There seems to be consensus that the Lane County courthouse needs to be replaced. It lacks security: prisoners, victims, and jurors are forced on occasion to share elevators and hallways. Lack of conference rooms for attorney and client meetings leads to trial delays. Access to public spaces for people in wheelchairs is limited. Heating, cooling, and plumbing systems are no longer reliable or functional, and repairs are not an option.
Lane County wants to build a new courthouse, partially funded by almost $90 million from the state. The remaining $158 million is to be funded by a bond issue, if the voters approve the ballot measure on May 21. What will the cost be for the average homeowner? How long will it take to pay off the bond? Could the project be done for less? Presenters will describe the proposal for bond funding and the arguments for and against passing it.
Steve Mokrohisky joined Lane County in May 2014 as Administrator. He has more than 17 years of experience in county government leadership in Oregon, Nevada, and Wisconsin. His focus has been on maintaining essential services despite limited resources, using the tools of practical financial management and the insights gained from meaningful public engagement. Lane County’s recent financial management efforts have been recognized by several independent agencies, including the Oregon Secretary of State and Moody’s Investors Service. In 2017, Lane County’s bond rating was raised to its highest recorded level, due to successful efforts to create long-term financial stability.
Steve earned a BA from Marquette University and an MBA from the University of Wisconsin. He is also a public policy graduate of the Les Aspen Center for Government in Washington, D.C.
Joe Berney began his first term as Lane County’s District 2 –Springfield commissioner in January 2019. His career has spanned four decades of entrepreneurship and leadership in business, economic development, education, and training. Most recently, he built a business that develops and finances commercial and industrial energy efficiency, renewable energy, and energy storage retrofits, creating new markets for the building trades. Projects included the nation’s largest PACE-financed commercial energy efficiency retrofit, and the nation’s largest Net Zero Plus facility with and for IBEW 11 (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) and Los Angeles NECA (National Electrical Contractors Association). Commissioner Berney earned a BA in economics and a secondary teaching credential from the UC- Santa Cruz.
Judge James Hargreaves was born and raised in Eugene. He received both his Bachelor of Law and JD degrees from the University of Oregon. He went on to become a judge of the District and Circuit Courts in Lane County, serving as Presiding Judge of the Circuit Court and later headed the Juvenile Court. After leaving the bench, he worked for the Public Safety and Justice Group of IBM, Deloitte, and the American Bar Association, teaching, consulting, and lecturing around the world to lawyers, judges with an emphasis on the republics of former Soviet Union. He now a principal in his own company, Amicus Curiae Consulting.