Grant County Court minutes from Feb. 21, 2018:
Pursuant to notice made to the newspaper of general circulation throughout Grant County, the radio station, county website, and e-mail distribution list, a regular meeting of the County Court was held at the County Courthouse in Canyon City, OR.
EXECUTIVE SESSION. 8:14 am - The court members met in executive session pursuant to ORS 192.660(2)(h) to consult with your attorney regarding your legal rights and duties in regard to litigation or litigation that is more likely than not to be filed. Present were Judge Myers, Commissioner Britton, Commissioner Hamsher and County Counsel Ron Yockim via telephone. Judge Myers recited the State Attorney General’s Sample Script to Announce the Start of Executive Session. The court left executive session at 9:15 am and entered regular session. Judge Myers announced at 9:28 am that no motions would be made after executive session.
9:24 am -- Call to Order. Present were Judge Scott W. Myers, Commissioners Jim Hamsher and Boyd Britton, Administrative Assistant Laurie Wright, Katy Nelson, Jim Spell, Reporter Rick Hanners, Judy Kerr, Billie Jo George, Rick Minster, Jim Sproul, Sam Palmer, Mindy Winegar, Reporter Logan Bagett, Judy Schuette, and Pastor Levi Manitsas. A Pledge of Allegiance was given to the United States Flag. The invocation was given by Pastor Manitsas.
CLAIMS. The court had reviewed and approved claims and extension district warrant #114.
AGENDA. MSP: Myers/Britton -- to accept the agenda as presented with the addition of Resolution 18-01.
FAIRGROUNDS. Fair Manager Mindy Winegar requested court permission to change the job description for the Groundskeeper to include some clerical duties that he is currently performing. The additions were taken from the Fair Secretary job description and both positions are in the same rating category so no changes in wage are necessary. Winegar would also recommend this position be a 40 hour a week position year round. The new description more accurately describes the duties being performed by the current employee. Winegar would also like to change the Fair Secretary title to Fair & RV Assistant and hire for this position as a three month seasonal position instead of the current six month seasonal. She would also like to change this position to a grade O-2 which would pay $16.10 per hour and more accurately reflect the duties needed. Winegar feels that three months is enough time for the help she needs during the summer months. The Fair Board is in support of these changes. MSP: Myers/Hamsher -- to adopt the revised job description of Fairgrounds & RV Park Maintenance and Office Support and change this to a full time position and to approve the title change of the secretarial position to Fair & RV Assistant and change this to a three month seasonal position.
LED LIGHTING UPGRADE – JAIL. The court reviewed a contract with North River Electric to provide the LED lighting upgrade previously approved for the Jail. The estimated starting date for the work is February 26th with a completion date of March 2nd, 2018. MSP: Myers/Hamsher -- to approve the contract with North River Electric and authorize Judge Myers to sign.
COMMERCIAL PROPERTY LEASE. The court reviewed a Commercial Property Lease with Umatilla-Morrow Head Start CCR&R to continue to lease Suite 6 at the L-Building. The lease terms are for monthly rent of $215 per month and will expire on June 30, 2019. MSP: Myers/Britton -- to approve the lease with Umatilla-Morrow Head Start and circulate for signatures.
SENIORS PROGRAMS RELIEF HELP. Senior Programs Manager Veanne Weddle presented a written request to the court for temporary relief help. Weddle was notified by the Department of Human Services of the need to removed inactive consumers from the Oregon ACCESS program. ACCESS is a computer system the Dept. of Human Services, Adult and Disabled Persons and Older American Services (Oregon Project Independence, Home Delivered Meals and case management services) use to provide services to clients. All inactive consumers must be removed by August 31, 2018. Weddle explained all of her different duties and advised she feels a little overwhelmed at times with the amount of work and is concerned she will not be able to complete the list by the deadline. She requested permission to utilize a current part-time county employee to assist her with clearing the list. She estimates it will take approximately 20 hours to do so. The employee has agreed to assist her with this and has been cleared by DHS to work in the ACCESS program and currently makes $16.10 per hour and the amount of assistance Weddle is requesting would not change her employee status or benefit eligibility. Weddle estimated the cost for the assistance at $325 and it would be need to be paid from the general fund relief help line because Weddle does not have relief help in her budget. MSP: Hamsher/Myers -- to approve temporary relief help to Weddle to be paid from the general fund relief help line and to approve additional time if 20 hours is not enough.
