Grant County Court minutes from Aug. 3, 2016:

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 Chris B. Labhart and Boyd Britton, Administrative Assistant Laurie Wright, Rick Minster, Tom Winters, Jim Sproul, Judy Kerr, Jim Spell, Beth Spell, Billie Jo George, Mike Cosgrove, Sara Russ, Jim Hamsher, John Morris, Les Zaitz, Rob Seaver, and Pastor Susan Church. A Pledge of Allegiance was given to the United States Flag. The invocation was given by Pastor Church.

AGENDA. MSP: Myers/Labhart -- to accept the agenda as presented.

ANNOUNCEMENTS. Commissioner Britton reported a lot of people have been coming to his shop to discuss county issues. On Monday he attended an event with Congressman Walden in Bend.

Judge Myers met members of the Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday where they met with some motorcyclists from Australia. Myers explained Australia has been having issues with motorcycle groups being perceived as gangs and this group is conducting interviews to create a documentary to show what it is like to ride free and just for enjoyment. This Friday at 6:30 the Chamber members and others will be meeting at the Canyon City Community Hall regarding the eclipse planning for next summer and on August 9th will attend an emergency preparedness meeting regarding the eclipse. The meeting at the Community Hall will feature a presentation from a national expert on the eclipse.

Commissioner Labhart attended the Grant County Local Community Advisory Council meeting on Wednesday, June 27th and on August 1st he went to the John Day Senior Center Board meeting and was elected as the Chair. This upcoming Monday and Tuesday he will attend the Oregon Coast Economic Summit in North Bend. On August 11th Labhart will be in Wilsonville at the Health Evidence Review Commission meeting. Labhart will work at the American Legion Hamburger Stand at the Grant County Fair on Saturday, August 13th. Labhart will be absent from court on August 10th to attend a meeting in Portland and absent on August 24th for vacation.

MINUTES. MSP: Labhart/Myers -- to approve the July 27th minutes as amended.

9:14 am Andrea Officer entered.

EXPERIENCE WORKS. A Host Agency Agreement was submitted to the court from Experience Works for the airport. Experience Works provides temporary employees age 55 and older to work for entities. Experience Works pays the employee and also pays the workman’s comp expense. This allows the employee to gather work experience. MSP: Britton/Myers -- to approve the Host Agency Agreement and authorize Judge Myers to sign.

VICTIM ASSISTANCE TRAINING. Victim Assistance Director Andrea Officer presented a request to the court to send Victim Intervention Specialist Kathy Smartt to training on August 10th in Salem. This is a state required training. Officer also requested to send Shelly Whale-Murphy from the Heart of Grant County to training in San Diego on August 31st. This training is also a mandatory training. Both of the trainings will be paid from the VOCA Grant. MSP: Myers/Britton -- to approve both trainings as presented.

9:17 am Dan Becker entered.

Britton asked Officer if she or any of her staff do anything to take care of themselves because of all of the things they see and must deal with. Officer said they learn how to decompress at the trainings they attend and they all have healthy life styles and support from friends, families and colleagues.

9:21 am Dave Traylor entered.

OHA 8TH AMENDMENT. The court reviewed the Oregon Health Authority 8th Amendment to Intergovernmental Agreement #148010. The amendment modifies certain element descriptions and an additional financial award for public health services. MSP: Britton/Labhart -- to approve the 8th Amendment to IGA #148010 and authorize Judge Myers to sign.

NATURAL RESOURCE PLAN. Dave Traylor asked the court for an update on the status of the Natural Resource Plan for Grant County. Traylor said Crook County implemented a natural resource plan based on what Baker County had done. Labhart called a Commissioner from Crook County and said Traylor’s information is incorrect and Crook County has not signed a natural resource plan, one was presented to them by citizens like what was done here. Myers added 100-110 people put a plan together and it is essentially a cut and paste version of the Baker County plan.

9:26 am Haley Walker entered.

In Traylor’s opinion since the county has adopted coordination with the Forest Service it is imperative that a natural resource plan be adopted by the county to address our unique needs here in Grant County. Myers said a considerable amount of money was budgeted for a consultant to be hired and as soon as a request for proposals is completed this process will begin. Billie Jo George told the court you cannot cooperate and coordinate at the same time and the county would need to decide which one they are going to do. George feels they are two separate issues.

9:28 am Sean Hart entered.

George asked if the court completely understands the difference between cooperation and coordination. She stated coordination would require the Forest Service to follow the court’s recommendations and cooperation would give the Forest Service the status of lead agency. Susan Church disagreed and said the definition of cooperation is two parties working together. Traylor would like to see an article in the Blue Mountain Eagle explaining how the Memorandum of Understanding signed by the court with the Forest Service will work. Editor Sean Hart told Traylor there is no article in this week’s paper regarding this. Labhart wanted to know what people thought the court wasn’t doing because the Forest Service and BLM always present information to the court and work with the court.

9:33 am Steve Beverlin and Ryan Nehl entered.

