Grant County Court minutes from April 24, 2019:
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 Commissioners Jim Hamsher and Sam Palmer, Administrative Assistant Laurie Wright, Reporter Rick Hanners, John Morris, Judy Kerr, Louis Provencher, Dan Becker, and Pastor Mark Majors. A Pledge of Allegiance was given to the United States Flag. The invocation was given by Pastor Majors. Judge Myers remained out on medical leave.
CLAIMS. The court had reviewed and approved claims on April 22nd.
AGENDA. Commissioner Hamsher reported Item D (Search & Rescue presentation) needed to be removed from the agenda and Item Q (request to set water troughs on old dump site) and Item R (Resolution 19-17 for an Assessment Grant that is due May 1st) needed to be added. MSP: Hamsher/Palmer -- to accept the agenda as amended.
ANNOUNCEMENTS. Commissioner Palmer participated in a Budget Committee meeting on April 12th and attended a Forest Access for All meeting in Baker City on April 13th. On the 17th he went to an LCAC (Local Community Advisory Committee) meeting at the John Day Fire Hall. Palmer assisted with a Search and Rescue (SAR) mission for the flash flooding in Mitchell on April 19th. Palmer has also had discussions with employees from Harney County regarding their budget crisis and discussed ideas to assist them such as renting jail bed space in our facility to house Harney County inmates.
9:05 am Reporter Logan Bagett entered. 9:06 am Frances Preston entered.
Commissioner Hamsher has continued to speak with various department heads and since the last meeting has attended a Prairie City Council meeting, a Grant County Budget Committee meeting and a Forest Access for All banquet. He helped to move the Commissioner’s office to the L-Building, Suite 7, which he said he will now refer to as “Old Number 7”. Hamsher met with Veteran Services Officer Katee Hoffman to discuss an idea for a veterans call center for suicide prevention. He attended a Forest Service meeting in Pendleton with other Eastern Oregon Commissioners to discuss how to move forward with the forest plan.
9:11 am Julie Ellison entered.
Hamsher received several telephone calls from Congressman Walden, Senator Wyden and Representative Findley’s offices regarding flood damage within the county. He will be taking Kathleen Cathey from Senator Wyden’s office on a tour of the county to review the damage. He also updated concerned citizens about flood status. The Army Core of Engineers did a preliminary inspection of the bridges and banks along Canyon Creek and the John Day River and are concerned the supports of the Inland Bridge in Canyon City may be damaged. Hamsher thanked Emergency Management Coordinator Ted Williams and Incident Commander Deputy Dave Dobler for their work during the flood. Hamsher spoke with several contractors about issues with the way the State is processing building permits and will be contacting elected officials to discuss the problems. Last weekend a request for assistance was received from Wheeler County due to the flash flood in Mitchell and Hamsher expressed his amazement for the response from neighboring communities, federal, state and local agencies, law enforcement, emergency responders and citizens. He wanted to thank all of the volunteers that assisted. Hamsher talked with Sergeant Waddel about the backup generator in the jail and also met with Canyon City Fire Chief Matt Turner over his concerns with some of the flood plans. Hamsher said a debriefing will be held with County and City personnel and agencies to discuss ideas, successes and areas where improvement is needed. On May 9th Hamsher will travel to Pendleton to meet with the new Regional Forester Glenn Casamassa.
MINUTES. MSP: Hamsher/Palmer -- to approve the April 10th minutes as presented.
COMPUTER AND PRINTER. The court reviewed quotes for a new computer, printer and software for the Human Resources Office. The computer quotes were: ThinkCentre W720 ($699); ThinkCentre M720s ($762.67); and ThinkCentre M910s ($839.83). The quotes for a monitor were: Acer V226WL ($121.88); LG 22MC37D-B ($102.46); and ViewSonic VX2252MH ($105.49). Microsoft Office 2019 Software ($306.68) and and HP Laserjet Pro printer ($439.45) were also quoted. MSP: Hamsher/Palmer -- to approve purchase of the ThinkCentre W720 in the amount of $699 from Connection, the LG monitor in the amount of $102.46 from Safarimicro and the Windows Software in the amount of $306.68 and HP Printer in the amount of $439.45 from Safarimicro.
JOB DESCRIPTIONS. The court reviewed the revised Human Resources Manager (HR) which was changed to include payroll and the revised County Court Administrative Assistant which was revised to change the title of the position from County Court Secretary and to include an acceptable criminal background. MSP: Hamsher/Palmer -- to adopt the revised HR Manager job description to include payroll and to adopt the revised County Court Administrative Assistant job description. HR Manager Laurie Wright requested court permission to begin to advertise for the 20 hour per week Administrative Assistant position so she would have enough time to train a new employee prior to July when the HR position will become full time. Hamsher and Palmer would like this advertised immediately.
9:17 am Shannon Springer entered. 9:18 am Josh Walker entered.
