Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Regular Meeting

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

July 18, 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.
Councilor Hardesty, Amarotico, Hartzell, Jackson, Silbiger and Chapman were present.
The minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of June 20, 2006, Continued Meeting of June 21, 2006 and Special Meeting of June 28, 2006 were approved as presented.
Mayor Morrison presented the Master Municipal Clerk Academy Award to City Recorder Barbara Christensen.

Mayor Morrison announced there are several volunteer positions open on the Tree, Forest Lands, Housing, and Bicycle & Pedestrian Commissions and encouraged all interested citizens to apply.

1. Minutes of Boards, Commissions, and Committees.
2. Liquor License Application - Annual Approval of Renewals.
3. Liquor License Application - Grilla Bites.
4. Liquor License Application - Irish Pub.
5. Liquor License Application - New Albertson's, Inc.
6. Liquor License Application - Ploughman's.
7. Approval of Public Contract Greater than $75,000 - WTP Chemicals.
8. Approval of Grant Distribution Greater than $75,000.
Councilor Hartzell requested Item #8 be pulled for discussion. Councilor Amarotico requested Items #2 and #6 also be pulled from the Consent Agenda.

Councilor Amarotico/Hartzell m/s to approve Consent Agenda Items #1, #3, #4, #5 and #7. Roll Call Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.

Councilor Amarotico requested permission to abstain from voting on Items #2 and #6 due to a conflict of interest.

Councilor Hartzell/Jackson m/s to allow Councilor Amarotico to abstain. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.

Councilor Silbiger/Chapman m/s to approve Consent Agenda Items #2 and #6. Voice Vote: all AYES. Councilor Amarotico abstained. Motion passed.

Councilor Hartzell commented on Consent Agenda Item #8. She asked staff to incorporate the language from the state definition of tourism and promotion into the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) contract and return it to Council for approval. She also requested postponing approval of the Chamber of Commerce contract to allow for additional discussion and to clarify the City's expectations.

Administrative Services & Finance Director Lee Tuneberg clarified the Council had previously directed staff to make monthly payments to both OSF and the Chamber of Commerce, but they have not yet approved the contracts. City Administrator Martha Bennett clarified staff could make the adjustment to the OSF contract and bring it back for approval at the next council meeting, but asked for guidance as to how Council would like to modify the Chamber of Commerce contract.

Council agreed to move this agenda item to New & Miscellaneous Business.

Ambuja Rosen/Spoke regarding animal tethering, including: the former Police Chief's recommendations, a 30-day period for animal owners to make alternate arrangements, tethering of equines, time limitations for tethering, and giving the Police authority to break into vehicles and rescue trapped animals.

Joel Marks/RVTD Board Member/3200 Crater Lake Avenue, Medford/Invited the Council to attend the RVTD Board Meeting on August 17, 2006 at 6 p.m. at the Medford Library in order to provide input and reach a consensus on the four options proposed by RVTD .

Eric Navickas/363 ½ Iowa Street/Noted the following statement, which is included in the 2005 City of Ashland Water Quality Report: "The watershed is closed for your protection. Since 1929 Ashland's watershed has been protected to ensure water quality with the exception of partial clearing in the 1950's, timber harvest has been restricted." Mr. Navickas commented on the timber harvests that have occurred since 1950, displayed a map of the clear-cuts, and stated the above statement is false and suggested the City disclose the amount of timbering that is taking place in the watershed.

1. Airport Master Plan Adoption.
Administrative Assistant to Public Works Director Dawn Lamb presented the staff report on the proposed Airport Master Plan. She stated the FAA has adopted the Plan and requested adoption by Council. Ms. Lamb clarified for Council any development of the airport would have to follow the Master Plan, and noted the airport has not grown and the City is not purchasing any more land. She stated there is some revenue coming in from the rentals at the airport and noted Chapter 3 of the Plan contains aviation activity forecasts. Ms. Lamb added the growth of the airport is limited and stated the facility could never accommodate large aircrafts.

Councilor Silbiger commented on his experience with the Airport Commission as the council liaison. He stated the commission is very cognizant of making sure the airport does not grow too much and he has been impressed with their concern and efforts. Councilor Hartzell questioned how the Airport Master Plan addressed growth management.

