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April 2, 1997
BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS' REGULAR MEETING
Harris Hall Main Floor - 1:30 p.m.

Chair Weeldreyer presided with Ellie Dumdi, Bobby Green, Sr. and Peter Sorenson present. Steve Cornacchia, excused. Zoe Gilstrap, Recording Secretary.

Weeldreyer noted that Doug Harcleroad, District Attorney, was here to report on the Public Safety fact sheet.

Public Safety Fact Sheet

Harcleroad stated that the County is putting a public safety levy before the voters on May 20, 1997 and stressed that voters need to know what that levy entails. He said that in past elections, the Board has authorized the expenditure of funds to send out a fact sheet. Harcleroad explained that it gives just the facts and that County Counsel reads it to be sure it complies with Oregon law. He said it would cost about $28,000 and was an important communication piece for voters. Harcleroad requested that the Board authorize this fact sheet.

Cornacchia asked about the value and benefit of this mechanism versus a voters’ pamphlet.

Bill Van Vactor, County Administrator, stated that he has had conversations with Annette Newingham, Chief Deputy County Clerk, and noted that the deadline for the explanatory statement for a voters’ pamphlet required by State stature was March 27.

Sorenson asked where the $28,000 was going.

Van Vactor responded that $6,500 goes to the Olum Group for design and layoff, printing and mail sorting costs were $4,900 and postage to 140,000 households is approximately $16,600. He said the significant cost is the postage.

Green stated that while it was unfortunate that there was not time for a voters’ pamphlet, he does support this request and asked that direction be given to the County Administrator to go forward with this fact sheet.

Dumdi commented that she felt it was important to notify the public that, although Ballot Measure 47 said that public safety is a priority, all public safety service cannot be protected due to the depth of the required cuts.

Sorenson stated that there was not a process to ensure a balanced or fair discussion involving the public. He asked about alternatives that would allow the pros and cons to be submitted such as buying space in the county newspapers instead of doing a direct mail information piece.

Van Vactor stated that he believed some of the smaller newspapers would include this sort of information but that buying space in The Register-Guard would exceed the cost of this budget.

Harcleroad said 35% of the residents in Lane County may be reached by The Register-Guard on a one-shot basis. He remarked that even if it ran on several consecutive days, it still would not get the exposure that would result from a mailing.

Weeldreyer asked if there was interest on the part of the Board to work with Ben Wilson, Director, Information Services, to put out a home page to allow people to respond.

Green said the issue in front of them is a direct mail fact sheet that is a neutral and factual statement.

MOTION: To authorize the production of this fact sheet for the May 20, 1997 ballot.

Dumdi MOVED, Green SECONDED.

Sorenson said that they are talking about the use of public money and said Lane County is not allowing the public to have input.

VOTE: 4-0, Sorenson dissenting.

Weeldreyer asked for Board approval to meet with Wilson regarding her desire to pursue a home page.

There was consensus to give Weeldreyer authorization to move forward with this.

Cornacchia excused at 4:00 p.m.

14. COMMITTEE REPORTS

a. Legislative Committee Update.

Green stated that the committee tried to get this information back in a timely manner to allow an opportunity for review by the Board.

Weeldreyer asked if there were any bills that a member would like to pull for further discussion.

Regarding House Bill 2726, DUI vehicle impoundment, Sorenson questioned why Lane County would go on the record opposing vehicle impoundment for people convicted of drunk driving.

Roy Burns, Intergovernmental Relations Coordinator, stated that he would defer to the analysis of the Sheriff’s Office which stated that their primary concern dealt with the fiscal impact to the county as a result of the impoundment. He said the issue was not so much impounding the vehicle but was actually associated with the costs that would be incurred by having to place a vehicle in a safe environment and the potential obligations of that action.

Sorenson described his past legislative experience regarding this issue and said he would work with Burns and the Sheriff’s Office on possible amendments to this bill.

Sorenson stated that he also had a question regarding Senate Bill 719 regarding the prevailing wage. He said that this issue seemed like it was beyond Lane County government and asked why time was being spent on it.

