MINUTES FOR THE STUDY SESSION
ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
January 16, 2001 -12:00 p.m.
Council Chambers, 1175 East Main Street
CALL TO ORDER
Mayor DeBoer called the meeting to order at 12:00p.m.
Councilors present: Laws, Hearn, Hartzell, Hanson, Morrison and Reid. Staff present: City Administrator Greg Scoles, Public Works Director Paula Brown, Community Development Director John McLaughlin, Ann Seltzer, and Fire Chief Keith Woodley.
1. Update on the FY02 Capital Improvements Program (Complete update attached)
Public Works Director Paula Brown presented council communication for the FY02 Capital Improvements Program for a total of $22.3 million representing nearly 50 distinctly different projects. Brown made further clarification on the Water Street Bridge - Flood Restoration project and the Ashland Street Main Line Replacement ph2.
2. Discussion regarding formation of a Public Art Study Group
City Administrator Greg Scoles explained that a request from this group had been brought forward to create an opportunity to discuss the possibility of forming a Public Art Study Group.
Bruce Bayard, representing this group requested that the city adopt a resolution that recognizes the value and importance of art in the community and a commitment to establish a public art policy. In addition, this resolution would establish an informal study group to research and develop possible working models for such a policy. He explained that the scope of this study group would include various methods of funding, development of a commission/committee to implement the policy and maintaining a relationship with the city government.
Discussion was held on how types of art would be decided upon and by whom. It was noted that a diverse group would need to be formed in order to bring as many different voices into the mix as possible, and include the City Parks Department. The intent for the scope of the committee is to include a broad representation of the community. Discussion was held on the current requirements in place for local development and the concern of adding additional requirements. It was noted that this committee could provide quality input aesthetically, for these projects.
Discussion on the question of whether or not this group needed to be formally adopted by the council, or whether it should remain informal and submit their own policy for approval by the council. Question was raised on what the financial relationship would be between the city and the proposed art group.
Catie Faryl Levitt stated that the group needed direction from the council in order to move forward and an understanding on how the council sees this committee proceeding. Mayor noted that there may be problems associated with a 1% funding and noted the issues surrounding funding that is currently provided by the city. He commented on the amount of art that is donated to the city and how this art is currently handled.
Reid supported Hanson on the issue of wall murals and suggested that the city review the policy on wall murals. She stated that there is opportunity in the budget process to place funds for art projects on an annual basis. Laws voiced his support of public art and funding on an annual basis, but he does not support wall murals.
Faryl Levitt requested that the council appoint a council liaison in order for the group to proceed. Hanson noted his support of public art, but was uncomfortable with providing public funding. Hartzell suggested that a liaison from the council and park commission be a part of this group and that they could help this group to bring back a policy for the council to review.
Bayard commented on the importance of having collaboration with the city in order to develop a policy that is specific to the community. Hearn requested that a draft policy be brought back to the council for their review and discussion. He asked that other city models from various communities be considered and to include these in the draft policy.
Morrison voiced his support of forming an art study group and understood that there are a number of issues that need to be worked out. Laws voiced his supports of an ongoing Arts Commission, which may act as an advisory commission for the city and be available for private development, but does not support another level of government with additional requirements.
Hartzell suggested that the Historic Commission be brought into the mix and commented on the need to create ambiance, with the distinction between neighborhoods. In addition, she noted that her emphasis is with housing needs and asked that the social needs of the community be considered.
Hearn voiced his support of a policy that would set high standards for developers or contractors and offer to them, for consideration, a list of things, including public art. He feels that there is a synergy that is created through the use of public art and that all facets of our community need to be recognized and that public art should be integrated into various facets.
Council reached consensus that the city considers developing a policy that addresses public art. Councilors Morrison, Hearn and Reid agreed to attend these meetings, along with a representative from the Park Commission. Hartzell commented that if the city council decides to make this an Art Commission, she would understand the need for staff participation. But, until this decision is made, she is hesitant in supporting staff involvement. Laws noted his preference that the council members who voiced interest attend these meetings and if questions arise that might involve city policies, then staff could be asked to assist. City Administrator Greg Scoles offered to attend these meetings when needed. Bayard will contact those interested in attending a meeting in order to set the time and place.
Scoles clarified that there would be no official action by city staff until there is a recommendation brought forward from this group for the council to approve. After further discussion by the council, staff was directed to place this issue on an upcoming council agenda.
The council briefly discussed the upcoming goal setting process and what the council intends to accomplish.
Meeting was adjourned at 1:30 p.m.
Respectfully submitted, Barbara Christensen, City Recorder