MINUTES FOR THE STUDY SESSION MEETING
ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
December 9, 1999
Hillah Temple, Winburn Way
CALL TO ORDER
Mayor Shaw called the meeting to order at 12:15 p.m. in the Hillah Temple.
Councilors Laws, Reid, Hanson, Wheeldon, and Fine were present.
Staff present: City Administrator Mike Freeman, Director of Community Development John McLaughlin, Public Works Director Paula Brown, Administrative Services Director Dick Wanderscheid, Fire Chief Keith Woodley, Senior Center Director Sharon Laws, and Finance Director Jill Turner.
DRAFT CITIZEN PARTICIPATION PLAN
Administrative Services Director Dick Wanderscheid presented the draft plan, noting that it was included as one of the goals in the strategic planning process. Explained that Councilors Laws, Fine and Wheeldon had helped work on the plan, and that the planning process began with a survey of commission members. Explained that after today’s discussion, and any amendments suggested by council, a public hearing would be scheduled for the second council meeting in December with the hope that the council would adopt the plan at that times. Noted that copies of this plan would be mailed out to former Ad Hoc Communication Committee members and made available to the public.
Wanderscheid suggested implementing the plan for one year, to see how it works, and stated that staff will develop a basic citizen involvement workbook as an aid in implementing the plan. Emphasized that the plan is designed to deal with new subjects, such as ad hoc and advisory committees being formed to address a specific task by a specific process.
Council discussed the need for training, which involves citizen participation, as continuity is needed in the committee and commissions. It was explained that in many cases, committees have gotten bogged down and there is some question as to what their responsibilities and role as a committee member is. There was discussion that, while it was important to outline responsibilities, that there was a need to leave room for flexibility in designing a process that is appropriate for each specific project. It was noted that the plan gives a philosophy and explains the public involvement process.
Wanderscheid clarified that this plan serves as a tool for staff to use on items with city-wide significance. City Administrator Mike Freeman pointed out that results of the survey of commissioners indicated that there was a perceived need for more guidelines and structures in the boards and commissions. Explained that the plan will serve as a training tool to prepare staff members who serve on the boards and commissions.
Fine stated that he was skeptical, and suggested that if the plan does not work, another tier is needed guaranteeing the rights for each citizen to participate and get information as part of the process.
Discussion regarding setting performance standards measurements to determine, after one year, if the plan was working. Freeman clarified that some sort of review by the boards and commissions would be needed to determine their level of satisfaction with the process. Wanderscheid explained that they would be looking at an evaluation of the overall process to help determine the success of the plan.
Discussion regarding the importance of clarifying the role of committee members so that the plan gives specific direction as to the responsibilities inherent in that role, and the parameters within which that specific commission will be working. It was noted that the roles and responsibilities of standing commission and committee members also need to be clarified. Recommended that this information be included as another tool in the plan.
Reid commented that commissions need to work to present themselves to the public in a more open and forthright manner. Suggested that training may be necessary to this end.
Fine recommended providing formal training to the chairperson for each commission or committee to help deal with parliamentary procedure and conducting meetings. Also recognized that it might be useful to implement the use of speaker request forms that communicate to interested members of the public the roles and responsibilities of the individual committee or commission.
Council consensus to hold a public hearing at the regular city council meeting on December 21, 1999. It was also noted that training and discussions could occur at the annual meeting of each commission.
Laws emphasized that there is a need to clarify the roles of commission and committee members, and the rights of participants, and suggested that balancing these two items make up this plan.
Freeman explained that the information, which was provided for council was a rough estimate of the time and money involved in implementing each of the strategic planning goals. Emphasized that these are rough estimates. Asked that council review the information presented, asking for clarification where necessary, and then give staff direction as to priorities. Freeman also noted that the PowerPoint presentations used here are included on the city’s web page.
Laws noted that he does not like the use of the word "goal" and suggested that the title should be "2000-2001 Priorities." Freeman noted that he had made this change, and would see that it was corrected on future versions distributed. Also suggested that perhaps they be termed "fiscal year priorities."
Mayor Shaw read through the list of priorities, which resulted in the following comments and/or changes:
1) Explore intergovernmental delivery of services. Time investment. Project is in existing plan and will be dealt with as opportunity is presented. Time investment will be put aside.
2) The City Council and Parks Commission should analyze how to better coordinate work and to analyze possible areas to reduce operational redundancy and financial efficiency. Look for organizational effectiveness.
3) Form citizen, staff and Council committee to review City’s Charter and make recommendations for revision, updating and modernization. It was pointed out that there is a need to follow state law when setting city charter requirements.
4) Update Housing element of the Comprehensive Plan and develop a long-range fundable housing program. Staff noted that there is no intent to hire additional staff for this priority.
5) Coordinate the City-wide parking and transit analysis. It was agreed that to include the School District would be beneficial.
6) TAP final design. Continue to monitor the need for additional water resources in the community. It was agreed that this should be two separate items.
7) Develop a Green Power alternative for the community. Item was removed from priority list as there was consensus to not wait until next year to work on this.
City Administrator Freeman stated to council that all objectives that were listed in the Strategic Planning were achievable as determined by departments. Discussion was held regarding the need to add staff to accomplish goals. Community Development Director John McLaughlin clarified for council that the list is comprehensive with what is going on currently and also out to 18 months. Stated that council and staff should be realistic in that some items may require additional time.
DISCUSSION OF NORTH NORMAL ANNEXATION
Community Development Director John McLaughlin presented map of area outside city limits that has been developed, and brought up for discussion the approval criteria on annexations in Chapter 18.106 of the Ashland Municipal Code. Pointed out that item 18.106.030(g) has been changed through the legislature by the Home Builders Association, and that city’s can no longer do this. McLaughlin explained that because our standard was in place before the law existed, we do not have to change our standards.
Discussion was made to look into existing infra-structure of land before considering annexation of property and to look at long term use for entire area. McLaughlin suggested using the urban growth boundary as a guideline. It was pointed out, that the city has the right to annex property, but doesn’t allow many opportunities to do so. It was suggested that something be put into the ordinance that would allow exceptions to be made when considering annexations. McLaughlin stated that the plan has to be a vision of 50 years down the road, and that urbanization is the goal.
McLaughlin explained to council that staff could look into drafting an exception for the annexation ordinance and see how many parcels would fit into it. Stated that this project is not on the Strategic Planning list, but could be added to next year's list.
The meeting was adjourned at 1:45 p.m.
Submitted by Barbara Christensen, City Recorder/Treasurer