BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS'
June 18, 2002
Commissioners' Conference Room
Commissioner Bill Dwyer presided with Commissioners Bobby Green, Sr., Anna Morrison and Peter Sorenson present. Commissioner Cindy Weeldreyer was present via speaker phone. County Administrator Bill Van Vactor, County Counsels Trina Laidlaw and Steven Vorhes, and Recording Secretary Daniel Lindstrom were also present.
1. ADJUSTMENTS TO THE AGENDA
President Dwyer stated that an Executive Session was scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on June 18 and that Agenda Item 10.B of the June 19 meeting would be removed from consideration.
2. PUBLIC COMMENTS
Mona Lindstromberg, 87140 Territorial Road, Veneta, stated that she wished to address recommendations of the Planning Commissioner regarding recently adopted Telecommunication Tower Standards to be considered as Agenda Item 6.A. She encouraged approval of the recommendations and said she had sent an e-mail communication to Commissioners regarding additional concerns.
Ms. Lindstromberg said she had attended a May 21 Work Session of the Planning Commission at which concern had been expressed about the minimal access the public would have during license renewal processes. She recommended that changes be made to create a more open process.
Ms. Lindstromberg said she was concerned about radio frequency cumulative effects brought on by co-location of telecommunication services. She explained that the regulations required each service provider to report potential effects, but that no report was required of the effects of multiple users of the same location.
Commissioner Dwyer asked how the threshold of dangerous effects from multiple users could be determined. Ms. Lindstromberg replied that testing required as a part of renewal procedures could be used to evaluate the effects. She said the cumulative effects of emissions at each facility could be measured by a radio frequency expert.
Ms. Lindstromberg reported that members of the Planning Commission had discussed whether it should be required that neighborhood residents be allowed to review emission data. She said there was currently no requirement for neighborhood notification of cumulative effects during license renewal processes. She said it was possible that some current locations already exceeded Federal Communications Commission (FCC) limits as a result of co-location of services.
Ms. Lindstromberg said ongoing testing to ensure compliance with FCC standards would be more appropriate. She suggested service providers should be responsible for providing such tests and residents of tower neighborhoods should have an opportunity to request independent technical review of tests.
Commissioner Dwyer asked if it was possible to determine when radio frequency emissions of a tower exceeded permitted limits. Ms. Lindstromberg replied that such a determination was complicated but possible with FCC standards. She said the rate of emissions differed among service providers and was affected by other factors such as distance from an emission source.
Commissioner Sorenson asked Ms. Lindstromberg to precisely state what she supported in telecommunication tower standards revision proposals. Ms. Lindstromberg replied that she encouraged Commissioners to adopt all of the changes recommended by the Planning Commission – increasing requirements for tower setbacks from schools to 1200 feet, improving definitions of applicants and owners, allowing “balloon float” instrument testing, and allowing residents of neighborhoods an opportunity to request radio frequency emissions testing of sites.
Commissioner Sorenson asked about “balloon float” testing cost. Ms. Lindstromberg replied that a re-usable balloon cost approximately $150 and helium for each test cost approximately $30.
Commissioner Green noted the term “neighborhood” was not in the Telecommunications Tower Standards ordinance, but that “area of site” was used to designate locations near towers. Ms. Lindstromberg said notification of the residents of such areas was required. She also said that testing needed to be done early in the day, that such tests were easy and inexpensive to perform, and that details for such requirements could easily be developed.
Commissioner Dwyer determined that there were no other persons present wishing to present Public Comment.
3. COMMISSIONERS' REMONSTRANCE
4. EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660
Commissioner Dwyer stated an Executive Session was scheduled for 1:30 p.m.
5. COUNTY ADMINISTRATION
b. DISCUSSION/Department of Children and Families, and Commission on Children and Families Recommendations and Report.
