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Feet to the Fire


Bringing back the heat!

The September 16, 2015 Douglas County Board of Commissioners meeting began with the Pledge of Allegiance and approval of the minutes of the September 9, 2015 meeting.

During Citizen Participation on the Agenda items there were no comments or questions from the public.

Agenda item 1) Under the Assessor’s Department a Tax “Correction for Tyco Properties, the result of an appeal made to the Tax Court, Dept. of Revenue, by Representative David Carmichael. Case #15-0094, Stipulation, resulting in the reduction of value for tax account R23123, for years 2012-13 and 2013-15. Refund plus interest: $26,577.07. Roger Hartman, County Assessor explained the refund on the property owned in Drain, Oregon. The Refund was approved unanimously without discussion.
Agenda item 2) Parks Department-PULLED- Grant Application Resolution to apply for an Oregon Parks and Recreation Department grant. The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department’s County Opportunity Grant program is available to county parks that offer overnight camping. Douglas County Parks is proposing to replace the bathroom/shower facility at Windy Cove B Campground. This grant application for $120,000.00 will fund approximately 45% of the project. The County’s match obligation of $155,000.00 will be a combination of in-kind demolition, site preparation work and cash generated from the sale of surplus parks property. Commissioner Morgan announced that the scheduled agenda item was withdrawn; “We’re not going to take this one up because the documents aren’t ready.” No explanation was offered as to what documents were not prepared for the scheduled agenda item, why they were not available, or if the grant application would come back at a later time.  

Agenda item 3) Public Works- An Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) between Douglas County and Oregon Department of Transportation. The agreement involved an “exchange of $68,612.34 of the County’s Federal Aid Surface Transportation Program allocation for $64,495.60 in state funds for the County’s match for preliminary engineering on the Old Highway 99N: Winchester Bridge to Pleasant Avenue project.” Public Works Director Robb Paul explained that exchanging the federal dollars for state dollars costs the county 6% (a loss of $4,116.74) which allows the county to avoid NEPA [National Environmental Policy Act] requirements. Commissioner Boice moved to approve the agreement, Commissioner Freeman seconded the motion, Chair Morgan then said “just by way of comment I’d like to say that this is a longstanding practice on the part of the Oregon Department of Transportation to help local jurisdictions with their compliance. This takes a whole raft of federal regulations off the table and makes projects much more doable in terms of the cost and the administration on this level.” The IGA was approved unanimously.    

