November 21, 1995
BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS' WORK SESSION
Commissioners' Conference Room - 9:00 a.m.
Ellie Dumdi presided with Steve Cornacchia, Bobby Green, Sr., Jerry Rust and Cindy Weeldreyer present. Sharon Giles, Recording Secretary.
1. PUBLIC COMMENTS
Lou Sinniger, 26416 Irene Street, Elmira, remarked that he is here on behalf of AFSCME and is speaking against the MIST recommendation. He distributed copies of a news article (see material on file) headlined "Outsourcing Megadeals." Sinniger stated that after reading some of the comments in the agenda packet, he believes that labor and management seem to agree that centralizing is possibly a good idea and would allow flexibility. But, he observed that the County does not presently have the knowledge, a plan, a strategy or standards in place to contract out. Sinniger asked how the contract would be written and how much start up costs might be. He noted that no one has identified existing costs and the costs of transitioning. Sinniger stressed that the County needs to come up with a plan and that it is too early to leap into RFPs.
Mary Dutton, P.O. Box 10991, stated that she is here on behalf of AFSCME and the employees and believes that if the County would utilize the talent and abilities in this room alone, it could work towards resolving the problems in computer services. She asked why is the County wasting all this time and not working in a joint labor effort. Dutton stressed that she does not want to drive out the quality people the County has.
2. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS
To be held later in the meeting.
3. EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660
To be held later today.
4. COUNTY ADMINISTRATION
Dumdi reported a request from Florence to extend time on the Morales application. She indicated that Michael Copely recommends continuing PA 1078 to a future date certain. MOTION: To set PA 1078 over to February 7. Rust MOVED, Cornacchia MOVED. VOTE: 5-0.
b. REPORT BACK/Management Information Systems Team (MIST)
David Suchart, HRMS, stated that the MIST group believes that centralization is imperative and that they would like to continue with both the RFP process and a process of internal centralization at the same time. He indicated that they recognize that is an increased workload, but are willing to accept that. Suchart remarked that they do not believe that they have enough information to make a business decision without an RFP.
Responding to Rust, Bill Van Vactor, County Administrator, stated that after reviewing the REG (Regional Executive Group) history to date and Lane County's financial problems, he sees that Lane County has no single strategy and cannot approach its regional partners with a single position. Responding to Rust, Suchart asserted that he has seen circumstances where a central system would have solved a problem more quickly. He indicated that there is some territorialism and the present system is certainly not as efficient as it could be. Rick Schulz, County Administration, remarked there is currently duplication within the county, reflected by the lack of group purchasing efforts, no standardized training levels/budget, etc. Cornacchia noted that numerous reasons for centralization are evident from material included in the packet.
Del Butts observed that he has worked for the County for 26 years and that the crux of the matter is the level that centralization needs to be at. He agreed on the need for centralized control.
John Clague, Public Safety, indicated that he supports the centralization concept fairly strongly, particularly in terms of standards and resource allocation. He commented that the County does not have a good inventory of the skill base across the organization and that the County should be training people to take them into the future. Cornacchia observed that departments have the ability to prioritize within their individual budgets. Clague stressed the need to work together to make common decisions.
Cornacchia remarked that he resists the notion that more money is necessary. He emphasized the need to utilize existing talents and resources to address problems that are perceived. With regard to the information "czar," Cornacchia remarked that this does not need to be a new position.
Dumdi commented that she cannot see that it is more cost-effective to contract out instead of keeping the system internal.
Rust stated that he is not a fan of contracting out, but is not afraid of competition. He suggested accepting the proposal as a challenge and stated that developing an RFP would be a useful exercise to help define what is necessary. Rust observed that an RFP could be used as the basis for an internal plan and that he can see the County operating on two tracks for awhile. Cornacchia remarked that the capital issue of the "year 2,000 problem" is different than coordination of the overall system. He observed the need for someone to be in charge regarding coordination/purchasing/ assessment and stated that he is not interested in going into an RFP process unless the County is ready to hire.
Green agreed on the need for centralization and stated that he is willing to go for an RFP, but also challenged staff to develop strategies that would address concerns as described by SCT. He offered support for a dual track and stressed that he wants employees involved.
Gangle reported that the process so far has been disruptive to staff and that he does not want to go out for an RFP unless the County is willing to follow through. He urged the Board to make a decision and follow through.
Schulz stated that staff is still considering using a vendor because the vendor says there will be no additional cost, and without the outsourcing option, it will cost the County an extra $2 million. He observed the need to do a strategic plan before ever doing an RFP and offered support for hiring a consultant to put together a good strategic plan. Schulz stressed that the committee is not asking the Board today to outsource, but is telling them that more information is needed, while at the same time asking that the Board not continue along that path unless there is really an option of outsourcing.
Sinniger offered a challenge to try to define "centralize," suggesting that everyone would have a different idea/model in mind. He stated that if a dual process is followed, it will send mixed message to employees.
