January 22, 1997
BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS' REGULAR MEETING
Commissioners' Conference Room - following HACSA
Chair Cindy Weeldreyer presided with Steve Cornacchia, Ellie Dumdi, Bobby Green, Sr. and Peter Sorenson present. Sharon Giles, Recording Secretary.
1. ADJUSTMENTS TO THE AGENDA
Items 3, 5.a., 6.c., 7.a., 7.b., 8, 9 and 10 were actually discussed during the afternoon session, between interviews, but are included herein for ease of location.
2. PUBLIC COMMENTS
Responding to Green, Teresa Wilson, County Counsel, commented on the former WIC employees grievances that are in process, encouraging those present who planned to speak to the substance of the grievances to go through the grievance process and allow the process to perform its function. She added that if the commissioners step in without that process occurring, it has the potential to upset the outcome. Wilson stated that if people wish to speak of something outside the scope of the grievance, then those comments are appropriate.
Marcia Beltran, 6376 F Street, Springfield, spoke about why WIC is important, stressing that this is a preventative program involving education, vouchers and counseling regarding healthy foods for families. She indicated that WIC is mandated to advocate for women, infants and children. Beltran stated that WIC workers are also trained in crisis intervention on various issues and provide numerous other services. She stressed that the WIC program should not be put at risk.
Elaine Phillips, 1075 West 18th Avenue, stated that she is not asking anyone to step in, but noted that the commissioners do represent employees and should be expected to monitor the process that is happening. She indicated that WIC funding is based on caseload and if the program has less than 95% caseload of eligible people, then funding gets cut. Phillips asserted that right now caseload is not being maintained. She remarked that under the leadership of Connie Sullivan, caseload has gone to an all-time low. Phillips stated that while the employees involved in the grievance were working at WIC, the caseload was dramatically increased. She stressed that transferring the existing staff would have provided the "seamless" transition that the County had indicated that it desired.
Suzy Williams, 98 North Monroe, emphasized that as a result of the transition, there is now a waiting list for applicants and the schedule has been cut by 50%. She expressed concern that working with staff without experience creates a "snowball" effect. Williams stressed that if the current caseload is not being met, federal funding will be decreased. She stated that the message that the community is receiving is that WIC is inaccessible. Williams maintained that a Community Support Worker needs six months to learn and one year to be proficient in the position.
Dawn Lunn, P.O. Box 1161, stated that another area of concern deals with rumors as to why some of the previous staff were not hired. She stated that there are two people working at the WIC program who have not passed the typing test, including one in a supervisory role. Lunn also stated that it is misinformation that references were not able to be reached. Weeldreyer cautioned Lunn not to speak to specific personnel issues at this time, noting that the Board may need to be able to hear information as fully presented at the appropriate time. Lunn summarized that she hopes the County will not support a decline in services to families.
Cornacchia remarked that one matter that is almost completely outside the issue of the grievance is the present condition of the service delivery system. He suggested that it would be of value to make a request of Rob Rockstroh, Director of Health and Human Services, to provide an oral report next week as to the status of the current caseload compared to the past. Cornacchia indicated that if there are dynamics presently impacting caseload, then he would request an estimation of when that caseload will be at a level to meet state and federal requirements. Sorenson concurred and also asked that Rockstroh address issues related to the breast-feeding program.
Maureen Stimson, 242 South 22nd Street, Cottage Grove, spoke regarding the sale of surplus land (Item 6.a.). She stated that when she found out that the County owned the land, she saw an opportunity to make her adjoining lot bigger. Stimson remarked that it is her intention to leave the lot open for neighborhood children to play. She indicated that she would carry liability insurance for that purpose. Stimson noted that she had bid previously and was the only bidder. She asked the Board to allow her family to buy the lot and use it as she described, stressing that there is no intention to build on it.
Lee Stimson, 242 South 22nd, Cottage Grove, read his statement in the record. He indicated his desire to provide a neighborhood park for children on the surplus property at issue. Stimson asked that the Board award this property to his wife.
Jeff Hagedorn, 266 South 22nd, Cottage Grove, remarked that he owns a lot next to the lot in question, noting that the subject lot has power lines going over the top of it. He noted that he has cleared the lot several times, but it has still not been utilized regularly by neighborhood children. He remarked that Bud Wright, a builder, cleared some property directly to the east of the residences and plans to build apartments there. Hagedorn stated that he does not have immediate plans to build on the subject lot, but noted that it would add to his adjacent lot. He stressed that he has successfully bid on the property and requested that the Board honor that bid.
