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Commission Board Meeting on Wed, March 6, 2019 - 4:00 PM and 5:30 PM

Meeting Agenda: 


4:00 p.m. WORK SESSION
1.) Behavioral Health Peer Fellows Project – Bob Tryanski, presenting

No action is taken at Work Sessions.  All items are referred to future agendas for consideration. 

-Consider approval of the minutes for February 20 and February 27, 2019.

(1) (a) Consider approval of Commission Orders;
(b) Authorize staff to access the Sourcewell contract with Foley Equipment for the purchase of a motor grader and attachment for Public Works (Jackie Waggoner/Doug Stephens); 
(c) Authorize Emergency Vehicle Permits allowing designated particular vehicles to be used for emergency response. (Ken McGovern); and
(d) Accounts payable.

(2) Consider approval of SP-18-00583, a site plan for construction of a 19,200 square foot School with gymnasium and classrooms and associated parking, on approximately 8.49 acres located southeast of the intersection of N. 968 Road and County Route 1045/E. 1296 Road. Submitted by Blue Mountain Capital Inc. for Veritas Christian School Society, property owner of record. Mary Miller is the Planner. 

(3) Consider authorization to move forward with one of two options for providing ADA-accessible viewing platform(s) and picnic shelter at Wells Overlook Park, and authorization to apply for a Land & Water Conservation Fund grant that would reimburse Douglas County for 50% of the eligible expenses.(Keith Browning)

(4) Appointments:  
• Community Corrections Advisory Board (2) positions open (General/Social Services)
• Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (2) positions open (Commissioner Appt/Consumer)
• JAAA Advisory Council (1) position
• JAAA Board of Directors (2) positions
• Heritage Conservation Council: (1) position (Architect)
• Lawrence-Douglas County Advocacy Council on Aging (10) open positions

(5) General Public Comment

General Public Comment will be at the end of each meeting with a limit of one comment per person and keep their comments brief. Individuals may not give unused time to other speakers. As a general practice, the Commission will not discuss/debate these items, nor will the Commission make decisions on items presented during this time, rather they will refer the items to staff for follow up, if necessary.

(6) Committee Reports

(7) Commissioner and/or Administrator Miscellaneous

(8) Adjourn

Meeting Location: 
County Courthouse
Street Address: 
1100 Massachusetts Street, Lawrence, Kansas 66044
Meeting Minutes: 

March 6, 2019

Derusseau called the Work Session to order at 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 6, 2019 with all Commissioners present.

Bob Tryanski, Director of Behavioral Health Projects, led a work session discussion on the Behavior Health Peer Fellows Project.

Discussion included:

  •  Progress and ideas on how to expand peer support.
  •  The goal to build an integrated system of care that moves from crisis and illness as a norm to recovery and prevention as a practice.
  •  Three focus areas: Prioritize prevention, promote integration and improve access.
  •  Integration strategies: combine crisis stabilization, care coordination and supportive housing on a recover campus.
  •  Integrated Peer Support: Currently there are 12 peer supports. Will need a much more robust peer support system whose members are certified mentors.
  •  Challenges: limited training, need a stable funding source, management challenges, varied job descriptions, expectations and pay scales, and a lack of an integrated certification process.

Sandra Dixon, DCCCA, said she originally decided to do this project to help gather data for the crisis center. There were conversations on how many detox beds are needed and who do they serve. Originally there were two detox beds in Lawrence located at First Step and only for women. Men were being sent out of the community. Dixon said they decided to try going into the emergency room to help assist in the detox process with the County agreeing to pay for those beds. Dixon said access to detox is mostly about funding and location. We put the project together using peer supporters to work with the medical staff. The peer worker then talks with the patient about their very similar experiences and will help the patient make a decision to start a recover process. Last year DCCCA had 144 referrals, 99 went to detox and 73% completed the detox program. Dixon said she believes the main reason for this type of success is the peer support. The peer support person also stays in contact with the patient to help facilitate treatment after detox. DCCCA provides transportation to treatment and back home.

Derrick Hurst, LMH Health, discussed the challenges in the Emergency Department. It was determined a peer role of someone who thoroughly understands the system because they’ve experienced it can really make a difference to someone in trauma. Using peer support is changing the Emergency Department culture.

  •  The Peer Support person is in the room with the patient.
  •  They can gather information, take pulse and temperature to give to the doctor, and soften the experience. It changes the dynamic.
  •  There is tremendous amount of opportunity for the peer support to offer solutions while the patient is waiting.

