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Agendas and Minutes

Forest Lands Commission (View All)

Regular Meeting

Minutes
Wednesday, January 26, 2005

 

MINUTES FOR THE SPECIAL MEETING

ASHLAND FOREST LANDS COMMISSION

January 26, 2005 – 4:30 PM

Council Chambers, 1175 East Main Street

 

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:         Frank Betlejewski, Richard Brock, Jo Anne Eggers,

                                                 Bill Robertson (Chair), Diane White

Members Absent:                   Anthony Kerwin

Staff Present:                           Nancy Slocum, Pieter Smeenk, Keith Woodley

Non-Voting Members Present: Cate Hartzell, Marty Main

 

I.                   CALL TO ORDER: Chair Robertson called the meeting to order at 4:30 PM in the Council Chambers. Robertson announced that Stephen Jensen had resigned from the commission. Robertson, as former Vice Chair, would take over for Jensen until new elections in May.

 

II.        APPROVAL OF MINUTES: The minutes of November 10, 2004 were approved as submitted.

 

III.       PUBLIC FORUM: Howard Heiner, 784 Garden Way, noted that American Forests magazine reported federal funding cuts to HEFRA. This could affect funding of the AFR project. Heiner also thought the Forest Service was weak in monitoring efforts and suggested watching them carefully. Main said he was personally advocating for an aggressive monitoring agenda.

 

IV.       STAFF REPORTS

A.     Keith Woodley/Marty Main – Woodley reported that because of Chambers’ workload, he would not be a regular attendee at meetings unless the Commission wanted a specific status report.

 

B.     Pieter Smeenk – Smeenk reported that construction of the new main feeder waterline from the water treatment plant to town will begin in a month and was expected to be completed in August. The section from the Water Treatment plant to the dam will begin this spring. There are seven stream crossings above the water treatment plant and arrangements have been made to allow for fire vehicle access.  

 

V.         OLD BUSINESS

A.      AFRCA Team: Review of Minutes/Update - Tabled.

B.      Field Trip Enhancements to Improve Public Participation – Tabled.

 

VI.       ITEMS FOR DISCUSSION

A.     Jensen Resignation – Robertson announced that Jensen had resigned as of January 21st. He spoke to the mayor about filling the vacancy. The mayor’s office will contact previous applicants to gauge their interest and may run an ad.

 

Eggers acknowledged that the role of the Chair was not easy. She thought Hartzell’s appointment was only one of the reasons for Jensen’s resignation. She noted Jensen’s frustration with Robertson’s responses during some non commission meetings. She had hoped Jensen would stay and work out any problems. She suggested hiring an outside facilitator for the next six months to help set the agendas, organize and evaluate the meetings, and find ways to increase public participation at meetings. Woodley said that although there may be money in the budget, he preferred not to use it in this way.

 

 

Brock was not clear on the need for a facilitator. His perception was that the meetings were not long enough to allow for meaningful discussion. He did not understand Jensen’s letter and believed there was a personality conflict between Jensen and Hartzell. Robertson was concerned that other members may resign.

 

Eric Navickas, 711 Faith Street, said he was appalled by the tone in Jensen’s letter regarding Hartzell. To Navickas the letter was an example of the commission’s refusal to allow dissenting opinions. He thought it appropriate that Jensen resign.

 

B.     Participant Civility Policy for AFLC Meetings – Robertson prepared a draft civility policy, but questioned the need for one. He found it difficult to hear at the last meeting because of disruptions from Navickas and Hartzell.

 

Navickas thought the Chair was uncivil towards him. He noted that other members of the public could speak and he felt singled out. He thought time limitations were not always a concern. Eggers thought that everyone ought to take responsibility for their own behavior. She thought having a complete list of undesired behavior was impossible. She suggested the Chair might ask a speaker to focus on a specific point. Betlejewski said there must be a balance between giving the public a voice and running a productive meeting.

 

Main suggested adding a “public response” section at the end of the agenda. Robertson noted that citizens may want to give input before a decision is voted on and suggested allowing a time for that. Eggers agreed. Navickas suggested all items be open to public input as is City Council meetings even if it is for just two minutes. Brock noted that public participation at this commission was small. He remembered the policy changed in response to Navickas’ inability to stay on point and how that hindered discussion.

