MINUTES FOR THE REGULAR MEETING
October 4, 2011
1175 E. Main Street
CALL TO ORDER
Mayor Stromberg called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers.
Councilor Slattery, Morris, Lemhouse, Voisin, Silbiger, and Chapman were present.
Mayor Stromberg announced vacancies on various Commissions.
Councilor Voisin explained the Wildlife Committee would conduct a deer census October 13, 2011 and needed volunteers. Anyone interested in participating was encouraged to email firstname.lastname@example.org.
SHOULD THE COUNCIL APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THESE MEETINGS?
The minutes of the Study Session of September 19, 2011 and Regular Meeting of September 20, 2011 were approved as presented.
SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS & AWARDS
Council recognized the 2011 Ashland All-Star Little League Baseball players for their achievements and sportsmanship.
The Mayor’s proclamations regarding October 1 – 8, 2011 as Oregon Days of Culture and October 9 – 15, 2011 as Fire Prevention Week were read aloud. Fire Chief John Karns and the A Shift were recognized for Fire Prevention Week.
1. Will Council adopt a resolution repealing Resolution No. 2011-01, which establishes an AFN Advisory Board?
3. Should Council authorize signature of an Intergovernmental Agreement with the City of Medford to provide building inspection services?
Councilor Morris/Chapman m/s to approve Consent Agenda items. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
1. Will Council approve a resolution titled, “A Resolution Correcting, Amending and Deleting Sections of the Miscellaneous Fees and Charges Document Previously Approved by Resolution 2011-26”?
Interim Assistant City Administrator Lee Tuneberg explained this was the first adjustment to the resolution and would correct the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for Public Works and Engineering, include the calculation of valuation for Building Permit fees, add the FireMed Plus medical air transport fee, and delete telecommunication coaxial conduit charges for new home construction.
Public Hearing Open: 7:18 p.m.
Public Hearing Closed: 7:18 p.m.
Councilor Silbiger/Chapman m/s to approve Resolution #2011-26. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
Deb Van Poolen/78 4th Street/Explained she was a sustainable farming consultant. Having a healthy watershed and water supply was important and the ski expansion at the headwaters threatened that.
Liza Maltsberg/276 B Street/Spoke regarding public interest versus private interest. The current trend nationally was corporate desire superseded the people’s interest. She wanted the public interest of Ashland citizens put first before private interests.
Emery Way/753 Siskiyou Boulevard/Spoke regarding the Mt. Ashland ski expansion and the watershed. Council had as much at stake protecting drinking water as anyone and there was no excuse for feigning neutrality. The decisions made regarding the expansion would hang over the community for generations. He encouraged the Council as individuals to come out in support or opposition to the Mt. Ashland ski expansion. Political expediency on the matter was no excuse for silence.
Destino Stonehouse/Lilac Street/Opposed the Mt. Ashland ski expansion and thought there were eco-tourism opportunities in the watershed and roadless wilderness instead of expanding the ski resort. Council should continue Teddy Roosevelt’s intention to keep it a roadless and protected wilderness.
Tenasi Rama Lazar/513 Carter Lane/Explained how the water tunnels underground in the proposed ski expansion area filtered water for the river. Any cuts through that area would seriously impair water quality. He invited Council to meet with him and Donna Mickley from the US Forest Service to walk the area of the expansion October 12, 2011 at 9:00 a.m.
Xyara Asplen/1342 Seena Lane/The watershed was the water source that community needed to claim as part of everyone’s home. It was vital at this time for people to educate themselves and play an active role in the community and continued protection of the waters. The expansion created the potential for negative economic impacts.
Barry Tillman/2301 Siskiyou Boulevard/Introduced Global Ashland and explained it was an organization interested in unifying Ashland for World Peace. He shared Global Ashland's upcoming itinerary and invited everyone to join and bring in a new era.
Carrie Zoll/78 North Mountain/Explained she was creating a program for eco-tourism and living industries from old growth forests. She was also working with Southern Oregon University and the Parks Department on an alternative to pesticides using bio-dynamics and permaculture. The impending logging in the proposed ski area could seriously impair the watershed. She encouraged Council to look at eco-tourism as an alternative for children to learn about bio-diversity and ultimately create a bigger vision that would not destroy eco-systems to make money.
1. Does Council wish to affirm and finalize an agreement, as revised by City Council action on August 30, 2011, with the Mount Ashland Association (MAA) that would dissolve the existing lease agreement, replace the lease with new terms, convey the property currently owned by the City to MAA, and require the City to relinquish the Special Use Permit for the Ski Area so that MAA can directly obtain the SUP?
