MINUTES FOR THE REGULAR MEETING
ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
June 3, 2003 - 7:00 p.m.
Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street
CALL TO ORDER
Mayor DeBoer called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers.
Councilor Laws, Amarotico, Hartzell, Jackson, Morrison and Hearn were present.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of May 20, 2003 and Executive Meeting Minutes of May 20 were approved as presented.
SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS & AWARDS:
Mayor invited Larry Christensen, Exalted Ruler of the Ashland Elks Lodge to acknowledge 7th grader Jessie Stanton who won first place in the National Award for Americanism essay contest sponsored by the Ashland Elks Lodge. Jessie read his essay aloud.
Proclamation of June 14th, 2003 as Flag Day in the City of Ashland was read aloud.
1. Minutes of Boards, Commissions and Committees.
2. Confirmation of Mayor's reappointment of Jack Sabin, and appointments of Helen Smith and Neil Kunze to the Hospital Board for terms to expire June 30, 2007, and initial appointment of Steve Miner as the 12th Hospital Board member for term to expire June 20, 2006.
3. Annual Liquor License Blanket Approval.
4. Ambulance License Renewal.
5. Hazard Trees Removal on City Property.
6. Adoption of Findings for Planning Action 2002-089, 3151 East Main Street (annexation).
Councilor Morrison requested that item #5 be removed from Consent Agenda for further explanation.
Councilor Hartzell/Laws m/s to approve Consent Agenda items #1-4 and #6. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
Chief Woodley clarified for the council the types of vegetation that would be removed in the process of removing hazard trees in front of the Hosler Dam.
Councilor Morrison/Jackson m/s to approve Consent Agenda item #5. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
1. Public Hearing to consider adoption of 2003-2004 Budget.
Finance Director Lee Tuneberg briefly explained that this is the third phase of the annual budget process, which is to hold a public hearing and to adopt resolutions and ordinances to complete and "set" the budget for FY 2003-04.
PUBLIC HEARING OPEN: 7:15 p.m.
PUBLIC HEARING CLOSED: 7:15 p.m.
Jack Hardesty/575 Dogwood Way/Spoke regarding the Chamber grant by the City. He voiced his concern with how this grant money is being spent and what he felt were ineffective programs. He does not see what the Chamber has done to influence the City and to help business. He feels that marketing should be directed toward all areas of our culture, not just theater and OSF. He suggested that the council set forth the following three initiatives for the Chamber:
· Require the Chamber to produce Annual Reports documenting their
· Create an Annual Marketing Plan that holds new initiatives; and
· Hire a marketing/advertising/public-relations professional that could oversee progress and take an unbiased stand when evaluating the reports.
UNFINISHED BUSINESS (None)
NEW AND MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS:
1. Cable Franchise Renewal Status - Charter.
City Attorney Paul Nolte presented an update on the negotiations with Charter Cable. It is being suggested that the new contract would raise the PEG access fee from $.60 per subscriber to $.75 or even $1.00. PEG is the Public, Education, and Government Programming, and is used for programming on such channels as 8, 9, 31, and 33. Charter has argued that raising their rates could result in them loosing their competitive edge with their customers. Charter would not pay the PEG fees themselves, but rather pass it on to their subscribers.
An alternative to the increase in PEG access fees, would be a lump sum of $75,000 paid by Charter to the City. The dollars resulting from an increase in the PEG access fees would go to RVTD, and could be used to refurbish the council chambers and supplement operational costs. While the lump sum dollar amount could only be used for capital improvements. Staff is seeking direction from the Council on which they think would be most beneficial for the City and its subscribers.
Charter has also requested some changes with their agreement. They would like to change the definition of gross revenues so launch fees are not considered revenue. Nolte clarified that although he did not agree with the change, it would not make a big impact to the City, and is not worth arguing over. Charter has complained that satellites are not being charged the same PEG access fees. They are also requesting the City go from six public access channels, down to five. Stating that the sixth channel is not is use. The City is soliciting RVTV for feedback in this matter.
It was suggested by the council that whatever the increase may be, it is consistent with what our other vendors are paying (AFN). Nolte noted that the contracts have been reduced from twenty years down to five years each due to increasing technology and growth in this area. In summary, the negotiations with Charter have been going very well on the local level, though difficulties have been encountered when dealing with the national representatives. If negotiations break down, issues would most likely go to mediation for resolution. It was noted that the City is not required to renew their franchise agreement, though it will be up to the City to prove that their services are not adequate in order to do so.
Council agreed that staff should continue with negotiations and bring back a proposed franchise for council review and approval.
ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND CONTRACTS:
1. Second Reading by title only of "An Ordinance Amending Sections 15.04.220, 15.16.240 and 15.20.040 of the Ashland Municipal Code to Provide that Fees for the Mechanical, Plumbing and Electrical Codes be Set by Resolution of the City Council."
Councilor Morrison/Laws m/s to approve Ordinance # 2896. Roll Call Vote: Amarotico, Laws, Hearn, Jackson and Morrison, YES; Hartzell was out of the room. Motion passed.
2. Reading by title only of "A Resolution Adopting the Annual Budget and
Finance Director Lee Tuneberg briefly spoke on the issue of fund balances and how they are keeping with the projections made.
Councilor Hearn/Morrison m/s to approve Resolution # 2003-21. Roll Call Vote: Laws, Jackson, Amarotico, Morrison, Hartzell and Hearn, YES. Motion passed
3. First reading of "An Ordinance Levying Taxes for period July 1, 2003 to and including June 30, 2004, such taxes in the sum of $8,008,000 upon all the Real and Personal Property subject to Assessment and Levy within the Corporate Limits of the City of Ashland, Jackson County, Oregon."
Councilor Laws/Jackson m/s to approve first reading and move to second reading of ordinance. Roll Call Vote: Hartzell, Hearn, Morrison, Amarotico, Jackson and Laws, YES. Motion passed.
4. Reading by title only of "A Resolution declaring City's election to receive State Revenues."
Councilor Hartzell/Morrison m/s to approve Resolution # 2003-20. Roll Call Vote: Hearn, Morrison, Jackson, Hartzell, Amarotico and Laws, YES. Motion passed.
5. Reading by title only of "A Resolution Certifying City provides sufficient municipal services for qualify for State Subventions."
Councilor Hartzell/Jackson m/s to approve Resolution # 2003-19. Roll Call Vote: Hearn, Laws, Hartzell, Jackson, Amarotico and Morrison, YES. Motion passed.
OTHER BUSINESS FROM COUNCIL MEMBERS
Councilor Laws mentioned that it is his intention over the next couple of years to work with the OSF, Chamber, and local citizens to attached specific objectives to the Economic Development Plan. Including tracking how the money was used, and establishing performance indicators to track the progress. The goal is to have all of these factors set and in place by next years budget.
Councilor Jackson wanted the public to know that the Council attended over 30 hours of discussions that were held at the Budget Committee Meetings before they came to a final vote this evening.
Councilor Hartzell commented on the OSF and the Chamber of Commerce. She mentioned that both groups were interested and supportive of further discussions involving the Economic Development Plan.
Mayor DeBoer relayed two openings within the Bicycle Commission, and urged citizens to apply if interested. There was some discussion that the Bicycle and Traffic Safety Commissions could be combined, and it was verified that there are joint sessions planned for the future. Citizens' input on this matter is welcomed.
Councilor Hartzell asked for Council support on getting a report from the Committee for the Youth Activity levy. She would like an update on how they were doing, and if any assistance from the Council was needed. Hartzell proposed adding this as an agenda item for one of the regular meetings that are televised.
Councilor Morrison requested a progress report on the recruitment for a Chief of Police. Grimaldi informed the Council that they are presently soliciting public input, and are in the process of selecting a consulting firm that will assist in the search. They are seeking a firm that has a strong record for placement, and will provide a thorough background check for the applicants. Candidates will start interviewing early to mid September, and will possibly have the position filled by October. It was noted that the Parks Commissioners are also requesting public input on the search for a new Parks Director.
Paula Brown came forward to give an update on the Siskiyou Blvd renovation. She explained that they are still moving forward on the project, though the City had requested a stop to tearing up any more pavement or concrete until after the Fourth of July. Next week the medians will be filled with sod, and everything should be ready for the upcoming graduations and parade. They are requesting the public refrain from placing chairs or blankets on the new grass until the day of the parade. After the Fourth of July, construction will continue, and they are scheduled to pave Siskiyou Blvd. in September.
Brown reported that testing for Hosler Dam this week was positive. Last weeks Silent Test was wired incorrectly, but they have re-wired the box and all alarms responded correctly. Questions were posed as how to get the word to all of the community and visitors in the event that there is an actual emergency.
Mayor reminded citizens that the fire season has started. He urged citizens to use caution, especially with fire works during the Forth of July. He also noted the study session on homelessness that will be held tomorrow, June 4th at 12:00 p.m.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:10 p.m.
Barbara Christensen, City Recorder
Alan DeBoer, Mayor
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