 

Robertson and Slocum would research how the City Council ran their meetings and report to the commission via email. Robertson suggested changing the agenda item “Items for Discussion” to “Items for Decision.”

 

C.     Roles of Participants – Council Liaison Hartzell was asked how she perceived her role as council liaison. Hartzell saw herself, because of her background, as a valuable resource to the commission and as a leader on certain topics. She noted that councilors each see their roles differently; they are style-based and interest-based. She said that commissions serve at the pleasure of the council and that liaisons ensure that commissions work toward the goals of the City Council.  Robertson understood that the liaison would pass on concerns to and from the commission to the City Council. Hartzell agreed that that is another role.

 

Robertson asked Hartzell what happened to the suggested council goals from the commission. Hartzell explained of all the suggestions they received, some, like noxious weeds, were not goals at all, but action items. Some recommended goals went to study session and some to staff.

 

D.     2005 AFLC Goals – Tabled.

 

VII.      NEW BUSINESS

A.      Review of the Forest Lands Commission Powers and Duties – Hartzell thought changing the resolution governing the Forest Lands Commission required further discussion. What was the goal? What options were not considered? Betlejewski asked for this agenda item as he had recently read Resolution 96-21 and thought it was an appropriate time for an update.

 

 

Hartzell was an advocate for all commission training to improved effectiveness. Regarding public input, she recommended the use of a speaker request form.

           

B. Exhibitor Booth at Earth Day, April 23, 2005 – Tabled.

C.      Schedule additional field trips – Tabled.

D.      Winburn ParcelTabled.

 

VIII.    COMMISSIONER COMMENTS – Robertson said that further discussion on public input was warranted. He and Slocum would work on a change to the agenda to facilitate public input.

 

Main thought that the City is not publicly recognizing the contributions of its volunteers; specifically Jensen and the work of AFRCA Team. Woodley said it was difficult to single out some volunteers and not others.

 

IX.       REVIEW AND SET COMMISSION CALENDAR / NEXT MEETING

The next regularly scheduled commission meeting is Wednesday, March 9, 2005.

 

X.         ADJOURN 6:00 PM

 

 

___________________________

Bill Robertson, Chair

 

 

Respectfully Submitted,

 

 

___________________________

Nancy Slocum, Clerk

MINUTES FOR THE SPECIAL MEETING

ASHLAND FOREST LANDS COMMISSION

January 26, 2005 – 4:30 PM

Council Chambers, 1175 East Main Street

 

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:         Frank Betlejewski, Richard Brock, Jo Anne Eggers,

                                                                                    Bill Robertson (Chair), Diane White

Members Absent:                              Anthony Kerwin

Staff Present:                                                              Nancy Slocum, Pieter Smeenk, Keith Woodley

Non-Voting Members Present:                     Cate Hartzell, Marty Main

 

I.                   CALL TO ORDER: Chair Robertson called the meeting to order at 4:30 PM in the Council Chambers. Robertson announced that Stephen Jensen had resigned from the commission. Robertson, as former Vice Chair, would take over for Jensen until new elections in May.

 

II.        APPROVAL OF MINUTES: The minutes of November 10, 2004 were approved as submitted.

 

III.       PUBLIC FORUM: Howard Heiner, 784 Garden Way, noted that American Forests magazine reported federal funding cuts to HEFRA. This could affect funding of the AFR project. Heiner also thought the Forest Service was weak in monitoring efforts and suggested watching them carefully. Main said he was personally advocating for an aggressive monitoring agenda.

 

IV.       STAFF REPORTS

A.     Keith Woodley/Marty Main – Woodley reported that because of Chambers’ workload, he would not be a regular attendee at meetings unless the Commission wanted a specific status report.

 

B.     Pieter Smeenk – Smeenk reported that construction of the new main feeder waterline from the water treatment plant to town will begin in a month and was expected to be completed in August. The section from the Water Treatment plant to the dam will begin this spring. There are seven stream crossings above the water treatment plant and arrangements have been made to allow for fire vehicle access.  

 

V.         OLD BUSINESS

A.      AFRCA Team: Review of Minutes/Update - Tabled.

B.      Field Trip Enhancements to Improve Public Participation – Tabled.

 

VI.       ITEMS FOR DISCUSSION

A.     Jensen Resignation – Robertson announced that Jensen had resigned as of January 21st. He spoke to the mayor about filling the vacancy. The mayor’s office will contact previous applicants to gauge their interest and may run an ad.

