Services Departments Government

Library District of Clackamas County Advisory Committee

Minutes - APPROVED
October 24, 2016
Clackamas County Development Services Building, Rm. 119/120


Advisory Committee Voting Members

John Smith Canby Public Library PRESENT
Grover Bornefeld Clackamas County Library - Oak Lodge PRESENT
Connie Redmond Estacada Public Library PRESENT
Katie Lewis Gladstone Public Library PRESENT
Robin Wheeler Happy Valley Public Library ABSENT Excused
Nancy Niland Lake Oswego Public Library PRESENT
Karol Miller Ledding Library of Milwaukie PRESENT
Sandy Nelson Molalla Public Library ABSENT Excused
Don Wright Oregon City Public Library PRESENT
George Hoyt Sandy Public Library PRESENT
Pam North West Linn Public Library PRESENT
Caroline Berry Wilsonville Public Library PRESENT

Others Present

Greg Williams Clackamas County Library Network - LDAC Liaison
Mitzi Olson Manager, Oak Lodge Library
Bill Baars Director, Lake Oswego Public Library
Doris Grolbert Director, Happy Valley Public Library
Patrick Duke Director, Wilsonville Public Library
Sarah McIntyre Director, Sandy and Hoodland Public Libraries
Paul Savas Clackamas County Commissioner
Mo Cole Director, Oregon City Public Library
Katie Newell Director, Ledding Library of Milwaukie
Linda Lewis Director, Gladstone Public Library
Steve Johnson Gladstone City Councilor


The meeting was called to order at 7:01 PM.

Grover Bornefeld moved that the minutes of the August 22, 2016 meeting be approved as presented, Don Wright seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

Chair North opened the meeting to public comment. No comments were offered.

Greg Williams presented answers to some questions that had been asked during last meeting’s ‘LDAC 101’ presentation. Information used to answer these questions was gathered from Clackamas County Counsel and Library Directors.

  1. What is the process for amending the Master Order?
    The basic process is outlined in ORS (Oregon Revised Statute) 451. The governing body of the District can order a change to the Master Order. The change could be subject to a remonstrance process, the parameters of which would be the same as the standard initiative and referendum process outlined by the Oregon Constitution.
  2. How were library service areas (which include both City residents and residents of unincorporated areas) determined?
    Greg shared that previous versions of library service area maps had existed prior to the creation of the Library District, and he shared an example taken from a 2006 report by the consulting firm of Himmel & Wilson.
  3. When the District was formed, a variety of factors were considered in defining service areas, including obvious natural boundaries (such as rivers), census tracts, major roadways/arterials, bridges, samples of patron usage, etc.

    Doris Grolbert (Director, Happy Valley Public library) provided some additional history. She recalled that prior to District formation (perhaps in the mid- to late-1990s), representatives from library cities started talking about defining service areas (rather than just utilizing city limits). The State Library had encouraged libraries to do so in order to 1) facilitate the accurate collection and analysis of comparative metrics, and 2) more equitably distribute “Ready to Read” grant funds. Maps were put up in libraries where patrons could mark where they lived. These maps (as well as other factors, such as geographical features and census tracts) were then used as the basis of consortium-wide, cooperative discussions to establish mutually-agreeable service area boundaries.

    Subsequent analysis of service areas by consultants in 2006 revealed that these previously-established boundaries still closely reflected the service areas of each library (as determined by the consultants’ analysis of patron usage). These service areas became the basis for District service area maps.

    Greg also noted that one additional factor in the creation of District service areas was to try and ensure an equitable revenue distribution, so that each District library would receive sufficient funding to achieve and sustain aspirational service standards.

    Doris also noted that this consideration, along with the County’s intent to exit the “retail” library business, were some of the reasons behind the transition of the Hoodland and Sunnyside libraries to individual cities, and the intended combination of the Oak Lodge and Gladstone libraries.

