Grant County Court minutes from July 25, 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 Rob Raschio, Administrative Assistant Laurie Wright, Judy Kerr, Jim Sproul, Elaine Smith, Gordon Larson, Katy Nelson, Frances Preston, Reporter Rick Hanners, Dan Becker, Sharon Livingston, Didgette McCracken, Reporter Logan Bagett, 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 warrants #12-15 on July 18th.
AGENDA. MSP: Myers/Raschio -- to accept the agenda as presented.
ANNOUNCEMENTS. Judge Myers and Treasurer Julie Ellison met with an OHA Representative on July 12th to discuss how marijuana tax funds can be spent. He also attended a Family Heritage meeting at the Outpost on July 12th. July 16th he met with Mark Hirsch from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to discuss predator control funding. Myers attended a Safety Committee meeting on July 17th and on July 20th performed a wedding. Myers went to the Eastern Oregon Counties Association meeting at the Airport on July 26th. This upcoming weekend he will sponsor a team in the hospital golf scramble fundraiser through his small business. On Monday, July 30th he will meet at the Extension Office with the Regional Director from OSU.
Commissioner Raschio said he flipped burgers last weekend at the local swim meet and reported there was a large turn-out of swimmers. Raschio attended a John Day City Council meeting yesterday where selling the pool and park was discussed. If this occurs a new pool would need to be constructed. Raschio has been meeting with different department heads to discuss needs they may have and how he may assist them. He suggested having department heads give an annual update to the court on what is going on in their departments.
Commissioner Hamsher has continued talks with cell phone companies to try to get cell service in the Monument area. Hamsher said contract negotiations are also ongoing for the cell tower in Prairie City. After the last court meeting he and the other court members conducted a jail inspection. He will be attending the EOCA meeting at the Airport on the 26th at the Airport. Hamsher said the City of Prairie had received a copy of the Forest Plan Revision in case anyone would like to review it. Hamsher has been reading through the plan documents. Myers said there is also a copy of the Forest Plan Revision in his office that is available for citizens to review.
Sharon Livingston pointed out that our local Wildfire Softball Team won the state championship.
9:13 am Kathleen Hoffman entered.
Jim Sproul asked if the court intended on objecting the parts of the plan. Myers advised he would review the objections the court made before because that was four years ago so he needs to refresh his memory. Jim Hamsher said he would like to see the previous comments. Frances Preston advised there will be a meeting in Mt. Vernon on August 6th from 6 to 8 pm at the Grange Hall to give an overview of the plan and inform citizens.
MINUTES. MSP: Myers/Hamsher -- to approve the July 11th minutes as amended.
WEBSITE COMMITTEE. Website Committee member Laurie Wright updated the court on the status of the project. Wright reported the committee has been holding regular meetings at least once per month and has also had three conference calls with CivicPlus and the project is moving forward on track and smoothly. The consultant from CivicPlus (Lucas Clark) is currently here and meeting with each department to ascertain their needs for the website and to explain options. Prior to his visit each department was asked to complete a questionnaire to help with this process and Wright reported the departments were all very responsive and happy this project is moving forward. Once Lucas is finished with the on-site visit he will submit a consultant’s report for the website committee to review and the project will move forward into the design phase. The estimated completion date and launch of the website to the public is January 3, 2019. Justice of the Peace Kathy Stinnett said there is no doubt that the new website will save staff time and also money in the long term.
PLANNING COMMISSION. Pat Holliday had submitted a volunteer application to serve on the Planning Commission. The Planning Commission reviewed her application on July 19th and recommended she be appointed. MSP: Myers/Hamsher -- to appoint Pat Holliday to the Planning Commission in the alternate position with a term expiring on December 31, 2019.
