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City of Lincoln/Lancaster County
City Council & County Commission
Common/Super-Common Agenda

M  I  N  U  T  E  S
CITY-COUNTY COMMON
Friday, April 21, 2000 - 8:15 a.m.
Cornhusker Hotel - 333 S. 13th Street

County Board Members Present: Bob Workman, Common Chair; Kathy Campbell, Bernie Heier, Larry Hudkins and Linda Steinman

City Council Members Present: Jon Camp, Common Vice Chair; Jonathan Cook, Annette McRoy, Coleen Seng and Jerry Shoecraft

Others Present: Mayor Don Wesely, Ann Harrell, Mayor's Office; Robin Mahoney, Sandy Rupp, Dawn Starkey, Rachel Yamamoto, Barbara Pester, Linda Robinson Rutz, Doug Thompson, Kris Rutford, Kris Waline, Rick Inbody and Mark Schor, United Way Staff and Volunteers; Kit Boesch, Lincoln-Lancaster County Human Services; Tim Keelan and Justin Pesiter, Hanna:Keelan Associates; Kathleen Sellman, Terry Brinkman and Kent Morgan, Planning Department; Leon Vinci, Scott Holmes and Jane Storey, Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department; Roger Figard, Public Works & Utilities; Don Herz, City Finance Director; Kerry Eagan, County Chief Administrative Officer; Chris Hain, Lincoln Journal Star; Eleanor Francke, Marleen Rickertsen, Rhoda Retzlaff, Dale Retzlaff, Joe Hampton and Mark Hunzeker, members of the general public; and Cori Beattie, County Board Secretary

MINUTES

By direction of Chair, Bob Workman, approval of the minutes from the February 18, 2000, Common meeting was deferred until after the Human Services Comprehensive Plan presentation.

HUMAN SERVICES NEEDS ASSESSMENT COMPREHENSIVE PLAN

Boesch commented that the needs assessment process was funded by the City of Lincoln, Lancaster County and United Way. The following materials were available to those in attendance: Human Services Comprehensive Plan, list of priority need areas (copies on file).

Mahoney said today's discussion would primarily focus on Phase II of the Human Services Needs Assessment and Community Plan. She thanked members of the Executive Committee for their efforts on the project and added that this group drove the process, set direction and provided the necessary feedback to the consultants, Hanna:Keelan Associates. She felt the process was extremely open and dedicated to hearing community comments.

Mahoney briefly described the nine priority areas, all of which are dependent on each other. These priorities are:

  1. Safe, decent, affordable housing and shelter;
  2. Basic and emergency needs;
  3. Family violence (protection and prevention programs);
  4. Efficient and accessible transportation;
  5. Promoting primary prevention;
  6. Affordable quality child care;
  7. Health care resources for medical assistance;
  8. Supportive case management; and
  9. Behavioral health special needs.

(For a detailed description of each priority, please refer to the handout.)

United Way responded to the needs assessment by emphasizing the following priorities:

  1. Establish a priority setting committee;
  2. Narrow to five areas for impact funding;
  3. Empower funding distribution teams with actual dollar amounts for each area;
  4. Shift from agency funding to program funding; and
  5. Implement fund distribution redesign.

The Joint Budget Committee (JBC) also responded with the following:

  1. JBC dollars are intended to augment City and County priorities;
  2. JBC dollars will not be used for transportation and health care (both of which currently receive ample funding from the City and County);
  3. Agency programs will be reviewed, addressing need areas and tier activity.

Boesch said Hanna:Keelan identified Tier 1 Activities through a variety of ways (data collection, opinions of consumers and agencies). Tier 1 activities are the priority activities for implementation. Tiers 2 and 3 show that while some of the activities listed do exist, the community (a) may not have enough, (b) may not have a very high quality or (c) may not have any at all. If the services exist, maintenance is crucial so they do not turn up in Tier 1.