Agenda item 4) Public Works- IGA between Douglas County and Oregon Department of Transportation for preliminary engineering of the Old Highway 99N Winchester Bridge to Pleasant Avenue project. Estimated cost: $628,000.00. Project will be funded with $563,504.00 of County’s Federal-Aid Surface Transportation Program allocation and $64,496.00 of County funds. Public Works Director Robb Paul explained that this IGA “takes that $64-65,000 that we just exchanged in state money and applies it back to the federal money to do a design for the portion of Hwy 99 from the south end of the Winchester Bridge to Pleasant Street, which is in front of the Log Cabin Grocery.” This allows the road widening and sidewalks which are along Hwy 99 up to the Log Cabin Grocery from the south. Commissioner Freeman moved for the IGA, Commissioner Boice seconded the motion, under discussion Freeman said “So, thank you for bringing this forward and I absolutely understand the complexity of what you just described; it’s just one of those things about government that is frustrating to me. This- over half a million dollars- $620,000 is simply to engineer and study this project. It doesn’t put in a pipe, it doesn’t pave a road it doesn’t stripe a line and we’ve become so complicated on how we do things, and again this is going to be a federally funded project, so we have to follow this criteria, but people wonder why the cost of things are so high and this just a great example of that.” Robb Paul “Ya”. Commissioner Boice added “Just the way that this process works, just for comment sake, for the public who might be watching, there’s a perception that you pay your tax dollars locally and the county government does all these things but this is a great example of all of the different funding streams that we get above and beyond our property tax base, that come from the federal and the state governments with all these strings attached and regulations that we have to follow and these are hoops that we have to jump through in order to take some federal funding and turn it into state funding so we can use it for match dollars for grants from the feds in order to get this project done. It’s extremely complicated, it seems very unnecessary at times, but again regulations that we have to follow and again I appreciate you doing this work but it seems a little cumbersome but it’s necessary, I get that, at least at this point and I appreciate you doing the work on it.” Chair Morgan added “And just by way of comment I want to just agree with my colleagues that the cost that’s added to any project that we do, and it doesn’t matter really what policy arena it’s in, whether it’s in health care or in public works or anything at all, all of the funding that we receive comes with strings attached to it.” Morgan then went into a lengthy discussion of the commissioners budget presentations they gave around the county, which she said they’re still doing. She then repeated the strings that come attached to various funding sources, from healthcare to Galesville Dam, that they have to comply with or they don’t get the money. She said this is a project that is worth it though. The motion passed unanimously.
Agenda item 5) Public Works-A Board Order to purchase new vehicles. Public Works received quotations from three vendors under the State pricing agreement for the purchase of two new Ford Transit Wagons with two ADA stations. The State of Oregon and Douglas County Public Works determined the Best Value bidder for the items to be procured. Douglas County will be reimbursed by Oregon Department of Transportation grant funds for the items, which will be registered to two special transportation service providers. Total Cost: $118,656.00. Robb Paul explained; “Ya, this is more federal dollars coming to us from grant with lots of restrictions on it. This is what we asked for replacement of two vans for the Dial-A Ride program. One van will be given to Mercy [Hospital]…the other van will be for the City of Winston for their operation.” Paul went on to state that the vans are purchased through ODOT; “Then ODOT turns around and pays us through a transportation grant to reimburse the money for these vans.” [It is not clear since Paul said “this is more federal dollars” how ODOT ends up paying for this.] Paul then told the commissioners how the bid selection process works. Commissioner Boice moved for the agreement, Commissioner Freeman seconded the motion. Chair Morgan said “Let me just by way of comment say that Dial-A Ride has been an incredibly successful program in Douglas County. We have a lot of small towns that are far apart from each other and a lot of geographic area. And Dial-A-Ride has a central dispatch that the police department of the City of Sutherlin runs for the system and individuals all around the county have an 800 number they can dial in to and actually say where- when they need a Dial-A-Ride to come pick them up, where they need to be taken to, and these are things like medical appointments, shopping, those kinds of things and then when they need to be taken back to their residence. And so the Dial-A-Ride software will actually set up a route for the Dial-A Ride drivers, who are volunteers, and they can go around and pick these people up, take them to the places they need to go and take them home again.” She said it’s open first to seniors and disabled volunteers and then to others on a first come first served basis and the riders can pay by donation. The Order to purchase the vehicles was passed unanimously.  

Agenda item 6) Citizen Participation. John Clark from Winston addressed the Board. He referenced comments from the previous week’s meeting and turned in what he described as “packets” supporting his previous testimony. The packet contents he described as a contract between Coos County and Jordan Cove Energy from 2007. For the next 4 minutes approximately he explained the contract to the commissioners. He then turned in another packet to the commissioners dealing with some maps and history of McNabb Creek Road, a staging area for the pipeline project. He mentioned that the contractor has not approached anyone on the road to discuss impacts. He mentioned that former Commissioner Mike Winters lives on McNabb Creek Rd. Clark spent the next eight minutes talking about the impacts on the road from the staging area. Some back and forth then ensued between Freeman and Clark discussing the confusion on the roads described. Freeman apologized, apparently to Morgan, for addressing Clark. Morgan said it was okay, then she too addressed Clark expressing her own confusion. Morgan asked Clark if he had spoken to Williams Pipeline. Clark said lots of times. He said they have been discussing this since 2006. Clark said what he wants from the commissioners is “I need the dimensions of that pipe, I need to know what the length of that pipe is, what the weight of that pipe is, and how many pieces of pipe are going to be on the transport”. Morgan interjected “that’s why I think that we can put you in touch with the people at Williams that have that information that would probably be very valuable, and we’ll do that.” Clark said “it seems to me that that should be of interest to you because they are going to be using county roads.” Morgan asked if there were others to give public testimony. There were no others.          

