MINUTES FOR THE REGULAR MEETING
ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
November 21, 2000, 7:00 p.m.
Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Mayor Shaw called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers.
Councilors Laws, Reid, Hauck, Hanson, Wheeldon and Fine were present.
Shaw noted the following agenda amendments: Item 2 under Ordinances, Resolutions, and Contracts had been moved to Public Hearings; Item 4 under New and Miscellaneous Business was postponed and it was noted that the public would be notified as to when this item will be heard. In addition to these amendments, Shaw requested that a continued discussion regarding the current city curfew law be discussed under New and Miscellaneous Business.
Council engaged in a general discussion regarding whether to discuss the curfew issue at the current meeting as this had been notified and there may be community members who would like to speak on this matter. Shaw explained that what was being brought forward was a proposed repeal of the ordinance, not an amendment. The council stated that because this had not been placed on the agenda, and in order to allow for the public to voice their concerns, it could be heard under Public Forum. It was noted that the curfew issue will be placed under Public Hearings at the December 5, meeting.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of November 7, 2000 were approved as presented.
SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS & AWARDS
1. Acceptance of Gold Medal Safety Award from League of Oregon Cities.
City Administrator Greg Scoles explained that recognition is awarded to cities for exemplary safety records.
1. Minutes of Boards, Commissions and Committees.
2. Liquor License Application from Paul Newcombe, Ashland Arco.
Fine noted the City of Portland is performing their approvals for Liquor Licenses in the same manner as Ashland.
Councilors Hauck/Hanson m/s to approve Consent Agenda. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
1. Public Hearing regarding a Resolution Exempting from Competitive Bidding the Remaining Construction Work on the Wastewater Treatment Plant Site.
PUBLIC HEARING OPEN: 7:20 p.m.
Public Works Director Paula Brown explained that this was a request is for exemption from bidding for the remainder of the on-site construction work, but not from the competitive bidding cost savings for supplies. Substantial improvements to the facility have been under contract with Slayden Construction since September 1998. There are two pieces of construction left: the membrane filter and the biosolid phase. Originally, the improvements were designed in two distinct phases: the initial phase, with improvements to the wastewater treatment plant site, and the second phase, which was for the construction on the Cityís hillside farmland for effluent reuse and biosolids application. Changes to the plan added a new membrane filtration facility and biosolid handling to the existing plant site. Approval allows for the project to meet DEQ deadlines. Staff recommends that council approve the resolution authorizing a release from competitive bidding for the remaining construction work at the wastewater treatment plant site.
PUBLIC HEARING CLOSED: 7:26 p.m.
Councilors Fine/Hanson m/s for adoption. Roll Call: Reid, Fine, Hauck, Hanson, Wheeldon, Laws, all YES. Motion passed.
Jim Lewis/640 A Street/Spoke regarding removal of trees at the library. He requested, due to the higher than what was budgeted bids that were received, and other issues that have risen, that the council revisit the proposed expansion of the library.
Ruth Coulthard/566 Faith Street/Offered to hold small group meetings to allow for discussion of diverse views at Peace House.
Jeannie Bianca/192 Steinman Drive/Read a letter submitted by Rick Harris into the record regarding opposition to the removal of trees at the library. The letter noted changes that have already occurred at the library, and warned others to consider how changes may affect the landmark in the future.
Bob Taber/97 Scenic Drive/Voiced his concern regarding the removal of trees and the lack of parking. He noted other concerns, which included architectural design, administration costs, and other expenses related to the expansion. He asked the council to refer the plans back to the planning process for public review.
Eric Navickas/711 Faith/Felt the city is in the midst of a crisis and that there is a breakdown of the political process. A citizen is risking his health by living in a tree at the library in order to stop the project. He passionately requested the council's reconsideration of the plan.
Treva Tumbleson/655 Leonard/Stated that she is the vice-president of the Friends of the Ashland public library and that they are concerned about the threat of liability to the city by the individual who is "tree sitting." In addition, there is a great deal of damage being done to the tree by the tree-sitting individual and felt that it was ironic considering that it is a tree scheduled to be saved. She voiced her concern regarding the financial impact of postponing the project.
Frank Towner/1120 Oak Knoll/Commented on how the democratic process had been fair and felt that a minority group was trying to stop the voter-approved bond issue. He stated that by delaying, funding for the project is jeopardized and pointed out that there is a contract agreement with the county. He felt that the library could be lost all together, leaving Ashland responsible for paying the bond anyway.
Councilor Reid/Fine m/s to place discussion on the library issue on the agenda under New & Miscellaneous Business. Voice Vote: all AYES.
