MINUTES FOR THE REGULAR MEETING
ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
July 17, 2012
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 Voisin, Morris, Lemhouse, Silbiger, and Chapman were present. Councilor Slattery was absent.
Mayor Stromberg announced vacancies on the Firewise, Conservation, Housing, Public Arts, Transportation, and Tree Commissions, and the Audit Committee.
Mayor requested Council to move item 4. First Reading of an ordinance titled, “An ordinance enabling City Council to refer to the voter of Ashland in the November 6, 2012 general election a ballot question on instructing the US Congress to approve a constitutional amendment granting Congress and the State authority to regulate campaign contributions and expenditures and to determine the nature and extent of the privileges of entities other than natural persons,” under ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND CONTRACTS to item #1 under UNFINISHED BUSINESS. Councilor Slattery was out of town and wanted to participate in the discussion via telephone. It would require Council suspending Council’s Rules.
Councilor Voisin/Lemhouse m/s to suspend Council Rules for one item, “First Reading of an ordinance titled, “An ordinance enabling City Council to refer to the voter of Ashland in the November 6, 2012 general election,” in order to allow a telephone call to Councilor Slattery to participate and vote. DISCUSSION: City Attorney Dave Lohman explained under “Robert’s Rules of Order” this would require a two-thirds vote. Councilor Voisin thought the item was time sensitive and Council owed it to the constituency to pass the First Reading and give them the choice to vote. Councilor Silbiger called for point of order and explained Councilor Voisin was not speaking to the motion. Mayor Stromberg agreed. Councilor Lemhouse supported suspending the rules for this situation and doubted Council would abuse suspending rules in the future.
Councilor Silbiger explained the item was an advisory measure and strongly disagreed with making a special precedent for a single issue. Council Rules should provide a rule for Councilors to attend an entire meeting remotely rather selecting a single issue that a Councilor wanted to participate in. Councilor Chapman agreed that Council Rules states a Councilor could ask to delay an agenda item. Councilor Morris agreed with Councilor Slattery participating in the entire meeting. Mayor Stromberg clarified that it was he that suggested Councilor Slattery participate regarding this one item and that Councilor Slattery would respect and support whatever action the Council decided. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Voisin, and Lemhouse, YES; Councilor Morris, Silbiger, and Chapman, NO. Motion failed 2-3.
Councilor Chapman/Silbiger m/s to leave the agenda item where it existed on the Agenda. DISCUSSION: Councilor Chapman stated there was no reason to bypass regular. Councilor Voisin reminded Council there were many elderly citizens waiting and suggested moving the item to #1 under ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND CONTRACTS. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Morris, Silbiger, and Chapman, YES; Councilor Voisin, and Lemhouse, NO. Motion passed 3-2.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Minutes of the Study Session of June 18, 2012 and Business Meeting of June 19, 2012 were approved as presented.
SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS & AWARDS
Mayor Stromberg honored Engineering Services Manager Jim Olson who was retiring after 41 years of service by noting his outstanding service and dedication to the City, and presented him with a brick that would go in North Mountain Park in appreciation for his outstanding contribution to the City.
The Mayor’s proclamations of August 6, 2012 as Hiroshima Day and August 9, 2012 as Nagasaki Day were read aloud.
1. Approval of Commission, Committee, and Board Minutes
2. Endorsement of the Monster Dash for the purposes of hanging a banner
3. Agreement for RVTV services between City of Ashland and Southern Oregon University
4. Approval of a resolution titled, “A resolution adopting product rates for the municipal telecommunications utility”
5. Approval of a Liquor License Application from Mario Camacho dba Star Sushi #1
6. Award of contract to Benntag, Univar, and Cascade Columbia for Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant Chemicals
7. Special Procurement for purchase of polymer for the Wastewater Treatment Plant
8. Approval of a contract amendment for Construction Engineering Consultants for additional costs on the Hersey/Wimer intersection re-alignment
9. Approval of Special Procurement for Forestry Consulting Services
Councilor Silbiger pulled Consent Agenda item #8.
