Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Study Session

Minutes
Monday, April 30, 2007

MINUTES FOR THE STUDY SESSION
ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
April 30, 2007
Civic Center Council Chambers
1175 E. Main Street

CALL TO ORDER
Mayor Morrison called the Study Session to order at 5:20 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers.
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ROLL CALL
Councilors Hardesty, Hartzell, Navickas, and Chapman were present. Councilor Jackson arrived at 5:30 p.m. Councilor Silbiger was absent.
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1. Look Ahead Review.
City Administrator Martha Bennett reviewed the items on the Look Ahead document. She announced it was not possible to move the Chamber of Commerce discussion to the May 14th Study Session, and stated they will be receiving the update on the Emergency Operation Center and having a discussion on the Ethics Ordinance instead. Ms. Bennett noted the items scheduled for the May 15th Regular Meeting include an appeal of the McDonald property planning action, utility rate increases, a public hearing on the sale of the Strawberry Lane lots, implementation of the City solar project, and the ethics ordinance. She added the Study Session on June 4th will focus on discussions of long range planning and the RVTD contract, and stated the Regular Council Meeting on June 5th will consist primarily of budget items. Ms. Bennett clarified the soonest the Chamber of Commerce is available for a Study Session is June 18th.
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2. Discussion of Process for Establishing Council Goals.
City Administrator Martha Bennett explained the staff memo poses possible questions and answers that need to be resolved by the Council prior to a formal goal setting session. Those questions include: 1) What constitutes a goal, 2) Should there be a facilitator, 3) What needs to be done prior to the goal setting session itself, and 4) Should they limit their priorities. Ms. Bennett stressed that this is Council's process and encouraged them to discuss what they want.

Council discussed their opinions of prior goal setting sessions and their preferences for this next session. Mayor Morrison voiced his support for engaging in a more limited process, where the Council stipulates what the goal is and a timeframe for it to be accomplished. He stated they need to have finite goals and not something that gets carried forward year after year, and voiced support for having a facilitator. Councilor Hardesty commented on looking at the "big picture" and questioned how they would form goals without performing some visioning. Councilor Hartzell suggested they gather input from the City's commissions, committees, and boards to be used in this process. Comment was made that the facilitator would need to conduct pre-meetings with each councilor in order to reach consensus on what the goals are, whether they should include a brief visioning section at the meeting, and to establish the procedures and expectations for the session. Councilor Jackson voiced support for having a facilitator and commented on receiving input from staff on which projects are most important to them. Councilor Chapman voiced his disappointment with the process that was used last year. Mayor Morrison voiced his support for having actionable goals that are clearly delineated and to include a timeline for when they will be completed. He commented on establishing no more than ten goals that can be accomplished by the end of the calendar year. Councilor Navickas voiced support for having a facilitator and the outline proposed by Ms. Bennett. He agreed that they need to establish actionable goals, but added that they should not leave out the "big picture". Comment was made that it is up to the Council to prioritize what they want their top priorities to be within the coming year and if they want to do something, but are unable to dedicate resources, than it should not be on the list. Councilor Hardesty voiced her support for what was outlined by Ms. Bennett and agreed that they need to have a facilitator.

Ms. Bennett commented on the need for Council to prioritize projects. She also stressed the importance of Council trusting the facilitator and the process. She questioned when the Council would like to hold the goal setting session and noted it will take a few weeks to obtain feedback from the various commissions and committees. She also noted that she is working under the assumption that department heads would be present at the goal setting in order to answer questions, but not participate.

Council discussed their calendars and reached consensus that their first choice of meeting dates is July 14, and their second choice is July 21.

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3. Review of Regular Meeting Agenda for May 1, 2007.
Mayor Morrison reminded the Council to be cautious in bringing up either of the public hearings. He explained that they could pose questions to staff and staff would provide answers at tomorrow's hearings.

City Administrator Martha Bennett asked the Council to identify which agenda items they have questions on.

Council Appeal of Planning Action 2006-02354, Kistler
Councilor Hartzell questioned if the width of North Main Street and the existing infrastructure is included in the record and requested staff provide the setbacks measurements for all buildings within a 6-block radius of the project site. Community Development Director David Stalheim clarified there is some information on this included in the record and indicated that the GIS system is not able to provide the setback measurements. He added that if any councilor were to perform a site visit and attempt to measure the setbacks they would need to disclose this as ex parte contact at the hearing.

Assistant City Attorney Richard Appicello provided an explanation of the memo he submitted to the Council regarding bias and prejudgment. He explained the process they will utilize tomorrow evening if individuals wish to make a challenge against a member of the Council and noted that the person challenging has the obligation to provide evidence.

Comment was made questioning if the Council will be given an opportunity to vote after the Mayor reads the bias concerns. Mr. Appicello clarified the Mayor will read the written challenge into the record and then give the challenged member an opportunity to respond. If the Council is not satisfied that the member can remain unbiased, they can make a motion and by a majority vote remove that member from participating in the hearing. Mr. Appicello clarified the Mayor could summarize the written statement as long as he declares the substance of the allegation. He also clarified a written challenge is not an opportunity for the challenger to come forward and give verbal testimony, however the individual will still be given time to provide testimony during the public hearing.

Nevada Street LID Assessment Hearing
City Administrator Martha Bennett noted that revising Findings had been submitted.

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ADJOURNMENT
Meeting adjourned at 6:30 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
April Lucas, Assistant to City Recorder


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