Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Regular Meeting

Tuesday, July 21, 2009



July 21, 2009

Council Chambers

1175 E. Main Street



Mayor Stromberg called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers.



Councilor Voisin, Navickas, Lemhouse, Jackson, Silbiger and Chapman were present.



Mayor Stromberg gave an update on the 1/186th Infantry Battalion of the 41st Brigade Combat Team of the Oregon National Guard (1/186) in Kuwait currently staging along the southern border of Iraq in preparation of protecting convoys. 


The Mayor and Council thanked the employees and volunteers who worked on the July 4, 2009 festivities.  Councilor Voisin recognized the crews that provided set up, traffic control and clean up and thanked specific individuals.



The minutes of the Study Session of June 15, 2009, Regular Council of June 16, 2009, Special Meeting of June 25, 2009 and Executive Session of June 25, 2009 were approved as presented.



Mayor introduced recently hired Fire Chief John Karns and shared a brief biography on Chief Karns background. 

Chief Karns explained his philosophy of providing quality public service and goals that included fire suppression, emergency medical service, fire prevention and Wildland management, enhanced public education and more robust public outreach programs.  He concluded the responsibility for public safety is owned by all and asked the community to make fire and life safety part of their commitment to themselves, their families, property and the environment.



1.   Does Council accept the Minutes of Boards, Commissions, and Committees?

2.   Does Council wish to approve a Liquor License Application from Dan Durant dba Brother’s Restaurant at 95 N. Main Street?

3.   Does Council wish to approve a Liquor License Application from Don Robertson, Ashland Parks and Recreation dba Oak Knoll Golf Course?

4.   Does Council wish to approve a Liquor License Application from Gabriel Anaya dba Torero’s Family Mexican Restaurant at 2345 Ashland Street #205?

5.   Does Council wish to confirm the Mayor’s appointment of John Rinaldi, Jr. to the Planning Commission with a term to expire April 30, 2012?

6.   Will Council, acting as the local contract review board, approve a Sole Source Procurement for the disposal of biosolids, which are hauled daily from the WWTP to Dry Creek Landfill, for a term of three years – July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2012?

7.   Does Council wish to confirm the Mayor’s appointment of Claire Baker to the Public Arts Commission with a term to expire April 30, 2012?

8.   Does Council want to authorize the City Administrator to execute the BPA Regional Dialogue Contract Clean Up Amendments?

9.   Does Council want to authorize the City Administrator to execute amendments to Exhibit A of the City’s existing Power Sales Contract with the Bonneville Power Amendment?

10. Will Council approve an intergovernmental agreement to participate in the ODOT Highway Bridge Program and authorize ODOT to select a consultant for the required bridge inspection?

11. Does Council wish to ratify the new Labor Agreement between the City of Ashland and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local No. 659 Clerical/Technical Union?

12. Will Council, acting as the local contract review board, approve a special procurement for the acquisition of Polydyne ClariflocC-6286 (polymer) for a term of three (3) years?

13. Does Council have questions regarding two ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) funded public works improvement projects?

14. Does Council wish to ratify the new labor agreement between the City of Ashland and the Ashland Police Association?


Councilor Voisin requested that Consent Agenda items #13 and #14 be removed for discussion.


Councilor Jackson/Silbiger m/s to approve Consent Agenda items #1-12.  Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.


In regards to the ARRA projects, Engineering Services Manager Jim Olson explained the City must always take the lowest bid and the remaining money would go to another capital project identified on Hersey Street that fit within the parameters.  Any over runs incurred would be the result of a change order with a formal agreement between ODOT and the City on additional costs. 


Police Chief Terry Holderness explained in the Police Association labor agreement, the Police Department issues full uniforms except footwear with reimbursement occurring after purchase.


Councilor Voisin/Chapman m/s to approve Consent Agenda items #13 and #14. Voice Vote:  all AYES. Motion passed.



