MINUTES FOR THE REGULAR MEETING
ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
October 2, 2007
Civic Center Council Chambers
1175 E. Main Street
CALL TO ORDER
Mayor Morrison called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers.
Councilors Navickas, Hardesty, Hartzell, Jackson, Chapman and Silbiger were present.
MAYOR'S ANNOUNCEMENT OF BOARD AND COMMISSION VACANCIES
Mayor Morrison noted the vacancies on the various Commissions and Boards, specifically the number of youth liaison vacancies.
Mayor Morrison addressed the citizens, based on the upcoming training session scheduled for the council, and the questions brought forward on this issue. He clarified that the upcoming council sessions are to provide a level of training to Council members in the name of fairness, prudence, professionalism, productivity and efficiency. He stated that the some of the past actions by councilors have been unacceptable and that he would not accept that type of behavior again at any meeting of the council.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The Study Session minutes of September 17, 2007, Executive Session minutes of September 18, 2007 and Regular Meeting Council minutes of September 18, 2007 were approved as presented.
SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS & AWARDS
Mayor Morrison's Proclamation of October 7- 13, 2007 as National Fire Prevention Week was read aloud. Members of the Fire Department were recognized.
1. Minutes of Boards, Commissions, and Committees
2. Citizen's Library Advisory Ad Hoc Committee
3. Issuance of a Request for Qualifications for the Development of Affordable Housing at the Parks Clay Creek Property
4. Approval of a Public Contract Greater than $75,000 Distribution Rack Expansion Project (Materials Only)
5. Adoption of Findings for PA 2007-00455, 247 Otis Street
6. Approval of Agreement No. 23720 - Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Program - Beach Street: Glenwood to End - between the City of Ashland and the Oregon Department of Transportation
7. Approval of a Contract for the 2007 Utility Construction Project
8. Mayor's Appointments to Various Commissions
9. Approval of Contract for Update the Transportation System Plan
10. 11th Annual Report on Implementation of the Valdez Principles
Councilor Hardesty requested that items 4 and 9 be pulled for discussion.
Councilors Silbiger/Hartzell m/s to approve Consent Agenda items 1 through 3, items 5 through 8 and item 10. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
Councilors Jackson/Hartzell m/s to approve Consent Agenda item 4. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
Under item 7, Councilor Hardesty noted the construction of the lower reaches of the storm system and questioned if the developer would share in the expense of the project. Public Works Director Paula Brown clarified the developer does pay a portion of the expenses, and added she will provide the Council with a percentage upon doing some research.
Under item 9, Councilor Hardesty questioned how much of the plan is implemented and followed by the City.
Ms. Brown responded that the City follows the plan unless there's a reason to deviate, if the conditions have changed. She noted the Transportation System Plan (TSP) update is available online and stated now is a good time to consider the possibility of a Transportation Commission. She added the TSP could be strengthened in terms of reducing vehicle trips per day and is geared toward project development. She announced three open houses for the TSP update. Additionally, Ms. Brown noted the Metropolitan Planning Organization is currently going through their update for the Regional Transportation Plan, and she added the City is updating the TSP to meet the regional plan.
Councilors Hartzell/Chapman m/s to approve Consent Agenda item 9. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
Under Item 3, Housing Coordinator Brandon Goldman clarified the Request For Qualification (RFQ) has not yet been drafted and suggested the RFQ be structured to request that property remain affordable for a 99-year period through a land lease, as opposed to requesting that it be under the ownership of the Ashland Community Land Trust. Council members voiced their agreement.
Mat Marr/31 Union Street/Stated Dr. Rick Kirschner has worked in the past with the Ashland School Board. He noted the board originally approached Dr Kirschner due to a study which showed that effective leadership from school boards can have a direct, positive impact on student achievement. This type of training can also provide effective leadership from the City Council which would result in a positive effect on the City of Ashland. In closing, he voiced his support of council therapy sessions with Dr. Kirschner.
Bill Phillips/PO Box 667/Voiced his concern with the dysfunctionality that seems to be taking shape among the council and requested stronger leadership from the mayor. He stated council positions are a privilege and each member has a responsibility, to the Citizens, to do the best job possible.
