Agendas and Minutes

Parks & Recreation Commission (View All)

Regular Meeting

Minutes
Monday, May 20, 2002

City of Ashland

City of Ashland

PARKS AND RECREATION COMMISSION

REGULAR MEETING
MINUTES

May 20, 2002

 

 

ATTENDANCE

Present: Commissioners Eggers, Jones, Landt, MacGraw; Director Ken Mickelsen

Absent: Commissioner Lewis

CALL TO ORDER

Chair Landt called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. at Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

Special Meeting – April 10, 2002 Commissioner Eggers asked to add "on the overheads" after the word ‘shown’ to the sentence beginning "Commissioner Eggers said that she had difficulty reading the numbers shown at the Study Session...". Commissioner MacGraw moved to approve the minutes as amended. Commissioner Jones seconded.

The vote was: 4 yes – 0 no

Regular Meeting – April 22, 2002 Commissioner Eggers moved to approve the minutes as written. Commissioner MacGraw seconded.

The vote was: 4 yes – 0 no

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

Open Forum

Andrea Schaffer (112½ Nutley Street) presented to the Commission a proposal for the Ashland Parks and Recreation Department to offer golf lessons for women, taught by a woman golf pro (Ms. Schaffer) and held at Oak Knoll Golf Course in Ashland. Ms. Schaffer also presented a petition signed by Ashland residents supportive of her proposal. Ms. Schaffer explained that she is not seeking a salaried position nor to be added to the Oak Knoll Staff, but is only seeking the opportunity to teach lessons at the Golf Course as an independent contractor.

Commissioner Landt suggested that Ms. Schaffer speak with the Course Manager at the Oak Knoll Golf Course about her proposal.

Madeleine Sklar (810 Garden Way) was present to support Ms. Schaffer’s proposal. Ms. Sklar expressed her preference for a woman sports instructor and also spoke of the convenience of being able to take such lessons here in Ashland as opposed to Central Point, where Ms. Schaffer has been teaching.

ADDITIONS OR DELETIONS TO THE AGENDA - None

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

Approval of the OSF Lease Addendum

Director Mickelsen reminded the Commission that when it signed off on the First Addendum to the Lease between the City and OSF, it did so with the provision that any changes to the Addendum made by City Council be brought back to the Parks Commission for approval.

City Attorney Paul Nolte summarized the minor changes made to the Addendum subsequent to the Parks Commission’s October 22, 2001 approval. Counselor Nolte noted that none of the changes affect Park property. As explained previously, the Addendum has nothing whatsoever to do with Park property--the Commission’s signature is necessary on the Addendum only because the Commission is a signatory to the original lease.

Commissioner Landt said that he’d been contacted by a citizen concerned about the lease in general (as opposed to the addendum changes at hand). Commissioner Landt asked Counselor Nolte for a ‘history of the lease’ related to the use of Shakespeare facilities by the public, and inquired as to whether the Parks Commission had the power to alter the lease.

Counselor Nolte outlined a brief history of the public’s use of Shakespeare facilities, but pointed out that the use of Shakespeare’s facilities is not part of the addendum at hand. That provision appears in the 2000 lease, which has already been approved by both the City Council and the Parks Commission. Counselor Nolte also pointed out that this issue had been "hashed in public over and over and over again," and had been "openly and frequently debated prior to both the Commission’s approval and the City’s approval (of the 2000 lease)." Regarding the Commission’s power to alter the lease, Counselor Nolte explained that the Commission cannot unilaterally change the lease but could propose changes, which would then need to be negotiated with Shakespeare and the Council.

Commissioner Eggers said that she was not prepared tonight to address any issue other than the changes to the Addendum. If the other Commissioners agreed, she would like to move ahead with that decision.

Public Comment

Colin Swales (461 Allison Street) was present to "point out a few things about this lease." He gave some historical background and noted that he had spoken many times to the City Council and had attended just about every meeting on this subject to voice his concerns about the lease. Mr. Swales spoke about public use of Shakespeare facilities and said that he was "very disappointed with the way OSF have treated this property" and was very sad to see "public use of that property dropping off."

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioner MacGraw said that she supports approval of the Addendum changes. She also noted that there had been a shift in controversy over the lease—before and during the signing of the 2000 lease, the issue was land use where now the issue seems to be community access to Shakespeare facilities—but reiterated that neither of those were part of the topic at hand.

Commissioner Eggers thanked Mr. Swales for his historical perspective. "However," she said, "it seems that the City Council has the final approval and they have deliberated at some extent and so I think I’m ready to go ahead and vote."

Commissioner Landt said "I’m sorry that I didn’t look more closely at this and ask more questions at that time but I also think that we are really balancing public good here. Certainly the public potential use of the property is decreased with this new lease, I think that’s clear, at the same time the organization that we’re balancing this with is one that provides many important benefits to our community…it isn’t a one-sided issue."