Laurie Swanson Gribskov stated she had been engaged to review and make recommendations regarding the organizational placement of the Lane County Department of Children and Families (DCF). She said her report, recommendations, and supplemental material had been distributed with the agenda of the meeting. She distributed copies of an additional document entitled “Change Curve – A Natural Process” and copies of page 3 of the minutes from the May 15 meeting of the Commission on Children and Families (CCF). She said she had presented her report and recommendations at a special meeting of the CCF on June 10 and had received feedback from members.
Ms. Swanson Gribskov reminded Commissioners of her Strategic Assessment of DCF and CCF presented at an April meeting. She presented a summary of the findings of her work: there will continue to be major transitions in DCF and CCF operations due to the election of a new governor and funding shortfalls; there are three basic constituency groups in the children and families continuum – 0-8 (pre-school), 6-18 (low-risk in school youth), and 12-18 (higher risk youth); and interviews with CCF members, community members, and DCF staff identified key issues, that a clarified statement of mission is needed; stronger bridges with strategic partners need to be built, validity and credibility need to be built by county structures, and capacity to respond to ongoing changes needs to be enhanced.
Ms. Swanson Gribskov reviewed information about DCF funding sources and levels included in her report, and recommended to separate the Family Violence Response Initiative (FVRI) from CCF and transfer it to the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Director, and identify DCF staff (Director, Planner, Program Service Coordinators , Fiscal Administrative Analyst, and Office Assistants [2.75]) as a core unit to deal with CCF needs and issues, and place it under County Administration until June 2003.
Ms. Swanson Gribskov stated her CCF structural considerations had been presented to members, and there appeared to be consensus for a closer relationship to the Board of Commissioners and having only one Commissioner liaison.
Commissioner Dwyer observed that the recommendations of Ms. Swanson Gribskov would likely result in transition costs for DCF and CCF being incurred twice.
Ms. Swanson Gribskov referred to a document entitled “Impacts of Reorganization of DCF” attached to her report. She said it represented an analysis of the effects of her recommendations on DCF staff by Interim Director Karen Gaffney.
Kitty Piercy, Chairperson of CCF, reviewed her letter dated June 12, and reported members of the CCF appreciated the opportunity to developed recommendations regarding DCF.
Ms. Piercy said members believe eliminating the department status of DCF was inevitable, and recommended DCF staff be assigned to the Department of Health and Human Services. She also stated the members suggested giving CCF and DCF more distinguishing names.
Commissioner Green asked if the CCF would have supported DCF as a department if it had been a consideration, and Ms. Piercy replied members had not seriously considered that option, but some said eliminating departmental status showed a reduction in the commitment of Lane County to children and families.
Commissioner Green asked why an analysis of the positive values of DCF as a department had not been provided in the report. Ms. Swanson Gribskov replied that issues of department parity and size had been obvious and determinative in her recommendations. She said placing staff in County Administration continued its visibility and provided flexibility for future status, while continuing the commitment to children and families of the County.
Ms. Piercy said CCF would continue to do its work, and indicated a personal commitment to children and families in the community, even if it meant the loss of the economies which could result from being part of a larger organization.
Commissioner Dwyer asked for an explanation of the FVRI. Ms. Swanson Gribskov replied that the program was operated through a special grant received to plan coordination of responses to domestic violence by the juvenile courts, community organizations, Parole and Probation, and Oregon Child Welfare. She said DCF had applied for and administered the grant, but that it had its own policy body and evaluation process.
Ms. Piercy said the program was to ensure that domestic violence services were consistent.
Commissioner Sorenson asked if lack of resources was a reason for the DCF merge. Ms. Swanson Gribskov replied that DCF was at the “critical mass” level for operation as a county department when it included management of the Healthy Start program, and that its current size made it inefficient to operate independently.
In response to Commissioner Sorenson’s question regarding other counties, Ms. Swanson Gribskov indicated a significant variation in CCF administrative style in Oregon counties, and reviewed programs which were identified as “most successful” by the Oregon CCF. She said a common feature of them was not organizational structure, but long-term commitment and involvement of leadership.