Tonya Ozone/1257 Siskiyou Blvd./Requested public records showing when a discussion of the possibility of training took place. She noted training is valuable and suggested the councilors pay for their own training.
John Stromberg/252 Ridge Rd/Voiced his support of council training with Dr. Kirschner and noted the workload each councilor has. He added working together, managing workflow, setting priorities, making decisions etc., is very complex and difficult, and training will be beneficial.
Don Stone/395 Kearney/Acknowledged and appreciated the comments made earlier by Mayor Morrison but still voiced his opposition to the spending of taxpayers' money for training. He noted recent actions by the council as juvenile and suggested the council go back to lessons learned in kindergarten. He referenced comments made by Ms. Christensen in July concerning a recall election costing $7,000. He noted that in January $7,600 was spent on "teamwork training" and stated it obviously did not have an impact on the Council.
Richard Hansen/25 N Main Street/Noted that he was previously a proponent of a recall election for several council members, and that he pulled back when he realized taxpayers would have to pay this expense. He also stated it is not fair for taxpayers to be burdened with a cost of $37,000 for council training. He suggested Mayor Morrison and the entire Council immediately resign so the City may hold another election. He noted citizens could then decide whether they want to re-elect the council members or vote in new members who already have the training, business sense and ability to make decisions. He commented that he has lived in Ashland since 1972 and has never before seen such a dysfunctional council. He suggested other options for spending the $37,000 such as providing shelter and food to Ashland's homeless, improving the library system or providing financial assistance to schoolchildren who need athletic department equipment.
Jennifer Carr/388 Grandview Drive/Noted she was a past city councilor in Aspen, Colorado who served with a functional council that worked together. She found the comments made by the mayor, about the difficulties of councilship, to be naïve and juvenile. She suggested three options concerning the council; resignation, a recall or the act of the council taking their collective thumbs out of their mouths. She stated the use of public money for training is both appalling and embarrassing to citizens. She noted good manners are useful and reminded the council they are not here to represent themselves but rather the citizens of Ashland.
Art Bullock/Questioned why the upcoming Saturday meeting was not made public and noted Oregon has a very strict public meetings law. He stated council meetings must be held in public with very limited exceptions and noted these exceptions did not apply to the Saturday meeting in question. He noted spending taxpayer money on council issues is absolutely City business and must be made public. He asked Ms. Christensen to provide the details of the next meeting in which council therapy sessions will be addressed, and provide a public notice.
Bill Skillman/635 Oak Knoll Drive/Stated board training is appropriate for the council and noted his comments are directed specifically towards Councilors Navickas and Chapman. He stated the council operates under Robert's Rules of Order and noted these rules are specifically designed to ensure a civil, organized conducting of business, even though differences of opinion exist. He noted it is the Chair's job to enforce an orderly conducting of business. He commented that the credibility of the City Council has been seriously compromised by the behavior of a few members. He voiced his resentment of the suggestion that the council should spend citizens' tax dollars on personal behavior therapy and suggested Councilors Navickas and Chapman pay for their own individual training.
Derek Volkart/PO Box 3384/Offered his thanks to the council for their leadership and work, and stated he is glad to hear from citizens whom he has not heard from before, despite not sharing their passion on this particular issue.
Interim City Attorney Richard Appicello referenced the Attorney General's Meetings Manual to clarify that the meeting Mr. Bullock referred to during his comments was not a meeting in which official business is conducted and was exempt from the Public Meetings law. This meeting will be closed to the public.
1. Second reading by title only of an Ordinance titled, "An Ordinance Amending the Ashland Municipal Code, Land Use Ordinance, Regarding Conversion of Existing Rentals Into For-Purchase Housing in Multi-Family Zoning Districts."
Housing Coordinator Brandon Goldman provided the following two options to the Council to distinguish between two specific definitions referenced in the ordinance:
Option A: (Would establish that the ordinance would apply only to a conversion of apartments that were built prior to this ordinance.) For the purposes of Section 18.24.020 and 18.24.040, existing multi-family rental units are defined as dwelling units designed to house multiple households within one or more structures on a single property that were constructed and occupied prior to the effective date of this ordinance. Any units constructed after the effective date are not subject to the provisions of Chapter 18.24.040L.
