June 23, 1999
REGULAR MEETING - BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
Harris Hall Main Floor - following HACSA
Commissioner Bobby Green, Sr., presided with Commissioners Bill Dwyer, Anna Morrison, Peter Sorenson and Cindy Weeldreyer present. County Administrator Bill Van Vactor, County Counsel Teresa Wilson and Recording Secretary Melissa Zimmer were also present.
1. ADJUSTMENTS TO THE AGENDA
Green announced that Roy Burns needed to give an update first on the schedule, as he had to go to Salem.
2. PUBLIC COMMENTS
Christopher Dunn, 715 Harlow Springfield, stated he was present to talk about the Lane County Farmers Market. He said that they are operating a monopoly on County property and he is seeking to stop it. He submitted a document (copy in file) and stated he is seeking an investigation by the District Attorney.
Green noted that since Dwyer suggested that Dunn come talk to the Board, that Dwyer take leadership on this matter.
3. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS
Morrison reported she attended the Housefield Hearing in Medford on Monday, on the Clinton Forest Plan. She said with regard to the plan, it was not perfect and suffered from a number of significant flaws: 1) the plan had failed to deliver the timber supply it promised; 2) the acreage being counted upon to provide successful habitat was planted with the objective of timber management; 3) reserves in certain fire dependent ecosystems may be inconsistent with the ecosystem restoration; 4) the riparian reserves described in the record of decision may be more than is needed to achieve their purpose; and 5) the survey and management requirements under the plan may not be achievable and could put the entire plan in jeopardy. She said she was pleased that Rep. Goodlap from Virginia came to Oregon and listened to the people regarding how effective this plan had been, and from Rep. Thomas from California, who gave testimony. She noted that in November there will be serious dialogue about the future of the plan as counties need to take positions on this forest plan.
Dwyer said he will be going to Salem on Monday to give his support to the Association of Oregon Counties and to meet with members of the legislature to focus on Lane Countys problems.
Weeldreyer reported that there will be an important meeting tomorrow at Crescent Lake Junction regarding the Lane Klamath Consortium meeting to review and recommend approval back to their respective jurisdictions, and the by-laws of the creation of the fiberoptic regional consortium. She said she had a successful negotiation with All Phase Utility, Corp., who is putting in new lines from Portland to Eugene and from Bandon to Springfield. She said if they are successful, every incorporated city in Lane County will benefit from the fiber brokering strategy. She added it had gained national attention and she will be giving a presentation on the idea at the NACo Conference in St. Louis next month. She thanked the Board, the County, City of Springfield and LCOG staff for the support that she had received.
Green announced that on July 14, 1999, he will be in Washington, D.C. to visit Lane Countys delegates. He noted that there will be a Board meeting on that date and he and Van Vactor wont return until July 14. He added they will be leaving on July 10 and will be in Washington, D.C. on July 12 and 13. He thought the Board Meeting date could be continued because there was a desire on one commissioners part for a meeting not to take place then. He noted that new information from Mike Copely is that Land Management spent a significant amount of money advertising and posting the notices, so the request of the Board is to have the meeting on July 14 and continue the hearing until July 28 when the full Board will be present. He added that Weeldreyer had a direct conflict in terms of not being able to be present at the meeting. He stated it would just be Sorenson, Morrison and Dwyer present at the meeting to do the reading and continue the discussion.
Sorenson asked if any of the Board members who couldnt physically be present, be present by telephone for that hearing.
Terry Wilson, County Counsel, responded the need is to be present by telephone or as long as there is a quorum, then the remaining members could participate in the deliberations by listening to the tape.
Sorenson asked if three Board members are present and one wants to participate by phone (for the brief purpose of hearing whatever testimony is given and hearing the reading), if the fifth Board member could participate in the deliberations, by listening to the tape, or if any combination of that could be possible.
Wilson responded that if no Board members were physically present but all five were on the telephone, that would also be permissible.
Van Vactor cautioned that if there were less than three commissioners present, from a public hearing point of view, the members of the audience testifying would not appreciate it.
Wilson noted the other hearing had been anticipated for July 14, on the noise ordinance. She said there is not the same type of notice problems and asked if that were to be routinely scheduled to July 28.
Green stated he was in agreement.
4. EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660
To be held after the morning session.
5. COMMITTEE REPORTS
a. Legislative Standing Committee Report.
Dwyer stated he had no committee report as the committee didnt meet.
Roy Burns, Legislative Committee, reported the issue of primary emphasis is dealing with the strategy on pushing for additional funding for the District Attorney. He urged the Board to continue to make contacts as it looks promising. He added another issue that will be before the Association on Monday deals with the gas tax as it is being contemplated, coming out of the Senate. He added the primary issue is the repeal of the weight and distance method of taxing larger, heavier vehicles in the state and going to a registration diesel fuel. He said it will be discussed and the county commissioners for AOC may be requested to accept a registration diesel fuel, in the interest of getting some type of gas tax package increase through the session. He said he is carrying the message that Lane County cannot support a gas tax increase. He urged the Board to be there and express their position on that.
