MINUTES FOR THE REGULAR MEETING
ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
February 21, 2012
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 Voisin, Morris, Lemhouse, Slattery, Silbiger, and Chapman were present.
Mayor Stromberg announced vacancies on the Planning, Historic, Housing, Public Arts, Tree, and Transportation Commissions and the Audit Committee. Additionally, there was one opening on the Citizen’s Budget Committee with a March 1, 2012 deadline for applications.
Consent Agenda items 11. Does Council wish to confirm the appointment of Dave Kanner as City Administrator?, and 12. Will Council approve the attached resolution to formally adopt a Commissions and Committees Operations Guide?, were moved under NEW AND MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS for further discussion.
SHOULD THE COUNCIL APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THESE MEETINGS?
The minutes of the Study Session of February 6, 2012, Executive Session of February 7, 2012, Regular Meeting of February 7, 2012 and Council Goal Setting of February 11, 2012 were approved as presented.
SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS & AWARDS (None)
1. Will Council approve the minutes of the Boards, Commissions, and Committees?
2. Will Council, acting as the Local Contracts Review Board, approve an Intergovernmental Agreement to join a consortium with the State of Oregon, Department of Administrative Services, GEO to acquire aerial photos?
3. Will Council approve the 2012 Council Liaison appointments to the City boards and commissions to be effective immediately?
4. Will Council approve an amendment to the 2010 Fund Exchange Agreement No. 26612 to extend the completion date for the Laurel Street Safe Route to School Project by one year?
5. Does the proposed budget for Mayor and Council for Fiscal Year 2013 meet the needs of the Mayor and Council?
6. Does Council approve the recommendations of the Public Art Commission to install a mural on Enders Alley?
7. Will Council, acting as the Local Contracts Review Board, authorize the disposal of surplus transformers and approve the contract award to Transformer Technologies for submitting the highest bid of $14,746.05?
8. Should Council authorize signature of an Intergovernmental Agreement with Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS) to allow DCBS to install Accela building permit software for use by the City of Ashland Community Development Department Building Division for electronic construction permit issuance and plan review?
9. Will Council authorize staff to apply for a Certified Local Government grant from the State Historic Preservation Office for the continued operation of the City of Ashland’s historic preservation program and to facilitate the City’s Comprehensive Plan Goal to preserve historically significant sites and structures?
10. Will Council, acting as the Local Contracts Review Board, approve a Special Procurement requesting approval to enter into a two year contract with JACO Environmental to continue to operate a refrigerator and freezer recycling program to Ashland residents as part of the City’s overall energy efficiency/conservation incentive program?
11. Does Council wish to confirm the appointment of Dave Kanner as City Administrator?
12. Will Council approve the attached resolution to formally adopt a Commissions and Committees Operations Guide?
Councilor Silbiger pulled Consent Agenda item #10 for discussion.
Councilor Lemhouse/Slattery m/s to approve Consent Agenda items #1 through #9. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
Interim Assistant City Administrator and Financial Director Lee Tuneberg explained the process citizens used to recycle their refrigerators or freezers and would forward participation regarding to Council.
Councilor Silbiger/Chapman m/s to approve Consent Agenda item #10. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
1. Should Council purchase 2,773 square feet of property located along the east bank of Ashland Creek?
Parks and Recreation Director Don Robertson explained the property was part of a 20-year plan to establish a trail system that would link Lithia Park to the Bear Creek Greenway.
Public Hearing Open: 7:09 p.m.
Public Hearing Closed: 7:09 p.m.
Councilor Voisin/Slattery m/s to approve purchase of 2,773 square feet of tax lot 2705 for the appraised price of $8 per square foot minus a trade of 269 square feet of adjoining City property along with surveying and title costs for a total projected cost of $23,532. DISCUSSION: Councilor Chapman noted the value of the trail connection in the future. Voice Vote: All AYES. Motion passed.
