BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS'

REGULAR MEETING

February 18, 2004

9:00 a.m.

Commissioners' Conference Room

APPROVED 4/14/04

 

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

1. ADJUSTMENTS TO THE AGENDA

Green noted there would be an Emergency Business item on PERS.Dwyer noted that under Commissioners Business is the letter to the E-Board.Van Vactor added a letter from the Chair from Economic Development regarding urban renewal under Commissioners Business.

 

2. PUBLIC COMMENTS

Al Philips, P. O. Box 2146, Eugene indicated that on Friday he received a document on a study that was done by a variety of groups under the Animal Welfare Society.He said what is important is the reasons for relinquishment to the shelters.He passed out a copy to the Board.

 

Charlie Benz, 28151 Edgewater Dr., wondered why a majority of the LCARA task force members claimed that purebred breeders are a major cause of the pet overpopulation program.He noted that none of their dogs have ended up in the pound because they screen buyers.He said they would be willing to help LCARA develop training procedures for adopting processes.He noted that nationally only six percent of impounded dogs appear to be purebreds and less than three percent euthanized are purebred.He added that purebred breeders do not compete with animal shelters, they serve a different clientele.He said they continue to be ready to help LCARA.He encouraged the Board to look at all alternatives before instituting regulations, which may only have limited cause and effects.He hoped the Board would have a work session in the future.

 

Jim Seaburry, 3294 Start St., Santa Clara, recalled on February 10 there was a joint elected officials meeting that was held about the Metro Plan changes and revisions.He noted a document was passed out at the meeting, (Amendment A with two pages attached).He said he printed out 20 pages from the Internet he was interested in and ten percent were in error.He noted his document showed that everything under objectives was deleted.He thought the copy the Board had of Exhibit A was not deleted.He asked to get this matter reheard so that the public would have the correct information.

 

Dwyer said if the information provided for a public hearing is not consistent then the public hearing is not a public hearing because the public doesnít have an opportunity to address issues that might be legitimate before the public hearing.He said they have to do a better job of making sure the information is accurate and available so the public could make pertinent comments.

 

Gwen Hineman, supported the ordinance that affects cats and cat owners.She asked the Board to do something about the cat problem.She also supported increasing the dog limit.

 

Carol Titus, 29936 Kelso, stated something needed to be done to stop the unnecessary destruction of adoptable dogs.She thought the addition of 30 or 60 kennel runs at LCARA wasnít the only solution or the best solution to the problem.She wondered how many adoptable dogs were being euthanized for lack of space.She noted there are many rescue groups in Oregon that could be utilized.She said it would take less time to place a call for help than to euthanize an animal.She submitted a list of rescue organizations that could help. (Copy in file).

 

Scott Bartlett, 1445 E. 21st Eugene, stated the task force did not focus on the breeders and they are not a major factor with the situation.He asked the Board to move forward on some of the key issues.He stated that Mike Wellington, LCARA, told him they were killing animals that are adoptable and healthy because they donít have the space.He said the key is to save animals.He wanted to see how a pet food tax could be administered.

 

Jared Kahn, stated he lives in rural Lane County off of Little Fall Creek Road.He asked why there would be any opposition to improving humane treatment of animals.He said the task force had presented to the community a new calling for standards for animal welfare.He said supporting a pet food tax would be a minimal amount of money to make a huge difference.He said it could be used for a spay and neuter voucher program that would cut off the problem of pet overpopulation.He asked the Board to set up a panel to investigate how to make this work.

 

Debby Berry, P. O. Box 108, Dexter, said she is a resident of rural East Lane County and is a member of the Eugene Kennel Club and the Golden Retriever Purebred Rescue.She stated she is in support of LCARA.She said the County needs animal regulation in order to control animals at large and those surrendered and abandoned.She wanted to see the current limit laws abolished. She thought it would lead to greater licensing compliance.