Option B: (Would establish that both currently developed apartments and any apartments developed in the future as apartments would be subject to the requirements of the ordinance.) For the purposes of section 18.24.020 and 18.24.040, existing multi-family rental units are defined as dwelling units designed to house multiple households within one or more structures on a single property that were constructed and occupied prior to application for conversion into for-purchase housing.
Mr. Goldman explained because the existing ordinance requires that 25% of the units in a conversion be provided as affordable housing, developers doing new construction typically build condominiums from the group up which are then not subject to this provision. He noted there is no time limit in the ordinance in terms of how long units would have to be retained as apartments before being exempt from the condominium conversion ordinance.
Mr. Goldman responded to question on incentives explaining that there are incentives in place and noted system development charges, community development charges and engineering fees are all waived. He added there are also incentives as far as taxes are concerned in terms of developing apartments as opposed to individual condominiums, if the intention is to own them all and rent them all out. He clarified the distinction between a condominium and an apartment.
Mr. Goldman stated either options would have the same measureable outcome. He noted if Option A is selected, it may encourage more multi-family units as apartments and stated Option B may cause people not to build condominiums from the ground up. He noted tenant relocation assistance would be applied to apartments built two years from now, converting four years from now.
Councilors Hardesty/Jackson m/s to approve Ordinance #2942 with amendments choosing Option A. DISCUSSION: Councilor Hardesty stated Option A gives developers the opportunity to build apartment buildings, which may need to be encouraged. She noted there is a chance an apartment could be built and converted after six months but does not believe this would be practical for developers.
Councilor Jackson stated the conversion process is a permitted use rather than a conditional use. She noted the conditional use proceedings raised a lot of questions on the individual applications. She voiced her unhappiness with regulating condominum conversion but stated this is the change she supports for permitted use.
Councilor Navickas stated his preference for Option B and suggested staff provide more incentives for building rental units. He noted the possibility of creating an additional ordinance on top of Option B rather than choosing Option A.
Councilor Chapman voiced his opposition to the ordinance, stating it does not support housing goals of maintaining and increasing the amount of rental properties. He noted the Planning Commission voted 7-2 not to recommend the ordinance in this form. He stated the type of ownership is not a land-use and should not be in the land-use code, noting the Council's focus should be to create incentives for building new apartments.
Councilor Hartzell stated the Council does have legal authority to do what they are doing in this particular ordinance. She voiced her support in what staff has brought forward to eliminate the disincentive against having new rentals built in the future. Councilor Navickas stated he prefers Option B but is willing to support the ordinance at this point.
Roll Call Vote: Councilors Navickas, Jackson, Hartzell, Hardesty and Silbiger, YES. Councilor Chapman, NO. Motion passed 5-1.
2. Second Reading by title only of an Ordinance titled, "An Ordinance Amending AMC 3.08.020 To Apply Ethics Provisions to Employees, Appointed Officials and Elected Officials."
Interim City Attorney Richard Appicello read aloud the ordinance which included amendments noted in red. Mr. Appicello explained he did not add "elected officers" to Section K and did not add the word "removal," as it is much more complicated to talk about the removal of elected officers.
Dale Shostrom/1240 Tolman Creek Rd/Chair of the Historic Commission, voiced his concerns with the proposed changes to the City's Ethics Ordinance and stated it may lead to discrimination, arbitrary applications and unintended consequences if passed as it is. He stated it is too restrictive and suggested the council strike the language stating "no appointed official shall represent a client for hire in any action or proceeding before another board, commission or city council on matters which came or will come before the Board of Commissions of which that official is appointed. He provided the following reasons as to why this language should be struck from the ordinance:
|It would prohibit architects, planners, landscape architechts, landscape contractors, archeologists from presenting their expertise for hire before city proceedings if they serve the City and the public as members of a commission.
|There would be a loss of present professional members to the Historic Commission, Tree Commission and the Building Appeals Board. Without the staff to represent them at city required proceedings, many individuals would be compelled to choose their livelihood over a volunteer commission appointment.
