Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Council Regular Meeting

Minutes
Tuesday, January 02, 2018

DRAFT MINUTES FOR THE REGULAR MEETING
ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
January 2, 2018
Council Chambers
1175 E. Main Street
 
Note: Items on the Agenda not considered due to time constraints are automatically continued to the next regularly scheduled Council meeting [AMC 2.04.030.E.]
 
 
6:45 p.m.  Executive Session for real property transaction pursuant to ORS 190.660(2)(e).
 
Executive Session was adjourned at 7:02 PM
 
I.CALL TO ORDER
 
Mayor Stromberg called the meeting to order at 7:05 PM
 
II.PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
 
III.ROLL CALL
 
Councilor Slattery, Councilor, Morris, Councilor Lemhouse, Councilor Seffinger, Councilor Rosenthal and Councilor Darrow were present.
 
IV.ELECTION OF COUNCIL CHAIR
 
Councilor Seffinger nominated Councilor Morris as Councilor Chair. 
 
Councilor Lemhouse moved to approve unanimous consent for Councilor Morris as Councilor Chair.  Councilor Slattery seconded.  Discussion:  None.  All Ayes.  Motion passed unanimously.
 
V.MAYOR’S ANNOUNCEMENTS
 
Mayor Stromberg announced the current Commission and Committee vacancies. 
 
VI.APPROVAL OF MINUTES
1.   Study Session of December 18, 2017
2.   Business Meeting of December 19, 2017
 
Councilor Rosenthal moved to approve the minutes.  Councilor Seffinger seconded.  Discussion:  None.  All Ayes. Motion passed unanimously.   
 
VII.SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS & AWARDS
1.Proclamation regarding January 6, 2017 as Christmas Tree-cycle Day
 
Councilor Lemhouse read the Proclamation (see attached).
 
VIII.MINUTES OF BOARDS, COMMISSIONS, AND COMMITTEES
Airport Conservation Forest Lands
Historic Housing and Human Srvs. Parks & Recreation
Planning Public Arts Transportation
Tree Wildfire Mitigation  
 
IX.PUBLIC FORUM Business from the audience not included on the agenda.
(Total time allowed for Public Forum is 15 minutes.  The Mayor will set time limits to enable all people wishing to speak to complete their testimony.)  [15 minutes maximum]
 
Dennis Miller – 725 Terra Ave., Ashland -Spoke regarding the homeless issue and mental illness. 
 
X.CONSENT AGENDA
None
 
XI.PUBLIC HEARINGS (Persons wishing to speak are to submit a “speaker request form” prior to the commencement of the public hearing.  Public hearings shall conclude at 9:00 p.m. and be continued to a future date to be set by the Council, unless the Council, by a two-thirds vote of those present, extends the hearing(s) until up to 10:30 p.m. at which time the Council shall set a date for continuance and shall proceed with the balance of the agenda.)
None
 
XII.UNFINISHED BUSINESS
1.   Police funding
 
Police Chief, Tighe O’Meara gave a Staff report. He went over statistics from 2017. He explained the Community needs are increasing from the Police Department.
 
Finance Director, Mark Welch gave a Staff report.  Council discussed the suggested options:
  • Transient Occupancy Tax Increase at 1%
  • Public Safety Support Fee
  • Live Entertainment Ticket Tax
  • Increasing property tax July 2018.
  • Parking Meter Fees
 
 
Councilor Slattery questioned if funds are available in the current budget.  Mr. Welch answered no.
 
Public Input:
 
Roy Laird -419 Willow St. Ashland– Spoke regarding problems in the downtown area.  He spoke that there has been progress made this last year and thanked Council for listening to the Community.  He spoke to the importance of Community Policing and the need for Police Officers. 
 
Susan Hall-210 East Nevada, Ashland – She suggested Council defer their decision tonight. She spoke that information was not clear and would like Council to look into this further before making a decision.
 
Vanessa Nowitzky–Spoke regarding police funding.  She spoke regarding the homeless and mental illness.  She suggested options for more social service help.
 
