JUNE 21, 2011 Minutes


June 21, 2011
8:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon
LCC Center for Meeting & Learning Room 220

APPROVED 7/6/2011

Commissioner Faye Stewart presided with Commissioners Jay Bozievich, Rob Handy, Sid Leiken and Pete Sorenson present.  County Administrator Liane Richardson, County Counsel Stephen Vorhes and Recording Secretary were also present.

Participants:  Alicia Hays, Tom Turner, Jennifer Inman, Amber Fossen, Madilyn Zike, Roland Haskins, Howard Schussler, Tony Black, Christine Moody, Shari Higgins, Judy Williams, David Suchart, Rob Rockstroh Chuck Forster, Rick Reno, Mike Barnhart, Anette Spickard, Alex Gardner  and Stan Biles, Facilitator.  Matt Cooper was also in attendance.

Outline of the Strategic Planning Process

Biles explained the outline of the Strategic Planning Process.  He had the group break out into five subgroups including the Board of Commissioners.  He asked for each group to come up with at least two factors the Board of Commissioners should consider as they move through the Strategic Planning process.  He said by factor he meant trends, data, statutes, laws, traditions, public expectations, etc.

Identification of Key Factors to Consider During the Process

Sorenson’s group came up with a socio economic factor.  They thought within the economic part of socio economics are things like money, financial, unemployment rate, how poor people are and underemployment.  With the socio part, it would be changing age demographics of the community and the number of young people relative to the overall population.

Bozievich’s group came up with economics.  He said from all levels from the macro level at the federal budget and debt to the micro level of some of their emerging clusters in Lane County’s economy like bicycling or agrotourism.  He added that they also talked about governance and all layers of governance and the trends today toward having mandates up to the largest level of government, but the requirement to provide the service to the lowest level and how it steers Lane County.  They also talked about technology as a factor and how changing technology not only affects how people work in Lane County but how they will provide services to citizens in Lane County.  They talked about the changing demographics in Lane County’s growing diversity and the growing Latino community.  They talked about heritage and the different values of the community in Lane County and factoring that in.  They talked about trust or lack of trust between the citizens and the government and trying to build on respect the citizens have for the organization.  They talked about different organizations and how they are seen in the community about trust.  They talked about listening to the citizens as a factor of meaningful participation.  He said they discussed partnerships and collaboration, whether working with state government on community corrections to working with their internal subgovernments like HACSA to working with their various cities incorporated in Lane County.  They also talked about employee engagement.

Stewart reported with his group they talked about the economic reality and expectations.  He believed it rolls into the fiscal reality of budgets to the public expectation.  He said there is a disconnect between expectations and reality.  He said they also discussed communication, meaning building trust and the complexities they are dealing with and dealing with a work force with a lack of faith.   They talked about action.  He said they can talk about something but they need closure on what they discuss. He said there was a discussion on being opportunistic and flexible.

Leiken’s group talked about trends and surveyed results that Jennifer Inman brought in front of the Board and where the citizens are.  He said they discussed being disciplined and focused on what they want to do.  They discussed areas they do well that no one else can do.  He said they discussed mandated services and whether they should do them and focusing on doing them well.  He said if something is not accomplishing what the role of County government is trying to focus in on, then why they are wasting time in engaging in it.  He said they know what their mandates are and what their goal is and that should be the focus on what they are trying to accomplish.

Gardner said they shouldn’t make enemies where they don’t have to.  He said if they are weighing in on what the federal government does, (whether or not they have a position) since they have no influence, that maybe they didn’t need to have an opinion. He said they should fix what is in front of them because that is their job.

