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May 7, 1997
BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS' REGULAR MEETING
Harris Hall Main Floor - following Board of Health

Chair Cindy Weeldreyer presided with Steve Cornacchia, Ellie Dumdi, Bobby Green, Sr. and Peter Sorenson present. Zoe Gilstrap, recording secretary.

1. ADJUSTMENTS TO THE AGENDA

Weeldreyer announced that the executive session has been scheduled for a time certain of 3:30 p.m.

2. PUBLIC COMMENTS

Steve Moe, P.O. Box 847, Springfield, addressed the results of the report by Emcon regarding leachate treatment system alternatives. He remarked that the mathematics in this report are impossible to understand, stating that the total cost is devised by a formula which is not clear and does not show the relevant cost of the pipeline to the different technologies. He asked the Commissioners to bring together the citizen committee that originally looked at discharge criteria for help in understanding this report. Moe stated that there is nothing in the formula about replacement of pumps in the pipeline. He read from the report regarding regulations by the U.S. Environmental Agency and said there may be additional unknown costs for pretreatment.

Cornacchia asked Moe to put his specific expectations and desires in writing to allow staff to respond back.

Ruth Duemler, 1745 Fircrest, Eugene, stated that as a Metro Wasterwater Management Commissioner, she is concerned that she has not received the final report by the committee. She said the Metro Wastewater Management Committee is concerned about the leachate problem and would like to study it. Duemler stated that she has learned that everything soluble at Short Mountain is going to be dissolved into the pipe. She remarked that the size of pipe has now been changed from 2" to 4" and now possibly to 6". Duemler recommended the book Betrayal of Science and Reason, noting that it answers many of the questions that have been raised regarding this issue.

Rob Castleberry, 86701 Franklin, Eugene, said he participated in the taskforce as a representative of the Goshen Neighborhood Association. He stated that the process to clean up the mess at Short Mountain should include an effort to not contribute to problems of downstream communities, noting that potential contamination of important sources of drinking water for Corvallis and Portland could occur in the not too distant future. Castleberry remarked that they were told that the leachate was not going to get much more in additional treatment. He asked the Commissioners to do what is right with respect to downstream users and maintaining the quality of the river. Castleberry requested that there be a high order of safety involved and commented that the cost figures of the pipeline are lower than they should be in terms of the safety systems built into it and the additional monitoring systems that should be required.

Bruce Davison, 2315 Tyler Street, Eugene, stated that as a citizen, he was here to speak on the Short Mountain pipeline and advised the Commissioners to think strongly about the recommendations of the advisory committee. He remarked that as a biosolids committee member, he would vote against applying sludge to farm land because it includes toxins and not adequate scientific knowledge. Davison urged the Commissioners to support the onsite treatment option and said it is the best choice for both the urban and rural citizens of Lane County.

Kathy Ging, 2878 Harris, Eugene, stated that she is a member of both the Leachate Committee and the Biosolids Committee and strongly opposes the leachate pipeline. Ging questioned government credibility, stating that Lane County created a citizen leachate committee and then ignored its unanimous recommendation to treat leachate onsite, stating that the Commissioners are jeopardizing their political future by insulting the integrity of the citizen committee members by only pretending to care about public input. Ging stated that Short Mountain has a history of violations and mismanagement and said it is doubtful that the pipeline could get a permit. Ging remarked that Ken Kohl was not a team player and the public’s trust has been violated. She stated that a pipeline vote would be insurance that Short Mountain will liquefy garbage, including all heavy metals, pesticides and inorganics that would dissolve into a deadly, daily changing sludge through percolation and biological processes to become future river ways supplying Oregon’s fish, recreation and drinking water and a threat to public health and welfare.

Pam Gutherie, 943 W. 11th, Eugene, stated that facts about the original recommendations for the pipeline were incorrect and asked the Board to rescind any legislative approval of work on this project, noting that conclusive data from the APA and independent researchers around the world present a far more extensive list of chemical involvement in leachate than they were initially given. She stated that the final report on alternative systems for the treatment and management of leachate is inadequate or even irresponsible. Gutherie said molecules do not disappear and the compounds found in leachate and sewage waste can do anything from build a bomb, fertilize your lawn or be used for chemical warfare. She referred to several high incidents to cancers and health problems involving symptoms of toxins that the body cannot expel. Gutherie indicated that most people don’t die of poisoning itself but from the ingestion of airborne particles and chronic exposure of body organs to this toxicity.

