Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Study Session

Monday, November 03, 2008

Monday, November 3, 2008
Council Chambers, 1175 East Main Street

Council Chair David Chapman called the meeting to order at 6:05 p.m. in the absence of Mayor John Morrison. Councilors Hardesty, Navickas, Hartzell, Jackson and Silbiger were present.

1. Does the Council have questions for the City Recorder about the City's Investment Policy or about the status of the City's current investments?

City Recorder Barbara Christensen explained the City had a strong, conservative investment policy. The City currently had 82% invested in the Local Government Pool, 15% in Government Agency Securities and 3% invested in Certificates of Deposits.

The Local Government Investment Pool (LGIP) maintains 900+ members, consisting of County, City and Local Government Entities and money from these entities are pooled and managed by the Oregon State Treasury (OST). The Oregon State Treasury has an advisory board who advise in the management and investments of the pooled money. This Board consists of the State Treasurer, three non-public members and three members who are Treasurers, Finance Officers or Business Managers in local government that manage the investment portfolio.

The approved LGIP Investment Policy dictates that securities mature at less than 3 years. Investments are staggered so they mature at different times and diversification is important. Ms. Christensen reported that a Senior Investment Officer from OST had clarified that when Asset Backed Securities started to fail, the State Pool made appropriate changes to the portfolio and confirmed that the final security matured in October 2008. When this final security matured, there were no more investments in Asset Backed Securities. Ms. Christensen explained that there are several factors used when purchasing securities for investment and examples were provided. She stated that LGIP's current focus is on liquidity as they respond to the current market.

Ms. Christensen recommended having the Oregon Short Term Board review the City's current investment policy, make recommendations and present to Council for approval. When questioned on LGIP's relationship with State Street, she explained that the Senior Investment Officer from OST had stated that State Street is not allowed any additional investing than the Oregon Short Term Board allows them to do.

2. Review of regular meeting agenda for November 4, 2008

City Administrator Martha Bennett reviewed the agenda with council with the following comments:

" Should the Council conduct and approve First Reading of an ordinance titled, "An Ordinance Amending Chapter 2, Administration, Adding Section 2.13, Transportation Commission; Repealing Section 2.22 Bicycle and Pedestrian Commission and Repealing Section 2.26 Traffic Safety Commission" and move the ordinance on to Second Reading?

Boards and Commissions can appoint Ad Hoc and Sub-Committees at any time. If they are Sub-Committees that deliberate on an item that eventually goes to Council, they need to follow Oregon Public Record Law. Official Sub-Committee rules would apply if someone not on the board were appointed.

Council asked staff to revise the new bulleted paragraph under Powers and Duties in the Transportation Commission Ordinance on page two.

" Should the Council approve an AFN wholesale and retain rate increase to offset an increase in operating expenses?

Interim Information Technology Director Michael Ainsworth explained there were no entities with a contract or long-term agreement with Ashland Fiber Network (AFN). The majority of customers were garnered through retailers.

AFN had projected a 5% growth in subscriber accounts and experienced 2.3% customer growth.

" Does the Council wish to enter into a purchase agreement to acquire 10 acres on Clay Street to be used for a public park and an affordable housing project in partnership with the Housing Authority of Jackson County?

Senior Planner Brandon Goldman explained that Resolution 2006-13 identified the income levels for households that would qualify for affordable housing. The Housing Authority would provide some units at 50% and some at 60% but were looking at a 30%-60% Area Median Income (AMI) range so that all participants have income to contribute to rent.

Mr. Goldman was asked to provide information from the Jackson County Assessment Office on the original purchase price for the Clay Street property for the regular meeting session 11/4/08.

3. What are the Council priorities for city facilities and properties based on the information provided in the Facilities Master Plan Report? Does the Council wish to place a bond measure on the 2010 ballot for public safety improvements?

Council determined that Fire Station # 2 was the top priority for the Facilities Master Plan. It will require voter support and November 2010 as an election timeframe was discussed. Ogden Roemer Wilkerson Architecture was able to bring the price down since the building did not require a downtown look and will research more ways to economize. Concern was expressed that the Food and Beverage Tax needs to come first.

The second priority for the Plan was the Police Department building. It would require voter approval as well and there was a discussion on bringing it to the public in 2012. The Police Department might be able to offset 10%-30% of the cost with Forfeiture Funds. Using trailers or pre-fabricated buildings for evidence storage would not meet the City's needs long-term but might be sufficient for office space in the interim.

Logistic and cost concerns were raised during a discussion on the benefits and negatives of moving Finance to the Grove and adding to the Community Development building. The desired intention was to have City Hall remain downtown. It was decided to resolve the issues with the Grove prior to redoing City Hall and have staff develop 2-3 scenarios for the Grove after planning the Fire and Police department interim strategies. Council suggested consulting with other agencies on consolidating space and asked staff to research various surplus properties for office space potential.

4. Look Ahead Review

The Council Look Ahead was not reviewed.

Meeting was adjourned at 8:28 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Dana Smith
Assistant to the City Recorder

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