Agendas and Minutes

Parks & Recreation Commission (View All)

Parks Commission Regular Meeting Minutes

Minutes
Monday, June 27, 2011

City of Ashland
PARKS AND RECREATION COMMISSION

REGULAR MEETING
MINUTES
June 27, 2011
ATTENDANCE
Present: Commissioners Eggers, Landt, Lewis, Rosenthal, Seffinger; City Council Liaison Slattery;
Director Robertson; Interim Superintendent Hammers

Absent: Superintendent Dials

 
CALL TO ORDER
Eggers called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. at Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street.
 

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Study Session – May 16, 2011
MOTION Rosenthal moved to approve the minutes as presented. Lewis seconded the motion.
The vote was: All yes [Eggers abstained]
Regular Meeting – May 23, 2011
MOTION Lewis moved to approve the minutes as presented. Rosenthal seconded the motion.
The vote was: All yes

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION
OPEN FORUM

Gina DuQuenne, 2180 Birchwood Lane, President of Southern Oregon Pride, asked the commission to waive their policy against selling in parks and allow food vendors to sell wares at the Butler Bandshell following the Pride Parade on October 1. She also requested music at the bandshell for 4-5 hours rather than the 90 minutes normally permitted for bandshell reservations. The commission directed staff to determine if the item could be added to the July regular meeting agenda and, if so, to notify DuQuenne and invite her to attend.

Jeannine Grizzard, 698 Roca Street, and David Hill, 235 Terrace Street, said they were representing Ashland Contemporary Theatre in asking for a public / private partnership with the Parks Commission to purchase a former church building located at the intersection of Helman and Nevada streets. They said ACT, now in its 20th year, had never had its own venue for performances. They distributed a packet of information outlining their request for the purchase of the building that would seat 100-120 theater patrons and could be used for afterschool classrooms, lectures, recitals, and adult recreation programs displaced by the loss of The Grove (if The Grove became the new police station).

Deborah Gordon, 276 Orange, and Tracy Harding, 334 Bridge Street, co-chairs of The Siskiyou Challenge, said this was the second year for their event and was designed to raise money for “Rogue Valley Farm to School.” They asked the commission to waive the policy against selling in parks and allow food vendors to sell products at the September 24 event at the Butler Bandshell. They said many free food and beverage items would be provided to participants and they wanted to allow contributing vendors to sell items as well. They said the commission made other exceptions in the past to their rule prohibiting selling in Lithia Park.

Landt suggested reviewing the policy prohibiting selling in parks to determine whether the policy fit the community’s needs at this time. He suggested placing the item on the July study session agenda.

Terrence Stenson, 172 Alida Street, speaking about the temperature of sewage effluent, said the correct course of action to enable the treatment plant to gain the necessary 1-1/2 degree temperature reduction would be to: 1) restore all cascades from Hersey Street to Bear Creek and restore cascades within Bear Creek one-half mile before and one-half mile after the point of effluent discharge; and 2) build 55 artificial water table cascade steps, each twenty to thirty feet in length, with each cascade causing a descent of one-half foot to the next artificial water table pool. He said installation of water tables at the base of each artificial cascade would allow for air injectors to regulate the exact temperature decrease desired for the effluent.

 
ADDITIONS OR DELETIONS TO THE AGENDA
Robertson suggested adding “Drumming in the Park” as the last item under New Business as there could be noise conflicts between OSF productions during the normal hours in which drumming was allowed in the park.
The commission agreed to add the agenda item as proposed.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS
None

NEW BUSINESS
REQUEST FOR ORGANIC PESTICIDES POLICY EXEMPTION DURING LIMITED PERIOD IN JULY

Robertson requested an exemption to the Parks Commission pesticide policy approved in February 2011. He said the commission directed staff, at the annual pesticide policy review in February 2011, to use all organic pesticides on Parks land with the exception of the golf course. He said the exemption being requested was for the period between July 5 and 15. He said the unusually cold, wet spring weather hampered the use of organic products and staff wanted to give them a fair evaluation. He said 21 volunteer park cleanup events were implemented at ten different sites in spring 2011, utilizing 781 volunteer hours, and those events offset staff’s limited ability to use pesticides. He said 351 additional contracted labor hours were also utilized but the Parks system had many areas still showing weeds, even areas in which organic products were sprayed in a limited manner. He showed photos of the park areas under discussion.

