December 14, 1999
BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS' REGULAR MEETING
Commissioners' Conference Room - 9:00 a.m.
Commissioner Bobby Green, Sr., presided with Commissioners Bill Dwyer, Anna Morrison and Cindy Weeldreyer present. Peter Sorenson was excused. County Administrator Bill Van Vactor, County Counsel Teresa Wilson and Recording Secretary Melissa Zimmer were also present.
1. ADJUSTMENTS TO THE AGENDA
Green noted Sorenson will be late as he was attending a meeting in Portland. He added item 8. a. will be pulled into January. He also noted the 3:00 p.m. tour of the Emergency Operation Center.
2. PUBLIC COMMENTS
Debra Jefferies, 3800 N. Delta Highway, Eugene, passed out information to the Board. (Copy in file.) She spoke on the uniform funding of city and county street improvements. She said there were County funds that originated with the 1987 agreement regarding the transfer of building and land use responsibilities within the urbanizable portion of the urban growth boundary. She noted in order for the city to accept substandard roads like Ayres, Garden Way and Delta Highway, the city asked for funds to improve the transfer of roads to city standards. She stated the County has been paying millions annually to the City of Eugene ever since the agreement. She asked where the money was and why the County residents were being asked to foot the bill again. She said the City had used the money for maintenance of all city roads, rather than for improvement of the substandard roads that were transferred by the County in 1987. She said she didnt know why no one at the County or City has asked where the money is. She asked the Board to delay discussion on the road assessment policy. She insisted on an accounting of transferred money. She wanted to know why the funds were treated as other revenue with no conditions or expenditures.
Linda Sissen, 922 E. 25th, Eugene, Director of Support Coalition Northwest, noted that there are serious problems in the public mental health system. She said there is a need for an independent advocate in the mental health system that would serve all people who would be interfacing with the system. She noted that people who have a Lane Care card do have an advocate and everyone else does not. She added there is a need for alternatives in the mental health system, instead of forcing drugs. She noted that racism, poverty and oppression are shown to play a big role in rates of mental illness and they are ignored in the biopsychiatric model. She stated that the reality of public mental health is that medication compliance is the number one factor.
Don Harbrick, 91837 Tyler Road, McKenzie Bridge, spoke about his brother who has been in the Lane County Jail for the past 11 months and has not been diagnosed for his mental disability. He said alternatives need to be looked at for the future of mental health patients, or problems will continue.
Barbara Harbrick, 57041 N. Bank Road, McKenzie Bridge, stated her son needs mental health treatments and she cannot get the help. She added mental health patients cant be released from prison without further treatment. She stated that these issues need to be addressed.
Gary Rayor, 2373 Washington St., stated he spoke with Peter Sorenson about the County getting permits for construction projects at the Fairgrounds. He said he looked at the work and wrote letters to regulatory agencies to make sure that it followed environmental standards that were set. He asked why the bridge was there, as it doesnt meet any standards. He added he was disappointed in the process and hopes the Board can gain control at the Fairgrounds of the projects that affect the natural environment.
Cindy Clague, 315 Ayres Road, Eugene, noted that the City of Eugene has had six months of discussion and the people who were being assessed were not invited to sit at the table in the discussions. She added that on the Roads Advisory Committee, people who are being assessed are not represented on the committee and there is a point of view and information they have that is necessary to be involved in the ground level discussions before policy is made. She noted the City has a new policy proposed that is less fair than the old one. She stated on her street, there are 500 units in three new developments and in the new policy, all of them are being excused from paying assessments. She said there are six people that live on the street and they are the ones being assessed. She added it is too big a burden on too few people. She asked the Board to let the people who are affected be part of the policy making.
Green recommended that as part of the mental health piece, that once the minutes are completed, that they are sent to the Mental Health Advisory Board. He recommended that they have a discussion on re-evaluating the mental health system and a non-drug treatment center. He requested to have a recommendation given to the Board some time in the future.
3. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS
4. COMMISSIONERS' BUSINESS
a. DISCUSSION Evaluation of County Counsel.
Green stated he received evaluations from many of the department directors that have had contact with Terry Wilson, County Counsel. He read random ones.
Weeldreyer stated that Wilson continues to hone her excellent interpersonal skills at management team meetings and with issues the Board is discussing. She said she was pleased with the addition of Marc Kardell as the department has become pro-active on some issues. She noted the work on Measure 20-25 was done fantastically. She said she would like to see a task for Wilson come out of the strategic planning process and have her lead the issue toward resolution.
Dwyer said he has been able to work with Wilson. He said she has been responsive, educatable and confident. He appreciated her work on the safety measure.
Morrison stated she thinks Wilson is knowledgeable and proficient in what she does. She said she would like to see Wilson become more aggressive with issues being resolved faster. She said she was comfortable working with her this year.
