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City Council Meeting Preview for May 2 and 3

Here's a summary of all the items coming to the Council at the study session of May 2 and the business meeting of May 3. To see the complete agenda packet, click here.

Study Session of May 2, 2016
3.   2016 Ashland Forest Plan draft review and presentation by the Forest Lands Commission. The Forest Lands Commission has drafted a major update to the 1992 Ashland Forest Plan and presents a summary of major issues and changes in advance of Council consideration and public comment at the May 17, 2016, business meeting.
4.   8/10 Staffing Study for Ashland Fire & Rescue. At the Council Study Session of August 31, 2015, the Fire Chief presented information concerning the mission and future of Ashland Fire & Rescue. The basis of this presentation was the difficulty the department is facing maintaining quality service with its current staffing.
Council then requested that the Fire Chief develop and present a “menu” that further explained each of the options and strategies for addressing the staffing issue. This menu was presented on December 14th, 2015. As there are a number of different approaches to consider, it was felt that further clarification of each was appropriate before evaluating them. The options discussed, in varying degrees, help to deal with this issue either through enhanced staffing or reduced call volume. There are also several administrative opportunities that will help in the long term. Many of these strategies come with a cost and some carry significant ramifications that should be carefully assessed.
At the conclusion of the menu presentation Council asked the Fire Chief to bring back a more detailed assessment of transitioning to 8/10 staffing from 8/9 staffing. That is the basis of this presentation. This presentation looks at the 8/10 staffing in close detail. Council is being asked to evaluate the 8/10 staffing option to ensure adequate staffing so that Ashland Fire & Rescue can maintain quality service delivery.
5.   Update on employee disaster readiness. This is an update from the Mayor and Fire Chief John Karns on planning for employee disaster readiness.

Business Meeting of May 3, 2016
Items 1, 5, 6, 7, and 8 are all items the Council regularly sees (minutes, appointments to commissions, liquor licenses, etc.)
2.   Renewal of telecommunication franchise with Sprint Communications. This is a renewal of a franchise agreement with Sprint Communications. The agreement maintains the same fee schedule and five-year term utilized in the previous agreement. The agreement will take effect on October 1, 2016 and will expire on June 30, 2020. The current franchise agreement with Sprint Communications expires on September 20, 2016.
3.   Approval of recommendation from the Public Art Commission to accept the Watershed Cairn by Karen Rycheck. The Public Art Commission (PAC) recommends the City Council accept the “Watershed Cairn” by Karen Rycheck to the City’s public art collection.  If approved, the sculpture will be installed along the Bandersnatch Trail in upper Lithia Park.
4.   Biennium 2015-2017 Third Quarterly Financial Report. The Administrative Services Department submits reports to Council on a quarterly basis to provide assurance of budget compliance and for informational and comparative purposes throughout the year.
This report is for the “third-quarter” covering January through March 2016 of the two-year budget.  Highlights are presented below and the attached statements include comparisons to budget, between years and to other periods.
1.   Public hearing and approval of a resolution titled, “A resolution adopting a Miscellaneous Fees and Charges Document and repealing prior fee Resolution 2015-15”. This public hearing is to consider changes to some of the various fees and charges used by the city.  Most remain the same but some are recommended to increase by an inflationary factor. Others are to be adjusted to cover cost of service as recommended by staff.  There are a few new charges recommended as well as minor corrections.
1.   Approval of a resolution titled, “A resolution of the City Council establishing a fee for appeals of administrative decisions”. The Ashland Municipal Code, chapter 2.30, establishes a uniform process for appeals of administrative decisions.  These are typically decisions made by a department director regarding interpretation and application of various parts of the Municipal Code.  AMC 2.30 establishes a fee of $150 for such appeals, which may, at least arguably, create an unreasonable barrier to appeal for a citizen who feels aggrieved by an administrative decision.  However, the Code also allows the Council to establish a different fee by resolution.  This resolution provides a variable-cost fee structure that hinges on whether the appellant waives his/her right to a written or mechanical record of the hearing.  An appellant who does so and who does not request that the appeal be heard by an outside third party would pay no fee.
1.   Award of professional services contract in excess of $75,000 for the Water Master Plan Update. This is a professional services contract with RH2 Engineers for the Water Master Plan update. Public Works staff previously advertised a formal qualifications based selection proposal for the Water Master Plan update. Staff has vetted potential consultants and now recommends entering into a professional services contract with RH2 Engineers. The Council acts as the local contract review board for formally solicited consultant services. If the contract is approved, staff will work with the Ashland Water Advisory Committee (AWAC) and the consultant to generate a plan update for the 2020-2030 time period.
1.   Second reading by title only of an ordinance titled, “An ordinance creating AMC Chapter 9.30 to prohibit smoking in places of employment, in enclosed areas open to the public, and in downtown Ashland”. This is an ordinance that codifies the Oregon Indoor Clean Air Act (ORS 433.835 et seq.) into the Ashland Municipal Code.  Doing so allows the Ashland Police Department to enforce the provisions of the Act, which is otherwise enforced by local public health departments and property owners.  The Indoor Clean Air Act prohibits smoking or the use of inhalants in all public places and places of employment. Public places are defined as any enclosed area open to the public. In addition, this ordinance prohibits smoking or the use of inhalants on public sidewalks and in the plaza or Chautauqua Square, as well as other specific areas in downtown Ashland.
2.   Second reading by title only of two ordinances titled, “An ordinance amending the City of Ashland Comprehensive Plan to adopt the Ashland Municipal Airport – Airport Layout Plan Update 2004-2025, as a supporting document to the City of Ashland Comprehensive Plan,”
      “An ordinance amending the Ashland Municipal Code Airport Overlay Regulations, Chapter Parking Ratios, Chapter 18.5.1, Table, Summary of Approvals by Type of Review Procedure, Chapter, Exempt from Tree Removal Permit and Chapter, Definitions”. The Airport Commission requested code amendments to streamline the permit process to develop aircraft hangars at the Airport through a ministerial review in conjunction with the building permit process and to revise the height limitations and tree trimming and removal activities to reflect current federal regulations. Most of the proposed amendments are geared toward streamlining the approval process for hangars constructed upon predetermined footprints shown in the Airport Layout Plan. An ordinance is also included to amend the text of the Ashland Comprehensive Plan to recognize the most recent Airport Master Plan as the guiding document for land use within the Airport Overlay.
3.   Second reading by title only of an ordinance titled, “An ordinance amending AMC Chapter 10.64 Obstructing Sidewalks and Passageways”. The purpose of this ordinance amendment is to minimize blockage of pedestrian passageways by outlawing unpermitted obstructions by persons – in addition to the already-existing prohibitions on unpermitted obstructions by objects and dogs.  At its April 19, 2016 business meeting, Council voted to approve first reading of a version that has been modified for second reading as shown in the attached version and described briefly below.
4.   Approval of a resolution titled, “A resolution authorizing the citizens of Ashland to urge the Oregon Legislature, in the 2019 session, to refer to the voters a measure creating a publicly funded health care system serving everyone in Oregon”. Councilor Voisin has requested a resolution to place on the November 2016 ballot a measure to urge the 2019 Oregon Legislature to refer to a state-wide ballot a measure creating a publicly funded health care system in Oregon

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