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March 11, 1997
BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS' WORK SESSION
Commissioners' Conference Room - 2:00 p.m.

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

1. ADJUSTMENTS TO THE AGENDA

None.

#2. PUBLIC COMMENTS

Charles Howes, 93259 Zumwalt Lane, Junction City, OR, expressed his desire to see the closing of Brown's Landing. He stated he has had to make several calls to the Sheriff's office regarding gunshots. Howes felt the park was nothing more than a dumpsite and distributed photographs to support that belief. He recognized that this has been an access area to the local folks for a long time but stated that along with the good local folks come the bad influences. He said the real problem was how to separate the people who want to fish, walk the river and use the area in a law-abiding, neighborly way from the trouble makers such as the dopers. Howes stated that he has pulled up many marijuana plants. He stressed the need to work together to rid this area of the bad influences.

Katherine Wilson, 93323 River Road, Junction City, OR, distributed a petition signed by over 100 people who want to see Brown's Landing closed. She also distributed photographs illustrating how drift boaters can still access the area as well as before and after pictures of her house which was burned down by vandals. Wilson said the neighborhood is torn apart by this issue and expressed regret that has happened. She stated that she is willing to work with the County Commissioners to find a solution to this. Wilson remarked that she would not deny any neighbor, fisherman or boater the right to access the area but would deny access to the trouble makers, arsonists and drug addicts. Wilson noted that since the road has been closed, there are two pairs of bald eagles that have returned to an abandoned nest site.

Kathryn Neeley, 2860 River Road, Junction City, OR, stated that she and her family has owned property on River Road for over 64 years. She said that over the years, she has watched access areas and parks close as a result of charges of drug activity. Neeley said it was important to her to be able to go down to the river. She commented that the only way to access the park now is by boat. She commented on Wilson's statement about allowing her access and said that was not the fact at the last meeting and asked how this access process would be accomplished.

Norby Heins, 94010 River Road, Junction City, OR, stated that Brown's Landing is an enjoyable place for many people and questioned how it would be possible to decide which elements are better or worse than others. He referred to Wilson's house that was burned by vandals and said this house was moved from Junction City down to River Road and was placed next to a public park and stressed that is was not the park that was built next to the house. Heins said he checked with the Sheriff's office and found that in the past several months, there have been no reports of gunfire or crime in the area. Heins noted that fire trucks and rescue boats need to use Brown’s Landing. He said that public access to Oregon rivers is becoming very difficult. Heins referred to a petition he had with four pages of signatures in support of Brown’s Landing. Heins said Oregon Fish and Wildlife supports this park as does the Parks Advisory Board. He referred to the barricade put up by Katherine Wilson and stated that most of the people involved want to work with Wilson and not against her.

George Keller, 1211 Waite Street, Eugene, OR, said he used to live by Brown's Landing and used to hike and take kids fishing there. He recognized that people do shoot guns and conduct other illegal activities down there and has seen pot plants and questionable people but said he is more interested in the issues of fishing and boat safety.

Jess Koon, 93510 River Road, Junction City, OR, stated that he does not believe access can be denied to some people and not to others. He remarked that for years he has had to use that landing as access to rescue people when the water was up and noted that he has even had to rescue three sets of rescuers.

Pauline Sandoz, 947 Greenwood St, Junction City, OR, said it is important for her to be able to drive down to the river and observe the osprey. She stressed that there are many people who need this access and remarked that it was sad to even consider giving up an access to the river.

Peggy Willis, 93259 Zumwalt Lane, Junction City, OR, agreed with the importance of having public access to the river but also believed a landowner should have the right to decide who comes onto their land to use the adjacent property. Willis said she has sat outside her house, which is 21 acres off Brown's Landing, and had to duck bullets. She encouraged the Commissioners to visit the park and observe what it has become. She remarked that she should be allowed to live on her property without fear of her neighbors and if the County feels that this should be a County park, then the County ought to improve the place to make it fit for enjoyment while keeping the adjacent land owners safe.

Jerry Fisher, 94582 Hwy 99E, Junction City, OR, stated that he and his family have lived in Junction City all their lives. He noted that there are really two issues: public access and vandalism and drug use. He asked that the Commissioners look at the problem in that respect and address each item separately. He indicated he would like to see it kept open.

3. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS

Dumdi stated that she was in Salem yesterday at the Association of Oregon Counties (AOC) meeting to discuss strategies for Ballot Measure 47. She reported that they presented to AOC a sample of the bill Lane County has prepared to submit to State government illustrating the cost of various state mandated functions.

Weeldreyer distributed copies of a list of Lane County’s short- and long-term strategies for dealing with Measure 47 (see material on file).

4. EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660

An executive session was held earlier today.

Cornacchia excused at 2:55 p.m.

5. COMMITTEE REPORTS

a. Legislative Committee Update.

Green read each bill into the record along with the Legislative Committee’s recommendation for support, opposition or no position.

Burns reported that he had heard from a citizen, Eben Fodor, who commented that it was inappropriate for County staff to take a position on periodic review, SB2814, and said Fodor asked that his concern about loss of citizen participation in that planning process be expressed to the Board since he could not attend this meeting. Burns explained that this was one of the four areas that had been identified by the Association of Oregon Counties with a cost implication to the counties of approximately $8 million as an unfunded mandate.

Dumdi said that whenever there is a land use issue at stake, there are public hearings to allow for public involvement.

Sorenson remarked that he was upset that the Board was talking about taking a position today, when a representative of the County went to Salem yesterday and testified on the County’s position. He believed this undermined credibility with the public and said he was against this proposal. Sorenson pointed out that he encourages his constituents to become involved with government process and asked how that was possible when decisions were made and represented in Salem without coming before the Board.

Green reported that when bills come before the Legislative Committee with a timing issue such as this one, particularly when they are consistent with AOC and the County, staff will ask him, as legislative chair, for authority to testify before the legislature. Green noted that this was the position the County took when it supported Measure 30; no mandates without funds. Green stated that to imply that they were doing something covert is a disservice to the Legislative Committee and that this process is consistent with what they have been doing all along.

Burns stated that he was provided with information that this bill was coming up and was consistent with AOC at the Legislative Committee meeting on Thursday and that was the reason for the request that they be permitted to support the legislation as proposed by Representative Byers.

Weeldreyer suggested that as soon as Green knows, Green should either distribute a list or E-mail the Commissioners which bills are to be considered as soon as he knows.

Green agreed to provide this information as soon as he gets it.

Van Vactor agreed that until a bill has gone to the Board, there should be no representation of Board approval. He said the most that can be represented is that it has gone through the Legislative Committee with anticipation of Board approval.

Sorenson also noted his opposition to HB 2205.

MOTION: Approval of Legislative Committee recommendations as presented.

Dumdi MOVED, Green SECONDED. VOTE: 3-1 Sorenson dissenting, specifically taking a no position on HB2205 and HB2814.

6. COUNTY ADMINISTRATION

a. Announcements

Bill Van Vactor, County Administrator, stated that the City of Eugene has initiated discussions about a possible Ballot Measure 47 replacement measure for the May levy and would like to talk to Lane County and the City of Springfield about possible levies. Van Vactor believed that the County should participate in these discussions because in a property tax measure, what one government does with property tax affects the amount left under the cap. He also commented that with the new 50% voting requirements of Ballot Measure 47, governments are more likely to solve problems if they are united in their efforts than if they go about it separately. He suggested that a subcommittee of the Board be formed to have informal discussions with the City before the filing deadline next week. Van Vactor stated that he believed that the District Attorney and the Sheriff would be willing to participate in these discussions.

Green suggested the South Eugene commissioner and a rural commissioner be on this subcommittee because if this levy passes, it will be due to South Eugene and if it fails, it will be in the rural areas.

Sorenson stated that he would sit in on these discussions as his schedule permits with Green and Cornacchia agreeing to be available if necessary.

It was decided that Sorenson and Weeldreyer will be on this subcommittee for discussion with the cities of Eugene and Springfield regarding a replacement levy, with Dumdi as a rural alternative.

7. PUBLIC WORKS

a. REPORT BACK/Discussion Of Action - Future of Brown's Landing.

