MINUTES FOR THE REGULAR
ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
May 4, 2004 - 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 April 20, 2004, and minutes of the Executive Session of April 20, 2004 were approved as presented.
Mayor DeBoer clarified that the Planning Commission Chair sits on the Historic Commission, not on the Conservation Commission as the minutes stated.
SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS & AWARDS
Mayor presented Certificates of Appreciation to Alexi Butler, Charles Walker, Amy Langford, Maya Hickman and Caitlin Emery for their work during National Youth Service Day.
Proclamations of May, 2004 as Mental Health Awareness Month, May 3 - 9, 2004 as National Historic Preservation Week, May 16 - 22, 2004 as National Public Works Week, May 10 - 16, 2004 as Cover the Uninsured Week and April as School Library Media Month were read out loud.
1. Minutes of Boards, Commissions and Committees.
Councilor Hartzell/Morrison m/s to approve Consent Agenda. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
PUBLIC HEARINGS (None)
1. Appointment of Allen Douma to the Planning Commission for a term to expire April 30, 2008 to replace Raymond Kistler.
Councilor Jackson/Laws m/s to appoint Allen Douma to the Planning Commission. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
2. Appointment of Olena Black to the Planning Commission for a term to expire April 30, 2008 to replace Cameron Hanson.
Councilor Hartzell/Morrison m/s to appoint Olena Black to the Planning Commission. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
3. Appointment of David Williams to the Planning Commission for a term to expire April 30, 2008 to replace Colin Swales.
Councilor Amarotico/Hearn m/s to appoint David Williams to the Planning Commission. DISCUSSION: Councilor Jackson supports the Mayor's decision, but voiced concern on not having a minority voice on the Commission. Councilor Hartzell noted her previous request for clarity from the City Attorney on the activities that lead to the Mayor's decision. Hartzell also stated that Staff should be notifying the Council when a problem occurs on the Commission. Councilor Morrison voiced his support of David Williams, but felt that there is no evidence that justifies not re-appointing Colin Swales. Councilor Hearn stated the Mayor has the right to appoint individuals, and the Council's position is to determine if that person is qualified or not. Voice Vote: Laws, Amarotico and Hearn, YES; Hartzell, Morrison and Jackson, NO; Mayor NO. Motion failed 3-4.
4. Council appointment of commissioner to Audit Committee for term to expire April 30, 2007.
Councilor Hartzell/Jackson m/s to approve appointment of Guy Nutter to the Audit Committee. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
5. Reading by title only of "A Resolution Creating the Charter Review
Management Analyst Ann Seltzer read aloud the synopsis of the staff memo and noted the Citizen Participation Plan as a new addition to the packet. Seltzer stated the deadlines for submitting information to Jackson County for the March and May 2005 elections and noted the costs associated with placing this as an item for a Special Election. She stated that the Extent of Review needs further discussion.
Council discussed the charge of the committee, which may include looking into the governance issue along with updating the Charter where appropriate. It was commented that the committee should be able to have the freedom to choose what may need to be addressed and to allow the citizen's to bring specific changes forward.
Council discussed the proposed deadline, which included consideration of the November 2004 election and subsequent elections dates thereafter. It was stated that the council should not set a timeline, but that it should be done quickly and efficiently.
Council discussed the appointment process for the committee and the need for diversity. It was agreed that these meetings should be easily accessible by the public and that public input would be encouraged. A request that the committee is educated, regarding the Charter and the process, was made and that either staff or the consultant provide this information.
Council reviewed the proposed Resolution setting the Charter Review Committee and discussed the importance of including public input, and allow the committee to develop their own rules and expectations. It was suggested to remove Section 3 from the proposed resolution. After further consideration, the council agreed that eliminating pages 2 and 3 of the Expectations of the Charter Review Committee would be satisfactory, and to remove the sentence "The mayor will appoint a member to serve as chair." Additional suggestion was made that the resolution should state that "the council should consider the timeline" and that the proposed Charter Revision be placed on the earliest feasible ballot.
Councilor Jackson/Hartzell m/s to approve Resolution #2004-10 as presented, with the attached document in Section 3 referring to Page 1 of the Expectations of the Charter Review Committee with the three editorial changes presented. Roll Call Vote: Laws, Hearn, Jackson, Amarotico, Morrison and Hartzell, YES. Motion passed.
Bryan Holley/324 Liberty Street/Spoke in regards to the appointments to the Planning Commission. Mr. Holley commented on the issue of bias and is concerned that this word would have a negative effect on the public dialog. Mr. Holley gave examples of different types of biases, and thanked the Mayor for his vote on the issue.
