MINUTES FOR THE STUDY SESSION
ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
March 5, 2012
Siskiyou Room, 51 Winburn Way
Mayor Stromberg called the meeting to order at 5:31 p.m. in the Siskiyou Room.
Councilor Chapman, Silbiger, Slattery, Lemhouse, and Voisin, were present. Councilor Morris arrived at 5:34 p.m.
Mayor Stromberg explained the new format for Study Sessions would allow more free-flowing discussion. It would still prohibit public testimony but take written submissions from citizens prior to the meeting. City Administrator Dave Kanner further explained the provision in the code restricting Council from deliberating had been misinterpreted over the years and that Council could discuss items and provide staff with direction on an action and suggested changing the code provision to reflect that.
City Attorney David Lohman added it was difficult using the words ‘deliberate towards a decision’ because that language was in Public Meeting Law. However, the meaning was different in the code provision. Under State law, a closed meeting could not obtain information regarding items to deliberate but the Ashland code stated it was ok to get information from staff that may lead to a Council decision.
As long as the purpose did not involve public input, occurred during a time when Council conferred with each other, and Council did not make final decisions.
Item not addressed.
Public Works Director Mike Faught addressed the following nine policy issues that required further direction from Council:
Mayor Stromberg noted information received from the Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Sandra Slattery that the Chamber was interested in having the July 4th celebration exempt since it was more of a community event. However, the Chamber would cover the fees for the Children’s Halloween Parade and the Festival of Lights Parade since it was more business oriented. Police Chief Terry Holderness clarified all three events still required fees from the Chamber. They were on the list as ongoing events and therefore looked at differently. The Festival of Lights Parade would require modification due to the road closure.
City Attorney Dave Lohman explained co-sponsorship was no longer in the policy because it was covered under Resolution #2012-03 Commissions and Committees Guide.
Staff would add narrative that clarified the fees for the Children’s Halloween Parade and the Festival of Lights Parade. Council wanted to know actual City costs for the July 4th celebration.
Mr. Faught explained the $130 did not cover staff time to review an application. Staff costs were approximately $224 an hour and a review could take up to 4 hours. Additionally, staff recommended a $60 refund for cancelled or unapproved applications.
Council discussed automatic refunds and decided the City Administrator and staff would determine refunds and amounts.
In an effort to reduce costs, staff recommended pre-approved routes, and monthly Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) certified flagger training for non-City flaggers for events that needed to control intersection traffic. Council supported having ODOT certified flaggers.
Staff recommended and Council majority agreed to charging applicants 60% overtime costs instead of actual costs. Council wanted to see actual costs.
Council agreed to the recommendation to add hours of daylight because a rolling road closure was not safe after dark.
The 90-day timeframe provided time for staff to review the application and gave the applicant at least 30-60 days to prepare for their event. Council approved the 90-day requirement and the rush fee.
Chief Holderness clarified the 4th of July Celebration, Children’s Halloween parade and the Festival of Lights parade were exempt from the entire list. Staff would add language to the policy dealing with them specifically. Alternately, Council could add future ongoing events to the exempt list.
Council directed staff to remove bicycle references and have it apply to all races in the downtown area.
Council suggested having a neutral start as the preferred option for bicycle races but not a requirement and if they chose not to have a neutral start, the applicant would pay 60% of the actual cost.
Chief Holderness explained this applied mostly to protests and insurance companies did not insure demonstrations. Councilor Voisin would research the possibility of challenges to first amendment rights and equal protection. Council majority was in favor of staff gathering additional information regarding insurance for further review.
Mr. Faught read the criteria for approval and denial of the applications:
Torsten Heycke, the organizer of the annual Mt. Ashland Hill Climb Run, Allan Goffe, the organizer for the Mt. Ashland Hill Climb Bike Race, and Rob Cain who worked for both events expressed their concern regarding the certified ODOT flaggers’ requirement, the number needed, and how the requirement affected their events. Mayor Stromberg asked them to submit their concerns and suggestions in writing to the Council.
Council suggested staff revise the second paragraph on the first page of the Special Event Policy regarding exclusive use of public right of ways.
Meeting adjourned at 7:33 p.m.
Assistant to the City Recorder