October 17, 2011
Ad Hoc Homelessness Steering Committee
Guanajuato Room, Ashland Public Library
Ayers, Hopkins-Powell, Lewis, Parker, Rohde, Saldana, Mayor Stromberg
Absent: Everson, O’Bryon, Slattery (Council liaison), Voison (Council liaison), Seltzer (city staff).
Call to Order: Parker called the meeting to order at 7:02 p.m.
Approval of Minutes: Lewis moved and Saldana seconded a motion to approve the minutes of the 9/15/11 meeting as presented.
Debrief from 10/4/11 City Council Meeting: Various members shared their impressions of the meeting. Concern was expressed that the HSC was not given enough time to fully present their proposals, since it was after 10 p.m. when the HSC proposals were introduced. Due to the lateness of the hour, the Council was unable to deliberate on the proposals that evening and will again address the proposals tomorrow night. Committee members felt that the two-week span between the HSC presentation and Council deliberation is problematic.
Discussion with Mayor Stromberg: The Mayor made an unexpected visit to the Committee to offer words of encouragement and appreciation for the work the HSC has been doing. Questions were asked about the protocols for discussion of the HSC’s proposals at the City Council meeting on 10/18/11, and members were informed that no public comment would be permitted.
General discussion followed about whether or not to add new members to the HSC in the near future, and Committee members were supportive of that idea. Some committee members expressed a desire to seek more input from individual homeless community members, and to perhaps add a homeless person to the Committee. The mayor encouraged the committee to extend invitations to selected homeless people who have shown an interest in joining the conversation, to attend some of our meetings to see if we can work together in a productive way. The Mayor left after about 25 minutes of discussion.
Review of Staff Recommendations to City Council re. HSC Proposals: Committee members in general expressed disappointment in the staff’s recommendations. Members stated that one portable toilet and one donation box were too few to effectively try out the concepts. Concern was voiced that the Council needs to endorse the need for a day-use center in concept, even if they don’t agree with the specifics. It was moved by Hopkins-Powell and seconded by Saldana that the HSC draft a brief, written response to that effect, to be delivered to the City Council prior to its meeting tomorrow night. The motion passed unanimously. Chair Parker and Vice-Chair Rohde were authorized to draft the response for the Committee.
Regular Meeting Days & Times: There was a brief discussion about the need to establish regular meeting days and times, with the goal of meeting twice monthly. Parker will send out an email asking committee members to email her their 1st, 2nd, & 3rd choices for regular meeting days & times, and will then set the next meeting date.
Public input was solicited from the audience.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:43 p.m.
-Minutes respectfully submitted by Heidi Parker