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APPROVED 8/2/00

 

BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

WORK SESSION

March 28, 2000

9:00 a.m.

Commissioners' Conference Room

 

Commissioner Peter Sorenson presided with Commissioner Bill Dwyer, Bobby Green, Sr., Anna Morrison and Cindy Weeldreyer present.  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

Judy Fitzgerald, 565 Pine Court, Creswell, represented the employees of AFSCME speaking about the matter of amending the classification of programmers. She noted in 1988, Lane County enacted a new classification system and the union had concerns. She said they were assured that those classifications would be reviewed if they would go forward with the classification system.  She said the employees were hesitant about it, but thought the County would go forward.  She reported those reviews did not take place. She noted that in April 1998 the union began putting pressure on the administration to complete the review of the classifications that had been promised.  She reported the union filed a grievance, went to arbitration in December 1999 and they are still awaiting a decision on that arbitration.  She stated there should be meaningful dialogue with the County about how the classifications are formed.  She added they have concerns about the classifications and requested information.  She said that the point system was artificially done too low.  She said her concern is if the Board were to take action today, the Human Resources Department would have no incentive to have any dialogue with them.

 

Flo Byrne, 3185 Firwood, Eugene, stated she is a PC Network Technician for Information Services.  She noted the pending arbitration directly involves the classifications.  She said they asked for all of the classifications to be completed, and they had only received a partial list.  She requested that action be delayed.  She reported that Gary Ingram asked his staff if they supported going forward with the classifications.  She added staff had not received copies of final drafts of the classifications.  She said the employees responded positively. She recalled in 1993, the County and union jointly hired a consultant to work on classification issues and they developed language that dealt with the term substantial modification.  She noted there was specific language that was agreed to and it had not been applied to the classifications.  She stated that two weeks ago, IS had a staff meeting and Ingram asked his staff if they supported going forward with the classifications.  She added staff had not received copies of the final drafts of the classifications. She reported that an unofficial vote that was held by one of the employees in the IS group showed the employees overwhelmingly did not support the way the jobs were factored.  She stated when the original classifications were approved in 1988, the computer classifications was one of those groups that were factored exactly the same level or 7 1/2% lower than it was factored 12 years ago, indicating they found no substantial change in the jobs and the value of the jobs had not increased.  She said they could justify why some of the jobs should be factored higher and wanted the opportunity to dialogue with HR.

 

Greg Schneider, 40980 Rogers Mountain Loop, Scio, stated he is the AFSCME Council 75 representative for the bargaining unit.  He said historically, the union had perceived this as a collaborative process.  He said they tried making this process work.  He noted the only way they get anything done is by filing grievances and going to arbitration. 

 

Weeldreyer requested the County Administrator and the HR Department address some of the concerns that were raised.

 

3. EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660

 

Will be held at the end of the meeting.

 

4. COUNTY ADMINISTRATION

 

a. Announcements

 

Van Vactor said he will be attending an International Association of City and County Managers Association Conference in Savannah, Georgia with Tanya Heaton.  He stated Dave Garnick would be acting County Administrator.  He announced Stephanie Schulz would be starting a new position and wanted a Certification of Appreciation prepared.

 

5. OTHER BUSINESS

 

a. PRESENTATION OUTLINE Oregon Water Law.

 

Michael Mattick, Water Master, gave a presentation on the Oregon Water Law.

 

Mattick reported in Lane County last year there were 486 water wells constructed and in 1998 there were 374.  He noted a good part of his job is helping the public find out where water rights are.

 

Mattick reported that a water right is attached to the land and once it is attached, it stays with the property through subsequent ownerships.  He noted a landowner can cancel it while they own the property, or they can transfer it to another place.  He reported the Water Code dates back to 1909.  He said if someone receives a permit and it is not used within five years, it eventually gets cancelled.  He explained there are some uses that do not need a certificate or permit to be legal.  He said that state law says that all of the waters of the state belong to the public and are subject to permit requirements.

 

Dwyer asked if he had a work plan for the next year.

 

Mattick responded that he didn’t have a work plan because he was responding to complaints or requests for assistance.  He added with the listing of the salmon, he is required to develop a work plan for saving the salmon.

 

Green asked what proactive measures Mattick was taking for the listing of the salmon.