2. Should Council re-designate approximately 14,000 square feet of City-owned housing property to Parks property?
Parks and Recreation Director Don Robertson explained the organization responsible for workforce housing on the property went out of business 2011. The Planning Commission recommended Council transfer the property to the Parks and Recreation Department and in January 2012, the Parks and Recreation Commission approved the transfer.
Public Hearing Open: 7:13 p.m.
Regina Ayars/199 Hillcrest/Spoke as the Chair of the Housing Commission and read from the Housing Trust Fund Ordinance 2966. She encouraged Council to approve the transfer of monies from the sale of upper Clay Street to the Ashland Housing Trust Fund.
Councilor Chapman clarified the decision to transfer the funds to the Housing Trust Fund was determined fall 2011.
Public Hearing Closed: 7:18 p.m.
Councilor Chapman/Lemhouse m/s to approve the transfer of the 14,000 square feet property from City housing designation to Parks designation. DISCUSSION: Councilor Lemhouse wanted Council to add a priority to the Housing Trust Fund to spend funds on housing preservation instead of acquiring new land for affordable housing.
Councilor Lemhouse motioned to amend that the Housing Trust Fund is its priority and the preservation of low-income housing. Councilor Lemhouse withdrew the motion, as it did not apply to the current action.
Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
Councilor Lemhouse/Slattery m/s that the funds in the Housing Trust Fund be prioritized and used on housing preservation. DISCUSSION: Councilor Chapman thought language in the Housing Trust Fund regarding spending would have to change. Interim Assistant City Administrator and Financial Director Lee Tuneberg explained the amount was currently held as a restricted fund in the General Fund and would require an appropriation if Council wanted to use it in the next year. Councilor Voisin wanted the Housing Commission’s input prior to making the decision. Councilor Morris noted the Housing Trust Fund Ordinance already stated funds supported creation or preservation of housing.
City Attorney Dave Lohman explained the Operations Guide for Commissions and Committees contained a procedure that dealt with proposed expenditures, involved the relevant Department Head and if needed, Council. Interim City Administrator Larry Patterson suggested staff come back to Council with information for further discussion. Councilor Chapman was not comfortable having the Housing Commission making budgetary decisions on $150,000. Councilor Voisin thought Council should designate a specific amount for housing preservation instead of allocating the full amount.
Councilor Lemhouse withdrew the motion with Councilor Slattery’s consent.
Council directed staff to bring possible changes and additional information to a future meeting.
Marc St. Andre/1565 Siskiyou Boulevard/Explained he was homeless and Municipal Judge Pamela Burkholder Turner suggested he come before the Council and ask the City to designate a park where the homeless could go to drink alcohol without repercussion.
Ron Roth/6950 Old Hwy 99 South/Shared his history and involvement with Mt. Ashland Ski Resort and asked the Council to consider donating one tenth of 1% of the City’s annual budget, approximately $100,000 to the Mt. Ashland Association to fund a seven day operation. It would benefit the after-school program, create an economic development affect, and work towards resolving any rifts between MAA and the City.
1. Will Council direct the City Attorney to prepare a resolution supporting the creation of a constitutional amendment to eliminate 'personhood' for corporations and unions for purposes of campaign expenditure limitations and to stop treating money as speech for political purposes?
Mayor Stromberg provided background on the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision regarding Citizens United and how the group Move to Amend formed to challenge corporate personhood and treating money as speech. He listed groups and government officials that were calling for a constitutional amendment that would allow congress to regulate corporate political contributions.
Ron Boutwell/1259 Munson Drive/Spoke as the President of the Meadow Hawk Home Owners Association to urge Council to authorize a resolution supporting the creation of a constitutional amendment to eliminate personhood for corporations and unions for the purpose of campaign expenditure limitations and stop treating money as speech for political purposes. He noted other groups and cities participating in eliminating personhood.
John Limb/606 Iowa Street/Spoke on behalf of Peace House who supported passing a constitutional amendment to deny personhood status to corporations and free speech status to money. Historically local government tended to embrace change before federal government endorsed it.
Herbert Long/745 Alaska Street/Explained corporations did not have “feelings.” He felt strongly about what was happening to democracy, and how access to the political process was available only to those with money. He appealed to Council to take a stance and oppose the Supreme Court decision.
