minhead.gif (12878 bytes)

BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS'

REGULAR MEETING

November 1, 2000

following HACSA

Harris Hall Main Floor

 

Commissioner Peter Sorenson presided with Commissioners 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

 

Commissioner Dwyer to add the proposed letter for the Federal Hate Crimes Prevention Act as 4. b.

 

2. PUBLIC COMMENTS

 

Linda Wagner, 2570 Moon Mountain Drive, Eugene, was present as Chair of the Human Rights Advisory Committee.  She said they were told that the commissioners wanted to hear more from them on issues that dealt with human rights. She provided the Board with their thoughts on the upcoming initiatives on the ballot.

 

3. EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660

 

To be held at 10:30 a.m.

 

4. COMMISSIONERS' BUSINESS

 

a. REPORT BACK Parks Block Task Force on "Placemaking."

 

David Kelly, Eugene City Councilor, reported that the Downtown Summit created the Park Blocks Placemaking Committee.  He said the committee was to come up with total improvements not to exceed $25,000 to $30,000 to the Downtown area over the short term.

 

Kelly noted the committee met six times and had a public input session that produced comments that were incorporated.  He said the recommendations were doable for the short term as well as making small changes that make a big difference for both the Saturday and Farmers Market.  He added most of the recommendations affect the city property on the south side of Eighth Avenue and city staff is developing a work plan for those items.  He noted it was recommended that the right hand lane on Oak Street be turned into parking, and that had been accomplished by the city.  He said the city is scheduled to have a briefing on  November 27.  He noted on the north side of Eighth Avenue, there are important recommendations that would help operation of the park blocks and the Farmers Market.  He added the markets had committed funds to the project and urged the Board to accept the recommendations.

 

Richie Weinman, City of Eugene, stated that Russ Brink from Downtown Eugene, Inc., couldn’t be present.  Sorenson read a letter from Brink offering support into the record.

 

Weinman noted the County did not have money for projects but he hoped there would be support for the activities and money could be raised from private sources.

 

Dwyer agreed with the short-term goals in adopting the report, but he was not for the long-term goals.

 

Van Vactor agreed with the concept of short-term proposals only.  He said he had concerns about the long-term direction of the report.  He said the park blocks architecturally were designed to be a passive space and it is hard to envision active activities as they grow.  He said they do not fit and are not compatible.  He noted that from a long-term point of view, the community needed to find a more capable location.  He added he was supportive of the markets, but if they grow, the park blocks would not be the best location.  He said the removal of brush or concrete would be more long-term issues that could prove problematic.  

 

Morrison was not in favor of the time long term picture if the intent was to grow.  She said the area in the park blocks is past its growth, and a larger area is needed.  She said they need to be looking at a true long-term solution.

 

Kelly agreed that this is a short-term project.  He noted a lot of the recommendations were not growth oriented, they were addressed at the convenience for both the vendors and customers of both markets.  He said if the County gave staff time as money, that would be desirable, but it was more important for the County to cooperate.

 

Green agreed that for the short term, it would be great, but things for the long-term  would be more conducive.  He said the report should be accepted and acknowledged. He suggested using video lottery funding.  He said things could be better over time and if there was a way to make it work, he would support it for the short-term.

 

Weinman explained when they wrote the report, short-term was very short-term (a couple of months).  He added long-term was within the next year or so, not necessarily a ten or twenty year plan.

 

Weeldreyer was supportive of the Saturday Market and Farmer’s Market as they play a vital role in microbusiness for  Lane County.  She was supportive of the placemaking group allowing participants and property owners to state what is working and not working.  She favored the short-term solutions, but wanted the long-term options kept open.

 

MOTION: to move that the Board accept the report of the task force and authorize the county administrator to work toward its implementation.

 

Dwyer reiterated they were discussing the short-term and not embracing long term concepts and not expending any money.

 

Dwyer MOVED, Green SECONDED.

 

Green noted that some long-term projects could be done without Lane County. 

 

Dwyer stated the motion applied to Lane County.

