Agendas and Minutes

Ashland Parks & Recreation Commission (View All)

Parks Commission Study Session Minutes

Monday, April 20, 2009

City of Ashland




April 20, 2009



Present:         Commissioners Eggers, Gardiner, Lewis, Noraas, Rosenthal; Director Robertson; Superintendents Gies and Dials

Absent:       City Council Liaison Silbiger


Gardiner called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. at the Parks office, 340 S. Pioneer.


Tom Marr, 955 N. Mountain Avenue, said he felt compelled to address the issue of pesticide use in city parks due to a personal experience dating back thirty years involving the early death of a family member following possible chemical exposure. He expressed gratitude for the commission’s decision to include “review current pesticide use policy” on its FY 2009-2010 goals list.

Julie Norman, 596 Helman, distributed a summary sheet of pesticide applications by Parks staff in 2008. She reported preparing spreadsheets outlining each individual spray event and asked the commission to review them. She said several park locations were sprayed in sections overlapping riparian areas, including portions of Lithia Park, the natural area at North Mountain Park, and the Clay Street Park.


Robertson distributed the goals memo from the March 16 study session, noting that the only change from previous discussions was an increase in the amount designated for non-native vegetation control (from $20,000 to $39,000). He requested feedback from the commission.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners discussed all items on the list and made comments and suggestions.

§         Financial and Business Plan – decision to document the value Parks brings to the community and consider this goal in conjunction with Community Communication goal

§         Renew Food and Beverage Tax – decision to prepare list of expenditures that would utilize these funds and to continue discussing whether to include maintenance as an expenditure

§         Non-Native Vegetation Control Plan – decision to first create plan, then determine appropriate funding level (between $20,000 and $39,000)

§         Upper and Lower Clay Street Properties – discussion about possible removal from list, considering number of goals on list; comment about city viewing this as a high priority; discussion about managing expectations by setting appropriate parameters for sites

§         Oak Knoll Golf Course – clarification that the $10,000 budgeted was estimate for disc golf course; discussion about also budgeting for installation of walking path around course

§          Nature Center – decision to clarify with school district the $10 per student / trip fee to allow Parks to budget and plan programs accordingly; decision to look at long-term direction for Nature Center

§         Community Communication – discussion about considering this goal in conjunction with Financial and Business Plan goal; discussion about conveying to community the value that Parks provides in terms of quality of life

§         Environmental Evaluations and Audits – discussion about lack of progress made to date; decision to move forward incrementally, making suggested repairs and replacements while awaiting next round of “Green Team” audits.

Staff was asked why “Community Gardens” was not included on the goals list and staff said they were included as a goal in FY 2008-2009 and were nearly completed at Scenic Park, with Clay Street plots available by summertime.

Staff was directed to place the FY 2009-2010 goals on the April 27 regular meeting agenda. Commissioners agreed to designate the goals as study session topics for the upcoming fiscal year.


Robertson said the FY 2009-2010 Parks Commission budget presentation to the Budget Committee was set for Thursday, April 23, at 6 p.m. in Council Chambers, with Gardiner preparing and making the presentation. Robertson reviewed a draft version of the presentation. Items discussed included the elimination of four positions since last year, a reorganization of the Parks labor force, an increased need for “quality of life” services such as parks and other local recreational options, and the need for an austere budget presentation in an austere budget year.


Robertson said he and staff horticulturist Donn Todt would be on hand at the City Council meeting the following evening to answer any questions relating to the draft riparian ordinance.

Robertson said the April 27 regular meeting agenda would include a fundraising run request in Lithia Park, a presentation by members of the Art Commission regarding proposed art pieces selected for the Calle Guanajuato staircase, and a goals and budget discussion.

ADJOURNMENT – By consensus, Gardiner adjourned the meeting at 8:43 p.m.

Respectfully submitted, Susan Dyssegard, Ashland Parks and Recreation

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