MINUTES FOR THE REGULAR MEETING
ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
Tuesday, August 4, 2020
Held Electronically; View on Channel 9 or Channels 180 and 181 (for Charter Communications customers) or live stream via rvtv.sou.edu select RVTV Prime.
Note: As the August 4 Council meeting will be held electronically, written testimony will be accepted via email to firstname.lastname@example.org both general public forum items and agenda items as long as they are submitted with the subject line: August 4 Council Meeting Testimony before Monday, August 3 at 10 a.m. Written testimonies submitted by the deadline will be available to the City Council before the meeting and will be included in the meetings minutes.
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.]
6:00 p.m. Regular Meeting
- CALL TO ORDER
- PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
- ROLL CALL
Councilors’ Slattery, Graham, Seffinger, Rosenthal and Akins were present. Councilor Akins was absent.
- MAYOR’S ANNOUNCEMENTS
City Recorder Melissa Huhtala announced the current Commission and Committee Vacancies.
Mayor read a statement into the record see below:
“Having now viewed the video of Mr. Sancho’s treatment by Sheriff’s deputies in the Jackson County Jail, I am compelled to say it was an unacceptably cruel and inhumane way to treat any citizen.
That Mr. Sancho is a person of color compounds the harm at a time when the issue of violence against minorities is at a crisis point for our society and system of government. It is a clear demonstration, right here in the Rogue Valley, of the self-examination and reform needed nationwide if we are ever to become who we want to be as a nation.
To fully understand what led to this travesty and available safeguards against any repeats, I urge the Jackson County Commissioners and Sheriff Sickler to engage independent, outside law enforcement experts and individuals from vulnerable populations to review this incident and recommend reform initiatives for the County to consider implementing.
Our goal in all of Jackson County, including all its jurisdictions, should be race-sensitive, gender-sensitive, social class-sensitive and effective law enforcement.
Slattery/Graham moved to support the Mayor’s Statement. Discussion: Slattery thanked the Mayor for the statement. Graham agreed with Slattery and spoke to the importance of the leadership of the City. Seffinger spoke in support of the motion and how the importance of the City and Council being in support of the statement. Voice Vote: All Ayes. Motion passed unanimously.
- APPROVAL OF MINUTES
- Study Session of July 20, 2020
- Business Meeting of July 21, 2020
Rosenthal/Slattery moved to approve minutes. Discussion: None. All Ayes. Motion passed unanimously.
Slattery questioned the Budget Committee openings. Hanks gave a brief update regarding the Budget Committee Appointments. Huhtala sent out an email to all Commissions and Committees. It was decided the deadline for application submittal would be August 21st and the appointment process would be on the September 1st Business Meeting.
- SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS & AWARDS
- Proclamation for Hiroshima and Nagasaki Day
- MINUTES OF BOARDS, COMMISSIONS, AND COMMITTEES
- 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] See note above for how to submit written testimony for Public Forum.
Public Testimony Submitted (see attached).
- CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT
Interim City Administrator Adam Hanks gave a (See attached).
Items discussed were:
- Zero Emission Vehicle Innovation Grant.
- BPA Contract Process.
- Plaza Closure Updates.
- Ashland City Band Encore Series.
- Community Development:
- Housing Program – Fair Housing.
- Small Business Grants.
- TOT and Food & Beverage Collections.
- Look Ahead.
- CONSENT AGENDA
- Grants Review Ad Hoc Committee Appointments
- Resolution 2020-17 Requesting the Jurisdictional Transfer of Clay Street and Paradise Lane from Jackson County
- Resolution No. 2020-16 Relating to the City Surveyor and Repealing Resolution No. 89-50, “A Resolution Designating the City Surveyor to Serve in Lieu of the County Surveyor in the Approval of Subdivisions and Partitions within the City Limits Pursuant to ORS 92.100”
Rosenthal pulled item #3. Rosenthal questioned regarding the City Surveyor position and how not having a City Surveyor and using the County will effect timeliness to work. Hanks gave a Staff report. City Attorney David Lohman spoke that it made it much easier to get work done efficiently with the City having their own Surveyor.
Seffinger/Rosenthal moved to approve the Consent Agenda. Discussion: None. All Ayes. Motion passed unanimously.
- 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 8:00 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 9:30 p.m. at which time the Council shall set a date for continuance and shall proceed with the balance of the agenda.)
- UNFINISHED BUSINESS
- Resolution 2020-15 Social Equity and Racial Justice – Council Discussion and Action Identification
Graham gave a Staff report.