 

Sorenson noted that the Park Block Task Force brought together diverse interests with the concerns of the County and City as entities and property owners.

 

Morrison was concerned about final action.  She noted the Board agreed to accept the report and the short-term goals.  She asked what the county administrator would be doing with the short-term list.  She questioned what Lane County’s financial responsibilities would be.

 

Dwyer stated it was his intent to have the motion facilitate movement that would allow the vendors to take advantage of certain amenities that are not available  by working with the park blocks committee, the city and the market.  He said it did not include any financial contribution from Lane County, costs would be borne by the people from the markets.

 

Van Vactor reported that he and Suchart will work with the task force.  He added there is a facilities committee that the Board has and issues could be presented to that committee if they got too complex.

 

VOTE: 5-0.

 

Weeldreyer suggested having at-risk youth involved with the improvement.  She encouraged the city to get more food carts.

 

b. DISCUSSION Federal Hate Crime Letter.

 

Sorenson noted that this was a matter pending in Congress (SB 2549 and HR 4205) entitled the Federal Hate Crimes Prevention Act.  He said he received a fax from a constituent, asking the Board to send a letter to Lane County’s congressional delegation. 

 

Dwyer stated it was important for Lane County and the rest of the nation to go on record regarding hate crimes.  He noted that it passed both houses of congress and was now stalled. He said it was unanimous in the Senate with one opposing member on the House side in Oregon.  He read the letter into the record.

 

MOTION: to send a letter regarding federal hate crimes.

 

Dwyer MOVED, Green SECONDED.

 

Weeldreyer noted there were congressional representatives (Republicans) who were not supportive of sending this letter.

 

Sorenson said they are discussing a role for hate crime prevention and as the incidents occur, people are more aware they are taking place.  He said something needed to be done.

 

Green said no votes came from Alabama, Arizona, California, Ohio and New York.

 

Weeldreyer didn’t like federal or state government telling local governments what to do.  She said if there was a way to meet the goal of preventing hate crimes to make sure that all states met a certain threshold for prosecution of  the crimes, that would be best.  She said she is against hate crimes but wanted to read the pros and cons and find the middle.  She was not comfortable voting on the issue.

 

Morrison concurred with Weeldreyer.  She said she had just received the information and there was a one-page summary that was not complete.  She added the senate side vote was not attached.  She wasn’t sure about what they were doing.  She wanted to see the legislation imposing on states and counties making a change.  She was opposed to hate crimes but was not sure it was well conceived legislation.

 

MOTION: whether to cut off debate on this matter.  Dwyer MOVED, Sorenson SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 4-1.   Motion fails.

 

Van Vactor stated he would have the bill printed and the discussion could continue at the 1:30 p.m. meeting.

 

Weeldreyer reported she did an Internet search on federal legislation related to hate crimes.  She found that the American Bar Association and U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist both expressed concerns about this type of legislation.  She added that political popularity on being tough on crime has led legislators to adopt federalizing crimes.  She said according to the Chief Justice, the dockets are busier at the federal level as more and more laws are becoming federalized.  She added the American Civil Liberties Union had also expressed concern about hate crime law as it adds punishment to existing statutes.  She said that hate crime legislation punished thought in a matter that some legal experts think is at odds with the First Amendment.  She supported tough on crime laws that punish the people that commit the crimes, but had concern about well-intended legislation and what the impacts would be.  She stated because of the political bullying that Dwyer had done, she had reservations about the actual implications of the legislation.

 

Dwyer said the legislation was well intentioned and beneficial.  He added it had passed both houses of congress and had the support of almost all of the Oregon delegation. He said it was needed.

 

Green noted if the crimes weren’t happening, there wouldn’t be a need for the legislation.

 

Sorenson noted the legislation was active in consideration.  He said it was important that the legislation get through by the active participation of all members of congress.  He added the proposed letter does specifically discuss the hate crime murders in Texas and Wyoming as part of a national hate crime pattern.  He noted that the legislation did make a distinction on whether it punishes thought. He was sympathetic about the intrusion on freedom of speech.  He suggested sending the letter.

