Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Continued Meeting

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

May 4, 2005 - Noon
Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street

Mayor Morrison called the continued meeting to order at 12:00 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers.

Councilor Amarotico, Hartzell, Jackson and Silbiger were present. Councilor Hardesty was absent.

John Gaffey/637 Oak Street/Notified the Council that he was working on an initiative that would place the option of selling Ashland Fiber Network on the November ballot.

Eric Navickas/711 Faith Avenue/Updated the Council in regards to the Ski Ashland project. Mr. Navickas stated that on April 25th the DEQ issued a new permit to the Mt. Ashland Association for their waste treatment facility and explained that DEQ had eliminated the nitrogen requirement from the permit. He added that MAA had shown a similar example of negligence with the power cable extension which was installed last year. Mr. Navickas requested that the Council look into the absence of the nitrogen requirement as this could have an adverse affect on the City's watershed.

1.  Adoption of Findings for Planning Action 2004-105 - R&C Investments - Mountain Pines Subdivision.

It was suggested that the following changes be made to the Mt. Pines Findings:

• Page 44, Condition #1 - Modify to read, "That all proposals and stipulations of the Applicant are conditions of approval..."

• Page 43, #1 - "An existing dwelling will continue to exist but not as an Accessory Residential Unit" was amended at the previous meeting and request was made that this correction be made anywhere else that this building is mentioned.

• Page 41, #4 - Request was made to delete the sentence "However, the Council also concludes that the outcome of the Planning Commission proceedings was not improperly affected by the said communications".

• Page 25, middle of paragraph - It was noted that a request was made at the previous meeting to delete "This means that the 'demonstrable difficulty in meeting the specific requirements' (Criterion A) may be based on the proposed use of the site, and not only its physical attributes. Therefore, the Council determines that the manner in which an Applicant seeks to develop the property is relevant to grating an Exception to the municipal street standards."

• Page 41, It was questioned whether the Council had reached the conclusion listed in the Findings that "These facts weigh heavily in the Council's conclusion that the subject property will produce slight, if any, parking demands on Prospect Street, particularly on its westerly end." Staff indicated that they would review this in more detail and modify the Findings to reflect what the Council actually said and if there were any similar references they would be stricken from the Findings.

• Page 34, last sentence - Amend sentence to read, "Therefore, the Council concludes that this application is consistent with Criterion 3".

• Page 33, middle of page - Request was made to delete the paragraph stating "The City Council is aware that adjustments in design..." Comment was made that this was covered by Stipulation Condition #9. Request was made for Staff to determine whether this stipulation condition was more lenient than the Tree Ordinance, and if so that it be modified to comply.

• Page 22, last paragraph - Amend sentence to read, "Appellant Hopkins emphasizes the word 'shall' but failed to adequately address the term 'inadequate'."

• Page 20, last paragraph - Amend sentence to read, "In the western 1/3 of the street, the sidewalk will be incorporated in the driving surface and differentiated with paving material to further protect the aforementioned cluster of trees."

• Page 19, first paragraph - It was noted that the Findings state that "The Council concludes that standard street improvements are unnecessary based upon the number of dwellings to be served. Additionally, there is steep terrain along the Prospect Street frontage of the subject property which begins approximately at the south boundary of Prospect Street right-of-way"; however Council stated that it was their recollection that the reason they changed the street standard width for Prospect was because the north side of Prospect drops off and request was made to delete this sentence and for Staff to craft language that reflects what was actually stated.

Councilor Jackson/Silbiger m/s to approve Findings as amended. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.

2. Council election of Audit Committee member
Continued until the May 17, 2005 council meeting.

3. Adoption of 2005-2006 council goals.
Continued until the May 17, 2005 council meeting.

1. Ashland Fiber Network organizational change.
Finance Director Lee Tuneberg stated that the proposal Staff had presented was one of many that were considered, and explained that this option seemed to address the needs the best. He explained that the organizational change recommends that AFN report to the Finance Department for the next year and noted the addition of two new positions. The first being a management position for AFN and the second being a support position for the Finance Director who would assist in creating models, doing statistics and studies and providing other support for the grant work and other responsibilities of the Finance Department. Mr. Tuneberg noted that the AFN management position had been included in the budget and the overall impact to the budget for this reorganization would be $100,000.

Mr. Tuneberg noted that Electric and Telecommunications Director Dick Wanderscheid prepared a memo that addressed the issue of the technician position. City Administrator Gino Grimaldi clarified that Staff was attempting to work within the existing budget; however it if turned out that they were unable to function without the technician position, Staff would come back to Council and request the additional funds to reinstate the position.

Mr. Tuneberg explained that the responsibilities of the Finance Department have continued to grow and stated that the Finance support position was necessary even under the current situation. He clarified that he would not be giving up any of his Finance Director responsibilities, but would delegate some of the day to day operational issues.

Support was expressed for placing someone at the head of AFN who would work with the Finance Director, and suggestion was made for the Council to begin discussing an interim strategy. This strategy might include having the Finance Director work with the AFN department to put the systems in place from a financial perspective and then bring in someone with the business expertise needed to run a telecommunication and IT service and could begin running AFN from that point forward. It was also suggested that this AFN manager report directly to the Council or the City Administrator.

