RECORD OF THE PROCEEDINGS

OKANOGAN COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

February 13, 2017


The Okanogan County Board of Commissioners met in regular session on February 13, 2017, with Commissioner Jim DeTro, Commissioner Chris Branch, Commissioner Andy Hover, and Laleña Johns, Clerk of the Board present.

George Thornton arrived at 9:00 a.m. member of the public taking notes.

Review Consent Agenda
Commissioners reviewed the items on their consent agenda.

Briefing Among Commissioners
Commissioners discussed county business. Commissioner Hover stated he knows of a request to change the name of a road from Squaw Creek road to perhaps another name. The Forest Service was calling it McFarland Creek road, but the name change would have to be processed appropriately as it is an address change for those folks living on the road.

Commissioners discussed the meeting they attended last week regarding the Winthrop Smoke Jumpers base. The decision to relocate it has not been made yet, but the commissioners wish to keep the pressure on the USFS and entities that will make the decision consideration to ensure it stays here. It will be a political decision, stated Mr. Thornton. Commissioner Hover believes Wenatchee is being considered as the relocation spot and do the commissioners there even know of the consideration? Twelve good paying jobs and a 1 million dollar budget is a huge loss to Okanogan County, plus all the other jobs that would migrate to Wenatchee if this happens.

Commissioner Hover discussed tourism in the North County with the thought of developing tourism there and actively marketing it. He stated the Winthrop Ice rink is one of the largest in the Northwest and that was funded by Winthrop Lodging Tax funds. He pointed out that rural tourism dollars collected outside the city limits also benefits the cities. Commissioner Branch pointed out that the cities and towns also contribute to rural tourism including the Okanogan Trails Scenic Byway, and that it is all really County tourism. Commissioner Hover stated the funds are a means to get there but what do you do once it is developed. People have no idea what is offered in the North County such as the Molson Museum, Similkameen and Whistler Canyon trails, hydro boat races, ice fishing festival, and other big fun events that should be advertised better. Commissioner Branch noted that OCTC advertises these areas and events.

The Commissioners discussed Grizzly bear reintroduction and the near future meetings being held by US Fish and Wildlife.

Public Hearing Supplemental Appropriation -Jail
Commissioner DeTro opened the hearing up to staff, seeing no staff present, he opened up for public comment. No one wished to comment.

Motion Resolution 29-2017 Supplemental Appropriation
Commissioner Branch moved to approve resolution 29-2017 approving funds for Jail Kitchen Cook overtime funds in the amount of $5,942. Commissioners discussed the lack of information about why the supplemental was needed. The Clerk provided the Jail Kitchen budget for 2017 and 2016 for comparison and it appears there was no budget appropriated for 2017 in the Jail Cook overtime line and the line was overspent by $6,900 in 2016. Commissioner Hover was satisfied with the information. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Mr. Thornton, member of the public, explained his different views about the range land issues with the commissioners. Commissioner Hover discussed that the relationship between Forest Service and the commissioners does need to be improved. After 20 years of not stewarding their own land, then the Forest Service comes in with a heavy hand saying it is all wrong, and that just isn’t appropriate. Commissioner DeTro stated the Smoke Jump base is an issue because he has put Forest Service on notice for the last 7 years and they have had different forest supervisors almost every year and yet nothing is passed on to the new supervisor so we have to start all over again each time. He will call them out on it as it is underhanded and devious for a white paper to show up on Tidwell’s desk that no one else knows about. Mr. Thornton, member of the public, noted that he does not represent the FS but does field work in this area but commented on the fact that a lot of decisions are regional or in Wenatchee. Commissioner Hover replied if we have a chance to respond and some things don’t jive and an opportunity exists to communicate those concerns, then okay. It just hasn’t happened that way. Commissioner DeTro explained if you have data and you can prove it than okay. Mr. Thornton offered that if it isn’t policy and it is just a discussion then it should be okay for him to offer some information while in attendance. Commissioner DeTro replied the county has tried over the last decade to encourage the Forest Service to coordinate with the county on those range problems, they want to put us off like it doesn’t mean anything and it does. This has to do with people’s livelihood. Commissioner Hover asked if they knew there would be push back and people are not on the same page this is our goal for management is it realistic plan. All types of grasses need to be mowed to different height and for them to say stubble height needs to be 6 inches across the board is not consistent. Mr. Thornton stated there are different stubble heights conducive to different grasses. They are looking at big acreages and that won’t be represented and will be a money decision. They are trying to figure it out for the first time ever. Commissioner Hover stated it is one thing to say there might be an error, but another if….. Commissioner DeTro explained his history in Okanogan County with the forest. He explained the Commissioners had to nearly drag Forest Service in to halt the two year off the range decision after the fires. Commissioner Hover stated rehabilitation can happen with the use of cows, but you have to get to a point where people ranging the cattle understands the consequences for not following a range management plan. The cattlemen should keep their own records on their grazing permit lands so they have proof in their files that would protect them when things start to be questioned. Mr. Thornton stated if the only contact with people is bad then that develops a bad relationship. Commissioner Hover wondered if they vet their biologists and he doesn’t know too many that come out of the cattle range land department and are now a biologist. He wants to see if a common sense approach can be done.