Mayor DeBoer explained the process for appointing the Charter Review Committee. An advertisement will be placed in the newspaper and Council will be solicited for their comments and suggestions. He will then take a consensus amongst the council when appointing the members. The community was urged to submit applications to the City Recorder and to include their background information. It was noted that applicants are required to be a resident of Ashland in order to be eligible for this committee.
It was suggested that the applicants include an explanation as to why they are interested in serving on this committee. In addition, the City Recorder will prepare an application form for the Charter Review Committee selection process and will be available for applicants.
Pam Vavra/2800 Dead Indian Memorial Rd/Reported on the Earth Day Celebration at North Mountain Park. She shared the comments that the community wrote at the Green Party exhibit.
NEW AND MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS
1. Ashland Forest Lands Restoration Project Summary.
Fire Chief Keith Woodley noted the staff report presented to the Council. He also thanked the City's Public Works and Police Departments for their support in keeping the area clear in regards to public safety.
Eric Navickas/711 Faith Street/Noted that he had attended the field trip and expressed concern with the large number of trees logged in the riparian area. Mr. Navickas stated the area has been opened up to 50-60% canopy closure, and the increased sunlight will have an impact on the temperature of the streams. He feels this project has created a bad precedent and that logging of large diameter trees and trees in riparian areas is unacceptable for the City of Ashland. He also mentioned that fire fuel reductions can be done by non-commercial means.
Councilor Jackson shared that she had also attended the field trip and was impressed with the work that was done.
Mr. Woodley stated the City has avoided removing live timber in the riparian areas because they do not yet have a riparian management plan. He explained that dead timber existed in close proximity to the project area, and that some of this was removed, however there was no concentrated effort to remove timber within the riparian area.
It was mentioned that what was completed was best for the forest and that the cost of the project had almost broke even. It was noted that informational signs will be posted that explains what has occurred and why there are logs laying on the ground. It was mentioned that the Forest Lands Commission, which consisted of a large number of expertises, had been working on this project for about 6 years and appreciation for all of their hard work was acknowledged.
Mr. Woodley announced that an EMS (Emergency Medical Service) proclamation would be presented at the next council meeting. Activities are planned in Garfield Park similar to previous events.
Mayor DeBoer noted the contract for Superior Helicopter was for $263,091 and the after the trees were sold, the net cost to the City of Ashland was only $441.15.
2. Report and Recommendation on Financing Alternatives for Ashland Fiberoptic
Finance Director Lee Tuneberg relayed the synopsis of the staff report to the council. Mr. Tuneberg recommended that the council approve the request to move forward on looking into restructuring AFN's debt for next year. Upon approval, he would bring back a report and a proposal within 30 days. The report will center on utilizing revenue bonds that are taxable. Mr. Tuneberg commented on the benefits of refinancing and stated that this is the right time to go forward with the restructuring of the debt.
Mr. Tuneberg explained for council that the feedback from the Ad Hoc Committee had been minimal as all the members had not been present. However, the proposal had been accepted by the committee.
Mr. Tuneberg clarified for the Council the taxability of revenue bonds and ratios, and that electric revenue will be used to make debt service if needed.
Councilor Hartzell/Amarotico m/s to accept the recommendation from staff and authorize the Finance Director to proceed with restructuring the AFN debt, and bringing back to Council a plan and resolution within 30 days. DISCUSSION: Mr. Tuneberg stated that this would be brought back to the Council on May 18th or June 1st along with a proposed resolution. He explained that the bond sale would not occur until late July or early August. At that time, if requested, the public would have the opportunity to place this on the ballot in November. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
3. Ashland Fiber Network Quarterly Report.
Electric & Telecommunications Director Dick Wanderscheid explained the report which covered the period of January 1, 2004 to March 31, 2004. The report will continue to change in the future as they will be tracking new items as a result of the recommendations from Navigant Consultants. Mr. Wanderscheid explained AFN has been able to keep its expenses and revenues close to the budgeted amounts. He also noted the figures provided include the donation made by the Cow Creek Tribe and the costs for Navigant Consultants. Implementation of some of the marketing ideas, as suggested by Navigant, have begun. Staff will continue on a quarterly basis to update the Council on the progress of AFN.
