MINUTES FOR THE SPECIAL MEETING
ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
February 9, 2006
Civic Center Council Chambers
1175 E. Main Street
CALL TO ORDER
Mayor Morrison called the meeting to order at 5:15 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers.
Councilors Jackson, Silbiger, Amarotico and Chapman were present. Councilor Hardesty and Hartzell arrived at 5:32 p.m.
Art Bullock/791 Glendower/Spoke regarding Council goals and noted the following issues: 1) Staff is executive branch, not legislative branch; 2) Staff is overloaded; 3) Legislative is not staff priority; and 4) Citizen task force solves the continuing problem of "lack of direction." He requested that the Council put the project where the passion and priorities are, with the Citizen Task Forces. (Submitted documents into the public record)
1. Discussion of Draft Charter and Draft City Manager
Consultant Tom Sponslor began his review by noting areas of concern as following:
|Current wording regarding a quorum and voting method;
|Mayor's job description, vetoing authority; and administrative authority; and
He briefly noted other areas that would require fundamental policy decisions.
Rich Rosenthal/1228 Rose Lane/Shared a concern from a financial aspect and how the proposed charter does not provide for a financial stream for the Parks and Recreation and the City Band.
JoAnne Eggers/221 Granite Street/Parks Commissioners/Ms. Eggers brought to the attention of the Council her concern that the Parks Commission has taken on the responsibility of the Senior Center and the City Band and the importance of funding for these programs. She requested that the Council be aware that by taking out programs, the Commission needs to have assurance that they would have adequate resources to run these programs.
It was suggested that the Parks Commission bring back language they could recommend for charter language that would give the assurance they are looking for.
Art Bullock/791 Glendower/Spoke on his concerns of the draft proposed charter. He did not support the draft charter and noted that it increased the power of the corporation. Mr. Bullock voiced his disappointment on the lack of discussion on this issue. He felt that the changes need to have come from the voters and the only way to assure that this is not a wasted projected is to make it grounded in the will of the people. He does not feel that this document is supported. He stated that there should not be a charter amendment at the same time that there are initiatives before the voters. Suggested that the Council not do "dog and ponies" but to have open citizen discussion.
Councilor Chapman requested a specific place in the proposed charter where there is an increase of power. Mr. Bullock gave the example of the proposed changes to Public Utilities, specifically water. He also noted the ability of the Council to remove a councilor and that it should only be the voters who should have the ability to do this.
Councilor Hartzell commented that the current charter allowed for distinction between water and fire. It was also noted that the proposed charter does have subtleties where there is a shift in power.
Councilor Amarotico left at 6:20 p.m.
Further discussion and concern was voiced on the issue of the Mayor voting and his/her authority to veto. Suggestion was made that Council have more input or a more formal process in regards to the appointments of commission/committee members.
It was clarified that the Council supported leaving the election of the Council as it is in the current charter.
Mr. Sponslor commented that the charter should be a base and all else should be handled by ordinance.
It was suggested that if Council has any further questions, to submit them to either the City Administrator or City Attorney.
Concern was raised that the community was not being properly included and that more advertising needs to be done in order to reach the community. Discussion was held in regards on how to move this forward and when to schedule a meeting. It was determined that the Council would prefer a 3-hour evening meeting beginning at 6 p.m.
Meeting adjourned at 6: 45 p.m.
Barbara Christensen, City Recorder
John W. Morrison, Mayor