Page 22 of the handout lists the Action Plans (Boesch noted these to be the backbone of the overall Comprehensive Human Services Plan). She added that it is the community's responsibility to determine what kind of community it wants to be, what it can afford and where it is right now (benchmarks). Once these are recognized, the action strategies provide the guidance in attaining goals. Again, the strategies are a total community responsibility.

Mahoney noted these future steps in the process:

  1. Having the steering committee continue its commitment by finding different options to make the action plans operational;
  2. Involve other funders in the community plan; and
  3. Review commitment to building and funding the plan.

A feedback system should also be present to provide an ongoing, structured system between agencies, funders and consumers.

Mahoney commented that responsibilities of implementing the Human Services Comprehensive Plan should include, but not be limited to:

  1. Insuring diversity in community representation and human services expertise;
  2. Completing data for each plan activity benchmark;
  3. Conducting an annual review of the Comprehensive Plan, including the reevaluation of plan activities, associated benchmarks, strategies and statements of outcome;
  4. Developing a time line for implementing the plan activities associated with their respective priority needs area;
  5. Developing a method to collect and analyze information to assist in financing plan activities;
  6. Determining staff support and cost of implementation for all plan activities with their respective priority needs area; and
  7. Insuring that a System Evaluation Report is completed annually for the funders.
It was suggested that people contact steering committee reps from the City, County and/or United Way with any future questions regarding the Human Services Comprehensive Plan.

MINUTES

Hudkins moved for approval of the minutes from the February 18, 2000 City-County Common meeting; seconded by Heier. Roll call vote. Ayes: Wesely, Campbell, Camp, Cook, Heier, Hudkins, McRoy, Seng, Shoecraft, Steinman and Workman. Nays: None. Motion passed 11-0.

NEW BUSINESS

Workman suggested bringing forward the appointments to the Child Care Advisory Committee since they require action by the Common. Moved by Seng to approve the forwarding of the Child Care Advisory Committee appointments to the City Council and County Board for formal action; seconded by Steinman.

Seng commented that the next time these appointments are before the Common, she hopes there will be better geographic representation as only 2 of 15 candidates were from the north side of the City. Steinman added that she would appreciate increased diversity, additional business representation and someone representing the rural area. Workman noted that at a future date, one more member will be appointed from the business community.

Roll call vote. Ayes: Heier, Wesely, Camp, Cook, Hudkins, McRoy, Seng, Steinman, Workman, Shoecraft and Campbell. Nays: None. Motion passed 11-0.

LONG RANGE TRANSPORTATION PLAN, STEVENS CREEK BASIN STUDY & COMPREHENSIVEPLAN

Morgan distributed a handout entitled "Long Range Transportation Plan Advisory Task Force: Task and Organizational Overview" (copy on file).

He noted the charge of the Advisory Task Force is to provide advice and guidance for the preparation of a twenty-year Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) for the Lincoln metropolitan area using the future land use plan as it is contained in Chapter 4 of the currently adopted City-County Comprehensive Plan.

The LRTP involves long-range planning for roads, highways, railroads, airports, trails, etc. Morgan noted that at the end of 1999, discussions took place concerning the transportation certification process. The federal government noted that Lincoln-Lancaster County's LRTP was basically coming to the end of its useful life of five years. The plan was adopted in December, 1994. The Planning Department is in the process of creating a new LRTP by October, 2000, in addition to a longer process of updating the Comprehensive Plan and re-certification of the LRTP over a two-year period.

The Advisory Committee's goal is to meet every two weeks until the end of July, at which time a revised plan will hopefully be in place. Pages 2 and 3 of handout provide a list of meeting topics.

Morgan said there will be additional studies which are auxiliary to the transportation planning process. They include the Infrastructure Financing Study, the Public Way Corridor Study, the Mayor's StarTran Task Force and the Trails Master Plan Subcommittee. Campbell questioned whether the City Council and County Board will receive a report on the Public Way Corridor Study. Morgan thought the Common may be briefed in June before any recommendations became part of an amendment.

