minhead.gif (11357 bytes)APPROVED Approved 5/11/99

May 4, 1999

LANE COUNTY BUDGET COMMITTEE MEETING

Commissioners' Conference Room - 5:15-8:30 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

None.

III. PUBLIC COMMENT

Barbara Stoeffler, 2859 Tandy Turn, Eugene, Community Volunteer, stated that she was here to speak on behalf of the Lane County Alcohol and Drug office. She gave a brief overview of her involvement in MADD and her work to coordinate education about what has happened in Lane County as far as the alcohol and drug offender program statistics. Stoeffler stated that it was her understanding that the program would be cut by a quarter and stressed that they need to keep all the people they have. She also discussed the Victim Impact Program and the impact it has had serving the community.

Mike Baker, 2188 N. Danebo Ave. Eugene, stated that he wanted to speak on behalf of the veterans. He noted that he is a board member on their committee. Baker stated that he has budget reports from all counties in the State of Oregon. He said these reports show that Lane County is at the bottom of the list, noting that Lane County spends $1.78 per veteran per year compared to Clackamas County which has about the same veteran population and spends $2.47 per veteran. Baker stated that Lane County’s veteran budget was $62,000 while the Clackamas County budget was for $92,000. He said the veterans bring into Lane County over $31 million a year through services and benefits paid to the veterans. Baker asked that the office get at least a three-year contract to allow them to pursue grant money. He explained that they need this three-year contract to be eligible. Baker said in the last five years, the Lane County Veterans Services office brought in over $47 million.

IV. REVIEW OF GENERAL FUND DEPARTMENTS

Support Services

Tanya Heaton, Management Analyst, distributed copies of the funds for discussion and tentative approval (see material on file). There was agreement that the funds would be discussed and that questions be asked before tentative approval is moved.

General Expense

Heaton reviewed the funds included in the general expense budget. Responding to Jones, Heaton stated that the Employee Benefit fund did go up due to PERS. Regarding the Self Insurance fund, David Suchart, Director, Management Services, explained that revenue is growing because expenditures are less and also has to grow to keep the proper reserves in it. Suchart stated that there has been two actuarial studies done on the Self Insurance fund, one for the liability and one for the workers compensation. He said external auditors also review the fund. Responding to Holster, Suchart stated that operational costs have been taken out of the Self Insurance fund.

MOTION: Tentative Approval of the General Expense proposed budgets.

Dwyer MOVED, Green SECONDED. VOTE: 10-0.

Board of County Commissioners and County Administration

Heaton reviewed these budgets.

Sorenson asked if any help to the commissioners in the form of assistants is included in this budget. Heaton replied that it was not but that they could request it as an add. Holser stated that she wants it noted that she strongly believes in the need for commissioner assistants. Green and Morrison said that they did not support this while Dwyer noted that he uses interns. Weeldreyer stated that while there is a definite need, she couldn’t justify the expense in this budget. Dwyer noted that there is no COLA for the Commissioners. Van Vactor explained the process for salary increases for the Board according to the Charter, the Compensation Board and the Budget Committee.

MOTION: Tentative Approval of the Board of County Commissioners and County Administration proposed budget.

Dwyer MOVED, Brown SECONDED. VOTE: 10-0.

County Counsel

Heaton reviewed this budget.

Holser stated that she supports the add request for the student loan clerk. Sorenson suggested that they separate the add package requests by those in the budget options section in the notebook and those new adds suggested by the Budget Committee. There was agreement to this.

MOTION: Tentative approval of the County Counsel proposed budget.

Dwyer MOVED, Weeldreyer SECONDED. VOTE: 10-0.

Management Services

Heaton discussed this budget.

Dwyer requested that, in the future, the proposed budgets are included with the actuals for previous years. Responding to Green, Suchart stated that the decline in Capital Improvement is due to completion of the roofing project. Holser voiced concern about the need for additional staff in elections and would like this addressed in an add package. Brown suggested that the Internal Auditor work on this issue, to which there was agreement from the committee.