Chris Okray, 323 South 22nd, Cottage Grove, stated that she had initially had an interest in the property because they wanted to plant trees on the back side of it to act as a buffer from Starfire Lumber Company and the potential apartments. She noted that the lot is not buildable. Okray observed that there is only a $50 difference in the bid, noting that she would prefer that the Stimsons have the lot for their planned park. She stressed that Hagedorns lot is fenced, there is a dog and it is not really available to the children. Okray displayed some pictures for the Board.
3. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS
Weeldreyer remarked that the Human Services Commission needs another Board representative. Sorenson volunteered. MOTION: To appoint Sorenson as a representative to the Human Services Commission. Green MOVED, Dumdi SECONDED. VOTE: 5-0.
Responding to Weeldreyer, Bill Van Vactor, County Administrator, indicated that the evaluation of Chris Todis, HACSA Director, would be scheduled in the next few weeks.
Sorenson reported that Green had received an award from the African-American Coalition Monday night. He also stated that he had attended the swearing-in ceremony for Senator Castillo last Friday. Sorenson remarked that he was working on an idea for campaign finance reform and would provide the Board with an update over time. He reported that Senator Wyden will be at the Courthouse on February 19 at 9:30 a.m. to discuss ISTEA.
Green remarked that it would be helpful if the Board could have a discussion regarding expectations regarding roles on various boards and committees and the appropriate positions to articulate on behalf of Lane County, particularly with regard to the Metro Wastewater Management Commission.
Dumdi displayed a check for $75 million from the Lottery Commission to the people of Oregon for quarterly lottery revenue.
4. EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660
To be held later in the day.
5. COUNTY ADMINISTRATION
Van Vactor reminded the Board of the Juvenile Justice Center design workshop tomorrow morning in the Personnel Conference Room. He also commented on the possibility of Sorenson going on the United Front Trip. Van Vactor referred to a memorandum from Mary Dutton regarding contracting out, indicating that he has requested further information from Dutton as to whether she was asking for a response.
6. HUMAN RESOURCES AND MANAGEMENT SERVICES
a. DISCUSSION AND ACTION ORDER 97-1-22-1/In the Matter of Authorizing the Sale of Surplus County Owned Real Property to Jeff M. Hagedorn (Map #20-03-27-33-02510, Located on Bangle Court, Cottage Grove).
Jeff Turk, Real Property Manager, reviewed this item for the Board (see material on file). He explained that whenever there is a property like this which is not developable, he makes an effort to contact all adjoining property owners. Turk noted that there is some discretion under the Oregon Revised Statutes as to highest and best use. Responding to Green, Hagedorn explained his intended use for the property which includes a plan to make the lot available to neighborhood children. Responding to Weeldreyer, Hagedorn stated that the lot he owns next to the subject property is buildable. Responding to Sorenson, Turk indicated that he had recommended to the Stimsons that they contact the City of Cottage Grove, who could have worked with the County to acquire the property as a park. Responding to Weeldreyer, Ms. Stimson indicated that she had spoken to the City and they indicated that they have little maintenance money to maintain any new parks. Weeldreyer stated that she knows all parties involved and is familiar with the area. Responding to Weeldreyer, Turk indicated that the property could be leased to the Stimsons for a park with the proceeds going to the taxing districts. Weeldreyer recommended that the property be leased to the Stimsons to be maintained as a park, observing how things proceed after that and then possibly selling it to them at a later date if their efforts are successful. Stimson indicated that she would still be interested in carrying liability insurance in the event of a lease. Cornacchia asked legal counsel if all liability can be assumed by the lessee. Teresa Wilson, County Counsel, remarked that there would still be residual liability if an action was brought over the amount of insurance. Cornacchia offered his support for an outright transfer with a deed restriction, noting that he likes the idea of open space/public use. He agreed that there is some flexibility in the statute regarding "highest and best use." Wilson recommended "open space" language rather than "park" purposes be used if a deed restriction is created. Sorenson agreed with Weeldreyer, noting that he was not as troubled by the liability issue. He suggested that Turk come back with a report on specifics regarding a lease agreement. Green stated that he was not supportive of additional staff work, indicating his support for the Stimsons plan and possibly a lease/option. Dumdi expressed some concern regarding liability. Cornacchia stated that he is convinced an outright transfer is in everyones best interest, noting that a lease carries the judgment that the County is not certain the Stimsons can succeed. He again expressed his desire for a sale with a deed restriction regarding open space. Weeldreyer remarked that a lease/option gives the Stimsons an opportunity to put a park in and live with it for a few years. Green received confirmation that there is precedent for selling to a lower bidder. Green then concurred with Cornacchia.
