BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS' WORK SESSION

June 6, 2000

9:00 a.m. (following Tours)

Commissioners' Conference Room

APPROVED 9/6/00

Commissioner Peter Sorenson presided with Commissioners Bill Dwyer, Bobby Green, Sr. and Anna Morrison present.  Cindy Weeldreyer was excused.  County Administrator Bill Van Vactor, County Counsel Teresa Wilson and Recording Secretary Melissa Zimmer were also present.

 

1. ADJUSTMENTS TO THE AGENDA

None.

 

2. PUBLIC COMMENTS

           

Mike Carmicle, 1708 Grove St., stated he is the president of the Lane, Coos, Curry, and Douglas County Building Trades Council.  He noted it is an organization of trade unions whose members work in the construction industry.  He added they jointly participate in legislative matters, benefit plans, training committees, scholarships and charitable causes.  He said the best-built structures in Lane County are union built.  He said their members enjoy a decent wage, good medical coverage for themselves and families, pensions and safe working conditions.  He said the right to organize is legal.  He urged the Board to reinforce that right.

Paul Hovey, 2101 W. 10th, United Brotherhood of Carpenters, said that in the construction trade, the prevailing wage had been falling for three years in a booming economy.  He added there is a lack of social responsibility by companies and public agencies.  He said that Hyundai should be responsible for the community in the jobs they provide and should allow a worker to choose a union if they wish to without interference or anti-union pressure.  He asked the Board to do what they could to bring work place justice and responsible employers back to Lane County and consider the benefits of unions and the right to organize.

Cynthia Cokus, 2465 Jefferson, St Mary’s Church, stated she was a member of the Social Action Commission and they focus on justice over charity as the church’s primary response to human needs.  She said the Board seeks to improve the opportunities for children and families and quality jobs.  She said it is important for elected officials to encourage and support the workers' unionizing efforts and for employers to accept workers' decisions to have a union.  She urged the Board to support the resolution of work place justice for Lane County.

Marion Malcolm, 110 Mayfair Lane, said that union jobs are far more likely to be good jobs and good jobs mean stable families and communities.  She urged the Board to pass the resolution in support of work place justice so when workers choose to have a union, they are not denied that right.

 

3. EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660

To take place tomorrow.

 

4. PUBLIC SAFETY

 

a. DISCUSSION Proposed Lane County Public Safety Money Measures for the November, 2000 General Election.

 

Jan Clements, Sheriff, reported they are discussing a proposed measure to address adult and juvenile capacity.  He noted that it was critical they communicate to the citizens what they will be accomplishing with the measure.

 

Clements explained that the Forest Work Camp (if fully operational) would have 120 beds.  He noted that Lane Council of Government staff (at the direction of the Public Safety Coordinating Council) projected the need for 338 additional beds (medium security) by the year 2005.  He said in this measure they are talking about the use of existing space in the adult and juvenile system.  He noted the Forest Work Camp and the Juvenile Justice Center have enjoyed the highest degree of support when citizens had been surveyed.

 

On capacity for the Forest Work Camp in 1996, Clements said 42% were released unsupervised because they did not have the capacity.  He noted in 1997, 45% were released.  He added in 1998, they had to pull money out to put into the new juvenile justice system building.  He said in 1999, they got down to 29%.  He noted the City of Eugene’s major concern is the ability to hold people.  He said it is inefficient to have law enforcement officers trying to do their job, then sending the criminals back out

 

Clements mentioned that currently the Forest Work Camp is at 25% capacity and the solution is to fully fund it for the 90 beds that already exist.  He said staffing is needed to run the beds.  He noted even though they are a minimum security facility, they allow for shifting of the adult population so correctional capacity could be improved.  He reported the outcome as it relates to the adult portion of the proposal is to provide capacity to hold more people.  He said they need use the space they have.  He added the net gain in the intake center would be 65 beds.

 

Steve Carmichael, Youth Services, reported that capacity in the juvenile correction system had been an issue for a long time, with 50 or 60 juveniles.  He said at that time they decided to detain 36 juveniles because that is what they had the space for in 1989.  He added that since then, the violent juvenile crime rate has doubled.  He said they had 5,000 referrals last year and they still have 36 beds.  He reported they have the beds but not the operating dollars.  He said they should be running two detention pods instead of one.  He said the levy would add seven beds for alcohol dependent children and it would ensure that girls would also be treated.  He said the capacity the levy would address would be to add detention, drug and alcohol treatment and the assessment center. 