Bill Reilly, Peer Support Program Manager, has been in the system. He said being there with someone and using his experiences changes everything. It’s life changing. He gave some examples of making a difference as a peer support worker.

Tryanski discussed adding peer support into the program through a teaching system like AmeriCorp. We will start with six peer support workers. We plan to partner with local business and agencies that are not currently using peers. We train the peer and agencies agree to use that person in their workforce. Tryanski proposed using funding through the reallocations from the 2018 budget, not exceeding $170,000. Additional funding may come from the new sales tax.
The Behavioral Health Leadership Coalition will be doing a site visit to crisis centers in Arizona in two weeks, some staffed with peer support.

Tryanski plans to bring the Behavior Health Peer Fellows Project back to the Commission for consideration in two weeks.
RECESS 03-06-19
At 5:00 p.m. the Board recessed until the Regular Session at 5:30 p.m.

The Board moved to regular session at 5:30 p.m.
MINUTES 03-06-19
Derusseau moved to approve the minutes for February 20 and February 27, 2019. Motion was seconded by Thellman and carried 3-0.

Derusseau moved approval of the following Consent Agenda:
►  Commission Order Nos.19-014, 19-017 and 19-018 on file in the office the     County Clerk;
►Authorized staff to access the Sourcewell contract with Foley Equipment for the purchase of a 2018 Caterpiller Moto Grader and attachment for a total cost of $305,342;

► Authorized Emergency Vehicle Permits to Duane Filkins, John E. Steele, Robert Rambach, David A. Wulfkuhle and Seth Yost (Kanwaka Fire); H. Wayne Riley, Samuel Goodwin and Danny Rake (Lecompton Fire); Donothan Thomas Jr. (Baldwin City Fire), Daniel M. Quick and Michael L. Hirschmann (Palmyra Fire District #2); and
► Accounts payable in the amount of $373,771.40 to be paid on 03/07/19.

Motion was seconded by Thellman and carried 3-0.

PLANNING 03-06-19
The Board considered SP-18-00583, a site plan for the construction of a 19,200 square foot school with gymnasium, classrooms and associated parking on approximately 8.49 acres, located southeast of the intersection of N. 968 Road and County Route 1045/E. 1296 Road. The application was submitted by Blue Mountain Capital Inc. for Veritas Christian School Society, property owner of record. Mary Miller, Lawrence-Douglas County Metropolitan Planning staff presented the item. 
The property is located within the A (Agricultural) Zoning District, of which a school is permitted with approval of a site plan. The property has frontage on County Route 1045/E. 1296 Road, which is classified in the Douglas County Access Management Map as a major collector, and on U.S. Highway 59, which is classified as a principal arterial. The Board of County Commissioners approved a variance from the Access Management Standards at their January 16, 2019 meeting to allow the school an entrance on County Route 1045/E. 1296 Road with 500.56 feet of frontage rather than the 660 feet required. The property is encumbered with floodplain; however, 3.29 acres are located outside of the floodplain. A minimum of three acres outside the floodplain is required by Douglas County Sanitary Code for placement of a septic system.

Staff recommends approval of the site plan subject to the following condition:

1. A floodplain development permit shall be obtained from the Zoning   and Codes Office prior to the release of the site plan for processing of building permits.

Thellman asked if the school is required to provide a room for storm protection or basement.

Andy Suber, Veritas Christian School, responded they have not fully researched the safe room at this point, but if it is required they will put in. If not, they plan to add it during the expansion stage as part of a locker room.

Derusseau opened the item for public comment. No comment was received.

Derusseau moved to approve SP-18-00583, a site plan for the construction of a 19,200 square foot school with gymnasium, classrooms and associated parking on approximately 8.49 acres, located southeast of the intersection of N. 968 Road and County Route 1045/E. 1296 Road with the above listed condition as recommended by staff. Motion was seconded by Kelly and carried 3-0.

The Board considered authorization to move forward with one of two options for providing ADA-accessible viewing platform(s) and a picnic shelter at Wells Overlook Park, and authorization to apply for a Land and Water Conservation Fund Grant that would reimburse Douglas County for 50% of the eligible expenses. Keith Browning, Director of Public Works, presented the item.

Browning discussed two possible view platforms: 1) located near the northernmost curve on the park’s access drive that would provide a platform with an excellent view but would require the removal of approximately one-half acre of trees to open up the sight lines; or 2) extending the park’s access drive with a hairpin turn to the west and north, adding two view platforms at a higher elevation but would require a significant amount of tree removal for the sight line including removal of trees on private property.

