MINUTES FOR THE REGULAR MEETING
ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
July 3, 2001 - 7:00 p.m.
Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Mayor DeBoer called the meeting to order at 7:03 p.m. in the City Council Chambers.
Councilors Laws, Reid, Hartzell, Hanson, and Morrison were present.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The minutes of the June 19, 2001 Council Meeting was approved with an amendment to page 3, first line: change the word "staff's" to "employees" as DeBoer meant to include all downtown employees, not just City staff. The Executive Meeting Minutes of June 19, 2001 were approved as presented.
SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS & AWARDS
Presentation by the Ashland Fiber Network Programming Committee on current activities.
Chair Russ Silbiger introduced members of the Programming Committee, who gave an update of AFN's channel line-up. A customer survey is planned to encourage continued community input. The committee works to address the needs of the community while working within the parameters of AFN's finances.
1. Confirmation of Mayor's appointment of Aaron Benjamin to the Housing Commission for a term to expire April 30, 2002.
2. Confirmation of Mayor's appointment of Connie Saldana to the Ad Hoc Systems Development Charges Committee.
3. Liquor License Application from Lela Serdon dba Lela's Baker & Café LLC (formerly the Whistle Stop Café).
Council Hartzell requested pulling Item #3. Councilors Hartzell/Hanson m/s to approve Item #1, 2, and 4 of the Consent Agenda. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
Hartzell questioned the way appointments are made for committees. DeBoer clarified that he actively recruited for the Ad Hoc committee. Connie Saldana adequately represents the low-income portion of the community, giving them a voice regarding rental units and other issues. Reid explained that it is the mayor's responsibility to appoint a person to the committee. Laws noted that the council's responsibility was to approve the appointments, but it was not necessary for them to see all the applications. Morrison stated that he prefers seeing all the applications. Councilors Reid/Hartzell m/s to approve Item #3 of the Consent Agenda. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
PUBLIC HEARINGS (None)
Noah Dussel/177 Garfield/Has lived in Ashland for six years. He commented on the changing face of the community, and voiced his concern regarding the difficulty in finding affordable housing.
Bryan Holley/324 Liberty/Noted a petition that was presented to the council at an earlier meeting, protesting the cutting of trees at the library. Holley commented on the results of the Library Levy, which he felt were misleading. He had requested the date that the trees would be cut down so that he could conduct a silent vigil. He was promised by Dick Wanderschied that 24 hours notice would be given, which he was unable to do. Holley absolved him of any wrongdoing. He noted that there is a perception that decisions are being made behind close doors. He concluded by requesting that charges against Erik and Ryan Navickas be dismissed.
Colin Swales/461 Allison/Spoke on behalf of Ryan and Eric Navickas in regard to their participation in the protest against the cutting of trees at the library. He requested dropping the charges against them, including the unfair ruling imposed by the judge barring their entrance to the library and grounds.
Ryan Navickas/711 Faith/Requested returning the remains of the gingko tree to the community.
Liz Bretko/1372 Oregon/Questioned why none of the council, other than Council Hartzell, did not attend the work party at the library. She read a letter written in protest to building projects and expansion in Ashland.
Eric Navickas/711 Faith/Spoke regarding the Ski Ashland expansion. Maps were handed out outlining the expansion proposal. He felt it was not acceptable and urged the council to take a firm stand against the C-6 expansion.
Malena Marvin/361 Iowa/Voiced her concern regarding the direction she felt the community was taking. Ashland has been growing in way that benefits only a few people, not the entire community.
Marsha Tozer/715 Chestnut, Eugene/Lived in Ashland for many years, but now lives in Eugene. She urged the council to speak with the City of Eugene to learn about the Heritage Tree Ordinance, which gives citizens notice before trees are cut. A recent addition to that ordinance requires a permit to cut down a tree of a certain height, whether it was on private or public property.
Mayor DeBoer responded to the Public Forum. The Forest Service has reopened the Ski Ashland EIS process. DeBoer publicly apologized for the lack of notification on the cutting of the Gingko Tree library. He stated that he had always told everyone that there would be no notification, but stated that he would work harder to bring the public and council together.
Morrison has not been in support of the project, and felt it could have been handled better. He thought the Heritage Tree Ordinance was a good suggestion. Hartzell noted that the Tree Commission was currently working on a tree ordinance, which would be brought to the council.