Councilor Lemhouse/Voisin m/s to approve all Consent Agenda items excluding #8. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
Councilor Lemhouse/Morris m/s to approve Consent Agenda item #8. Voice Vote: Councilor Voisin, Morris, Lemhouse, and Chapman, YES; Councilor Silbiger, NO. Motion passed 4-1.
1. First reading of an ordinance titled, “An ordinance adding a new element ‘Chapter XIV Regional Plan’ to the City of Ashland Comprehensive Plan to incorporate applicable portions of the Greater Bear Creek Valley Regional Problem Solving Plan (‘the RPS Plan’) and to acknowledge revised population allocations by Jackson County for the City of Ashland”
Community Development Director Bill Molnar explained all participating cities needed to adopt the RPS Plan within their local comprehensive plans before it went to the state for review by the Land Conservation Development Commission. The ordinance would create a new element of Ashland’s Comprehensive Plan that acknowledged Ashland’s participation in the Regional Plan.
Associate Planner Derek Severson submitted into the record graphics depicting the draft and adopted population plans that showed the population trend had hardly altered with the exception an anomaly in 2010 that caused an error in the plan. Jackson County corrected the population issues in the adopted RPS Plan. He added the Agriculture Committee would form within six months following adoption of the plan and include members from the agricultural community, Jackson County, participating cities, and specialists.
Public Hearing Open: 7:32 p.m.
Colin Swales/143 Eighth Street/Recognized the population adjustment in the RPS Plan made Ashland eligible for various state and federal grants but thought it would negatively affect estimates on future transportation and utility needs. He wanted Ashland to follow Jacksonville and halt the process since the city would most likely not experience the estimated population growth.
Greg Holmes/Box 2442, Grants Pass, OR/Introduced himself as the planning advocate for 1,000 Friends of Oregon a group that was critical of the plan for reasons that included the plan had too much land and farmland. However, they supported going through the process in order to stem some potential land abuses in the plan.
He went on to explain the Governors Executive Order 1207 was based on legislation that did not pass but at the end of the last legislative session they added a $550,000 budget note for a pilot project for Jackson, Josephine, and Douglas Counties to collaborate on a regional definition of farmland and forestland that might differ from other counties. The project just started and if it moved forward would result in a 3-4 year process.
Public Hearing Closed: 7:42 p.m.
Councilor Lemhouse/Silbiger m/s to approve First Reading of the ordinance and move to Second Reading. DISCUSSION: Councilor Lemhouse agreed with Mr. Holmes and the Planning Commission. Councilor Chapman clarified from Mr. Swales’ testimony that the City of Jacksonville was actually ejected from the RPS process and that the RPS process did not meet the three main goals. Additionally, the plan should not go into the Comprehensive Plan because it would not affect Ashland. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Silbiger, Voisin, Lemhouse, and Morris, YES; Councilor Chapman, NO. Motion passed 4-1.
2. Approval and opportunity for public comment on the criteria to be used during the selection process for the Director of IT and the Electric Utility.
Human Resource Director Tina Gray explained the City hired Waters Consulting Group for a nationwide search for a combined Information Technology and Electric Utility Director. The process resulted in 5 finalists coming to Ashland July 23 and 24 for the interview and selection process. Interviews would occur in Executive Sessions. She went on to list the selection criteria staff identified.
Councilor Voisin suggested adding a proven ability to assess and resolve problems, and demonstrate ability to work with a team to the selection criteria.
Public Hearing Open: 7:48 p.m.
Public Hearing Closed: 7:49 p.m.
Councilor Voisin/Lemhouse m/s to approve the selection criteria, adding two criteria as previously noted for the Information Technology and Electric Utility Director as presented by staff.
Roll Call Vote: Councilor Voisin, Morris, Lemhouse, Silbiger and Chapman, YES. Motion passed.
