MINUTES FOR THE REGULAR MEETING
ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
July 17, 2001 - 7:00 p.m.
Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Mayor DeBoer called the meeting to order at 7:02 p.m. in the City Council Chambers.
Councilors Laws, Reid, Hartzell, and Morrison were present.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Hartzell noted a correction to the Regular Council Meeting Minutes of July 3, 2001 on page 3, third paragraph, second sentence, "Hartzell requested an additional member from the Technical Advisory Committee." Minutes were accepted with the amendment.
SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS & AWARDS
1. Presentation by the Forest Lands Commission on current activities.
Chair Bill Robertson and Steve Jensen gave a review of the commission’s activities and handed out maps of the city and watershed area. The commission has worked with the US Forest Service and the new hiking trail system, with REAL Corp, and they have funded a hazard-mapping program. Robertson clarified the types of hazardous fire materials near homes, such as grasses, bushes, and manzanita trees.
Hartzell offered to speak with the commission regarding certified lumber and the possibility of using trees cleared by the commission for this program.
1. Minutes of Boards, Commissions and Committees.
2. Confirmation of Mayor's appointments of David Chapman and Elizabeth Bretko to the Bicycle & Pedestrian Commission for terms to expire April 30, 2003.
3. Request for sewer service outside the City Limits but within the City's Urban Growth Boundary - Richard C. Vilas, 861 Fox Road, 39 1E 05 TL 500 and 39 1E 05 BB TL1190.
Councilor Morrison pulled item 3 for discussion. Councilors Hartzell/Reid m/s to approve items 1 and 2. Voice Vote: All Ayes. Motion Passed.
Public Works Director Paula Brown clarified that the county has indicated they would charge citizens differently for hook-up, depending upon whether the City would approve service. Brown noted that written verification of septic system failure is required before the City performs a hook up.
Councilors Reid/Laws m/s to approve staff recommendation. DISCUSSION: Brown clarified that she would speak to the county to verify their policy. She noted, as a rule, citizens living within the UGB have been granted acceptance, especially if they are within the City limits. Voice Vote: All Ayes. Motion Passed.
1. Public Hearing and Decision on the Action Plan for the One Year Use of Community Development Block Grant Funds for Fiscal Year 2001-2002.
Community Development John McLaughlin reviewed the plan for the use of US Department of Housing and Urban Development allocated funds. Assistant Planner Brandon Goldman explained that, through the CDBG fund, the City would receive $230,000. The following funds have been allocated: $120,000 to the Ashland Community Land Trust for the purpose of land acquisition for low-income housing; $29,500 to Inter-Faith Care Community of Ashland; and $80,500 to the City of Ashland ($11,500 for accessibility improvements, $46,000 for administration of the program, $23,000 for sidewalk improvements in low-income neighborhoods).
PUBLIC HEARING OPEN/CLOSED: 7:28 p.m. – no one came forward to speak
Councilors Morrison/Reid m/s to approve Action Plan. Voice Vote: All Ayes. Motion passed.
Ryan Navickas/711 Faith/Asked the council to write a letter to the District Attorney to drop the charges. He felt he did not obstruct justice, but simply made use of his right to free speech. Navickas noted his observations regarding the library project, and urged the council to embrace a willingness to change course when necessary.
Eric Navickas/711 Faith/Requested a letter from the council to the DA, dropping all charges. He apologized for bringing this forward, as there are many other more important issues to be discussed. Navickas stated that his actions were based on his right of free speech in protest to the falling of the trees and the lack of due process.
DeBoer stated that he spoke with the Chief of Police and the District Attorney previously. The decision to dismiss the charges would be made by the District Attorney, not the council. Council discussed the merit of writing a letter to the District Attorney to support dismissing the charges.
Councilors Hartzell/Reid m/s to add this item to the agenda. Voice Vote: All Ayes. Motion Passed.
Nolte noted that a letter from the Mayor, with the support of the Council, could hold some weight with the District Attorney. Laws made it clear that the City has not violated the laws or any citizen's rights. He explained that the civil disobedience laws were written to allow a person to violate the law in order to draw attention to an issue, but in so doing the citizen admits they have broken the law. Laws supported the action, as the expense of trial was unnecessary.
Councilors Hartzell/Reid m/s to direct the Mayor to write a letter to the District Attorney to support the dismissal of charges against Ryan and Eric Navickas. Voice Vote: All Ayes. Motion Passed.
UNFINISHED BUSINESS (None)
NEW AND MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS
1. Discussion of Living Wage Preemption, HB 2744
Scoles stated that the House and Senate have approved House Bill 2744, but it has not been verified as to whether the governor has signed the Bill. This Bill may impact the living wage ordinance and how it is written. Staff recommends council considers the provisions of HB 2744 and, if appropriate, direct staff to modify the draft ordinance, and to schedule a public hearing on the revised draft for August 7, 2001.
Laws stated that he has read the Bill and could find nothing that would effect the provisions of the draft ordinance. He saw no reason to delay. Nolte agreed that the Bill would not impact the ordinance. Scoles questioned definitions of businesses as defined by the Bill, and how this may affect the ordinance. Nolte clarified that no more time is needed to review the Bill. A public hearing is not required.
DeBoer declared his desire for council to drop this issue as staff has spent enough time already. Although he supports a living wage for all people, he felt it could not be enforced.
Echo Fields/1172 N. Main/Spoke in favor of the ordinance. The preemption issue troubled her, as the State has been taking away the rights of local lawmakers.
Wes Brain/298 Garfield/Spoke in favor of the ordinance. Brain felt there has been a long enough delay. He noted the opposition by corporations and employers to pass any Bill or ordinance that helps the worker. He would rather see his taxes go to workers than to food stamps.
