BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS'
November 5, 2003
Commissioners' Conference Room
Commissioner Peter Sorenson presided with Commissioners Bill Dwyer, Donald Hampton and Anna Morrison present. Bobby Green, Sr. was excused. County Administrator Bill Van Vactor, County Counsel Teresa Wilson and Recording Secretary Melissa Zimmer were also present.
1. ADJUSTMENTS TO THE AGENDA
Sorenson stated there would be an Emergency Business item. He noted that item 5. c. was pulled until next week. He added 5. d. would be a letter to Senators Wyden and Smith on Senate Bill 150.
2. PUBLIC COMMENTS
Bob Henderson, 860 Amesberry, Eugene, stated he had been a concessionaire at Baker Bay Park for 17 years. He said he has been threatened and his integrity has been questioned. He questioned whether it was necessary to increase the camp fees by 33% and increasing days for collecting day use fees. He said after 17 years he has been fired. He noted what had never been mentioned is that several thousand dollars of cost overruns on park projects in the past several years was the reason for his being fired. He was informed by Rich Fay last Thursday that after 17 years of dedicated service, his contract was going to be terminated (with two years remaining) and he would have 30 days to leave the park. He stated that Howard Schussler had promised him several months ago that he would be involved in any changes or revisions to his contract. He noted that was not conveyed to Fay. He was upset and confused. He said he deserved better treatment.
Sylvia Calderwood, 24805 Spencer Creek, Eugene, read her letter into the record about the LCARA Task Force.
Katy Bloch, 1628 E. 26th, Eugene, explained that Safe and Sound is a collaborative effort among private non-profit and public partners to create a safe living and sound business environment by providing a coordinated response to homeless, runaway and at risk youth in Lane County. She said as a result of the Safe and Sound collaboration, last year half of the County’s 3,100 homeless youth received services. She said they are serving record numbers of youth with more comprehensive services and seeing better outcomes than before. She said despite a considerable expansion in services and the high level of collaboration and coordination, there are still substantial gaps in the system. She commented that Lane County is on the cutting edge of utilizing and creating best practices for this population. She said they know what works for the homeless youth, but they can’t get enough of it. She added they needed the Board’s help to keep homeless youth issues on the screen and to continue to engage them as being part of the solution.
Bob Still, 83076 N. Bradford Road, Creswell, discussed euthanasia.
3. EMERGENCY BUSINESS
ORDER 03-11-5-12/In the Matter of Amending ORDER NO. 03-10-29-20 Appointing A Justice Pro Tempore for the Upper Willamette Justice Court for One (1) Year.
MOTION: to approve ORDER 03-11-5-12.
Dwyer MOVED, Hampton SECONDED.
4. COMMISSIONERS' REMONSTRANCE
Sorenson reported he held a Town Hall Meeting to learn about conservation easements and their application outside of the Eugene Springfield urban growth boundary. He added people were interested in applying those same tools within the urban growth boundary. He added they learned about the Forest Legacy Program where the Forest Service is appropriating federal money to the states and Oregon is a state that does not accept any federal funds for the Forest Legacy Program. He noted the State of Washington was receiving $17 million in federal funds to assist landowners with willing conservation easements to protect unique forest environments. He hoped the Board of Commissioners could turn that around.
Dwyer commented the state wanted to sell off all the forest resources to deal with the budget crisis.
Hampton announced that he and Morrison attended a meeting of the Lane County Neighborhood Watch Group. He said they wanted to stay together as a County organization. He heard their concerns and he and Morrison will be working on improving their relationship with the County.
5. COMMISSIONERS' BUSINESS
a. DISCUSSION/Definition of Board of Property Tax Appeals Conflict of Interest.
Sorenson noted the Agenda Team set up a Board Order for next week to implement this.
Dwyer reported the Policies and Procedures Committee decided to codify current practices. He said it states if someone is actively engaged in the real estate profession, then they shouldn’t be on the Board of Property Tax Appeals. He noted that Jim Gangle, Assessor made some arguments that he wanted to have people with real estate expertise because it makes his job easier. Dwyer said Gangle’s problem was one of funding. He commented the system worked well under the current way. He added that Gangle needed to work with the cities to provide the expertise he needs to defend his case. He noted there would be future bills in the legislature that deal with funding his office.
