ASHLAND HOUSING COMMISSION
DECEMBER 18, 2002
CALL TO ORDER– The meeting was called to order by Chair Nancy Richardson at 4:10 p.m. Other Commissioners present were Joan Legg, Andy Dungan, Larry Medinger, Kim Blackwolf, Cate Hartzell and Richard Seidman. Jonathan Uto was absent. Staff present were Bill Molnar and Sue Yates.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES– Legg moved to approve the minutes of the October 23, 2002 meeting and the November 20, 2002 meeting. Dungan seconded the motion and the minutes were approved.
AGENDA CHANGES- Add a discussion about vacancies on the Commission and add the status of housing rental assistance program.
Fred Cruz, 402 Garfield Street, said he is interested in volunteering or doing something related to housing. He would like to see a more hospitable environment for low-income people in Ashland. We should have a citywide purpose. One idea would be fast-track building permits for low-income individuals. He would like a system that would encourage people to build low-income housing.
HOUSING PROGRAM COORDINATOR– Brief Update
Molnar said they’ve received 25 applications for the position of Housing Coordinator. He is in the process of reviewing them and there is a range of applicants. McLaughlin will review them later this week and they will decide who will be interviewed.
Seidman asked what the process for selection will be. Molnar said Hartzell and a Housing Commissioner (Blackwolf) will review the applications too.
Richardson reminded the Commission that from the beginning she believes it is important to choose someone with a housing background, not necessarily planning.
Molnar thought they would be ready to call for interviews right after the first of the year and make a selection by mid-January.
Blackwolf asked to look at all the applications. Molnar thought he needed to check with McLaughlin first.
CITY COUNCIL AND HOUSING COMMISSION– Joint Study Session – January 8, 2003
Dungan said five Commissioners met on Monday and they put together a Power Point presentation. He reviewed it with the Housing Commission.
Hartzell said they would poll the Council to see whether they would have more Councilors at the January Study Session or the February Study Session.
Kate Jackson said this presentation needs to be strong enough to gain the support of the rest of the Council. They need to aim for a presentation that draws on the Needs Analysis and to a certain extent, the Action Plan. "Here is what we learned this year and here is what we learned 12 years ago and this is the time to move. Are you with us?" She is concerned as it is now, they are harping on the commitment need. They need to be positive and get the Council to have the "desire" to tackle the problem.
Seidman said it might be advantageous to have the presentation in February because the Housing Coordinator would be hired by then.
Dungan is worried that we might not be ready to make the presentation in January. This is a joint effort and he needs some help with this.
David Allen (audience) believes they really need to zero in and get the money. They need to get a commitment from the Council. Is the Council in it or aren’t they?
Jackson said they don’t want the study session to turn into an argument about whether the city budget is adequate.
Hartzell said they are trying to stay positive in going to the next step.
HOUSING COMMISSION VACANCIES
Molnar said there were no applications and the ad is being run again. Richardson believes it is going to take recruitment.
Hartzell asked the Housing Commissioners to be thinking of people who think of affordable housing as a priority to serve on the Budget Committee as well.
PRESENTATION(continued) - Splitting up the work
Medinger thought a section was needed enumerating examples such as Jackson Housing Authority and ACCESS that should be our models for affordable housing because they are local and state groups. We don’t necessarily have to go to other cities or cities outside of Oregon.
Dungan asked the Commission how important they thought it would be to have Hartzell and Medinger as presenters at the study session. Hartzell thought we should go for January if there are more Councilors present, but if the number is even, let’s go for February.
Medinger will send his thoughts to Dungan.
Seidman wondered if we would be hurt by postponing the presentation until February with regard to the budget process. Hartzell said the Council goal setting is February 8th. Jackson said, in her mind, we won’t get the Housing Coordinator position funded unless the Council makes a statement to do it. The sooner the better. Richardson wondered about doing it after the second meeting in January at a Wednesday study session (January 22nd). McLaughlin will be gone on that date. Dungan said we’ll do a reasonable job whenever we do it. Jackson thought if Hartzell or Medinger aren’t going to be there, that is a good reason to ask for the second study session.
Hartzell has next week off and will work on it. Dungan will put more work in it. Jackson would be happy to look at it.
Molnar thought it might be helpful to ask Ann Seltzer for some assistance with this. Seidman agreed because Seltzer has a marketing background. Hartzell believes it would be best to package the program and then show it to Seltzer. Richardson thinks it ought to be kept simple. Molnar said a lot of good has been done in the last decade, however, we need to crank up the commitment.
Seidman said Uto was going to write an article about what we can do about affordable housing. The next Education and Outreach meeting will be held Wednesday, January 15, 2003 at 2:00 p.m. at Leo’s.
AFFORDABLE HOUSING – POTENTIAL REVENUE SOURCES
Richardson reported on their (Hartzell, Shavey & Richardson) conversation with John McLaughlin and Lee Tuneburg. McLaughlin has a concern that if we raise the 0.1 percent community development fee, that it will "pollute" that fee. Richardson said they also talked about general bonds. They still need a dedicated revenue source from the beginning.
Hartzell believes there is another meeting that needs to happen. regarding revenue sources in the near future.
Seidam asked if are we talking about just the housing trust fund or the housing coordinator. Richardson said they are talking about both.
The Commissioners said it would be a good time to have citizens write letters to the Council and Budget Committee.
ADJOURNMENT– The meeting was adjourned at 6:00 p.m.