November 18, 2009
CALL TO ORDER
Councilor Russ Silbiger called the meeting to order at 3:00 p.m.
WELCOME AND INTRODUTION
Mayor Stromberg gave an introduction about the reasons for forming the committee, and some of the goals of the group. He thanked all the committee members for their participation. Stromberg stated that there will be no public input at these meetings, all public input will take place during the later stages when the committee holds open public forums.
Committee members present: Russ Silbiger, John Stromberg, Laurie Gibbs, John Rinaldi, Jr., Annie Hoy, Pam Hammond, Mark Marchetti, Tom Bradley, Bill Molnar, Sandra Slattery, Dean Cropper, Jim Teece, Wendy Siporen, and Ric Holt.
Staff members present: Adam Hanks, Martha Bennett, Diana Shiplet.
PUBLIC MEETINGS LAW
City Recorder, Barbara Christensen, gave information about public meetings law, public records law, and ethics laws for Oregon [see attached Power Point presentation]. She reminded the group not to conduct discussions via e-mail.
CHARGE OF THE GROUP/TASK AT HAND
Councilor Silbiger gave an overview of the reason for forming this committee. The Council requests that the group take the current Council goal relating to economic development and create a strategy for the Council to implement.
Committee Member John Fields arrived 3:24 p.m.
The Council would like the Committee to assist in determining what government's role in economic development should be and what roles should be left as the responsibility of the community at large, non-profits, and local businesses.
Committee Member Jim Fong arrived 3:28 p.m.
The Committee was informed the Council would like as an outcome of this process a specific set of actions and/or very specific goals. Silbiger reminded the Commitee that it is important to not prejudice or prejudge both the potential results of this process and where the economy as a whole may take us.
Committee requested copies of current Council goals, specifically the economic development related goals. Staff agreed provide at the next meeting.
ROLE OF EACH AD HOC COMMITTEE
Staff member, Adam Hanks, gave an overview of the two separate ad hoc committees and their roles, as determined at the Council Study Session of July 20, 2009. The Policy Committee's role is to prioritize and develop a formal recommendation for the Council based on the suggestions submitted from the Technical Advisory Committee. The Policy Committee should also work to coordinate by in from the community at large. The Technical Advisory Committee is tasked with doing a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis regarding the current state of Economic Development in our community and narrowing or expanding those to create workable suggestions for the Policy Committee to prioritize. They will also be the "reality check" for recommendations from the Policy Committee.
Hanks informed the Committee that most meetings will be of the two separate ad hoc committees but, later in the process, we may hold a few full committee meetings.
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT HISTORY IN ASHLAND
Adam Hanks explained about the Economic Development chapter of the Comp Plan. This was last updated in 1990. Most of the work is still accurate to today's community, though a few things need updating in our new economic climate. In 2000 there was an update done to the Comp Plan, but it was never formally adopted.
Hanks gave some information about the Economic Opportunities Analysis (EOA) and how the Committee can use it as an effective starting point. The analysis portion of this document is an accurate reflection of our community but the implementation plan may not be particularly accurate.
Bill Molnar gave some history about the planning requirements implemented due to the 1990 Comp Plan and how some of those, when put into effect, did not go over well with the community. He informed the Committee about the history of the EOA and the new State of Oregon requirements, which prompted its creation. He asked that the group also help in creating an approval process for development which will fit with the community's needs.
The Committee discussed why there had been such a lengthy gap between the 1990 Comp Plan and the 2007 EOA. The Committee was informed the gap was in large part due to the accuracy of the 1990 plan, even though the City has not implemented all the suggestions in that plan.
Hanks talked about the City's current Economic Development Grants and how the City has used those funds to promote economic development. Sandra Slattery of the Ashland Chamber of Commerce gave an overview and history of the relationship between the City of Ashland and the Chamber of Commerce as well as the Chamber's work in economic development. The tasks regarding economic development from the City to the Chamber change frequently based on the council in place, current economic conditions, and the community's needs.
Hanks gave information about some of the other agencies the City of Ashland currently works with in economic development as well as research. He reminded the Committee that they could find links and further information about all those agencies as well as current City of Ashland Economic Development information on the web at www.ashland.or.us/EconDev.
Hanks gave information about company the City of Ashland currently has contracted to do a review and update of the 2007 EOA. They will be presenting information to the Committee hopefully in January.
PROCESS SCHEDULE LAYOUT
Hanks gave an overview of the draft meeting schedule and topics to be covered at each meeting. The Committee discussed what additional information is needed in order to start the process. The Committee also discussed the overall timeline for the process.
Meeting adjourned at 4:25 p.m.
Diana Shiplet, Executive Secretary