Agendas and Minutes

Parks & Recreation Commission (View All)

Regular Meeting

Minutes
Monday, July 24, 2006

City of Ashland

PARKS AND RECREATION COMMISSION

 

REGULAR MEETING

MINUTES

 

July 24, 2006

 

ATTENDANCE

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

Absent:    City Council Liaison A. Amarotico

CALL TO ORDER

Rosenthal called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM at Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

Study Session – June 12, 2006

In the section entitled Attendance, Eggers reported that she was absent from the meeting.

MOTION D. Amarotico moved to approve the minutes as amended. Gardiner seconded the motion.

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no

Regular Meeting—June 26, 2006  In the “Unfinished Business” section entitled Contract Amendment for Lithia Artisans Market, Eggers asked that the minutes indicate that “She talked about the importance of defining the spaces managed [not owned] by Parks.” In the section entitled Items from Commissioners, Eggers asked that the minutes reflect her request for staff to “clearly communicate the established guidelines for amplification of events at the bandshell.”

MOTION Gardiner moved to approve the minutes as amended. Lewis seconded the motion.

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

Open Forum

None

ADDITIONS OR DELETIONS TO THE AGENDA

None

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

BEAR CREEK GREENWAY TRAIL EXTENSION

Robertson reminded the commission that the two Ashland Rotary Clubs chose the Bear Creek Greenway Trail Extension as their centennial project in 2004. Despite Rotary support and funds provided through a state grant, he reported that the project did not move forward in the originally identified timeframe, so the state funds were forfeited; however, staff contacted the state and learned that they were willing to consider a new grant for the bridge crossing. He stated that Rotary would continue to clear the path for the trail and install the asphalt to match the remainder of the Bear Creek Greenway in the fall timeframe, and that they also planned to install a picnic bench in the vicinity of the future creek crossing.

Commissioners agreed to walk the area to identify ecologically sensitive sections of the project.

HORSE BOARDING REQUEST

Robertson stated that, in 2003, Ellie Read asked to board her horse at the Vogel property and was granted permission, and that she currently wished to request permission for the boarding of a companion horse for her animal, since the other horse at the property recently passed away.

Ellie Read, 398 N. Laurel Street, requested permission for a companion horse to be boarded on the property, stating that her horse would become lonely during the winter months [when fewer people typically visit the site].

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners debated the matter, with some expressing the need to phase out the horse given the impending construction of the area into a park and others stating that it would be possible to include another horse, with the understanding that the commission could terminate the boarding arrangement with a three-month notice.

Motion Gardiner moved to allow for application of a second horse to board at the Vogel property based on a six-month lease, with a three-month termination clause for any horse boarding at the site. D. Amarotico seconded the motion.

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

                                                     Eggers – no

EMPLOYEE DRUG POLICY

Robertson reported that the commission approved the employee handbook—without the inclusion of a drug policy—at their June regular meeting, and reminded them that they requested an opportunity to discuss the matter of a drug policy at a future meeting. He outlined four potential options to include within a drug policy and quoted portions of the Drug Testing Workplace Act of 1988, a federal law requiring any federal contractor and all federal grantees to provide drug-free workplaces as a condition of receiving a contract or grant from a federal agency. He asked for direction from the commission regarding the inclusion of a drug-free workplace policy within the employee handbook.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners expressed varying opinions, with some expressing that drug testing could violate employees’ civil rights and others indicating that the exclusion of a policy and testing might pose a safety risk to employees and citizens alike. Commissioners acknowledged that they are required by law to include the federal guidelines within the handbook but disagreed about whether to also include the City’s policy, a version prepared by Southern Oregon Drug Awareness, a combination of both, or neither.

Motion Lewis moved to adopt the City’s policy as written. The motion died for lack of a second.

Motion Eggers moved to approve the adoption of the federal requirements outlined in the Drug Testing Workplace Act of 1988 and added the list of prohibited conduct from the City’s policy titled “A: Reasonable Suspicion Testing” which would be based on:

1) Observed drug use during work hours or on work site premises, or employee admissions regarding such use;

2) Apparent physical symptoms of impairment;

3) Incoherent mental state;

4) Marked or significant changes in personal behavior or performance that otherwise are unexplainable;

5) Credible reports of alcohol or drug use in violation of this policy or credible reports of off-the-job illegal drug use or excessive alcohol use;

6) Accident or other actions that provide reasonable cause to believe the employee may be under the influence of drugs.

The motion also included the addition of “B: Post Accident Testing” from the City’s policy; “2.04: Post Accident Testing” from the SODA policy, including 2.04.01 through 2.04.05; and “D: Retest Option” from the City’s policy. Finally, the motion stated that this would apply to all employees drawing a paycheck from the Ashland Parks and Recreation Commission, including full-time and part-time permanent employees as well as part-time seasonal employees. D. Amarotico seconded the motion.

