Agendas and Minutes

Ashland Parks & Recreation Commission (View All)

Regular Meeting

Monday, August 28, 2006

City of Ashland






August 28, 2006




Present:   Commissioners D. Amarotico, Eggers, Gardiner, Lewis, Rosenthal; City Council Liaison A. Amarotico; Director Robertson; Superintendent Gies; Superintendent Teige

Absent:    None


Rosenthal called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM at Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main.


Study Session – July 17, 2006

In the section entitled Skate Park Discussion, Eggers asked that the phrase “’07-’08 capital improvement budget” be changed to read “’07-’08 draft capital improvement budget.”

MOTION Gardiner moved to approve the minutes as amended. Lewis seconded the motion.

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no

Regular Meeting—July 24, 2006 In the “Unfinished Business” section entitled Employee Drug Policy, Rosenthal asked that the minutes reflect that he voted “no” on the motion. In the “Unfinished Business” section entitled Horse Boarding Request, Eggers asked that the sentence pertaining to “phasing out the horse” be changed to more accurately reflect that that the discussion pertained to “phasing out the horse boarding.”

MOTION Lewis moved to approve the minutes as amended. Eggers seconded the motion.

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no

Regular Meeting—July 24, 2006  In the “New Business” section entitled Earth Day and Movies on the Range – Amplification Report, Eggers asked that the minutes reflect the number of noise complaints received. Teige reported that there were two complaints at Earth Day and one complaint before the first Movie on the Range event.

MOTION Gardiner moved to approve the minutes as amended. Lewis seconded the motion.

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no


Open Forum

Emily Folmar, 4882 Highway 66, representing “Friends of Israel” as well as local synagogues, rabbis, churches, and clergy, requested permission to use the bandshell area of Lithia Park on September 10 for a September 11 memorial rally. She indicated that the rally could draw as many as 800 participants and would include prayers, songs, music, and memorial tributes, with event time totaling nearly three hours. The commission denied her request based on both a scheduling conflict at the bandshell and the political nature of the event.







Robertson reported that Ashland resident William Prust requested to purchase 9.58 acres of City of Ashland property at the corner of Strawberry Lane and Westwood Street. Prust’s proposal included purchasing the land, developing 3.6 acres, and preserving the balance of the property. Robertson indicated that the overall property is dedicated open space land and the 3.6 acres of developable land would make a suitable neighborhood park site. He stated that, should the commission choose to liquidate the property, it would need to go through a very specific state law process, including declaring the property as surplus by the Ashland City Council and accepting bids for the purchase of the property. He asked the commission to consider whether they would be willing to liquidate this asset, which was purchased with the intended future use as a city park, and recommended that the request be denied, based on the fact that it is the sole parcel of public open space land suitable for a neighborhood park in that section of the city.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners and staff reviewed the history of the open space purchase and the intended use of the land at the time of the purchase, which included developing a portion into a neighborhood park. Lewis stated that this parcel, along with the nearby Strawberry-Hald open space land consisting of 12 acres, could be used as a trail connection area, a neighborhood park, and as open space land. He recommended conducting a study session to evaluate the land and its potential uses.

Commissioners agreed that they did not wish to further consider Prust’s offer and Robertson was directed to notify Prust of their discussion and decision.



Robertson reminded the commission that in July of 2005 the Senior Center and its services were transferred from the City of Ashland’s general fund budget to the Parks budget. He invited Sharon Laws, Senior Center Director for the past 16 years, to provide an update to the commission about the structure of the center, services provided, and the center’s advisory board, which is responsible for advising the Ashland City Council on Senior Center issues. He suggested that, with the switchover to Parks Commission budgetary control, the board should become advisory to the commission rather than the council, and asked the commission to consider whether it would still be necessary to seat a city council liaison to the board.

Sharon Laws, Senior Center Director, reported that the mission of the Senior Program is to assist older Ashland residents in remaining independent and mentally / physically healthy and to establish friendships and links that add to the quality of their lives. She outlined features of the program, including:

§         Staff members and volunteers use existing resources to provide services to seniors.

§         Initial assessments of seniors are made to evaluate resources needed.

§         Resources include transportation, state senior services for financial assistance, food stamps, subsidized housing, assisted living, volunteer opportunities, discounts, and many more.

§         Social activities are provided to stimulate the seniors and to provide enjoyment. Activities include line dancing, yoga, movies, discussion groups, computer instruction, holiday parties, seminars on various topics with guest speakers, and others.

§         Volunteer instructors are used whenever possible to minimize costs to seniors.

§         Lunches are provided to seniors, with the food prepared by the Rogue Valley Council of Governments and brought “ready to serve” to the center. Federal funds are used to pay for a good portion of the cost of the meals. Seniors are asked to donate $2.50 per meal, but no one is turned away for inability to pay.

§         Ashland Parks and Recreation provides the meal site free of charge.

§         The meal site manager is paid [to RVCOG] through the Senior Program budget.

§         Staffing details: Laws works 32 hours per week; Christine Dodson, Outreach Specialist, works 32 hours per week; Dorothy Parsons, Information and Referral Specialist, works 8 hours per week; three volunteers assist with the office work; and other volunteers help with activities.

§         Revenue: Federal “Older American Act” 3-B money is provided through RVCOG; funds are sometimes donated by individuals or groups for particular projects or programs; and Ashland Parks and Recreation funds the balance of the Senior Center Program.

§         Senior Center Board: The board was originally designed to make general policies for the conduct of the city’s program for serving seniors in Ashland. The six-member board is made up of senior citizens from the community who are appointed by the mayor with confirmation by the city council, with one council liaison. In her 16 years with the program, Laws reported that the board had served primarily in an advisory capacity, and she recommended that the Parks Commission consider officially changing it to more accurately reflect its role as an advisory board rather than a policy-making board.

§         The Senior Center creates and distributes a monthly newsletter to seniors within the community.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners discussed the protocol for changing the board to an advisory—rather than a policy-making—board. Robertson reported that the commission would need to reappoint the existing board for its current term, and then, as openings occurred, take over making those appointments. The board would be advisory to the commission, not to staff.

The commission directed Robertson to contact the City Administrator to recommend converting the board to an advisory board to the Parks Commission rather than a policy-making board to Ashland City Council.


Robertson reminded the commission that staff was directed to form a Calle Marketplace Subcommittee to consist of two Plaza merchants, a Lithia Artisans Market representative, two commissioners, and staff. He reported that the subcommittee was formed and consists of Susan Powell of Pilaf, Dona Zimmerman of Webster’s, Marcus Scott of the artisan’s group, Gardiner and Rosenthal of the Parks Commission, with Robertson and Teige of the Parks Department serving as staff liaisons.


Teige reported that, based on feedback within the community, the Daniel Meyer Pool will remain open through September 15 from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM, Monday through Friday, for lap swimming.

Eggers expressed concern about the water quality in Ashland Creek and asked that staff request more testing by Public Works at more areas along the creek to check for sources of pollution. Robertson agreed to ask Public Works to test above and below the TID pipe, the reservoir, and the playground area.

Eggers asked staff to consider moving forward with the Parks Department logo redesign project.


§           Study session set for Monday, September 18, at 7:00 PM—Parks office, 340 S. Pioneer. Topics to include:

§            Ice rink discussion

§            Facilities report

§            Regular meeting set for Monday, September 25, at 7:00 PM—Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main.


By consensus, with no further business, Rosenthal adjourned the meeting at 8:10 PM.

Respectfully submitted, Susan Dyssegard, Ashland Parks & Recreation Department

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