Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Regular Meeting

Tuesday, November 02, 2010



November 2, 2010

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 added an additional item to the Consent Agenda “Does the City Council accept the resignation of the City Attorney?” and noted the passing of Senora Chela’s husband.



Mayor Stromberg announced vacancies on the Tree, Transportation, Housing, Planning and Public Arts Commissions.  The deadline for applications for the Citizen Budget Committee was November 5, 2010.



The minutes of the Study Session of October 18, 2010 and Regular Meeting of October 19, 2010 were approved as presented.



Mayor Stromberg presented a retirement plaque to Deputy Police Chief Rich Walsh. Both the Council and Police Chief Terry Holderness expressed appreciation for Deputy Chief Walsh’s contributions to the Police Force.  Chief Holderness went on to present Deputy Chief Walsh with his retirement badge.



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

2.      Does the City Council accept the resignation of the City Attorney?


Councilor Chapman/Voisin m/s to approve Consent Agenda item. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.







1.   Does the City Council wish to adopt findings prepared by staff to formalize the Council's decision on the AT&T Wireless Communications Facility appeal?


Ex Parte Declarations

Councilor Navickas commented his campaign committee had noted the issue.


Councilor Jackson explained that although she was absent during the Council meeting where the deliberation took place, she had reviewed the minutes and was able to decide on the proposed findings.


Councilor Voisin/Chapman m/s to adopt findings as presented.  DISCUSSION: Councilor Chapman expressed appreciation to staff on the simplicity and clarity of the findings. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Silbiger, Voisin, Navickas, Chapman, Jackson and Lemhouse, YES. Motion passed.


2.   Does Council have questions regarding the current status of the Lithia Springs Property lease extension including the environmental assessment work and implementation of the best management practices by the Ashland Gun Club?

Public Works Director Mike Faught presented the staff report on the progress of this item.  This included installing a new electronically controlled gate, additional fencing to restrict access to historical resources and developing the schedule for lead removal on the property.  Staff anticipated receiving a report from the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) February 2011 that would determine how to proceed.


Mr. Faught clarified the City was responsible for environmental cleanup if the use changed from the Gun Club. He explained that the current lease had language that would require cleanup by the Gun Club.  Assistant City Attorney Megan Thornton confirmed the proposed lease would require more extensive cleanup of the property by the Gun Club and clarified the proposed lease was a draft only and that there was no agreement at this time.





1.   Will Council approve Second Reading of ordinance titled, "An Ordinance Relating to Noise and Heat Pumps of Mechanical Devices and Amending AMC 9.08.170, 9.08.175, and 15.04.185"?

Assistant City Attorney Megan Thornton acknowledged the Parks and Recreation Department’s noise policy and did not think it created conflict with the proposed ordinance.  Staff could add a clause to the ordinance indicating when there was a more specific provision stated that would govern and not the noise ordinance.

She clarified provisions in the ordinance pertaining to leaf blowers and similar devices and how the General Noise Prohibition would cover anything that fell into the General category.


Mayor Stromberg addressed questions made by Cate Hartzell at the October 19, 2010 Council meeting and explained the City had adopted the Oregon League of Cities model noise ordinance using the reasonable person standard.  Ms. Thornton explained there were two options for noise ordinances, one was the reasonable person standard and the other was a decibel level approach.  The reasonable person standard was a general concept based on what a reasonable person would do under reasonable circumstances and the standard was pervasive throughout the law.  She noted the case from Virginia decided under Virginia State law where the Virginia Supreme Court found the ordinance unconstitutional.  However, the Federal Constitution found the ordinance constitutional.  There was no case law in Oregon regarding this and the proposed ordinance held up in other jurisdictions. 


Police Chief Terry Holderness provided examples of citations for the noise ordinance and how the Police Department used the reasonable person standard.  He did not think it would increase citation issuance.  Ms. Thornton added the proposed ordinance was not different from the current noise standard and the only changes were to the language.  She also explained that often cities did not adopt decibel systems because it was difficult to set decibel levels, expensive to purchase the equipment and train staff to operate the equipment to enforce the ordinance. 


Councilor Lemhouse/Jackson m/s to approve Ordinance #3038.

DISCUSSION: Councilor Lemhouse thought the noise ordinance was straightforward.  He did not think the City should base their decision on case law out of Virginia or the definition of terms in Wikipedia.  The reasonable person standard was pervasive through out the law and using the decibel reader would still require a judgment on what was reasonable.


Councilor Voisin/Navickas m/s to amend language in Section 1. 9.08.170 Unnecessary Noise D. Noises Prohibited 4. Non-Emergency Signaling Devices changing from 10 seconds to 90 seconds.  DISCUSSION:  Councilor Voisin explained bells at Southern Oregon University (SOU) rang 75 seconds and a citizen could use the ordinance to prohibit the chimes.  Councilor Navickas suggested adding an Exemption for hourly bell chiming.  Councilor Silbiger agreed.  Councilor Jackson noted the second sentence of the statement made the exemption.  Councilor Navickas explained the exemption was for amplified sound, not school bells and therefore not covered.