Louise Shawkut – 870 Cambridge, Ashland- Read a letter into the record regarding police funding (see attached).
 
Mayor Stromberg explained that the reasoning for needing more Police Officers.  He spoke that each shift needs 2 officers per person for the officer’s and citizen’s safety. Chief O’Meara spoke regarding the lack of staff and the importance for having enough officers to deal with more than one confrontation at a time.
 
Council discussed the proposed options.
  
Councilor Slattery spoke that he is opposed to a surcharge and a TOT tax increase. 
 
Councilor Morris spoke that he would be in support to have a service fee for one year until the City can find another source of funding. 
 
Councilor Lemhouse spoke to the importance of having public safety he spoke that the longer the City waits the more risk is being put on the Community.  He spoke in support of the Public Safety Fee and TOT tax increase options.
 
Councilor Seffinger spoke that in order to keep Community safe we need the 4 Officers per shift.  She spoke that this is safety for the citizen’s as well as the homeless. She spoke in support of the Public Safety Fee and TOT tax increase options.
 
Councilor Rosenthal agreed that the proposed Public Safety Fee and TOT tax increase options were a good idea.  He spoke that a decision needs to be made but also would like to look into the Entertainment tax option.   
 
Councilor Darrow spoke that she is not in support of the Public Safety Fee.  She spoke that the City attracts hundreds of tourists and visitors and then taxes the locals.  She spoke in favor of a TOT tax increase.
 
Mr. Welch spoke that if Council adopted a Public Safety Fee it would have to be spent on the Police Department.  He explained if Council adopted the TOT tax increase that could be for the Police Department as well as other things. 
 
Councilor Lemhouse moved to authorize the hiring of two additional officers and request Staff to come back with a detailed plan for the 1% TOT tax increase, and; what a live ticket entertainment tax would look like which would include information from the stakeholders from each group. This will be brought to Council at the next available meeting. Councilor Darrow seconded. Discussion:
Councilor Lemhouse explained the importance of having a funding plan and to look into other suggestions.   Councilor Darrow spoke that this is a good way to look at options and spoke in support of the motion.  Councilor Morris spoke that he is not in support of the motion.  He spoke that he doesn’t like the idea of backfilling funds.  Councilor Seffinger spoke in concern of relying on the tourist industry after this last fire season.  She spoke that she would prefer finding multiple funding streams.  Councilor Slattery spoke in concern with a TOT tax increase.  He spoke to the importance of setting spending priorities. Councilor Lemhouse explained that this motion would allow Staff to get questions answered by the next meeting and allow Council to look at different ways for funding.
Councilor Rosenthal spoke in support of the motion.   Mayor Stromberg explained that the City has 1.7 million that already needs to be backfilled in the General Fund.
 
Chief O’Meara explained that he is ready to move forward with the process once the funding is approved.  He spoke that recruitment is done.  If funding approved, he could have Officers on board within weeks.
 
Interim City Administration, John Karns spoke that it would be difficult for Staff to get information on Entertainment Ticket Tax before the next meeting. 
 
Roll call vote: Councilor Rosenthal, Councilor Lemhouse, and Councilor Darrow: YES.  Councilor Morris, Councilor Slattery and Councilor Seffinger: NO.  Mayor Stromberg: NO. Motion failed.
 