 

Carmichael noted with outcomes, they will provide the drug and alcohol treatment beds.  He added regarding accountability, the balance approach with community safety and treatment is what works.  He thought the support would be there from the public.  He said they would be able to demand a lower recidivism rate.  He noted with the juvenile justice system, they had been given the physical resources in buildings to make a difference in the juvenile crime rate.

 

Clements reported the PSCC’s top priority is solving the capacity problem.  He said the measure needs to be more focused, less expensive and must address the most critical problems providing substantial solutions for outcomes.  He said without capacity, prevention is crippled.  He distributed an e-mail from Mayor Torrey regarding prevention (copy in file).

 

Clements said, with regard to the deficit, that Van Vactor made it clear the projected deficit will need to be funded for the life of the levy.  He noted in the past they had funded the public safety portion.  He was supportive of moving forward on the issue as it relates to Lane County systems.

 

Van Vactor explained that Lane County has remained stable with a slightly shrinking work force.   He declared it is an effort to maintain the existing programs.  He noted the vast majority of the expenditures go to the entire public safety system.

 

Dave Garnick, Senior Budget Analyst, reported an additional $100,000 was spent to restore overtime in the Sheriff’s Office and the projected deficit for next year is about $2.6 million.  He noted in maintaining all the services that are funded by the discretionary general fund, the need is about $3 million a year (adjusted for inflation) to keep everything even for a three or four-year period.  He noted the Forest Work Camp becomes fully funded on the proposed levy measures.  He said the request is for $10 million for the four-year levy.

 

Clements stated that he did not want to go to the voters with something that could not be sustained in the future.  He said they folded the Intake Center Bond into the levy.  He added it would address capacity, staffing the intake center with 100-beds that fits the intake portal to the system and adds 65 beds in capacity.  He noted they have staff who would be able to run that system in the money measure.  He was enthused about moving forward on this measure.  His recommendation is that the Board would direct legal counsel to immediately work with staff to craft ballot titles for adoption at the June 28 Board Meeting, under Option 4.

 

Dwyer declared there are not many choices.  He said it is his concern that people on fixed and limited incomes will have to pay.  He has reservations but will not stand in the way of it.

 

Morrison asked if they decided not to go out with the bond, how much would the  amounts decrease.

 

Clements said they were consistent with the 1998/1999 measure and it would not decrease because staff is needed to accommodate the number of people coming into the system.  He added if they add an efficient intake processing center, (from 35 to 100 beds), it could be done with the same number of staff.

 

Morrison declared Lane County was losing ground and doing something wrong.  She said the services Lane County is providing need to be re-evaluated.  She was in agreement with the Forest Work Camp, the Intake Center, and opening one more pod at the juvenile justice center.

 

Carmichael noted the Pathways program was very successful, with an 80% to 85% success rate with juveniles.  He said it takes five to six months of stabilizing juveniles to get them off drugs, succeeding in school, and onto a successful life pattern.

 

Harcleroad stated that good drug treatment does work, based on Drug Court.  He added it is cheaper than incarcerating kids or adults.  He recommended that issue being in this package.  He said he would be willing to try it.

 

Morrison asked if Senate Bill 1608 passes, if the levy would go away.

 

Van Vactor responded there was a way to build into the ballot measure language that there would be a pro rata reduction in the rate depending on the amount of the revenue.

 

Wilson noted if the voters approve a levy, it does not compel the Board to impose it.  She said the Board always retains budget authority on an annual basis to assess the circumstances, needs and revenues to make a decision about how much tax can be levied.  She added the levy sets an upper limit of what can be levied.

 

Van Vactor stated one of the complications in assuring the voters that existing programs could be maintained, was that assurance could not be guaranteed for the fourth year.  He said they have to be clear to the citizens that they will use the money in the fourth year for public safety programs.

 

Green asked why they believed the public would go for this approach.

 

Carmichael responded that surveys after the election show a high level of support for the issues.  He said this measure is narrow, clear and included issues that people had voted on before.

 

Green noted that nationally the juvenile crime rate is declining.  He asked what Eugene was not doing that was being done at a national level.

 

Carmichael responded what was missing was capacity.

 

Harcleroad said that capacity would help everyone in Lane County.  He said they were sensitive about how much money to ask for.

