City of Ashland
PARKS AND RECREATION COMMISSION
May 23, 2011
Present: Commissioners Eggers, Landt, Lewis, Rosenthal, Seffinger; City Council Liaison Slattery; Director Robertson; Superintendent Dials; Interim Superintendent Hammers
CALL TO ORDER
Eggers called the meeting to order at 7:02 p.m. at Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Regular Meeting – April 25, 2011
Under “Approval of FY2011-2012 Goals,” in the motion about forming a subcommittee to review and refine existing draft goals and report back to the commission “at the next study session,” Landt asked that the minutes reflect the commission’s intention to review the draft goals again “at the next meeting.”
MOTION Rosenthal moved to approve the minutes as amended. Landt seconded the motion.
The vote was: All yes
Tom Foster 147 Nutley Street, said he represented the Women’s Civic Improvement Club, the Southern Oregon Chautauqua Association, Mr. Butler and Mr. Perozzi, and the volunteer Lithia Park tour guides in asking the commission to repair the deteriorating Butler-Perozzi Fountain in Lithia Park and replace the Lincoln statue back to its former location at the entrance of Lithia Park or at the intersection of Siskiyou Boulevard and E. Main. He said the Public Arts Commission was given responsibility for determining the fate of the statue (following an incident of vandalism in which the head was removed) but nothing had happened with the statue for some time. He said the fountain repairs, while expensive, were important and fundraising efforts could defray repair costs.
M.L. Moore, 419 Liberty Street, said nearly every green space in Ashland was off-limits to dogs with the exception of the Ashland Dog Park and some steep, hilly areas in the City. She said the Dog Park was inconvenient and crowded and she also voiced dismay about the amount of dog feces along streets and alleyways in the City. She said Ashland had many positive attributes but was known for being unfriendly to dogs and dog owners. She outlined suggestions for moving forward, including outreach, better signage, additional waste bag stations, and the opening of more City lands to dogs on leashes. She said the commission held a dog forum in fall 2010 but no action had been taken since then. She said taxpayers wanted more options for their dogs as well as an opportunity to demonstrate responsible dog ownership.
Carol Walker, 826 Holly Street, said she’d visited Lincoln School with her dog for years but now the property was closed to dogs. She said the Parks Department did a good job with the Dog Park but it was overused. She suggested opening a dog park at the south end of town at an underused facility such as Glenwood Park.
Vicki Bamman, 330 E. Hersey Street, a member of “Ashland Loves Dogs,” said she hoped to see all Ashland parks opened to dogs on leashes. She asked the commission to create a second dog park on the south end of town where dogs could play off leash and to consider opening the walking path around the golf course to dogs along with a portion of Lithia Park.
ADDITIONS OR DELETIONS TO THE AGENDA
Landt suggested rearranging items under “Unfinished Business” to accommodate those wishing to speak about the wastewater proposal. The commission agreed to hear the wastewater proposal before discussing FY2011-2012 goals.
CONTINUATION OF WASTEWATER DISCUSSION OF MAY 16
Robertson welcomed Public Works Director Mike Faught and invited him to speak to the commission. Faught said the commission met with public works employees and others on May 16 at Ashland Pond to discuss one of the options for cooling wastewater effluent before its entrance into Ashland Creek, a DEQ mandate. David Primozich of Freshwater Trust and Dan Van Dyke of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife spoke to the issues along with Public Works Engineering Technician II Scott Fleury. All expressed interest in working with the commission to reach a mutually agreeable solution for cooling the wastewater effluent while preserving restoration efforts and natural elements in and around the Parks-managed property. Faught said the project was in its conceptual phase but there were deadlines to meet such as obtaining approval from council on the conceptual plan and a renewed DEQ permit by December.
Commissioners spoke of the need for a written proposal, including a timeline and goals for each step of the process, before making a decision about the project involving Ashland Pond. They agreed to place the topic on their June 20 meeting agenda and Faught said he would prepare answers to commissioner questions and supply project timelines.
PROPOSED FY 2011-2012 GOALS
Robertson said staff met with commissioners Landt and Seffinger who volunteered to serve on the Goals Subcommittee to flesh out FY 2011-20112 goals and establish benchmarks and deadlines. He said staff prepared an additional document for the commission that provided a visual overview of all goals, including completion dates, to help establish an annual work plan. He said additional work lists at the top of the document weren’t slotted in but were projects or staff duties required during the year. He said the December-March timeframe appeared to be heavy with projects and he proposed adjusting the golf course goal to the March-May timeframe. Rosenthal said the peak season at the golf course was after spring break and the best time to discuss options for the course was before the season began, not afterward. Staff said additional proposed amenities at the course included a walking path, disc golf course, and playground area near the clubhouse. Robertson said the concept of a “short round,” also being discussed, would allow golfers to play four holes at a reduced rate rather than nine holes. Rosenthal suggested rewriting the first sentence of the goal for the sake of accuracy. Suggested revised wording was: “The commission will continue to identify and implement new programs, activities, and amenities to increase the versatility of Oak Knoll Golf Course parkland for both golfers and non-golfers.” Landt and Seffinger said changes they made to the Lithia Park goal (preliminary steps toward the creation of a master plan) were based on the fact that no changes had been made to the plan in approximately 100 years and they also had concerns about environmental and historical values within the park.