Commissioner Morrison asked how the efforts of the FVRI were to continue after the expiration of its supporting grant. Elaine Walters replied that the purpose of the Initiative was to implement policies and encourage collaborative efforts. She said another funding grant would not likely be needed if significant change was accomplished.
Commissioner Dwyer asked if DCF staff had been asked where they believed they would be most effective. Ms. Swanson Gribskov stated they indicated a desire for staff stability. She said there was also a common hope that a decision could be made as soon as possible.
Commissioner Dwyer asked about FVRI protocols and work reviews.
Ms. Walters replied that implementation of the grant was monitored by a local policy body and that evaluation of its program was conducted by national and state agencies.
Commissioner Sorenson asked Ms. Swanson Gribskov and Mr. Van Vactor if they had personal preferences for re-location of DCF staff.
Ms. Swanson Gribskov replied that her recommendations were that locating the staff in County Administration for a year was the best option available and that locating the staff in Health and Human Services was a good option.
Mr. Van Vactor said he supported the proposal to place DCF staff within County Administration because it would retain flexibility for its ultimate placement. He said there was a risk DCF could become “just another program” in Health and Human Services.
Ms. Gaffney stated DCF could not become part of the Public Health Division because Healthy Start operations were already located there. She said DCF would likely function as its own division. She said Health and Human Services already functioned with a combination of Senate Bill 555 operations. She said placing DCF staff in County Administration would give it ongoing uncertainty and not provide them the support of similar services in Health and Human Services.
Legal Counsel Trina Laidlaw stated Teresa Wilson had conducted an evaluation of issues raised by Oregon Revised Statutes Chapter 276. She said the law required that local CCF not provide direct services for children or families. She said re-location of the Healthy Start program into Health and Human Services had resolved similar conflict concerns. She said Ms. Wilson’s evaluation had asked questions about whether merging the entire DCF with Health and Human Services would again raise these concerns.
Commissioner Weeldreyer said she was aware that a number of Oregon counties had CCF administratively located within a health and human services department and suggested that another legal opinion about the issue be solicited.
Commissioner Green asked if the County Administrator had the authority to make a unilateral decision about where to place DCF. Mr. Van Vactor replied Lane Manual described the Department of Children and Families and functions of Health and Human Services and that DCF relocation would require a decision by the Commissioners.
Commissioner Green asked if Lane Manual described criteria for establishing a department. Mr. Van Vactor replied such a decision lay solely with the Commissioners.
Commissioner Green said he did not support the recommendations regarding DCF. He said the proposals did not clarify staff certainty or the level of support. He stated concern about adequate attention to DCF remaining a department. He said questions about cost, parody and support raised about DCF could be asked of other departments. He said the Board of County Commissioners set the minimum size for a department. He pointed out that contract monitoring services were available in many departments, and speculated that the effects of a new governor and of the ongoing State funding crises would affect all areas of local government, not just DCF.
Commissioner Green said he did not accept that the problems with having DCF remain an independent department were insurmountable. He said he believed the most important issue was to bolster the credibility of the CCF and the County’s commitment to children and families.
MOTION: to accept the report of the consultant and direct that the Department of Children and Families remain an independent Lane County department.
Commissioner Green MOVED, Commissioner Sorenson SECONDED.
Commissioner Green said he believed having DCF remain an independent department was the only sure way to avoid legal questions about the involvement of the CCF in providing direct services.
Commissioner Dwyer asked for consideration of a name change for DCF to make it more distinguishable.
Commissioner Dwyer determined there was no objection to his request and stated the motion had been amended.
Commissioner Green asked that the motion include FVRI to remain part of DCF.
Commissioner Dwyer determined there was no objection to the request and stated that the motion had been further amended.
Commissioner Sorenson said he would support the proposed motion because advice from County Counsel had been conflicting and having DCF remain as a department would allow continuation of the discussion about its optimum administrative location. He said doing so could facilitate a focus on domestic violence initiatives.
