JULY 6, 2011 Work Session/Goal Setting Minutes

July 6, 2011
12:30 p.m.
LCC Center for Meeting & Learning Room 220


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 Melissa Zimmer were also present.

Participants:  Jenn Inman, Madilyn Zike, Tom Turner, Marsha Miller, Alex Cuyler, Alex Gardner, Roland Hoskins, Amber Fossen, Judy Williams, Anette Spickard, Shari Higgins, Tony Black, Rick Reno, Alicia Hays, Rob Rockstroh and Stan Biles, Facilitator.  Matt Cooper was also in attendance.

Review of Progress

Biles recalled at the previous meeting the Board discussed factors they wanted to consider through small groups and identified key concepts that have been included in a vision and mission statement and key values they would like to keep in the forefront as the County moves from planning to a Strategic Plan.  He said since the last meeting, he looked at the concepts and prepared a draft vision and mission statement and a listing of the values he thought captured as many of the concepts that were easily understandable.  He said that result was shared with Richardson, Hays and Inman for their review and comment.  He noted what is in the packet material is the first draft of a vision, mission and values reflective of the past discussion.  He said for today’s agenda, he proposed the Board discuss, deliberate and decide on a vision, mission and values.  He added that once that is completed, it sets the framework for the foundation of the next step that gets to the core of the Strategic Plan, the development of objectives for goals.

Draft Lane County Vision 2016

"Lane County has become a prosperous community through wise stewardship of its human and natural resources.  It is a community that is ambitious in its hopes, creative in its leadership, and accountable for the health and welfare of its current and future generations of residents.”

Biles took the key concepts that came from the small groups and put them in a narrative context.  He noted that prosperity came out of two subgroups; stewardship (came from almost all the groups in one way or another) and a focus on human and natural resources.  He also captured community.  He noted that although the word ambitious wasn’t used, he sensed from the group’s discussion that there was an optimism and ambitiousness in the concepts that came forward.  He commented that it didn’t sound like an organization that was beat down by budget deliberations and they were just trying to hold on, but a desire to be ambitious and to continue to move forward.  He added that creativity was important in terms of leadership and vision.  He indicated that accountability came forward as well as the idea of health and welfare and intergenerational equity.  He said as decisions are made in the short term, to keep in mind the long term ramifications for future generations so future generations are not hurt by benefits given to the current generations and vice versa.  He captured the overwhelming majority of the concepts that were mentioned that came out of the small groups.  He indicated that this is the starting point.

Sorenson commented that with the first paragraph, that maybe for many Lane County has become a prosperous community, but for many it is not and that is why they have so many problems relating to poverty.  He wanted to know the factual evidence where they have a prosperous community.  He recalled in a meeting with the joint elected officials they found there was a lack of family wage jobs as a major problem for the Eugene and Springfield area. 

Biles explained that the vision is the end result of a condition they are trying to achieve at the end of the Strategic  Plan.  He said it is not intended to be a statement of where they are now, but where they want to be five years out.  He said in essence, this says where they are going.

Bozievich stated it didn’t read well for him as a future condition.  He said they are speaking in present tense as a future statement. 

Biles recommended adding clarification that it is a future condition.

Stewart asked if a prosperous community reflects the size of the County.  He asked what they do about other areas besides Eugene and Springfield, where there already seems to be a separation.  He asked if it could be captured to be more inclusive.

Biles thought it could be a concept that could have an accompanied narrative, including the County as a whole.

Leiken was comfortable with the way things are.

Stewart wanted to define what community was specific to Lane County.

Inman recommended Lane County Communities will prosper.  She said by putting in communities, it changes the concept of communities or a group of communities. 

Sorenson thought by changing the part of the sentence that deals with the community,( if they think about Lane County being made up of different communities that don’t think they have something in common with another community within Lane County) then the vision for what the County government does and purpose is altered.  He said they need to get people in the community to think of it as a community.  He said if they don’t it leads to a lack of responsibility.  He said the more they vulcanize it the more they consign them to a history of failure.

Reno said they want people to recognize they are a group of different types of people and different communities.  He thought they should state that Lane County will consist of many diverse communities collectively governing.

