BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS'
January 29, 2003
Commissionersí Conference Room
Commissioner Peter Sorenson presided with Commissioners Bill Dwyer, Bobby Green, Sr., Tom Lininger and Anna Morrison present. County Administrator Bill Van Vactor, County Counsel Teresa Wilson and Recording Secretary Melissa Zimmer were also present.
1. ADJUSTMENTS TO THE AGENDA
A meeting on transportation funding is added as Item 7. b.
2. PUBLIC COMMENTS
Fred Welding, 87737 Oak Island Drive, Veneta, stated he is the business manager for the Fern Ridge Library District. He was asked by the Lane Library League to make a statement for its library district formation proposal. He commented that nothing had been more rewarding than forming their own district and providing the region with comprehensive library services and public access to state of the art technology. He noted the public makes use of the services that appeals to all age groups. He said the Fern Ridge Library District is supportive of the efforts of citizens to improve their library service. He encouraged maximum public input, as it would increase the likelihood of approval. He discussed the editorial from The Register Guard. He said they indicated their district would be expanding. He noted their Board had not had the opportunity to review an expansion in a formal manner nor had they delegated that authority to anyone else.
Dean Lively Brooks, 25690 Wolf Creek, Crow, stated he is the Board Chair for the Crow Applegate Lorane School District. He supported the idea of library services for all residents of Lane County. He thought it was a good goal. He attended the last regular meeting of the Fern Ridge Library Board and heard from the representatives of the Lane Library League that the plan was the Fern Ridge Library Board (in consultation with their patrons and the citizens of the Crow Applegate Lorane District) made the decision to seek from the County Commissioners redistricting of that district if they chose to do so. He said that was discouraging to him. He was surprised to read in The Register Guard editorial that it was already taking place. He hadnít heard that plan from any elected official within the two library districts. He said the basis for support for extending library coverage to the two proposed regions in Lane County was based on a survey. He encouraged the Board to seek further evidence of support from the citizens in the affected areas to make sure there is support.
Linde Kester, 27415 Siuslaw River Road, Lorane, stated he is the owner of Chateau Lorane. He said they opened for business in 1992 and prior to that they erected a sign at the entrance to their business. He stated it had been in place for over ten years. He asked the Board to appeal the removal of the sign. He said the sign is 14 feet from the fog line. They placed the sign so it would be visible from the road. He added if they would have known about the 20-foot rule, that no one would be able to see the sign until they were upon it. He said if the sign were easy to move, they would have done it. He said if he moves the sign back another six feet, he would have to cut into a bank, do extensive work and the sign would not be visible until drivers were right on top of it. He thinks it could be a traffic hazard with people going 40 or 50 miles per hour down Siuslaw Road. He noted the other problem would be people trying to make a U-turn in the middle of the two-lane road. He noted there are numerous telephone poles and large trees 10 and 12 feet from the fog line. He thought if those were a safety issue that they should be removed as well.
3. COMMISSIONERS' REMONSTRANCE
Sorenson recalled when they were setting up the appointments to their committees, one of the committees discussed was the VMAC Committee. He said it was important if the Board wanted to make some changes in the way they do roadside vegetation management that they pursue it by having direction to the VMAC Committee to say they want to make changes. He asked the commissioners to comment on this to either the agenda committee or with him. He sensed from the discussion that there might have been interest on the part of the Board. He added the technology is changing for roadside management that could reduce the amount of chemicals that are being used. He thought they should look at some of the improvements.
a. RESOLUTION AND ORDER 03-1-29-1/In the Matter of Proclaiming the Week of February 10, 2003 as Family Resource Center Week.
MOTION: to approve RESOLUTION AND ORDER 03-1-29-1.
Dwyer MOVED, Morrison SECONDED.
5. EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660
To take place after the meeting.
6. CHILDREN AND FAMILIES
a. ORDER 03-1-29-2/In the Matter of Approving Revised Bylaws for the Lane County Commission on Children and Families.