Councilor Voisin withdrew the motion with Councilor Navickas’ consent.


Councilor Voisin/Navickas m/s to amend language under F. Exemptions adding I. Bell Tower Chimes. 

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


Councilor Chapman/Lemhouse m/s to amend to F. Exemptions deleting E. Repairs or excavations of bridges, streets or highways by or on behalf of the City, the State, or the federal government, between the hours of 7:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m., when public welfare and convenience renders it impractical to perform the work between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. 

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


Continued discussion on amended motion:

Councilor Navickas explained the ordinance would address complaints between neighbors and act as a tool for the Police Department to apply a reasonable person’s standard. 


Assistant City Attorney Megan Thornton read the ordinance title and changes deleting Section F. 1.E. and adding I. Bell Tower Chimes to Section F. Exemptions aloud.


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


2.   Will Council approve Second Reading of an ordinance titled, "An Ordinance Relating to Public Contracting and Amending AMC 2.50.080, 2.50.090, 2.50.100, 2.50.120, and 2.50.130"?

Public Works Director Mike Faught read the change to Personal Services Contracts Section 4. 2.50.120 Personal Services Contracts A. second sentence adding: “…for personal services contracts greater than $5,000, but less than $75,000” the Public Contracting Officer shall make findings that City personnel are not available to perform the services, and that the City does not have the personnel or resources to perform the services required under the proposed contract.


Councilor Chapman asked if the definition added preferring local contractors had been effective. Mr. Faught noted there had not been a significant change adding the preference because the Public Works Department tended to hire locally often.


Council discussed the pros and cons of how staff could notify Council on Requests for Proposals (RFP) for Professional Services Contracts.  Council suggested staff forward RFPs to them in advance of Council meetings so Council can add specific RFPs to the agenda for discussion.  Another suggestion was adding ordinance language requesting staff to bring projects to Council at the solicitation stage of an RFP for Professional Services over $75,000, Master Plans or the sale or lease of property.  A third suggestion was have staff write the policy as an order and add to the City’s internal contracting policy.  Concern was expressed codifying the request for RFPs would make it more difficult to change if needed. 


Assistant City Attorney Megan Thornton read the ordinance title aloud.


Councilor Silbiger/Lemhouse m/s to approve Ordinance #3039.



Councilor Navickas/Voisin m/s to amend the motion to add an additional section under 2.50.080 that requires staff to bring projects to Council at the solicitation stage of an RFP for Professional Services over $75,000, Master Plans or the sale or lease of property.  DISCUSSION:  Councilor Navickas thought it was a reasonable effort to ensure transparency regarding RFPs and gain efficiency.  This was a limited list of large projects with significant costs associated to them.  Councilor Jackson had a point of clarification on Master plans currently in progress.  Ms. Bennett clarified that Council saw the RFPs for the Water, Transportation, Storm Water and Waste Water Master Plans over the past two years through the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) and the Budget process.  The amendment would bring them forward a third time to approve the request.  Councilor Lemhouse thought it was better not to codify and give direction to staff instead.  He was hesitant to step out of the policy-making role and into a management role.  Councilor Voisin saw it as taking responsibility for taxpayers’ dollars.  Councilor Navickas added it was beneficial having more people in the review process.  Councilor Chapman would not support the amendment.  He agreed it was important for Council to review RFP’s but wanted a different process.  Roll Call Vote: Councilor Navickas and Voisin, YES; Councilor Silbiger, Chapman, Jackson and Lemhouse, NO.  Motion failed 2-4.


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


Councilor Silbiger/Lemhouse m/s that staff bring back a resolution providing that Council receive RFPs for Professional Service Contracts over $75,000, purchase or sale of land use and Master Plans approximately one week in advance of the RFP.  Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.


Staff would look into measuring the use of local providers.


3.   Will Council approve First Reading of an ordinance titled, "An Ordinance Relating to Public Rights of Way and Amending AMC 13.02" and move the ordinance on to Second Reading?

Engineering Services Manager Jim Olson explained twelve years before the City established an encroachment permit system for citizens to use the public right of way for private use.  Criteria for the permit required the use to be temporary with the City having the right to reclaim the property at the user’s expense and other issues for liability.  The process worked well but staff did not have the codified authority to issue permits that the proposed ordinance would provide.   


Mr. Olson explained the process for encroachments on electrical easements and existing encroachments lacking permits.  As long as it was physically possible to remove the encroachment and the owner funded the removal, a person could get a permit.


Councilor Voisin/Jackson m/s to approve first reading and set the matter for second reading.


Assistant City Attorney Megan Thornton read the ordinance title aloud.


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





Meeting was adjourned at 8:31 p.m.


Barbara Christensen, City Recorder
John Stromberg, Mayor


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