MINUTES FOR COUNCIL GOAL SETTING
ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
June 6, 2016
1175 E. Main Street
Mayor Stromberg began the Goal Setting meeting at 5:39 p.m. in the Siskiyou Room.
Councilor Lemhouse, Rosenthal, Voisin, Seffinger, Marsh, and Morris were present.
Mayor Stromberg explained this was the first of three meetings and focused on collecting goals. Session 2 would determine Council priorities. During Session 3, Council would discuss financial implications and funding sources.
Top Five Goals per Councilor
- Downtown vitality - street people, urban design, circulation, parking
- Changes in Food and Beverage Tax collection and expenditure
- Stability of AFN
- Climate Change – current process and inherent infrastructure systems
- Climate Change – complete and implement the community and energy plan
- Public health and safety – additional reporting structures to determine effectiveness of recent ordinances, establish an enhanced law enforcement area (ELEA) for the south end of town
- Social service improvements
- Economic Development – foster emerging industries like wine tourism, recreation, and clear obstacles for potential business development
- Improve the effectiveness of citizen communication and engagement
- Affordable housing – evaluate funding, and execution
- Social service improvements – evaluate role of services, streets, the resource center and how the City is involved and effectiveness
- Evaluate the Master Plan process and gain efficiencies
- Make Commission and Committees more effective
- Make Council work more effectively
- Seeking opportunities for all citizens to meet basic needs, find revenue stream for the affordable housing trust fund
- Prepare the community for natural and human made disasters
- Adopt an urban tree standards policy for maintenance and planting of city trees
- Update the Comprehensive Plan
- Continue to prepare for the impact of climate change - find funding for the Fire and Police departments
- Public Safety - reduce negative behavior, increase security in the downtown area, and continue to look at reducing hazards downtown
- Maintain infrastructure - plan for future improvements, get funding for street repair
- AFN - find a path forward, possibly treat it like a utility
- Economic Development - increase ability to retain businesses, encourage growth, find out why businesses close, reasons and trends, and what the City can do to help new businesses start
- Social service improvements - foster better collaboration between social service organizations, nonprofit government agencies, be more collaborative and strategic
- Public Safety - increasing Police and Fire Department staff, expanding the ELEA to the south side of town, prompt paramedic response
- Maintain infrastructure - roads, sidewalks, possible parking options
- Environment - public transit, earthquake preparedness in the community and at City Hall, drought
- Look at the needs of the aging population – possibly establish an aging commission, downtown circulation ideas
- Economic Development - living wage jobs, affordable housing options, using City social grant funds for affordable housing units
Core Services Goals Report
- Public Safety – funding to address behavior, homeless, and transients
- Infrastructure - street maintenance
- City Hall replacement - known seismic issue
- Fire Department Consolidation
- Affordable Housing – achieve social justice and equity
City Administrator Dave Kanner shared the following core services goals:
4. What are 'Core Services' and how do they relate to 'Council Goals'?
- Overhaul the City’s procurement and contracting policies and processes
- Increase the capacity of the Legal Department and the Human Resources Division in conjunction with organizational restructuring. Rewrite AMC 2.28 and convert the city recorder to an appointed position.
- Increase the Police and Fire Department staff
- Adequately fund street maintenance and storm drain maintenance, including funding the pavement management program with Food & Beverage tax revenues
- Build a new City Hall and get a 21st century phone system
City Administrator Dave Kanner explained core services included police, fire, electric, street, water, sewer, storm drain, and land use planning. The City Charter and state law required the City to maintain any infrastructure it owned.
Council discussed public safety and suggested adding core services to the goals document. Council comment thought most of the core services related to council goals.
City Attorney Dave Lohman explained the need to think regionally and work with other cities to address similar issues and used transportation and social services as examples.
5. What has changed, and what has endured, from the last time we discussed
Council reviewed specific 2014 Goals that included:
4. Evaluate real property and facility assets to strategically support city mission and goals.
4.1 Identify and evaluate underperforming assets.
4.2 Cultivate external funding opportunities.
4.3 Examine city hall replacement and other facility needs.
4.4 Examine long-term use of Imperatrice property.
Council comment thought 4.3 and 4.4 should be removed due to current discussions on the topics, noted nob-performing assets, and this was a multiyear plan with a completion date in 2020.
5. Seek opportunities to enable all citizens to meet basic needs.
5.1 Examine means and methods by which to improve access to mental health services for Ashland citizens who need them.
5.2 Support and promote, through policy, programs that make the City affordable to live in.
5.2.a. Pursue affordable housing opportunities, especially workforce housing. Identify specific incentives for developers to build more affordable housing.
5.3 Leverage partnerships with non-profit and private entities to build social equity programming.
5.4 Encourage the ongoing effectiveness of the Resource Center.
Staff was currently following up with 30 community agencies that met with the Mayor and will report later. Council discussed the unintended consequences of providing social services and the influx and demeanor of travelers coming to town creating more people than the community could serve.
8. Protect the integrity and safety of the watershed.
8.1 Implement and maintain the Ashland Forest Resiliency project.
8.2 Educate and engage the community in watershed stewardship.
8.2.a Declare a “year of the watershed” and coordinate activities around it.
8.3 Maintain current Firewise communities and implement the Fire Adapted Communities model.
8.4 Complete the expansion of the city’s wildfire hazard zone to accurately reflect risk.
8.5 Fund the AFR & AIR programs.
8.6 Continue to engage state and federal representatives on the AFR project.
8.7 Weed abatement on County land within the UGB (exotic species).
17. Market and further develop the Ashland Fiber Network.
17.1 Complete and implement the AFN business plan.
Council discussed efforts to look at alternatives for AFN and the conclusion it needed to work as efficiently as possible. Council also discussed marketing implementation strategies and analyses that would take place independent of the ad hoc committee that would come up in the next biennium. City Administrator Dave Kanner explained AFN Direct kept getting customers and the ISP’s did not. Councilor Voisin knew someone who might be interested in purchasing AFN and would forward that information to staff. Council did not think selling was viable since there was an $11,000,000 debt on the system.
Energy and Infrastructure
22. Prepare for the impact of climate change on the community.
22.1 Develop and implement a community climate change and energy plan.
Council noted the goal was in process and what was missing were the ties to specific departments. City Administrator Dave Kanner described work prioritization in the departments. Council thought core resources should include the scrutiny of climate change. Mr. Kanner went on to address BPA’s surplus of power due to conservation efforts in the northwest and Tier 2 rates.
6. Are we leaving anything important out?
7. City Administrator reorg ideas
City Administrator Dave Kanner shared a reorganization proposal that would create two new departments and eliminate the current ones in an effort to improve communication and collaboration. Within four years, all department heads would retire except two. The structural change would remove department head positions with three blended branches of the City reporting to the City Administrator and two Assistant City Administrators.
Human Resources, Risk Management, Fiscal Services, Accounting, Utility Billing, and the Municipal Court would report to one Assistant City Administrator. Planning, Building, Engineering, GIS, Water, Sewer, Street, Storm Drain, Facilities, Fleet, Housing, CEAP implementation, and Water Resources would report to a second Assistant City Administrator. Police, Fire and Electric/AFN/IT would report to the City Administrator. The City Administrator would retain the executive assistant and two new positions, public information officer and parking and economic development.
Council discussed the proposal, department head response, how it would affect succession planning, and lines of authority.
Meeting adjourned at 8:10 p.m.
Assistant to the City Recorder
Click for Goal Setting Notes, 2014 Goals & Objectives, and documents regarding the proposed reorganization