IN THE COUNTY COURT OF THE STATE OF OREGON
IN AND FOR THE COUNTY OF GRANT
JANUARY 30, 2013
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.
9:00 am -- Call to Order. Present were Judge Scott W. Myers, Commissioners Boyd Britton and Chris Labhart, Secretary Mary Ferrioli, Hal Smith and Carolyn Stout. A Pledge of Allegiance was given to the US flag. The invocation was given by Carolyn Stout.
AGENDA. Britton recommended delaying discussion on the Whitford Law Offices Fee Agreement until after the Road Advisory Board meeting today and when the Roadmaster and an Advisory Board member can be here. MSP: Labhart/Myers -- to accept the agenda with removal of Item F.
9:05 am Kathy Smith and King Williams entered
Myers planned to attend the Road Advisory Board meeting at the Road Department at 2:00 pm today and the Forest Resource Affairs presentation at the airport today at 4:00 pm.
Britton reported on the January 27 meeting he attended at the Monument Senior Center regarding the Monument Rural Fire District. He reported on the SEACT / NEACT meeting he attended in Burns on Monday and talked about the Oregon Transportation Commissions funding allocation to Region 5 for proposed projects over the next 3 years. Britton reported the Morrow County Road Department provided assistance to our county yesterday on the Top Road.
9:10 am Sally Bartlett entered
Labhart had attended a compliance meeting at the hospital on Monday. He reminded the court that comments on the 10-Year Forest Stewardship Contract are due February 28.
MINUTES. MSP: Myers/Labhart -- to approve the regular minutes of January 23 as amended.
MSP: Britton/Myers -- to approve the special meeting minutes of January 25 as presented.
HAND CHECK. The court approved a hand check to Community Counseling Solutions in the amount of $15,679.80 for services provided during the month of December 2012.
FORD FAMILY FELLOWS AWARD. Economic Development Coordinator Sally Bartlett informed the court she is one of eleven to receive a Ford Family Foundation Community Fellowship Award. The award is given to ten rural residents in Oregon and one in Siskiyou County CA who have demonstrated a commitment to community service and dedication to the pursuit of rural community vitality. Each Fellow receives an annual unrestricted monetary award and is eligible for up to two renewal awards. Bartlett indicated shes expected to develop her own plan to explore, learn, and practice the art of community building. Bartlett explained some of the work thats being done to build communities under this program. She said she would be attending a Fellowship meeting twice a year on weekends. GREAT President King Williams reported that his organization supports Bartletts award and the work being done through this program.
9:30 am News Reporter Scotta Callister entered
SILVIES VALLEY RANCH. Court members reviewed and signed Intergovernmental Agreement No. 90G000243 with Oregon Building Codes Division as previously recommended by Planning Director Hilary McNary. The document had been reviewed and approved by legal counsel. It allows BCD to perform administrative, plan review, permit review and approval or denial, and inspection duties on behalf of the county, and Mid-Columbia Building Codes Services, for the Silvies Valley Ranch, L.L.C., including those services related to the SVR guest ranch project as authorized under HC 3465. The agreement is effective retroactively to July 25, 2012 and expires on January 5, 2016.
9:40 am -- Glenn Palmer entered
AUDIT SERVICES. The court reviewed and discussed audit proposals previously received from Oster Professional Group CPAs P.C. of John Day and Pauly, Rogers and Co. P.C. of Tigard. Treasurer Kathy Smith had reviewed the audit proposals and noted that OPG is the low bidder for each of the three years at $25,080; PR&C bid at $26,800 the first year with increases the next two years. Smith recommended OPG since it has been very helpful during the audit process and during the fiscal year whenever we have questions. She added that OPG also assisted the new Clerk in preparing the financial reports needed to audit the payroll process. MSP:Britton/Myers to accept Oster Professional Group P.C. as our financial services provider for the fiscal years ending June 2013, June 2014, and June 2015.
INMATE BOARDING. Sheriff Glenn Palmer spoke with the court about IGA No. 4712 with Oregon Department of Corrections to provide housing and care for up to 20 inmates on occasion from one week up to two months. The per diem rate under this agreement is $65.00 per inmate. The agreement had already been reviewed and signed by legal counsel. Palmer expressed concern about a typo in Section 8.5 on the maximum consideration. It was suggested the correction could be made and initialed by the parties when signed today. Labhart sought further information about the process of providing medical care and the countys daily rate for boarding compared to other counties. Palmer recommended signing the agreement. Agreement No. 4712 with Oregon Department of Corrections was signed, and correction initialed, by the court and the Sheriff.
