STATE BOARD OF EXAMINERS
MINUTES – SUBCOMMITTEE MEETING
700 W. State Street, Boise, Idaho
5th Floor, Conference Room A
September 7, 2006
The regular meeting of the Subcommittee to the State Board of Examiners was called to order at 700 West State Street, Boise, Idaho, at 9:00 a.m. pursuant to Idaho Code §67-2002 and by order of the chair.
The following members were present: Brad Foltman, Governor’s Office; Chuck Goodenough, Office of the Secretary of State; David High, Office of the Attorney General; and Patrick Hodges, Office of the State Controller, as assisting secretary to the subcommittee.
Also present by invitation were: Lorrie Pond, Bureau of Hazardous Materials; Russ Duke, Central District Health; Ken Miracle, Department of Agriculture; Richard Humiston, Department of Health and Welfare; Joni Booth, Department of Commerce and Labor; David McAllister, Department of Commerce and Labor; Brandon Woolf, Office of the State Controller; Garry Lough, Office of the State Controller; and Deborah Finkbeiner, Office of the State Controller.
Resolution: Mr. High moved to approve item 1. Mr. Foltman seconded the motion. The motion carried on a unanimous voice vote.
Approval of official minutes for the meeting of the Subcommittee to the Board of Examiners on August 3, 2006.
2. Department of Administration
Request for recognition of assignment pursuant to Idaho Code §67-1027 from Eagle Country Plaza, LLC to Eagle Marketplace, LLC.
Request for recognition of assignment pursuant to Idaho Code §67-1027 from North College Partners to SM, LLC.
Resolution: Mr. High moved to place item 2 on the consent agenda. Mr. Goodenough seconded the motion. The motion carried on a unanimous voice vote.
3. Ada County
Request for approval pursuant to Idaho Code §18-2507, for the payment of costs incurred in the prosecution and/or trial of Idaho State Correctional Institution inmates in the amount of $10,915.05.
Resolution: Mr. Goodenough moved to place item 3 on the consent agenda. Mr. Foltman seconded the motion. The motion carried on a unanimous voice vote.
4. Department of Health and Welfare
Request to transfer $1,497,300 from the Cooperative Welfare Fund #0220 to the General Fund for the closeout of the 2006 Fiscal Year and the associated federal fund reporting.
Resolution: Mr. High moved to place item 4 on the consent agenda. Mr. Foltman seconded the motion. The motion carried on a unanimous voice vote.
5. Bureau of Homeland Security, Division of Military, Executive Office of Governor
Resolution: Mr. Foltman moved to place item 5 on the consent agenda. Mr. Goodenough seconded the motion. The motion carried on a unanimous voice vote.
Date to Board
|Incident at 1323 E. Chicago in Caldwell involving a suspected mobile drug lab.|
|Incident at 2 E. Colorado Street in Homedale, involving a suspected drug lab.|
|Incident at 1934 Algoma Spur Road in Sagle ID, involving a suspected drug lab.|
|Incident at 4100 Transport in Boise, Idaho involving a ruptured fuel tank on an 18-wheeler. The driver hit something on the road that ruptured his saddle bag. |
|Incident at the State Penitentiary at 13400 Pleasant Valley Road in Boise Idaho involving a suspected bio-hazard. An inmate sent letters that contained a white powder that they suspected could be anthrax. The powder turned out to be laundry detergent.|
|Incident at 114 Queen Street in Wallace, Idaho involving a suspected drug lab.|
|Incident at 15422 N. Mill Street in Rathdrum, Idaho involving a suspected drug lab.|
|Incident in Boise, Idaho at Red Lion at 1800 Fairview Avenue involving a yellow / white powder that someone maliciously sprayed into and onto vehicles at the hotel.|
6. Central District Health Department
Request for an exception to allow a one-time comp time payoff for an FLSA exempt employee. Mr. Robert Howarth, Program Manager 3, has a vacation balance of 299.0 hours and a comp time balance of 180.5 hours effective August 25, 2006. He is paid at the rate of $36.58 per hour.
Discussion: Mr. Foltman said he is not certain about the revisions that are necessary because of the passage of legislation 1363, which indicates these kinds of positions have time to work off comp time hours. Mr. Foltman explained that Central District Health is saying there would not be time to finish off these hours for Mr. Howarth. Mr. Foltman asked Mr. Duke for more information of why the request has come before the board at this point.
