Agendas and Minutes

Parks & Recreation Commission (View All)

Parks Commission Regular Meeting Minutes

Minutes
Monday, November 28, 2011

 

City of Ashland
PARKS AND RECREATION COMMISSION
REGULAR MEETING
MINUTES

November 28, 2011

ATTENDANCE
Present:  Commissioners Landt, Lewis, Rosenthal; City Council Liaison Slattery; Director Robertson; Superintendents Dials and Dickens

Absent:  Commissioners Eggers and Seffinger

CALL TO ORDER
Rosenthal called the meeting to order at 7:02 p.m. at Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Study Session – October 17, 2011

MOTION  Landt moved to approve the minutes as presented. Lewis seconded the motion.

The vote was: All yes

Regular Meeting – October 24, 2011
MOTION  Landt moved to approve the minutes as presented. Lewis seconded the motion.

The vote was: All yes

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION
OPEN FORUM

Albert Pepe, 321 Clay Street #21, a gardener and landscaper living at Wingspread Mobile Home Park on Clay Street, said he spoke with people who were interested in establishing a community garden at that location. He said he helped people set up food gardens and attended the meeting because he knew the commission was responsible for establishing community gardens in Ashland. He talked about the land purchased by the City and Parks on lower Clay Street and asked what portion was owned and controlled by the City versus Parks. He said he worked with ACCESS, which had developed a food share model, and asked to speak with someone at Parks about establishing another community garden in Ashland.

Robertson said three acres of the lower Clay Street land were owned and controlled by Parks and the remaining acres were owned and controlled by the City. He said the public would be invited to attend future master planning meetings for that land and he welcomed Pepe to join in that process. He said Pepe could contact him at the Parks office for more information about the Parks-owned and managed land at lower Clay Street.

ADDITIONS OR DELETIONS TO THE AGENDA
None

UNFINISHED BUSINESS
DOG FRIENDLY PARKS MOTION AMENDMENT

Robertson said Landt asked for the removal of Bluebird Park from the list of parks in which dogs were permitted (for a one-year trial period) on six-foot leashes. He said Landt’s concerns included the close proximity of the park pathway to riparian areas as well as the environmental health of the creek.
Landt said, after further consideration, that he realized it was a mistake to include Bluebird Park on the list, as it was in a fragile environmental area. He said there were alternative routes for pedestrians with dogs.

Dickens said both the signage and mutt mitt station had been installed at Bluebird Park and Robertson said the park was advertised as a park where dogs were allowed on six-foot leashes.

Rosenthal and Lewis expressed interest in retaining Bluebird Park as a park in which dogs were permitted for the remainder of the one-year trial period. Landt said if the commission wanted to protect the environment, there was no reason to wait for the end of the trial period before removing Bluebird Park. Robertson said he received one complaint from a mother who expressed concern after her child stepped in dog feces at a neighborhood park. He said a water quality study of Ashland Creek, conducted more than a year ago, clearly showed that dog manure along the TID affected the health of Ashland Creek.

MOTION: Landt moved to remove Bluebird Park from the list of parks where dogs are allowed on six-foot leashes for a one-year trial period. Lewis seconded the motion.

The vote was: All yes

GOALS AND TIMELINES ADJUSTMENT
Robertson said Landt and Eggers expressed concern about aggressive timelines for completion of some FY 2011-2012 goals. He said staff met with them and discussed possibly delaying those projects until FY 2012-13. He said the projects included the Lithia Park master plan, financial and business plan, Oak Knoll Golf Course improvements, the lower Clay Street property master plan, and CIP bonding. He said the projects, which were voted in by motion, would need to be adjusted by motion.

Landt said the majority of staff time was spent on day-to-day workflow and he wanted staff to successfully complete goals in a reasonable timeframe.

MOTION: Landt moved to approve reassigning five FY 2011-2012 goals to FY 2012-2013 as indicated in the table and timeline provided. Goals included the Lithia Park master plan, financial and business plan, Oak Knoll Golf Course improvements, the lower Clay Street property master plan, and CIP bonding.