Weeldreyer asked Hagedorn and Stimson for their opinion regarding a lease or a sale. Hagedorn indicated that he was opposed to a sale or lease to the Stimsons, questioning who will determine park rules and who will deal with public safety issues. He noted that if this becomes a public park, then anyone can come in. Weeldreyer observed that if the property is private, then the Stimsons will have authority. Hagedorn asked who will clean up trash dumping and also expressed concern with the fairness of the bid process. Ms. Stimson stated that she bought the other lot with the condition for nothing other than a park and she just wants to add this lot to extend hers. She remarked that she made an offer to Hagedorn to go in together toward the same purpose and Hagedorn declined. Stimson emphasized that she has spoken to an attorney and will put up signage regarding trespassing and then will give permission to neighbors. She observed that a lease is not her preference, but she would go along with it. Weeldreyer indicated that, after listening to all discussions, she would support selling the property to the Stimsons as the highest and best use of the parcel, with a deed restriction regarding "open space." She suggested that the neighborhood also enter into some type of agreement regarding who can use the park and what the practice will be.
MOTION: Approval of the Order selling the property to the Stimsons as the highest and best use, with a deed restriction of "open space." Weeldreyer MOVED, Cornacchia SECONDED. VOTE: 5-0. Turk was asked to provide a new Order and Deed.
b. FIRST READING AND SETTING SECOND READING AND PUBLIC HEARING/ Ordinance 2-97/In the Matter of Authorizing the Transfer of County-Owned Real Property Identified as Assessors Map No. 17-02-32-33-022-1 to St. Vincent de Paul Society of Eugene, Inc. for the Purpose of Providing Low Income Housing (Located Off of 41st and Bluebelle, Springfield), Second Reading & Public Hearing: February 5, 1997, 1:30 p.m., Harris Hall Main Floor).
MOTION: Approval of the First Reading and Setting Second Reading and Public Hearing for February 5, 1997 at 1:30 p.m. Cornacchia MOVED, Dumdi SECONDED. Cornacchia asked that there be information provided at the next reading regarding Springfields position and if their zoning and plans are consistent with St. Vincent de Pauls plans. VOTE: 5-0.
This meeting recessed at 10:22 a.m. to reconvene at 10:30 a.m. to discuss item 7.c.
c. DISCUSSION/Hiring Process for Internal Auditor.
David Suchart, Human Resources and Management Services Director, presented this item to the Board. He noted that the initial screening was done which eliminated five candidates and then a secondary screening was done. Suchart stated that there are no internal candidates. He remarked that there is an easy break between four and six candidates. There was Board consensus to interview the lower number. Weeldreyer indicated that she would like to see the paper applications of all six and then the Board could choose a smaller number to interview. Green offered his support for interviewing the top four.
Suchart remarked that the are certain characteristics the Board should look for in an auditor, including independence, the ability to articulate both in writing and verbally, rapport with County staff, flexibility and knowledge of audit procedures. Cornacchia also noted the need to look at each persons style, being somewhere between "the Rat Patrol" and the audited entities "best buddy."
There was a discussion regarding the format for interviews, with consensus on having short presentations by each candidate on how to approach an issue/audit and then having questions. Green observed that this would allow the opportunity to evaluate style/communication. Suchart remarked that he would like the Board to ask how the candidate would maintain independence in a political environment, suggesting that this could possibly be integrated into the role-playing process. There was consensus that Suchart and staff would develop a draft for the process and share this information with the Chair, leaning toward a presentation followed by specific questioning.
7. PUBLIC WORKS
a. FIRST READING AND SETTING SECOND READING AND PUBLIC HEARING/Ordinance PA 1095/In the Matter of Amending the Rural Comprehensive Plan to Redesignate Land from "Forest" to "Rural"; Rezoning that Land from "F-1/Non-Impacted Forest Land" to "RR-2/Rural Residential 2"; Taking an Exception to Statewide Planning Goal 4; and Adopting Savings and Severability Clauses (File PA 2486-96; Addiego/Couper) (Second Reading & Public Hearing: February 5, 1997, 1:30 p.m., Harris Hall Main Floor).