10:00 am Debi Hueckman, Brenda Percy, Dale Stennett, and Devin Moan entered
DRUG FREE COMMUNITIES GRANT. Commission on Children and Families Director Devin
Moan asked the court to sign the FFY 2013-2014 continuation Drug Free Communities Application for Federal Assistance thats now due. She reported the SAMSHA Center for Substance Abuse is aware of pending changes in fiscal management and will be able to make the change when it actually occurs. MSP: Britton/Myers -- to authorize Judge Myers to sign the FFY 2013-2014 Drug Free Communities Application for Federal Assistance.
Moan also asked the court to decide about continuing fiscal management of the FFY 2013-2014 Drug Free Communities Grant after the Commission on Children and Families dissolves at the end of June. Drug Free Communities Coalition members Debi Hueckman and Dale Stennett were also present. As fiscal manager, the Commission has provided employee supervision and the required cash match. For Year-Nine and Year-Ten the cash match requirement totals $187.500.00. The Non-Federal Match amounts include annual salary and benefits for the CCF Director, Tobacco Prevention Coordinator, Transportation Coordinator, Positive Action Teachers, and Parks & Recreation Drug Free Activities, plus donations, volunteer hours or supplies given to the coalition. Moan said the change will be in using her salary as match i.e. the match needs to transfer to whoever will supervise the DFC employees. Fiscal management and oversight responsibility for the DFC grant includes grant writing, quarterly reporting to the federal government, employee reviews, budget management and reporting to the DFC board, monthly draw-down of funds, and ensuring all paperwork is done correctly. If the county decides to keep the grant, Moan suggested hiring an Administrator in August which she could train. Treasurer Kathy Smith felt the current $19,444.00 budget figure will need to be increased, if the county decides to hire an Administrator, since it wouldnt be enough to cover the total cost to the county. She thought an appropriate salary amount would be what Moan is now being paid. Moan felt a part time Administrator for the DFC grant wasnt feasible for providing full time employee supervision. She said, if the county decides it does not want to continue fiscal management, the DFC board will make a decision on a new fiscal agent for the grant. Moan reviewed and identified the In-Kind budget and pointed out a diligently committed individual is needed to continue soliciting the necessary In-Kind match.
Debi Hueckman agreed the Administrator wasnt needed full time. She recommended that another part time person, with Moans skills, be allowed to assume the responsibility. Myers said his biggest concern is the countys ability to meet the cash match requirement. Labhart sought clarification from Moan about the time spent on financial tracking and reporting. He asked if a school district could perform those part time duties. Moan said it could, adding that ESD is able and interested in it. She said others like CCS and the hospital are talking about it. Britton felt the countys answer should obviously be no, especially because of the required match.
MSP: Myers/ Labhart -- to announce the county does not intend to continue as fiscal agent for the Drug Free Communities Grant on October 1, 2013. Treasurer Kathy Smith pointed out that Moan has done an excellent job with tracking, reporting and drawing down funds for the DFC grant. It was also noted that Moan has also been an excellent supervisor.
10:30 am -- Gary Delaney and Dean Hoodenpyl entered
EXTENSION DISTRICT. As governing body of the Grant County 4H & Extension Service District, the court met with OSU Extension Grant County Agent Gary Delaney to consider his request to increase 4H Assistant Carol Waggoners work hours from part time to full time during July, August and September. Delaney said he has sufficient funds in the budget to cover the salary increase for three months. He explained that Waggoner works 20 hours a week in 4H and 20 hours a week in the SNAP Education Program funded by OSU. Delaney said the federal Farm Bill has cut the SNAP Ed Program by 28% in Oregon. He proposed being allowed to increase Waggoner to full time this summer by utilizing $5,000 currently budgeted for part time 4H assistance for the fair. Delaney said OSU asked him if the district could assist in keeping Waggoners position full time. It was noted this funding change would be discussed in more detail during the budget process. MSP: Myers/Britton -- to allow Mr. Delaney to increase Carol Waggoners work hours to full time during July, August, and September utilizing existing funds, as requested.
PROBATION POLICY. Juvenile and Adult Services Director Dean Hoodenpyl asked for a waiver of probation policy for the part time Adult Case Aide who took over that responsibility after Mary Michael retired at the end of December. Personal Manager Brenda Percy and Treasurer Kathy Smith were in attendance. The employee has been working three days a week as the Juvenile Secretary for more than one year. County policy requires newly hired employees to work for one year at the beginning rate. Hoodenpyl explained the Adult Case Aide / Juvenile Secretary duties for this employee fluctuate on a daily basis between programs. He noted that the newly hired Adult Case Aide has received training for the new position since last August. Hoodenpyl explained that common goals among the two programs are being instituted within Juvenile and Adult programs throughout the state. The Juvenile Secretary and Adult Case Aide positions are both classified within Wage Category L. Hoodenpyl also asked the county to revisit the probation policy, to consider dedicated employees who have worked for the county for a number of years and wish to advance themselves to a higher position.