    It was also noted again that when boundary maps were drawn, several factors (including where residents were most likely to go to receive library services) were used to draw service areas boundaries. The proximity of some Jennings Lodge residents to the Gladstone library likely resulted in part of the Jennings Lodge area being included in Gladstone’s service area map.

    Grover Bornefeld asked by what means existing service areas might be changed. It was noted by several that the service areas are incorporated into the District IGA, and that changes to the IGA would be made per the applicable amendment provisions in the IGA.

    A question was asked about whether an IGA provision applicable to “Cities” applied to a library serving an unincorporated area. Several believed that the term “City” was intended to refer to any Library Service Provider in the District (including the County, which operates the Oak Lodge Library). Greg indicated he would seek clarification on this point.

  4. What role did Citizen Advisory Committees play when the distribution formula was established?
    The most likely involvement would have been by local Library Advisory Boards. It is unknown if CPOs, were directly consulted (especially given their focus on land use issues).
  5. Have strategic plans been formulated by libraries who were unable to meet standards, particularly due to facility size?
    While most, if not all, of the libraries reported having individual, overall strategic plans, Greg didn’t find any example of a strategic plan specifically addressing a failure to meet service standards due to facility size.
  6. Who has the authority/obligation to ensure library compliance to standards?
    The final responsibility/obligation to meet IGA provisions lies with the City Councils of district libraries. LDAC would take a “lead role” in identifying and encouraging remediation of breach or noncompliance (as outlined in section 4.14 of the District IGA). LDAC would encourage compliance, and if encouragement was unsuccessful, LDAC could propose an amendment to the IGA to create incentives for compliance. That amendment would go the Library District Board for approval, then would be proposed to the City Councils of other Library Cities (and subject to discussion/debate by their citizens).
  7. Greg noted that the District Board is but one party to the cooperative IGA, and is similarly bound by the IGA’s terms. The District Board does not have the authority to unilaterally breach IGA provisions, including those related to standards enforcement. It was also noted that when the District was formed, a conscious decision was made by participating parties to adopt a cooperative, self-governing model, rather than a model with more centralized authority.

    Based on a question from Grover Bornefeld, Greg clarified that he was currently speaking about enforcement of compliance with the service standards outlined in Attachment C of the IGA. There was another question that more broadly addressed compliance with contractual obligations.

  8. Where do we find detailed information about how distributed funds are being spent by each library?
    Such information can be found in public budget documents from the City, as well as additional information that LDAC representatives may get from their Library Directors and/or local Library Boards.
  9. Clarify “general administrative costs”.
    There is no “bright line” on what is or isn’t a general administrative cost. Each City has the authority to determine allocated charges, and how those charges are allocated to City departments.
  10. Grover Bornefeld observed that he didn’t think that answer was consistent with the IGA. Section 2.1(iii) of the IGA was read, and Greg reiterated his understanding that the determination of a directly related overhead or administrative cost was left to Cities, and that in the event of breach or noncompliance, LDAC could follow the process outlined in section 4.14 of the District IGA.

    Grover indicated his understanding that LDAC had the authority to account for City expenditures on general administrative costs. Greg indicated that the annual progress report form which Cities submit to LDAC does contain a section for reporting expenditures on allocated charges. Grover reiterated his understanding of LDAC’s authority, but indicated a concern that the group did not have the means to exercise that authority.

    Karol Miller indicated her belief that City expenditures of District funds should be clear.

    George Hoyt indicated he thought the question was whether a City’s allocated charges were “outrageous”, but pointed out that making such determinations was difficult, as allocated charge amounts and practices vary with every City.

    Chair North indicated she’d be happy to consider a committee or individual to work on figuring out a process to get and evaluate information from various Cities on allocated charges.

    Sarah McIntyre (Director, Sandy and Hoodland) observed that different Cities provide different services to their libraries, and that one library’s allocated charges may be higher than some peers because that library is receiving more services from the City. Sarah offered the example of janitorial costs: Sarah must contract for those services, however, other libraries may have those services provided by the City and pay an allocated charge for them.

