MINUTES FOR THE REGULAR MEETING
ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
April 2, 2013
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, Slattery, Rosenthal, and Marsh were present.
Mayor Stromberg announced the City was in the process of reviewing applications for the Annual Appointments to the various Commissions and Committees.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The minutes of the Joint Study Session of March 11, 2013, Study Session of March 18, 2013, Executive Session of March 18, 2013 and Business Meeting of March 19, 2013 were approved as presented.
SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS & AWARDS
Proclamations of April 14-20, 2013, as Independent Media Week and April 7-13, 2013, as Arbor Week and recognition of Ashland as a Tree City USA for the 28th consecutive year were read aloud.
Assistant Planner and Tree Commission staff liaison Michael Pina presented the 2012 Tree of the Year award to the Oregon White Oak located at 1209 Iowa Street. He went on to announce that Ashland was Tree City USA for the 28th consecutive year and highlighted activities occurring throughout the month of April.
1. Approval of grant request for Ashland Creek Park construction
2. Request for endorsement of SOAR by the Public Art Commission
3. Liquor license application for Elisa Boulton dba Boulton & Son
4. Liquor license application for Albertson’s
5. Special procurement for the Peachy Road project
Councilor Morris pulled consent Agenda item #5 for further discussion. Community Development Director Bill Molnar clarified that Peachy Road was previously a neighborhood collector now classified as a residential connector street.
Charles Douglas/1257 Siskiyou Boulevard/Represented the Rogue Valley Community Television and the Digital Media Center who supported Independent Media Week.
Councilor Rosenthal/Slattery m/s to approve Consent Agenda items. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
1. 2013 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) award and the CDBG Action Plan development
Councilor Marsh declared a conflict of interest with the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) award. The Ashland Emergency Food Bank, who was an applicant, employed her.
Councilor Slattery/Voisin m/s to allow Councilor Marsh to recuse herself from participating in the discussion and decision regarding awarding funds for the 2013 CDBG awards. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
Councilor Lemhouse declared a conflict of interest with the CDBG award because he served on the board of directors for the Ashland Emergency Food Bank.
Councilor Slattery/Rosenthal m/s to allow Councilor Lemhouse to recuse himself from participating in the discussion and decision regarding awarding funds for the 2013 CDBG awards. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
Councilor Marsh and Lemhouse left the meeting at 7:15 p.m.
Housing Program Specialist Linda Reid explained there were five applicants, St. Vincent De Paul Home Visitation Program for $24,000, the Maslow Project for $10,000, Living Opportunities exterior remodel of the Ashland Community Employment Services (ACES) for $24,000, the Ashland Emergency Food Back for $87,000, and the City of Ashland Energy Efficiency Program for $25,000.
The Housing Commission reviewed the applications and made recommendations in line with staff. Since that meeting, the City received a letter from Housing Urban Development (HUD) regarding sequestration and a potential 5% reduction in allocations prompting staff to recommend a 5% reduction to all of the grantees except the Ashland Emergency Food Bank.
Public Hearing Open: 7:17 p.m.
Ward Wilson/189 Logan Drive/Ashland Emergency Food Bank/Explained he was the Treasurer of the Ashland Emergency Food Bank. The Food Bank did not receive ongoing support from government. It was a non-profit, private corporation serving approximately 500 families from Ashland and Talent. Patrons included the unemployed, under employed, working poor, students, and senior citizens, and the homeless. Children represented 40% of the clients served. The Food Bank also distributed food to Uncle Foods Diner, St. Vincent De Paul, and the Ashland High School Catalyst Program. Faith-based organizations and the community at large supported the Food Bank. The grant would help purchase their building at $475,000, an offer good until August 31, 2013. Fund raising efforts generated $212,000 with $87,000 coming from the previous year’s CDBG award.
Chickie Cutting/1447 East Main Street/President St. Vincent De Paul/Represented the Ashland Home Visit Conference. She voiced appreciation for the City’s past support and shared their accomplishments that included housing transient families, and helping 33 households in Ashland. Grant money helped 184 families with rental payments, 304 families with utility payments, and made possible 526 home visits. Through partnership groups like the Ashland Homeless Task Force, St. Vincent De Paul established a communitywide network that included several Ashland Churches, United Way, and ACCESS.
