Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Regular Meeting

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

September 5, 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 Morrison announced there are volunteer positions available on the Forest Lands and Bicycle & Pedestrian Commissions.
The minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of August 15, 2006 and the Regular Council Meeting Minutes of August 18, 2006 (continuation of August 15 meeting) were approved as presented.
Mayor's Proclamation of September 10 -16 as "Eat Local Week", Proclamation of September 17-20 as the "2006 International Municipal Lawyers Association (IMLA) Annual Meeting" and Proclamation of September 13 as "President Elisabeth Zinser and Don Mackin Day" were read aloud.
1. Minutes of Boards, Commissions, and Committees.
2. Appointment of Steve Hauck to the Housing Commission.
3. Approval of a Contract-specific Special Procurement.
4. Approval of Sole-source Procurement and Public Contract Greater than $75,000.
Councilor Jackson/Amarotico m/s to approve Consent Agenda. Voice Vote: Councilor Hardesty, Amarotico, Jackson, Silbiger and Chapman, YES. Councilor Hartzell, NO. Motion passed 5-1.
1. Set Rates for AFN Wireless Internet Service.
Information Technology Director Joe Franell presented the staff report on the process for launching a new wireless internet product called "afnAnywhere". He commented on the commitment made to the community to provide internet services and stated this product would make it possible for all Ashland residents to access high-speed internet. Mr. Franell explained "afnAnywhere" customers will purchase services from the website via credit card and can purchase daily, weekly or monthly service. He briefly reviewed the four rate tiers and stated staff's recommendation is to adopt the rate schedule and resolution as presented.

Mr. Franell clarified he was attempting to extend services to a niche of customers that haven't been reached and is doing this inexpensively. He stated he has spent roughly $5,000 so far and noted the rates are less than what a customer would pay for a wired connection because there is no technical support offered with this service. He commented on the ISPs concern that the City would make this service too inexpensive and stated the proposed $30.00 monthly use rate is a happy medium.

City Attorney Mike Franell clarified he has reviewed the proposed resolution and rates.

Comment was made questioning the last line of the rate schedule which states "All of these rates are per device (computer, PDA, etc.) or MAC Address, with a maximum of two devices per account." Mr. Franell clarified the intent of this language is to reduce the opportunity for fraud and abuse with the system.

Mr. Franell clarified the bandwidth quality of this product. He stated the large antennas will carry a lot more bandwidth and can handle more shared users, while the smaller antennas have the same bandwidth that a household would experience, however this depends on the number of customers who are connected to the antenna at anyone time and pointed out this is a line of sight connection.

Council questioned if the City would need legal protection in the event a customer is unable to receive service due to heavy weather or if the line of sight is broken. Mr. Franell stated the City could address this by placing a disclaimer on the webpage and/or issuing a partial credit to the affected customer. He noted it would have to be a heavy downpour or a large amount of snow to affect the antennas. Request was made for a policy to be established for this. Mr. Franell stated staff would discuss this further at the upcoming department head meeting.

Public Hearing Open: 7:33 p.m.

Art Bullock/Urged the Council to vote against the proposed resolution because: 1) they are being asked to approve rates for a service they have not voted on, 2) there is no business plan, and 3) there is nothing that prevents the rates from being set administratively. He recommended the Council have the responsibility to set the rates and asked that they not vote on this resolution until the taxpayers are presented with some basic financial data.

Public Hearing Closed: 7:38 p.m.

Mr. Franell clarified this is an unfunded project, which is why staff has not pursued a more robust system. He stated the speed of the build-out will depend on the success of this product and if it is not well accepted staff will not continue with the build-out. He stated he does not view this as a new product, just a different means of delivery and clarified the verbiage in the resolution was taken from a previous resolution.

Concern was expressed that some of the 1,000 residents this product is intended to reach may not be computer savvy and may require technical support and/or an email account. Mr. Franell stated the wireless product offered by the City will be unsupported, however customers who need more assistance can purchase it from one of the ISPs. He added he did not want to allocate resources and staff support to this product until it has proven itself to be accepted.

Suggestion was made to remove the limitation of two devices per account and to remove the last sentence on the rate schedule.

Councilor Jackson/Silbiger m/s to approve Resolution #2006-24 with deletion of last sentence on the rate schedule. DISCUSSION: Mr. Franell clarified he would take the question about interruption of service to the department head meeting and would report back to Council. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Amarotico, Chapman, Hartzell, Hardesty, Silbiger and Jackson, YES. Motion passed.