Sorenson asked if Gangle was okay with the Policies and Procedures’ Committee recommendations. Sorenson liked the recommendation of the committee.
Gangle responded he was satisfied with the direction the committee had taken. He was concerned about the support and expertise they could supply to the Board of Property Tax Appeals. He noted the problem in the past had been his office’s inability to provide the kind of information that the Board needs to have to make its decision. He said if the Board of Property Tax Appeals could rely on outside experts besides his department, it could help him and that is where he wanted to see the emphasis.
Morrison asked if they would be contracting out to the public to provide knowledge to people on the Board of Property Tax Appeals.
Dwyer stated Gangle has to defend his value. He said if he doesn’t have staff, Gangle has to hire someone to show the Board that the value they place on the property is based on comparables.
Morrison asked if Gangle had money in his budget for this.
Gangle stated he didn’t. He said he would continue to rely on the amount of staff support he has.
Sorenson asked Gangle to ask the cities to help and if he couldn’t find the money, to do the best he could.
Gangle commented there are some properties that had not been appraised since 1991. He said it means that through time their ability to adjust the values will get less accurate. He noted the result would be setting values on some properties too high and they should be appealed. He said some properties would have values set too low. He added once the Board of Property Tax Appeals sets an amount, it stays for five years and they can’t readjust the values. He said if they were not doing a good job of setting the values to begin with, they would see more successful appeals in time. He said it would affect the revenue for the County.
b. DISCUSSION/Jones and Roth Questionnaire.
Sorenson explained the Board of Commissioners received a letter to answer questions and return the questionnaire to Jones and Roth.
David Suchart, Management Services, explained that Congress passed the Sarbone Act in 2002 in response to management’s knowledge of acts that go on within an organization from people who are in management and directorship positions. He noted the act is directed toward public accounting firms that do audits of both private and public agencies so this requirement is on the auditors, not the County. He said the reason for them doing this is that no auditor would offer an opinion or verify financial statements for any organization with which they could not get answers to the questions.
Suchart stated the questions come from him but he does not receive the responses, they go back to the auditors to evaluate the controls that the County has in place. He added the questionnaire was to be responded to by directors and anyone who had responsibility for fiscal matters within their department and the Board of Commissioners. He stated the form is to be filled out to the best of the Board’s knowledge.
Sorenson asked Suchart to e-mail the Board after he talks to Jones and Roth to see who had not responded.
c. ORDER 03-11-5-/In the Matter of Appointing a Commissioner as the Voting Delegate to the Council of Forest Trust Land Counties. (PULLED)
d. DISCUSSION/Internet Tax Freedom Act.
Sorenson explained there was a draft letter before the Board to Senators Wyden and Smith on the Internet Tax Freedom Act.
Tony Bieda, Intergovernmental Relations Manager, reported in the past month the Board had generated two letters to Senators Wyden and Smith asking that they oppose Senate Bill 150. He explained Senate Bill 150 would extend the moratorium on the taxation of Internet access, making it permanent and broadening the definition of services to which the tax moratorium applies. He noted what Lane County receives in cable franchise fees is about $400,000 year. He thought if the act passed there would be a gradual decrease of that funding over time. He added the cities would be more affected, as franchise fees are their second largest source of general fund revenue.
Bieda stated they have made two written appeals on behalf of the Board. He thought it had some affect because this bill was supposed to get voted on in the senate two weeks ago, but it has been put on hold. He noted the moratorium itself in the existing statute expired October 31, 2003. He added it had expired in the past and not been renewed right away. He said the urgency is back and the senate will be voting on this as soon as tomorrow. He added if there are amendments offered to the legislation that would enable it to be extended for two more years, not be made permanent, and that the components of the bill that expands its breadth will also be excised through the amendments, they would encourage the delegation to support those amendments.
MOTION: to move approval of sending the letter with one correction, “that” being removed from the third paragraph.
Morrison MOVED, Dwyer SECONDED.
Concerning issues that are developing and changing, Peter Thurston, Economic Development, asked the Board if they wanted this to come back as a work session where they could lay out the issues to determine if there are policy matters to decide upon that are relative to Lane County and its promotion of and dealing with telecommunications in general.
Dwyer wanted to know about the trends and what options might be available to the Board. He suggested bringing this back on February 18, 2004.
Hampton commented that Congress needed to clarify what impact this legislation would have. He added that they have to be sensitive to the fact that the loss of franchise money will affect local government.