 

Mattick stated he makes presentations at watershed councils about the salmon concern and use of stream flows.  He said he tries to visit the largest water users in each sub-basin to ensure their use is in compliance with the terms and conditions of their water right.  He added with new permits, any new permit requires an affirmative statement from the Department of Fish and Wildlife.

 

Weeldreyer asked if junior water rights were still being issued for service water in Lane County.

 

Mattick responded they were not. He stated there are two things that govern whether they will issue a new permit: a set of administrative rules adopted by the commission or a water availability determination.

 

b. ORDER 00-3-28-1 Amending the Classification of Programmer Analyst 1, Programmer Analyst 2, Senior Programmer and Systems Analyst and PC/Network Technician (Re-Titled Information Services Technician), Computer Operations Specialist 1/2 and Lead Computer Specialist (Re-Titled Senior Computer Operations Specialist) and Establishing the New Classifications and Salary Ranges of Information Services Analyst, Senior Information Services Analyst and Data Base Administrator.

 

Charlie Van Deusen, Management Services, reported that in the six months he had been with the County, he had heard about the classification system that the County has had for the past 12 years.  He realized it is a subject for debate and in a general sense, Human Resources tries to make the classifications as accurate as possible and compensation that is fair to attract, maintain and motivate employees.  He noted there is a different understanding about how the process works.  He said the system does a good job of keeping classifications accurate. He reported the disappointment is in the point factoring.  He added because Lane County’s system is an internal equity system and does not take into account market conditions, new classifications do not translate into increased dollars and that is where the misunderstanding is.

 

Cheryl McCawley, Human Resources, reported that there is only one classification that does not have the same point factor value that it originally had, due to the change in minimum qualifications.  She added it is a classification that is not used widely in Lane County and there was a need for a lower level position working on AIRS.

 

Dwyer asked why there wasn’t a dialog with the union before this matter was brought before the Board.

 

McCawley responded they had dialogued with the union and they indicated they were not provided with any information.  She added they have had all the information since January.  She said nothing more had come back from the union as to what their concerns were about the specific classifications.

 

McCawley reported she was involved in the first class review that Lane County did after the implementation of the classification system in 1988 and in 1990, they reviewed the classifications and there were no agreements in writing except for the accounting clerks.  She noted they reviewed the programmers at that time and made minor modifications.  She added that AFSCME did not agree with the point factoring at that time either, but they did not exercise their right under the contract to move it forward.

 

Weeldreyer asked about the classification concerns the union had.

 

Van Deusen stated he did not understand all of their concerns but said they had not been able to give their perspective on the reclassification requests.  He said there is a difference of opinion about what the process is designed to do.  He explained that Human Resources strives to make these classifications accurate and updated.

 

Gary Ingram, Information Services, stated there were two votes from the employees, one from him and one from an AFSCME employee within the IS Department.  He said out of the votes, it was overwhelming for staff to move ahead to get the classification implemented.  He noted the union didn’t agree with the point factoring.  He stated he currently has people working out of class.

 

Sorenson asked why the County is locked into an internal system that is not meeting the needs of the employer or employee.

 

Van Deusen said Lane County’s system does not preclude the consideration of the market; it is that the point factor system doesn’t allow for market factors.  He added the difficulty in recruitment is not unique to Lane County, it is felt across the nation. He said it is more difficult now than five years ago to recruit qualified people.

 

Morrison said she is concerned about the dollar part, that the County could only pay so much for the current financial situation.  She said Lane County has internal equity, it is not market driven, plus the benefits are not always available at the private sector.

 

Sorenson stated there is a reason employees have the right to form their own bargaining units so the union can speak for the employees who might otherwise be in a power imbalance with their employer.  He wanted to see the AFSCME officials and the employer representatives come together with the classifications. He said he is concerned if a different method is used other than the external equity system.  He said it is hard to go forward with the opposition expressed.

 

Dwyer stated it needs to be a collaborative process to resolve conflicts.

 

Green suggested future deliberations documenting the actions taken.  He asked how the classifications today were injurious to the person that will be reclassified.

 

Judy Fitzgerald, stated Flo Byrne asked for time management today and was denied so she couldn’t answer questions today.  She reported the duties had been expanded significantly but the salary is the same.

 

Green asked if there was validity to the vote that was taken by the employees to go forward.