John Goodson, Director, Public Works, stated that it directly affects the local governments that perform public improvements. He explained that the bill would require that an independent survey of wages be done on an annual basis rather than relying on the federal government. Goodson noted that during the past year, the Bureau of Labor and Industries contracted with the Employment Division to conduct a survey, resulting in a 77% response rate which indicated that, just on labor classification, the union wage did not prevail in any of the areas of Oregon. He said that public agencies would save approximately 25% on the costs of their contracts which would have a major impact as far as costs to the public.

Sorenson said wages are an important function of government and the prevailing wage laws have been good, noting that training and health insurance were part of the computation of the prevailing wage. He felt that the people working on these projects should be paid the prevailing wage. Sorenson stated he was not in favor of undertaking local studies to be used to lower the prevailing wage.

MOTION: Support of Committee Recommendations with exception of 3 and 11.

Dumdi MOVED, Green SECONDED. VOTE: 4-0.

MOTION: Support of Committee Recommendation 3.

Green MOVED, Dumdi SECONDED. VOTE: 3-0, Sorenson dissenting.

MOTION: Support of Committee Recommendation 11.

Green MOVED, Dumdi SECONDED. VOTE: 3-0, Sorenson dissenting.

Weeldreyer announced that they would now discuss the Transportation Finance issue.

Burns stated that the Legislative Committee is at a critical stage in the transportation finance effort at the state level. He remarked that at a meeting this morning, Representative Montgomery indicated that he would like to have a bill drafted representing improvements in the transportation finance issues for the State by next Friday. Burns recommended a position for Board consideration (see material on file).

Burns said today he learned about one other item that was raised regarding the proposed position of AOC, which was a recommendation that a $10.00 registration fee be imposed for certain counties that are having growth needs. Burns noted that those counties included Washington, Multnomah and Clackamas as having experienced a 10% growth in aggregate population. He commented that because the growth period began in 1980, counties with more recent growth periods such as Lane and Deschutes were left out. Burns stated that there has been discussion of modifying that $10.00 surcharge approach to another beginning date or making it available to all counties, as an option that would be available for supplemental financing with monies to be shared with the cities and the state and that those expenditures are based on criteria made in cooperation with the state and cities.

Bill Van Vactor, County Administrator, referred to transportation access fees and asked who pays those fees.

Burns responded that everyone who has employees, including government, would pay and that individual households would also pay. He said he believed in the need of a flexible funding source without breaking up the State Highway Trust fund. Burns stressed the need for funding for alternative uses such as freight mobility and rail as well as for the transit needs of the elderly and handicapped.

Dumdi said the transportation access fee proposal of $2.00 per home and $1.69 per employee was ridiculous. She commented that she did agree that there needs to be funding for elderly and disabled but the transportation access fee was not the way to get it. Dumdi also noted that the vehicle registration fees in Oregon are a pittance and should be changed. She stated that she is also against the third trailer on long-haul trucks and agrees that more freight should be on trains.

Green agreed with Burns to try to get Lane County involved in the $10.00 registration fee.

Sorenson stated that he likes a gas tax better than creating a new tax. He said if you want to get freight off the highways and onto the railways, there needs to be an incentive and suggested a raise in the weight mile tax.

Burns said there may be more than a single bill and suggested that there could be one bill that has the traditional aspects and a second bill to include some of the newer concepts that concern the environmental community and the Governor. He stated that there is a need to address these issues in order to deal with transportation effectively in this state. Burns summarized that there may be two packages presented: a quick-and-easy one to include the gas tax and vehicle registration which would take care of maintenance and operations and some modernization; and another more complex package which would not be coming back with framework until 1999.

Weeldreyer noted that the gas and freight taxes are dedicated. She concurred that there needs to be a revenue stream that has the flexibility to address longer term issues; however, she said there is not support for a transportation access fee. Weeldreyer discussed her suggested changes on the Resolution before the Board today; specifically, to delete the line indicating their support of establishment of a transportation fee and adding the word "flexible" to say "a flexible source of revenue" when talking about revenue to address transit rail.