Stewart stated that one size doesn’t fit all.  He wants to capture the fact that there is a lot of diversity and they are recognizing that there are differences. He thought there should be a statement that states there are differences.

Bozievich said they still want the entire Lane County to be prosperous.  He thought they could put a comma after Lane County with a description of how diverse they are with another comma to finish the vision statement.  He thought the end goal should be everyone share in the prosperity of Lane County.  He added the vision statement is the end goal and it is where they want to be.

Cuyler  thought the vision would be that they would achieve prosperous communities.  He said “will achieve” will be clear they are working towards this.  He said they are all not the same but they are working on all communities being successful.

Biles said whatever vision statement, there will be goals, and specific strategies to achieve those goals.  He said the strategies come down to the greatest level of specificity.  He said the strategies are opportunities to identify some of the uniqueness of the County if they go in that direction by identifying different strategies for not only goals, but different parts of the County.  He thought there could be additional places where they could address the specificity in the diversity of the County.  He asked if the Board wanted to take the vision statement and all inclusive entire County approach or to insert language they could develop to be brought back to the Board that would speak to the broad vision and uniqueness of various communities within the County.

Leiken didn’t think they needed to wordsmith the vision statement.  He thought “will be” was okay.  He said it is the vision where they want to be.  He said the mission talks more about how to create a prosperous community by providing the collaborative leadership and inclusive decision making.   He said if there is a way to incorporate Lane County as a community that should be their goal.  He commented that one community with one strong voice makes an impact. 

Stewart wanted to put down a footnote to describe the community.  He wanted to  note various communities with the goal to support them to be as prosperous as possible by 2016.

Miller noted a mission and vision statement doesn’t include everything but it says human and natural resources.  She asked if they are missing public funds and infrastructure.

Biles  recalled on vision, it was more in the sense of a community as a whole as opposed to Lane County government.  He added the discussion of Lane County Government came up more in the mission, applying specifically to what is the County’s role to accomplish the vision for the entire community.   He characterized the decisions the Board is going to make as preliminary, not final.  He said these are pieces of a puzzle that are being put together.  He said this is a preliminary vision to be finalized when they have the entire draft plan in front of the Board.

The Vision 2016 statement is:  Lane County will be a prosperous community through wise stewardship of its human and natural resources.  It is a community that is ambitious in its hopes, creative in its leadership and accountable for the health and welfare of its current and future generation of residents.

There was consensus by the group for the vision statement.

Draft Mission of Lane County Government to Accomplish the Vision  2016

“Lane County Government will help to create a prosperous community by providing collaborative leadership, fair and inclusive decision-making, and excellent, sustainable service to the public.”

Biles indicated the mission is about Lane County government.  He asked what Lane County government would do to move this vision.  He said tying the prosperity issue back to County government, they focused on collaborative leadership that came up in several of the small groups; fairness, inclusiveness and decision making and the concept of service.  He added that is where they borrowed from the existing mission statement from the last Strategic Plan that was adopted.  He said it spoke to the service levels.  He commented that sustainable is a head nod  to the financial challenges facing the County within the next five years.

Bozievich thought under sustainable services, things can’t be sustainable if they are not paying attention to their fiscal resources and capital infrastructure and to try to maintain their roads before they get to the point of having to be rebuilt. 

Cuyler asked what the difference was between collaborative and integrated.  He noted that the County has a lot of different activities but in the future with financial stewardship, they need to take care of each other more.  He asked if integrated was more of a performance.

Leiken indicated that collaborative is the public view and integrated is the insiders’ view.   He liked the word collaborative because it was softer. 

Cuyler commented that this appears outwardly focused versus the public. 

Leiken thought it was for both.  He said it was good to have a Strategic Plan for the employees and it will be made available for the public.  He commented that it is the taxpayer’s book.

Fossen recommended putting a period after service.

Handy thought it should say to “our public” instead of “the public.”

Bozievich didn’t want “our” as it implies ownership.  He wanted to use a different word.  He also thought putting a period after service leaves it opens to be internal.

Rockstroh thought it should be sustainable public services.