City Attorney David Lohman removed himself from the meeting due to a conflict of interest and Attorney Bob Steringer from Harrang, Long, Gary, Rudnick P.C. joined the meeting in his place.
City Administrator Martha Bennett provided an overview of the amendments Council made to the draft agreement and MAA’s response. One amendment changed the City appointed non-voting member on the MAA Board to a City appointed voting member the MAA could not veto. MAA was not in favor of the amendment and requested Council retain the original language of a non-voting member.
The second amendment added Quality Control to the Quality Assurance statement and allowed a City appointed person to be on-site during any construction activities. MAA agreed with the amendment to have an inspector on site during construction.
The third amendment increased the restoration amount to $700,000. MAA opposed the amendment and requested the U.S. Forest Service set the restoration amount in the Special Use Permit (SUP) instead.
The fourth amendment would prohibit MAA from logging until they had sufficient funds for Phase I.
MAA did not agree with the amendment and suggested alternate language that would allow the U.S. Forest Service to determine how much they had to raise prior to proceeding with the expansion.
MAA General Manager Kim Clark explained the MAA Board’s main issue with having sufficient funds before Phase I expansion was due to the description of Phase I. The U.S. Forest Service would review Phase I projects and possibly change them. MAA did not want a breach in their agreement with the City. The primary objective of the U.S. Forest Service was that Phase I produced revenue.
He went on to explain the U.S. Forest service required MAA to have funding above the current restoration bond of $200,000. The $200,000 was a baseline and the U.S. Forest Service would determine adjustments. Additionally, MAA will post a performance bond before any construction to guarantee the work and will need the bond for permits.
Council discussed each amendment MAA rejected.
· Amendment 1, paragraph 4.a. (1) regarding City appointed Board Member. MAA rejected the proposed amendment as submitted and supported the original language of Paragraph 4.a.
Council supported staff’s recommendation to have a non-voting member that Council appointed but MAA could not veto.
· Amendment 3, paragraph 4.d changing the Restoration amount to $700,000. MAA rejected the proposed amendment and wanted the U.S. Forest Service to determine the amount through the SUP.
Council discussed restoration amounts. These were City assets and the U.S. Forest Service had indicated that in addition to the restoration costs, it would cost $750,000 to remove all of the equipment. The majority of Council agreed the restoration amount should increase to at least $700,000. There was concern setting the amount at $700,000 then having the U.S. Forest Service determine it was higher.
Councilor Silbiger/Chapman m/s to amend Section 4(d) and remove the words “Restoration Amount” and require MAA to keep in reserve assets a minimum of $700,000 adjusted annually for inflation. DISCUSSION: Councilor Lemhouse supported the motion. Councilor Morris would support the motion but was not sure if the amount was correct or that it addressed the goal. Councilor Slattery thought the amount was low and restoration could cost more. Councilor Silbiger added this amount was separate from whatever number the U.S. Forest Service determined. Councilor Voisin stated the bottom line was protecting the watershed and water quality.
Councilor Voisin motioned to the amend motion to increase the $700,000 to $1,000,000. Motion died for lack of a second.
Councilor Voisin would not support the main motion. Council needed more information from the U.S. Forest Service before making this decision. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Silbiger, Slattery, Chapman, Morris and Lemhouse, YES; Councilor Voisin, NO. Motion passed 5-1.
· Amendment 4, new paragraph 4.e prohibiting MAA to log until they have sufficient funds for Phase I development. MAA suggested replacing the proposed language with the following: “…until sufficient funds, as determined by the USFS are raised for the approved Phase I project.”
Councilor Morris originally proposed the amendment because he did not want MAA to start the expansion without funds to continue. The issue was that no one knew what Phase I entailed or actual cost. He was more concerned all the restoration projects remained in Phase I.
Councilor Chapman/Lemhouse m/s to amend Section 4(e) removing language in brackets and replace with “as determined by U.S. Forest Service.” DISCUSSION: Councilor Chapman did not think the section should be itemized until the U.S. Forest Service defined Phase I. Mayor Stromberg questioned how the motion would protect the City if the U.S. Forest Service could determine initial logging was sufficient for Phase I. He also questioned how cash and commitments would work regarding pledges. Councilor Chapman reiterated that according to U.S. Forest Service Phase I had to generate revenue. Councilor Slattery commented that logging was revenue. Councilor Morris doubted MAA would start construction to make money on trees due to the expense of helicopter logging. Mayor Stromberg suggested adding language: “…a revised version of a complete Phase I as specified by the U.S. Forest Service,” to the amendment.
