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Agendas and Minutes

Charter Review Committee (View All)

Regular Meeting

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Charter Review Committee
July 15, 2004
Regular Meeting Minutes
Council Chambers, 1175 East Main Street

CALL TO ORDER: Chair John Enders called the Ashland Charter Review Committee meeting to order at 4:03 p.m. on July 15, 2004 in the Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 E Main Street, Ashland, Oregon.

Members Present:
Roy Bashaw, Hal Cloer, Kate Culbertson, John Enders, Laurie MacGraw, Pam Marsh, Donald Montgomery, Michael Riedeman and Carole Wheeldon.
Member Absent: Keith Massie
Staff Present: Mike Franell, City Attorney
Ann Selzer, Management Analyst, Staff Liaison to the CRC
Nancy Slocum, Clerk

Laurie MacGraw / Carole Wheeldon m/s to approve the minutes with the addition of "ballot measure" in the second sentence in item III. The sentence to read in part "…whether the revised charter ballot measure should contain more than one issue and perhaps be ruled unconstitutional, …" Motion passes unanimously.

Bryan Holley, 324 Liberty, a member of the Tree Commission and ad hoc member of the Citizens for Responsible Government, compared the charter review process to the Tree Commission's recently approved tree ordinance. The commission used a sample template to come up with a final draft, held a public hearing and finally forwarded the ordinance to the City Council.


MOTION: Hal Cloer / Roy Bashaw m/s to adopt (with the exception of the consultant section) the newly revised Charter Review Committee Operating Policies and Procedures.

DISCUSSION: Wheeldon wondered where decision-making was covered within the operating policies. Franell noted that decision-making was governed under Robert's Rules of Orders. Committee discussed the need to take minutes at subcommittee meetings. Franell said under Oregon's Public Meetings Law, a subcommittee would be required to take at least summary minutes and those minutes would then be distributed to the full committee.

VOTE: Motion passed unanimously.

Committee reviewed a draft statement for future agendas that would allow public testimony at certain points during regular meetings. The statement was currently being used by the City's Forest Lands Commission.

Committee discussed gathering "public input" versus having an "interactive discussion" with the public and the idea of precluding public comment throughout the entire agenda due to time constraints. Pam Marsh noted the deviation from the discussion at the July 8th meeting.

MacGraw summarized her experience with the Parks Commission where there was a 15 minute Public Forum for items not on the agenda and on agenda items where public input was expected, the Chair set a time limit based on the number of people in the audience. The committee agreed with this idea, noting the added burden on the Chair. The Committee decided to use the Forest Commission's statement and have the Chair, Vice Chair and staff set the agenda attempting to anticipate items for public input.

Seltzer presented a speaker request form that would be available at each meeting. Wheeldon would like the form revised to note a choice in submitting input. Seltzer would make the change.

The committee discussed the need for a consultant. Seltzer reported that in anticipation of the charter review process, she sent out many letters of inquiry. She found only three Oregon consultants/attorneys specializing in the charter review process: Sandra Arp, Tim Sercombe and Tom Sponsler. Of the three, only Tom Sponsler responded and his proposal was included in the initial documents distributed to the committee.

Riedeman expressed concern that the committee had just one choice of a consultant. Seltzer explained that the Mayor shared the same concern. City Recorder, Barbara Christensen was asked to send an inquiry to other Oregon cities asking for names of other consultants, but no new consultant names have emerged.

In 1975, Bashaw was Medford's City Attorney and worked to reduce the length of their charter from 80 to 20 pages. There were no consultant's available. He thought a lawyer that specialized in city charters should be used throughout the entire review process.

Donald Montgomery read the National Civic League model charter and felt it very complete. He liked the idea of going through the model line by line. He believed a consultant could help the committee avoid pitfalls and review the final draft, but was not necessary to write the charter. Montgomery wanted to avoid the perception that an outsider was running the process.

Many committee members disagreed that an outsider could possibly run the process. The committee wondered if there were budgetary concerns. Seltzer reported that $15,000 was budgeted for the process. Tom Sponsler's proposal was approximately $9,000 to cover anticipated expectations.

There was a general consensus to initially hire Sponsler for an educational presentation on the importance of a charter review, how a consultant helps in the process and the various methods of approaching a review. The committee would then decide how much more consultant involvement was necessary. Cloer was also interested in hearing about the consultant's experience in the political and public participation process.

MOTION: Wheeldon / Cloer m/s to engage Tom Sponsler to address the Charter Review Committee for one presentation as he is available and the presentation could be televised. Motion passed unanimously.

Commission choose September 2nd or September 9th as possible dates for the presentation. The next regular meeting was set for August 19th from 4:00 - 6:00 PM.

V.     PUBLIC INPUT / PUBLIC EDUCATION - Tabled until next meeting. Seltzer asked committee members to review her draft Public Involvement / Public Education document.

Enders asked committee members to be thinking of other possible future presenters.

The meeting was adjourned at 6:00 p.m.

John Enders, Chair

Respectfully Submitted,
Nancy Slocum, Clerk

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