BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS'
March 10, 2004
Harris Hall Main Floor
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 the Board Order for item 11. c. should state Peace Officers Association.
2. PUBLIC COMMENTS
Shoshana Kerevsky, redacted, Eugene, asked the Board to consider approving same sex marriage licenses in Lane County.† She stated this was a civil matter and there were no civic or civil reasons not to grant this.† She said the only argument she heard against this was religious and she contested that on the basis of her own religious beliefs and it is not a matter for county government.† She commented that in large-scale studies, people who are gay, lesbian and bi-sexual are undifferentiated from heterosexual people on any measure.† She said they need community and social support and that is the only variable that makes a difference in the level of subject distress that they experience and any psychological difficulties such as anxiety or depression.† She hoped the County wouldnít use the state constitution as an opportunity to decrease civil rights for diverse populations rather than affirm them.
Sally Sheklow, 932 Polk St., Eugene, said she was married in Eugene and recognized in her religion.† She wanted to get married in Lane County.† She said she and her partner are responsible citizens and contribute to the community.† She wanted the Board to do the right thing in granting their civil rights.
Nancy Taylor Kemp, redacted, Eugene, stated she has been a Lane County resident for 28 years.† She said that six years ago she had a commitment ceremony with her partner.† She thinks the community is ready to embrace gay and lesbian relationships as equal to heterosexual relationships.† She added that three years ago she flew to Vermont to have a civil union because she wanted legal representation for her relationship. She stated that last week she went to Multnomah County and had a legal marriage performed. She encouraged the Board to accept same sex wedding applications.
Tiffany Rauch Dixon, 251 W. Broadway, Eugene, encouraged the Board of Commissioners to join the commissioners in Multnomah County and other cities around the country to recognize gay and lesbian relationships by issuing marriage licenses.† She commented that gay and lesbian couples seek only to be civilly married.† She noted that gay and lesbian people want to hold marriage as the ultimate commitment that two people can make to each other.† She said that gay and lesbian couples were not requesting anything provided to heterosexual couples.† She stated that granting rights to same sex couples will never and should never force approval by religious institutions. She said the County should support civil rights and issue same sex marriage licenses.
John Brown, 1260 Charnelton St., Eugene,† thanked Dwyer and Hampton for assisting him in preventing a home from falling into the river.† He asked for more assistance to get materials to Short Mountain.† He noted they had spent about $2,000 getting the materials to Short Mountain and it would cost him another $3,000 because of logistical issues.† He asked if there was any way the Board could assist.
Jennifer Meyer, 637 E. 39th Place, Eugene,† stated that she and her partner had been together for 22 years.† She said they went up to Portland and got married.† She thought it was time for things to change and she wanted the same rights as heterosexuals.
Sorenson noted that Annette Newingham, Lane County official in charge of the issuance of marriage certificates, has requested a legal opinion from Teresa Wilson.† He said the request by Newingham preceded the announcement from Multnomah County.† He said the recent decision of the circuit court in Multnomah County was on the issue of open meetings law.† He noted the legislative council (who represents the legal office at the legislature) has given an opinion to state that Oregon law required the action by Multnomah County officials.† He agreed that they have to do this in a deliberate and open process.† His concern is that the counties who do not implement this will be subject to civil rights litigation and delaying to do this might open the counties who donít do this to a deprivation of rights.
Carol Holcombe, Florence, said that Florence is a town of 7,000 and they are being forced to accept a large and illegal gambling complex.† She noted the complex is only 300 feet from a densely developed residential neighborhood.† She commented the work is being done despite their objections and the governorís knowledge that the Oregon Constitution prohibits casinos.† She added the tent structure is temporary as the casino has plans to build a much larger casino with multiple theme restaurants, coffee shops, 100-room hotel and 1,000-seat theater.† She said the businesses would operate tax-free.† She said the Indian Gaming Regulatory Provision provides that Class III gaming activities shall be lawful on Indian lands only if such activities are located in a state that permits such gaming.† She said Florence doesnít want the 24/7 underworld atmosphere and become another gambling statistic.† She indicated they started a grassroots campaign with citizens from Florence and they filed a lawsuit.