Charlotte Dorsey/988 Hillview Drive/Explained whenever the St. Vincent De Paul program needed funds, they contacted the faith community, ACCESS, and United Way. They also refer Homeless clients to these agencies as needed.
Mary Ferrell/4509 Pinnacle Drive, Medford/Maslow Project/Explained she was the founder and executive director of the Maslow Project that had helped families for the past 14 years. This was their second year working with homeless children and their families in the Ashland School District where they had served 127 children to date. The Maslow Project assisted with enrollment, transportation, food, and clothing, school supplies, case management, counseling, and advocacy services. The goal was increasing safety, meeting basic needs, and helping children stay in school and graduate. Grant money funded a part time case manager. The budget for Ashland was $28,000 with an additional $18,000 leveraged outside the CDBG award.
Jim Gochenour/Living Opportunities/747 Normal Avenue/Shared the mission of Living Opportunities and explained they were the largest provider of services to people with developmental disabilities south of Eugene Oregon. Services included employment, residential, supported living, an art studio, and consulting. They applied for a grant to renovate the outside of the building. The previous year’s CDBG award enabled them to remodel the interior. Currently Living Opportunities served 28 people who lived and worked in Ashland. The Housing Commission did not recommend awarding a grant to Living Opportunities this year so they planned to apply next year.
Brandon Goldman/20 East Main/Explained he was a City employee speaking as an applicant on behalf of the City of Ashland who proposed a grant request for $25,000 to fund the Ashland Energy Efficiency Program. The allocation would upgrade inefficient heating systems for 10 low-income households in Ashland. The Ashland Low-Income Energy Assistance Program that subsidized electric bills for low-income households had 400 households in Ashland apply for funds. The Ashland Efficiency Program would improve energy costs by upgrading households. Due to the 5% reduction from HUD sequestration, the Ashland Energy Efficiency Program supported the reduced amount of $14,566 instead of $25,000.
Other funding sources included a rental assistance program for low-income households developed by the Community Development Department. The majority of the program’s assistance now went through CDBG funds to St. Vincent De Paul that would provide $6,000-$9,000 annually to backfill the reduction. Another way to address other funds was through the Conservation Division’s energy conservation loans for energy improvements.
Historically the City had used CDBG funds for sidewalk improvements, audible signal installations, and housing rehabilitation.
Ms. Reid addressed the Housing Commission’s decision not to award a grant to Living Opportunities even though they scored higher than Ashland Energy Efficiency Program and would reach more people. Part of the CDBG evaluation criteria was meeting the goals of the 5-year Consolidated Plan. Living Opportunities met the 5-year period when they received grant funds the previous year. Additionally, housing was a higher priority in the 5-year Consolidated Plan than services to people with disabilities.
Public Hearing Closed: 7:43 p.m.
Ms. Reid further explained the CDBG grant contract had a minimum 10-year requirement to use a building for low to moderate-income populations. If the building was sold or vacated from that purpose prior to reaching the 10-year period, the organization was required to pay back the remaining portion of CDBG funds subtracted or divided by the number of years used.
Councilor Slattery/Voisin m/s to direct staff to draft the 2013 Annual Action Plan for the use of Community Development Block Grant funds reflecting the award CDBG funding for the 2013-14 Program year as follows:
· $16,607 to St Vincent De Paul-Home Visitation Program
· $6,831 to Maslow Program
· $87,000 to the Ashland Emergency Food Bank to acquire a permanent location-contingent upon expenditure of funds by December 31, 2013, should AEFB be unable to expend the CDBG funds by that time the City can look at re-allocating or re-award of those funds.
· $14,566 to Living Opportunities
DISCUSSION: Councilor Slattery thought the City should have a program for energy efficiency not funded by CDBG money. Councilor Voisin agreed with Councilor Slattery and added CDBG funds helped agencies in the community. Councilor Rosenthal was not comfortable shifting funds from the Housing Commission’s recommendation but supported the agencies that applied. Councilor Morris would not vote in favor of the motion and was uncomfortable going against the Housing Commission’s recommendation.
