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Parks & Recreation Commission (View All)

Parks Commission Regular Meeting Minutes

Minutes
Monday, March 23, 2009

City of Ashland

PARKS AND RECREATION COMMISSION

 

REGULAR MEETING

MINUTES

 

March 23, 2009

 

ATTENDANCE

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

Absent:     City Council Liaison Silbiger

CALL TO ORDER         

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

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

Study Session – February 18, 2009

Rosenthal said he was included under Attendance but did not attend the meeting.

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

The vote was: 4 yes – 0 no (Rosenthal abstained)

Regular Meeting – February 23, 2009

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

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

Open Forum

Tom Marr, 955 N. Mountain, asked the commission to include “pesticide-free parks” on their 2009-2010 goals list. He said a group of citizens developed a volunteer base toward that goal and he provided an update on their efforts. He asked the city to serve as a role model for the community.

Angie Thusius, 897 Beach, speaking on behalf of “Grandmothers and Friends in Green,” said her organization researched costs incurred by parks systems in the Pacific Northwest that implemented pesticide-free park practices. She said she was compiling a list of volunteers to help with pesticide-free park maintenance, with assistance from Linda Chesney at the North Mountain Park Nature Center, and offered to work with Parks to educate the community about achieving a pesticide-free parks system.

ADDITIONS OR DELETIONS TO THE AGENDA

Robertson said the Public Art Commission requested participation from a Parks commissioner for an art selection panel specific to the Calle Guanajuato Stairway sculpture garden. He said public art selections were scheduled to occur on Thursday, April 2, at 4 p.m. at the Community Development Building located at 51 Winburn Way in Ashland.

Lewis volunteered to serve as the Parks Commission representative on the public art selection panel.

NEW BUSINESS

AFSO Request

Robertson said the commission approved the Aquatics Foundation of Southern Oregon’s (AFSO) request to conduct the second annual duck race fundraiser in Ashland Creek within Lithia Park on Saturday, July 11. He said they now requested the commission’s sponsorship of the event, which would allow them to place a publicity banner over a downtown street.

Jana Carole, AFSO race manager, said the duck race event was AFSO’s primary annual fundraiser and the funds were used to support aquatics programs throughout the Rogue Valley. She said AFSO raised approximately $90,000 per year to keep the SOU pool open for the aquatics community.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners discussed whether supporting such a request would set a precedent, generate requests from other groups, or invite criticism about favoritism. They considered approving the request for a one-year time period and said they would review future requests on a case-by-case basis. They talked about developing a list of criteria for evaluating special event requests conducted within parks and said it would be helpful to schedule a study session for that purpose.

MOTION Lewis moved to approve the request for a one-year sponsorship of the AFSO duck race fundraiser and the banner. Rosenthal seconded the motion.

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no

CALLE RESTAURANT SEATING AGREEMENTS AND CONTRACT

Dials reviewed her packet materials and said staff planned to meet with restaurant owners to notify them of space allotments in early April, marking the Calle spaces with chalk. She said one space was incorrectly noted on the diagram that was distributed at the March 16 study session and spoke of its correct placement.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners were assured that the contract was the same as the version discussed at the March 16 study session. In terms of the seating arrangements, they questioned whether there would be adequate space for outdoor seating for the new Sesame Restaurant, allowing other merchants to efficiently operate their businesses (and apartment dwellers upstairs to access the building) and were told that Sesame would have a small outdoor seating area and access points would be kept clear for merchants and apartment residents.

MOTION Rosenthal moved to approve the six Calle restaurant seating arrangements for the 2009 season as amended, and the contract as proposed. Noraas seconded the motion.

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no

lithia artisans market of ashland contract

Dials said the five-year Lithia Artisans Market of Ashland (LAMA) contract included dates that would extend the season by two weeks on either end, with the proposed season beginning on April 15 (instead of May 1) and ending on November 15 (instead of October 31). She said the artisans were also requesting to operate their market across the creek due to an increased number of vendors and a lack of space on the Calle. She said the second request was not included in the contract.

Commissioners discussed the contract at length and were assured that the square footage rate would be reviewed each year, with the revised rates reflected in the contract over the five-year period.