Commissioner DeTro stated he heard there were 26 letters of noncompliance went sent out, out of the 40 or so permittees.

Update-Planning-Perry Houston
Dan Higbee, Building Official and George Thornton member of the public writing notes.

July 2011 was the required deadline to snap shot of time for critical areas and could not have been degraded since that time. He is developing a time line and bench mark to do so. An in interlocal agreement was provided for the chairman’s signature in regards to the Volunteer Stewardship Program work group and that enlists the assistance in assessing the habitat and conservation projects that have been completed.

Motion Interlocal Agreement Okanogan Conservation District
Commissioner Hover moved to authorize the Chairman to sign the Interlocal Agreement between Okanogan County and Okanogan County Conservation District which will expire June 30, 2017. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Director Huston discussed the Title 20 Omnibus hearing scheduled for this week. The Yakama Nation requested the hearing be extended to April 15, 2017 to ensure a full opportunity to respond. The letter dated February 10, 2017 from Yakama Nation by Chairman JoDe Goudy was provided to the commissioners. (attached) Director will communicate back to them that we already have the hearings scheduled and they would be provided time to respond. Commissioner Hover asked if information is provided later on about this issue how would that new info be included and how often and what is the mechanism to include it? Director Huston stated the hearings are to sort through the things we already have, and not reinventing anything but rather put it all in one spot. With each building permit new information would be given. Commissioner Hover asked how that would become a record that someone else might need should the Director not be here. Director interpreted it a rendering based on a finding. Every decision would have its own findings and those would be part of the record of each decision. There would be site specific information included for each record. Director Huston stated he is creating an index of all the information gathered. Water right holders are calling and asking how this issue affects their water. Director staff went to DOE data base to gather information on water right holder information in order to develop our own Okanogan County data base. Perhaps some water right holders relinquished their right but DOE data base doesn’t always have that information so it is a real hunt and find.

An outstanding issue is Mr. Flynn’s company consulting agreement; there was an offer to do the work for substantially less than proposed earlier due to a re-evaluation of the scope. Director Huston reported that it might not be Mr. Flynn who we meet with. Commissioners thought that would be okay. He would hate to push it off six weeks and would prefer a more prompt consultation.

Commissioner Hover asked about the Winthrop and Twisp issues with nightly rentals. If there is a legal Nightly Rental operating out there is there a form available that would provide the information needed for Public Health to know the proper city permits are in place? Commissioner Hover stated that one form could be used for city and county, but the city is not looking for nor signing off on fire code issues. Should there be a form for within the city limits that requires them to attach their fire inspection and code permit? Director Huston explained what is different.

Albert Lin arrived at 2:14 p.m.

Code Enforcement
Code enforcement issues were discussed. Director Huston is the code enforcement officer and stated he does not send out his staff to those issues.

Commissioners directed Director Huston to move ahead with the scheduled hearings for this week. A press release will be issued.

Water Resource Inventory Area (WRIA 48)
Commissioners discussed getting more water to Twisp and Winthrop. We have had one work group about a month ago Yakama, Colville’s, WDFW were there and the Yakama’s were very plain about what we would do for them in regards to fish.

Motion Tonasket EMS District
Commissioner Hover moved to adjourn as the BOCC and reconvene as the Tonasket EMS District. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Director Huston explained the board would be down to the point where one monthly voucher would need to be approved. Alternatively Tonasket is annexed into the district there could be a governing body made of the city and county to approve vouchers, once an interlocal agreement is in place. Commissioner DeTro asked what our connection is with EF Recovery (employment services company).. Director Huston replied that that company is still sending services checks for services revenue to be collected. ADP (ambulance billing service company) is still involved due to pension board. The levy is still viable for another 6 years or so. Oroville on the other hand is up very soon within three years. Commissioner Branch asked about the City of Oroville’s levy and when that might be up. Director Huston will find out.

Commissioner Hover moved to approve the Tonasket EMS vouchers in the amount of $529.12.Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

The state auditor was contacted to find out a way to capitalize a new building for Tonasket EMS District. Commissioner Branch asked about the current status of the building and pointed out that, historically, a new fire hall had been constructed due to the poor condition of the building.


Commissioner Branch moved to adjourn as the Tonasket EMS District and reconvene as the BOCC. Motion was seconded,

Director Huston stated he met with Juvenile Admi. Rabidou and a meeting is scheduled for March 14 at 8:15 a.m. to discuss the intentions of the board with regards to the several funding options for the Juvenile Detention center.

The Jail ceiling project administration was discussed. Commissioner Hover stated the Sheriff did ask if it is best administered by the Chief Corrections Deputy Stewart. Director Huston did not disagree. The project will be discussed further with those involved.