Brinkman distributed materials regarding the Stevens Creek Basin Planning Initiative Conceptual Planning Process and the Community Open House Schedule (copies on file). He noted that the primary study area encompasses the Stevens Creek Drainage Basin, a 52 square mile area from roughly 84th to 162nd Streets, Highway 2 to Salt Creek. A secondary study area has also been defined. It includes areas surrounding the basin which might influence urban and rural development within the basin.

In April 1999, this effort was initiated with the passage of a resolution by both the City Council and County Board approving a subarea study to review growth and development in the Stevens Creek Basin to see how it fits in with the overall growth objectives of the City. The Planning Department is initiating a year-long process of looking at growth in the basin area. The process will include a very aggressive public involvement effort. Four community open houses will be held during May to discuss potential issues in the Stevens Creek area such as natural resources, open space, parks and recreation, agriculture, residential issues, transportation/circulation, public infrastructure, utilities, community facilities, commercial and industrial development.

In addition to the open houses, the Planning Department has developed numerous ways of contacting the public regarding the Stevens Creek project:

  1. Citizens can access a website devoted to the Stevens Creek Basin Planning Initiative. The address is lincoln.ne.gov/city/plan/subarea/screek/sumrpt.htm.
  2. Letters will also be mailed to all property owners in the basin area, as well as other interested parties, which will explain the process and invite their participation.
  3. A newsletter will be launched. Names and addressed are currently being compiled for the mailing list.
  4. Names are being collected for a Conceptual Plan Committee. The membership list should be finalized in June with the first meeting tentatively scheduled for July. No committee criteria has been set to date.
  5. A process will be established to communicate with other community organizations and committees regarding the Stevens Creek process.
  6. A community wide survey will be conducted, pending budgetary approval, to garner attitudes from City and County residents concerning development and planning activities with regard to the Comprehensive Plan and the Stevens Creek Basin.
  7. Expert speakers will be available to address growth and development used in other localities. This will be in conjunction with the Comprehensive Plan update.

The time frame for the project looks to be approximately one year. (It begun this March/April.)

Shoecraft said it is his personal opinion that the location of the beltway should determine how much and what type of development is allowed in the Stevens Creek Basin. Brinkman noted that the beltway will definitely play an important role and all beltway alternatives must be reviewed to see how they interact with the current transportation network in the area. Shoecraft added that he is specifically referring to the location of the beltway, not necessary the beltway itself. Brinkman commented that this will be taken into consideration when looking at growth and development within the basin area.

Wesely echoed Shoecraft's comments and stated that everyone should have received a copy of his letter to Jim Linderholm asking that the environmental impact statement for the beltway be completed by July 1, 2000. He feels a decision regarding the final location of the beltway should be made by the end of the year. In reference to Antelope Valley, Wesely said Public Works informed him that information regarding its environmental impact study may be available next month.

REVIEW OF AMBULANCE SERVICE FOR CITY AND COUNTY

Camp distributed copies of materials relating to ambulance service (copies on file). He commented that since the ambulance certificate renewal will have a potential affect on both the City and County, it was appropriate for the Common to discuss the issue today. He asked the County Board for its opinion on the matter.

Campbell, Chair of the County Board, said most people assume the Board knows as much about ambulance service as the City Council and Mayor when, in reality, the County does not often deal with the issue. She added that Mayor Wesely invited her and Commissioner Hudkins to a meeting when the ambulance Request for Information (RFI) was discussed. At that time, a phrase was added to the RFI to include the County, for which the Commissioners were very appreciative.

Soon after the RFI was released, Campbell said documents regarding ambulance service were sent to the County Board office from the medical society. It was then that the Board realized it really didn't know much about the issue and decided to get better educated in order to be knowledgeable enough to answer constituents questions.

Campbell stated that while the County Board has just begun the review process, it is not anticipated that much time will be necessary to review the information. She added that the County is aware of the City's urgency in the matter. The Board has decided that upon reviewing the issue, a letter will be sent to the Mayor and City Council with regard to the issues the Board feels are important to County residents.

