MINUTES FOR THE REGULAR MEETING
October 18, 2011
1175 E. Main Street
CALL TO ORDER
Mayor Stromberg called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers.
Councilor Slattery, Morris, Lemhouse, Voisin, Silbiger, and Chapman were present.
Mayor Stromberg noted an upcoming community meeting where the Ashland Community Hospital would discuss the process they were going through.
He then announced openings for various City Commissions and went on to add an item to the end of the agenda regarding reporting on the recent League of Oregon Cities Conference.
SHOULD THE COUNCIL APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THESE MEETINGS?
The minutes of the Joint Study Session of October 3, 2011, the Executive Session of October 4, 2011, and the Regular Meeting of October 4, 2011 were approved as presented.
SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS & AWARDS
Forest Resource Specialist Chris Chambers provided a presentation submitted into the record on the Ashland Forest Resiliency Stewardship Project. Kerry Metlen from The Nature Conservancy, Marko Bey from the Lomakatsi Restoration Project, Don Boucher from the U.S. Forest Service, and City Contracted Forester Marty Main spoke as well. Mayor Stromberg recognized former City of Ashland Fire Chief Keith Woodley and past Ashland Forest Service District Ranger Linda Duffy for their roles in moving the Ashland Forest Resiliency Program forward.
The Mayor’s proclamation regarding October 16 - 22 as National Friends of the Library Week was read aloud. Mayor Stromberg acknowledged the Library Board.
Mayor Stromberg, Council, and former Councilor Eric Navickas expressed their appreciation of City Administrator Martha Bennett’s efforts and contributions to the City and wished her well in her new endeavor. Mayor Stromberg presented Ms. Bennett with a plaque recognizing her service to the City of Ashland.
1. Will Council accept the minutes of the Boards, Commissions and Committees?
2. Does Council wish to approve a Liquor License Application from John Bohn dba Northwest Pizza at 1585 Siskiyou Blvd.?
3. Does Council wish to approve a Liquor License Application from Xiao Yu dba Panda Garden at 1747 Ashland Street?
4. Does Council wish to ratify the new Labor Agreement between the City of Ashland and the IBEW Electrical Union Local No. 659?
5. Will Council, acting as the Local Contract Review Board, approve a contract amendment exceeding 25% of the original contract amount to modify the scope of services and exercise the triple guarantee clause in the original contract for professional recruitment services for a not to exceed amount of $15,000?
6. Does Council wish to confirm the appointment of Larry Patterson as Interim City Administrator?
8. Does Council have any questions or directions for the Administration Services/Finance Department Customer Service Division regarding management of discount or assistance programs in place to aid customers in paying their utility bills?
9. Should Council approve a telecommunications franchise for Sprint Communications?
10. Will Council approve an extension of the existing contract for legal services with Douglas McGeary, not to exceed $45,000?
Councilor Lemhouse pulled Consent Agenda item #7, Councilor Silbiger pulled item #9, and Councilor Voisin pulled items #5 and #6 for further discussion.
Councilor Chapman/Silbiger m/s to approve Consent Agenda items #1-#4, #8 and #10. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
Human Resource Manager Tina Gray explained the total recruitment fees for the Assistant City Administrator and City Administrator positions would most likely be less than the $36,500 estimate.
The City received a discount on the Assistant City Administrator position when the former IT Director left within the first two years of employment. That amount was $8,750 for professional fees. With expenses factored in, staff rounded the amount to $15,000 to avoid additional contract amendments. The recruitment fee to replace the City Administrator was $21,500.
City Administrator Martha Bennett explained the employment contract with the Interim City Administrator Larry Patterson included a $2,000 a month housing allowance because he would still maintain his primary residence and rent in Ashland during his stay. The actual amount would most likely be less.
Project Manager Adam Hanks and Community Development Director Bill Molnar explained the Economic Development Implementation Plan focused primarily on the following Priority One items:
1) Conduct a Business Retention & Expansion Survey
2) Designate City Staff “point of contact”
3) Formalize relationships and roles for Strategy implementation among major partners
4) Maximize impact of existing City Economic Development, Cultural and Sustainability grant process
5) Evaluate the use of Urban Renewal Districts
6) Improve the land use development process
Mr. Hanks noted the implementation was going as planned.
Councilor Silbiger wanted to postpone approving the Sprint Franchise agreement until Council was able to review the actual contract. Interim Assistant City Attorney Doug McGeary explained the Sprint Franchise contract was standard and began October 1, 2011. Delaying the contract further would postpone payment from Sprint.