UNFINISHED BUSINESS (None)
NEW AND MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS
1. Presentation by the Ashland Community Land Trust and the Housing Commission regarding funding for consultant services.
Housing Commission Representative Larry Medinger encouraged participation in the movement to bring affordable housing to this community. He noted that more than half of the people who work in Ashland cannot afford to live here.
Board Chairman of the ACLT Carlos Harris noted the fervent desire of the community to keep Ashland homey. He noted the mission of the ACLT was to provide sustainable and affordable housing within the community. The ACLT plans to vigorously recruit a consultant to become part of the process. A hard-won project at 41 Garfield Street is underway.
Scoles explained that planning staff has given a preliminary review of the proposal. He suggested allowing staff to prepare a complete report with recommendations to the council.
Reid noted that the proposal was not just for home ownership, but includes rental units as well. She was concerned that too much effort might be spent helping two or three families to become homeowners when a dozen families could be helped with rental properties. Harris stated that the preliminary design for 41 Garfield allows for six units of affordable rentals, which is based on City ordinance standards. Grants would be developed to assist in financing for purchase of the property.
Council engaged in a discussion to define affordable housing and how it is determined. Medinger explained that housing should cost no more than 30% of any person's income. For those with low incomes, affordable housing helps to keep the expense at that mark through a variety of programs. Housing Commissioner Diana Goodwin stated that part of the consolidated plan includes the need for 285 additional affordable housing units. The purpose of the consultant would be to assess the available resources utilizing community involvement and grant writing. Individuals interested in participating should contact the commission.
Medinger clarified that staff time has been requested in the past, but currently an outside consultant is needed. Staff cannot provide the time required to fulfill the commission's needs.
Eric Navickas/711 Faith/Stated that past affordable housing projects have proven to be superficial. He felt there was a negative attitude toward affordable housing. Navickas suggested looking at the project holistically to create a community center feeling bringing everyone together.
Laws noted the demand for housing has increased nationwide and especially here in Ashland where the standard of living is desirable. He questioned whether policies need to be changed. Another issue is whether providing affordable housing will bring more people here and cause problems in other areas. He felt that staff should be given the opportunity to bring a recommendation to the next council meeting.
Scoles stated that staff could analyze the information and bring a recommendation to the next meeting. Medinger requested the opportunity to participate in a discussion with staff before a determination is made. Scoles agreed to meet with the Housing Commission and the ACLT. Harris stated that waiting two weeks would not adversely affect the ACLT.
2. Ashland Fiber Network Advisory Committee update.
Scoles gave a brief review of a recommendation made by the Budget Committee for the establishment of an advisory committee to assist in the fiscal oversight of AFN and to develop an improved method of reporting to the City Council. Staff recommends approval, requesting a liaison from the council, and forming the committee by utilizing members from other existing committees. One member from each of the following committees would be recruited: Budget Committee (citizen member), Audit Committee, and Programming Committee. If this is acceptable, the committee would be convened and a status report would be developed for the council within 60 days.
DeBoer suggested appointing Marty Levine, Russ Silbiger, and himself for the committee. Hartzell requested an additional member from the Technical Advisory Committee. Laws stated that if the committee is advisory for staff, then staff should appoint members following council policy. He does not want to wait for the committee to meet to receive the revised Business Plan. Reid voiced her concern that the committee is fair and not biased. She was interested in hearing the financial aspect from an entrepreneurial viewpoint. Marty Levine has been publicly opposed to maintaining AFN, which makes her uncomfortable. Morrison supports appointing Marty Levine, because he would provide a balance. He also supports appointing an additional member with a technical point of view.
Councilors Hanson/Reid m/s to approve the recommendation of staff establishing an advisory committee. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
3. Boundary Line Agreement between the Hillah Temple and Norman Purdy Properties.
Scoles explained that this would resolve an issue between two property owners.
Councilors Laws/Hanson m/s to authorize signing of the agreement. DISCUSSION: Reid stated she was disappointed that the City was not involved in purchasing the property, because she felt it could help with the development of the Hillah Temple. Scoles noted that staff did approach the owner, but they were not interested in negotiating. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
4. Discussion regarding procedure for appointment of a new councilor to vacant Council Position No. 6.
Reid stated she felt that a statement she made to a reporter offended some people. Historically councilors have been appointed by accepting the person who lost within 1% to an existing council member in the most recent council race. This also shows that voters have confidence in this person, because of the close race.