1.   Will Council conduct a public hearing and approve a resolution establishing rates for the Ashland Municipal Airport and repealing Resolution 99-37, as recommended by the Airport Commission?


Public Works Director Mike Faught introduced Engineering Technician II Scott Fleury, and three Airport Commissioners in the audience, Richard Hendrickson, Bill Skillman and Bob Skinner. Mr. Faught and Mr. Fleury provided a presentation that included:

·         Goal of the Airport Commission:  Generating sufficient revenues through Airport related fees to operate and maintain the Airport with minimal or no subsidies.

·         Airport Commission evaluates Airport rates and recommends rate adjustments to the City Council annually.

·         Airport Revenues

·         T-hangar

·         Box Hangar

·         Proposed 09/10 Airport Rates

·         City Owned Hangars

·         Airport Rates:  New rate schedule addition, box hangar privately built city owned hangar, amenities additions, helicopter hangar.

·         City Owned – Monthly Rental Rates

·         City Owned – Rental Amenities for any City owned hangar


Mr. Fleury noted there were currently 20-25 people waiting for T-hangar space at the airport.  Mr. Faught added the total subsidy for the Airport this fiscal year was approximately $8,000. Mr. Fleury commented there were 56 total units including T-hangars, Box-hangars and the fixed box operator.


Public Hearing open:  7:33 p.m.

Public Hearing closed:  7:33 p.m.



Councilor Chapman/Voisin m/s to approve Resolution #2009-21.  DISCUSSION: Councilor Lemhouse expressed appreciation for the Airport Commission’s effort.  Councilor Silbiger voiced his gratitude and provided an example of how the Commission worked hard to keep the rates fair and reasonable. 


Councilor Navickas/Voisin m/s amend the motion to give the Airport Commission a six month deadline to look at their budget and address the deficit.  Councilor Navickas withdrew the motion with Councilor Voisin’s consent.


Roll Call Vote: Councilor Voisin, Chapman, Navickas, Silbiger, Jackson and Lemhouse, YES.  Motion passed.


Councilor Navickas/Voisin m/s give the Airport Commission a six month deadline to address the long-term budget deficit through rate increases.  DISCUSSION:  Councilor Navickas commented it was inappropriate at this time for the City to subsidize the airport and there was a need to increase rates to balance the budget.  He thought the airport was a luxury amenity to the City and there was no reason the City should take on a deficit.  Councilor Silbiger responded the airport provides a valuable benefit to the City and having them meet the deficit would cause more business loss than gain.  Councilor Chapman wanted to know if the Airport Commission had projected whether the new rates would decrease the deficit, adding $8,000 was small compared to the significant revenue the airport brought into the City.  Roll Call Vote: Councilor Voisin and Navickas, YES; Councilor Chapman, Silbiger, Jackson and Lemhouse NO. Motion failed 4-2.


2.   Will Council grant the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) a variance to the City noise ordinance that will allow night work on Greensprings Highway (Ashland Street), Interstate 5, and Exit 14?

Engineering Services Manager Jim Olson introduced Jim Fletcher from ODOT and provided the staff report.


Public Hearing open:  7:47 p.m.

Public Hearing closed:  7:47 p.m.


Councilor Lemhouse/Jackson m/s move to approve ODOT’s request for a variance to allow night operations, including noise from a boring machine and other construction equipment, for an approximate four-night time frame on Greensprings Highway and Exit 14.  DISCUSSION:  Councilor Voisin noted the variance was for 9:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. and would affect residents and businesses in the area. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Navickas, Jackson, Voisin, Lemhouse, Chapman and Silbiger, YES.  Motion passed.