Councilor Voisin/Lemhouse m/s to approve Consent Agenda items #5, #6, #7 and #9. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
1. Will Council approve First Reading of an ordinance titled, “An Ordinance Amending the City of Ashland Comprehensive Plan to Adopt the Buildable Lands Inventory as Supporting Documentation to the City of Ashland Comprehensive Plan” and move the ordinance on to Second Reading?
Community Development Director Bill Molnar and Senior Planner Brandon Goldman provided a presentation that included:
· Purpose: The purposed of conducting an update of the “Buildable Lands Inventory” (BLI) is to quantify the amount of vacant and underdeveloped land available within the political boundaries of the City of Ashland.
o Current Planning - Annexation/Zone Change application evaluations.
o Long Range Planning – Comprehensive Planning to address housing, commercial, and parks land needs.
o Transportation System Plan – Modeling for future traffic generation and transit demand based on potential future development.
o Capital Improvement Plan Development
o Water Master Plan – future water demand by area (capacity and line sizing).
o Fire safety – weed abatement and hydrant testing prioritization.
· Land Availability Map
· Land Availability & Summary – Acreage by Comprehensive Plan Designation (Full UBG) Chart
· Land Supply – Dwelling Unit Potential (Full UGB) Chart
· Demographics – Ashland’s Aging population 2000-2010 Chart
· Land Supply – Residential Lands Chart
o Dwelling Unit Capacity – City Limits = 1,883 and UGB – 2,853
· Land Supply – Commercial Lands
o City Limits = 125 net buildable acres (C-1, C-1-D, E-1, M-1, & CM).
o UGB & city Limits = 199 net buildable acres suitable for commercial development (exclusive of SOU and Airport lands).
o The current supply of developable commercial lands is consistent with the Economic Opportunities Analysis (EOA) projected land need of 123.4 net acres by the year 2027.
· Next Steps
o 2011-2012 Housing Needs Analysis
o Regular BLI updates to reflect Buildable and Land Use changes.
Staff will have an ordinance prepared for First Reading at a future City Council meeting.
Public Hearing Open: 8:17 p.m.
Public Hearing Closed: 8:17 p.m.
Raven Playfaire/445 Jennifer Street/Questioned why there were no homeless individuals on the Ad Hoc Homelessness Steering Committee and shared her personal experiences. She supported a homeless shelter in town.
Aaron Fletcher/Shared his support for a homeless shelter.
Ruth Coulthard/566 Faith Avenue/Explained the winter Emergency Shelter at the Presbyterian Church would open Sundays from November to February when temperatures dropped to 20 degrees or below. She described her experiences working at the shelter. She found it difficult to interface with the Ad Hoc Homelessness Steering Committee.
Lisa Maltsberger/276 B Street/Shared her recent experience helping a homeless individual and supported the idea of a homeless shelter.
Keith Haxton/110 7th Street/Requested Council add a person who had experienced homelessness to the Ad Hoc Homeless Steering Committee.
Deb Van Poolen/78 4th Street/Explained her experience working outdoors year round gave her perspective that homeless people left a smaller carbon footprint.
Eric Navickas/711 Faith Avenue/Commented on issues he had with the meeting agenda, excluding public input and thought Council should come prepared to make motions. The Ashland Fire Resiliency Program would include logging in the riparian areas, research natural areas, roadless areas and log large diameter trees. This was not a project environmental stewards should support. It was a large scale logging project with up to 30 logging helicopter pads and 20 miles of fuel breaks. He suggested Council display a map of the watershed in chambers to depict the affect humanity has had on the area.
Elise Thiel/321 Clay Street/Reminded everyone how close people were to living under a bridge. The economy was failing and community needed to help the homeless and each other. She suggested adding a homeless person to the Ad Hoc Homelessness Steering Committee and providing the homeless with a designated place to camp.
Michael Tysoe/Shared his personal experience with the current camping ban that he thought Council should reverse.
1. Will Council approve the recommendations of the Ad Hoc Homelessness Steering Committee?
Councilor Slattery/Lemhouse m/s to accept the staff recommendation to place one portable toilet at the Calle location on a trial basis for the Fiscal Year 2012. DISCUSSION: Councilor Slattery thought this would help offset the lack of public restroom services after 4:00 p.m. Councilor Lemhouse supported the idea on a trial basis. He was concerned patrons leaving the bars at night would damage them. Councilor Voisin referenced the letter from the Ad Hoc Homelessness Steering Committee (HSC) that recommended three toilets at the minimum.
