LANE COUNTY LEADERSHIP TEAM MEETING
February 9, 2000 - 2:00 p.m.
PRESENT: Commissioners Peter Sorenson, Bill Dwyer, Bobby Green, Sr., Anna Morrison and Cindy Weeldreyer; Bill Van Vactor, Steve Carmichael, Jan Clements, Chuck Forster, Jim Gangle, John Goodson, Doug Harcleroad, Gary Ingram, Mike Moskovitz, Rob Rockstroh, Pat Rogers, David Suchart, Teresa Wilson, Paul White, David Garnick, Tanya Heaton, Greta Utecht and Charlie Van Deusen.
1. APPROVAL OF MINUTES
MOTION: Approval of the November 20, 1998 and March 11, 1999 Minutes.
Green MOVED, Weeldreyer SECONDED. It was noted that on page 3 of the November 30, 1998 Minutes, Dara Boush's title should read "User Support Manager" and not "User Supper Manager." The minutes will reflect this change.
With this change, the November 20, 1998 and March 11, 1999 Minutes were passed unanimously.
2. FIN PLAN
Garnick reviewed the Summary of Financial Forecast Assumptions for Discretionary Plan and the Finplan (see material on file). He noted that HMT comes off their tax exemption status in 00/01 and the following year Hyundai and Sony will come onto the tax roll. Garnick stated that they are looking at a $2.175 million reduction, due mainly to rising health and benefit costs and PERS. In addition, Garnick noted that he had to include a COLA previously not budgeted due to LCPOA negotiations.
Heaton reviewed the Benefit Rates. She stated that PERS, health and vision costs all went up last year resulting in $2 million to the GF. She said they are expecting more increases this year including long-term disability, vision and dental. Heaton said the fastest growing item in expenditures are benefits. She commented that Fleet and postage costs are also rising, noting that it will be hard to hold M&S flat.
3. DISCUSS DIRECTION
Garnick reviewed the options (see material). Van Vactor stated that the Management Team has indicated that it would like stability, which would require them to cut the $2.175 million. Clements stated that he also supports stabilization because it will allow them to know the liability and to know what to go out for if they decide to put a revenue measure on the ballot. There was a discussion on having a levy and general agreement that this is a bad time to go out for a levy. Gangle noted that the school districts are going out in May and, if not successful, will probably go out again in November. Clements stated that they will not be able to provide services without a successful revenue measure and cannot expect to regain credibility if they can't provide services.
4. REPORT FROM MANAGEMENT TEAM MEETING ON CORE AND NON-CORE EXERCISE
Van Vactor stated that after the Management Team reviewed the criteria they presented, it was determined that directors had a difficult time applying specific criteria to programs outside of their departments. Department Directors did not want to make decisions on programs and services they did not feel knowledgeable about. Van Vactor said efforts were redirected to a general discussion on what they believed were core services.
Clements presented an overview of the result of the Management Team. He commented that some of the people that spoke at the public hearing made the point that the draft plan was not an action plan; there were no outcomes; core services were not defined; money and programs were not used to define the process; and trust and credibility would not be forthcoming. Clements added that the strategic plan time line is too compact and that strategies do not have anything to do with goals.
Clements stated that they looked at the concept of public safety including 1) personal safety and personal property, 2) health, 3) basic needs (housing food), and 4) infrastructure (roads, bridges, etc.). He said they would need to go from a top to bottom approach and look at acute or critical services, chronic and proactive efforts, and enhancement to public safety. Clements noted that they also need to look at re-directable monies. He stated that it will be necessary to establish thresholds for these four areas of public safety, and then once established, they need to be defined by specific criteria.
Clements explained that the next area besides public safety are the mandates, which are all acute or critical and then the optional or enhanced funding that are not general fund or otherwise dedicated, such as parks. He said re-directable revenue needs to be allocated on the basis of meritorious priority. Clements stated that if you are not meeting your acute level of service, it is appropriate to look at that re-directable revenue. The process should include the following:
- establish a level of services that citizens perceive as acute
- levels to be defined by specific criteria
- have outcomes
Weeldreyer stated that she is concerned that economic development will not meet the acute definition and that if they re-direct lottery money, acute services will never be achieved and economic development will go in a downward spiral.
Van Vactor stated that Management Team has made a list of core services and will make that available.
Sorenson stated that separating the strategic plan from the budget process is needed. He said the idea of having benchmarks similar to those of the State and having each department determine whether or not they are meeting them would be helpful. Sorenson stated that if benchmarks are missing in some areas, they should be created. He said there cannot be a serious gap analysis until Lane County knows what it is doing at this time.
Clements stated that he does not want to be driven by state benchmarks and said it is important for Lane County to decide on its own benchmarks. Sorenson agreed and said the State benchmarks could be a starting point.
Sorenson stated that Option D across the board reductions, seemed like a straightforward computation while Option H a hiring freeze, would be difficult to compute. He suggested that they could achieve the same amount of reduction in D by having a hiring freeze with a review board. He said, however, that by doing an across the board reduction, basic systems will continue to operate while a hiring freeze may affect critical services. It was noted that Department Directors do not like across-the-board cuts.
Sorenson said he would look at cutting $1.5 million. He stated that he would consider Option E in terms of redirecting video lottery but not room or car rental taxes. Sorenson said he would also look at F and G for benefits in increasing fees and department lapse or a combination of those with the Management Team, then working on how to get the $1.5 million.
Harcleroad stated that rather than reduce by $1.5 million, he favors finding $250,000 by adding lapse and holding M&S and waiting to see if Lane County gets any new revenue from the federal government.
Morrison said she would be willing to go for the $250,000 and then bite the bullet when faced with reality. She stated that she has no trouble redirecting money and believes they could find $1.5 million. Dwyer said he wished to take the most optimistic rather than doomsday approach to minimize the impact on staff as much as possible. Weeldreyer stated that she would rather not make drastic cuts until she sees the outcomes from the federal government.
Ingram said they will still need to look at core/non-core services so that they have an idea what to take out of next year's budget when they know they will have more cuts.
Morrison concurred with Ingram that they had better identify core and non-core services soon so that by August they will know what to look at next year.
Sorenson directed that cuts should be around $300,000 depending on the outcome of the LCPOA arbitration. He warned that they can't assume a revenue during FY 01. Sorenson said the Board will continue with strategic planning.
Van Vactor said there should be a discussion in July after the new budget is implemented as to where Lane County is and how they feel about a revenue measure so as not to miss the deadline. Wilson said she believes the deadline is the first week of August.
5. BUDGET SCHEDULE
Heaton reviewed the budget schedule. She said that because they have decided to keep a status quo budget with a small reduction of $300,000, they may be able to remove some of the meetings. There was agreement that departments would keep the same presentation as last year and that departments will do all of their own analysis. Heaton said budgets are due by April 10. There was consensus to take off the April 27, May 18, May 23 and May 25 meetings and to move the Board meeting down week from May 17 to May 24.
6. NEXT STEPS
- Management Team will continue to work on what are core and non-core services at their
meeting on February 28, 2000.
- Hold a SPEC meeting in March or April.
- Have a Leadership meeting in July.
There being no further business, this meeting adjourned at 4:30 p.m.
Zoe Gilstrap, Recording Secretary
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