June 7, 1995
BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS' REGULAR MEETING
Harris Hall Main Floor - 8:30 a.m.
Chair Ellie Dumdi convened the meeting at 9:04 a.m. with Commissioners Steve Cornacchia, Bobby Green Sr., Jerry Rust and Cindy Weeldreyer present. Leslie Barrett, Recording Secretary.
1. ADJUSTMENTS TO THE AGENDA
Dumdi announced that there would be one emergency item to be reviewed at 10:00 a.m. regarding the Lane County Drug Court.
2. PUBLIC COMMENT
John Erickson of 2457 Otto Street, Springfield spoke regarding the Tourism Council's recent request for more involvement in the County Budget process. Erickson stated that he is a member of the Tourism Council and it's his understanding that the Tourism Council is an advisory board to help distribute rural tourism dollars. Erickson indicated that the Budget is currently reviewed by the Board which is a large group comprised of a wide variety of members, including both City and County representation. Erickson remarked that the Budget is the Commissioners' responsibility and that there is no need to bring it before the Tourism Council.
There was a short discussion on the future of the Tourism Council and postponed decision to a later date. Bill Van Vactor stated he will be meeting with Bob Keefer and Bobby Green regarding staff assistance for the Tourism Council. Dumdi indicated that she would hate to see the group dissolve.
3. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS
To be held at 11:40.
4. EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660
To be held later in the morning.
5. COUNTY ADMINISTRATION
To be held after item 5-b.
b. ORDER 95-6-7-1/In the Matter of Approving FY 95/96 Visitor Services Program and Budget and Contract Renewal Provision With C-VALCO in the Amount of $833,000.
Linda Weston of C-VALCO and Bill Van Vactor reviewed C-VALCO's budget which remains a "status quo" proposal due to uncertain receipts. Linda Weston referred to a letter sent to the Commissioners from Sandee Hansen at the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce indicating support of the work of C-VALCO.
Ms. Weston added that two budget proposals had been developed due to the rate of growth of the room tax revenue and indicated there was a six week lag time between the time the money is collected and reported. She stated she received the room tax report through April only yesterday and indicated the tax is up 3.3%, but they had projected a 5% increase, which they may actually make by the end of June.
Weston indicated that Budget A and Budget B were drafted on two potential levels of revenue and that both budget proposals are generally "flat" with some line changes in individual line items to allow flexibility, e.g. more opportunity for direct mailings and increase for travel and promotions.
Weston pointed out that under Visitor Services there is a small increase in both budgets, and that this program was primarily used for kiosk brochures in the rest stops along I-5 in the past. Weston continued by stating that over the past couple years, it has been decided that this has not been the most effective way to advertise, and that discussions have been held during the past year at the Tourism Council level, the staff level and at the C-VALCO Board. She stated that C-VALCO was excited about the possibility of providing "cutting edge" service through a mobile visiting information center that would be outfitted as a small information center. Weston indicated there would be cross-marketing possibilities with the mobile center, and would provide a way to assist the rural communities of the County.
Weston stated that the mobile center is a new concept and could be taken to different locations for a few days each week, citing Oakridge and the McKenzie Valley as examples. She indicated that it was taking a while to put together, as no one else is currently providing this type of service, as far as she knows, and that C-VALCO is in the information gathering stage. Weston reiterated that the budget was basically flat, although somewhat reduced from current year due to cash carryover.
Dumdi commended Weston on a well presented budget discussion. Rust questioned Weston on her perception of future convention business in Eugene. Weston responded that this was a "huge issue" and that unless there was a change in scope of convention facilities that convention business would not grow. She stated that the problem was that the cities with whom they compete all have new convention facilities. She explained that a recent study shows that there is a very good market for a mid-size convention center and would increase significantly convention business in the area, and that a draft report to C-VALCO is in process and is to be presented very soon. Weston remarked that in the early 1980's the area averaged 40,000-60,000 convention delegates a year, and which is now over 100,000 each year. Weston cited a need for increased facilities before growth to the next level.
Rust inquired as to what kind of format the presentation will take when the report is issued. Bill Van Vactor stated he recently met with Jim Johnson concerning the matter, and that the consultant is under contract to come out one additional time to present a joint forum to as many local groups as possible. Rust stated that he felt this was the right track to take -- that one presentation be made to as many representatives of the three jurisdictions, the Board of Commissioners and C-VALCO.
