Pursuant to notice made to the newspaper of general circulation throughout Grant County, the radio station in Grant County and e-mail distribution list, a regular meeting of the County Court was held at the County Courthouse in Canyon City OR.
9:02 am -- Call to Order. Present were Judge Mark R. Webb, Commissioners Scott W. Myers and Boyd Britton, Secretary Mary Ferrioli and Reverend Flora Cheadle. A Pledge of Allegiance was given to the US flag. The opening prayer was given by Pastor Cheadle.
CLAIMS. The court had reviewed and approved claims. Tagged claims were to Bank of Eastern Oregon (the Clerk used the credit card by mistake, the Fair didn't use Central Supply and the Commission on Children & Families went over per diem) and to DP Home Entertainment (Fair didn't use Central Supply). It was pointed out that the previous Fair Manager was in violation and the new Fair Manager was aware of the policy.
PROGRAM. MSP: Myers/Webb-- to accept the program as presented.
Webb reported that he spent most of last week in Anaheim CA, with a group of Community Counseling Solutions board members and employees from around the counties, participating in a mental health Alternative Peers (people with mental illness) Conference. Then on October 4th he attended a CCS board meeting in Heppner where moving forward with an Acute Care Facility in John Day was decided. He planned to be in Portland on October 8th to attend an annual fund raising dinner put on by Sustainable Northwest, a non-profit that facilitated our Collaborative Group and timber efforts in the county.
It was announced that Candidate Night for open County Clerk and County Commissioner positions will be at 7 pm on Thursday, October 7th at the Grant Union High School Library.
Myers reported on a monthly Commission on Children and Families board meeting he attended the evening of October 5th. A quorum was not present so no official business was conducted.
There was a lengthy discussion on the state budget cuts for the local Commission.
Britton planned to attend a Training and Employment Consortium meeting today and would participate in a conference call with The Oregon Consortium on October 7th. In the future, he explained, TEC would have one oversight manager for the three offices within Region 14.
MINUTES. MSP: Myers/Webb -- to approve the September 29th minutes as amended.
9:25 am -- Dana Brooks and Russ Comer entered
CHILDREN & FAMILIES. Commission on Children & Families Director Dana Brooks requested approval for herself and Russ Comer to attend the mandatory New Drug Free Communities grantee meeting in Washington DC on December 6, 7, & 8. The Safe Communities Coalition recently received notice of its second 5-year federal DFC grant award to support a Prevention Program Coordinator and Administrative Assistant. Brooks explained that the coalition is required to send one individual responsible for daily oversight of the coalition and one responsible for the fiscal aspects of the grant. The total estimated cost for the trip is $3,578 -- including airfare, lodging, meals and ground transportation - is within the current grant budget. As in the past, Brooks requested a waiver of county per diem rates and to be reasonable and prudent with meal costs while traveling. MSP: Myers/Webb -- to authorize attendance by Ms. Brooks and Mr. Comer at the mandatory New Drug Free Communities grantee meeting December 6-8 in Washington DC. MSP: Britton/Myers -- to waive county per diem for meal costs, being reasonable and prudent, for the meeting in Washington DC
9:35 am - News Reporter Scotta Callister and John Combs entered
FLU SHOT PROGRAM. Public Health Administrator John Combs proposed that $2,500 be made available to cover Linda Sprouffske's wages for about 11 days to conduct flu vaccination clinics over the next two months at remote locations, and also to fill in at the clinic when the Medical Assistant is unavailable. Combs explained that activities at the clinic have grown significantly and staffing is already stretched to the limits, so when clinic staff has to be gone it creates difficulties. He also described the level of clinic services provided and activities of the clinical staff. It had been suggested that the part time CaCoon Nurse be asked to perform those tasks. However, Combs indicated that she was not able to accept the additional responsibility at this time.
Webb asked if this situation was indicative of something more that needs to change. Combs said that might be the case; however, he is not ready to bring that forward. It was acknowledged that where we are at, financially, is not known now. Discussion with Treasurer Smith took place about the need to have the necessary budget authority as well as the appropriateness of moving money from Sanitarian to MCH. Smith identified funds used for nursing salary and said budget authority could be created through the resolution process. Smith suggested that the change could be done in May, except for the wages. Webb preferred to do that. Webb confirmed with Combs that the cost of having a full time nurse (with benefits) would be about $20 per hour. It was understood that contract nursing costs were about $28, but could provide more convenience. Webb thought we need to get clear about the clinic's structure, needs, and financial resources. Smith agreed and said it was unclear, now, if cash flow is there to cover this cost and the cost for one additional day each week for the Nurse Practitioner. MSP: Britton/Webb - to allow the budget transfer to the MCH line as requested.
General discussion followed about the court's need for Combs to secure the necessary details and a commitment from Tim Nielson, so an arrangement can be worked out to provide informal staff supervision when Combs is out of the office. A meeting between Combs, Nielson and Webb was tentatively planned for next week. It was pointed out that details need to be in writing and addressed in the contract. Smith indicated that she was not sure what rules might apply to Independent Contractors who supervise employees. The court felt that supervision would be informal and limited to periodic incidental guidance and leadership.
Britton, Smith, and Combs talked some about the Family Planning budget being 50% expended after 3 months. Combs reported that he was told yesterday the billing backlog is completed through the month of August.
EXECUTIVE SESSION. At 10:00 am the court conducted an Executive Session under 192.660(2)(h) regarding current litigation or litigation likely to be filed -- Virginia Lenz vs. County Clerk Kathy McKinnon and Grant County in the US District Court and a request for an En Banc Review of Intervention Law. At 10:15 am the court returned to General Session. No motions were made.
