BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS'
February 13, 2002
Commissioners’ Conference Room
Commissioner Bill Dwyer presided with Commissioners Bobby Green, Sr., Anna Morrison and Peter Sorenson present. Cindy Weeldreyer was present via telephone. County Administrator Bill Van Vactor, County Counsel Teresa Wilson and Recording Secretary Melissa Zimmer were also present.
1. ADJUSTMENTS TO THE AGENDA
2. PUBLIC COMMENTS
Warren Weathers, Mayor of Lowell, 29 S. Alder, Lowell, asked the Board for support of the transfer of surplus federal property to the Lowell School District.
3. EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660
To take place after the meeting.
4. COMMISSIONERS' BUSINESS
a. DISCUSSION PERS BONDING/ORDER 02-2-13-9.
Karen Artiaco, Management Services, explained they were asking the Board to approve issuing bonds to pay off an unfunded actuarial liability that the County currently has in the Oregon Public Employees Retirement System. She stated the liability exists, and PERS is treating it as though Lane County would be paying that over the next 28 years at eight percent. Artiaco said they were hoping to issue bonds that would equal the same 28 years, based on the current market rate of 6¾%.
Dwyer asked how much this would save the taxpayers.
Artiaco responded that at 6¾% on the net present value, about $8.5 million actual dollars or $14 million over the length of time.
Sorenson asked if there would be future unfunded liability if this were done.
Artiaco responded there would be for the same reasons. She noted there were issues within PERS where the Tier 1 employees (and most of Lane County’s employees qualify under Tier 1) are given a guaranteed 8% return. She noted the past few years had been bad and they are expecting flat, (if any) earnings for PERS in this year.
Dwyer commented that Lane County’s lawsuit might impact some future obligations depending upon how it works out. He said there would be leverage to strike a better deal with the legislation that might impact taxpayers in the future.
Van Vactor stated this does not solve the PERS problem. He said there would probably be another $50 million in unfunded liability as a result of the 2001 market. He added that would be on top of the $66 million unfunded liability that PERS claims Lane County has. He didn’t accept PERS’ calculation of the unfunded liability. He said Lane County’s costs would still go up. He noted that Artiaco is working with PERS to find out how much their rate would come down and when Lane County would have to start making payments on the bond. He said where there is stability is in the financial plan based upon the current PERS rates. He added that when they start to adjust this, there would no longer be a balanced budget because of this PERS obligation. He noted this is the single biggest debt obligation this County government has ever had. He added it is happening to every governing body in the state. He said the State of Oregon needs to deal with this problem or it will be difficult to use public employees to deliver services because of the expensive.
Sorenson asked why wage increases are continuing to be granted.
Dwyer responded it didn’t have to do with wages but with Tier 1 and all of the employees prior to 1986, when the state guaranteed a return of a minimum of 8%, regardless of the market. He added it allowed other employees to go into the variable and a number of employees made 28% on their money. He noted these employees retired and went out under the money match. Lane County was required to match the amount that the employees made in PERS, though they were only allowed to invest Lane County’s money at a maximum of 8%. The difference between 28% and 20% had to be absorbed by government. He noted they were working on legislative changes. He noted they added Tier 2, which doesn’t have guarantees, but is costly. He said it wasn’t specifically related to collective bargaining because there are federal laws related to pensions and fiduciary responsibilities regarding those pensions.
MOTION: to approve RESOLUTION 02-2-13-9.
Green MOVED, Morrison SECONDED.
Van Vactor stated that, in terms of other unfunded liabilities, they had completed an actuarial study on the medical retiree obligation and the unfunded liability is $32 million.
Sorenson asked how the other PERS unfunded liability would be addressed.
Van Vactor stated they were working on it at staff level. He added they brought this bonding because of the consortium moving forward. He said because of a PERS administrative rule, they couldn’t pre-pay unfunded liability, it goes into the gain/loss reserve and belongs to everyone.
Morrison was glad this was moving forward. She said there needs to be a solution to relieve Lane County from some of this obligation.
Dwyer said this resulted from bad management at the state level. He noted that major changes need to be done to co-exist with taxpayers and employees.
Sorenson stated this motion should be approved. He suggested having Tony Bieda pull together local partners and after the primary election in May (when they have the senators and representatives nominated) the Board could have a briefing for them where this could be discussed.
b. DISCUSSION/Lowell Letter of Support.
MOTION: to approve a letter of support for the Lowell School District and direct the Board Secretary to finalize it with the Board Chair’s signature.
