Agendas and Minutes

Ashland Parks & Recreation Commission (View All)

Regular Meeting

Monday, February 28, 2005

City of Ashland







Present:    Commissioners Amarotico, Eggers, Gardiner, Lewis, Rosenthal; Director Robertson; Superintendent Gies; Superintendent Teige; City Council Liaison Amarotico

Absent:     None

CALL TO ORDER         

Gardiner called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM at Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main.


Study Session – January 18, 2005  Under Old Business item ““Review of 2004-2005 Goals,” Eggers asked that the sentence in the section “Discussion Among Commissioners” pertaining to “Implementation of an Environmental Stewardship Program” be clarified to read, “which includes establishment of a program and timeline for eradication of non-native species within the parks system.”

MOTION Rosenthal moved to approve the minutes as corrected. Amarotico seconded the motion.

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no

Regular Meeting – January 24, 2005  Under Open Forum, regarding Sandee Kensinger’s request on behalf of AAA American Legion Baseball to use the North Mountain Park baseball fields in June and July, Eggers asked that the sentence in the section “Discussion Among Commissioners” be augmented to read, “Commissioners and staff expressed interest in supporting the request but stated that additional information, such as numbers of games, impacts on the neighborhood, wear and tear on the fields, and parking needs, would be required. “ She asked that the next sentence be changed to read, “Staff was directed to determine the scheduling needs for the Ashland baseball community.” Under Election of Officers, Eggers asked that the record reflect that “Rosenthal was elected vice chair for 2005, with three votes for Rosenthal and two votes for Eggers.” Under New Business item “North Mountain Park Amplification Request,” Eggers asked that the sentence read, “Teige reported that North Mountain Park Nature Center staff requested….” In the same section, under “Discussion Among Commissioners,” Eggers asked that the sentence read, “Staff reported that it was appreciated and there were no complaints.” In the final sentence of that section, she asked that the sentence read, “The commission approved use of sound amplification for the 2005 Earth Day event.” Under New Business item “Dog Leash Rules,” Eggers asked that the section under “Discussion Among Commissioners” read, “Commissioners suggested a one-year trial period to assess the affects of and responses to the dog ordinance change….”

MOTION Eggers moved to approve the minutes as corrected. Rosenthal seconded the motion.

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no


Open Forum

Melissa Mitchell-Hooge, 271 High Street, updated the commission on the work of the Save Our Schools and Playgrounds Committee, for which she serves as president. She announced upcoming meetings and clarified that the committee is dedicated to the mission of saving the Lincoln and Briscoe Elementary School playgrounds as neighborhood parks.


Gardiner asked that “Director’s Evaluation” be added under New Business.



Robertson referenced the packet memo regarding baseball field lights at North Mountain Park, reminding the commission that they last discussed the matter at the October 25 regular meeting, where staff presented a three-step process to help evaluate the potential for lighting the field. The three steps included: 1) Review current literature on the topic of artificial light on natural areas; 2) Perform light meter tests on North Mountain Park natural areas and adjacent properties to the park; and 3) Request a light model of the current fixtures with a “back shield” on the individual fixtures. He welcomed both Linda Chesney of North Mountain Park Nature Center, who prepared a study regarding the ecological effects of artificial lighting of North Mountain Park ballfields, and Tim Butz of Musco Lighting, who came prepared to speak about current lighting technology.

Linda Chesney of the North Mountain Park Nature Center summarized the report she prepared for the commission, adding that she received an email from Pepper Trail of the Forensics Lab in which he stated that the current lights have had minimal impact [on ecological aspects at North Mountain Park] and where he expressed no strong objection to the baseball lights, as long as they would be similar to the current soccer lights. In summary, Chesney suggested shielding the lights to the maximum, limiting the duration of their use, and maximizing shading from wetlands and stream areas to prevent light from reaching those areas.

Steve Gies reported on the results from the 20 light meter samples taken at the North Mountain Park natural area and adjacent property to the park. He indicated that the samples were taken with the soccer lights both on and off.

Tim Butz of Musco Lighting passed out literature on the proposed baseball lights and talked about the recent technology advancements in the lighting of sports fields. In terms of cost, he reported that baseball lights would be similar to soccer lights in terms of purchase price but would provide a 40% energy savings over the older style of field lights.

