BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS'

REGULAR MEETING

February 19, 2003

9:00 a.m.

Commissioners’ Conference Room

APPROVED 3/19/03

 

Commissioner Peter Sorenson presided with Commissioners Bill Dwyer, Bobby Green, Sr., and Tom Lininger present. Anna Morrison was excused. County Administrator Bill Van Vactor, County Counsel Teresa Wilson and Recording Secretary Melissa Zimmer were also present.

 

1. ADJUSTMENTS TO THE AGENDA

 

A letter from McKenzie Willamette Hospital will be added as 11. c.

 

# 2. PUBLIC COMMENTS

 

Karen Bodner, 38824 Place Road, Fall Creek, read her letter into the record. (Copy in file.)

 

Tom Hunton, 92194 Burkerson Road, Junction City, stated he served the past 10 of 13 years on the Vegetation Management Advisory Committee. He noted he was one of the charter members who developed the initial policy. He commented he presently does not sit on the committee. He stated that Lane County’s policy is recognized nationally. He commented that Public Works works well with the adjacent landowners. He said if the Board wanted to make changes, to rely on the VMAC Committee to do the analysis. He urged that there not be a radical change in the herbicide program because they have trained applicators applying what limited amounts the County is using. He didn’t want the public applying pesticides indiscriminately, trying to replace what the County is doing.

 

Doug Graves, 92107 River Road, Junction City, stated he is currently on the VMAC Board and is a licensed pesticide applicator. He believed that this policy was only a tool. He commented the IVM program of Lane County is nationally recognized. He noted the pesticide portion was a small increment of what they use and they use it judiciously. He believed the County would be erring if they took away this tool, as it needs to be preserved.

 

Nena Lovinger, 40093 Little Fall Creek Road, Fall Creek, read her letter into the record. (Copy in file.)

John Sundquist, 31139 Lanes Turn Road, Coburg, read his letter into the record.

 

(Copy in file.)

 

Jan Wroncy, P. O. Box 1101, Eugene, stated she served on the VMAC Committee for eight years. She commented she is an injured party that had taken action against Lane County for being harmed. She said it appeared to her that many of the protections that initially were put in place by the IVM Plan have now been reduced or eliminated and it makes the public and the environment more vulnerable. She stated there is no law that requires Lane County to manage noxious weeds by spraying them. She noted that native plants were more susceptible to harm by the spray than noxious weeds. She added the County always mows the roadsides many times per year. She said that spraying adds additional cost and is dangerous to the public’s health and environment. She encouraged the Board to gather public comment over a period of time allowing a hearing on the issue.

 

Dana Turrell, 2155 Kismet Way, Eugene, thanked the Board for their efforts in donating $2,500 towards a food purchase that Safeway matched. She noted it came to over 33,000 pounds of food. She passed out information about Food for Lane County. (Copy in file.)

 

Norma Grier, 28718 Royal, Eugene, read her letter into the record. (Copy in file.)

 

Cathy Verret, 2450 Potter, Eugene, read her letter into the record. (Copy in file.)

 

Joachim Schulz, 1511 Bennett Road, Cottage Grove, thanked the Board for their donation to Food for Lane County.

 

Megan Kemple, P. O. Box 1393, Eugene, read her letter into the record. (Copy in file.)

 

Mary Ann Holser, 2620 Cresta de Ruta, Eugene, supported a review of the roadside spraying by Lane County. She stated she served on the Public Health Advisory Committee and during that time they conducted a study of herbicide and pesticide policies locally and in the state and accumulated information. She noted they had a meeting with the Vegetation Management Committee to review the practices of roadside spraying. She hoped the committees could work together to review the roadside spraying with the information that both groups might have possible alternatives to spraying to make Lane County a healthier place to live.

Sorenson asked about the precautionary principle and how it applies to this.

 

Holser responded the precautionary principle is defined: "If there is enough evidence that something is a possible danger, you have to take action." She said you could take precautions, even though you cannot definitively (with statistics) prove something.

