Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Regular Meeting

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

September 19, 2006
Civic Center Council Chambers
1175 E. Main Street

Mayor Morrison called the meeting to order at 7:05 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 September 5, 2006 were approved with the following amendments: page 3 - She stated they the City ask this of small grantees and does not think there should be a double standard." "She also questioned whether the deliverables under the Methodology actions listed on Page 2…" Page 5 - "She also suggested the policies and procedures be adopted reviewed and adopted before they move forward…"
1. Bicycle & Pedestrian Commission Annual Presentation.
Staff Liaison Derek Severson, Commissioners Tracy Harding, David Young and Paul Rostykus addressed the Council. Mr. Severson explained that the Bicycle & Pedestrian Commission consists of nine voting members, one who is a City Councilor, and four non-voting members. They meet the third Thursday of every month at 51 Winburn Way at 5:15 p.m. The Bicycle & Pedestrian Commission works to promote bicycling, walking and other non-motorized forms of transportation and presents bicycle safety education in local schools.

Commissioner Young spoke in memory of Carole Wheeldon and her contributions to bicycle and pedestrian safety in the City. He also stated that the 2006 Car Free Day would be dedicated in her honor. Commissioner Harding spoke regarding Car Free Day, scheduled for September 22, and provided an explanation of the day's activities. Commissioner Rostykus announced that the City of Ashland was recognized by the League of American Bicyclists as being a bicycle friendly community at their bronze level. He stated that the Commission has been working with the BTA (Bicycle Transportation Alliance) of Portland, the Traffic and Safety Commission, and the Parks Foundation to put on bicycle safety, riding skills, and bike maintenance classes in the middle and elementary schools.

2. Mayor's Proclamation of September 19 as "Ashland Car Free Day" was read aloud.
3. Report on Interagency Council on Homelessness (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development).
Paul Carlson from the US Interagency Council on Homelessness, from the Seattle HUD office, gave a report on the national effort to assist in the effort to end homelessness. The agency's responsibilities are three fold: 1) to coordinate the efforts of all the Federal agencies 2) to work on the State level 3) to work with local communities for the development of local plans to end homelessness. He gave some facts about the cost of homelessness: the cost of allowing a person to remain homeless is twice as much as the cost of housing and providing services. In other words, it costs $44,000/year to allow a person to remain homeless and only $20,000 to house them with expensive services. 10% of homeless, who are out there the longest, consume about 50% of the resources devoted to the issue. People who are homeless, or who have mental illness, typically stay in jail for twice as long as those who are not homeless - even for the same crime.

The effort to end homelessness has found the greatest success from permanent, sustainable housing. This is where communities assist people both to find permanent housing and to have assistance with the basics. Mr. Carlson is hopeful that Ashland will work with Jackson County to create a committee to develop a valley-wide plan.

4. Presentation from DEQ on P.M. 2.5 Emissions.
John Becker with the local Department of Environmental Quality returned to finish the discussion from the March 21, 2006 meeting regarding the proposed new federal air quality standards for fine particulate matter (PM 2.5). He encouraged a wood stove change out ordinance, as well as a residential open-burning ban. He gave updates on all the local cities and their progress.

Councilor Jackson confirmed that the reason for this request is that the requirements for air quality is about to be more restrictive, and so we are striving to have better air quality to stay in compliance for the future. Councilor Hartzell requested a template for both the woodstove and the open burning ordinances. Mr. Becker stated he would be happy to provide those. Councilor Chapman asked if it would be possible to end slash burning. Mr. Becker stated that this is a common request, but is unfortunately outside of DEQ's ability to control. Councilor Hartzell asked if it would be of any assistance to receive a letter from the City of Ashland requesting Federal funding to support DEQ for these projects. Mr. Becker stated that DEQ is planning on introducing legislation relating to these things, and one does contain a package for grant funding to local communities to help enforce these ordinances.

Councilors Hartzell/Jackson m/s to have staff return with woodstove change out and open burning ban ordinance information. Voice vote: All AYES. Motion passed.