Green asked Weston to spend a minute on air service to the Eugene airport. Weston stated that was a source of real frustration to those trying to market the community. She said C-VALCO maintains a file of lost business because of the airline issue, the number of times a person is required to change planes, and the cost of flying into Eugene. She commented that this has improved somewhat lately due to the addition of a Delta connection through Salt Lake City due to the new airline. Weston indicated that even when you speak with airline representatives, they don't seem to have a real handle on the situation because it changes so quickly -- commenting that one answer could be received in the morning and another in the afternoon.
Weston continued by comparing Eugene to a similar size market in Boise. Weston indicated that it's not a matter of the airlines being able to fill the planes out of Eugene, but that they can do it more effectively from Portland. She stated Boise is considerably farther from Spokane than Eugene is from Portland, airfares from Portland to a destination are often cheaper than from Eugene to a similar destination, and because of lower fares, many people now drive the distance to Portland to initiate their flights. Weston sees the issue as an ongoing problem, but said that C-VALCO will continue working with the airlines. Weston agreed with Dumdi's statement that as more businesses come to the area that the airlines might be influenced by an increase in "strident voices" of travelers.
Dumdi commented on recent meetings she had attended at the new Sacramento and Spokane convention facilities. Weeldreyer stated she was impressed with the volume of people that could be accommodated at the Sacramento facility.
MOTION: Approval of Order 95-6-7-1. Rust MOVED, Green SECONDED. Dumdi acknowledged Sandee Hansen's letter referred to earlier by Weston. Dumdi stated that when C-VALCO scope expanded to include the County, when it had been more metro-oriented, that cooperation had been fantastic concerning outreach around the County. Hansen's letter mentioned C-VALCO's marketing efforts of the Florence area and her continued support of C-VALCO's work. VOTE: 5-0.
Rust commented on the recent Prefontaine Memorial Track Meet, which drew 14,000 people to the area during the same time the NCAA Track and Field Championships were held at Knoxville, Tennessee and drew 6,000 fans over a three day period. He stated that Eugene once held the title "Track Capital of the World" and still had good things happening here.
Dumdi reported on a series of statues she had recently seen in Spokane, which were very contemporary and angular, in which people purchased plates (like buying a brick and having their name inscribed on it). She stated the runners featured women, men, children, peoples of all ages, sizes and shapes, and that it looked like a 10-K run and was very intriguing.
Rust asked Weston about the possibility of hosting the NCAA Championships in Eugene for next year. Weston responded that they were already working on it.
Bill Van Vactor stated that the first item was in response to a Planning Session item regarding the impact of the recent Judge's ruling regarding Ballot Measure 8. He asked Ruth Larson to briefly update the Commissioners on the status of Lane County bargaining agreements.
Larson indicated to the Board that the recent court action will not have an impact on County employees as the agreements in place with all bargaining units undid actions taken in the early 70's, and as of December 2, 1994, the County started withholding PERS contributions from paychecks. She reminded the Board that 6% increases had been given to County employees in recognition of the impact of Measure 8, but also in recognition of two prior years when they had received no increase. Existing contracts had originally been extended in June 1993 and have now been extended through June 1996. She indicated no action taken at the State level will change any contracts without renegotiating with the Labor organizations.
Teresa Wilson reminded the Board that the same action was taken for non-represented employees and elected officials, with the sole exception being the Commissioners, and that the Commissioners have felt the impact of Measure 8, taking 6% of their salaries for PERS contributions, without any change or accommodation. Wilson commented that she was unclear on how to interpret the judge's decision, which she has received. She indicated it consisted of one sentence, stating that Measure 8 violated the provisions of the U.S. Constitution and are therefore invalid. Wilson remarked that the matter will be further appealed.
Wilson stated she would attempt to get more information if the Board wished, on what the effects should be. She stated the alternative would be to have the Board consider if they would like to have their personal situations handled differently, but reminded them that part of the reason they took the steps they did was to have all County employees PERS contributions handled in the same way.
