BOARD OF MASON COUNTY COMMISSIONERS PROCEEDINGS
December 4, 2000
The meeting was called to order at 9:00 a.m. by Chairperson John A. Bolender. Commissioner Mary Jo Cady and Cynthia D. Olsen were also in attendance.
B U S I N E S S
2001 BUDGET HEARING
Ione Siegler, Budget & Finance Director, presented the staff report. She explained that the 2001 budget is balanced; however, it is not ready for adoption and there are still a few minor changes which need to be made to the budget. The unanticipated year 2000 revenue and cash carryover have enabled the County to balance the 2001 preliminary budget for the Current Expense Fund. Also presented was the 2001 levies which are set at 106% for property tax and 102.61% for the road levy.
Planned uses for the Capital Improvement Fund (1/4 of 1% Real Estate Excise Tax) were outlined. It was noted that the County has adopted an annual construction program and a six-year road plan. The County has a sewer and water improvement slated for North Bay/Case Inlet.
The Board noted that the legislators have stated the intent of the legislature is to provide ongoing funding somehow for I-695, whether it is at the 57% level is unknown. The Counties are still asking for the 43%.
It was also clarified that the $1.3 million revenue which was noted as unanticipated, would have been received had the I-695 not repealed the MVET tax. It was revenue that had been received in the previous year.
The county has earmarked $300,000 if I-722 goes into effect. This would be the refund of property tax if it is held to be constitutional. In addition, the County would loose approximately $250,000 in property tax revenue for the 2001 property tax levy. All future property tax revenue will also be decreased.
The County has until December 7 to enter into an I-722 injunction which has been placed for King and Kitsap Counties.
Gary Yando, Utilities/Waste Management Director, explained an estimated $16,625,000 is included in the Wastewater North Bay/Case Inlet sewer system project. Out of that, approximately $23,000 is still remaining from a grant, which was received for both North Bay and the Belfair facilities plan. They are working to complete the North Bay/Case Inlet water reclamation facility and sewer collection by the end of the year 2001. Phase I, Allyn and Victor, is scheduled to go on line in August 2001; Phase II, Lakeland Village, is scheduled for late December of 2001 or early 2002. Once the Belfair Facility Plan is completed it will go through a public process in the Belfair area to gain approval from the public and the Department of Ecology. They have made a grant application to the community block grant program in the amount of $750,000. They will be looking for the state and federal governments, plus any other entities for the estimated amount of $11,693,168 which is the figure anticipated necessary to build the Belfair sewer through the business district from Highway 106 to the Kitsap county line.
Superior Court Judge Sawyer was present to note they have realigned the court commissioner position and have a modest increase in the indigent defense contract, which has been anticipated over the years. They have recognized that the court commissioner positions could be grouped into a halftime employee position.
District Court Judge Meadows introduced Patsy Robinson, Administrator of District Court. Mrs. Robinson explained the position of Administrative Assistant was created in 1991. The position was not filled during 1995 2000. As a direct result of an increase of legislative requirements placed upon District Court staff, the ongoing recommendation of the state auditor to better separate duties of staff and an overall increase in the volume of civil cases filed, the Clerk Supervisor position is now needed. Civil cases, including anti-harassment and domestic violence petitions, requires extensive clerk time for processing of documents. The number of court hearings and trials pertaining to the criminal filings have increased due to enhanced penalties prescribed by the legislature. There are no staff who are trained and legally able to perform the administrator duties while the administrative assistant is on vacation. The administrator does not have time to perform all duties such as training of staff and stay current on all the legislative changes which effect the operation of District Court and the duties of the clerks.
Dorene Rae, Treasurer, stated she has requested a .75 cashier deputy to full-time. She has worked them full-time since 1996 and has used extra help monies. The position has been needed for some time.
Al Brotche, Auditor, noted he spoke with the Board a week ago regarding a vehicle licensing sub-agency in the Wallace Kneeland Boulevard area to better serve the public. They have had long lines during the year. He hoped it is approved by the Washington State Department of Licensing for that subagency to better serve the people. He asked for consideration given, if it is rejected by the State, there is a request for a half-time position to become full time.
Betty Wing, Department of Community Development Interim Director, added her support for the utilization of a Hearings Examiner to periodically hear some of the more difficult code enforcement cases within Planning, Building and Environmental Health. After many months of research a recommendation has been made to the Planning Commission and the County Commissioners to contract services with a certified hearings examiner and it is estimated it would be approximately one day each month. The Commission reviewed the Hearings Examiner draft ordinance and made a formal recommendation to the Board of County Commissioners in support of the ordinance.
The Hearings Examiner is someone who is certified with the state of Washington and is a quasi-judicial position. It is an individual that is a land use expert. They are constantly spending time on recent court cases and findings. They are trying to provide a more efficient and more timely way to process some of the more difficult cases. There are many counties within the state that already use a hearings examiner.
Mickey Newman asked that the County give consideration to the Sheriffs Department budget. She stated she has a great deal of respect and she felt there is nothing more important than safety in your own home.
The Board noted there is additional work on the budget due to additional requests, which have come in since the budget was printed. They will be meeting over the next two weeks to work out any of the changes that will be incorporated into the budget.
Also, Compu-Tech has given the County an estimate of up to $18,000 for the software to implement I-722 which would be added to the $551,000.
Cmmr. Cady/Olsen moved and seconded to continue the budget hearing to December 19, 2000 at 2 pm. Motion carried unanimously. B-aye; C-aye; O-aye.
The meeting adjourned at 9:37 a.m.
Rebecca S. Rogers
Clerk of the Board
BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
MASON COUNTY, WASHINGTON
John A. Bolender, Chairperson
Mary Jo Cady, Commissioner
Cynthia D. Olsen, Commissioner