Agendas and Minutes

Parks & Recreation Commission (View All)

Regular Meeting

Minutes
Monday, June 26, 2006

City of Ashland

PARKS AND RECREATION COMMISSION

 

REGULAR MEETING

MINUTES

 

June 26, 2006

 

 

ATTENDANCE

Present:   Commissioners D. Amarotico, Eggers, Gardiner, Lewis; Rosenthal; Superintendent Gies; Superintendent Teige

Absent:    City Council Liaison A. Amarotico; Director Robertson

CALL TO ORDER

Rosenthal called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM at the Parks office, 340 S. Pioneer.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

Study Session – May 15, 2006

MOTION Gardiner moved to approve the minutes as written. Eggers seconded the motion.

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no

Regular Meeting—May 22, 2006

MOTION Lewis moved to approve the minutes as written. Eggers seconded the motion.

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

Open Forum

Michael Cooke, 479 Euclid Street, owner of Munchie’s Restaurant at the corner of the Calle  and the entrance to the Plaza, requested outdoor seating for his patrons, stating that all other Plaza restaurateurs provide outdoor seating and that he believes there is room for a few tables. He expressed that the lack of seating is detrimental to his restaurant’s revenue stream and that the seating would bring him more customers—many of whom are frustrated when they learn of the lack of outdoor seating—which would, in turn, provide more tax dollars to the city. Commissioners invited him to submit a letter to the commission outlining his request.

ADDITIONS OR DELETIONS TO THE AGENDA

None

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

CONTRACT AMENDMENT FOR LITHIA ARTISANS MARKET

Rosenthal summarized the events of the past few months, stating that the commission had become the referee between the artisans and the Plaza merchants as the groups attempted to share summer weekend space along the Calle Guanajuato. He reminded everyone that the 2004 artisans’ contract contained some vagueness and that the artisans asked the commission for revisions and amendments to their contract. Simultaneously, the Plaza merchants noted conflicts within the existing contract. He reported that, in the spring, the commission approved the continuation of restaurant seating along the Calle, inadvertently adding to the congestion in the walkway area, and he concluded by stating that the commission would endeavor to craft fair policy decisions and asking for the cooperation of all involved during the deliberation and decision-making processes.

Public Input

James Young, 1102 Holton Road in Talent, asked the commission to approve the amendments to the artisans’ contract outlined during the May 22 regular meeting, stating that the updated contract would more accurately reflect the reality of the marketplace operations.

Marcus Scott, P.O. Box 1351 in Talent, also requested that the commission approve the amendments to the contract and offered to walk through the marketplace with the commissioners to point out the areas under discussion.

Marcy Davy, Rare Earth, 33 N. Main, stated that she became aware of lease violations within the contract that had not been corrected or improved since their discovery at a prior commission meeting. She reported that the fire hydrant along the Calle continues to be obstructed and that the 8-foot clearance recommended by the Fire Marshall is often reduced to a 6-foot clearance. She outlined a number of other concerns and expressed consternation about the lack of enforcement of the existing contract and the artisans’ tendency to “take what they want.”

Dona Zimmerman, 1690 Butler Creek Road, stated that, as the owner of Webster’s, she hoped to see quick action by the commission on the proposed discussions, as all involved parties needed clarity on space issues and rules for operating their businesses. She suggested that the commission set time aside for a tour of the Calle walkway.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Eggers said that Parks asked the City to identify property lines along the Calle and the City indicated that the lines were unclear. She talked about the importance of defining the spaces owned by Parks and the business owners and expressed that owners needed to retain access to their own spaces. Commissioners agreed about the need for an accurate map to accompany the artisans’ lease, which would give everyone a visual representation of boundaries relating to Plaza merchants, restaurateurs, and artisans and provide guidelines to all concerned parties. Gies stated that a map would be possible but suggested, in the interim, that the commission work with the existing map and that staff request the creation of a map overlay by a GIS specialist.

