MINUTES FOR THE CONSERVATION AND CLIMATE OUTREACH COMMISSION
Wednesday, December 18, 2019
Siskiyou Room, 51 Winburn Way
1. Call to Order
Chair James McGinnis called the meeting to order at 6:01 p.m. Commissioners Risa Buck, Larry Cooper, Rebecca Walker, Marion Moore, and Jamie Rosenthal and staff liaison Adam Hanks were present. Commissioner Marni Koopman arrived shortly after the meeting started. Commissioner Bryan Sohl, Council liaison Stefani Seffinger, and staff liaison Stu Green were absent.
The Commission officially welcomed Walker as the new Southern Oregon University (SOU) representative. Hanks announced that Steve Mitzel will be joining them in January as an interim Ashland School District (ASD) representative.
2. Consent Agenda
2.1. November 13, 2019 Meeting Minutes
Koopman arrived at 6:04 p.m.
Buck/Moore moved/seconded to approve the minutes as written. Further discussion: none. All ayes. Motion passed unanimously.
3.1. Next Regular Meeting: January 22, 2020
3.2. Upcoming Subcommittee meetings
Buck stated that the Waste Prevention Subcommittee will schedule a meeting after this meeting. Cooper expressed interest in joining the Water Subcommittee and will coordinate with Buck.
3.3. Other Announcements from Commissioners
Cooper expressed the importance of reaching out to staff and Council about the Water Treatment Plant as he has done with the City Administrator. Buck inquired about the Conservation Corner articles being online and Moore stated that they are now on the Commissions webpage. Rosenthal announced that Recology will be picking up Christmas trees for free from Monday, January 6 until Friday, January 17. Any pick-ups after that this time will cost five dollars. McGinnis stated that Recology is out of bear proof trash containers. He also stated that if you only fill up the container half way it only costs six dollars more.
4. Public Forum
Louise Shawkat spoke towards banning leaf blowers because of their negative effect on health and the environment. She stated that Portland and other cities around the country have made efforts to do so.
Flavia Franco with Emerging Futures Youth Network and Southern Oregon Food Solutions announced that the Southern Oregon Food Solutions project was recently awarded a $50,000 grant from the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).
Huelz Gutcheon stated he will be sending the Commission a carbon reduction email. He will also be working towards getting permission for solar panels and information on solar and electric vehicles in the lobby of the Community Development building.
5.1 Council Update
Hanks announced upcoming items to Council including:
January 6 Water Master Plan presentation
January 7 Final asset management (which will look at how existing City properties can be better utilized or surplused)
January 21 Trails Master Plan
February 3 Climate Policy Commission (CPC) recommendation to Council
February 4 Further discussion and possible adoption of the Water Master Plan
Hanks stated that the climate emergency declaration was brought to Council by Councilor Seffinger on December 17. Councilor Graham stated at that meeting that the CPC would bring up the climate emergency with their list of recommendations for Council action in February.
5.2 Administration Update
Hanks announced that the annual solar partners meeting with staff will occur soon to discuss current incentives and volume trends the partners are seeing. He also stated that he and Green are working with Rogue Federal Credit Union for an expanded energy efficiency home loan program. The loan will be financed with interest through Rogue Federal Credit Union, but the City will provide backing in case of defaults. Buck asked if this could be expanded to loans for purchasing electric landscaping equipment. Hanks stated that it potentially could although there are issues with the funding source. The Built Environment Subcommittee of CPC is looking into addressing two stroke gas powered landscaping equipment and incentives for switching.
McGinnis would like to reform the Air Quality Subcommittee to address some of these issues. Hanks stated to not to overlap with CPC and the Commission discussed having more coordination with CPC. This could include both Commissions having a joint meeting once or twice a year and having the Chair and Vice Chairs meet in between then. The Commission also expressed interest in having a rotating ex-officio liaison spot of CPC and vice versa. Hanks suggested that this be brought up at the CPC meeting which is on Thursday, January 9 from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Siskiyou Room. McGinnis and Moore will also reach out to Tonya Graham the Chair of CPC to try to coordinate a meeting before the January CCOC meeting.
