MINUTES FOR THE CITY COUNCIL STUDY SESSION
Monday, December 3, 2007 at 5:15 p.m.
Council Chambers, 1175 East Main Street
Mayor Morrison called the meeting to order at 5:15 p.m.
Councilors Hardesty, Navickas, Silbiger and Chapman were present. Councilor Hartzell arrived at 5:26 p.m. Councilor Jackson was absent.
Mayor Morrison presented Paula Brown with a plaque and commented on the appreciation of the community for her service as Public Works Director. Ms. Brown noted her appreciation of the community and presented to the Mayor the National Employee Award.
1. Look Ahead Review
City Administrator Martha Bennett reviewed the Look Ahead with the Council and noted several changes and additions.
Council was advised that the appellant scheduled to speak at the Special Meeting was caught in bad weather and would not be in attendance this evening. It was noted that the applicant had requested a continuance. Staff was directed to re-notice the proceeding since they did not have a date certain at this time.
2. Review of Regular Meeting Agenda for December 4, 2007
City Attorney Richard Appicello noted the following items had been added to the Regular Meeting Agenda: 1) Findings & Conclusions for the Ashland Home Net Franchise, 2) Amendment to Intergovernmental Agreement #90G00091 with Oregon Building Codes Division, and 3) Intergovernmental Agreement Contract between State of Oregon, Building Codes Division and the City of Ashland.
Ms. Bennett clarified that the Ambulance Service discussion could not happen any sooner than what is scheduled due to staff conflicts.
Citizens Budget Committee Appointments
Mayor Morrison requested discussion on the Budget Committee appointment process. There was consensus by Council to use the ballot system for the appointments. City Recorder Barbara Christensen acknowledged the difficulty each year when setting a deadline for applications and suggested that in the future the Council determine the process they wish to use prior to noticing. Comment was made noting the Committee's desire to meet earlier in the year.
Glenn Street Railroad Crossing
Councilor Hartzell requested accident records for the Glenn Street railroad crossing area and traffic counts from N. Main that indicate use of the Glenn Street intersection. Interim Public Works Director Jim Olson indicated that he could provide a turn-count report for this area for tomorrow night. Councilor Hartzell also requested the railroad crossing traffic counts on all railroad crossings in the community and, in terms of Capital Improvement Projects (CIP), what the status of safety improvement projects on Laurel Street and Wimer Street or any other related projects are. Mr. Olson noted that the direction of the State is to close this crossing and that this is not designated as an emergency response route. He stated staff would provide a map indicating these emergency response routes.
Council discussed the benefit of having staff provide a turn-count report. Consensus was that staff did not need to provide the turn-count report at this time but that the other traffic count reports would be helpful.
Councilor Hardesty questioned including the appropriate thermal envelope as part of the definition of "net zero energy ready". Senior Planner Maria Harris explained the reason this was not included in the condition was because it is included in the applicant's K3 performance standards. Additional concern was expressed regarding the definition of "net zero energy ready" and staff indicated they would review this further and bring back a recommendation at the regular meeting.
Mr. Appicello commented on the rule governing conversations with the press regarding Executive Sessions. He suggested one option is to separate this provision from the rules and address it in a separate resolution. He clarified there is a section of State law that addresses Executive Sessions, however it does not include penalties.
Ms. Bennett noted she is willing to meet individually with councilors to discuss any concerns they have about the Council Room remodel and the logistics of computer access.
Meeting was temporarily adjourned at 6:09 p.m. in order to open scheduled Special Meeting.
Meeting was re-opened at 6:14 p.m.
3. Does the Council wish to accept or modify the proposed work plan for implementing the 2007-2008 City Council goals?
Councilor Silbiger announced a potential conflict of interest regarding the Council Goal for the Croman Mills site. He stated he has a financial interest in a company that is interested in locating their business to that property. Mr. Appicello advised that Councilor Silbiger not participate in the discussion of this particular goal. Ms. Bennett noted there is not much to discuss in terms of the work plan for the Croman Mills site since it is dictated by the State grant the City received for the project.
Ms. Bennett provided a comprehensive report on the 2007-08 council goals. She stated that there are assumptions in regards to phasing and that staff would bring quarterly reports and place them on consent agendas for review and approval. She requested direction from Council on the need to schedule an additional goal setting session.
The following was presented with clarification where requested:
|•||Implement Community Policing.|
|•||Complete Planning Process for Croman Mill Site.|
|•||Complete the Arts Master Plan.|
|•||Provide timely response to the AFR w/in the USFS schedule.|
|•||Work regionally to resolve funding for library.|
|•||Adoption of Riparian Ordinance.|
|•||Develop a City-led Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy with an emphasis on local economy, diverse population, risks of over-reliance on single-industry and living wage.|
|•||Develop City-Employee Continuity Strategy.|
|•||Develop a City-wide Transportation Strategy.|
|•||Complete a City-wide Visioning Plan.
It was noted that this is an expensive project and includes all principal parties in the community. Several cities were noted as having recently completed a Visioning Plan process. Ms. Bennett stated that this should not be considered "planning only" but should be a "broad visioning" process. Brief discussion was had regarding re-allocation of the $80,000 currently in the budget for planning purposes. Comment was made expressing interest in beginning the process earlier by meeting with citizens for input. The importance of determining the "whole process" was noted.
|•||Develop plan to establish fiscal stability, manage costs, prioritize services, and insure key revenue streams.
This goal is scheduled to begin next month and determining allocation of staff is being reviewed.
|•||Generate net increase in affordable workforce housing by a minimum of 200 units by 2010.
Staff requested discussion and direction on whether the number of units is realistic as well as the City's role in the Housing Program. It was noted that it has not been determined when these discussions will happen. Suggestion was made for this to go to the Housing Commission and for some of the tasks to be done in conjunction with other projects. Ms. Bennett noted staff needed direction from Council on how they would like them to prioritize the actions associated with this goal.
|•||Increase effectiveness in Conservation programs and identify specific targets in Energy and Resource consumption.
Staff requested Council's clarification on this goal.
|•||Implement program to provide workforce housing for City employees.
It was noted staff believes this should be part of an employee continuity strategy.
|•||Develop a long-term plan for all City facilities and properties.
It was noted this goal had been started and should be finished by June 2008.
|•||Develop a strategy for the railroad property.
Staff requests Council have discussion with the Planning Department to determine the workload associated with this project. Comment was made that this is an important part of our community and that the timeline should be moved up. It was noted staff needs to determine how much it is going to cost to clean-up this property prior to the City making any decisions to move forward.
Comment was made on spending the allocated $80,000 for planning and the options associated with spending this money. Staff indicated they would speak with Community Development and bring this back to Council for review.
|•||Complete Downtown Planning process
Staff recommended that this be started after the preliminary visioning steps take place.
Councilor Hartzell requested further information on the Transportation System Plan (TSP) prior to beginning the process on the Downtown Planning. Staff stated that the TSP is about how to make the system work over the next 20 years and that any decisions made in the planning process will change the TSP over time.
Comment was made on the importance of the Downtown Plan. Additional comment was made to keep in mind that all should be done delicately because they all interact.
Staff requested direction from Council on a meeting in January for review of council goals in consideration of the upcoming budget cycle. Support was voiced for Council to meet and provide clarification to staff. It was suggested that this would be confined to clarification rather than revisiting the council goals.
Meeting adjourned at 7:20 p.m.
Barbara Christensen, City Recorder
John W. Morrison, Mayor