Laws noted that open interviews were done before each appointment, which was a coincidence. He felt the process should be left open to allow for applications and interviews. Morrison agreed that the process should be open, and felt that it could be accomplished within 60 days.
John Freedom/442 Holly/Suggested considering the appointment of a person from the 18 to 30-age group. He felt that this segment of society was grossly under represented and urged the council to look in this direction.
Colin Swales/461 Allison/Spoke about the seemingly forgone conclusion that Chris Hearn would be appointed. He suggested a special election rather than an appointment. Swales stated that he would miss Councilor Fine's voice as he often represented the underdog.
Andrew Bangsberg/398 Bridge/Read a statement regarding the segment of society who has been under represented in the past--the 18 to 35-year-olds. Bangsberg proposed a special election.
City Recorder Barbara Christensen explained that a special election requires a special process. She was willing to investigate the procedure and expenses related to a special election. Scoles stated that the Charter obligates the council to fill the position within 60 days. If a special election were called, a fill-in would be needed until then. Christensen read from the Charter where it specified that an appointee would serve from appointment to the next biennial election.
Councilors Morrison/Hanson m/s to recruit for the vacancy and to direct the City Recorder to investigate the procedure for special election. DISCUSSION: Laws noted that a special election could not be held within 60 days due to State laws. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
5. Recommendation to enact the waste provision of the Water Curtailment Ordinance.
Scoles explained staff's recommendation for council to declare a water emergency, to authorize the city administrator to enact the Waste Provision of the Water Curtailment Ordinance effective July 9, 2001, to direct staff to continue monitoring the water situation, and to act quickly to implement water curtailment stages if conditions are warranted. The city has not had the need to move beyond the water curtailment level.
Hartzell questioned the issue regarding the use of pesticides and asked if staff was available. Scoles stated that he spoke with Public Works Director Paula Brown, who told him that historically pesticides were used in TID ditches, but have not been used recently. Laws noted that the City's water was tested on a daily basis.
Laws suggested discouraging the media from using Stage 1 to describe the process, as this confuses people with Level 1 and Level 2 stages. He also wanted to assure the public that there is no danger of running out of drinking water, but there may be a need in the future to go to more and more limited outdoor use.
Councilors Morrison/Reid m/s to accept staff recommendation. DISCUSSION: Scoles explained that violations are considered an infraction, which are enforced through a variety of ways. Christensen read from the Municipal Code where it stated that a customer who exceeds the maximum volume for more than one billing period may have a flow-restricting device installed by the City. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND CONTRACTS
1. Reading by title only of "A Resolution changing the Name of a portion of Evan Lane to Evergreen Lane."
Councilors Laws/Reid m/s to approve Resolution #2001-21. Roll Call Vote: Laws, Reid, Hartzell, Hanson, and Morrison - Yes. Motion Passed.
2. First reading of "An Ordinance Amending Section 11.30.020 of the Ashland Municipal Code to Exempt the Hargadine Parking Facility from Downtown Employee Parking Restrictions."
Colin Swales/461 Allison/Noted the restriction barring employees from parking in the downtown area. It was not his intention to encourage an ordinance allowing employee parking. Swales urged the council to wait until after the July 18, Study Session to make a decision.
Hartzell was inclined to wait until after July 18. Scoles clarified that the Parking Plan was adopted, but the fee schedule has not been set. Laws was in favor of allowing employees to park in the lot, which would both free spaces in the downtown area and fill the lot.
Councilors Reid/Hartzell m/s to extend the meeting past 10:00 p.m. Roll Call: Laws, Reid, Hartzell, and Morrison - Yes; Hanson - No. Motion Passed.
Reid was opposed to making the lot short-term parking. Encouraging people to move their cars every few hours only adds to traffic congestion. She was willing to accept the ordinance.
Councilors Reid/Laws m/s to approve first reading and place on agenda for second reading of ordinance. Roll Call Vote: Morrison, Hanson, and Hartzell - No; Reid and Laws - Yes. Motion Failed.
OTHER BUSINESS FROM COUNCIL MEMBERS
DeBoer encouraged the community to thank staff and volunteers who put together the July 4th celebration, and suggested that everyone pick up litter. Hartzell reminded the community not to use aerial fireworks, which are not only illegal, but also dangerous.
Meeting was adjourned at 10:07 p.m.
Submitted by Michelle Cole, Assistant to the City Recorder