SUPPLEMENTAL BUDGET HEARING. Treasurer Julie Ellison presented Resolution #19-11 to the court. Notice of supplemental budget meeting was advertised in the Blue Mountain Eagle on April 17, 2019 pursuant to Oregon Budget Law. A supplemental budget needs to be adopted to receive and appropriate unanticipated funding for emergency management in the amount of $20,000. This is funding received from Title III. Discussion followed regarding what Title III funding can be used for. Hamsher read the resolution to those in attendance. MSP: Palmer/Hamsher -- to adopt the supplemental budget and approve Resolution 19-11 and circulate for signatures.
PUBLIC HEARING – ORDINANCE 2019-06. The hearing opened at 9:24 am for Ordinance 2019-06 – In the Matter of Revising and Establishing Fees Related to Building Permits in Grant County and Declaring an Emergency. This was the second hearing for this matter. Hamsher read Ordinance 2019-06 by title. Springer said the Ordinance was published so it only needed to be read by title today. Springer reported explained this ordinance was supposed to go into effect Monday, but has now been informed it will be two more weeks until the e-permitting begins. Springer requested the ordinance be amended to reflect the actual date the system will go live. Hamsher offered public testimony as follows:
Opponent: None received.
Neutral: None received.
Proponent: None received.
MSP: Hamsher/Palmer -- to adopt Ordinance 2019-06 as an emergency with the change of effective date to May 13th and circulate for signatures.
OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FORESTRY (ODF) LEASE. The court reviewed an office space lease agreement with ODF. The lease is for office space at the Airport at the rate of $500 per month and shall expire on September 30, 2019 unless it needs to be extended for fire season. MSP: Hamsher/Palmer -- to approve the lease and authorize Hamsher to sign.
DEPUTY CLERK JOB DESCRIPTION. The Deputy Clerk job description was revised to include additional duties that have been added to the position. Wright stated this better reflects the duties being performed at this time and recommended sending this to the Local Government Personnel Institute (LGPI) for grade placement. MSP: Hamsher/Palmer -- to approve the revised job description and to send it to LGPI for grade placement.
BUDGET RESOLUTIONS. Resolution 19-12: transfers funds from the General Fund Contingency to Sheriff Personnel Services in the amount of $160,000. This transfer was necessary due to the court approval of two new sergeant positions within the department. Hamsher read the resolution to those in attendance. MSP: Hamsher/Palmer -- to approve Resolution 19-12 and circulate for signatures.
Resolution 19-14: transfers funds in the amount of $100,000 from the Sheriff Capital Outlay line to Materials and Services because the materials and services line has gone over. Hamsher read the resolution to those in attendance. MSP: Hamsher/Palmer -- to approve Resolution 19-14 and circulate for signatures. Resolution 19-15: transfers funds in the amount of $25,000 from the General Fund Contingency to Planning Department Materials and Services because the Planning Department has sold a higher volume of permits than anticipated causing them to go over in materials and services. Hamsher read the resolution to those in attendance. MSP: Hamsher/Palmer -- to approve Resolution 19-15 and circulate for signatures.
PLANNING DEPARTMENT LAPTOP. Planning Director Hilary McNary sent a written request to the court for replacement of her current laptop. McNary explained her current laptop is failing and would like to replace it before it dies and she is unable to complete her work. She obtained three quotes: Education Service District (ESD) $1451; Insight.com $1968.99; and Lenova.com $1476.75. McNary recommended purchase of the laptop from ESD because it is the lowest price and can be supported by ESD. It will be need to be paid from the General Fund Capital Outlay. MSP: Hamsher/Palmer -- to approve purchase of the laptop from ESD in the amount of $1451 to be paid from General Fund Capital Outlay.
CELL PHONE STIPEND. Economic Development Director Allison Field requested court approval for payment of a cell phone stipend to Economic Development Specialist Beth Simonsen because she is using her own cell phone for county business. MSP: Hamsher/Palmer -- to approve a cell phone stipend to Beth Simonsen to be paid from Title III Firewise.
OREGON HEALTH AUTHORITY (OHA) AGREEMENT 154111-12. The court reviewed Amendment 12 to OHA Agreement 154111 which includes modifications to funding amounts for public health programs with a total increase of $9203. MSP: Palmer/Hamsher -- to approve OHA Agreement 154111-12 and to authorize Commissioner Palmer to sign.
JAIL GENERATOR WIRING UPGRADE. The court reviewed a written request from Sergeant Josh Wolf to upgrade the wiring system for the generator for the jail. During a recent power outage it was discovered that the way the system is currently wired the certain parts of the facility, including the kitchen freezers and fire system, are not supported during power outages. Wolf received an estimate from North River Electric in the amount of $4230 to update the system. The current generator has the power capabilities to handle the increased power load. Hamsher asked Wolf to reach out to other local electricians for quotes. MSP: Hamsher/Palmer -- to approve upgrade of the wiring system for the generator and accept the lowest quote received. During the court break an email was received from Sergeant Waddel in the Jail that he reached out for other quotes and has not yet received any. Palmer wished to amend the motion. MSP: Palmer/Hamsher – to amend the previous motion to include a deadline for submittal of quotes until next Wednesday and if none are received to award the upgrade to North River Electric.