 

3. COMMISSIONERS' REMONSTRANCE

 

Sorenson reported on Monday he took constituents to the state capitol to testify on a bill before the Senate Committee on Business and Labor. He said the bill was to provide a tax credit to small businesses in Oregon that assist their employees by paying part of their community college tuition. He noted the bill received a pass out of the committee to the revenue committee for an analysis. He thought with the support of different groups it would result in improvements for business.

 

4. EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660

 

To take place after the meeting.

 

5. COMMISSIONERS' BUSINESS

 

a. DISCUSSION/Convention and Visitors Association of Lane County, Oregon (C-VALCO) Semi-Annual Report for July - December 2002.

 

Kari Westlund, CVALCO, passed out a report on Lane County travel impacts. (Copy in file.) She reported they have had an average first half and it is off from the past two comparable seasons that were record setting. She said there are different factors when they try to market the destination. She noted they have good conventions on the books, but with the state budget crisis, they are looking at uncertainties in the government segment. She was not sure what is happening with state travel. She commented that overall their calendar was good and they were seeing corporate travel increasing. She anticipated the leisure segment could be good this year.

 

Sorenson asked if CVALCO had discussed the Fairgrounds issue.

 

Westlund responded they had no formal discussions. She stated she did outreach to the hotel community to see what that sector was thinking. Her concern was that displacement of the Fairgrounds, without a viable local alternative, would lose that business from the community. The hotel community echoed her concern.

 

Sorenson asked Westlund to report back on a new convention facility in the Springfield area.

 

6. COUNTY ADMINISTRATION

 

a. Announcements

 

Van Vactor announced at the Leadership Team Meeting that they agreed to use service information sheets to rank all of the programs in the general fund. He said they had completed the process and yesterday the public safety department met, ranked and ordered all of the programs. He added the direct service departments were doing the same. He noted that next Tuesday they would rank order pursuant to the Strategic Plan to blend the three lists to produce a budget that matches direct use of the Strategic Plan. He estimated the deficit to be around $1 million. He added if it goes up, they would have to draw a line and prepare a proposed budget.

 

7. PUBLIC WORKS

 

a. ORAL REPORT/Discussion of the Integrated Vegetation Management (IVM) Program Policy.

 

Green noted that Morrison was out of state with her mother who is in the hospital. It was difficult for her to participate in the meeting by phone. He said she had been the liaison on the VMAC Committee. He suggested having a presentation by staff, but to roll this item until Morrison is present. He added there was no urgency and thought this should be delayed until she could be present.

 

Lininger agreed with Green, but hoped the Board could have a discussion to frame the issue for VMAC.

 

Sorenson suggested hearing staff presentations. Any questions that the Board had could be put onto next week’s agenda for a continued Board discussion. He stated that way Morrison would be able to hear the presentation and comment.

Ollie Snowden, Public Works, reported they were requested to talk about the IVM Program. He didn’t have a prepared report because he wasn’t clear on what the Board wanted to hear. He said they could discuss the herbicide program or respond to questions. He noted there was a memo from the VMAC Committee that requested that the issue be given back to VMAC before the Board makes a decision.

 

Snowden stated that Mike Perkins, Public Works, gave information to the Board regarding the IVM Program that included costs for 01/02. He noted an item missing from the report for the Sheriff’s Inmate Work Crew (picking up litter and for vegetation management). He added that cost is over $700,000 per year.

 

Snowden discussed two audits that had taken place that examined the IVM Program in 1997. He said what was in the report was a small part of a larger audit on the organization of the Road Maintenance Division and the potential savings the public could realize with co-location with ODOT. He noted that vegetation management was a minor part of the report that included the herbicide program. He added the report stated the herbicide program (as currently operated) was not as cost effective as it could be and should be re-evaluated.