Motion Lewis moved to approve the following amendments to the Lithia Artisans Marketplace contract:

  • Article III, Section E, paragraph 5 shall change the setup time from 8 am to 7 am.
  • Article III, Section E, paragraph 6 shall change the clearance width from “12-foot pathway” to “8-foot pathway.” This shall be implemented throughout the document.
  • Article III, Section E, paragraph 7 shall now allow helium for use with balloons upon Fire Department approval.
  • Article III, Section E, paragraph 8 shall not allow more than three vehicles at any time on the Calle for setup or removal of artisan market. Language defining parking permits shall be struck.
  • Allow live music with noise monitored and controlled to an appropriate level.
  • Provide a site map of the area.

Gardiner seconded the motion.

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no

MOU BETWEEN PARKS AND SCHOOL DISTRICT

Gies directed the commissioners’ attention to the drafted Memorandum of Understanding between Parks and Schools, reporting that the School Board signed it on Monday, June 12. He indicated that staff would be willing to comply with its established parameters if the commission agreed to the terms.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners agreed to the terms and Eggers pointed out a typographical error in the second sentence of the last paragraph, asking that the word “in” be changed to “is.”

Motion Gardiner moved to approve the MOU between Parks and Schools, with Ashland Parks and Recreation maintaining Briscoe and Lincoln School grounds in a park-like fashion for the course of one year, commencing on July 1, 2006, and concluding on June 30, 2007, with the Ashland School District paying the fee of $8,000 to Ashland Parks and Recreation for the service and also paying for the water to irrigate the properties. Eggers seconded the motion.

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no

’06-’07 COST-OF-LIVING ADJUSTMENTS

Gies outlined the topic, reminding the commission that the matter was discussed at the June 12 study session, at which time the commission asked staff to prepare information about the financial impact of the proposed COLA increases and other proposed staff benefits. He reported that the information was prepared by staff accountant Scott Whitman and was enclosed within the packet.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Eggers asked whether the proposed COLAs were tied to the west coast CPI, as requested by staff and the commission, and was told that they were. Rosenthal summarized the benefits adjustments, including the 3.7% cost-of-living increase for all full-time regular staff members, an increase in the clothing allowance for maintenance workers from $55 to $100 per year, and a $15 match per employee per month for the deferred compensation program. Eggers expressed concern about higher-paid employees receiving the same percentage increase as those at the bottom of the salary scale, further increasing the disparity between those with a great deal and those with less, and asked that the commission consider a future review of the matter.

Motion Gardiner moved to approve the ’06-’07 agreement between the Ashland Parks and Recreation Commission and Parks staff as proposed, for a period commencing on July 1, 2006, and concluding on June 30, 2007. Lewis seconded the motion.

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no

EMPLOYEE HANDBOOK APPROVAL

Rosenthal outlined the topic, stating that the document enclosed within the commission packets represented the most advanced version of the employee handbook, which took several years to create. He reported that the final matter to consider involved employee drug testing and asked the commission for their input.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Eggers asked that the conversation regarding drug testing be postponed until a future date when a public meeting could be conducted and the topic discussed at length. Gardiner expressed dissatisfaction with both of the proposed drug policies [included as placeholders within the handbook], stating that they were weak and did not include a mechanism for enforcement. Commissioners expressed that the manual was a valuable tool and a major step forward for the department.

Motion Eggers moved to adopt the employee handbook with neither of the proposed drug policies included. D. Amarotico seconded the motion.

                                         The vote was:     D. Amarotico, Eggers, Lewis, Rosenthal  – yes

                                                                  Gardiner – no

Further Discussion Among Commissioners

Rosenthal stated that the evening’s decision to exclude the drug policy from the handbook did not necessarily signify the commission’s unwillingness to include a drug policy in the future, but that such a policy would need to be solid and enforceable. The commission directed staff to research other Oregon parks and recreation departments’ practices regarding drug testing for their employees.

NEW BUSINESS

REQUEST FOR PAR EXERCISE COURSE AT YMCA PARK

Gies reported that staff was approached by the Ashland Family YMCA regarding a joint project between the YMCA and the United Way of Jackson County to install a PAR exercise course around the perimeter of the YMCA Park. He stated that the course would be a soft surface track surrounding the park and that, stationed along the way would be exercise areas with equipment and instructions. The course would be free to the general public and available during regular park hours.