GEOGRAPHIC NAMES BOARD. Court members had received a request for comment from the Oregon Geographic Names Board to replace derogatory names for Grant County features identified as "Squaw" within the ceded lands, boundaries and traditional use areas of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation. Comments are due by October 15th.
Britton believed the proposed Indian names should be translated for better understanding. He also felt that the existing names were no longer offensive and would created confusion, especially for 911 responders. He also noted that making all of these changes will end up costing taxpayers a considerable amount of money. Webb planned to send the requested letter of response.
BIOMASS EMISSION RULE. Court members reviewed and signed letters to Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley opposing the EPA's new rule on pollution controls for biomass emissions. The proposed "Tailoring Rule" would make renewable biomass energy subject to greenhouse gas controls leading to costly regulations on biomass. Additionally, legislation has been introduced to create different categories of biomass which the National Alliance of Forest Owners believes could result in additional regulations on land use and costly reporting requirements.
COURTHOUSE TREE. The court discussed the need to remove a small tree at the Courthouse near Izee Street that had died. Webb volunteered to take the tree out and haul it off for disposal.
HEAT PUMP MAINTENANCE. Court members discussed how to handle routine filter replacements for the roof-top heat pump recently installed for the Extension District office at 530 E. Main in John Day. Ferrioli explained that Nick Miller recently offered to do that every two months when he replaces heat pump filters at the adjacent Health Services Building. The court agreed to have Nick Miller go ahead with taking care of that heat pump, as needed.
BUDGET RESOLUTIONS. The court reviewed and signed Resolution 10-47 Making Transfer from Contingency / Maternal & Child Health in the amount of $560 to Capital Outlay to purchase a paper folder with revenue donated in memory of Johnnie Titus and Resolution 10-48 Making Intrafund Transfers / Domestic Violence Fund in the amount of total $39,920 to Materials & Services for complete tracking of the VAWA Rural grant.
10:25 am -- Kathy Smith entered
QUARTERLY BUDGET REPORT. Treasurer / Budget Officer Kathy Smith met with the court to provide a quarterly budget update. To help the court determine if there is a possible budget issue, Smith said she could create a summary at the end of each quarter, if the court would like to have that information. Court members were pleased to have this report and wanted to continue these discussions. Today's first quarter summary includes the following --
Airport Fund. It started the fiscal year with a $20,000 cash loan from the General Fund. The General Fund has a $20,000 transfer budgeted for June, if fuel sales revenue doesn't cover the shortfall. Smith reported that this fund does not make enough revenue to operate, and it hasn't been determined if Forest Service fees will be enough to cover operating expenses. It was noted that the Management Fee was not there to take care of this shortfall. She suggested that the situation be addressed again in March. Discussion took place about the lack of fire activity over the past 2 - 3 years which had generated considerable revenue in the past.
Fair Fund. It started the fiscal year with $10,000 less cash carryover than was budgeted. Smith said that transfer funds are available to correct one half of that amount, but spending cuts or increased revenue will need to take place for the other half. Smith said she would be visiting with the new Fair Manager about this situation.
Family Planning Fund. The Materials & Services category is 50% expended after 3 months of operation. Smith indicated that the Public Health Administrator will need to be asked why. She planned to check on the amount of money available to pay for additional day each week for the Nurse Practitioner.
SHREDDING SERVICE. Treasurer Kathy Smith suggested that the county start receiving an annual shredding service to dispose of confidential papers. She said most departments that would use the service are in the General Fund, so that source would pay the $13.00 annual fee plus $5.00 per box. Smith said the first year will be more expensive since there is large accumulation of materials. In the past, confidential documents had been burned which is no longer permitted. Britton asked if our copy machines have a memory feature that would need to be erased. Smith didn't think so, but she planned to contact IKON for more information
DDA FUNDING. The court considered a request to increase the DDA position from .75 FTE to 1.0 FTE through March 31, 2011 using unspent ARRA grant funds the grantor is requiring us to expend. Treasurer Kathy Smith reported that the DDA would be working full time anyway as of April 1, 2010 under the VAWA Rural Grant award. MSP: Webb/Myers - to increase the DDA position from .75 FTE to full time through March 31, 2010.
COURTHOUSE VACUUM. Court members addressed a request to purchase two more vacuum cleaners to eliminate the need for the Custodian to routinely carry the vacuum up and down stairs to other floors. Reasons given were that a vacuum on each floor would allow employees easy access, as needed, and provide an alternate if there is a breakdown. Cost quotes were provided for a Hoover Wind Tunnel with HEPA filtration from Walmart @ $134.54 (on line), Target @ $159 (on line) and Ace Hardware in John Day @ $174.99.
Treasurer Kathy Smith thought the amount of carpeted area in the Courthouse didn't warrant a vacuum on each floor which is used about one hour a week. She suggested that the vacuum be kept in the basement since those offices have the most carpeted area. Smith offered to assist with carrying the vacuum to different floors during the Custodian's recovery from elbow surgery. Webb agreed that the amount of carpet doesn't warrant the expense, but would authorize the purchase, considering the labor saved paid over a period of time. Smith mentioned that a pen has been found in the vacuum cleaner twice now. So, she hoped that people would pay more attention to how it's used. From experience, Myers agreed that packing a vacuum up and down stairs is not easy. Britton agreed with the purchase because he felt it would eliminate a safety concern. MSP: Webb/ Myers -- to purchase two Hoover Wind Tunnel upright vacuums for the Courthouse at $134.54 each.
PAYROLL CORRECTION. Treasurer Kathy Smith reported that we have a payroll issue again for an employee due to a payroll data entry error. She said it would be corrected through a payroll deduction over the next two months to recover the money.
NEWSPAPER. Britton personally thanked Blue Mountain Eagle Editor Scotta Callister for the recent feature article on local fishing opportunities.
10:45 am -- Adjourned
Mary R. Ferrioli
County Court Secretary