Commissioner Sorenson said he also favored having DCF remain as a department because he was concerned that merging it with the Department of Health and Human Services would reduce the visibility of its concerns. He said he believed County Administration had enough to do already. He suggested that if DCF was “not broken,” an attempt should not be made to “fix it.”
Ms. Laidlaw further explained the position of County Counsel Wilson. She said the relevant rule adopted by the state agency affected the highest level of administration. She said the Oregon CCF had interpreted the rule to apply only to direct line management. She said County Commissions had an independent obligation to abide by rules, and suggested that effort be made to change the law, not rely on a questionable interpretation of the law by a state agency.
Commissioner Morrison said she did not support the recommendations of Ms. Swanson Gribskov or the motion. She said she had not been in favor of DCF and believed in should have remained in Youth Services. She said she was concerned about the high level of mandated funding provided for CCFs by the state. She said she was willing to consider spinning off the work of DCF to a non-government agency such as United Way.
Commissioner Morrison said the CCF was mandated to plan, evaluate, and advise, but not operate programs. She said she believed more of its operations should be placed in contracted services, instead of creating additional county bureaucracy. She said the motion was saying that nothing should change.
Commissioner Green said he did not believe any candidate for governor would bring significant change to CCF emphases or that problems which had been identified would be addressed by moving DCF into a different department. He suggested that the problems would best be addressed if DCF remained an independent department.
Mr. Van Vactor said the motion created practical problems about recruiting a DCF Director. He said a temporary position status increased recruitment difficulty.
Commissioner Morrison said she did not believe concerns for staff stability were met by the proposed motion.
Ms. Gaffney said recruitment of a permanent Director was a critical element in creating staff stability. She said there were staff functions which could be improved, but basic administrative responsibilities were difficult to complete with a small staff.
Commissioner Green said he was growing weary of DCF being identified for its inefficiencies. He added that if its problems were as critical as had been identified, they should be addressed as a department.
Commissioner Dwyer said he would support the motion, but that a permanent solution needed to be found for the problems that had been identified.
VOTE: 3-2, Commissioners Morrison and Weeldreyer voting no.
Mr. Van Vactor said implementation of the motion would involve recruitment for a new DCF Director and developing a process for giving it a new name, and suggested re-naming it “Department of Family Services.”
Commissioner Green said he would like to explore an alternate solution of re-naming the CCF.
Commissioner Sorenson requested re-naming suggestions from CCF and management staff.
6. PUBLIC WORKS
a. DISCUSSION AND DIRECTION/Recommendations of the Lane County Planning Commission for REVISIONS to the Recently Adopted Telecommunications Tower Standards, LC 10.400 and 16.264.
Planning Director Kent Howe stated the Planning Commission to consider issues identified at a public hearing on April 10 and had proposed amendments to Telecommunication Tower Standards, as follows: require notice for neighborhood meetings be made at least 14 days, but not more than 30 days in advance; increase setback requirements to whichever is greater – at least 1,200 feet from both dwellings and schools, or as far away from nearby residences and schools as the facility is sited on the applicant’s property; and require adequate performance bond review in permit renewal requirements to cover the costs of removal and restoration at the time use of the facility is ended Commissioner Dwyer proposed that LC16.264(3)(b)(iii) be amended to require the signatures of both the property owner(s) and applicant(s).
Commissioner Dwyer asked if it would be appropriate to require balloon-launching tests of the effects of radio frequency emissions for licensing. Mr. Howe replied that the regulations already included, but did not require, the possibility. He said to require such testing could be construed as excessive regulation.
Commissioner Dwyer asked if regulations related to Urban Growth Boundaries or population would be appropriate. Mr. Howe replied that such requirements were currently “passive possibilities” because an applicant was required to prove that a tower would be visually unobtrusive. He suggested consideration could be given to requiring submission of photographic evidence.
Commissioner Dwyer asked if action would have to be taken on the recommendations of the Planning Commission. Mr. Howe replied that action was at the pleasure of the Board of Commissioners. He said recommendations had been based on testimony received at the public hearing.
