BUDGET COMMITTEE MEETING
Thursday, May 9, 2002
5:15 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
BCC Conference Room
Chair Marie Bell presided with Budget Committee members Verna Brown, David Crowell, Bill Dwyer, Bobby Green, Sr., Angel Jones, Anna Morrison and Peter Sorenson present. Cindy Weeldreyer was present via telephone. Mary Ann Holser was excused. County Administrator Bill Van Vactor and Recording Secretary Melissa Zimmer were also present.
I. CALL TO ORDER
Chair Marie Bell called the meeting to order.
II. PUBLIC COMMENT
Jessica Shaney, Assistant Director, Food for Lane County, stated things were bleak in the number of people they are serving. She noted many are employed either full or part-time. She reported they are distributing 6 million pounds of food, but the money needed for distribution had not been increased by Lane County. She noted they had been using their reserves and they are looking at a deficit in the coming year. She stated they would continue to serve the needs of the community, but won’t be able to serve as many. She added it wasn’t just a Food for Lane County problem, but countywide.
Van Vactor asked that the eligibility criteria for Food for Lane County be sent to the Board.
Bell stated the meeting she asked to be held on May 16 would need to be changed as she was going out of town. She asked if she could get her questions answered by that date.
MOTION: to change the May 16 meeting to May 23, 2002.
Brown MOVED, Green SECONDED.
VII. REPORT BACK ON FY 2001-02 BUDGET ADDITIONS
Forest Work Camp
Van Vactor explained the Forest Work Camp is a critical part of the budget and the biggest change is under Title 2 and Title 3 funding.
Morrison, Dan Buckwald, Forest Work Camp and Mark Bureck, U.S. Forest Service, gave a presentation on the Forest Work Camp. (Copy in file).
Dwyer suggested instead of having to ramp up and cut back a position at the Forest Work Camp, to maintain the 90 beds, instead of increasing the number.
Bureck noted the BLM and Forest Service had picked the watershed project as a high priority. He noted the goal of all forest supervisors is to work on the high priority areas.
Morrison stated when the Board made the decision to create a split, instead of 50/50, 51% went into Title 3 Funds and 49% into Title 2 Funds. She recalled that last year she had the easements for the wetlands issue and to fire safety for the planning department because they were related to federal lands.
With regard to Title 2 and the investment of funds in Forest Service Lands, Sorenson asked--with the Forest Service and BLM producing less timber--if there was interest in Title 2 dollars being used to ramp up timber production in the national forest. He asked if Lane County was getting enough money from timber production.
Bureck reported the Forest Service was moving forward with objectives set nationally. He said congress would determine how the monies are spent within each National Forest and the BLM.
Karen Artiaco, Management Services, reported that for the next three to four years there will be no other inflationary area that would affect an employer’s bottom line as dramatically as the predicted 15 to 20% annual growth in health insurance premiums. She noted the current expense per employee is $6,000 but that could increase to $22,000 within the next six years. She stated that 600 of Lane County’s employees will be 50 or older in 2002. She added that because Lane County pays medical benefits for many long-term employees when they retire, there will be a high proportion of employees aged 50 or more which would affect health care costs for the next 20 years.
Artiaco stated that prescription drugs are the single largest health care cost for Lane County. She noted that 20 cents of every dollar given to Regence Blue Cross is for prescription drugs.
Artiaco explained that Medicare reimbursement is not keeping up with the cost of health care. She stated that Medicare pays $20 toward a doctor’s visit and the cost of providing that health care to Medicare patients is passed onto people who have insurance. She noted that Lane County has no competition with doctors and there are specialists who are unwilling to accept the reimbursement schedules offered by insurance companies. She added from this year forward, there would be no HMO’s active in Southern Oregon because the hospitals and health care providers in Oregon are not willing to accept the same level of reimbursement that doctors from other areas accept. She said that health care costs in Los Angeles County are 25% less than Lane County.
Artiaco suggested educating and motivating employees to be better consumers through wellness education and programs. She noted there was a joint labor management benefit review committee to discuss health care information with employees to promote wellness. She added they could implement new plan designs for cost savings. She stated that employees must agree to accept more financial responsibility for health care.