Councilor Lemhouse supported the motion and transferring the SUP. Having the agreement would give the City legal recourse. Councilor Voisin would not support the motion based on the lack of information on how the U.S. Forest Service would define Phase I.
Attorney Bob Stringer explained the agreement did not bind MAA to complete improvements or restoration projects in Phase I. Ms. Bennett added Council could specify projects and add a consultation paragraph stating the City and MAA would agree on the amount needed prior to construction once the U.S. Forest Service defined Phase I. She clarified the project will be defined as it was in the Record of Decision (ROD).
Councilor Voisin was against the expansion. Just cutting trees would disturb the equilibrium of the eco-system. She also wanted to have specifics included in Phase I. Councilor Silbiger suggested modifying the language for Phase I using “reasonably described” knowing it would not be exact.
Mayor Stromberg asked whether Council would accept a pledge as a commitment. The majority of Council preferred cash but would support pledges. Mr. Stringer noted Council could firm up the financial commitments by referring to them as binding and add the performance bonding as part of what was needed to be secure.
Councilor Chapman withdrew his motion with Councilor Lemhouse’s consent.
Councilor Chapman/Lemhouse to amend Section 4(e) to read as follows: “The MAA agrees that it will not proceed with any logging, earth movement, or construction activities related to the portion of the expansion identified as Phase I until MAA has received a combination of cash contributions, binding financial commitments and performance bonding necessary to cover the entire cost of the Phase I improvements.” And to add sentence as follows: “The final details of Phase I will be determined by permits issued by the US Forest Service but can be generally described as Ski Run Settlement Sale, a C-6 chairlift with new lower intermediate and novice runs, a warming hut, additional parking spaces, the widening of several existing runs, and 23 watershed restoration projects.” Roll Call Vote: Councilor Silbiger, Slattery, Chapman, Morris and Lemhouse, YES; Councilor Voisin, NO. Motion passed 5-1.
Councilor Lemhouse/Slattery m/s that the Council finds that conveying the Permit Property would further the public interest and that Council approve the Agreement with the specific modifications made by Council. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Silbiger, Slattery, Chapman, Morris and Lemhouse, YES; Councilor Voisin, NO. Motion passed 5-1.
2. Will Council approve a resolution replacing the annual budget process with a biennial (or two-year) approach, beginning with the budget for July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2015, and for each biennium thereafter until this resolution is repealed?
Item delayed due to time constraints.
ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND CONTRACTS
1. Should Council approve the First Reading of an ordinance titled, “An Ordinance Related to Meeting Quorum Requirements for City Appointed Boards and Commissions” and move to Second Reading?
City Attorney Dave Lohman read the ordinance title aloud.
Councilor Slattery/Silbiger m/s to approve first reading of ordinance and set the matter for a second reading. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Silbiger, Chapman, Morris, Lemhouse, Voisin and Slattery, YES. Motion passed.
NEW AND MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS
1. Will Council approve the recommendations of the Ad Hoc Homelessness Steering Committee?
Ad Hoc Homelessness Steering Committee (HSC) Chair Heidi Parker introduced the members of the committee and read the committee charge. Committee Vice Chair Rich Rhode described the processes used to gather and rate community solutions to the homelessness issue.
HSC member Graham Lewis presented the recommendation to establish donation boxes in areas where there was a significant amount of panhandling. The Ashland Chamber of Commerce would pay for the cost of the boxes and a local non-profit would collect the funds. Chamber of Commerce Homelessness Task Force member Meiwen Richards added the Chamber would devise language for the boxes and work with the HSC finalizing verbiage. Business owners would purchase the boxes that the City would install and maintain. Initially the Chamber would collect the money but wanted a non-profit appointed. They were currently in discussions with St. Vincent De Paul to collect and manage funds. Donation boxes would alleviate some pan handling but not eliminate all of it.
HSC member Regina Ayars presented the recommendation for a day use center The Salvation Army would manage that would provide basic services that included showers, laundry, and clothing. They needed a building to rent and approximately $24,000 for one year of rent. Future funds would come through grants to pay for the venue. The Salvation Army Development Director Jackie Agee explained they would ask the City to help secure a source. The Salvation Army would not pay rent for the building but offer services to the homeless and those at risk for homelessness. Currently several owners were interested in leasing their buildings rent-free for the first year.
Individual contributions primarily funded the transitional shelter in Medford with some funds coming from the Veterans Administration and Housing and Urban Development. Additionally, the day center in Ashland would include a small thrift store in the front.