Councilor Chapman noted he would not be available for the interview process but was interested in a strong leader for Ashland Fiber Network (AFN) and someone who could move the City forward on smart metering and smart grid.
Tenasi Rama/815 Oak Street/Spoke as a member of GMO Free Jackson County and asked Council to formally address their ordinance banning genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) in Jackson County and have a Study Session to discuss the matter further. The group submitted the ordinance to Jackson County in May. The District Attorney accepted it but the Farm Bureau had issues with the wording. There was a possibility it would not pass in time for the group to get required signatures for the November election. He encouraged Council to ask Jackson County Commissioners to vote to put the ordinance on the ballot for the November election.
Colin Swales/143 8th Street/Expressed concern that important issues were being conducted during Council Study Sessions and the public had difficulty accessing this information. He stated that the Comment to Council listserv is no longer easily found on the city website and that there are no “One Minute Minutes” being provided as had been previously. He noted his disappointment in the lack of public involvement regarding Council meetings.
Councilor Voisin requested the GMO ban go on a future Study Session agenda for discussion.
City Administrator Dave Kanner addressed Mr. Swales' testimony and explained the Look Ahead was on the website that provided information on upcoming agenda items for Study Sessions and Council meetings through October.
Management Analyst Ann Seltzer explained the levy was an extension of the current local option levy passed by voters in 2008 that would expire in 2013. This measure would extend the levy through fall 2017. She noted a correction in the ballot measure under the summary stating the average household could pay $45.79 per year was incorrect and actually was $50.61.
City Administrator Dave Kanner added if Jackson County decided to defund libraries at the end of the four-year plan, he doubted they could keep the library open.
Councilor Silbiger/Lemhouse m/s to approve Resolution #2012-25 with changes to the Ballot Measure Language and Explanatory Statement as presented by staff. DISCUSSION: Councilor Silbiger noted voters had strongly supported the library in the past and hoped they continued. Councilor Chapman thought it was unfortunate Jackson County did not see the importance of funding libraries and was glad Council and the community supported it as much as they had. Councilor Voisin added there was nothing more important for a democracy than having community libraries open and available to the public. Voice Vote: Councilor Voisin, Morris, Lemhouse, Silbiger, and Chapman, YES. Motion passed.
Susan Wells/101 West Main, Talent, OR/Explained she was a member of Lithia Artisans Market and the Plaza could benefit from rotating art displays. Additionally, the artisan market had lost half their space to restaurant seating while the Growers Market currently closed an entire block on Saturdays during a time that used to be the busiest for the Lithia Artisans Market. The artists deserved similar downtown visibility.
Councilor Lemhouse invited Ms. Wells to attend the next Public Arts Commission meeting Friday, July 20, 2012 at 8:15 a.m. in the Siskiyou Room at 51 Winburn Way.
2. Approval of a resolution titled, “A resolution amending the pay schedule for management and confidential employees for Fiscal Year 2012-2013”
City Administrator Dave Kanner recommended approving a cost of living adjustment (COLA) for management and staff recognizing they had not received a COLA in 3-4 years while represented staff had. Another recommendation would fully implement the Classification and Compensation plan prepared several years prior but never implemented for the Department Heads. Approving the resolution would also increase the City’s contribution to the health reimbursement account for management employees bringing them to the same level as non-management employees.
Department Head salaries had reached the maximum and the Classification and Compensation Study added another step for them. Although this year they would not get a step increase, they would receive raises. Mr. Kanner suggested moving his position down a step since he had been in his position only five months. He would receive a raise during his annual review.
Mr. Kanner went on to explain the Supreme Court ruled residency requirements were illegal. The Supreme Court also determined in that ruling an employer could set living within a certain radius of the city as a condition of employment for emergency responders.
Councilor Voisin/Morris m/s to approve Resolution #2012-23, clarifying certain conditions of employment for management and confidential employees and repealing Resolution 2011-21 . Roll Call Vote: Councilor Chapman, Silbiger, Lemhouse, Morris, and Voisin, YES. Motion passed.