5.3 CPC Staff Liaison Update
There are currently three Subcommittees: Administrative/Planning, Utilities, and Built Environment. The Administrative/Planning Subcommittee will coordinate between the Commissions and shepherd requests to Council. The Built Environment Subcommittee is tasked with transportation and land use issues including EV charging and incentive programs. They are planning to work on green building codes, a possible natural gas phase out or moratorium, and banning or phasing out two stroke gas powered landscaping equipment. The Utilities Subcommittee is working on creating a Comprehensive Electric Utility Plan from the current 10-Year Planning Study. They will also be reviewing and commenting on master plans that go before the City Council.
5.4 Update on Bag Ban and Debrief on State Laws
McGinnis moved this item to the next meeting due to lack of time.
6. Old Business
6.1. Commission Monthly Column in Sneak Preview
Moore stated she made a change to the article to link to the City website for a copy of the Climate Card. She also will add a line for the Sneak Preview editor to list the page the Climate Card ad will be on. Discussion from the Commission surrounded adding a graphic to replace the numbers listing the tons of reduction and adding a line to state to continue with actions even if some have been completed already by the reader. Buck/Koopman moved/seconded to approve the article with the changes discussed. Further discussion: none. All ayes. Motion passed unanimously.
The Commission decided on the future schedule of articles as follows:
March History of Conservation Commission (Buck/Hanks)
April Joint Commission Article (Graham/McGinnis)
May Climate Emergency Declaration (Koopman/McGinnis)
June Water Conservation (Smitherman and Water Subcommittee)
July Addressing Consumption Emissions (Koopman/McGinnis)
6.2. Subcommittee updates
Buck reached out to Julie Smitherman, Water Conservation Analyst, about City education of deicing chemicals in parking lots. Hanks stated that Kevin Golden, Engineering Technician II, works mostly with the storm drains affected and would be a good contact for them. Hanks will email Golden to connect with Buck and Cooper.
6.2.2 Waste Prevention
Walker stated that the Subcommittee has met three times and showed a slideshow (see attached) of their research on banning single use items around the country. The Subcommittee asked the Commission for permission to continue researching and meet with staff about the possibility on bringing a single use item ban to Ashland. The Commission was supportive of the Subcommittee moving forward on this issue.
6.2.3 Air Quality
McGinnis and Cooper will start researching bans and incentives for leaf blowers and will include Sohl, who is a part of this Subcommittee.
6.2.4 Marketing and Outreach
Moore announced that the Subcommittee no longer needs to meet on the two projects they are working on. Moore stated that her community presentations have been going well, but she hopes to reach others who are not already aware of CEAP and action needed. Hanks stated the interest in turning the presentation into a video to play on its own.
6.3 Neighborhood Presentations
Cooper/Moore moved/seconded to approve the neighborhood/community presentation slide deck. Further discussion: Buck asked for it to be periodically updated and brought back to the Commission. After some discussion, Moore agreed that she would add in more adaptation actions to the presentation/discussions and she will present the presentation at the next meeting. All Ayes. Motion passed unanimously.
6.3.2 Discussion of Community Use
There was some discussion of letting others outside of the Commission use the presentation and it was decided that the video presentation would be the one to share.
7. New Business
7.1. Climate Policy Commission Engagement Items
The items recently discussed by CPC to pass to CCOC were: public engagement to stakeholders affected by policies; CEAP update and possible open houses; and website development for tracking and outreach. McGinnis will follow up with Graham to meet before the next meeting.
8. Wrap Up
8.1. Review of Action Items
Background on what other cities will have done to declare a climate emergency (Koopman)
This has been moved to CPCs duties.
CPC meeting (Koopman, McGinnis, Walker, and staff)
This will be done before the next meeting.
Sneak Preview ad for Rogue to Go pilot program and the Climate Action card (staff)
The rest of the items were not discussed:
Electric landscaping equipment outreach (McGinnis)
Displaying outreach materials on City TVs (McGinnis)
Updating the Commission webpage (staff with Commission input)
Researching grants for Tool Library (Cooper and Koopman)
Creating a spreadsheet for outreach activities (Green and Moore)
Checking with Ashland School District about getting a new representative (McGinnis)
Checking with local landscapers about using electric tools (McGinnis)
Referencing Drawdown for importance of various actions for presentation discussions (Moore)
Researching locations for presentations (Moore)
8.2. Items to be added to next agenda
10 by 20 Update (January)
Public Meeting, Records, and Ethics Presentation
Multifamily Recycling Ordinance Review (TBD)
Chair McGinnis adjourned at 8 p.m.
Elizabeth Taylor, Executive Assistant