MAY 12, 2011 Budget Committee Minutes

May 12, 2011

5:15 p.m.
Board of Commissioners Conference Room
APPROVED 5-17-2011

Vice Chair Rose Wilde presided with Budget Committee members present:  Jay Bozievich, Rob Handy, Denis Hijmans, Sid Leiken, Ashley Miller, Pete Sorenson and Herb Vloedman.  Scott Bartlett and Faye Stewart were excused.  Budget and Financial Planning Manager Christine Moody and Recording Secretary Melissa Zimmer were also present.


Vice Chair Rose Wilde called the meeting to order.


Shari Higgins, Management Analyst, distributed hand outs for Information Services.  She also distributed responses to questions.  She noted that some answers were not ready to be distributed.

Approval of Minutes of May 3, 2011 and May 5, 2011

MOTION:   to approve the Minutes of May 3, 2011 and May 5, 2011.


VOTE:   8-0.


Alicia Hays, Director of Children and Families, gave a presentation on Children and Families  (Copy in file).

Hijmans asked what cuts Hays’ department was facing.

Hays said last year they had a strategic development position in their office.  She said it is about $130,000 and it is in the budget.  She noted what is not in the budget is $100,000 that went to Healthy Start Family Resource Centers,  and runaway homeless. She stated there was a onetime $100,000 that went to Family Relief Nursery and Casa.

Moody said the cuts came in the mid year correction the Board of Commissioners made.  She said they were funded through June 30 but they were cut in February.  She indicated it wasn’t a reduction for 11/12, it happened in 10/11.


Moody gave an overview of the Justice Court.  (Copy in file).

Leiken asked if there was a potential for collaboration with the Central Justice Courts and the Springfield Municipal Jail.  He noted that many issues that go before the Justice Courts are municipal issues.

Moody noted there was some money in the budget for that.  She said that Judge Carl asked to leave enough money for a few jail beds in the Springfield court so there could be an incentive.

Hijmans recalled there was a presentation on fines that were not paid and  going to the state tax system to attach refunds.  He asked for information on that topic.

Moody said she would have to find that out.

Bozievich recalled that was a piece of legislation before the House.

Moody  indicated that a lot of the debt was old.  She said they are still collecting some money on the oldest debts and that the data shows that it still pays to have collection efforts.

With regard to the Oakridge Court, Wilde asked if there was any problem with difficulties of people living in the area with problems of failure to appear.

Moody said she could find out that information.


Moody explained with support services, they are referring to the internal services that provide support.  She indicated that it includes Human Resources, Management Services, County Counsel and County Administration including the Board of Commissioners and the Budget Office.  She noted the revenue into the departments is through the indirect plan.  She added that it is a federally qualified cost allocation plan where they bill the direct services departments based on their usage of the services. She indicated that they review the matrixes every year to make sure that nothing is changing and bill those costs on actuals, not on the budget.  She said they wait until the year closes and then they audit and bill back from the audited expenditures to the departments.


David Suchart, Management Services, explained that his department includes Elections, Deeds and Records and Board of Property Tax Appeals.  He said they will be taking a reduction of 1 FTE and they will be taking reduction in Extra Help.  He said they will have 13 employees.  He noted that most Deeds and Records employees do Election Division work.  He indicated there are 125 temporary Extra Help employees during elections from two weeks before an election to two weeks after.  He said permanent employees act as their leads in terms of making sure the Extra Help employees are supported, know the regulations and that they are followed.  He said elections have become more complex because both political parties have pushed things in the legislature to make sure that elections run with integrity.  He said integrity is an important part of what they do.  He commented that the reductions will have an effect on the operations.  He said they upgraded the ballot counting system and they are in the process of installing a new sorter system that will speed up the process.  He indicated that they are currently down two people now in Deeds and Records due to illness and they  are already seeing the effect.  He said it is taking longer for response time in inquiries from the public.


Tony Black, Information Services, gave a presentation on Information Services.  (Copy in file).

With regard to the revenue increases for property assessment for Information Services to the four counties, Leiken asked if there was an intergovernmental agreement and a timeline or if it is a pilot in place.

Black responded that the service level agreements are in the hands of the four counties and as soon as they receive them back signed, they will process them.  He noted the work is to commence July 1.

Leiken thought this could be a great opportunity.  He thought if this works out that they could do the same with other eastern Oregon counties.  He approved of this as there could be future revenue enhancements.

Black said this is an enormous opportunity.  He said there was interest about E-government for the eastern Oregon counties.

Vloedman asked if Black’s customer service base had input into the types of services that are going to be provided.  He asked if they are going to rework a fee for service.