Roll Call Vote: Councilor Slattery, Voisin, and Rosenthal, YES; Councilor Morris, NO.
Motion passed 3-1.
Councilor Lemhouse and Marsh returned to the meeting at 7:53 p.m.
2. City goals and objectives for biennium 2013-2015
City Administrator Dave Kanner explained Council established four goals around the City’s primary functions in a goal setting session February 2, 2013. The Parks and Recreation Commission created its own goal and a set of objectives resulting in five basic goals with 39 objectives. Staff took the goals and objectives and created action plans. Some items required additional resources and Mr. Kanner used the goals and objectives to prioritize Add Packages.
Public Hearing Open: 7:56 p.m.
Public Hearing Closed: 7:56 p.m.
Councilor Lemhouse/Slattery m/s to approve the draft City goals and objectives as presented on April 2, 2013. DISCUSSION: Councilor Lemhouse liked that staff prioritized the Add Packages. Councilor Slattery wanted to add a budget comprehensive plan to forecast where the City was going over the next 5-20 years regarding rates, and the CIP (Capital Improvement Projects).
Councilor Voisin/Slattery m/s to amend the main motion to add under “Municipal Infrastructure Goal” bullet #4: “…and short-term to implement a conservation program over the next three years reducing water and electric and water usage 5%-10%.” DISCUSSION: Councilor Voisin explained the Conservation Commission requested more specificity regarding this objective. Councilor Marsh confirmed it was a citywide conservation savings of 5%-10%. Councilor Slattery thought the range was not achievable and suggested 6.5%. Councilor Morris did not think taking 5%-10% over 10 years and applying it in three years was an attainable objective. Councilor Voisin explained everyone needed to conserve water and electricity. It was up to the Public Works Water and Electric utilities to come forward with a plan. Councilor Morris could not support the motion without more data. Councilor Lemhouse agreed with Councilor Morris.
Councilor Rosenthal would support the motion. Mr. Kanner explained the Conservation Plan for Water identified an action item in the Conservative Budget narrative that included a performance measure that related to the 5%. Councilor Slattery would support the motion. It was a goal and incumbent on the Conservation Commission to bring forward a plan to achieve that level of conservation. Councilor Voisin reminded Council of earlier goal suggestions the Conservation Commission sent to Council regarding Tier 2 rates and that AWAC (Ashland Water Advisory Committee) supported increasing conservation percentages.
Roll Call Vote: Councilor Voisin, Slattery, Rosenthal, and Marsh, YES; Councilor Morris and Lemhouse, NO. Motion passed 4-2.
Councilor Morris/Marsh m/s to amend motion under “Public Safety Goal” bullet #6 to replace “vehicle” with “equipment.” DISCUSSION: Councilor Voisin confirmed vehicles were included under equipment. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
Councilor Morris/Lemhouse m/s to amend motion under “Community Quality of Life Goal” bullet #2 to change “poor” to “all.” DISCUSSION: Councilor Morris thought it should read provide opportunities for all, using poor required a definition. Councilor Lemhouse agreed with Councilor Morris. Councilor Marsh would not support the motion, removing the connection with poverty made the goal meaningless. The objective pertained to people struggling in the community, welcomed them, and enabled them to survive in a reasonable fashion. Councilor Rosenthal would support the motion but was uncomfortable with the word poor. Councilor Slattery would not support the motion. The intent was providing jobs and living opportunities for people below a certain income level. Councilor Voisin would not support the motion either. The intention was clear and suggested using “poverty level” instead of “poor.” Councilor Lemhouse wanted the statement to include anyone struggling not just low-income citizens. Councilor Morris agreed with Councilor Lemhouse.
Roll Call Vote: Councilor Rosenthal, Lemhouse, and Morris, YES; Councilor Marsh, Slattery, and Voisin, NO. Mayor Stromberg broke the tie with a NO vote. Motion failed 3-4.
Councilor Voisin motioned to amend the objective under “Community Quality of Life Goal,” state “provide opportunities for those persons who fall in the category of poverty as defined by federal government and state of Oregon.” Motion died for lack of a second.
