APPROVED APPROVED 4/7/99
March 16, 1999
BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS - WORK SESSION
Commissioners' Conference Room 1:30 p.m.
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.
7. REVIEW ASSIGNMENTS
8. EMERGENCY BUSINESS
ORDER 98-9-23-9 Regarding the PeopleSoft Financial System Conversion to Authorize County Administrator to Execute Additional Contract.
Teresa Wilson, County Counsel, stated when they pulled together the remaining resources to do the entire financial conversion, they had not identified how they would do the budget module. She added the Board Order that was done in September of 1998, (delegating authority to the County Administrator to execute contracts to implement) did not include any identification of the budget module implementers. She said since then PeopleSoft procured the BRASS system and there was no change in the amount to purchase the software. She said implementation for PeopleSoft had been done by BIT. She said when they signed the contract with them, their contract was reduced to exclude implementing the budget module. She said the total project cost had not changed.
MOTION: to modify ORDER 98-9-23-9.
Morrison MOVED, Dwyer SECONDED.
9. PUBLIC SAFETY
a. REVIEW Proposed Organizational Changes Within the Lane County Sheriff's Office.
Jan Clements, Sheriff, introduced Captain Clague (who has been reassigned to the position of Chief Deputy, within the office of the Sheriff) and Captain Paul Sachet, Corrections; Ernie Loy, Civil Manager; Tina Stonelake, Administrative Analyst; Captain Dan Heuvel (who has retired) and Captain Tom Brett.
Clements reported the opening of the jail was slated for April 5. He said there will be a grand opening set for that date. He commented that the work was on time and on budget. He suggested that by the year 2005, they will need 300 additional beds.
Regarding the reorganization, Clements said that neither the Sheriff nor the County has the capacity to analyze for the future, nor the time or staff necessary for proactive efforts. He said he desires to deal with concepts and not ignore the fiscal implications. He discussed his draft memorandum regarding reorganization (copy in file.) He added he wanted to reorganize the department to move forward to serve the interests of the citizens. He added that the County can't afford not to invest in this. He said the citizens elected him into office and he wants to ensure strong connection with the constituents. He passed out an organizational chart (copy in file.)
Dwyer asked Sheriff Clements why he was in front of the board.
Clements responded that this was to inform the commissioners where the Sheriff's Office is going, to hopefully gain support for the concepts and a recommendation for reorganization. He added if he has the support of the Board, he would then like the Board to assist him with dealing with the budgetary implications of the reorganization plan. He said he didn't believe they could afford not to do this.
Dwyer noted that the County is in a financial bind. He wanted to know if the Sheriff could identify where the money would come from.
Clements said he knew where the money would come from for the reclassification of positions this fiscal year. He added they are here because financial forecasts are subject to change in the County, and he needed to let the commissioners know where they need to be as an organization to appropriately grow their capacity to respond to its citizen needs. He added when the money does become available, the Board will understand that it is a high priority.
Dwyer noted the Board has to decide how Lane County will pay for this.
Clements said he was hopeful that, based on the merits of the argument for reorganization, they can try to address the costs associated with the reorganization.
Dwyer stated he was concerned that the Board was being told what the Sheriff's department was doing and that at some point in time the Board will have to make a decision whether they have the money.
Clements noted the Sheriff's Department needs the capacity to carry on the work for the future. He said they have to look at the bottom line and the information they have so they can better do the job of providing law enforcement services.
Sorenson said with regard to where the Board goes, he said there is support for any kind of innovative creative idea that will help deliver the services to the public. He asked Clements if the Board was going to reduce the stress on the organization, (prior to budget discussion) when there is no revenue option on the table, what would he do.
Clements responded that there is an appreciation on the part of the Board of Commissioners for the concept and need to reorganize. He said he wanted the Board to know as early as possible about the needs the Sheriff's Department has, to go into the future and meet the needs that presently they are not meeting. He said with regard to funding within an existing base line, he wants to participate in problem solving. He said the reason he wants the higher level of fiscal position is to do the analysis on how they are operating and to see if they can produce efficiencies in their organization that will equip them within their existing baseline, to fund some of the activities. He noted it is what is contained within the whole array of County services. He said they may choose to de-fund certain activities. He said they have a variety of general fund activities and special interests coming at the last minute to the Board of Commissioners or to the Budget Committee. He said there is always need and they have to prioritize their responses. He said he is looking at the entire general fund or other suggestions for funding activities and he will take recommendations as it relates to the Sheriff's Office, within their base line as well as within the larger County's general fund base line.