Artiaco explained there are currently 236 retirees receiving benefits. She said there would be 1,000 retirees who will qualify for insurance benefits. She noted that once a retiree reaches age 65, then a Medicare supplement is paid. She said since that benefit had been discontinued for newer employees, the cost would decline. She said Lane County currently pays $3,300 per year for retiree medical, but if it increased by 10% per year, the County would pay $8,600 for the same coverage in ten years. She said a worst-case scenario could happen in about 15 years, when they would be paying medical benefits for as many as 800 retirees. She noted that would be between $7 million and $11 million per year for retiree medical expense, in addition to current employees. She said a plan would need to pay through a combination of funding, including borrowing money.
Artiaco noted that as of December 31, 1999, PERS was short by $943 million. Then, in December 31, 2001, PERS was short by $8.5 billion. She explained that Tier 1 employees have an 8% guaranty rate of return on their contribution. She noted the rate of return for the year 2000 was .23% and for 2001, the rate was a –7.36%. She said to get to the 8% guaranty they had to make up 15%. She said there was a gain/loss reserve in PERS to take care of this situation, but the reserve was completely depleted. She added that PERS was supposed to fund a contingency reserve for emergencies and they did not fund the reserve. She said that PERS hopes to fund the cost of the 8% guaranty from future earnings in excess of 8%. She said the money match method is also causing a drain on computing retiree benefits. She noted that PERS has agreed to allow employers to invest funds in the variable account. She stated if PERS had funded the contingency reserve that was mandated, there would have been funds to pay for this.
Sorenson asked how the Board of Commissioners could help.
Artiaco said they could issue pension bonds in order to reduce the interest expense on the unfunded liability. She said it helps with the interest cost, but not with the liability that needs to be paid back. She stated they have to strongly urge PERS to follow actuarially accepted practices to keep the system sound. She noted at the March meeting, there was a new proposal for crediting earnings back. She said Lane County would work with other public employers on this issue. She explained that they are working to correct procedures within PERS because Lane County wants to continue to provide reasonable retirement benefits to the employees, but there has to be an affordable employer rate.
III. FINANCIAL OVERVIEW
Dave Garnick, Senior Budget Analyst, reported the Leadership Team discussed what they would do about setting growth guidelines. He stated they would be developing a limited growth budget. He added they weren’t able to do a status quo budget this year. He stated that personal services would be limited to COLA, merits and the growing health costs that are projected to go up 18%. He noted for material and services growth, they directed that departments needed to include all of the indirect and the direct costs from the IS Department. He added the direction was to maintain a 5% prudent person reserve for the general fund. He said that any personal services growth in excess of the parameters would require an add package and if growth in the overall base budget request exceeded the parameters, they would need to do reduction packages in order to bring their budget in balance. She noted the jail intake center took a major hit to the Sheriff’s office and the Juvenile Justice Center out of Youth Services for indirect and they were not able to absorb it in one year. He said there was discussion about whether depreciation was really the best method to recoup costs for maintenance purposes. He noted the direction was to keep depreciation costs flat for the next year. He added that all Title III dollars had been allocated and were included in the budget.
Jeff Towery, Management Analyst, explained the Board of Commissioners put a new video lottery policy in place in February 2001 and delayed the implementation of it until May 1, 2002, with the expectation that a lot of the programs that were funded in the current year would no longer qualify for new criteria that would be established. He said the Board reactivated the Economic Development Standing Committee that reviewed the criteria and objectives for video lottery dollars. He noted that Animal Regulation, the District Attorney, two County Administration pieces, a portion of dues and membership and a portion of the county indirect were no longer funded by video lottery ($400,000). He explained there are two projects allocated in the proposed budget of limited lottery dollars: general allocation and strategic investment. He noted that Land Management had been funded for four years from video lottery and they would see an increase of $17,000 in their allocation. He added the Youth Services and the Sheriff’s Office had been funded for a longer period of time and will have flat funding. He said the funding for video lottery dollars is expected to be about $680,000 this year with the target of July for the award of the projects.
Garnick said because strict parameters were set, some departments had to make budget reductions in order to bring their budgets into balance. He said some departments were able to shift some people into other projects but Youth Services (because of reduced grants, contracts and state funding) had to reduce their budget by $1.5 million that was in the proposed budget. He added the Sheriff’s Office had similar issues with grants and contracts. Their reduction was almost $900,000. He noted within the general fund there would be about $2.4 million in reductions.
