MINUTES FOR THE CONSERVATION COMMISSION
Wednesday, August 28, 2019
Siskiyou Room, 51 Winburn Way
1. (6:00) Call to Order
Vice Chair Marion Moore called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. Commissioners Risa Buck, Larry Cooper, Marni Koopman, Jamie Rosenthal, and Bryan Sohl were present. Staff Liaison Adam Hanks was also present. Absent were Council Liaison Julie Akins, Commissioners James McGinnis and David Sommer, and Staff Liaison Stu Green.
2. (6:00) Consent Agenda
2.1. July 24, 2019 Meeting Minutes
Sohl commented that Koopman was absent from the July meeting which was not reflected in the minutes. Buck/Cooper moved to approve the minutes with Sohl’s changes. Further discussion: none. All Ayes. Motion passed unanimously.
3. (6:01) Announcements
3.1. Next Regular Meeting: September 25, 2019
Rosenthal will be late to the next two monthly meetings. Hanks will be absent for the September meeting.
3.2. Upcoming Sub-committee meetings
The Outreach Sub-committee will have a meeting on Thursday, September 5 at 3 p.m. at the Geos Institute, 84 4th Street. The Commissioners discussed the meetings for November and December previously changed to the 13th and 18th, respectively. All present members are okay with November 13, but will revisit the December meeting in September.
3.3. Other Announcements from Commissioners
Rosenthal announced that the Jackson County Master Recyclers course starts on Tuesday, September 24 and will continue every Tuesday for six weeks. The course is held at Rogue Disposal’s office in Medford. Buck stated that she had recently tried eating insects as a source of protein and endorsed them as an alternative to livestock. Koopman reminded the Commission that Friday, September 20 is the walk out for climate action. Local climate groups will be extending the event to continue throughout the week. Cooper announced that Greta Thunberg has arrived in the U.S. to speak towards climate action.
4. (6:12) Public Forum
Louise Shawkat, Ashland, OR – announced the climate walk out on September 20 will start on the plaza continuing to the Butler Bandshell until 3:30 p.m. before heading to Medford. Shawkat also spoke to the lack of large solar arrays within Ashland and how it relates to the 10 by 20 Ordinance, needing to work on more than electric vehicle (EV) incentives to reduce carbon footprints, and gas powered landscaping equipment’s pollution and other side effects.
Julie Caldwell, Ashland, OR – with the Pachamama Alliance which is also a part of the September 20 walk out. She is also the founder of Emerging Futures Youth Network which was awarded grants through the City of Ashland and Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). The non-profit will use these funds for a full time staff member to assist with engaging residents and food professionals about reducing food waste.
5. (6:17) Reports/Presentations
5.1 Council Liaison Update
Hanks gave the Council update which included discussion of Council Liaison roles and upcoming Council meeting topics, such as, the Ashland Canal Project, Waste Water Treatment Plant Water Quality Temperature Trading, City Hall, and the Water Treatment Plant final engineering.
5.2 City Operations/Administration Update
• Plastic Wrap of Marketing Materials
Hanks described his previous memo and has discussed with Rosebud Media about the requirement to have an opt out list for marketing materials.
Relating back to the Council update, Cooper asked about master plans and Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) having carbon footprint calculators included solicitations. Hanks stated that if the Commission is interested they can direct staff to write a letter to Council for the Commission about specific projects. Buck with the help of Cooper and Koopman/Cooper moved to approve a letter of recommendation that staff will compile on behalf of Commission that a Greenhouse Gas Emissions analysis with the Climate and Energy Action Plan (CEAP) goals taken into consideration for the contract approval for the Water Treatment Plant final engineering acknowledging that the Climate Policy Commission (CPAC) has not started meeting therefore cannot make a recommendation. Further discussion: none. All Ayes. Motion passed unanimously.
• 10 by 20 Ordinance
Hanks gave an update in July on the Ordinance and said that a Study Session will be held off until the revenue work group can look further into financing options.
• Idling Ordinance
Hanks read and explained the idling ordinance in Chapter 11 of the Ashland Municipal Code (AMC). Limitations of the ordinance are that it only applies right of ways and public parking lots. Enforcement mainly occurs downtown as the parking enforcement is centered there. Buck asked if the City could be more proactive with signage and education, especially with businesses and the Ashland School District (ASD). Hanks informed the Commissioners that ASD has faced the obstacle of signage cost and installation staff. The City had discussed with ASD helping with installs if ASD covered the hard costs.