Green noted Sorenson gave Wilson an overall rating of 7, exceeds expectations and he commented that her overall performance is very good.
Weeldreyer commended County Counsel because the office has structured itself so there are areas of expertise and strength. She said it adds continuity to outcomes.
Green stated he finds value in having an attorney in-house so he can ask Wilson questions. He said it is very helpful. He noted that her overall rating was at an 8 plus or 9 (exceeds expectations). He stated the next step would be to accept the evaluation.
Wilson responded that it had been an enjoyable year, and her abilities have been challenged and she had an opportunity to learn with the income tax measure. She said she was disappointed that there was not a different outcome, but the education that occurred for staff and for the public was a critical element. She added there are improvements that can be made with a project arising from strategic planning. She thanked her staff and said the comments dont reflect her work, but the other people in the office. She declared the County is well served by having them.
b. ORDER 99-12-14-1 Appointing and Reappointing Members to the Lane County Budget Committee.
David Garnick, Senior Budget Analyst, reported that four people need to be appointed or reappointed for a three year term, to expire December 31, 2002. He noted that Marie Bell will be reappointed for her third term, Verna Brown and Mary Ann Holser for their second terms and Angel Jones, for her first term.
Green said he appointed Angel Jones. He noted she is a Parks Director for the City of Eugene.
MOTION: to approve ORDER 99-12-14-1.
c. UPDATE Y2K.
Jackie Mikalonis, Y2K Coordinator, reported there is no mission critical systems to worry about at this time. She discussed plans for the rollover weekend and reported they are not anticipating any problems. She noted if there were any emergency, the time designated for the Board to report is on Saturday, January 1 at 10:00 a.m. in the policy room of the Sheriffs Office. She also noted there is a tour today for the Board of the Emergency Operations Center at 3:00 p.m. She stated the Sheriffs Office will be fully mobilized by December 30 and the Emergency Operations Center will begin operations the morning of December 31 and become fully operational by 8:00 p.m. that evening. She noted all of the emergency generators have been tested and they are operational without EWEB back-up. She passed out a list of Y2K watch centers. (Copy in file.)
Gary Ingrim, Information Services, stated he is asking all Lane County employees to turn off their machines over the roll over weekend and not power them back on until all the systems have been checked.
Steve Vorhes, Assistant County Counsel, reported some of the larger companies have filed claims with their insurance companies for the cost of the mediation under a provision of their policy under the Maritime "Sue and Labor Provision." He noted Lane County has in its insurance policy a provision that is called the Protection and Preservation of Property that says the insurance company will pay the costs incurred to preserve property. He stated that Lane County was notified by the insurance broker that this was happening and to decide whether or not to pursue it. He suggested that Lane County not be a part of it.
d. ORDER 99-12-14-2 Endorsing a "Buy a Brick" Campaign by the Wayne Morse Historical Park Corporation for the Purpose of Raising Funds to Construct a Free Speech Platform and Historical Sculpture.
Dwyer reported that this was to allow the building of the platform without any taxpayer dollars. He asked for permission to explore this avenue for fundraising.
MOTION: to approve ORDER 99-12-14-2.
Dwyer MOVED, Morrison SECONDED.
e. PROGRESS REPORT Achieving Uniform Funding for City/County Street Improvements.
Green noted that the Board had not taken a position on the assessment part and the current practice of assessment is still in place. He said the Roads Advisory Committee had given a recommendation, but it had not been adopted by the Board. He noted there are roads that are badly in need of maintenance. He added the issue is having a uniform approach of assessment.
John Goodson, Public Works, reported that it was a year ago the Board directed staff and the Roads Advisory Committee to work together towards an assessment policy that was more uniform with the city. He said the major difference between the policies is that the County just assesses for curbs, gutters and sidewalk aprons, where the City also assesses for the portion of the pavement and other items. He reported the Advisory Committee had reviewed the recommendations of the City and believes that those are consistent with their preliminary recommendations. He stated the recommendation that the Advisory Committee made was that the County should assess for the same road improvement elements as the cities; that an assessment deferral should be available for large undeveloped tracks; and that panhandle lots should pay an assessment based on a minimum frontage of 35 feet for each lot that takes access from the panhandle. He said they believe the policies that the City has proposed meet the requirements to be consistent with the recommendation that Lane Countys Road Advisory Committee made. He noted it would mean increasing the amount of assessments that the County would be levying and that would be a concern. He said the Countys Urban Transition Program was implemented in 1986 and at that time, the basic concept was that as roads were annexed into cities, the cities would request jurisdiction and become responsible for them. He added when the program was initially implemented, it had a classification that was called Regional Roads and it was the Countys expectation that those were first priority for use of funds, although the agreement didnt specify how the City was to use funds that were provided, it was to be used for road fund purposes. He noted that Ayres Road and Garden Way were not classified as regional roads. He stated they have urban transition agreements with all of the cities, and the funding that the County provided was not meant to take away or add to assessments.
