Agendas and Minutes

Economic Development Ad-Hoc Committees (View All)

Policy Group

Friday, April 23, 2010



April 23, 2010

Siskiyou Room, 51 Winburn Way




Russ Silbiger called the meeting to order at 9:00 a.m. in the Siskiyou Room, 51 Winburn Way.


Policy Group Members Present:


Staff Present:

Russ Silbiger

John Stromberg

Ric Holt

Mark Marchetti

Annie Hoy

John Fields

Wendy Siporen

Pam Hammond


Adam Hanks, Project Manager

Martha Bennett, City Administrator

April Lucas, Admin. Assistant




Absent Members:



Dean Cropper

Jim Klein

Tom Bradley


DeeAnn Everson

Emile Amarotico

Laurie Gibbs




City Administrator Martha Bennett welcomed the group and noted this would be their last meeting for a while. She stated by the end of today’s meeting they should have the draft strategies list narrowed down to the top 10-15 strategies and ready to go out for public input. She noted once the public outreach phase is complete, the group will reassemble and pair this list down to the final 5-8 strategies. Ms. Bennett clarified each strategy will have multiple actions, they each will have a 5-10 year timeframe, and each will involve multiple parties.



Ms. Bennett asked the members to speak up if they feel any of the proposed strategies do not move the City towards the vision. Ms. Hoy commented that many of the strategies use insider language that the public may not understand, and recommended this be corrected prior to the list being distributed to the public.


Mr. Hanks reviewed the proposed strategies with the group and asked for their feedback.


Business & Economic Goals:

The following are some of the comments and suggestions that were made in regards to the Business and Economic Growth strategies:

·   Suggestion was made to add more sustainability into these strategies.

·   Suggestion was made for the City to adopt a definition for sustainability.

·   Mayor Stromberg commented on the difference between welcoming new businesses and recruiting them and stated his main issue is to not look outward first.

·   Comment was made that this approach seems fairly passive and part of economic development is having businesses develop and thrive in Ashland.

·   Comment was made questioning if the word “private” should be removed from Strategy #3.

Ms. Bennett clarified that these are all issues that they will want to gather public input on and she stated she is interested in what the community has to say about these strategies.


Civic and Community Collaboration:

Ms. Bennett suggested inserting language regarding regulatory certainty to the strategies. She also recommended they revise the language in Strategy #12 to clarify this is not something the City or government is going to do, but rather will help facilitate. The group voiced their support for these suggestions.


Diversity and Inclusion:

Ms. Bennett commented that global economy is going to require multicultural skills. She also cautioned the group to not exclude the housing strategy.


Education/Workforce Development:

Comment was made suggesting staff wordsmith this strategy. Additional comment was made that workers will need to have evolving skills in order to keep up with evolving businesses.


Transportation/Utility Infrastructure/Public Services:

Ms. Bennett noted the details for these strategies will need to be worked out during the action item development. The group shared their thoughts on Strategy #31. Ms. Bennett recommended this strategy be added to one of the others, instead of being freestanding. Suggestion was also made to add a strategy that captures the notion of neighborhoods and strong districts with coherent design.


Staff indicated any final comments by the members on these strategies should be emailed directly to Adam Hanks.



Mr. Hanks reviewed the outreach plan being proposed by staff. He explained the first step in the process is to assemble focus groups to review the strategies and provide input. He listed the different groups/organizations staff would like to reach out to and asked if the Policy Group had any input on this list. Mr. Hanks clarified all 15 strategies will be provided to the focus groups for review and comment; and noted Policy Group members will be invited to sit in on these meetings. Mr. Hanks stated the second step in the process will be the public forum/open house, and in conjunction with the first two steps, the City will post an online survey to the City’s website.



Meeting adjourned at 10:30 a.m.


Respectfully submitted,

April Lucas, Administrative Assistant


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