Joseph Bornstein/404 Wilson Road/Read a statement opposing the city curfew which included a statement that the current city ordinance breaks the Constitution and infringes on rights to liberty. He stated that the two main goals for curfews are to stop crimes and to protect young people and that these goals are not being accomplished through the current curfew ordinance. He explained that he was not advocating the absence of a curfew, but instead revoking it back to the state level, which is more lenient.
Dan Golden/886 Oak Street/Read a statement opposing the city curfew. He stated that the current ordinance has been a controversial topic among youth in the community and argued that, although officials have advocated for a youth curfew, a June 1996 study has shown that most curfews are not strictly enforced and that their impact has been moderate. He felt that all citizens of the United States have fundamental rights to civil liberties before the speculative well being of society and asked the council to join the Ashland High School Chapter of ACLU in support of the reform of youth curfew.
Councilors Reid/Hanson m/s to place the curfew issue on the agenda. Voice Vote: all AYES.
Police Chief Scott Flueter presented Youth Diversion Officer Jan Janssen's view on this issue which supported amending the current curfew ordinance to reflect the guidelines set by State law. Flueter clarified that this ordinance does not change other ordinances setting curfews for parks.
Nolte clarified that the State law, as written, is both constitutional and valid. He explained that he has instructed local law enforcement to not use the current city curfew law, as it is difficult interpret.
Shaw read a memo from the city attorney regarding the youth curfew issue, which will be placed on the December 5, agenda for the council meeting. Reid noted the necessity to advertise this agenda item in order to hear from the public.
UNFINISHED BUSINESS (None)
NEW AND MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS
1. Council Meeting Look Ahead.
Wheeldon stated that she would provide a report from the committee on sustainable local government at the December 19, meeting.
Scoles clarified that discussion regarding the Living Wage ordinance will occur at the December 19, meeting.
2. Discussion regarding the library.
Reid noted that the bids for the proposed library expansion came in higher than what was anticipated, and as a result, the project is at a stand still. She questioned the council on how they felt about Ruth Coulthard of Peace House to hold public meetings, and suggested that this type of public forum might help to diffuse the situation.
Coulthard clarified that her intention of building a better collaboration within the dichotomy of interested parties. She recognized the council as the decision-making body, and added that input from the meetings held at Peace House could help in the decision making process.
Shaw explained that the council is not the decision-making body in this matter, but that the voters were the decision-making body. She further explained that the library project was voted on twice, and that it passed both times.
Reid voiced her support of bringing community members together in order to hear ideas from them and as the project did come in over budget that there was a chance the public could come up with modifications to make it work. She clarified that she is not advocating canceling the project.
Laws felt that the city could not be held responsible for the illness or death of a person choosing to inhabit a tree in protest. He felt that it was the moral obligation of the elected officials to follow the will of the voters even if some of the voters have stated that they did not have the information they felt they needed to make a decision right for them. He stated that a vote is legally binding, unless fraud or some other illegal action was performed, and that the council has no choice but to follow the vote of the people.
Wheeldon agreed with Councilor Laws, and felt that community discussion could be beneficial, if it is in the same direction as the project as approved by the voters. She felt that if the discussion becomes more of a disagreement and more rehashing, it would prove to be counterproductive.
Hauck suggested that this process could allow individuals to learn what areas are open for discussion and what areas are not. Coulthard noted that she hoped the discussions would be similar to the ideas the council has suggested.
Fine noted that the role of the council is to discharge public disputes and that the council is not part of this dispute. He commented that Peace House can hold meetings without the council's permission.
Nolte stated that the county has voiced concern about the library project in Ashland. He explained that if the library is built in a place other than the current location, there may be considerable financial consequences. In addition, if the project is canceled, the money already refunded and the amount spent so far will be paid back to the county, but the levy will not be raised. Nolte clarified that if the county's Bond Counsel thinks the revised plan is not like the original projection, there may be problems. He stated that some modifications are possible, but the bond holders have agreed to a particular project.
Scoles explained that the architects are currently revising the plans in order to meet budget projections, and that the modifications are not related to the size or location of the structure.
Reid stated she would prefer that the library be a celebration within the community rather than a negative issue and voiced her support of the group discussion as proposed by Peace House. Coulthard requested that the council participate in the discussion and shows discernment in this matter.