Evan Lasley/110 7th Street/Commented how corporations could dominate elections and policymaking. The amendment made the statement that people must have a voice within the political system.
Alison Keith/3151 E Main Street/Explained the immense impact Citizens United had on local politics and used local State Representatives as an example. She urged Council to join the growing numbers of cities passing the resolution supporting a constitutional amendment.
Joyce Segers/1345 Tolman Creek Road/Commented on the mockery of the political system and the need to regain the respect back for the political process. A vote for the resolution was a vote for a community full of respect.
Barry Tillman/Expressed his anger regarding the political system, concern that Council might vote against the resolution and his commitment to see the Councilors who did not pass the resolution replaced.
Rich Rhode/124 Ohio Street/Spoke as a member of Oregon Action and stressed it was appropriate and essential that local governments supported the resolution.
Paula Sohl/283 Scenic Drive/Explained corporations were not people and stressed the importance to amend the Constitution and to educate people on the issue by passing the resolution.
Keith Haxton/110 7th Street/Spoke on the history of Move to Amend and Ashland’s chapter established 2010. He explained the process to amend the US Constitution and noted cities that passed similar resolutions.
Councilor Voisin/Silbiger m/s to direct staff to prepare a resolution supporting the creation of a constitutional amendment to eliminate “personhood” for corporations and unions for purposes of campaign expenditure limitations and to stop treating money as speech for political purposes. DISCUSSION: Councilor Voisin asked Council to take a formal stand on the issue by calling for a constitutional amendment to counteract the Supreme Court’s action. Councilor Silbiger would support the motion but preferred a resolution that stated very clearly the City supported a constitutional amendment where money was not speech and allowed Congress and states to regulate elections and the financing and expenditures of elections. Councilor Slattery supported the motion but was not comfortable with how it came before the Council. He observed that as long as Political Action Committees (PAC) existed there would be problems. Another issue was the resolution would hinder well-meaning corporations.
Councilor Lemhouse would not support the motion even though he supported the sentiment. He took serious issue politicizing a local elective body whose job was to govern. Council was not the place to set up a political platform. He objected to the format used and suggested interested parties put a measure on the ballot. Councilor Chapman supported the motion but leaned towards Councilor Silbiger’s suggestion and added that it was more effective to support the Federal Representatives who were already moving in the direction of an amendment. He too had concerns with how the item came before Council and thought the resolution might be ineffective. Councilor Morris noted Mr. Haxton’s testimony that it would take either two thirds of Congress or State legislators to amend the constitution and the process could take decades. He was uncomfortable how the issue came to Council, did not think the resolution would make a difference, but agreed contacting State and Federal legislators was a more effective route.
Councilor Voisin took issue with Councilor Slattery and Lemhouse implying the agenda item was a political move on her part and stressed it came from many citizens working on Move to Amend. Councilor Slattery reiterated his disappointment in how the item came before Council and thought it was divisive. Mayor Stromberg thought the corporate personhood issue was good for a political movement to pursue, and noted that Senator Merkley had already taken a position to amend constitution to allow congress to regulate corporate contributions. He would not support the motion and did not think it was appropriate for Council to associate itself with the particular approach. However, he would support a constitutional amendment that gave Congress the power to regulate corporate contributions to political campaigns. Councilor Lemhouse clarified what he meant regarding politicizing the issue and hoped the lesson learned was that democracy was a collaborative process. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Slattery, Voisin, and Silbiger, YES; Councilor Chapman, Morris, and Lemhouse, NO. Mayor Stromberg broke the tie with a NO vote. Motion failed 3-4.
Councilor Silbiger/Chapman m/s to direct staff to bring back a resolution for a constitutional amendment that affirms that congress and the states may regulate the financing and expenditures of elections. DISCUSSION: Councilor Silbiger explained it was not just corporations and unions, the financing of elections needed to be equal and fair for everyone. Councilor Silbiger explained the resolution would remove references to corporate personhood and supported Senator Merkley’s position.
