Agendas and Minutes

Parks & Recreation Commission (View All)

Regular Meeting

Minutes
Monday, September 22, 2003

City of Ashland

City of Ashland

PARKS AND RECREATION COMMISSION

REGULAR MEETING

MINUTES 

ATTENDANCE

Present: Commissioners Amarotico, Eggers, Gardiner, Rosenthal; Interim Director Gies

Absent: Chair Lewis

CALL TO ORDER

Vice-Chair Gardiner called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM at Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

Regular Meeting – August 25, 2003 Under Unfinished Business item "Update on Request of Trails for Trail Rides," Commissioner Eggers asked that the sentence containing her comment about large amounts of poison oak on trails be clarified to read, "… inhibiting walkers and bikers from moving off the trails to accommodate horses." Also in that sentence, she asked that the statement, "increased maintenance costs incurred by the commercial business on the trails" be changed to read, "increased maintenance costs incurred because of the commercial business on the trails." Under the July 28 Regular Meeting New Business item "Formation of Trail Master Plan Committee," Vice-Chair Gardiner asked that the minutes be corrected to reflect that Commissioner Rosenthal, not Vice-Chair Rosenthal, "moved to approve the formation of a Trail Master Plan Committee." Commissioner Eggers moved to approve the minutes as corrected. Commissioner Rosenthal seconded the motion.

The vote was: 4 yes – 0 no

Special Meeting – September 2, 2003 In the first paragraph of the section entitled "Discussion Among Commissioners," Vice-Chair Gardiner asked that item 2 be corrected to read, "Review of current job title." Commissioner Eggers moved to approve the minutes as corrected. Commissioner Amarotico seconded the motion.

The vote was: 4 yes – 0 no

Special Meeting – September 15, 2003 Under Old Business item "Vote on Solutions to the Employment Grievances of Joy Bannon, Section 5.b.," Commissioner Eggers asked that the sentence be corrected to read, "The Commission shall act on the proposed settlement as reflected in this offer at its scheduled Special Meeting on September 15, 2003…." Commissioner Rosenthal moved to approve the minutes as corrected. Commissioner Eggers seconded the motion.

The vote was: 4 yes – 0 no

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

Open Forum

Kevin Flynn, 605 Elizabeth Avenue, spoke about the importance of improving the Helman Elementary School ball fields for the benefit of the children in the Quiet Village subdivision as well as other local children. He stated that there is a great deal of neighborhood support for such an improvement, and that the citizens in that area would be willing to volunteer time and effort toward the project. He asked Commissioners to keep him informed about future meetings relating to the topic.

ADDITIONS OR DELETIONS TO THE AGENDA - None

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

UPDATE ON CALLE GUANAJUATO STAIRWAY PROJECT – Information Only

Interim Director Gies updated the Commission on the bids received for the project. He stated that, since the only viable bid came in at nearly double the proposed price, and efforts to negotiate with the contractor to reduce costs proved unsuccessful, his recommendation was to postpone the project and re-bid it in the spring. He indicated that the capital improvement budget may have some additional funds by spring, if the tennis court project comes in under budget. These potential additional funds might be suitable for the stairway project.

Public Comment

Sharon Dvora, 1050 Clay Street, spoke on behalf of the Ashland Public Arts Commission and acknowledged the work of Jim Young and the Lithia Artisans Guild in preparing for the project. She reported that the Arts Commission has been working with Jim and the Guild in preparing funding for the art portion of the project, and she expressed her pleasure about the first Public Arts/Parks and Recreation Commission collaboration, with their shared goal of placing permanent and temporary sculptures in the park and creating a rotating gallery.

UPDATE ON LOWER DUCK POND WATER QUALITY PROJECT

Interim Director Gies reminded the Commissioners about the September 21, 2003, deadline they gave to Paul Kay in January 2003 for his lower duck pond water quality work, and he asked the Commission for direction in moving forward, since the water quality has not improved to any noticeable degree.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners considered the alternatives outlined in Interim Director Gies’s September 17 memo. Commissioner Amarotico suggested allowing Paul Kay to continue his work on improving the water quality. She spoke of the overpopulation of ducks in the pond and suggested posting a sign outlining the reasons why citizens should not feed them. Commissioner Eggers spoke in favor of allowing Paul Kay’s experiment to continue while simultaneously searching for a different solution to the water quality problem.

MOTION By consensus, the Commission agreed to allow Paul Kay to continue working on improving the water quality in the Lithia Park lower duck pond while the Commission searches for alternative solutions to improving the water quality.