Weeldreyer MOVED, Morrison SECONDED.
c. PRESENTATION AND RESOLUTION 02-2-13-1/In the Matter of Recognizing Melissa Galloway, Senior at Elmira High School, for Outstanding Achievement.
Dwyer read the resolution into the record.
MOTION: to approve RESOLUTION 02-2-13-1.
Morrison MOVED, Green SECONDED.
5. COUNTY ADMINISTRATION
Van Vactor announced that Margaret Wilkenfeld had to resign. He stated due to her resignation, they were recommending changes to the Budget schedule. He passed out a copy of the budget schedule. (Copy in file).
6. PUBLIC WORKS
a. DISCUSSION/Board Direction to Staff Regarding Planning Commission Recommendation on Draft Telecommunication Tower Standards.
Kent Howe, Land Management, stated the Board requested that he return with a report on what Lane County was doing with rural areas and the cell tower ordinance. He said if the hearing occurred on April 3, the Ballot Measure 56 notices would go out next week. That would allow a public information session the first week of March. He noted that Lane Code Chapter 16 applies to all of rural Lane County outside the urban growth boundary. He said that the City of Eugene works inside the urban growth boundary, but the small cities’ urban growth boundaries are not covered. He asked if the Board wanted the cell phone tower ordinance to be outside the city limits of the small cities. If so, then they would need to make the changes applicable to Lane Code Chapter 10.
Dwyer's preference was that if the cities that have the urban growth boundaries don’t regulate these within their boundaries, then the County should regulate them outside of the city.
Weeldreyer wanted uniformity throughout the County to avoid future conflicts.
Howe explained that staff would prepare amendments to Lane Code Chapter 10 and Lane Code Chapter 16 for a public hearing on April 10, addressing the areas outside the city limits except for the Eugene/Springfield area within the urban growth boundary.
Dwyer requested adding an emergency clause.
Green suggested a 2,000 foot distance for the location of the cell phone tower.
Weeldreyer requested the same ordinance, in or out of the urban growth boundary.
Howe said the Planning Commission would be willing to have a joint hearing with the Board to describe recommendations.
Jim Mann, Land Management, explained the Planning Commission completed their recommendation with significant public testimony and input in the proposal.
Weeldreyer suggested exceptions to the ordinance for life, health and safety issues.
Green was concerned about where the cell phone towers were not placed.
Howe stated he would prepare a notice for a public hearing on April 10. He said there would be a dinner work session in advance. He would carry the Board’s position to the Planning Commission, asking them if they want to participate in a joint hearing.
Dwyer stated that the ordinance needed to conform closer to the LUCU discussion and there needs to be an exception that allows for the emergency aspect of the ordinance as it applies to the County corridors.
Weeldreyer said the County should combine its ordinance with both Springfield and Eugene. She was concerned that Land Management had limited funds and a large workload to carry. She said they were trying to take the 1930 telegraph language and bring it to where Eugene and Springfield were. She said that Lane County’s setbacks should be the same as Eugene and Springfield so citizens on the urban growth boundaries would not be disadvantaged.
Sorenson noted there was no discussion of the fees in the ordinance other than bonding that the provider must pay. He recommended stating that there would be a full cost recovery for all costs incurred, as there was nothing presently in the ordinance that discussed the fees.
Weeldreyer didn’t want language in this ordinance until she knew what kind of fee there would be.
7. CONSENT CALENDAR
A. Approval of Minutes
B. Health and Human Services
1) ORDER 02-2-13-2/In the Matter of Awarding a Contract to Oregon Psychiatric Partners, LLP to Serve on the Lane County Managed Health Provider Panel.
C. Public Works
1) ORDER 02-2-13-3/In the Matter of Awarding a Three Year Requirements Contract to McKenzie-Willamette Hospital for the Purchase of Alcohol and Drug Testing, CDL Physicals, and Miscellaneous Services.
2) ORDER 02-2-13-4/In the Matter of Vacating the Portion of Awbrey Lane (County Road Number 243) Between the Original Alignment of Green Hill Road and the Relocated Alignment of Green Hill Road, Being Located in Section 32, Township 16 South, Range 4 West and Section 5, Township 17 South, Range 4 West of the Willamette Meridian, in Lane County, Oregon, Without a Public Hearing and Adopting Findings of Fact (16-04-32 & 17-04-05).