Councilor Jackson/Silbiger m/s to approve the Airport Master Plan. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Hardesty, Silbiger, Amarotico, Chapman, Jackson and Hartzell, YES. Motion passed.

2. Approval of Sole-Source Procurement Greater than $75,000 - Zenon Membrane Filters.
Public Works Director Paula Brown explained this is a sole-source purchase for membrane filters. She stated the added membranes would provide additional capacity and requested Council's approval. Ms. Brown clarified for Council that staff would conduct testing to see if they could increase the flux through the rest of the cartridges, which will add the capacity the City needs to get it through 2020. She also clarified usage would not likely go down, however the City could find a re-use for the wastewater treatment plant effluent.

Councilor Jackson/Chapman m/s to approve the public contract as a sole-source procurement with Zenon Environmental Corporation for additional membrane cassette sections. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.

3. Adoption of Findings for Planning Action 2006-282, land partition to create two parcels, located at 521 Fordyce Street.
Interim Community Development Director Bill Molnar presented the staff report. He stated Council approved the exception to the street standards and the Findings reflect this decision. He noted the Findings also include the additional condition for the new residence on the new parcel to have the front of the house no further back from Old Willow Lane than the garage.

Councilor Jackson/Amarotico m/s to approve the Findings for Planning Action 2006-282.

Councilor Hartzell/Jackson m/s to allow Councilor Hardesty to abstain due to her not participating in the Land Use Hearing. Voice Vote: all AYES.

Voice Vote on original motion: all AYES. Councilor Hardesty abstained. Motion passed.

4. Adoption of Findings for Planning Action 2006-00366 - Annexation, Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Map change, for approximately 8.43 acres located at the southern terminus of Jefferson Avenue, immediately north of the railroad tracks and west of Interstate 5.
Interim Community Development Director Bill Molnar explained the Findings represent the Council's decision on May 16, 2006 to annex property that will ultimately be developed into a multi-phased light manufacturing business area, with the first building housed by Brammo Motorsports. He stated the Findings reflect the land use decision for annexation and requested Council's approval.

Mr. Molnar clarified for Council the Planning Action Request did not involve a request for a residential overlay. He stated if the property owner wished to develop housing in conjunction with the commercial/industrial uses, he would need to come back and file a new application for the overlay.

Councilor Jackson/Silbiger m/s to approve the Findings for Planning Action 2006-00366.

Councilor Jackson/Hartzell m/s to allow Councilor Hardesty to abstain due to her not participating in the Land Use Hearing. Voice Vote: all AYES.

Voice Vote on original motion: all AYES. Councilor Hardesty abstained. Motion passed.

5. Ratification of IAFF labor agreement.
City Attorney Mike Franell reported on the proposed ratification of the IAFF Fire Fighters labor agreement. He noted the basic changes from the recently expired agreement as the following: 1) annual wage adjustment of 5% per year; 2) reconstructed pay for engineers and captains; 3) amended language in the health insurance package to undo an arbitrator decision; 4) agreed to contribute $25 per month into a deferred compensation plan for each member in the bargaining unit; and 5) agreement would be for a three-year term. Mr. Franell stated staff's recommendation is for Council to ratify the proposed agreement.

Councilor Hartzell/Jackson m/s to ratify the agreement with IAFF as presented. DISCUSSION: Councilor Chapman voiced his objections to using averages from other municipalities as comparables. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Hardesty, Jackson, Hartzell, Silbiger and Amarotico, YES. Councilor Chapman, NO. Motion passed 5-1.

6. Approval of Grant Distribution Greater than $75,000.
Council requested guidance from staff in developing a motion that would meet staff's needs in terms of monthly allocations pending the adoption of a contract. Administrative Services & Finance Director Lee Tuneberg stated a motion to approve 1/12 payments per month to the Chamber of Commerce would allow staff to continue with the payments while Council determines what needs to be done differently with the contract.

Councilor Hartzell/Jackson m/s to approve the expenditure in monthly payments of 1/12 each month of the allocated amounts to the Chamber of Commerce. Voice Vote: All AYES. Councilor Amarotico was out of the room. Motion passed.