Agenda item 7) Commissioner Comments. Boice declined to offer any comments. Freeman thanked Clark for coming forward. He reminded Clark that he is looking for, as a commissioner, any point at which the county could get involved. He reminded Clark that this is not a county project. Clark asked if he could add something. Morgan allowed him to come back to the podium to address the commission. He said his presentation was at least in part due to a letter from Planning Director Keith Cubic. He also stated that any misinformation is coming from the applicant not the respondents. Freeman then talked about Oregon State of Reform Health Policy Conference in Portland, where he was a keynote panelist. Freeman said it was a positive conference. He said the State of Oregon is responsible for purchasing healthcare for one million Oregonians. Morgan thanked Freeman for being part of that. Morgan then thanked Clark for bringing pipeline issues forward again. She then expressed her frustration at getting between the pipeline builders and those who don’t want it. She said the county has no jurisdiction. She said the land use process has been closed and they have no way to open it up again. Morgan then said that they must stay within “the regulatory framework that we took an oath of office to maintain.” She encouraged a direct dialogue between opponents and the pipeline officials. She asked Clark to “help us get out of the middle of this”. Morgan then commented on 9-11. She referenced the moving ceremonies held in Douglas County, including one held at Mercy featuring a steel beam from the World Trade Center. Another ceremony was held at VFW Post 2468.

The next commissioner meeting will take place September 30, 2015, at 9:00 am in Rm. 216 of the D.C. Courthouse. We encourage the public to attend and participate.

There are 4,938 people who have viewed the commissioner meetings online since they were reinstituted.


Bringing back the heat!

The September 9, 2015 Douglas County Board of Commissioners meeting began with the Pledge of Allegiance and approval of the minutes of the September 2, 2015 meeting.

During Citizen Participation on the Agenda items there were no comments from the public.

Agenda item 1) A Public Hearing was held to consider repealing Article II of Douglas County Code Chapter 2.36. Chair Morgan opened the public hearing. County Counsel Paul Meyer read the language of the ordinance, announcing it is the first reading of the proposed ordinance. Meyer explained that Section 2.36 of the code “concerns elections kinds of issues” and that he, as County Counsel, and County Clerk Patti Hitt are recommending the repeal of Section II. The purpose of which, as he explained it, is to change the provision which governs the wording of ballot questions. He claims that the current Section II language requires wording of certain ballot measures to use language where a no vote means yes and a yes vote means no. He referenced a July 2015 board decision and subsequent county ordinance which prohibits various kinds of marijuana businesses from operating in the county. The controversial board decision will be referred to the voters in the November 2016 election. Meyer said this change in county election procedure which would be facilitated by the repeal of Article II, he said “is a problem for us” because the ballot question for that specific measure would have to be worded something to the effect of “Shall medical marijuana businesses be prohibited in unincorporated Douglas County?” Meyer claimed that the question; shall businesses be prohibited? would mean that a yes vote, which is very clearly to prohibit the marijuana businesses, would in fact be confusing to voters. He said “so Yes means No to the businesses, No means Yes to the businesses, it’s a very confusing format.” He said that rather than fixing that one provision in Article II to address this, it was determined that it would be better to repeal the whole thing. Commissioner Boice moved to “pass it on for a second reading”. Chair Morgan reminded Boice they were still in a public hearing. She then said “first thing I’d like to invite anyone to come forward that would like to testify on this or ask questions about it, to come forward now.” Josiah Goldberg addressed his remarks to County Counsel Paul Meyer;“Mr. Meyer I would like to tell you that we are not the audience, we are the voters who pay your salary, thank you.“ No other members of the public came forward. Commissioner Freeman stated his support for the adoption of the new ordinance because it makes ballot questions more clear to voters. Morgan said “just by way of comment I’d like to add to that, beings as this is the first reading of this ordinance, colleagues, I would like to post this worksheet that compares the county ordinance to the state statute on the county website so that people can check it out for themselves.” She went on to repeat Meyer’s and Freeman’s comments that Yes should mean Yes and No should mean No. The public hearing was closed. The second and final reading of the new ordinance will be on September 23, 2015. Morgan did not say whether the September 23, second reading would allow for public testimony.