Councilor Hartzell also requested that staff prepare a letter to the governor's office requesting funding for the restoration of the air quality program.

5. Mayor's Proclamation of September 30 as "First Nation's day" was read aloud.
1. Minutes of Boards, Commissions, and Committees.
2. Appointment of Jim Olney to the Bicycle & Pedestrian Commission.
3. Approval of Public Contract Greater than $75,000 - Electric Line Truck.
4. RVTD Contract Approval.
Council Hartzell requested that item number 4 be pulled for discussion.

Councilors Hartzell/Jackson m/s to approve items 1-3 of Consent Agenda. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.

Councilor Hartzell requested some clarification on the contract. Item 1.1 states that the contract will end on June 30, 2007, yet item 2.1 states that at the start of the new fiscal year, the program would automatically begin again. She would like clarity on if the contract will be automatically renewed, or the program. It was determined that the last sentence of 2.1 should be struck.

Councilor Hartzell requested the detailed ridership report, listed in 1.3, is given to each council member.

Councilor Silbiger asked that the City request that RVTD remove the signs for all the unused routes. Mrs. Bennett stated that this request had already been made. It was suggested that a letter be written to RVTD, from the Mayor, re-stating this request. Councilor Hartzell also requested that in the letter we ask for the times of the bus pick up is added to the posted information. Mrs. Seltzer stated that RVTD would be posting the route maps, including the times, in all bus shelters soon. Mayor Morrison agreed to write the letter regarding the request that incorrect signs are removed and correct signage be added.

Councilor Chapman wanted clarification on when it was determined that the City would be subsidizing Valley Lift $15.54 per ride. Mrs. Seltzer reminded the Council that this was discussed and the "Proposed Costs to the City of Ashland for RVTD Extended Services" handout was in their packet for the June 28, 2006 meeting.

Councilor Hartzell requested that with the monthly ridership report we track whether or not we will be running out of funds before the end of the fiscal year, and if so, how will be handle this financially. She worried that this is an uncontrolled cost, and we could potentially be required to spend money we have not budgeted for. Councilor Silbiger stated that the control is when we run out of money, we stop the program. Councilor Hartzell is concerned that we could end up more heavily subsidizing Valley Lift and have less available for the regular riders. Councilor Silbiger reminded her that this was specifically the risk the Council took in June when choosing this plan.

Councilors Hartzell/Silbiger m/s to approve the contract with the first word of item 1.1 changed to "contract" and the last sentence deleted from item 2.1. DISCUSSION: Councilor Hardesty wanted to know if we were ever going to discuss this again in a study session. All agreed that this would be brought forward for further discussion at a later study session. Roll Call VOTE: Hardesty, Amarotico, Hartzell, Jackson, Silbiger, Chapman, YES. Motion passed.

1. Settlement of a Property Ownership Dispute in Timberline Subdivision.
Paula Brown gave history of the dispute. The ownership of this property has never been established in records. The legal department recommended that staff deed the property to Joe and Ruth Jarvis in exchange for retaining bicycle and pedestrian, utility, storm drain, and slope and drainage easements. The property could not be developed, nor could a road be built there, due to the steepness. Councilor Hartzell requested clarification on as to whether or not we need to record something stating that no building could occur which will compromise the easements. Mrs. Brown stated that if we retain the easements we are requesting, that will be record enough to protect the property.

Mayor Morrison questioned information as to when this particular parcel fell off the tax maps. Mrs. Brown stated that it, most likely, was never on any tax record. The property was never truly deeded to the City and so was never part of the tax record. Mayor Morrison wanted to know if the Jarvis' were requesting the back taxes as well and what are the legalities of this regarding taxes. Mrs. Brown stated that if we were to do nothing, which would likely lead the Jarvis' to file a lawsuit, then this could become very messy.

Public Hearing Open: 9:17 pm

No public testimony given.

Public Hearing Closed: 9:18 pm

Councilors Chapman/Amarotico m/s to approve the deed, authorize the Mayor and the City Recorder to sign it, and direct staff to resolve the back-taxes issue. Voice Vote: Hardesty, Amarotico, Jackson, Silbiger, Chapman, YES, Hartzell, NO. Motion passed 5-1.