MOTION: Approval of the First Reading and Setting Second Reading and Public Hearing for February 5, 1997 at 1:30 p.m.. Cornacchia MOVED, Sorenson SECONDED. Teresa Wilson, County Counsel, observed that revised findings (Exhibit C) have been distributed to the Board. VOTE: 5-0.
b. DISCUSSION AND ACTION/When Shall Lane County Award Tourism Special Project Grants in 1997? Shall Lane County Utilize a Revised Procedure to Award the Grants?
Alisa Cobb, Parks Division, briefly reviewed the history of Tourism Special Project Grants. She indicated that the aim of the recommendations is to streamline the program. Cobb reviewed the first recommendation dealing with changing grant timelines to begin in September and conclude in December with the next round to begin in the fall of 1997. She discussed the utilization of a request for quotes process in lieu of request for proposals. Cobb indicated that this would shorten the time line. She also reviewed the recommendation that a five-member evaluation committee be appointed by the Board. Cobb noted that a number of stakeholders are supportive of these changes, but there is some concern that postponing the round will possibly allow an opportunity for the money to be utilized elsewhere. She indicated that the current carryover is $50,000, so the total money available in September would be $175,000. Responding to Cornacchia, Teresa Wilson, County Counsel, noted that monies collected to date are dedicated and any potential dedication changes could only affect future collections. Van Vactor offered his support for the recommendations as outlined. He indicated that County Counsel was reviewing the Boards authority/ ability to change the dedication under Ballot Measure 47. Cornacchia noted that nothing in the dedication would preclude spreading the already collected money over a longer period than just this year. Wilson stated that the concept is that the room tax monies would be used to support activities that would work to increase the overall room tax revenue.
MOTION: To approve staff recommendations as outlined. Sorenson MOVED, Green SECONDED. Responding to Cornacchia, Cobb indicated that the intention is to use the five-member committee for a one-round cycle. Lee Deinert, Florence Chamber of Commerce, offered support for all of the recommendations except for the delay of the next grant round until September as it will be a hardship on some of the communities. Responding to Cornacchia, Deinert agreed that lack of public safety protection can impact tourism negatively. Cobb observed that CVALCO desires an earlier process so the funds cannot be otherwise utilized. It was noted again that the dollars collected to date are already permanently dedicated. Wilson highlighted the recommendations elimination of most of the appeal processes that have been available in the past. VOTE: 5-0.
c. DISCUSSION/Establishing Policy Direction for the Conversion of the Economic Development Assistance Program from Grants to Loans of Road Funds for Qualifying Projects.
Roy Burns, Public Works, Stephen Vorhes, Assistant County Counsel, and Randy Green, Finance Manager, presented this item to the Board (see material on file). Green explained that this is the Finance and Audit Committees best attempt at this issue. Burns introduced John Lively, Metro Partnership and Debra Wright, LCOG Loan Officer. Burns suggested moving into the policy questions/recommendations included in the memorandum on page 5:
1. Convert the program from grants to loans. CONSENSUS to do so.
2. Require demonstration that 50% of the jobs being created are at or above family wage levels which exists at the time of application. Lively discussed the issue of timing, asking what happens if its four years down the road and the economy has changed since "the time of application." He suggested that this language be clarified regarding the expectations if the 50% is not met. Responding to Sorenson regarding the rationale for 50%, Burns indicated that this provides a standard where no standard existed before. Cornacchia noted that it is rare to find a manufacturing entity that has all jobs at the family wage level. Sorenson received clarification that the 50% refers to the resultant annual wage. Lively offered the scenario of a loan being repaid in five years, but there has been no development, asking how the ultimate connection will be made to the jobs/employers.
3. Authorize contract negotiations with L-COG to perform a full range of loan services. Responding to Cornacchia, Lively indicated that he would like to meet with Wright in an attempt to develop a process for contract administration that will reduce the costs for the program, maximizing as many dollars for loans as possible. There was consensus for there to be an oral report back next week regarding possibilities for contract administration.