Green suggested to Burns to send out the salient points that needed to be reiterated to the Association as it related to Lane Countys position through e-mail.
Sorenson reported that the Federal Department of Transportation is holding region hearings this summer on the issue of raising the federal limit on the maximum amount of weight on a federal highway. He said in connection with this, the Western Governors' Conference met a week ago and at that meeting there was a discussion of the position of the western states and western governors on raising the federal limit to 97,000 pounds.
6. COUNTY ADMINISTRATION
Van Vactor noted there was a Juvenile Justice Tour at 2:30 p.m. and a retirement party for Russ Cron.
Dwyer reported he had jury duty so he wouldnt be present for the afternoon meeting.
7. CONSENT CALENDAR
A. Approval of Minutes: None.
B. Management Services
1) ORDER 99-6-23-1 Authorizing the County Administrator to Execute a Ten Year Lease Agreement with the United States Coast Guard as Lessee with $150 in Annual Revenue for Placement of Navigational Aids on County Property Along the Siuslaw River in Florence.
2) ORDER 99-6-23-2 Authorizing the County Administrator to Execute a One Year Lease Renewal Agreement with the Housing Authority and Community Services Agency as Lessor and Lane County as Lessee for the Lane Stabilization and Rehabilitation Center Located at 2222 Coburg Road, Eugene with Annual Rent of $129,980.
C. Public Works
1) ORDER 99-6-23-3 Releasing, Dedicating, and Accepting Parcel "A", in Garden Villa, Book 45, Page 17, a Parcel of County Owned Real Estate, as a County Road No. 1844 (South 34th Street) (18-02-06-24)
MOTION: to approve the Consent Calendar.
Weeldreyer MOVED, Sorenson SECONDED.
8. MANAGEMENT SERVICES
a. ORDER 99-6-23-4 Amending Chapter 3 of the Lane Manual To Revise the Title of the Human Rights and Affirmative Action Advisory Committee.
Sorenson stated the name of the committee is cumbersome and they were looking for an alternative.
Dwyer commented that the name may be cumbersome, but wants to keep advisory in the name of the committee.
Laura Yergan, Diversity Analyst, stated the name is cumbersome and mispronounced and the idea was to shorten it. She noted the committee discussed various names and they are clear of their advisory function to the commissioners. She said the committee also monitors the diversity implementation plan.
Sorenson noted that the volunteers on the advisory committee have concerns about the implementation of the diversity plan and the response of the administration and Board of Commissioners of Lane County and how they try to implement that. He stated they do report back to the Board annually and there is a monitoring of the report. He agreed that the advisory committee has a wide range of discretion in terms of human rights.
Morrison concurred that the word advisory needs to be in the order.
Wilson noted if there is consensus on that, she suggested to move to approve the order with the revision that advisory be inserted.
MOTION: to approve ORDER 99-6-23-4 with the revision that advisory be inserted, to read the Lane County Human Rights Advisory Committee.
Dwyer MOVED, Morrison SECONDED.
b. ORDER 99-6-23-5 Establishing the Classification and Salary Range for the Youth Advocacy Coordinator Classification.
Hector Rios, Management Services, reported the Department of Youth Services approached personnel with the idea of developing a classification that would be more reflective of the duties that were performed by two part-time community service workers, up through December 1998.
Dwyer stated he had problems in terms of the minimum qualifications. He said they were too subjective and he wanted objectivity. He added he wanted to know how the qualifications were determined.
Green said the minimum qualifications and abilities would serve the organization well with the person coming into the organization.
Rios said he spent a few weeks working on the job classifications, materials and requirements that needed to be included in the job classification. He said he met with an employee who used to do the job, met with the supervisors and looked at the position description questionnaire that needed to be filled out for personnel to proceed and conducted surveys with other counties that had similar positions.
Green stated it was his experience that when someone applies for a position in any organization, objectivity stops once an application is submitted and from that point on it is subjective.
Rios also mentioned that once they begin the recruitment process, if the department supervisors feel there is additional information needed from the applications, it could be included in the supplemental questionnaire.
Dwyer stated he thought the position was worthy and there needs to be someone in the position, but has a problem with subjectivity vs. objectivity.
Sorenson requested making the process as fair and objective as possible.
Morrison asked if there is currently a youth advocacy coordinator working with juveniles coming through the system and if they are of a minority background.
Chuck Ryer, Lane Workforce Partnership, responded the position is a consolidation of two positions that are now classified as community service workers. He said they have added to the job description the responsibility to recruit and supervise interns and volunteers. He said when they did the analysis, they concluded there was not a job description within the County classification system that met the criteria for what they were trying to establish and the result was a creation of a new position based upon minority advocate positions in their department.
