• Eugene Weekly Loves You!
Share |

When County Commissioners Facebook, Public Safety Tax, County Animals and Other Board Meeting Fun

So today at the Lane County Commissioners' meeting … 

They laughed, they joked, they talked about a public safety tax and they took secret pictures of each other and posted them on Facebook.

Here's more or less how the meeting went.

ANIMALS

Several citizens gave public comments asking that the commissioners retain the Lane County Animal Services Committee and fill the vacancies that have opened up on it. (See our story in tomorrow's EW.)

During the "Commissioners' Remonstrance" Commish Bozievich sends goodwill to those affected by the East Coast storm and then says he felt most people are not prepared for disasters and suggests some sites to go to for advice and also suggests  to give blood.

Commish Stewart shares the East Coast good wishes and asks County Admin Liane Richardson if she was ready for an update on the Animal Services Committee. Richardson says she hasn't heard anything from Eugene or Springfield about creating a multijurisdictional committee.  Stewart suggests it be made clear to Eugene and Springfield their input would be needed to form a committee that would extend beyond the animals in the county's purview (aka only the animals in the unincorporated areas).

ANIMALS and CLIMATE CHANGE!

Commish Handy says the county needed to send a message to Springfield and Eugene that a multijurisdictional taskforce is needed. He too voices his concerns about the storm and remind everyone that climate change is a huge issue right now and policymakers need to take it seriously.

He gets a couple gold stars for that. 

Sorenson thanks the animal folks for coming and reminds the board of needed to fill spots on the animal services committee. He also comments on the storm and pointed out some of the devastation comes from poor land use planning and not protecting land that could be used as buffers and points out that around here we have houses built too close to lakes and rivers. And he points out the link in the increase in storms to man-made climate change.

More gold stars. 

Leikin says he's talked to the mayor of Springfield and not seeing a lot of "appetite" for a multijurisdictional committee and suggests folks go to the next Springfield City Council meeting and voice their concerns. He sends out his storm concerns and gives some other shout outs.

Then they do a their consent calendar thing.

Then Liane Richardson talks about disaster prepardness.

Bored yet? Me too. Hang in there, it gets more fun. Or just skip down to the end.

PUBLIC SAFETY

The public safety update starts at about 21:30. Richardson sas if something's going to be put on the ballot (aka asking the voters if they want to have a tax) things need to be discussed. 

Sheriff Tom Turner comes in and does a jail funding update. The county is going to lose 15 more jail beds. 

He says with Judge Hogan retiring the new appointee will be from another county (Multnomah) and thus there will be less cases here. A change up at Sheridan will also reduce Lane County's numbers and overall less prisoners from the feds. Funding for 20 fewer beds from the feds means the county loses 15 beds because jail beds are closed in wings or groups. 

And then the commissioners talk for a long time about public safety. At about an hour in, Sorenson brings up concerns about the jail-only focus of the discussion. Turner says Sorenson's questions are "difficult."

The idea of a tax gets discussed (told you so). Leiken says the most important thing is that what is put forward is something that would win in the voters' minds.

Stewart makes an interesing point about how creating a public safety district could  run up against that pesky Metro Plan that makes the county and cities work together.

Bozievich grumbles about Sorenson's criticisms of materials not being available on the website and talking to "the press." Hmm, wonder who that is? Anyway,  Sorenson's not the only one complaining about that. And I'm just going to throw out there that if the agenda said things like "public safety poll and ballot measure" instead of just "public safety" that would be a little more clear. 

Anyway, basically they get around to saying if they are going to put a tax on the May ballot they need to start polling and get a timeline going after the election and by early December. 

The discussion goes on in that vein. Feel free to watch the whole video here

PICTURES!

I'm guessing it was after the meeting ended that Commish Jay Bozievich posted on Facebook what he was doing durings some of the discussion: taking pictures of Pete Sorenson. (I'd ask Bozievich if his Facebooking was post meeting but despite his recent comments on my blog about transparency, last I checked he said he would only talk to me if I asked my questions via a public records request, and those things are kind of spendy when it comes to the county. Anyway, he tends to be pretty by the book, so I'm guessing his FBing was after the meeting.)

And here I was thinking that posting pictures of the kid you're mad at was something high school kids did.

I love county politics.