Charles Duemler/1141 Tolman Creek Rd/Explained he had developed a viable solution for global warming that could offset drought and create jobs.  He described his idea and asked the Council for support and direction on starting a project this size.  He had shared his solution with engineers and scientists and received confirmation the idea was feasible but was too big to simulate.  Mr. Duemler’s website is



1.   Does Council approve first reading of an ordinance titled, “An Ordinance Relating to Food and Beverage Tax, Extending the Tax to 2030, and Amending Chapter 4.34?”  Does Council have any changes to the draft Ballot Measure for the Food and Beverage tax?


Management Analyst Ann Seltzer provided the staff report and referenced an earlier discussion during the  July 20, 2009 Study Session that involved removing the cap on single food service events and possibly taxing food service provided at Southern Oregon University (SOU) campus.    


City Attorney Richard Appicello clarified wording under 4.34.030 Exemptions(A) “Sold by public or private schools or colleges except that food sold by independent contractor operators at such schools or colleges shall be subject to the tax imposed by this chapter,”  with the additional sentence, “Non University related catering events are not exempt.”


Parks Director Don Robertson referred to Councilor Navickas’ earlier suggestion of ensuring a certain amount of the 20% is reserved for parkland purchases.  He explained acquisitions were time sensitive and having to adhere to specific percentages would make it difficult to administer.  Councilor Navickas clarified the percentage for parkland purchases would go into a separate fund to purchase land and the amount suggested was only a minimum.  Mr. Robertson further explained the budget currently shows all the existing funds through the Capital Improvement Plan, depicts a 5-year plan and identifies dollar amounts for acquisition, rehabilitation and development.


“Note” under “4. The following items sold by combination facilities that are bakeries:”  was questioned and Mr. Appicello suggested removing “Note” and adding the following language:  Number 5.  Use of a delivery service for an activity under this section (Section A.) whether an independent delivery service or operator provided delivery service does not excuse the operator from the requirement to collect and remit the tax on the food and beverages sold.”  City Administer Martha Bennett clarified the tax applied to retail prices not wholesale. 


The confidentiality violation of publicly disclosure was asked to be clarified explaining which restaurants pay or do not pay the tax.  Mr. Appicello explained it was unlawful to disclose per current code.  The only exemption applied to presentation of evidence to court or other tribunal having jurisdiction over prosecution of a claim or an appeal.  It was suggested to remove the cap for single food service events up to $5,000 or the completely removing the exemption for events over $5,000 or $8,000. 


Craig Morris/1250 Siskiyou Boulevard/Introduced himself as the Vice President of Finance and Administration at Southern Oregon University (SOU) and explained the university provides food services on campus in a limited variety of venues with locations and hours associated with educational activities.  In the absence of these activities, food service is closed or operating hours significantly reduced. SOU does not advertise these venues to the public nor do they present themselves as a catering option for private activities and should remain exempt from the Food and Beverage Tax.  He read a letter to President Mary Cullinan from Ryan James Hagemann, SOU Legal Counsel that questioned the legality of a potential tax on SOU and requested the City retain the exemption currently in the ordinance.


Drew Bailey/455 N Laurel/Explained he was the Regional Representative for the Oregon Restaurant Association, addressed the single food service event cap, and explained that $8,000 was too high.  He read proposed language that would lower the cap from $8,000 to $5,000 and remove the exemption.  The rationale was the potential increase in business by removing the competitive disadvantage of the tax.  The exemption would affect at least four restaurants in Ashland.  Mr. Bailey added the counter proposal from the Restaurant Association was an effort to bolster business in the event the Food and Beverage Tax passed.


Michael Torguson/1438 Rossanly Drive/KCMX News Talk 880/Asked why the City wanted to retain this tax instead of connecting to the regional wastewater system.  Mayor Stromberg clarified that Public Testimony was a time for citizens to provide suggestions and not ask questions of the Council. 


Mr. Appicello read the title in full.