Commissioner Jones noted that the public has had opportunity for input on the lease at several earlier forums.

MOTION Commissioner MacGraw moved to approve the "First Addendum" to the OSF Lease incorporating the changes as shown. Commissioner Jones seconded.

The vote was: 4 yes – 0 no

LAND PARTITION OF SCENIC/NORTH MAIN PROPERTY

Director Mickelsen indicated that the subcommittee recommends approval of the new land partition. It has been reviewed by the City, which is supportive of the new partition. He explained that it was necessary for the Commission to rescind its February 25, 2002 Regular Meeting motion approving the previous partition before moving to approve the new partition.

Public Comment

None

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioner Landt, a member of the subcommittee, reported that the current partition addressed the concerns the Planning Department had about the previous partition. He explained that the property line shown on the new partition was moved "5 or 6 feet" toward the west. The property line shown on the old partition would have required relocation of water meters and also would have oriented vehicles entering the park directly toward the residential house. The new partition still allows room for an adequate entryway.

MOTION Commissioner Landt moved to rescind the February 25, 2002 Regular Meeting motion pertaining to the partition of the property at Scenic/North Main. Commissioner Eggers seconded.

The vote was: 4 yes – 0 no

MOTION Commissioner Landt moved to accept the land partition as shown on the North Main Park Conceptual Park Entry drawing dated May 8, 2002. Commissioner Eggers seconded.

The vote was: 4 yes – 0 no

REPORT ON THE LOWER DUCK POND

Director Mickelsen referred to the May 13, 2002 memo outlining the difficulties encountered by Staff in carrying out the water quality treatment protocol chosen by the Commission. He explained that Staff is looking to the Commission for guidance--essentially, Staff needs to know whether the Commission would be willing to have Staff investigate combination options (biological and mechanical) as well as purely biological options.

Superintendent Gies explained that the original "dump and fill" protocol is unworkable, due in large part to the unanticipated daphnia problem. Additionally, he noted that the water clarity degrades much more quickly than anticipated after the pond is completely refilled, leading Staff to believe that draining and filling the pond would need to happen much more frequently than the four times per year originally estimated.

In response to Commissioners’ requests for detailed options, Director Mickelsen reiterated that what Staff was seeking from the Commission is option parameters so that Staff could know which options to investigate.

After some discussion about option types and their long and short-term costs, there was general agreement among Commissioners that this problem needs to be addressed as quickly as possible and that all viable options could be considered.

Public Comment

Paul Kay, a water consultant who has donated over 700 hours toward long term water quality solutions for Lithia’s lower and upper duck ponds, presented a proposal to install a biological treatment system in the Lower Duck Pond. Mr. Kay’s proposal would treat the water in situ (without dumping and refilling) and includes the first year of operation and maintenance. The total cost for the system and professional service is $20,000. By way of a performance guarantee, the first $10,000 payment would not be due until the bottom of the pond is visible—estimated to be in the second half of the summer--and the remaining $10,000 would be due after one year if the water clarity is sustained with minimal maintenance. Mr. Kay displayed water samples from the upper and lower duck pond and an impressively clear sample of the same water filtered for an hour through the biological "living machine." Mr. Kay explained how this complex system not only has minimal long-term maintenance costs, but is also much less reliant upon human intervention. Although conceptually similar to the ‘Lake Restorer’ being used to treat the upper duck pond, the proposed system can accommodate the shallow depth of the lower duck pond. The lower pond does not have sufficient depth to allow use of the Lake Restorer.

Discussion Among Commissioners

In response to questions raised by Commissioners, Mr. Kay made the following observations:

Because of Mr. Kay’s design improvements to the Lake Restorer, the cost savings for the upper pond treatment will more than pay for the first $10,000 installment of his lower pond proposal and perhaps even the second installment. The proposed payment plan splits the cost between two fiscal years, lessening the budgetary impact, and gives the Commission an entire year to evaluate the treatment before making the final payment. Two major advantages to Mr. Kay’s proposed system in comparison to other systems are resiliency without human intervention and using wastes as input instead of just collecting them for disposal.

Director Mickelsen and Superintendent Gies expressed support for Mr. Kay’s proposal. They specifically noted that the cost is spread out over two budget years and his performance guarantee cannot be beat. He suggested that Staff could research other options, as they had previously, but that if the Commission thinks Mr. Kay’s proposal viable, Staff would like to see the cleanup process started sooner rather than later.

Commissioners thanked Mr. Kay for his proposal and generous performance guarantee. There was general agreement that the Commission was ‘seriously interested’ in Mr. Kay’s proposal, although they still wished to consider other options. The Commission ultimately gave Staff instructions to research and present information on various cleanup options at a special meeting, with the hope that the Commission will be able to make a decision at that time.