 

Snowden explained that there was another audit performed in May 2000 by Dean Stephens that focused on the vegetation management spraying versus non-spraying. He noted that spraying and shoulder mowing are related. He added that some of the herbicide applications are for base and stump treatment and for broadleaf control of blackberry and poison oak and the alternative of mechanical brush mowing. He stated the conclusion in terms of the financial analysis was that it is more cost effective to mow and to use herbicides. He said the reasonable approach would be to send this back to the VMAC Committee to get more detail and come back to the Board with a recommendation.

 

Perkins explained the nature of the discussion is one small component of the program and the interrelationship with the mowing. He noted there were other elements around public safety and the safety of people using the right of way. He said they need to look at all parts of the program.

 

Lininger appreciated the department spending more of an effort on being cautious. He said they need to give guidance to the VMAC Committee to continue to work as experts. He thought the Board needed to frame this better before it is sent back to the committee. He noted that there are six counties in Washington that have policies of no spraying. He wanted to find out what they had done so Lane County could possibly use some of their techniques. He thought it might be possible within Lane County to pick a corridor that has less traffic and begin a no spray policy with current technology to see if it was viable in the limited area. He didn’t think the Board wanted to ban spraying altogether. He recommended allowing spraying as a last resort and examine spraying on a case-by-case basis where there was no other way to accomplish their goals. He was concerned about spraying around children.

 

Perkins responded that Lane County was one of the few agencies where there is no spraying at school bus stops. He added they also respond to the citizens’ needs and concerns.

 

Green wanted to know what other counties were doing in other states and to obtain resource materials from other Public Works departments. He asked if a majority of the Board were opposed to Snowden’s point of view, what portion of the program would he retain. Green didn’t want spraying as a last resort. He hoped the Board would manage the discussion or shift in policy responsibility to be responsive. He asked to have data provided from the Public Health Department where there had been significant evidence to show where someone had been impacted as a result of what the Board had done and how they were related. He also wanted to know if there were any possible lawsuits with the Health Department and how they responded. He said they want to take an approach to be responsible to make good policy choices.

 

Sorenson asked Snowden to review the public comment given this morning.

 

Snowden noted he could watch public comment over the intranet.

 

Sorenson asked about an item that was brought up in the written material presented by Ms. Kemple with the Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides. He noted in her written comments that Ray Willard of the Washington Department of Transportation studied the cost and benefits of managing roadsides without herbicides. He said the report should have been done in late May. He asked what the status was and if there was a draft report. He asked who was doing it, if they had a consultant and the perspective of the study. He asked if the legislators in Washington requested it. He wanted to know what the study was about. He asked if there was a person in Lane County government in charge of risk management.

 

Van Vactor responded it was Karen Artiaco, who is a risk and benefits manager.

 

Sorenson asked how Lane County government computes the risk and what the risks are on the public and employee side. He asked if there was any type of environmental or fish coordination within Public Works.

 

Snowden responded on the fish recovery efforts, that the work they are doing with the road maintenance section is in two major areas: maintenance practices with ditching and sweeping, and culvert replacement. He noted they are replacing road culverts that are barriers to fish passages with larger ones that replicate a streambed. He noted the County Engineer was in charge, but different individuals were working on the project.

 

Sorenson asked who within Public Works was spending time learning about how to protect fish. He said they are spending money to protect fish, and learning about what kills fish could be part of the discussion. His asked what they were doing with the Vegetation Management Committee to protect the fish.

 

Snowden responded they have no biologist on staff and no person that fills that function. He said they had followed the lead of ODOT when it comes to best management practices for road maintenance. He added they work with ODFW and the National Forest Service in identifying a location for barriers for culverts. He stated they didn’t have a biologist who works with herbicides on fish, as they don’t have the staff to do that.

 

Sorenson suggested that Karen Artiaco, Public Health Department staff, Public Works staff, the Public Health Advisory Committee and the Vegetation Management Advisory Committee (under the leadership of the chairs of the two citizen committees) give a progress report once a month for the next three months and conduct a public hearing consistent with Board direction. He wanted to know how this would work.

