City of Ashland
PARKS AND RECREATION COMMISSION
Present: Commissioners Amarotico, Eggers, Gardiner, Lewis, Rosenthal; Director Robertson; Superintendent Gies; Superintendent Teige; City Council Liaison Hartzell; Ashland School Board Members; School Superintendent DiChiro; Members of the Save our Schools and Playgrounds Committee
Chair Gardiner called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. at the Parks office, 340 S. Pioneer Street.
DISCUSSION ABOUT THE FUTURE OF THE BRISCOE AND LINCOLN SCHOOL PLAYGROUNDS
Parks Commissioners and School Board members introduced themselves to the audience [of approximately 30 people]. Superintendent Gies spoke of the 25 years of collaborative projects between the Parks Department and the Ashland School District. Commissioners and School Board members spoke of their desire to ensure the best possible outcome for the future of the Briscoe and Lincoln School playgrounds.
School Superintendent DiChiro informed the group that the Briscoe School building is fully occupied, with half of the rooms used by OCDC and the other half by the Lithia Arts Guild. Both are three-year leases, and OCDC may extend their lease by two years.
Chair Gardiner opened the floor to public testimony.
Melissa Mitchell-Hooge, 271 High Street, spoke on behalf of the Save Our Schools and Playgrounds organization (for which she serves as president), requesting that the city preserve its elementary school playgrounds. She read letters from Peter Buckley, State Representative Elect, District Five, and Judy Uherbelau, State Representative, 52nd District, who wrote in favor of preserving the school playgrounds as neighborhood parks.
Brian Almquist, 128 Wimer Street (Ashland City Administrator from 1970-1998), offered support for the preservation of the Briscoe School Playground Park.
Celine Fulton, 355 High Street, spoke in support of retaining the Briscoe School playground as a neighborhood park.
Su Rolle, 311 High Street, also spoke in support of retaining the Briscoe School playground as a neighborhood park.
Rivers Brown, 1067 Ashland Street, voiced his concern about the preservation of the Lincoln and Briscoe School playgrounds.
Jan Waitt, 147 Manzanita Street, spoke in support of saving the Briscoe School playground from development.
Kelly Solomon, 259 High Street, also spoke in support of saving the Briscoe School playground from development.
Discussion Among Commissioners
Other meeting attendees, including Cathy Shaw (former mayor of Ashland) and Allen Drescher (Ashland City Municipal Judge), voiced support for the preservation of the school parks and proposed several creative ideas for resolving the situations.
Commissioners and School Board members agreed that the chair for each body would meet to form a task force to further investigate the future of the Briscoe and Lincoln Elementary School playgrounds.
ADJOURNMENT – With no further business, Chair Gardiner adjourned the meeting at 8:55 p.m.