Garnick passed out a worksheet (copy in file). He said the overall total budget would be $425 million next year, up from $412 million. He said as a result of increased cash, (due to the increase of timber revenue in the road fund) they are also increasing the road projects and the road fund is going up by $8.9 million. He added there is a new limited tax extension bond in the special obligation bond retirement fund of $4 million. He added they had to increase the employee benefits due to PERS, health benefits and the debt service payments, reflecting dollars from all of the departments to pay the actual debt service costs. He noted the general fund was decreasing due to the way the Sheriff’s Office was doing their indirect from an automatic indirect system. He said in the process, instead of charging an indirect to all of the various funds (including the general fund) they were charging the funds that were being reimbursed under Title 3, the Road Fund and other special funds. He noted the Sheriff’s Department had gone down by about $4 million. He said 20 funds were increasing for a total of $28.5 million and nine were going down $15 million, with the offset of an overall increase of about $12.6 million. He noted that 46% of the budget is dedicated review, with the general fund at 22.5% and the discretionary general fund of 11.5% of the total budget or $49 million.
Sorenson asked about the money Lane County received from LRAPA for fines.
Van Vactor stated he spoke with the director of LRAPA who said he would send over a letter and a check. Van Vactor stated he had never received them.
Sorenson stated that LRAPA had discussed talking about cutting off the fine money for Lane County. He noted the LRAPA Board had voted 6-1 to explore reductions with Lane County regarding payments.
Van Vactor suggested that he and Sorenson investigate if the money had come to Lane County.
Garnick noted that Lane County’s total tax rate is 38th out of 39 counties.
With regard to the revenue assumptions, Garnick noted that the constitutional limit is 3% annual growth, and they are allowed to make adjustments for new construction, but because of the economy, that would go down each year by at least 15%. He said that O & C timber payments are allowed to grow by half of the annual inflation rate. He said the Fin Plan shows that additional cash is gone in two years, with the remaining cash after that going into the 5% prudent person reserve. He added they had maintained the assumption that departments would spend only about 98% of their total budget. He noted that all other revenues were flat or had limited growth. He said that health benefits increased 18% and is growing rapidly. He added that the PERS costs would be increased by 3.5 to 4.5% more of the payroll. He said they were using the Oregon Economic forecasted rate of 2.5 to 3.5% for materials and services. He added they were maintaining a $25,000 operating contingency for the Board of Commissioners and payments need to be made for the County’s portion of the AIRS conversion project.
Towery noted Lane County’s unmet capital and deferred maintenance needs are approaching $100 million countywide. He said the Board would be considering capital projects for bond measures: the replacement of the health and elections annex ($25 million), park improvements ($16 million), the repair and upgrade of the jail intake center ($9 million) the replacement of the Sheriff’s radio system (between $5 and $10 million) and the remodel of the Courthouse and Public Service Building ($4 million). He said they would make significant service improvements by using these technological tools and proceeding with these projects.
Towery stated that the e-government success included the County’s job posting with almost 42,000 hits last April, the Harbor Vista Web Cam with 32,000 hits, and tax map applications and animal regulation sites. He said that last month there were 500 land use permit holders that were able to visit the website and track the process of their permits. He said that overall within the past 13 months, they had seen the use of the county’s website almost double to 240,000 hits last month.
Towery said if the forest payments were not renewed, there would be a 25% reduction in the discretionary general fund. He noted at the end of the cycle Lane County would be employing as many as 40 people with Title 3 funds. He said that unemployment is not reimbursable under Title 3. He noted the Board might have to put away $125,000 per year to pay unemployment costs for the positions they are not able to assimilate back into the organization. He added that Land Management Division had been a victim of the economy and other issues to the extent that there might be an additional $150,000 of general fund revenue necessary to maintain the operation per year.