Wilson further remarked that to some extent there was a policy choice to be made, whether further research on the effect of the decision should be made. She indicated that the other group that will need to be looked at is the Housing Authority employees as their actions were different from the County and they have received legal advice from an outside attorney on that. Wilson commented that she had not had the chance to discuss the matter with the Executive Director.
Rust commented that the other County employees had a contract and that, because the Commissioners were not covered by contract, they took a salary cut. Wilson stated that she appreciated Rust's remark, but the ruling was that the measure was invalid. She commented that she would like to take some time to research the issue further, as it could be interpreted in a couple of ways. Wilson informed the Board that the County Counsels have a meeting scheduled in July, and the Measure 8 ruling will be one of the topics for discussion, if they did not meet before then. Her advice to the Board was to stay the course they are on until further information becomes available.
Bill Van Vactor informed the Board that Eric Gillis and his wife, Patty, drowned in the Umpqua River on June 1st and that services were scheduled for Friday, June 9th. He stated Eric was a Road Maintenance 2 Worker in Florence, and Patty had worked at Florence City Hall. Sympathy was extended to the Gillis family.
Van Vactor stated that the next announcement was a follow-up concerning the management of the Juvenile Justice Center. Van Vactor stated that he had met with Steve Carmichael regarding the setup of the Task Force. He continued that Lane Manual outlined two ways to go with Task Forces -- one is to have Board appointed and the other is to have County Administrator appointed.
Van Vactor further remarked that he was ready to proceed with appointments, as the County Administrator, but inquired if the Board wanted participation in the process. He distributed a list of potential Task Force members, and requested Board input regarding which type of Task Force they would like. He indicated that an immediate decision was not necessary.
Rust said that it was fine with him if Van Vactor appointed the committee and noted that he and Green were listed as Board representatives to the Task Force. Rust stated he was willing to serve, but didn't think that should limit others from participating. Green indicated that alternate would be fine with him. Weeldreyer said she is willing to serve as third alternate if Rust or Green cannot attend a meeting.
Van Vactor said that if the interest was there, more than one Commissioner could participate. Rust stated that at a minimum one Commissioner should attend and set up a monthly system of reporting back to the entire Board. He reiterated that if there was no problem with Van Vactor setting up the Task Form that he should be allowed to do so. Green asked about additional layperson involvement. Van Vactor said he would add two or three more citizens to the list, and indicated that if Commissioners had additional input to let him know.
Van Vactor reminded the Board of the June 1st memo he sent regarding Financial Planning, commenting that there would be a discussion the following week on the Fin Plan, including the following work task items: evaluating property tax options; strategies on how to involve the public and then strategies to involve other local governments. Van Vactor indicated that these items were underway from a staff point of view and inquired if there were other items to be done for the meeting on June 20th. It was the consensus that the short list covered the direction the Board should be headed.
Van Vactor also stated that the Board had received a memo from him regarding Data Processing requests, and informed them he was going to approve those today.
In response to a question on where the Leadership Meeting would be held, Van Vactor said that it was not finalized, but was trying to find a comfortable location at the University of Oregon.
6. CONSENT CALENDAR
A. Approval of Minutes: May 3, 1995, Regular Meeting, 1:30 p.m.
May 16, 1995, Work Session, following HACSA
May 16, 1995, Work Session, 1:30 p.m.
B. Assessment and Taxation
1) ORDER 95-6-7-2/In the Matter of Refunds to Alfred and Hanna Fromm and David E. Carmichael, Attorney.
C. Public Safety
1) ORDER 95-5-7-3/In the Matter of Authorizing Renewal of an Intergovernmental Law Enforcement Agreement With the City of Veneta
2) ORDER 95-6-7-4/In the Matter of Award of Bid LCP 94/95-07 for the Construction Contract for Vehicle Storage Building "H" Remodel for Lane County Sheriff
D. Public Works
1) ORDER 95-6-7-5/In the Matter of Awarding a Contract for Construction of the 1995 Intermediate Hydraulic Barrier and Authorizing the County Administrator to Execute the Contract, Contract No. WM 95/96-2.
2) ORDER 95-6-7-6/In the Matter of Awarding a Contract for the Phase III Development of the Short Mountain Landfill and Authorizing the County Administrator to Execute the Contract, Contract No. WM 95/96-2.