 

Dwyer thought they could always improve the public process. He was not opposed to refining what they do and improving on it. He was pleased with the wildflower program, as it doesn’t require mowing or spraying. He said they should work with the state in eliminating noxious weeds. He subscribes to the theory that government should do no harm. He favored the chemicals as a last resort. He said that would cause them to use other alternatives and it creates a review process on why they want to use chemicals. Dwyer thought Lane County might be liable under the 4D Rule. He said they need to be sensitive and try not to use chemicals. He believes there is a lot they don’t know about the sensitivity of certain species of fish to chemicals. He thought the precautionary principle was good as it takes precautions against things they are not aware of. He said they need to use better judgment as it relates to people they have conflict with. He said they could make changes to be beneficial to everyone in Lane County. He thought they should find areas to make improvement and lessen the risk to the public and the species and create more good will.

 

Green asked Snowden to review Karen Bodner’s letter. He explained Bodner admits she is a no spray advocate, but agreed around the values and the benefits on how to approach this responsibly.

 

Sorenson noted Mary Ann Holser mentioned the precautionary principle. He wanted Snowden in preparation for next week’s work, to write a paragraph about it. He wanted to put onto next week’s agenda, a discussion and possible action on the IVM Management Program policy and they will set it up for a time when all the commissioners are available.

 

Snowden commented they could respond to some of the questions today. He said they could come back with research on the different Washington counties. He said they need more clarification on what the Board wants. He asked if they wanted to focus on a structure that involves the VMAC and Health Advisory Committees to review this.

 

Sorenson responded they should do the best they can when they come back and set this up again when more information is known.

 

Van Vactor suggested document resources transcribe this portion to get all the commissioners questions and have it placed in the packet for next week, and Public Works will try to answer the specific questions.

 

Dwyer asked what would be required with regard to their policy if they were to go to chemicals as a last resort policy. He asked if they had the policy that the government should do no harm. He asked if they would use chemicals if there were no other alternatives. He asked what changes would take place to the mechanics of it. He asked what they would do differently to analyze it. He asked how they would go about implementing such a concept.

 

Snowden replied they would need a different decision process. He said if they look at it as a last resort, it would be down to money. He said if they spend enough money and have enough people, they could do things by hand they couldn’t do now. He said that would have to be direction from the Board as to how far they go in terms of adding more money to the budget and getting more people using the Sheriff’s Inmate Crew. He commented otherwise every time they use herbicides, they would be questioned about using the correct analysis. He said they have to have a decision tree that is approved by the Board that helps avoid conflicts if they do use herbicides.

 

Green asked Snowden to report back next week on the things he could have responded to today. He wanted Snowden to comeback with a list of different levels of decision points.

 

Sorenson wanted next week’s item to be a discussion and possible action of the Integrated Vegetation Management Program Policy.

 

b. ORAL REPORT/DISCUSSION AND ACTION/Report Back – Pioneer Parkway Extension IGA

 

Snowden reported at Board direction, they have programmed $5.2 million for the Pioneer Parkway Extension. He added that $3.3 million was from the Capital Project Partnership and $1.9 million from the Capital Improvement Program when the Board directed they drop the improvement project on Game Farm South and put the money toward Pioneer Parkway Extension. He noted when the Board made those decisions, the order included language that delegated authority to the County Administrator to sign the IGA. He said they considered this last month and didn’t want the County Administrator to sign the IGA.

 

Nick Arnis, City of Springfield, stated the issue is about the planning they had been doing with the north link of the Pioneer Parkway Extension. He noted that the Pioneer Parkway Extension is in the Gateway Refinement Plan that was adopted in the 90’s. He added the project was adopted in the TransPlan. He said part of the Gateway Refinement Plan is they come back to the Board of Commissioners and the City of Springfield to adopt the alignment. He said in discussions with Dwyer, there were submissions about the north link. He said they took it back to the community to an open house to work out options.

 

Arnis stated they created an annexation agreement with Arlie & Company where there would be funding for the Pioneer Parkway Extension. He said they then put on hold what would be the north link until August of last year. He said a group was formed and they came up with different options. He added that Option 1 was the recommendation from the stakeholder’s group. He told the stakeholder’s group that Dwyer did not favor that option. He said they need direction on what to do.