 

Fitzgerald reported the employees were given different information.  She said the employees had been told by the County that the union could negotiate whatever salary the union wants.

 

Dwyer stated in the future he would like to review minutes of the classification meetings.

 

Weeldreyer said that trust is important in the process. She stated she can see where the reluctance is to move ahead knowing there is salary information that is yet to be negotiated.   She was disappointed that Flo Byrne was not allowed to stay to answer direct questions.  She said she was not comfortable moving forward today.  She wanted the work to be finished that needs to be done internally.

 

Morrison said it would have been helpful to have documentation about bargaining in good faith where people were allowed to be at the table.  She said she wants to keep it moving forward.  She added if it is delayed, she wants a timeline to move forward.

 

Ingram reported that in 1994, they tried to do the reclassifications and they were taken to negotiation.  He said it was thrown out of negotiations after six months because there was no agreement.  He noted it dealt with the salary and level of classification at that time.  He said they are now trying to do the same thing and it may take a long time to get the salary level to the point where they can agree.  He was concerned as he has employees that should be moved to a higher position based on the work they are doing and he is paying them out of class.

 

Fitzgerald thought the union would have something available in about a month.  She added that the RIS classifications are also supposed to be in review and have not been done.  She noted that all positions should be done at once.

 

Green suggested having a conversation with staff around the points and returning to the Board.  He stated he was ready to go ahead on this agenda item as it stands.  He added he would be willing to give another 30 days for the item to come back.

 

Fitzgerald reported when these jobs were presented to them in January, they were not given information about the positions along the way.  She added they were not notified that this was coming to the Board and would like to be included in the conversations.

 

Van Vactor noted that all of the employees were involved because they took a vote, so they did know it was coming to the Board.

 

Fitzgerald stated the employees were notified, but there was no notification to the union.

 

Weeldreyer stated she did not want to delay the process.  She wanted to see better communication between the groups and an understanding and respect for what the other side’s responsibilities are.  She said she hopes within a month that they will have a meaningful dialogue and come back to the Board so the Board will not have reservations about moving forward.

 

Dwyer concurred.

 

Sorenson announced that the Board would not take approval of the motion.  He reiterated the Board wanted continued work on the classifications and a recommendation from both the union and the managers on the classification.

 

Morrison wanted a timeline of not more than thirty days.

 

Weeldreyer concurred.

 

Van Vactor noted that AFSCME being part of the presentation was different than what had been done in the past.  He said it should be the responsibility of Human Resources and the affected department to bring these forward and the union could make any comment.

 

6. PUBLIC WORKS

 

a. CONTINUED DISCUSSION/EIGHTH READING AND DELIBERATION Ordinance PA 1132 Amending the Eugene-Springfield Metropolitan Area General Plan to Adopt a Revised “Transportation Element” and Related Changes to the Plan Text; Adopting Revisions to the Eugene-Springfield Transportation System Plan (TransPlan); and Adopting a Severability Clause.

 

Tom Schwetz, LCOG, reported that the other jurisdictions had held additional work sessions.  He noted that Springfield had made it through roadways and transit and Eugene was not through TDM.

 

Tom Stinchfield, Land Management, explained, page 2, attachment 3, about the first policy, option 2, to add language for project development into the policy definition statement.

 

Stinchfield said with regard to Road Policy 1, the issue is that some of the testimony wanted more emphasis on pedestrian safety in relation to speed.  He noted staff analysis is that policy is written broadly, addressing safety and mobility issues and they didn’t think the policy needs to change.

 

Everyone agreed with Policy 1.

 

Stinchfield said with regard to Roadway Policy 2, Motor Vehicle Level of Service, the level of service policy in the plan is lengthy but the standard used is level of service D, with level of service E allowed in the Downtown Eugene area and areas of nodal development.  He noted there were suggestions in the testimony that the level of service be lowered to E from D, allowing more congestion.  He recommended either going with the policy they have or to reduce the level of service to E in all areas of the community except for state facilities.  He noted on the positive side, it would cause an increase in the use of alternative modes in response to congestion.

 

Sorenson asked why they would not go to level of service A instead of D.

 

Stinchfield responded they are measuring the levels of service in the peak hours as worst case conditions.  He said most of the roadway system will operate better than D, in the off peak periods where there will be level of service A.  He added it becomes an issue of how much money is to be spent in the peak periods, how much congestion there is to live with, and money to spend to have traditional highway mobility.