Buck expressed interest in reaching out to Ashland ACE hardware for an electric landscaping equipment demo day. The Commissioners agreed and encouraged Buck to move forward. Hanks stated the Conservation Division bought the Parks Department electric landscaping equipment and the Department has purchased more since.
• DEQ Materials Management Grants
Hanks announced the grants and encouraged anyone to apply by the October 4 deadline.
6. (7:07) Old Business
6.1. Commission Monthly Column in Sneak Preview
6.1.1. Review Calendar
There was some discussion of the Rogue to Go article being released in November. Because of conflicts with the Leaves and Composting article, it was decided to have a feature article in the Sneak Preview for Rogue to Go in November instead of utilizing the Conservation Corner.
6.1.2. Discussion on Continuing
6.2. Sub-committee updates
Buck announced that Julie Smitherman, Water Conservation Analyst, had her Laundry to Landscape course with Greywater Action. Upcoming water events and courses include:
• Imagine a Day Without Water (October 23)
• Ashland’s Water: Where Does It Come From and Where Does It Go? (October 22)
• Introduction to the Laundry to Landscape Greywater System (October 23)
• Tour of Ashland’s Water Treatment Plant and Reeder Reservoir (October 23)
• Waste Water Treatment Plant Tour (October 24)
• Stormwater Management (October 24)
• Rainwater Catchment System Design (October 26)
Information and registration details can be found in the Ashland Parks and Recreation Play Guide.
6.2.2 Waste Prevention
Buck updated that the “Rogue to Go” reusable take out box pilot program has confirmed all five participating businesses. The approval for the purchase of materials is set to go to Council on September 3. Rosenthal has written an information piece for the City Source on Senate Bill 90, which prohibits businesses from providing single-use plastic straws unless they are requested.
6.2.3 Air Quality
As stated before, Buck will be organizing with Ashland ACE Hardware for an electric landscaping equipment demo day.
6.2.4 Marketing and Outreach
Moore passed out a document titled “Actions for Individuals to Mitigate/Adapt to Climate Change” (attached). This will be handed out when giving community presentations. Feedback was requested from the Commissioners before the final design comes back from final approval. Moore is working with a member of Pachamama Alliance for the possibility of a climate website to promote events and CEAP. Cooper will continue with the climate stories videos (more discussion below).
6.3 Public Meeting Law
Hanks stated the highlights of the Public Meeting and Public Records Law: commissioners are subject to these laws although not always extensively as the Council and staff members, public records law does include personal emails used for Commission business (best practice is to copy the Staff Liaisons on all emails to be included on the City email server and backups), quorums, and Sub-committees versus work groups. Discussion will continue when the Chair is present.
7. (7:27) New Business
7.1. Annual Report to Council
Previously, the Commission has highlighted their previous work and goals for the future. The City Administrator is now reviewing all reports either in person or in writing. Discussion surrounded using the previous report as a template and adding in the new format of the Commission, outreach of CEAP, and other projects. Because of the short time frame the Commission decided to move the presentation from September 3 to the October 15 Council meeting. Buck will find the previous report and Hanks will compile a list of new items for approval at the September meeting.
7.2. Climate Stories Script Approval
Cooper introduced the script for the climate stories video. The videos will be four to five-minutes long and will focus on locals making a difference in regards to climate action. The video will serve as an outreach to the community and was outlined in the Empower Ashland plan. Buck will be the first subject with her sustainable home. A script was included in the packet for approval. Koopman/Sohl moved to approve the script as a general concept for the first video. Further discussion: none. All Ayes. Motion passed unanimously.
7.3. Conservation Commission Website Update Discussion
The Commissioners were interested in having previous Sneak Preview articles and the annual presentations to Council included on the website. Staff will update the purpose and name when the new ordinance goes into effect.
Hanks’ staff update continued with announcing that Go Forth (formerly Drive Oregon) will be having an EV test drive on First Friday in October (October 4). The ScienceWorks solar trackers utilizing virtual net metering to link seven to ten utility accounts to the installation. Workplace charging incentives for Commercial Utility Accounts will be available in the form of rebates.
8. (7:53) Wrap Up
8.1. Items to be added to next agenda
• Debrief on State Laws (after legal review)
• Public Meeting and Records law (TBD)
• December Meeting Scheduling (September)
• Actions for Individuals to Mitigate/Adapt to Climate Change (September)
• Annual Report to Council (September)
Vice Chair Moore adjourned the meeting at 7:56 p.m.
Elizabeth Taylor, Executive Assistant