Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Regular Meeting

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

January 3, 2006
Civic Center Council Chambers
1175 E. Main Street

Mayor Morrison called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers.
Councilors Hardesty, Amarotico, Hartzell, Jackson, Silbiger and Chapman were present.
Mayor read aloud "The State of the City." (Complete statement submitted into the public record)

Mayor commended staff for their efforts in regards to flood control this past week.

The minutes of the Executive Session Meeting of December 20, 2005 and the Regular Council Meeting of December 20, 2005 were approved as presented.
Mayor's Proclamation of January 7 as "Christmas Tree Recycle Day in Ashland" was read aloud.
1. Minutes of Boards, Commissions, and Committees.
Councilor Hartzell/Jackson m/s to approve the Consent Agenda. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
Ruth Miller/758 B Street/Requested that her time be given to Philip Lang.

Philip Lang/758 B Street/Spoke in regards to the need for Affordable Housing in our community. Mr. Lang submitted written statement that included a request to the council that they make a conscience choice for Affordable Housing. He offered two alternatives: 1) Declare openly that affordable housing is not wanted or desired in Ashland; and 2) Declare that affordable housing or the lack thereof is at a crisis point, and that it is necessary, and that the council and Mayor order and demand implementation of actions by staff that will produce affordable housing. (Complete written statement submitted into the public record)

Art Bullock/791 Glendower/Spoke regarding upcoming issues for the year 2006 and stated that this would be an important year to define good government in Ashland. Mr. Bullock commented on the charter amendments and the charter review process, citizen ballot initiatives, and AFN. He stated that the City Council has a staggering list of problems and that the Council's inaction has led to a series of ballot initiatives that would allow the voters to resolve these issues.

1. Future Study Session Topics
City Administrator Gino Grimaldi brought to the attention of the council the number of Study Session topics that are scheduled and requested direction from the council. It was suggested that council provide guidance to staff on the priority of these topics. Council requested further information from staff on these topics in order to set priority.

Council continued to discuss the following Study Session topics:

• Renewable Resource Purchase/Community Solar Project - Councilor/staff driven, Federal money that will be available in April, descrete conservation project that would allow more property owners to participate in.
• Discussion of purchase of property north of RR District - Is time sensitive due to the potential of another party purchasing this property.
• Review of Local Improvement District (LID) process - LID's are being held off until this process is discussed, deferring until the Public Works Director returns in May 2006.
• SDC Review - Has been a long time since SDC's have been reviewed, consultants have completed their study.
• Chamber Sustainability Presentation - Part of the Council's goal, need complete understanding of what the Chambers Sustainability Committee is doing. Clarified that this would be a different report from the report regarding Grant monies received. Suggestion that this be part of working on the Economic Plan.
• Discussion of Ordinance regarding ethics - Noted that legal has been working on this and requests councils direction, clarified that there is no specific timeline for the proposed Charter amendments, legal recommended that a simple statement within the Charter that allows for review of the Charter.
Finance Director Lee Tuneberg advised that the Budget Committee meeting schedule is being worked on and that these meetings begin in early April.
• Support of cultural and arts activities - Items are from the "parking lot" list of the 2004-05 Goal Setting. Request to switch this item with the LID item was made. Mr. Grimaldi clarified that this may have budget implications and is why it was scheduled the way presented.
• Review and Evaluate City Boards and Commissions
• Homeless Issues - Community forums
• Discussion of F&B/TOT Collection Taxes process - Discuss the necessity for more aggressive collection procedure. Finance Director Lee Tuneberg addressed the possibility of combining this topic with the SDC topic. Mr. Tuneberg clarified that it would be the consultant that would make the presentation to the council on SDC's.
• Evaluate TTPC Plan and Select Priorities - Existing Council goal, items that could be implemented.

Hartzell commented that it would have been helpful to have had the current Council Goals as an informational tool. She stated that the topic "Study and adopt a funding plan for Open Space Fund and Housing Trust Fund" was important to her and should be prioritized.

Jackson requested that there be a discussion regarding Council procedures as a Study Session Topic. She also noted "growth versus infill" and the need to discuss this. Ms. Jackson felt that it would be helpful to hold discussion on the Transportation Plan and transportation planning. Mr. Grimaldi noted that staff had been planning to hold a Study Session on this topic in the Fall of 2006. Mayor noted that this topic has some momentum at this time and it may be prudent to discuss our policies in regards to growth and infill.

Hartzell requested discussion regarding the number of meetings that are being scheduled for the council and the need to allow time for items that may arise that need immediate attention. Mr. Grimaldi clarified that the schedule is a fluid schedule and is constantly changing. Council continued discussion on how Special meetings are scheduled compared to Study Sessions, in particular interest towards the decision regarding Ashland Fiber Network.

Suggestion was made to combine the discussion of purchase of RR property with the February 9 Study Session, but it was clarified that this may not be possible given that DEQ may not have the expected information needed for this meeting.

Jackson's preference for the Study Sessions is to leave them the way they are with the exception of the discussion on LID's and review/evaluate City Boards and Commissions.

Silbiger requested that the discussion regarding ethics be moved up.

Mr. Grimaldi reiterated what the Council discussed in regards to prioritizing discussion items and adding topics, which include council process and growth/infill.

Jackson commented on how Planning Commissioners are going out into the public and holding forums which cause council concerns. Mayor requested further information regarding what type of meetings are being held by these two Planning Commissioners. Noted the importance of informing the public in a larger way when representing the community.

Hartzell noted the amount of volunteers that worked on the TCCP and requested that this be prioritzed sooner along with collection of taxes and the SDC review. Mr. Grimaldi reminded the council that the schedule relied on staff availability. City Attorney Mike Franell explained that collection of Food & Beverage Tax issue is that there are three or four vendors that have outstanding judgments that need to be taken further for collection purposes. Suggested that this could be dealt with in a regular meeting of the council.

Staff will return with a revised Study Session schedule for the council to discuss.

Council discussed LID's and the need to move forward on LID's.

Amarotico requested that council discuss the dates and times of meetings for Study Sessions.

Hartzell commented that the Renewable Resource discussion topic may meet the council's need through a report from staff.

Mayor noted an email he received in regards to loose animals and requested the council's direction on this topic. Mayor made a public announcement in regards to the safety issues regarding animals that are allowed to roam free. Suggestion was made to place an article in the City Source as an informational tool.

Hartzell commented on a request from the public in regards to the length of leashes that are used on pets.

Mayor shared his thoughts on the topic of hiring a Community Development Director. He felt that it would be best to wait until the new City Administrator is hired before making a selection for the Community Development Director. He noted the amount of work that is involved in doing a search. It was clarified that the closing for applications for the City Administrator position is January 31 and interviewing by the end of March. Concern was voiced that there are many issues being held off in the Planning Department due to the vacancy of the Director position.

Mr. Grimaldi stated their options, which includes a possible re-organization within the structure; and noted other issues that relate to the hiring of a Planning Director. He suggested focusing on filling a vacant planner position. Hartzell requested that staff continue exploring the option of hiring a contractor and stated that she would also like a copy of the Consumer Confidence report. Mr. Grimaldi stated that the report would be available upon completion.

Meeting was adjourned at 9:25 p.m.

Barbara Christensen, City Recorder
John W. Morrison, Mayor

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