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City of Ashland, Oregon / Commissions & Committees / Charter Review Committee

Charter Review Committee

Final Summary and Report to City Council
March 2005
The Charter Review Committee hosted a public forum in January to hear from citizens on issues and concerns about the existing city charter.
After much deliberation, the committee agreed that a city charter is not the place to solve all municipal problems but rather a place to establish a framework within which the city government, representing the people, can solve its problems as they arise.
As such, the committee has agreed to focus on four topics: the structure of government, an elected parks commission, elected municipal judge and city recorder and the inclusion of the city band in the charter.
The committee agreed to add an additional meeting in April, May and June, to extend their meeting time by a half hour and to dedicate a scheduled meeting as a public forum to address each of the four topics. The committee has divided the work load by establishing sub-committees to focus on each issue. The sub-committees will create a Topic Discussion Paper for each issue. Each paper will include at least two options and each option will address budget impacts, organizational impact and accountability. The topic paper will be presented to the full committee and the public at the beginning of each designated public forum.
The committee is eager to receive public input on the options identified for each issue and encourages the public to attend the following meetings, particularly those designated as Public Forum.  The committee intends to complete its work in June and bring its recommendations forward to the city council on June 21.

Charter Review Committee Timeline

Public Forum/City Band
March 31, Siskiyou Room, 51 Winburn Way (across from the entrance to Lithia Park) 7:00 p.m.- 9:30 p.m.
Public Forum/Structure of Government
April 7, Redmond Room, SOU Stevenson Union 7:00 p.m. 9:30 p.m.
Charter Committee Meeting
April 14, Council Chambers, 1175 East Main Street 7:00 p.m. 9:30 p.m.
Charter Committee Meeting
April 21, Council Chambers, 1175 East Main Street 7:00 p.m. 9:30 p.m.
Public Forum/Election of Municipal Judge and City Recorder
May 5, Public Forum, location to be determined 7:00 p.m. 9:30 p.m.
Charter Committee Meeting
May 12, location to be determined 7:00 p.m. 9:00 p.m.
Election of Parks and Recreation Commission
May 19, location to be determined 7:00 p.m. 9:00 p.m.
Charter Committee Meeting
June 2, Council Chambers, 1175 East Main Street 7:00 p.m. 9:30 p.m.
Charter Committee Meeting
June 9, Council Chambers, 1175 East Main Street 7:00 p.m. 9:30 p.m.
Charter Committee Meeting
June 19, Council Chambers, 1175 East Main Street, 7:00 p.m. 9:30 p.m.
City Council Meeting
June 21, Council Chambers, 1175 East Main Street, 7:00 p.m.
For more information contact Ann Seltzer, staff liaison to the Charter Review Committee at 552-2106 or by e-mail,
November 2005

Over the past six months, Charter Review Committee members generated a list of political issues that require evaluation and deliberation.

In order to gain a better understanding of the issues, individual committee members volunteered to research a particular issue and bring the information back to the full committee. The research papers or white papers as they are known, serve as a springboard for disucssion for the group and for the public.
No decisions have been made regarding these issues.
Public Forum
January 20, 2005 
The Charter Review Committee is hosting a public forum on Thursday, January 20 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. in the Rogue River Room of Stevenson Union at SOU. Parking is available at the parking lot on the corner of Mountain Avenue and Henry Street,
The committee has identified eight key issues within the existing charter that require evaluation and deliberation. The committee is seeking public input on these issues.
The issues are:
The Mayor-City Manager structure, the roles and the relationship and the mayoral veto power and ability to vote on council issues.
The election of the city recorder and municipal judge and the matter of compensation of elected officials.
The election of a Parks Commission and issues related to the organization of the Parks Department.
The election of city council members by positions, the number of council members and council term limits.
The provisions for annexations by the city.
The issues of separate police and fire departments.
The necessity of including the City Band in the charter.
Should the appointment of Planning Commission members be proposed by city council members in addition to the mayor?
The format of the public forum will include eight tables each dedicated to one of the issues plus one table for general questions. A charter review committee member will be at each table to explain the pros and cons of the issue and then ask for feedback, input and questions from the public. The attendees can circulate to a different table every ten minutes in order to hear about the next issue and to give input. The input will be recorded on flip charts and later synthesized into a document that the full committee can review and discuss at a subsequent meeting.
A summary and follow-up to the public forum will be posted on the city's web site at (look on the left-hand column and click on Charter Review Committee). Attendees that do not have access to the Internet are invited to provide their mailing address in order to receive follow up information.
A review and update to the city charter has been a council goal for two years. The primary purpose of the charter review committee is to review the existing city charter to determine if it will adequately serve the community well into the future. If necessary, the committee is to prepare a draft charter for the city of Ashland. The proposed charter will be reviewed by the city council for placement on the ballot for the voters of Ashland.
The committee meets on the first and third Thursday of each month at 7:00 p.m. in council chambers at 1175 East Main Street. Meetings are broadcast live on RVTV channel 9. Minutes, agendas, and meeting packet documents are available on-line at
For more information, contact city staff liaison to the committee, Ann Seltzer at 552-2106 or

Archived Charter Review Committee meetings can be viewed on the City's web page. Click On-line Videos and scroll to the bottom of the page.

Minutes and Agendas

Meeting Packets

Ashland City Charter

Charter Review Committee Resolution

Committee e-mail Archives

Expectations of the Charter Review Committee
"Membership on a charter review committee is accepting responsibility for leadership in the most important single civic effort that any community can undertake. The duty of leadership is to find the highest attainable level of improvement, not just a token advance. Statesmanlike compromise is simply a means to this end." Guide for Charter Commission, National League of Cities
Purpose and Overview
The primary function of the charter review committee is to review the existing charter to determine if it will adequately serve the community well into the future. If necessary, the committee is to prepare a draft charter for the City of Ashland. The proposed charter will ultimately be reviewed by the city council for placement on the ballot for the voters of Ashland.

The committee must be impartial, non-biased, and free of any perceived political gain and may approach the task in whatever means results in a document that best serves the citizens of Ashland.

In addition to adhering to the Oregon Public Meetings law, the committee will strive to include the community beyond the requirements of the law. The council encourages the committee to seek opportunities to educate the community about the process and purpose of a charter review, the importance of a city charter and to solicit community input.

It is the council's experience that undertakings of this scope are best achieved within a set timeline during which committee members are focused on achieving the task in a timely manner. Stretching a task over a period of many months can result in a committee that loses focus, interest and drive and a drop in attendance. As such, the council requests that the committee develop a timeline so that the proposed amendments can be placed on the earliest possible ballot.

The city will engage the services of a consultant with expertise in charter reviews and revisions that will assist the committee as detailed in the attached Expectations of the Charter Review and Revision Consultant.
The committee will be comprised of nine voting members: two former elected city officials, and seven other citizens.

An alternate committee member will also be selected and will serve as a non-voting member. Should a member of the committee be unable to fulfill duties, the alternate will assume the role of the voting member. The city attorney will attend all meetings and will act in an advisory role and a current city employee will staff the committee.

Please remember that other than staff, the people listed below are volunteers working on behalf of our community and should only be contacted on matters related to their particular commission, committee or board.

The committee can be contacted via e-mail at

1st and 3rd Tuesdays, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. in Council Chambers

Email Address
Term Begin
Term End
Hal Cloer        
John Enders        
Laurie MacGraw        
Keith Massie        
Donald Montgomery        
Michael Riedeman        
Ann Seltzer   Management Analyst      
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