IN THE COUNTY COURT OF THE STATE OF OREGON IN AND FOR THE COUNTY OF GRANT
SEPTEMBER 17, 2014
Pursuant to notice made to the newspaper of general circulation throughout Grant County, the radio station, website and e-mail list, a regular meeting of the County Court was held at the County Courthouse in Canyon City OR.
9:00 am -- Call to Order. Present were Judge Scott W. Myers, Commissioners Boyd Britton and Chris B. Labhart, Secretary Mary Ferrioli, Billie Joe and Terry George and Pastor David Hoeffner. A Pledge of Allegiance was given to the United States flag. The invocation was given by Pastor Hoeffner.
CLAIMS. The court had approved claims and Extension District Warrant Nos. 213 & 214. The airport’s Bank of Eastern Oregon VISA claim was tagged for being past the due date.
AGENDA. MSP: Myers/Labhart -- to accept the agenda as presented
Labhart attended a City Hall Week meeting at the airport last Wednesday, drove the VA van to Boise last Thursday and attended a Blue Mountain Hospital board physicians meeting yesterday. Tomorrow he will drive the VA van to Boise then attend a hospital board meeting. Monday he plans to chair the Regional Community Advisory Council meeting in Burns and attend a Bovine Trich Control meeting at Keerins Hall. Next Tuesday he has a School Based Health Clinic meeting at the Health Department.
Britton met last week with the Community Counseling Solutions state Site Review Team, next Tuesday he will participate in a group meeting with the new Regional Forester in Portland, and this Monday he has a SEACT meeting scheduled in Burns. Britton planned to participate in the dedication ceremony for the new clock at Morrow County Courthouse on September 29. Britton reported that Dennis Reynolds and Jerry Franklin will be working together on the county’s 150th anniversary events.
9:05 am -- Steve Beverlin entered
Yesterday afternoon Myers attended the final meeting with the TO Engineers Project Manager for striping and close out of the runway rehabilitation project. Next Tuesday he will travel to Cottonwood Canyon State Park to attend a John Day River Core Team meeting to discuss new river access rules about to be adopted by the BLM. Thursday and Friday Myers will be out of the office to prepare for his daughter’s wedding this Saturday at Lake Creek Camp.
MINUTES. MSP: Labhart/Myers -- to approve the September 10 minutes as amended.
PUBLIC ACCESS ADVISORY BOARD. Malheur NF Deputy Supervisor Steve Beverlin reported there was a confrontation yesterday with a road guard inside the fire closure area (without an escort) involving a member of the Public Access Advisory Board that was concerning to him. Beverlin explained there is reason for the closure; and they are actively trying to get that opened up. It was noted that Beverlin would be meeting with two individuals of the Public Access Advisory Board this morning
ODVA CONFERENCE. Veteran Services Officer Bob Muenchausen had requested advance payment for five days motel and parking expense to attend the Annual ODVA Conference October 20 – 24 in Portland. The conference will be held at the Double Tree Hilton Hotel at Lloyd Center with an estimated cost of $1038.23 plus $20 per day self-parking for a total cost of $1,138.23. After the conference, the VSO would be requesting reimbursement for the cost of meals and mileage. MSP: Myers/Britton -- to approve advance payment of motel and parking expense for the Double Tree Hilton Hotel ODVA Conference in Portland October 20-24 as requested. It was noted that Muenchausen (who works part time) could adjust his hours by flexing out between now and December 25.
DA CONFERENCE. Victim Assistance Program Director Ashley McClay had requested allowing the Deputy District Attorney to attend the Oregon District Attorney Association’s basic training October 6 – 10 in Salem. Training costs are estimated as registration $100.00, lodging $475.00, meals $240.00, and mileage $240.00 for a total of $1,055.00. Budgeted VAWA Rural Grant funds have been authorized to be used for this training expense. MSP: Myers/ Labhart -- to authorize the Deputy DA’s attendance at the Oregon District Attorney Association’s basic training October 6 – 10 in Salem as presented.
INTERIM ROAD MASTER. The court considered the recommendation of labor counsel Tamara Jones (City-County Insurance Risk Management) and county counsel Ron Yockim to appoint the County Judge as Interim Road Master. Myers said the recommendations were received after he sought legal opinion on the appropriate process for making a return-to-work decision for a Road Department employee who is on medical leave. Myers requested that he be appointed Interim Road Master in the return-to-work matter, and all other road business which he has been handling on a daily basis since Sue Horn has been on medical leave.
Britton expressed his disagreement and concern with Myers’ appointment because all three court members have equal authority. Britton had reservations about the request and didn’t think it was needed. He questioned Myers’ qualification to be appointed, asked if he’s consulted Sue Horn about involving the Morrow County Judge or Public Works Director and also asked if he’s consulted Judge Tallman or Burke O’Brien about their willingness to assist with those duties. Myers noted that legal counsel informed him no special qualifications are needed to act as Road Master. Myers said that he intends that we use Mr. Tallman and / or Mr. O’Brien in whatever capacity they are comfortable with -- but not in this decision. Britton felt bringing the employee back to work was a simple matter of law. Britton took issue with Myers not keeping the court apprised about what’s going on at the Road Department, and medical implications.
Based on recommendations of both legal counsels and the statutes, Labhart agreed someone was needed to make the day-to-day decisions for the Road Department – without having to check with the court. Labhart felt things have been going well and did not want three court members micromanaging at the Road Department. He suggested that Ms. Horn be asked about her opinion on involving a Morrow County official. Myers indicated he is already aware that Ms. Horn has tremendous respect for Mr. O’Brien.
