September 11, 1995
JOINT LEADERSHIP TEAM AND BUDGET COMMITTEE MEETING
Commissioners' Conference Room -- 8:30 a.m.
PRESENT: Commissioners: Steve Cornacchia, Ellie Dumdi, Bobby Green, Sr., Jerry Rust and Cindy Weeldreyer. Budget Committee Lay Members: Peter Bartel, Marie Bell, Kate Jones and Del Phelps. (Bud Stewart absent.) Department Heads: John Ball, Steve Carmichael, Chuck Forster, Jim Gangle, John Goodson, Doug Harcleroad, Bill Hoyt, Bob McManus, Rob Rockstroh, David Suchart, Teresa Wilson and Bill Van Vactor. Budget Staff: David Garnick, Tanya Heaton and Rick Schulz. Recording Secretary: Sharon Giles.
I. CALL TO ORDER
Dumdi convened the meeting of the Leadership Team and the Budget Committee.
II. APPROVAL OF MINUTES
August 7, 1995 Joint Meeting, 8:30 a.m.
MOTION: Approval of the Minutes as submitted. Harcleroad MOVED, Green SECONDED. VOTE: Unanimous.
Bill Van Vactor, County Administrator, reported on last week's presentations to Moody's Investors regarding Lane County's bond rating. He noted that Lane County has had an AA rating since 1944 and that Moody's Senior Analyst is recommending that it remain AA. Van Vactor stated that the County should find out Friday about the results of the discussions.
III. REVIEW FINANCIAL PLAN UPDATE
Garnick reviewed the newly-distributed Financial Plan, noting that it has moved into an eight-year model. He indicated that staff had meet with Cornacchia regarding his request for more clarity in the model. Garnick observed that the "FY96-97 Projected" column shows that $5.5 million is the amount that can be spent and sustained over the life of the model and not have any reductions, assuming the Sheriff's levy is successful. Responding to Cornacchia, Garnick stated that those "freed up" dollars could be spent anywhere, including the sheriff's office (to reduce the amount of the levy).
IV. PRESENTATION: SHERIFF'S LEVY PROPOSAL AND IMPACT ON PROPERTY TAX SYSTEM
McManus distributed a (red) handout entitled "Policy Development Costs", which "costs out" the Policy Development Worksheet which was distributed and accepted for use as a planning document during the August 7 Leadership Team meeting. Schulz reviewed the handout, highlighting and explaining the summary on page one, which reflects the status quo base budget and its inflated figures for the next two years. He noted that the balance of that document reflects the costs for restorations and enhancements outlined in the Policy Development Worksheet. Schulz reviewed examples/assumptions of how the document works. The (blue) handout entitled "Sheriff's Priorities" was then distributed. McManus explained that after the figures for the "red" handout were developed, staff realized that this would bring the major cities into "compression," so his staff went through and made cuts to develop the "blue" handout reflecting priorities within the Policy Development Worksheet. McManus reminded the group that Tier One relates to services that benefit everyone in the County and is heavy in the corrections arena. He continued that Tier Two reflects the police service component for the rural areas. Rust asked for information and various assumptions/alternatives related to a rate for the bond. McManus distributed a worksheet reflecting Tier One and Tier Two tax rate figures and Pat Siegmund, Assessment and Taxation, explained the charts. Rust expressed concern regarding the total rise in taxes when the Juvenile Justice Center bond, the Lane Community College bond and other local bonds are totalled. He stressed the need to coordinate with Eugene and Springfield on the capital side as well as the operations side. McManus commented that as the levy was put together, including its large focus on the corrections arena, it was done with the knowledge that these are things that Eugene and Springfield have said they need. McManus emphasized that the reality is that O&C revenue is going away and the same service levels cannot be continued when money is going away. Cornacchia observed that passage of this levy would mean that Lane County would be using 75% to 90% of the dollars left for tax rate growth available to all districts.McManus reminded the Board that Lane County is the corrections arm for the cities and that he and Van Vactor had met with city managers and chiefs of police from every city in the county. He indicated that Springfield, for example, has said "don't take it all away, but we need that jail to work." Cornacchia expressed concern that without the cities' support, the levy is "dead on arrival." Rust observed that staffing in the Sheriff's office today is 275 FTE and in three years, with passage of the levy, there would be 532 FTE. McManus remarked that even if this levy passes, Lane County is still a small user of total property taxes. Gangle confirmed that Lane County's percentage is now 5% of every dollar. Bell reminded the group that Lane County pays for collection of taxes for everybody.Responding to Bartel's question regarding process, McManus noted that this is just one department head's idea(s) and that he expects that the overall group would develop the levy. Bartel noted the need for discussion/decisions on 1) what services to provide; 2) the impact on other jurisdictions (dollars and services); and 3) development of a "back up" plan to fill the gap if this plan falls through. McManus observed the preliminary support of the municipalities, indicating that they understand the need for service delivery and want to be involved in the process. Rust asked for identification of the status quo - what the current level is - and then where the enhancement/addition fits in. McManus noted that many of those answers are in the original Policy Development Worksheet. Rust indicated that he would like to see a matrix of what the level of service is today, then what the proposal brings the County to with justification for the enhancements. Bell stressed the need to talk to the most likely opponents, not proponents.