 

Sylvia Calderwood, 28104 Spencer Creek Road, noted there had been publicity about the LCARA task force document.She said what had not been made clear was those who are against the document were not against funding LCARA.She noted a Walt Hutchins analyzed the LCARA task force document.She said he showed the good and bad suggestions and explained what had worked in other communities.She passed out the document to the Board. (Copy in file).

 

Joan Smart, 2509 Viewmont Avenue, Springfield, stated she needed a place to bring cats from her neighborhood.She asked the Board to do the licensing and a pet food tax.

 

Robert Herman, 635 W. 25th, Eugene, stated he was proud of the people who were involved in the task force.He said their intent was honorable and they put in a lot of their own time.He commented that they made the best choices that they could.He noted that irresponsible people cause pet overpopulation problems.He supported whatever needed to be done.

 

Flo Brewer, P. O. Box 186, Junction City, stated she works for a vet. She discussed an incident and wondered why the Spay and Neuter Clinic couldnít have helped.

 

Lauri Segel, 120 W. Broadway, said she was part of the Land Management Task Force.She noted that last night the Planning Commission had a public hearing on legal lot determination and lot line adjustments.She said there were questions from the Planning Commission about the legality of the proposal from staff.She stated at the end it was presented by staff that the Board had directed staff to address Option A at a July 29 board meeting.She noted that option defined legal lot line adjustments and legal lot verification.She asked the Board to choose a preliminary decision and not go through notice.She asked the Board to ask staff to give a review on what other counties are doing with respect to lot line adjustments.

 

3. EMERGENCY BUSINESS

Wilson presented to the Board an approval of a settlement agreement with the PERS Board.She noted the attorneys that are handling the litigation asked her to bring this to the Board as soon as possible. She said they were hoping to get the document finalized so that when the trial on the reform legislation begins next week, the settlement agreement could be part of that.She noted that this settles the case that Lane County participated in with other local governments in an attempt to bring to light the problems with the way the PERS system was being administered.She said this ends this case and the litigation will go forward on the PERS reform litigation. She requested Board approval.

 

Van Vactor said this should end the litigation at the Court of Appeals level.He added this only dismisses the state, as there are other participants.

 

ORDER 04-2-18-6/In the Matter of Approving a Settlement Agreement with the Public Employees Retirement Board. (PERB)

 

MOTION:to approve ORDER 04-2-18-6.

 

Dwyer MOVED, Morrison SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 5-0.

 

4. COMMISSIONERS' REMONSTRANCE

 

None.

 

5. COMMISSIONERS' BUSINESS

 

a. RECOGNITIONS/Awards.

 

Green noted that Deputy Paul Vitas and Sergeant Steven Weir were presented with awards.

 

b. Letter to E-Board

 

Tony Bieda, Intergovernmental Relations Manager, explained the wake of the votersí decision on Ballot Measure 30, will trigger on May 1 a disappropriation to balance the state budget that includes an $18 million decrease in funding for community corrections statewide.He noted that Lane Countyís share of that would be about $1.8 million less this biennium from the state general fund to support community corrections.He said that under the law that set up that partnership, once the funding provided by the state falls below a baseline, counties have the ability and the authority to decide to opt out or to give the program back to the state.He said they have received in writing verification from the Department of Corrections that that disappropriation would trigger the ability of counties to opt out if they so choose.

 

Bieda indicated that AOC, (working with the Sheriffís Association and the community correction directors) has set up a meeting with the governorís office and the Department of Corrections for next Tuesday to discuss the other alternatives of the disappropriation.He added what is moving at the legislative level is the possibility that the E-Board with its authority and resources will meet in April to decide which disappropriations would be restored before May 1.He thought community corrections would be on the top of the list.

 

There was consensus to send the letter.

 

c. Report from the Economic Development Committee

 

Hampton reported they had a special meeting.He said one of the three recommendations for the City of Eugene included the Public Health building in the urban renewal area.He added there is a possibility that if they sold it someone could profit from the designation.

 

Van Vactor commented if they could get cooperation on a facility and it is within the boundaries then it could be built with urban renewal funds.