 

Dwyer explained a 10,000 vehicle per day count that would have required them to build the Pioneer Parkway triggered the need for the Pioneer Parkway extension.

 

Sorenson asked with the land use change being proposed in the area if it made sense to make a road decision.

 

Dwyer suggested buying or reserving the right of way for the future. He said they have to help the Patrician Mobile Home Park to reserve the right of way that Arlie purchased. He noted there was consensus from the mobile home park about this option being okay, but they weren’t that happy with it. He suggested allowing for the purchase of this option for the future.

 

Green asked what the difference in cost would be if they were to look at the different options and where the money would come from. He also asked if there had been a traffic count of the number of vehicles coming out of the mobile home park per day to determine if someone would or would not be able to get out in a timely manner.

 

Dwyer responded they worked out an arrangement with the people to try to mitigate the impact that the traffic would have on the entrance and egress.

 

Arnis responded the costs went from $275,000 to $930,000. He noted if they did the pink plan, the cost would be $3.1 million and the blue project (paid by private funds) would be about $970,000. He noted when they budgeted for the Pioneer Parkway project, they applied for $750,000 for the Parkway Extension CAAP.

 

Dwyer wanted to reserve this for the future to keep their options open because the land would not be any cheaper.

 

Arnis noted the way the current IGA is written, that if there are cost overruns on the parkway Extension project, it is up the City of Springfield to come up with the money. He said they would have to re-write some of the IGA.

 

Al Peroutka, City of Springfield, commented that the agreement (as now written) does require the city and the County to agree on the alignment. He said they would come to an agreement. He noted the land use planning was continuing and there would be some type of node in the area.

 

Dwyer wanted to see if they could work with Peace Health to maintain that option for the future. He said when it is impractical to continue to egress and enter that would be the trigger that would precipitate the discussion about another road.

 

Green wanted the IGA to move forward.

 

Arnis said Van Vactor could sign the IGA. He noted there was a clause where both the City and the County need to agree on the alignment on the Pioneer Parkway Extension. He said he would bring it back to the Board with an option of a trigger or right-of-way that would be dedicated for a future project. He wanted to work out the options with Dwyer to make sure they were together on this.

 

Dwyer agreed.

Peroutka noted their council reviewed this and approved the first two options. He asked if the Board wanted to have a public hearing. He added if there were a decision different than what the Springfield City Council had already agreed to, they would have to go back to the council.

 

Arnis stated the decision of the stakeholders is that they would have to come back because the IGA states it has to be approved by the County and the City. He suggested having a public hearing.

 

Green suggested having the agreement signed. He wanted to take care of the issues today, but keeping an eye to the future about what Dwyer said on the level of sensitivity as it relates to the homeowners and the other property owners. He thought that was the message that should be conveyed. He said the County would retain the level of process. He didn’t want the project stopped.

 

8. CONSENT CALENDAR

 

BEGINNING OF CONSENT CALENDAR * * * *

 

A. Approval of Minutes: None.

 

B. Public Works

 

1) ORDER 03-2-19-1/In the Matter of Releasing, Dedicating, and Accepting Parcel "B" Irvington Place, Book 57, Page 18, a Parcel of County Owned Real Estate, as a Public Road. (17-04-02) (Argon Avenue).

 

2) ORDER 03-2-19-2/In the Matter of Entering into a Revenue Agreement with the City of Springfield for Guardrail Installation on 48th Street in the Estimated Amount of $60,000.

 

END OF CONSENT CALENDAR * * * *

 

MOTION: to approve the Consent Calendar.

 

Dwyer MOVED, Green SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 4-0.

 

9. HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

 

a. ORDER 03-2-19-3/In the Matter of Accepting the 2003-05 Implementation Plan for Alcohol and Drug Prevention Services.