4. Establish interest rate consistent with the Prime Rate at the time of application loan approval. Cornacchia remarked that the purpose is to provide assistance to the development of the property, noting that if someone can go to a bank and get the same rate, then there is no incentive. He stated that he had envisioned offering loans at Prime, minus percentage points. Green agreed, asking Randy Green if a rate consistent with the T-Bill might be appropriate. R. Green recommended establishing an interest rate based on Prime or federal notes, rather than staying consistent with them. Cornacchia emphasized that the points off of Prime are the publics investment in that particular development. Sorenson asked if this created a conflict with Item 6 regarding competition with the private sector. Lively observed that these programs are typically designed to fill gaps, stating that applicants must show they cant get money from a lending institution, such as for the purchase of bare land. Responding to Sorenson, Burns indicated that the purpose would be to recover what would have been earned had the money been kept and cover the cost of administration of the program. Lively noted that few borrowers in this situation can borrow at Prime Rate. CONSENSUS that Prime Rate was reasonable to start with and that it could be revisited if necessary.
5. Be conservative in lending. Burns offered clarification that the value referred to in the memorandum refers to bare land value. Sorenson asked if this might be so conservative that it will never be used. Burns remarked that staff is looking at not having to do appraisals. Regarding loan-to-value, Wright stated that typically on real estate, the figure is generally 80% loan-to-value. Cornacchia commented that he is interested in a short repayment period, probably five years. Green observed the need to keep in mind whether the County is selling time or money, stating that a 50% loan-to-value is conservative. Cornacchia suggested deleting the specific loan-to-value requirement in the application, relying on the administrator of the loan to make determinations regarding how it fits public policy. Sorenson indicated that he likes the conservative 50% figure and a limit of five years. Van Vactor asked if the dollars are for public roads and they are dedicated or deeded, then why would the County be in a subordinate position. Cornacchia remarked that security interest would be taken against the whole property. CONSENSUS to strike the loan-to-value language, keep the "be conservative" language and the five year language.
6. Do not compete with private sector. CONSENSUS.
7. Limit loans to no more than $1 million or up to an amount equal to a loan-to-value of 50%, whichever is less. Cornacchia noted that there will only be $2 million over a three-year period. He offered that the County has been a major player in large packages in the past, noting that he is comfortable now with a limit of $1 million or less to use on smaller developments. Burns remarked that there should be some standard for awarding of a loan, asking if there was any other way to measure how much should be awarded for construction, perhaps a loan-to-value ratio or another way. Lively noted that it could be some percentage of the total project. Sorenson commented that $1 million is a very high percentage of a total loan fund. He stated that the dollar amount could be lowered allowing the dollars to be spread around more. Lively responded that the problem then becomes that small business often takes a higher percentage. CONSENSUS to limit loans to $750,000 or up to an amount equal to 40% of the total project cost.
8. The purpose of the loan is for the creation of family wage jobs. Project priority should be based upon:
a. Ratio of family wage jobs to total jobs.
b. Amount of loan request compared to new jobs being created.
c. Unemployment rate within the project area and potential impact on the unemployment rate that would be achieved by the project.
d. Creation of new family wage jobs contrasted against the relocation of existing family wage jobs.
Green stressed that the purpose of the loan is for construction of roads and the goal of the loan is creation of family wage jobs. CONSENSUS to strike "a" and "c" and use "b" and "d," in addition to the 50% in item 2.
9. Recommend the County conduct a limited marketing effort through the Loan Administrator. CONSENSUS to do so.
There was consensus for there to be an oral report back next week regarding possibilities for contract administration. Wilson noted that the earliest the entire issue would come back before the Board would be February 19.
8. CONSENT CALENDAR
A. Approval of Minutes: None.
B. Public Works
1) RESOLUTION AND ORDER 97-1-22-2/In the Matter of Accepting an Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife Grant to Complete Phase 2 of the Signal Point Low Water Boat Ramp Project, Appropriating $156,870, and Authorizing the County Administrator to Sign the Cooperative Agreement.
MOTION: Approval of the Consent Calendar. Green MOVED, Cornacchia SECONDED. VOTE: 5-0.
9. REVIEW ASSIGNMENTS
Not done today.
10. EMERGENCY BUSINESS
There being no further business, this meeting recessed at 12:09 p.m. to reconvene at 1:30 p.m. with Fair Board interviews and the balance of the agenda (3, 5.a., 6.c.; 7.a.; 7.b; 8, 9 and 10) to be heard between interviews, finally adjourning at 4:47 p.m.
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