9:45 am – Kathy Smith entered
Myers pointed out that he has been making all of the day to day decisions at the department, except this personnel decision that needs to be made. Myers added that Personnel Manager Brenda Percy and the ODOT Designated Employee Representative Greg Bremner have also suggested he be appointed Interim Road Master so this back-to-work decision can be made tomorrow. Britton suggested that Myers ask Ms. Horn and Mr. O’Brien, and involve the entire court, about the back-to-work decision before it is made. Britton also mentioned that some possible disciplinary issues would need to be addressed by the court. Myers withdrew his request to be appointed Interim Road Master -- with an opportunity to review that suggestion again pending further clarification on the appropriate setting for the back-to-work situation.
SUPPLEMENTAL BUDGET HEARING. At 9:45 am the court opened a supplemental budget hearing on unanticipated airport fuel sales revenue. Treasurer Kathy Smith explained that the fire revenue was not budgeted this year (that revenue cushion has been $250,000.00 to $300,000.00). She added that, depending on fire activity, we may need another supplemental budget in the future. MSP: Labhart/ Myers -- to sign Resolution 14-33 Adopting Supplemental Budget for Airport Fund in the amount of $400,000.00 as presented.
WINDOW CLEANING SERVICES. Last month an Invitation to Bid for window cleaning services was issued to three local service providers. The sole bid from Hoffman’s Yes-We-Do Cleaning was opened and read as follows: $2,152.00 for the Courthouse, $273.00 for the Library, $239.00 for the L-Building and $321.00 for the Road Department for a total annual amount of $2,985.00. MSP: Myers/Labhart -- to accept the sole bid for window cleaning services received from Hoffman’s Yes-We-Do Cleaning at $2,985.00 for 2014–2015.
9:55 am – Dave Traylor entered
STATE & FEDERAL AGENCIES. Based on a previous recommendation of the Public Access Advisory Board, the court considered two letters to the Bureau of Land Management, US Forest Service, Oregon Dept of Fish & Wildlife and Oregon Department of State Lands. One letter requests that access to the South Fork Complex and Bald Sisters Fire areas be restored to pre-fire conditions once active fire suppression is terminated; the other requests information on all proposed seasonal and / or proposed permanent public access changes, modifications or closures since adoption of the county Ordinance. Each letter includes a copy of Ordinance 2013-01 and Resolution 14-27 Establishing the Public Access Advisory Board. Sheriff Glenn Palmer had already seen the letters and expressed interest in signing them.
Malheur NF Deputy Forest Supervisor Steve Beverlin, who was present, was asked by Labhart to review terminology used in the court’s letters and explain the conditions under which public access could be allowed. Discussion followed about different scenarios associated with closures and controlled fire conditions. Beverlin expressed appreciation for defining an effective date related to the court’s request for information. MSP: Myers/Labhart -- to circulate the court’s two letters for signature and then to Sheriff Palmer upon his arrival.
BALLISTIC VEST REIMBURSEMENT. Sheriff Glenn Palmer was represented by Treasurer Kathy Smith in his request for a Contingency transfer to purchase additional ballistic vests with reimbursement through the Ballistic Vest Grant. Palmer previously indicated that $5,000.00 in Capital Outlay to purchase 8 vests was provided in the budget process, but 11 vests are actually needed. A quote had been provided from TCS Uniform & Apparel for 11 vests totaling $9,449.00. Smith was asked to check and see if these new purchases are all new vests, or possibly replacements for existing vests. MSP: Labhart/Myers -- to authorize a Contingency Transfer of $4,500.00 to Capital Outlay to purchase 11 ballistic vests as requested by Sheriff Palmer.
RURAL HOSPITAL CONFERENCE. Commissioner Labhart’s request to attend the Oregon Rural Hospital Conference October 6 – 10 in Sunriver was continued from last week. Today, Labhart explained that after visiting with Blue Mountain Hospital and GOBHI he will be withdrawing his county financial request.
FIREWOOD PERMITS. Public Forest Commissioner Dave Traylor had asked to talk about the Forest Service’s lack of response to the county’s letter requesting a public meeting to address the firewood permit system. At the court’s September 18, 2013 meeting Traylor had asked the county to send the letter to request that a public meeting be scheduled. Malheur NF Deputy Supervisor Steve Beverlin was present today.
Traylor said clarifications and communications in the process were now being worked out with the Forest Supervisor about the types of vehicles and loading methods that can legally be used to obtain personal fire wood. Labhart and Traylor talked about various equipment options and methods available to load wood into personal transport vehicles. Traylor said he was pleased to have these issues addressed and to be working toward achieving consensus. He did not anticipate any further concerns. Court members supported the progress that’s been made on this project and hopes to see details on the program once they are worked out in the future.
PUBLIC COMMENT. During the opportunity for public comment Billie Jo George spoke with Malheur NF Deputy Forest Supervisor Steve Beverlin. She asked for an explanation of the restrictions placed on access to the forest for cutting firewood. Also, in response to Labhart’s inquiry, Beverlin explained the Forest Service’s process for recruiting and hiring a new Forest Supervisor for the Malheur. General discussion followed about the cooperative attitude of Forest Service employees, work being done by the collaborative groups, and activities of local citizens that’s been seen with regard to various projects.
10:55 am -- Adjourned
Mary R. Ferrioli
County Court Secretary
To access Court Agendas and Minutes go to the Commissioners page at the Grant County website www.gcoregonlive2.com.