3. A follow-up report on the Pilot Green Business Program.
Administrator Services Director Dick Wanderschied presented a report on the Green Business Program, providing the results of the program at the conclusion of the pilot. He reported that the pilot has been a success as seven businesses were recruited with five certified as green businesses (Ashland Community Food Store, Ashland Greenhouses, Brotherís Restaurant, Parkside Lodging and Standing Store Brewery and Restaurant). Staff has been involved with the program in anticipation of assuming administration and technical support. Staff feels confident in assigning new duties to existing staff with minimal impact on other activities. He explained that the City would pursue a low-key marketing approach in the spring, corresponding with other non-peak program time commitments. Wanderschied recommends that the City convert this project from a pilot program to a City Conservation Program operated by the City Conservation staff.
Councilors Hanson/Reid m/s to adopt the staff recommendation of converting the Green Business Program from a pilot program to a City Conservation program. Roll Call Vote: Laws, Reid, Hauck, Hanson, Wheeldon, and Fine - all Yes. Motion passed.
4. Authorization for the City Administrator to sign and execute the Fund Exchange Agreement with the Oregon Department of Transportation for the Water Street Bridge Project.
Public Works Director Paula Brown explained that through participation in the Surface Transportation Program, the City has received approximately $94,000 to $110,000 per year. The bridge will be torn out and rebuilt. Brown clarified that funding is through an exchange program of federal dollars through the State. The trade is ninety cents on the dollar, but the trade may not be there next year. The federal money will still be there, but the exchange with the State may not.
Councilors Hauck/Wheeldon m/s to authorize the city administrator to sign and execute the fund exchange agreement with ODOT for federal fiscal year 1999-2000 fund exchange program. Roll Call Vote: Fine, Wheeldon, Hauck, Hanson, Reid, Laws - all Yes. Motion passed.
5. Authorization to Declare Specific Equipment Inventory as Surplus.
Councilors Reid/Wheeldon m/s to approve the authorization. Roll Call Vote: Laws, Reid, Hauck, Hanson, Wheeldon, Fine - all Yes. Motion passed.
6. Motion to set for consideration at the December 5 City Council meeting the first and second reading of "An Ordinance Providing a Process for Claims Related to Regulatory Takings Arising under the 2000 Amendment to Article 1, Section 18 of the Oregon Constitution (Ballot Measure 7) and Declaring an Emergency."
City Attorney Paul Nolte explained for the council that the proposed ordinance would provide a method to process claims filed under Measure 7, the amendment to Article I, Section 18, of the Oregon Constitution. He explained that Measure 7 provides that a landowner, in order to receive compensation, may apply to the City for compensation if a regulation causes a reduction in property value. The measure allows the City ninety days from the application to deny or pay the claim, or take action to remove the regulation from the property. The measure does not set forth any process for review of applications for compensation.
Nolte clarified that the proposed ordinance requires a claimant, under the measure, to submit a detailed claim describing that the property has been devalued, the regulation causing the reduction in value, the amount of the reduction as verified by a licensed appraiser, and the relief being sought. Once completed claims are filed, they are evaluated by the city administrator, who then makes a recommendation to the council. The council considers the recommendation and notice is given to the claimant and other owners within 200 feet of the property claimed to be reduced in value.
Nolte explained that the proposed ordinance provides a process and establishes a fee, which would be required for processing claims. Staff recommends approving the ordinance for first and second reading at the December 5, meeting with an emergency clause making the ordinance effective by the time Measure 7 becomes law on December 7, 2000.
Council discussed the issues created by Measure 7. Fine stated that the ordinance is procedural, giving the City time to investigate claims. He thinks the other related issues are valid, but should not be part of this ordinance.
Councilors Fine/Reid m/s to adoption the recommendation and approve the ordinance for first and second reading at the December 5, council meeting. Voice Vote - all AYES. Motion passed.
ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND CONTRACTS
1. Second reading by title only of "An Ordinance Amending Section 10.30.020 of the Ashland Municipal Code to Simplify the Annual Consideration of Outdoor Burning Regulations by the City Council."
Councilors Hauck/Fine m/s to approve Ordinance #2862. Roll Call Vote: Laws, Hauck, Wheeldon, Reid, Hanson and Fine, YES. Motion passed.
2. Reading by title only of "A Resolution Exempting from Competitive Bidding the Remaining Construction Work on the Wastewater Treatment Plant Site."
Councilors Fine/Hanson m/s to approve Resolution #2000-30. Roll Call Vote: Reid, Fine, Hauck, Hanson, Wheeldon and Laws, YES. Motion passed.
OTHER BUSINESS FROM COUNCIL MEMBERS (none)
Meeting was adjourned at 9:13 p.m.