Lewis said he would approve the exception to give staff more time to evaluate the products and then have the commission review the policy at the annual review period.

Landt distributed an email from an OSU researching consultant who advised Landt to look at whether a product was OMRI listed for use in organic agriculture. He said that would be a “certification” one could refer to in finding safer, more earth-friendly products, as the OMRI review process was known to have met the standards set for application on a certified organic farm. He said OMRI also checked into the inert ingredients listed on product labels. Landt said the policy the commission approved in February 2011, when they switched from synthetic products to mostly organic products, was a policy set for synthetics. He said the organic materials applied in the Parks system were common around households and also used on food. He suggested conducting a comprehensive readjustment of the new regime that would make more sense for organic products.

Rosenthal said the commission worked on this issue for two years and undertook a thorough annual review in February 2011. He suggested protecting the purity of the fledgling policy and, in February 2012, basing the commission discussion on how the products were working in Ashland, not in Arcata or Yreka or any other city. He said it appeared that the weaknesses of the organic products outweighed the strengths.

Lewis said the commission was being asked for an exception to the existing policy and he felt they were not prepared for a policy review. He said the audience area was empty of participants and if the commission began picking apart the policy they spent so much time in creating, that would not serve the commission or public well. He said the same public attendees who participated in the February 2011 process could be invited to participate in the February 2012 annual review.

Landt said he did not like to make exceptions and proposed making a minimal change to the existing policy, which he thought would help staff evaluate the products and give them more options.

MOTION Landt moved to grant approval for 1) the Integrated Pest Management Policy to be amended to include the following in the Special Situations Restricted Areas policy section: No spraying in all parks from Memorial Day to Labor Day, with Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI)-approved herbicides exempt from this provision; and 2) at the next scheduled annual review of the IPM Policy, staff to present a revised policy that incorporated changes consistent with the use of OMRI herbicides.

Rosenthal said he would happily consider the motion in February 2012 but this was not the time to change what had been a fairly energizing topic for the commission. Seffinger said she wanted organic products to be given the best possible chance.
The vote was: Eggers, Landt, Lewis, Seffinger – yes
Rosenthal - no

COMMISSIONER EMAIL SYSTEM CHANGE
Robertson said a commissioner requested a City email account and staff followed up and received approval for new accounts for all commissioners. He said commission packets included an IT Department form that needed to be signed by each commissioner in order to proceed with establishing the accounts. He said commissioners could obtain City-issued “Notebooks” if they wished to have one and most commissioners expressed interest in the hardware.

DRUMMING ORDINANCE EXEMPTION
Robertson said staff was trying to reduce potential conflicts between OSF productions in Lithia Park and current park policies. He suggested changing the hours during which drumming was allowed from 3-5 p.m. to 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., with the days remaining the same (Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays). He said this was a housekeeping item that would help accommodate the performances and prevent noise conflicts.

MOTION Lewis moved to grant approval for a drumming ordinance change to be implemented from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. (from 3-5 p.m.) for the duration of the OSF “Bowmer in the Park” performances in Lithia Park. Rosenthal seconded the motion.
The vote was: All yes

SUBCOMMITTEE and STAFF REPORTS
Update on Parks Superintendent Search

Robertson said a conditional offer of employment was made to an individual but he could not give out the name of the candidate until the background check was returned. He said the candidate lived in Utah and would bring a great deal of experience to all aspects of the Parks Superintendent position.

ITEMS FROM COMMISSIONERS
Seffinger asked for the addition of the trail on the far side of the Calle to the dog-friendly areas list. She said the area, which featured picnic tables and a bathroom in close proximity, would be useful for out-of-town guests and handicapped patrons who could access the area easily. Robertson said staff would compile a list of properties for the commission’s review and the list would include the Calle areas on both sides of the creek.

Eggers reported receiving a hand-delivered notice to her home earlier in the day announcing an Ashland City Council meeting scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 28. She said the meeting would address any changes to normal life that could occur on Granite Street or the surrounding area due to OSF performances in Lithia Park.

UPCOMING MEETING DATES
  • Study session set for July 18 at 7:00 p.m., Parks Office, 340 S. Pioneer Street.
  • Regular meeting set for July 25 at 7:00 p.m., Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street.
ADJOURNMENT
By consensus, with no further business, Eggers adjourned the meeting at 8:16 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Susan Dyssegard
Ashland Parks and Recreation

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