OCTOBER 29, 2018

The Okanogan County Board of Commissioners’ met for its regular session on October 29, 2018, with Chairman, Commissioner Jim DeTro, Vice Chair Commissioner Chris Branch; Commissioner Andy Hover, Member and Laleña Johns, Clerk of the Board, present.

George Zittel arrived to discuss marijuana operations and asked Commissioner Branch for some time to discuss at 12:30 p.m. today.

Cindy Gagne, Omak City Mayor and OCCAC Board President came in at around 9:00 a.m.

Follow-up OCCAC
Ms. Gagne, provided the pre-litigation program summary report that was prepared by Clear Risk Solutions out of Ephrata, WA that investigated a complaint letter alleging mismanagement, misuse of funds and hostile work environment of Community Action Council. The investigator’s name was Monte Redal. The investigator was not asked to render an opinion one way or the other as to any potential outcome nor was a recommendation given to take any course of action. Ms. Gagne stated the results of the investigation found the overall facts and conclusions did not support the allegation. The investigator was found to have provided a thorough report. The Council does not believe the relationship has been harmed due to the allegations. Ms. Gagne wanted to make certain the Board of County Commissioners’ was satisfied with the investigative results and were satisfied with the work of the OCCAC Executive team going forward. The commissioners’ acknowledged the results of the investigation. Ms. Gagne cancelled the meeting set on November 5 stating that time was no longer needed.

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 regular vouchers in the amount of $580,288.64. Warrant numbers as cited on the attached blanket voucher list. Motion seconded and carried.

Review Commissioners’ Agenda & Consent Agenda
Commissioners’ reviewed their meeting packets.

Briefing Among Commissioners’
Commissioners’ discussed meetings.

Budget Work Session-WSU Extension Office-Kayla Wells-Moses
Kellie Conn, Cari Hall and Treasurer Leah McCormack were present.

Commissioner Hover asked about the WSU Director and whether one has been hired. Ms. Moses stated the WSU Conner’s program is what the Extension program operates under. Mike Gaffney is not interested in applying for the position but he is willing to remain acting director until one is appointed. The interview team is still being gathered.

WSU budget was reviewed. Questions asked and answered about expenses and necessities. Travel costs were increased due to having a full time person for 4-H and the director traveling to perform the workshops. It used to be half funded by WSU for the agent and 4-H coordinator. Rather than having a part time 4-H coordinator she wanted a full time coordinator and the line includes both agent and 4-H coordinator salaries. Commissioner Hover stated some help from the producers would be helpful. He would like to see some local contributions by local producers and those who receive agricultural education to help with things like travel. Ms. Moses does like the idea and thought an inquiry to the producers might generate some contributions to the program. Treasurer McCormack reminded the board that the WSU program is not mandated and was considered in the past as a nonessential program, although she does support the program as does the community. Commissioner Hover believes the community may be receptive to providing contribution.

Cattlemen and Cattlewomen do donate to the 4-H sponsor $25 enrollment fee said Ms. Moses those checks went directly to WSU for enrollment fee, and other fees also went to WSU 4-H program. Donations that are spent out of the county budget must also be received there. Even if there was no extension program here they would have to go farther otherwise it would be by phone call and email. WSU is trying to figure out more to do with less. She fears the tree fruit specialists would be have to go to a menu where they would select the specific education they want then pay for just that, she hopes WSU doesn’t go to that. The county has always paid for pieces of the 4-H coordinator and the director, but now it is a bit different. Commissioners’ discussed what a contribution would do to help and accomplish the program. Programs offered also have other benefits. Ms. Moses suggested the TUFTS study that shows how 4-H contributes to the greater good of society and provides life skills to youth. Fund raisers are done but the revenue does not go into the county treasury. Any donations or contributions are given, then a different way to account for the funds will be needed so the people contribution know the funds are going towards what the funds were donated for.

Fund 130 WSU Publications fund was reviewed for revenue and expenditures.