David Kelly, Eugene City Councilor, reported that Eugene (within the City limits) has used assessments for more than 50 years, as the primary means of improving unimproved streets to City standards. He noted that a council subcommittee was formed and met in April. He stated the committee initially stepped back from just assessments and considered a wide range of funding sources to improve substandard streets. He said there were three choices: to use an assessment-based mechanism that assesses adjoining property owners, supplemented with SDCs, to broaden the net on a neighborhood basis, or go to some sort of jurisdiction funding base, like a GO Bond or gas tax, where the entire area is paying for the improvements. He noted there was not a lot of political support for jurisdiction-wide funding mechanisms, and that is what brought them back to assessments plus SDCs and looking for the City Councils charge to try to make improvements of equity in the assessment system. He added they looked at primary access so an occupied dwelling would not pay for the improvement of two streets, just the one they take primary access from. He added there would be deferral on large lots where only the average frontage is assessed initially and the balance is assessed when the property is subdivided for further development, expanding the Citys low income subsidy program to cover assessments that covered local streets. He said it will be expanded to cover collectors and arterials. He noted for vacant property there is no assessment until time of development and providing ten year financing for any of the assessments.
Les Lyle, City of Eugene, explained they used the word deferral on the large lots but a better term would be delayed assessment. He noted with a deferral, a lien is placed on the property and they are proposing a delayed assessment, where no lien would be placed on the property and an equivalent assessment would be collected at the time of future development. He added it would accrue interest, as they would be looking at the cost at the time that the development would take place.
Dwyer asked if the lien would cloud the title of people who are being impacted.
Lyle responded that for parcels over ½ acre in size, the intent is not to put a lien on the property -- only if the property is less than ½ acre would there be a lien put on the property.
Green asked about the timelines, reaching a collective position by both the City and the County to meet a schedule in June. He asked what would happen if they cannot reach an agreement.
Lyle responded that there would be changes to the Assessment Code that would be warranted, whether an agreement is reached or not between the two elected bodies. He added the ultimate goal is to try to reach a uniform policy framework. He said time needs to be taken to accomplish that.
Dwyer asked why the people who were impacted were not part of the process.
Kelly responded there were citizen representatives from the County Roads Advisory Committee and the Citys Rates Advisory Committee, and there was no formal seat on the committee for a resident of Garden Way or Ayres Road. He noted the people who attended the meetings were recognized from the audience and gave input.
Lyle noted they had also been struggling with creating a policy framework that addresses all future improvements. He stated Garden Way and Ayres Road are good models, but they dont have all the problems as there could be with future improvements. He noted they are trying to create a policy that will be applicable on a citywide basis that is fair and equitable across the entire community.
Dwyer asked if there were any provisions that allowed for some kind of recognition of hardship.
Lyle stated there were some programs that were available and are being recommended for applicability to arterials and connectors. He said one would be the low income subsidy program, based on three income levels. He said this would be a deferral of the assessment that would mean when certain conditions are made, the deferral would come due. He added the outright subsidy would be a direct dollar-for-dollar writeoff of the portion.
Morrison asked why it costs the City more than the County to do the same type of improvement per square foot for the same type of improvements.
John Goodson, Public Works, stated they include the front foot cost on the actual contractor costs the County pays, plus 15% for engineering and administration.
Kelly noted that the Roads Advisory Committee thought what the City was proposing was consistent with their preliminary recommendations. He said he would rather see a funding mechanism that funded broadly through all people using the roads and urged the Board to propose an alternative assessment.
Green asked what would happen with the road with Garden Way and Ayres Road if they did nothing, or if they were unable to reach a compromise.
Lyle responded that ultimately the City Council has the authority to decide what direction the Board goes and they would continue to maintain it as they do now, which is minimal maintenance. He noted the roads need to be completely redone addressing pedestrian and transportation needs.
Dwyer said he sees it as a benefit to adjacent property owners on a collector street if the street is zoned business, industrial or commercial, because they rely on traffic. He noted there should be some type of mechanism that relates to zoning.
Weeldreyer stated as a member of an ad hoc committee, there has been good progress toward a more equitable approach to road estimates in the urban fringe areas. She said she was pleased with the progress. She suggested before they take an official position on this, to have the two commissioners assigned to the Roads Advisory Committee and a sub working group of the County Roads Advisory committee convene a mediation meeting with those that are directly impacted by the assessments.
Sorenson said he was interested in an arterial collector fee and asked to tie the assessment to the land use.
Kelly noted that came up in the subcommittee and Lyle and staff did a survey of the usage type along the unimproved collectors and arterials in Eugene. They found a low percentage of non-residential use on unimproved collectors and arterials.