DEPARTMENT LIAISONS. The department liaison assignments had not been updated since 2015. The court members discussed which county departments each of them should be a liaison for. Judge Myers explained court members act as liaisons between department heads and the other court members. Judge Myers will be liaison to: Airport, Custodian, Community Corrections, District Attorney, Economic Development, Emergency Management, Justice Court, Property Maintenance, Road and Seniors. Commissioner Raschio will be liaison to: Assessor, Clerk, Library, Mental Health/Public Health, Planning, Surveyor and Treasurer. Commission Hamsher will be liaison to: Extension & 4-H, Fair & RV Park, Sheriff, Veterans and Water Resources. The court members agreed to these assignments by consensus.
VETERAN SERVICES. Veteran Services Officer Kathleen Hoffman gave an update to the court on veteran services. Hoffman reported she applied for a suicide prevention grant and was awarded $4,700 towards suicide prevention. Hoffman had 148 visits to her office between April and June and went to 11 home visits during this time as well. Hoffman explained the different types of claims she files. The total recoveries (dollar amount that came in from the claims filed) for this time period was $34,930.73. Some of the outreach Hoffman has provided includes a job fair at Grant Union, Quilts of Valor, the Health Fair and events at the Elk’s Lodge with the Bend Vet Clinic and Chester’s with the Boise Vet Clinic. Hoffman explained some different avenues veterans have to reach out for help and for suicide prevention. Myers advised he has heard good things about Hoffman’s job performance from veterans. Raschio thanked Hoffman for doing such a good job and asked what her plans are for the suicide prevention grant money. Hoffman said she isn’t sure yet, she would like to travel to some other counties to get ideas for use of this money. Myers said the use of the money is fully discretionary. Judy Kerr said this is the highest level of professional service our local veterans have ever received and commended Hoffman for this. Myers reported Hoffman currently works 30 hours per week, but the hours may increase in the future. Hoffman has been attending trainings both online and in person regarding suicide prevention. Hamsher told Hoffman he has only received positive comments about her performance and nothing negative and thanked her for her hard work. Raschio would like to have every department head meet with the court at least once per year to report on activities within their departments. Kerr suggested receiving updates from our local community leaders as well.
FAIR CONTRACTS. The court reviewed two fair contracts. The first was with Dan Hawk Hypnosis in the amount of $3,200 and the second was with Claude Rickman – Lazy H Ranch for the NPRA Rodeo in the amount of $6,500. MSP: Myers/Raschio -- to approve the contract with Dan Hawk Hypnosis and circulate for signatures and to approve the contract with Claude Rickman – Lazy H Ranch and circulate for signatures. Hamsher would like it correctly reported by Reporter Rick Hanners that the court accepted one contract and not two like he reported in a previous edition of the newspaper (for bullfighting).
RESOLUTION 18-20. The court reviewed budget Resolution 18-20. The Resolution transfers $25,000 from the Domestic Violence Fund to the General Fund and is to pay back the cash loan provided in June. MSP: Myers/Raschio -- to approve Resolution 18-20 and circulate for signatures.
9:59 am Jim Spell entered.
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT. The court reviewed a request from Economic Development Director Sally Bartlett to send Allison Field to the Northwest Economic Development course in Ellensburg, WA. Business Oregon had provided a $500 scholarship to Field to assist with training costs. The cost from Economic Development for the remainder would be $496 plus mileage and will be paid from the Economic Development dues and travel budget line. MSP: Raschio/Myers -- to approve the training to be paid from Economic Development dues and travel.
LGPI MEMBERSHIP. The court reviewed an invoice from LGPI (Local Government Personnel Institute) for 2018-19 membership dues in the amount of $1,559. This discussion was tabled at the last court meeting. Myers said there has been a recent Supreme Court decision regarding fair share agreements in union contracts. Fair share deductions can no longer be taken from employee paychecks. Myers reported we do not currently have any employees who pay fair share instead of union dues. MSF: Myers/Raschio – to approve and pay the dues of $1,559 to LGPI. Raschio asked if there was any follow up on what job description reviews would cost if we were not LGPI members. Myers said he did not find this information out. Raschio would still like to find this out and would like the discussion tabled until the next meeting. All court members voted no on the motion to pay the dues. MSP: Raschio/Hamsher – to table this discussion until the next court meeting.