Update- Public Defender-Melissa McDougall, Tanya Craig
Ms. Craig explained this meeting was set to provide the board with an update on the Public Defender contract. Ms. McDougall was invited to provide the update. She provides Ms. Craig with monthly updates and less frequently she updates the commissioners’ usually at year end. It is a good idea to present directly to the board. Ms. McDougall explained the weighting of cases and how that works. Some get early offers or omnibus offers which reduces the case numbers and reduces the hours attorneys spend on the cases. The numbers overall have reduced with some various excesses with truancies.

She discussed the various reasons why decreased caseloads are happening. It may affect jury funding and we may see higher jury costs due to trials going to jury.

What also has potentially contributed to reduction in numbers may have been because of the use of drug court, but it is not known if that relates to other program resolutions as well. The stats will be known closer to the end of the year. She explained what is happening in the courts that contribute to lower numbers. She is separating the probation violations from court as well as the failures to comply, and calculating those separately for tracking purposes. It looks viable to weight those but would draft a proposal if those change. They may present a recommendation to keep the District Court weighted. Good results are good, but budget costs will need to be considered for other areas impacted.

There are three murder cases set in December. Ms. McDougall explained preparations for those cases and she believes those cases will go through. Going forward she will continue to track alternative programs since it is good information for future programs and finding funding for them. Commissioner DeTro asked if anyone is keeping up on the Legislative Agenda for this year’s session because the Marijuana counties have been saying it will cost to defend those cases. Ms. McDougall said she does have some attorney contacts keeping her up on bills to be presented. Commissioner Branch asked for a white paper he can bring with him during legislative session that outlines the particular points. He asked about the eastern state evaluations, we do not have to pay. We are part of the Spokane BHO and they were paying $12,000 per day going over their limits, so we must not be getting close to the allocation for our situations. Ms. McDougall explained the process and when a particular situation warrants Eastern State’s involvement. The county does not pay for costs associated with Eastern State. We do pay for ballistics, and special investigative costs. Commissioner Branch stated there have been conversations in Wenatchee about the number of mental health beds to provide.

Ms. McDougall thanked the board for their time and stated she would put together the annual report and submit that sometime at the end of December beginning of January.

Budget Work Session – Superior Court Clerk
Cari Hall, Treasurer Leah McCormack, Charlene Groomes and Susan Speiker were present.

The Clerk’s budget was reviewed. The various expense lines and amounts were discussed. The revenue lines were reviewed and adjustments made. The Clerks LFO’s were discussed. When the contract was first approved for LFO, the collector took on those accounts that would derive a payment, but now it doesn’t seem like much is being collected. Many large restitutions will never be paid off. The Clerk thanked the board for their time and exited.

The group further discussed the 2019 budget revenue and expenses. Ms. Hall discussed the October tax revenue posting that will help with the estimate going into the New Year. Commissioner Hover said he cut a bunch of lines in maintenance that are associated with the Fairgrounds. He stated he would discuss those cuts at the maintenance budget work session.

The Auditor’s budget was discussed and the anticipated 2019 changes due to staff retirements and necessary training in the department.

Commissioners’ discussed the health insurance costs stating the county only has a finite amount of money to work with and if insurance costs go up and union employees not considering affordable options it could mean that the only way to afford the cost would be to cut employees. It could look like 2008 all over again. The Ad Valorem millage monies were discussed and the amounts allocated to Veterans fund.

Update – Planning – Perry Huston
Angie Hubbard, Dan Higbee, Dave Hilton, Char Schumacher

Members of the public Emily Sisson audio and video recording the meeting and Lorah Super taking notes.

Director Huston discussed the areas that received reevaluations within WRIA 48. He discussed the Beaver Creek, Thompson Creek and Wolf Creek areas and showed them on the map. He said Patterson Lake area was not evaluated but it is determined to be outside the restricted area.

How much of the Planning Dept. Staff should dedicate time to doing Ecology’s job?

Historically tanks and cisterns are not acceptable forms of residential water supply and are not considered in terms of showing water adequacy, stated David Hilton. Commissioner Branch asked if there was a base volume of water needed to establish. Since those were not considered for anything other than recreational use, no, but the projection of water use would be around 360 gallons per day.