Bill Montgomery, 34211Seavy Loop Road, Eugene, stated that he was here as a farm owner and also to represent Friends of Bufurd Park. He expressed concern about the pipeline going through farm land. Montgomery stated that it appears to him that the costs of onsite treatment are close enough to the leachate pipeline to make it worth considering just on a cost competitive basis and, with local opposition to the pipeline as well as the possibilities that in another year, there will be new EPA regulations which could require pretreatment of leachate, costs could be actually lower with onsite treatment.

Joe Dillon, 1348 Tyler St, Eugene, stated that he was here to discuss the WIC issue, explaining that throughout the whole WIC problem, he has noticed that the one thing the five commissioners have in common, with the possible exception of Sorenson, is that they don’t seem to be seeking the truth in this issue. He said it is very evident in the way they answer the questions posed to them and commented that it seems that what is running through their heads is not whether he, as a kid, has a valid point, but how to defend their previous comments.

Charles Phillips, 1075 W. 18th Avenue, Eugene, said the Board does not seem to listen to the general population. He noted that there have been more than 40 people saying the most qualified people were not hired and seven politicians at the state level who would like to see this matter investigated, stating that the Board has chosen to ignore those opinions. Phillips stated that the Commissioners were elected to represent the people, not their staff.

Kimberly Phillips, 1075 W. 18th Avenue, Eugene, distributed petitions with 507 signatures asking for an investigation, stating that all the commissioners, except Sorenson, have ignored these 507 people whom they were elected to represent. She acknowledged Sorenson’s vote to have the investigation and to represent the people.

3. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS

None.

4. COMMISSIONERS' BUSINESS

a. DISCUSSION/Lane County Juvenile Justice Plan.

Green reviewed the Juvenile Justice Plan (see material on file). He said the Commission on Children & Families (CCF) and the Public Safety Coordinating Council (PSCC) has reviewed this plan and recommended forwarding it to the Board of Commissioners for either acceptance or to be referred back to PSCC. Green highlighted the recommendation to reallocate funds for early intervention. He remarked that they still need to identify where this additional money is going to come from and suggested that CCF and PSCC may be able to look for an opportunity for grants or merging of resources by other members in the community.

Cornacchia added that PSCC is struggling with trying to determine how to spend the community corrections’ monies and said there will be a discussion next week with the hope of getting a resolution and direction. Cornacchia stated it is his expectation that the State is not going to disallow this plan because resources have not been identified. He said, at this point, he is comfortable with following the recommendations.

Sowards said formally there does not need to be any action taken today because the Commission on Children & Families has not acted yet.

Weeldreyer expressed her frustration with reallocating funds, stating that if existing resources continue to be reallocated, that the pot of money will just move up and down. She agreed that the best long-term investment is on the front end and strongly recommended that this proposal needs to go forward but suggested that the reallocation be from savings realized through projections that may have been too high, allowing the use of existing resources. Weeldreyer stated that she has experience working with kids in the range of 13-17 and does not want to see this as a turf issue over scarce resources.

Sorenson suggested that the Board take the recommendation of investing in prevention and try to find some outcome-based efficiencies that work.

Dumdi agreed with the comments that had been made and said she is fully in support of the recommendations.

Weeldreyer stated that the Board will wait to see how CCF weighs in on this issue.

b. ORDER 97-5-7-1/In the Matter of Approving an Intergovernmental Agreement with the Oregon Department of Corrections for $14,773,208 for the 1997-99 Biennium, and Approving a Community Corrections Plan in the Amount of $6,937,730 for FY 1997-98.

This item was pulled and tentatively rolled to next week based on the outcome of continuing PSCC discussions. Cornacchia noted that he talked to the Department of Corrections and there is not a problem in failing to meet the deadline.

This meeting recessed at 10:21 a.m. to reconvene at 10:33 a.m.

c. DISCUSSION/Monthly Meeting with Labor Leaders.

Weeldreyer stated that she recently met with the Management Team in an effort to enhance communication. She commented that she had proposed to meet with the County Administrator and the leadership of the bargaining units in Lane County informally once a month, noting that while this was a good intention, there were concerns that it may undermine the communication in place between management and negotiating teams. She referred to comments in the file notes (see material on file). Weeldreyer said the question before the Board is whether the process in place now between management and labor is adequate or would they support these monthly meetings with parameters and guidelines to ensure that this proposal would not supplant anything already in place but, instead, would be an enhancement to it.

Green and Dumdi expressed concern that the present process was one that current players could manage without Board involvement. Green asked how personnel issues would be managed.

