Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Study Session

Monday, May 14, 2007

May 14, 2007
Civic Center Council Chambers
1175 E. Main Street

Mayor Morrison called the Study Session to order at 5:20 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers.
Councilors Hardesty, Hartzell, Navickas, Silbiger, Jackson and Chapman were present.
City Administrator Martha Bennett noted the Land Use Appeal for PA 2006-01784 scheduled for tomorrow nights meeting has been postponed and requested the Council identify any agenda items they have questions on. Council requested staff address the Solar Project and the Ethics Ordinance.
1. Look Ahead Review.
City Administrator Martha Bennett reviewed the items on the Look Ahead document. She stated the June 4, 2007 Study Session will include a presentation by Community Development Director David Stalheim regarding long range planning and also a discussion of the RVTD contract. Ms. Bennett stated the June 5, 2007 Council Meeting will include a rate increase for utilities, adoption of the budget, and a proposal for the Croman site masterplan.

Comment was made suggesting that the contract signing for the police substation be held off until the Council has had the opportunity to discuss this. Ms. Bennett stated she was not under the impression that staff was ready to sign a contract and indicated she would check with staff. She added staff would not commit to the downtown substation without first communicating with the Council.

Ms. Bennett continued the review of the Look Ahead and noted the June 19, 2007 Council Meeting will include several budget items and the condominium conversion ordinance. Assistant City Attorney Richard Appicello briefly commented on the McDonald property appeal and stated the applicant has agreed to delay this matter until the June 19 meeting.

Ms. Bennett noted the Planning Commission meeting regarding the ODOT interchange plans is scheduled for June 26, 2007 and clarified staff is holding the June 27, 2007 date in case a special meeting is needed to complete the budget approval. She also noted the Council Goal Setting session is scheduled for July 14, 2007.

2. Discussion of Ashland Emergency Management Plan.
Fire Chief Keith Woodley provided a presentation on the City's Emergency Operation Plan (EOC).

Mr. Woodley's presentation included the following information:

The Emergency Operations Plan is activated anytime a Police, Fire, or Public Works employee responds to a request for emergency assistance.
The responding City employee assumes responsibility as the Incident Manager until relieved by a supervisor.
The City is notified of a request for emergency assistance by the Rogue Valley Central Communications 911 Center in Medford.
All potential emergencies are classified as Level 1, Level 2, or Level 3 incidents.
Level 1 incidents are classified as normal organization and procedures of City departments that will not require activation of the EOC.
Level 2 incidents are classified as incidents that have special or unusual characteristics requiring a response by more than one City department, requires the acquisition of special resources, or which is beyond the scope of available resources.
Level 3 incidents are classified as incidents that require the coordinated response of all levels of government to save lives and protect property of a large portion of the population.
The City's Emergency Management Team consists of the: Mayor, City Administrator, City Recorder, City Councilors, City Attorney, and Department Directors.
The City's emergency management structure is based on the National Incident Management System (NIMS).
NIMS training is available online through the Emergency Management Institute.
The role of elected officials is to provide direction to the City Administrator regarding:
1) Essential City services that will be maintained,
2) Imposition of any special conditions or regulations,
3) Setting geographical boundaries of emergency impact areas for cost recovery,
4) Redirect City funds to the emergency,
5) Suspend or modify purchasing requirements,
6) Establish curfews to maintain public safety,
7) Curtail or suspend commercial activity,
8) Close streets and order other actions necessary to ensure public health and safety,
9) Ratify the "Declaration of Emergency" issued by the City Administrator,
10) Enact emergency legislation,
11) Function as field observers for the planning section,
12) Assist with the coordination of community volunteers, and
13) Participate in media briefings.

City Administrator Martha Bennett stated she would email the Council the website address for the NIMS training, and stated she would also provide the password for the League of Oregon Cities website. She also noted that she would provide Council the current contact information for emergency situations.

Mr. Woodley encouraged the Council to download the Emergency Plan to their laptops and explained the digital version is more reliable than a hard copy due to the constant updates. He also clarified that the Emergency Operations Center is located in the Council Chambers and the City performs EOC training drills twice a year.

Comment was made questioning if any arrangements had been made to begin storing food for an emergency. Mr. Woodley clarified that this is a need, however they have not worked out the details and noted there are some barriers to overcome.

Mr. Woodley clarified training principal staff and obtaining the necessary materials and supplies are their top two priorities. He explained the Fire and Police Departments regularly update their communications equipment, however the Public Works Department primarily relies on cellular phones and cell phone service could be affected during an emergency. Ms. Bennett stated if Council is interested in this, staff could provide information on bringing the Public Works equipment up to speed.

3. Review of Regular Meeting Agenda for May 15, 2007.

Solar Project
Electric Director Dick Wanderscheid provided clarification on Policy Question #3, which reads "Should the City become a default purchaser of equity from a citizen or business that wants to sell its equity?" He explained the delicate issue would be to set the value so that the citizen or business does not sell its shares to the City for a financial windfall. He noted that if the City was a default purchaser and they bought the shares, they would be able to resell them to someone else.

Request was made for Mr. Wanderscheid to provide scenarios at tomorrow nights meetings that indicate less of a subsidy.

Comment was made questioning if it is possible to obtain commitments from individuals before the City implements this project. Mr. Wanderscheid stated this is possible, however it would delay building the system. He added that there is already interest in this project and stated staff has received calls from individuals wanting to get on the list.

Mr. Wanderscheid briefly commented on the marketing aspect and stated the City would distribute information in a bill insert and noted they would also take advantage of free media coverage.

4. Discussion of Ethics Ordinance.
City Administrator Martha Bennett explained she had scheduled this item for a Study Session in order to give Council time to get their issues out on the table and provide staff time to respond.

Comment was made questioning Section D(1) which reads, "Canvassing of members of the Council or Mayor, directly or indirectly, in order to obtain preferential consideration in connection with any appointment to the City service shall disqualify the candidate for appointment except with reference to positions filled by the Mayor or Council." Ms. Bennett indicated that she will have staff look into this and be prepared the clarify tomorrow night.

Additional comment was made regarding Section E(4), which reads, "... No appointed official shall represent a client for hire before the board or commission to which that official is appointed or in any action of proceeding before another board, commission or the City Council on a matter which came or will come before the board or commission to which that official is appointed." Ms. Bennett indicated that she does not know the origins of this language and stated Council should discuss their intent of this language tomorrow night. It was clarified that it would be permissible for the appointed official to have someone present on their behalf.

Meeting adjourned at 6:20 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
April Lucas, Assistant to City Recorder

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