Councilor Chapman/Lemhouse m/s to approve Resolution #2012-24, amending the pay schedule for management and confidential employees for fiscal year 2012-2013. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND CONTRACTS
1. First Reading of an ordinance titled, “An ordinance amending the general regulations chapter (18.68) if the Ashland Land Use Ordinance to establish setback requirements for chicken coops and chicken runs”
Senior Planner Brandon Goldman explained the ordinance would change the setback for keeping chickens from 75-feet to 20-feet from a neighboring dwelling and establish a new minimum setback of at least 10-feet from the property line. He noted a scribner’s error in Ashland Municipal Code (AMC) Chapter 9.08.040, C-6 and C-8 referencing building standards for chicken runs in accordance with AMC Chapter 18.68.140 where the subsection indicated C-2 but was now C-4.
Councilor Voisin/Lemhouse m/s to approve First Reading of an ordinance amending the General Regulations Chapter (18.68) of the Ashland land Use Ordinance to establish setback requirements for chicken coops and chicken runs and schedule Second Reading for August 21, 2012 and as amended according to staff. DISCUSSION: Councilor Lemhouse thought the 10-foot setback from a property line was reasonable and allowed flexibility for urban farming. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Voisin, Chapman, Lemhouse, Silbiger, and Morris, YES. Motion passed.
Councilor Lemhouse suggested the Planning Commission review the animals listed in AMC 9.08 (3) and determine potential updates and forward that information to Council with Council consent.
Councilor Voisin/Lemhouse m/s to approve First Reading of an ordinance establishing provisions within the health and sanitation chapter (9.08) of the Ashland Municipal Code for the keeping of chickens within residential districts and schedule Second Reading for August 21, 2012, as amended by staff. DISCUSSION: City Attorney Dave Lohman noted the change to the reference in AMC 9.08 (3), subsections C-6 and C-8, changing the reference to AMC 18.68.140 C-4 instead of C-2 applied to this ordinance. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Silbiger, Voisin, Chapman, Lemhouse, and Morris, YES. Motion passed.
2. Second Reading of an ordinance titled, “An ordinance amending the development standards for wireless communication facilities in 18.72.180 of the Ashland Municipal Code and Land Use Ordinance”
Councilor Lemhouse/Morris m/s to approve Ordinance #3068. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Chapman, Morris, Voisin, and Lemhouse, YES; Councilor Silbiger, NO. Motion passed 4-1.
3. First Reading of an ordinance titled, “An ordinance amending AMC 14.08.030 connection outside city, inside urban growth boundary and adding AMC 14.09.020 Sewer Lateral Ownership”
Public Works Director Mike Faught explained the ordinance addressed sewer line maintenance and replacement. The City had an internal policy requiring property owners to maintain and replace sewer laterals in the public right of way. The ordinance would also change determination of who decided failure of a sewer or septic system outside the urban growth boundary from the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to the appropriate regulatory authority in Ashland Municipal Code (AMC) 14.08.030.
An exception to the internal policy was the 1962 Greensprings subdivision agreement that required the City to maintain the sewer laterals in the right of way for 250 homes at a cost estimate of $2,500 each for a total of $19,625,000, based on an 80-year life cycle replacement.
Staff recommended replacing laterals as needed and installing a clean out if one was not already present during main sewer line replacement at the City’s expense. Councilor Silbiger thought Council should table the item until they understood the fiscal impact.
Councilor Silbiger/Lemhouse m/s to direct staff to bring back fiscal impact of adopting a policy suggested by staff. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
4. First Reading of an ordinance titled, “An ordinance enabling City Council to refer to the voter of Ashland in the November 6, 2012 general election a ballot question on instructing the US Congress to approve a constitutional amendment granting Congress and the State authority to regulate campaign contributions and expenditures and to determine the nature and extent of the privileges of entities other than natural persons”
City Attorney Dave Lohman explained the City did not have a process to refer an advisory question on matters outside the City’s legislative authority to voters and the ordinance would allow that. If the advisory passed during the November election, that information would go to the congressional delegation.