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

                                                     Gardiner – no

NEW BUSINESS

DANIEL MEYER POOL PETITION

Teige outlined the concerns of lap swimmers at the Daniel Meyer pool who drew up a petition and obtained more than 40 signatures in support of the request for staff to: 1) open the pool on Memorial Day weekend; 2) close the pool in mid-September; 3) extend morning lap swim through the season; and 4) open the pool to the public on July 4th.

Public Input

Julie Stuelpnagel, 915 Oak Street, speaking on behalf of the lap swimming community and as the initiator of the petition, stated that the Daniel Meyer pool is the community’s pool and draws many people every day. She asked the commission to consider all of the petition requests, especially the one regarding extending the season from Memorial Day weekend through mid-September.

Risa Buck, 798 Oak Street, stated that she enjoys swimming outdoors at the Daniel Meyer pool as it builds a sense of community and contributes to her quality of life. She asked the commission to consider creative solutions for keeping the pool open for a longer swimming season [as was done prior to the new management team’s arrival].

Michael Brein, 278 Idaho Street, expressed his appreciation for the pool and its managers and staff and reported that he has been a pool patron for over a decade and would like to see the noon-time lap swim hours adjusted to create a better opportunity for working people to use the pool for lap swim during their lunch hours.

Dan Gray, 659 Clay, stated that he has used the pool since it opened two decades ago and that swimming keeps him alive. He expressed displeasure with the current pool management team and asked the commission to look for ways to better meet the needs of the swimming community.

Walter Schraub, 1566 Woodland Drive, reported that he has been a patron of the pool for 20 years and suffers from medical problems that are aided by swimming. He asked the commission to consider the requests outlined in the petition.

Lynn Sacks, 237 Meadow Drive, thanked the commission and staff for their work and asked for an extension of hours for pool operations. She reported that, as a teacher, she had witnessed the results from encouraging children to swim at an early age and she concluded by stating that she is a lap / masters swimmer who enjoys swimming at the Daniel Meyer pool.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners expressed appreciation for staff’s management of the pool. Robertson stated that staff strives to strike a balance between offering swim lessons to the community while also providing opportunities for lap swim, open swim, senior swim, and water aerobics classes, and that staff tries to provide as much time as possible for each segment but that safety and staffing issues sometimes limit offerings, as many of the lifeguards and swim instructors are students with limited availability. Staff agreed to open the pool to the public for the 4th of July and suggested creative ways to honor the other petition requests, including potentially recruiting some of the petition signers as lifeguards. Staff was directed to lengthen the pool season if possible but not to officially change published dates.

DAREX FAMILY ICE RINK FEE INCREASE

Teige reported that ice rink fees have remained the same since the rink’s opening in the early ‘90s and that, compared with other local rinks, those at the Darex rink remain the lowest. She asked the commission to consider nominal fee increases for the 2006-07 skating season; specifically, a $1 increase in admission fee for general skate and hockey, with skate rental remaining at $2 for skaters of all ages. Robertson reminded the commission of the improvements needed at the rink and reinforced the need to generate more income from the rink operation to offset impending maintenance costs.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners expressed approval for the proposed fee increases.

Motion Gardiner moved to approve the Darex Family Ice Rink fee increases as proposed. Lewis seconded the motion.

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no

EARTH DAY AND MOVIES ON THE RANGE – AMPLIFICATION REPORT

Teige reported that the first outdoor movie at the Oak Knoll Golf Course driving range was well attended, as was the Earth Day event, and that staff received virtually no complaints about sound amplification.

SUB-COMMITTEE and STAFF REPORTS

None.

ITEMS FROM COMMISSIONERS

Rosenthal asked the commission to consider the formation of a subcommittee to address recent concerns expressed by the Calle artisans, Plaza merchants, and restaurateurs regarding the Calle walkway. Commissioners agreed and Rosenthal and Gardiner volunteered to serve, while staff was directed to identify a representative from each of the other groups to join the subcommittee.

Gardiner asked whether the recently cancelled joint study session [between Parks, Schools, and City Council] had been rescheduled and staff reported that the meeting would probably occur in September. Staff was directed to look into possible dates and report back at the next meeting.

Members of the Golf Course Subcommittee agreed to meet in August and Teige was directed to organize the meeting agenda and notify members of the date and time.

UPCOMING MEETING DATES and PROPOSED AGENDA ITEMS

§            Study session set for Monday, August 21, at 7:00 PM—Parks office, 340 S. Pioneer. Topic to include:

§            Vogel property master plan final review and approval [tentative]

§            Regular meeting set for Monday, August 28, at 7:00 PM—Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main. Topic to include:

§            Skate Park improvements discussion [tentative]

ADJOURNMENT

By consensus, with no further business, Rosenthal adjourned the meeting at 9:25 PM.

Respectfully submitted, Susan Dyssegard, Ashland Parks & Recreation Department

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