Spickard said if this was the mission, she asked how she would use it for the day to day decision making that they are doing at the department level.  Is what they are doing contributing to this mission of the overall County.   She commented that decision making, leadership and sustainable service are the three things that make a prosperous community guide the rest of this in their day to day work.

Black thought it wasn’t clear who in the community they were doing this for.  He said it is more of a goal.  He wanted to have a statement on what they do and who they do it for.

Sorenson indicated that he liked Lane County’s old mission statement.

Biles thought there was comfort with what is in the mission statement.  He said it reflects more on services than a service to the public.

The Mission Statement 2016 is:  Lane County Government will work to create a prosperous community by providing collaborative leadership , fair and inclusive decision making and excellent sustainable local governmental services to our residents and guests.

There was consensus by the group for the mission statement.

Draft Values

Stewardship, Respect, Empathy, Integrity, Accountability, Public Engagement, Prevention, Transparency, Valued Employees, Responsiveness

Biles explained that these are values the Board would like to characterize for Lane County Government during the period of implementation of the Strategic Plan over the next five years.  He said they are factors the Board will keep in mind as they are developing the plan.  He indicated that these are what the Board thinks is important to the organization.  He stated they are descriptive terms and human feelings as they service the public, residents and guests.  He noted the values are:  stewardship, respect, empathy, integrity, accountability, public engagement, prevention, transparency, valued employees and responsiveness.  He said these were reflective of what they heard two weeks ago.

Bozievich thought valued employees was redundant.  He said they would be qualifying which employees they would be valuing.  He thought they should have employees and partners.

Handy asked if diversity needed to be called out as a value.  He wanted to focus on education.

Bozievich  was uncomfortable with diversity as a value because it is often used to treat people as a member of a group and not as  individuals, which may lead to unfair stereotyping and other issues.  He felt it was better to treat people as individuals with respect and empathy, which are already captured as values.

Sorenson suggested the value of improvement.  He wanted to add diversity as a value and something they should embrace.

Biles said they made a revision to the list of stewardship, respect, diversity, empathy, integrity, improvement, public engagement, prevention/education, open and accountable.

Leiken didn’t want to use transparency.  Richardson agreed.

Reno recalled in 2007 the Mission Statement for Lane County was similar.  He said as they talked about these individual values, almost all are included in the ones in 2007, with the difference being underneath each one, they explained it by a one or two sentence explanation. He  added that even diversity was covered in a different way.  He indicated it included everything that was in this group’s list, just worded differently.  He asked if there will be an opportunity to add a short sentence that adds to what they are saying.

Biles recommended that to the Board.  He indicated there will be accompanying narrative provision and an accompanying narrative for vision.  He added that the values also have an accompanying narrative.

Cuyler thought it seemed heavy.  He indicated there was nothing that speaks to being nimble or action oriented or having drive.  He wanted to see something that was more enthusiastic.

Reno said he has read plans in the past.  He read a mission where it was pursuance of excellence, committed to quality and excellence, innovation and calculated risk taking.  He found one that stated they were driven by their mission not by rules.  Fewer rules, less rigidity and less bureaucracy.  He thought it was something they should look at.  He indicated the list was self-explanatory containing ten items and it appears to cover everything they had up on the list.

Biles commented that pursuit of excellence gets to the point that Cuyler was discussing.  He said it is clear, aggressive and says something.  He asked if the group wanted to add that as a value.

Sorenson thought it was a good idea.  There was consensus from the group to add it.

Biles noted that open and accountable was still on the list.  He indicated do to that they deleted accountability and transparency and replaced it with open and accountable.

Biles announced the values are open and accountable, stewardship, pursuit of excellence, respect, diversity, empathy, integrity, public engagement, prevention and education (employees and partners) responsive and improvement.

