RECORD OF THE PROCEEDINGS

OKANOGAN COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

May 15, 2017


The Okanogan County Board of Commissioners met in regular session on May 15, 2017 with Commissioner Jim DeTro, Commissioner Chris Branch, Commissioner Andy Hover, and Laleña Johns, Clerk of the Board present.

Commissioner Hover Judge Rawson, Dennis Rabidou here at 8:05 a.m.

Only Commissioner Hover was in attendance during this earlier discussion.

Update – Dennis Rabidou, and Judge Rawson
Judge Culp was here for about 5 minutes but left to attend to a trial.

The meeting was regarding the funding of the part-time jury management position. Commissioner Hover explained if someone else was brought in his thought was to bring them in under current expense. He doesn’t see penalizing and what he has gathered the district court doesn’t receive as much benefit with the position as the superior court does and to penalize them for having a good employee doing most of the work for one court but not the other. He feels we are paying a premium for an employee with full health care benefits for a part time employee. Mr. Rabidou stated the county saves money by paying the benefits. When it was negotiated and they came up with a plan they looked at the budget to see how to save the county money they looked at another funding source TCI came to mind. They had a good plan cost savings for the county and to be able to operate more efficiently than they were. It would have been better if it was a full time employee and they foresee that into the future. For now currently what can they do with the budget and money they have based on the person they hired. He understands it seems like a premium but when you look at the savings he would not call it a premium. Commissioner Hover stated when the employee goes away, the commissioners would not look at the same pay etc. for anyone else. Even if we get another 15 hours out of them, an inequity will happen. Keep it this way this year and if we take the portion of the new employee out of current expense and whatever the difference is out or TCI then there is someone being paid full time benefits and new employee would not be as efficient so the 16hours worked now would be prorated somehow and then whatever grade and step that person is brought in if not the same and whatever the difference is that would be paid from TCI. Mr. Rabidou did not follow. Judge Rawson clarified that that employee would be evaluated due to inexperience and then account for that in the wage. He sees where the commissioner is going. Inefficiencies versus efficiency and that takes some time. Commissioner Hove stated he did not think much would come out of TCI but whatever that amount is it would be justified due to the special case and special provision to bring this person came on. It is handled special. Mr. Rabidou stated to continue the status as is now with the employee being paid out of TCI. Commissioner Hover stated when the SC develops their 2018 budget they consider the value of bringing in a new employee and the difference between that would come from TCI. MR. Rabidou provided commissioner Hover a white paper showing the savings, but did not provide it to the Clerk of the Board for the record. He showed what she is right now this is what she would be as Full time District Court administrator and then what she would make at the lowest Judicial Assistant wage, which are the rough estimates but close. Commissioner Hover stated he would look it over and try and evaluate if there is so much savings then roll it into current expense but he doesn’t promise anything, but at least they know his train of thought. MR. Rabidou explained the sheet shows the nest values in one sheet showing what Sandy has done and the savings derived from that. L& I to jurors, high numbers of return and contacting people to get addresses correct. The mis trials are big, and a sheet shows they went back and saw four miss trials, and that savings was $6,000 four trials and when you count for the potential cost that is $6000 and it is significant he only added that amount to those four and conservative then what the county is actually saving. He was going to make the spreadsheet better but this is what he thought the board wished to see. Commissioner Hover asked if they haven’t had any miss trials. NO due to jurors maybe one. Judge Rawson stated he had a case where he had a jury box full with over 60 jurors with half having a problem serving. Must maintain an open court with a court reporter, and then asked to stagger the juror’s throughout the day for questioning and selection. Individuals discussed their personal experiences of why they could not serve. He further explained

Commissioner Branch arrived at 8:45 a.m. and convened the commissioners meeting Commissioner Branch stated that he had not realized the agenda had been changed, even though the Clerk had provided him the agenda the Friday before.

Judge Rawson adopted a new General Rule and a white paper was provided of the rule. It addressed Courthouse Safety protocols. As the presiding judge he is responsible for these. We did not have an active courthouse safety committee. There are various actions and safety issues that have been under review and state Supreme Court adopted the rules. There could be some leeway there but after a while we have to do something. GR 36 Trial Court Security with attachments were provided to the board. Mr. Rabidou stated it has been adopted and it might be good to meet as a group to go through the work of the previous committee when it met. Sheriff Rogers met previously with him but Mr. Rabidou would like to work with the commissioners to have a discussion and a new starting point. Commissioner Hover thought a brainstorm session to identify what courthouse security looks like to each. Judge Rawson stated this General Rule is directed to the courts not necessarily the courthouse. There is an umbrella for the county versus just for the courts. Commissioner Hover stated if we are mandated by law to ensure trial court security then he would like to look at that first. Judge Rawson asked if Chelan County courthouse was ever visited to see their security level. Commissioner Branch stated he had visited due to a ticket he received. Judge Rawson explained he is now recognized by the guard there when he visits the Chelan Courthouse and they just let him through now without searching him every time. Judge Rawson stated the Sheriff is not always called when things get intense, it would be everyday if they called him about every concern. Judge Rawson left at 8:58 a.m.