Zike heard common themes. She indicated they discussed the community values they have in Lane County with urban, rural and changing demographics.  They discussed the survey that was done.  She talked about aligning community values with County values and making sure they were doing that in what they were providing to the community.  They talked about staff morale and having a more positive attitude about the work they do and the accomplishments and talking about what they do well.  They talked about public service being a calling. They discussed the diminishing work force and some of the impacts and the morale.  She indicated they tied it back to the economic condition.  They talked about being pro active on issues and being more upstream of the issues so they can address things before they become a problem.  They discussed evaluating the changing conditions while addressing consequences of those conditions and that would be a challenge.  She said they discussed issues relating to the work force.  They also talked about succession planning and how it remains a challenge for all employers.  She said recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce and being able to complete for the best and brightest in the work force would be a challenge moving forward if they don’t work on the piece about identifying people in the public service community.

Fossen said they have reasons to be proud of what they do but sometimes they are not their own best advocates within the workforce.

Biles explained the factors from the group were: socio economics, financial, employment, changing age demographics, ration of young people to total population, economics: macro and local, federal debt, local economic clusters, the good, the bad and the ugly. For governance:  mandates, not a lot of money.  Technology:  changes and improvements and how it could affect over the life of a Strategic Plan how to provide services as well as the costs of the services.  The need to be focused on what the County does well and those things that others do not do.  Don’t make unnecessary enemies.  Differing community values in Lane County.  Increasing diversity, align community values with County action.  Employee engagement, needing to build trust with employees.  The economic reality, the disconnect with public expectations from what can currently be afforded.  Communication:  to build trust, current lack of faith between many citizens and their government.  Actions, decisions and issues need to be closed.  Be opportunistic, increased social diversity, differing values in the community.  Trust for government from citizens has declined, need to listen to citizens, need to involve the citizens and need to work collaboratively with other government organizations.  Employee morale-focus on accomplishments, success stories, that morale may be impacted by the economy, federal and local.  County needs to be proactive, upstream on issues.  Evaluate changing conditions and address their consequences. A variety of workforce issues.  Succession planning, recruiting and retaining a good work force, hire and retain the best and the brightest and instilling a sense of pride in the workforce in the broadest sense of Lane County government.

Bozievich’s group mentioned individual rights and liberties and equal protection under the law.  He believed they are talking about making people successful and government being effective.    He commented when people’s rights are respected, they are most successful.  He also noted that when there are changing demographics for Lane County to make sure that everyone is provided for equally.

Handy thought a subset of evaluating changing conditions will address consequences.

Sorenson’s concern was if they don’t identify one or two of the most important factors and don’t monitor them, they will end up having a bad plan.  He thought they should zero in on one or two factors and then become aware of what the factors are.  He thought the inability of the community to provide family wage number of jobs or the fear of underemployment was the most important factors.

Stewart said to him it is about citizen support and satisfaction.  He said this is a lot like a business.  He commented that whether they like it or not, people contribute money and they have a disconnect on whether they support services the County provides. He commented that they become ineffective and incapable of keeping the organization alive.

Factors: economics, demographics, diversity of communities/values, technology, governance/mandates, employees, public trust, citizen satisfaction.

How:  opportunistic, focused-actions/closure; change conditions while addressing consequences, pride, collaboration, individual rights/liberties, equal protection

Biles asked out of all the information, which ideas resonated the best.

Sorenson said diversity of communities and values and demographics.  He commented that the diversity of the community is part of an overall understanding of the demography of the community.  He thought technology was a function of economics and will affect the economics of the overall community.

Bozievich wanted economics of the community with prosperity. He noted the second is public trust and citizen satisfaction.  He said the third part is employees.  He indicated that the employees help the public trust.

Stewart said his number one was public trust and citizen satisfaction, He said the second is employees.  He said from a business sense that if they don’t have those at the top and keep them focused, they lose track of who is supporting them and who is doing the services.  He added that he could also see economics and diversity.

Handy wanted to focus on the diversity of communities and values.  He believed the government’s role is to address the public’s welfare and to help the most vulnerable in the community and the demographics of the diversity of the communities helps keep them focused.  He said it is important to look at the economics as it could address a lot of things including the role of government.  He commented that when they look at the how, they are missing a piece and a part might be revenue.  He said they want to live within their means but at the same time revenue generation is something they need to work on within the organization and the community.

