Agendas and Minutes

Ashland Parks & Recreation Commission (View All)

Parks Commission Regular Meeting Minutes

Monday, January 25, 2010

City of Ashland






January 25, 2010


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

Absent:     Commissioners Eggers and Lewis; City Council Liaison Jackson

CALL TO ORDER         

Gardiner called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. at Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street.


Study Session – December 14, 2009

In the section entitled “Discuss Commission Goals and Budget Process,” under Renew Food and Beverage Tax, Noraas requested that the first bulleted item begin within the phrase, “At the November 16 study session….”

MOTION Rosenthal moved to approve the minutes as amended. Noraas seconded the motion.

The vote was: 3 yes – 0 no

Regular Meeting – December 21, 2009

Noraas reminded the commission of her absence from the December 21 regular meeting and the need to abstain from approval of the minutes.

Approval of the December 21 regular meeting minutes was tabled pending commissioner quorum.


Thomas Bean, 548 C Street, owner of two art galleries, proposed installing a 5-foot bronze sculpture of a Dr. Seuss character within Lithia Park. He said “The Lorax” was a timeless icon for youth that represented Dr. Seuss’s message of conservation. He said expenses for the sculpture and its transportation were approximately $45,000 and the money would be fundraised. He asked the commission to place the request on a regular meeting agenda for discussion and possible approval.

Ron Roth, 6950 Old Hwy 99 South, asked the commission to allow a Parks employee to travel to Haiti and assist with reconstruction efforts following the earthquake, with the employee retained on the Parks payroll during a specified period of time. He said the employee’s salary represented a small portion of the overall City of Ashland budget.

Robertson reported speaking with Roth the previous week and then contacting the city’s risk management team. He said the team expressed concerns about possible injuries while working in Haiti on the Parks payroll. He said precedent had been set by the city following Hurricane Katrina, when FEMA requested assistance from public information officers and the city sent theirs, but the employee was covered under FEMA insurance and workers’ compensation during that time.

Nick Heim, 259 5th Street, requested a disc golf course in Ashland. He said the closest course was located in Grants Pass, a 45-60 minute drive. He reported playing the sport as a youth in Kansas and said he currently worked as a youth advocate at the Walker Elementary School and was able to introduce young people to disc golf, one of the fastest growing sports in the US, Europe, and Japan. He said he witnessed normally inactive or non-social children interacting during recess disc golf games. He said the sport had a healing effect and was an alternative to traditional team sports. He said disc golf tournaments could generate revenue for the commission and he offered his expertise and assistance with the implementation of a course at the Oak Knoll Golf Course.

Mary-Kay Michelsen, 2810 Diane Street, spoke in support of sending a Parks employee to Haiti to assist with reconstruction efforts following the earthquake, with the employee retained on the Parks payroll. She said it would be a generous contribution from the city for the Haiti crisis. She suggested that the employee work under an umbrella organization such as the American Red Cross or Habitat for Humanity.

Kathryn Casternovia, 195 Crispin Street, asked the commission to allow her to board her horse at the Hersey Street (Ashland Creek Park) barn, located a short distance from her home. She said she would install fencing to keep her horse away from the community garden plots and materials.




Gardiner opened the floor for nominations.

Noraas nominated Gardiner as chair for 2010. Rosenthal seconded the nomination.

The vote was: 3 yes – 0 no

Noraas nominated Rosenthal as vice-chair for 2010. Gardiner seconded the nomination.

The vote was: 3 yes – 0 no



Robertson welcomed Paul Nicholoson, Executive Direction of Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and invited him to speak to the commission.

Paul Nicholson said OSF contributed money to the Ashland Parks Foundation at the conclusion of profitable years to honor the special relationship between the festival and Lithia Park. He reported that 2009 was a profitable year and presented the commission with a $25,000 check for the foundation. Commissioners gratefully accepted the donation on behalf of the foundation.


Robertson said landscape architect Kerry KenCairn attended September 2009 commission meetings and presented workforce housing site plans for the upper Clay Street Park housing project. He said she was asking the commission to consider parking associated with the project, as the city requested that the permit application include paving, parking, and access issues. He welcomed KenCairn and invited her to speak to the commission.

Kerry KenCairn showed the commission proposed layouts A and B --- in both overview and detailed perspectives --- and asked them to approve the forty-foot easement onto Chitwood Street and choose between the two parking options. She said approval for the fire truck turnaround would allow the project to move forward.

MOTION Rosenthal moved to accept alternative A to allow the planning process to move forward. Noraas seconded the nomination.

The vote was: 3 yes – 0 no


Robertson said state law required the commission to develop a six-year Capital Improvement Plan (CIP). He said the Food and Beverage Tax rules stipulated that funds expended from that revenue source be budgeted through the CIP. He said the CIP was administered through the Public Works Department and the Parks CIP was scheduled for presentation to council on February 2. He said the commission would have latitude to change the CIP after council approval. He said the CIP was updated annually and incorporated into the city budget.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners discussed specific items on the CIP list. Comments included:

§         Replacement of Oak Knoll Golf Course irrigation system might be misunderstood by the community due to high project cost; however, replacement necessary due to age and deterioration of system.

§         Nature Center mission statement review / revision to occur prior to consideration of remodeling office and/or enclosing outdoor classroom.

§         All items on comprehensive CIP list representative of portions of Parks system and therefore necessary for inclusion; improvements required due to safety and/or maintenance issues.

§         Funding sources for CIP projects to include Food and Beverage Tax funds, systems development charges, general fund, and bond funding.

§         Commissioner agreement to move the Croman property purchase into the Open Space Acquisition / Park Development category and evenly distribute the annual expenditures for that property acquisition to fiscal years 2011—2016.

MOTION Rosenthal moved to accept the CIP as amended. Noraas seconded the nomination.

The vote was: 3 yes – 0 no


Robertson reported that city councilor Kate Jackson would serve as the Parks Commission’s 2010 council liaison.

Robertson and Dials reported that a pool users’ meeting was set for Wednesday, February 3, from 6-8 PM at the Hunter Park Senior Center. He said the meeting was publicized through the local paper and letters were mailed to pool users in every category.

Gardiner said the Golf Course Subcommittee met on January 21 and discussed walking trail and disc golf installations, irrigation replacement, and removals of dead and dying trees along with new trees to be planted.

Robertson said the Pesticides Subcommittee met several times in the recent past and was scheduled to meet again the next day to discuss pesticide reductions and the potential for hiring a volunteer coordinator.


Gardiner, an Ashland Parks Foundation board member, again thanked the Oregon Shakespeare Festival for their generous donation and said the funds would be used appropriately.


  • Study session set for February 8 at 7:00 p.m., Parks office, 340 S. Pioneer Street. Topics to include:
    • Nature Center
    • Goal Setting
    • Budget and Revenue Sources
  • Regular meeting set for February 22 at 7:00 p.m., Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street.

ADJOURNMENT– By consensus, Gardiner adjourned the meeting at 8:37 p.m.

Respectfully submitted, Susan Dyssegard, Ashland Parks and Recreation Department

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