Mr. Rabidou asked when the board would consider the amended budget. Commissioner Hover stated the public hearing has been scheduled to amend the budget. Mr. Rabidou stated he need around $4,000 for a budget supplemental. Commissioner Hover stated the budget is a tool and the amended budget will allow expenditures at the department level from a department activity line level and will provided the commissioners with a better picture of where departments need better budgeting. Commissioner Hover stated for him he will be going through budgets with a fine tuned comb and if the departments are there with him to make adjustments then great, but if departments just through their budgets at the board without participation is not desired. He would like to get this done early and not be at the end of the year. Commissioner Branch stated there are budget items that are not spent out year after year. He knows there are line items that are uncertain.

Commissioner DeTro arrived at 9:05 a.m. Commissioner Branch stepped down as presiding officer and Commissioner DeTro presided.

Commissioner Hover explained the previous discussion this morning about the Jury Manager situation and trial court security.

Review Consent Agenda
Commissioners reviewed their consent agenda.

Briefing Among Commissioners –Discuss Individual Weekly Meetings & Schedule
Commissioners Discussed the letter from the Department of Interior regarding the Grizzly Bear reintroduction. (attached) The board discussed commenting on letter with regards to the conflicts they believe exists.

Commissioners discussed among themselves different meetings they attended to over the last week and discussed subjects of interest to them.

Continued Legal Newspaper Award
The Clerk of the Board provided RCW 65.16.020., 65.16.030, 65.16.040 and 36.72.070 for the Boards review. IN addition she provided the board with the bid packet that were sent to the publishers of newspapers doing business in Okanogan County. She went over the notice of call for bids with the board. (attached)

Teresa Myers, the Chronicle Editor came in at 11:28 a.m.

Commissioner DeTro stated the time for receiving bids has come and gone. Two bids and their amendments were received by Herald and Chronicle. Commissioner DeTro opened the bids and amendments.

The Chronicle Bid was opened. Commissioner DeTro stated the order of the Superior Court Judge was provided in the amended bid.

The Herald Bid was opened. Commissioner DeTro stated the order of the Superior Court Judge was provided.

Commissioner DeTro stated the commissioners and the Clerk of the Board will review the bids. The Clerk of the Board will provide the recommendation for award and the board will consider. The Clerk of the Board explained that the bid award would be scheduled and placed on the commissioners agenda most likely next week and then if the board makes a decision on award that contract would be placed on the consent agenda for signature.

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

Commissioner Branch moved to approve the Oroville Rural EMS District vouchers in the amount of $9,680. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Commissioner Hover moved to adjourn as the Oroville Rural EMS and Reconvene as the BOCC Motion was seconded all were in favor, motion carried.

Motion - Voucher Approval - Commissioners
Vouchers certified and audited by the Auditing Officer as required by RCW 42.24.080 and those expense reimbursement claims certified as required by RCW 42.24.090 have been recorded on a list, and made available to the Board. As of this date, the Board did vote, by unanimous vote, to approve the CE vouchers in the amount of $30,527.11 and Payroll vouchers in the amount of $871,873.81. Warrant numbers as cited on the attached blanket voucher list. Motion seconded and carried.

Update-Planning - Perry Huston
Josh Thomson, Jim Brown, Dan Higbee, Justin

Sandy Vahn, Emily Sisson, Members of the public taking notes. ATV Club members Gary Allard & Spence King, Ed Sufrette

Engineer Thomson provided the map of the proposed WATV roads in the North County which the WDFW Regional Director Jim Brown and County Commissioners discussed. Commissioner Hover stated these are just proposed roads the board is considering to open for WATV use. Jim Brown asked if once the actual proposal is approved whether or not it would go out for public review. Director Huston stated yes, and then discussed mitigations. Commissioner DeTro stated there would be a process where WDFW is coordinated with on the roads. MR. Brown stated one road near Eader Lake and is not sure of the value versus the risk of off road travel. Mr. Eader may not be in favor of that area being opened up.

