Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Special Meeting

Tuesday, June 29, 2010



June 29, 2010

Civic Center 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.



The minutes of the Study Session of June 14, 2010, Executive Session of June 15, 2010 and Regular Meeting of June 15, 2010 were approved as presented.



1.   Will Council approve the minutes of Boards, Commissions, and Committees?

2.   Does Council wish to approve a liquor license Application for Lori Del Rosario dba Vinyl Club at 130 Will Dodge Way?

3.   Does Council wish to approve a liquor license application from Jaime Nichols dba French Kiss at 60 E Main Street?

4.   Does Council have any questions about the Fixed Asset Capitalization Policy as presented?

5.   Does Council have questions on the Financial Oversight Policy?

6.   Should Council approve a resolution to adjust budget appropriations for changes in operational expenses to remain in compliance with Oregon Budget Law?

7.   Will Council approve the proposed contract with the Chamber of Commerce for FY2010 - 2011 in the amount of $280,000?

8.   Will Council approve an intergovernmental agreement with the Rogue Valley Council of Governments (RVCOG) to conduct public outreach and education efforts as required by the City's NPDES, Phase II Stormwater Permit?

9.   Does Council wish to enter into an Intergovernmental Agreement with Emergency Communications of Southern Oregon to provide Emergency Dispatch Services to Ashland?

10. Should the Council authorize signature of an Intergovernmental Agreement with Jackson County to provide building inspection services?


Councilor Lemhouse requested that Consent Agenda item #2 be pulled for discussion.


Councilor Jackson/Silbiger m/s to approve Consent Agenda items #1, #3 through #10. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.


City Recorder Barbara Christensen explained the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) met with Ashland Police regarding the concerns the City had with overcrowding and lines forming at the Vinyl Club. The new owners submitted a control plan that included security protocol, crowd control, drink service, and will change the venue of the club early 2011.


Police Chief Terry Holderness further described prior issues with overcrowding and the line to get into the Club and noted the new owners have agreed to stop serving at 1:30 a.m. close the bar at 2:00 a.m. instead of 2:30 a.m. and not allow lines to form to get into the club. 


Councilor Lemhouse/Jackson m/s to approve Consent Agenda item #2. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.



1.   Does Council wish to adopt a resolution adopting the Ashland Fire and Rescue cost recovery fee schedule?

Fire Chief John Karns explained the program would allow cost recovery for Ashland Fire and Rescue for motor vehicle collisions and hazardous material spills caused by non-residents and all individuals driving under the influence (DUI).  Fees would trigger after two staff hours and if the accident met specific National Fire Incident code.  The program had a cost table for equipment and apparatus utilized and another table for personnel cost.  Jackson County would respond to Ashland residents outside city limits and had a similar recovery fee. 


Public Hearing open: 7:11 p.m.

Public Hearing closed: 7:11 p.m.


Councilor Silbiger/Chapman m/s to approve Resolution #2010-22.  DISCUSSION: Councilor Lemhouse explained citizens fund the Fire Department through property taxes and it was fair to have individuals from outside the City using public safety services reimburse them.  Roll Call Vote: Councilor Voisin, Chapman, Silbiger, Jackson, Lemhouse and Navickas, YES. Motion passed.



Colin Swales/143 8th Street/Referred to a recent planning action with a large amount of public input that was not included in the packet but referred to with a link to the City website.  He expressed concern regarding public participation and wanted assurance the decision makers in the matter would read the testimony pertaining to the action. 



1.   Will the Council approve Second Reading of an ordinance titled, "An Ordinance Establishing and Implementing a Program to Charge User Fees for the Deployment of Public Safety Services Rendered by the City of Ashland, Ashland Fire and Rescue?

City Attorney Richard Appicello read the ordinance title aloud.


Councilor Jackson/Silbiger m/s to approve Ordinance #3021.  Roll Call Vote: Councilor Navickas, Jackson, Chapman, Voisin, Lemhouse and Silbiger, YES. Motion passed.