Councilor Navickas/Jackson m/s to approve first reading of an Ordinance titled An Ordinance relating to Food and Beverage Tax, Extending the Tax to 2030 and Amending Chapter 4.34 and place on agenda for second reading.  DISCUSSION:  Councilor Navickas explained currently there was a burden on utilities and the tax was a way to keep utility fees low and shift some of the burden on tourists.  Councilor Voisin agreed but suggested changing the sunset year to 2022 instead of 2030.


Councilor Voisin/Lemhouse m/s amend motion to change sunset date from 2030 to 2022.  DISCUSSION:  Councilor Voisin explained the debt should be complete in 2022, and the Council and citizens present at that time should decide whether to extend the tax.  Councilor Lemhouse commented the tax is specifically for paying off debt service but was in favor of extending the sunset if Capital Improvement Projects were clearly defined.  Councilor Silbiger noted the actual language of the current code was broader than the proposed ordinance. He suspected the wastewater debt would extend far beyond the 2030 sunset.  Councilor Navickas agreed with Councilor Silbiger and added the City has not yet dealt with the temperature of the effluent and there was a need to insure funds would be available.  Councilor Jackson wanted to constrain funds to Wastewater Treatment Plant projects only.  Councilor Chapman thought the tax should be used strictly to retire the debt, broadening the language would lose voters.  He was comfortable extending funds 20 years for parklands but wanted the rest to sunset when the debt service was complete. Councilor Voisin withdrew the motion with Councilor Lemhouse’s consent. 


Councilor Silbiger/Navickas m/s to amend 4.30.020 D. to say “80% of all taxes collected by the City shall be used for the purpose of paying wastewater capital improvement projects including but not limited to wastewater treatment plant debt.”  Roll Call Vote:  Councilor Jackson, Lemhouse, Navickas, Silbiger and Voisin, YES; Councilor Chapman, NO.  Motion passed 5-1.


Councilor Lemhouse/Jackson m/s amend motion to make exempt from taxes single events of $5,000 or more as opposed to the cap.  DISCUSSION:  Councilor Lemhouse asked for input on the downside of allowing 100% exemption for events over $5,000.  Councilor Chapman responded the tax was not fair, especially to businesses whose events were slightly under $5,000.  Councilor Voisin thought it was unfair to exempt a certain type of restaurant from the tax and would not vote in favor of the amendment.  Councilor Silbiger thought Council lacked the information needed to approve an exemption.  Councilor Navickas was not convinced the City was deterring anyone from large events and noted people come to Ashland regardless of the 5% tax.   Councilor Lemhouse withdrew the motion with Councilor Jackson’s consent.


Councilor Lemhouse/Silbiger m/s amend motion to change the maximum amount from $8,000 to $5,000 and the cap from $400 to $250.  Roll Call Vote:  Councilor Jackson, Lemhouse, Chapman, Navickas and Silbiger: YES; Councilor Voisin, NO.  Motion passed 5-1.


Councilor Jackson/Lemhouse m/s amend motion under 4.34.030 Exemptions(A) revert to the language as read by the City Attorney with the additional statement that non-university related catering events are not exempt. DISCUSSION:  Councilor Navickas thought the university should be exempt and the final clause removed.  Councilor Lemhouse commented removing the last part would allow the college to host events and be exempt whereas other places were not, and preferred keeping the ordinance as proposed.  Councilor Voisin explained SOU did not advertise or want to host public events and Council should strike the last part.  Councilor Jackson focused on the University providing food as part of their operations and that SOU was comfortable with the existing language.  Councilor Lemhouse cautioned removing the exemption gave a government run entity an unfair competitive advantage over private business that have to pay the tax.  Councilor Voisin reiterated the university was not competing for catering business. Roll Call Vote:  Councilor Jackson, Lemhouse, Chapman and Silbiger:  YES; Councilor Navickas and Voisin, NO.  Motion passed 4-2.


Councilor Jackson/Silbiger m/s amend motion to add the language in 4.34.020 a new “5” in place of “Note” that the restaurant is responsible for paying the tax, the operator shall collect and remit the tax as read by the City Attorney.  Roll Call Vote:  Councilor Jackson, Lemhouse, Navickas, Silbiger and Voisin: YES; Councilor Chapman, NO.  Motion passed 5-1.


