FEBRUARY 6, 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, Hank Lissman, DA Ryan Joslin, and Chaplain Richie Colbeth. A Pledge of Allegiance was given to the US flag. The invocation was given by Chaplain Colbeth.

CLAIMS. The court had approved claims and Extension District Warrant Nos. 95 - 102. Britton declared a conflict of interest on the Road Department’s claim for steel costing $321.67.

AGENDA. MSP: Myers/Labhart -- to accept the agenda with discussion of Item C. at 10:30 am


Myers reported on the Heritage Foundation meeting that he attended Monday evening. The foundation will be holding a fundraising class conducted by Dennis Reynolds next Monday.

9:10 am – Kathy Smith entered

Labhart planned to attend the Library Board meeting tomorrow at 5:30 pm, the Fair Board dinner this Friday, and a Monument Senior Citizens meeting next Tuesday.

Airport Tractor. Britton reported that the tractor at the airport needs some service. He asked, and was given permission, to have the Road Department look at the tractor to save costs. The expense would be billed to the airport.

MINUTES. MSP: Myers/Labhart -- to approve the January 30 minutes as amended

9:20 am – Dean Hoodenpyl, Roni Hickerson, and News Reporter Scotta Callister entered

BEGINNING WAGE. The court considered revising Probation Period policy for the “beginning” wage rate. Treasurer Kathy Smith provided history on the wage categories that have ranged from 2 steps to 6 steps. Since the 2-step system has caused controversy over the years, Smith felt it may be time to have a single base rate for each category. If approved, Smith recommended the new wage scale be effective July 1, 2012 with retro wages for employees on the beginning rate this fiscal year. If the change starts July 2013, wages could be calculated in the new budget with the understanding policy waivers won’t be granted between now and June 30, 2013.

Dean Hoodenpyl provided information on the Probation Policy of Umatilla, Wasco, Malheur, and Union counties’ for Community Corrections staff. Myers noted that information from LGPI on other counties’ Probation Period was also available. While most of the other entities have policy on the Probation Period, most do not require “wage” probation.

Britton agreed with having one wage, but wasn’t interested in retroactivity. He proposed that the new Adult Case Aide have the increase requested last week. Treasurer Kathy Smith pointed out that Britton would be excluding other employees who are now receiving the “beginning” wage.

9:30 am – Brenda Percy entered

Myers was not sure where he was on this. But, he said, regardless of what happens he has a conflict of interest and would choose to be exempt because he is on wage probation.

Labhart reported that BOLI informed him our policy language should be changed to a 5% increase after the first year. Labhart was also concerned about Department Heads following policy on completing the required Employee Performance Review Evaluation Form. He felt this practice protects both the employee and the county. Labhart preferred having one wage rate, and felt the probation period should be 6 months rather than one year. Myers pointed out that many departments have activities happening only at certain times of the year, which would require employees to work a full year to demonstrate experience.

DA Ryan Joslin explained his understanding of employment law associated with the employee’s “at will” status, as opposed to working under an employment “contract.”

Labhart expressed interest in working with Personnel Manager Brenda Percy to revise our policy on Probation Period and wages and report back at the first meeting in March. Percy noted that new policy would need to be reviewed and approved by an attorney. He asked to ensure that the Personnel Manager sit in on each and every new employee interview to protect the county. Percy indicated that has been happening, except for the Sheriff’s department. Myers offered his assistance with that situation, if needed.

Budget Officer Kathy Smith said, based on the court’s discussion, she would budget for a single Base Wage beginning in July 2013.

DA OFFICE REMODEL. The court considered the District Attorney’s written recommendation on electric service proposals received to perform electrical work for his office remodel project. Ryan Joslin explained how he had solicited proposals pursuant to ORS 279B.070 and personally met on site with each responding local electrician. The following cost proposals were subsequently received: Wolf Electric $6,026.00, North River Electric $17,257.00, S & C Electric $6,700.00, and Red’s Electric $3,790.00. He noted that each prospective contractor’s estimates of materials to complete the work were close, except for North River Electric. Joslin explained how the high bid was based on a bid request, rather than a cost estimate. Overall, Joslin felt Wolf’s estimate of hours required to complete the job was the most realistic, and he was impressed by Wolf’s knowledge and expertise. Joslin believed Wolf Electric would best serve the interests of the county. But, he added that he’d be happy with any contractor the County Court decides is best.

