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Conservation and Climate Outreach Commission (View All)

Conservation Commmission Monthly Meeting 08/24/11

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


6-8 p.m. –August 24, 2011

Community Development Building



Chairperson Hartman called the meeting to order at 6:05 pm.


 Risa Buck, Thomas Beam, Sheri Cellini, Stuart Corns, Cat Gould, Jim Hartman, Jim McGinnis, and David Runkel were present.  


City Council Liaison: Carol Voisin,

Staff Representative: Lee Tuneberg, Larry Giardina, Robbin Pearce, and Mary McClary.




Kye Mihaljevich, an energy management major at Lane Community College, will be doing an intern with Recology for approximately a month.  He gave the Commissioner a brief background and the Commission introduced themselves to Kye.




Chairperson Hartman asked for approval of the minutes for July 27, 2011.


Chairperson Hartman wanted a statement added to explain we believe the City will not have to pay Tier II power rates for approximately one year.

Commissioner Buck corrected the spelling of Chico.


Commissioner Buck made a motion to approve the minutes as corrected and Commissioner McGinnis seconded the motion.

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




No one present.




The next Commission meeting will be Sept 27, 2011.


Commissioner Buck announced Recology is collecting old running shoes to help Nike with their recycling efforts. 


Chairperson Hartman went over the agenda and timeline for the meeting.



Item B. from New Business:

Rain Water Harvesting PolicyRobbin reported Rick Hackstock, the City of Ashland’s building inspector, is working on a policy and procedures for rainwater harvesting.   Robbin and Rick will both present the policies and procedures for the Jackson County rain barrel class on September 14, 2011.  The event has been listed in the Ashland City Source.


Grey Water---The end of August is the deadline for DEQ, and she believed they have moved the deadline to November, but does not have that confirmed.  She will keep the Commission posted.


Local Source for Local BagsRobbin has not yet contacted Tracy Harding regarding a proposal for mass production of the bags and what they would cost.  She would like to see them used as a give-away for Earth Day.


Update on Water Master Plan—Robbin updated the Commission about the Ashland Water Advisory Committee last meeting, where they discussed storage and pumping capacity options.  The two main solution options are:

1)     Mini Tap-tying into Talent Water

2)     New Water Treatment plant for drinking



  1. Additional Classes for Worm

Set aside


  1. Name change for the Commission

Also Item E: Sustainability Planning Goal


Commissioner McGinnis and Corns went over a memo they sent to the other Commissioners and asked the Commission to meet from 4-6 hours on a weekend in October to develop a Sustainability Commission Charter and goals to be presented to the City Council.


On December 2010 the Conservation Commission recommendations to the City Council with regards to Sustainability Planning were: 

Adopt a goal to develop a concise Ashland City and Community Sustainability Action Plan

                The recommendation to implement the plan would be for the City to appoint a citizen ad-hoc committee or

                task force.

 In January 2011, the City Council adopted the goal:

“Develop a concise sustainability plan for the community and for City operation”.


In their April working group meeting, the City Council notes reported:

"Council majority did not support an ad hoc committee and was interested in the Conservation Commission taking on a form of sustainability planning.  The Conservation Commission would involve the Planning, Transportation, Budget, and Airport Commissions as needed.  Council saw sustainability as two plans, one for the City and the other for the community".


Related to providing City support for the Sustainability Planning Goal adopted by City Council, in May at a Budget meeting, Martha Bennett recommended that the City Council approve a Deputy City Administrator position and a Conservation Division Manager position.  The budget committee approved the deputy position, but voted 7-7 (thus a no) against funding the Conservation Division Manager position. 


Subsequently, Conservation Commissioners met with all but one City Councilor to argue in favor of getting them to approve funding the Conservation Manager Position at next city Council meeting. We heard from the majority of City Counselors that they did not wish to go against the budget committee recommendations. 


They would like to see a full time Conservation Manager who could dedicate a 25% minimum toward supporting sustainability planning, building the Conservation Division programs.   



Commissioner Corns is strongly in favor of having a separate retreat meeting, so they can come together as a group to develop their goals and straggles for the future rather than adopt or take ownership of other people’s ideas.


The members discussed the possibility of an October retreat and how they would approach a sustainability committee/commission. Councilor Voisin pointed out by coming up with a plan and presenting it to the Council,  showed support and leadership towards the Council goal.  Commissioner Runkel believed it was important to use the retreat to develop a sustainable action plan, and not so much re-create the charter. 