IV. TAX REVENUE REVIEW
Jim Gangle, Assessor, said for the year 2001, they had collected $267 million from 75 districts. He noted there was more revenue this year because the voters of Lane County had approved local option levies and bonds. He said of the $267 million, Lane County receives 10 cents per dollar and the rest go to the other districts. He noted that half goes to pay for education, one-third pays for the cities and the remainder goes to special districts. He added that of the 10 cents that Lane County keeps, 7 cents pays for public safety, with 3 cents paying for other services. He said the Lane County property tax for 2001 was $23 million, with a permanent rate of $1.27 with timber offsets that reduce it down to $1.26 per thousand. He noted the net taxable value of Lane County is $17.8 billion.
Gangle stated that new construction would increase value in Lane County along with the Measure 50 value of three percent per year. He noted the exemptions went down because of the Hynix exemption. He stated the Board of Property Tax Appeals last year reduced the value to about $26 million in Lane County. He said fewer appeals mean more revenue back to the district. He said that land partitions and subdivisions were down for 2002, meaning there would be less revenue generated in 2003 from that activity.
V. LOCAL WORKFORCE CHANGES
Chuck Forster, Director, Workforce Partnership, reported that last year 7,000 people were on food stamps and currently there are close to 17,000 on food stamps. He stated the numbers doubled in less than a year. He added a lot of these are the working poor. He said they had also seen an increase in welfare where the average welfare caseload was 1,900 a few months ago and it is now 2,250. He noted that overall there are approximately 13,000 people unemployed in Lane County and 150,000 who are working. He added that there were 4,500 jobs lost in Lane County from 2000 to 2002.
Forster explained over time, the expected large growth areas would be in professional technical occupations, followed by sales and agriculture. He added that with the numeric growth of jobs in Lane County, the highest number of jobs would be low paying service occupations. He noted that two areas in professional growth are registered nurses and other medical fields.
VI. PROPOSED BUDGET REVIEW
Heaton explained that general expense contains 13 funds for a total of $77 million. She noted the major changes they would see are on page 3 in the Fair Board debt service fund. She added there was also a transfer of room tax. She noted the other change is the general obligation retirement fund increasing from $2 million this year to $5 million next year. She said in the special obligation bond retirement, there would be a PERS payment for the PERS bond, the refinancing of the fair board and a bond for parks.
Anette Spickard, Budget Analyst, reported for County Administration that it was a status quo budget within the parameters that Garnick outlined. She noted the main increases in revenue are a result of the county indirect charges generated by various support service departments. She added last year County Administration added the Timber Analyst for Title 2 and Title 3 monies and that increased the rate of indirect for the departments. With regard to expenses, there were basic growth and personnel services related to the last year of the COLA being budgeted. She noted that materials and services decreased as a result of county indirect charges going out of the department. She said the department would continue working with the Strategic Plan and to focus on the upcoming challenges to work on solutions.
With regard to County Counsel’s budget, Towery explained it is status quo. He said they see a decline in the Law Library Fund driven by factors that couldn’t be analyzed. He said the decrease in the use of the general fund is a result of an increase in indirect revenue going to County Counsel. He added there was a 50% drop in Lane Code and Lane Manual revenues due to more things being posted on the Internet. He noted the significant change in personnel services is an addition of a law clerk for 15 hours a week during the school year. He forecasted a substantial number of legal cases driven by the initiatives that are filed. He said the Law Library Fund receives no general fund support and the only change in the fund is the increase in reduction of the unfunded vacation liability. He said there was a decrease in revenues, civil case filings, and fewer users of the West Law data processing system.
Regarding Management Services, Towery said that of all funds combined, there was a significant decrease in both materials and services and capital expenses relating to the Mental Health Building. He noted there was an increase of general fund and personnel services of 11.42% and a total expenditure of $5.4 million outside the growth parameters established. He said there was a project in the Fair Board fund, as a result of the refinancing of a 1998 debt. He stated they generated $870,000 of cash that the Board of Commissioners directed to the Fair Board to be used for either the wastewater improvement project on-site or other capital improvements. He noted that based on the agreement between Management Services and the Fair Board, Management Services is paying the bill for the sewer project.