Roll Call Vote: Councilor Slattery, Voisin, Silbiger, Chapman, and Morris, YES; Councilor Lemhouse, NO. Motion passed 5-1.
NEW AND MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS
Interim City Administrator Larry Patterson stated the employment agreement was a three-year contract with salary starting at $132,684, standard benefits, a $400 per month automobile allowance, housing assistance allowance of $1200 per month as well as a severance pay clause.
Councilor Slattery/Lemhouse m/s to accept the contract and hire Dave Kanner as City Administrator. DISCUSSION: Councilor Lemhouse expressed his appreciation of the panel members involved in the interview process and Larry Patterson’s efforts as Interim City Administrator. Councilor Voisin commented that Dave Kanner had the skills needed at this time. Councilor Slattery voiced his appreciation to Mr. Patterson. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Voisin, Morris, Lemhouse, Slattery, Silbiger and Chapman, YES. Motion passed.
Interim Assistant City Administrator and Finance Director Lee Tuneberg explained the resolution provided a guideline on how or if a Commission would spend City monies. City Attorney Dave Lohman noted the resolution should have included a reference to Ashland Municipal Code 2.10 Uniform Policies and Operating Procedures for Advisory Commissions and Boards and would come back to Council at a future meeting with an amendment to the ordinance.
Councilor Chapman/Lemhouse m/s to approve Resolution #2012-03. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND CONTRACTS
1. Will Council approve a resolution adopting goals, criteria and requirements for the new policy and scoring approach for the City’s annual economic, cultural, and sustainability grant program?
Councilor Slattery disclosed a potential conflict of interest due to his spouse being the Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce.
Council decided on four grant categories, Economic Development, Cultural, Sustainability, and Tourism with four criteria in each category for scoring. Project Manager Adam Hanks distributed updated documents with changes from the Study Session earlier that evening. Staff originally left Tourism out of the resolution because of a prior direction that considered it a subset of Economic Development.
Councilor Lemhouse/Morris m/s to approve Resolution #2012-05, adopting goals, criteria, and requirements for the Economic, Cultural, Tourism, and Sustainability Grant Program and to accept the scoring criteria submitted by staff during the February 21, 2012 Study Session held earlier. DISCUSSION: Councilor Chapman noted corrections and suggested having a radial button. Councilor Silbiger commented on previous concerns that Ashland move from depending on tourism and thought the changes were a step in the right direction. Councilor Chapman encouraged regional tourism. Councilor Voisin expressed concern that Tourism was still a primary focus in economic development and stressed the need for Ashland to diversify. Mayor Stromberg clarified the Economic Development Strategy was addressing that concern. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
2. Will Council approve the resolution allocating TOT revenues consistent with discussions and approval by vote taken on February 7, 2012?
Councilor Slattery declared a conflict of interest due to his spouse being the Executive Director of the chamber of Commerce and recused himself. He left the meeting at 9:25 p.m.
Council addressed the Non Tourism Portion 2nd Priority table and discussed restricting Economic Development Program funds to prohibit spending without Council approval.
Councilor Chapman/Silbiger m/s to approve Resolution #2012-04.
Councilor Silbiger/Lemhouse m/s amend the motion that the City Economic Development Program, be restricted and not be spent without Council approval. DISCUSSION: Councilor Chapman suggested changing the first sentence following the Priority tables from: “Economic Development programs or other projects are City activities unless otherwise specified by Council prior to the budget process,” to “Economic Development programs specified by Council prior to the budget process.” Councilor Silbiger did not think the change would be as effective as restricting the funds. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Lemhouse, Silbiger, Morris, and Chapman, YES; Councilor Voisin, NO. Motion passed 4-1.
Roll Call Vote on main motion: Councilor Lemhouse, Silbiger, Morris, and Chapman, YES; Councilor Voisin, NO. Motion passed 4-1.
Meeting adjourned at 9:38 p.m.
Barbara Christensen, City Recorder John Stromberg, Mayor