Goal Setting

Biles explained that with goal setting it is where they get into the strategy and actual implementation of the plan to achieve their goals.  He asked the groups to ask what they want to achieve in the community, what best will get to the vision statement for the next five years. He said the assignment is to identify at least three goal subject areas; an area the group feels the County needs to establish a goal to be placed on the Strategic Plan and  commit to achieving some  time over the next five years to help achieve the approved vision statement.  He wanted them to put down the result they want to achieve.  He indicated that the answer to that question ends up what they will be proposing back to the full group.  He asked the Board to use the groups to throw out dreams, thoughts and ideas and what accomplishment goals they would like to see.  He asked the group members to do the same thing to see what they want accomplished in the next five years

Sorenson’s group’s said within their improved health goal, their subgoal was to lower the obesity rate.  Within their public safety goal to improve public safety,  and lower the crime victimization rate.  Within the improve the economy goal they had to decrease the homelessness rate and to increase the family wage job rate.

Spickard said their group’s first goal was around a healthy community and their focus under that subject area was to collaborate with public and private partners to achieve 100 percent access to health care.  Their second goal area around financial stability, talked about identifying sustainable revenue sources to meet the basic financial needs for the County.  She said their third goal area was around community health and public safety for overall community well being.  She indicated the focus was to have a balanced service delivery where they match community need for resources and any additional revenues.

Handy added weaving together sustainable resources to meet the needs for community health and public safety.

Stewart’s group noted under financial stability:  job creation, land management, including federal lands and underutilized County lands.  He added they have new revenue sources.  He noted under public safety, it was to stabilize the current services and improve them.  Under Public Works, it was for long term stabilization and under public service it was pursuit of excellence and service attitude.

Zike’s group noted under economic development:  job creation, the development of strategic partnerships; for public safety they talked about people being safe and feeling safe, as well as the level of safety in the community; for social services said by working on those things they would work toward eliminating the issues that are closely tied to unemployment and the lack of jobs and mental health issues and health care.

Hays’ group reported that under job creation, it is family wage jobs and what it means in the future.

Leiken added under economic development, Lane County being a destination.

Bozievich’s group put under business environment and economic development: avoiding placing impediments on economic development through their actions and looking to try to remove some of the barriers of the land use code in some areas and in other places making it easier to do business.  He said they also discussed to continue to work toward a sustainable timber harvest on public lands and measurements with the unemployment rate and per capita income; not just per capita income to increase, but to increase to the relative to the average per capita income in the state and nation.  He said under public safety they talked about how to have a public safety system that is not subject to the whims of the general fund and being more stable and how to get there. He noted one of the reasons they added a goal around trust is that they are going to have to have the trust of the citizens to get to the end goal of public safety to be stabilized.  He thought they may have to approve a major change on how to finance and deliver public safety.  He added for trust and communications, one of the things they talked about was having the Strategic Plan guide the communications saying what they do and doing what they say in that part of building trust.

Stewart indicated with regard to the public safety piece that if they are going to improve the services and ask for money, they are going need to acquire the trust of the citizens to step up for public safety.  He said for Public Works, if they are able to acquire Territorial Highway (looking at how they are going to pay for improvements) they could put together a mechanism to build trust with the citizens to have them step up and help pay for it.  He commented that trust is the key component  in the success in talking about how they are going to achieve some of the goals.

Sorenson thought the next project would be to go through the commonality of the subgoals and then they could look at this again.

Hoskins said they are looking currently at Lane County, what they do, inventorying the assets and start to define what those are relating to staff or the ability of service delivery, partnerships and organizations involved in the community and actual infrastructure that is underutilized.

Cuyler said because of trust and the usability of the plan, (in looking at the assets of the organization and trying to tell that story to build trust) that they have a centralized communication function. He said they decided it is an important function and it might need further review.

Next Steps

Biles stated that he was surprised with the commonality with the group.  He thought the group was holding constant with the patterns of similarities.  He said once they approve the plan, the more unified the organization is, the faster they will move to accomplish their goals.  He said he could make optional drafts to bring back to the Board for consideration.  He said the Board will have to go back and decide which path will work best for them that would give the Board what they need in the quickest time to make decisions on the goals.  He didn’t want to lose momentum.  He wanted to do this again within the next week to clarify the next steps.  He commented that if all goes well, he thought this plan could be completed within 60 days.

Adjourned at 4:15 p.m.

Melissa Zimmer
Recording Secretary