Councilor Voisin/Slattery m/s to amend the motion by adding two toilets located on the north and sound end of town to be determined by staff working with the Parks and Recreation Department. DISCUSSION: Councilor Voisin stressed the need to have portable toilets available to everyone and three was enough to do a study. Councilor Slattery agreed to having three portable toilets, the issue was locating an area for two of them. Management Analyst Ann Seltzer explained if vandalism occurred the City would remove the portable toilet immediately. Ad Hoc Homelessness Steering Committee Chair Heidi Parker added in the event of vandalism, they could move the portable toilets to another location. Councilor Chapman disagreed with the idea of portable toilet. Councilor Voisin reiterated the need for three portable toilets. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Voisin, YES; Councilor Slattery, Silbiger, Chapman, Morris, and Lemhouse, NO. Motion failed 1-5.
Additional discussion on main motion: City Administrator Martha Bennett explained the City would have to rent the ADA accessible portable toilet and it could come from a General Fund source. Councilor Morris did not think portable toilets would offer a solution to any of the problems and would not support the motion. Councilor Voisin thought funding could come from the difference the City would save in Ms. Bennett’s salary and Council’s travel fund. Councilor Chapman would not support the motion. The portable toilet would incur vandalism and its location was next to an existing facility. There should be a way to keep the established restroom open instead. Councilor Silbiger added it was a visual distraction. Ms. Parker explained it would cost an additional $8,000 to keep one bathroom open 24 hours a day with an insurance deductible of $10,000. Ms. Seltzer added another concern was security.
Roll Call Vote: Councilor Slattery, Voisin, Silbiger, and Lemhouse, YES; Councilor Chapman and Morris, NO. Motion passed 4-2.
Councilor Voisin/Slattery m/s to accept the concept of having a day use center and give instructions to staff to look at places where the Salvation Army may find a suitable place and if not to work with community groups and churches to create a day use center. DISCUSSION: Councilor Voisin explained a day use center would provide basic human services. Councilor Silbiger supported a day use center but was unsure on funding. Councilor Lemhouse was concerned finding a building set a precedent the City currently does not do for other groups and provided examples. Councilor Slattery supported the idea but agreed with Councilor Lemhouse on setting a precedent. Councilor Chapman was not in favor of sending staff out to locate rental property. Mayor Stromberg described urban rest stops, what they provided and noted their value. However, the motion included the Salvation Army and they had specific needs the City could not meet.
Councilor Voisin withdrew her motion with Councilor Slattery’s consent.
Councilor Voisin/Slattery m/s that Council support the concept of a day use center in Ashland.
Roll Call Vote: Councilor Slattery, Voisin, Silbiger, Chapman, Morris, and Lemhouse, YES. Motion passed.
Councilor Lemhouse/Morris m/s to accept staff suggestion to select a location for placement of one donation box. DISCUSSION: Councilor Lemhouse thought donation boxes were one of the better ideas because donations would come directly from the community. Councilor Morris saw it as additional funding for projects the HSC might do in the future. Councilor Slattery added it was worth trying but questioned why staff recommended one box instead of the four. Ms. Seltzer responded staff’s recommendation was placing one box in a location where aggressive panhandling occurred in an effort to help mitigate that behavior. Additionally it was determined a feasibility study could be conducted on one box as well. Councilor Slattery thought placing the donation box in an area of aggressive panhandling might make donators uncomfortable and suggested placing it in a more convenient area. Ms. Seltzer noted another location discussed was in front of City Hall.
Councilor Voisin motioned to amend the motion that there be a minimum of four boxes placed in and around the downtown area and that the language, the signage, and the education around the donation boxes be in consultation with the Homelessness Steering Committee. Motion failed due to lack of a second.
Continued discussion on main motion: Police Chief Terry Holderness shared research on donation boxes in Laguna Beach, CA and Denver, CO and was not sure one box was enough for a feasibility study. He recommended using a box that accepted paper bills instead of the parking meters the cities of Laguna and Denver used. Ms. Seltzer responded they were looking at using boxes similar to the Parking Ticket Payment boxes. Chef Holderness added that Denver had signage that indicated what specific donation amounts could purchase for a homeless individual. Councilor Silbiger thought it made more sense to have several donation boxes strategically placed. Councilor Lemhouse would support multiple boxes. Mayor Stromberg thought there should be at least three in the downtown area and not be characterized as an instrument to counter aggressive pan handling.