 

Schwetz suggested a two tier in the existing policy, accepting D in every place except for downtown Eugene and nodal development areas.  He said they will accept more congestion, trading off a level of service.  He said that was being traded off for land use objectives that are mixed used and pedestrian friendly.

 

Dwyer said he would not be in favor of modifying for more congestion.  He said he wanted to find other ways to alleviate congestion without building more roads.

 

Weeldreyer stated she was for no change on policy number 2.

 

Stinchfield explained the level of service policy evaluates the whole issue on demand matching the supply or capacity.  He noted the plan has other things regarding land use and management that addresses the demand with road building.

 

Schwetz noted from a economist perspective that it would be inefficient to spend public dollars to achieve a level of service A, B or C.

 

Green said money would need to be spent providing alternatives.  He suggested putting fees on the businesses to increase the alternatives.

 

Weeldreyer stated the Board would keep policy 2 as is.

 

Stinchfield said with regard to Roadway Policy 3, there was a request for change in the wording because they thought the policy was too roadway oriented.  He suggested changing roadway to transportation.  He said they provided option 3, that retains the word “roadway" in the policy, but adds the phase: “In conjunction with the overall transportation system.”  He said it is appropriate to name roadways because it is a roadway-related policy, not a policy that deals with all modes.  He said the added phrase in option 3 looks at it in a broader context.

 

Dwyer concurred with Morrison that language in number 3 addresses the concerns.

 

Weeldreyer agreed with number 3.  She said it is important to make a connection with other forms of transportation like the rail system.

 

Sorenson said he would opt for number 2.  He said there is consensus of the Board to go with number 3.

 

Stinchfield noted there was a suggestion that there should be an access management policy added to the plan because of some of the benefits, maximizing the capacity of the existing system and it could be safer for bicyclists and pedestrians.  He said the existing policy that applies is  Systemwide Policy 1 that protects and manages existing and future transportation infrastructure.  He noted the option on page 5 is to retain that policy or to add a new one, and either policy addresses the issue.  He said the Transportation Planning Rule requires local agencies to deal with access management in their codes and the policy wording may come into play.

 

Weeldreyer asked how the other jurisdictions responded to the access management.

 

Schwetz reported that Springfield was the only agency that has looked at this.  He said they selected option 1, no change.

 

Stinchfield noted that Eugene had not discussed it and LTD had not gotten to it.  He said for all the jurisdictions to be in compliance with the Transportation Planning Rule, they need to look at their code language for development.  He said in Lane County’s case they will be proposing more specific policies on access management and a package of code changes.  He said Lane Code does not have enough specifics to meet the requirement of the TPR and changes will have to be made.

 

Sorenson asked Stinchfield what his recommendation was.

 

Stinchfield responded he liked the second policy because it was more specific.  He added either one would work. He said the action is in the code changes they make later.

 

Dwyer said number 2 would be better about access.  He said he has no problem about the new policy of access management.

 

Green asked if there would be regulation inside the current language.

 

Stinchfield noted the specifics are not included in the plan as those would be addressed later.  He said that Eugene is part way through with their code update.

 

Sorenson said he was in favor of including it.

 

Morrison said it is mentioned in TransPlan about excess management being part of the policy.

 

Weeldreyer said she had no preference, but it has to be addressed in their development code.  She said they both relate to access management and it should be something that is done on a project-by-project design basis.

 

Green stated he would be for no change.

 

Sorenson stated without taking a formal vote, it was 3-1 with one abstention to retain the policy of no change.

 

Stinchfield noted that staff would not recommend action on any of the rest of the general topics and the next discussion will be on the big projects.  He said there were general concerns raised about projects near the growth boundary, one-way streets in Eugene having more of a priority setting in the plan, traffic calming and seismic upgrade.  He noted as it stands now, the four agencies would agree on a fiscally constrained list.  He added decisions regarding which projects are built first would be left to the lead agency for each project.  He noted the Board of County Commissioners would have budget authority to decide how many County funds are spent in the next five years.  He explained agreeing on an area wide priority setting would be complicated.

 

MOTION: to approve an Eighth Reading and Deliberation and Setting a Ninth Reading and Deliberation for Ordinance PA 1132 on Tuesday, April 11, 2000.