Judy Kerr stated the MOU says the court and Forest Service will work together, but yet Beverlin said the Forest Service decides what stage this begins at. Kerr doesn’t understand how we can participate if the steps aren’t completed together. Jim Sproul said the court recently asked for coordination and wanted to know when they decided to not require coordination by signing the MOU. Myers disagreed. Sproul said an overwhelming amount of citizens are requesting court representation and the court abdicated this by signing the MOU. Jim Spell disagreed and stated he is hearing three people say this, not the overwhelming majority. Spell personally supports the court in what they are doing. John Morris asked Labhart if he was at a meeting around 2 years ago where the Forest Supervisor Gouchner told around 200 people in attendance that open roads on the map would remain open and roads not on the map would remain closed. Labhart said he wasn’t at that meeting, but we now have a new Forest Supervisor. Morris asked if the court received a response from the BLM on their new planning proposal. Myers said he doesn’t believe so, but he will check his emails. Myers advised the audience the BLM will be here on August 24th for those who have questions. Sproul understands the county isn’t looking for a natural resource plan, but a natural resource coordinator. Myers said the county is looking for a natural resource specialist to work with the court. Sproul asked if this person will be a local person who understands the needs of Grant County. Myers stated this is preferable, but the request for proposals cannot be limited in this way when it is advertised. Kerr believes the court would be in violation of an initiative passed in 2002 regarding citizen participation in the stewardship of natural resources on public lands if someone is brought in from outside the county. Britton reported the court has been involved from the beginning as a cooperating agency on the Blue Mountain Forest Plans Revision. Britton told Morris he was furious about the way Gouchner treated the people who attended the meeting Morris referred to. Britton said Gouchner even complained to Congressman Walden’s office about Britton being mean to him. Britton respectfully disagreed with those that don’t believe the court can cooperate and coordinate with the Forest Service and believes the court can do both. Britton feels a lot of positive things have happened recently with increased timber harvests, lowering of unemployment, and better school situations. The MOU does not prevent the court from legal action if necessary. Discussion followed about issues with federal agencies and possible problems federal rule making can have in our county.

9:57 am King Williams entered.

Cooperation, coordination and collaboration were discussed. King Williams wanted it on the record that the county can work as a cooperating agency with the Forest Service and can also coordinate, they are not mutually exclusive. Forest Supervisor Steve Beverlin explained to the audience how the Forest Service works with local community partners.

10:09 am Mindy Winegar, Dusty Williams and Shanna Northway entered.

FAIR VOLUNTEERS. Fair Secretary Mindy Winegar read a statement from Fair Manager Mary Weaver advising the court of her serious medical issues. Weaver asked county employees to volunteer at least 2 hours of time to work at the fair and help out this year. The Sheriff’s Department has agreed to provide security for the concert, but many additional volunteers are needed. Winegar asked the court to allow county employee’s to volunteer. Myers said he would contact CIS and discuss this from a human resource standpoint. Britton asked her to send an email to the court with the times she needs volunteers.

NPRA RODEO. Winegar presented bids to the court from stock contractors for an NPRA Rodeo in September. The first bid was from Howell Rodeo Co. Inc., in the amount of $13,800 and the second bid was from Lazy HK Bar in the amount of $4,850. The stock contractor the fair normally used for the NPRA rodeo (Lazy HK Bar) approached them and proposed doing this event for an extremely low amount because the contractor needs to have his stock in a certain amount of events to qualify for nationals. Jim Hamsher stated the sponsorship and gate entry fees should more than cover the cost of the event. MSP: Britton/Labhart – to approve the bid from Lazy HK Bar in the amount of $4,850.

SAMMY KERSHAW CONTRACT. The court reviewed the fair contract with Sammy Kershaw for the concert on August 13th at the fair. Myers is concerned about all the requirements in the contract. Winegar advised they had to hire professional people to provide the sound services. Winegar said because we are a smaller venue some of the contract items don’t apply. The Sheriff’s Department is providing security for the event. Winegar has advised Kershaw’s agent that she is the contact person and she is staying in contact with Mary Weaver and the fair board via email. MSP: Britton/Labhart -- to authorize Judge Myers to sign the contract after review.

HAND CHECK. A hand check was presented to the court for approval for expenses for awards to be presented at the fair. MSP: Myers/Britton -- to approve the hand check in the amount of $1,775.

HAND CHECK. A second hand check was presented to the court for the deposit for the Sammy Kershaw concert in the amount of $10,000. MSP: Myers/Britton -- to approve the hand check in the amount of $10,000 for payment of the deposit to Sammy Kershaw.

PUBLIC COMMENT. Beth Spell wanted to clarify for the record what she asked for last week regarding public meeting laws. She read a statement to the court. Spell wanted it known that when she discussed the public meeting laws she was referring to volunteer county committees needing to follow public meeting laws and was not referencing the county court in any way.

10:33 am – Adjourned.

Respectfully Submitted,

Laurie Wright

Administrative Assistant

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