Graham Lewis/1284 Orchid Street/Chamber of Commerce/Noted the Chamber had submitted a report to the Council on January 31, 2006 for the previous year. He agreed that the City would benefit from an Economic & Development Plan and suggested the Planning Commission and the Chamber of Commerce be included in the development of that plan. He stated this would be a complicated process that would take several months to a year and hopes the Chamber and City can continue to work on what what started last year.

Councilor Jackson suggested the Council move forward with developing an Economic and Development Plan and start working on revisions to the Chamber of Commerce contract, but voiced concerns with revising this year's contract with the Chamber. Councilor Hartzell suggested a sub-committee of the Council be formed to work with staff to clarify areas that were discussed last year and bring this back at a study session.

City Administrator Martha Bennett noted the upcoming study session schedule. Mayor Morrison agreed there needs to be further discussion and clarity on this issue. Ms. Bennett stated staff would return in the next few weeks with the update to the OSF contract and would schedule a discussion at the first council meeting in September for Council to determine what they would like to see in the Chamber of Commerce contract.

1. Reading in full of, "An Ordinance withdrawing an annexed area from Jackson County Fire District No. 5 (Cochran Annexation, 380 Clay Street)."
Interim Community Development Director Bill Molnar presented the staff report. He explained the proposed ordinance formally annexes the 10-acre parcel on Clay Street and withdraws it from Jackson County Fire District #5. He noted the Council adopted the Findings on June 6, 2006 and requested Council approve first reading of the ordinance and move it to second reading.

City Attorney Mike Franell read the Ordinance aloud in full.

Councilor Jackson/Amarotico m/s to approve first reading of Ordinance and place on agenda for second reading. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Amarotico, Hartzell, Hardesty, Silbiger and Jackson, YES. Councilor Chapman, NO. Motion passed 5-1.

2. Reading by title only of, "An Ordinance Amending Chapter 2.50 of the Ashland Municipal Code relating to Rules of Procedure for Public Contracting."
City Attorney Mike Franell presented the staff report. He explained the legislature had previously done a significant re-write of the Oregon Public Contracting chapters of ORS and in response to that, all jurisdictions were required to adopt new procedures. The City did so by a previous ordinance, however since then, there have been additional modifications which require the City to clean-up the previously adopted AMC chapter.

Mr. Franell recommended an additional modification to Section 2.50.020(b); the amended language should read, " The Council may, by resolution delegate authority to the Public Contracting Officer to execute any other amendments or change orders to contract upon the following conditions". He noted the definition of Intermediate Procurement is listed in Section 2.50.010(f) and requested Council consensus on the $75,000 cap. Mr. Franell discussed each of the sections of the proposed ordinance and clarified for Council the new language.

Mr. Franell clarified for Council staff had brought forward a previous ordinance which was approved for first reading but never brought back for second reading and adoption. He explained the State published new public contracting rules after the first reading and the ordinance was not brought back for adoption because it would have needed several changes.

Council discussed and reached consensus to leave the cap at the $75,000 level and to make the change so both procedures are consistent. Council also discussed the exemptions listed in page 6 of the ordinance. Mr. Franell clarified council's direction and stated he would strike exemptions #4 and #9, remove the phrase "including bandwidth" from exemption #14, and insert a provision in exemption #10 to define used vehicles as being at least 12 months old.

Councilor Jackson/Silbiger m/s to approve first reading of Ordinance and place on agenda for second reading with proposed amendments. Roll Call Vote: Council Jackson, Chapman, Silbiger, Hardesty, Amarotico and Hartzell, YES. Motion passed.

1. Request from Councilor Hartzell to discuss consideration of an Ordinance titled, "An Ordinance Adding a new section to Title 14, Chapter 4, restricting the addition of chemicals or substances to the drinking water."
Councilor Hartzell explained last year there was an initiative in the state legislature to mandate municipalities with public drinking water systems who had a population over 10,000 to add fluoride to drinking water systems in order to reduce dental defects. She noted Council passed a resolution giving an opinion to this practice last year, however she has recently been approached by several citizens requesting the City adopt an ordinance that would regulate the City's intent of the use of the water system.