Spoke as a group: Ralph Temple/150 Myer Creek Rd/Art Bullock/Allan Sandler/1260 Prospect/Pam Vavra/457 C Street/Paul Moss/Ron Hansen/Read aloud a letter that was previously sent to council requesting that if there were any change(s) made to the ordinance, it be considered at the first reading to give the community a chance to respond at the second reading. In general, they support a more restrictive ordinance than what was passed at first reading. They asked, if the ordinance is changed at the current meeting, that the council consider it a first reading regardless of whether the change is more or less restrictive. They support the ethics ordinance, as is written, so everyone can have a level playing field in doing business in Ashland. They noted the importance of allowing time for the community to review, discuss and fully understand any changes made to the ordinance.
Keith Swink/1655 Peachey/A member of the Historic Commission, he stated that the impact on the commission, as noted earlier, will be profound. He voiced his hope that impacted commission members will be recognized as people who want to volunteer their time without having to choose between the potential of having to make a living or serving the community.
Colin Swales/461 Allison/Noted this ordinance has been on the council's agenda for over a year and urged them to pass it, after including the elected officials and pro bono prohibition. He noted the Historic Commission has a huge influence on the planning process and stated there is nothing in the ordinance that prevents them from submitting their ideas or on behalf on their clients in writing, but rather it prevents them from representing their clients before a public hearing.
Mr. Appicello stated he did not add pro bono prohibition to the ordinance since there was no direction from council to do so. He noted the language in question had to do with Section E(4) and provided the council with the current state law information pertaining to this language. He added, if elected officials are prohibited from appearing at a public hearing, this alternative language would appear in the ordinance.
City Administrator Martha Bennet questioned if a city employee, who is also a volunteer for an organization, could or could not represent a group in their free time. Mr. Appicello explained that no "appointed official" can represent various volunteer groups, and this includes city employees.
Councilors Hardesty/Hartzell m/s to approve Ordinance to include sections in red that have been added. DISCUSSION: Councilor Silbiger stated there is always a balance on what one is trying to accomplish and an important element is having qualified people on board. He added there is a question of fairness and stated discriminating against smaller individuals is not fair. He noted the first section tilts to unfairness and voiced his opposition to it.
Councilor Hartzell provided various examples of when past projects were approved with one of the conditions being that some part of the plan was sent back to a commission for review. She added there are possiblities for conflicts of interests if a person presenting a project happens to also sit on the commission that is reviewing the plans for said project. She noted this particular rule does not restrict someone from being on a commission and questioned if an "appearance" of a conflict of interest is a good trade-off. She voiced her concern with the motion not including the City Administrator's recommended changes to include "for a fee."
Councilor Hardesty noted the changes are procedural and questioned whether or not a commission member involved with a project would be working pro bono. Mr. Appicello explained the Council has different options concerning the inclusion of the words "pro bono," and he noted various way the council can change the language of the ordinance to reflect their intentions.
Councilor Navickas voiced his support of including the pro bono language in the ordinance.
Councilors Navickas/Hartzell m/s to amend motion to include language under Section E(4) to change the word represent to "appear" and to include a pro bono restriction in additon to "working for hire." Roll Call Vote: Councilors Jackson, Chapman, Silbiger, Hartzell, Hardesty and Navickas, YES. Motion passed 6-0. DISCUSSION: Councilor Chapman voiced his concern for small businesses and stated there is too much restriction in the ordinance. He added he would like to vote in favor of excluding the last clause.
Councilors Chapman/Silbiger m/s to place a period after the word "appointed," and strike the final two lines, plus the additional word "appointed." DISCUSSION: Councilor Navickas stated his opposition to the motion and noted there is an abuse of this issue. He stated restricting the language in the ordinance opens the door to conflicts of interest.
Councilor Hartzell noted the amendment on the table is appropriate to maintain ethics.
Councilor Hardesty commented this is a major change and stated she does not favor it.