Alicia Hays, Children and Families, reported for the past few months the Commission on Children and Families members have reviewed the bylaws, mission statements and goals and have revised them. (Copy in file.) She noted the mission statement replaced the old mission statement that was revised on May 15, 2002 and inserting the guiding principles and goals around cultural competency. She noted a change was the addition to the practice of having regularly scheduled meetings with the Board of Commissioners. She stated that youth representatives would be appointed for a term of two years with the option of serving four.
MOTION: to approve ORDER 03-1-29-2.
Dwyer MOVED, Lininger SECONDED.
With regard to their commitment to cultural competencies, and moving those through the community, Hays noted they had a meeting with people on cultural competency for the commission. She stated it was a success with looking at ways to ensure they give services to all members of the community.
Sorenson asked about the status of finding a new department director.
Hays responded she was committed to staying with her department to move the commission forward. She thought it was hard to recruit a director with the budget cuts.
Sorenson thought it would be difficult to run the Department of Children and Families as a freestanding department. He asked for a recommendation from the department. He commented the Board would look favorably on some alternative to placing it under County Administration. He hoped they would consider other recommendations such as putting it under Health and Human Services.
Hays noted she would put it on their agenda for their next commission meeting.
Sorenson requested a recommendation from the commission.
Morrison thought putting this on hold was the best they could do because of the possible cuts with the State Commission on Children and Families. She thought it was premature for Lane County to move forward.
With regard to the CCF Director, Green thought it was appropriate to put it on hold until there is clarity with the budget. He wouldnít favor putting this under Health and Human Services or any other department because it doesnít get general fund support from the County and it is solely dependant upon state funding. With regard to cultural competency, he hoped that there would be a full report to the Board for a work session.
Dwyer concurred with Greenís comments. He didnít want to see the department placed under another one due to the projected state cuts.
b. RESOLUTION AND ORDER 03-1-29-3/In the Matter of Appointing Two (2) New Members to the Lane County Commission on Children and Families.
Hayes requested the Board accept Deb Depew and John Radich for the positions on the Commission on Children and Families.
Lininger voiced his concern about the appointments. He stated the Commission on Children and Families voted unanimously on these appointments. He stated that rural people are underrepresented on the CCF. He noted the commission proposed two urban people take over the vacancies, further reducing the proportion of rural people on the CCF. He asked if there was an overriding need to appoint the two people. He wanted there to be a balance for the future.
Juaquim Schulz, Children and Families, responded they would take that into consideration for the future. He said they had some overriding considerations for this particular recruitment process, to bring in a youth as well as a professional person and a client. He noted there are openings coming up and they will continue that discussion.
MOTION: to approve the RESOLUTION and ORDER 03-1-29-3.
Lininger MOVED, Dwyer SECONDED.
Green supported the motion. He suggested formalizing this at the Board level. He noted they endorsed a mechanism used by the Lane County Human Rights Advisory Committee. He suggested forming associate members--people interested and involved--so when there are openings they could be recommended and stay involved.
7. COMMISSIONERS' BUSINESS
a. UPDATE/Lane Library League.
Bill Sullivan, President, Lane Library League, asked the Board to assign staff to help them prepare a proposal for the 2004 Ballot. He said they needed the help quickly as the process was long and complicated. He said there wasnít time to do it any other way.
Sullivan explained the only proposal before the Board is to create two new library districts in East Lane County and in the Eugene metro area. He added nothing they are proposing would affect the two existing library districts in West Lane County. He commented the editorial in The Register Guard was in error. He said they were looking at the 90,000 people in the rest of the County who are not served by library districts. He said the impacts are on young children. He added it was also penalizing poor people and the elderly, which increases the urban rural divide. He noted those are the people who cannot afford the $80 fee for the Eugene Public Library. He said it was a fairness issue as they were cutting people off from the information age. He added it is an economic development issue. He commented that most counties across the United States take for granted that every child has a right to a free public education and free access to public libraries. He said they should not deny the children of Lane County. He stated the library districts would provide stable funding for the Springfield and Eugene libraries.