Ambuja Rosen / showed a new poster of a permanently chained dog. She stated that an anti-tethering ordinance would have protected this dog. She stated that an ordinance would also protect those who would prefer to report abuse anonymously, and complained about the county's requirement for people reporting animal abuse to give contact information. She requested the council enact an anti-chaining ordinance.

Marilee Jenkinson / gave information regarding Lieutenant Ethren Watada, who is under court-martial in Fort Lewis Washington. She urged the council to approve a resolution telling Fort Lewis to stop the court-martial.

Tracy Harding / remind the council of the hikes which have been organized to tour the Mt. Ashland Expansion Area.

1. Request to close Main and Lithia Way as part of First Nations Day.
Public Works Director. Paula Brown described the request for closures and the background as where the request comes from in regards to the closing of streets for First Nations Day celebration. The original request was to close one lane on Lithia and one lane on N. Main for the celebration. Later it was requested that both directions be closed or create two-way traffic on Lithia. Mrs. Brown stated that due to the difficulties with ODOT, the preference was not to have two-way traffic. She stated that they are applying to ODOT and working with the Police Department to close one lane of traffic in each direction. However, if she gets instructions she can work with ODOT on closing both lanes.

Robert Brothers/ Urged the Council to close both Main and Lithia Way for the sake of this celebration. He described the theatrical nature of this prayer celebration. He reminded us that just as we do not like to hear the sound of cars while in the theater, we do not want to have the sound of cars during this celebration. He stated that the amount of traffic on an average Saturday, the disturbance would not be too excessive.

Jim Young / Stated he is grateful for this new addition to the art community. He feels the more we can make the community connected to the art, the more they will seek to preserve and protect.

Ed Little Crow / Urged the council to close the streets. He stated he is from the Crow-Creek Indian Reservation and traveled from South Dakota for this celebration. He wanted to thank the council for their patience and tolerance and for taking the time to consider this request.

Thomas Doty / Urged the council to close the streets. Stated he wants this to be an opportunity for the Native Americans to tell their story. He feels that this is a sacred ceremony and should be given the same respect as any sacred church ceremony.

David West / Gave a quick history of the Native American alliance program and the history of the Native American people in the area. He hopes that we can have Ashland begin the return to this being a healing area and an active presence of Native peoples. He urged the Council to grant this request and to come and celebrate with the participants.

Agnes Baker Pilgrim / Stated her concerns over the maintenance of the sculpture. She is thankful for this sculpture, and believes it will help bring about healing between peoples.

Marko Bey / Urged the Council to close the streets.

Nick Frost / Urged the Council to close the streets. Stated that greater closure equals greater awareness.

Councilor Chapman supported full closure. Councilor Hartzell wanted to clarify that even on 4th of July we have two-way on Lithia Way. Mrs. Brown stated that even though this all-lane closure request is new, with the Council's recommendation she could go to ODOT easier. They can close Lithia from Oak to Helman and Main from Wimer to Oak for the hour of the celebration. Councilor Jackson supports the closure as well. She believes the financial expenditure will be greater due to the extra police assistance. Paula stated that with the amount of people we have for the current closure it probably will not add that much more staff time or expense.

Councilors Jackson/Chapman m/s to close N Main and Lithia, between Oak and Hersey for the time-period of the dedication on September 30, 2006. Discussion: Councilor Hartzell questioned whether the proposal put forward proposed that Mr. Haines share in the costs of this closure. Mrs. Bennett stated that the original estimate was $1100, to be split 50/50 between Mr. Haines and the City. She stated that the Council does need to be prepared to pay for anything over that amount. Councilor Silbiger suggested that we maintain the 50/50 split, regardless of this new increase in costs.

Councilors Silbiger/Hartzell proposed an amendment that the costs of the street closure be shared 50/50 between the City and the Applicant. Voice Vote: All AYES. Amendment passed.

Voice Vote on Motion: all AYES. Motion passed.

