MINUTES FOR THE CITY COUNCIL STUDY SESSION
Monday, May 19, 2008 at 6:00 p.m.
Council Chambers, 1175 East Main Street
CALL TO ORDER
Mayor Morrison called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers.
Councilors Hardesty, Navickas, Hartzell, Jackson, Chapman and Silbiger were present.
1. Look Ahead Review.
City Administrator Martha Bennett reviewed the items on the Council Look Ahead. She noted the wrap-up Budget Meeting is scheduled for Thursday, May 22 and clarified the June 2, 2008 Study Session will be held in The Grove. She noted Councilor Navickas had requested a discussion on the camping issues and asked if this could be placed on the June 17, 2008 Council meeting agenda. She stated she was hesitant to place this on the June 3 agenda because it was likely they would not get to it. Councilor Navickas agreed to place the camping issue on the June 17 agenda.
Ms. Bennett commented briefly on why a Study Session has been scheduled to discuss the Ashland Gun Club. She stated a lot of things have happened over the last three years and noted there is a lot of community interest in this issue. She also noted staff’s desire to obtain Council direction before they move forward with preparing a lease.
Ms. Bennett clarified the June 30th meeting will be a Special Meeting, not a Study Session.
2. Review of Regular Meeting Agenda of May 20, 2008.
Quarterly Financial Report
Administrative Services Director clarified the guidance to increase the Insurance Services Fund was included in the proposed budget and noted he would be submitting possible changes to the Financial Management Policies in the future. He added this was only an update and Council is not required to take action at this time.
Public Works Director
City Attorney Richard Appicello clarified he had reviewed the proposed employment contract.
Public Utility Easements
Public Works Director Jim Olson clarified the sewer main replacement was necessary because the existing sewer line that was built in 1965 has failed.
East Main Railroad Crossing Improvements
Mr. Olson clarified that Britton Enterprises was awarded this contract, but due to the time it would take to obtain the Right of Entry permits and due to conflicts associated with scheduling other projects, Britton has asked to withdraw their bid. Mr. Olson clarified staff’s recommendation is to award the bid to LTM. LTM would be required to obtain the necessary permits, but because they are a larger firm, staff does not believe they will experience the same problems at Britton.
Arterial Setback Ordinance
Councilor Hardesty questioned the absence of the term “minimum” from the ordinance. Community Development Director Bill Molnar clarified it is applied in this way, even though the term is missing in some sections. He stated if Council wished to change this, this would be a minor amendment that could be done at first reading.
Mr. Molnar clarified he could provide an aerial photo at tomorrow nights meetings, but would not be able to provide cross-sections. Councilor Hartzell stated she would like to see how big the sidewalks are. Mr. Molnar commented on Page 19 of the packet materials and stated this was an example of what the streetscapes might look like if these buildings were built today. He clarified he would be able to provide information on existing buildings and their setbacks at the meeting tomorrow. He noted Main Street is fairly consistent; however there are variations of sidewalk widths along Lithia. Councilor Hartzell questioned where in town the maximum widths would be used and asked staff to address this tomorrow. She also requested information on how other forms of transportation would be accommodated in the future.
3. Should Council make changes in the use of the Municipal Audit Committee, Finance Management Policies and/or internal controls consistent with the auditor comments and staff recommendations?
Administrative Services Director Lee Tuneberg presented the staff report and explained in order to meet new requirements, the City Council must clarify the governing board’s expectations for the audit, management’s role, and the desired community protocol for the auditor. He recommended the Council take the following steps to meet these requirements:
1) Take steps to affirm or revise Resolution 2003-07.
Mr. Tuneberg clarified the City of Ashland is one of few agencies in the State to utilize an Audit Committee. He stated the current resolution does not clearly address the responsibilities of the Committee and should include a clear explanation of what is expected. He also noted the conflict with the City Recorder acting as a voting member of this Committee and suggested this be changed to a non-voting member.
2) Identify the City representative that will routinely communicate with the auditor regarding the scope and timing of work as well as negotiate and sign off on representations for the City.
Mr. Tuneberg stated that he has been acting in this capacity, but it is more common for the CEO of an organization (or in this case the City Administrator) to have this responsibility.
3) Schedule an additional Study Session to discuss the Financial Management Policies and progress on internal controls.
Mr. Tuneberg requested Council’s approval to schedule a Study Session on Financial Management Policies.
4) Request that the Ashland Parks & Recreation Commission decide similar issues for their district.
Mr. Tuneberg clarified the current resolution does not speak to Parks & Recreation and they do not have anything in writing about who they would like to speak for them.
Council briefly discussed staff recommendations and offered their input. Support was voiced for staff’s recommendations, including removing the City Recorder as a voting member of the Audit Committee and having the City Administrator take over as the City representative.
Mr. Tuneberg clarified the City Recorder had no issues with being removed as a voting member, and recommended staff bring back a new resolution at a future Council meeting. City Administrator Martha Bennett noted this item would likely come forward as a Consent Agenda item on an upcoming agenda.
Meeting adjourned at 7:05 p.m.
April Lucas, Assistant to City Recorder