Garnick explained that Information Services has about 44 FTE with a total budget of $6.9 million in general fund dollars. He said they are supported by direct charges through all of the other departments that receive services from that department. The general fund portion is 56% of that total. He noted they also have a PC replacement fund that is a capital equipment fund that replaces all of the County’s computers, printers and servers, totaling $1.4 million. With regard to the general fund, there was a larger than expected increase in personnel services because they transferred a position over from Work Force Partnership. He said that pushed their overall costs up almost 7.9%. He said there was a slight increase in materials and services of 1.41% and no capital outlay budgeted. He noted there were no corrections or additions to the general fund. He said the net use of discretionary general fund is down 1.8%.
With regard to Regional Information Services, Garnick reported that it is an enterprise fund, providing the technology services primarily to entities outside of Lane County. He said their total budget is about $10.1 million, up about 9% for next year. He said the increase is due to the AIRS conversion project that they are working on. He noted that Lane County’s share of the RIS budget is increasing by 19.5% or $438,000 due to the justice and public safety computer systems.
Spickard noted that Assessment and Taxation is fully budgeted in the general fund. She said they have 55 FTE and changes to their budget have been minimal. She noted they have a new revenue source from ORMAP that will help the cartography section. She said changes in personnel are due to COLA and planning for retirements. She added they expect one-third of their staff to retire over the next five years. She noted they would be submitting add packages as they have challenges facing the department. With regard to the software they use to calculate the tax roll, the vendor stated they have to replace it. They want to set aside money to plan ahead for that replacement. She noted the department has some concerns on the state level about the ability of the department to certify the tax roll in a quick manner. She said the Board received a letter about that and the department makes a large request for revenue every year to process the tax roll properly and efficiently and it brings in $1.3 million into the general fund
With regard to Health and Human Services, Garnick reported the total budget is $82.4 million, including $3.8 million of general fund and all other revenues received are in forms of fees, grants or service agreements with other agencies. He noted their overall budget is up 1.55%. He said expenses were 1.43%. He explained that of the $3.8 million of general fund support, $504,000 goes to the Health and Human Services fund, with an increase of 13%, due to the Veteran’s Services program. He noted that was budgeted from general expense and has now gone to H&HS in the general fund and gets transferred into the Intergovernmental Human Services Fund. He noted the remainder of $3.3 million goes into the Health and Human Services Fund and there is a decrease in that because the medical examiner was transferred to the District Attorney’s office. He said the Health and Human Services Fund is their largest fund, approximately $70 million, and the general portion of that is only 5% of their total budget. He said the reduction in personnel services in admin, vital records and prevention is due to the medical examiner being transferred and the first bond payment for the new Mental Health building. He said that Public Health went up because they had the Healthy Start program transfer in from Children and Families Department. He noted that Mental Health had to eliminate a total of 6.5 FTE to get their budget balanced and the cuts were necessary to carry forward a negative cash balance as a result of decreased collections and the added expense of moving to a new building. He stated that Parole and Probation was able to maintain their program and absorbed an administrative assistant that was no longer needed in Lane Care. He said that Lane Care had to decrease their budget and they have to budget a first time-share of the Mental Health building debt. He noted there would be one non-general fund add package that Parole and Probation is requesting. He said they are trying to increase the rate of collections for uncollected supervision fees and if they could do that by 20% if they would be able to fund additional positions.
With regard to the Department of Children and Families, Spickard said the department is most impacted by state funding reductions and changes in how they provide services. She stated the department has challenges ahead in the next year. She noted that last year the department had 17 FTE and it is budgeted in the general fund. She said they balance their expenses and revenues so there is no net general fund use. She said in the proposed budget, that drops to 10 FTE and a portion is moving to Health and Human Services under Healthy Start. She noted they eliminated one position in their budget, a person who monitored grant contracts. She said they shifted from a direct service provider to more of a planning function. She noted that in the proposed budget they have created a new program, taking existing staff and rebudgeted them into the planning program and shifted the way the budget looks. She stated there was an overall decrease in their budget of 4.5% revenue and expenses. She said a big reduction was the decrease in funding to the crisis relief nurseries. She said an issue the Board would have to deal with is whether it stays as an individual department or it becomes blended in with another department. She noted they did not ask for any add packages and they just had the one reduction of the Program Services Coordinator position.