Leiken thought employees and public trust were important.  He said they need to be a team and without a team atmosphere they are not going to accomplish much with economics and diversity of communities.  He commented that when they look at their role as Lane County, it is a team atmosphere between the elected and the directors.  He added that the line employees are the most important because they are the first point of contact the citizens see.  He said they need to work toward common goals.

Biles asked if anything should be taken out.

Handy wanted to take out technology.

Stewart thought technology was  important to keep because technology is impacting their citizens’ lives.

Bozievich commented that it wasn’t just the internal technology, it was about the external impacts of technology like changing demographics is changing their community, and technology is changing the community and the economy.  He thought it could be a subcategory of economics and not rising to the importance of being listed separately. He said they haven’t mentioned safety and security for the citizens and the environment.  He saw them as part of citizen satisfaction.

Sorenson noted there is a tension of planning a Strategic Plan for a limited period of time for Lane County as opposed to Lane County Government.  He thought some things are clearly oriented to County government like governance and mandates or employees and some people think it is a Lane County Government Strategic Plan, as opposed to the demographics of the County including the diversity of the County, the values of people in the County, and the citizens’ satisfaction with the County.  He said he sees a quality of life component in economics, not just a matter of if they have family wage jobs for a small group of people, but do they have a community that is prospering and enjoying life and is having a broader quality of life.  He indicated that natural environment is a part of that.  He viewed factors that could be quantified as helping them for a Strategic Plan for the County.

Stewart said environment and quality of life to him is diversity of community but it didn’t  mean it couldn’t be called out as in individual item.  He said he wouldn’t mind it being called out as an individual item, but when he looks at diversity of values, each community has different values.

Handy said they could use a lot of words that have different meanings to different people.  He agreed that technology should remain at some level and others could be grouped.  He agreed they need to have something around environment and sustainability/ quality of life and where it would fit.  He said as a government there needs to be short term planning and long term planning and where those meet.

Leiken said they want a broad nature in a Strategic Plan, not getting to absolute specifics.  He was okay with technology under economics because it makes more sense.  He added that anytime they have a Strategic Plan in the 21st Century, technology will enter into it because of the changing dynamics.  He said the Strategic Plan is not about Lane County as a whole, it is about Lane County internally, and that each of the employees have a plan to look at. He added that Goal Setting becomes more external, asking what the citizens want.

Biles thought they had enough ideas for them to move forward.  He said these are the factors the Board will consider and each commissioner will add something individually and prioritize them.  He said this is a sharing of the factors.  He said there is general agreement to have technology as a subcomponent of Economics. 

Sorenson had a concern about some of the factors.  He said part of the reason for his advocacy for economics and demographics as factors was because he is looking for a way to quantify those things and accountability as part of the process.  He said they have no way of measuring or reporting on what the factors are and the trends.  He said the idea is to define factors that will push them for a level of accountability.

Vision, Mission and Values

Biles thought the break out groups worked well.  He wanted the groups to reconvene to come up with one concept to be incorporated into a vision statement.  He explained that a vision statement is a general description of where they want to be at the end of the Strategic Planning process.  It is where they want to take Lane County Government over the next five years.  He said it should be a word or phrase.  For the mission statement:  one concept they should be in the mission statement.  He said a mission statement is the role they would carve out for Lane County Government in order to achieve the vision.  He said it could be one of leadership, collaboration, facilitation and coordination or deferring and following or a role of terminating or all of the
above.  He asked what role they are carving out to achieve that vision.  What is the mission of Lane County Government for the next five years.  He wanted two values.  He explained that a value is a one word statement that should be clear and precise to anyone who is not in the room who would read it in the Strategic Plan.

Vision Concept Nominees

Stewart: improve/enrich quality of life.

Bozievich: prosperity.