Jim Brown stated problems exist around Fish Lake because people like setting up camps which is fine but they cannot take their ATV’s off the trailer. There is evidence that ATV’s are being ridden around the lake area with some new trails out into the big flats around there. They have some enforcement but it does create a large enforcement load for them. There are difficulties with providing hard numbers because it is sited under a violation of game signs which includes a laundry list that falls under one RCW and no way to tease out the separate violations with only one ATV issue. He printed out only those things attributed title 46. Commissioner Branch stated motorcycle are also being seen more often. Mr. Brown said the missing thing is a notable enforcement officer of the county doing enforcements. He said it really is a small percentage but for those sites used there is a lot of rehabilitation that goes with that. We need to get some sort of enforcement presence. Spring Coulee into outskirts of Okanogan shows lots of use by ATV’s. It is every weekend with lots of noise coming from the users. There needs to be some enforcement presence on some areas so there is a mindset there are deterrents out there. Commissioner Hover explained the numbers from information he obtained from the Sheriff’s office of 2014 to current incidences the Sheriff office documented of ATV enforcements.

Albert Lin arrived at 1:48 p.m.

Commissioner DeTro explained the ATV clubs do speak to people when they see riders off road and they explain it is not allowed to ride off roads. Mr. Brown stated his enforcement has gotten some positive results. Director Huston mentioned that they are the first agency invited to come in and talk to them about the ATV issue.

OCC 20-Update
Director Huston explained that they received an application for exempt well within the boundaries of the reservation. He mentioned that he did decline and sent it to the Colville Tribe’s water management team and that they now have the application in their possession. Commissioner Hover asked if he knew how the water permits worked on the reservation and Director Huston explained that he does not know the process or procedure for how they handle these on the reservation. Mr. Higbee explained that they get only a few building plans a year for the reservation. Commissioner Branch asked if these already have existing wells. Mr. Higbee and Director Huston responded that they aren’t sure but that they will look into it. Director Huston explained that even when they apply through the Planning Department a notice is sent to the tribe.

Commissioner Hover asked about some of the converted water rights. Director Huston explained that those do not go through the water availability process. If they have a well it is certified as a water right and then if not, then go through the Department of Ecology or the water right process and then go into the regular process. The county cannot make the decision as to what kind of water right they have we identify that they have a water right. Director Huston explained that there is not usually a public hearing for a short plat but that there is a public comment period for it. Then a decision can be made. Director Huston stated that they have not processed an alternate water systems since last year. Commissioner Hover stated that we need to identify the process prior to Hirst and what the ecology was in that process. Director Huston wants to look at how many start cards or wells have been authorized since last November. Some are just accepting the new process since Whatcom-Hirst some others are struggling with it more than others. Department of Ecology signed off on a community water system using an exempt well. Director Huston explained that they are trying to reach back to before Whatcom-Hirst and verify whether they are complying with rules. Director Huston explained that more than half of their applications already have a well on their land.

Commissioners Hover asked if it is their thought to changing Title 20. Director Huston reminded the commissioners that title 20 was a response to the growth management act. A decision was made to add a section to Title 20 after the Whatcom-Hirst decision. A public form or an open house was discussed for changes.

Commissioner Hover stated he was still confused on the process with the Department of Ecology Director Huston explained that permit exempt wells are not sent to the Department of Ecology. He explained that land division proposals will forever be a different process from the building permits. Commissioner Hover stated that he likes process and likes to stay as close to the same as you can across the board. Some permit processing such as open basin and closed basin was discussed. Commissioner Hover asked what Commissioner Branch’s view on this. Commissioner Branch stated that he agrees with Director Huston that there is more to the process than just water CFS. Commissioner Hover stated that we are stuck with agencies old problems. Commissioner Hover explained that if we are using a process that the likelihood of someone coming in and stating that we are not doing what we are supposed to be doing is very much lessened. Commissioner Branch responded that if we do have a set process then we are legally bound to it and then are liable for lawsuits.

Mr. Lin cautioned the commissioners to be careful about what is said about this issue due to the fact that it is still in open litigation He explained that we have created a process which is believed to be fair at this current time, which is Title 20.

Commissioner Branch stated that something we have in our favor is that we collect the science that we have available and then make the best decision based on collected science. He is baffled in some ways regarding making more lots available through land division process that will potentially use permitted exempt wells. Director Huston explained that once to appeal period is over then they must file with the Department of Ecology.