Director Huston explained the multiple year process. The commissioners’ read from the rules the definitions in the Glossary of the instream flow rules. The approach was discussed. Outside the areas we can assume Ecology is not going to say hydraulic continuity out except for a modest distance and either side of the stem. Commissioner Branch would like to see a reference map. Director Huston said he would try then discussed why it might be challenging.

Some members of the watershed council told Commissioner Hover that they would help solicit memberships. It would be good to know when the community meetings get scheduled so commissioners’ can learn what is being discussed.

David Hilton recommended the Commissioners’ take this up with the Board of Health. Dan Higbee said it is really the county’s decision but the County relies on Public Health to provide information that either supports or doesn’t support the system. He then informed the commissioners’ when he would be on vacation.

Cannabis Regulation –Update
Director Huston stated one thing is that some members wanted him to create a staff report to include bright parameters for them to follow. He wanted to ensure they understood in what capacity their recommendation would be viewed. Some of the industries look at this as a negotiation tactic with the Planning Commission. He doesn’t want it to appear the commissioners’ and Planning Commission are in negotiations with the growers. He believes summarizing this process may be helpful up front in mitigating the work product later on where the result may look different from what it started out as.

Planning Dept. Staffing Update
Fourteen applications were received for the Administrative Secretary position within the Planning Dept. Commissioners’ expressed some concern about the position being the first contact people have with the department. If all the planners are covering the secretary position then we are paying more for that work to be done rather than having someone on staff dealing only with the front desk. Sharing the front desk person was discussed. He will move ahead as planned.

Comprehensive Plan Review
Director Huston stated he sent the board the draft he is working on for the SEPA environmental checklist. He is trying to identify the things that will be significant issues, and where policies do not already cover. He discussed one thing he wanted to make sure everyone is on same page for, the comment revolves around unconsolidated aquifers, permeable soils for on-site sewer systems. There was a study of Laura Straus that Ms. Super mentioned. He believes some level of analysis be done to find the correlation between our current situation and see if there is any instances of contaminants. Commissioners’ made some suggestions around the proposed goals for aquifer recharge. A model should be created to demonstrate what the goals and timelines for accomplishing the tasks are. Make sure we have had a reasonable conversation about the decision.

Budget Work Session – Fairgrounds/Fair
Stella Columbia, Laurie Thomas, Treasurer Leah McCormack and Cari Hall were present.

The fairgrounds budget was reviewed. There are many Stampede attendees that rent RV spaces at the fairgrounds. Commissioner Hover asked where the job description came from for the Clerk III noted in the budget. The Clerk of the Board replied her assistant used to work 1/3 time as the Fairgrounds Clerk and she thought the label was from that time. The work to be performed did not seem like Clerk III level work. Treasurer McCormack stated the previous clerk was depositing funds, balancing the deposits, but a Clerk III responsibility is warranted if deposits are balanced which actually needs two people to handle. Stella would be the second set of eyes and would bring the deposit to Treasurer. Auditor Thomas explained why positions might be classed higher to allow some higher level work to be done on occasion, it provides more flexibility to the department.
Fair rental of the fairgrounds was discussed and what the rental rate of $45,000 would include. Commissioner Hover stated when the analysis was done under the previous manager the $45,000 included staff support whatever that is. Commissioner Branch would like to memorialize the details. The scope of work would detail what is provided for the rental fee, and what would also be used for anyone else who rents the whole grounds is charged a uniform price that includes certain things.
Commissioner Branch stated the new resolution recitals should refer to the Fair rate as it is based on the operation of the actual fair and another renter may not utilize the same things as the Fair would.

Auditor Thomas stated in lieu of a contract the invoice would summarize rate invoice would need to detail everything the rental rate includes

Motion 2018 Fair Rental Invoice Preparation and Payment
Commissioner Branch directed Stella Columbia to draft the Fair 2018 Fair rental invoice in the amount of $45,000 and process the bill to the auditor for payment. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

The board adjourned at 5:00 p.m.