BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS' WORK SESSION†
March 18, 2003
Commissioners' 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
2.† PUBLIC COMMENTS
Robert Emmons, 40093 Little Fall Creek Road, stated he is the President of Land Watch Lane County. He stated as president he submitted a request to Kent Howe, Planning Director on February 20.† He read the letter into the record.† He stated that two weeks later in a letter responding to the issue in his February 14 letter, Howe denied their request for a second time.† He said ORS.192.440 addresses the publicís right to request and receive certified copies of public records.† He asked that the Board as soon as possible honor his request.† He said they are asking for a service that is already provided in Linn County for a nominal charge.† He said it could be done in Lane County by including them on a mailing list of interested parties.
Sorenson asked if Emmons was asking the County to provide the notice of all land use decisions.† He asked how he was narrowing it down.
Emmons responded he wanted reports of the planning directorís decisions that go before the hearingís official and those that might come before the Planning Commission.
Sorenson asked if there were legal reasons why the County couldnít provide any written information.
Wilson noted there was a committee working on this.
Van Vactor recalled this went to Policies and Procedures and the Board concluded that they didnít want to do this.† He said they provide the information to neighborhood groups within their areas, but they had not expanded that to groups that cover the entire county.† He thought that legally it could be done.
Wilson requested an opportunity for Stephen Vorhes, Assistant County Counsel, to meet with Kent Howe to review this.
Rob Handy,†† 455 Ĺ River Road, Eugene, said he understood the Countyís position when they have been handing over some responsibilities to the city.† He said it had left the residents in a pinch.† He said there are opportunities and the community wants to take advantage of those opportunities where they could do something beneficial to the residents of River Road and Santa Clara.† He added it is the largest unincorporated area in the state that doesnít have library services.† He said there are 3,000 children in the area without library services.† He added the toxic plume from the rail yard also needs to be addressed.† He noted there are inefficiencies with police, fire and emergency services.† He urged the Board to support the people of the area so they have equity in government representation and their taxation issues are treated fairly.
3.† COMMISSIONERS' REMONSTRANCE
Lininger commented that Anette Spickard, Tanya Heaton and Dave Garnick are doing an outstanding job with the budget.
4.† EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660
To take place at 11:00 a.m.
5.† COUNTY ADMINISTRATION
Van Vactor noted that the federal government placed the country back on Orange alert and the Sheriffís office sent out notice to employees.
b.† ORDER 03-3-18-1/In the Matter of Approving a Gain Sharing Pilot Project for Departments Budgeted Within the Discretionary General Fund.
Doug Harcleroad, District Attorney, reported that this is to motivate the department heads to do as good a job as possible in terms of saving some money to spend for a good one-time purpose.†
Jim Gangle, Assessor, said it was a way of changing business from the way they did budgeting in the past.†† He said the Board would still have control over the money.† He said it provides the departments with an opportunity for continuity to plan ahead and set money aside.
Dwyer did not support this.
Harcleroad said this was a three-year test program.† He said if it doesnít work out they would try something else.
Lininger supported this but he hoped when vacancies were not filled or personnel are cut, that would not be gain sharing.† He added when services are consolidated from local and rural areas and moved to central locations that those ideas wouldnít be considered for gain sharing.
Gangle said this would come as a result of pro-active management positions.
Green supported this idea.† He noted that he and Weeldreyer brought this to Finance and Audit many years to provide an opportunity for managers to be creative and have incentives and opportunities where they could benefit from good management practices.† He thought this was positive because of the reward and the incentive for good management practices.† He thought this was long overdue.
MOTION: to approve ORDER 03-3-18-1.
Green MOVED, Morrison SECONDED.
Dwyer hoped this would work.
Green commented if the plan doesnít work, they need to go back for a review.
