MINUTES FOR THE REGULAR MEETING
ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
CALL TO ORDER
Mayor DeBoer called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers.
Councilors Laws, Amarotico, Jackson and Hearn were present. Councilors Hartzell and Morrison were absent.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of April 1, 2003 were approved as presented.
SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS & AWARDS
Mayor DeBoer presented Sue Graham with the James M. Ragland Memorial "Volunteer Spirit" Community Service Award.
Oregon Department of Forestry, retired Service Forester Chuck Miller presented the City with the Tree City USA Award for 2003. Tree Commissioner Bryan Holley explained the requirements for obtaining this award. Tree Commissioner Rich Whitall gave a brief update on the activities of the Tree Commission. Holley noted current projects that the Tree Commission is working on with the City.
Councilor Jackson, liaison for the Tree Commission, commented on the volunteer Southern Oregon University students that helped on projects. Energy Analyst Robbin Pearce was acknowledged as staff liaison.
Eric Navickas/711 Faith Street/Spoke regarding his concern of commercial logging in the Ashland Watershed and how it affects the City's water supply.
Proclamations for Back to School Week, Volunteer Recognition Week and Respite Care Awareness Week were read aloud.
1. Minutes of Boards, Commissions and Committees.
2. Liquor License Application from Karen Stacy dba Jazbo's Lounge at 131 A Street (located in Off the Grid Waffles).
3. Confirmation of Mayor's appointments/re-appointments to various boards, commissions and committees.
Councilors Hearn/Jackson m/s to approve the Consent Agenda. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
Mayor DeBoer acknowledged the various volunteers to all of the City Commissions and Committees. He encouraged interested citizens to apply for current openings.
PUBLIC HEARINGS (None)
Leslie Adams/1005 C Street/Spoke regarding civil rights and freedom of expression, which she felt includes flag burning. She commented on a recent flag burning incident and the arrest of two involved individuals.
Dot Fisher-Smith/945 Oak Street/Felt that the flag burning is a symbolic act for First Amendment rights. Voiced her concern regarding the recent arrest of two individuals for burning the flag.
Bill Street/180 Mead Street/Expressed concern regarding house size limitations in the Ashland Historic District and a building proposal in this area. Mayor DeBoer and City Attorney explained to Mr. Street that the Council would sit in a quasi-judicial manner if the issue is brought before the Council as an appeal. Voiced his concern that this area be kept as a "Historic District" and commented that previously the Council had voiced their desire to keep housing sizes to a minimum. He continued to voice several issues that he feels violate City ordinances. He requested that the Council discuss stopping the building of a house this size.
Councilors Laws/Jackson m/s to place question of 1st Amendment Rights on the agenda. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
1. Adoption of the 2003-2004 Strategic Plan Goals.
City Administrator Gino Grimaldi presented a revised draft of the 2003-04 Strategic Goals for Council approval. Included was a time-line, department responsibility overview, and planned activities.
Councilors Amarotico/Laws m/s to approve the 2003-04 Strategic Plan Goals, as amended. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
NEW AND MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS
1. Consultation with legal counsel concerning current litigation pursuant to ORS 192.660(1)(h).
Councilors Jackson/Hearn m/s to approve settlement agreement as discussed in Executive Session. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
2. Discussion regarding freedom of expression.
Jackson commented on her appreciation of the group keeping the City apprised of their activities. She explained that the Council had approved a Resolution in regards to civil liberties. She stated that the legal ramifications for the two individuals recently arrested is out of Councilís control.
Laws commented on the Council's position on freedom of speech. He commented on their support of the Patriot Act Resolution, which should guide our Police Department. He explained that the individuals were not arrested for burning the flag, but based on other factors. He understands that it is the judicial system that sets the rules and because these individuals refused to comply by giving names and fingerprints there were harsher consequences.
Ryan Navickas/711 Faith Street/Spoke regarding his experience when arrested for protesting and how the City had stepped in to request that the charges be dropped. He requested that the Council make a statement supporting the First Amendment and consider acting in the same manner for the two individuals recently arrested.
Leslie Adams/1005 C Street/Voiced her dissatisfaction with the Council and their "hands off" attitude. She commented on how the Council should stand behind First Amendment Rights.
DeBoer commented that he will uphold civil liberties whenever he sees them being violated.
ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND CONTRACTS
1. Second reading by title only of "An Ordinance Modifying Chapter 18.108 and 18.106 of the Ashland Municipal Code, Land Use Ordinance, Regarding Approval Standards for Zone Changes and Annexations."
Councilor Laws/Jackson m/s to approve Ordinance #2895. Roll Call Vote: Laws, Amarotico, Jackson and Hearn, YES. Motion passed.
2. Reading by title only of "A Resolution in Support of HB 2595 to Repeal the Ban on Real Estate Transfer Taxes."
Jennifer Henderson/321 Clay #8/Voiced appreciation for Council support of this Resolution.
DeBoer commented that he had heard that there is another version of this House Bill (HB) that includes schools. Henderson clarified that there is a work study session scheduled on the new HB and that this would repeal the ban and fund schools. This HB is still in the committee and has not been in session.
Council discussed amending the resolution as follows: Section 1 strike "by adopting HB 2595", include "schools" in item D after parks, and change title to "A Resolution in Support of Repealing the Ban on Real Estate Transfer Taxes."
Councilors Amarotico/Hearn m/s to approve Resolution #2003-11 as amended. Roll Call Vote: Hearn, Jackson, Amarotico and Laws, YES. Motion passed.
OTHER BUSINESS FROM COUNCIL MEMBERS
DeBoer commented that he will refrain from speaking in regards to building concerns involving his brother Sid DeBoer. Laws commented that the Council should proceed in a reasonable and practical manner in regards to the issue of limiting the size of houses.
A joint study session with the Planning Commission and City Council will be held on Tuesday April, 22 at 7 p.m. to discuss "Regional Problem Solving." The session will be televised live on channel 9 in place of the regularly scheduled "Town Hall."
Reminder that the first meeting of the Budget Committee will take place at 7:00 p.m. on April 24, 2003 in the Civic Center Council Chambers.
Meeting was adjourned at 8:20 p.m.