Chris Adamson/Spoke in support of initiating a City ordinance that limits the amount of time an animal can be tethered. She shared her experience with the inhumane treatment of a neighbor's dog and how she was told there is no City ordinance to protect the animal. Ms. Adamson stated she wholeheartedly supports this effort and would like to see the Council pass an ordinance that limits the amount of time animals can be tethered.

Ambuja Rosen/Noted she has met with the Mayor and has faith the City will place a limit on the amount of time animals can be tethered at home. Ms. Rosen commented on the double standard for humans and non-humans and asked the City to make this type of animal abuse illegal.

Marilee Jenkinson/Requested the City set up public forums for citizens to share information and concerns relating to the November election.

1. Approval of Chamber of Commerce Grant Contract Greater than $75,000.
Administrative Services and Finance Director Lee Tuneberg presented the staff report and stated this is the third fiscal year this resolution and contract has been used. He noted the State of Oregon requirements on tourism spending and stated the City is operating under Resolution 2004-32, which establishes how much money is granted to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) and Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Tuneberg explained the resolution is valid for three years and is in its final year. He stated the Council will need to address in the upcoming months what they would like the new resolution to say, how to allocate the monies, and how to measure the effectiveness of the funds that are granted. Mr. Tuneberg requested Council approve the contract as presented and then begin to work through the process of establishing the new resolution, which can identify more specifically what they would like to see from the grantees in their reporting.

Councilor Hartzell suggested the City request the Chamber of Commerce and OSF submit 990 forms and any other tax filings. Councilor Silbiger clarified 990 forms and 501c3 filings are public information, however 501c6 forms are not. Councilor Hartzell also requested the Chamber provide a percentage of how much of their overall projects budget comes from City money and how much comes from the Chamber.

Mayor Morrison recommended if the Council wants information presented in a certain format that this be included in the next resolution. Councilor Hardesty suggested a study session be held in the fall to discuss what the Council wants to accomplish with the Transient Occupancy Tax funds; and in the mean time, they can request specific details be included in the Chamber report that will come to Council in January 2007. Mayor Morrison stated the City could request additional data from the Chamber through a staff memo, rather than rewriting the current contract. Councilor Hartzell shared the difficulty she experienced when previously requesting this information from the Chamber and requested this language be included in the contract.

City Attorney Mike Franell clarified that depending on the level of changes, the contract would need to be presented to the Chamber of Commerce before final approval by the Council.

Councilor Hartzell suggested the following amendment be made to the contract:

1) Page 4, under General Provisions 4d, be amended to read, "current and projected budgets for full organization showing the portions of the use of city funds". She stated the City asks this of small grantees and does not think there should be a double standard.

2) Page 2, under Purpose, be amended to read, "The Chamber of Commerce will emphasize, in its economic development activities, the importance of re-establishing a socio-economic balance in the demographics of Ashland".

She also questioned whether the deliverables under the Methodology actions listed on Page 2 have been completed and requested the Chamber address this.

Mayor Morrison stated the Council could approve the contract with the proposed changes, consult with the Chamber of Commerce, and then bring back the contract for final approval. Comment was made voicing support for the Council to discuss the issue of the socio-economic balance and revising the next contract at a study session.

Councilor Silbiger/Amarotico m/s to approve contract as presented. DISCUSSION: Councilor Hartzell asked if the motion could be amended to include her language on socio-economic balance. Councilor Silbiger stated this is part of the bigger discussion and is unclear on the meaning of the suggested language. Hartzell also clarified she would like to see what portion of the City's funds are being used for the various projects of the Chamber. City Administrator Martha Bennett questioned if the City could request this information from the Chamber instead of modifying the contract. Hartzell noted her difficulty in obtaining this information in the past and requested the language be included in the contract. Mayor Morrison commented that he does not believe this language needs to be included in the contract and feels that if the collective Council specifically requests this information the Chamber will comply.

Councilor Hartzell/Chapman m/s to amend motion to include request for the report to include the relative share of City funds expended compared to the overall project funds. DISCUSSION: Comment was made questioning who would pay for the full-time accountant the Chamber will need to create these reports. Councilor Hartzell stated her intent is to avoid a double standard for grantees. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Hardesty, Hartzell, Silbiger, Chapman, YES. Councilor Amarotico and Jackson, NO. Motion passed 4-2.