Teresa Wilson, Legal Counsel, said personnel issues are appropriate for executive session if the discussion is with the Board, but often issues are addressed at levels that do not include the Board. She remarked that the assumption is that those levels will continue to exist and would not appear on the monthly meeting table. Wilson noted that it would be difficult to address a personnel issue involving an individual complaint at these monthly meetings.

Green said he is supportive of the current process.

Weeldreyer indicated that this is one way to have a forum to allow organized labor to raise issues. She said issues of policy could be raised with the Board chair and then spun off to a board committee. Weeldreyer remarked that it was a way to promote greater awareness and a sense of communication and trust.

Dumdi stated that she is a firm believer in empowering but believed the issues Weeldreyer referred to should occur at the department-head level to allow the employee to discuss and participate. She said the system was set up to do this and it should stay at the department level rather than the Board level.

Weeldreyer stated there is a possibility that this could provide a greater level of accountability in an organization that is already on overload and would not only help with priorization, but would provide a mechanism for tracking issues that move through existing system.

Green stated that the proposal does have merit but he has a level of hesitation in embarking on it. He observed that he respects the current process.

Cornacchia stated that he supports the initiative but in a different fashion. He agreed that communication throughout the organization is vital. Cornacchia explained that he would like to expand thinking beyond the issues of communication to include accountability and resolving issues at the lowest level with bottom-up decision making. He stressed that the first concern should be to direct and encourage those conversations at a department level, stating that at that point, if there is not a resolution, then there needs to be accountability of department heads and management to get these issues resolved without having to resort to the closed environment of grievance or collective bargaining. He would like the Board to be more aggressive in encouraging and directing these department meetings and suggested that Weeldreyer’s meetings could happen once every six months or so. Cornacchia stated he would like monthly reports from departments to come to the County Administrator for distribution to the Board with availability for everyone to read. He said those reports need to be shared with employees so that if there are disagreements, they can be brought up at Weeldreyer’s meetings on an agenda.

Dumdi remarked that she sees this as an opportunity for the managers to reassess their duties and encouraged them to empower their employees. She stressed the importance of employee input.

Sorenson recognized Weeldreyer’s effort to establish communication with the organization and noted her Monday Memo which fosters direct communication. He indicated concern about the morale of the employees, noting that this discussion once again does not include the employees. Sorenson suggested implementing this idea to improve communication and have it sunset so that it can be put on the table as an idea for a year to see if it works. He stated that this was positive idea.

Weeldreyer reiterated that her motivation was to foster a level of communication that promotes understanding of concerns between management and labor.

Mary Dutton, AFSCME President, stated that the union’s goal is not to circumvent the process; their goal is communication. She said policy comes up and they find out very late. Dutton remarked that they don’t see this as a forum for punishment rather just a way to make everyone aware because she has realized that when they sit and talk, she learns a new prospective. She noted that grievance and joint management and labor works very well. Dutton said they want to be recognized and work closer with the Board because she does not like singling out Commissioners. She thinks it is as important to work with them as it is to work with department heads. Dutton stated that if they could understand why something did or didn’t happen it would help and go a lot further.

Don Nichols, Public Works, stated that the Board hears from management and department heads but employees have issues that are not grievances that they want to get past management but can’t due to infrastructures that do not seem to allow things to get past the department and to the commissioners. He remarked that he wants to go back to tell employees that the Commissioners are willing to listen.

Brad Russo, 626 Vice President, echoed the remarks made by Dutton and Nichols, stating that there is no way to vent what is going on because the Board does not get the picture. He said there are issues that go nowhere and never leave the department. Russo stated that employees do not have an audience to voice frustrations such as management does. He commented that Joint Labor Management meetings go well but when there is a crisis, these meetings end. He said he thinks a forum is a good idea and stressed that employees need an avenue to reach the Commissioners.

Jim Gangle, Tax Assessor, stated that he has difficulty understanding the problem. He said he is hesitant to any change until he understands the problem. Gangle indicated that he puts a strong effort to make sure he communicates to employees and to make sure his managers do the same and that they pass and gather information to take back to management team. He remarked that he would be more inclined to stay with current structure, however, he is not opposed to coming up with a solution to work with these problems.

Cornacchia stated that problems do exist in certain parts of Lane County and that is not what he is resisting. He said what he heard from Public Works was that the communication is not working in that department and he believes that he shouldn’t be hearing that communication is not occurring in certain departments.