Responding to Dumdi, McManus stated that jurisdictions such as Veneta and Westfir have not seen the numbers, only the concept. Responding to Rust, Garnick noted that if the psychiatric hospital and the other things that are currently funded (status quo) were funded again, then the available dollars goes down to $3.3 million. Cornacchia asked what a levy would look like if the Sheriff's office were to be funded separately at the previous level prior to taking the resident deputies, with the jail as it is operated right now and with the work camp. McManus asked the group to remember that a lot of things are changing statewide. Cornacchia expressed concern about the perception of a "back door" approach to financing general county government. Cornacchia also asked for figures from Harcleroad to indicate what the increases would do to his department. Cornacchia stressed the need for coordination, with development of a plan of what is best for the overall police/corrections system in all jurisdictions in Lane County. McManus responded that the levy developers have listened to citizens/jurisdictions concerns. Dumdi suggested the need for coordination with the cities regarding capital facilities. Rust noted that while O&C revenue is going down by 3% annually, this proposal goes up much more dramatically.
Rust indicated that he would like to see presentations to the Eugene and Springfield City Councils. Cornacchia agreed, suggesting perhaps a joint meeting with the two large cities (together or separately), including their budget committees, within the next 30 days, regarding coordination of issues, tax rates, etc. Green offered questions such as 1) How do we know if this is direction to go; and, if it is, what are we basing it on? 2) Is any consideration being given to delivery of services differently? 3) What is the level/standard of service that Lane County citizens deserve? 4) Outcome/benchmarks? He agreed on the need to have a broad metro discussion. Harcleroad recalled that a planning team put together a document, about a year ago, regarding the criminal justice system in Lane County. He suggested that John Ball circulate that document to the group as it has discussion relevant to Green's questions/comments.
Responding to Phelps, Carmichael presented information on the current status of the siting of a state juvenile corrections facility. He noted that a state facility would provide some cost savings for Juvenile Justice Center capital projects. McManus reported on state adult corrections issues, noting that a significant workload increase is coming to Lane County. Rust asked if there is a number in the proposal being presented that correlates to that specific additional workload. McManus commented on plans for 48 additional beds and the reopening of the work camp. Rust noted that IHSC has expressed concern about "divorcing" law enforcement from the human services area (the Psychiatric Hospital, Pathways, etc.) McManus reminded the group that 99% of CCA funds are going to social service components.
Weeldreyer remarked that if this levy is successful, some gained General Fund dollars could go to shore up social service areas. Weeldreyer observed the importance of quickly soliciting support for this concept. Dumdi suggested the possibility of the planning team providing preliminary workshops with the city councils at their meetings, followed up by the joint meetings. McManus indicated he would ask Van Vactor and John Clague to coordinate meetings based on these ideas. Clague noted that the Eugene City Council is already planning to discuss this issue in late September. Ball suggested going into joint meetings and having done work administratively regarding a reasonable forum for answering questions developed at joint meetings. Bell remarked that it would be advantageous if this bond levy could indicate that the levy would restore such things as public health clinics.
Cornacchia indicated his commitment to meeting every Monday morning until some decisions are reached. McManus remarked that he has a scheduling problem for September 25, but will have staff there. He stated that he could meet other Mondays. Van Vactor noted that department heads meet every Monday. The four citizen Budget Committee members committed to the Monday meeting schedule. Rockstroh noted that he has not prepared a package specifically geared to impacts due to Public Safety increases. There was clarification that direction had been given for department heads to come back this Friday with information related to what their highest priorities would be if there were some funds made available as a result of the Sheriff's levy. Harcleroad indicated he would try to figure out how the Sheriff's increases would affect his department.
McManus distributed a handout related to the "Average Daily Jail Population," "Jail Book Ins," and "Matrix," noting that this information will be helpful for other jurisdictions.
Van Vactor received clarification that departments were to produce information by Friday related to priority restorations within their department and, if possible to determine, a brief report on impacts of Public Safety increases on their department.
Clague received clarification from Cornacchia that figures related to a restoration to prior year(s)' levels would include patrol restoration including the resident deputies, the work camp and three or four floors of the jail being open. Ball emphasized that Lane County's corrections is a well-balanced, professionally administered system and that coordination and how to set policy on what is wanted with regard to sanctions and alternatives are reasonable goals at the next level.
Van Vactor indicated that he would work with the Sheriff on a potential timeframe. Bartel observed that it would be helpful to have a set day and time each week for meetings.
Cornacchia observed that today's product and material was thorough and responsive.
V. NEXT MEETING
September 18, 1995 - 8:30 a.m. in the Commissioner's Conference Room.
There being no further business, this meeting adjourned at 10:28 a.m.
Sharon Giles, Board Secretary