Director Huston sent over some Fairgrounds facility lease agreements for signature for events happening at the fairgrounds. Does the board wish to continue signing those or could a simplified process be put in place that would allow staff to sign them? Commissioner Hover would like to see what types of venues are being leased and would continue making the decision as to who leases, and a different process would take them out of that decision making process. Director Huston stated he has discussed with Risk Manager Tanya Craig that if there are rules then everyone must follow the rules. If serving alcohol at an event and the contract has rules that require security at the event then everyone must follow the rules. The rules should not be waived just because you like the event organizers or believe that they will do the right thing. Commissioner Branch thought uniformed security provides a negative impression. Could they use a different dress that is less intimidating? Does it matter?

The Director discussed the Whistler Canyon property which is county property. There could be CCRs applied to the property if the county sells it. Commissioner DeTro would prefer an auction be held to sell both the portion of Whistler Canyon property and the Hubbard Road property if the county does wish to sell. Commissioner Branch noted that the land abutting the hillside to the east side of the parking area should be retained. The Parking lot area at the Whistler Canyon trail and the trail itself would remain. Director Huston will begin to put the paperwork together for future presentation to the board.

The Hubbard Road property was surplussed to the needs of the county via resolution 28-2009. The Morgan’s have asked whether the county would sell the property and if the county does, a public hearing could be set for both properties even though the Hubbard property already was surplussed that way the minimum value could be set. We have an easement across the Morgan’s property to get to our property and the Morgan’s has an easement across our property to get to theirs from Hubbard road. If the board is willing to entertain the request he will put in place the process to get that going. The Treasurer does conduct the auction of real property for the county. The commissioners wish to proceed in accordance with the Directors discussion. A notice will be drafted in consultation with the Treasurer.

Commissioners signed a letter to Mike Williams, Forest Supervisor regarding Travel Management Plan for OWNF and inviting him to a discussion on February 21 at 1:30 p.m.


Motion RCW 42.30.110 (1) (i) Potential Litigation
Commissioner Branch moved to go into executive session at 3:55 p.m. for 15 minutes inviting DPA Albert Lin and Director Perry Huston to discuss potential litigation to which the county may be a party. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Commissioners extended executive session at 4:10 p.m. for another 10 minutes.

Executive Session ended at 4:20 p.m. no decisions were made.

Discussion –Emergency Management Maurice Goodall
Mr. Goodall reported that a train was derailed near Brewster due to ice buildup on the tracks, no one was hurt, no damage, no leaking or anything of concern.

Another meeting is due between all the cities involved with the Emergency Services areas. Mr. Goodall would prefer to meet more often with them. Arranging a meeting among the 13 cities will be a challenge. Commissioners believe a doodle pole should go out to identify a good time and work with the Clerk of the Board on dates that work for the commissioners. Currently the cities pay 40% of the Emergency Management budget. Commissioner Branch explained that getting information across to the cities helps them feel part of the service organization.

Mr. Goodall explained that in past ID cards were being issued through his office. He discussed how those were being used and lack of controls. He would like to develop a protocol for issuing the cards. He has been contacted by Fire Departments and Fire districts to issue an official type card. Commissioner DeTro explained in the past people wanted them because of the Sheriff star that some were issued. A standard would need to be developed. An annual check list could be used to track the cards and reduce liability.

Mr. Goodall asked for direction for advertising his secretary position. The Board stated he could go ahead.

Mr. Goodall stated there is a need to reformat and check for grammar on several documents. He believes a contract would be for around $2,000 or so, the person is on the vendors list and small works roster but she is his niece. And he cannot supervise a relative to do the work. It was suggested that Director Huston could supervise the work and would pay the vouchers generated. He wouldn’t consider her as his niece but rather he does know her work product is excellent and very professional. She lives in Italy so the work would be done there and submitted. The commissioners would like more time to consider the request.

The Emergency Management budget was explained. He will present a supplemental appropriation to better reflect the actual revenue from the cities. He discussed funds that carryover that appear to be unobligated. Commissioner Hover asked about vehicle replacements and equipment that might be needed for emergencies.

Mr. Goodall discussed the differences as Emergency Manager and Emergency Director. By statute there must be a director and Sheriff Rogers was provided a $5,000 stipend as the Director. He stated 11.18% that the county is not paying because he is retired and other counties will pay into a savings account such as a 401k. He is treated differently than how it was considered back with the EM responsibilities under the County Sheriff. Commissioner Branch asked for some comparison information the board can consider. Mr. Goodall stated he is most likely the only department head who is still on the pay scale with other exempt employees. His position was not handled in the same manner as other non-bargaining department heads and he is not under contract.

The commissioners like to be emailed what is going on. It is very valuable for the board to be aware of when it happens. Email is a good way to notify them.

Commissioner DeTro adjourned the hearing at 5:12 p.m.