 

Hampton noted that sometime in the future they might want to have a joint government facility building that could be in this area.He also suggested that there be parking facilities for people who need services at the courthouse.

 

Green said there are options where they are limited but they need to be on record to make a request for public service needs.

 

Van Vactor noted the discussion with the committee is to have the chair of the committee send this to Richie Weinman, City of Eugene, so he could include the background information for the Eugene City Council. He said if the Board concurs with this, they would draft a letter with the chairís signature.He suggested having a paragraph on the letter that explains why the County is interested because of the potential loss of the revenue.He added with the parking facilities, he suggested using the word ďjointĒ so it is clear that Lane County is losing revenue.

 

MOTION:to move to send the letter with what Van Vactor suggested.

 

Hampton MOVED, Dwyer SECONDED

 

VOTE: 5-0.

 

6. COUNTY ADMINISTRATION

 

a. Announcements

 

Van Vactor noted that Mayor Torrey appointed him to the Joint Civic Facilities Committee. He passed out who was on the committee and an outline.He noted that David Suchart is Van Vactorís alternate.

 

7. PUBLIC WORKS

 

a. ORDER 04-2-18-1/In the Matter of Amending Chapter 60 of Lane Manual to Revise Land Management Division Planning, Subsurface Sanitation and Building Fees (LM 60.851, LM 60.852 and 60.855), Effective July 1, 2004.

 

Jeff Towery, Land Management, reported the proposal before the Board is to increase their fees for planning subsurface sanitation and building programs.He said the building and planning fees were adjusted last July 1 by 7.5% and subsurface sanitation was adjusted affected April 1, 2003 by 14%.He noted that about 94% of their budget affected by these programs is either personnel or overhead costs.He said while they provide more service than reviewing building permits, building permits impact all three of the programs.He noted from July through January, they have issued 10% more permits than the prior years and the total days in the system have decreased by about 5%.††† He thought some of the process improvements they had been implementing for the past year are working in the context that they had filled 15 out of 49 positions in the division in the past year and a half.He didnít anticipate much growth over the next year with the bulk of their business.

 

Towery indicated they receive revenue from the surveyors program in the road fund for administration for that program in Land Management.He said that these fees do not affect programs but there is a formula-driven process where they contribute revenue.He added that revenue would be decreasing in the upcoming years.He added the environmental health program in Health and Human Services has historically paid for half of a sanitarian and subsurface sanitation program.but their revenue expense picture and workload is leading them to decrease their contribution from one-half FTE to one-fourth FTE.He said they have that workload to pick up but it results in a net revenue loss to that program. He said net revenue increases for those programs of about 8% is what they need to balance a budget that maintains the current level of service and makes key additions in their level of service.He said they are recommending across the board increases for planning and subsurface sanitation.He added instead of an across the board increase for building fees, they have looked at their fee schedule and discovered that compared with the Cities of Eugene and Springfield, they are significantly below them for their plumbing and mechanical fees.He noted they presented this issue to the Government Affairs Committee of the Lane County Homebuilders Association and they didnít have any issues of resistance.

 

Towery explained they were not including temporary hardship mobile home or annual subscription of notice of application acceptance in this fee increase.He said those fees would stay the same. He was concerned about the reduction in video lottery dollars and what the state might do.He said they expect the electrical program to have an impact on their other operations in that they will be granting all of their customers the opportunity to pay for their permits with credit cards.He thought that was a positive improvement.He said they also want to build capacity in the division for E-commerce over the next year.He said they are reviewing their current permit tracking systems software and they will consider whether or not they need to make a change in the software.He said the net impact of this fee increase (while it will generate $230,000 in new revenue) would be about $190,000 due to the flat revenues.He noted that generated about a 5.5% increase in the revenue with costs increasing countywide about 6%.He passed out a revised Attachment F (Copy in file).

 

Dwyer stated this came through the Finance and Audit Committee and they had a long discussion. He said their costs are still below most other jurisdictions.He thought it was a reasonable way to address the problems.

