BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS'
July 28, 2004
Commissionersí Conference Room
Commissioner Bobby Green, Sr. presided with Commissioners Bill Dwyer, Don Hampton and Anna Morrison present. Peter Sorenson was present via telephone. County Administrator Bill Van Vactor, Assistant County Counsel Stephen Vorhes and Recording Secretary Melissa Zimmer were also present.
17. PUBLIC HEARINGS
a. FINAL HEARING AND ORDER 04-7-28-15/In the Matter of Calling an Election for the Formation of the Lane Library District. †
Green reported this matter has gone before the Boundary Commission and had received public comment.† He noted the Board had a question that came out of the public comment regarding the inclusion of private property that is F-1 lands.
Vorhes said the discretion is before the Board regarding the Boardís role in this situation.† He said the statutes did not give the Board of Commissioners discretion in the formation process.† He stated the Boundary Commission held the hearings† on the appropriate location of the boundary and ORS 199.480(1) prohibits the Board from modifying the boundary set by the Boundary Commission.† He said the Board is required to call an election on the question of forming the district at the time of the final hearing.† He said the directive to the Board is that if the Boundary Commission approves under ORS 199.480 the formation of the district, the Board shall enter an order so declaring an order of the election.† †
Dwyer asked why they would have a hearing where the Board was compelled to act when the decision had already been made.
Vorhes said ORS198.810 (3) says notwithstanding (1) and (2), if the petition for formation includes a permanent rate limit for operating taxes for the proposed district,† and the Boundary Commission approves the petition, an election on the question of forming the district shall be held.† He said the ultimate decision maker would be the voters, not the Board. †
Dwyer said if they vote, he would be a no because of the principle of taxation without representation.
Sorenson asked if they were supposed to be listening for anything in the record other than what the Boundary Commission had already decided the boundary of the area would be.
Hampton explained the boundary is the way it is because in the process they were going through to establish this boundary, they found out it would be expensive to establish a new boundary.† He said the Boundary Commission was okay with the Lane Library League using the Creswell School District Boundary.† He added the Department of Revenue said the old definitions were not good enough for them today.† He noted they had to re-write the definitions of the current Creswell School District before the Department of Revenue would approve this.† He didnít think there was any intent to include extra land.† He said they were doing this in a practical way; using the Creswell School District Boundary as an easy way of establishing their boundary.
Vorhes stated they had to listen for whatever the public says.† He didnít† think it would give them a basis to do anything different. He thought the reason for the public hearing (as far as the statute is concerned) is to provide people an opportunity to have an election to have a formation of the district except for a district that is proposed to be formed with a permanent tax rate.† He noted where that is the case, the statute states they have to hold an election.
Vorhes noted that ORS 198.805 discusses the formation of a district and there is a division in 198.800(3) that says this section does not apply in areas that are subject to the jurisdiction of a local boundary commission.† He said they have to then go back to ORS 199 to find the criteria and statutes that apply to the formation of a district and there might not be a comparable provision. He said the legal application of the provision does not apply in this case.
Jim Seaberry, 3294 Stark St., Santa Clara, said they came because they were led to believe that it was part of the process.
Commissioner Green opened up the Public Hearing.
Green commented the process constrains them from what they wanted to do versus what the statute tells them what they shall do.
Dave Van Sykle, 2057 Grove St, River Road, stated the Lane Library stated there was no organized opposition to this.† He asked why they would call a district enclosed by the Creswell School District Lane Library District its own district. He thought it was a way to raise taxes.
Bill McCoy, 115 S. 3rd, Creswell, said he was one of the petitioners of the petition.† He stated he belongs to the Lane Library District and to the Creswell Public Library Foundation.† With regard to the boundary, they looked at the major timber holders and sent them letters stating how much land was included and how much it would cost on a yearly basis and asked for their support.† He noted that Gustina was the largest holder in the district and he was the only one who came back and didnít support it.† He commented that the Boundary Commission took the short way out when they testified.† They didnít have another meeting scheduled before this would automatically be passed.† He said they went ahead and passed it without giving full consideration to Gustinaís complaint.† He thought the Boundary Commission couldnít come to terms with dealing with one person instead of all the timber companies.† He said they didnít have time to continue it.† He was uncomfortable with the process.† He added that if this passes, McCoy could go to the Boundary Commission to withdraw and they would not oppose it.† He indicated the tax rate would generate $500 per year from Gustinaís property.
Sorenson hoped the voters would approve this.
Van Vactor asked what the time frame was that the Board of Commissioners needed to act on this.
Vorhes responded when they set the hearing, petitions for nominations to the district board have to be filed no later than August 24, 2004.
Seaberry thought this was wrong.† He asked why they were avoiding an opportunity to provide countywide library services to all of Lane County. He said that no one west of Eugeneís urban growth boundary to the coast would ever vote to join a library district with Eugene having a large library.† He said if the Board of Commissioners was sincere to make library services available to all of its residents, then they should take the politics out and have one district where everyone pays.† He thought the way it was now was wrong.
Larry Gustina, 2990 Wood Acres, Eugene, stated he is the general manager for Gustina Timber.†† He said they received a letter from the Creswell Library Foundation telling them they were going to move forward with the library district and they had lands involved.† He stated the Boundary Commission thought they didnít want to treat him separate from other forestland owners at the time of the public hearing.† He said he was given the opportunity to advance his objections and to go through the opt out clause.† He was told he should have talked to staff earlier and since he didnít, the issue had to be moved forward to the Board of Commissioners because of the November ballot.† †
Carol Campbell, 82044 Marling, Creswell, stated she is the President of the Public Library Foundation in Creswell.† She commented that when she went to the Boundary Commission, they had no intention to take money from Gustina.† She explained it was a matter of how the boundaries came out.
There being no one else signed up to speak, Commissioner Green closed the Public Hearing.
MOTION:† to move to approve ORDER 04-7-28-15.
Hampton MOVED, Sorenson SECONDED.
Dwyer commented that libraries are important but this process was bad.† He added that anytime there is a public hearing where the hearing canít change the outcome is a mockery of justice.† He supported the library but not the mockery of it and he would not support this motion.
Hampton didnít want to penalize the library people because the process that they didnít create is flawed.† He said they know what is wrong with the process and they need to lobby the legislators to get it corrected. †
Sorenson thought they should give the voters a chance to vote on this matter.
VOTE: 4-1 (Dwyer dissenting).
17. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS
Green announced on August 3 and 4 he would be in Grants Pass.† He noted that Hampton would chair the August 4 meeting.† He announced that tonight is the official night of the Junior Olympics.
Hampton announced the Mary Cole Days would take place in Marcola.
Morrison stated she attended the NACo Conference.
19. OTHER BUSINESS
a. Letter to Mayor Sid Leiken.
Dwyer indicated the letter is about the Springfield Jail.†† He noted that the Board is thinking about putting their law enforcement district on the ballot and inviting them to talk with them about how they could work together.
Morrison commented if Lane County goes forward with a law enforcement district, they would need the support of the other law enforcement agencies and having a voice at PSCC is important.
MOTION:† to approve to send the letter to Mayor Leiken.
Dwyer MOVED, Morrison SECONDED.
Dwyer said it would be hand delivered tomorrow.
There being no further business, Commissioner Green adjourned the meeting at 3:00 p.m. .