Councilor Jackson expressed concern with taking action on a subject the Council does not have any expertise on. Councilor Chapman stated he would not want to make a decision for the whole city without city wide input. Councilor Hartzell voiced her opinion that it is appropriate for the City to set policy as to how this utility will be used and to make sure the resource is safe. Mayor Morrison stated that this is not an urgent matter and did not see a compelling reason for passing this ordinance tonight. He also questioned if passing this ordinance would violate state law if the state initiative gets approved.

City Attorney Mike Franell stated the courts would have to decide if the City was in violation and this would depend on whether the initiaitive pre-empts local jurisdictions.

Councilor Hartzell voiced her concerns with medicating people without their consent and suggested the Council be proactive on this issue.

Councilor Hartzell/Silbiger m/s to extend meeting until 10:30 p.m. Voice Vote: Councilor Hardesty, Amarotico, Hartzell, Silbiger and Chapman, YES. Councilor Jackson, NO. Motion passed 5-1.

Keith Maclaren/1026 Henry Street #5/Commented on both sides of the issue and stated some believe flouride is only effective when applied topically, however others are convinced flouride in the water would work and would benefit to lower income people. Mc. Maclearen suggested the City's actions on this issue could set a model for other communities.

Michael Fransom/207 Bradford Way, Medford/Stated the initiative that almost passed last session would have taken rights away from communities to decide what is the most appropriate way to use their water supply. He stated adopting an ordinance is important because flouride has never been proved safe and effective for the purpose of reducing tooth decay and stated the FDA ruled there is no flouride product meant for ingestion that has even been proven safe and effective.

Pam Vavra/2800 Dead Indian Memorial Road/Supports the idea of discussing flouride and how we use the water supply. She stated she has studied this issue and participated in discussions and debates. Ms. Vavra agreed this is a dialogue that needs to take place within the community and urged the Council to take action before the State mandates the City to do this.

Tom Dimitre/Rogue Group Sierra Club/Statement from Mr. Dimitre was read into the record. The statement expressed the Sierra Club's support for the ordinance brought forward by Councilor Hartzell and voiced opposition to the addition of flouride to the City's drinking water.

Council continued to discuss the ordinance. Mr. Franell clarified the proposed ordinance accomplishes a very specific task and if the Council wishes to address a broader type of control over the water system this ordinance is not the vehicle to accomplish that. Council reached consensus that there is interest in taking action however more discussion needs to be had. Councilors Hartzell and Chapman and Mayor Morrison agreed to work with staff to refine this proposal.

2. Request from Councilor Hartzell to discuss railroad property cleanup.
Councilor Hartzell stated it is important not to let this issue slip back into their long list of task items and shared her interest in the geo-hydrology and prescriptive easements of the Railroad site. She noted the comment period for the water permit has been extended and is still underway and suggested the City initiate a request to the DEQ asking them to reconsider the level of priority that has been assigned to this railroad project.

Mayor Morrison agreed it would be beneficial to establish a list of potential actions or areas of concern that need to be further investigated and develop a strategy. Councilors Chapman and Hardesty noted their contact with the Oregon Toxic Alliance, who has indicated they would be willing to assist the City.

Stan Druben/125 Brooks Lane/Stated that as of this afternoon, the Railroad has not withdrawn its application for a storm water permit and stated this is troubling giving that the Record of Decision for this project is 5 years old.

Nick Frost/224 N 3rd Street/Stated the City needs to make sure the Railroad and the DEQ understand this is a priority to the citizens of Ashland and suggested the City move forward and take a look at how to get the railroad to comply.

Councilor Jackson suggested writing to the DEQ regarding the storm water permit and ask them to withdraw the permit. Councilor Hartzell suggested asking the DEQ to suspend the process until there is an actual plan that has been approved by DEQ, which would include a Record of Decision. City Administrator Martha Bennett agreed that staff would submit a statement to the DEQ requesting that the storm water permit not precede the review of the Record of Decision.

Councilor Hartzell asked the Council to consider scheduling a study session to discuss the long-term budget forecast and planning. Councilor Jackson noted the need to discuss the long-term AFN budget. Councilor Chapman asked to discuss at some point the Capital Improvement Plans as well as the Council List Serv and video archives.

Meeting was adjourned at 10:30 p.m.

Barbara Christensen, City Recorder
John W. Morrison, Mayor

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