 

VOTE: 3-2 (Weeldreyer, Morrison dissenting).

 

5. COMMITTEE REPORTS

 

a. ORDER 00-11-1-1 Awarding a Non-Cash S.A.V.E. Award to Bill Mahn, Assessment & Taxation.

Jackie Mikalonis, Public Works, reported the S.A.V.E. committee had been operating for about a year and the awards today were the last of the applications that had come in prior to revamping the entire program.  She said the committee reviewed a series of applications and looked at streamlining.  She noted the new provisions would come before the Board with fiscal restraints, making the program move quicker. 

 

Mikalonis explained that before the Board was two applications recommended by the committee.

Dwyer said this saved the County money

 

MOTION: to approve ORDER 00-11-1-1.

 

Dwyer MOVED, Morrison SECONDED.

 

Sorenson noted that the committee was revising the criteria and is eliminating the cash award from the S.A.V.E. proposal at the recommendation of the employees and the managers.

 

Bill Mahn, Assessment & Taxation, stated that the accounts that were eliminated (that were not ever taxable) fell below an assessment level and had been that way for three to five years.  He said they eliminated 1,800 accounts they mailed returns  to.  He added they processed and paid temporary employees and there was no purpose.  He said it was time to make a change.

 

Sorenson explained the committee approved the recommendation of not sending out cards on accounts below $10,000 assessment and elimination of duplicate mailings to one owner of multiple property tax accounts.  He said together it saved the County $10,000.  He said  the committee awarded Mr. Mahn 30 hours of time management for one recommendation and 10 hours for the other, for a total of 40 hours.

 

VOTE: 5-0.

 

Jim Gangle, Assessment & Taxation, stated he liked giving employee recognition as the best ideas come from employees.

 

6. COUNTY ADMINISTRATION

 

a. Announcements

 

None.

 

7. PUBLIC WORKS

 

a. ORDER 00-11-1-2 Appointing One Member to the Parks Advisory Committee.

 

Jake Risely, Parks,  stated that this fills a vacant position on the Parks Advisory Committee.  He said the Parks Advisory Committee interviewed three qualified candidates and unanimously recommended Merle Bottge.

 

MOTION: to approve ORDER 00-11-1-2.

Dwyer MOVED, Weeldreyer SECONDED.

 

Green hoped that they would encourage her to broaden her thinking about parks.  He said everyone supports open space but it is not the only thing planned for parks.  He hoped it was not just a one-agenda approach to serving on the board.

 

VOTE: 5-0.

 

b. SIXTH READING AND DELIBERATION Ordinance No. PA 1108 Amending the West Eugene Wetlands Plan by Adopting New and Revised Wetland Designations for Site H2, Referred to as the Speedway Site, and Related Policy and Text Amendments, and Adopting a Severability Clause.

 

Celia Barry, Land Management, stated that it was the last West Eugene Wetlands Plan Amendment to be considered for adoption.  She noted it came before the Board on October 11 when the City of Eugene staff explained the changes that were made since the planning commission approved the ordinance.  She noted the ordinance with the changes was approved unanimously by the Eugene City Council, with Councilors Farr and Meisner absent.  She stated that staff recommended approval.

 

Morrison was concerned about the access issue across one area that was presented previously.  She said she wasn’t sure that the owner of the property would be able to access the property at a later date.

 

Neil Bjorklund, City of Eugene, reported the issue recently raised about access was where the speedway facility was located. He noted they examined this from a number of points of view (including required street width for access for fire and emergency vehicles), and the recommendation that the City Council passed was adequate access for both of those items.  He added there was a minimum 60 foot wide street that was adequate for commercial use.  He said because the council was trying to balance protection of wetlands and federal listed rare plants with access, they gave the minimum access needed.

 

MOTION: to adopt Ordinance 1108.

 

Dwyer MOVED, Green SECONDED.

 

Dwyer said this was difficult and time consuming but it was done in the best fashion and he would support it.

 

Morrison said she would not support this due to the access issue.