2.   Will Council approve Second Reading of an ordinance to levy taxes for the period of July 1, 2010 to and including June 30, 2011?

City Attorney Richard Appicello read the ordinance title aloud.


Councilor Jackson/Silbiger m/s to approve Ordinance #3020.  DISCUSSION: Councilor Chapman thought it was an unnecessary tax increase and would not support the ordinance.  Roll Call Vote: Councilor Silbiger, Lemhouse, Voisin, Jackson and Navickas, YES; Councilor Chapman, NO. Motion passed 5-1.


3.   Does Council wish to adopt a resolution making a recommendation to Jackson County on issues to be addressed prior to adoption of the Greater Bear Creek Valley Regional Problem Solving (RPS) Plan?

Community Development Director Bill Molnar reviewed the changes made to the original four points and the additions of RPS Plan 5. High Value Farmland and RPS Plan 6. Housing Strategies.  Language was added to RPS Plan 1. Population that made it a mandatory request as part of the process.  RPS Plan 2. Efficient Land Use and Transportation Planning/Implementation created three points that encouraged higher density; the flexibility to transfer density to another area in the Urban Growth Boundary (UGB), verification to ensure target densities are met, and an effort is made to increase densities within the existing UGB.


Staff clarified the language in the second paragraph under Population indicated it would be acceptable if a study was conducted on population and the outcome did not match the City’s figure. 


Colin Swales/143 8th Street/Encouraged Council to sign the resolution and expressed disappointment that other communities were not looking at in fill and were using Ashland’s fudged population figures to acquire more land. He hoped Ashland would take a firm stand and lead the rest of the valley by example.


Councilor Navickas/Voisin m/s to approve Resolution #2010-21.  DISCUSSION:  Councilor Navickas thought RPS was based on creating the next tier outside the UGB by looking at in fill to avoid sprawl.  Councilor Chapman had issues with Section 1 but supported the letter overall.  Councilor Jackson clarified the establishment of urban reserves was a small piece in the program and the State was already pushing all cities to increase densities in addition to RPS.  As a component of the State Land Use Plan, she was in favor of establishing urban reserves because it addressed sustainability issues that concerned citizens.  Having the cities work together and agree how the transportation network would grow was part of a valid sustainable plan.  Councilor Voisin suggested replacing the word “encourage” under Housing Strategies first paragraph regarding housing types with “strongly encourage” or “mandate.”


Councilor Voisin/Navickas m/s to amend the motion to strike the word “encourage” and replace it with “mandate” in the first paragraph under Housing Strategies.  DISCUSSION: Councilor Voisin explained housing was a statewide issue and the City needed to be one of the communities that recognized the need for housing.  Councilor Chapman thought the word mandate was slightly strong and would not support the amendment.  Roll Call Vote:  Councilor Navickas and Voisin, YES; Councilor Jackson, Silbiger, Chapman and Lemhouse, NO.  Motion failed 2-4.


Councilor Navickas/Chapman m/s to amend the motion to use “strongly encourage” instead of “encourage” in the first paragraph under Housing Strategies.  Roll Call Vote:  Councilor Jackson, Silbiger, Navickas, Chapman, Lemhouse and Voisin, YES.  Motion passed.


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



1.   Does Council wish to make appointments to the Audit Committee for the at-large member position and the Councilor/Mayor liaison position?

City Recorder Barbara Christensen explained in addition to appointing an at large member to the Audit Committee, Council also needed to appoint a Council/Mayor liaison and a Budget Committee liaison to the Audit Committee as well.  


Councilor Jackson/Chapman m/s to appoint Guy Nutter to the Audit Commission with a term ending 4/30/2013; Councilor Lemhouse as Council/Mayor liaison with a term ending 4/30/2011 and Dennis Slattery as the Budget Committee liaison with a term ending 4/30/2011. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.