Myers said hes now on probation. He felt it was a good policy because, while hes been a Commissioner for twelve years, the duties and responsibilities of County Judge are different. He would not entertain the possibility of waiving his probation period. Myers understood the responsibilities of Adult Case Aide are different than those of the Juvenile Secretary. He didnt think the court had granted a waiver in the past for a non-supervisory position. But, Myers said waivers were granted in particular instances to encourage a Department Head candidate to take the job. He supports the probation policy and said he would personally deny the request.
11:00 am Ryan Joslin entered
DA Ryan Joslin asked about the justification for the policy. Treasurer Kathy Smith said the different pay rate allows a distinction between the employee who may have worked in the job 10 years or more, and a new employee who is just learning the job. Joslin wondered if it could be up to the immediate supervisor to determine if the employee has reached the necessary level of learning. Myers commented on prior policy that allowed a Department Head to make that determination after 6 months. He thought it may be time to review the policy again.
Britton supported this Department Heads request and his confidence the employee is already doing the job well. He proposed waiving probation policy in this case. Labhart said he has a conflict of interest since hes now on probation. He also said he doesnt like to change existing policy in the middle of a budget year. Labhart supports a probation period, but was surprised at the 95% salary amount which he thought penalizes employees. Labhart would like to readdress the probation policy as soon as possible. MSP: Myers/Labhart -- to deny the policy waiver request pending the courts review of probation policy for new employees. During discussion it was pointed out Department Heads used to be able to move new employees from the beginning wage after six months on the job; however, that was discontinued a few years ago. Other discussion took place about the purpose, use and practicality of the 95% beginning wage. Examples were given of other new hires who worked for an entire year at the beginning wage. The question was called. Britton voted no, Labhart and Myers voted yes.
Hal Smith, as a citizen with a degree in Human Resource Management, said he has never worked in an environment with a 95% wage probation policy. He indicated that, if the new employee is being evaluated properly they would be dismissed during the probation period. Hal thought the 95% wage could be replaced with wage STEPS.
11:10 am The meeting recessed until after lunch. The meeting reconvened at 1:00 pm. Present were all court members, the Court Secretary, Bill Dryden, David New, Bob Messinger, Sue Newstetter, Sally Bartlett, Rob Stewart, King Williams, Larry Blasing, and Roje Gootee.
ASSESSOR. Assessor Lane Burton appeared to provide the court with a copy of Oregon Senate Bill 401 that would designate most gold bearing streams and creeks as scenic waterways prohibiting all placer mining. The bill would add hundreds of miles of Oregon streams to the State Scenic Waterways program. Burton also reported DeAtley Construction filed a tax appeal for an assessment on a CAT dozer located within a gravel pit within the borders of Grant County. He provided background on the appeal and asked for approval to contact legal counsel to answer the complaint. MSP: Britton/Myers to allow the Assessor to use Legal Counsel Ron Yockim to write a letter on the DeAtley Construction matter.
TITLE 3. Bill Dryden, of Forest Resources Affairs, L.L.C., and team members Bob Messinger and David New presented their Healthy Private Timberlands Title 3 Project Draft Summary. County Title 3 Coordinator Sue Newstetter and Project Steering Committee members Larry Blasing and Roje Gootee were present, as well as the other interested persons identified above. An informational discussion on a variety of topics followed around questions asked by court members and interested attendees. Dryden reviewed his draft Executive Summary that addressed (7) critical questions posed as the focal point for the project.
1:50 pm Judge Myers excused himself to attend a budget-related Road Advisory Board meeting at the Road Department.
Bob Messinger provided additional information about Risks to Private Timberlands with regard to forest insects and disease infestations, wildfire, adjacency of Forest Service and Private Timberlands in Grant County, Conversion of Timberlands to Non-Resource Use, Western Juniper Encroachment, Lack of a Local Wood Products Manufacturing Infrastructure, and Lack of a Local Logging / Forest Management Infrastructure. Several action options identified within the study were also discussed, such as the generational transfer of income through The Real Estate Investment Trust, a draft bill under the Wildfire Protection Act thats currently within the Governors budget, and the NRCS Technical / Financial Assistance Program available to landowners to assist with managing their lands and mitigating risks.
Healthy Private Timberlands Project information would also be presented during a community meeting scheduled at 4:00 pm today at the Airport Conference Room.
3:00 pm -- Adjourned
Mary R. Ferrioli
County Court Secretary