3. EMERGENCY BUSINESS
4. COMMISSIONERS' REMONSTRANCE
a. ORDER 04-3-10-1/In the Matter of Proclaiming the Week of March 8, 2004 as Problem Gambling Awareness Week in Lane County.
MOTION:† to approve ORDER 04-3-10-1.
Sorenson MOVED, Dwyer SECONDED.
Green read the resolution into the record.
b. ORDER 04-3-10-2/In the Matter of Proclaiming the Month of March as National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month in Lane County.
MOTION:† to approve ORDER 04-3-10-2 into the record.
Dwyer MOVED, Morrison SECONDED.
Green read the resolution into the record.
c. ORDER 04-3-10-3/In the Matter of Proclaiming March 17, 2004 as Lane County Irish Heritage Day and Encourage Alcohol-Free Celebration of St. Patrick's Day.
MOTION:† to approve ORDER 04-3-10-3.
Dwyer MOVED, Sorenson SECONDED.
Green read the resolution into the record.
6. COMMISSIONERS' BUSINESS
a. REPORT/Extension Service.
Ross Penhallogen, Extension Service, gave a report of the Extension Service over the past three months. (Copy in file).
7. COUNTY ADMINISTRATION
b. ORDER 04-3-10-4/In the Matter of Authorizing the Metropolitan Policy Committee to Initiate Arbitration Procedures Jointly with the Cities of Eugene and Springfield to Settle Franchise Payment Disputes with Comcast Cable Communications, Inc., in Accordance with Ordinance 6-91.
Peter Thurston, Economic Development, explained there are two issues.† He noted one is directing that an arbitration process begin in accordance with the ordinances for franchise with Comcast.† He said the other is what the Boardís interest is in getting information and dealing with the changing telecommunications field.
With regard to the arbitration issue, Thurston noted in 1991, a franchise (copy in file) was initiated with a different service provider and it had changed a few times in the interim.† He noted that Comcast is the current franchise provider wherein the County receives a fee of five percent of the franchise fee based on gross revenues.† He said there had been discussions with Comcast as to what is payable under the franchise.† He indicated the memo describes the attempts to resolve this.† He noted that Jay Smith was asked to do a limited review of the files.† He said that in the past few weeks there has been correspondence but nothing has changed regarding the issue of the dispute.
With regard to telecommunication convergence, (bottom of page 3) Thurston discussed how all of the issues of cable franchise services and Internet service provision and satellites are coming together in a new way.† He noted that the technology is changing all the time.† He questioned if there were any particular areas of the mix the Board wanted more information on in the coming year that they could research for the Boardís further consideration.† He indicated that beginning in June, the three-year period that initiates the franchise process for Charter Communications starts.† He added that next year the Comcast process begins.
Green noted that Comcast commented they had provided information to support their position.† He said it is implied that the Board believes they have a right for providing the necessary information
With regard to any impact of arbitration result that might occur in Los Angeles, it was Thurstonís understanding that nothing in the process would be binding in any way on what Lane County or their jurisdictions would decide in the same situation.
Wilson said it wouldnít set a legal precedent for Oregon.† She said it has to do with the interpretation of that ordinance and relationship.† She said Lane Countyís relationship is different.† She said they have to apply that analysis to their existing situation.
Thurston commented that people had operated in good faith on all sides of the issue.† He noted there is a clear dispute that is not likely to be resolved by passing letters back and forth.† He added there was nothing new that he had seen within the past nine months.† He said there is a procedure provided for in the ordinance that is a limited review of these issues. He noted it is not a full franchise review and at this time it seems appropriate that if the Board finds the cost benefit of doing this (and it is in the Countyís interest), it was a good time to go forward to arbitration.
