May 11, 1999
LANE COUNTY BUDGET COMMITTEE MEETING
Commissioners' Conference Room - 5:15 p.m.
PRESENT: Marie Bell, Verna Brown, David Crowell, Bill Dwyer, Bobby Green, Mary Ann Holser, Carol Jones, Anna Morrison, Peter Sorenson and Cindy Weeldreyer. Zoe Gilstrap, Recording Secretary.
I. CALL TO ORDER
Chair Marie Bell called the meeting to order.
II. APPROVAL OF LANE COUNTY BUDGET COMMITTEE MINUTES
MOTION: Approval of the May 4, 1999 Minutes.
Dwyer MOVED, Morrison SECONDED. VOTE: 10-0.
III. PUBLIC COMMENT
Arturo Zamudio, 736 East 16th Avenue, Eugene, stated that he is in support of the Methadone Maintenance Program. He said it is important to not only keep the current funding but also to find money for an additional counselor. Zamudio stated that the present waiting list for methadone treatment is approximately four months. He said that when he first tried to get on this program in 1992, it took him until 1996. He remarked that during that time, he was twice sent back to the penitentiary on violations. Zamudio noted that some probation officers see methadone as "just another drug" but he stressed that it has enabled him to keep off heroin so that he can live a normal life. He said it is cost effective because people on methadone are able to keep a job, maintain a family structure and pay their own expenses, including their probation fees. Zamudio emphasized that the counseling he has received through the methadone maintenance program has helped teach him these skills.
David Abramowitz, 3170 Emerald Street, Eugene, stated that he is in support of the two add-on positions for people with developmental disabilities. He said he is hoping that there is a willingness and a commitment on the part of the County. Abramowitz stated that there is an abundance of creativity and technical assistance in support of people with developmental disabilities in the community. He added that there are providers ready to provide technical assistance to support the County in structuring these job settings. Abramowitz stated that the next step would be to get an action plan together. He noted that he worked for Lane County 20 years ago and received a Certificate of Appreciation and award for individual placements for people with developmental disabilities in integrated work sites in the county.
Judith Lerner, 2510 Kincaid, Eugene, stated that she is also here again to speak on the two developmental disabilities positions and said that from the remarks made at a previous meeting, she got the sense that these add-ons could not be funded or werent necessary. She said she represents the ARC of Lane and Lane County Community Partnerships, noting that they have serious concerns that this is not going to happen. Lerner stated that people with developmental disabilities have had job training with the County for six years but as positions open, none of them have been hired. She stated that David Abramowitz has been negotiating with the County for approximately one year for job positions, which have not happened. Lerner commented that if the positions cannot be funded as an add-on, perhaps they could be put in the basic budget, noting that there is $41 million in discretionary funds. She said law enforcement is getting an increase of over $1 million while they are only asking for $52,000 to fund these two positions.
IV. FINAL BUDGET REVIEW
Tanya Heaton, Management Analyst, noted that there is a technical adjustment in Facilities Management to add $75,000. David Garnick, Senior Management Analyst, explained that this revenue comes from the foreclosed property program in the Special Revenue Fund as a transfer to cover staff costs.
Review and Prioritize Budget Options
Heaton stated that there are three adjustments on the Budget Options 99-00 sheet (see material on file). She noted the changes:
Mental health specialist in the DUII Program should be $11,236 for both the total and general fund.
Delete the $150,000 soundwall add request because it is included in the road fund.
Change the FTE under the Health and Human Service Restore Batterer Supervision from 5 to 3 FTE.
Regarding the budget options, Green noted that they have the recommendation of the budget analysts, the County Administrator and the chief budget officer. He said, however that as the Budget Committee, they can decide not to take the recommendation and could do something entirely different, but cautioned that there are serious implications should they decide to that. Green stressed that they are facing a deficit next year. Bell and Brown concurred that Lane County should prepare for next years budget now. Sorenson asked if this committee was going to assume any new revenue from any source and, if not, did they want to entertain any ideas about taking something out and putting in one of these budget options.
Bell asked if any member of the committee wanted to take something out of the budget in order to add something else. No one wished to do so.