Morrison asked if all juveniles that are coming into the system are provided counseling opportunities.
Ryer noted this is a different role, the people working are probation officers and their primary responsibility is behavior control and protection of the community, and the function of this position is to serve as an advocate for the youth that are in the system.
Morrison said she was concerned about duplication and if the position was due to the minority part.
Ryer reiterated their function is to be an advocate for the youth and family and the primary responsibility of the juvenile counselor is the protection of the community. He added that this is an advocacy program created under a grant from the federal government to reduce over representation of minorities in the system and it is a diversion program.
Green noted that this is essential to the operation in addressing the over-representation of minority juveniles. He said his concern is about the essential functions of the job, and if the person could do the job.
Van Vactor stated he shared Dwyers desire and ultimate goal to have the process as objective as possible that is based upon the job description. He added the marketplace is changing and they are having difficulty with recruitment.
Rios noted the labor market had been tight for the past year and if they were to make a posting so strict and limiting, he said he would be afraid they would be excluding qualified applicants who otherwise would qualify for the job.
MOTION: to approve ORDER 99-6-23-5.
Weeldreyer MOVED, Green SECONDED.
VOTE: 2 - 3 (Dwyer, Morrison, Sorenson dissenting). Motion FAILED.
Sorenson suggested putting together a subsequent proposal because he thought it was an important position.
Morrison said she did not think the position is warranted and the County has people that should be doing this already.
David Suchart, Management Services, stated when he brings the items to the Board it is a classification specification. He added if there is an objection with the viability of why the position is offered, it is a separate issue that should have been dealt with when the position was set up. He said the purpose of Rios coming to the Board is to report on the job classification and what they see the classification being. He noted the reason why the job specifications are written in a general and subjective fashion is because they are just guidelines. He added they then ask the employee to fill out a supplemental questionnaire, and that is the basis upon which they evaluate the position.
Weeldreyer encouraged the Department of Youth Services to make individual appointments with commissioners to try and resolve this issue and then bring it back to the Board.
Ryer stated he needed direction as there were two separate issues. He noted the Order was to create the classification and he only heard Morrison speak on the classification itself. He added the job posting notice describes the position. He wanted to know if he needed to address both issues.
Green suggested to address whatever issues were needed to be discussed with the three commissioners who voted no, to get them to either support it or remain in their position.
c. ORDER 99-6-23-6 Delegating Authority to the County Administrator to Enter into Professional Services Contracts for Employee Medical, Dental and Vision Insurance.
Suchart reported it was not a normal awarded process with regard to the Joint Benefits Review Committee, made up of managers and representatives of each labor union. He added with Jerry Eisland's and Craig Starrs assistance, they went out for bids based upon the group's working of the process and accepting the bids. He said it was reviewed by management and each of the labor unions. He added that HACSA is also involved in the Joint Labor Benefits Committee. He said they received bids and they are obligated to go back to each of the bargaining units to accept criteria and the different alternatives. He said they took them back to the labor groups (LCPOA did not agree with the recommendations of the committee, AFSCME had not voted for it and 626 did vote for it) and they have a separation with acceptance by their labor groups not in accepting the bids themselves, but on certain criteria. He said it was difficult for them as they do not split the benefit packages. He added when they met with the Joint Labor Committee, they were told it is all or nothing. He said the implications of all or nothing are about 2% of the benefit cost. He added AFSCME is willing to discuss the matter and they have time with regard to the implementation, until January 1, 2000.
Van Vactor noted per David Garnicks file note that there was 12% set in the budget, to the extent the collective bargaining units and employees accept the modification proposed by Eisland.
Suchart noted there is the issue with the contract itself and he is asking today to have the County Administrator sign the contract. He said he would like to go back with AFSCME to get them to reduce the 2%. He said they are bringing this so they could have the contract with Blue Cross.
Craig Starr, Management Services, reported they got bids back from four companies proposing to provide various aspects of the insurance package. He added they bid on all three components of the insurance package (medical, dental and vision) and one only bid on the dental portion. He noted when they received the bids back and reviewed them, it came down to Blue Cross on the medical and vision (providing the best bid), and the issue was between Blue Cross and ODS regarding the dental piece. He said they recommended going with Blue Cross because of the impact of administering the change of vendors. He said the cost savings obtained through ODS would not be savings, because of the additional workload. He said because the recommendations of the benefit review committee had not been ratified by all of the bargaining units, it is a moot point. He added under the contracts, they are obligated to maintain the level of benefits that are in place and that is obtained by staying with Blue Cross. He said the benefit review committee met, reviewed the bids and made recommendations to reduce the cost increases. He handed out a spreadsheet. (Copy in file.) He didnt think the Board had any choice as the labor contract clearly states that the County is obligated to maintain the benefit level, and cost increases are the Countys responsibility. He suggested to reduce costs somewhere else. He said with regard to the bid, it was a four part recommendation. He said currently under the Traditional Plan, the deductible is a $50 annual fee, with a limit of $150 per family. He said the change was to increase that from $50 to $75 and the limit from $150 to $225. He added the second was to increase the "stop loss amount" (the amount of out-of-pocket cash) that an individual employee could experience in the course of a year. He noted that currently the out-of-pocket for an individual is $500 and the proposal was $750. He added the third cost savings recommendation was switching from Blue Cross to ODS as the insurance carrier, to take advantage of their lower bid. He said there was also a County "stop loss" so on large claims, the current limit is $75,000 and would be $100,000. He said by approving this Order, it would direct the County Administrator to enter into a contract to maintain the exact same level of benefits.