Mr. Duke responded that Mr. Howarth has been a manager for a couple of years, but prior to July 1, 2006, he was not in an executive status; he was able to accrue comp time and vacation time. The department decided to switch Mr. Howarth to executive status based on legislation of the last session, and by recommendation from the Division of Human Resources. The situation is that he has 299 hours of vacation, about 180 hours of comp time, and will be accruing another 200 hours over the next fiscal year as an executive status position. Between now and the end of the calendar year, Mr. Howarth will have to use all of his comp time hours, and still have vacation time on the books. Mr. Duke believes there is no way Mr. Howarth can continue to do his job and be expected to use all of his time between now and the end of the year.
Mr. Foltman asked if there was anyone else who could help Mr. Howarth to do his job in order for him to take some time off.
Mr. Duke answered that they are in the process of making some changes in the department and reducing Mr. Howarth’s amount of overtime. Even with the department changes, it will be difficult for Mr. Howarth to use all of his hours. Hopefully the change will help to adjust Mr. Howarth’s workload to be consistent with a 40-hour workweek. Mr. Duke said no one else in the agency has the ability to do what Mr. Howarth has done.
Mr. Foltman thought the request seemed premature. He has no issue with the comp time Mr. Howarth accrued under the classification that was valid up until July. He has the opportunity to take that time off. Mr. Foltman commented that it probably does create a management issue within the department, but he wonders if things are jumping ahead a little. Possibly for ease of simplicity, the department wants to pay the comp time instead of ensuring that Mr. Howarth takes the time off which was incurred prior to July 1. Mr. Foltman explained that items coming before the Board of Examiners are normally emergency or unusual kinds of issues; he has a problem with this request being qualified under that kind of criteria. It could be difficult for the Health District to accommodate the situation, but the legislation states that these classifications have been changed and have been given a period of time for the hours to be taken off. From a budget perspective, Mr. Foltman thinks the claim may be over anxious to bring the issue before the board at this point
Mr. Goodenough said there is a cut-off date in December, where if Mr. Howarth does not use his comp time, he loses it. He asked if it would be possible for Mr. Howarth to take some comp time off between now and December, see how it goes, and then come back with this request at that point.
Mr. Foltman said he discovered the on-call comp time number of Mr. Howarth seems to be unusually high. Upon running the report, he looked at the statewide on-call by agency and average amount of time that they accrued. Other agencies see 30, 14, 20, 21, and 31 on-call hours, and other health districts report 4, 13, and 19 on-call hours. This particular health district averages 108 hours. It seems a very dramatic departure compared to the other agencies. Mr. Foltman believes it reflects management issues that are allowing these comp time hours to build. There are other issues imbedded in this one issue that might be the cause of the Health District’s problems. Mr. Foltman said he would be reluctant to approve the request.
Mr. High asked if it would work for the agency to see what can be done about narrowing the hours between now and December.
Mr. Duke commented that it would work. The department is in the process of making changes organizationally to transfer some of Mr. Howarth’s responsibilities over to a different section. It will still be a challenge to use 180 hours of comp time in four months. Mr. Duke said he would be happy to go back to the agency and make a best effort to reduce Mr. Howarth’s comp time balance between now and December.
Mr. Foltman said he appreciates the effort. As follow-up, Mr. Duke should later point out later the changes that have been made and how the department is dealing with them.
Resolution: Mr. Foltman moved to defer action on item 6 until a later date. Mr. Goodenough seconded the motion. The motion carried on a unanimous voice vote.
7. Commerce and Labor
Request for approval to use Penalty and Interest monies pursuant to Idaho Code §72-1348 for $135,000 for the purchase of land (including estimated closing costs) for a new local office facility in Canyon County. Permanent Building Funds will be used for the construction of the building.
Discussion: Mr. Foltman said it took more information to understand what was truly presented in this claim. He asked Mr. McAllister if this request is a project that has already been appropriated.
Mr. McAllister responded that it has been appropriated, and that the rising construction costs are keeping them from advancing.
Mr. Foltman noted that the information presented to the board for consideration did not mention anything about this request being a project that has already been appropriated. Now because of construction costs, we are taking another look at the information and seeing that this would be a way to address the differential because of construction increases.
Mr. McAllister apologized for not being clear. He explained that the issue has been through all the channels and has been approved. The problem is that construction costs keep increasing.
Mr. High believes it is a legit expense. He also did not know until presently that this request was to cover construction costs, as opposed to a land purchase.
Mr. McAllister said there would be $300,000 left in the Penalty and Interest Fund after the building project.
Mr. Foltman moved to place item 7 on the consent agenda. Mr. High seconded the motion. The motion carried on a unanimous voice vote.
8. Department of Agriculture
Request for approval to pay cash compensation for overtime work for Mr. L. Rex Young, Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Service District Manager, pursuant to Idaho Code §67-5328(c) through March 31, 2007. Mr. Young has a Fair Labor Standards Act designation of professional. The situation will be re-evaluated in March of 2007 and request additional time if needed.