 

Teresa Wilson, County Counsel, noted that in the agenda cover memo prepared for the October 11 reading, there was a discussion about not including a letter that had been submitted by Mr. Farthing.  She said that the City of Eugene did exclude that from the record of what they were considering in their deliberations.  She asked the Board if they addressed that.  She added the record had been closed and Farthing had submitted a letter and attachments after the close of the record.  She stated the Board did not reopen the record and Wilson asked that the Board make clear they excluded it from the record.

 

Dwyer added that the motion would include that Mike Farthing’s letter would be excluded from the record.

 

ROLL CALL VOTE: 4-1 (Morrison dissenting).

 

c. CONTINUED DISCUSSION/SEVENTEENTH READING AND SETTING EIGHTEENTH 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 (NBA & PM 9/8/99, 9/29/99, 10/20/99, 12/1/99, 1/25/00, 2/15/00, 3/14/00, 3/28/00, 4/11/00, 5/2/00, 6/27/00, 7/12/00, 8/9/00, 9/6/00, 9/26/00 & 10/18/00).

 

Tom Stinchfield, Public Works, stated they are still figuring out the upcoming schedule.  He noted the MPC subcommittees are in the process of being set up.  He said the plan is to have the subcommittees meet three times to resolve the issues before the December 14 meeting of the MPC.  He requested that the Board wait and not discuss TransPlan again until January 31, 2001.

 

MOTION: to approve the Seventeenth Reading and Setting Eighteenth Reading and Deliberation for January 31, 2001.

Morrison MOVED, Dwyer SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 5-0.

 

8. CHILDREN AND FAMILIES

 

a. ORDER 00-11-1-3 Approving the Comprehensive Strategy for Serious, Violent and Chronic Juvenile Offenders: A Prevention Continuum, and Accepting a Grant for $50,000 from the Oregon Commission on Children and Families, Increasing Revenue and Expenditures by $50,000 in the Department of Children and Families (3232) for FY 00-01.

 

Kathleen Hynes, Children and Families, stated she brought the plan for approval.  She noted the comprehensive strategy was the result of a comprehensive planning process built on existing plans utilizing existing planning bodies.  She added they followed the framework recommended by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.  She explained that Lane County requested to be one of the counties to receive technical assistance to develop the delinquency prevention strategy.  She noted as a result of participating, and submitting an approved plan, there was an opportunity to receive resources from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention to begin implementing the plan.

 

She noted clerical corrections that needed to be made in Exhibit A.

 

MOTION: to approve ORDER00-11-1-3 with the change to Exhibit A.

 

Green MOVED, Weeldreyer SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 5-0.

 

9. HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

 

a. ORDER 00-11-1-4 Creating Two .5 FTE Psychiatrist Positions in the Department of Health and Human Services in the Amount of $74,566.

 

MOTION: to approve ORDER 00-11-1-4.

 

Weeldreyer MOVED, Morrison SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 5-0.

 

b. RESOLUTION AND ORDER 00-11-1-5 Accepting a Grant from the Federal Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (SAMHSA - CSAT) in the Amount of $500,000; Authorizing the County Administrator to Sign the Document and Two Subsequent Continuation Applications; Authorizing the County Adminis­trator to Sign Subcontract Amendments for ACES in the Amount of $89,032, Centro Latinoamericano in the Amount of $56,182, Looking Glass in the Amount of $96,816, Whitebird in the Amount of $58,230 and Willamette Family Treatment Center in the Amount of $17,863; Establishing a 1.0 Mental Health Specialist Position and Increasing an OA2 Position from .5 FTE to 1.0 FTE; and Appropriating an Additional $375,000 in Revenue and Expense in Fund 286 the Department of Health and Human Services.

 

MOTION: to approve ORDER 00-11-1-5.

 

Weeldreyer MOVED, Morrison SECONDED.

VOTE: 5-0.

 

10. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

None.

 

11. EMERGENCY BUSINESS

 

None.

 

There being no further business, Commissioner Sorenson recessed the meeting into Executive Session at 10:45 a.m.

 

Melissa Zimmer

Recording Secretary

 

go_to.gif (1155 bytes)Back to Board Notices