2. Follow up on September 6, 2006 Study Session on Mt Ashland QA/QC Team and Advisory Group.
Public Works Director Paula Brown stated that at the September 6, 2006 study session staff was requested to bring this item back, so that Council could vote on their decision on how to proceed with the selection of the QA/QC advisory group and then the QA/QC team.

Councilor Chapman questioned if there were many firms who could fall into the RFP requirements. Mrs. Brown stated that there were many firms who have knowledge of other mountains, but not necessarily many who are familiar with Mt. Ashland. However, most teams typically will hire a consultant who has the expertise the City requires.

Councilor Jackson likes option #3 because she likes the idea of a group who has already a good working relationship. Confirmed that Staff wants a decision from Council on the members of the advisory group, so that the advisory group can then determine the details of the RFP. Mrs. Brown stated that is correct.

Councilor Hartzell prefers that the advisory tem make a recommendation on the QA/QC team, but that Council make the final decision. She suggested that the advisory group have a few modifications; have at least one representative from the two sides of the current litigation (i.e. one or two from Mt. Ashland and one or two from the Sierra Club- as long as the numbers are even,) if Forrest Service is involved they should be a non-voting member. She is supportive of the idea of the advisory committee.

Councilor Hardesty wondered if having two council representatives on the advisory team, particularly as both Councilor Hartzell and Councilor Jackson are so familiar with the project.

Councilor Jackson stated that the advisory group represents the entire community and therefore requests that the members not be labeled either environmentalists or non-environmentalists. Councilor Hartzell stated that the reason she wanted one from each group, was that this is a particularly specialized issue, and so she requested people who are close to this issue be on the advisory group. She would prefer that those two groups determine whom they would prefer to send to the team.

Councilor Amarotico wanted clarification as to why the Council members on the advisory team should be voting members. In the term Quality Assurance / Quality Control, he is not sure how they can ring in on the science that the other members will be bringing into the meeting. It was determined that this is a topic for another discussion.

Eric Navickas/ stated that the absence of Mt Ashland in this discussion shows how little they care for the interests of the City. He believes that this is the time for the City to take this issue seriously, and have discussion with legal as to how to proceed.

Andy Bayless/ stated that he appreciated Paula and the City's work on this, but wanted to remind us that Michael Hogan works for ski areas, he is not necessarily a neutral person. He does not like items 1 or 4 in the council packet. He feels it is important that the Council retain over-site of the QA/QC team. It seems to him that Mt. Ashland has decided to stop working with the City.

Paul Copeland/ stated that the letter from Mt. Ashland seems to be pointing us in a new direction. He thinks that Paula and Martha have done their best to uphold the previous resolution, approved last November. Suggested that the RFP could be both for firms or individuals

Tom Dimitre / stated that options 1 or 4 are not acceptable, as Michael Hogan is not independent, as he works for Mt. Ashland Association, so 2 or 3 are acceptable. This it is important that the city re-iterate that Mt. Ashland.

Councilor Silbiger suggested that the group contained someone experienced in mediation. He thinks that the previously discussed advisory team is acceptable. He leans towards option 3 as a preference.

Councilor Jackson found her papers from two years ago, which included papers from three years ago, when there was a discussion in regards to the possibility of the advisory team, and sees today's action as putting that goal into action.

Councilor Hartzell does not want the Council to assume that a newly formed team cannot work together. She is supportive of sending out an RFP, but questions the term, "Firm" in option 3. She would prefer that the people responding to the proposal state exactly who is going to be working on this project to assure that we have people with some local specialty.

Councilor Hardesty cautioned the City not to select a firm, just because they work well together. She does not want the City to sacrifice expertise for the sake of finding an existing team.