Black explained that the service catalog is based on what they are currently using.  He said it will be a living document that will change year by year based on demand.  He commented what is nice about a fee structure versus where they are today is that it gives each agency autonomy.  He said their regional budget is set up in a way where a single agency doesn’t have a  lot of latitude about making decision without affecting another agency.  He said they are trying to get away from that.

Vloedman thought this could let the customers drive the price lower.  He asked  where they are for a virtualization from a server base.  He asked how far they are into infrastructure.

Black responded that they are regionally at 50 percent and 60 percent in the County.  He said with the virtualization, not only were they able to make  better use of their existing hardware, it is the basis around the whole cloud technology theme.  He was hopeful that infrastructure costs will decline significantly in coming years.  He added there is also interest from the city of Eugene and from Lane County to provide space instead of buying hardware and that is where they are going.


Marsha Miller, Public Works,  gave a presentation on the Public Works Department.  (Copy in file).

Handy asked what the status was of the Vegetation Management Advisory Committee.  He asked if it was in the proposed budget.

Miller said they do not have a proposal in the budget  related to the VMAC Committee.  She said it was brought up at the Policies and Procedures Committee and it has been put on hold.  She said it is not scheduled for any reduction in this budget.  She thought there was some confusion by some of the members.


Wilde asked what they have to do by Tuesday.

Moody explained that the Budget Committee will approve a balanced budget, but any adjustments that will be made, or anything to add will have to come from some other place.  She indicated that they will actually set the tax rate so they can levy the permanent rate and there is no adjusting the rate.  She added that they also have the Juvenile Justice Center bond rate that has to be set.  She said she will bring the request from the Florence Events Center and the Lane Events Center to use some of the transient room tax they received for operations.  She indicated that there will be two technical adjustments:  IS will be combining into one fund, and in the Sheriff’s Office, they have to work with the road fund transfer going into the department.  She noted that Finance recommended that road fund be transferred into the special revenue fund, not into the general fund, where it is currently how the budget has been prepared.  She said they will do a spreadsheet and the committee will come up with items to discuss.  She noted that this year all of the numbers they are seeing are based on the assumptions the County Administrator made around changes in personnel.  She said if that assumption were to change, then the cost of everything else would change.

Handy  asked if they should set a deadline to submit budget ideas.

Moody said she could be called if someone has a budget ideal and it needed further analysis before Tuesday.

Hijmans asked what the process will be after the Budget  Committee makes a recommendation.  He noted the budget will go to the Board.  He asked what latitude the Board has to change what the Budget Committee will recommend.

Moody responded that the Board can’t change anything related to tax rates.  She said the amount per fund can be adjusted up to a ten percent increase on the entire fund, but they can’t go above that.  She added that they can decrease the fund by any amount.  She indicated the Budget Committee will approve a budget and she will prepare a financial summary  and format the Oregon Department of Revenue requires to be published as the approved budget.  She added after that the Board will adopt the budget.  She said they will ask the departments for any technical adjustments.  She noted June 22 is the date for the budget to be adopted.

Miller asked what happens if the negotiations don’t go well.  She said sees major issues.  She asked if they could make a list as to what they want to see presented if negotiations don’t go well.

Moody said it could be stated verbally and they could write it down.  She added that there is nothing in Budget Law that binds the Board.

Wilde  asked if they were willing as members to submit any issues to Moody.  She stated they should be given to Moody  by 12:00 noon on Monday.

Leiken said given today’s revenue forecast by the state (where this biennium they have to make up an additional $40 million), if that could have an affect on the revenue stream on the budget they are discussing.

Hays said the theory is that it will go to Humans Services and Public Safety.  She wasn’t sure how it will play out.  She added that they will still see big deficits in Human Services and Public Safety.

Leiken asked to explain the final phase down of the current SRS budget in place now.  He also wanted to know the next budget when it is not reauthorized  and the budget starts at zero.

Moody explained that the budget for 11/12 that will  be approved is the last one with the payment under the legislation.  She added that July 1, 2012, they will not be at zero because there will be some timber harvest, but it will be $1 million in the general fund and about the same in the road fund.

Leiken asked how much Lane County received through SRS from 2000 to 2006.

Moody responded that it was about $40 million in the road fund and general fund and the school  fund had some money to the local schools.

Leiken thought it was important for them to have the historical perspective and what they are up against.  He said with the next budget, they will have very little or almost none of the road fund money.

Wilde asked what the reductions would be with Option 2 in Public Health.  She asked where the $100,000 would come from.

Moody said  with Option 2, Health and Human Services has a reduction in Public Health and Mental Health for treatment  of acute services and detox sobering subcontracts that make up the Public Health function.  She said they can find out what makes up the total.  She noted they receive a transfer from the general fund.  She indicated that it is not sitting in the general fund.


The meeting was adjourned at 6:50 p.m.

Melissa Zimmer
Recording Secretary