Myers pointed out that Joslin has recommended awarding the contract to the second lowest bid. Labhart asked and was given information about this informal bid solicitation process. MSF: Labhart /Myers -- to award the electrical contract to Wolf Electric LLC in the amount of $6,026.00 for the electric work requested in the new DA office. During discussion Britton said it would be a mistake, because the county should go with Reds Electric as the low bidder. He also noted a long history of Reds providing good service at the Courthouse. Joslin asked if a not-to-exceed amount should be established. Treasurer Kathy Smith expressed concern about costs that are already running over the budget. Britton said that is why he recommends awarding the lowest bidder. Myers thought it was a good idea to keep expenses down and go with the low bid in this instance. Myers called the question. All court members voted, No. MSP: Myers /Britton – to create a contract with Reds Electric in the amount of $3,790.00 to perform the DA office remodel electrical work.

10:15 am – Patty Davidson, Sheriff Palmer, and Brenda Percy entered

CUSTODIAN. The court discussed reducing work hours for the Custodian effective July 1, 2013. The employee, Patty Davidson, was present for the discussion and declined the option of an Executive Session. The change in work hours results from contracting out public health and mental health services to Community Counseling Solutions. Treasurer Kathy Smith said it appears CCS would like to hire its own cleaning service. So, the court needs to decide if they want this position at 20 hours a week with benefits, or 19 hours a week without benefits. The Custodian now spends 20 hours a week at the Health Services Building. Smith indicated that cutting the job one hour a week between the Courthouse and Library could be managed. Wages and benefits would be $30,812.00 at 20 hours and $18,493.00 at 19 hours. Smith added that the court could also decide to contract the cleaning service instead of having an employee.

Myers preferred to retain an employee to perform cleaning services, since the county would have more say in how services are performed. He confirmed with Treasurer Smith that costs would go up a little bit, without Public Health and Mental Health. Myers understood the increased cost for 20 hours per week, but believes when we have a good employee we should do everything reasonable to retain that employee. Britton confirmed with Davidson that she plans to continue working for the county at 20 hours per week with benefits. She stated that she would, and also try and pick up another part time job. But, without benefits, Davidson said she could not continue. Labhart understood that benefits are really important to employees. MSP: Labhart /Myers – to continue the Custodian position at 20 hours per week with benefits. Britton pointed out that additional help has been needed at the Library. Library Advisory Board member Scotta Callister addressed the library’s need for more employee hours. It was the court’s intention that the prospect of providing additional work hours for Davidson at the Library would be addressed in more detail with the Librarian and the Budget Officer. Labhart noted there is a Library Advisory Board meeting tomorrow night.

WOLF DEPREDATION COMPENSATION GRANT. Court members discussed Oregon Department of Agriculture’s 2012 Wolf Depredation Compensation Program Annual Report Form based on the $3,495.00 award the county received last year. Treasurer Kathy Smith returned the $3,495.00 check to ODA before January 31, 2013 as required. Britton said he would be responsible for completing ODA’s Grant Report Form that must be returned by February 28. Britton explained that the Committee agreed they could have spent the limited money awarded, but thought it was best to send it back to the state where it could be used by counties with confirmed work kills. Britton said other counties have a greater wolf depredation problem and could use the funds. Sheriff Glenn Palmer was present and agreed money could be better used by other counties, like Wallowa. The court decided to consider reapplication for the 2013 Wolf Depredation Compensation Program Grant.

BUDGETED RESOLUTIONS. The court reviewed and signed Resolution 13-10 Making Budgeted Transfers, General and Special Funds, to Unemployment Reserve, $9,111.00 from General, $17,800.00 from Road, $200.00 from Fair, $200.00 from Commission on Children and Families, $300.00 from Community Corrections, $200 from Airport, $1,300.00 from Maternal & Child Health, $370.00 from DA Resolving, and $200.00 from Senior Citizens; Resolution 13-11 Making Budgeted Transfers, $30,000.00 from General to Airport and $44,746.00 from General to Senior Citizens; and Resolution 13-12 Making Budgeted Transfers, $54,300.00 from Road to School Forest.