Sorenson asked Clements about implementing the reorganization with the existing budget.
Clements responded that it would be a mistake for the Commissioners to say this is what they did last year and it is what they will do for this year. He said there are discreet things they fund from the general fund that may not rise to the level of the priority that he believes should be given this initiative. He said he understands that there will not be as much flexibility. He said he is articulating what he thinks are huge deficits in the Sheriff's Office and the County, as they provide the most critical services to citizens.
Weeldreyer said it had been proven to her that Public Safety issues are very important to the people of Lane County, especially in the rural areas, where it is their police force. She added the concerns are the lack of visibility of the Sheriff's Office and the long response time that it takes to get to the outlying areas. She said she wants to do what she can to help out the Sheriff's Department and is looking for options. She noted the most immediate need for her is in the reorganization changes that are being proposed and the price tag that will be attached to them. She wanted to know how will it address the pressing problems (like overtime) when there is a major crime incident that comes up that is unforeseen, but had to be dealt with at the time. She wanted to know how the improved efficiency with the research, training and analyst, will have a direct impact on the services that the citizens will be receiving.
Clements responded that on a day-to-day basis, not a great deal. He said they will never get away from overtime, and they haven't done a good job of developing a game plan for how they will properly address the capacity needs of the service delivery system. He said they don't have it on the correctional or rural law enforcement side. He said they need dedicated capacity to plan for the future. He added they need to look inside the organization regarding fiscal matters to see how well they are spending their money, to see if there are ways they could substantially do things differently to save money and enhance their activities.
Clements noted with regard to the new jail, they do not have the staff to bring it on line. He added when they don't bring it on line, they have to do one of two things with the U.S. Marshal's Office. He said they either tell them they don't have all the beds they were going to provide, (and they may not get the per diem for federal inmates) or they give them the contract for the beds and send more people out the door. He added the recruiting needs are huge. He said from 1994 to the present, they have they filled 158 new positions in the Sheriff's Office. He added the problem needs to be solved together and there needs to be a coalition to advance the cause of sufficient revenue to fund critical services.
John Clague, Captain, said he had been involved in six different money measures in an attempt to finance public safety for Lane County and the Sheriff's Office. He added his involvement had been building spread sheets and budgets, that most other governmental entities would have budget people doing.
Green said the bottom line is that he would like to engage in a problem solving exercise. He said he wanted to approach it from the standpoint of meeting the Sheriff's needs and keeping the rest of the organization whole. He said the County is a general purpose government but given all the hits that they have been taking, it has become a minimal purpose government. He said with the budget, they are 60% public safety. He said what is lacking for him is the plan, where it takes the Board through steps, so when they make policy decisions, they know what they are doing. He said they need a guiding document that compliments the budget, not instead of the budget, that helps the budget where the Sheriff's Office needs to be. He said he wants to engage in a problem solving exercise that would take into account the needs of the Sheriff's Department and fitting in with the overall plan of the County.
Clements said they haven't strategically planned because of the direct factor of going from crisis to crisis. He said he wants to be in line with the County's strategic plan. He said there is an urgency based on the critical public safety needs in terms of capacity that they need to chart a course and manage their future and provide the leadership.
Dwyer said he appreciated Clements responsibilities, but he has responsibilities that are broader, including Health and Human Services and all the other departments that are associated with the County. He said he is concerned that this may be premature, in light of the fact that they haven't identified any funding mechanisms or streams to be able to meet their objectives. He said he would rather reopen the forest camp and put rural deputies there and do what is needed so the public could see the results. He said with what they are proposing, the public will not be able to see the process. He added the Public Safety Coordinating Council is working hard to identify revenue streams that will be fair. He said he is concerned about bringing on an analyst of their own when the County is strapped. He said he is concerned that they are moving forward toward a position whereby if the Board can't identify some money, they will find disappointment. He said if the Board gives them what they want, it would be at the expense of somebody else.
Clements responded he sees it as a joint responsibility for them to identify where the money comes from. He said he is talking about developing the capacity to go forward as his best argument. He said regarding funding a research and development person (or a higher level fiscal or analytical deputy) as opposed to reopening the Forest Work Camp or putting deputies on the road, the money he is talking about cannot open any additional beds in the Forest Work Camp because of the staffing factor. He said he can put three plus deputies on the road, but that wouldn't staff one position, seven days a week, 24-hours a day, and would be a drop in the bucket. He said he would rather position for the future and be able to add to the numbers. He said they are at 25% to 30% of what they need in officers per thousands in responding. He said he has to develop a future oriented perspective. He said he can't afford to be reactive, he needs to be proactive and that is what he is trying to do.