 

C.A. Baskerville, Human Services, reported she began holding community. forums last fall and they held one for alcohol and drug services in November. She noted there was a shift in the way they could use the funding. She added the overall dollars had not changed, but the way in which they could use them did. She stated they divided the funding into two categories: baseline and targeted funding. She said in the past years, they were able to use all of their funding in whichever way the community and data supported it. She noted this biennium the baseline funding was up to $150,000 and they could use those funds in any prevention category they wanted. She added that anything above $150,000 needed to go toward targeted or indicated prevention. She said they had to make sure what they proposed in the plan supported that effort. She added they needed to support a county prevention coordinator position that was a new mandate.

 

Baskerville noted there was a significant amount of cuts that alcohol treatment received over the last biennium that alcohol affects. She noted the baseline proposal was up to $150,000. She said their proposal within those funds category would be to continue to support community based coalitions.

 

Baskerville noted the other proposal was to continue to support school based prevention coordination. She said they have a history of coordination and collaboration with the Lane Education Service District who provides training for teachers across the County and youth development support through their youth in action effort and they pay for part of the coordinator’s salary out of the baseline funding. She commented they currently fund a parenting education program through Central Latino Americano for $150,000 and they want to continue to support that.

 

Baskerville said their proposal is to use the current infrastructure that the Commission on Children and Families started through the family resource centers. She said they want to use that to create a neighborhood hub to fill the gaps in some of the services that the communities would be experiencing due to budget cuts. She said they have a commitment from the Department of Human Services who will refer families who have a history of substance abuse, and they have a commitment from the Department of Youth Services who could identify siblings. She said they would provide targeted services where they can identify and assess the parents’ needs. She noted their recommendation is to spend the bulk of the indicated funding and the remainder would go toward supporting school base violence and substance abuse coordination, targeting high risk needs.

 

MOTION: to approve ORDER 03-2-19-3.

 

Dwyer MOVED, Lininger SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 4-0.

 

b. ORDER 03-2-19-4/In the Matter of Amending the Bylaws of the Public Health Advisory Committee.

 

Green noted these were housekeeping measures.

 

MOTION: to approve ORDER 03-2-19-4.

 

Lininger MOVED, Dwyer SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 4-0.

 

c. ORDER 03-2-19-5/In the Matter of Approving the Policy Choices in Response to Mental Health Funding Cuts.

 

Al Levine, Mental Health, stated they had a discussion a couple of weeks ago on this item. He noted in the interim they added detail regarding the types of policy decisions they might prioritize as to who remains in services and who gets cut. He said they had experienced significant cuts in funding that resulted in reductions in staffing. He added there were changes to the Oregon Health Plan that resulted in a larger number of individuals becoming medically indigent. He said they have to make decisions regarding to whom and how they will provide care in a variety of areas. He said the Board as the policy body should be aware and support the policy changes needed to be made because of the funding at the state level.

MOTION: to move to approve ORDER 03-2-19-5.

 

Dwyer MOVED, Green SECONDED.

 

Dwyer commented that none of these choices were good but were necessary and the way to minimize the damage by the loss of funding. He added there would be social costs levied as a result of the policies.

 

Trina Laidlaw, Assistant County Counsel, reported the department was to articulate the difficult policy choices because of the budget cuts. She said people would not receive the same level of service as in the past. She noted this allows the Board to weigh in on policy choices and creates a discretionary governmental immunity situation that assists the County when faced with severe budget cuts and cannot provide the service at the same level. She said this policy adoption would give protection from claims against the County.

 

Green supported the analysis and recommended policy changes.

 

VOTE: 4-0.

 

10. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

Lininger noted there had been concern in his district about traffic safety. He said they are now rerouting traffic to the rural areas and there is loss of the Oregon State Police. He added there is concern about engine braking and the use of vehicles off road. He wanted to form a task force of concerned citizens to identify the greatest concerns.

 

Green announced that on February 27, ODOT is convening an all area meeting in Salem on recommendation of policies and how they agree on large projects as it relates to transportation. He said there is no direction on large policies as it affects different projects.