Sullivan commented they had a survey from the Rick Lindholm Association done three years ago regarding library districts. The survey indicated there was strong support and that started their group. He commented that every part of the county would be supportive of the districts today.
Lininger agreed that there needed to be better library service. He said he would vote to provide assistance to the project. He didnít know if another government sponsored ballot measure would pass, given the current history of the bond measures failing. He asked if the initiative process would be a better way to proceed. He said there needs to be something different to sell to the voters.
Sullivan believed this would pass. He said the main reason they were asking for Board support is that they do not have time to put it on the 2004 Ballot using the initiative process. He said they have over 700 volunteers collecting other supporters. He passed out a timeline. (Copy in file.) He commented he didnít know how complicated it would be with the Metro Plan amendment. He said they wanted to put this on the Ballot for 2004 because the support is there and the voters are willing to pay for it. He didnít want to make them wait. He said they would be condemning the children of Lane County to more years without access to the books. He didnít think it was fair to put this off for five or six years.
Kent Howe, Land Management, reported the three planning directors of Eugene, Springfield and the Metro area met about whether or not a city could shift the role of fire and life safety, park and recreation and libraries services to a district format without a Metro Plan amendment. He said the conclusion was it couldnít. He said it would require Metro Plan amendments. He said it is a fundamental and actual re-examination of a basic policy of whether or not the cities are the providers of key urban services. He commented that a library is a key urban service and it is defined in the Metro Plan. He said they were looking at a minimum nine-month process if everything went smooth. He added if there were controversy, the timeline would be extended. Howe passed out a timeline. (Copy in file.) He noted that the time was tight and there is no budget in Land Management for participation in the Metro Plan process. He wasnít sure if the cities had a budget.
Dwyer asked if the Lane Library League could guaranty that the cities wouldnít use the general fund money that is dedicated to the library. He noted that the people who receive library service in Springfield are paying taxes for the libraries. He said the others who are not receiving library services are not paying for the service. He asked if the city councils would guaranty that the money that is dedicated out of the general fund would continue to go to the library as a condition of the formation of the district. He asked if it would cost the current residents who were already paying their taxes additional monies. He wanted those questions answered before he would support this. He thought the concept was good but taxing people again in the rural areas who didnít want to tax themselves in the last effort seemed to be a double whammy. He said they would have to get a contract that indicated some resolution from the councils that would indicate their willingness to dedicate the current revenues that are appropriated to the library district to continue that appropriation.
Green supported this in concept. He thought the Board would need a fiscal impact or analysis of the fiscal implications. He asked what would happen to the people who already pay for library services and how that money would be discussed. He didnít think it was a fair label to place on the County that if they donít do this, children would be condemned to a poor future. He thought that was unfair to place onto the Board. He noted the Metro Plan amendment process is costly. He asked if the cities would be willing to put up the money. He stated that Lane County had no budget. He asked Howe how much it would cost to put time and energy into a work plan that could meet the timeline. He said the Board was supportive of the concept but in order for them to do this, other projects would have to go away. He asked if the Board determines this is the number one issue they were going to ask Land Management staff to work on with no budget, then what would not get done. He had concerns regarding the fiscal impact.
Jennifer Platt, Lane Library League, said they hadnít looked into strategies after Measure 28 failed. She understood from polling and tradition that historically libraries are supported even in bad times. She said they hope the economic conditions would change but they were aware they have to reflect on strategies in different ways. She said not going out for a petition process affects their outreach and educational effort and they were concerned. She said they are trying to find out other means to reach out to the public to educate them. With regard to costs, she noted they had been working with the City of Eugene. She stated the Mayor had appointed a commission to review library services for the 4J and Bethel School Districts and he has his staff working on the feasibility study that would include moving toward a Metro Plan amendment. She thought there could be partnerships. She noted it would be $5,000 if Lane County initiated the Metro Plan or $7,000 if the City of Eugene does.