FAIR CONTRACT. The court reviewed a Fair Contract for a hypnotist for this year’s fair. The hypnotist will provide up to three shows per day for $3600. MSP: Hamsher/Palmer -- to approve the contract with Justin James Mabry DBA The Hypnosis Company and circulate for signatures.
MOULTON REQUEST. Private citizen Richard Moulton requested court permission to use the old dump site near Dayville to install water troughs for his cattle. Hamsher spoke with Road Master Alan Hickerson and discovered the county does not currently utilize this 2 acre piece of property. Hamsher explained the location of the site and recommended approving the request for this year and then ask Moulton to request this again next year. MSP: Hamsher/Palmer -- to grant Moulton temporary permission to install water troughs on the county property.
RESOLUTION 19-17. In the Matter of Submitting the Oregon Department of Revenue Assessment and Taxation Grant Application. This is an annual resolution required by the State in order to receive funding from the Department of Revenue. The state grant provides funding for counties to help them come into compliance with state law and other laws requiring equity and uniformity in the system of property taxation. Hamsher read the resolution to those in attendance. MSP: Hamsher/Palmer – to approve Resolution 19-17 and circulate for signatures.
FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION (FAA) GRANT APPLICATION. The court had reviewed the FAA Grant Application for Phase 2 of the Airport apron reconstruction project. MSP: Hamsher/Palmer -- to approve the FAA grant application and authorize Judge Myers to sign tomorrow.
9:52 am Nick Green and Dee Dee Kluser entered.
GRANT COUNTY DIGITAL COALITION (GCDC). GCDC Board Member Dan Becker presented an update to the court. He reviewed the meetings that have been held and advised all minutes have been sent to the court. Two projects were completed in April of this year: 1. Internet fiber was installed between Grant Union High School, Grant County Education Service District (ESD), and Grant County Digital Coalition interconnect site located at the fire hall in John Day; and 2. Internet fiber was installed between Seneca School and Seneca City Hall. Becker introduced Executive Director Nick Green. Green updated the court on the board structure and members. The mission defined by the board was to bring affordable, reliable and high quality internet services to the citizens of Grant County. Green explained different areas that have been worked on and future plans. Green discussed the partnership with Oregon Telephone Corporation and the plan to bring fiber service from Burns. He went on to explain the different grant applications being applied for and said the system will be publically owned, but privately operated. Hamsher thanked GCDC and Oregon Telephone for working on this project together.
10:09 am The court took a short break. 1020 am Elaine Smith entered.
10:33 am The court returned to session.
RESOLUTION 19-16 – 2ND AMENDMENT PRESERVATION. The court reviewed Resolution 19-16 – In the Matter of the 2nd Amendment Preservation Resolution for Grant County. Hamsher asked if anyone in the audience wanted him to read the entire resolution or to read it by title. No one requested a full reading. Copies of the resolution will be provided for those who request it either by paper or electronically. Hamsher reported other counties have passed ordinances regarding this and he would prefer to wait to see how possible legal challenges turn out before passing an ordinance here. Hamsher believes once legal challenges are sorted out then the court can look at passing an ordinance that will stand up to legal challenges. Louis Provencher agreed that this is a prudent idea at this time. MSP: Hamsher/Palmer -- to approve Resolution 19-16 and circulate for signatures.
PUBLIC COMMENT. Judy Kerr read a prepared statement to the court requesting Commissioner Hamsher be compensated for stepping up and acting as the County Judge during Judge Myers absence. She thanked Hamsher for his hard work during this time. Kerr said she has not read the job descriptions for the Commissioners, but believes there should be clarification for a lead commissioner. Palmer agreed and is in support of Hamsher receiving something for the extra hours worked during this time. Hamsher reported the commissioner positions are only budgeted at .33 FTE and this does make it difficult. Hamsher said he must recuse himself from this discussion since it would benefit him financially. Kerr would like a resolution put in place delegating authority if the County Judge is unavailable. Preston believes immediate action must be taken since we don’t know when Judge Myers will return. Preston suggested asking Rob Raschio to return as a temporary commissioner until Myers return. Wright reported Myers is at the doctor today and should have an update and estimated time to return by tomorrow. Wright suggested the commissioners contact the Governor’s office and Secretary of State to make sure whatever action is taken is a legal action. Palmer suggested County Counsel contact the Governor’s office for clarification. Frances Preston expressed concern for the financial difficulties facing Harney County and wanted to know if our Sheriff and Deputies would have to assist them. Palmer said he does not believe our officers will be crossing county lines. Hamsher believes Harney County was working off proposed revenue numbers and not actual revenue numbers and the auditor finally discovered it after 3 or 4 years. Elaine Smith said she has friends and family in Harney County and her understanding is this happened under the previous administration and hopes the current administration is not blamed for it. Preston hopes this doesn’t happen in Grant County and that employees are watching their budgets. Palmer said our Treasurer watches the budget very carefully. Palmer and Hamsher both reported they have not been asked by anyone in Harney County for financial assistance.
MSP: Hamsher/Palmer – to adjourn. 11:18 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 ****