RESOLUTION 18-01. Treasurer Julie Ellison presented Resolution 18-01 to the court for approval. This resolution was necessary to move funds ($5370) from non-departmental contingency to juvenile department detention expense. The transfer of funds was necessary due to unanticipated juvenile detention for serious crimes. MSP: Myers/Hamsher -- to approve Resolution 18-01 and circulate for signatures.
9:41 am The court took a short break. 9:45 am The court returned to session
9:45 am Julie Ellison entered.
COLA INCREASE FY18-19. Treasurer Julie Ellison presented the proposed cost of living increase (COLA) for county employees to the court for approval to submit to the budget committee. The CPI index for 2017 came in at 2.13% and the union contract with the patrol officers requires the county to increase wages based on this index and the county has historically increased salaries across the board when a union contract requires this. Myers said this is done to keep everyone’s salaries in line. MSP: Myers/Hamsher -- to approve presentation of the COLA increase of 2.13% to the budget committee.
VETERAN SERVICES. Veteran Services Officer Kathleen Hoffman requested court approval to attend the Women Veterans Conference in Sunriver, OR in April. Hoffman advised this conference addresses the needs and issues of women veterans and believes by attending she will learn other ways to outreach and advocate for women veterans. The costs incurred will be $280.16 plus tax for the hotel and mileage of approximately 334 miles at .45 per mile. Hoffman’s budget has enough funding for this expenditure. MSP: Hamsher/Britton -- to approve of Hoffman’s attendance at the conference. Hamsher commended Hoffman for her good work and said he has received numerous compliments from veterans for the work she has done for them. Britton thanked her for her service and good work as well.
9:55 am The court took a short break. 9:58 am Sharon Livingston entered.
10:03 am The court returned to session
NATURAL RESOURCES. Private Citizen Sharon Livingston expressed concerns to the court regarding natural resource issues in Grant County. Livingston doesn’t believe the county is remaining current with regard to issues facing our natural resources. Livingston’s property in Long Creek borders property owned by the Forest Service and State of Oregon and she said they are not the best neighbors. She explained the organizations she is involved with and the advocating she has done for agriculture. Livingston expressed her belief that cattle need to graze the land and timber needs to be harvested in order to prevent catastrophic wild fires. Livingston does the best she can with her property and stated she has lived here and sees what has been happening with agriculture throughout the years. She said at meetings she attends there are numerous agencies represented that are not addressing what is best for agriculture and natural resources. Livingston said Commissioner Hamsher did attend a meeting she invited him to and she really appreciated that. She added the citizens of the county need representatives at these meetings to represent them. Livingston is grateful for the President we currently have, but is very concerned that the State of Oregon is suing the government to reinstate WOTUS (Waters of the US). She said we are fortunate to have Senator Bentz because he knows water issues and supports citizens on this side of the state. Livingston discussed the need to defend ourselves and advocate for our natural resources. She gave an example of the work completed on Camp Creek by the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife and in her opinion they ruined this stream. Livingston said the County Court members as elected officials have the power to advocate for the citizens of Grant County. She is concerned that the court members aren’t attending meetings regarding water issues. Livingston’s position is that the County Court needs a Natural Resource Advisor with the talent and education and expertise to write documents and represent our citizens. She said every other organization has someone who can write documents for them and attend legislative meetings in Salem. Livingston showed a photograph of the Long Creek volleyball team she coached in 1965 that had 19 players and added the entire Long Creek School doesn’t have 19 kids in it now. Our population keeps declining and businesses keep closing and she said something needs to change. Livingston said the people own the national forest and state lands, not the Forest Service or State of Oregon, they are just supposed to manage it. Livingston encouraged everyone in attendance to read The Declaration of Independence and said it is the best written essay she has ever read. She reiterated she wants a Natural Resource Advisor who answers to the court, is educated in natural resources, can write documents and apply for federal funds. Livingston said we must stand up for Grant County.
10:38 am Josh Wolf entered.
JAIL. Corrections Manager Josh Wolf presented several requests to the court for equipment.
Computer Hard Drives: Wolf reported that they need more computer storage space for backing up files, body camera footage and jail camera footage. He spoke with ESD and they recommended two 12 terabyte hard drives at a cost of $734.15 each. These drives should provide ample storage for several years. Wolf provided two other quotes: Buffalo TeraStation (1,129.99) and Seagate Business (1,593.00). Wolf recommended purchasing the hard drives through ESD for a total of $1,470.30 to be paid from the Sheriff’s Dept. capital outlay.