Commissioner Sorenson requested the next draft of revisions to Telecommunication Tower Standards include a requirement for “balloon testing” if an installation is to be near a public building, road, or visual effect. He said the requirement should be simple and easily understood and that if a tower is judged to be non-intrusive, such tests would not be required.
Commissioner Sorenson also requested that the next draft of revisions to Telecommunication Tower Standards increase the incentives for making it possible to understand where facilities are to be located. He suggested that site maps might be required. Commissioner Sorenson also requested that the next draft of revisions include provisions for identifying radio frequency cumulative effects brought on by co-location of services.
Commissioner Green said he hoped the Board of Commissioners could consider standards for the preferred locations of telecommunication towers in the future. He said doing so could guide their development.
Commissioner Green asked if applicants were required to alter applications to meet concerns raised in meetings by area property owners. Mr. Howe replied that the meetings were intended to involve the public in the application process, but that there were no requirements for an applicant to make changes as a result of the meetings. He said such a requirement could be added to LC 16.264(3)(a).
Commissioner Sorenson observed that low population area potential locations for telecommunication towers could be within a significant number of residents’ “viewshed.” He believed the more prescriptive an ordinance was made, the increased possibility there was for a legal challenge attesting that it went beyond FCC requirements.
Legal Counsel Steven Vorhes said the validity of the comment of Commissioner Sorenson was determined by what changes to standards were made.
Commissioner Sorenson asked for a full legal counsel review of changes made to the Telecommunication Tower Standards.
Commissioner Dwyer said he did not share the concern of Commissioner Sorenson and that the review requested was part of the normal processes of Legal Counsel.
Mr. Howe asked if Commissioners had agreed to require “balloon testing” of tower sites. Commissioner Sorenson requested that the regulation be changed from optional to required. He suggested the test be conducted at the applicant(s) expense, if an issue of interfering with a viewshed was raised.
Commissioner Green said he believed it was most important to maintain flexibility in the regulations to encourage variety and new testing procedures.
Mr. Howe suggested the regulations be left as they were and that Commissioners make changes in response to testimony at public hearing.
Commissioner Dwyer responded that doing so could delay adoption of ordinance amendments. He said it was important to make “no brainer” changes to the ordinance as soon as possible.
Commissioner Sorenson suggested revisions to telecommunication tower standards be “bundled” with recommended amendments to Farm and Forest Zone issues. Mr. Howe replied that Farm and Forest Zone amendments would require Measure 56 notification procedures not needed by amendments to the tower standards.
Commissioner Dwyer said the suggestion of Commissioner Sorenson would delay adoption of the tower standards amendments. He proposed action on the amendments be scheduled to come before the Board in September. Mr. Howe said he would make the appropriate scheduling requests.
Commissioner Sorenson requested that a telecommunications legal expert evaluate radio frequency issues raised in the proposed telecommunications tower standards amendments because he wanted to avoid having them challenged in court. Commissioner Dwyer said a “severance clause” added to the ordinance would meet the concerns of Commissioner Sorenson.
b. ORAL REPORT/Recommended Amendments to Farm and Forest Zone.
Jim Mann, Senior Planner, reported a public hearing had been held on amendments to Farm and Forest Zones on April 17. He said such amendments needed to be reviewed by the Oregon Land Conservation and Development Commission (LCDC) before they could be processed by the Commissioners. He explained proposed changes had been returned by LCDC two weeks previously and the Planning Commission needs to deal with its suggestions. He said minor changes would be passed on to the Board and that major changes would need to be added to the Planning Commission’s work program.
Commissioner Morrison asked what changes were being contemplated. Mr. Mann replied that deleting hardship language about mobile homes and a requirement for areas receiving temporary asphalt coverings to be returned to their original condition would be added to the F-2 Zone. He explained that a LCDC rule about road and widening requirements would also need to be studied by the Planning Commission.