Dwyer stated basically they are renting Lane Countyís right-of-way to put their cables in and in the beginning they had a good faith agreement that they wanted to go for basic service.† He said the argument is they changed their accounting practices.† He said that Comcast is a multi-national corporation that has millions of dollars and they pay people to deprive people of what is legitimately due to them by extraordinary legal means.† He said they are changing the rules and Lane County is losing a source of revenue as it relates to the rule change because they define their accounting practices.† He said Lane County needs to send a clear message to their partners at MPC to go forward with arbitration.
Morrison asked if they move forward with this, who would be presenting Lane County in the arbitration process.
Wilson believed the proposal is to have one counsel represent the three entities.
Thurston explained the process that was used in the past is to refer this to the cable commission and MPC identified in the ordinance and that by doing so, it is a public body that is established by intergovernmental connections and agency would staff it and take care of it.
Morrison would only agree to this if they have outside counsel.
Milo Mecham, LCOG, said the discussions have been tentative but the City of Eugene had proposed that they would use their counsel, Harang Long and the costs would be shared among the jurisdictions and if the results are positive, then Comcast would be required to pay some or all of the costs.
Morrison questioned whether Lane County could win.† She wasnít comfortable moving forward with the arbitration until they hear what happens in California as it could have a direct impact on what happens in Lane County.† She didnít support Mecham being the representative on this matter.
Mecham responded he would not be a representative on this matter as it is not his area of expertise.† He indicated that the major disputes have to do with an interpretation of what accountant rules direct accountants to do.† He said they have talked with several experts on accountancy and they have not subscribed to Comcastís interpretation.† He said they disagree about how they interpret the directives of generally accepted accounting principles† He added they disagree whether or not those principles are applicable in these circumstances. He questioned whether the generally accepted accounting principles apply and if they apply whether they mandate the result that Comcast is stating.† He said that Comcast is asserting its principles in good faith and there is a serious dispute.
Dwyer thought Lane County had a chance of winning this.†† He suggested moving forward to commit to arbitration.
Sorenson wanted to move ahead with this, letting the arbitration take its course.
MOTION:† to approve Option 1 of ORDER 04-3-10-4.
Dwyer MOVED, Sorenson SECONDED.
Morrison asked where Lane Countyís portion would come from.
Thurston responded it would come from the revenues that are generated.
Morrison asked what would decrease for that to take place.
Thurston said that $20,000 might be within the nominal increase from last fiscal year to this fiscal year without taking away from something else.
Dwyer thought it was Lane Countyís responsibility to abide by the agreement.
Hampton thought the quicker this could be resolved the better off they are.
Green wanted to wait to see what happens with Los Angeles.† He also wanted to see more of a financial plan with Harang, Long.† He was concerned what the costs would be.
VOTE: 3-2 (Green and Morrison dissenting).
c. DISCUSSION/ ORDER 04-3-10-29 Revising the 1994 Intergovernmental Agreement with the City of Florence Regarding the Financing of the Florence Events Center
Van Vactor recalled on December 23, the City of Florence sent Lane County a letter indicating they had explored an opportunity to refinance the debt on the event center and save approximately $50,000 per year. He said they proposed a split between those savings with $40,000 to Florence and $10,000 a year reducing the payments to Lane County.† He said when they considered this on January 21, the Board was supportive of the concept of refinance but they what wanted to have CVALCO review it.† He noted that CVALCO had a special meeting and they are recommending that Lane County support the refinancing.† He noted that CVALCO said that any of the payments that go back to Florence are for capital only and cannot be used for operations.† He said the City of Florence has different plans and proposals for the use of those funds, not necessarily all being committed to capital because of their needs. He indicated in his cover memo that transient room taxes being dedicated to capital are in a state of development.† He noted last year the Board amended the process regarding the fairgrounds and he was supportive of the Board creating a reserve for the fairgrounds.† He said because it is in a state of development, he recommended the support of the refinance and accepting the savings under the sweep order.† He continued that would be additional money that would flow to the fairgrounds and then an annual decision could be made when they hear from Florence about how they want to use the money.