During a meeting with Julie Righter, Emergency Communications Director, and Doug Ahlberg, Emergency Management Director, the Board learned that there are seventeen fire districts which service Lancaster County and not all of them are located in Lancaster County. All are a member of the Mutual Aid Society which the County monitors on a regular basis due to its close relationship with Emergency Management. Righter also informed the Board that to her knowledge, there was no contract between Rural Metro and the Mutual Aid Society or any of the seventeen rural fire districts. Ahlberg is in the process of researching this for the County, as well as what agreements were made with those districts located outside Lancaster County. In practice, Rural Metro has provided training not only for those fire districts within the County, but also those outside the County. Campbell guessed that Rural Metro's willingness to do this stems from its relationship with the Mutual Aid Society.

Campbell said the County Board would very much appreciate the courtesy of the Mayor and City Council to allow the Board an opportunity to review information relating to rural ambulance needs and to work through those issues directly affecting rural residents. The Board will, in turn, respond back in a timely fashion as to not hold up the City's process.

Mayor Wesely said the City and County have been meeting in hopes of working through the ambulance issues. He added that he has also learned a lot about the complexity of medical system in the rural areas. The reason the renewal process doesn't automatically involve the County is that the ambulance certificate can only be issued within the City. The City and County will have to partner together in making the decision to get a commitment from whoever is awarded the ambulance contract to work with the other entities the County has in place. This is addressed in the RFI so bidders will have to consider the County's concerns. Wesely said when the proposal for the ambulance certificate goes to the City Council, the Council could work with the County on a contract so that things are arranged mutually.

Camp said he finds it interesting to listen to the comments from Mayor Wesely and Kathy Campbell about the lack of information and understanding of the ambulance issue. He feels the process has been furthered along too quickly as officials are asking for proposals when parameters have not yet been defined. County needs are still being surveyed; the City also has a number of questions. He asked for direction from the Common on whether the current RFI process be delayed to allow adequate time to respond to these major life and death issues for the citizenry. Camp noted that the three letters he distributed from national authorities who reviewed the City of Lincoln's RFI also express a number of concerns about the completeness, the lack of review standards, etc.

Workman said he found it interesting that parts of Lancaster County are served by other counties who are not even tied into our 911 process. The County Board now realizes how much ambulance service for Lancaster County residents is connected to other counties. He added that this issue will be addressed by the Board when making its final recommendations.

From the County's perspective, Campbell said she feels at a loss to answer Camp's question since the reason the County Board chose to become better educated about ambulance service really stemmed from the medical society's request/resolution to the Board. The focus of the County Board's review has been on education about rural ambulance service, not necessarily a review of the City's RFI.

Camp stated that he appreciates the County Board's response as it reflects intent by the Board to go ahead and gain additional information. He said he is concerned that perhaps the City and County should both step back to collect their thoughts, get questions organized, understand the answers and be aware of the direction the process is going. At Monday's meeting, the City Council has before them a resolution for public hearing regarding the ambulance issue. The medical society has a very deep concern about independent medical oversight, establishment of standards and a review process so that the patient care is protected. Concern is definitely coming forward from the medical community and, to a large extent, this process needs to reflect medical standards.

Workman said he recently visited with a city in Iowa who has part of its emergency services provided by a private company owned by the hospitals. In this case, physicians who work for those hospitals wouldn't be considered "independent" medical oversight. He added that, in his opinion, it may be a good idea to have a provider locked in before addressing the issue of medical oversight.

Heier moved that the Common meeting be adjourned; seconded by Steinman. Roll call vote. Ayes: Campbell, Camp, Hudkins, Heier, McRoy, Seng, Shoecraft, Steinman, Workman, Wesely and Cook. Nays: None. Motion passed 11-0.

Submitted by,

Cori R. Beattie
County Board Secretary


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