Agendas and Minutes

Ashland Parks & Recreation Commission (View All)

Parks Commission Study Session Minutes

Thursday, May 10, 2007

City of Ashland





May 10, 2007



  Present:     Commissioners Eggers, Gardiner, Lewis, Noraas, Rosenthal; City Council Liaison Navickas; Director Robertson; Superintendents Gies and Teige

Guests:       City Administrator Bennett; Administrative Services Director Tuneberg

Absent:       None

Executive Session

Exempt Public Record & Consult with Legal Counsel ORS 102.660 (2)(f)(h)



Eggers called the meeting to order at 7:25 p.m. at the Parks Office, 340 S. Pioneer Street.


Robertson presented background information on the budget process and spoke about the outcome of the April 30 meeting. He read aloud the motion approved by the Citizen’s Budget Committee, which stated:

“Hardesty/Gregorio moved/seconded to tentatively accept the Ashland Parks and Recreation budget with an exception that the department look at alternatives which may include bringing back to the committee the proposed budget with as much as 5% cuts with an emphasis on capital outlay expenditures. Bond, Chapman, Gregorio, Hardesty, Jackson, Stebbins, and Thompson - yes. Everson, Navickas, Heimann, and Levine - opposed. Motion passed 7 to 4.”

Robertson distributed March 19 budget meeting minutes, including capital items, as well as a list of proposed budget reductions prepared by staff. Proposed reductions included:

1.       Remove Senior Program Specialist / add $20,000 for temporary employee

§         Impacts include loss of Senior City Utility Discount involvement, Heating Assistance Program involvement, reduced hours of operation at Senior Center

§         Saves $30,000

2.       Remove Promotions Coordinator position / add back Administrative Assistant position; remove Receptionist position / add back $30,000 in contracted services

§         Reduces capabilities for department-wide position

§         Eliminates a temporary employee

§         Restricts program capabilities of Nature Center

§         Saves $20,200

3.       Remove $60,000 from Parks Materials and Services

§         Reduces non-native vegetation removal

§         Reduces fuel reduction program

§         General belt tightening

§         Saves $60,000

4.       Transfer $45,000 from M & S to YAL

§         Preserves the expenditure but reallocates based on YAL final year

5.       Transfer $48,000 from Parks Personnel to YAL

§         Preserves the expenditure but reallocates based on YAL final year

6.       Reduce Parks transfer to Capital budget by $20,000

§         Retains Recreation Division van that was to have been replaced by hybrid vehicle

7.       Reduce $5,000 from Golf Division budget

§         Eliminates $5,000 in capital improvements

8.       Eliminate $32,000 for CSO from Maintenance Materials and Services

§         Reduces graffiti removal program and Skate Park / general park rule enforcement

9.       Eliminate $50,000 for CAP Officer Program

§         Reflects potential reduction in time spent with Park Patrol rule enforcement

10.   Increase Recreation Division program revenue by $10,000

11.   Eliminate $3,000 contribution to the Summer Outdoor Program (Siskiyou Field Institute)

12.   Eliminate $2,000 for contracted senior field trips with YMCA


Robertson spoke about the millage rate of $2.09 for Parks and $1.62 for the City for every $1,000. Eggers requested clarification about whether documentation existed for that arrangement and Bennett stated that the City honored the agreement despite any apparent formal arrangement. Rosenthal asked Navickas to interpret the motion and Navickas responded that the Budget Committee was concerned that the proposed Parks budget wasn’t flat, as were other departments’ budgets, but included increases. He indicated that other budgets were presented flat with the expectation that departments might be allowed to include additional expenditures later in the budget process. Bennett suggested that the Parks Commission return to the Budget Committee to describe for them the potential impact of a 5% Parks budget cut.

Eggers stated that Parks absorbed the Senior Program, portions of the Police budget (CAP Officer, half of the CSO position, and Park Patrol), and The Grove without requesting additional funding for their support. She indicated that the additional responsibilities significantly increased the Parks budget and the Budget Committee needed to understand the impact to Parks.

Gardiner expressed frustration with the budget process and the need to defend the Parks millage before the Budget Committee each year. He reminded the commission of Councilor Hardesty’s suggestion that Parks reduce its capital outlay and reported that he did not hear other Budget Committee members support her suggestion. Bennett suggested that Parks respond to the capital outlay request, even if the response was that Parks could not find appropriate ways to make such cuts. Robertson reminded the commission of their approved capital outlay projects.

Noraas expressed concern with the possible elimination of the new Promotions Coordinator position, stating that the position would provide assistance to the entire department.

Robertson reviewed other proposed budget reductions, including paring down Parks Materials and Services by $60,000. Eggers expressed concern about reducing non-native vegetation and fuel reduction.

Robertson talked about the budget impact in terms of the YAL’s conclusion in 2008.

In terms of reducing the Parks budget, Robertson recommended that the commission consider items 4, 5, 6, 7, 11, 12, and ask for a dollar amount rather than a reduction in millage.

Navickas suggested meeting with the Parks Commission and Hardesty to discuss the budget. He also suggested that staff research the ways in which parks and recreation programs reduce crime in neighborhoods and cities.

Rosenthal talked about increasing revenues and indicated that item 2 could help generate more revenue by promotions of programs. He expressed concern about a potential $100,000 reduction in funds for park development. He stated that he could only support items 4, 5, 6, 11, and 12. Lewis agreed that he could not support reducing funds for park development.

Bennett stated that the items drawing commission support were not sufficient. She made the following suggestions to the commission:

1.                   Show the Budget Committee all Parks budget reduction possibilities

2.                   Show the committee the impact of each budget reduction

3.                   Pull items 4 and 5 off the list

4.                   Keep everything on the list; prioritize the list; cut $100,000 out of capital outlay

5.                   Take item 10 off the list; don’t show revenue

6.                   During presentation, when referring to items 8 and 9 (policing), indicate that Parks does not wish to make those cuts

Commissioners agreed to meet in special session on Tuesday, May 15, to further discuss and adopt a list of proposed budget reductions.

ADJOURNMENT – By consensus, with no further business, Eggers adjourned the meeting at 9:47 PM.

Respectfully submitted, Susan Dyssegard, Ashland Parks and Recreation

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