A typographical error on page 3 was noted. Clarification that AFN is at 75% of the year, and the expenses are at 76% of what was budgeted. AFN is exceeding the residential targets, but is still below the targets for high speed data. Because costs have been down and targets have been exceeding in residential, AFN is breaking even overall. Staff met with the Ashland Chamber of Commerce and performed research as to how to market the high speed data connection.
4. Reconsideration of Armory Decision Conditional Use Permit; Oregon Military
Community Development Director John McLaughlin explained the Council had previously approved the request for a conditional use permit for activities at the National Guard Armory that were not part of the original approval. The conditional permit was approved with specific conditions, and the Oregon Military Department then appealed the Council's decision to LUBA. Since then, Staff worked with the Oregon Military Department and the residents of the neighborhood to reach an agreement that both parties could agree upon. Staff recommended that the Council adopt the Findings as submitted and agreed upon by both parties.
Susan Rust/42 Wightman/Sidney Abrahams/89 Mallard Street/Submitted a brief joint statement. They believe the revised Findings addressed the needs of the military as well as the concerns of the neighborhood, and asked that the Council adopt the revised Findings. They also thanked the City Staff for their highly professional level of advise and for the level of commitment they displayed.
Kathy Lincoln/1162 Court Street, Salem/Represented the military in this matter and noted the appreciation of the cooperation of all involved. Ms. Lincoln voiced support for the revised Findings.
Eugene Milliron/1763 Camp Baker Rd, Medford/Voiced his appreciation of all involved and supported the revised Findings.
It was explained that the proposed Findings were the result of an initial draft by Kathy Lincoln and modifications by staff based on the meetings with the interveners. It was clarified that this would not result in a new interpretation of the City municipal code as our current code does not refer to community functions. This document refers to community functions. It was legal staff's opinion that this particular language would not be applied in other instances, unless council should choose to do so. Mr. McLaughlin clarified that this approval is specific to the use of the Armory and does not apply to the rest of the SOU zone. Conditional use permits are site specific and do not necessarily relate to any other building or site in town.
The conditions for use was explained as to not regulate small events which met in the meeting rooms located within this facility in the same way that large events in the auditorium are regulated. If an outdoor event was requested, a new conditional use permit would be required.
Council discussed the need to clarify the ending time of an event and examples of possible noise disruptions to the neighborhood were noted. It was suggested that the language be changed to include "time not to exceed 2 hours after the event is concluded." Concern was raised with making changes to the proposed Findings after the involved parties had come to an agreement. The Oregon Military Department may not agree with the discussed changes and appeal the Findings to LUBA.
Councilor Morrison/Jackson m/s to adopt the revised Findings with the addition of the language "...not to exceed two hours ...".
Councilor Laws moved to amend the motion by striking the words proposed by Councilor Morrison. Motion failed due to lack of second.
Voice Vote: Laws, Amarotico, Jackson, Morrison and Hearn, YES; Hartzell, NO. Motion passed 5-1.
5. Letter supporting BPA Agreements with Puget Power and
Electric & Telecommunications Director Dick Wanderscheid brought forward recommendation that the Mayor sign the attached letter supporting the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) proposal. The approval would result in a saving of almost $600,000 of wholesale power costs to the City of Ashland over the next two years. Mr. Wanderscheid clarified that this agreement moves $200 million dollars out of BPA's revenue requirement for the next two years. If this money is included, than Ashland's rates will increase by about 6%.
Councilor Hartzell/Laws m/s to authorize the Mayor to sign the letter supporting this proposal and forward to BPA prior to May 14, 2004. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
6. Request for water and sewer service to 295 Mistletoe.
Public Works Director Paula Brown explained that this property is contiguous to Ashland's City Limits and is within the Urban Growth Boundary. Staff recommended to allow this property to connect to Ashland's water and sewer service.
Councilor Morrison/Hartzell m/s to approve the sewer and water service connections for Mrs. Gessler at 295 Mistletoe Road, and direct staff to obtain all necessary agreements prior to final connection. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND CONTRACTS:
1. Reading by title only of "A Resolution of the City Council of the City of Ashland Reiterating its policy of relating the expenditure of monies for Economic and Cultural Development to the Hotel/Motel (Transient Occupancy) Tax and Repealing Resolution 2000-25."
Finance Director Lee Tuneberg relayed the synopsis of the council communication and provided two proposed resolutions. One resolution was drafted for a Study Session, the alternate resolution was prepared based on additional input. Mr. Tuneberg noted that the smallest group of the grantees have already prepared their applications and have begun submitting them to the Finance Department for review.