 

Green was supportive of the effort.  He said as they go forward with the public information, he wanted the Sheriff’s Office to show the Board what they had done with the previously approved public dollars.  He wanted them to speak candid about the maintenance of effort.  He said they need to be up front, others will see it as backfilling the general fund.

 

Sorenson asked if the bond amount for the intake center repair work changed from what was proposed to the voters.

 

Clements responded it had been changed.  He said they inflated the price at four percent per year from the old figures. 

 

Clague said the projected cost of construction is $6.9 million.  He added they hadn’t done any further work in determining the rate for the length of time for the bond.

 

Clements proposed June 28, 2000 as the date for the bond and levy as they need to make sure there is enough time to inform the public.  He said they don’t want it to fail on something other than the merits of the proposal.

 

Sorenson asked what services would be maintained through this bond and levy.

 

Van Vactor responded all the general fund services throughout the organization, of which 70 percent is public safety.  He added some goes to Assessment and Taxation and to Elections.

 

Clements said capacity needs to be addressed.

 

Sorenson said his concern is that whatever is put out is something the voters see as worthy of their attention.

 

Clements noted they had done that by limiting the measure to the two most critical programs that address capacity.

 

Sorenson suggested targeting the money specifically for the Sheriff’s Department so it is clear with the voters that the purpose of the measure public safety.

 

Van Vactor noted that it would create a shortfall in the rest of the organization.  He noted that all of the services are dependent and they would erode and ultimately reduce programs.  He said there was no clean way to separate it.

 

Morrison said if they increase capacity, a lot of the people in the rural area will be in jail.  With regard to the credibility with the voters, she said the money left over from the bond of the juvenile justice center would show good faith by giving the proceeds back.

 

Van Vactor said the unresolved issue was the term, the choice being two or four years.  He noted an advantage of two-year versus four years is that it is less so it looks smaller to the voters.  He said the negative for two years is gearing up a significant operation at the Forest Work Camp and at the juvenile justice center.  He added most of the investment would be made after the first two years and it is difficult to recruit employees when they are funded on a two-year cycle.

 

Clements noted that he heard the direction from the Board was to move forward aggressively on this timeline.

 

Wilson said she would prepare ballot title language with optional language in it.

 

Clements said he wanted to move forward with options for June 28, 2000.

 

Wilson stated if they wanted this in the voter’s pamphlet, they would need to establish a committee.   

 

5. PUBLIC WORKS

 

a. WORK SESSION Natural Resources Study Initial Briefing.

 

Sorenson reported the Natural Resources Study must be adopted by the Cities of Eugene and Springfield and Lane County as an update to the Metropolitan Plan to meet state Land Use Goal 5 requirements.

 

Celia Barry, Land Management, presented a slide show on the highlights of the study.  She noted it was a periodic review work test that was approved in 1995, that deals with three types of natural resources: riparian corridors, wetlands and wildlife habitat.  She noted it allows them to comply with Goal 5 and it will result in more certainty for developers.  She said for the natural resources study there will be an examining of the inventories of significant sites, technical report, (analysis that will look at conflicting uses) buildable land inventory, (policy recommendation report) designating sites that will affect buildable land (Rule 23) and amendments to the Metro Plan.

 

Barry reported there are workshops scheduled in Eugene and Springfield on June 21 and 22.  She said the public would have an opportunity to look at a draft inventory of significant sites.   She noted the target of the first round of public hearings will be Fall 2000 and the second group will be in Fall 2001.

 

Barry said two methodologies apply, inside the urban growth boundary (Wildlife Habitat Assessment, Standard Process under Rule 23) and outside the urban growth boundary (Safe Harbor Methodology).  She said they will inventory the three types of natural resources (riparian, wetlands and wildlife habitat).  She noted they would then identify significant criteria.  She said for inside the urban growth boundary and for all wildlife habitat sites, they will be identifying conflicting uses. She added they would establish a program to protect the natural resources by adopting policies.  She stated they would need to adopt measures that have already taken place and change Lane Code to come into consistency with the rule.

 

Dwyer asked what Safe Harbor really means.

 

Barry responded it was a term that came from Rule 23 of Oregon Administrative Rules, meaning if the minimally required procedures are done, then Lane County would be in compliance.  She noted there is another option of doing a more detailed analysis.