Roll Call Vote on amended motion: Councilor Amarotico, Chapman, Jackson, Silbiger and Hardesty, YES. Councilor Hartzell, NO. Motion passed 5-1.

1. Designation of Voting Delegate at Annual LOC Business Meeting.

Councilor Silbiger/Amarotico m/s to appoint David Chapman as the voting delegate for the League of Oregon Cities Conference. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.

Councilor Chapman/Jackson m/s to appoint Russ Silbiger as alternate voting delegate for the League of Oregon Cities Conference. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.

2. Discussion of Public Art Master Plan.
Public Arts Commissioners Melissa Markell, David Wilkerson, Dana Bussell, Jennifer Longshore and Catherine Rickbone presented the budget and request to develop a Public Art Master Plan. Ms. Markell reviewed the proposed budget with Council and stated the total cost to complete the Public Art Master Plan would be $10,000. Ms. Bussell commented on the possibility of a student from Southern Oregon University assisting with this project and explained the specific activities this person would do. She cautioned they would need to act in a timely manner to obtain a capstone student.

Mr. Wilkerson clarified the $10,000 figure was developed by looking at the costs other Cities spent to develop public art master plans and the costs of other master plans developed by Ashland. He commented on the need to determine a vision and a reliable source of funding for the work of the Public Arts Commission.

Opinion was expressed that there are budgetary and legal implications involved with this project that should be answered before they move on to a plan.

City Attorney Mike Franell clarified the Council previously amended the grant resolution to allow the Public Arts Commission to apply for a cultural enhancement grant, however several councilors felt this money should be reserved for private agencies and the Public Arts Commission was discouraged from applying for City grant funds.

Comment was made that the City has made it clear it needs a Public Art Master Plan, and the Commission has taken on the development on this plan. It was noted it would cost a substantial amount more if they had to hire someone to do this.

Mr. Wilkerson commented on the desired experience of the facilitator and clarified the Commission has prepared some of the questions, but require assistance in developing the survey. It was clarified the Master Plan would include an overview of the process, history of the Commission and public art in Ashland, and an outline of the current and future locations of public art.

Councilor Hartzell stated she has some "sticker shock" and suggested a study session be held to discuss the legal and budget implications. She also suggested the policies and procedures be reviewed and adopted before they move forward with developing the master plan.

Mr. Wilkerson explained this is the third time the Commission has brought the policies and procedures to the Council. He stated at their last visit the Council requested they return with the policies and a plan for implementation and that is what they have done. He stated he believes the Public Art Commission has fulfilled with what the Council has asked of them.

Comment was made that the Commission has brought forward everything the Council asked and if the City is serious about the Public Arts Commission and having public art they should approve this request.

Councilors Silbiger/Amarotico m/s to approve the budget of $10,000 for a Public Arts Master Plan. DISCUSSION: Councilor Chapman and Hartzell voiced their concerns with the cost and it was questioned if the amount could be reduced. Councilor Jackson voiced her support for moving forward. She stated the Commission would be doing most of the work themselves and noted it was the Budget Committee who put forward this budget. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Hardesty, Amarotico, Jackson and Silbiger, YES. Councilor Hartzell and Chapman, NO. Motion passed 4-2.

City Administrator Martha Bennett clarified staff would schedule this as a future study session.

Councilor Hartzell/Hardesty m/s to extend meeting until 10:30 p.m. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.

3. 10th Annual Report on Implementation of the Valdez Principles.
Electric Director Dick Wanderscheid presented the staff report and stated this is the 10th report staff has presented on the Valdez Principles. He noted staff memos on the Green Fleet issues and vehicle efficiency are included in the packet materials and a study session has been scheduled to further discuss these issues.

Councilor Jackson noted the report did not include the change in the conservation density bonus program to Earth Advantage. Councilor Chapman suggested adding the precautionary principle to the Valdez Principles and it was requested this discussion be added to the study session agenda.

Eric Navickas/363 ½ Iowa Street/Stated he supports the Valdez Principles and invited the Council to participate on a hike to the Mt. Ashland Ski Area scheduled for September 6 and September 16. He added the City needs to stop developments that will have an adverse affect on the watershed.

Art Bullock/Requested the Valdez Report include the URL link to the appropriate place on the City's website and commented on the amount of paper the city generates and asked that this be reduced.