Agenda item 2) Order of Appointment (Susan Morgan) Request for appointment to Partnership for Umpqua Rivers. The board position that is now open is one held expressly for county commissioners only, and was last held by Joe Laurance. Susan Morgan made the motion to nominate herself for the vacant board position on the watershed council, the motion was seconded by Tim Freeman and with no discussion the motion was passed unanimously.

Agenda item 3) Under Building Facilities-An order awarding a contract. Kevin Potter; IT, Building Facilities and Radio System Director, gave the presentation. Potter said the bid request was issued on August 12th to re-roof a portion of the courthouse complex and that only one bidder responded, Umpqua Roofing. Potter said he assumed that due to the asbestos abatement portion of the project there were other bidders who either were not qualified or were unwilling to take on the project. It was his recommendation to the Board of Commissioners that they award the contract and move forward with the project. Boice moved to award the contract and Freeman seconded. With no discussion the motion passed unanimously.

Agenda item 4) County Clerk-A contract approval request, to authorize the annual contract for Clerk Recording Support and Maintenance through Helion Software, Inc. Contract Dates: October 1, 2015 – September 30, 2016. Total Contract amount: $18,758.00. Rosemarie Wess presented the request to the commissioners stating that the vendor, Helion Software pretty much runs everything in the Clerk’s office. Freeman moved for the contract, which was seconded by Boice, and then passed unanimously with no discussion.   
Agenda item 5) Lease agreement under the Information Technology department. Kevin Potter explained the lease between Rome Creek Communications, a subsidiary of “Roseburg Lumber”, and Douglas County. The lease is for the Gardiner Hill Radio site which is owned by Rome Creek. The lease amount is for $1,500 per year. Potter asked for the approval of the lease. The motion was made by Boice, seconded by Freeman, and without discussion was passed unanimously.

Agenda item 6) Appointment to the Umpqua Planning Advisory Committee. Keith Cubic, Planning Director explained the process to make appointments to the two vacancies that exist on the North Umpqua Planning Advisory Committee (PAC) after two recent resignations. Cubic said that after an open recruitment they received a request for appointment from Larry Saxton, for one of the two vacancies. There was no disclosure as to the number of other applications received. Cubic said the Citizen Involvement Committee reviewed Saxton’s application and recommend his appointment. Commissioner Freeman moved for the appointment, which was seconded by Boice. Freeman said he wanted to “thank this gentleman for applying and being willing to help” and that he wanted to also thank all the other county volunteers who serve. The question was called and with no further discussion the motion to appoint Mr. Saxton carried unanimously.

Agenda item 7) Under the Planning Department – Committee for Citizen Involvement (CCI) Appointment. Planning Director Keith Cubic explained that the Committee for Citizen Involvement (CCI) is comprised of; an existing member from each of the six PACs (Planning Advisory Committee) geographic areas plus one representative of the Douglas County Planning Commission. With the recent resignation of a PAC member from the North Umpqua PAC, there is one membership term on the CCI open for the North Umpqua PAC. The CCI requests the appointment of Larry Hall, a member of the North Umpqua PAC. A motion was made by Boice, a second by Freeman, and without discussion the appointment was approved unanimously.  