Sorenson suggested taking the gain.† He noted it was a pilot project and the Finance and Audit Committee and Budget Committee have a role in setting the budget.† He thought they were doing something positive.
c.† FIRST READING AND SETTING SECOND READING AND PUBLIC HEARING/ Ordinance PA 1187/In the Matter of Amending the Eugene-Springfield Metropolitan Area General Plan Diagram for Property Within the Lower River Road Nodal Development Area, with Concurrent Automatic Amendment to the River Road-Santa Clara Urban Facilities Plan Land Use Diagram; and Adopting a Severability Clause.† (Second Reading and Public Hearing: Wednesday, April 9, 6:00 p.m., Joint BCC/Eugene City Council Meeting, City of Eugene Council Chambers)
Jan Childs, City of Eugene, explained this is one of ten nodal development areas where they are pursuing implementation this fiscal year.† She noted nodal development is the key land use strategy in TransPlan and is designed to meet reduced vehicle miles traveled per capita and provide a better integration of land use and transportation.† She added they were dealing in eight areas where they are applying the Metro Plan designation for nodal development and within the incorporated portion of the area and overlay zone that allows them to do some interim implementation.† She stated it provides protection to the area and allows them to move forward in concert with nodal development principles.
Childs noted the lower River Road area is the second of the two areas that does include some unincorporated properties.† She noted that was the area the Board is being asked to apply the Metro Plan designation for nodal development.† She commented that all of the testimony they received at the Planning Commission level was positive and supportive of moving forward with the plan amendment and for the incorporated portion with the overlay zone.† She added that to date, they continue to receive good support in cooperation.
Green asked if they met the required notification.
Childs responded they always go beyond the required notification.† She noted they had originally scheduled the hearing for April 16 and moved it up a week because April 16 was the first day of Passover.† She said because of that, they are doing notification to all of the property owners within the unincorporated area, not just those who testified, to make sure they are aware of the hearing date change.
MOTION:† to approve the First Reading and Setting a Second and Reading and Public Hearing on Ordinance PA 1187 on April 9, 2003 at 6:00 p.m.
Dwyer MOVED, Lininger SECONDED.
d.† DISCUSSION/Request for Title III Funds to Pay for State Forestry Department in Lane County During Month of June.
John Arnold, Analyst, noted he attended a meeting with Rick Rogers, Department of Forest Service, and his staff where they discussed fire fighting in Lane County.† He said that Rogers has a proposal for the use of Title III funds.
Rogers explained the situation that happened with the Department of Forestry is that the budgets were cut and were unable to fund fire crews for the first part of the summer.† He noted his department was hit harder than others because of the way they leverage money.† He added for every dollar of general fund they had to cut, they had to cut $3.69 in fire funds.† He noted that fire seasons 2001 and 2002 were difficult for the department.† He said most of their funds were spent.† He said during this coming fire season, they would not be able to hire anyone until July 1.† He noted they are trying to restore funding and this was an area he was pursuing to see if Title III monies would be appropriate for bringing the fire crews on at the regular time. †He explained they would hire approximately 20 seasonal workers at a cost that would run $14,000 per week for training or $56,000 from Title III funds.
Rogers said as this would be under fire prevention, it would be an allowable use.
Sorenson asked what would go away if the Board funded the $56,000.
Arnold responded there are potential changes to the Forest Work Camp where they might go with 100% federal crews that would increase their Title III budget.† He identified $900,000 this coming fiscal year in request for Title III funds and another $700,000 in the out years.† He commented that for this year nothing would go away.
Dwyer commented that this was a poor precedent.† He said there are necessary things the legislature is going to have to do to address this question.† He suggested taking this money and applying it to Lane County instead of giving them the money to spend on a program that depends on uncertainties in the future. He said on a precedent basis he would vote no.† He thought it would take away from the legislatureís conviction to do what is right with the program in other ways.†
Rogers stated he didnít think this was a good long-term solution.† He noted this was a one time request for money between now and the next biennium.† He added the next biennium the legislature has to deal with this and if they decide that people of Oregon donít deserve fire protection, that is their decision and they have to live with it.† He reiterated the money is to hire the seasonal crews and get them ready to fight fires for the people of Lane County.† He noted Douglas County had spent money out of Title III funds to hire crews for fire fighting and Linn County was doing the same.
Green asked if the Board was obligated to grant this money versus loaning it to them because of the way it was appropriated to the County.
Van Vactor responded that normally government stays away from loans because the constitution has prohibitions on debt.† He said it would have to be determined by the attorney general.
Green commented that citizens of Lane County deserve fire protection.† He was willing to fund this but hoped there would be another way.
Morrison asked how they would deal with fires if they hit in April or May.
Rogers responded they would gather together what they have and do the best they can with their resources.
