Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Study Session

Minutes
Monday, September 15, 2014

MINUTES FOR THE STUDY SESSION
ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
Monday, September 15, 2014
Siskiyou Room, 51 Winburn Way
 
Mayor Stromberg called the meeting to order at 5:32 p.m. in the Siskiyou Room. 
 
Councilor Morris, Rosenthal, Marsh, Voisin, and Lemhouse were present.  Councilor Slattery was absent.
 
  1. Look Ahead review
City Administrator Dave Kanner reviewed items on the Look Ahead.
 
  1. Public Input (15 minutes maximum)
 
Winston Friedman/935 Oak Street/Thanked the Council for considering the resolution supporting fossil fuel divestment.  Southern Oregon Climate Action Now (SOCAN) was a group that strongly supported divestment and were concerned with the bigger picture of climate change. He read from a document submitted into record on the impacts of climate change, fossil fuel extraction and how major corporations negatively affected sustainability efforts.
 
Ken Deveney/206 Terrace Street/Spoke in support of the Conservation Commissionís Community Sustainability Framework proposal and explained mental health was a major component of climate change preparedness. Many people will experience stress that could result in an increase of domestic abuse and crime due to the heat.  The climate change will affect illness, food prices, changes in employment, and acute trauma from extreme weather events.  The National Wildlife Federation collaborated on a report regarding the psychological effects of climate change that stated the affects of global warming will require a large-scale mental health care response and no one was prepared.
 
3.         Discussion of a Resolution in support of fossil fuel divestment
City Recorder Barbara Christensen explained the resolution would not change the Cityís investment policy and only support the position Southern Oregon Climate Action Now (SOCAN) was taking on fossil fuel divestment.  SOCAN was asking Council to move the resolution to a regular Council meeting for approval.  If approved, the resolution would go to the Oregon Short Term Board and the Public Employee Retirement System (PERS).  Ms. Christensen used the City of Eugeneís resolution on divestment as a template for the one before Council.
 
Council noted an opinion editorial from State Treasurer Ted Wheeler that concluded divestment was not in the best interest of the state.  That made the resolution more of a symbolic gesture. However, an earlier conversation with Mr. Wheeler and the governor revealed they needed the support of municipalities in order to give the resolution power.  The Mayor expressed concern regarding unintended results due to divestment. 
 
Council supported putting the resolution on a formal agenda.
 
4.         Community Sustainability Framework proposal from the Conservation Commission
Management Analyst Adam Hanks provided history on the Conservation Commissionís interest and efforts regarding sustainability.  With the approval of the Operational Sustainability Plan Framework, Plan Format, and Process Outline November 2012, the Commission shifted focus to a community sustainability plan using the STAR Framework.
 
Conservation Commission Vice Chair Roxane Beigel-Coryell defined sustainable as something able to be used without being completely used up or destroyed involving methods that did not completely use up or destroy natural resources or able to last or continue for a long time.  A sustainable community included common elements that were healthy environment, strong economy, and the well-being of the people living in the community.  She shared several guiding principles of sustainable communities. 
 
Conservation Commissioner Jim McGinnis provided an overview of the STAR Framework that consisted of Guiding Principles, Goals, Objectives, Measures, and Actions.  STAR was Sustainability Tools for Assessing and Rating communities.
 
The STAR Framework was a current and comprehensive way to track and assess sustainability. The STAR approach represented a multiyear process and was not a plan.  The Guiding Principles served as a reference point when planning or taking actions.  The STAR Framework was based on the following goals:
  • Built Environment
  • Climate & Energy
  • Education, Arts & Community
  • Economy & Jobs
  • Equity & Empowerment
  • Health & Safety
  • Natural Systems
Each goal contained several objectives with measurable items and best practices. 
 
Vice Chair Beigel-Coryell reviewed a matrix of goals and actions taken by the City and Southern Oregon University (SOU) and submitted an example of Climate & Energy and Health & Safety into the record.
Commissioner McGinnis further explained the Conservation Commission had followed through on the 2011-2012 City Goal of developing a concise sustainability plan for city operations and community.  The city operation was underway and the next step was the community portion.
 
The STAR Framework created a network with other communities.  The Conservation Commission was asking Council to adopt the framework as a successor to the Valdez Principles, instruct staff to provide regular reporting within the STAR Framework, and allocate adequate resources to administer the program.  Resource allocation would start with half of a Full Time Equivalent (FTE) employee for the 2015-2017 budget and grow to a FTE in the 2017-2019 budget.
 
Council comments thought the STAR Framework was too broad and complex, wanted the focus on Climate and Energy only while other comments noted STAR could serve as a good resource.
 
Council directed the Conservation Commission to bring back a proposal on what steps they would take to develop a Climate and Energy Plan.
 
Meeting adjourned at 7:18 p.m.
 
Respectfully submitted,                                
Dana Smith
Assistant to the City Recorder
 

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