Lane County has a plan in case of emergencies. by Pat Farr

Tuesday, July 21st, 2015

 

 

Earthquakes?  Tsunamis?  Volcanoes?

In the event of the unimaginable, Lane County Commissioners have a plan.

Lane County logo blue

On June 2, 2015, the Lane County Board of Commissioners conducted a work session on various aspects of emergency preparedness and response by Lane County government in general, the Board and the County Administrator. In addition to the entire Board, Linda Cook, Emergency Manager and Steve Mokrohisky, County Administrator (CAO) attended and participated in the work session.

During the work session the Board identified a number of areas that it wanted discussed and evaluated at another Board meeting:

  1.    1.  A review of Board procedures to make certain that none of the measures taken by the Board are in conflict with the existing Lane County Emergency Operations Plan (EOP);
  2.    2.  Draft and approve a Board Order (BO) to meet the requirements of ORS 476.280;
  3.    3.  Create a template, and fill in as many of the blanks as possible in advance, for the Declaration of Conflagration (and associated BO);
  4.    4.  Agree upon in advance a procedure for calling emergency meetings and notifications for such meetings required by natural or manmade emergencies;
  5.    5.  Create a BO delegating authority for the CAO to expend and commit county resources in the event of an emergency;
  6.    6.  Consider creating an automatic review process that would bring these emergency procedures before the Board each year, possibly in January, for review, possible modification and renewal;
  7.    7.  Determine which emergency preparedness procedures require Board action and which procedures can be implemented by the CAO using the Lane County Administrative Procedures Manual (APM); and
  1. Decide if the Board will pass BO’s with different authority for different emergencies depending upon the nature of the emergency or general BO’s that apply to all emergencies.

 

 

Lane County Commissioners are discussing the plan and the report back from the emergency management team on July 21 2015.  For the entire agenda item click here.

 

 

Emergency response in Lane County now has a plan. By Pat Farr

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015

Lane County logo blue

In mid-July, on a very hot night in 2014, Lane County Sheriff Tom Turner called me—at about 2:30 am—to alert me of an emergency.  Wild fires were burning out of control throughout south and east Lane County and spreading into Douglas, Deschutes and Klamath Counties.

State and Federal elite and emergency fire fighters were being airlifted into our area to risk their lives controlling the conflagration.  They needed a place to assemble.  The place had to be central to the lightning strikes that were causing the fires and had to be accessible to helicopters and large pieces of equipment.  Bunking and sanitation facilities were desired.

Such a place existed: it was the mothballed Lane County Forest Work Camp at Alta, located in the Coast Mountains 35 miles southeast of Eugene.  The Sheriff was asking for my authority to grant access to the county facility.

Of course I said, “Yes,” and the facility was opened and the suppression and control began.  The only problem was:  I did not have the authority statutorily to grant the authority to the Sheriff to open the facility.  I was in violation of law and potentially subject to penalty.

But under the circumstances, of course I had done the right thing.  And maximum resource use happened and the fires were controlled far more quickly than if the camp had remained closed.

Emergencies happen without a plan.  In this case all involved parties praised the decision, but I still acted without authority.

We are currently developing an emergency plan that would delineate absolutely the chain of command in authorizing use of county resources and facilities in case of emerging disasters.

Jail beds provided by the public safety levy keep violent offenders behind bars. reported by Pat Farr

Monday, October 27th, 2014

 

Sheriff Turner and I celebrate the passage of 20-213 on May 21 2013

Sheriff Turner and I celebrate the passage of ballot measure 20-213 on May 21 2013…Since then we are happy to report that dangerous criminals are now staying lodged in the Lane County Jail…

In May of 2013 the voters of Lane County passed a local option levy that funded additional jail beds in the Lane County Jail.  We are pleased to report back a fiscal year comparison of capacity based releases (CBRs) for the year prior to the levy and the year following the levy.  As many community members know, prior to the levy, the lack of funded jail beds resulted in the early release of defendants and offenders each day.  Many of these early releases went on to commit more crimes and create more victims.   Thanks to community support and the desire for a safer Lane County, we are headed in the right direction.

In July of 2013 with the passage of the public safety levy, the jail opened 131 previously empty beds, increasing the capacity for local defendants and offenders to 256 beds.  Since the opening of the additional jail beds, CBRs have decreased significantly.  In the fiscal year following the levy (FY 13/14), the number of CBRs dropped almost 75% to 1,289 (as compared to 5,129 in the prior FY).  Please see the chart below to view CBRs for FY 12/13 and FY 13/14.