Green stated that he is not in denial, he understands that there are problems. He said what employees have said is not in concurrence with Weeldreyer’s idea and that he heard people saying they want to talk about issues outside of bargaining. Green said if we need an avenue to have the Board engage with employees on a regular basis, he does not have a problem with meeting with employees to hear their concerns.

Weeldreyer recognized the different management styles and said this was just a monthly checkup to see how things are going. She said there is value in knowing the status of pulse of organization and sees communication as an important pipeline. Weeldreyer stated that she looks at labor and management as a partner and said she made a proposal to meet once a month with ground rules. Weeldreyer noted that Cornacchia made a proposal to have department managers provide a monthly report to the Board and, if there are issues that are not being resolved within the existing processes, to use a quarterly or six-month meeting to bring those issues to the agenda for a focused discussion.

Cornacchia suggested that Weeldreyer get back to the Board in the next few weeks with the next step to getting a resolution.

Sorenson believed this should be brought back for further discussion and reiterated the idea of sunsetting.

5. EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660

Time certain at 3:30 p.m.

6. COMMITTEE REPORTS

a. Legislative Committee Update.

None.

7. COUNTY ADMINISTRATION

a. Announcements

None.

8. PUBLIC WORKS

a. REPORT BACK/Leachate Treatment System Alternatives, Short Mountain Landfill.

Ken Kohl gave an overview of the report prepared by EmCon to evaluate onsite treatment for the Short Mountain Landfill leachate. He stated that the report consists of evaluation of several specific vendor technology alternatives for treating the leachate. He explained the scoring system, capitalized costs and the calculations used. Kohl remarked that the report concludes that onsite treatment is a feasible option for treating leachate at the Short Mountain Landfill, noting that several vendors have systems in place throughout the country and other parts of the world treating landfill leachate. Kohl commented that compared to the feasible alternatives that EmCon has identified, the pipeline has the lowest cost and the highest point total. He noted that the report also includes discharge criteria.

Cornacchia noted that the cost does not include pretreatment nor potential costs of ensuing federal considerations.

Kohl commented that the EPA is considering pretreatment standards for leachate but that nonhazardous landfills such as Short Mountain, would be exempt because the quality of leachate is such that they don’t feel it is necessary to impose those standards.

Responding to Sorenson, Kohl stated that he was recommending that the County pursue implementation of the pipeline and explained the procedure necessary for adoption of the Metro Plan amendment.

Sorenson asked about the division of recommendations between staff and the advisory group.

Kohl said the advisory group’s primary charge was to evaluate onsite treatment, the location to discharge to, beneficial uses of receiving body and what is most important to protect. He stated that protecting aquatic life was highest priority in terms of discharge standards. He said he believes their concerns included the issue of growth, outside facilities wanting to connect to this pipeline, catastrophic failure of the pipeline, inadequate treatment of the leachate and that the leachate will pass through to biosolids.

Cornacchia stated that he would prefer onsite treatment, noting that the difference between $5.4 million and $7 million is a lot of money but in the perspective of not only the costs but the other factors associated with this decision, politically, socially and environmentally, he sees nothing in this report that tells him he should abandon that preference for onsite treatment. He remarked that he thinks onsite treatment is cleaner. He acknowledged Kohl for being professionally and financially responsible at a time when the solid waste fund is undergoing significant adjustments because of the problems associated with landfills and understands and appreciates Kohl’s recommendation. He said there are other considerations besides costs. He would support the next step of researching the viability of onsite treatment and would like to proceed with an RFP process while still preserving the option of the pipeline.

Dumdi said she has to look at long-term effects and has heard loudly and clearly from members of the community who have real concerns about the pipeline. She stated that she is leaning toward onsite treatment.

Green stated that he was concerned about guarantees and would like to talk to communities that are using this system regarding the process they used to determine how they got to the point of onsite treatment. Green recognized the risks of pipeline leakage and resulting downstream effects. He said if he is being asked to invest public dollars into an alternative, he wants guarantees that the system will work and that it will meet DEQ requirements. Green stated that if he can be assured, he is willing to look at alternatives.

Sorenson stated that it is important that when citizen task forces are appointed by the Board, they give them the full dimension of the problem, otherwise they will come back with recommendations that are not necessarily balanced with the same considerations. Sorenson said he would like to see the process started to send RFPs.

Weeldreyer stated that she considers this a higher level of investment and stressed the need to protect and invest in water. She remarked that the Board has weighed in unanimously to pursue the option of onsite treatment.

Cornacchia said he is considering taking the next step for evaluation of onsite treatment to see whether or not it is financially and systematically viable. He stated that he is not saying that he gives up the pipeline completely.