2.   Which four legislative priorities would the Council select as the top priorities for the League of Oregon Cities (LOC) during the 2011 session of the Oregon Legislature?

City Administrator Martha Bennett explained the policy setting process and the City of Ashland had four votes out of 28 priorities that staff streamlined to 11.  Staff recommended H. Allow local governments a more flexible use of transient lodging tax to meet the increased demands placed both on essential services and infrastructure created by tourism activities because it would allow more control using TOT to fund the higher level of public safety services required to support tourists.  Ms. Bennett discussed with Council the affect of Measures 5 and 50 on equity and property taxes. 


Council shared what items they wanted to include in addition to staff recommendations and why.


Councilor Chapman/Jackson m/s to select League of Oregon Cities items #F, #H, #O and #D as the top priorities.  Roll Call Vote: Councilor Voisin, Navickas, Lemhouse, Jackson, Silbiger and Chapman, YES. Motion passed.


3.   Will Council adopt the City Council Values and Vision Statements?

City Administrator Martha Bennett provided history on the process and explained how the draft attempted to capture all the input gathered.  Council will use the Values and Vision Statements for staff proposed decisions, major projects and as a tool for Council deliberation.


Councilor Navickas/Lemhouse m/s to adopt proposed City Council Values and Vision Statements. DISCUSSION: Councilor Navickas noted the work that went into the draft, thought it was a powerful statement, and represented the community.


Councilor Lemhouse/Jackson to amend the motion to add under Community a reference to the “value of families both traditional and non-traditional to the citizens of Ashland.” DISCUSSION:  Councilor Lemhouse commented on the importance of having community recognize traditional or non-traditional families.  Roll Call Vote: Councilor Lemhouse, Navickas, Voisin, Silbiger, Jackson and Chapman, YES. Motion passed.


Continued DISCUSSION on amended motion: Councilor Lemhouse thanked staff for their work on the Values and Vision statements and personally recognized Management Analyst Ann Seltzer’s efforts.  Councilor Chapman would not support the motion.  The City and community spent time, energy and money putting together what he described as new age nebulous nonsense and it was disturbing that it would be used to justify budget decisions and Council actions.  Roll Call Vote on amended motion: Councilor Navickas, Silbiger, Voisin, Jackson and Lemhouse, YES; Councilor Chapman, NO.  Motion passed 5-1.


4.   Does Council agree with the staff recommendation to administratively implement the classification system for non-bargaining employees but defer changes in compensation amounts to future fiscal years in response to the Classification and Compensation Study completed this spring?

Human Resource Director Tina Gray explained in 2007 Council adopted a goal on Employee Continuity Strategy goal to address the heavy employee turnover experienced for several years.  In 2009, the City contracted with CPS Human Resource Services to conduct a comprehensive study of employee classification and compensation as a first step in achieving the Continuity Strategy Goal.  The compensation classification piece was one part of the overall strategy.  Additional items staff will review include succession planning, positions lacking a career path, training programs that broaden skill scope and housing affordability issues.  


The City hired CPS Consultants for the classification and compensation study to ensure job descriptions adequately captured duties performed and met all legal requirements.  Results were presented during the March 1, 2010 Study Session followed by an internal appeals process for employees contesting results.   


Staff recognized the City does not have the resources to implement compensation changes at this time and recommended implementing the classification system for non-bargaining employees now and deferring changes and compensation to future fiscal years.  Individual departments will accommodate salary increases through the budget process.  Baselines for the study were similar to other entities and did not include the private sector.


Management received mixed responses from employees based on whether positions were under or over market. Employees understood and did not expect raises but were interested in knowing when out of market positions would be in market in the future.


William Heimann/647 Siskiyou Boulevard/Expressed his dissatisfaction with the study and questioned why compensation was determined the reason for “turnover” when it was never studied as well as why the private sector was excluded even though it was requested in the RFP.  He was able to compare 30 City positions to the private sector in a minimal amount of time.  Additionally the labor market comparison was not complete.  He recommended that Council remove the Compensation portion of the study for further review and only approve the Classification section.   