Staff recommended the first option which will take 2-3 years for completion. This project would include restoring native prairie vegetation in the areas of cleared trees, panoramic panels at the view platform depicting historical, cultural and ecological items of interest and a separate ADA accessible picnic shelter located south of the south end of the existing parking area. Browning stated the grant application deadline is April 15, which is the same grant used to establish the park.

Ken Lassman, 1357 N 1000 Road, is a member of the family who donated the Wells Overlook property. He suggested using grad students to assist with the project, and he said he has connections with a biology teacher at Free State High School with prairie restoration experience.

Derusseau opened the item for public comment.

Dwight Hilpman, Douglas County resident, said suggested contacting local scout troops and 4-H clubs to help assist with the labor on this project. He feels the ADA accessible viewing platform is a great idea.

Gene Dorsey, Douglas County resident asked if there is a legal requirement to provide ADA accessible facilities in the park; how many people utilize the park on an annual basis and what percentage require ADA accommodations.

Browning responded there is no way to track how many people use the park though it does get utilized. He asked Bob Mikesic to address the legality question. He said the County approached the proposal as the right thing to do.

Bob Mikesic, Independence Inc., addressed the question regarding legality. Existing facilities are required to be accessible but County programs and activities are viewed in its entirety. Not every existing program or activity is expected to come up the ADA standard as if it were newly constructed, which applies to outdoor areas as well. Mikesic said it’s a judgement in terms of resources available to the local, state or county government.

Derusseau stated legality or not, she would like to know that our citizens who have mobility issues regardless of the extent would be able to use this park. There are probably children and elderly that have not been able to use this park as it’s not ADA accessible. It would be great if we could get the grant and cut the costs in half. Derusseau stated regardless it’s the right thing to do.

Browning stated staff will apply for the grant and then make a decision later based on whether we get the grant if we move forward. He would like a consensus on what option to move forward with and provide authorization to apply for the grant.

Thellman stated Wells Overlook is not the first effort in Douglas County to have a recreational area for ADA. We’ve also invested quite a bit in accessibility at Lone Star Lake. Browning added the County is also planning for an ADA fishing dock at Lone Star Lake.
Kelly stated he agrees with Commissioner Derusseau we should make as many County facilities as possible available to all of our citizens. He said expectation would be if we were to apply for other Federal grants we would be under Office of Civil Rights (OCR) requirements and would then have legal responsibility. Browning responded this grant application does not allow for strictly ADA accessible features. The project must be available to all. But it also encourages anything we do to make it ADA accessible.

Thellman agreed the project is the right thing to do. It fits our Douglas County values. We are trying to make Lone Star Lake accessible to all and this is another opportunity, if not a responsibility, to do the same.

Thellman moved to authorize Staff to move forward with Option 1 for providing an ADA accessible viewing platform and picnic shelter at Wells Overlook Park, and authorize staff to apply for a Land & Water Conservation Fund grant that would reimburse Douglas County for 50% of the eligible expenses. Motion was seconded by Kelly and carried 3-0.

Derusseau moved to appoint Anthony Sanchez to the Community Person with Lived Experience position on the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council for a one-year term to expire 01/31/2020. Motion was seconded by Thellman and carried 3-0.



1) Sarah Plinsky, Interim County Administrator met with Megan Poindexter regarding board changes and changes to bylaws for the Senior Resource Center Board of Directors. In advance of the budget meeting, that board would provide an update on restructure and the County’s role.

2) Plinsky met with Judge Kittel and Linda Koester-Vogelsang, Courts Administrator, who suggested the Board of County Commissioners and the judges meet quarterly. Staff is working on setting a date on the calendar.

3) Derusseau lead a discussion and follow up regarding the study group on local agreements with Lawrence Douglas County Fire & Medical.