List of tasks:
SECTION 1. The Ashland City Council commits to the following:
A. Designate Social Equity and Racial Justice as a Value Service in the City of Ashland’s strategic planning process, which will provide an opportunity for focused and sustained attention within the City’s planning, management, and policy structure.
It was decided that Administration will work on this task.
B. Proclaim Juneteenth as an annual day of municipal commemoration and partner with communities of color and other local organizations to celebrate African American/Black culture on this day annually.
It was decided that Staff put it on the calendar so Council can come back in January for discussion to see who would be interested in partnering with the City. Council discussed the process for making this a Holiday for City Employees. Lohman explained the process.
Slattery suggested a menu approach where people can pick 10 out of the 12 paid holidays.
Staff spoke that they will look into options.
C. Advocate at the state and federal levels for policy reform that includes: a searchable database of officers sanctioned for excessive use of force and other misconduct; a national data collection program to determine the number of people killed or injured by police officers tracked by race, gender, age, and other demographic characteristics; limiting the transfer of military equipment to local jurisdictions; providing more extensive training for police officers regarding de-escalation, intrinsic bias, and RESOLUTION NO. 2020-15 Page 3 of 4 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 procedural justice; and assisting people with mental health or addiction issues who have interactions with law enforcement.
Mayor Stromberg, Graham and Slattery were interested in working on this topic.
D. Work in the near term as a “Committee of the Whole” to move these efforts forward by assigning tasks outlined in this resolution to individual staff and councilors and reporting back to Council on a regular basis while a more formal process and timeline is developed that includes regular progress reports to Council.
SECTION 2. Moving forward, the City of Ashland will:
A. Support the Ashland Police Department in taking a more active role in on-campus conversations about racial justice at Southern Oregon University and in developing engagement events to help local residents understand APD’s policies regarding use of force and other relevant issues.
B. Strengthen our cultural competency and intrinsic bias training program for members of the City Council and City Staff.
C. Display Black Lives Matter signs at City-owned locations to offer visible and immediate support for racial justice advocates in our community.
D. Continue and enhance our support of the annual celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday.
E. Connect with Southern Oregon University and its students to better understand the experience of all college students, but particularly students of color, in the City of Ashland as a first step toward improving that experience. Through this process, the City will help all local college students understand the City’s ideals and expectations regarding respect for all people.
Slattery and Hanks would be working on this item.
F. Work with community partners to develop training, incident response, and community acknowledgement programs that help residents and business owners address the long-term, systemic root causes of inequality and racial injustice and celebrate progress.
G. Work with Jackson County and neighboring communities to develop a program that will provide trained mental health professionals for instances where the Ashland Police Department is called upon to serve the needs of people who are suffering from mental health issues and/or addiction. RESOLUTION NO. 2020-15 Page 4 of 4 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30
Graham spoke that she is working on this with Police Chief O’Meara.
H. Determine the feasibility of a mural project to provide a mode of artistic expression of our community’s commitment to making meaningful, visible, and ongoing progress on issues of social equity and racial justice.
Jensen spoke that he would work on this item.
I. Request a proactive review of the policies that pertain to the standard process of investigating incidents where deadly force is used in Jackson County.
J. Review recruiting/hiring practices to address implicit bias with input from leaders of local diversity, equity, and inclusion programs.
K. Renew the effort with Indigenous leaders in the community to find a solution to the renaming of Dead Indian Memorial Road.
Rosenthal spoke that he would work on this item.
Hanks spoke that he would bring these items to the Department Head Meeting to discuss which Departments would be assigned to the various tasks.
Graham explained that if there are new ideas they could be added to the list.
- NEW AND MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS
- Ambulance Service Analysis Request for Proposal
Hanks gave brief Staff report and introduced Fire Chief Shepherd.
Slattery thanked Staff for the work on this item. He spoke that he would like to see the full cost of the ambulance service. Hanks spoke that they could add the explicit information. Slattery spoke that there is still more time to work on this and make sure the RFP that comes out is as well understood as possible for the Citizens.
Graham questioned bullet #3 in the Council Communication:
· Immediate potential cost savings if Ambulance Service Area (ASA) not renewed. This would include description of associated staff cuts if ambulance service removal alone doesn’t create cost savings.
Chief Shepherd spoke that this is asking an expert to come in and review the service. Does not mean once an analysis is done that the ambulance service should be removed.
Slattery questioned if having an ambulance service would take away from what our Fire Department can be doing. Chief Shepherd spoke than in his opinion it does not and that AFR is providing great service but also is willing to hear others opinions. Rosenthal questioned if the ambulance service enhances operation or is a detriment by having an independent analysis. Chief Shepherd spoke that it is subjective but it depends on who does the study. Jensen questioned if there is a mechanism in this RFP where the selected contractor could offer up a piece of analysis that they felt was missing in the RFP. Hanks answered yes.