Discussion: Mr. Miracle said one of the things his department has discovered is that there is not a great deal of consistency when the federal government rotates people in and out to work two-week time periods. Upon the retirement of an individual, the department recently combined two districts into one, having Mr. Young manage both districts. The complications at this time are the potato cyst nematode (PCN) invasion, and also the many fires that continue to burn. Normally the people who would be in the fields doing sampling are now out fighting fires. All of this has kept Mr. Young very busy, and the department would like to pay off his comp time and keep him working. Mr. Young is the resident manager, and lives in the area. It is very hard for him to keep everything running at once.
Mr. Foltman said that the request was not date specific and that it appeared to be a blanket issue of covering a period from now until possibly March. Mr. Foltman asked if Mr. Miracle had any additional information of how many hours this person currently has.
Mr. Miracle said Mr. Young currently has 329 hours. He had been starting to take some of that time off and balancing his vacation time, which is almost maxed out at 333 hours, when the PCN hit. With Mr. Young being the resident manager, the PCN emergency and lack of workers seemed to fall on his head. Mr. Young is a long time employee, and unfortunately he is all there is right now. The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Service District (FFV) has shrunk to some degree, but there are still very few bodies to go around.
Mr. Foltman said that it does qualify as an emergency situation, but it appears that Mr. Young had accrued a fair amount of comp time prior to the emergency. It seems like he would have had plenty of time to work the numbers down and did not.
Mr. Miracle said the workers typically do have time to work their comp time numbers down. They usually take time off in the spring and summer months, but having the PCN break loose this year, Mr. Young was not able to take time off as expected. The normal pattern would be to accrue the hours over the fall, and then work the hours back down to normal levels in the spring and summer.
Mr. Foltman asked how many of Mr. Young’s comp time hours are because of the potato cyst nematode.
Mr. Miracle answered that there are approximately 89 hours that started to accrue after the PCN hit. Normally spring and summer are the slow times of the year, but not this time.
Mr. Foltman asked if Mr. Miracle had any proposal on what Mr. Young’s comp time requirements might be between now and March.
Mr. Miracle said with harvest hitting at the same time as the PCN emerging, the department really does not have an estimate with regards to a time frame.
Mr. Foltman concluded that Mr. Young’s last pay period was almost a double shift.
Mr. Miracle said the workload should start slowing down near the end of October. However, with the PCN issue, workers will have to enter the fields after harvest this fall to do sampling before the ground freezes. There is a very small window of time to get all of the work accomplished.
Mr. High asked what can be done if a crop has the nematode.
Mr. Miracle said they typically don’t get a major quarantine situation. Small sections are quarantined and insects are monitored all of the time. Discoveries have shown that it is possible for the PCN cyst to be in the ground for at least thirty years before people are actually aware of a noticeable crop reduction. There is not an explanation as to how or where the nematode has come from. It could have been spread by contaminated machinery equipment or by a variety of other causes. PCN is a problem that is hard to detect, and is only seen with a microscope.
Mr. High asked if they would eventually have control over the problem.
Mr. Miracle said it is a problem that will have to be dealt with forever to a certain degree. Once researchers can say that an area tests free from the nematode, fields surrounding the location will need to be checked. Regarding shipping potatoes out of the country for food consumption, the department does not know what each locality requirements will be. Mr. Foltman said he is reluctant to approve open-ended cases. He said the more open-ended approach is difficult especially when speaking to PCN issues that will not be going away by spring. Mr. Foltman commented that something is amiss, especially seeing that Mr. Young generated a fair amount of comp time previously and did not get it worked down. Now he is in a crisis situation and he is starting to roll up high levels of hours with no real relief in sight.
Mr. Miracle said the department is trying to get through this point in time and seeing what will happen with the legislature and how the department can clear up the picture. The department will be making some decisions regarding whether they will refill some of the positions they did not fill in the FFV to ease some of Mr. Young’s responsibilities.
Mr. High said hopefully in March there would be a different plan so Mr. Young will not have to do all of the work.
Mr. Miracle said hopefully Mr. Young would be relieved even before March.
Mr. Foltman said he is concerned that by March the numbers will be even bigger. Mr. Young put in 60 hours of over time in the last pay period. If those kind of over time hours continue for the next six months, it will be a large amount of money.
Mr. Miracle said they have two vacant positions that have not been refilled because the department did not know for sure if the combination of districts would be successful. Now, with the PCN, these vacant positions will need to be evaluated. Right now it is very difficult to separate the two issues because they are all apart of the potato industry. The expectations are high to get the industry out from all of the restrictions.
Mr. High said that the problem needs to be taken care of, but they also should not make someone work that many hours a week and get burned out. It would be helpful to report back in two or three months of any ideas and adjustments.