The vote was: All yes

NEW BUSINESS
FEES AND CHARGES REVIEW
Dials said the commission held its annual review of fees and charges at the November 21 study session. She said programs and services reviewed included the North Mountain Park Nature Center, facility rentals, Daniel Meyer Pool, Ashland Rotary Centennial Ice Rink, the Calle Guanajuato, Oak Knoll Golf Course, adult and youth recreation programs, the Ashland Senior Center, and special events including the Bike Swap and 4th of July Run. She said staff recommended the following changes based on the November 21 study session discussion:


·  Increase the youth rate at the Ashland Rotary Centennial Ice Rink from $3.25 to $3.50 in the 2012-2013 season;
·  Increase the per-square-foot charge for restaurants renting space on the Calle Guanajuato by $1 per year with the goal of reaching $7 per-square-foot in three years. Current rate is $4 per square foot.

MOTIONLandt moved to approve increasing the youth rate at the Ashland Rotary Centennial Ice Rink from $3.25 to $3.50 for the FY 2012-2013 season. Lewis seconded the motion.

The vote was: All yes

Dials said the Calle was a highly utilized space by both artisans and restaurants. Commissioners discussed how restaurants paid the same rate as artisans and utilized the space seven days a week while artisans used the space two days a week. She said the commission was interested in moving forward with repaving the Calle and an increased rate for restaurants could help fund some of the costs associated with that project.

Landt said the commission wanted to get closer to market value for the space and also wanted to acknowledge staff time used in managing space on the Calle.

Rosenthal expressed approval for increasing the per-square-foot rate on the Calle each year but suggested removing the $7 cap, which could be restrictive. Landt said the commission was trying to establish fair market value for the space and setting a $7 cap allowed Calle restaurants to plan ahead. Lewis said fair market values were subjective. He said everyone agreed that the space was currently undervalued and the commission was working toward maintaining the space to a high level and making improvements. He spoke favorably about increasing the restaurant rate by $1 and reevaluating in a year. Rosenthal said that until someone came forward with objective data about fair market value for the space, he would hesitate to quantify it in a motion.

MOTION: Landt moved to increase the per-square-foot rate for restaurants on the Calle Guanajuato by $1 per year with a goal toward $7 per-square-foot in three years. Lewis seconded the motion

The vote was: Landt and Lewis – yes
Rosenthal – no

EMPLOYEE BENEFITS REVIEW AND APPROVAL
Robertson said Parks staff asked the commission to review their wage and benefits package, as their last cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) occurred in 2008. He said they briefly formed a union but then disbanded it. He reported meeting with Personnel Director Tina Gray and two staff representatives to establish a comprehensive package for the commission’s review. He said the package included a small modification to the HRA VEBA program, an annual floating holiday, a deferred compensation match comparable to other City employees ($40), the creation of an incentive program for specialized credentials such as CDL certification, and a fifth wage step to match other City departments for eligible employees. He said the commission also discussed a potential COLA for FY 2012-2013 between 1% and 5% based on West Coast CPI along with a salary compensation study to be completed by the Personnel Department by May 31, 2012.

Rosenthal said the Parks budget could afford the additional funds needed for the wage and benefits increases and this was a reasonable package. He said the Parks Department had the only non-union shop in the City and Parks employees were a gifted group who did an incredible job. He said he was comfortable with the proposal.

MOTION: Landt moved to approve the wages and benefits package as proposed. Lewis seconded the motion.

The vote was: All yes

SUBCOMMITTEE and STAFF REPORTS
Rosenthal said the Golf Course Subcommittee had a vacant position and Seffinger had expressed interest in serving. With no other commissioners expressing interest, Seffinger was appointed to the subcommittee.

ITEMS FROM COMMISSIONERS
Rosenthal thanked the citizens of Ashland for providing an opportunity for his attendance at the NRPA Congress in Atlanta, GA, in early November. He reported participating in eight sessions and learning a great deal.

UPCOMING MEETING DATES

  • Study session set for December 12 at 7:00 p.m., Parks Office, 340 S. Pioneer Street.
  • Regular meeting set for December 19 at 7:00 p.m., Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street. Topics:
    • 2012 Meeting Dates
    • Presentation of Parks Comprehensive Annual Financial Report
ADJOURNMENT
By consensus, with no further business, Rosenthal adjourned the meeting at 7:58 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Susan Dyssegard
Ashland Parks and Recreation

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