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Conservation and Climate Outreach Commission (View All)

Conservation Commission Monthly Meeting 12/08/2010

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

6 p.m. – December 08, 2010
Community Development Building


Chairperson McGinnis called the meeting to order at 6.00pm.


Risa Buck, Sheri Cillini, Stuart Corns, Ross Finney, Jim Hartman Shelley Lotz, Jim McGinnis and David Runkel were present.


City Council Liaison: Carol Voison,

Staff Representative: Larry Giardina, Mary McClary



Chairperson McGinnis asked for approval of the minutes for October 27, 2010. Commissioner Buck remarked that Steve DiFabion should not be noted when not attending or not attending.

Commissioner Finney made a motion to approve the minutes as stated, Commission Buck seconded the motion.

Voice Vote: All Ayes. The motion passed with a unanimous vote.


The Commission members welcomed and introduced themselves to Thomas Beam, who is their newest member.

He talked to the members briefly about his background and commented he was happy to be working with the Commission.


No speakers.


The Commission will hold an additional meeting this month, December 30, 2010.

The next regular Commission meeting will be January 26, 2011.


Chairperson Buck announced a total of 194 bags were sold at a discount during the reduced pre-paid leaf program. This Commission contributed $300.00 for the project, and Recology Ashland Sanitary continued to fund so no one was turned away. Recology also hosted 3 free leaf collection day, when they collected a total of 18 twenty-five yard containers.

A.    Earth Day Funding

Russ Chapman spoke to the Commission regarding sponsorship for this year’s Earth Day event, which marks their 10th year. There was discussion about the event including exhibitors, visitors, location, and possible donation from other municipalities in the Rogue Valley.


Commissioner Runkel made a motion to contribute $1,000 for the Earth Day Project, and the motion was seconded by Commissioner Hartman.
Voice Vote: All Ayes. The motion passed with a unanimous vote.

B.    Water Subcommittee

Commissioners Corn, Runkel and Buck met and submitted the minutes from their December 1st meeting. Councilor Voisin announced on January 19th, there will be a public input meeting for AWACK.

Commissioner Buck referred to the minuets for the subcommittee’s 4 goals.
1.     Support Curb2Creek Program
2.     Work with City to educate and promote alternative uses of grey water to reduce the use of
       drinking water for irrigation and toilet flushing.
3.     Water Shed Tour for interested Commissioners.
4.     Review Water Master Plan

     Commissioner Buck reported on the status of the Curb2Creek Program which now depends on the

Public Works Department for the purchase of additional medallions and to complete this project in 2011.

The Public Works Department offered to meet with the subcommittee to brain storm regarding leaf diversion, and clogging of the drain storm issues.


Commissioner Runkel remarked with the past rain storm, many of the citie’s drains failed. Commissioner Beam remarked about how other cities flush out their storm drains, and that could help with some of the failed drains. The members discussed their interest in addressing the problem of leaf collection in the streets. Commissioner Cellini suggested using this as a topic for the RVTV show. Commissioner Beam also suggested an Adopt a Drain Program.


Commissioner Cellini sent out information regarding an open house for AWACK and will update the Commission in January.


Commissioner Buck reported they wanted to organize a water shed tour and she will contact Public Works to see if and when that would be possible.

C.    State of Conservation with the City of Ashland

Commissioner Buck addressed her concerns about a lack of presence of “Conservation” within the City, mainly due to the retirement of Dick Wanderscheid, the former Electric Utilities Director who also managed the Conservation Division. She felt there was a lack of support and leadership for the Conservation Division. She believes the quality of life in Ashland suffers due to the lack of proper influence and guidance that preserved conservation values.


The City still has not replaced Dick Wanderscheid’s position with the City, and she felt we were risking areas that Ashland used to be leader in the Conservation arena. As a member of the Conservation Commission, she felt that no one was listening to the plans and ideas that the members address, for example, the proposal to have a sustainability guideline. The time and energy invested in addressing these areas seems to be a waste of time, if the staff and City Council are not prepared or able to support it.


The City of Talent this past summer created a resolution of waste reduction measures. As a City, their Council they came together to take action. Commissioner Buck is looking for some specific action/support from the City of Ashland’s council.


Chairperson McGinnis asked if she was asking this Commission to address City about their current condition, so the Commission can take action in proposing recommendations they felt were of concern.   Commissioner Buck was not interested in pontificating ideas that were not being supported.


Councilor Voisin talked to the Commission about addressing the Council before they set their goals with the goals the Commission would like to see addressed. Attending the Council meetings to physically address the Council and give input during the open forum is also helpful for the Council to understand their position.


The Commission members discussed what goals they could present by January 3, 2011, and decided to hold an additional meeting this month, on December 30th to finalize their proposals.


Jeff Allen, an environmental consultant is working on a project at Helman School involving installing solar panels.

Helman School has a solar club that is working with Dick Wanderscheid who runs solar education programs with the Bonneville Environmental Foundation and is focusing on school districts. The $30,000.00 project includes a 1kw installed on top of the library roof with a touch-screen kiosk to see how much power they are producing.

Commissioner Cellini proposed to contribute as a platinum member to the Helman School project.
Commissioner Lotz countered the motion with a motion of contributing $250.00.


The members discussed usual budget items to determine available funds.

Commissioner Runkel remarked he would not vote for any funding at this time because of the process the Commission was using to allocate funds. We spend our budget with only case by case, and not adhering to any guidelines. He would like to see a process in place.


Chairperson McGinnis discussed different ways to facilitate the budget in the next year.

Commissioner Hartman proposed to contribute $500.00 to the Helman Project. Also to keep in mind that
Jeff Allen could return to request additional funding. Commissioner Finney seconded the motion.

Voice Vote: All Ayes with one Nay exception. (Commissioner Runkel)

A.    Plaque for Recycling Center

Commissioner Buck wondered if the Commission had an interest in continuing with this project. Commissioner Finney suggested setting this aside, until the end of the budget year, to give the Commission more time to research options. This item was set aside until the April/ May meeting.

B.    Sustainable Planning prelim report

Chairperson McGinnis passed out a list of City of Ashland Initiatives, explaining how the City Council Goals are woven and driven by goal setting. He also passed around a report with information from other cities within Oregon and where their stance was on the sustainability process.

C.    Conservation Award guidelines/categories

Commissioner Runkel reported on the project, including a press release, application, criteria for the awards and ideas on how to communicate to the public. Mary McClary will add the announcement to the City web site, and also to the Conservation Commission page.

The Commission agreed by consent to move forward with the proposed announcements and application. The criteria will be set aside for the next meeting.

D.    Compost Class Discussion
Set aside.

QUARTERLY LIAISON REPORTS (SOU, Ashland School District, Conservation Department & Recology)
Ashland School District
Set Aside

            Set Aside

Chairperson Mcginnis adjourned the meeting at 8:05 pm.

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