6. COUNTY ADMINISTRATION
7. YOUTH SERVICES
a. ORDER 03-11-5-1/In the Matter of Approving an Amendment to the Intergovernmental Agreement with Lane Education Services District in the Amount of $84,675.00 to Provide an Additional Juvenile Counselor and Automobile Expenses, Related to the Implementation of the Safe Schools/Healthy Students Grant, Appropriating the Funds to the Budget of the Department of Youth Services, Authorizing the Increase of a .5 FTE Juvenile Counselor II Position to 1.0 FTE and Authorizing the County Administrator to Execute the Amendment to the Intergovernmental Agreement in Substantial Conformity with the Attachment.
Lisa Smith, Department of Youth Services, noted there is a correction to the title of the board order in the amount of $84,675 to provide an additional .5 FTE juvenile counselor. She noted in November 2002 they asked for approval of four FTE for juvenile counselors as a result of the Safe Schools Healthy Students grant. She said they came back to the Board on August 15, 2003 to add an additional position. She added since that time, it had been requested through the Lane ESD by the Marcola School District to add a .5 FTE Juvenile Counselor to be located at the Marcola middle school and high school. She said it is their intention to use a juvenile counselor who is a .5 presently within the department, moving the position to a 1.0 FTE. She explained the counselor is aware that this increase is as a result of the grant and when the grant disappears, the position would be reduced to the .5 position.
MOTION: to approve ORDER 03-11-5-1.
Dwyer MOVED, Morrison SECONDED.
8. CONSENT CALENDAR
A. Approval of Minutes:
May 21, 2003, Regular Meeting, Following HACSA
September 8, 2003, Joint BCC/City of Creswell, 7:00 p.m.
September 10, 2003 Regular Meeting, 9:00 a.m.
September 10, 2003, Regular Meeting, 1:30 p.m.
September 17, 2003, Regular Meeting, 9:00 a.m.
B. Assessment and Taxation
1) ORDER 03-11-5-2/In the Matter of A Refund to Willamette Industries in the Amount of $37,198.60.
2) ORDER 03-11-5-3/In the Matter of A Refund to Budgetel Inns of Oregon, Inc. in the Amount of $28,421.02.
3) ORDER 03-11-5-4/In the Matter of A Refund to Ariki-Oregon LTD in the Amount of $135,500.69.
C. Management Services
1) ORDER 03-11-5-5/In the Matter of Authorizing the Sale of Surplus County Owned Real Property to Jerry H. Nelson, Former Owner of Record, for $10,240 (Map #17-03-26-33-03200, 1135 Mill Street, Springfield).
D. Public Works
1) RESOLUTION, NOTICE OF HEARING AND ORDER 03-11-5-6/In the Matter of Setting a Public Hearing Date for the Vacation of a Portion of W.W. Jackson Road (County Road Number 723) Beginning at Fox Hollow Road and Extending Southwesterly Approximately 1 Mile, and Being Located in Sections 35 & 36 of Township 18 South, Range 4 West and in Section 2, Township 19 South, Range 4 West of the Willamette Meridian (18-04-35 & 36 And 19-04-02). (Public Hearing: January 14, 2004, 1:30 p.m.)
E. Workforce Partnership
1) ORDER 03-11-5-7/In the Matter of Appointing a Member to the Lane Workforce Partnership Board of Directors.
2) ORDER 03-11-5-8/In the Matter of Increasing the Limit for the Imprest Cash Account in the Lane Workforce Partnership Department (37), Fund 249, for Administration of Federal and State Employment and Training Programs.
Sorenson requested that item E 1) be pulled.
MOTION: to approve the balance of the Consent Calendar.
Dwyer MOVED, Morrison SECONDED.
Sorenson requested that when the Board appoints one to three people to any committee, to put their names onto the title of the Board Order.
MOTION: to approve ORDER 03-11-5-7.
Dwyer MOVED, Morrison SECONDED.
9. HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
a. ORDER 03-11-5-9/In the Matter of Adjusting the Department of Health & Human Services Budget (Human Services Commission Fund 285) to Appropriate Additional Revenues in the Amount of $728,680 for the Community Health Centers and to Increase FTE by 19.25 by Establishing a 1.0 FTE Physician, 3.0 FTE Nurse Practitioner, 2.0 FTE Public Health Nurse, 1.0 FTE Mental Health Specialist, 5.0 FTE Medical Office Assistant, 1.75 FTE Community Service Worker, 1.0 FTE Sr. Office Assistant, 3.0 FTE Office Assistant 2, 1.0 FTE Accounting Clerk 2, and a 0.5 FTE Program Services Coordinator.