Councilor Jackson stated she is in favor of the amendment and noted the change will encourage individual practicioners who run small business to also volunteer for the City. She noted she is not in favor of extending this to the entire city.
Mayor Morrison reminded council there is another level of screening through the appointment process. He suggested the council keep the definition of "perception" in mind before voting.
Roll Call Vote: Councilors Jackson, Silbiger, Chapman and Mayor Morrison, YES. Councilors Navickas, Hartzell and Hardesty, NO. Motion passed 4-3.
Roll Call Vote on amended motion: Councilors Jackson, Silbiger, Chapman and Mayor Morrison, YES. Councilors Hardesty, Hartzell and Navickas, NO. Motion passed 4-3.
3. PERF Report
Police Chief Terry Holdeness spoke regarding the new Taser Policy. He noted the policy maintains the same level of control officers have used previously and stated the State of Oregon recommends tasing be used at a state of force consistent with "active resistance." He defined active resistance to be when an individual not only resists but takes an active, physical role in resisting. He noted the policy authorizes the use of tasers at the "ominous resistance level," when an individual is not only physically resisting but also putting the arresting office or another person at direct risk of injury. He noted the Ashland Police Department (APD) has worked closely with ACLU to develop clear language of when a taser can or cannot be used. He noted the policy restricts the use of tasers and requires them to be equipped with both audio and video features. He noted these features will allow the APD to ensure the Taser Policy is being carried out correctly.
Chief Holderness explained that each officer will carry a taser to ensure they will have one available at all times, since many shifts are staggered and one officer may be away from another, resulting in only one officer in possession of a taser. Over time, he noted the APD foresees savings due to less repairs of taser equipment.
Chief Holderness explained that it is an accurate assumption that under the new policy, instances of taser use would be reduced, but noted there will be more tasers available and this may have an effect on the number of tasering instances. He noted once tasers are used, they will be immediately turned in to prevent corruption of evidence, so the APD may require a few extra tasers to provide to officers when this happens. He stated training would take place once approved by the council and shared recommendations from Southern Oregon University (SOU) students concerning training. He noted the policy review portion, when tasers are used, will be treated exactly the same as a fatal shooting would be; reviewed before a board who then provides a written recommendation to the police chief for review and agreement.
Councilor Navickas referenced a past incident in Ashland where a death resulted from the use of a taser and questioned whether this particular case would have happened under the new policy. Chief Holderness stated this case is under some form of litigation and did not feel it appropriate to comment on it but did note the new policy is significantly more restrictive than the old policy.
Ralph Temple/150 Myer Creek Rd/Noted that copies of the ACLU chapter were submitted to the Council. He voiced his appreciation that the recommended restrictive standard is the same one that is being proposed. He referenced the ACLU chapter to state that it has not been established that tasers are not dangerous and noted that, across the country, there have been instances of police misuse of tasers. He stated the ACLU recommends that taser use be authorized for a three-year period with intense oversight as well as public input. He recommended that all reports of taser use and review of taser use be immediately and publicly available and that no more than the recommended eight tasers be purchased. Additionally, he recommended there be an investigation of the Nicholas Hanson case to identify whether of not the use of a taser was justified, adding the ACLU calls for it.
Derek Volkart/200 Mowetza/ Stated officers should not have tasers at all and questioned what restriction standards are in place in Medford. He noted a particular incident when a teenager was threated with a taser and did not believe an officer would have used a gun in the same instance had a taser been unavailable. He noted the taser is a "pain compliance" and shared that his brother, who is a law enforcement officer, does not support the use of tasers. He stated having an "ominous resistance" level is not enough of a restriction. He shared an article highlighting taser controversies.
Steve Ryan/657 C Street/Noted a previous meeting held with former Police Chief Bianca in which the chief promised APD training to prevent cases such as the Nicholas Hanson case. He stated an SOU student's recommendation was that the taser be raised as high as possible on the Use of Force Continuum. He suggested continuous training for officers to include diversity issues, invisible disability issues, recognizing intoxication and so forth.
