Charter Review Committee
July 1, 2004
Regular Meeting Minutes
Council Chambers, 1175 East Main Street
I. CALL TO ORDER: Staff Member Ann Seltzer called the first Ashland Charter Review Committee meeting to order at 3:01 p.m. on July 1, 2004 in the Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 E Main Street Ashland, Oregon. Mayor DeBoer thanked members of the committee for serving.
Roll Call: Committee members Roy Bashaw, Hal Cloer, Kate Culbertson, John Enders, Laurie MacGraw, Pam Marsh, Keith Massie, Donald Montgomery, Michael Riedeman and Carole Wheeldon were present.
Member Absent: None
Staff Present: Mike Franell, City Attorney
Ann Selzer, Management Analyst, staff liaison to the CRC
Nancy Slocum, Clerk
John Enders asked the committee to introduce themselves. Enders is an employee of Southern Oregon Historical Society; Kate Culbertson is Co-President of the Ashland League of Women Voters; Pam Marsh is a ten year resident of the Greensprings and a long-time City volunteer; Michael Riedeman; Keith Massie; Laurie MacGraw, former member of the Parks Commission; Don Montgomery lived in Ashland nine years and worked in Washington D.C.; Roy Bashaw is a retired attorney, City Attorney for Medford and served on various charter review committees; Hal Cloer is a retired college professor, Secretary of the Ashland League of Women Voters and currently serves on the League sponsored Jackson County review committee; and ex-City Councilor Carole Wheeldon.
II. ELECTION OF CHAIR
MOTION: Laurie MacGraw motioned to elect John Enders as temporary chair for this meeting and the next meeting. Hal Cloer seconded the motion and it passed unanimously. Committee decided no vice chair was necessary for the next two meetings.
III. SELECT DAY AND TIME FOR REGULAR COMMITTEE MEETING
The committee was encouraged to maximum public participation via television broadcasts and heavily publicized meetings. The final changes to the City Charter (if any) would be voted on by the registered voters of Ashland during either a general or special election. Committee discussed the advantages and disadvantages to being televised. Committee consensus was that the meetings would be televised beginning with the next meeting.
MOTION: Wheeldon moved to schedule the Charter Review Committee meetings the first and third Thursdays from 7:00 – 9:00 PM beginning after Labor Day with an interim schedule, yet to be determined. MacGraw seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.
MOTION: Bashaw motioned to hold two interim meetings before September 16th: July 8th and July 15th from 4:00 to 6:00 PM. Cloer seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.
Mayor Alan DeBoer addressed the Committee noting that it had been 24 years since the last charter review. Examples of public concerns included issues with the Parks Department, City Administrator and medical insurance for City Council members. He emphasized that the committee would be autonomous with no interference from elected officials.
Enders suggested inviting managers from other jurisdictions that use alternative forms of government to speak before the committee.
Bryan Holley, a member of the Tree Commission, was invited to speak. Holley said his experience with the recent tree ordinance showed that holding public hearings does not guarantee public participation. He would like to see a unanimous recommendation from the committee and suggested reviewing the charter line by line. Holly is also a member of Citizens for Responsible Government and he and other members would be participating in this process. He recommended vigorous recruitment of public participation.
City Attorney Mike Franell noted that the committee itself had the option of putting their recommended charter revisions on the ballot directly as an initiative or having council place it on the ballot. He reminded the committee that some members of the City Council will change effective January 1, 2005.
Enders wondered about the Open Meetings Law and how that effected email communication between committee members. Franell and Christensen said email communications were a gray area, but all email communications should be printed and available for the public upon request.
IV. HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE
Wheeldon would like to actively pursue people who could offer a historical perspective and recommended committee members make a list and send it to Ann Seltzer to compile. MacGraw thought it important to keep in mind the goal presentations before the committee would serve. She said her goal was education. Several committee members agreed. Committee discussions included timing, the pro and cons of inviting elected officials and inviting a consultant.
Enders suggested a format for next meeting’s agenda. Committee members agreed that a Public Forum section was necessary beginning at the next meeting. Seltzer volunteered to draft public forum wording and submit it to the committee for review at the next meeting.
MOTION: Wheeldon moved to include a Public Forum section on the next agenda with a maximum time limit of 15 minutes with three minutes for each speaker and the use of a sign-in sheet. Cloer seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.
The importance of committee organization was discussed. Some committee members expressed a desire to use 30 minutes of the next meeting for educational purposes. The committee asked Seltzer to check on the availability of Brian Almquist. Seltzer agreed and suggested that the committee could begin their work by looking at the existing charter from a "practical, legal and political perspective perhaps starting with the "practical." Seltzer explained that the consultant that made a presentation to the city council about charter review suggested this approach. In addition, it was suggested that the committee could refer to the model charter that was included in the committee member’s packet and compare it to Ashland’s current charter in order to get a sense of the differences between the two.
The committee suggested the topic of Mr. Almquist’s presentation be to identify, from his experience, the practical, legal and political issues within the existing city charter.
The committee asked Seltzer to provide them with a copy of the City Council’s Study Session minutes that included a presentation by consultant Sandra Arp, Codification Specialist with American Legal Printing and formally with the League of Oregon Cities and a summary of Robert’s Rules
The meeting was adjourned at 5:14 p.m.