Mr. Foltman said the case is deserving of attention from the standpoint of the nematode emergency. He asked if there is any way to contract people to provide relief for Mr. Young.
Mr. Miracle said they have been working on finding people to help. He wishes he knew how long the PCN issue would last. The department does not know exactly the time frame because this is the first harvest season that all of the sampling has been taken. The department does not know the exact requirements of what each location is going to need for recordkeeping. Mr. Miracle said they are fighting it out daily. Hopefully by the end of this harvest or sampling season things will come to a sense of normalcy.
Mr. Foltman said he is looking for a time frame of when harvest season and inspections will conclude.
Mr. Miracle said they would probably finish the sampling in the fields in November.
Mr. Foltman clarified he was not making a motion, but if the department were to supply information tracking this situation, then by December the board will take another look at the issue.
Resolution: Mr. High motioned to approve item 8 through the end of December with the expectation of monthly information to the board. In December Mr. Miracle can report where the department is regarding the PCN issue and over time hours. Mr. Foltman seconded the motion. The motion carried on a unanimous voice vote.
9. Attorney General
a. Notification that J. Kevin West, with the firm of Hall, Farley, Oberrecht & Blanton, PA, has been appointed pursuant to Idaho Code §67-1409 as a Special Deputy Attorney General for the purpose of conducting certain legal research for the State of Idaho, Department of Administration, Office of Group Insurance, related to the State’s Flexible Spending Account (“FSA”) Plan.
b. Notification that Wesley J. Somerton, Deputy City Attorney, with the Office of the City Attorney, City of Coeur d’ Alene, has been appointed pursuant to Idaho Code §67-1409 as Special Deputy Attorney General for the purpose of representing the State of Idaho in the case of Mark Beavers Bell Real Property Forfeiture.
c. Notification that James K. Dickinson and Gene A. Petty, Deputy Prosecutors with the Ada County Prosecutor’s Office, have been appointed pursuant to Idaho Code §67-1409 as Special Deputy Attorneys General for the purpose of representing the State of Idaho in the case of Jerry Deane Love and Jennifer Bell Real Property Forfeiture.
d. Notification that Peter C. Erbland of the firm of Paine, Hamblen, Coffin, Brooke & Miller has been appointed pursuant to Idaho Code §67-1409 as Special Deputy Attorney General for the purpose of representing the State of Idaho in the case of Stricklin v. Idaho Transportation Dep’t, et al.
e. Notification that Lawrence E. Kirkendall, Attorney at Law, has been appointed pursuant to Idaho Code §67-1409 as Special Deputy Attorney General for the purpose of representing the State of Idaho in the case of Mills v. Indust.
f. Notification that Jed W. Manwaring of the firm of Evans Keane, LLP, has been appointed pursuant to Idaho Code §67-1409 as Special Deputy Attorney General for the purpose of reviewing proposed legislation and proposed rules prepared by the Idaho Department of Agriculture related to the Bonded Warehouse Law, title 69, chapter 2, Idaho Code; the Commodity Dealer Law, title 69, chapter 5, Idaho Code; the Seed Indemnity Fund Law, title 22, chapter 51, Idaho Code; and the 1935 Dealers in Farm Produce Law, title 22, chapter 13, Idaho Code. The review will be conducted to provide comments to AGRI from a litigation perspective.
10. Secretary of State
The biennial distribution from the Election Campaign Fund
Distribution Based on June 30, 2006 figures.
Libertarian $ 2,731.00
United $ 841.00
Constitution $ 4,269.00
11. State Insurance Fund
a. Estimate of the State Insurance Fund expenses to be paid by sight drafts for the month of July, 2006.
Estimated expenditure for workers compensation claim costs, dividends and premium refunds
Funds Expended in May, 2006
Workers Compensation Claim Costs
b. Estimate of the Petroleum Clean Water Trust Fund expenses to be paid by sight draft for the month of July, 2006.
Estimated expenditure for Petroleum Clean Water Trust Fund
Funds Expended in May, 2006:
A meeting agenda will be available at the Idaho State Controller’s Office, 700 West State Street, Boise, Idaho, two (2) working days before the meeting.
If you have questions or would like to arrange auxiliary aides or services for persons with disabilities, please contact the Idaho State Controller’s Office at (208) 334-3100. Accommodations for auxiliary aides or services must be made no less than five (5) working days in advance of the meeting.
The CONSENT AGENDA addresses routine items the board may approve without discussion.
The REGULAR AGENDA addresses policy and program items the board may wish to discuss prior to making a decision.
The INFORMATION AGENDA provides information only.
The agendas are subject to change and the Board may move an item from one agenda to another.