Goodson noted the committee stated that all property owners should pay an equal amount for roads and sidewalks that serve their home. Also, regardless of living on an arterial, collector or local street, that they should pay for that portion of the street. He added there was no distinction between arterial or local, because those are needed anyway.
Green suggested to discuss a uniform assessment policy and how it would look and coordinate work so projects dont get stagnant. He added to work to try to get an agreement so the citizens know what to expect. He suggested to get the project done to get assessments out of the road fund dollars to do the projects. He said the money that would be used for the project would be taken from the road fund partnership agreement from the City. He noted when there are improvements to the road and the property owner benefits, he believes this is an assessment.
Lyle noted the County potentially contributing road fund dollars to work through the issues of Garden Way and Ayres Road. He said he wanted to find some sort of working arrangement or agreement where each entity adopts an absolute consistent policy and authorizes property outside the cities be included.
Weeldreyer MOVED to direct Public Works staff, the Roads Advisory Committee, and the two commissioners that serve on that committee to convene a work group of impacted residences to discuss some of the ideas talked about. She added to fold that into the recommendations that were preliminary given last May by the Roads Advisory Committee so all the information could be put into one document as a formal recommendation from the Roads Advisory Committee.
Sorenson said it was great having an additional opportunity for citizens to help the Board through this. He said it was a good idea.
Dwyer requested the citizens choose their own representatives.
Weeldreyer said she wanted the people who have followed the process and attended on a regular basis to be on the committee.
Morrison requested information from the City on the traffic counts before they convene the group so they have that background to work with.
Green said his concern is about equity and who pays their fair share with assessments. He asked Goodson to do some work on a partnership agreement and come back to the Board. He said the message he would send to the City of Eugene (and other cities where they have the agreements) it is not the practice of the Board to allocate the dollars with strings on them.
Lyle said they could assist Goodson with an analysis of approaches, as they are not going to do a lot of staff work around that. He suggested to contact David Kelly and Gary Pape, who are the subcommittee members, to see what their reaction is to some of the ideas. He said they wouldnt want to come back to the Board with a recommendation that the Board accepts but City Council doesnt.
Weeldreyer noted the intent of her motion was not just for Ayres Road but for Garden Way as well.
5. EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660
To be held at the end of the meeting.
6. COUNTY ADMINISTRATION
Van Vactor discussed the United Front Trip. Weeldreyer stated if she can afford it, she will go. Morrison noted that she will be going. Green asked Van Vactor about the costs.
7. CONSENT CALENDAR
A. Approval of Minutes:
November 8, 1999, Joint BCC/Springfield City Council Meeting, 6:00 p.m.
November 10, 1999, BCC Meeting with Gordon Smith, 4:00 p.m.
B. County Counsel
1) ORDER 99-12-14-3 Acceptance of Certificate and Election and Proclamation of Results (November 2, 1999 Election).
C. Health and Human Services
1) RESOLUTION AND ORDER 99-12-14-4 Delegating Authority to the County Administrator to Sign Six Contracts with Lane County Home Energy Suppliers to Provide Energy to the Clients of Lane County's Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP).
D. Public Works
1) ORDER 99-12-14-5 Releasing and Dedicating a Parcel of a County Owned Real Estate, Lot "A", of Blek Homes, as Platted and Recorded in Book 27, Page 6, as a Public Road. (18-05-06) (Blek Drive).
2) ORDER 99-12-14-6 Releasing, Dedicating, and Accepting Parcel "B", Second Addition to Watson Subdivision, Book 55, Page 11, a Parcel of County Owned Real Estate, as a County Road (17-04-12-3).
3) ORDER 99-12-14-7 Awarding a Contract to NC Machinery Co. in the Amount of $179,710 for the Purchase of One (1), New Diesel Powered, Hydraulically Operated, Wheeled Undercarriage, Excavator, Contract FY99/00 FS-02.
E. Regional Information System
1) ORDER 99-12-14-8 Amending Contract #101820 with Joe Delaney to Provide Additional Professional Services in Support of the Lane County Regional Information System Y2K Project for an Amended Contract Total Not to Exceed $120,000.
Morrison noted there were corrections on the November 10 minutes with Gordon Smith, on page 3, the fourth paragraph down. She stated it should say Confederated Tribes and that the lawsuit was filed against the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
MOTION: to approve the Consent Calendar with the correction of the November 10 minutes.
Morrison MOVED, Sorenson SECONDED.
8. MANAGEMENT SERVICES
a. ORDER 99-12-14-9 Establishing the Classifications and Salary Ranges for Chief Deputy District Attorney and Major Crimes Division Chief in the District Attorney's Office. (PULLED)
9. EMERGENCY BUSINESS
There being no further business, Commissioner Green recessed the meeting at 11:40 a.m.
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