Dwyer thought this was an excellent opportunity to try to make them whole.† He added the Board has annual budget oversight so those determinations could be made annually.† He didnít have any problems with letting them go ahead with the annual oversight.
MOTION:† to approve ORDER† 04-3-10-29.
Dwyer MOVED, Morrison SECONDED.
Green stated his concern was using capital because that is not how they would want to do it.† He asked what happens when there is a true capital need.† He hoped there was a plan to try to minimize the fiscal impacts
Phil Brubaker, City of Florence, reassured the Board that they intend to be good stewards of the Florence Events Center.† He said they need a hotel next door to bring in groups, bringing in an additional source of room tax for the facility.† He said they want to maintain a reserve fund for the extra money that is coming through the refinancing and helping with the marketing aspects.† He noted he would be bringing those reports annually.
8. MANAGEMENT SERVICES
a. REPORT/Elections Transition to Optical Scan Tabulation.
Annette Newingham, Elections, reported back on the February 3 optical scan tabulation.† She noted it was the first countywide election they had with the optical scan† She reported it was successful.† She indicated they had a 68.6% turnout at the election, higher than the rest of the state.† She noted they released their final unofficial results at 10:42 p.m.† She said in the January 2003 special election they had 66.9% turnout and they didnít get out until 12:30 a.m.
Newingham noted one of the main procedures that had a lot to do with tabulating the votes earlier was that because of the new system, they did not have to sort to precinct.† She said that each individual ballot indicated the precinct it was from. She added it cost $7,000 more for printing but the advantage was they didnít have to have staff sort the ballots.† She said the biggest advantage was that they didnít handle the ballots as much.†† She noted that Washington and Clackamas counties also went to optical scan. She stated that Washington County got out at 4:00 a.m. and Clackamas got out at 3:00 a.m.
Newingham explained they had three staff at every ballot counter and two IS staff who helped with technical questions.† She said overall it went smoother than expected.† She noted the biggest problem was voters using a red pen and circling the text and not completing the arrow.† She explained the ballot counter looks at the white space between the arrows and looks for a horizontal line that completes it.† She added that some people had a vertical line even though it called for a horizontal line.
Newingham noted she got two new ballot drop sites:† Wal-Mart on West 11th and in front of Delta.
Sorenson asked what the current error rate is with this system.
Newingham said there is nothing that really evaluates that.† She commented it is as accurate as the voter.† She said they have to have processes in place when people donít follow directions.
b. DISCUSSION/East Lane Soil and Water Conservation District.
Green explained the Board received a letter from Ralph Perkins, Chairman of the East Lane Soil and Water Conservation District, asking that if they go to the voters to ask approval to form this district, the County compensate them for the cost of the election.
Newingham noted the only exemption they would have by statute is for candidate elections and the County covers the cost currently under the general fund for those elections.† She noted in the past for East Lane candidates the costs have been $67,529 in the 2000 election and the November 2002 election costs were $71,659.† She said they look at all the options but there would be more costs for the ballot.
Dwyer was against this.
Ralph Perkins, Chairman of the Board, East Lane Soil and Water Conservation District said they are grant driven.† He noted that Lane County supports them in a minimal way.† He indicated their total budget is $100,000 and he didnít think they could pay the $60,000 in election costs.† He said if they become successful it would be positive for Lane County.† He said it would bring economic benefit to the County through increased national resource related projects that would be grant funded.† He said if they had stable funding, they wouldnít be asking the County for the money.† He stated they would be providing family wage jobs for additional employees.† He indicated they are an underfunded group but their board of directors has each made a personal commitment to take whatever time is necessary to get the election passed.
