Grant County Court minutes from March 14, 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.
9:00 am -- Call to Order. Present were Judge Scott W. Myers, Commissioners Jim Hamsher and Boyd Britton, Administrative Assistant Laurie Wright, Katy Nelson, Dennis Bradley, Scott Nebeker, Rick Minster, Chris Labhart, Gordon Larson, Judy Schuette, Sharon Livingston, Austene Hendrix, Vicki Thompson, Sam Palmer, Jim Sproul, Judy Kerr, Billie Jo George, Reporter Rick Hanners and Pastor Mark Majors. A Pledge of Allegiance was given to the United States Flag. The invocation was given by Pastor Majors.
CLAIMS. The court had reviewed and approved claims and extension district warrants #115-129. Commissioner Britton declared a conflict on a Road Department claim to Boyd Britton Welding.
AGENDA. MSP: Myers/Hamsher -- to accept the agenda as presented.
ANNOUNCEMENTS. Judge Myers performed a wedding on February 24th and on March 1st attended a GEODC regional meeting about how things went during the eclipse. On March 2nd Myers went to a 911 meeting and on March 6th met with Terry Casey from the Road Union. He and the other court members heard a Planning Hearing on March 7th and attended a Budget meeting on March 8th. Myers traveled to Arlington on Friday the 9th for an annual GEODC luncheon meeting. Last Monday Myers attended the Airport Commission meeting and then on Tuesday went to a substance abuse meeting at Blue Mountain Hospital. Myers will meet with Scott Fairley of Business Oregon this evening and on March 15th will chair an Emergency Food & Shelter Committee meeting and Mental Health Advisory meeting. On March 19th he will attend a budget meeting and Continuity of Operation meeting and on the 20th will attend another budget meeting and 911 User Board meeting at the John Day Fire Hall.
9:06 am Steve Beverlin and Deb Roy entered.
Commissioner Britton attended the first budget committee meeting on March 8th. He has been speaking with Mark Owens, Harney County Commissioner, about meetings Owens attended in Washington, DC with the Forest Service. Two weeks ago Britton went to Baker to meet with other Eastern Oregon Commissioners about natural resource issues.
Commissioner Hamsher attended the Planning Hearing on March 7th and also the budget committee on March 8th. He attended a Rodeo Committee meeting as well and will be going to the next budget committee meetings.
9:09 am Amy Charette and Mike Stearly entered.
MINUTES. MSP: Hamsher/Myers -- to approve the March 7th minutes as presented.
JD/CC PARKS & RECREATION IGA. The court reviewed an Intergovernmental Agreement between the John Day/Canyon City Parks and Recreation District and the Grant County Sheriff’s Department. The agreement is for the Sheriff’s Department to provide security services for a music and food event scheduled for June 30th, 2018 hosted by Parks & Rec. MSP: Myers/Hamsher -- to approve the IGA and circulate for signatures. Britton would like to see reserve officers used for this event in order to keep overtime costs down for the county. Myers will talk to Undersheriff Mobley and Sheriff Palmer about this.
COMMITTEE VOLUNTEER APPOINTMENT. The court reviewed volunteer applications for appointment to the Extension & 4H Service District Advisory Council. There are six current vacancies on this council and four applications were received. MSP: Myers/Hamsher -- to appoint Tanner Elliott to the council with a term to expire December 31, 2019, to appoint Judy Kerr to the council with a term to expire December 31, 2020, to appoint Beth Spell to the council with a term to expire December 31, 2020, and to appoint Shilo Fretwell to the council with a term to expire December 31, 2019. MSP: Britton/Hamsher -- to appoint Judy Kerr to the Extension & 4H District Advisory Council budget committee with a term to expire December 31, 2020.
9:15 am Treasurer Julie Ellison and Shaun Robertson entered.