Greg Weston of Ashland, representing Ashland Legion Baseball, Babe Ruth Baseball, and Ashland High School baseball, spoke in support of lighting the baseball fields for the benefit of the players and their families and friends, and reported that the baseball community is prepared to begin raising funds to contribute toward the lights.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Robertson read the email he received from Karl Kemper, Athletic Director at Ashland High School, who wrote in support of installing baseball lights at the North Mountain Park baseball fields. Several commissioners spoke in favor of the lights, listing reasons such as increased safety of the sport, allowing families to enjoy evening games, the enhancements that lights would provide to the facility, and the fact that many of the environmental questions were answered by Linda Chesney’s report. Opposition was voiced in terms of the lack of guarantee that light would not shine in areas for which it was not intended, concerns regarding reflected light, the desire to refrain from compromising the natural area in any way, and the fact that other expenditures might supersede baseball lights in terms of budgetary goals for the upcoming fiscal year.

Commissioners directed staff to prepare a list of projects for the 2005-2006 fiscal year and to determine where the baseball lights would fall in terms of budget priorities. The group agreed to discuss the matter again at the March 14 study session.


Robertson reminded the commission that a citizen requested they sign a petition to vacate the road easement that extends from Greenbriar into the North Main property. Initially, the commission was not interested in vacating that street right-of-way because it provided the only potential access point from the north into the property. The commission’s biggest concern at that time was that the pedestrian access easement would be affected. Since that time, Public Works spoke with the requesting property owners and endorsed the vacation of the street easement, maintaining a pedestrian access easement and a utility easement through the property. Robertson indicated staff’s agreement with the assessment by Public Works as long as a full-width pedestrian access easement could be maintained on what would become the vehicle or street easement.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Several commissioners agreed with the right-of-way vacation request while another commissioner felt the need to complete the master plan for the North Main Street park site before making such a determination.

MOTION Rosenthal moved to vacate the Greenbriar right-of-way with the provision that a pedestrian access easement and a utility easement be maintained. Amarotico seconded the motion.

               The vote was:   Commissioners Amarotico, Gardiner, Lewis, Rosenthal – yes

                                       Commissioner Eggers – no



Robertson reported that staff intended to submit the entire personnel handbook to the commission for consideration at a future date, but that some issues within the department prompted staff to request a single policy review ahead of the complete document.

Discussion Among Commissioners

A commissioner asked whether vacation and sick leave donation policies are common in city governmental offices and was informed that they are.

MOTION Eggers moved to approve adoption of the policy on vacation and sick leave donation as outlined by staff. Lewis seconded the motion.

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no


Robertson updated the commission on the progress regarding the RFP process for two park sites within Ashland. After a lengthy review process by a committee, followed by an extensive commission discussion at the February 24 study session, Robertson learned that one of the pending vendors was willing to negotiate his price if needed.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners debated the pros and cons of the landscape architecture firms and again stated their preferences for each vendor / park site.

MOTION Amarotico moved to approve awarding contracts for master plan designs for two park sites in Ashland to two different landscape architecture firms: David Lewis for the Vogel property and Lango Hansen for the N. Main Street / Scenic property.

               The vote was:   Commissioners Amarotico, Gardiner, Rosenthal – yes

                                       Commissioners Eggers, Lewis – no


Gardiner reported on the February 24 performance review of the Director of Ashland Parks and Recreation and called for a motion.

MOTION Rosenthal moved to approve the granting of a merit increase to the Director of Ashland Parks and Recreation, retroactive to January 1, 2005, in accordance with the contractual obligation. Lewis seconded the motion.

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no


Golf Course Subcommittee Update

Robertson updated the commission on the Oak Knoll Golf Course RFP process, reporting that 33 packets were sent out in response to requests from interested parties, with three proposals received as of the closing date [one of which was incomplete]. He reported that the review committee will meet on March 3 to decide whether to move forward with interviews or to open the process up to allow more people to submit proposals.


Eggers reported on the recent work of the Ashland Watershed Partnership, including an update on the status of the Billings Golf Course proposal, for which there is not an application on file with the county. She also reported on the update from the riparian ordinance Citizen’s Committee representative and the desire on the part of all concerned to serve the entire community.

Eggers reminded the commission that she represents the Parks Commission in her role as a regular voting member on the Forest Lands Commission. Her three-year term is complete and she expressed interest in serving another three-year term, unless another commissioner wished to serve. Barring none, she agreed to serve another term, with Lewis as her backup.

Eggers asked that staff report each year on how the Parks Department works with the City with respect to restoration and fire hazard reduction on parkland.


·     Study session set for March 14 at 7:00 PM – Parks office, 340 S. Pioneer.

·     Trail Master Plan Committee meeting set for March 17 at 1:00 PM – Parks Office, 340 S. Pioneer.

[Note: The meeting was later postponed.]

·     Regular meeting set for March 28 at 7:00 PM – Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main.

ADJOURNMENT – By consensus, with no further business, Gardiner adjourned the meeting.


Respectfully submitted, Susan Dyssegard, Ashland Parks and Recreation

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