Agenda item 8) Public Health Update and Contract. Commissioner Freeman spoke of the new non-profit that was formed for the purpose of providing public health services; Douglas Public Health Network, which is comprised of; UCHC (Umpqua Community Health Centers), UCAN (Umpqua Community Action Network), ADAPT, ATRIO, Advantage Dental, CHA (a new mental health care provider), GOBI (Greater Oregon Behavioral Health), Douglas County has a seat on the board, Dr. Bob Dannenhoffer, and two open seats for the CCO and Mercy Hospital. A contract with Umpqua Community Health Center for immunization, family planning and STD services was proposed; contract amount not to exceed $245,376.00. Freeman said the county currently offered, in the Roseburg area, two and a half hours per week for immunization services, under the new contract arrangement with UCHC that would expand to a minimum of 30 hours/week. In Drain the county was offering four hours per week which UCHC will expand to 20 hrs. including Sutherlin and Myrtle Creek, plus Glide which hasn’t been served before. The new non-profit will also be doing family planning services and STD services. Freeman said the funds from the county are at the same dollar amount they were budgeted for before the non-profit arrangement, but will be administered by UCHC. Freeman moved to accept the contract with UCHC, Boice seconded, and with no further discussion the $245,376.00 contract was approved unanimously.

Agenda item 9) Public Health; Contract with Lower Umpqua Hospital District. For Immunization, STDs and Family Planning. The contract is for a minimum of one day per week for $10,121.00. Boice thanked Freeman for his work on the project and for those willing to step up and help. The motion to approve the contract was passed unanimously with no further discussion.    

Agenda item 10) Public Health-Contract with United Community Action Network (UCAN). The contract is to administer the WIC program in Douglas County. Contract amount not to exceed $650,718.00. Freeman explained the importance of the WIC program. He said the transition will be seamless and have no effect on the users of the service. Freeman moved, Boice seconded, and with no discussion the motion to award the contract to UCAN was approved unanimously.  

Agenda item 11) Sheriff’s Department-Contract Modification to existing Cooperative Law Enforcement Agreement with the U.S. Forest Service in the amount of $47,960.00. This modification is for an additional $10,576.00 in revenue to the County. Sheriff John Hanlin presented the proposal which will increase revenue to the county for the patrol of the North Umpqua Hydro-electric project. Commissioner Boice moved to approve the contract, Freeman seconded, and under comment Boice explained that the Forest Service wanted to have the county provide the same level of patrol services as the previous year’s contract but for less money. This contract modification is the result of further negotiation. Commissioner Freeman thanked Commissioner Boice for his hard work on this. Susan Morgan then added “by way of comment I concur with that and thank you commissioner Boice for your work on this.” The motion carried unanimously.     
Agenda item 12) Sheriff’s Department-Contract Extension- First Extension of Contract #28047 with Unificare, Ltd. The Department of Justice administers the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP). This program is designed to provide federal assistance to states and localities that incur costs for incarcerating undocumented (illegal) criminal aliens who are being held as a result of state and/or local charges or convictions. Douglas County is reimbursed for the actual housing costs of these inmates. Sheriff Hanlin said the extension will extend the contract to April 10, 2019. He said it allows the county the ability to recoup some of the costs of incarcerating illegal criminal aliens. A motion was made by Freeman, seconded by Boice to approve the contract extension. Boice said a lot of people don’t understand is that “we have a whole bunch of different agencies that work out there to help folks obey the law and when people decide not to do that they end up in jail, and a lot of times depending on who that arresting agency is for that particular criminal the bill for incarceration in the jail for that person goes to that agency.” Hanlin said it isn’t just to recoup costs for incarcerating illegal aliens, but only those who have committed a crime in Douglas County. The motion passed unanimously.

Agenda item 13) Citizen Participation. Josiah (Doc) Goldberg of Roseburg brought forward to the Board of Commissioners a proposal that the oaths of office they each take should be taken on the Bible. The President of the United States and the Vice President take their oaths with one hand on the Bible. Goldberg said this would let the citizens (not audience members) know where the commissioners values are: “They know the words of the Bible, they know about the Ten Commandments and the rest of the Bible, and it would be comforting to us to know that that is your frame of reference, and that’s how this county is governed.” He said he didn’t know if they can make the decision during this meeting to make the Bible part of the swearing in ceremony, but if not it could be added as an agenda item at a later meeting. None of the commissioners responded or acknowledge Goldberg’s comments. John Clark of Winston, Oregon spoke about the Board’s comments in Myrtle Creek at a public meeting and in the commissioner chambers about the LUBA process as it relates to the LNG pipeline. He turned in a document to the commissioners, which he described as the transcript of a 2009 planning commission meeting. The primary point of his remarks was that the pipeline cannot significantly increase the cost of farm or forest practices on adjacent parcels, or the cost of fire prevention and suppression. He then addressed the response he received about his concerns about Hoover Hill Road traffic problems caused by the pipeline. At the conclusion of his ten minute presentation Mr. Clark offered to provide documentation to any information he discussed.  