Commissioner Hover asked Mr. Lin how to go about discussing some legal matter that need to be torn into. Mr. Lin responded that he was just cautioning the board about what they say and to please do their best to stay within the confines of the process. Commissioner Branch asked if you can separate Title 20 from the appeal. Mr. Lin explained that because it is all a part of litigation he doesn’t see how it could be separated. Commissioner Branch went on to explain how he would separate the two. Commissioner Hover asked if Title 20 can be a process that stands on its own for a little while. Commissioner Branch responded that he thinks that it can.

Commissioner Branch stated that we will face more challenges as water is used and that there is no one around to enforce the water limitations that apply to properties. He is concerned about pushing our concerns into the future.

Director Huston explained he will make a bulleted list for Title 20 of things that need to be discussed. He went on to discuss zone code, Whatcom-Hirst and Title 20. Commissioner Branch asked if you can take the comprehensive plan and separate the zone code from it, identify objectives without looking at the zoning code, and then go back and look at the zone code. He doesn’t think we should be looking at the zoning code when making policies.

Commissioner DeTro asked how much time we want to spend on subdivision codes and zoning codes and so on and stated that they should be looked at all the time.
Commissioner DeTro went on to discuss the problems with JH Green Rd and it being a primitive road.

Commission Branch explained his concerns with cost to deliver serve for divisions and subdivision areas within certain areas of the county. Commissioner Hover went on to read an excerpt from a comprehensive plan from another county that he believe makes sense.

Commissioner Branch explained that there are all different kind of codes that can be applied policies expressed in the Comp Plan. Commissioner Hover went on to give an example of some definition that could be added into the comprehensive plan. Commissioner Branch noted that the sample policy sounded very much like the same issues that are required to be addressed by the Washington Growth Management Act, even for Okanogan County as a “partially planning county” as they apply to “steep slopes” and that such policies make sense.

Director Huston explained that he is waiting on response regarding the Shoreline program changes. Commissioner Hover explained that on critical areas they will have to go back out next year. Director Huston stated that we owe Commerce a revision. He explained that we can set a public hearing and then sign off on the 2012 revision and get that sent off.

Commissioner Branch asked if the 2012 version does it actually do anything better or does it remove protections to critical areas that were already in place. Director Huston discussed the heart of getting to our Critical areas ordinance and funding. The environmental review and DNS was discussed and walking the EIS forward did upset some. He isn’t sure if he can move it forward. Would the board like him to walk away from that project for now then start discuss the 2018 revisions? Commissioner Branch stated until we identify where we are coming from it will continue to swim. It warrants a big conversation about changing it and what drives us to do so, what motivates us. Then make responsible decisions but know there is a pendulum that swings and keeps us in an unpredictable mode. Director Huston asked what the board thought about boxing up the last draft to put it front of the commissioners on the approaches they wish to consider. Commissioner DeTro stated we are in litigation right now, but it is legislative. Commissioner Branch stated it is policy development and should not affect our ability to address the issues appropriately

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 updated the board on the State Audit of the district. The auditor is about finished with the audit. There are some issues with the previous business model the district ran under and with the changes and implementation of the current new model most of those issues will be resolved. The voucher purchases and some inventory items are not matching up. Director Huston will bring a list of surplus items for the board surplus in order to clean up the asset list.

The interim draft contract with Life Line which the Director is working on discussed the transfer of assets to Life Line such as radio’s that will help reduce monitoring requirements and the need to track smaller inventory items. He will be in Tonasket this week to monitor and take inventory.
The city of Tonasket has not been contacted about the conveyance of the building nor outreach to find out whether they would buy the property back. Director Huston stated there is a need for Plan B to fall back on which would require a group of local staff to staff the district. Plan B would have to be remarkably different from the model we used in the past. The finishing touches on the contract will be finished this week for Life Line’s review.

Commissioner Branch moved to approve the Tonasket EMS District vouchers in the amount of $22,133.70. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

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

The Fairgrounds Bathroom project should have a contractor on site next week.

Lauren Davisson, Planner, arrived at 4:30 p.m.

Motion Resolution 83-2017 Budget Adjustment Maintenance & Prosecutor
Commissioner Branch moved to approve resolution 83-2017 a budget adjustment within the current expense Maintenance and Prosecutor’s budgets in the amount of $1,780. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Motion RCW 42.30.110 (1) (i) Potential Litigation
Commissioner Hover moved to go into executive session at 4:40 p.m. for 15 minutes inviting Perry Huston, Lauren Davisson and Attorney Albert Lin to discuss potential litigation. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Commissioners exited executive session at 4:55 p.m. No decisions were made.

Review Meeting Minutes

Commissioner Branch adjourned the meeting at 5:00 p.m.