Councilor Slattery moved to fund two Police Officers.   Councilor Seffinger seconded.  Councilor Slattery spoke that this motion would allow the Police Chief to move forward with the hiring process. He spoke that the City needs to work on funding mechanisms. Councilor Seffinger agreed with Councilor Slattery. Councilor Lemhouse spoke in support of the motion.  He spoke that he would like more detailed information on what funding options could be done.  He spoke to the importance of this issue. Councilor Morris spoke against the motion.  Councilor Rosenthal spoke in support for funding the Police Officers.  He spoke that a revenue mechanism should be identified tonight. Councilor Darrow spoke in support of the motion. 
Councilor Rosenthal moved to amend the motion to adopt the Public Safety Support Fee as a revenue mechanism until another revenue mechanism is adopted. Councilor Morris seconded.  Discussion: Councilor Lemhouse spoke in support of the motion.  It was clarified that this fee would be the $2.00 a month suggested by Staff to support two Police officers.  Councilor Morris spoke in support of the amendment and looks forward to looking for another funding mechanism.  Councilor Lemhouse spoke in support of the amendment to make this a temporary funding mechanism until another one is found.
Councilor Seffinger spoke in support of the amendment.  She spoke that this to the importance to looking into funding options for all programs.  Councilor Darrow spoke in appreciation of the motion but cannot support it due to relying on utility fees. Councilor Slattery agreed with Councilor Darrow and spoke against the amendment.  He spoke to work on different funding mechanisms.
 
Roll call vote to the amendment:  Councilor Morris, Councilor Lemhouse, Councilor Seffinger and Councilor Rosenthal: YES.  Councilor Slattery and Councilor Darrow: NO.  Motion passed 4/2.
 
Roll call vote to the main motion:  Councilor Slattery, Councilor Morris, Councilor Lemhouse, Councilor Seffinger, Councilor Rosenthal and Councilor Darrow: YES. Motion passed unanimously.
 
Councilor Lemhouse moved to direct Staff to come up with a detailed potential plan for revenue involving the options put forward tonight or any others found before the beginning of the 2nd fiscal quarter.  Councilor Slattery seconded.  Discussion:  Councilor Slattery spoke that this is a good timeline and would like to see it happen.  Councilor Seffinger spoke in support of the motion. She spoke that she would like to find a way of funding with the least affect on the citizens.  Councilor Morris spoke in support of the motion.  Roll Call Vote:  Councilor Slattery, Councilor Morris, Councilor Lemhouse, Councilor Seffinger, Councilor Rosenthal and Councilor Darrow: YES.  Motion passed unanimously.
 
2.   Clarification of Council Rules
 
City Attorney, David Lohman gave a Staff report. 
 
Council discussed the remaining questions:
 
2. Question: Should minutes of City advisory bodies be included in the Council agenda packets, along with a summary of which advisory bodies have met recently?
 
Mr. Lohman explained there is a new mechanism and all minutes are on the Council Agenda as item 8.
 
4. Question: During a Council meeting, how should a Councilor go about adding an item to the agenda?
 
Council gave consensus to keep the current process.
 
5. Question: Outside of a meeting, how should a Councilor go about getting a matter added to an upcoming meeting agenda?
 
Council gave consensus to keep the current process.
 
6. Question: How should a citizen go about getting a matter added to a Council meeting agenda?
 
Council gave consensus to keep the current process.
 
7. Question: How should a Councilor seek removal or postponement of a scheduled agenda item?
 
Council gave consensus for a removal or postponement on an agenda to be a vote of the Council.
 
Council gave consensus to look over the remaining questions and send responses to Staff.  Once reviewed Staff will bring back the items to a future meeting. 
 
 
 
XIII.NEW AND MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS
None
 
  1. ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND CONTRACTS
None
 
  1. OTHER BUSINESS FROM COUNCIL MEMBERS/REPORTS FROM COUNCIL LIAISONS
 
XVI.ADJOURNMENT OF BUSINESS MEETING
 
The Business Meeting was adjourned at 9:45 PM
 
Respectfully submitted by:
 
______________________________________________
City Recorder, Melissa Huhtala
 
 
Attest:
_____________________________________________
Mayor, John Stromberg
 
 
 
 
 
 
In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, if you need special assistance to participate in this meeting, please contact the City Administrator's office at (541) 488-6002 (TTY phone number 1-800-735-2900).  Notification 72 hours prior to the meeting will enable the City to make reasonable arrangements to ensure accessibility to the meeting (28 CFR 35.102-35.104 ADA Title I).

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