Keefer reported that the Parks Advisory Committee has been working on this issue since December 1996. He noted that their recommendation was to retain the landing in public ownership and to acquire legal access to the property. He stated that if that legal access was not possible, then to at least have it remain as a boat-in facility. Keefer suggested that if it remains in County ownership and as a boat-in site, the Board look at the possibility of using this area as a trading piece to acquire a piece close by that could be available for both vehicle and boat access. He noted that the issue of lack of management control of the facility was a true and valid issue. He acknowledged that this area has not been high on the County’s priority list. Keefer noted that there has been illegal dumping and problems with road standards. He agreed that there are two issues and is supportive of another meeting in more detail but stressed the importance of coming back with a decision soon as the heavier use season is coming on. Keefer said staff underestimated the number of people that use that site and noted that most of the local people were interested in seeing it remain open.

Green remarked that most of the people speaking today indicated their desire to work this out. He encourages both groups to come before the Board with a list of ideas of what they are willing to do.

Sorenson believed there was some possibility for a resolution. He suggested reconvening the Parks Advisory Committee to meet with these two groups.

Keefer suggested that representatives from the committee and both sides meet to work on a resolution.

Cornacchia stated that this situation was not new to Lane County and noted past similar incidences. He said in the past, his first inclination was to side with the people who wanted to close a troubled park. He stated that he then realized that you cannot separate access and inappropriate use. Cornacchia commented that until a response at Brown’s Landing occurs, the situation would continue. He suggested the possibility of working with organizations such as Fish & Wildlife or Northwest Steelheaders for a way to generate responsible use and noted that until that time, the irresponsible use would dominate. Cornacchia stated that while he firmly believes in the public need to have access, he is growing tired of the lack of responsible use. He related a past incident where a high profile paved ramp was added to the park to provide better access, thus allowing for more responsible use which kept the undesirables out. He said this made it inviting for the rest of the public to use.

Dumdi remarked that when Wilson first came to the committee, this was a dire situation and that is why there was agreement to close the site. She said she does not want to see it closed and would like to see everyone work out a mutual agreement.

Weeldreyer reported that she has received several requests to hold a public hearing.

Sorenson suggested appointment of a task force to include people from both sides and to have this task force be given a charge to report back to the Board.

MOTION: To appoint a task force to report back to Board within a month. Sorenson MOVED. Motion dies for lack of a second.

There was a consensus to have an evening public hearing in April with a specific date to be determined at the next agenda setting.

Keefer stated that he would talk to the Park’s Advisory Group about coming up with a plan of action to share at public hearing.

b. RESOLUTION, NOTICE OF HEARING AND ORDER 97-3-11-1/In the Matter of Legalizing Bernhardt Creek Road, Being Located Within Sections 7 and 18, Township 18 South, Range 10 West and Sections 11 and 12, Township 18 South, Range 11 West of the Willamette Meridian (18-10-7 & 18) (18-11-11 & 12).

Bob Ezell, Public Works, explained that this item was before the Board today to set a date for the purposes of conducting a public hearing to consider whether to adopt a final order to legalize the road. He said the decision today is whether or not to move forward with this legalization process (see material on file).

Green asked about the cost to the County for maintenance and improvements.

Ezell explained that the County has already been maintaining the road but noted that there will probably be some right-of-way and improvement costs.

Weeldreyer summarized that a portion of this road was constructed with public monies under the Civil Conservation Corps in the late 1930s and that the County years ago, in response to families that are served by this road, began maintaining it. She explained that the statute states that the County needs to follow this process to establish the right-of-way.

Ezell agreed and said that once it was confirmed that this was not a county road, a statute requires that the Board of Commissioners must decide whether or not to make it a county road and to continue spending county resources on it.

MOTION: Approval of the Order. Dumdi MOVED, Green SECONDED. VOTE: 4-0.

c. REPORT BACK/Policy Framework-Oregon Properties.

Ezell reviewed direction given after the last meeting before the Board. He reported that he has had discussions with county counsel and a title company who said that unless there is an exception, it is always understood that there is public access into a purchased property. Ezell stated that he has tried to draft a code and has now requested more time for staff to participate. He noted that once the draft is fine tuned, it will go back to the planning commission and then to the Board.

There was direction given to have staff continue to work on this and come back to the Board in three months.

8. CONSENT CALENDAR

A. Approval of Minutes: February 26, 1997, Regular Meeting, 9:00 a.m.

B. Health and Human Services

1) ORDER 97-3-11-2/In the Matter of Increasing Appropriations and Expenses in the Amount of $64,216 in Fund 85 for FY 96/97 to Weatherize Low Income Households; and Delegate Authority to the County Administrator to Sign an Amendment With HACSA.