 

Eggers acknowledged that the role of the Chair was not easy. She thought Hartzell’s appointment was only one of the reasons for Jensen’s resignation. She noted Jensen’s frustration with Robertson’s responses during some non commission meetings. She had hoped Jensen would stay and work out any problems. She suggested hiring an outside facilitator for the next six months to help set the agendas, organize and evaluate the meetings, and find ways to increase public participation at meetings. Woodley said that although there may be money in the budget, he preferred not to use it in this way.

 

 

Brock was not clear on the need for a facilitator. His perception was that the meetings were not long enough to allow for meaningful discussion. He did not understand Jensen’s letter and believed there was a personality conflict between Jensen and Hartzell. Robertson was concerned that other members may resign.

 

Eric Navickas, 711 Faith Street, said he was appalled by the tone in Jensen’s letter regarding Hartzell. To Navickas the letter was an example of the commission’s refusal to allow dissenting opinions. He thought it appropriate that Jensen resign.

 

B.     Participant Civility Policy for AFLC Meetings – Robertson prepared a draft civility policy, but questioned the need for one. He found it difficult to hear at the last meeting because of disruptions from Navickas and Hartzell.

 

Navickas thought the Chair was uncivil towards him. He noted that other members of the public could speak and he felt singled out. He thought time limitations were not always a concern. Eggers thought that everyone ought to take responsibility for their own behavior. She thought having a complete list of undesired behavior was impossible. She suggested the Chair might ask a speaker to focus on a specific point. Betlejewski said there must be a balance between giving the public a voice and running a productive meeting.

 

Main suggested adding a “public response” section at the end of the agenda. Robertson noted that citizens may want to give input before a decision is voted on and suggested allowing a time for that. Eggers agreed. Navickas suggested all items be open to public input as is City Council meetings even if it is for just two minutes. Brock noted that public participation at this commission was small. He remembered the policy changed in response to Navickas’ inability to stay on point and how that hindered discussion.

 

Robertson and Slocum would research how the City Council ran their meetings and report to the commission via email. Robertson suggested changing the agenda item “Items for Discussion” to “Items for Decision.”

 

C.     Roles of Participants – Council Liaison Hartzell was asked how she perceived her role as council liaison. Hartzell saw herself, because of her background, as a valuable resource to the commission and as a leader on certain topics. She noted that councilors each see their roles differently; they are style-based and interest-based. She said that commissions serve at the pleasure of the council and that liaisons ensure that commissions work toward the goals of the City Council.  Robertson understood that the liaison would pass on concerns to and from the commission to the City Council. Hartzell agreed that that is another role.

 

Robertson asked Hartzell what happened to the suggested council goals from the commission. Hartzell explained of all the suggestions they received, some, like noxious weeds, were not goals at all, but action items. Some recommended goals went to study session and some to staff.

 

D.     2005 AFLC Goals – Tabled.

 

VII.      NEW BUSINESS

A.      Review of the Forest Lands Commission Powers and Duties – Hartzell thought changing the resolution governing the Forest Lands Commission required further discussion. What was the goal? What options were not considered? Betlejewski asked for this agenda item as he had recently read Resolution 96-21 and thought it was an appropriate time for an update.

 

 

Hartzell was an advocate for all commission training to improved effectiveness. Regarding public input, she recommended the use of a speaker request form.

           

B. Exhibitor Booth at Earth Day, April 23, 2005 – Tabled.

C.      Schedule additional field trips – Tabled.

D.      Winburn ParcelTabled.

 

VIII.    COMMISSIONER COMMENTS – Robertson said that further discussion on public input was warranted. He and Slocum would work on a change to the agenda to facilitate public input.

 

Main thought that the City is not publicly recognizing the contributions of its volunteers; specifically Jensen and the work of AFRCA Team. Woodley said it was difficult to single out some volunteers and not others.

 

IX.       REVIEW AND SET COMMISSION CALENDAR / NEXT MEETING

The next regularly scheduled commission meeting is Wednesday, March 9, 2005.

 

X.         ADJOURN 6:00 PM

 

 

___________________________

Bill Robertson, Chair

 

 

Respectfully Submitted,

 

 

___________________________

Nancy Slocum, Clerk

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