Dona Zimmerman, 1690 Butler Creek Road, a Plaza merchant, said a petition was circulated among downtown merchants about potentially lengthening the artisan season and most merchants were not in favor of the additional weeks. She asked the commission to deny the artisans their request for a lengthened season and she questioned other points within the document including parking, access issues, typos, and date inconsistencies.

Marcus Scott, 1205 Talent Avenue in Talent, the LAMA representative, spoke in general support of the contract as written, including the proposal for a longer season. He questioned whether a number of items were retained in error from the former five-year contract, including the requirement of an annual report (Item 10).

MOTION Noraas moved to approve the Lithia Artisans Market of Ashland contract as presented. Gardiner seconded the motion.

Commissioners discussed removing Item 10—the annual report requirement—from the contract. They agreed to remove it and change the dates of the market season to May 1 through October 31.

Noraas withdrew the motion; Gardiner withdrew the second.

MOTION Rosenthal moved to approve the Park Concession, License, Release and Hold Harmless Agreement 2009-2014 Calle Guanajuato Marketplace contract as amended, excluding Item 10, and to modify the dates from May 1 to October 31. Noraas seconded the motion.

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no

MOTION Lewis moved to approve a one-year trial extension of the artisans contract from April 15 through November 15. Rosenthal seconded the motion.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Some commissioners expressed the need for parity between the artisans and restaurateurs in terms of length of season while another expressed discomfort about extending the market dates.

                                         The vote was:   Gardiner, Lewis, Noraas, Rosenthal – yes

                                                                 Eggers – no

In terms of approving an extension of the market operations across the creek, commissioners voiced a number of concerns and agreed to table the request.

MOVIES IN THE PARK – REQUESTS FOR AMPLIFICATION AND SELLING

Dials requested amplification for four movies in Garfield Park in summer 2009. She said the 2008 movies were well attended and US Cellular offered to once again sponsor all related expenses, including licensing and staffing. She said they also requested the selling of snacks in the park during the four movies, with Parks staff selling the snacks (possibly in conjunction with a local non-profit agency) and some proceeds directed back to the department.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners spoke favorably of the amplified movies in the park but expressed reservations about the selling of snacks.

MOTION Lewis moved to approve the request for the summer 2009 movies and amplification in Garfield Park. Noraas seconded the motion.

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no

The commission agreed to table the selling of snacks.

budget discussion

Robertson said staff was requesting direction from the commission for the proposed budget. He read the FY 2009-2010 goals and requested comments and refinements.

Robertson said the budget contained three sections—YAL, Capital Improvement Fund, and Parks and Recreation General Fund. He reviewed items and amounts contained within all three categories and said staff worked diligently to maintain an ending fund balance of $1.5M in the general fund, as it was critical to the budgeting process. He said staff was proposing a layoff of one full-time employee in the April timeframe and said the department would not be using temporary agency employees going forward, as the method proved to be more expensive than handling the process in-house. He outlined a number of additional proposed expenditures in FY 2009-2010 and requested feedback from the commission.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Eggers asked for additional funds for non-native vegetation removal beyond the proposed $20,000. Noraas suggested striking “Upper and Lower Clay Street Master Planning” from the goals list for the upcoming year.

Commissioners discussed adding $19,000 from the general fund into the Materials and Services line item.

MOTION Rosenthal moved to approve and recommend adoption of the 2009-2010 Parks and Recreation budget as amended, to reflect the adjustment in ending funding balance. Lewis seconded the motion.

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no

SUB-COMMITTEE and STAFF REPORTS

Parks Project Update

Gies reviewed progress made on three projects: Scenic Park, Upper Duck Pond, and the ice rink rehabilitation, and said that all three would be completed by the end of the fiscal year.

ITEMS FROM COMMISSIONERS

None

UPCOMING MEETING DATES

  • Study session set for April 20 at 7:00 p.m., Parks Office, 340 S. Pioneer Street
  • Regular meeting set for April 27 at 7:00 p.m., Parks Office, 340 S. Pioneer Street

ADJOURNMENT– By consensus, Gardiner adjourned the meeting at 9:35 p.m.

Respectfully submitted, Susan Dyssegard, Ashland Parks and Recreation Department

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