Councilor Lemhouse/Rosenthal to amend motion under “Community Quality of Life Goal” bullet #2 to change “poor” to “for those that are struggling.” DISCUSSION: Councilor Lemhouse explained struggling could be economic, mental health, or dependency issues. Councilor Rosenthal added many considered the word poor demeaning and derogatory. Councilor Voisin would not support amendment. The reality of poverty was in Ashland, words had power, and the amendment made it too nebulous. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Morris, Lemhouse, Slattery, Rosenthal, and Marsh, YES; Councilor Voisin, NO. Motion passed 5-1.
DISCUSSION ON AMENDED MAIN MOTION:
Councilor Marsh thought there were good objectives that encompassed a lot of territory that Council may or may not be able to achieve but nonetheless grow into a very meaningful document.
Councilor Lemhouse/Slattery m/s to approve the draft City goals and objectives as presented on April 2, 2013 as amended. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Voisin, Morris, Lemhouse, Slattery, Rosenthal and Marsh, YES. Motion passed.
Heather Stafford/943 Automation Way, Medford/Introduced herself as the Executive Director of Sustainable Valley and shared their connection with Ashland through business incubation and acceleration. Sustainable Valley rebranded and refocused to technical and ecommerce, art film and digital media and food entrepreneurs.
Andrew Mount/1119 Talent Avenue, Talent/Announced the launch of the Southern Oregon Chapter of Slow Money that has funneled over $22,000,000 in aggregate nationally over the past three years into local food entrepreneurship.
1. Second reading of an ordinance titled, “An ordinance amending AMC Chapter 15.28 regarding AF&R cost recovery fees”
Fire Chief John Karns read aloud the following changes to the ordinance:
· Section 15.28.170 Cost Recovery Fees, A. Fire and Rescue Service Charges Imposed (2) “Whenever a fire is extinguished or attempted to be extinguished by AF&R outside the City of Ashland, the owner of the property involved in such fire shall be liable to the City for the direct and indirect costs of fire and rescue services incurred by the City in responding to the incident.”
· Section 15.28.170 Cost Recovery Fees, B. Exemptions from Charges 2 The exemptions of this section do not apply to (D) Fire extinguishment efforts by AF&R on property outside of the City of Ashland.
· Section 15.28.170 Cost Recovery Fees, F. Appeal Procedures. A person AF&R determines to be liable for fire and rescue services charges may appeal AF&R’s determination as provided in AMC 2.30.020 [Administrative Appeals Process]. A person whose application for a permit for exemption from fire restrictions is denied by the Fire Code Official or who objects to fire inspection fees or fees imposed by the Fire Code Official for noncompliance with regulations in AMC Chapter 15.28 or the Oregon Fire Code may appeal the decision as provided in AMC 2.30.020, which appeal shall be decided in compliance with Appendix A of the Oregon Fire Code.
Chief Karns clarified there were two fee vehicles, ambulance transport where the fee applied to Ashland citizens, and rescue services where the fee did not apply to Ashland residents.
Councilor Rosenthal/Voisin m/s to approve Ordinance #3081 as amended. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Morris, Rosenthal, Voisin, Marsh, Lemhouse, and Slattery, YES. Motion passed.
NEW AND MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS - None
ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND CONTRACTS
1. Resolution titled, “A resolution of the City Council of the City of Ashland approving the formation of the Rogue Valley Heritage District”
Tam Moore/Our Heritage PAC/2 N Oakdale, Medford/Explained Our Heritage PAC represented all the museums and historical societies in Jackson County. Their objective was creating a special district under Oregon law that would provide public support and some sustainability in replacing the county levy in Measure 97 and 50 from the 1990s.
Victoria Law/406 Iowa Street/Introduced herself as the Executive Director of the Ashland Historic Railroad Museum. The levy was 5 cents per $1,000 and would have a significant effect for local history museums in the Rogue Valley that were currently struggling.
Mr. Moore explained the process under Oregon’s Special District law required approvals or denials from each city within a proposed countywide district to determine boundaries. In order for the special district to pass, Council needed to approve Ashland’s participation and putting it on the ballot, then enough signatures needed to be collected and finally it would go before the voters to decide. Forming a special district under legislation passed in 2007 and allowed districts to support historical activities as an independent district that was not part of county government. Jackson County passed a similar levy in 1948 and made final payments to the Oregon Historical Society April 2007. Ms. Law added subsequently Southern Oregon Historical Society had to sell some of their collection to stay afloat.