Commissioner Morrison asked how long it would take for the changes to be completed. Mr. Mann replied that they had been submitted to Legal Counsel for review and their findings were necessary for formal ordinance drafting. Mr. Vorhes said Legal Counsel work would be done in two to three weeks and that it would be possible to bring proposals to the Board in July or early August.
Mr. Mann said emergency adoption clauses had not been included in previously submitted Farm and Forest Zone amendment recommendations. Commissioner Dwyer determined there was consensus to have them added.
c. ORAL REPORT/Future Use of Short Mountain as an Airfield for Model Airplanes.
Ken Kohl reported that members of an area model airplane flying organization had been using a portion of the Short Mountain Landfill site as a landing field. He said expansion of the landfill would require that the use stop. He said the organization had expressed interest in using a different site in the landfill area to continue its operations. He said staff was working with representatives of the organization to identify such a site.
Commissioner Sorenson asked if the activities of the club interfered with work at the landfill. Mr. Kohl replied that there had been no conflicts to date. He said the organization was responsible for scheduling its use at times the landfill was not being operated and for maintaining security. He said the organization was required to provide proof of insurance for its activities, but was not charged a fee for use of the area.
Commissioner Green said he was concerned that Lane County might incur liability exposure with the organization’s use of the landfill. Mr. Kohl replied that the club provided a waiver of liability to the County. He said care was taken to ensure that members understood limitations on the use of landfill and nearby wetland areas.
Commissioner Morrison asked if the County was obligated to supply the club with an area to use. Mr. Kohl replied that there was no such obligation.
Commissioner Dwyer said he believed the County should seek to accommodate the request, keeping in mind that the public purpose of the area was landfill. Mr. Kohn replied staff would be cooperative, but not unduly involved in solving the problem of the organization.
Commissioner Morrison requested that an update on the chemical and leachate issues at Short Mountain be provided to the Board.
Mr. Kohl said the contractor was behind schedule in completing the system to correct problems at the landfill.
Commissioner Sorenson asked if the delay would affect the ability to meet water quality requirements. Mr. Kohl replied that it would not.
Commissioner Morrison asked for an explanation of the status of fees relating to the “ammonia situation.” Mr. Kohn replied that the City of Springfield was in the process of setting Service Development Charges to address the situation. He said the fees would be prorated over a period of five years. He said there were no currently significant expenditures in connection with the issue.
7. REVIEW ASSIGNMENTS
Mr. Van Vactor said County Administration was responsible for developing a process to change the name of the Department of Children and Families in the Lane Manual and for beginning recruitment of a DCF Director.
Commissioner Dwyer said he would work with the agenda planning committee to schedule consideration of the Farm and Forest Zone amendments in August and the Telecommunications Towers Standards changes in September.
8. COMMISSIONERS’ ANNOUNCEMENTS
Commissioner Sorenson announced he had attended a Danish Brotherhood meeting and stated they were exploring meeting with the Sons of Norway Lodge and an organization of Swedish descendents. He also attended a Philippine American Celebration and learned of extensive Lane County commerce in the Philippines. He said he appreciated the excellent presentation made at the Human Resources Performance Counts Work Session on June 17.
Commissioner Green stated he agreed the presentation at the Performance Counts Work Session was excellent. He believed it would build a strong foundation for the future and should be offered to all employees. He announced he would be out of the county June 20-27.
Commissioner Morrison said she also agreed the Work Session presentation was well done. She also believed the Board would benefit from learning more. She announced she attended a reception for Bureau of Land Management Director Kathleen Clark and had discussed implementation of recent legislation.
Commissioner Morrison said she had participated in a conference telephone call with the Association of Oregon Counties Legislative Committee. She reported on the latest guesses about how the special legislative session would resolve the state’s budget shortfall.
Commissioner Dwyer said he had no announcements to make.
9. CORRESPONDENCE TO THE BOARD
10. EMERGENCY BUSINESS
There being no further business, Commissioner Dwyer adjourned the meeting at 12:00 p.m.
C. Daniel Lindstrom