    Grover Bornefeld requested that the issue of how LDAC accounts for allocated charges that are or aren’t in compliance with Ballot Measure 3-310 or the IGA be addressed at the next LDAC meeting. He expressed a concern about how taxpayer funds are being accounted for, and whether they are being spent properly.

  11. What is the source of the statement that gives cities responsibility for the running of their libraries?
    This statement can be found in section 1.7 of the District IGA.
  12. Does the Library District Board have the authority to enforce IGA provisions?
    As mentioned previously, the Library District Board is a party to the cooperative IGA, and not a central authority.
  13. Also, a comparison was drawn between the role of the Library District Board in the context of the Master IGA (which is an agreement between multiple parties), and the Board of County Commissioners in the context of the Capital IGAs (which are agreements between the County and individual Cities). Each IGA has differing termination, amendment, and enforcement mechanisms.

    Greg did confirm that the BCC will adjourn/convene as either the Board of County Commissioners or the Library District Board, as is appropriate for the situation.

    Grover asked if the Library District Board had the authority to enforce IGA provisions. Greg reiterated that in the case of the District IGA, concerns of noncompliance or breach would be discussed within LDAC, LDAC would encourage compliance, and if encouragement was unsuccessful, LDAC could propose an amendment to the IGA to create incentives for compliance. That amendment would go to the Library District Board and, if approved, would go out to the other Library Cities for consideration.

    Pat Duke, Wilsonville Library Director, offered that LDAC’s primary role was to serve in an advisory capacity to the Library District Board. LDAC can propose and recommend amendments to deal with breach or noncompliance. The Library District Board could also, of its own volition, refer an amendment to member cities.

    Grover Bornefeld indicated a concern that, even though LDAC was the body in which to discuss noncompliance or breach, LDAC was “stepping right over noncompliance all over the place.”

    Chair North indicated her opinion that, in the future, it would be more productive to make a specific motion pertaining to noncompliance.

    Katie Lewis pointed out that section 4.14 of the District IGA specifies an expectation of good faith. Katie indicated LDAC members should keep that in mind; LDAC is an advisory board that expects Cities and the County to act in good faith.

Greg then shared and briefly reviewed a copy of the annual progress report form. Greg indicated that Library Directors were currently in the process of filling out the report. Once complete, the reports would be provided to LDAC for review.

A question was asked regarding the frequency with which the progress report form was prepared. Greg answered it was submitted annually, generally around the same time of year as libraries complete and submitting annual statistical reports to the Oregon State Library (which is due at the beginning of October).

Grover Bornefeld indicated he wasn’t certain the annual report form would provide the detail necessary for LDAC to make determinations of accountability.

Chair North noted that the annual progress report form collected more in-depth data than the Oregon State Library report. She suggested that these reports may be a useful tool for answering some of Grover’s questions.

George Hoyt indicated he thought that a comparative look at data (perhaps on a spreadsheet) will begin to point out where there are major variances, and discussions of those variances can occur within LDAC.

Chair North then initiated a discussion of how LDAC’s public comment process might work. She suggested that any process be geared more towards hearing questions and receiving feedback, rather than answering questions on the spot (as it may be necessary to conduct additional research). Chair North volunteered to bring a draft of a public comment policy to the next meeting, and took some feedback on elements various LDAC members suggested including as part of a public comment process.

John Smith made a motion “To submit a letter to the Board of County Commissioners that LDAC recommends opening the Master Order.” The motion was not seconded.

Commissioner Savas (from the audience) suggested that it might be helpful for LDAC members to define what they understand their role to be, then submit that information for review and feedback by County Counsel. Commissioner Savas observed the group might benefit from a clarification of the LDAC’s more regular annual duties, as well as their additional authorities/duties under specific circumstances.

Chair North then opened the meeting for library sharing.

The meeting adjourned at 8:18 PM.

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