NATURAL RESOURCE ADVISOR. Judge Myers advised last fall a Request for Proposals was advertised for a Natural Resource Advisor and three qualified persons submitted RFP’s. Myers said as things progressed with the court this ended up being set aside for a while. He added budgeting is extremely tough, especially this year and he questioned whether this was a sustainable position. The proposed current budget does not contain the $50,000 that was budgeted last year. Commissioner Hamsher believes with all of the natural resource issues facing the county it would be a good idea to try this position for at least a year. The court discussed what the parameters would be for this position. Britton suggested waiting on this position since the court will be changing. Hamsher would like to hear from those in attendance. Sharon Livingston said she found it interesting that the court agendas don’t ever include discussion about grazing and agricultural issues. Livingston sees this position as one that could write grants and offer advice to the court. Livingston believes it is time for the county court to take an interest in grazing and water and said she is here today to stand up for agriculture. Livingston further summarized her opinion. Billie Jo George asked who advised the court now. Myers said they discuss these issues with AOC (Association of Oregon Counties) and EOAC (Eastern Oregon Association of Counties). Myers reported in the current budget discussions have been held about the possibility of needing more officers in the Sheriff’s Department and this is a mandated service. Austene Hendrix believes the court should at least try this position for one year. Jim Sproul said it is extremely important the court have a Natural Resource Consultant and the court members don’t have the expertise to address these issues. Sproul believes this position is imperative because natural resources are the backbone of our county. George is very concerned with Forest Service plans for prescribed burns and issues moving forward and said the court needs someone to guide them. Hamsher would like to move forward with this position on a one year trial basis and suggested funding it in the same manner as it was previously. Judy Kerr questioned where the money from last year went if it wasn’t included in this budget year. Myers said the money wasn’t used last year, but has been set aside because of the possibility of needing additional public safety officers. Britton stated he knows this position is important, but there are funding issues that are still being discussed in the budget process. Britton advised he has fought for grazing, water and timber for the county with the Forest Service and NOAA. Britton suggested waiting for another year to make a decision since there will be a new court.
9:43 am Dave Traylor and Tanner Elliott entered.
Myers suggested discussing this further with the budget committee. Chris Labhart said experts have been brought in to the county by private entities to give them advice and suggested agricultural groups could do the same. Hamsher would like to set up a hiring committee comprised of the county court members to select a candidate. Britton wanted further clarification about how this would work. Sproul suggested contacting the three candidates to see if they would be willing to volunteer for this position.
Shaun Robertson said he believes this is more than just a budget issue and the court is being disingenuous to a point. Robertson believes open discussions need to be held regarding natural resources and urged the court to take action to move this forward. Britton suggested Hamsher come forward at the next meeting with more information on how this position would work with the court and with specifications. Hamsher said he would rather do this than have the discussion die. He asked that it be placed on the agenda for March 28th. Vicki Thompson asked if the court voted for this position would a funding source need to be identified. Myers said it should be. George asked what has changed with law enforcement that may cost the county. Myers reported the City of John Day may drop the Prairie City law enforcement contract and so the Sheriff’s Department might need to pick this up. Myers said during the next budget committee meeting this position will be discussed. This discussion was tabled until March 28th.
10:00 am The court took a short break. 10:01 am Matt Rippee entered.
10:10 am The court returned to session.
BATES STATE PARK. Scott Nebeker of the Oregon Parks & Recreation Department (OPRD) updated the court on Bates State Park. Nebeker introduced Matt Rippee and Dennis Bradley. Nebeker reported the mission of OPRD is to protect natural, scenic, cultural, historic and recreation sites. He said it was important to keep the pond for historic reasons, but to also meet natural resource needs. Nebeker summarized the history of the acquisition of Bates State Park. Nebeker showed a PowerPoint to those in attendance. Bradley explained his history with Bates and said he spent a significant portion of his high school years helping to dismantle the hotel and mill. Nebeker talked about the different meetings held regarding Bates State Park and the parties involved. After September of 2016 OPRD reached an internal consensus to pursue implementation of Option A which includes a by-pass channel along the west bank (pond size reduced from 7.8 to 6.5 acres (estimated), natural stream section, earthen berm and native riparian vegetation) and an improved fish ladder (to meet current standards and use natural materials, to extent possible). Nebeker said he realized differences of opinion will still exist, but this was the best option based upon the results of the work groups. Other changes will include control gates for water control and pond dredging if necessary to obtain volume (32 acre feet) for usage and recreation. Nebeker summarized the next steps in the process for the 17-19 Biennium. The estimated date for completion of the final project design is Spring of 2019 with estimated project construction beginning in the Spring of 2020 (although Nebeker added this might be an optimistic estimate). Nebeker and Bradley answered questions from court members and those in attendance.
10:58 am The court took a short break. 11:08 am The court returned to session and Judge Myers advised those in attendance that the court would now enter executive session.
EXECUTIVE SESSION. 11:10 am - The court members met in executive session pursuant to ORS 192.660(2)(e) to conduct deliberations with persons you have designated to negotiate real property transactions. Present were Judge Myers, Commissioner Britton, Commissioner Hamsher, Administrative Assistant Laurie Wright and Reporter Rick Hanners. Judge Myers recited the State Attorney General’s Sample Script to Announce the Start of Executive Session. The court left executive session at 11:24 am and entered regular session where the following motion was made. MSP: Myers/Britton -- to designate Commissioner Britton to begin negotiations with Community Counseling Solutions for sale of the property at 528 E. Main St. in John Day.