3) ORDER 02-2-13-5/In the Matter of The Vacation of a Portion of "A" Street and the Adjoining Portion of the Platted Exterior Boundary Line of the Plat of Goshen, as Platted and Recorded in Volume W, Pages 349 and 512, Lane County, Oregon Deed Records, Located off of the Goshen-Divide Highway (State Highway Number 99), Near the Intersection of the Pacific Highway (Interstate 5) and the Willamette Valley Highway (State Highway 58), Without a Public Hearing and Adopting Findings of Fact (18-03-23-1).
4) ORDER 02-2-13-6/In the Matter of Accepting the Director's Report for Estimated Assessments for Prairie Road (County Road Number 203) Between MP 1.59 and MP 2.03.
D. Youth Services
1) ORDER 02-2-13-7/In the Matter of Authorizing the Department of Youth Services to Submit an Application to the National Institute of Justice for the Juvenile Breaking the Cycle Demonstration Strategy.
MOTION: to approve the Consent Calendar.
Weeldreyer MOVED, Green SECONDED.
8. COMMISSION ON CHILDREN AND FAMILIES
a. RESOLUTION AND ORDER 02-2-13-8/In the Matter of Authorizing the Lane County Commission on Children and Families to Submit the SB 555 Phase II Coordinated Plan for Children and Families in Lane County to the Oregon Commission on Children and Families.
Dwyer noted Lane County was complying with the state law as it relates to Senate Bill 555.
Pam Strimling, Children and Families, explained that SB 555 stated that the Commission on Children and Families coordinate and facilitate a countywide planning process, and that a plan is sent to the Oregon Commission on Children and Families. She noted that Phase 1 (mapping) was finished in December 2000 and has been submitted. She added they had completed Phase 2, sections one through seven, community priorities and strategies.
Green noted the emphasis of SB 555 was community participation, making sure there was only one plan coming from the community with stakeholders involved. He said the strategies in the plan were subjected to funding.
MOTION: to approve RESOLUTION AND ORDER 02-2-13-8.
Green MOVED, Weeldreyer SECONDED.
Morrison noted that some of the accounting was wrong. She stated that Garnick provided her with the correct figures. She wanted to make sure that if they submit a document for funding purposes it is accurate, usable and understandable.
Green noted that the state commission recognized Phase 1 on Children and Families as a model for the state. He believed that Phase 2 (with minor changes in format) would also receive high recognition. He thought this met the test and should have the changes to make the data accurate. He said the legislation was clear that the Commission on Children and Families shall lead the process. He suggested that partners be asked for funding toward staff time.
Dwyer didn’t think the plan was specific enough about solutions and remedies. He thought politics went into this document as it related to children and families. He hoped when the plan gives the legislation direction on what the fixes are regarding the social agenda, they have the courage to tell the legislators to do the right thing even if it wasn’t popular.
Sorenson noted the plan was required and the state believed it was in the public’s interest to use taxpayer funds efficiently by coordinating the planning for children and family services. He said the issue is that--as good as they are responding to the state’s requirements and having measurable outcomes and outcome achievements that help children--there is much more to be done. He said the answer is not welfare but good paying jobs. He encouraged staff and members of the commission to be creative with make recommendations to the Board.
Weeldreyer’s concern was for a healthy balance between parental rights and cultural and societal differences. She wanted a balance between family self-sufficiency as well as a safety net so that all children will have reasonable access to basic needs and a quality education. She was said this document was a work in process.
VOTE: 4-1 (Morrison dissenting).
Morrison said at the end of Phase 1, questions and problems were identified. They were not addressed as they go into Phase 2. She couldn’t support something that does not demonstrate what would happen.
9. MANAGEMENT SERVICES
a. DISCUSSION AND DIRECTION/Creating the Classification and Salary Range for Certified Medication Aide.
Frank Hotchkiss, Management Services, said there had been a severe nursing shortage in the Corrections Department. He said efforts to rectify the problem by increasing the benefits for people had not been successful. He said the department had worked creatively and professionally in order to correct the problem of the shortage of nurses. He noted that one thing they tried was to retain certified medication aides through a private agency. He said this was in an effort to see if tasks that could be handled by lesser-qualified people, such as dispensing medications, changing dressings, could be done under the nurses’ supervision. He said that effort was successful. They asked the Board to approve the change. Corrections would give up 2.5 FTE registered nurses to hire four CMA’s. He stated there would be no impact to the budget, with $5,000 savings this year and $6,000 next year.
MOTION: to approve ORDER 02-2-13-13.
Sorenson MOVED, Morrison SECONDED.
10. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS
11. CORRESPONDENCE TO THE BOARD
12. EMERGENCY BUSINESS
There being no further business Commissioner Dwyer recessed the meeting at 11:30 a.m.