John Tyler/812 Plum Ridge/Spoke on behalf of Move to Amend and noted a recent case in Montana where the Supreme Court threw out a law banning corporate money in elections that had stood for over 100 years. This was a result of Citizens United. He thought this was an appropriate measure for Council. He had petitions with over 1,200 signatures from citizens in favor of the resolution. This was a national movement and he believed Citizen’s United was the most dangerous threat to democracy faced in a long time.
Harriet Berman/817 Pavilion Place/Explained how democracy had gradually eroded during her lifetime. Ordinary citizens had no power to change what was happening except at the ballot box. She encouraged Council to allow citizens to have their voice heard on the issue.
Andrew Kubik/1251 Munson Drive/Wanted to exercise his right to vote as to whether the City would pass a resolution directing Congress to amend the Citizens United decision. Local and statewide resolutions comprised a national effort and he wanted Ashland to decide its own level of participation.
John Wieczorek/165 Orange Avenue/Thanked Council for allowing citizens the opportunity to participate in democracy and send a local message on one of the largest national issues of the time. Since the 2010 Citizens United decision occurred, democracy was in crisis. Allowing unlimited amounts of money into political campaigns striped the American people of their voices.
Evan Lasley/110 7th Street/Explained the case in Montana affirmed overturning Citizens United could not occur at a state level and required a constitutional amendment. It was not in the interest of people elected in congress to support Move to Amend. He stressed this was the most pressing political question of the time and urged Council to pass the ordinance.
Councilor Voisin/Lemhouse m/s to approve First Reading of the ordinance and place on agenda for Second Reading. DISCUSSION: Councilor Voisin explained citizens were asking for an opportunity to express their voice to support a constitutional amendment. Councilor Lemhouse added this was an opportunity for citizens to weigh in as a whole. It was an important issue even though it was an advisory statement.
Councilor Silbiger agreed with the “Move to Amend” but did not support creating an ordinance for one item with an expiration date. The City needed a process that allowed citizens to collect signatures for any advisory measure they wanted to go on the ballot. Councilor Chapman noted there were two types of advisory questions, one that Council placed on the ballot and the other through citizen initiative. The ordinance should be about a citizens’ initiative. The key was having a mechanism that citizens could use to get something they wanted onto the ballot. Councilor Morris agreed with Councilor Chapman, noted the last Council meeting and how it removed citizens’ ability to put advisory measures on the ballot and had Council decide instead. He supported the constitutional amendment, did not think the motion was adequate.
Mayor Stromberg explained there was not enough time to collect signatures and timeliness was germane. Additionally, Senator Merkley was asking for public support and it was legitimate for Council to ensure that happened regardless of collecting signatures. Councilor Voisin added there was not enough time for citizens to collect the signatures needed in order to place it on the ballot and that was the reason for the ordinance. It was extremely important the measure occur during a presidential election cycle and it was incumbent on Council to give citizens that opportunity. Councilor Chapman responded the item came before Council as early as March and there was plenty of time to gather signatures then.
City Attorney Dave Lohman explained Council could amend the motion to remove the sunset clause so the ordinance could apply to referrals beyond this particular measure. Council could also have it apply to referrals of advisory measures to the voters by initiative petition in addition to referrals by the Council.
Councilor Silbiger/Lemhouse m/s to amend the motion to remove the sunset date for initiatives and add a section that allows citizen initiatives. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Voisin, Lemhouse, Chapman, Silbiger, and Morris, YES. Motion passed.
Roll Call Vote on amended motion: Councilor Voisin, Lemhouse, Chapman, Silbiger, and Morris, YES. Motion passed.
Meeting was adjourned at 9:20 p.m.
Barbara Christensen, City Recorder John Stromberg, Mayor