MOTION Landt moved to adopt the goals as discussed, including the golf course amendment as proposed by Rosenthal, and to adopt the timelines, including the amendment to the golf course timeline as proposed by staff. Lewis seconded the motion.
The vote was: All yes
SOFTBALL SLEEPOVER REQUEST AT NORTH MOUNTAIN PARK FIELD
Dials introduced Malcus William and invited him to speak to the commission about his request.
Malcus Williams, coach for the Ashland ASA Girls’ Softball team, introduced softball players Jordan Tilley and Georgia Williams and requested the use of Softball Field #1 at North Mountain Park for a team sleepover event from 4:00 p.m. on Friday, June 10, to 12:00 noon on Saturday, June 11.
Staff reported hearing no issues of concern relative to the 2010 softball sleepover event.
MOTION Landt moved to approve the request by Ashland ASA Girls’ Softball team “The Bandits” to use North Mountain Park Softball Field #1 for a team sleepover event from 4:00 p.m. on Friday, June 10, to 12 PM on Saturday, June 11. Lewis seconded the motion.
The vote was: All yes
SUBCOMMITTEE and STAFF REPORTS
Update on Parks Superintendent Search
Robertson said commissioners Seffinger and Lewis assisted with interviewing Parks Superintendent candidates earlier in the month. After the interviews, he said the field was narrowed to three final candidates whom he scheduled for interviews the June 6, 7, and 8. He said his hiring decision would be based on his best judgment at the conclusion of the three interviews.
Project Updates on Bluebird Park Staircase and Hunter Park Tennis Court Lights
Robertson said staff contacted the City of Ashland Purchasing Department and asked them to prepare a bid package for the Hunter Park tennis court lights. At the conclusion of the bid period, he said staff would bring the offers before the commission for review and selection.
Robertson said commissioner Rosenthal and Parks staff met with Engineering Services Manager Jim Olson and architect Greg Covey to discuss the proposed drawings for the Bluebird Park stairs. He said the architect expressed some concerns about the corner area and requested an opportunity to speak to the commission at their next study session. Commissioners requested written information in advance of the June 20 study session.
Strawberry – Hald Park Update
Robertson reported on the erosion and tree removals on Strawberry-Hald Park land that was caused by a neighbor adjacent to the property. He said the issues of topping of one tree and removing another were turned over to the Ashland Police Department and the district attorney’s office for handling. He reported meeting with the Legal Department to draft a correspondence to the homeowner. Robertson said he reviewed the area earlier in the day and found nothing had been done, which he indicated could be the result of ongoing wet weather.
Report of Cougar Sighting in Lithia Park
Robertson said that on Friday, May 20, Parks staff received a report from a citizen who observed a cougar feeding on a dead deer on the Pioneer Street trail in Lithia Park. He said staff reported the incident to the Oregon State Police and ODF&W and they confirmed the deer had been killed by a cougar. He said four other animals were killed in a similar fashion in past weeks within Lithia Park boundaries. He said Parks staff posted caution signs at trail entrance points and asked people to be aware of their surroundings. He asked citizens not to leave garbage cans outside at night or feed wildlife and to bring pets indoors at night.
ITEMS FROM COMMISSIONERS
Seffinger asked when the dog issue would appear on an agenda. Robertson said the commission had talked about opening up more park areas to dogs and staff had spoken with Ashland School District staff about using the former Lincoln Elementary School grounds as a second dog park. He said he would talk to the school superintendent again to review the matter in more detail. He said a second dog park at that location could be a problem for people using the area for sports activities and he suggested speaking to neighbors around the area. He asked commissioners to send him a list of dog friendly park options other than Lincoln. Landt encouraged the public to send emails to Parks staff suggesting reasonable options where dogs might be allowed, preferably on undeveloped park land or potential park land rather than developed sites with established constituencies. Robertson said the topic would be added to the June study session agenda.
UPCOMING MEETING DATES
Study session set for June 20 at 7:00 p.m., Parks Office, 340 S. Pioneer Street.
Regular meeting set for June 27 at 7:00 p.m., Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street.
ADJOURNMENT– By consensus, with no further business, Eggers adjourned the meeting at 8:56 p.m.
Susan Dyssegard, Ashland Parks and Recreation