Mr. Appicello suggested the following language in Section 4.34.130 under Confidentiality: “Except as otherwise required by law, the City cannot release this information and nothing in this section prohibits this disclosure in certain situations.” Clarify paragraph (C): “What is not prohibited is presentation of evidence to the court or other tribunal having jurisdiction in the prosecution of any criminal or civil claim.”  Strike the words “by the director,” and add, …on an appeal from the director for and up to for the City under this chapter.”  Add a new paragraph (D):  “Also what is not prohibited is the disclosure of information when such disclosure of conditionally exempt information is ordered under public records law procedures.”


Councilor Lemhouse requested staff create language, within state law that allows public disclosure of restaurants grossly delinquent in paying the Food and Beverage Tax.


Councilor Navickas/Voisin m/s to add at the end of AMC 4.34.020 paragraph C.  “Of the 20%, 20% must be used for parkland acquisition.  DISCUSSION:  Councilor Navickas thought the current language was too broad, noted past funding issues the Parks Department had experienced for large CIP projects and thought it was important to allocate funds for park acquisitions by establishing a special budget.  Councilor Jackson agreed the accounting could be more in depth but did not want to change the wording.  Councilor Chapman did not think the motion restricted capital improvements and suggested changing the wording to capital improvements on new parks.  Councilor Navickas suggested the language read limited to the Open Space Program.  Councilor Silbiger recommended using the wording in the Parks and Recreation Commission motion.  Roll Call Vote:  Councilor Jackson, Navickas and Voisin, YES:  Councilor Lemhouse, Chapman and Silbiger, NO. Mayor Stromberg broke the tie with a YES vote.  Motion passed 4-3.


Councilor Navickas/Silbiger m/s AMC 4.34.020(C) strikes: “Beginning with acquisition” and add at the end of the sentence, “…acquisition, planning, development, major rehabilitation per the City of Ashland’s Capital Improvement Plan.”  DISCUSSION:  Councilor Chapman would support the motion but had concerns on what the voters might think.  Roll Call Vote: Councilor Jackson, Lemhouse, Chapman, Navickas, Silbiger and Voisin, YES.  Motion passed.


Roll Call Vote on main motion with amendments: Councilor Jackson, Lemhouse, Chapman, Navickas, Silbiger and Voisin, YES.  Motion passed.



1.   Should Council conduct and approve Second Reading of an ordinance titled, “An Ordinance Related to Abandoned Vehicles and Repealing Chapter 11.32?”  

City Attorney Richard Appicello read the ordinance title in full and added the following change to Section 1 as recommended by the City Recorder: “New Sections 11.32.010 Definitions through 11.32.050 Noticing of Towing of Abandoned Vehicles are hereby added to repeal chapter 11.32 and those new sections are as follows.”  


Councilor Chapman/Jackson m/s to approve Ordinance #2988 with changes read by the City Attorney.  Roll Call Vote:  Councilor Chapman, Lemhouse, Silbiger, Voisin, Navickas and Jackson, YES.  Motion passed. 


2.   Should Council approve Second Reading of an ordinance titled, “An Ordinance Amending AMC Chapter 13 to Establish Standard Forms for Right-of-Way Regulation and Providing for Donation or Loan of Functional Items?”


City Attorney Richard Appicello read the ordinance title in full with the addition of “Section 5. Delayed Effective Date, In order to allow time for the City Council to adopt standard forms and implementing documents, this ordinance shall not be effective until November 1, 2009,” and renumbered Section 6. Codification with the cross-reference section changed to reflect Section #5.


Councilor Silbiger/Voisin m/s to approve Ordinance #2989 with changes stated by the City Attorney.  Roll Call Vote: Councilor Jackson, Navickas, Silbiger, Voisin, Lemhouse and Chapman, YES.  Motion passed.