Public Input

Steve Erb, 3224 Sycamore Way in Medford, speaking as co-Chair for the United Way of Jackson County’s “Day of Caring,” reported that the local United Way organization hoped to undertake this as their annual project and would donate a minimum of $6,500 and provide volunteers, with the YMCA providing $2,500 and lunch for the workers. If approved, he asked the commission to pay $2,500 for the course equipment and wood chips around the course. He also asked them to allow Parks staff to remove grass along the proposed pathway and dig post holes in which to place the PAR equipment.

Chris Mason, 1003 W. Main in Medford, speaking as co-Chair for the project, stated that these types of projects are valuable for communities.

Lisa Molnar, 155 Hillcrest, speaking in her role as Executive Director on behalf of the Ashland Family YMCA, stated that the YMCA would commit to this two-year project and could install ten stations in 2006 and ten stations in 2007, or the project could be completed in one year’s time.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners asked  a number of clarifying questions, including the width of the pathway (6-8 feet), who could use the park (anyone wishing to use it), total project costs ($6,200 for a 10-station course and $9,500 for a 20-station course – with additional charges for signage, concrete, and construction of equipment bringing the total to $14,000 or $15,000), and whether it would be possible to review the signs prior to their inclusion in the course (yes). Gies reported that, should the commission approve the course, Parks staff could assist with its implementation and the Parks budget could absorb the costs. He further stated that the course could be included in the weekly playground equipment inspection conducted by Parks staff.

Motion Lewis moved to approve the conceptual plan for the PAR exercise course at the YMCA Park and directed staff to work on the site map, signage, and maintenance cost estimates. D. Amarotico seconded the motion.

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no

SUB-COMMITTEE and STAFF REPORTS

Gies reported that the state-wide Little League championship tournament will be held in Ashland at the Hunter Park fields from July 21-28.

Gies reported that the house at N. Main and Scenic was demolished the week of June 19 and that staff would begin working on removing the abandoned cars in the area and building a fence between the park site and the townhouses.

Teige reported that summer programs are in full swing and going well, and that the first “movie on the range” will be shown, free to the public, on July 7 at the Oak Knoll Golf Course driving range.

ITEMS FROM COMMISSIONERS

D. Amarotico asked the commission to follow up on the request by Ellie Read to allow a companion horse to board at the Vogel property. Commissioners directed staff to place the topic on the July regular meeting agenda and to review past discussions on the matter.

D. Amarotico asked for a status report on the request by the Southern Oregon Historical Society for two historical markers to be placed at the entrance to Lithia Park. Commissioners directed staff to review past discussions and determine next steps, with a possible meeting arranged between Don Robertson and John Enders of SOHS.

Eggers complained about a number of highly amplified events at the Lithia Park bandshell and requested that staff set clear guidelines about amplification for events, since the noise is problematic for area residents.

UPCOMING MEETING DATES and PROPOSED AGENDA ITEMS

§            Joint study session set for Thursday, July 13, at 7:00 PM — Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main.

[Note: the meeting was subsequently postponed.]

§            Tour of Calle Guanajuato set [subsequent to meeting] for Saturday, July 15 at 10:00 AM.

§            Study session set for Monday, July 17, at 7:00 PM — Parks office, 340 S. Pioneer. Topics to include:

§Employee Drug Policy

§Skate Park Discussion

§            Regular meeting set for Monday, July 24, at 7:00 PM — Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main.

ADJOURNMENT

By consensus, with no further business, Rosenthal adjourned the meeting at 9:20 PM.

Respectfully submitted, Susan Dyssegard, Ashland Parks & Recreation Department

 

Ashland 24/7

Pay Your
Utility Bill
Connect
to AFN
Request Conservation
Evaluation
Proposals, Bids
& Notifications
Request Building
Inspection
Apply for
Building Permits
Apply for Other
Permits & Licenses
Register for
Recreation Programs

©2017 City of Ashland, OR | Site by Project A

Quicklinks

Connect

Share

Email Share