C. Human Resources and Management Services

1) ORDER 97-3-11-3/In the Matter of Increasing the Revolving Fund for the Lane County Department of Health & Human Services.

2) ORDER 97-3-11-4/In the Matter of Authorizing the Sale of Surplus County-Owned Real Property to Thomas James Magness and Theresa Julia Magness, trustees of the Magness Living Trust (Map #16-06-02-12-00400, Adjacent to 47139 Springbrook Lane, Junction City).

3) ORDER 97-3-11-5/In the Matter of Award of Bid LCP 96/97-07 for Award of Construction Contract for Willamette Activity Center Roof Repairs.

D. Public Works

1) ORDER 97-3-11-6/In the Matter of Awarding a Contract to Pape Bros. Inc., in the Amount of $75,915 for the Purchase of One (1), New Double-Drum Vibratory Asphalt Compactor, Contract FY96/97 FS-05.

2) ORDER 97-3-11-7/In the Matter of Vacating Portions of Yew (Pine) Street and Zebrawood (Eddy) Street in the Plat of Gallagher's Part of the City of Florence, Volume 30, Page 13, and in Munsel Park Addition to Florence, Book 4, Page 90, Lane County, Oregon Plat Records, Without a Public Hearing, and Adopting Findings of Fact (18-12-26).

3) ORDER 97-3-11-8/In the Matter of Releasing, Dedicating, and Accepting Parcel "B", in River Loop No. 2 Subdivision, Book 41, Page 15, a Parcel of County Owned Real Estate, as a Public Road and a Portion as a County Road (17-04-01).

4) ORDER 97-3-11-9/In the Matter of Releasing, Dedicating, and Accepting Parcel "A", in the Plat of Diamond Acres, Book 41, Page 25, a Parcel of County Owned Real Estate as a County Road No. 1733 (Diamond Street) (17-03-34-24).

5) ORDER 97-3-11-10/In the Matter of Releasing, Dedicating, and Accepting a Parcel of County Road (17-03-27-31) (West Quinalt Avenue).

6) ORDER 97-3-11-11/In the Matter of Authorizing an Intergovernmental Agreement with the City of Springfield and Springfield School District #19 for the Jasper Road Reconstruction Project.

Weeldreyer noted that there was a correction in the Minutes on pages 3 and 16, correcting the spelling of the name "Wihtol" instead of "Vetal".

MOTION: Approval of Consent Calendar as corrected. Dumdi MOVED, Green SECONDED. VOTE: 4-0.

Weeldreyer thanked Jeff Turk for his part on item C.3., awarding the contract to repair the Willamette Activity Center in Oakridge.

9. CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES

a. ORDER 97-3-11-12/In the Matter of Approving Bylaws for the Commission on Children and Families.

Green noted that the Commission on Children and Families (CCF) has been going through an arduous process to get to this point. He stated that CCF has been going through several changes regarding the composition of this committee and passage of this order will allow addition of new members.

Pat Rogers, Director, Department of Children and Families, stated that Weeldreyer was the chair of the subcommittee for the bylaws and turned the discussion over to her.

Weeldreyer remarked that the Commission was established without bylaws, noting the importance of this guiding document for commission. She discussed the designation of slots or categories and said the final vote was to leave broad, at-large categories (see material on file). Weeldreyer also discussed the issue of conflict of interest and said their recommendation was to adopt the Oregon Government Standard and Practices statutes on conflict of interest to use as their standard.

Rogers noted that there will be immediate recruitment if this order is passed and stated that there will be nine new appointments.

Sorenson asked that a copy of the Bylaws be attached to the order.

MOTION: Approval of the Order as modified. Dumdi MOVED, Green SECONDED. VOTE: 4-0.

10. HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

a. ORDER 97-3-11-13/In the Matter of Establishing a 1.0 FTE PC/Network Technician in Fund 24 in the Department of Information Services; and Transferring the Current Health and Human Services Employee to that Position.

MOTION: Approval of Order. Green MOVED, Dumdi SECONDED. VOTE: 4-0.

11. REVIEW ASSIGNMENTS

Oregon Properties item to come back in three months after going through the Planning Commission process.

An evening public hearing will be set for Brown’s Landing issue.

12. EMERGENCY BUSINESS

None.

There being no further business, this meeting adjourned at 4:56 p.m.

 

Zoanne Gilstrap, Recording Secretary

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