MOTION: Approval of the Consent Calendar. Weeldreyer MOVED, Green SECONDED. VOTE: 5-0.
7. HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
a. PUBLIC HEARING AND ORDER 95-6-7-7/In the Matter of Accepting Plan Amendment/Approval Form (PAAF) #117 to the Intergovernmental Agreement #20-221 With the State Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Services Division; Reducing Appropriations of Revenues and Expenditures in Fund 24 by $34,982; and Authorizing the County Administrator to Sign the PAAF.
This item was pulled from the Agenda.
10. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS
Commissioner Weeldreyer commented favorably on the recent Leadership Team Work Session held on Monday (June 5), stating that she felt it was time well spent, and that she was pleased and proud of the commitments that were made to help improve the organization.
On a related matter involving citizens, the Citizens Task Force for Public Safety, Weeldreyer stated she was looking for names of three individuals from each district to allow an initial meeting. She asked each Commissioner to look for people across the spectrum of Public Safety.
Weeldreyer congratulated Wes Brustad on his new career opportunity and thanked him for staying on through the fair to smooth the transition.
Rust also wished Brustad well and stated that he thought Wes had done a good job of professionalizing the management at the County Fair, even though it was not without controversy, stating that the managerial changes made were long overdue.
Rust reported that he was one of several Commissioners attending the Endangered Species Act hearings in Roseburg.
Green expressed his appreciation to everyone for their support during his recent loss.
Dumdi stated that she and Cornacchia also attended the hearings for the Endangered Species Act in Roseburg. She felt that Senator Packwood listened very well and perhaps left with a different perspective than when he arrived. Dumdi stated that was the purpose of these events -- to expand people's knowledge and give them an opportunity to hear all sides. She further stated that the logistics and security were well handed.
Dumdi added her best wishes to Wes Brustad, stating that his announcement came as a surprise to her, but wished him well in his new opportunity. She reiterated that he has done an excellent job in bringing professionalism to the Fairgrounds, giving the Fair direction and getting things on an even keel.
Dumdi commented that the year was at the half-way point and requested that the Commissioners give some concise, succinct reports on their committee involvements over the past six months. She stated that perhaps some time could be set aside during the next few weeks to give brief reports on what's been happening in their committees.
Dumdi introduced a concept by the Coast Guard to provide a place to take boats out in Florence as the only place available on the central Oregon coast is at Winchester Bay. She stated that the Port and City are working on the issue, and commented that the Coast Guard had asked the Commissioners to approve in concept what they are trying to do, and write a letter on their behalf. Dumdi read a letter from Skip Passenger to the District Coast Guard in Seattle, Senators Hatfield and Packwood and Congressman DeFazio in support of a year round presence of the Coast Guard on the Siuslaw River. The commissioners agreed in concept and will send a letter in support of the Alliance.
8. HUMAN RESOURCES AND MANAGEMENT SERVICES
a. ORDER 95-6-7-8/In the Matter of Establishing the Classification and Salary Range for Public Relations and Marketing Manager With the Lane County Fairgrounds.
Cheryl McCawley stated that a request had been received in January from Wes Brustad regarding some restructuring that he had done at the Fairgrounds. Brustad felt that he had assigned enough management responsibility to the former Public Relations and Marketing Specialist position to be equal to the Sales and Events Manager. He stated that a position questionnaire was completed, funds are available and the Fair Board has also reviewed the reclassification and accepted by them.
MOTION: Approval of the Order. Rust MOVED, Weeldreyer SECONDED. Weeldreyer indicated that she would second the motion for purposes of discussion, and queried the timing of the reclassification with the announcement of Mr. Brustad's leaving County employment. She asked if a new Manager would have a different idea of the structure. Cornacchia commented that he felt it was a Fair Board action and not a managerial action. After a brief discussion, the motion carried. VOTE: 5-0.
b. ORDER 95-6-7-9/In the Matter of Establishing New Classification and Salary Range for Waste Management Fee Collection Program Manager and Amending the Classification and Salary Range for Senior Waste Management Fee Collector in the Department of Public Works/Waste Management Division.