Sullivan stated they couldnít commit any city council to what they might do. He said they would come up with a financial plan and work with Eugene and Springfield to determine where the money would come from and then go back to the Board for approval. He noted this was a first step. He stated they had volunteers who would be willing to collect signatures but he didnít think that was the best use of their energy. He said they have a $250,000 federal grant from the state library to provide that type of demonstration project if they are allowed to move ahead. He would rather give library services than collect signatures.
Morrison questioned if this would pass. She said they would find the commitment in the petition process as to whether or not people truly believe in this. She supports libraries and would be willing to get signatures. She wasnít comfortable with the Board placing a measure on the ballot. She said if the people really want this they have to let the Board know they want it. She hadnít heard that from her constituents.
Sorenson said when they discuss public libraries, they are trying to make a community a better place. He suggested sharing the library revenues with Eugene and Springfield to pursue this project in their current budget. He suggested that they make a decision to direct staff to come back with options.
Lininger echoed Sorensonís comments in support of this group. He thought this should be on the 2004 ballot. He said they need to do a new product to the voters. He wanted to know how they could maximize their chances of passing the measure.
Wilson explained in a district formation process, it begins in one of two ways: either by petition or by the Board initiating it. She said it results in going to the Boundary Commission. She stated the Metro Plan amendment is another process that gets initiated and has to be done before the district formation process reaches the Boundary Commission. She noted with the district formation process, it goes through the County and before it can go to the Boundary Commission, there would be a filing fee for the Boundary Commission and the fee is reflective of the size of the district being formed. She commented the size of the two districts would result in a filing fee of about $8,000 per district. She said someone has to come up with the money. She commented that in the past the Board had looked to the citizens involved to come up with the filing fee. She added by the time it is ready to go to the Boundary Commission, there needs to be a metes and bounds legal description of each district as well as cadastral maps. She noted those costs would run between $10,000 and $20,000 per district. She was concerned because they had a federal grant and with most federal grant monies, it would be a misexpenditure of grant funds to use it for political advocacy. She said discussing voter education is close to political advocacy. She noted they would have to pay close attention to what they were doing with the grant funds.
Dwyer asked what the cost would be and what statutory deadline might be impacted by the shift of emphasis onto this project. He said they have statutory responsibilities that are not being met within the budget framework. He said they couldnít put statutory responsibilities on the back burner to aid this effort. He requested responses to his questions before he would support this. He said if the support is so great, then bring back the signatures.
Van Vactor said if the Board was interested in assigning County staff, he recommended a brainstorming session to list the issues and options instead of a detailed document. He suggested involving the Cities of Eugene and Springfield since it impacts the Metro Plan.
With regard to the Metro Plan, Van Vactor commented the Metro Plan states the cities are the logical providers of services and the plan is built on that assumption. He said if they make changes to the Metro Plan, Lane County needs to be involved in the process because it creates not only an opportunity for libraries, but with the large unincorporated populations in the Metro area. He noted there is potential for other types of districts such as law enforcement districts. He said if they get involved, they need to allocate the resources do to it correct. He noted one of the policy statements of the Boundary Commission is to reduce the fragmented approach to service delivery by encouraging single agency service delivery over service delivery by several agencies. He noted this proposal might conflict with that requirement.
MOTION: to move to instruct staff to begin the first step of analysis, to identify all of the issues and lay out a plan for them to facilitate putting this measure on the Ballot in 2004.
Lininger MOVED, Sorenson SECONDED.
Green commented if that motion was equal to a scoping exercise by staff he would be supportive but if it were different, he wouldnít.
Lininger accepted that as an amendment.