Leiken: stewardship, leadership, keeps vision moving forward.

Spickard: taking responsibility for the county, services and decision making.

Leiken added accountability, responsibility.

Richardson: looking toward next generation.

Gardner: don’t saddle the next generation with problems they couldn’t manage.

Black: nice place to live, and work, quality of life, prosperous

Hays:  Lane County where you choose to live.

Biles commented that all five groups were close to the target with their vision.  He said he can work with staff with a narrative that will be close.

Mission Concepts

Bozievich: service oriented

Leiken: extraordinary customer service

Sorenson:  use public to incorporate as some people are providing service but some people don’t want that service and they are also paying for service and they are providing services to the public at large.  He opted against using customer.

Black: came back with the current mission statement with a couple of modifications: to change out “to provide high quality” and replace with excellent and sustainable local government services.

Stewart:  responsive, adoptable and accountable leadership

Zike: collaborative, leadership and inclusive customer services.

Biles reiterated:  leadership, high quality service and customer, public, citizen service focus.   He heard take current plan and delete high quality and replace it with excellent and sustainable local government services, responsive, adaptable accountable leadership, collaborative leadership and inclusive customer service.  He commented that this was the type of language he would expect from an organization that has money coming in and hiring new people.  He added that it doesn’t sound like an organization that is suffering major financial loses and possibly cutting services.  He commented that it sounds like an organization that wants to rock and roll.

Haskins stated that people love being in this organization.  He said there are so many people with the organization that are talented and could go to the private sector, but they choose to stay and serve and they love it.

Sorenson said concepts of excellence in providing phenomenal public service.  He said they are aware of people doing this kind of public service as well as being aware of all the obstacles, but by putting in inspirational language, they are more likely to achieve it.  He said it is more aspiration than in the current vision statement.

Biles asked if any of the Board members had discomfort with these.  He said he can prepare a draft mission and vision statement and be inclusive of the ideas.

Bozievich said a couple of groups like the current mission statement, but for him, it is too long.  He thought the shorter the better.  He indicated that the vision is where they are going to go and the mission is how they are going to get there.


Bozievich group:  stewardship; respect and empathy (for example in with communications)

Leiken group:  integrity, accountability

Black’s group said they had stewardship.  He said they looked at the guiding principles and accountability.  He said instead of customers, to talk about the public focus.

Zike’s group had stewardship and prevention.

Sorenson asked about the current list that includes stewardship.  He asked if there were too many values.

Biles thought if they have too many, they have none.

Leiken thought the public focus was being responsive to the public.

Stewart said the citizens appreciate being heard.

Handy wanted to capture the things they did as a group for their review later.

Hays said they have been responsive to the public.

Bozievich thought they should change public focus to public engagement.  He said one value they don’t have is accessibility.  He said it covers inclusiveness

Biles reviewed stewardship, respect and empathy, responsive to the public, integrity, accountability, public engagement, prevention, listening, hearing, inclusive, accessibility.

Black mentioned transparency and open communication in current guiding principles.  Evaluating internal staff, value employees.

Bozievich said when they looked at values that stewardship was one but with all of the discussion of the importance of employees they tried to find one that would capture that and “respect and empathy” was the value they thought worked both internally for employees and externally for citizens.

Handy thought it could be public engagement/education.

Next Steps

Biles indicated that he will write this up and bring it back as a draft and the next meeting for final decision.  He asked the group if anyone wanted to eliminate anything.

Stewart thought it should be public education and public engagement and separating them.  He thought they were two different things.

Bozievich recommended eliminating listening and hearing because it is a part of public engagement.

Sorenson thought they are seeing stewardship rise to a higher level.  He wanted to focus on the public one.

Biles said the next step will be a rough draft he will bring to the next meeting to approve and then move it into Goal Setting.  The next meeting is on July 6 at 12:30 p.m.

Adjourned at 11:35 p.m.

Melissa Zimmer
Recording Secretary