City Administrator Dave Kanner clarified Council was voting whether the City of Ashland should be included in the District if it formed. The language in the resolution was statutory. Initially, citizens petition the Board of Commissioners to form the district. The Commissioners form the district through ordinance or resolution then it goes to a vote of the people to ratify the district, elect a governing body, and establish a tax rate. The Heritage Association had to determine the boundaries of the district prior to going to the Board of Commissioners to request a petition.
Mr. Moore explained the calculation was based on assumptions from the previous year’s property tax information and if imposed on Ashland, would generate within that single tax code area about $107,413. Each year $200,000 in grants for major historic projects throughout the county would be set aside. In an independent district, the five elected directors would set the policy with their budget committee to decide money allocations each year.
Councilor Slattery/Lemhouse m/s to approve Resolution #2013-06. DISCUSSION: Councilor Lemhouse supported forming the Special District and wanted it to go before the voters. Councilor Voisin strongly supported the motion. Mayor Stromberg supported the concept but was concerned with the $800,000 amount. RVTD (Rogue Valley Transit District) was unable to raise their levy and here Ashland would provide $107,000 towards the Heritage District when the City struggled to find enough money for public transportation. Councilor Morris supported the motion noting it would help keep history intact for future generations. Councilor Lemhouse agreed with the Mayor but added the voters would have to weigh it out and ultimately decide. Councilor Marsh commented on the history of the district, how the County usurped the funds and that was something the voters would have to think about when deciding. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Rosenthal, Lemhouse, Morris, Slattery, Marsh and Voisin, YES. Motion passed.
2. Resolution titled, “A resolution adopting a responsible banking policy”
City Recorder Barbara Christensen explained Council discussed the proposed resolution and criteria for banking services during the January 14, 2013 Study Session. An Oregon House Bill would let credit unions form a group approved by the State went into effect April 1, 2013. The resolution would allow the City to invest in credit unions and looker closer at how banking services criteria was determined.
Credit unions were doing what banks currently did, forming a group with a certain dollar amount that went into a pool. The State Treasurer’s office ensured the money was there and municipalities were investing only in credit unions approved by the State Treasurer’s office. Banks no longer had to go through the collateralization certificate process, instead formed pools, and paid for them with the money formerly used to cover collateralization certificate costs.
Ms. Christensen confirmed the City could put up to $250,000 into the bank and have it insured. Collateralization insured over $250,000 with legislature determining the amount.
Rich Rohde/124 Ohio Street/Represented Oregon Action who supported the responsible banking resolutions in Portland and Ashland. In the past, public bodies were not able to invest in credit unions. They needed a certain sized collateral pot. In 2010 a law passed requiring at least five banks in the pool with investments of at least $250,000. The City of Portland formed a pool requiring 10 banks and essentially formed a pool for the rest of the state. He read a statement strongly supporting the responsible banking resolution before Council.
Councilor Voisin/Marsh m/s to approve Resolution #2013-07. DISCUSSION: Councilor Voisin thought the resolution aligned with City values and goals to be sustainable and responsible with funding. Councilor Marsh expressed appreciation to the City Recorder for bringing the resolution to Council. Councilor Slattery was interested in knowing the other steps that pertained to responsible banking practices.
Councilor Slattery/Voisin m/s to amend the motion and add the language stated under Recitals G. to Section 3. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Voisin, Morris, Lemhouse, Slattery, Rosenthal, and Marsh, YES. Motion passed.
Roll Call Vote on main amended motion: Councilor Marsh, Voisin, Slattery, Lemhouse, Rosenthal, and Morris, YES. Motion passed.
OTHER BUSINESS FROM COUNCIL MEMBERS/REPORTS FROM COUNCIL LIAISONS
Councilor Marsh noted the grand celebration of the new Plaza on Friday, April 5, 2013 at 5:00 p.m.
Meeting adjourned at 9:23 p.m.
Barbara Christensen, City Recorder John Stromberg, Mayor