Morrison said she thinks it is important to have the deputies on the street. She said she was in Veneta last Thursday night and they felt strongly about having a Sheriff presence. She added the public does not care if the department has an additional analyst. She said in order to build some good will, they have to do things that are visible, and the things in the plan are not part of that.
Clements responded that the deputies that would be funded by this would probably not end up in Veneta and those people will not see them because they can't spread three deputies in 4,600 square miles, seven days a week and make that much of a difference. He said their deficits are so huge in terms of ability to respond that it will require a total revamping of the work force size to be able to address the needs. He said the analyst would be able to assist them in planning to put forth what best suits the needs of Lane County for enhanced level of services.
Green stated he did not hear support. He said there were concerns about costs and asked the Board if they wanted to engage in an exercise.
Weeldreyer said she agreed with Green in trying to reach this from a problem solving mode. She said there may not be the resources to do everything, but something needs to be done to provide a productive process.
Sorenson said he would like to problem solve.
Green said he was interested in the Washington County model to see if it matches Lane County and to keep options open for grant dollars. He said he would rather engage in making this work from an organizational standpoint instead of doing it separately.
Dwyer stated from a budget standpoint, no matter what the PSCC does, it won't happen in the fiscal year 99/00, so there is nothing they can do to change the budget aspect. He said the earliest anything that PSCC could do is 2000/2001. He observed people do not see an analyst drive by, but they do see a deputy.
Morrison said as time goes by, they will be able to determine what they need and don't need and there may be ways of finding additional money. She said the strategic plan will allow them flexibility in doing that.
Green indicated that there were two Board members interested and he would rather engage in a smaller steering committee meeting to work on some of the issues and talk about possibilities.
Sorenson recommended that Green and Weeldreyer meet with the Sheriff to hear his views on the topic and as a result of that discussion, they could invite the Sheriff back.
Green stated the Finance and Audit Committee already deals with these issues and it would be a good vehicle to discuss the issues as there is a minutes taker present. He said he would see about getting it on the future agenda. He added they can bring the recommendation from the committee to the Board.
10. COMMISSIONER'S ANNOUNCEMENTS
Green announced they have a meeting request from Mary of Senator Ron Wyden's office to meet with the Board on April 7. He added it will be a lunch meeting from 12:30 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. He said possible topics include the National Guard Armory, Federal Payments and Decoupling.
Dwyer reported that in regard to the spraying of chemical applications at Blue Mountain, he is exploring available resources through Americacorp, Northwest Youth Corps and GWEB. He said they indicated for what it would cost the County to do the chemical eradication, that they could supply about 22 days of labor. He said in the next budget cycle, the Board needs to identify the services the County is doing that may impact the river and develop a way to change its mode of operation. He said it is in the state and federal government's interest to have Lane County change. He said it is a good opportunity and he is coordinating the effort with Bob Keefer.
Weeldreyer stated there will be a Y2K meeting at 7:00 p.m. in the new gymnasium at Pleasant Hill Elementary School and it is for the communities of Pleasant Hill, Dexter, Lowell and Fall Creek. She said they will divide up at the meeting in geographic areas and have people meet one another and come up with questions. She mentioned the County had received funding from the National Forest to be able to put an interpretive center in the location of the Lowell Covered Bridge. She said it would help pay for the cost of installing bathrooms and extending the parking area. She said it has been high on the Lowell community's list. She added there is a separate grant fund to get from the state transportation improvement plan that would give them money to rehabilitate the bridge itself. She said she suggested to the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), a number of scenic tour routes throughout Lane County, but the only one that the transportation commission accepted was the South Lane tour route. She said the only thing that is blocking that is a May 1 deadline. She said an ordinance needs to be in place that limits off-premise signs so once it is designated as a tour route and becomes on the state scenic tour route, there will be a desire to want to advertise along the route. She said it does not address existing signs, only new signs or relocating signs. She added it does require the City of Cottage Grove to go through an extensive process to amend their code.
There being no further business, Commissioner Green adjourned the meeting at 3:15 p.m.
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