Councilor Slattery/Voisin m/s to place four boxes and that the wording be vetted through the Ad Hoc Homeless Steering Community. DISCUSSION: Councilor Chapman supported the multiple boxes. He wanted the proposal to be specific on where the money would go, who would manage it and who would replace the boxes if vandalism occurred. Ms. Bennett clarified the City would have the Chamber of Commerce identify the non-profit partner, both the Chamber and the non-profit organization would jointly identify the locations and the City would evaluate the choices to ensure it complied with the pedestrian clearance map. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Slattery, Voisin, Silbiger, Chapman, Morris, and Lemhouse, YES. Motion passed.
Voice vote on amended main motion: all AYES. Motion passed.
Councilor Voisin/Slattery m/s to extend the Ad Hoc Homeless Steering Committee to one year. DISCUSSION: Councilor Voisin explained the Committee would meet twice a month to address all the proposals from the community. Councilor Lemhouse was hesitant to extend the Committee at this early stage and was skeptical they would be able to meet twice a month for a year, possibly the next six months. He would support extending it March 2012 when the Committee produced results. Councilor Chapman agreed with Councilor Lemhouse. Councilor Slattery understood Council’s reluctance to extend it at this time. He wanted the Committee to add one or two individuals who were homeless as members. Mayor Stromberg thought the Committee was doing important work but extending now was premature.
Roll Call Vote: Councilor Slattery, and Voisin, YES; Councilor Silbiger, Chapman, Morris, and Lemhouse, NO. Motion failed 2-4.
ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND CONTRACTS
1. Should Council approve Second Reading of an ordinance titled, “An Ordinance Related to Meeting Quorum Requirements for City Appointed Boards and Commissions”?
Councilor Chapman/Lemhouse m/s to approve Ordinance #3050. DISCUSSION: Councilor Voisin asked whether there was a solution for Commissions that need to reduce their member number. City Administrator Martha Bennett explained Council approved a Council Goals process April 2011 that addressed that and Council Liaisons could work with staff to change member amounts.
Roll Call Vote: Councilor Chapman, Voisin, Slattery, Morris, Silbiger, and Lemhouse, YES. Motion passed.
2. Will the Council clarify its direction on the conditions of the Reserve Amount of $700,000 in the agreement that was approved by the City Council on October 4 related to relinquishing the SUP and conveying assets for the Mount Ashland Ski Area?
City Attorney Dave Lohman removed himself from the meeting due to a conflict of interest and Attorney Bob Steringer from Harrang, Long, Gary, Rudnick P.C. joined the meeting in his place via telephone.
City Administrator Martha Bennett explained the Mt. Ashland Association (MAA) had questions regarding the reserve amount Council set at the October 4, 2011 City Council meeting. Did the $700,000 intend to include or exclude the amount the U.S. Forest Service would set for restorations in the Special Use Permit (SUP)? If it was $700,000 for the City in addition to the restoration sum required by the U.S. Forest Service, it would tie up more than $1,000,000 of MAA’s $1,600,000 assets and they would be unable to bond the expansion project.
Councilor Silbiger explained his original intent was that $700,000 was a minimum reserve. The actual restoration removal of equipment would far exceed the $700,000.
Councilor Silbiger/Chapman m/s that the intention of the City Council was to include the amount the U.S. Forest Service will require in the SUP as part of the $700,000 reserve amount and this is not a cumulative amount and direct staff to draft the paragraph as written in paragraph 1.
DISCUSSION: Councilor Slattery thought it was important for Ashland to transfer the SUP and did not understand why Council would not accept the number the U.S. Forest Service would determine. Councilor Silbiger responded the primary reason was the U.S. Forest Service set an incorrect figure the first time. They provided documentation in 1991 that stated the removal of the equipment would cost $750,000. Having that amount unencumbered was proper stewardship and getting the right value for City assets. Councilor Slattery was uncertain having $700,000 of unencumbered assets when the amount from the U.S. Forest Service would grow with the Consumer Price Index (CPI). Another concern was if the $700,000 would eventually devalue. Councilor Silbiger thought it was a separate dollar amount from whatever the U.S. Forest Service set.
Councilor Chapman/Slattery m/s to suspend Council rules. Voice Vote: Councilor Slattery, Morris, Lemhouse, and Chapman, YES; Councilor Voisin and Silbiger, NO. Motion passed 4-2.