MOTION: Tentative approval of the Management Services proposed budget.

Dwyer MOVED, Weeldreyer SECONDED. VOTE: 10-0.

Information Services

Heaton presented this budget.

Holser said there is an 11.5% increase in this budget and asked what factors were driving this increase. Gary Ingram, Director, Information Services, stated that the biggest factor is the COLA increase because they have a lot of on-call and overtime which results in higher costs from the COLA and benefit increases resulting in substantial increase in personnel services. He said other factors include the purchase of software licenses and servers by using money out of lapse from vacant positions. He also noted that Y2K has had a big impact. Crowell asked about the increase in agency payments. Heaton explained that that is actually an error and will be corrected. Ingram explained that the increase in external equipment is because they are including the charges for pagers this year, something they had not done in past years.

MOTION: Tentative approval of the Information Services proposed budget.

Dwyer MOVED, Brown SECONDED. VOTE: 10-0.

Public Services

Assessment and Taxation

Heaton reviewed this budget.

Responding to Dwyer, Jim Gangle, Tax Assessor, stated that the house bill has passed out of the House and said one estimate of the revenue if that should pass would be approximately $450,000 a year for A&T. He said it is now hung up in the Senate. Gangle stated that there is a great deal of support and that the primary opposition in the past, notably the Realtors Board, is now supporting this. Jones asked about the tax penalties increase. Gangle stated that the 1997 session of the legislature increased the penalty on personal property late filings so last year was the first year of those increased collections. He said they now estimate that that amount will be cut in half because people will realize that there is a penalty associated with not filing personal filings on time. Crowell asked why the commercial and industrial appraisal program was blended in with the residential appraisal program. Gangle stated that with the passage of Measures 47/50, they reduced the appraisal staff and collapsed the two programs into one department.

MOTION: Tentative approval of the Assessment and Taxation proposed budget.

Dwyer MOVED, Weeldreyer SECONDED. VOTE: 10-0.

Public Safety

Youth Services

Heaton reviewed this budget.

Responding to Dwyer’s question about the rise in miscellaneous, Chuck Ryer, Assistant Director of Youth Services, stated it is due to the addition of a grant for substance abuse control and a grant for violent offender treatment, noting that there are no line items that adequately describe these grants.

MOTION: Tentative approval of the Youth Services proposed budget.

Dwyer MOVED, Green SECONDED. VOTE: 10-0.

District Attorney

Heaton presented this budget.

Sorenson asked about the status of child support enforcement. Harcleroad stated that it is not in the base budget although they did allow for an office assistant from the last budget cycle. He said they have downgraded a series of lawyer positions as people have left and garnered some money from those positions to move to clerical which will result in a legal secretary position for the Family Law Division. Responding to Sorenson, Harcleroad noted that for every dollar Lane County spends, the federal match will reimburse it at 66 cents on the dollar. Sorenson said he would like to have the Budget Committee consider adding additional funds to the District Attorney. Dwyer stressed the importance of recouping child support money from the deadbeat parent. Responding to Dwyer, Harcleroad stated that there was actually $7 million targeted for public safety in the legislation but that that is in the State Police budget and there is currently no money earmarked out of the $20 million for the DAs. Sorenson asked about the drop-in line item professional and consulting. Harcleroad stated that they received a grant from the State to add an investigator for domestic violence and rather than hire an employee, they are using an experienced detective from the Sheriff’s office which shows up as an expense in the District Attorney’s budget and as a revenue in the Sheriff’s office.

MOTION: Tentative approval of the District Attorney proposed budget.

Dwyer MOVED, Brown SECONDED. VOTE: 10-0.

Justice Courts

Heaton reviewed this budget.