Brown reiterated that she was leaning toward looking out for next years budget and, therefore, was in favor of the status quo budget. She said by having a prioritized list of budget options prepared by the Budget Committee, if any money does come in, the Commissioners could decide whether they want to fund an add or hold the money to offset the deficit next year. Jones stated that if any new money comes in, she wants to take care of the deficit first before funding any adds. Sorenson noted flexibility is important, citing the critical need and importance of the methadone treatment program as an example. Brown suggested that the Budget Committee prioritize the list of add considerations and return them to Heaton who will forward them to the Board if funding becomes available at a later date. Crowell stated that it was his preference that any general fund money be saved for next years deficit.
Bell asked how many members of the committee are holding firm on the status quo budget. Six were in favor of doing so.
Holser stressed the importance of prioritizing and keeping this list available to the Commissioners for future recommendation in case money becomes available. She said she did not want to see the possibility of these adds being lost completely. There was agreement that the list would be prioritized and returned to Heaton who would then forward them to the Board of Commissioners.
Holser stated that she would like an opportunity for the committee to advocate for budget options.
Regarding the two positions for the developmentally disabled, District Attorney Doug Harcleroad stated that he thinks he can generate one, maybe, two of those programs by giving up an office assistant position.
Bell stated that there are two programs that she would like to see funded as soon as there is money available: addition of a Domestic Violence Investigator and restoration of the Batterers Supervision Program. She said these two things are absolutely necessary and that it would be in poor faith for the County not to fund them.
Holser stated that she agrees with Bell and added her number one priority is the Methadone Maintenance Program, noting that it is not costing a lot of money and is well worth it.
Brown stated that all the budget options are good and noted the benefits of the law clerk, the Justices of the Peace salary increase, the Alcohol, Drug and Offender and DUII programs in addition to the Methadone Maintenance Program. Brown said these things are all very high priority but that they must take care of the deficit first.
MOTION: In the event there is additional money, preference will be given to balancing the budget in FY 00-01 and that the Budget Committees recommendations will be advanced to the Board of Commissioners as advice to be included in their considerations of any additions once the preference has been taken care of. Dwyer MOVED, Holser SECONDED. VOTE: 10-0.
V. MOTION TO APPROVE THE FY 99-00 LANE COUNTY BUDGET
MOTION: Approval of the entire FY 99-00 budget with all previously agreed upon adjustments, additions and reductions. Weeldreyer MOVED, Green SECONDED.
MOTION: approval of the entire FY 99-00 permanent tax rate and bond tax levy amount as shown on the attachment marked Comparative Summary of Property Tax Levies and Rates.
Bill Van Vactor, County Administrator, asked whether or not this committee wanted to contemplate a statewide measure in September and, therefore, a higher tax rate in anticipation of a property tax measure in September. Heaton explained the tax rate and bond amount as shown in the attachment (see material on file). She explained that the permanent rate on the tax base was rounded to $1.28 but is actually $1.2793 per 1000 and that 18 cents is added for the Juvenile Justice construction bond for a total of $1.46. Garnick added that a permanent rate is levied for the budget and that a dollar amount is levied for the bond measure.
Responding to Sorenson, Teresa Wilson, County Counsel, stated that if Lane County voters approve any other type of revenue within FY 99-00 over 10%, then a supplemental budget would be necessary. She said whether or not this would involve the Budget Committee would depend on the number of requests by the public for a supplemental budget process. Wilson stated that if the revenue was not expected until FY 00-01, it would become part of the Budget Committee deliberations next year.
Dwyer MOVED, Crowell SECONDED. VOTE: 10-0.
Bell referred to Holsers list of questions regarding the process for next years budget committee, especially her question regarding revenue sources for each program (see material on file). Heaton explained that revenue sources are indicated under the revenue summary in each department but noted that there is not a list that shows every grant and their source. Holser said she is interested in the proportion of grant money. Linda Morrison, Health and Human Services, stated that with the new BRASS system, they might be able to run a report to better illustrate this. Brown cautioned that grants dont always run with the Countys fiscal year.
Dwyer stated that he would again like to request that both the proposed budget and actual budget be included for past years, stressing the importance of being able to look back over the years to see trends.
It was noted that if any citizen members of the Budget Committee wanted to attend supplemental budget hearings, they are advertised in the newspaper.
There being no further business, this meeting was adjourned at 7:00 p.m.
Zoe Gilstrap, Recording Secretary
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