from the Amazon Housing project.
Green then said he had distributed a report on his attendance at the NAACP Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota to the other commissioners. He had the opportunity to be a chaperon for ten children who represented the local chapter. There was a first-time local winner, fifteen year old Cory Maynor, sophomore at Churchill. Green stated that all of the kids represented the area well, and made being a chaperon easy. Green said that he had an opportunity to hear the message from Myrlie Evans Williams from Bend, Oregon. Green said there was a lot of discussion around affirmative action, with more information forthcoming.
Rust stated his appreciation for Green's written report, saying he got something back, even though he did not attend the conference.
Green said that Mary Spilde was chosen at Lane Community College as the Vice-President of Curriculum and Instruction. He stated he was on the search committee, and wanted to make the point regarding the bias discussion earlier, that it was apparent to him that the process was a "level playing field." Even though Ms. Spilde may not have been his first choice of candidate, he felt that Lane Community College was gaining a well qualified individual.
Weeldreyer announced that she and Cornacchia had attended an informal meeting the day before with Springfield officials discussing the possibility of transferring Glenwood from Eugene's Urban Growth Boundary to Springfield's UGB. A formal proposal will be presented Monday, August 7th at 5:00 p.m. Weeldreyer plans to attend.
Weeldreyer and Dumdi are planning to attend the Lane County Chamber of Commerce Celebration to be held at Skinner's Butte Park this Friday. Dumdi will be installing the new officers.
Weeldreyer commented that this was the time of year that every community has some type of celebration and wanted to recognize the volunteers that assisted with the local celebrations. Weeldreyer indicated this weekend was the first Blackberry Jam Festival in Lowell. On Friday evening, there would be a dedication ceremony for the Lane County park in Lowell. Weeldreyer indicated she was excited about being the grand marshal of a parade. On Sunday the Pengra Bridge will be dedicated.
Weeldreyer also announced that she was the new Chair of the Lane Community College Board of Education for her last year of her four year term.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 2:47 p.m.
Leslie Barrett, Recording Secretary