It was questioned whether the Council would have to discuss some of the personnel issues in Executive Session. City Attorney Mike Franell explained that according to State Statute, the Council could only use Executive Session for the hiring of a chief officer or department head or for disciplinary action of an employee. It was suggested that if the Council had specific items they would like to address but are unsure of the proper avenue, they should consult with the City's legal counsel to determine whether an Executive Session is appropriate.

Councilor Hartzell left the meeting at 1:00 p.m.

The AFN Advisory Committee recommendations were mentioned, which suggest that the City hire a temporary manager. Comment was made that there are much greater discussions that need to be had before they go out and hire a permanent manager.

Comment was made agreeing with the need for a reorganization and a new manager for AFN, however it was questioned whether the Finance Department was the correct location for AFN and it was also questioned whether they should create the permanent management position now.

Mayor Morrison noted the suggestions submitted by Councilor Silbiger and voiced his support for the reorganization proposed by Staff. He stated that Staff's proposal addressed the City's needs, and would obtain an experienced manager for AFN and closely align that department with the Finance Director and his expertise. Morrison stated that time was our enemy right now and stated that they should not delay making a decision.

Mr. Tuneberg stated that Staff needed direction in regards to how to build the budget and what their roles should be. He stated that the proposal presented to the Council gives them the flexibility to move ahead and stated that if the Council waits several months to make a decision, they could be dead in the water again.

Councilor Jackson m/s to accept the reorganization proposal prepared by Staff and look at working with Councilor Silbiger's memo on schedule of tasks and setting up an oversight committee as suggested by the Ad Hoc Advisory Committee. Motion dies due to lack of second.

Comment was made voicing opposition to the plan presented by Staff unless the reorganization included an AFN department head that reported directly to the City Administrator.

Mr. Grimaldi requested the opportunity to present some alternatives to the Council if they wished to move in this direction.

Comment was expressing support for placing the AFN department under the Finance department as long as it was a temporary condition.

Mr. Grimaldi clarified that in order to for the AFN manager to report directly to the City Administrator, there would have to be other organizational changes.

Council agreed to continue this discussion at a Special Meeting scheduled for Tuesday, May 10th at 7 p.m. in the Siskiyou Room.

2. Measure 37 Claim on Lowe Road.
Mr. Franell requested direction from the Council as to whether they wanted to send a letter to the County objecting to the granting of the Measure 37 claim.

Councilor Jackson/Silbiger m/s direct Staff to submit a letter to the County preserving Ashland's rights regarding the Measure 37 claim on Lowe Road to be signed by the Mayor. DISCUSSION:

Ron Roth/6950 Old Hwy 99S/Noted the proximity of his property to this proposed development and requested that the City be open to the concept of a rest area and welcome center at this location. Mr. Roth noted that there are no rest areas north bound for over 60 miles and stated that the rest area and welcome center would be an asset to the community.

Council clarified that the preferred method for dealing with this kind of application would have been for the applicant to request a zone change, rather than bypassing the land use rules and filing the Measure 37 claim. It was also clarified that the City needed to submit the letter for legal reasons.
Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.

3. Request for sanitary sewer service at 597 Benson Way - Located Outside the City Limits.
Associate Engineer Pieter Smeenk stated that three years ago the Siskiyou Village Mobile Park, which is located inside the urban growth boundary but outside the city limits, received notice from Jackson County of a failed septic system and the management company, was ordered to remedy the failing system by November of 2005. In March of 2002, the park received Council authorization to connect to the City's sewer system and Mr. Smeenk explained that the closest and only viable point of connection is at Benson Way. He explained that this connection would require that the sewer be routed under the railroad and across approximately 300 ft. of private property. The owner of this private property, Cody Bustamante, has consented to grant an easement for the sewer, with the condition that he also be allowed to connect to the City's sewer system.

Mr. Smeenk noted the dimensions of the sewer line and stated that it was unlikely that the other properties is this area would overload the line if at some point they were annexed into the City. He also clarified that the City does have a Sanitary Sewer Master Plan.

Mr. Bustamante came forward and explained the location of the existing system and noted that it was right next to the property line.

Council questioned if Mr. Bustamante would be willing to sign a waiver against filing a Measure 37 claim against the City. Staff clarified that Mr. Bustamante had already agreed to a deed restriction which would prevent any partitioning or subdivision of his property and would protect the City from any claims. The language of the deed restriction was noted and Council agreed that it was sufficient.

Councilor Jackson/Hartzell m/s to approve request for sanitary services at 597 Benson Way. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.

1. Reading by title only of "A Resolution Authorizing a Subsidy from the Electric Fund to the Telecommunications Fund for Debt Service."

This agenda item was not addressed due to time constraints.

ADJOURNMENT: Meeting adjourned at 1:41 p.m.

Barbara Christensen, City Recorder
John W. Morrison, Mayor

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