Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Study Session

Minutes
Monday, June 18, 2007

MINUTES FOR THE STUDY SESSION
ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
June 18, 2007
Civic Center Council Chambers
1175 E. Main Street

CALL TO ORDER
Council Chair Silbiger called the Study Session to order at 5:15 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers.
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ROLL CALL
Councilors Hardesty, Navickas, Jackson and Chapman were present. Councilor Hartzell arrived at 5:25 p.m. Mayor Morrison was absent.
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1. Look Ahead Review.
City Administrator Martha Bennett reviewed the items on the Look Ahead document. She clarified the Study Session on June 25, 2007 with the Chamber of Commerce will be held in the Siskiyou Room at 51 Winburn way, and noted the following night there is a voluntary joint Study Session with the Planning Commission.

Ms. Bennett announced the Special Meeting scheduled for June 27, 2007 will address the wrap up of the budget issues as well as the interim Library funding ballot measure. She stated the Study Session on July 16, 2007 will be a discussion of surplus City property, and noted the Regular Meeting on July 17, 2007 will include the McDonald Property appeal. Ms. Bennett noted Council's preference to have the PERF item bumped if necessary.

Ms. Bennett clarified staff is waiting to schedule a discussion on Economic Development until after the Council has had their discussion with the Chamber of Commerce. Comment was made suggesting the Council discuss Economic Development at the August 20, 2007 Study Session. Ms. Bennett noted Economic Development is scheduled for the Regular Meeting on August 21, 2007 and the Council is free is discuss any item at the Study Session scheduled for the next nights meeting. Request was made for this item to be specifically added to the Study Session agenda and Ms. Bennett agreed.

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2. Discussion of Follow-Up on Council Goal Setting Planning.
Ms. Bennett commented on the need to pick a facilitator and confirm the location of the Goal Setting session. In regards to the facilitator, she recommended Council review the proposals received to date and then make a decision at the June 27, 2007 Special Meeting. She noted if staff receives any additional proposals between now and the Special Meeting they will be forwarded to Council. In regards to the Goal Setting location, Ms. Bennett suggested either the Siskiyou Room or the meeting room at the Parks Office.

Councilors Hartzell and Hardesty voiced support for the Parks room. Councilor Jackson questioned if there is enough room at the Parks room for citizens and department heads. Ms. Bennett noted that the Council must decide whether they would like to have the department heads present at the Goal Setting. Comment was made that typically staff reviews the goals after they have been proposed and then provides feedback, and that it may not be necessary to have them at the Goal Setting session itself. Opposing comment was made suggesting that department heads be present at the goal setting for a short period of time and then have the Council hold a Study Session shortly thereafter to meet with staff. Councilors Chapman and Jackson voiced support for not having the department heads at the Goal Setting session. Councilor Hartzell agreed as long as they receive materials in advance from staff that addresses their questions. Councilor Navickas agreed that Council alone should be making the decision on the goals. Councilor Hardesty voiced support for just the Council being present and then holding a Study Session with the department heads.

Ms. Bennett noted her suggestion to have Council prepare their list of goals in advance of the session. She also noted that input from the City's commissions, committees and boards may be delayed. Councilor Hartzell noted her request to have the CCBs come before Council once or twice a year to provide updates on what they are working on and asked that they reinstate this process.

Comment was made voicing support for the facilitator contacting each of the councilors individually to determine their expectations.

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3. Review of Regular Meeting Agenda for June 19, 2007.

AFN Retailer ISP Agreement
Information Technology Director Joe Franell commented on the ISP agreement. He spoke regarding Section 2.1 (Required Modems) and clarified the City tests modems for compatibility and requires that customers only use modems that have been tested and certified. He added if a customer or retailer had a new modem they wanted tested, the City would do so. He also noted that the modems retailers are using have all been tested.

Comment was made that sentence number two in Section 2.1 seems to preclude the customer from purchasing their own modem. Mr. Franell clarified this was not the intent. Suggestion was made for staff to bring back revised language to clarify.

Mr. Franell commented on the need for AFN to meets its financial targets. He noted that Council had previously decided if the retail partners could not meet the targets, the City would become an active retailer. He stated he had spoken with the retail partners about this, and they indicated they were not aware of what those targets were and requested these be incorporated into the contract. Mr. Franell explained that if collectively the retailers do not meet the targets, the City could become a retailer. He also noted that if a particular retailer is failing to pull their weight, they can be let go and clarified when the termination right could be exercised.