MOTION: To support the resolution with the elimination of the transportation access fee.

Green MOVED, Dumdi SECONDED.

Van Vactor suggested meeting in 24 hours to adopt the resolution after the changes have been drafted into the amendment rather than vote on a resolution today.

Weeldreyer will work with Sorenson and Burns to have this resolution reflect the terms discussed this afternoon.

There was consensus that the Board of Commissioners will meet tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. in the Commissioners’ Conference Room to ratify the resolution on transportation finance.

15. EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660

There was a need for an executive session later this afternoon.

16. OTHER BUSINESS

a. ORDER 97-4-2-16/In the Matter of Appointing Four Members to the Public Safety Coordinating Council.

David Factor, Public Safety Coordinating Council (PSCC), distributed information clarifying the poll results by PSCC members regarding the applicants. He said there are currently four vacancies on the Public Safety Coordinating Council, two of which were appointed by the cities, Ed McCluskey, Mayor of Creswell, and Jan Wellman, Veneta City Manager. Factor stated that the other two, metropolitan city managers, Mike Kelly, Springfield and Vicki Elmer, Eugene, were appointed by the Board. He noted that the other position that required action by the Board was the vacant citizen member. He said two of the applicants that received the majority of the positive support of PSCC members were Ron Chase, Executive Director of Sponsors, and Zane Wilson, Clergyman from Springfield Lutheran Church.

Weeldreyer stated that before Cornacchia left today, he wanted the Board to know that his recommendation was for Zane Wilson.

Green said in terms of composition of the PSCC, the clergy field was not represented and for that reason, he is supporting Zane Wilson.

MOTION: To appoint Zane Wilson to PSCC.

Green MOVED, Dumdi SECONDED. VOTE: 4-0.

b. CONSENT CALENDAR

County Administration

1) ORDER 97-4-2-17/In the Matter of Applying for a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Grant and Delegating Authority to the County Administrator to Execute Grant Documents.

Health and Human Services

2) RESOLUTION AND ORDER 97-4-2-18/In the Matter of Delegating Authority to the County Administrator to Sign a Lease Agreement With the Housing Authority and Community Services Agency of Lane County (HACSA) in the Amount of $28,628.

Public Works

3) ORDER 97-4-2-19/In the Matter of Awarding a Contract to Willamette Crushing Co. for Oil Rock Production - Eugene Area Stockpile Sites, Contract No. 96/97-09.

4) ORDER 97-4-2-20/In the Matter of Awarding a Contract to Willamette Crushing Co. for Oil Rock Production - Florence Area Stockpile Sites, Contract No. 96/97-10.

5) ORDER 97-4-2-21/In the Matter of Improvements to South 57th Street and Mount Vernon Cemetery Road from Springfield City Limits to Springfield-Creswell Highway (Jasper Road) Including Assessments and Notice of Pending Lien Against Adjacent Properties.

Assessment and Taxation

6) ORDER 97-4-2-22/In the Matter of Refunds to Junction City Residential Center and Christopher Robinson, Attorney; Mid-Valley Properties LLC and Daniel J. Puffinburger, MAI; Cherry Creek Village LLC; Chase Village Associates II Limited Partnership and Kyle Rotenberg, Attorney; Eleventh and Pearl Partnership and Robert E. Moulton, Attorney; GMD Investments LTD; Cascade Manor, Inc.; R&T Lee Investments LLC; Solvang Retirement Center; LTD Partnership and Jack A. Leeman, Agent; Mckay Investment Company; Sisters of St. Joseph and John H. Brown; MAI; Gateway Mall Partners C/O Troutman Investment and Gregg Barton, Attorney; Dunham Olds Cadillac, Inc. and David E. Carmichael, Attorney; Eugene Country Club and David E. Carmichael, Attorney; Selectcare Health Plans and Nationsbane Leasing Corp.

MOTION: Approval of the Consent Calendar.

Dumdi MOVED, Green SECONDED.

VOTE: 4-0.

There being no further business, this meeting recessed into executive session at 5:21 p.m.

 

Zoe Gilstrap, Recording Secretary

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