EXTENSION & 4H DISTRICT ADVISORY COUNCIL. The court considered requests from volunteers to fill a number of vacant positions on the Extension & 4H Service District Advisory Council and District Budget Committee. Based on the recruitment efforts of Extension Agent Gary Delaney, letters were received from Gail Enright, Joan Walczyk, Jeremy Field, M.T. Anderson, and Becky Jo Griffith expressing interest in serving on the council. Delaney had reported that Jeremy Field and Dennis Reynolds have agreed to serve on the District Budget Committee. MSP: Myers/Labhart -- to appoint Becky Jo Griffith, Joan Walczyk, Jeremy Field, and M.T. Anderson to vacant terms on the Extension and 4H Service District Advisory Council expiring December 14, 2014. MSP: Myers/ Labhart -- to appoint Gail Enright to the Extension and 4H Service District Advisory Council vacancy that expires December 14, 2015. MSP: Myers/Labhart -- to appoint Jeremy Field to the Advisory Council Budget Committee until December 31, 2013. MSP: Myers/Britton -- to reappoint Dennis Reynolds to serve on the Advisory Council Budget Committee until December 31, 2014.

10:45 – Chris Camarena entered

DEPOT PARK. Prairie City Assistant Public Works Director Chris Camarena requested approval to purchase and install three (3) electric heaters in the Women’s Restroom, Men’s Restroom, and Utility Room at the Depot Park bathhouse. He said the existing heaters are about 25 years old; two are non-functional and the third only blows on high heat. Quotes were provided from Wolf Electric $1,273.00 (King); Red’s Electric $1,350.00; and North River Electric $1,350.00 (Cadet) or $1,950.00 (King). Camarena provided information on the size and heating capacity of the Cadet heater and the King heater. He said any of the service providers would be fine with him. MSP: Myers/ Labhart -- to authorize Mr. Camarena to procure heaters through Wolf Electric as proposed. Britton stated that Mr. Wolf would need to understand the county’s bi-monthly claims payment process.

11:00 am -- Kathy Stinnett and Jamie McKay entered

JUSTICE OF THE PEACE. Justice of the Peace Kathy Stinnett provided an informational update on activities in the JP office concerning the transition of new staff, full time office hours, use of new software and credit card payments, installation of new equipment, and increased activity and income due to processing a backlog of cases. JP Clerk Jamie McKay was also present. Stinnett reported, due to budget cuts, Juvenile and Adult Probation would no longer oversee bench probation for Justice Court clients, so a policy will need to be developed for managing that through her office. She mentioned there hasn’t been enough time to have the security camera and half-wall installed.

For security reasons, Stinnett requested that her “reserved” parking space be relocated from the back southwest corner to the 3rd or 4th space south of the Sheriff’s reserved spaces. Or, she’d recommend that the current reserved spot be eliminated. It was the consensus of the court to allow relocation of the reserved parking spot as requested.

Stinnett requested approval to attend the Oregon Judicial Education Program’s Spring Conference at Newport February 27 to March 1. Registration costs $150.00 and includes 3 nights lodging and meals, except for dinner estimated at $120.00. Mileage expense for 630 miles was estimated to be about $270.90. Total costs are expected to be about $540.00. MSP: Myers/ Labhart -- to authorize Ms. Stinnett to attend the educational conference at Newport as requested. It was noted the conference will require a transfer from Contingency.

11:15 am – Amy Charette, Stephan Charette, Aaron Maxwell, Henry Lissman, Shaun Robertson, Kevin Blakely, Jason Kehrberg, Eric Julsrud and Ken Holliday entered

CONFEDERATED TRIBES. Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Watershed Restoration Coordinator Amy Charette presented information about the agency’s Request for Proposal to assist in development of an overall strategy for the John Day Basin to identify and select conservation and restoration projects to partner with and fund. She distributed a graphic outlining the CTWS JD Program EXHIBIT A. The following interested persons were present to listen, ask questions, and provide comment. Aaron Maxwell, North Fork John Day Watershed Council; Shaun Robertson, John Day Resource Center; Kevin Blakely, ODFW; Jason Kehrberg, Grant SWCD; Eric Julsrud, Oregon Water Resources; and local rancher Ken Holliday. Charette talked about BPA funding, key areas to perform work, and various types of restoration actions. She explained that the RFP would eventually provide the agency with the facilitation and technical assistance needed during a series of future meetings of a local stakeholder group that will be responsible for developing the strategic plan. Britton and some interested attendees expressed their strong concern that CTWS had started its John Day River System (from the mouth to the headwaters) RFP conservation and restoration process without any local notice or public input from the community. Charette was asked if the CTWS would re-consider going forward with the current RFP process.

12:15 pm -- Adjourned

Respectfully Submitted,

Mary R. Ferrioli

County Court Secretary

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