Spoke together: Philip Shilts/396 Idaho/Brian Fox/1401 Oregon Street #242/Suggested a list of amendments concerning the Taser Policy to include structured additional training. They noted a correlation between intoxicants leading to deaths while a taser is used, and stated it is very important that training be extremely comprehensive. They suggested the establishment of strict punishments for taser abuse and asked that in almost all instances tasers be treated as, or similarly to, an officer's duty weapon. They asked that in any case where a taser is unholstered, it be logged in a police report to include just cause as to why it was unholstered. Additionally, they asked that it be made clear to the officers of APD, the Ashland public and SOU students that the use of tasers, or the threatened use of tasers, only be used under the most extreme circumstances. They requested the purchased tasers be independently tested to ensure the voltage meets the standards stated by Taser International. In any instance where a taser is used, they requested the officer be immediately placed on paid, administrative leave pending the results of an independent use-of-force review.
Bruce Albert/1411 Ponderosa Drive/Voiced his support of the chief's request for the addition of tasers to the Use of Force Continuum. He noted the stress involved by being a police officer and stated every "tool" the chief can put in his tool box will help him resolve many issues. He agreed there needs to be a level of control with the taser issue, and added he is speaking from his experience serving in law enforcement for 20 years.
Art Bullock/Questioned the need for 30 tasers within the APD and noted the total cost of these tasers. He stated it doesn't make sense to purchase a lot of tasers to save money, as these devices are updated continuously and need to be replaced with more efficient ones. He stated the suggestion that each officer needs their own taser because they will better take care of it is troubling. He also noted the comment concerning increased taser use is disturbing and indicated that the easy availability of the taser may lead to inappropriate application. He asked the council to only approve the purchase of the minimum number of tasers needed.
Bill Skillman/635 Oak Knoll Drive/Spoke in favor of every officer having a taser, assuming that the officers will be fully trained. He noted the potential for fatality is extremely low and stated officers need an interim device between their own physical strength and training, and having to draw a weapon.
Councilor Navickas stated tasers are prone to abuse because they are not lethal weapons and noted they can be used as pain compliance devices rather than used in extreme circumstances. He voiced his concern with the chief's comments that issuing tasers would result in increased taser use and stated his personal preference is to ban tasers alltogether. He is disturbed by the direction the APD is taking by putting a police sub station dowtown and questioned the image the City is presenting to the community concerning the intimidation by police presence. He noted the policy should be more restrictive and stated the additions put forth by the students of SOU are important. He agreed that the policy for pulling a gun should be the same as the policy for pulling a taser, and officers should be put on paid leave upon using a taser to allow for an investigation of the matter.
Councilor Navickas motioned to approve the Taser Policy with the added amendments that the same protocal used when pulling a gun would be required when pulling a taser, the number of tasers is restricted to eight and upon using a taser, officers will be placed on paid leave. Motion failed due to lack of a second.
Councilors Hartzell/Silbiger m/s to accept the PERF Report timeline and the area command as proposed by Chief Holderness. Roll Call Vote: Councilors Jackson, Navikas, Hardesty, Hartzell, Silbiger and Chapman, YES. Motion passed 6-0.
Councilors Hartzell/Navickas m/s to approve the purchase of 12 tasers, a review in three years, reports being made public when legally approporiate, testing tasers upon receipt, unholstering reports and reconciling of Sections 3.028 and 3.027. DISCUSSION: Councilor Hartzell explained her motion by stating she feels each proposed item in the motion is appropriate. She stated there is incongruity between the two named sections and requested the police chief review these sections to ensure they are congruent.
Councilor Navickas motioned to amend the existing motion to include that an officer is placed on paid leave upon using a taser. Motion failed due to lack of a second.
DISCUSSION continued: Chief Holderness stated reviewing the policy in three years is very reasonable. He noted testing prior to use is somewhat confusing as he is not sure of how to test with the tasers. He stated unholstering reports of any taser incidents will be included in the initial reports as well. He commented that reconciling the two sections is a minor technical change.
Councilors Silbiger/Hartzell m/s to amend the existing motion to include the words "look into" before "testing of tasers upon receipt." Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
Councilor Jackson stated she would like to be convinced as to why officers should only have tasers per shift rather than for every officer.