MAA President and Board of Directors Chair Tom Mayer researched other ski resorts and no other ski resort on public land was required to have the reserve amount the City was requesting. The amount also exceeded what the U.S. Forest Service determined for MAA. Councilor Chapman shared his understanding that MAA had the assets on the mountain worth $700,000 that MAA would not use for anything else. That amount would cover the reserve and require no additional money from MAA. Mr. Mayer replied it would tie up assets MAA could use as collateral for loans. In addition, the original $700,000 was for dismantling the ski area and restoration was separate.
U.S. Forest Service District Ranger Donna Mickley explained the SUP required a Reclamation Bond and to her knowledge, Mt. Ashland Ski Resort was the only ski area permit in the nation with such a clause. Reclamation Bonds occur when a ski area is going under and will need to remove the lifts and that happened in 1991. It was a standard clause in all permits. The U.S. Forest maintains the bond and would determine a new amount if they reissued the SUP. Currently the U.S. Forest Service could provide realistic estimates to dismantle a ski area and Ms. Mickley did not think it would cost $700,000.
Ms. Bennett explained the original proposal identified as Option 3, would take the number the U.S. Forest Service determined in the SUP and then apply the CPI to it.
Councilor Chapman/Silbiger to resume the Council Rules. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Slattery, Morris, Lemhouse, Voisin, Silbiger, and Chapman, YES. Motion passed.
Continued discussion on main motion: Councilor Voisin agreed with Councilor Silbiger on having at least $700,000 for a reserve and that it should be more. The 1991 document stated it would cost $700,000 for removal in the event the ski area went bankrupt and the 2007 document had an appraisal of $1,300,000. Councilor Lemhouse thought it was important to move forward with an agreement that put the City in a better position than it presently was. He preferred the option that would accept the U.S. Forest Service’s numbers because it would strengthen the City’s position. Councilor Morris understood both sides and was doubtful the $700,000 and $1,300,000 figures quoted in the earlier documents were still valid. Councilor Slattery thought the City was in a better position without the SUP. It would give the City a seat on the board and add quality control teams.
Councilor Voisin reiterated $700,000 was the amount the City would need should MAA go bankrupt. If not, the taxpayers would pay the restoration costs. Councilor Chapman wanted an agreement and suggested MAA have $700,000 in reserves until the U.S. Forest Service set the amount in the SUP. Councilor Morris noted the risk staying at the $200,000 and restated the $700,000 and $1,300,000 were most likely no longer valid. Councilor Silbiger clarified the $750,000 in the 1991 document was for the removal of everything, burning down the building, removing the lifts. He doubted that figure had decreased over time and clarified there was a restoration amount and a removal amount.
Roll Call Vote: Councilor Silbiger, and Voisin, YES; Councilor Chapman, Slattery, Lemhouse, and Morris, NO. Motion failed 2-4.
Councilor Slattery/Lemhouse m/s to accept staff Option 3, the original paragraph taking the U.S. Forest Service number plus CPI. DISCUSSION: Council Voisin thought it put citizens at risk for paying for the removal. It was irresponsible not to have adequate funds in reserve as security. Additionally, MAA should not borrow on the assets the City gave to them for nothing in return. Councilor Silbiger agreed Ashland would have to pay for the removal but if the City gave MAA the assets, they were no longer the City’s responsibility to remove. In addition, requesting an amount greater than $700,000 would have better protected the public. However, Option 3 even without that reserve afforded many protections for the City and would allow Council and the City to speak out. He referenced an earlier statement by MAA General Manager Kim Clark that MAA would not borrow against the assets that Mr. Mayer contradicted during this meeting. Losing the restriction on speaking out was enough for him to support the motion. Councilor Voisin added if MAA went bankrupt, the City received the assets, and the U.S. Forest Service decided to decommission the mountain as a ski area, the City would be fully responsible for cleaning up the ski area. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Chapman, Silbiger, Slattery, Lemhouse, and Morris, YES; Councilor Voisin, NO. Motion passed 5-1.
3. Will Council approve a resolution replacing the annual budget process with a biennial (or two-year) approach, beginning with the budget for July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2015, and for each biennium thereafter until this resolution is repealed?
Delayed due to time constraints.
NEW AND MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS (None)
OTHER BUSINESS FROM COUNCIL MEMBERS/REPORTS FROM COUNCIL LIAISONS
1. Does the Council have direction related to a request from Councilor Silbiger for guidelines for Commissions and Committees to sponsor events?
Delayed due to time constraints.
2. Discussion on how reports would be submitted from those that attended League of Oregon Cities Conference.
Delayed due to time constraints.
Meeting was adjourned at 10:23 p.m.
Barbara Christensen, City Recorder
John Stromberg, Mayor