Concern was expressed that Section 4.4 (Requirement to Meet Revenue Targets) was too vague. Mr. Franell clarified he did not list a specific dollar amount in the contract since this amount changes and if included would require the contract to be changed every year. Comment was made that a retailer might not feel comfortable signing a contract that is vague on what the City's expectations are. Additional comment was made that there needs to be more predictability in the contract. Mr. Franell stated he would consider this and bring back an option for tomorrow nights meeting.

Draft Ballot Measure for Interim Library Funding
Concern was expressed with the inconsistency regarding the statements in the Summary and the Explanatory Statement pertaining to the Central Library. Ms. Bennett noted the Council could revise the sentence in the Summary to read, "Services will not include central program support for children's services or reference services" or they could remove the sentence completely. She noted Council will not be making a final decision on the language at tomorrow nights meeting and stated staff would note that this sentence is a problem and bring back possible revisions.

Ms. Bennett briefly commented on the possibility of charging out of town users and stated staff is fairly certain it is legal to do so. She also commented that in order to have access to the central library service, the County has stated a clerk would need to be hired to handle the transfer of materials.

Comment was made requesting staff provide a scenario that drives the rate down by having accessing to the central library but having reduced hours of operation.

Reconsideration of Vote - PA 2006-02354 Findings, Kistler
Comment was made questioning why they need to attach Council Findings if the appeal has been withdrawn.

Assistant City Attorney Richard Appicello clarified all they really need to submit is Findings on the jurisdiction decision, and stated nine of the pages in the document could be deleted. He submitted a shortened version of the Findings to the Council and stated at tomorrow's meeting they could motion to reconsider the vote and then adopt the revised Findings.

Condominium Conversion Ordinance
Community Development Director David Stalheim briefly commented on non-conforming uses. He stated the existing code does not address how to deal with non-conformities; however the proposed ordinance does address this.

Comment was made questioning whether the current ordinance states 80% AMI or 60% AMI. Mr. Stalheim stated he believes the current ordinance states 80% however he will check on this and have an answer by tomorrow night.

Comment was made questioning why the Housing Commission did not make a formal recommendation. Mr. Stalheim clarified there was general acceptance even though a formal motion was not made.

Reconsideration of Vote - Sewer Service at 2995 Highway 66
Councilor Hardesty commented on adding this item to the agenda. She voiced her concern with the possibility of leakage and whether providing a hook-up to the City's system will give the owner a "leg up" to annexation. She suggested the Council vote to reconsider the motion at tomorrow nights meeting in order to consider the benefits and the costs of annexing the property.

City Engineer Jim Olson clarified the contract has not been signed yet and noted that he had spoken with the developer and informed her that there was some reconsideration happening. Councilor Hardesty requested the developer attend tomorrow nights meeting.

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Councilor Jackson left the meeting at 7:05 p.m.
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4. Discussion of Utility Rate Increase.
Administrative Services Director Lee Tuneberg provided a presentation on the Utility Rate Increases, and addressed:

Water Charge and Water Fund Operational Budget,
Key Water Issues,
Water Fund Operational Revenue, Operating Expenses, Operational R/E Comparison, and Water Summary,
Wastewater Charge and Wastewater Fund Operating Budget,
Key Wastewater Issues,
Wastewater Fund Operational Revenue, Operating Expenses, Operational R/E Comparison, and Wastewater Summary.
Street Fund and Street Fund Operational Budget.
Key Street Fund Issues
Street Fund Operational Revenue, Operational Revenue, Operational Expenses, and Operational R/E Comparison.
Transportation Utility Fee and the Revised Resolution.
Storm Drain Utility Fee and the Revised Resolution, and
Summary and Options.

Mr. Tuneberg clarified that no rate increase is adopted until the Council specifically does so; however these increases were included and approved as part of the budget process.

Suggestion was made for additional tiers to be added so that those who use the most water pay the most. Additional comment was made regarding the possibility of different sized increments. Mr. Tuneberg noted that only the water fee is driven by consumption, the others are a flat rate. Ms. Bennett cautioned that the utility rates need to be legally defensible.

Comment was made questioning what would happen if the Council did not approve the rate increases. Mr. Tuneberg explained they would have to look at making cuts to the budget and services levels may be affected.

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ADJOURNMENT
Meeting adjourned at 8:25 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
April Lucas, Assistant to City Recorder


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