Towery reported that Public Works has a $143 million dollar total budget, with most of the growth in contingencies and reserves. He said the general fund use of the Public Works Departments grew less than 7/10 of one percent. He said the car rental tax had historically been a major revenue source (48% for park operations) and over the years a number of car rental agencies had discovered loopholes in the ordinance. He said the Board had closed the largest of the loopholes and they had seen a rebound of car rental fees. He noted that user fees were down significantly as a result of the drought. He added the Board adopted a modest system development charge to fund expansion of capital parks facilities in the future.
With regard to Land Management Division, Towery explained the Board and Finance and Audit had spent time on the department. He said that declines in permit revenues led to the elimination of six positions in the current year of the planning program. He said they are seeking assistance from Title 3 funds. He said they are going to try to address some of the issues in Land Management by forming an executive group.
Towery noted the solid waste disposal fund was one of the successes based on changes made with solid waste operations and revenue structure. He said it had become a solid and stable fund with the long-term outlook as positive.
Spickard stated that the Lane Work Force Partnership is budgeted entirely in the Work Force Partnership fund, with all of its revenue coming from state and federal grant sources, with no general fund use. She said their proposed budget for next year is $8.3 million, with 50 FTE. She noted the budget was status quo, but they received a new grant and were able to hire an additional seven people from the last budget year, related to laid off timber workers from the U.S. Department of Labor.
With regard to the Fair Board, Towery said the most significant decrease is that they are no longer budgeting debt service payments out of either of the Fair Board funds and the most significant increase is an increase in capital expenses in the Fair Board fund. He noted of the $2.6 million budgeted, about $1.9 million is the expected construction of the Planetarium and learning center. He noted the Fair Board is completing a business plan. He didn’t think they would begin on a capital campaign until the fall. He said it would take between 18 months and two years to raise the amount of capital necessary to construct the facility. He noted the $700,000 is the new money freed up by the refinance of the 1998 Fair Board debt that the Board of Commissioners had dedicated for the next five years for the Fair Board to help pay for capital improvement projects. He said there was also $900,000 that was also generated by the refinancing that is being paid out of Management Services for Fair Board projects. He stated that Mike Gleason retired at the end of February and is working on a part-time basis for the Fair Board until the end of May. He added at that time Gleason would become a consultant to the Fair Board working on special projects and Warren Wong had been identified as the new Fair Board Manager.
Garnick recalled that the Department of Youth Services had to reduce their budget by $1.5 million and lost 8.7 FTE overall. He added they brought in about $560,000 in new revenue to help offset that. He said their expense is down $730,000 (8%) but because they weren’t able to bring as much revenue in, their overall revenue is down by $940,000 (25%). He said their general fund use went up but they stayed within the 4% guideline. He noted they were still only funding 32 out of 96 possible beds. He said they were also running Pathways Drug and Alcohol facility and a transition shelter and assessment center. He added they have a community service work camp that Title 2 funds would help assist with. He said due to other reductions in federal and state funds, it necessitated reorganization within the department and services. He noted they have six add packages that total $750,000.
Sorenson asked if the empty pods could be utilized to bring in revenue.
Lisa Smith, Youth Services Director, responded that through some of the federal reimbursement opportunities they could possibly have a day and night reporting center for one of the pods. She added there was also an opportunity to have a partnership with Mental Health. She said currently that court school was located off campus and due to the classroom space within a pod, they could possibly use a pod for the court school operation and not pay rent for that outside of the building.
Towery explained that the District Attorney’s overall budget had grown by 5.9% due to the transfer of the medical examiner’s program from Health and Human Services to the District Attorney’s office. He said the community prosecution grant had ended and the traffic team and video lottery funds had been redistributed so it showed a growth in general fund reviews in the department. He stated the domestic violator position that is funded by the violence against women act grant is up for renewal and the department hopes that grant would be reinstituted.
Towery said that the total Sheriff’s Office budget expenditures are down by 8.7% and general fund use is also down by 9.8%. He said that personnel services in the general fund are up by almost 8.5%. He said there have been two new programs that had been added to isolate the costs associated with Title 2 and Title 3 eligible programs: the Federal Forest work crews and the forest land emergency services. He noted that the residential substance abuse and treatment as a grant has no base budget and it is shown as an add package. He said the HACSA deputy is shown with no base budget because funds would no longer be available and a domestic violence deputy that is partially funded through a grant through the District Attorney’s office had been eliminated to due budget limitations and had been submitted as an add package. He noted there was a significant decrease in materials and services as a result of the policy change for internal department indirect charges. He said the net change is $4.9 million. Those charges are only being charged to the programs that are eligible for federal reimbursement.