There was consensus to pursue the onsite treatment options.

b. THIRTEENTH READING AND DELIBERATION/Ordinance PA 1083/In the Matter of Amending the Eugene-Springfield Metro Area General Plan to Modify Policy 2, Section III.G., to Provide for the Extension of Sanitary Sewer Service from the Eugene-Springfield Metropolitan Area to the Lane County Short Mountain Landfill Site and Govern Similar Extensions to Other Sites, and Adopting an Exception to LCDC Goal 11; and Adopting Savings and Severability Clauses.

MOTION: To Set Fourteenth Reading and Possible Deliberation for June 4, 1997 in Harris Hall.

Cornacchia MOVED, Dumdi SECONDED. VOTE: 5-0.

c. THIRTEENTH READING AND DELIBERATION/Ordinance PA 1084/In the Matter of Amending the Rural Comprehensive Plan to Add a Policy Governing the Extension of Sanitary Sewer Service from the Eugene-Springfield Metropolitan Area to the Lane County Short Mountain Landfill Site, and Adopting an Exception to LCDC Goal 11; and Adopting Savings and Severability Clauses.

MOTION: To Set Fourteenth Reading and Possible Deliberation for June 4, 1997 in Harris Hall.

Cornacchia MOVED, Dumdi SECONDED. VOTE: 5-0.

Cornacchia and Dumdi both noted that they have a conflict on June 4.

The Board, upon consensus due to Cornacchia and Dumdi not being available, changed the date for both hearings to June 11, 1997.

9. CONSENT CALENDAR

A. Approval of Minutes: January 29, 1997, Regular Meeting, following HACSA

January 29, 1997, Regular Meeting, 1:30 p.m.

February 5, 1997, Regular Meeting, following HACSA

February 5, 1997, Regular Meeting, 1:30 p.m.

February 18, 1997, Regular Meeting, 9:00 a.m.

February 19, 1997, Regular Meeting, following HACSA

April 15, 1997, BCC Public Hearing, 6:30 p.m.

B. Assessment and Taxation

1) ORDER 97-5-7-2/In the Matter of Refunds to Parkside Properties LTD & Patricia N. Martinson, Designated Broker; Fourteen Pines Oregon, LTD & W. Scott Phinney, Attorney; and Kendall Ford and Kendall Honda, Ed PapeŽ and G&I Investment & David E. Carmichael, Attorney.

C. Children and Family Services

1) RESOLUTION AND ORDER 97-5-7-3/In the Matter of Accepting a $22,500 Grant From the Oregon Commission on Children and Families, Appropriating Funds in Children and Families (24-12), and Delegating Authority to the County Administrator to Execute Grant Document and an Intergovernmental Agreement with City of Cottage Grove Police Department for the Cottage Grove Peer Court.

D. Human Resources and Management Services

1) ORDER 97-5-7-4/In the Matter of Accepting the Proposal to Provide Cash Management Services to Lane County for Fiscal Years Ending June 30, 1998, 1999 and 2000 with an Option to Renew for 2001, 2002 and 2003.

2) ORDER 97-5-7-5/In the Matter of Authorizing the County Administrator to Execute a Lease Addendum with TSO Enterprises for County Owned Leased Space at 540 Oak Street.

MOTION: Approval of the Consent Calendar.

Dumdi MOVED, Cornacchia SECONDED. VOTE: 5-0.

10. HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

a. FIRST READING AND SETTING SECOND READING AND PUBLIC HEARING/Ordinance No. 7-97/In the Matter of Amending All of Chapter 18 of Lane Code to Revise Provisions of the Lane County Ambulance Service Area Plan and to Assign Emergency Medical Service Providers and Adopting a Severability Clause. (Second Reading and Public Hearing: May 28, 1997, 1:30 p.m., Harris Hall Main Floor)

MOTION: Approval of the Order.

Cornacchia MOVED, Dumdi SECONDED. VOTE: 5-0.

11. YOUTH SERVICES

a. ORDER 97-5-7-6/In the Matter of Establishing Within the Department of Youth Services 4.0 FTE Community Service Worker 1 Positions.

MOTION: Approval of the Order.

Cornacchia MOVED, Dumdi SECONDED. VOTE: 5-0.

12. REVIEW ASSIGNMENTS

This was not done today.

13. EMERGENCY BUSINESS

None.

There being no further business, this meeting recessed at 12:26 p.m. to reconvene at 1:30 p.m.

 

Zoe Gilstrap, Recording Secretary

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