Council discussed level of service in response time. Chief Shepherd spoke regarding the scope of work services.
Chief Shepherd explained that if the Council decides to let go of the ambulance service then Jackson County makes the decision on who comes in.
Council discussed the quality of services. Council discussed what is gained and lost with each option.
Chief Shepherd talked about quality of care that the ambulance provides and would as the consultant to look at the service to determine if Ashland has it or not to look at Jackson County Ambulance Service County Plan showing what is required of the Ambulance Service.
Slattery spoke that we are getting ahead of ourselves. He spoke that by doing the study it is suggested we are going to make a decision but that isn’t the purpose of the study. He explained that the purpose of the study is to see what the Ashland Ambulance Service costs.
Council decided they wanted more information and to have Staff bring this item back to future Council Meeting.
- Adoption of the Water Master Plan Update
Interim Public Works Director Scott Fleury introduced RH2 Project Manager Rachel Lanigan. He also introduced Water Conservation Analyst Julie Smitherman. Fleury thanked the Ashland Water Advisory Committee for their work. He spoke that due to COVID Staff was unable to have an in person Open House so utilized Ashland’s Engage Ashland resource on the City website. He spoke that that the document was out for a month and did receive many comments. He spoke that Staff is asking to adopt the plan. He spoke by adopting the master plan the Council is not approving direct expenditures or rate increases just the planning document.
Lanigan presented Council with a PowerPoint (see attached).
Items discussed were:
- Master Plan Overview.
- Master Plan Requirement.
- Master Plan Purpose.
- City Goals for 2019 Plan Update.
- Water Master Plans represent a single point in time.
- Water Master Plan key takeaways.
- Integration of the new Water Plant.
- Transmission projects to optimize gravity supply.
- Relocate and resize Granite storage supply.
- New storage location improves TAP operations.
- TAP supply to higher pressure zones.
- Expanding Alsing service area to allow full use of Alsing Reservoir.
- Completing Park Estates fire improvements.
- Significant pipe capacity improvements.
- Prioritized CIP Short-Term, Mid-Term and beyond 2040.
- Financial Recommendations.
- Recommendation for adoption.
Jensen/Seffinger moved to approve to adopt the 2019 Water Master Plan Update as recommended by AWAC and Staff. Discussion: Jensen spoke that this has been a comprehension presentation and complimented the presenters and Staff involved and spoke in support. Seffinger spoke that this is an excellent job and excited that CEAP is involved. Graham spoke that City Staff has been recognized by Oregon Health Authority for outstanding performances with management of the water system. Rosenthal thanked Fleury and all members of the AWAC Committee. He spoke to the importance of the robust participation with Staff, Council and Citizens. He spoke in appreciation to all involved. Slattery agreed with Rosenthal. He spoke that this Master Plan and all Master Plans should be required reading for anyone thinking of serving on Council. Mayor Stromberg asked Fleury to list the names of AWAC. Fleury recognized the members of AWAC: John Williams, Donna Rhee, Pat Akins, Lesley Adams, Alex Amarotico, Darrell Boldt, Joe Graf, Kate Jackson, Rich Miller and Don Morris. Roll Call Vote: Slattery, Graham, Jensen, Rosenthal & Seffinger: YES. Motion passed unanimously.
- Adoption of the Selection Criteria to be used by the City Council when interviewing Finalists for Finance Director
Hanks gave a brief Staff report. He spoke regarding the process.
Hanks introduced Human Resources Director Tina Gray.
Gray spoke that due to COVID this process has been stretched out. The final candidate has been invited to come to Ashland. She spoke that if any Councilors would like to meet her it can be set up Monday or Tuesday. Gray explained that a conditional offer has been sent to the finalist.
Graham asked for Staff to provide cost comparisons of this position. She also spoke that things have been done to have a diverse applicant pool and the importance to continue this.
Jensen/Slattery moved to adopt the selection criteria as presented by Staff to be used when interviewing finalists for the position of Finance Director. Discussion: None. Jensen, Rosenthal, Seffinger, Slattery and Graham: YES. Motion passed unanimously.
- ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND CONTRACTS
- OTHER BUSINESS FROM COUNCIL MEMBERS/REPORTS FROM COUNCIL LIAISONS
- ADJOURNMENT OF BUSINESS MEETING
The Business Meeting was adjourned at 8:45 PM
Respectfully submitted by:
City Recorder Melissa Huhtala
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).