Sorenson asked if the Justice Courts were going take over the dog violation hearings. Justice of the Peace Cindy Sinclair replied they are still negotiating and definitely pushing for it. Van Vactor stated that this is a good item for a Board of Commissioners’ work session because it does raise policy issues when the function is moved from compliance to regulating. Teresa Wilson, County Counsel, noted that there is current legislation pending which impacts the full range of violations. She said County Counsel needs to look at this in response to the desire to move forward on this project because it will change how things are handled as far as animal regulation. Responding to Sorenson, Justice of the Peace Weih stated that the overall number of fines has remained on the low end and has resulted in downsizing personnel in Oakridge. Holster asked if all the Justice Courts are self-funding. Rick Schulz, Management Services, stated that the two rural courts don’t always balance, noting that significant internal costs have been added and without those costs, both rural courts could balance. He said overall the three courts do balance. Schulz stated that the courts provide vital services to communities but don’t always generate revenue. Responding to Sorenson, Schulz stated that the fund transfers go into the District Attorney’s office, the Sheriff’s Traffic Team and the two rural courts.

MOTION: Tentative approval of the Justice Courts proposed budget.

Dwyer MOVED, Brown SECONDED.

VOTE: 10-0.

Sheriff’s Office

Heaton reviewed this budget.

Sorenson questioned the efficiency of keeping administrative costs centralized in the Sheriff’s Office as opposed to being performed county-wide. Sheriff Clements responded that because they are such a large department, it becomes more efficient for certain functions, noting that several functions are provided county-wide. Responding to Holser, Clements noted that they do pay an indirect charge. Van Vactor stated that this is an issue that could be assigned to the Internal Auditor. Green asked that the Sheriff provide a list of efficiencies gained around book-in, the Forest Work Camp and the matrix issue before they make a case for additions. Green also asked about the Electronic Monitoring System and the total number they have, the percentages being used and what barriers are in place that prevent 100% use. Sorenson asked about stabilizing vehicle capital outlay to prevent spikes in expenses and if the capital outlay part of annual discretionary fund is budgeted like the PC replacement fund. Clements stated that money is budgeted in the Motor and Equipment Pool fund for replacement. Responding to Sorenson’s questions regarding nursing at the jail and health care for the inmates, Clements said they did bring a half-time office assistant but otherwise it remains status quo. He stated that they did add staff for the new jail addition. Clements noted that they are not current with technology. Van Vactor stated that after Y2K, Lane County will take the knowledge gained and move current technology out to other line departments with Public Safety being the number one priority. Clements stated that this needs to be a component of the strategic planning. Responding to Holser, Lieutenant Mark Graham stated that transfers include transport to and from state prisons and court security.

Crowell asked about contract services and why they are not fully self supporting. Clements responded that they are incrementally moving for full costing. He said this will include indirect costs. Responding to Sorenson, Clements stated that there is not enough money to deal with a disaster and could use at least on extra 1.0 FTE.

Sorenson said he would like to discuss adding money for nurses and 1.0 FTE for disaster preparedness as a Budget Committee add. Clements stated that, in terms of nurses, the first priority is to look at salaries across the board in the Sheriff’s Office, the Department of Youth Services and Health and Human Services. Morrison stated that she would like to see the Internal Auditor perform a comparison of consolidating the payable/receivable function and Fleet Services. Captain John Clague stated that an audit has been done on fleet services and will provide a copy of that to Morrison.

Morrison asked if they are proposing another contract. Clements responded that they are with HACSA who formerly contracted with Springfield. Jones asked why the revenue for contracts is staying the same while the expenses went up. Heaton stated that she will bring an explanation of the revenue and expenses in contract services on Thursday.

MOTION: Tentative approval of the Sheriff’s Office proposed budget.

Dwyer MOVED, Brown SECONDED. VOTE: 10-0.

V. BUDGET DELIBERATIONS AND QUESTION AND ANSWER

Deliberation and questions and answers were taken at the beginning of each budget discussion.

VI. ADJOURN

There being no further business, this meeting adjourned at 8:05 p.m.

 

Zoe Gilstrap, Recording Secretary

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