Dwyer asked how much time the scoping would take and what would have to go away if they are working on this. He would not direct staff to something they didnít have time for. He did not support the motion. He supported staff coming to the Board stating what they were mandated to do and how much of their time would be involved in the scoping and then he could make an intelligent decision.
VOTE: 3-2 (Dwyer, Morrison dissenting.)
b. Letters from Mayors Torrey and Leiken
Sorenson stated he sent an e-mail to Mayor Torrey after the State of the City indicating the idea of a meeting would be a good one. With regard to the agenda he wanted to discuss law enforcement and the opportunities for efficiencies. He thought libraries should be added.
Dwyer said it was true that Lane County reduced its cash expenditures to the cities because they had created programs to access cash they didnít have, through the CAPP programs. He went on record initially stating he was willing to work with the cities, but not to tax people on their utility bills.
Lininger said they had to stress comity to improve their partnership.
Morrison supported a meeting. She requested that all cities are represented and if they were going to discuss money and pooling, then she wanted all sources, including the cities to put their gas tax money on the table. She also wanted them to put their SDCís on the table regarding what they spend on roads. She wanted to make sure it is not just Lane Countyís road money. She wanted the meeting to be single purpose. She was in support of consolidating Public Works Departments but they would have to look at each entityís money.
Green asked Sorenson to ask the mayor to issue a corrective statement about the Countyís reserve dollar amount. He stated it wasnít $53 million. Green said that was a gross misstatement of County road fund revenues. He thought Lane County should have a meeting with the jurisdictions, narrowly defined. He proposed discussion about future allocation of road partnership agreements
8. COUNTY ADMINISTRATION
b. ORDER 03-1-29-4/In the Matter of Establishing Two Temporary Justice Court Clerk Positions for the Central Lane Justice Court.
Dave Garnick, Senior Budget Analyst, reported the workload at the court had dramatically increased. He said they had performed a study and rapid process improvement. He noted there was money already in the budget set aside for the position. He said because they have had two extra help people who stayed on, the recommendation from Human Resources is to put in two temporary positions and convert that to full-time July 1. He added that all parties involved were in agreement.
MOTION: to approve ORDER 03-1-29-4.
Green MOVED, Lininger SECONDED.
Doug Harcleroad, District Attorney, recommended the Board approve this due to the uncertain future of state dollars in the court system. He commented that the Springfield Justice Court is efficient and a place to move cases.
9. CONSENT CALENDAR
A. Approval of Minutes: None.
B. Public Works
1) FINAL ORDER 03-1-29-5/In the Matter of the Alteration of a Portion of Coburg Road (County Road No. 403), From Approximately 0.2 Miles Northerly of Armitage Bridge to the Coburg City Limits, Being Located Within Section 33, Township 16 South, Range 3 West and Section 4, Township 17 South, Range 3 West of the Willamette Meridian.
2) FINAL ORDER 03-1-29-6/In the Matter of the Alteration and Relocation of a Portion of South River Road, (County Road No. 295 and 163), From the Former 1997 Cottage Grove City Limits, Southerly, to Highway 99, Being Located Within Section 32, Township 20 South, Range 3 West of the Willamette Meridian.
MOTION: to approve the Consent Calendar.
Dwyer MOVED, Morrison SECONDED.
10. DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE
a. ORDER 03-1-29-7/In the Matter of Approving a Two-Year Contract Amendment in an Amount Not to Exceed $115,500 with Sacred Heart Medical Center to Provide Morgue Services for the Medical Examiner's Office in the Lane County District Attorney's Office.
Harcleroad explained the reason the contract reads, "not to exceed" is because it is on a per body basis. He said if they donít send a body to Sacred Heart, they donít get charged.
MOTION: to approve ORDER 03-1-29-7.
Dwyer MOVED, Lininger SECONDED.
11. HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
a. DISCUSSION/Health and Human Services Response to Pending Mental Health Funding Cuts.