RESOLUTION 18-02. Treasurer Julie Ellison presented budget Resolution 18-02 to the court for approval. This resolution moves $1970 from the airport contingency line (124100 5700050) to the airport line (124100 5400003) to correct a previous error where the new entrance sign was paid from contingency and should have been paid from capital outlay. MSP: Britton/Myers -- to approve Resolution 18-02 and circulate for signatures.
RESOLUTION 18-03. The court reviewed Resolution 18-03 to amend Resolution 17-25. The revenue line previously used for animal damage control ($65,000) needed to be amended from 3030148 to 3030188. MSP: Britton/Myers -- to approve Resolution 18-03 and circulate for signatures.
RESOLUTION 18-04. The court reviewed Resolution 18-04 which adds new lines to the personnel services category for domestic violence due to the hiring of a Special Investigator. $7,165 needed to be moved from the VAWA Rural materials & services (5200018) to personnel services lines. MSP: Britton/Myers -- to approve Resolution 18-04 and circulate for signatures.
JUSTICE OF THE PEACE PRO TEM. Justice of the Peace Kathy Stinnett requested appointment of Don Williams, Justice of the Peace from Baker County, as a Pro Tem for her office for the remainder of the calendar year. Judge Williams could serve in Stinnett’s absence or to resolve a conflict of interest. Resolution 18-05 to appoint Judge Williams accompanied the request. MSP: Myers/Britton -- to appoint the Hon. Don Williams as Justice of the Peace Pro Tem and circulate for signatures.
JUSTICE OF THE PEACE EQUIPMENT PURCHASE. Judge Stinnett purchased some capital outlay items thinking they could be paid from her supply line. She spoke with the Treasurer and found out they should have been paid from her capital outlay line item. Stinnett’s capital outlay line did not have enough in it to pay for the items and she requested the court approve paying for the balance owing for the items from the courthouse equipment reserve fund. The items were a Varidesk Stand-up Desk ($395) and a Polycom Telephone Headset ($199). MSP: Myers/Hamsher -- to approve payment of the Varidesk and Headset from the courthouse equipment reserve fund.
RESOLUTION 18-06. The court reviewed Resolution 18-06 which declares a local drought emergency for 2018 and requests the state declare a drought emergency for Grant County. Myers said Watermaster Eric Julsrud brought this to his attention about two weeks ago when the weather was really dry. We have received some moisture since then, but are still far below normal snow pack. MSP: Myers/Hamsher -- to approve Resolution 18-06 and letter to Oregon Water Resources and Oregon Office of Emergency Management and circulate both for signatures.
COMMUNITY CORRECTIONS. Community Corrections Director Todd McKinley sent a written request to the court requesting permission to present an increased wage scale placement to the budget committee for Cindy Tirico’s position. McKinley asked to change Tirico’s current position from Juvenile Counselor I to Juvenile Counselor II which increases her placement from J-7 to I-8. MSP: Myers/Hamsher -- to approve presentation of the request to the budget committee after clarification of some of the wording in the job description with CIS. Myers and Hamsher voted yes, Britton voted no because he believes this should be approved and increased pay started now, not in July.
AOC DUES 2018. The court reviewed an invoice from the Association of Oregon Counties for membership dues in the amount of $24,312.93. The required dues for AOC membership are general fund dues of $5,944.45 and public lands fund dues of $10,145.95. These are annual dues paid by the court. MSP: Myers/Hamsher -- to approve payment of AOC dues for 2018 in the amount of $23,884.13 after the removal of PERS ($233) and Video Lottery Defense Fund ($195.80) dues.
VICTIM ASSISTANCE. Victim Assistance Director Andrea Officer requested court permission to send 5 members of the Multidisciplinary Team to the 2018 Child Abuse and Family Violence Summit in Portland in April and also to proceed with the Sexual Assault Awareness Campaign in April. The estimated training cost for the April Summit will be $8,000 and would be paid from different grant sources. The Sexual Assault Awareness Campaign is estimated to cost $900 and consists of newspaper ads and would also be paid with grant funds. MSP: Myers/Britton -- to approve the training costs for the Child Abuse and Family Violence Summit with court waiver of the current reimbursement rates for meals, and to approve the Sexual Assault Awareness Campaign to be paid from the CAMI, VOCA/CFA, VAWA and CCF/ESD grants.
PUBLIC COMMENT. Judy Kerr would like the Predator Control Agent to come to court and give an update on his activities. Britton told Kerr he would update her after court. Austene Hendrix thanked the court for listening to her earlier and again urged them to hire a Natural Resource Consultant.
11:51 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 firstname.lastname@example.org ****