Wendy Siporen/212 Gibson Street, Talent/Southern Oregon Economic Development Coalition/Ms. Siporen stated that tourism promotion is an important part of the Economic Development Plan, but it is only one aspect of a comprehensive Economic Development Program. She noted that her non-profit organization works to support small businesses in reaching sustainability, and emphasized that diversifying the economy is an important goal. She asks that the Council maintain flexibility and to work with the grantees to develop a Comprehensive Economic Development policy for the City.
Russ Silbiger/562 Ray Lane/Feels the Staff and Committee did an excellent job at determining the tourism percentage, stating it meets the law and gives the City maximum flexibility now and in the future. Mr. Silbiger noted the Chamber's attempted to claim that all of their funding was for tourism, which contradicted statements they had made in the past. Mr. Silbiger suggests that the Chamber be held to the same financial reporting standards as the rest of the grantees. He explained that he supports the alternative resolution and asked that the Council use it as a starting point.
Council discussed using the alternate resolution as a starting point. Suggestion was made that the fixed amounts for the Chamber of Commerce and Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) be for a specific period of time of either two or three years. It was requested that all activities for economic development be reported separately and that projects have separate applications. A report and description on intent of use was requested for the Chamber of Commerce. A suggestion was made that the level of scrutiny for each report be based on the amount of the grant.
Concern was raised regarding the legal interpretation of the ordinance and that the committee had focused on what the Chamber had done to attract tourists when there has been no interpretation made for what constitutes welcoming tourists. Council questioned what percentage of the Chamber's budget was used for marketing tourism. A suggestion was made to establish a policy that created a reserve with the fund.
Mr. Tuneberg clarified for Council that the grants are based upon what is budgeted, and it is incumbent upon staff to try to project what the revenues will be.
Councilor Hartzell/Jackson m/s to extend meeting to 10:30 p.m. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
Mr. Tuneberg commented that he is most comfortable with going by the budget and not trying to reconcile.
Councilor Laws/Hartzell m/s to approve alternative Resolution #2004-11 with suggestions brought forward by Councilor Jackson. DISCUSSION: Concern was raised in regards to cutting the Chamber's funding by $12,000 and the current impacts to the tourism market. It was clarified that a fixed amount would provide information on an annual basis to the grantees and gradual growth information on availability of funds when determining where additional tourism dollars are being spent.
Councilor Morrison/Laws m/s to amend the motion to change the addition amount for the Chamber from $150,000 to $160,000. Roll Call Vote: Amarotico, Jackson, Morrison and Laws, YES. Hearn and Hartzell, NO. Motion Passed 4-2.
2. First reading by title only of "An Ordinance Amending the Definition of Gross Revenues to Exclude Revenue from Cable Modems under the Telecommunications Chapter of the Ashland Municipal Code."
Councilor Laws/Jackson m/s to approve first reading and move to second reading of ordinance. Roll Call Vote: Hartzell, Jackson, Morrison, Hearn, Laws and Amarotico, YES. Motion passed.
3. First reading by title only of "An Ordinance Creating a Prohibition
Against Public Nudity."
Police Chief Mike Bianca explained that the motivation for this ordinance was due to over 16 incidents this past year. He explained that the department had experienced difficulties with prior incidents and had numerous citizen complaints. The proposed ordinance would set clear boundaries on behavior.
Assistant City Attorney Mike Franell explained that language in the proposed ordinance had already been upheld by the Oregon Supreme Court.
Councilor Hartzell/Morrison m/s to approve first reading and move to second reading of ordinance. Roll Call Vote: Morrison, Hearn, Laws, Jackson, and Hartzell, YES; Amarotico, NO. Motion passed 5-1.
4. Reading by title only of "A Resolution Establishing the City of Ashland
as a Partner in the Cities for Climate Protection Campaign."
Electric & Telecommunications Director Dick Wanderscheid informed the Council that in order to become a partner in this program, they would need to approve the proposed resolution. He explained that the Southern Oregon University students would be not be gathering physical data, but would be using paper data.
Councilor Morrison/Laws m/s to approve Resolution #2004-09. Roll Call Vote: Hartzell, Hearn, Jackson, Laws, Amarotico and Morrison, YES. Motion passed.
OTHER BUSINESS FROM COUNCIL MEMBERS
Council consensus to cancel the discussion on Electric Rates at the scheduled Study Session to the Budget Committee meeting.
The Bike Swap was announced for this Saturday, May 8th at the Civic Center, as was the Post Office Food Drive on the same day.
Meeting was adjourned at 10:28 p.m.
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