Rob Rockstroh, Health and Human Services, explained this had to do with state budget cuts that include federal and local monies. He noted there would be additional Oregon Health Plan cuts on March 1. He stated due to budget cuts there would be changes in how the system operates and they made policy choices. He said they discontinued emergency room coverage and Peace Health will pick up the contract. He said his department had a good model but it was too expensive to keep using. He stated they cut a position of a commitment investigator. He noted the most significant cut was delivering patients to the state hospital. He said it affects Lane County differently than other counties because Lane County has its own psychiatric hospital. He said the state is asking the patients to be held in Lane Countyís hospital, but it costs more due to lack of resources locally. He stated they do a Medicare adjustment and then his department pays the difference. He said they are giving the state notice they will put the patients into the state hospital.
Rockstroh reported they now have a waiting list for mental health services. He added they are also reducing the number of child clients. He said reimbursement wasnít any better for doing that service. He said the shift could be back to primary care physicians. He stated they were doing a triage model. He explained they need to look for community alternatives to possibly work with consumer organizations that would work with clients. He said they took this to the Lane Care Quality Assurance Committee and they knew about this. He added this was a policy choice they were forced to do.
MOTION: to move to approve Option 1.
Dwyer MOVED, Morrison SECONDED.
Wilson reported their office had encouraged them to bring these policy type memos to the Board surrounding the cuts as part of a long-term defensive strategy. She noted they would not be doing things they had done in the past and it might result in litigation. She said if it does result in litigation, the fact the policy decision makers at this level have reviewed this is a helpful component in handling the litigation as a risk mitigation measure.
Dwyer withdrew the motion. Morrison withdrew the second.
Sorenson asked Health and Human Services to place this on the consent calendar as an action item so the Board has a written board order.
12. MANAGEMENT SERVICES
a. REPORT BACK/Lease Negotiations with St. Vincent de Paul for County Properties Adjacent to the Fairgrounds.
Jeff Turk, Management Services, reported the draft lease was in the packet and St. Vincent de Paul returned it with things they would like changed. He noted one change had to do with damage proceeds. He said if the house burns down, they wanted to know how the proceeds would be disbursed. He said they wanted to have a renewal option and the right of first refusal at the end of the lease term. He thought this agreement could be completed within two weeks.
b. ORDER 03-1-29-8/In the Matter of Acknowledging Receipt of the Lane County Annual Financial Report for the Year Ended June 30, 2002, and Setting Forth the Corrective Measures for Deficiencies Contained Therein.
David Suchart, Management Services, explained this item was brought to Finance and Audit Committee yesterday. He noted the biggest change with the financial statement this year was the introduction of the work they had done on Gasby 34. He said what the report would do is present the financial statement in a narrative and graphic form. He said in the future they would see statistics and financial trends for the County.
Suchart noted they had not made all of the changes suggested in the report but are discussing how they would change things in the future in making improvements. He noted they could continue doing this with the current staffing, but that takes away from Robert Tindol and Becky Kobelís ability to manage and watch over finances on a routine basis. He said they are recommending another position that would prepare the report and other financial analysis. He added it was a position they didnít currently have and it was a recommendation from Jones and Roth. He added it was subject to budget approval.
Suchart discussed going out for an RFP for audit services for next year. He believed they were not positioned properly to do that because they should have the auditor come in immediately. He said preparation of the audit is done by Jones and Roth and they wanted to shift some of that responsibility back to the County.
MOTION: to approve ORDER 02-1-29-8.
Dwyer MOVED, Morrison SECONDED.
Morrison was pleased with the recommendations as they were minor in comparison to the other reports.
13. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS
Morrison announced that Clara Anderson Kuhn was awarded Florence First Citizen.
Dwyer announced the Eugene Chamber of Commerce was having a dinner at the Hilton.
14. CORRESPONDENCE TO THE BOARD
15. EMERGENCY BUSINESS
There being no further business, Commissioner Sorenson recessed the meeting into Executive Session at 11:45 a.m.