Jerry Eisland, Employee Benefits Consultant, stated the joint labor management group recognizes that health care costs are increasing and the County cannot continue to absorb the costs and in order to manage the plan and keep the benefits in tact to the extent they can, they will have to make concessions. He said the process was to identify what changes might be acceptable to try to reduce the impact of cost. He noted the Board Order is to maintain the existing plan. He said the second issue, the administrative expense involved at the carrier level, encompasses all of the cost containment issues within the administrative expenses. He added there are advantages and disadvantages to being self-insured, the primary one having more direct control the way the program is administered. He said in his view, the current funding arrangement with Blue Cross is better than being self-insured. He added that if there is a surplus at year end, because they dont need all of the funds that the County pays, the County will get that money back.
Morrison asked about the surplus and if the County had experienced any in prior years.
Eisland responded that there are two components to the funding arrangements, the County withholds 15% of the premium up front and they pay Blue Cross 85% of the premium on the preferred provider plan (85% of all employees participate). He said the 15% withhold the County retains is only paid to Blue Cross-Blue Shield if in fact they need the additional 15%. He said the County is still liable for the 100% of the premium, but 15% is withheld so there is a potential to retain the amount. He said if there was less than an 85% cost factor, anything under that 85% becomes surplus. He noted that two years ago in combination of the two factors, there was over $1 million in surplus that was returned to the County.
MOTION: to approve ORDER 99-6-23-6.
Weeldreyer MOVED, Sorenson SECONDED.
Sorenson asked for a report from the County Administrator one year from the meeting on any changes that had taken place in the market place regarding the plan administrator and if anything was changed, to have a work session to be placed on the future agenda.
9. PUBLIC SAFETY
a. ORDER 99-6-23-7 Authorizing the Expenditure of Additional SCAAP Grant Funds Due to Increased Cost(s) for the Remodel of the Custody Referee and Corrections Administration Office Space.
Lieutenant Mark Graham, Sheriffs Department, stated SCAAP stands for the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program. He reported that on April 21, 1999, the Board signed a Board Order authorizing the remodel of the custody referee space and the Corrections Division administration space and the expenditure of $111,098. He added the costs were then projected on the estimates provided by the contract. He noted on April 27 the bids were opened, they received only one bid, and it came in about $77,000 higher than what the estimates were. He said the one option he left off was to rebid the project because at that time they were looking at using CCA funds that had to be placed and used by the end of the fiscal year. He added if they rebid, that would not allow it to happen, so the custody referee remodel portion would not be able to be completed. He noted the potential exists if they do go for a rebid, that no one else will bid.
Dwyer suggested separating the jobs instead of having one person do all of the work.
Dave Garnick, Budget Analyst, reported at the time this came through, the request was to put it on the consent calendar and at that time, the funding had not been fully identified for the custody referees portion. He said they had worked on that and some of the costs associated with the custody referee remodel are available for use of the courthouse security fund that is dedicated to state court security. He added with those additional funds, there is sufficient funding to cover the additional portion the state would have to come up with.
Van Vactor asked what the management issue would be around several smaller contracts as opposed to one large one.
Graham responded the management issue would be something that would be time consuming. He said it depends what he can set up with County Finance and how they work the bidding process. He said they could be split out for rebid, but he is not sure they will get anyone to rebid and he wondered if they did not get any further bids, how they would proceed.
Dwyer stated it is his preference to rebid the job and if they are not successful, he will deal with it at that time.
Graham noted if the state allows them to extend the CCA dollars for the custody referee space, they could go out and rebid and if they do not allow them to do that, they lose the money on July 1. He added they still have to continue their operations as well as the custody referee and the contractor will have to be working around the everyday operation of the facility.
MOTION: move to rebid ORDER 99-6-23-7 in a segmented factor and see what the results of the independent bids are.
Dwyer MOVED, Sorenson SECONDED.
10. EMERGENCY BUSINESS
There being no further business, Commissioner Green recessed the meeting into Executive Session at 11:20 a.m.
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