Morrison said she would have to see what gets taken away if they approve this $56,000.† She wanted to keep Lane County whole and have the state take care of their problem.† She noted that Title II funds were a possibility.†
Van Vactor recalled when the proposal originally came forward they were not supportive due to the issues that were identified.† He said that Lane County did not have the resources to backfill state agencies.† He noted the primary project for Lane County for Title III funds is the Forest Work Camp and they want to keep it balanced and open.† He said they are trying to build a reserve out to 2007 and the Sheriff didnít support the project.
Rogers noted there is an emergency fire fund that kicks in at a certain level.† He said they have to take care of small fires in the district themselves within their budget.
Sorenson commented as far as a direct contribution to the Oregon Department of Forestry of Title III dollars for the remainder of the fiscal year the Board was not in favor.† He suggested possibly examining Title II funds.
Morrison requested a copy of the proposal of Douglas County working on federal lands.
Dwyer wanted Rogers to review Douglas Countyís program and give a report on how that might aid Lane County in the reauthorization efforts and what could be done.
Sorenson asked Rogers to provide information to the Board from his department standpoint on what the working relationship is with Douglas County. He said there is a strong interest to get the legislation reauthorized.
6.† PUBLIC WORKS
a.† ORDER 03-3-18-2/In the Matter of Accepting a Boating Facilities Grant from the Oregon State Marine Board for Boating Improvements at Armitage Park, Appropriating $25,000 in Fund 216, and Delegating Authority to the County Administrator to Sign the Cooperative Agreement.
Jake Risley, Parks, reported the County applied for a grant from the State Marine Board.† He said the State Marine Board is in a biennial funding cycle and this is the end of that cycle.† He said there was money left over and they were looking for projects that didnít have permit issues tied to them.† He noted the Armitage Park project was a high priority.† He said they would give the parks $25,000 without any County match but the County would provide project supervision.† He said they submitted the contract to County Counsel and they found an error.† He said it came down to the risks versus the benefits of the project. He said the need is there as there is no boat trailer parking at Armitage Park and it causes the boaters to have to park illegally.† He noted that in over 30 years since the facility grant program had been effect, there had been no denials of fee increases to any of the recipients of the grant program.† He thought this issue could be handled through the Oregon Parks Association or outside the limits of the contracts.† He didnít want to see† $25,000 lost for the project.
Dwyer noted Lane County is a home rule county and this precedent is a bad one by having an entity at the state telling them they have to be given approval before they do anything because they would give Lane County $25,000.† He thought if they were concerned about the facility, they would give Lane County the money without strings attached.
Sorenson suggested they approve the order and, as part of the motion, have some mechanism whereby they ask Parks to meet with the Park Association and Tony Bieda and have this brought up.†
Morrison was concerned that when Lane County goes through an external audit process, an area that had been a concern to the external audit is how they monitor and track the contracts they have and the problems in complying with contracts. She asked if this had any implications to the Gasby 34.
Wilson responded the way Gasby 34 has an implication is that it would push to more audits of some of the contracts.† She said there would be a routine review on a periodic basis.† She said in the long run it would mean there would be more opportunity to make sure they are complying with the grant agreement.† She noted the requirement in this grant to get permission for a fee increase is not new.† She said because of the various budget situations that exist at both the state and local level, there is heightened concern about being forced to ask for someone elseís permission to operate their own facility.
MOTION:† to move to accept the money without the language.
Dwyer MOVED, Lininger SECONDED
Risley noted the County has to accept the grant by April 8 and they have to have the work done by the end of the fiscal year.
VOTE: 1-4 (Morrison, Green, Lininger, Sorenson dissenting.) MOTION FAILED.
Lininger said they should try everything they can to avoid the language.† He didnít want to deny the parks access to the $25,000.† He thought they should take the $25,000.
Sorenson thought they should approve the order and decide whether they want to expend any resources to get the policy changed.† He didnít think it would be a good idea to lose the money.
MOTION: to move approval of ORDER 03-3-18-2† and to direct legal staff and Tony Bieda to work with the State Marine Board to work out language for future contracts.
Morrison MOVED, Lininger SECONDED.
VOTE: 4-1 (Dwyer dissenting).
Sorenson asked that this be brought back in two months.
7.† COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS
Green announced that tonight there will be a dedication at the Fairgrounds for the atrium.
8.† EMERGENCY BUSINESS
There being no further business, Commissioner Sorenson recessed the meeting into Executive Session at 11:30 a.m.