John Cooper/4336 Independence School Road/A former resident of Ashland, he felt that the investment would pay off in city moral. He did not feel it was unmanageable.
Lorraine Werblow/3071 Pineview, Medford/Oregon Action Member/Was concerned for the dignity of families. Giving parents a living wage, which allows for more independence, sends a strong message to children.
Christine Lachner/225 Crossway, Sams Valley/Co-chair of Rogue Valley Oregon Action/A living wage ordinance was submitted a year ago. Ramifications were considered and compromises were made. Lachner noted that sixty-three cities and counties have adopted living wage ordinances, and have not encountered problems.
Valri Williams/744 Helman/Living Wage Subcommittee Member/Stated that the consensus of the committee was to create a complete ordinance. Compromises were made, but a few issues still remain, as it is a complex issue.
Suzi Aufderheide/321 N. Mountain/Living Wage Subcommittee Member/Has lived in Ashland for 23 years. She quoted from various studies conducted by other cities regarding living wage ordinances. It has been found that costs have not increased, but productivity has, and there has been a reduction in employee turnover. Of the non-profit agencies, few had difficulty implementing the changes. To find the studies she quoted, she suggested going to www.acorn.org and following the links.
Kristy Offineer/2234 Siskiyou Blvd #B22/Director of the Native American Leadership Institute, which works to create positive role models and leaders. She noted the security of a living wage for workers in Ashland.
William Mansfield/408 S. Oakdale, Medford/Spoke for Oregon Action as an attorney. He agreed that the House Bill does not affect the ordinance.
Morrison noted that the Ad Hoc committee did not come back with a recommendation to drop. He felt the ordinance should be considered for discussion on August 7. He questioned the wording of the House Bill, and thought it was too early to make a decision to accept or dismiss the ordinance.
Councilors Morrison/Hartzell m/s to review HB 2744 and direct staff to modify the City ordinance, if necessary. Voice Vote: All Ayes. Motion Passed.
DeBoer clarified that the agenda item would not be a public hearing, but would allow for public testimony. He requested a copy of all sixty-three ordinances noted by earlier by Lachner. Nolte stated he has a few of them and would work with Mr. Mansfield to gather the rest.
2. Request by Ashland Housing Community Land Trust and the Housing Commission regarding Funding for Consultant Services.
McLaughlin reviewed the request for $22,000, including $15,000 for a one-year service contract with a RARE program participant to carry out specific duties advancing the affordable housing program of the ACLT, and $7,000 as acquisition loan debt service for the property at 41 Garfield Street.
Scoles stated that $67,000 has been budgeted for a housing project. A transfer of appropriations would be required to move ahead.
Diana Goodwin Shavey/694 Oak Knoll/Housing Commission Member/Encouraged council to approve the request. The commission is eager to move ahead, and the consultant would help to make it happen.
DeBoer stated his hope that other grant monies would be pursued for housing. Hartzell noted that grant writing is not specifically written into the contract, but could be added. She is a board member of the Ashland Community Land Trust and Nolte has assured her that there is no conflict of interest.
Laws supported the recommendation for a consultant. Affordable housing has been an issue for years and more creative approaches are needed to find an answer.
Councilors Hartzell/Reid m/s to approve. DISCUSSION: McLaughlin clarified that the final decision to accept the contract would be approved by the Housing Commission. He clarified for council that staff time would be needed to work with the consultant. Voice Vote: All Ayes. Motion Passed.
3. Fifth Annual Report on Implementation of the Valdez Principles.
Services Director Dick Wanderschied gave the background of the principles and reviewed the new items on the list: Solar Electric Rebate Program, the mitigation agreement to curtail/conserve energy, newspaper articles on recycling, Wise Use of Energy Program, expand conservation efforts, and a City Source Energy Conservation Video.
Hartzell suggested adding the workshop on Riparian issues and the bioswale storm drain in the Elks parking lot. Wanderschied added the wildfire forums. Hartzell noted the certified wood program and possibly utilizing it for the three city projects currently underway.
4. Appointment process for Council Position No. 6 vacancy.
It was agreed that, although a deadline was set for 4 p.m. on July 16, the council was willing to accept the applications received past that time, but no more would be accepted. Scoles urged council to set a procedure for future vacancies. Council engaged in a discussion regarding options for interviewing. It was agreed that a special meeting would be held on August 1, 2001, beginning at noon, with interviews scheduled at 15-minute intervals beginning at 12:30 p.m. The Study Session previously planned for August 1, to discuss the non-smoking ordinance was moved to August 8.
Councilors Laws/Reid m/s to hold a Special Meeting on August 1, 2001 to interview applicants for the Council Position #6. Voice Vote: All Ayes. Motion passed.
ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND CONTRACTS
1. Reading by title only of "A resolution authorizing Interfund loans to the Telecommunications Fund."
Councilors Laws/Morrison m/s to approve Resolution #2001-22. Roll Call Vote: Laws, Morrison, Reid, and Hartzell – Yes. Motion passed.
OTHER BUSINESS FROM COUNCIL MEMBERS
DeBoer reminded council of the Study Session the next day.
Reid suggested using the Emergency Preparedness Team to distribute water curtailment materials to notify the public of water conservation efforts. Wanderschied noted that the Chamber of Commerce has placards to hand out to restaurants and hotels, and door hangers have been produced for the public. Scoles noted that water-use amounts are provided to the newspapers for publication.
Hartzell requested adding a discussion to a future Council Meeting regarding fire safety and the banning of fireworks. Scoles agreed to set the agenda item with Chief Keith Woodley reporting.
DeBoer noted that the Demolition Committee consists of two people at this time, and questioned its functionality. Council discussed the demolition ordinance and agreed that a staff report was warranted.
Meeting was adjourned at 9:19 p.m.
Submitted by Michelle Cole, Assistant to the City Recorder