Sorenson stated Lane County acquired funds from the federal government and the Board has been approving salaries for the new positions.
Steve Manela, Human Services Commission, reported the Board would be approving the additional revenue they would be looking at for the Community Health Center, including revenues that are proposed based upon insurance billing and fees (yet to be approved by the Board of Commissioners) that they will be taking to the Finance and Audit Committee in December. He wanted to be able to recruit for the positions that are needed for the Community Health Center. He stated they would not be able to fill the positions for the Community Health Center until they hire practitioners to work.
Manela explained the plan is to have the Safe and Sound Homeless Youth Health Care Site operational by January 5 and the Springfield School-based site by January 5. He noted at both of those sites there would be nurse practitioners. He added the Metro Clinic would open around March 1 in Springfield. He said they would bring on support staff as they bring on providers. He said they would be making the income to employ the other employees at the health center and serve the uninsured patients.
Manela noted Lane County would receive a $650,000 annual grant from the federal government and contributions from foundations and local sources. He added they were looking for an IGA with the Springfield School District that would provide revenue to support a half-time nurse practitioner at the Springfield site.
Manela said the health center will require that they continue to have partnerships with Triad, Peace Health, McKenzie Willamette Foundation, LIPA and others as this is not intended to be a general fund operation.
Manela commented in filing the positions, they might have other County employees who are currently employees of Health and Human Services who might choose to transfer into the positions or through the collective bargaining agreement in filling the newly created positions.
MOTION: to approve amended ORDER 03-11-5-9 from 5.0 FTE Medical Office Assistant to 5.0 FTE Medical Assistant.
Dwyer MOVED, Hampton SECONDED.
10. MANAGEMENT SERVICES
a. ORDER 03-11-5-10/In the Matter of Creating a Classification and Salary Range for Medical Assistant.
Cindy Tofflemoyer, Management Services, indicated this position was for a new classification for Medical Assistant within the AFSCME bargaining unit.
MOTION: to approve ORDER 03-11-5-10.
Dwyer MOVED, Morrison SECONDED.
b. ORDER 03-11-5-11/In the Matter of Acquisition of Property for Initial Use by Lane County Elections.
Suchart stated he had been working on this since spring of last year. He said they put into the Capital Improvement Program that they would either attempt to purchase or lease space for the Elections Division. He wanted to co-locate County functions, but that measure failed in November 2002. He commented because of the federal elections, they were forced to find a larger space for Elections. He added that the vote by mail requires more space for both equipment and the size of the ballots. He said they located a building at 975 Lincoln Street. He noted they sold bonds in September to finance this building and they came to an agreement with the owners in October. His recommendation to the Board is that they purchase the building and begin work on the remodel to have the Elections Division ready before the general election in November.
MOTION: to approve ORDER 03-11-5-11.
Dwyer MOVED, Morrison SECONDED.
11. CORRESPONDENCE TO THE BOARD
Sorenson noted the agenda team is routinely taking letters that are coming in to the Board and they are being referred out to departments. He added they are only using Correspondence to the Board for instances where the public has come to an impasse with County government.
12. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS
Morrison announced that tomorrow evening is the Junction City Distinguished Citizen Awards Dinner and she won’t be able to make the Oakridge joint meeting. She noted that Friday night was the opening for Fiddler on the Roof at the Florence Events Center.
Dwyer stated that tomorrow would be the Oakridge meeting. He noted tonight will be the Legislative Reception at the Town Club.
Hampton announced he would be attending the Fiber Consortium Meeting on Friday in Cottage Grove.
Sorenson announced there would be a Lane County Jail tour and a tour of the Juvenile Justice Center on December 2. He said Goal Setting has been re-scheduled from December 2 to December 9. He announced that on November 25 there would be a transportation meeting about the road fund assisting cities. He stated he was on Dan Carlin’s radio show and they discussed the LCARA Task Force.
13. EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660
To take place after the meeting.
14. OTHER BUSINESS
There being no further business, Commissioner Sorenson recessed the meeting at 11:05 a.m.