Exterior Security Cameras: Wolf said they have been experiencing problems with some of the exterior cameras around the corrections building. The replacement cameras would have better night viewing and four pan tilt cameras and would allow the staff in the control room to adjust the angles of the cameras from inside. The replaced cameras would be repurposed and used inside the facility. He also requested a new DVR to replace the current one in case it malfunctions. The cost of the items would be: Cameras ($605.20); Pan tilt (1,424.00); and DVR and 1 tb hard drive ($461.00). He did not obtain three quotes because the quotes he obtained were from 2mcctv where the current camera system was purchased and purchasing from them would guarantee the new cameras would be compatible with the current system. The total request is $2,641.57 and would be paid from the Sheriff’s Dept. capital outlay. Wolf will also be discussing the possibility of getting these cameras through the court security fund and will discuss this at the next meeting.
Radio Microphones: The corrections staff radios need new microphones and ear pieces. Wolf said they have used cheap ones in the past that don’t last, need to be replaced often and have trouble with reception. He recommended purchasing new microphones and ear pieces of better quality for the 8 radios in corrections. The total cost for these would be $1,112.80 and would be paid from the Sheriff’s Dept. capital outlay. Wolf provided the following quotes: Microphones: Platinum Series Heavy Duty microphone ($74.80 ea.); Powerwerk microphone ($39.99 ea.); Public Safety Grade microphone ($79.94 ea.); and Kenwood microphone ($25.00 ea.); Earphones: Single Pin ($41.80 ea.); Pryme Surveillance ($25.60 ea.); Tactical Eargadgets ($35.95 ea.); Earphone Connection ($62.36 ea.); Audio Tubes: Clear Acoustic ($7.50 ea.); Air Tube ($12.99 ea.); Impact ($16.00 ea.); and Earphone Connection ($7.23 ea.). MSP: Hamsher/Myers -- to approve the purchase of the hard drives through ESD in the amount of $1,470.30, to approve the request for cameras, pan tilt & DVR in the amount of $2,641.57, and to approve the radio microphones, earphones and audio tubes in the amount of $1,112,80 to be paid from the Sheriff’s Department budget capital outlay.
Dishwasher: Wolf advised he has been researching purchasing a dishwasher for the jail for next year’s budget. He came across a lease option through Sysco’s partner company Ecolab where the jail could lease a dishwasher that washes, sanitizes and uses about one gallon of water per cycle for $94.95 per month. The lease would be for one year and requires a minimum of $100 per month in chemical purchase, but would be serviced and repaired as needed by Ecolab. To purchase a new machine would cost around $3,500. Wolf said the jail was originally equipped with a dishwasher but it must have broken down and was never replaced. They currently use a three sink method to wash dishes that uses hundreds of gallons of water per day and must be monitored closely or dishes could become unsanitary. Wolf provided an agreement to be signed for the dishwasher lease pending court approval.
MSP: Myers/Hamsher – to enter into a one year lease with Ecolab for the dishwasher and authorize Judge Myers to sign.
ANNOUNCEMENTS. Judge Myers reported he and the commissioners have attended several memorials for friends and co-workers since the last meeting. He has a meeting tomorrow with the 911 Task Force at the John Day Fire Hall at noon.
Commissioner Hamsher has also attended several memorial services since the last meeting.
Commissioner Britton also attended a memorial service last Saturday. Britton has been meeting with Commissioner Owens from Harney County and they are putting a letter together for Eastern Oregon Counties to sign and send to the Forest Service regarding grazing allotments.
MINUTES. MSP: Hamsher/Myers -- to approve the February 14th minutes as amended.
PUBLIC COMMENT. Jim Sproul said the Natural Resource Consultant job is something that has been needed for a long time especially with the upcoming Forest Plan. Sproul said there are numerous items in the plan that need to be addressed. Myers asked Sproul to show him the changes because the court has standing to comment. Sam Palmer thanked Sharon Livingston for speaking from the heart here today and urged everyone to read the constitution for themselves and not let anyone pervert what it says.
10:57 am – Adjourned.
**** Please note the court minutes are a summary of the court proceedings. An audio recording of each court session is available, after approval of the minutes, by contacting Laurie Wright at 541-575-0059 or email@example.com ****