Staff explained compensation would be reviewed annually by the Human Resource Director using the positions benchmarked in the study to survey other jurisdictions to determine compensation and cost of living increases. Staff addressed the difficulty comparing public positions with the private sector and noted a recent State of Oregon study on public and private sector jobs that indicated public employee salaries were lower than private sector employees were.  Additional comments clarified the City’s market position had changed since the study started and the majority of turnover issues were due to retirements in an aging workforce.


Council discussed adding comparables to private sector for informational purposes only by using the Oregon State study as a benchmark for comparison.  


Councilor Navickas/Jackson m/s to approve Option #1. Implementation with no modifications in pay for 2010-2011.  DISCUSSION: Councilor Navickas thought it was a reasonable option that gave staff the opportunity to raise salaries below the market rate when the economy improved.  Council Silbiger had concerns regarding new hire salaries being inadequate and the compensation package over the long run.  City Administrator Martha Bennett clarified that staff compared benefit packages and employee shares to comparable cities and the City was mid range.  She added the City could no longer afford the benefit package currently offered.  Councilor Lemhouse acknowledged the controversy with the study but thought it was appropriate to do whether there was a turnover issue or not.  He supported Option 1 with an annual review using the Oregon State study as a benchmark to compare to the private sector.  The study provided a good framework to move forward.  Councilor Voisin was concerned the data used in the study was collected prior to the worst part of the recession and things had changed since then.  She referred to a recent speech from Governor Kulongoski that there would be radical changes to the State’s benefits package and thought the City should look at what the State was doing regarding benefits.  Councilor Chapman would not support the motion and expressed concern the compensation portion was based on marginal data.  Roll Call Vote: Councilor Jackson, Voisin, Navickas and Lemhouse, YES; Councilor Chapman and Silbiger, NO. Motion passed 4-2.


5.   Does Council wish to approve a Resolution clarifying certain conditions of employment for Management and Confidential Employees, repealing Resolution 2008-26?

Human Resource Director Tina Gray explained Resolution 2008-26 acted as a union contract for management employees and stated the conditions of employment and benefits applicable to non-represented employees.   The changes staff recommended would incorporate classification modifications, adjust emergency response times to match union emergency response times, pro-rate leave and general updates to maintain consistency between non-represented and union counterpart positions.


A typographical error referencing 2008 instead of 2010 and a correction to emergency response times were noted. Staff clarified administrative leave applied to exempt employees attending night meetings in lieu of overtime, confirmed Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for 2010 was positive but the City was forgoing COLA increases this year due to budget constraints.  Currently there was no viable financial way to correct compression issues in unionized departments and they would most likely never be resolved.


Council and staff discussed Council concern regarding employees cashing in part of their vacation hours instead of taking vacation.  This option allowed employees the opportunity to cash in or exchange hours for another type of leave to avoid hitting the cap and losing that time.  The Resolution requires employees to take 50% of vacation accrued during the year.  Various factors like budget cuts and understaffing attributed to employees not taking full vacation.  Forcing employees to take full vacation time would dramatically decrease production to the point where the City would have to back fill and hire more employees to bridge the gap.  Buying back vacation time was budgeted annually through salaries.  Time sold back to the City was documented as hours worked and applied to Public Employee Retirement System (PERS) at a base rate.


Councilor Navickas/Lemhouse m/s to approve Resolution #2010-20 and include changes on page one of the staff report.  Roll Call Vote: Councilor Jackson, Voisin, Navickas, Silbiger, Chapman and Lemhouse, YES. Motion passed.


6.   Does Council have any direction for staff regarding the draft ordinance titled, "An Ordinance Creating Chapter 11.43 Relating to Storage of Personal and Recreational Vehicles and Amending AMC 11.24.020"?