Cheryl McCawley reviewed that this was an item that had been in process for about two years indicating that the project had started with a general review of the classifications having been in place for four years when the review began. McCawley stated that after six years of operation, Personnel felt some changes should be made and reviewed the history of the change.
MOTION: Approval of the Order. Weeldreyer MOVED, Green SECONDED. Weeldreyer commended the staff for the cooperative approach that was used in coming to the decision. VOTE: 4-1, with Cornacchia dissenting.
c. ORDER 95-6-7-10/In the Matter of Appointing Five Members to the Board of Ratio Review. MOTION: Approval of the Committee recommendations. Cornacchia MOVED, Weeldreyer SECONDED. VOTE: 5-0.
9. EMERGENCY BUSINESS
Rob Rockstroh reviewed a packet of information regarding a shortage of $5,200 on a "hard match for cash" for an approximate $1 million grant. Rockstroh had spoken with the State Office of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Program that morning and received their commitment for the additional $5,200 needed to move forward with the implementation of a Drug Court.
Rockstroh indicated that this is an eighteen month grant with 233 clients referred. He stated that Multnomah County, the other Drug Court in the State, is seeing a lot of Cocaine addicts, and Lane County is seeing a lot of Methamphetamine users (170 of the 233 referred clients). He indicated that a problem with Methamphetamine users is that they are frequently delusional, often ending up in the Psychiatric Hospital, taking several days to ascertain if they are truly psychotic or on drugs. Rockstroh indicated that meth users are tough clients to deal with. The benefit of the Drug Court is to help the DA and court systems process clients more efficiently.
Green queried if the funding was for one or two years. It was clarified that it was for one year. Green stated his concern was that this was startup money with ongoing services.
Rockstroh indicated that this was an ongoing program, and gave the example of INET money being cut from $70,000 down to $5,000 this year and indicated that they would "scrounge anywhere they can" (not to come after the County for it) as he hated to see a project fall apart for $27,000. He said there is some risk involved, but he is willing to scrounge. Rockstroh also stated that he felt the State A & D Office will have a commitment to A & D monies, and that he does not mind going to them for additional monies, if we can prove it's really helping the system overall. He also stated his commitment to working with the courts and DA's office to make it work.
Bill Van Vactor thanked the Health and Human Services staff for putting this package together and indicated that the benefits of this program reduces the courts' time, reduces officer time, reduces District Attorney's time and assists people in treatment. He continued that essentially Health and Human Services had pulled this together for all of those agencies, when they are not the prime beneficiary and complimented them for taking the lead on this.
As a follow-up to Commissioner Green's question, Van Vactor stated that if this request was for an initial startup, that they might have gotten a different recommendation from the County Administrator, but that as there was an ongoing program with grant potential identified that it was very important to go forward.
Judge Larson, of the District Court, stated that long-term he felt Green's question was a good one because he didn't like to see programs started and then eventually die if there is not a continuation of funding. Larson indicated that this one was a good one to start, because the long term, as well as the short term, was beneficial to all of the players in the system that deal with drug affected people. Larson stated that the Legislature has been working on funding, but there was a reluctance to do anything about siphoning off a fee that was applied to every person that was sentenced in a courtroom on criminal cases that would be diverted to drug court use across the State. He said he thinks it will happen, but not until the next session.
Larson further stated that he looks for momentum to build to accomplish a long-term funding source that doesn't hit the County (or any other particular agency) for consistency in Drug Courts across the State, mentioning some potential long term effects from the Federal Crime bill which includes some money for Drug Courts. He stated that this is the "infancy" of the whole concept, with Drug Courts expanding all across the Country because they are effective and they are cost effective. Larson remarked that the Federal money comes on-line in October or November, and tapping into some of that money will give this program a giant "kick start" to make it more effective. Larson expressed his appreciation of the County's willingness to keep the program going, stating it was "a very, very worthwhile program."
MOTION: Approval of Order 95-6-7-12. Rust MOVED, Green SECONDED. VOTE: 5-0.
Dumdi congratulated Judge Larson on his pending change to Circuit Court. Dumdi then announced that there would be an Executive Session as per ORS 192.660, following a recess.
The meeting recessed at 10:15 a.m.
Leslie F. Barrett, Recording Secretary