UPDATE ON REQUEST TO USE TRAILS FOR TRAIL RIDES / SOUTHERN OREGON LAND CONSERVANCY EASEMENT

Interim Director Gies updated the Commission on the Department’s Southern Oregon Land Conservancy easement prohibiting commercial activity in the Oredson-Todd Woods and a portion of Siskiyou Mountain Park. Ms. Leslie Hunter, who was previously given approval to conduct her small commercial horse trail rides business on these sections of land, may still be able to access Siskiyou Mountain Park via the Ashland Loop Road as long as she obtains Forest Service trail permits.

MOTION Commissioner Rosenthal moved to rescind the approval for Ms. Hunter as tasked during the August 25, 2003, Ashland Parks and Recreation Commission meeting. Vice-Chair Gardiner seconded the motion.

The vote was: 4 yes – 0 no 

NEW BUSINESS

REQUEST TO INSTALL LIGHTS AT THE DOG PARK - Information Only

Public Comment

Jon T. Reinhardt, 159 N. Main Street, spoke on behalf of the Dog Park Committee, which was formed in 2000. The committee would like to install lights at the Dog Park so park patrons can walk and run their dogs in the evening or early morning hours. He referenced pictures of the low-impact/low-visibility lights that were distributed to the Commissioners prior to the meeting.

Greg Williams, 744 Helman Street, is the owner of Ashland Greenhouses, and his business borders the Dog Park. He complained that the "parks are not very good neighbors" and spoke of numerous promises that Parks made to him at the time the Dog Park project came before the City Council. The Dog Park was to be a "dawn–to-dusk" park, gates were to be installed to control access to it, and a retaining wall and fences were to be installed. Instead, the retaining wall has not been installed and the park is used before dawn and after dusk. Dog Park traffic is heavy and his business has experienced vandalism. Mr. Williams is disappointed with the lack of follow-through on the promises made by the Parks Department.

Gayle Wilson, 479 Carol Street, spoke in favor of the Dog Park and the concept of installing lighting. She asked that the lights be kept on past 6:30 PM – and perhaps as late as 7:30 PM.

Melissa Markell, 518 Oak Street, also spoke in favor of the Dog Park and its improvements. She asked that the lights be kept on until at least 7:30 PM.

Julie Alves, 251 East Hersey Street, spoke of her appreciation for the Dog Park and of her enthusiasm at the possibility of the lights. She said that the majority of Dog Park patrons try to be good neighbors.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners asked Interim Director Gies about the original Dog Park plan regarding fencing and retaining walls mentioned by Mr. Williams. Interim Director Gies stated that the upgraded fencing is nearly complete and the retaining wall, designated to be installed along the entry road, is planned for completion in 2003-2004. The original plan did not include lighting. Parks plans to complete the restrooms and the landscaping first, and then the retaining wall will be commenced. Commissioner Eggers spoke of the need to complete what was previously promised before considering installing lighting. Vice-Chair Gardiner suggested holding a future Dog Park neighborhood meeting/study session on the topic of lighting.

ADOPTION OF QUALITIES AND QUALIFICATIONS OF PARKS AND RECREATION DIRECTOR

MOTION Commissioner Eggers moved to adopt the Ideal Candidate and Qualifications sections of the Parks and Recreation Director brochure, as well as the current Parks Director job description, as the basis for the selection of a new Parks Director. Commissioner Amarotico seconded the motion.

The vote was: 4 yes – 0 no

SUB-COMMITTEE and STAFF REPORTS

TENNIS COURT RESURFACING PROJECT

Interim Director Gies reported that the Hunter Park tennis court resurfacing project is nearly finished.

ITEMS FROM COMMISSIONERS

PUBLIC TENNIS

Vice-Chair Gardiner referenced the article in the Commissioners’ packets regarding the value of public tennis.

PEROZZI FOUNTAIN

Commissioner Eggers asked for an update on the condition of the fountain, as she noticed it did not run during the summer. Interim Director Gies explained that, when the fountain was restored some years ago, the drain under the concrete was not removed and replaced, and it eventually rotted out at the elbow. To gain access to the rotted elbow and repair the drain, the floor of the fountain needs to be broken apart. This is a big project and there are no plans to start it in the immediate future.

FINALIZE QUESTIONS FOR PARKS DIRECTOR INTERVIEWS

Commissioners agreed to include a question about recreation in the list of panelists’ questions and to forward the list to Teri Black-Brann at Shannon Executive Search for review and input.

UPCOMING MEETING DATE(S) and PROPOSED AGENDA ITEMS

    • Study Session – Monday, October 20, 2003, time TBD – Parks Office.
    • Regular Meeting – Monday, October 27, 2003, at 7:00 PM – Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main.

ADJOURNMENT – By consensus, with no further business, Vice-Chair Gardiner adjourned the meeting.

Respectfully submitted, Susan Dyssegard, Office Manager, Ashland Parks and Recreation

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