Police Chief Terry Holderness presented the staff report, explained how parking and storing vehicles on the roadway generates controversy, and was a values decision for the City.  Most cities in Oregon and the western states require vehicles to be moved every 24-72 hours with additional restrictions on recreational vehicles (RVs).  The City encourages people to park their vehicles and walk or ride bikes but there is very little on street parking for residents and some homes do not have off street parking.  The proposed ordinance was more permissive and considered vehicles parked for more than 72 hours with debris underneath as stored.  It gave citizen’s the right to park their vehicles on the street for an unlimited time as long as the area beneath was clear of debris.  Recreational vehicles could sit for 72 hours on the street as long as they were parked within the resident’s property line, did not block traffic or restrict vision.  Currently enforcement was complaint driven.


Colin Swales/143 8th Street/Supported the proposed ordinance and recalled a parking issue regarding a tractor-trailer that blocked a neighbor’s second story view.  Many things could be done to calm traffic in neighborhoods and deter large trucks using bump outs, traffic circles and bicycle boulevards.  He asked for clarification on a State ordinance regarding trucks leaving the truck route.


Council discussed extending parking limitations for RVs and adding language prohibiting using a vehicle on the street for storage.  Staff will look at contiguous parking, change the Class B Violation, address using personal vehicles for storage and add language for oversized vehicles.


Councilor Lemhouse/Jackson m/s to direct staff to bring back the ordinance for first reading on July 20, 2010 with suggestions included.  Roll Call Vote: Councilor Silbiger, Navickas, Lemhouse, Jackson, Chapman and Voisin, YES.  Motion passed.



1.   Does the Council approve the first reading the remaining ordinances adopting Chapter 18.53 Croman Mll and related ordinance, Ashland Comprehensive Plan, and Comprehensive Plan and Zoning map amendments, and request the complete set of six ordinances to be scheduled for second reading?


Abstentions, Conflicts, Exparte Contact

Councilor Silbiger declared a conflict of interest and requested Council to recuse him from the discussion.  The remaining Council and Mayor had no other conflicts of interest or Exparte contacts to declare.


Councilor Jackson/Chapman m/s to recuse Councilor Silbiger due to conflict of interest. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.


Councilor Silbiger left the meeting at 9:43 p.m.


Staff confirmed 18.53.040 Use Regulations B. Special Permitted Uses 8c:  “Manufacturing, assembly, fabrication packaging operations requiring an air contaminant discharge permit from the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) shall be prohibited,” did not apply to compatible industrial and recommended deleting it from the ordinance.  Council consensus agreed to delete 18.53.040 Use Regulations B. Special Permitted Uses 8c. from the ordinance.


Council discussed concerns the outdoor storage space for CI was too small in 18.53.040 Use Regulations Section B. Special Permitted Uses 11. Limited Outdoor Storage a:  “The maximum area dedicated to outdoor storage shall be 1,000 sq. ft. in the OE and MU overlay; and 2,500 sq. ft. in the CI overlay, or 50 percent of the ground floor area of the building housing the associated permitted or special permitted use, whichever is less.”  Council agreed to replace “…whichever is less,” with “whichever is more.” 


18.53.040 Use Regulations B. Special Permitted Uses 3. Limited Stores, Restaurants and Shops, 5. Child or Day Care Facilities and 6. Ancillary Employee Services.  Council discussed concerns that the space allocated was not adequate and increasing the limitation could create a loophole that changed the site to a different district.  Council agreed to continue the discussion at the August 3, 2010 meeting.


Councilor Jackson/Lemhouse m/s to continue first reading of all six ordinances related to the Croman Mill Site Project until August 3, 2010.  Roll Call Vote: Councilor Navickas, Lemhouse and Jackson, YES; Councilor Chapman and Voisin, NO.  Motion passed 3-2.



Meeting was adjourned at 10:25 p.m.


Barbara Christensen, City Recorder  
John Stromberg, Mayor

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