Agenda item 14) Commissioner Comments. Commissioner Boice mentioned his work to get people at the coast to communicate with us better. He mentioned his discussion with Justice of the Peace Steve Miller offering use of his facility and equipment to allow people from Reedsport to potentially participate [real time] in the Board of Commissioner Meetings. Boice said he didn’t have all the details finalized yet but is doing some homework on it. [Editor’s note: This has already been done in Douglas County and was originally deployed as early as 2005 (ten years ago) by the Douglas County Planning Commission]. He then mentioned having commissioners even go to the outlying areas like Reedsport and North and South County to participate in meetings from there. [Editor’s note: Again this was implemented by Commissioner Kittelman with her lunch with the Commissioner program in 2005 where actual county meetings were conducted in these areas]. Both Freeman and Morgan commented on what a “great idea” Boice shared. Freeman then recognized Dr. Robert Dannenhoffer, who was in the audience, and is the president of the new non-profit. He then addressed Doc Goldberg’s bringing up the Bible as part of the swearing-in ceremony, and said “Doc I’m glad you brought that up” and referenced his swearing in at the Roseburg City Council and the State of Oregon as a state representative, although he did not say if the Bible was part of those ceremonies. Freeman said he’s not sure it requires a board action to implement, but that if he should run for his office of commissioner again, the Bible would be part of his swearing in. Doc Goldberg responded that he appreciated Freeman coming forward but that he meant for it to be for all elected officials in Douglas County when they are sworn in. Freeman told Doc he understood “the question”. Doc continued that it would “improve everything in this county; it’s a great county…” Commissioner Morgan interrupted Goldberg stating “this is our time to talk”. Freeman thanked Goldberg for bringing it forward. He then talked about Clark’s comments on the pipeline. Boice then went back to address the Bible question and said “I’m all in”. He echoed Freeman’s comments on Mr. Clark’s presentation. Boice asked people to be aware there is some more hot weather expected later this week and asked for people to be cautious. Susan Morgan then said “by way of comments, Mr. Goldberg I appreciate your comments on the Bible and again to echo Commissioner Freeman’s comments it isn’t something that I have thought about but I do have a family Bible that is very meaningful to me so I do recognize the point that you bring forth, and it’s a solid point.” She asked Mr. Cubic to reach out to the PAC members and thank them on behalf of the commissioners for their volunteer efforts. She thanked Commissioner Freeman for all his work and the “partners in the community” who have joined together to insure continuity of services to the community. She reminded Mr. Clark that the pipeline issue has been going on for eleven years, and thanked him too. Morgan then said this is the time of year that fire season is supposed to start. She joins Commissioner Boice in cautioning people to be careful.           

The next commissioner meeting will take place September 16, 2015, at 9:00 am in Rm. 216 of the D.C. Courthouse. We encourage the public to attend.

There have been 4,811 people who have viewed the commissioner meetings online since they we re-instituted in January of 2015.


From March 16, 2011 Beacon

The March 2, 2011 Board of Commissioners Meeting began with the Pledge of Allegiance. The meeting was chaired by Commissioner Susan Morgan.


From March 9, 2011 Beacon

The March 2, 2011 Board of Commissioners Meeting began with the Pledge of Allegiance. Only Commissioners Morgan and Robertson attended, Laurance was absent.

First on the agenda was a Proclamation supporting International Women's Day.