3.   Should Council approve Second Reading of an ordinance titled, “An Ordinance Amending AMC Chapter 13 Adding Uniform Sidewalk Regulations and Repealing AMC 6.44?”


City Attorney Richard Appicello read the ordinance title in full with changes to Section 3. A new chapter AMC 13.03 adding the words Sidewalk Café, Special Event and Publication Box Regulations is hereby added to read as follows.”  Changing the words “free speech zones” to “free

 publication zones” in AMC 13.03.050 Interim Regulations for Publication Boxes and

 striking the word “foot” from minimum clearance.  Adding “Section 6.  Delayed

 Effective Date.  In order to allow time for the City Council to adopt stand forms and

 implementing documents, this Ordinance shall not be effective until November 1,

 2009,” and subsequent Section 7. Codification with the cross-reference section

 changed to reflect Section #6.


Councilor Jackson/Lemhouse m/s to approve Ordinance #2990 with changes and clarifications by the City Attorney.  Roll Call Vote: Councilor Chapman, Navickas, Jackson, Silbiger, Lemhouse and Voisin, YES.  Motion passed.



1.   Does Council wish to direct Staff to initiate an ordinance to modify the expiration dates of land use application approvals?

Delayed due to time constraints.



2.   Does Council approve first reading of an ordinance adding chapter 18.63, Water Resources Protection Zones and related Comprehensive Plan and Land Use Ordinance amendments?


Community Development Director Bill Molnar explained the primary impact of the ordinance would apply to applications for new development that result in substantial changes to a protected zone and land use applications on properties containing one of these resources.  The ordinance was also an opportunity to look at long-term management requirements and provide more direction on management obligations for Home Owner Associations, etc.  The ordinance would have limited effect on properties not proposing changes to a protection zone or part of a development application. 


The proposed ordinance was not retroactive and would not require removal of existing buildings, patios, decks or prohibit gardening and maintenance practices in protection zones in residential or commercial areas.  Staff proposed exceptions that would allow existing landscaping maintenance, use of traditional non-native plants, and restrict the removal of native trees, planting invasive or noxious plant materials or expanding existing lawns. Another exception was not allowing the installation or expansion of new structures, impervious surfaces such as concrete patios, asphalt parking or driveways in a protection zone. 


The provisions of the ordinance would apply to land use applications that involve property in a protection zone such as subdivisions, site review projects for commercial development or multi family developments. Some applications that do not propose changes in protection zone areas will still require a management plan to notify the existing or future owners those areas require specific maintenance consistent with the ordinance.


In addition to protecting water quality, the ordinance would extend to critical areas for fish, wildlife and habitat that are important functions in terms of flood control, resiliency and are in line with meeting the minimum requirements of State Goal 5. 


Council agreed to have staff combine the exempt and limited use sections of the ordinance to reduce the length of the document and eliminate restoration requirements for exempt activities and uses.


Council discussed whether to maintain lists of acceptable native plants and prohibited invasive plants.  Options included, removing the list from the ordinance and maintaining it by resolution, eliminating the 50% reduction and native plant requirements to including lists of acceptable and prohibited plants in the ordinance.

Mr. Appicello explained the provisions of State Goal 5 call for demonstration that ensure equal or better protection for identified resources through restoration of riparian areas, enhanced buffer treatment or similar measures.  Due to time constraints, further discussion was delayed until the August 18, 2009 City Council meeting.


Councilor Jackson/Chapman m/s to continue deliberation on the Water Resources Protection Ordinance to the August 18, 2009 City Council meeting.  Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.



1.   Transportation Commission

2.   Planning Commission

Delayed due to time constraints.



Meeting was adjourned at 10:30 pm.




_____________________________              _____________________________

Barbara Christensen, City Recorder                   John Stromberg, Mayor





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