Councilor Navickas stated some tasers are used for intimidation and noted a "drive fire" is an intimidation tool using a spark. He cautioned abusing this kind of "drive fire" intimidation technique. He noted it is important to obtain logging reports of unholstering as well as tracking intimidation tactics used by officers. He suggested rotating these tasers among officers to promote maintenance and added it is a major cost savings.
Chief Holderness stated each taser unit is $1,300 and added if tasers are with officers at all times, it would reduce the wear and tear of the taser equipment. He commented that if tasers are used more often, it is because it has been proven over and over that it reduces injuries to officers and suspects.
Councilors Hartzell/Hardesty m/s to extend the meeting until 10:30 p.m. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
Chief Holderness stated there are currently no new tasers on the market, and he does not expect to see a new generation of tasers any time soon.
Councilors Chapman/Hardesty m/s to increase the number of tasers from 12 to 30. Roll Call Vote: Councilors Silbiger, Hardesty, Jackson and Chapman, YES. Councilors Navickas and Hartzell, NO. Motion passed 4-2.
Roll Call Vote on amended motion: Councilors Silbiger, Jackson, Hardesty, Chapman and Hartzell, YES. Councilor Navickas, NO. Motion passed 5-1.
Councilor Harztell questioned the possibility of an investigation into the Nicholas Hanson case. Mr. Appicello stated he requires time to talk to the City Insurance Defense Council and will get back to the council with this information at a later time.
NEW AND MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS
1. Gift of Public Art
Management Analyst Ann Seltzer stated eight pieces of art were installed under the ODOT bridge as well as electrical lighting to illuminate the art. She noted ODOT and city permits were not secured for the project, and she added if the City is interested in moving forward with the project, they can apply for the appropriate permits. She provided the Council with three options to choose from concerning the project:
|The City can decline the gift.
|The City can recommend that Mr. Haines approach the Public Arts Commission and either wait for a recommendation from them or have them make a decision at their level.
|The City can accept the gift at the Council level and obtain the appropriate permits.
Permit Center Manager Adam Hanks stated there are three different permits the City would have to obtain; an ODOT permit, an electrical permit for the lighting (which would go through ODOT but also be a local electrical permit) and a local permit process to address sign code issues.
Ms. Seltzer noted the permit process would take between five-six months to complete. She added if the project is referred to the Public Arts Commission, some additional months would be added to the process as well. She stated ODOT has allowed Mr. Haines to keep the art pieces installed up until now.
Councilor Navickas questioned what process the City would take to request code compliance in any project if someone put up a sign in violation of the current sign ordinance.
Mr. Hanks explained the process of code compliance for any project in violation of the current sign ordinance that some type of initial contact would be made to request both compliance and the correct permits would be requested, or the signs would be taken down. He read aloud the definition of what is or is not considered a sign.
Councilor Hartzell noted that if were a gift that upholds the sign ordinance she would be interested in accepting the gift. She noted she is not in favor of accepting the art in the manner that it has been presented and added that it is inconsistent with other forms of art that citizens have put up around the City. She voiced her concern with setting a precedent for prompting violation or consideration of an ordinance.
Councilor Jackson noted the Public Arts Commission has developed procedures for evaluating whether or not to accept donated art. She suggested going through this process rather than short-circuiting.
Councilor Navickas voiced his unhappiness with the way the art project has moved forward and sees it as an attempt to undermine land-use regulations.
Councilor Hardesty stated the art is very attractive and added the entire area has been improved tremendously. She agreed the process leaves a great deal to be desired and favors Mr. Haines coming before the Public Arts Commission.
Councilor Silbiger voiced his disappointment with the way the art was given and suggested that Mr. Haines go before the Public Arts Commission to develop an ordinance that allows murals. He noted accepting the art in the current manner does not work.
City Administrator Martha Bennett noted the possibility of taking the art displays and the related sign down but leaving the electrical fixtures up. She stated if the council is interested in leaving the fixtures up, the City must apply to ODOT for a permit.