Garnick stated the justice courts had a limited growth but is status quo. He said they weren’t seeing revenue growth in the current year so they reduced their projection for next year by about $300,000. He noted the revenue was picking up in Oakridge and Florence, but it is enough to fully cover their costs. He stated that the Central Lane Justice Court had been experiencing increased workload. He said they were doing a study to justify adding a position or adding additional technology to get them additional help.
Brown stated she spoke with County Counsel and was told she would have the answers to her questions about the legality and the policy that govern the Board of County Commissioners under a budget line item of business expense and travel and making donations. She said her questions were not being answered.
Bell said she had a problem with the budget schedule. She thought it was less citizen friendly. She hoped everyone could get their questions answered and not pressured to make a decision on May 28.
Weeldreyer requested that the Budget Committee not make decisions on May 28 as she would be attending an AOC meeting in Newport. She wanted them to wait until May 30 so she could be part of the decision making process.
Van Vactor noted that this Board of Commissioners had sent clear signals that they would rather have longer meetings and less of them.
VII. REPORT BACK ON FY 2001-02 BUDGET ADDITIONS
County Administration – Tanya Heaton provided a presentation on the Strategic Plan.
Information Services – Tony Black reported for last year’s budget, they had two add packages of $50,000 each. He passed out a chart on the remote management software. (Copy in file). He stated they took out $25,000 of information services training and labor dollars and put it into the implementation of the product. He noted they purchased the product in July 2001 and did the training and implementation. He said the software would give them the opportunity to take remote control of workstations around the County. He added it would do hardware and software inventory. He stated they have technicians about 2.5 times the industry standard on maintaining work stations as a direct result of the software. He said their help desk diagnostics and response time were better and they changed their help desk towards more of a call resolution center than a dispatch center, which saved technician time. He said that for the next year, they would be able to save approximately 7,800 hours of technician labor at $30.00 per hour. He said they had utilized the savings with better service, support, and equipment. He added they received $50,000 for financial system archiving and that is planned out with People Soft 8.
Management Services – David Suchart recalled that last year they were given a .5 FTE position in Animal Regulation. He said they are using the position to deal with animal abuse cases and to back up the other officers.
Health and Human Services – Rob Rockstroh reported there was $64,000 for a mental health specialist and .5 office assistant. He noted it was a way to speed up the process for court evaluation. He said with regard to the Human Services Commission add, it enabled them not to make agency cuts that year. He explained that the Veteran’s Office is better in its new location and the employees are now County employees.
District Attorney – Kent Mortimore recalled the Budget Committee funded two projects: a remodel of the clerical area and funding for a second deputy medical examiner. He said they also did all the rewiring for the computers. He noted they have ergonomically correct workstations. He added that before the remodel they had about 15 workers comp claims due to the lack of space and after the remodel, they had no claims. He said they funded the second medical examiner position. He noted the position was transferred from Health and Human Services. He stated that the taxpayers were well served by the additions.
Sheriff’s Office – Jan Clements said they had an add package for the HVAC controls for $300,000 and have paid to date $207,500. He noted the total project was $209,000 and they expect to return to the county $91,000. He added they had restorations to the budgets as some cuts were made at which time there was a discussion about the service reductions that would have to occur. (Approximately $416,000 from a variety of sources). He said they redistributed about $310,000 to personnel services for extra help overtime, reduction of unfunded vacation liability, compensatory time and employee benefits. He added they projected to over expend those budget areas of about $37,000. He said $106,000 was allocated to materials and services for training and maintenance agreements, medical supplied, helicopter expense and communication equipment. He said they are projected to spend more than $12,000 of what was authorized
With regard to overtime, Brown stated she received a report for the jail staffing analysis. She said the overtime wasn’t going to go away as there were certain conditions that they can’t get out of. She added there weren’t enough positions filled which leads to overtime.
Chair Bell adjourned the meeting at 10:30 p.m.