Paul Reed, Director, East Lane Soil and Water Conservation, noted their permanent rate limit by constitution stated they could never have a source of tax revenue to qualify for a permanent rate limit. He noted that they are already a formed district.† He said they were asking the Countyís assistance in putting a measure on the ballot by Oregon Revised Statute.
Dwyer didnít question the value of what they did, he stated that Lane County† has a $4.5 million deficit it is facing.
Newingham explained the issue of elections costs.† She added that the East Lane Soil and Water Conservation District has a share of the total costs of the election because it is a very large district.† She said they are responsible for their portion of the cost for the measure.† She added if Lane County covers these costs they would be setting a precedent for future groups.
Wilson stated that the obligation of the district to pay the proportionate share of the election costs (pass or fail) would be a debt of the district.† She said Lane County is the creditor and they collect their debts.† She said the issue is if they choose not to collect their debt, the County will pay for the cost of the election.
Van Vactor commented that with a projected $4.5 million deficit for the County, there was not additional funding to support this request.
There was consensus by the Board not to support this request.
9. CONSENT CALENDAR
A. Approval of Minutes:
May 14, 2003, Regular Meeting, 9:00 a.m.
August 27, 2003, Regular Meeting, Following HACSA
August 27, 2003, Regular Meeting, 1:30 p.m.
February 4, 2004, Regular Meeting, Following HACSA
February 10, 2004, Joint Elected Officials, 5:30 p.m.
February 11, 2004, Regular Meeting, 9:00 a.m.
February 18, 2004, Regular Meeting, 1:30 p.m.
B. Health and Human Services
1) ORDER 04-3-10-5/In the Matter of Granting Authority to Cascade Medical Transport, Coastal Transportation Services, Mountain Retreat Transport, Northwest Regional LLC, and Secure Transportation to Carry Out Provision ORS 426.233 for Secure Transport Services.
2) ORDER 04-3-10-6/In the Matter of Delegating Authority to the Administrator to Sign a Contract Amendment with Emerald Peopleís Utility District (EPUD) to Provide Funding for the REACH, ERAP, and AFP Programs in the Amount of $40,200.
3) ORDER 04-3-10-7/In the Matter of Delegating Authority to the County Administrator to Sign a Contract with Eugene School District 4J in the Amount of $52,619.
4) ORDER 04-3-10-8/In the Matter of Appointing Two New Members, Tamara Adkins and Colleen Bauman, to the Lane County Health Advisory Committee.
5) ORDER 04-3-10-9/In the Matter of Delegating Authority to the County Administrator to Sign a Contract with Oregon Community Health Information Network, Inc. in the Amount of $110,000.
C. Management Services
1) ORDER 04-3-10-10/In the Matter of Authorizing the Sale of Surplus County Owned Real Property to Alfred M. and Kolette K. Longworth, Former Owners of Record (Map #19-01-11-33-06710, 41 East Sixth Street, Lowell).
D. Public Works
1) ORDER 04-3-10-11/In the Matter of Rejecting the Decision of the Director of Public Works Denying a Driveway Access to Property at 92256 Marcola Road Identified as Tax Lot 16-01-18-40 1900 and Directing Staff to Allow Access Subject to the Issuance of a Facility Permit.
2) ORDER 04-3-10-12/In the Matter of Accepting a Deed of Land to be Used as a Public Road Easement for Wallace Creek Road (County Road No. 421) (18-02-14).
3) ORDER 04-3-10-13/In the Matter of Accepting a Deed of Land to be Used as a Public Road Easement for Briggs Hill Road (County Road No. 950) (18-05-25).
4) ORDER 04-3-10-14/In the Matter of Releasing, Dedicating and Accepting Parcels ďAĒ & ďBĒ, in the Ninth Addition to Bell Estates, Book 65, Page 30, a Parcel of County Owned Real Estate, as a County Road (17-04-03) (Hyacinth Street and Carthage Avenue).