Councilors Hartzell/Hardesty m/s that the advisory team be made up of the director of Public Works, and two liaisons from the City Council, two representatives from Mt. Ashland Association, two representatives from the environmental community, and a non-voting member from the Forest Service. DISCUSSION: Councilor Jackson stated she would like an amendment to the motion to change "environmental representative" to "community at large representative". Councilor Hartzell stated that the purpose of this is to establish accountability in these decisions, and so the environmentalist group needs to be a part of that. Mayor Morrison stated that anyone who wants to enter into this group and pass Council approval would need to enter into it with a sense of trust and a willingness to work with the other side. Roll Call Vote: Hardesty, Amarotico, Hartzell, Jackson, Silbiger, YES Chapman, NO. Motion passed 5-1.

1. Discussion of City Charter Ballot Timeline.
Moved to the October 3, 2006 Agenda.
2. Contract to Lease the AFN Head End to Provide CATV Service.
Joe Franell gave history on the leasing of the AFN Head End and gave an overview of the RFP process. He clarified that Dan Nelson did not receive any preferential treatment, even though he is a current City of Ashland employee.

Councilor Jackson requested clarification on what channels would be included in the cable service. Mr. Franell stated that the exact channel line up has not yet been contracted, but part of the RFP was a requirement that relevant, local programming, such as RVTV, local stations, local access, etc…, be included.

Councilor Jackson was interested to note that Ashland Home Net will be paying both a monthly fee and a percent of the total income. Mr. Franell clarified that the monthly fee is the rental cost of the equipment and space and the revenue sharing is the City's attempt to share in any success Ashland Home Net may have with this product.

Art Bullock / requested that the letter he previously submitted to the council be included in the council packet. He also stated that the ISPs were given preferential treatment for bidding over those who are not ISPs. He does not believe that the process was open, legal or fair. Also stated that the legal opinion, which was stated to be in the council packet, today, was not included and therefore violates the fairness and openness rules. He asked that we not approve this contract.

Councilor Hartzell stated that we did receive the legal opinion just prior to the council meeting, but it is exempt from disclosure pursuant to ORS 192.502(9) under attorney/client privilege.

Councilor Silbiger pointed out the good effort the City went towards fairly contacting as many people as possible for the bid process.

Councilor Silbiger/Chapman m/s to approve contract with Ashland Home Net. Roll Call Vote: Hardesty, Amarotico, Jackson, Silbiger, Chapman, YES. Hartzell, NO. Motion passed 5-1.

1. Second Reading 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."

Councilors Jackson/Silbiger m/s to allow Councilor Amarotico to abstain from this vote. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.

Councilors Jackson/Silbiger m/s to approve Ordinance #2931. Roll Call Vote: Hardesty, Silbiger, Chapman, Hartzell and Jackson, YES. Amarotico, ABSTAIN. Motion passed 5-0-1.

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

2. First Reading by title only of an ordinance titled, "An Ordinance Amending the Ashland Municipal Code Relating to Adoption of the 2004 Oregon Fire Code."
Item moved to October 3, 2006 agenda.
1. Council action on Jackson County proposed Rural Zoning Actions.
Mayor Morrison stated that there is a draft letter in the packet to the County Commissioners. He stated that this letter was prompted by discussions he had with several council members who expressed concern with the County's decision to allow low density, non-urban development on non-resource lands in Jackson County. He felt it was a good idea for the Council to go on record as opposing this decision.

Councilor Jackson encouraged council to approve this letter, and thanked Councilor Silbiger for getting involved and being concerned about agricultural land use. Councilor Hartzell stated that, as we are not able to do the resolution regarding this issue, this is an important letter. Councilor Silbiger wanted to point out that there will be real costs to the City of Ashland, particularly with the additional costs of Fire and Rescue to all these houses. Councilor Jackson stated that, as most of these locations are to the east of Ashland, off HWY 66 and Dead Indian Memorial Road, and so all the extra traffic will be funneled through the southern I-5 interchange.

Art Bullock/ stated he appreciates that this is on the agenda, and reminded us that this is letter is exactly in the spirit of RPS. He also stated that even though this is County land, the costs of this action would fall on the City.

Councilors Chapman/Amarotico m/s to approve the sending of this letter. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.

Meeting was adjourned at 10:33pm

Diana Shiplet, Executive Secretary
John W. Morrison, Mayor

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