GC YOUTH LIVESTOCK AUCTION. Shannon Springer presented a request to the court to allow the Grant County Youth Livestock Auction Committee to borrow the printer from the Planning Department for Fair. The Committee will supply their own paper and purchase a new ink toner for the printer after they have finished using it. MSP: Myers/Raschio -- to approve the loan of the Planning Department printer to the GC Youth Livestock Auction Committee for Fair.
AGREEMENT WITH CITY OF JOHN DAY. The court members reviewed an agreement between Grant County and the City of John Day for the Sheriff’s Department to provide limited law enforcement services of up to 40 hours per week when needed. The City would pay $35 per hour for the services and an additional $200 per month for fuel and mileage. Up to 20 additional hours could be added when warranted. MSP: Myers/Raschio -- to approve the agreement with the City of John Day and authorize Judge Myers to sign after inclusion of a clause for renegotiation. Raschio reported he read the contract and it doesn’t have any fixed time for the contract to end and would lock the county in to the rates indefinitely. Raschio suggested adding a clause that the contract terms could be renegotiated every two years. Raschio spoke with City Manager Nick Green who said he would agree to those terms.
Judge Myers advised that the next item on the agenda will be an Executive Session at 11 am.
PUBLIC COMMENT. Frances Preston asked if the Sheriff’s Department was currently providing services to the City of John Day. Myers believes the Sheriff’s Department currently assists as necessary for emergencies. Preston expressed concern that this would potentially cause a shortage in coverage in the county. Myers said county emergencies would take precedence over calls from the City. Myers advised those in attendance that this contract originated from the Sheriff’s Department and Undersheriff Mobley. Raschio believes the Sheriff’s Department needs another Deputy and that this contract may assist with funding another position.
10:15 am Beth Spell entered.
Sharon Livingston said last time she was here she asked the court members to speak with ODOT and ODFW about removal of animal carcasses from the highways. She also reported there is going to be a meeting at the Airport regarding bringing beaver dams back to the area. Livingston said a beaver dam was blown out at Camp Creek and now discussions are being held to bring them back…….she wonders what is going on? She urged the court members to get involved and look into these issues. Hamsher advised the City of Prairie has entered into negotiations with ODOT to build an animal composting facility and it is moving forward at this time. Kerr would like to know if anyone at the Forest Service even knows what they are doing. Sproul reported in the proposed Forest Plan Revision there are over 100 pages discussing aquatics that would greatly reduce grazing, timber, etc. Sproul believes Blue Mountain Forest Partners is directly involved with decisions in the proposed Forest Plan. Members of the audience expressed frustration with their feelings that the Forest Service is overstepping what they should be doing and trying to manage wildlife and things like this instead of managing the land for the people. Sproul said the court seems to be a much more cohesive unit now and then suggested the court discuss the Forest Plan Revision as a court body and to receive input from citizens. Discussion followed about what role the county court should play in the proposed Forest Plan Revision.
Raschio said he received a call from Dave Hamilton in Mt. Vernon and there is some clogging up Laycock Creek that the road department needs to be advised of. Hamsher said he will look into the meeting at the Airport regarding beaver dams.
10:45 am The court took a break. 11:03 am The court returned to regular session. Judge Myers recited the State Attorney General’s Sample Script to Announce the Start of Executive Session.
EXECUTIVE SESSION. 11:05 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. Judge Myers recited the State Attorney General’s Sample Script to Announce the Start of Executive Session. Present were Judge Myers, Commissioner Raschio, Commissioner Hamsher, Administrative Assistant Laurie Wright, Reporter Rick Hanners and County Counsel Ron Yockim via telephone. The court left executive session at 11:42 am. The court returned to regular session at 11:43 am. No motions were made after executive session.
11:43 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 ****