5) ORDER 04-3-10-15/In the Matter of Accepting a Deed of Land to be Used as a Public Road Easement for Jasper-Lowell Road (County Road No. 480) (18-01-33).
6) ORDER 04-3-10-16/In the Matter of Denying the Petition to Vacate a Portion of W.W. Jackson Road (County Road Number 723) Located in Sections 35 and 36, Township 18 South, Range 4 West, and Section 2, Township 19 South, Range 4 West of the Willamette Meridian (18-04-35 & 36 and 19-04-02).
7) ORDER 04-3-10-17/In the Matter of Accepting a Deed of Land to be Used as a Public Road Easement for Missy Lane (aka C.H. Baker Road, County Road No. 547) (17-02-24 & 25).
8) ORDER 04-3-10-18/In the Matter of Vacating a Portion of Missy Lane (aka C.H. Baker Road, Co. Rd. #547), Located in Sections 24 and 25, Township 17 South, Range 2 West of the Willamette Meridian, in Lane County, Oregon, Without a Public Hearing, and Adopting Findings of Fact (17-02-24 & 25).
9) ORDER 04-3-10-19/In the Matter of Vacating a Portion of Stephens Road, a Public Road, Located in the Northwest Quarter (NW 1/4) of Section 30, Township 17 South, Range 1 West of the Willamette Meridian, in Lane County, Oregon, Without a Public Hearing, and Adopting Findings of Fact (17-01-30).
10) RESOLUTION, NOTICE OF HEARING AND ORDER 04-3-10-20/In the Matter of Setting a Public Hearing for the Vacation of a Portion of Willow Street, in the Plat of Gallagherís Part of the City of Florence, as Platted and Recorded in Volume 30, Pages 12 and 13 of the Lane County, Oregon Deed Records (18-12-26) (Public Hearing: April 14, 2004, 1:30 pm).
MOTION: to approve the Consent Calendar.
Dwyer MOVED, Morrison SECONDED.
10. COUNTY COUNSEL
a. ORDER 04-3-10-21/In the Matter of Formation of the Lane Library District.
Wilson explained that before the Board is the petition to initiate the formation of the Lane Library District.† She said the citizens have initiated it and it is in the Creswell School District area.† She stated that Annette Newingham has certified the signatures and the next step in the process is to refer the matter to the Boundary Commission.† She noted that Paula Taylor of the Boundary Commission had received the necessary filing.† She said this matter is ready to go forward.
MOTION: to approve ORDER 04-3-10-21.
Hampton MOVED, Sorenson SECONDED.
Morrison asked if this was going to be put on the ballot in November, who pays for the cost
Wilson responded they do.
11. MANAGEMENT SERVICES
a. ORDER 04-3-10-22/In the Matter of Awarding a Contract for Construction Manager/General Contractor (CM/GC) Services for the Elections Division Building.
MOTION:† to approve ORDER 04-3-10-22.
Dwyer MOVED, Morrison SECONDED.
b. ORDER 04-3-10-23/In the Matter of Ratifying the Tentative Agreement Between Lane County and the AFSCME Nurses, Local 2831.
Frank Forbes, Management Services, explained this is a tentative agreement for a two-year period in accordance with what was established.† He noted this provides for a zero across-the-board cost of living for the first year and provides for a re-opener for wages for the second year.† He said the AFSCME insurance package changes the retirement for those nurses in the jail and a one-time educational certification pay of $350 for the non-correction office nurses.
MOTION:† to approve ORDER 04-3-10-23.
Dwyer MOVED, Hampton SECONDED.
c. ORDER 04-3-10-24/In the Matter of Ratifying the Tentative Agreement Between Lane County and the Lane County Police Officers' Association.
MOTION:† to approve ORDER 04-3-10-24.
Dwyer MOVED, Hampton SECONDED.
12. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS
13. EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660
14. OTHER BUSINESS
There being no further business, Commissioner Green recessed the meeting at 12:00 p.m.