Commissioner Buck believed before they construct and commit to constructing plans, the Commission needs to be connected with their political leaders and not make assumptions.  She would like to see a letter of intent drafted and sent to the Council.  Commissioner McGinnis believes the Charter, if approved, by Council would then address these issues.  Commissioner Beam questioned if any portion of Conservation would be left out and reminded the Commission he is comfortable working for Conservation, but a Sustainable Commission is a much larger project.


Commissioner Beam made a motion that the Conservation Commission sends a letter to be read at the Council meeting, September 13th, prior to the Commission retreat in October, and in regards their goal to change into the Sustainability Commission.

 The members discussed this item placed on the consent agenda and also just having members discuss this issue with some of the Councilors.  Commissioner Gould wondered what would be different between the Conservation Commission and the Sustainability Commission.  Larry Giardina summed up the present duties of the Commission is to advise over energy and water conservation activities, and what they would be asking the Council to do is give the Commissioner a broader authority to allow them to advise over many Commission’s activities in many fields other than energy and water.


Commissioner Cellini feels the Council does not necessarily take this Commission seriously because AWAC did not include anyone from the Conservation Commission and felt they should have been a voting member with this committee.  She feels the Commission needed to be involved.


Commissioner Beam suggested he may not be the right person to move from the Conservation Commission to a Sustainable Commission but supports creating a charter, action plan and feels there should be more regional involvement.


Commissioner Beam made a motion to add a 13th meeting this year.


Commissioner Beam withdrew both motions.


Commissioner Runkel was in favor of drafting out a plan, then asking Council for endorsement.

Commissioner McGinnis was in favor of speaking to different councilors and postponing a retreat to November.


The Commissioners talked about what would be the best approach to accomplish this goal, including a retreat, drafting a letter, goals, City Council goals, and/or forming a subcommittee. 

Chairperson Hartman would like to see a retreat that would be focused, organized and able

to move forward with an action plan and charter.


Commissioner McGinnis made a motion that the Commission meet on October 22 for 4-6 hours to define our mission and charter as a sustainability Commission to fit with the City Council goals and any other sustainability area that were relevant.

Motion was seconded by Commissioner Runkel


Motion withdrew, second withdrew.


Commissioner Cellini moved the Commissioner move the September meeting from September 28th to September 27th, focusing the entire meeting on a draft outline for the sustainability Commission. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Beam.

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


The members formed a subcommittee to meet ahead of time to do some prep work on constructing a letter to the Council. (Jim McGinnis, Stuart Corns, Cat Gould and Sheri Cellini will meet.)

Lee Tuneberg spoke to the Commission regarding the structure of a letter to the Council.


Item F Budget Prepaid Leaf Bags

Commissioner Buck gave the history of this project and the Commission participation.  She announced Recology will be holding 3 free leaf drop off days.  Public Works Department contributes $500. The members discussed different options.


Larry Giardina reported to the Commission regarding the LED winter light project they discussed in past meetings. The Festival of Lights event is paid for by the Chamber of Commerce, approximately $20,000 a year. They do have a plan to change all the lights to LED lighting and have created a standard.  Other options include funding snowflakes or a lantern at approx. cost of $250.00 a lantern.


Commissioner McGinnis made a motion to contribute $300.00 to  the Leaf Bag Program.  The motion was seconded by Commissioner Cellini.

Voice Vote: All Ayes except Commissioner Buck who did not vote.

  The motion passed with a majority vote. 


Old Business, Item B North Main Road Diet

Commissioner Runkel spoke to the Commission about concerns regarding the project and the environment.  He would like to see an environmental study be proposed to the City Council, to determine the consequences of converting the mile and one-half of North Main Street.  He doesn’t believe anyone has looked at that aspect, and as a Conservation Commission, they should address any energy usage, and potential environmental problems.


The commissioners discussed different aspects of the project, including safety, property values, businesses, different areas in the city, sustainability aspects and making changes without knowing the outcome.


Commissioner Runkel made a motion the Conservation Commission urges the City Council to do an environmental and energy impact study concerning the “Road Diet”.

The motion was seconded by Commissioner McGinnis.

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


Chairperson Hartman will draft a letter for the Commission to review.


Commissioner McGinnis asked if the Commission would be willing to sponsor his event on September 24th.

He asked for 3 posters that would highlight the goals and conservation measures.


Commissioner McGinnis made a motion that the Conservation Commission officially becomes a sponsor of the Climate Change Reality presentation on September 24, 2011, at the Ashland Armory.

Commissioner Gould seconded the motion.

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



Quarterly Liaison Report




Set aside



Chairperson Hartman adjourned the meeting at 8:10 pm.


Respectfully submitted by:

Mary McClary

Administrative Assistant for Electric, Telecommunication

and the Conservation Departments.


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