 

Morrison MOVED, Dwyer SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 5-0.

 

7. REVIEW ASSIGNMENTS

 

None.

 

8. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

None.

 

9. COMMISSIONERS' BUSINESS

 

a. REPORT BACK AND ORDER 00-3-28-2/In the Matter of Establishing Financing Responsibilities for the Horse Creek Bridge Project and Authorizing the County Administrator to Execute a Highway Bridge Replacement and Rehabilitation (HBRR) Agreement with ODOT.

 

Weeldreyer recalled that this issue had been around since the mid-70's.  She added that the  bridge serves about 20 private landowners and 25 leaseholders.  She noted that because this project had been discussed and moving forward for over 20 years, that they found a federal program that would replace the bridge that involved ODOT.  She said when ODOT did the work necessary to determine what it would take to replace the bridge, it was determined that the bridge was 50 years old and has historical connections.  She noted there were two ways to approach it: to replace the bridge and pay to relocate the historical wooden bridge to a different site, or to rehab the bridge and leave it a historical bridge for local access.  She said when this was brought to the Board in the past, the decision was to go ahead and use the figure of $435,000 to replace the wooden bridge with a two-lane concrete span.  She said they are keeping that figure as the cost but that Public Works has said rehabbing the bridge will be about the same price.

 

Dwyer asked what the fiduciary risk would be to Lane County.

 

Ollie Snowden, Public Works, responded there are two issues, one that the project overruns the $435,000 estimate.  He asked the engineer if a rehabbed bridge would cost less than $435,000. Snowden said the engineer’s answer was it should, but probably not significantly.  He added the other condition is from ODOT, stating that if the Board terminates the project prior to completion, that Lane County would have to reimburse not just the match money, but everything. He noted that ODOT would manage the contract and award the construction.

 

Dwyer asked if it exceeds the money what it would be.

 

Snowden stated he didn’t know what they would run into that would cause the estimate to run over.

 

Green asked what the beginning and end of Lane County’s exposure of liability is.

 

Kardell responded it is not likely the Board will reverse its position and that Lane County would be responsible for the whole project. 

 

Green asked Snowden if it was his money, if he would spend it on the project.

 

Snowden answered he wouldn’t have spent the money because it was not a county bridge to begin with.  He said it was built by the Forest Service and it was deeded to Lane County and it is a local access road.

 

Morrison asked if the project exceeds the $435,000 and the County would have to come up with the extra money, if that would be in the CIP.

 

Snowden responded that the road portion is not included in this part.  He said the money would have to come at the expense of another programmed project.

 

Sorenson stated it was in the public’s interest to rehabilitate the bridge.  He added that 80% of the estimated costs will be paid by the Federal Highway Administration, 10% by ODOT and the remaining 10% would be paid up to $43,500 by the residents.  He noted the remaining risk would go to Lane County, but it would be at a low level.  He said he would be willing to take the risk and thinks the Board should approve it.

 

Dwyer said he was uncomfortable with the unknown but because they are not rebuilding the bridge, he will vote to approve it.

 

MOTION: to approve ORDER 00-2-23-3.

Weeldreyer MOVED, Dwyer SECONDED.

 

Green said he was concerned with the County having to come up with additional funds.  He asked what could be softened to reduce the cost to Lane County.

 

Snowden said the Forest Service has access to temporary bridges they may be able to use on the project as a detour bridge, which could reduce the cost.  He stated without the County applying for the money and maintenance into the future, there would be federal money on it.  He added if it is not decided beyond October 1, 2000, the match goes from 80-10-10 to 80-20, with ODOT paying nothing.  He said he is concerned with the ability of the property owners to come up with a cashier’s check.

 

Morrison said her concern is declining revenues, yet they are adding this to the County system.

 

Van Vactor stated they have to add into the order that up through to the end of the bridge would be accepted into the County road system at the completion of the project.

 

Snowden said that as far as the Federal Grant is concerned, they don’t care about the road, just that the bridge will be maintained.

 

VOTE: 4-1 (Morrison dissenting).

 

10. EMERGENCY BUSINESS

 

None.

 

There being no further business, Commissioner Sorenson adjourned the meeting at 2:15 p.m.

 

Melissa Zimmer

Recording Secretary

 

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