This chart shows the dramatic decrease in early jail releases

This chart shows the dramatic decrease in early jail releases

Prior to the levy between January and June 2013, 123 pretrial defendants who were being held on violent felonies were released early due to lack of funded jail beds.  Since the passage of the levy and the opening of the additional beds, that number is down to zero. 

Between January and June of 2013, the jail was forced to release 21 Measure 11 pretrial defendants.  Since the passage of the levy and the opening of the additional beds, that number is down to zero.

The additional jail beds provided by the public safety levy have assisted in keeping dangerous defendants and offenders in jail, allowing for safer neighborhoods and an increased quality of life. 

The Sheriff’s Office and the Board of County Commissioners thank the community for their support in helping keep Lane County a great place to live!

(And Thank you, Sergeant Carrie Carver for this report)

An ordinance to tax recreational marijuana sales in Lane County. by Pat Farr

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

 

Allow recreational marijuana sales and use in Oregon or not?  Tax recreational marijuana sales in Lane County or not?

Ballot measure 91 would allow for the sale and recreational use of marijuana products in Oregon.  Lane County ordinance 14-16 (draft) would tax it.

Ballot measure 91 would allow for the sale and recreational use of marijuana products in Oregon. Lane County ordinance 14-16 (draft) would tax it.

This morning, October 7 2014, Lane County”s Board of Commissioners passed a first reading and authorized a second reading and public hearing regarding taxing recreational marijuana sales in Lane County.

The motion that passed 4-1 (Bozievich, Leiken, Stewart and Farr, yes; Sorenson, no) was pertaining to this agenda item:

FIRST READING AND SETTING SECOND READING AND PUBLIC HEARING/ORDINANCE 14-16/ In the Matter of Establishing a Tax on the Sale of Marijuana and Marijuana-Infused Products in Lane County (Relating to Measure 91).

The public hearing has been set for October 21 at 1:30 pm in Harris Hall.  This gives the public an opportunity to weigh in on the upcoming decision by County Commissioners whether to tax marijuana sales in Lane County should Oregon Ballot Measure 91 pass on November 4 of this year.

The draft ordinance can be read here.

You can read about Oregon’s Ballot Measure 91 here.

Between now and October 21 you can let Commissioners know how you feel.  Send comments to me before October 20, 2014 and I will pass them along to the other commissioners via public email.  pat.farr@co.lane.or.us

There is a robust ongoing discussion regarding the social and budgetary impacts of the passage of such laws.  Stay tuned, and please weigh in.

 

Lane County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Sheriff Recruitment Open House – Thursday, January 9th, 5:30 p.m.

Monday, January 6th, 2014

The Lane County Sheriff’s Office will hold an open house on January 09, 2014, at 5:30 p.m. This informational meeting is designed to give applicants the best opportunity to be successful in the recruitment process prior to submitting their application. The recruitment process for deputy sheriffs and reserve deputy sheriffs will officially open on January 12th.

To view the news release in its entirety, click here.

Sheriff’s Office December Newsletter – LCSO Continues to Recruit for Deputy Sheriff

Thursday, December 12th, 2013

To view the newsletter in its entirety, click here.

Lane Levy for Jail Beds and Prosecutors?

Monday, December 9th, 2013

Would you support or oppose a Lane County government countywide property tax levy that would add to the number of jail beds and prosecutors?

For complete poll results, click here.

Lane Levy for Jail Beds and Rural Patrols

Saturday, December 7th, 2013

Would you support or oppose a Lane County government countywide property tax levy that would add to the number of jail beds and rural patrols?

For complete poll results, click here.

Comprehensive Lane Public Safety Levy

Saturday, December 7th, 2013

Would you support or oppose a Lane County government countywide property tax levy that would add to the number of jail beds, rural patrols, and prosecutors?

For complete poll results, click here.

Pipe Bomb Found on Road Crew Truck – Suspect Arrested

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

The 19 year old Springfield  suspect, Benjamin Degroot, has been arrested on charges of recklessly endangering (10 counts), possession of a destructive device and unlawful manufacturing of a destructive device. He is currently being held at the Lane County Jail.

To view the news release in its entirety, click here.