Agendas and Minutes

Parks & Recreation Commission (View All)

Parks Commission Regular Meeting Minutes

Minutes
Monday, June 23, 2008

City of Ashland

PARKS AND RECREATION COMMISSION

 

REGULAR MEETING

MINUTES

 

June 23, 2008

 

ATTENDANCE

Present:    Commissioners Eggers, Gardiner, Lewis, Noraas, Rosenthal; Director Robertson; Superintendents Gies and Teige

Absent:     City Council Liaison Navickas

CALL TO ORDER         

Gardiner called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. at Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

Regular Meeting – May 19, 2008

MOTION Eggers moved to approve the minutes as written. Lewis seconded the motion.

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no

Study Session – May 21, 2008

MOTION Rosenthal moved to approve the minutes as written. Noraas seconded the motion.

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

Open Forum

Mark Haneberg, 657 Prim Street, speaking on behalf of the Ashland Lions Club, requested permission to sell concession items in Lithia Park at Ashland City Band concerts to fundraise for the band. The commission agreed to place the item on the July 21 study session agenda for further consideration.

ADDITIONS OR DELETIONS TO THE AGENDA

None

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

PUBLIC HEARING ON PROPOSED WESTWOOD / CLAY STREET LAND SWAP

Robertson reported that, following the April 28 regular commission meeting, the developer withdrew interest in the Westwood portion of the land exchange. Robertson suggested closing the public hearing for the terminated proposal. He outlined several options to consider before deciding whether to move forward with a land partition and sale of the Westwood property.

Brandon Goldman, City of Ashland Senior Planner, spoke about options for subdividing and improving the Westwood property for potential future sale.

Public Input

Paul Hwoschinsky, 443 Strawberry Lane, said he and others worked with the Planning Department and the city over a period of eight years to develop the Westwood Park neighborhood and the area was precious to them. He reported that more than 400 people [opposed to the swap] signed the “Friends of Westwood Park” petition. He asked the commission to choose other land to sell for the purchase of the Clay Street property.

Kenton Gould, 201 W. Rapp Road in Talent, spoke about preserving the Westwood Park area from development and said the city would not be able to recreate the wild ravine and other natural and unique elements if the area were developed.

Eric Dukes, 520 Placer Run, said his house backs up to the wildlife corridor and rare birds visit the area. He expressed the importance of conducting environmental studies on the land as restrictions protecting unique or threatened species might be applicable. He talked about the lack of access in and out of the neighborhood and said further development could cause traffic concerns. He said a vote of the people would be appropriate if the commission were to continue considering the subdivision and sale of the land.

Catherine Dimino, 423 Strawberry Lane, asked: 1) what it would take to develop the Westwood Park as a wildlife park; and 2) what additional information the commission needed to convince them not to subdivide and sell the Westwood property.

Pepper Trail, 2011 Crestview, said he visited the park and confirmed its wildlife values. He said it would be unwise to dispose of such a valuable wildlife habitat and he urged the commission not to do so.

Robert McLellan, 500 Strawberry Lane, said he and others formed the Ashland Woodlands and Trails Association in 2008 for the preservation and protection of open spaces and trails. He said they were told the Westwood piece would be permanently preserved as open space and he took exception to the term “surplus property,” as though the land had only material value.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners thanked the speakers for their thoughts and said they would gather additional information and explore options in order to make appropriate decisions about the land under discussion.

For the July 28 regular meeting, staff was directed to develop a timeline and process regarding a potential sale of a portion of the Westwood property. They were further directed to look at the history of the Westwood property acquisition. The commission requested a list of any other property that potentially could be sold at a later date.

AUDIT COMMITTEE DISCUSSION

Robertson said that, over the past few years, the Audit Committee was the primary recipient of the annual audit report without any formal arrangement but that the practice needed to be formalized by commission action. He indicated that the Finance Director normally presented the audit comments to the commission but said the auditor could present the report directly to the commission if the commission wished to make that arrangement. He also asked the commission to formally establish a primary contact for the auditor. He said the Parks and Finance directors traditionally had been the primary contacts but the chair could be the designee if the commission wished.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners agreed to continue receiving the annual audit comments from the Parks and Finance directors and to establish the Parks Director as the primary contact for the auditors, with the Finance Director serving as the secondary contact.

MOTION: Noraas moved to continue the practice of having the Audit Committee receive the annual audit, passing it through the Parks and Finance directors to the Parks Commission. Lewis seconded the motion.

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no

MOTION: Rosenthal moved to designate the Parks Director as the primary contact for the auditors, with the Finance Director serving as the secondary contact. Lewis seconded the motion.

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no

NEW BUSINESS

FY ’08-’09 COMPENSATION FOR PARKS EMPLOYEES

Robertson read the staff report outlining the proposed compensation package for the upcoming fiscal year. He indicated that all costs were considered and included during the budget planning process.

MOTION: Noraas moved to adopt the compensation package as proposed:

§         3% COLA plus 1% into HRA VEBA

§         Switch to Preferred Provider Option for insurance

§         Increase employee deductible from $100 to $200 for insurance

§         Eliminate wellness benefit

§         Retain employee share of health benefits at current level

§         At separation, for employees with accrued sick leave balances between 101 and 1,000 hours, transfer equivalent funding to their HRA VEBA accounts

Rosenthal seconded the motion.

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no

SUBCOMMITTEE and STAFF REPORTS

Teige reported on the opening of the Daniel Meyer Pool and said swim lessons started on June 23. She said registrations for the 4th of July run were coming in quickly.

ITEMS FROM COMMISSIONERS

Eggers reported on the work of the Centennial Subcommittee and spoke about specific elements of the proposed 4th of July float and the December reception.

Rosenthal asked about the status of the Scenic Park construction and Gies reported that it was moving along well, with completion expected by the end of August.

UPCOMING MEETING DATE(S) and PROPOSED AGENDA ITEMS

§         Study session set for July 21 at 7:00 PM, Parks Office, 340 S. Pioneer Street.

§         Regular meeting set for July 28 at 7:00 PM, Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street.

ADJOURNMENT– By consensus, with no further business, Gardiner adjourned the meeting at 8:32 p.m.

Respectfully submitted, Susan Dyssegard, Ashland Parks and Recreation Department

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