Chair Parker presented the recommendation for 24-hour access to public toilets. The approximate cost for the Parks and Recreation Department to keep a public restroom open 24-hours was $8,000 annually. HSC suggested having three portable toilets on a trial basis at an annual cost of $1,026 per year for each unit and $1,578 per year and unit for handicap porta-potties.
Sara Hopkins Powell presented Trinity Episcopal Church’s recommendation to create a Listening Post for homeless people. Trained volunteers would be available to listen only and not counsel. The Church will move forward on this in conjunction with Peace House, United Methodist Church and run it during Uncle Foods Diner on Tuesday nights. The service could expand to the homeless day center or other venues.
Vice Chair Rhode presented the recommendation to extend the HSC to March 2013 and provide staff for meetings. He described the positive collaborative efforts of the community and continued interest in contributing ideas.
Councilor Silbiger/Chapman m/s to limit testimony to 2 minutes per person. Voice Vote: Councilor Lemhouse, Slattery, Chapman, Morris and Silbiger, YES; Councilor Voisin, NO.
Motion passed 5-1.
Clark Geil/753 Siskiyou Boulevard/Urged Council to pass the proposals by the HSC. The donation box was his least favorite and the 24-hour toilets were long overdue. The Ashland houseless did not have legal places to sleep at night. Showers and other services were greatly needed and a way of giving back to the public good as well as a way to treat those less fortunate more humanely. He asked Council to extend the Homelessness Ad Hoc Committee.
Emery Way/753 Siskiyou Boulevard/Noted that six months prior he was in the Chambers opposing the exclusionary zone and supporting the HSC on homelessness. He supported extending the Ad Hoc for another year. The HSC received dozens of proposals and various groups formed regarding homelessness. The last six months proved the community was capable of finding ethical solutions to the problems that face it. He asked Council to extend the HSC.
Keith Haxton /110 7th Street/Supported the Steering Committee and appreciated what they were doing but thought it should have a homeless representative or someone who worked closely with the homeless as a member. He was in favor of portable toilets but had concerns about the City running a thrift store at the day center. He was against the donation boxes, disagreed with the language, and noted it would not stop pan handling.
Helga Motley/693 Clay Street/Attended several Ad Hoc meetings and was frustrated that attendees could not participate in the discussions. She shared times in her life when she was homeless but had friends help her out and noted the need to build up the empathy deficit to be more generous.
Catie Faryl/1670 Siskiyou Boulevard/Explained the issues of homelessness was the tip of the iceberg to the current economic weakness and it was time to see things through a new lens. She believed the nation would encounter a triple dip economy. She thought the home free people should get a tax credit from Utility bills for leaving a lower carbon footprint. There was also a big disconnect with the collection boxes and another one between the residents and businesses three blocks off the plaza as well as the region. The collection boxes sent an inappropriate message about the problem. There were bigger issues and she hoped everyone would attend the Solidarity Event.
Sandra Coyner/1160 Fern Street/Attended almost all the meetings of the HSC and was impressed with their hard work and wanted it to continue for another year. Her main concern was Council support the day center. The donation boxes were all right if it encouraged people to give but disagreed with the language. The Listening Post might have happened without the HSC but the Ad Hoc energized many to start thinking and working for homelessness in the community.
Aaron Fletcher/General Delivery/Explained he was a local home free person. The homeless needed a place where they could legally sleep each night. The homeless also did not have an organized avenue for participating positively in the community. An inexpensive solution to the problem was homeless shelter houses. Individuals would be required to participate in neighborhood community service for one hour each day they stayed at a house and listed possible community services. At night, several long-term participants vested in the program would manage the houses. Participants would sign a document stating compliance with the house rules, two sound decibel monitors would prevent unacceptable noise violations and the houses would enforce a strict drug and alcohol free policy. These homes could come from donations or be rented with donated funds.
Eric Navickas/711 Faith Avenue/Thanked the Ad Hoc Committee. He explained free market capitalism was failing and an austere public sector was not a solution. It was time to invest in people. One way was to ensure citizens had housing. He spoke against the collection boxes. They would take from the most impoverished people, not generate any relevant revenue, and be divisive. It was important to keep the solutions in a positive light and help fellow citizens get through these tough economic times.
OTHER BUSINESS FROM COUNCIL MEMBERS/REPORTS FROM COUNCIL LIAISONS
1. Report from Council members who attended League of Oregon Cities Conference.
Item delayed due to time constraints.
Meeting was adjourned at 10:30 p.m.
Barbara Christensen, City Recorder
John Stromberg, Mayor