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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.

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