Mr. Wanderscheid stated the entire report could be added to the City's website and staff would add links to the items that have them.

4. Update on the schedule to revise the Conservation Element of the City's Comprehensive Plan.
Postponed due to time constraints.
1. Second Reading of an ordinance titled, "An Ordinance Annexing Property and Withdrawing an Annexed Area from Jackson County Fire District No. 5 (593 Crowson Annexation)."

Councilor Jackson/Hartzell m/s to approve Ordinance #2930. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Jackson, Silbiger, Hardesty, Chapman, Amarotico and Hartzell, YES. Motion passed.

2. Reading by title only of, "A Resolution Transferring Appropriations Within the 2006-2007 Budget for Outside Legal Expenses."
City Attorney Mike Franell explained the Assistant City Attorney resigned to pursue employment in the private sector. He stated there is a tremendous workload in this department and the City has entered into a contract with Paul Nolte to provide services two days a week. There is a maximum expenditure in the contract and it is based on an anticipated 9 weeks of service. Additionally, the City has contracted with Eric Kaufman to provide prosecution services in the interim. Mr. Franell stated the Legal Deparment has made an offer to a new Assistant City Attorney and have a projected start date of September 25, 2006. He explained some of the expense will be covered by the wages that are not being paid during this time for an inhouse Assistant Attorney, but this leaves an approximate $12,000 deficit. Additionally, the City recently had a suit filed against it for a copyright violation claim, and it was necessary to hire outside legal counsel that is licensed in the Federal District Court of Oregon. Mr. Franell stated he believes this case will come to a successful resolution and clarified the legal fees should be about to $2,000.

Councilor Jackson/Hartzell m/s to approve Resolution #2006-25. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Hardesty, Chapman, Silbiger, Hartzell, Amarotico and Jackson, YES. Motion passed.

3. Reading by title only of, "A Resolution setting a Public Hearing to Consider Settlement of a Property Ownership Dispute in Timberline Subdivision."

Public Works Director Paula Brown stated there is a dispute between the City and the property owners for a property located in the Timerberline Subdivision. She explained the public hearing would allow the Council to hear the debate on the property and make a decision. The hearing would be held at the September 19, 2006 Council meeting.

Councilor Hartzell/Amarotico m/s to approve Resolution #2006-26. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Chapman, Hardesty, Silbiger, Hartzell, Jackson and Amarotico, YES. Motion passed.

4. First Reading by title only of an ordinance titled, "An Ordinance Amending the Transient Occupancy Tax and the Food and Beverage Tax Provisions to Permit Fees to be Added if Deliquent Payments are Turned Over to a Collection Agency."
City Attorney Mike Franell noted a typographical error and clarified the ordinance should read "owing"in both sections. He explained the proposed amendment to the ordinance for the transient occupancy tax and the food and beverage tax would allow allow staff to submit deliquent payments to a collections agency. He clarified the amendment would also allow for the collection agency charges to be added to the bill that would be due and owing with a cap not to exceed $50 or 50% of the outstanding tax penalties, whichever is greater.

Councilor Amarotico asked to abstain from voting.

Councilor Hartzell/Jackson m/s to allow Councilor Amarotico to abstain from voting on this ordinance. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.

Adminsitrative Services and Finance Director Lee Tuneberg explained accounts would be submitted to a collection agency if the report is not received by the City within thirty days after the report was suppose to be submitted. He also clarified the City provides training to new business owners, and stated this amendment will be added to the training and staff will submit a notice to existing account holders.

Councilor Hartzell/Jackson m/s to approve first reading with correction noted by staff m and place on agenda for second reading. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Silbiger, Jackson, Hartzell, Chapman and Hardesty, YES. Councilor Amarotico abstained. Motion passed.

5. First Reading by title only of an ordinance titled, "An Ordinance Amending Chapter 2.52 of the Ashland Municipal Code Relating to Rules of Procedure for Personal Service Contracts."
Postponed due to time constraints.
6. First Reading by title only of an ordinance titled, "An Ordinance Amending Ashland Municipal Code Section 3.08.020 to Apply Ethics Provisions to Employees, Appointed Officials and Elected Officials."
Postponed due to time constraints.
Meeting adjourned at 10:30 p.m.

Barbara Christensen, City Recorder
John W. Morrison, Mayor

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