Councilor Hartzell stated she is not in consensus with sending the project to the Public Arts Commission, as she is concerned with having equipment installed on the bridge before first talking to ODOT about safety issues.
Councilor Navickas agreed, taking into consideration that the area is a spot that needs some improvement but also recognizing that there is a specific process that first needs to be completed before such art can be displayed there.
Lloyd Haines/96 N Main Street/Noted the placement of murals on public or private structures is not permitted by Ashland's anti-mural ordinance and stated this statute no longer benefits Ashland's artistic and creative spirit. If the City chooses not to accept the gift of art he has given, he will remove it until the City decides whether or not such a donation is in the City's best interests. He requested the City consider whether the creation is artistically significant, beautifies the City and is a value to the public. He voiced his agreement that the re-development of the ODOT property was difficult for the City. He noted the positive changes around the area and stated it would not have happened if it had not been pushed the way it was. He stated ODOT is not concerned with the bridge falling, that their only concern is that proper fasteners hold the panels in place so any vibration does not cause them to fall down.
Skip Andrew/216 Scenic Drive/Stated Mr. Haines made a mistake by not going through the process but understands that the City wouldn't have this art if he hadn't displayed it in such a way. He noted it is a worthy gift to accept and requested the Council not penalize the citizens of Ashland because Mr. Haines gave it in an improper manner.
Denise Baxter/11459 Corp Ranch Road/A business owner in Ashland, she shared that she is one of the artists who painted the murals now located under the bridge. She stated she is very proud of the environment created and now feels safe walking with her children in this area. She understands why Mr. Haines went outside of the structured rules to install the work, and stated citizens are tired of working within the confines of the City's bureaucracy. She asked the Council to look past the actions of Mr. Haines and help to facilitate the legal and permanent installation of the murals.
Councilor Chapman stated his understanding is that the process was incorrect but also believes the council should follow staff's recommendation to choose from one of the three suggested options.
Councilors Chapman/Jackson m/s to approve staff recommendation to seek input from the Public Art Commission, apply for permit from ODOT and apply for a Conditional Use Permit. DISCUSSION: Ms. Bennett questioned whether staff is being asked to apply for the electrical permits prior to meeting with the Public Arts Commission or after. Councilor Chapman recommended staff wait until after the commission meets before taking any action. Ms. Bennett clarified ODOT is waiting on the City's decision on whether or not the artwork will be allowed to stay where it is. If not, the entire installation must come down by Friday.
Councilors Chapman/Jackson m/s to amend the motion to ask staff to apply for an electrical permit. DISCUSSION: Councilor Navickas voiced his emphasis that the space is public and a public process is required before such changes are made to it. He stated the City ordinance specifically restricts murals. Councilor Hardesty noted one of the three options is that Mr. Haines meets with the Public Arts Commission and waits for their recommendation before any action is taken. She voiced her favor of this option. Councilor Hartzell questioned if graffiti appears in the area between now and the next few weeks, will the City ticket the individuals responsible. Mr. Appicello noted that Mr. Haines is not exempt from prosecution and responded that if there are any occurrences of criminal mischief, it will be prosecuted. He noted that in this particular case is not within the City's jurisdiction to prosecute Mr. Haines because the art was displayed on a bridge.
Roll Call vote: Councilors Silbiger, Navickas, Hardesty and Hartzell, NO. Councilors Jackson and Chapman, YES. Amendment to motion passed 4-2.
Meeting adjourned due to time constraints. No vote on original motion took place.
2. Review of Lithia Way Parking Lot Development Agreements
Item not addressed due to time constraints.
3. Recommendations from Transportation Financing Taskforce
Item not addressed due to time constraints.
ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND CONTRACTS
OTHER BUSINESS FROM COUNCIL MEMBERS/REPORTS FROM COUNCIL LIAISONS
1. Further Discussion of implementation of July 18, 2007 Council Motion regarding Mt. Ashland Association
Item not addressed due to time constraints.
2. Discussion regarding Mt. Ashland Association wastewater treatment plant
Item not addressed due to time constraints.
Meeting was adjourned at 10:30 p.m.
Barbara Christensen, City Recorder
John W. Morrison, Mayor