Ben Wilson, Public Works, emphasized that what is missing is some of the business process re-engineering things that need to be done for better service delivery and to cut redundancies. Cornacchia indicated that he likes the idea of a central section that would take policy direction from the Board and be managed by the County Administrator who would provide leadership.
Weeldreyer indicated that she is not in a rush to go to an RFP as there are internal issues to deal with. With regard to John Goodson's memo, she commented that he questions if the costs for A&T's needs and moving the financial system off the mainframe will be as high as predicted. Gangle commented that ongoing estimates continue to suggest that the costs for the new system, conversion, training and acquisition of the LAN will be close to $1 million. Van Vactor asked Gangle whether, if the Board makes a decision not to pursue an RFP, he is confident he can meet the year 2,000 deadline. Gangle stated that he would need additional staff resources and/or capital for the system hardware, etc. Weeldreyer stressed that with the talent within the organization, she believes that if someone is given authority and it is made a priority, then the conversion to a centralized DP system can be accomplished.
Teresa Wilson, County Counsel, noted that the Board will need to give the chief information officer authority, adding that, historically, giving authority has worked well for awhile, but there is the risk that later the Board will undercut the previously given authority. She noted that it may be necessary to renew the commitment every year to maintain support for that centralized function.
Green agreed on the need to commit to support. Cornacchia remarked that support would be easy to do when the County has a plan and the information officer works from the plan. Cornacchia indicated that another task for MIST will be to delineate what the CIO position, the plan and resources entail. He stated that he would like to receive input regarding the best way for this to work. Weeldreyer observed that the development of a strategic plan occurred several years ago, and asked if there is a need to go back to ground zero, suggesting that perhaps some previously invested resources can be recuperated.
Rust acknowledged that he has been talked around to the position of not going with a dual track and moving toward centralization.
Van Vactor cautioned that the Board will need a report from the assessor regarding the magnitude of the conversion regarding the "year 2000," noting that it will be hard to contract out at a later date. There was consensus to ask MIST to report back in January, with Weeldreyer asking that part of the report back include a redefining of TMT's role.
This meeting recessed at 10:41 a.m. to reconvene into Executive Session at 10:55 a.m. to reconvene into public session at 11:06 a.m.
5. PUBLIC WORKS
a. THIRD READING AND DELIBERATION/Ordinance PA 1078/In the Matter of Adopting an Amendment to the City of Florence Comprehensive Plan to Redesignate Property Within the Florence Urban Growth Boundary From "Industrial" to "Residential;" and Adopting Savings and Severability Clauses (File PA 3854-94; Morales).
Dumdi read this Ordinance into the record. MOTION: Approval of the Third Reading and Setting Fourth Reading and Deliberation for February 7, 1996. Cornacchia MOVED, Green SECONDED. VOTE: 5-0.
6. CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES
a. ORDER 95-11-21-1/In the Matter of Authorizing Lane County to Submit a Local Correctional Facility Construction Application Under SB 1145 for $9.6 million to the Oregon Department of Corrections.
John Ball, Chair of the Public Safety Coordinating Council, reviewed his agenda memorandum (see material on file). He reviewed the allocation of beds described on page 7 of the application. Ball indicated that the PSCC suggests that the County continue to discuss whether 40 Community Corrections Center Beds or 40 Revocation Center/Residential Treatment Beds is the preferred alternative. Green received clarification that costs per bed are predicated on receiving the full amount of the grant. Ball indicated that another issue is the ongoing discussion at the state level about how much resource will be available on the capital construction side. Ball explained that the first 12 pages function as an Executive Summary. With regard to the District Attorney's piece, Ball observed that the District Attorney wanted to highlight his concern regarding whether these sanctions are appropriate to the population.
Rust received clarification that the proposal including the corrections center is the preferred alternative. Responding to Teresa Wilson, County Counsel, Ball indicated that he did not believe it would weaken the proposal to use language that would leave a little flexibility for the Commissioners to go through the decision-making process on methodology. He stated that it would need to be in those terms, i.e., that there are always contingencies in the construction process, but that the County would want to show a favorable time line. Cornacchia noted that this particular population did not appear to be good candidates for treatment sanctions. He suggested putting most, if not all, efforts into the preferred alternative. Cornacchia observed that Lane County's proposal is for $9.6 million while the target figure is $5.9 million.
MOTION: Approval of the Order, inserting the $9.6 million figure into the Order. Rust MOVED, Green SECONDED. VOTE: 5-0.
7. EMERGENCY BUSINESS
3. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS
Green commented on the positive customer comment reports from Land Management.
Weeldreyer announced that she was planning a "summit" regarding the Highway 58 issue. She indicated that she will provide the results to the Board at the Board meeting next week.
Dumdi spoke with regard to appointments to the Regional Strategies Board, noting that other counties are not advertising and are reappointing. She proposed that the Board give authorization for existing Board appointments to remain in position until decisions on appointments are made. She received concurrence from the Board.
Dumdi reported that the AOC Conference was successful.
There being no further business, this meeting adjourned at 11:51 a.m.
Sharon Giles, Board Secretary