NEW BUSINESS

ARTWORK AT NORTH MOUNTAIN PARK

Director Mickelsen explained that the Staff at North Mountain Park Resource Center had been approached by an individual willing to donate a sculpture of two bears. Since the Commission as yet has no formal policy on ‘art in the parks,’ this item appears on tonight’s agenda. The May 13, 2002 memo on this subject notes that the contribution offer is time sensitive – if the Commission waits too long to make a decision, the piece will be moved to a gallery and offered for sale.

Kari Gies, Education Coordinator at North Mountain Park, gave some specifics about the sculpture. If approved, the 27" sculpture would be placed in the garden area near the resource area. The North Mountain Park Resource Center Staff is very supportive of having this artwork as an amenity to the resource area.

Public Comment

Sarah Mayer, the ‘two bears’ artist, was present to answer any questions the Commission might have. Ms. Mayer also explained that she had brought the sculpture with her and invited Commissioners to the parking lot for a viewing.

Discussion Among Commissioners

All Commissioners expressed thanks to the potential donor, Narcissa Kelley.

Noting that formulating an "art in the parks" policy is a major endeavor that may well take quite some time, Commissioner MacGraw expressed her support for approving the sculpture now. The fact that the Staff at North Mountain Park is supportive of this installation is an important factor for Commissioner MacGraw.

Commissioner Jones also voiced support for the placement of the sculpture, stating that until an "art in the park" policy is established, decisions should be made on a case-by-case basis.

Commissioner Eggers expressed her reservations about setting a precedent and asked, "where do we draw the line?"

Saying, "I want to make sure that we treat different parts of our community fairly and equally," Commissioner Landt contended that the Commission had turned down other art projects because it didn’t have a policy in place and should therefore turn down this sculpture to be fair. He said, "At this point I just feel really uncomfortable accepting any artwork until we have a policy and I think we do need a policy and need to move forward on that."

Commissioner Jones disagreed, pointing out extenuating circumstances in each of the projects cited by Commissioner Landt. She explained reasons she thinks this particular installation merited consideration and said, "I would hate to deny it."

MOTION Commissioner Jones moved to accept the donation and approve the placement of the "two bears" sculpture at North Mountain Park. Commissioner MacGraw seconded.

The vote was: 2 yes – 2 no (Eggers, Landt)

The motion failed for lack of a majority.

Kari Gies, Education Coordinator at North Mountain Park said, "In light of the fact that we’re not able to accept this generous donation at this time, I think it would be a good idea if you could let us (the Staff at North Mountain Park) and the artist and the potential donor know when the policy for the ‘art in the park’ might be in effect because I’m not sure how long this offer might be on the table."

After some discussion, there was general agreement that an ‘art in the parks’ policy was likely six to nine months from being established.

REVIEW OF POLICIES (COMMEMORATIVE PLAQUES, GUIDELINES FOR NAMING PARKS)

Commissioner Eggers said that she had initiated this topic to see if any of the policies needed updating.

Director Mickelsen explained that two areas without policies in place were commemorative plaques and naming of parks. He and Commissioner Eggers suggest the Commission consider establishing formal policies for those two areas.

It was agreed that Staff, as time allowed, would develop and email draft policies to the Commission for review.

SUB-COMMITTEE and STAFF REPORTS

FENCING AT THE VOGEL PROPERTY

Superintendent Gies explained that Staff would like to remove some interior fencing on the property in order to expedite mowing. He noted that the fences, which could be easily removed, would not affect the area where the horses are boarded. Staff would also still maintain at least a 50-foot setback from the creek to protect the riparian area.

MAINTENANCE OF SCHOOL GROUNDS

Director Mickelsen reported that the Budget Committee had added $205,000 to the budget for the maintenance of Ashland School District school grounds. For at least one year, Parks will be responsible for the care and maintenance of all school grounds facilities. Hiring of some temporary and/or seasonal workers to assist in this area is anticipated.

HISTORIC RECOGNITION

Director Mickelsen complimented Superintendent Gies and the rest of the Parks Staff. This is the second consecutive year that the Historical Commission has honored the Parks Department, this time for the tile work and walkway restoration at Triangle Park.

ITEMS FROM COMMISSIONERS

Commissioner MacGraw reported that she had recently received several glowing comments about Lithia Park from different citizens. She wanted to pass those compliments on to Parks Staff.

Commissioner Jones noted that National Trails Day is June 1. Together with the Ashland Woodlands & Trails Association, the Parks Department is sponsoring an 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. workday on the Strawberry/Hald Trail. Equipment will be provided and all are welcome.

UPCOMING MEETING DATE(S) and PROPOSED AGENDA ITEMS

Upcoming Meeting Dates

  • Regular Meeting set for 7:00 p.m., June 24, 2002, Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street

ADJOURNMENT – By consensus, with no further business, Chair Landt adjourned the meeting.

Respectfully submitted, Robyn Hafner, Department Secretary

Ashland Parks and Recreation Department

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