 

Dwyer stated the MPC took on duties of the MPO. He said they added the City of Coburg as a voting member.

 

Sorenson noted that he and Cindy Weeldreyer worked to reactive the Lane County Traffic Safety Committee. He commented that Lane County has one of the worst traffic safety problems in the State of Oregon, rural and urban. He announced that on Monday February 24, there is a joint meeting with the Lane County Human Rights Advisory Committee

 

11. CORRESPONDENCE TO THE BOARD

 

a. Letter from George Russell, 4-J School District

 

Sorenson noted it was a letter the Board received. He said this was a road project and it was not anticipated when the new school’s budget was established. He suggested this letter should be forwarded to either the Roads Advisory Committee, the Community Development Assistant Fund or for Snowden to come back to the Board.

 

Van Vactor stated the Roads Advisory Committee had ranked these in the past and he recommended it go there.

 

Green asked if the costs would be less if Public Works’ staff did the work.

 

Sorenson suggested sending this to the Roads Advisory Committee and Public Works and ask them for their opinion. He also suggested that they look at the option of having the County do the work. He asked for a recommendation from Public Works when it comes back from the Roads Advisory Committee. He asked Van Vactor to prepare a letter letting George Russell know what the Board was doing. He added a copy of the letter should go to Mr. Brantley at 4J.

 

Dwyer agreed this should go to the Roads Advisory Committee.

 

Van Vactor commented that Public Works doesn’t do construction but they could do the evaluation for engineering and put it out for bid.

b. Letter from Bob Doppelt, University of Oregon

 

Sorenson explained this was a letter addressed to him and to Peter Thurston, Economic Development. He noted the letter was dated February 10, 2003 from Bob Doppelt, who is the Director of University of Oregon Institute for a Sustainable Environment, the program for watershed and community health. He said Doppelt invited the Board of Commissioners to participate in a work group on local sustainable business and job development. He said the first meeting of the work group is planned on March 6 at Springfield City Hall.

 

Sorenson suggested having Van Vactor send a letter back stating the Board wanted to pursue this, that the Board had appointed Lininger to be the contact as the elected official and Peter Thurston as a staff person, but that Lininger would not be able to attend the first meeting.

 

Dwyer suggested asking Chuck Forster and Jim Gangle to be the other members.

 

c. McKenzie Willamette

 

Sorenson reported this was a request from McKenzie Willamette that was made to him last Friday. He responded by e-mail. He stated they had requested a draft letter from the Board. He said if they do this within two weeks, they would have to add it to their agenda today. He asked if they wanted to discuss this today or send the letter.

 

Dwyer thought the letter was premature because there were so many unanswered questions in the public interest, evaluation of assets, the makeup of the structure of the Board and the location of the hospital. He noted the attorney general contacted him indicating that he is going to hold public hearings on this under the Oregon Charitable Trust Law. He wanted to let the process work. He didn’t think it was necessary.

 

Sorenson recalled that at the agenda meeting, they were informed that Rob Rockstroh, Director, Health and Human Services had also been asked to write a letter similar to this one.

 

With regard to the third paragraph, Lininger didn’t think Weathers or Orr had the factual basis to represent that to the attorney general. He noted they were cautious about where they were intending to relocate. He said until they know where they are relocating, it is hard to represent to the attorney general that there would be continued access by all. He wanted to find out more information first.

Green supported this in concept.

 

Dwyer recommended this be held.

 

Sorenson requested that Van Vactor send an E-mail to Rosie Pryor stating they discussed the draft and at this time they are trying to acquire greater information about the decision of the attorney general and the information that they can provide. He asked Rockstroh to get up to speed on the issue on what the attorney general is going to decide. He also asked Rockstroh to report back to the Board within the next month and give a briefing on the statute the attorney general would be interpreting.

 

12. EMERGENCY BUSINESS

 

None.

 

There being no further business, Commissioner Sorenson adjourned the meeting at 12:15 p.m.

 

Melissa Zimmer

Recording Secretary