JOINT BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS/
November 28, 2000
Downtown Athletic Club
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. Introduction and Welcome.
Sorenson introduced the Legislators. Present were Lee Beyer, Tony Corcoran, Robert Ackerman, Peter Barnhart, Vicki Walker and Al King.
2. Lane County Legislative Overview.
a. Implications of Timber Payments for County Resources, Programs.
Morrison gave an overview of Senate Bill 1608 and House Bill 2389. She added the biggest issue Lane County has to face is with the part that goes to schools. She asked the legislators for their help to keep the intent of the federal legislation, i.e. making school districts and counties whole. She said Lane County now has the challenge to make sure it is the intent of the legislation that takes places in Oregon.
b. Implications of Measure 7 on County Land Use Issues.
Van Vactor explained that Measure 7 would go into effect on December 7 and Lane County would be prepared. He said the Board had a First Reading on the ordinance last week and there would be a Second Reading and Public Hearing with the Planning Commissions on December 6 at 6:00 p.m. He noted a minor issue was to mesh the constitutional amendment. He added the processing ordinance will be kept as low as possible to allow for evaluation. He encouraged the legislators to adopt a process regarding Measure 7.
Corcoran heard that the measure would still be open to discussion. He added that a solution would be for local governments to sue the state because the goals are statewide. He noted that regarding the constitution, it affected more than one article of the constitution.
Ackerman suggested introducing legislation for Measure 7 before the legislature begins its work on this.
c. State Legislative Priorities, 2001.
1) Sufficient Resources for Public Safety/Criminal Justice.
Seese-Bieda, Intergovernmental Relations Manager, explained that he chose two categories that the Board had focused on and the Association of Oregon Counties would be lobbying for resources. He added that this issue is a high profile issue in other counties. He noted there was a crossover to the District Attorney and courts, representing incremental investment and resources in the state general fund for public safety and criminal justice.
Doug Harcleroad, District Attorney, reported the Attorney Generals Office looked at the financing of the district attorneys and county commissioners and it showed that the state had paid significantly less over the last 20 years in proportion to the part the counties paid. He said his office is now funded 80% by the county and 10% by the state. He said they have had flat staffing patterns and huge increases in caseloads.
Beyer had suggested a few sessions ago that the counties should work toward establishing a formula based on population.
Steve Carmichael, Youth Services, explained it had been a struggle for money under the Juvenile Crime Prevention program. He noted the governor reduced the amount from $30 million to $20 million. He noted they started new programs but do not know where the money will come from. He said that two-thirds of the money is spent on prevention and one-third is on corrections.
2) Balance Interests of Public Employees with Those of Taxpayers
Seese-Bieda reported there are still problems from the perspective of counties and states, that there are significant problems with the structure and unfunded actuarial liability that local and county governments face. He said that the PERS board was asking local entities to pay off sooner and get caught up more quickly. He added they need to know how to come up with fixes or adjustments so they dont have this problem long-term.
Corcoran said that there was a push for Tier 3 and local government officials and state officials have to deal with the question of can it continue to be all things to all people.
3) State Support for Adequate Court Facilities.
Seese-Bieda reported there had been discussion about Lane County supporting it, creating a statewide commission and local committees to look at court facilities, establishing standards and coming up with recommendations to the legislature about how it should be funded.
Harcleroad reiterated that this was a significant issue for the judges in Lane County. He added it could be a win-win situation for everyone if Lane County were to acquire the state building.
King stated they could work on getting a real estate appraisal and working on a fair price.
3. Responses: Lane County Delegates.
Beyer stated that this budget was the toughest the legislation had seen since the 1983 session. He noted if they were to keep the same service levels, they would be looking at a deficit of $800 to $900 million. He added that they are almost $1 billion short even though the quality education initiative had been adopted at the last election. He asked if money would be put into education, what fund would it be taken from. He noted that the governor wanted to make early childhood prevention a priority with not much money going into the criminal justice system. He added that state police funding would be rolled back.
Beyer informed the Board that if there was any legislation that they would like introduced, he would be happy to draft it.
4. Wrap-Up and Adjourn.
Dwyer suggested having continued meetings during the session, in Eugene and in Salem.
Weeldreyer noted that one AOC priority was dealing with high speed telecommunications access with rural communities. She said they were hoping to have legislation that would establish a statewide telecommunication stakeholders council that would coordinate on a statewide basis all things taking place at the local and regional level and bringing them to a common table. She noted that Beyer had agreed to pre-file it.
There being no further business, Commissioner Sorenson adjourned the meeting at 9:00 a.m.
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