She said the local agreement was made in the best interest of all citizens in the County in the spirit of cooperation. In the past, the County Administrator sat in on the interview process for the last fire chief, Mark Bradford. Derusseau said she was surprised to hear during the City Managers report at the last City Commission meeting that since the County has not been involved in hiring the Police Chief nor the City Parks and Recreation Director positions, we should not be involved in the hiring process for the Chief of Fire and Medical. Derusseau commented that the County would not have involvement in the hiring of the Police Chief or the Director of Parks and Recreation as we don’t fund those positions nor do we have any type of interlocal agreement for those two departments. We are not a stakeholder or a partner. However we are a stakeholder in the Lawrence-Douglas County Fire and Medical Department (LDCFM). We are a partner and there is an Interlocal Agreement. Derusseau said in the spirit of cooperation Douglas County should have a seat at the table for the interview process. The County provides funding for this position and they provide services for all of the medical calls throughout the County. Derusseau said she feels it’s really important to have someone at the table that represents the people that live outside the city limits of Lawrence. While working on the interlocal agreement with the City, one of the recommendations the County received was to clearly identify the governance and administration that the Fire and Medical Chief reports. Derusseau said it sounds like the City of Lawrence has already made that decision.

 Kelly stated that in going over the agreement and hearing the City Manager talk about what is in the agreement, he understands the City Manager’s position. He said he doesn’t necessarily think it is good leadership. The past practice has been that the County Administrator has been involved with that process. It is a truth that the Fire and Medical position serves the people of the County. If the City is going to take a different direction than in past practices selecting the Fire Chief that would have been good discussion to have with all the partners. Kelly said that is cooperation and that is good leadership. It certainly is a loss to us to feel we are not involved in the process and a loss to the people of Douglas County that they don’t feel they have someone at the table in the interviews. Kelly said he respects and appreciates that we would advocate to have somebody at that table. Kelly said the Sustainability Agreement clearly has addressed the partnership presence, but that seems to be missing in the LDCFM agreement. Kelly said the question is, “Does the City Manager have the authority to do this?” He then responded “in reading the agreement, maybe so. However is it best practice? Is it the way we want to approach something, in a cooperative way? Is it the way we want to work with the people of Lawrence and Douglas County?” Kelly said it would not be his preference. He would encourage something different.
 Thellman said she is trying to look at the whole picture in what is ahead of us in terms of difficult negotiations on the most difficult contract we have with the City of Lawrence that impacts every resident in Douglas County, and contract negotiations with all of the employees, fire fighters and first responders. These are typically very difficult negotiations and lengthy. And we now will have a transition of a new chief and then the transition to a new city manager. Thellman said there are a lot of moving parts in this puzzle that we were not necessarily aware of when we agreed to start the negotiations on the most difficult contract between two governing bodies who typically have tried to be collaborative in our work. Thellman said she is concerned about our ability to move forward with good faith or at least good spirit with so many unknowns. She questioned who will represent the County’s interests. She would like to have more conversations on this.

 Plinsky added she has looked into other processes with the City of Lawrence where there is funding exchanged. The Director of Emergency Communications Center, 911 Dispatch position is funded largely by the City of Lawrence and Douglas County and also receive amounts from Baldwin City and the City of Eudora. When the Director, Randy Roberts, was hired in 2015, his interview panel included members of the 911 Coordinating Council, the Fire Chief, the Police Chief and a township representative. That speaks to a past practice of trying to involve a variety of the stakeholders involved in the services provided and the decision making process for the hire. The hiring of that position rests with the Sheriff currently under an interlocal agreement with the City of Lawrence and Douglas County. We have found ways to respect authority and also put those kinds of things into place. It was the City of Lawrence that preferred to start the study of the agreement process with the LDCFM agreement. Plinsky said she recalls the group working on the contracts agreeing to complete the review and make a recommendation before the selection process for the Fire Chief, though it wasn’t put in writing. This does speak to the notion of what is the future of our partnership. A new chief will influence that future. A new city manager, as well as, a new county administrator will also have influence. Plinsky said she is concerned there may be too much change at this point in time and maybe we should let some of the new actors that will be invested in the future of this partnership get on board before trying to iron out a very complex and difficult agreement.

Plinsky also stated the 2019 Budget for EMS services is close to $8 million. That includes the 26.4% that has been a part of the negotiations. However, it has been quantified that the County pays closer to 30% of the total funding for this effort.

Thellman said $8 million is a substantial portion of our budget. We operate on about half of the budget of the City of Lawrence.

It was the consensus of the Board for staff to draft a letter from the Board to the City Commission asking for discussion on amending the agreements to clarify our partnership, and to consider a Douglas County position at the table during LDCFM Chief Interviews and bring the letter back to the Board for approval.

Derusseau adjourned the meeting.

______________________________ _____________________________
Michelle Derusseau, Chair                   Patrick Kelly, Vice-Chair
______________________________ _____________________________  
Jamie Shew, County Clerk                   Nancy Thellman, Member