 

Morrison was concerned about the delays and the volume of work in Land Management.

 

MOTION:to approve ORDER 04-2-18-1.

 

Dwyer MOVED, Sorenson SECONDED.

 

Dwyer had concerns about it too, but didnít see any alternatives that would create efficiency or deal with the backlog.He didnít like the fee increases but said they have to provide a level of service.He supported this matter.

 

Morrison thought they could control costs without raising fees if they had the courage to do it.

 

Green supported the motion.He stated he was not a proponent of increasing fees to retain staff, but when fees are warranted because of the level of service he does support the increases.He suggested having Public Information put something out before the fees increase.

 

Towery responded they would work with Melinda Kletzok, Public Information Officer, to get out this information.

 

VOTE: 5-0.

 

8. CONSENT CALENDAR

 

BEGINNING OF CONSENT CALENDAR * * * *

 

A. Approval of Minutes:

May 6, 2003, Work Session, Following Board of Health

February 3, 2004, Work Session, 9:00 a.m.

February 3, 2004, Joint BCC/Lowell City Council, 6:00 p.m.

February 4, 2004, Regular Meeting, 1:30 p.m.

 

B. Health and Human Services

 

1) ORDER 04-2-18-2/In the Matter of Accepting Revenues in the Amount of $1,344,451 from U.S. Housing and Urban Development; to Increase Appropriations in Revenues and Expenses in the Amount of $143,137 in the Department of Health & Human Services (Fund 285) for FY 2003-2004.

 

2) ORDER 04-2-18-3/In the Matter of Amending the Bylaws of the Public Health Advisory Committee.

 

C. Public Works

 

1) RESOLUTION AND ORDER 04-2-18-4/In the Matter of Assisting the City of Eugene with the Delta Ponds Restoration Project and Directing Public Works Staff to Provide Surveying and Engineering Necessary to Process the Transfer of Lane County Excess Right of Way and County-Owned Land to the City as Necessary for the Construction of the Project.

 

END OF CONSENT CALENDAR * * * *

 

MOTION:to approve the Consent Calendar.

 

Morrison MOVED, Hampton SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 5-0.

 

9. INFORMATION SYSTEMS

 

a. ORDER 04-2-18-5/In the Matter of Establishing an Information Services Department Internal Service Fund.

 

Tony Black, Information Services, indicated he was looking for approval to move the Information Services Department funding mechanism from the general fund into an internal services fund model based on their services being almost exclusively internal to the County for the departments.He added it sets up a mechanism where they can establish rates for services and provide a real time billing and funding mechanism to give the other departments more flexibility in budgeting for IT projects.He said this went through the Management Team, the Technology Management Team and Finance and Audit prior to coming before the Board.

 

MOTION:to approve ORDER 04-2-18-5.

 

Dwyer MOVED, Hampton SECONDED.

 

Dwyer commented that this would be easier for the billing cycle, putting them in a real time mode and making it easier for planning.He noted they reviewed this at Finance and Audit and he thought this was in the publicís benefit to approve it.

 

Van Vactor noted this was an effort to respond to the concern of the Management Team that thought they were charged for things they didnít have any control over.He said this would put more control on the discretionary portion of the departments to buy services.He added there is a core service that IS has to perform in order for the whole system to operate.He noted that ISí portion of the reduction in the general fund is to the edge for the ability to deliver the rest of the services.He said they will still need to adequately fund the core services for all other things the departments might want to add on.He said they wouldnít have the foundation to do that.He was supportive to give the discretion.He thought if they have an initiative they want to pursue in technology, it might be more difficult in the future to come forward with a countywide IS directive.

 

VOTE: 5-0.

 

10. CORRESPONDENCE TO THE BOARD

None.

 

11. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS

None.

 

12. EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660

None.

 

13. OTHER BUSINESS

None.

 

There being no further business, Commissioner Green recessed the meeting at 10:55 a.m.

 

 

Melissa Zimmer

Recording Secretary