 

Kent Howe, Land Management, reported the resources outside of the urban growth boundary are intact and don’t need additional analysis.  He said provisions in the state law are adequate to meet the requirements for protecting those resources.  He added it is safe to the county jurisdiction to implement those provisions as opposed to having to do the more detailed analysis that is applicable inside the urban growth boundary.

 

Dwyer said he had concerns about the urban growth area in Springfield, which is putting people on the edge of the urban growth boundary.  He asked how safe harbor land is protected.

 

Barry responded it would be subjected to the minimum state requirement for protection.

 

Howe said the provisions of the code that will apply will implement the safe harbor regulations of the state law.  He said there would be a riparian setback ordinance provision that will preclude development within certain distances.  He added it would regulate the removal of riparian vegetation.  He noted the resources are more intact, less analysis is needed and regulations that are in place have been determined by the state to be the minimum necessary to protect the resources.

 

Dwyer said they need to think about these areas now and develop strategies to mitigate future conflicts between sand and gravel, residences and farmland.

 

Morrison asked that, within the urban growth boundary, what notification will be given to property owners.

 

Barry stated that Measure 56 notices will be sent out during the public hearing stage.  She added for the public workshops, they are notifying everyone within 150 feet of each site and 25,000 people on their mailing list from other land use issues. 

 

Morrison requested that the notification be adequately addressed.

 

Green asked what happens if the jurisdictions disagree.

 

Howe responded that it would go to MPC as the process for resolution.  He added if resolution can’t be reached, then there would be no change.  He noted it was a resource issue (environmental and monetary).  He said the County is looking at the safe harbor approach, the minimum level of regulation and resource to be compliant with state law.  He added there are not a lot of resources that the County has to add in what the direction had been in the past.

         

6. COUNTY ADMINISTRATION

 

a. Announcements

 

None.

 

b. DISCUSSION Lane County Budget.

 

Garnick stated they had collected 18 additional adjustments to the budget since the Lane County Budget Committee finished their work.  He noted they were primarily grant related.  He said a few items had monies designated for a particular purpose and that purpose couldn’t be completed by June 30, so some items are being carried over.  He added most are housekeeping matters and don’t require additional attention.

 

Sorenson asked what the status of Passages was.

 

Rob Rockstroh, Health and Human Services, reported they could rescind it.  He said with regard to Passages funding, there was a recommendation to the full PSCC Committee vote (9-4, two against, one abstaining) to close it.  He stated by cutting $156,000 out of Passages, they would not have to cut the $360,000 to pay for the Forest Work Camp.  He said they would be transferring money from his department to the Sheriff’s Office to backfill it for a year.  He said this was a two for one general fund trade off.  He said that Passages had been acting as if it was a done deal and they had transferred clients to other parts of the state.  He noted if they did not close Passages it would be a separate issue.  He said he had a proposal for $99,523 that will go forward.  He noted if they were successful they would be able to retain Domestic Violence in its entirety.

 

Sorenson did not agree with discontinuing the community corrections grant funding for the Passages program.  He said he would be willing to make the other changes.

 

Dwyer asked what the Board’s role was as a policy maker.

 

Rockstroh said they could accept or reject it.  He noted it would go to the full PSCC and then to the Board.

 

Dwyer asked about the effectiveness of Passages compared to other programs.

 

Rockstroh responded that none of it had been measured for effectiveness.  He said evaluations had not taken place.  He noted he was setting aside $18,000 for evaluation and having a conversation about the other $117,000 in CCA dollars that goes to staff the PSCC.

 

Sorenson asked if the Budget Committee recommended the discontinuation of the grant funding for the Passages program.

 

Rockstroh stated the Budget Committee did not.  He said he made the recommendation to the CCC subcommittee.

 

Garnick reported the Community Corrections Subcommittee, the full PSCC and the Board agreed to fund the Forest Work Camp out of the community corrections act dollars.  He said there were not sufficient dollars to add the Forest Work Camp without taking something else out and this was the recommendation from the Community Corrections Committee to reduce this program.

         

7. REVIEW ASSIGNMENTS

Clements and Carmichael to respond to questions by the Board.

 

Suggest board for explanatory statement.

 

Van Vactor wanted further direction on refunding money.

 

8. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS

Dwyer stated that today is D-Day and next Wednesday is Flag Day.

 

9. EMERGENCY BUSINESS

None.

 

There being no further business Commissioner Sorenson adjourned the meeting at 12:25 p.m.

 

Melissa Zimmer

Recording Secretary

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